This is a DNA question that I'm not even sure how to ask.

+5 votes
(As usual I am probably posting this in the wrong place, so I apologize in advance.)

I got my Ancestry DNA results back and Elizabeth Hornbeck came up as match. Now let me explain this. When I first started working on Lydia Ann (Gentry) Counce's ancestry hints, I thought I had found her going through to the Hornbeck Line (bought a book, spent 3 months tracing her all the way back). My first paternal cousin tells me I have her attached to the wrong parents, because she saw a letter another cousin had, but wouldn't let her copy, that said that Lydia said that her father was Martin Gentry, and her mother Margaret Stoner..not Joseph Gentry and Mary Oskins. So I disconnected (but didn't delete) all of the Oskins/Hornbeck stuff plugged in what my cousin said...and then I started to add her to WikiTree...I attached her to Margaret Stoner as her mother, but then my gut told me to wait on doing anything else (my gut is 85% correct most of the time). Then I forgot about it until I got my DNA results back.

I clicked on the Thru Lines for Elizabeth Hornbeck and I have a 4th cousin 1 time removed through a brother of Joseph.

I don't totally understand DNA...BUT... My logic says

1) if I have no other indicators through the Martin Gentry/Margaret Stoner doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't correct or that they are.

2) if I have an indicator that I am a DNA match to someone in that line, then they are more likely to be the parents as I thought in the first place.

My cousin insists that I'm wrong.

Am I?
WikiTree profile: Lydia Counce
asked in The Tree House by T Counce G2G6 Mach 5 (51.7k points)
edited by Maggie N.
Hopefully the way I worded it makes sense.

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

Lydia Ann Gentry, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann (Oskins) Gentry married, 1) Henry Reynolds (1864) 2) Daniel Springston (1878). She was born (4 Dec 1844), lived, and died (1 Dec 1933) in Spencer County, Indiana.

Name: Lydia Springton
[Lydia Gentors] 
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 88
Marital status: Widow
Birth Date: 4 Dec 1844
Birth Place: Spencer County, Ind.
Death Date: 1 Dec 1933
Death Place: Lincoln City, Spencer, Indiana, USA
Father: Joseph Gentors
Mother: Mary Ann Gentors

Source Citation

Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Death Certificates; Year: 1933; Roll: 13

Source Information Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Original data:

Indiana State Board of Health. Death Certificates, 1900–2011. Microfilm. Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

 Free Ancestry Image

Find A Grave Memorial 

answered by Deb Durham G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
selected by Maggie N.
The short answer is you're wrong and you're cousin is right. Also, Lydia and Charles were married in Posey County, which is where she can be found in the 1860 census with her father, Martin, and her stepmother.
I found that a few minutes ago....already let my cousin know she was right and I was wrong...

So now I have to try to figure out how I have a cousin in the Hornbeck/Oskins family since it wasn't through the way I thought it was. Weird.
The connection between the two of you may not be related to this family at all. It may just be a coincidence. The best way to figure out the actual connection is to take a careful look at your shared matches with this person.
Perhaps your match made the same mistake you did.

I have an ancestor, Caroline Hall, who a lot of my DNA matches on Ancestry claim is the daughter or Jarvey Hall & Elizabeth Elliott, and Thru-lines thinks that's how we might be related. Nevermind that the half of those matches that have any sources at all usually have attached the 1860 census record that says her parents are William and Polly Hall.

DNA confirmation only really confirms mutually suspected DNA connections. If two people match through a common ancestor that they have both misidentified in the same way, they're going to think they've confirmed descent from that person.

Thanks for the star, Maggie. blush

I'm confused, Deb. I thought T. Counce stated that Joseph Gentry and Mary Oskins WERE the parents of Lydia, so the cousin would be wrong?  T Counce has DNA matching to Joseph, so that is supported by your research, Deb, right? Or have I lost the thread here?
No, that was her original assumption but then she was told her parents were Martin and Margaret. The DNA test looked like it was pointing her back toward Joseph and Mary, but that is not the case. It may be a coincidence. There may be a familial connection between Martin and Joseph. There may be a mistake in her DNA match's tree. In the end, the death certificate above proves that the Lydia Gentry who married Charles Counce was definitely not the daughter of Joseph and Mary.
Okay, I am looking at the death certificate and it says that the parents of Lydia (Gentry) Springston is Joseph Gentry and Mary Ann Oskins.  So you're saying Lydia Counce is someone else?  She did not marry Springston.  I get it now.

Correct. wink

Thank you handled that beautifully. heart

Now that I'm more awake, I added a note to Lydia (Gentry) Counce's profile along with the death certificate reference that you gave me Deb. Thank you. You are going to have to direct me to the instructions on the free sharing. That's cool!!! And thank you for your help.

I posted a thread describing the process. Enjoy!

Creating a Free-to-view Image Link from

Thank you Deb!!!!!
You are most welcome!
+10 votes
The thing you have to be careful with for Ancestry's ThruLines is... they use other people's family tree's for the connections.

True, your matches are DNA based, but the actual displayed connection depends on the accuracy of other people's trees.
answered by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (399k points)
Yes, I did figure that out. Thank you.
+5 votes

If you want to learn the basics of DNA, offers classes to teach the basic search methodology for determining unknown ancestors. You need not be adopted to take the classes, some of which are free. All classes are listed on the classes tab of the website. I would recommend the free First Look classes and the DNA101 class to get you started.

Pam Tabor
answered by Pam Tabor G2G3 (3.7k points)
Thank you for the tip Pam. I will check it out. (oh and thank you for the chuckle...Grandma Lydia died a long time ago so you might have a hard time taking the class...definitely made me laugh thinking about her trying to though...LOL)

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