52 Ancestors Week 15: DNA

+19 votes

imageReady for Week 15 of the 52 Ancestors challenge?

Please share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches the week's theme. This week's sharing prompt:


From Amy Johnson Crow:

DNA is a powerful tool in genealogy research. What is a discovery you've made using DNA? What ancestor do you think can be found with genetic genealogy? Of course, you can take the prompt in other ways. Do you have an ancestor whose initials are D.N.A.?


Share below!

Participants who share every week can earn badges. If this is your first time participating, or you don't have the participation badge, please post hereClick here for more about the challenge.

P.S. For more about how DNA is used on WikiTree see Help:DNA or How to Get Started with DNA.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker
I have been hunting down ancestors and their descendants for a long time, DNA has allowed me to confirm every GG Grandparent, 19 GGG Grands and even a few GGGG Grandparents.  In addition I have been able to add 100+ descendants, I never would have found so quickly as I have the last two years!

Also: Delbert Norton Alberry, D.N.A. (a cousin)
DNA helped me break down a brick wall with my Grandmother's maternal family.  My grandmother,  Juanita (Carson-4468), was born in Dec 2918. Her mother,  Ludie (Parker-24880), died 6 weeks later in Feb 1919 of the Spanish Flu. My grandmother never knew very much about her mother or her mother's family.  All we ever had was a handful of pictures with captions like "brother, uncle, father's farm 1911 Arkansas".  We found Ludie's parents names on her death certificate and learned that Ludie's mother, Sarah (Howard-15283), had been married to a Frazier, a Parker, and a Bullock.  On whim my mother bought an Ancestry DNA test about a year ago. Through Wikitree, I ran into another genealogist who added a second wife to the profile of Ludie's father, Benjamin F Parker, and she started helping me with  Ancestry's DNA circles.  We still didn't get any hits on Sarah or Benjamin and I eventually went back to solely using Wikitree.  This April, I suddenly got an email from Dee Macy saying "Ancestry shows us as being related. But I have no info on Sarah  having a  daughter named Ludie. Can you email me?" In my return email I mention having Wikitree profiles for Sarah, Ben, and Ludie and that the profiles include several pictures. Dee and her mother looked at the profiles and Dee's mom started going "O M G!! I have that picture! and I have that picture! And that's Claude Frazier!" So through DNA and pictures, my family found an entire group of relatives and a lineage we knew nothing about.
I changed this comment to an 'answer'.  Do not see how to delete it.

74 Answers

+13 votes

Yes! DNA answered a long-standing question in my husband's family, about his paternal great grandfather. We knew nothing beyond his grandfather, and having a very common surname added to the difficulty of sorting things out without DNA. 

My husband did the Y-DNA 37 test. In addition to finding his great grandfather https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Taylor-38464  He also was able to place a cousin, who shared a large amount of DNA, in her proper place in this great grandfather's line.  When we first did the autosomal DNA through Ancestry, she had written, "Who are you?!" because of the large amount of shared DNA.

by Eloise Smith G2G6 (9.8k points)
+15 votes

One day while poking around in AncestryDNA’s DNA Circles, I noticed a photo of one of my neighbors, who is a good friend. Turns out we’re both descended from my great great grandfather Alma Truman Angell.

by Jodi Dalton G2G3 (3.8k points)
small world indeed
+15 votes

The coolest thing about doing DNA for me was taking the MtDNA Full Sequence test! Although my own MtDNA line will stop with me, it's really neat to set it up at WikiTree and see it travel from the earliest MtDNA ancestor, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Podbielskiej-1 , to other women in my line.

I am very lucky that the coordinator of our haplogroup study at FTDNA (where I tested) writes about the studies on it. It's been a fascinating DNA journey.

by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (821k points)
+14 votes

I've had a few DNA discoveries both for myself and my husband. 

One of my higher matches that I didn't recognize was someone who I matched at 112 cm on 3 segments and her mother at 111 cm on 3 segments (on Ancestry). I looked at her tree and saw she had a Betty Ford as her Grandmother. My Grandmother was also a Ford so I started trying to figure it out - but wasn't able to find how our Grandmothers might be connected. I contacted her and she was able to tell me who was her Grandmother's father - my Grandmother's first cousin, Charles Burton Ford. He was stationed at Fort Bliss during WWI and had a relationship with Predicanda Montano that resulted in the birth of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Ford. He later moved to Oregon, married someone else and had a family. So I found a 3rd cousin and daughter that the family had no idea existed. 

On my husband's side the best surprise was the number of matches he had in Sweden when I transferred his Ancestry results to FTDNA. I contacted a couple of men who at least had a start of a family tree to see if they had any idea of how they might be related. At this point I only had his Second Great Grandparents "Americanized" names, dates of birth, and the name and birth date of his Great Grandfather's half sister. I also had the information that his Great Grandfather had first settled in Pittsburgh before moving to Connecticut. One of the men was able to find that John Sven Holmberg was actually Sven Johan Gustafsson and Anna Christine Johnson had been born Anna Christina Johansdotter. He also found Anna's first husband and Emma's father was August Andersson. That broke down two brick walls I had not been able to get through for years. 

by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Mach 9 (94.6k points)
Emily, you may be just as amazed, or even more amazed, if you upload to MyHeritage.  I don't know why, but MyHeritage has drawn a very large number of Scandinavians to test their DNA there.  When I uploaded there, I wan't expecting anything at all, just taking advantage of a brief period of a free upload special, but have been shocked by all the new matches I found.  There's a fee now, $29 I think, but you don't have to pay the MyHeritage subscription fees to take advantage of their DNA features.
Thanks, I have uploaded to My Heritage also but haven't spent much time analyzing the matches there. I probably should though because I have now also found the names that should connect him to family that immigrated from England to Australia instead of to the US.
+13 votes

My thirteenth week - I missed the first two!

I have not yet done a DNA test but I've found DNA testing fits very well with 'traditional' desk research and original sources genealogy.  Having made a break-through which revealed my g3 grandfather John Ewing I have built the tree down from him and had contacts from quite a few cousins (fifth, fourth, third and second), some of whom had done their DNA tests and had found the tree on WikiTree.  They have helped me fill in the modern (off-line) parts of the tree.

This linking through research and confirmation through DNA has been fascinating and opened up many new avenues of exploration and wonderful new contacts.

by Linda Hawkes G2G6 Mach 3 (37.5k points)
+12 votes

52 Ancestors Week 15 - DNA

What DNA has allowed me to do in a week has amazed me! Last week (14) my brick wall was my grandfather, Bishop Marvin Smith. I had his mother and father's name, and even his grandparent's names. I was stuck. I received a DNA match - not to his father, but to his mother. I was looking in the wrong direction. It has been a wonderful lead.

His mother was Wesley Anna Floyd (Floyd-3659). Wesley was born in 1858 in Illinois. She married twice and had three children. The family occupation was farming. She died in 1920 in Kentucky. She was my great-grandmother and I never had the privilege of meeting her. She was the daughter of:

James Fountain Floyd (Floyd-3662) and Mary V. Buntain. James was born 1 Mar 1825 in Kentucky. Mary was his only wife and they had five children together. He was a confederate soldier and a prisoner of war. James was a prisoner in Camp Douglas in Chicago, Il. Conditions were horrible and 1 in 5 prisoners died. James died in Chicago 12 March 1865. James was my 2nd great-grandfather. He was the son of:

Henry Crosby Floyd (Floyd-1105) and Anne Threlkeld. Henry was born 1 Jul 1789 in Nelson, Kentucky. He married Anne on 27 Jan 1818 in Union, Kentucky and they had seven children together. Anne died in 1834 and he was quick to remarry. He married Elizabeth Atkinson on 6 Nov 1834 in Henderson, Kentucky. They had one child. Henry Floyd was also a veteran. He died 19 Apr 1858 in Waverly, Kentucky. He was buried in the Floyd Cemetery, Union County, Kentucky. Henry was my 3rd great-grandfather, and the son of:

Henry Helm Floyd (Floyd-1102) and Frances Ann "Frankie" Crosby.  He was born 21 Sep 1761 in Prince William County, Virginia. He enlisted in the Revolutionary Army in 1781 and served under Gen. George Rogers Clark. He was a Col. in the War of 1812, and served with Gen. Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. The city of Louisville,  Kentucky is built on a portion of a land grant that he was given for his service. He married Frankie on 20 July 1783. They had nine children. He died 6 Sep 1850 in Waverly, Kentucky and is buried in Floyd Cemetery, Union, Kentucky. He is my 4th great-grandfather and the son of:

Lt. Henry Bruce Floyd and Nancy Ann Helm. I am going to continue to research them.

All of this information because of a DNA test.

by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

That Threlkeld name connects you to Edison Williams!  You should definitely look into his work on the Threlkeld name study, and related info.

+10 votes
I had genealogy DNA tests done for my son, myself, and my mom.  Sadly, they didn't lead me to any additional clues (likely because my tree was already huge by the time we did the testing).  It did confirm some connections, and - grasping for straws here - it did also confirm that my mom is actually my mom, and that my son is actually my son.  Hey, you never know.  :)
by William Catambay G2G6 Mach 2 (22.0k points)
+9 votes

I'm too sceptical to go for DNA I'm afraid, and don't have any DNA initials in my tree, but I do have DNB. Dorothy Nora Bourne was described as a sweet girl with an affectionate nature, but sadly this was her obituary. Her short life began just after her family had moved farms. It's not known if there were problems with the pregnancy but Dorothy was initially believed to have been still born. She survived but had severe health problems and passed away on Sept 20 1935 aged only 12; she had TB. Dorothy was interred in the local churchyard, and 6 decades later was joined her eldest sister who had cared for her, Edna, my Grandmother.

by Alison Wilkins G2G6 Mach 2 (29.8k points)
+9 votes

What a coincidence!  Just yesterday I severed the tie between my known ancestor John Mullins and his supposed father, William Mullins - a Virginia Project PPP profile.

As much as I would like to be a William Mullins descendant, the DNA proves otherwise: two of his sons, James and William, both who have a clear paper trail to William Sr. are shown in one genetic group (based on DNA tests of their descendants) whereas the YDNA descendants of John show a different group.  Bottom line: John is NOT the son of William.

sigh....  pruned 4 generations off the top of the tree sad

But on the upside, I have been able to confirm this line (I have paper for each generation except for one - that generation was previously believed to be correct, but not genealogically proved).  This situation put me in contact with the FtDNA Mullins YDNA project leader and he and I were able to link me, via autosomal DNA to a Mullins YDNA project member who is a definite descendant of John.  Interestingly, this other member's tree matches mine almost exactly, he was also missing paper for one generation but the DNA seals that question.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+9 votes
DNA thrulines show 20+ cousins for many of my father's ancestors, a number of generations back, by different lines. Makes you believe in the paper trail. My mother's parents immigrated. I only know their parents' names from their marriage license. I have DNA cousins there too, I just don't know how we connect. A couple have last names matching my grandparents mothers' surnames. The assumption is that they are on those lines.

I did match someone on 23 and me looking for her adopted father's family. I was able to link her up with his half sisters.
by Sue Hall G2G6 Pilot (138k points)
+8 votes
I had my DNA tested a couple years ago through Ancestry.com(?) and the results brought no surprises nor was anything uncovered that I didn't already know in my family tree. However, I must say that I am essentially DNA-illiterate and have no clue how to use the results. One day, I hope to learn more about using DNA in my family tree and I will probably have my brother tested since he has that coveted Y-DNA and my female DNA is sub-par (I'm joking). Anyway, right now, for me, DNA means "don't even ask!" ... until I learn more. : )
by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
+7 votes
No one with DNA as initials and no one has done a genetic test. It is just starting up here in the Netherlands. I do not think I would learn a lot of new stuff by doing a test. It would all be western europe: The Neherlands and Germany.
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Mach 8 (86.7k points)
The thing about DNA tests is - you never know what you'll learn until you test!  Not everyone does, but many testers have found both good and bad surprises, even shocking discoveries.
+7 votes

DNA research is providing further evidence that great-great-grandfather Timothy Hehir was likely a brother of Patrick Hehir. Both lived in the townland of Killow, Clareabbey, Clare, Ireland. Where the Irish records don't exist, DNA can be helpful. 

Here is my blog post this week:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 15 - DNA - Timothy Hehir

by A O'Brien G2G6 Mach 1 (13.7k points)
+9 votes
My late husband Ed (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Jones-21365) has two children that he never knew about. His new daughter was found on 23andme when she matched as a half-sister to his younger daughter and his new son matched him on Ancestry. In both cases Ed was between marriages, as were his partners.  His son turns out to be a real "chip off the old block" and they would have enjoyed knowing each other immensely.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (232k points)
+10 votes
DNA has proven my very large tree correct on every line so far and broken some brick walls.  My biggest DNA surprises have been finding new cousins.  In fact, an adopted ~4th cousin in my father-in-law's matches turned out to also be a 7th cousin of my own Dad.  They didn't share DNA but had enough matches in common that I was able to break through a wall way back in the 1700s.
by Susie O'Neil G2G6 (8.0k points)
+7 votes

52 Ancestors Week 15: DNA
I first BETA tested with Ancestry in 2007. My DNA kit was FREE (yes, that is correct) and I only paid the shipping. Since then, I have DNA matched with known cousins, and found cousins that matched the KNOWN cousins and me. 
I also had my sisters test, my daughters, my son, and other family members. It is VERY interesting that my two full biological sisters and I each inherited different DNA. Our heritage is England/Wales and Ireland/Scotland and even our children inherited different amounts. 
I really like that I have been able to PROVE my DNA through WikiTree and see it. 
One of my BEST DNA answers came from England, through my second cousin - he matched me on Ancestry, and is a descendant of my GG Grandfather Prestwood BOWSHER

by Sheri Taylor G2G6 Mach 2 (24.6k points)
+7 votes
My DNA journey is really just starting.  My fathers cousin and I have a 43.4 segment. As his mum was my great Aunt that is no surprise. I recognise no one else on my list of 'matches' and have yet to make contact with anyone. Looking to link for both Paternal and Maternal sides. I have no brothers so hoping to persuade the uncle's to take a test but both reluctant.

My mother has not yet done her match or uploaded her DNA which I hope to work with her to get it on wikitree. Mother in law's is on the tree (boy that took some working through as she is now 92) and her son (hubby) has agreed to do one this year.
by Janet Wild G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
+8 votes
Not sure if I shared or not but we are currently investigating an extra cousin that we had no idea existed. It happened when I DNA tested my son. He shows up as a 2nd cousin to the fella who contacted me. None of my aunt sand uncles are old enough to have a child so either my pap stepped out on my gram or my hubbys side has some secrets. Best not to turn too many stones I guess. Either way we will be DNA testing myself and my hubby to narrow down the link.
by Christine Preston G2G6 Mach 4 (43.0k points)
+8 votes
My dad is the only one three siblings who was fathered by his dad.  My grandmother never told anyone the identity of the fathers for my aunt or uncle.  Back in 2016 my aunt began having everyone do DNA tests to try and track then down.  I was the control subject.  She found my uncle's real father within a year or so.  He had passed away, but had a previously unknown half-sister who met up with the family.  My aunt is in her 80s and hasn't found any close hits.  I'm hoping she'll get lucky soon.
by Bret Cantwell G2G6 Mach 1 (10.4k points)
+7 votes

My Mom, two sisters and I have all done multiple DNA tests. Unfortunately Dad died 34 years ago but with the wizardry of Gedmatch Lazarus program my sister was able to reverse engineer Dad's DNA. (It works when there are three kids to map from) My Gedmatch Kits- A558251 and SM4840404, sister 1-  A133378, sister 2 A166052, Mom a866299 and Dad from Lazarus LL082018    You can see where half of my chromosomes come from!  BLUE bars are significant DNA matches in our first 4 chromosomes.

by L. Ray Sears G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)

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