Thursday 16 July 2009

Family Tree DNA July sale

As part of a special summer promotion Family Tree DNA are offering discounted prices on three of their most popular kits for a limited period until the end of July. The details are as follows:

- The Y-DNA 37-marker test can be purchased for US $119 (£73). The usual price is US $149 (£91).
- The Y-DNA 67-marker test is available for the special price of US $199 (£122). The normal price is US $238 (£146).
- The high-resolution mtDNAPlus test can be purchased for US $119 (£73). The usual price is US $149 (£91).

These prices only apply to orders placed through surname or geographical projects. Anyone with the surname CRUWYS, CRUSE, CREWES, CREWS, CRUISE, CRUCE, SCRUSE, SCREWS or any other similar variant is invited to test through my CRUSE/CRUWYS DNA project.

I am also looking for people to join my new KENNETT DNA Project. If you have proven ancestry from Devon you are invited to join my Devon DNA Project.

Family Tree DNA now have around 5,500 surname projects. If you are not eligible for testing through any of my projects you will probably find another project in which your surname is included. FTDNA also have a huge variety of geographical projects, and a full list can be found here. If you are interested in participating and cannot find a suitable project do get in touch and I will see if I can help.

There are considerable advantages to testing with Family Tree DNA as they provide extra services and facilities which are not available with any of their rivals, such as a huge range of deep clade tests and other advanced tests, and the ability to join the numerous large geographical and haplogroup projects. They are the only company to provide the high-resolution 67-marker test. They are also the only company to provide a haplogroup assurance programme so that you can be confident that you have been assigned with the correct haplogroup. (There have been numerous reports of Ancestry customers being given incorrect haplogroup assignments and as Ancestry have no facility to order the necessary SNP tests to confirm the haplogroup these customers are having to pay to be re-tested at Family Tree DNA.) The International Society of Genetic Genealogy provide comparison charts on their website for the various tests. Their Y-DNA comparison chart can be found here. Their mtDNA comparison chart can be found here. The charts are in the process of being updated. Note in particular that Ancestry no longer provide any guarantee that they will store your sample. Family Tree DNA is the only company which provides archival storage for 25 years inclusive in the price of the test. Storage is particularly important if you are getting an elderly relative to take a test on your behalf, especially if your relative is the last in his particular line. Genetic genealogy is a fast-moving science with new and more advanced tests coming onto the market every few months, and you want to be sure that you have some DNA available to take advantage of the new developments. If you have any questions about DNA testing you are welcome to contact me by e-mail for advice.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Genealogy Wise social networking website

I've been experimenting in the last day or so with Genealogy Wise, a new dedicated genealogy social networking website. The site has been created by Family Link, the company which owns and operates and World Family Link is also the company behind the popular We're Related application on Facebook which famously duped many Facebook users on April Fool's Day into believing they were related to Barack Obama.

Genealogy Wise is effectively a simplified version of Facebook without all the distractions and, like Facebook, it is completely free of charge. You can have genealogy friends, you can create groups for the surnames you are researching or join groups created by other people. There is a forum for discussions, a blog section for general genealogy musings, and a facility to upload videos.

No official announcement about the launch has yet been published, but word has already started to spread on Facebook and in the Twitterverse and blogosphere. At the time of writing 654 members had signed up and 259 groups had been established, but there is a constant stream of new members and the numbers seem to be increasing exponentially. Many of my fellow members of the Guild of One-Name Studies have been among the early adopters who have rushed to claim ownership of the group for their particular surname before anyone else beats them to the post. I have already set up groups for the surnames Cruwys, Cruse and Kennett. I have also set up another group for the county of Devon. Now I just need you all to come and join my groups. You can find my profile page on Genealogy Wise here.

If the website is to be a useful resource for genealogists the membership will have to reach a critical mass with millions rather than hundreds of users. However, judging by the enthusiasm of everyone who has used the site, I suspect that it won't be too long before that critical mass is achieved as soon as word starts to get out on the genealogy mailing lists and in the press. Although many genealogists now use Facebook there are still some who are wary of the whole idea of social networking. I suspect that a specialised genealogy social networking site will be more appealing. Genealogy Wise will never be a replacement for Facebook but will surely become a useful complementary resource and one which we will be using more and more in the future. I look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

British Library Web Archive

I am pleased to advise that this blog has now been accepted by the British Library for inclusion in their web archiving programme. The BL have written to me as follows: "Many thanks for nominating your site. The British Library would like to invite you to participate in our web archiving programme. We select and archive sites to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage and as a result, they will remain available to researchers in the future. The British Library works closely with leading UK institutions to collect and permanently preserve the UK web, and our archive can be seen at

There are benefits to you as a website owner in having your publication archived by the British Library such as having a historical record of your website(s). We aim to develop preservation mechanisms to keep your publication permanently accessible as hardware and software change over time."

Further information about the BL web archive scheme can be found on their FAQs page. If you have any favourite UK websites which you think should be archived you can fill out a nomination form.

Monday 6 July 2009

Oliver Cruse from Devon to Seattle via Ohio and Ontario

Chris Cruse in America has been in touch concerning the Cruse family of Clovelly. Chris's husband is the great-grandson of Oliver Cruse (born 1833 Langtree, Devon), one of the children of William Cruse and Jane Martin, whose birth is recorded on the Clovelly tapestry.

Oliver Cruse emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1851 when he was just 18 years old. Nothing is known of his time in Ohio but for some reason he only stayed for a few years before moving on to Canada. The first record we have of Oliver's life in Canada is his marriage to Jane Sowton on 6th December 1856 in St Thomas, Elgin County, Ontario. Oliver was a carpenter and joiner and a prominent member of the Independent Order of Foresters.

Oliver and Jane had nine known children:
- Fanny Cruse, born on 12th October 1857 in Elgin County, Ontario. She died on 2nd December 1863 and is buried in Orwell Cemetery, Yarmouth Township, Elgin County.
- Amelia Jane Cruse, born about 1869 probably in Elgin County. She married Joseph Ridgeway Sterling.
- Jenny Cruse, born on 8th October 1862 in Elgin County. She died on 22nd December 1863 and is buried in Orwell Cemetery alongside her sister Fanny.
- William Cruse, born on 10th April 1862 in Ontario. He married Mary Ballow in 1883.
- Frank Sowton Cruse, born on 17th October 1864 in Aylmer, Elgin County. He married Mary Bell Kelly on 1st April 1885 in St Thomas, Elgin County.
- Fanny Cruse, born on 29th January 1867 in Aylmer, Elgin County. She married Gabriel Smart on 5th January 1887 in Elgin County.
- John Cruse, born on 27th July 1870 in Elgin County. He died on 10th August 1870 in Elgin County.
- James Oliver Cruse, born on 23rd September 1875. He married Hattie Laura "Louise" Campbell on 29th December 1897 in Coupeville, Island County, Washington.
- Sidney Earl Cruse, born on 21st April 1879 in St Thomas, Elgin County. He died on 21st February 1880 in St Thomas.

In about 1889 or 1890 Oliver and Jane moved with their children to America where they settled in Seattle, Washington. By the time of the 1910 census they were living at 2213 East Madison Street, Seattle.

Oliver died on 21st March 1917. An obituary was published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer on Saturday March 24, 1917:

Oliver Cruse, Resident of Seattle Since 1890, Dies at Daughter's Home.

Oliver Cruse, a resident of Seattle since 1890, died Wednesday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. A. J. Sterling, 1226 East Madison street, and will be buried Saturday at 2:30 o'clock from the parlors of Johnson & Hamilton, at Broadway and Union. Services will be in charge of the Masonic order, Interment will follow at Washelli.

Mr. Cruse was born in Bideford, England in 1833. He came to this country when he was 16, locating in Cleveland, O[hio]. Later, he moved to St. Thomas, Ont. Where he remained until he came to Seattle.

In this city Mr. Cruse became state organizer for the Independent Order of Foresters, continuing for fifteen years. He had the distinction of organizing the first court of the order on the Pacific coast. He then took charge of his son William's office, and remained actively at work until stricken with paralysis last November.

Besides his widow, he leaves two daughters and three sons, Mrs. A.J. Sterling, Mrs. G. Smart, Frank and William, of this city, and James O. of Pasedena, Cal.; four grandchildren Mrs. Climmie E. Hill and James O. Sterling of Seattle; E.R. Sterling, Port Huron, Mich., Fred Cruse of Detroit, and eight great grandchildren.
The writer of the newspaper article seems to have had a little trouble with his mathematics as Oliver would have been 18 in 1852 not 16! Oliver's wife Jane lived for just nine months after her husband's death dying on 4th Dec 1917 in Seattle.

Chris has managed to trace some of the descendants of Oliver and Jane, but there are still a few gaps and we would be delighted to hear from anyone who is related to these families.