From STRs to SNPs – An update on my yDNA Testing

Back in 2014 one of my earliest blogs was about my yDNA testing (If you remember your school biology, yDNA is the sex-chromosome that sons get passed, virtually intact, from their father, daughter’s get a second x chromosome). Things have moved on since then, so I thought today would be a good chance to update this. I also want to use this blog to explain the processes I went through to get further information on my paternal line.

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The Lamberts and the Great War

Last week marked 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of mankind, with over one million men wounded or killed. It’s a reminder to us all of the industrial-scale death that happened during the First World War. In this posting I want to look at how the First World War affected one family, the Lamberts. These were the family of my Gran, born Eleanor Annie Lambert, and her parents, Thomas and Sarah. But first I need to introduce Thomas and Sarah a little.

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Tanqueray No. Ten Gin review – the Special One ?

Tomorrow (11th June 2016) is World Gin Day, so it only feels right that my post for this year’s WGD post is about a rather special gin, Tanqueray No. Ten. For a start Tanqueray is one of the great names of gin. The gin itself was invented by Charles Tanqueray around 1830. Under the guidance of Charles’ son Charles Waugh the company was, in 1898, merged with Gordon’s Gin to form Tanqueray Gordon and Co. Both brands are now part of drinks giant, Diageo family of products, with Tanqueray one of their strategic brands. BTW, if you are wondering the name Tanqueray is French, from Charles’ great-great grandfather David.

The Tanqueray No Ten bottle, so good it needs a black background.

The Tanqueray No. Ten bottle, so good it needs a black background.

One of the other reasons this gin is special is the bottle. This is the Rolls-Royce of gin bottles and, as you may have gathered, one of my favourites.

If you want to read more of my eulogy on the bottle read on…
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Williams Chase Elegant Gin review – Herefordshire’s finest ?

In case you’ve missed it, there is a Gin revival going on at the moment. It’s a bit the Christian Revival movements of the past, but with a lot more emphasis on Gin. This revival pushed UK sales of Gin to sales over £1bn for the first time in 2015. This interest in Gin is been driven in part by the many new brands entering the market. One of these is William’s Chase Elegant Gin, described as “The current darling of the country set“.

The bottle - looks fabulous, until you've drunk half of it and begin to wonder how much is left.

The bottle – looks fabulous, until you’ve drunk half of it and begin to wonder how much is left.

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Finding Home, the Ulster roots of John & Jane Stewart

John and Jane Stewart are my Great-Great-Grandparents, they are some of my closest and most enigmatic GG-grandparents. Close, in as much as my Grandma was a Stewart, and I carry the name Stewart as one of my middle names. Enigmatic, as their identity seems to constantly shift. When I was young their identity was clear. They were Stewarts, clearly Scottish and possibly, like the tartan of the same name, Royal. Later, when I first had access to the on-line British censuses, I was rather shocked to discover they came from Ireland. The reality, like the history of Ulster itself, is more complicated.

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Mary Barr & Thomas Cornforth of Hawnby – Ordinary Folk, Extra-ordinary Records

One of the many benefits of visiting the WhoDoYouThinkYouAre-Live! show in April was a coupon for a month’s worth of free access to the FindMyPast website (FMP). I’ve used the website in the past, but I must admit it’s been a few years since I had a look. What I’ve been missing is that FMP has a whole bunch of images online from the North Yorkshire County Records Office. As someone who has a good 50% of their ancestors from the North Yorks area I’m in heaven. I feel like the journalists working on the Panama Papers – so much information, so little time.

One of the real finds for me has been the records for Hawnby, a little village tucked away in the middle of the North Yorks Moors (see map below). It’s where my Great-Grandmother, Hannah Cornforth (1848-1926) came from, however today I want to write about her grandparents, Mary Barr (1787-1860) and Thomas Cornforth (1787-1868).

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Dalwhinnie 15 Year old whisky – “The Gentle Spirit” ?

I’ve had a bottle of the Dalwhinnie 15 year old whisky sitting in the drinks cupboard for well over a year. This doesn’t mean I’m avoiding it, it’s more a case that I’m having trouble deciding what to think of it. Before we get to the tasting notes it’s time for a little background (and a picture).

Dalwhinnie Single Malt 15 yo

A rather uncharismatic bottle, it’s neither the classic Captain Haddock whisky bottle or the more hipster stumpy hand-grenade styling.

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