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Messages - phil57

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The Common Room / Re: Probatesearch website HTTP/1.1 500 error - anyone else?
« on: Wednesday 22 June 22 20:52 BST (UK)  »
Nicky, the address I used to contact Iron Mountain was

Their reply, and our continued dialogue, was via

I hope that helps you.


The Common Room / Re: Probatesearch website HTTP/1.1 500 error - anyone else?
« on: Tuesday 21 June 22 22:49 BST (UK)  »
Hi Nicky, yes the service has been contracted to the private sector by HMG and Iron Mountain are running it.

There is a feedback link on the website which does work, but takes some time to get a reply.

I found and used another email address though, which from the initial reply I received appeared to be intended for business customers with some sort of volume contract, but they did escalate my issue to the web development team.

I am away from home at the moment, but if you can bear with me I will see if I can find the email address, albeit I only have access to my email account through my phone at present, which is a bit clunky!

The Common Room / Re: Findmypast - subscription increases
« on: Tuesday 21 June 22 12:11 BST (UK)  »
You won't lose your tree on Ancestry after your subscription expires, you just become a guest account and can still view your tree, but without access to Ancestry hosted documents and records.

For the best deal, once you have become a guest user, use the link that is regularly posted here, which will give you 12 months worldwide membership for just under 90.

Cancel automatic renewal for the following year, and repeat 😉

Family History Beginners Board / Re: gedmatch
« on: Saturday 18 June 22 11:05 BST (UK)  »
All imports need the data file exactly as downloaded from Ancestry or other provider. It shouldn't be unzipped, opened or any attempt made to view the contents as doing so can either cause the upload to be rejected or introduce errors in your DNA data.

If curiosity overcomes you and you want to see what is in the file (nothing very interesting to the human eye) work with a copy of the data file, never the original  ;)

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: My Heritage DNA
« on: Tuesday 14 June 22 09:54 BST (UK)  »
At match lengths where the results are indisputable, and I generally take anything over 20 cM as falling into that category, the differences are minimal and not worth bothering about IMO. Yes, one test might give you a slightly larger total cM than another, but how do you know which test is the more accurate, if either?

One caveat is that if you have tested with a company that provide segment and chromosome data, I can see the value of comparing tests taken with the same company.

For smaller matches, where the chances of the match being false (IBC etc.) are significant, I don't regard a match alone as having any significant value, unless it is corroborated by other research, in which case each piece of evidence has a value in adding weight to the other.

As I mentioned above, if you create a superkit on GEDmatch from two or more tests taken with different providers, you will lose quite a few of the smaller matches, because with more actual data to compare and less imputation, some of the false matches are stripped out.

Unfortunately, GEDmatch has a much smaller database than some of the other companies, particularly Ancestry, so again the value is limited unless a potential match already has their test on GEDmatch or they can be persuaded to upload it for comparison.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: My Heritage DNA
« on: Sunday 12 June 22 16:33 BST (UK)  »
I haven't taken a MyHeritage DNA test, but I did take a LivingDNA test (out of frustration at my Ancestry tests repeatedly failing processing) and eventually an Ancestry test that succeeded on my fourth attempt.

I uploaded the LivingDNA test to MyHeritage, and for matches who appear on both MyHeritage and Ancestry, the match lengths are generally greater on MyHeritage than on Ancestry, even allowing for the latter's Timber algorithm.

I also uploaded both my Ancestry and LivingDNA tests to GEDmatch, where interestingly I found very little difference between the results. But I created a superkit from the two uploads, and that had the effect of not only stripping out some of the lower matches, but also reordering the higher matches, e.g. increasing the match lengths of some and decreasing other. The effect was again only slight, but noticeable due to the change in order of highest to lowest as presented in the highest 50 matches, for instance.

Typing this has reminded me that I must upload my Ancestry test to MyHeritage, as I have been comparing results on MyHeritage for shared matches between my brother and me, but his test is an Ancestry transfer in, and mine as said is LivingDNA.

Family History Beginners Board / Re: DNA tests
« on: Friday 10 June 22 15:10 BST (UK)  »
There is no single database of every DNA test ever taken. GedMatch has a relatively small database of around 1.4 million kits. The biggest by far is Ancestry, with over 20 million tests. If you have taken a test with Ancestry your test will automatically be included for matching unless you have opted out. There is no other way to get into the Ancestry database, as they do not accept transfers in from other testing companies.

You can transfer your Ancestry test to other companies though, by downloading your raw test data and uploading it to their sites, including GedMatch, LivingDNA, FTDNA and MyHeritage (so no need to pay for a separate test with MH) and having uploaded your Ancestry test data you can opt to pay a much smaller fee to MH to unlock their matching and other DNA tools.

Considering he was a medicinal scientist (before retirement) used to handling lab samples in controlled conditions, i cannot accept he contaminated his sample.

It's not necessarily that the sample was contaminated (unless Ancestry explicitly told you that). Usually it fails because they were unable to extract sufficient DNA from the sample to run through the processing routines. It can be a particular problem for older subjects, as their saliva often contains less DNA and/or they may have difficulty producing sufficient saliva.

I failed three consecutive tests on Ancestry and the first attempt on LivingDNA. I finally had success with Ancestry after filling the sample tube to a few millimetres above the indicated level, and also rubbing the inside of my cheeks with a covid type mouth swab and leaving it to stand in the test tube for 30 minutes before removing and sealing the sample. My brother failed his first attempt with Ancestry, but the second went through after I advised hime to try the same routine.

Family History Beginners Board / Re: 1939 Register Codes & Three Surnames
« on: Friday 03 June 22 13:59 BST (UK)  »
Thanks for this link. It says -
"...Deciphering a specific set of annotation codes was answered by Audrey Collins, TNA Records Specialist - Family History and are listed below with her express written permission..."
The problem is that the annotation codes are not "listed below". Maybe Audrey withdrew her express written permission. Or am I missing something?

You're right, but I was intending to convey more the explanation that, whilst the codes used were apparently district codes, they changed throughout the life of the register's use within the NHS that the more recent you get from 1939, the less they can be relied on or that lists of what they mean would even exist in the public arena

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