Friday, December 29, 2017

200 Ancestor Hints (Shaky Leaves at Ancestry)

It is very interesting testing at Ancestry when you have fifty years of research on your family lines particularly if those family lines have deep American Colonial roots. That is the case for my husband and he now has 200 Ancestor Hints (and 705 fourth cousins or less). These hints are very interesting as one of them is a third cousin, 36 are 4th to 6th cousins and the remainder (163) are 5th to 8th cousins (indeed he does have some that are named as 8th cousins and 8th cousins once removed/twice removed). The third and fourth to sixth cousins were all readily known to him (they all have trees online and only 3 of the 4th to 6th cousins are private.

The fifth to eighth cousins are perhaps the most interesting. A number of these have more than one hint (i.e. he is descended from more than one set of common ancestors) and for a few there are three sets of common ancestors (he has a number of loyalist lines in New Brunswick). An amazing number of these lines are in the United States including descendants of the Loyalist lines.

Perhaps the most interesting for someone who has done genealogical research for fifty years is the verification of all that research. American records are scant in the period of the Revolutionary War (War of Independence) so linking back in this time period can be a very difficult process using various records and finding others who may have bible records has been a real asset to his research. He has been able to add quite a number of lines to his tree down to the present.

It is also very pleasant to find these results transferred to GedMatch as he has an ongoing project looking at phasing his grandparents DNA. Unfortunately his brother died in 1996 so he does not have any DNA for a sibling. His father died in 1945 and his mother in 2000 so again no DNA for either of them. A number of second cousins have tested which has been handy but it is amazing how quickly the amount of shared DNA diminishes.

For myself, I have acquired another Ancestor Hint bringing me to a total of 18 and for my siblings I have 16, 15 and 15 hints. Some of these we all share (I have four of us on Ancestry so three of these matches are us matching each other, we have four fourth to fifth cousins that we all share, we have  four fifth to seventh cousins that we all share thus giving us twelve in common). Three of us share three in common, two of us share two in common. There are three that are shared by one only of us giving a total of 21 different Ancestor Hints.

Compared to my husband I have very few Ancestor Hints but our ancestries are very different. With his overwhelming American Colonial ancestry going back to the 1620s/1630s and early 1700s plus one 2x great grandmother and parents from Norfolk, England and one set of great grandparents directly from Germany, Ancestry has proven to be the best place to test for him although his matches at FT DNA and My Heritage are also interesting.

Gradually I am acquiring new matches as more and more people in the British Isles test. My own ancestry is totally British Isles going back as far as I can trace and indeed only England as the Irish/Scot ancestry in terms of actual names other than Routledge remains hidden to me. DNA may reveal it as my maternal grandmother's mother's line remains unknown to me other than she was likely born in Birmingham in the mid 1800s.

Living DNA may prove interesting for both of us as my husband has so many dissenters from England in his early colonial ancestry and with both my brother and I testing there as well I am hopeful that many many people in the British Isles have tested as well and will take part in matching.

No comments: