Saturday, March 30, 2013

New York Census 1875 searchable has recently made the New York census for 1875 available. It is searchable, and very useful. One of the benefits of this census is that it lists the county of birth for the inhabitants. It is also helpful in showing where people were between the 1870 and 1880 censuses. A lot can change in a decade, so these five-year breakdowns of residency are great for research.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Find your ethnic ancestry

Or my preferred title: Admix Utilities are so Interesting!

It is no longer terribly expensive to get your autosomal DNA tested. Using it to find your cousin matches and thus, at least you hope, your distant ancestor (who has been hiding behind a brick wall) is still a big challenge. Sometimes the clues will get you closer, but often they won't, at least so far. There just isn't enough information. But there will be. Eventually there will be a much larger database and the connections will be easy to make.

But what is easy, and rewarding right now is the admix!
While the testing company might not provide much in the way of ethnic ancestry, once you download your raw data (simple and quick) and load it up to (a free website) and enter it into the multitude of admix utilities you will see beautiful pie charts or bar charts with your ancestry broken down into ethnic components. It is really a kick to see, and there are more options all the time.

The most recent Eurogenes breakdown (Eurogenes K36) includes such classifications as Iberian, Basque, Arabian, Eastern European, Italian, Armenian, and more (ultimately 36 reference populations).

Did your British Ancestors eat better than you do today?

How did your ancestors in England eat in decades and centuries past?

Surprising results of a study of the diet of mid-Victorian residents of England show that they had an excellent diet and as a result, good health. In the early to mid-1800's, people ate very well in terms of eating food that contributed to good health. That, then and now, seems to be nutrient-dense food.

For various reasons, the mid-Victorians consumed many calories in comparison to the number consumed by present-day Americans, but their calories came from sources that were very rich in nutrients, including many fruits and vegetables. They didn't consume "empty" calories the way they are consumed today. The Victorian diet is said to resemble the Mediterranean diet, which has recently received recognition for its value in maintaining health.

Some of the hallmarks of the Victorian diet which would be easy to emulate are beans, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, and few sweets.

An excellent overview of the study results can be found at NCBI

Take a look at how it appears your British ancestors fared. Where did they live? How long did they live?  And take a very close look at those who lived in the early to mid-1800s. They may have had a diet that will be a model to follow in the 21st century.