Thursday, September 3, 2015

Triangulation of autosomal DNA results

To really determine if the matches that you see are real you need to triangulate the results and I finally have a set of results where I can do that.

My Pincombe family which has been slow to work on in terms of DNA has proven to be my first family where I can triangulate results. This is an interesting family and it is also one of my one name studies so I have been looking at the paper/microfilmed records since 2006. The study was first begun in the 1930s by a young family doctor in England who was in the mid 1990s approaching his mid 90s and had to give up his research due to failing eyesight. But in 65 years he collected a lot of material including making abstracts of the Pincombe/Pinkham wills located at the Devon Record Office prior to the bombing of that office during World War II. Even better he deposited that material at the Society of Genealogists where a fourth cousin of mine (Pincombe) made copies of his charts and sent them off to me (she was not aware of the will abstracts at that time, I found them on a visit to the SOG library in 2013). His premise along with another researcher from the United States was that the Pincombe and the Pinkham family shared common ancestry and looking at the family charts that he produced this does appear to be the case where Pincombe and Pinkham were used interchangeably in several of the these families' trees. My own line at Bishops Nympton/South Molton/North Molton and area used the Pincomb/Pincombe spelling with no exceptions thus far. Although here in Canada my great grandfather and his family were recorded on the census as Pinkham once. I think that must have brought a sharp rebuke on  his part as it was considered to be extremely important to get the spelling of this name right and that carried on right down to my mother and her brother - essential to spell the name Pincombe!

The story really begins in Bishops Molton Devon where Richard Pincombe (son of William Pincombe and Emotte Snow) first appears in the parish registers there baptizing his son William along with his wife Anne. The next appearance is the burial of his wife and a young daughter and all of this occurring between 1598 and 1601. Richard remarried at Bishops Nympton and it is these two lines of his that form the Pincombe families that are found in Bishops Nympton right up to the middle of the 20th century. My mother knew her family line back to John Pincombe and Grace Manning who married at Bishops Nympton 20 Mar 1725 and baptized three children there:

William Pincombe baptized 20 Jun 1727 and married to Grace Smyth 13 Jun 1758 at North Molton (Grace's parents were John Smyth and Grace Shapland). They had one son William who was 21 years of age when he died and his parents both died in 1783.

John Pincombe baptized 13 Feb 1728 and married to Mary Charley/Charlie 8 Nov 1767 at Bishops Nympton. They had six children. Mary is perhaps the daughter of Hugh and Mary Charley of Kentisbury or of Richard and Joan Charley of Comb Martin (the second one is a new possibility suggested to me by a cousin (by DNA testing). All of their children married and the lines at Bishops Nympton come from these children or from the children of John Pincombe and Johane Blackmoore who married 25 Sep 1655 also at Bishops Nympton.

Grace baptized 7 Mar 1732 and married to John Butcher 31 Mar 1755 at Bishops Nympton. They had four children with two dying as infants and Grace herself was buried 16 Jun 1763 at Bishops Nympton.

I decided that to do a good job on this one name study I needed to understand my family very well and that has been a good tactic for me. Others go into one name study to find their family lines but in my case my lines were known to me in both Blake and Pincombe for centuries back. Hence I could provide material that could help people to either belong to my lines or eliminate all of them and concentrate in another area. Then DNA became the tool of the day and I decided to try and use it to look at the one name study for the Pincombe/Pinkham family.

It was an almost immediate failure as the yDNA of known long standing Pinkham lines did not match the yDNA result of my fifth cousin in Australia. I moved back from looking at yDNA but then autosomal DNA became more interesting and available and I suddenly had a couple of cousins that I could triangulate results to give me sections of chromosome that I could label Pincombe. That has moved along somewhat and I would now like to separate those "Pincombe" areas into "Rew," "Rowcliffe," and "Charley/Charlie." That will require more matches but I wanted to be ready to do that and so I charted the common areas thus far in our joint Pincombe ancestry.

The two individuals that I have so far with known Pincombe ancestry with respect to mine are a fourth cousin and a third cousin once removed. In all cases my siblings match these two individuals better than I do. The advantage to testing siblings is becoming more and more apparent as autosomal testing begins to dominate family studies other than straight line back yDNA studies. I know that Chromosome 6 and Chromosome 11 both contain matches with three sets of people (where my siblings and I constitute one set) and we know that we all share the same common ancestry from Robert Pincombe and Elizabeth Rowcliffe who married at Bishops Nympton 7 Jun 1803 and Robert was a son of John Pincombe and Mary Charley/Charlie mentioned earlier. Robert and Elizabeth had eight children and one of these children emigrated to the United States, two emigrated to Canada (a third also emigrated but was lost in the sinking of the Bark John in 1855 along with his entire family), one emigrated to Australia but his family remained in England, two others remained in England with one marrying and the eighth died at fifteen years of age. The Canadian family is mine and one of the sons of one of the emigrant families married a daughter of the other emigrant family thus creating a rather good set of Pincombe results for DNA investigation to compare with descendants which may enable the marking of sections as mentioned above (the wifes of these Pincombe men).

More results are coming so I should soon be able to report on this triangulation effort and assist other Pincombe descendants who suspect they may be related to this particular Pincombe line. Since I have for the most part traced down all of the lines from Richard first at Bishops Nympton in 1598, I am able to help people link to my line. I would like to do the same with other Pincombe families who also emigrated to Canada as I suspect they are descendant of the Bishops Nympton/North Molton/South Molton Pincombe families. This will be a rather interesting tool I think but needs more people to test their autosomal DNA who have Pincombe ancestry.

I also have Pinkham autosomal results  and knowing that this surname was not used in my line by the holders throughout the centuries it is not likely that we will find common points of ancestry between us and that is the case thus far but some of the Pincombe/Pinkham lines did use the surname interchangeably so these lines may be assisted by autosomal testing once we have built up a large enough set of data to utilize in that regard. The test though is limited to fourth cousin or less for largish chunks of autosomal DNA to match but there could be over time smaller chunks of DNA that could be attached to particular surnames although I like to work with 10 centimorgan lengths but time will tell just how small a chunk could be labeled. DNA is a new field and evolving rapidly. When my husband and I first tested back in 2006 it was a novelty. I did it to see my route out of Africa for both my maternal and paternal lines (my brother kindly tested for me).

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