Help connecting an Australia/New Zealand DNA match to my Scottish ancestors

+2 votes

See below for the backstory:  basically, I hope to show that a daughter of Charles and Mary (Beatts) Fleming (both b. Scotland around 1800) had a child named Charles Blake around 1856, who later came to New Zealand and married Jane Charlotte Loader b. 1865.  I suspect that this daughter is Jessie b. 1836 who came to Tasmania and had children with several different husbands. I'm out of my element with genealogy in that hemisphere and I hope someone can give me some good places to start looking.

The Backstory: I have identified a group of nine kits on GEDmatch for people who all descend from Charles and Mary (Beat/Beatts) Fleming. We descend through four different children, and all are g-g-g-grandchildren, except for my mother and uncle, who are g-g-grandchildren.  The pairwise comparisons show what is to be expected:  most of the cousins in the group match each other, but there are some non-matches.  My mother and uncle are the only two in the group to match all of the others, and their matches are typically stronger.  

Now here's the puzzle:  there is another man, I'll make up a name "Bob", who lives in Australia and matches seven of the group, but he knows of no connection in his tree.  From the strength of the matches, Bob seems to be about as strongly placed as the other g-g-g-grandchildren, so I tentatively assume that he is.

Recently, Bob's first cousin put a kit on MyHeritage and triangulates with Bob and my mother and uncle.  Their common ancestors were Bob's paternal grandparents, born in the 1880s.  This fits the timing well, since this is about the right spacing for one of them to be a g-grandchild of Charles and Mary, which would make Bob a g-g-g-grandchild as I suspect.

Now Bob's tree shows his paternal grandparents and lines through their grandparents, although I can't speak to the sourcing.  Four of these grandparents were born in England, and two were probably born too early to be a child of Charles and Mary.  That leaves one couple, shown as Charles Blake and Mary Daniel born ca. 1830, and their child of interest is Charles Blake b. 1852 who married Jane Charlotte Loader b. 1865, b. and d. in New Zealand. To summarize the analysis -- I would suspect this Charles 1852 to be a grandchild of Charles and Mary Fleming, so one of his parents Charles Blake or Mary Fleming.  

Now Charles and Mary have *known* children named Charles and Mary, so that causes a problem (and of course, Blake would require a changed surname). But from the strengths of the DNA comparisons, I had expected Bob to descend from Charles and Mary Fleming's daughter Jessie b.1836, who emigrated to Tasmania and had children with several different men.  It seems to me the easiest fit for the above data is to assume that Mary Daniel is wrong and that Charles Blake b. 1852 is the son of Charles Blake b. possibly ca. 1830 and Jessie Fleming.  So my question above is asking for resources to begin investigating this hypothesis.

WikiTree profile: Charles Fleming
in Genealogy Help by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
retagged by Barry Smith
Hi Barry - just letting you know i found a christening record for Jessie and added it to her profile.  I will keep looking for other info that could help.


Thank you Shirlea.

Have you been in touch with this member? She logged on to Ancestry as recently as yesterday, and she had done a lot of research on Jessie

Philippa Hartney

Barooga, New South Wales, Australia
For that link to work for you, i think you need a subscription and you might also need to replace my '' with whatever you have: '' or something UK or whatever
I don’t belong to Ancestry and generally have bad luck finding contact info for members outside of Ancestry.
I'd be happy to contact her through Ancestry to ask if she would be willing to communicate with you directly.  Let me know if you would like me to do that
Thanks, that would be great! My email is my first name middle initial last name at gmail, and you can send it along.  I just received an Ancestry DNA kit that I will have my Mom take, and my understanding is that I will then be able to message my DNA matches even without being a member.  Who knows, maybe she will be one of them!

Done! smiley

4 Answers

+2 votes

Hi Barry

A number of records related to Jessie are available for free in the Tasmanian Names Index but there are some inconsistencies.  Her marriage to David Nethercott on 22 Aug 1859 at Hobart, gives her age as 21 next month, and her marriage to Charles Clarke, on 13 July 1877 at Hobart, gives her age as 39.  It might not be unusual for her to not give her correct age, particularly as both husbands would have been younger than she was, but if she was almost 42 at her second marriage, it makes it difficult for her to have several children with Charles Clarke?

Though this Geni profile, is suggesting her children with Clarke were born before the marriage.

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (486k points)
She had a tumultuous life.  One of her descendants told me she seems to have terrible taste in men.  One of them headed to England and bigamously started a new family. So with her tumultuous life it may be hard to get good sourcing.  Thanks for pointing me to the Tasmanian names index.

Regarding Jessie being deserted by David Nethercott, here is something written by Phillipa Hartley:

"Under British law, from before 1800 and to the current time, if a legally married person has no contact with their spouse for over 7 years, then, by that law they are considered widowed and free to marry again ( see other story).

"Jessie stated she had not heard from David Nethercott after a letter dated Dec 1864 and hence was able to marry Charles Clarke in 1877.

"David Nethercott had been deployed to the NZ Wars and, in the ballott for the few positions for wives and children to accompany the soldier husbands to NZ, Jessie had been unsuccessful. David had no real choice but to go to NZ thus he legally deserted Jessie, Hester, Frances, Mary and Kathleen. When the NZ Wars were over the soilders were shipped back to England. Thus the British Army and Government deserted the wives and families them [maybe she means 'then'] too! Twice!!!!!

"While one can recognise the rationale used by Government and Military one is dismayed and saddened by its crulety and lack of social consciousness. These women's resilience was astonishing  and I have so much love and respect for them all."

Wow, that's pretty terrible.  I wonder how expensive it would have been for him to take passage back to Jessie, though.  I'd think he could have managed, somehow, if he tried hard enough.
If there is a will, there is a way!  But he would not be able to leave the army until his term was up, or he would be considered a deserter, which would have been life-threatening.  Still, if he was determined to be faithful, he could have stayed in touch, sent money, and eventually re-united.
+2 votes

Hi Barry

Regarding Charles Blake who married Jane Charlotte Loader in NZ.  You can search NZ BMD records here

These are their entries on Find a Grave: Jane & Charles. With Charles' death date 6 April 1936, I searched the Papers Past site & found this article relating to Charles (about halfway down the page, details highlighted in yellow) which appears to exclude Charles. 

by Vivian Egan G2G6 Mach 7 (76.1k points)

If you mean exclude Charles as the connection between "Bob" and Charles and Jessie Fleming, I don't think that it does.  Jessie may have had a child with a man of some other ethnicity.  But if this were frowned upon by her family, as it was by many families back then, it may be impossible to locate any primary records regarding his birth.

Thanks for the links.  The NZ BMD link doesn't work for me, but I guess this is the same thing?

Neither link is working for me at the moment. I was unable to find a birth for Charles Blake in NZ.
+2 votes
Hi Barry

Regarding the parentage of the Charles Blake who married Jane Charlotte Loader:  At first glance, the family trees who say he was the son of Charles Blake and Mary Daniels do NOT seem to be correct.  They seem to be referencing a Charles Blake who was still in England in 1881 after purportedly disembarking in Wellington in 1878.  

Charles-Blake-who-married-Jane-Loader seems to be a little old to be Jessie's son unless he was her very first child who she had to give up for adoption

Anyway, my point is that there isn't any real information on the parentage of Charles-Blake-who-married-Jane-Loader so anything is still possible.

(edit\ed to delete the portion of this answer that was an assumption based on an error of mine)
by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (186k points)
edited by Shirlea Smith
"Bob" communicated with me that family notes say Charles born ca. 1852 went to see as a cabin boy, probably aged 11 or 12, and the captain took him under his wing until age 15 when he got an apprenticeship with the English Merchant Navy.  He jumped ship in New Zealand and may have used false names to avoid being deported.  So "Charles Blake" may be a pseudonym.  Bob suggests maybe Blake was the name of the captain who presumably signed the apprenticeship paperwork.

That is interesting.  Do we know for sure that the captain's name was Blake?  Because (alternative option) if this surname for Charles-Blake-who-married-Jane-Loader was chosen when Charles was a young man, he may have known by then that the surname his mother was currently going by was Blake. [Actually Jessie never went by Blake]

Please note, the above option is merely a brainstormed theory of absolutely no value except to suggest lines of inquiry.  

[editted to acknowledge that Jessie doesn't appear to have ever used the surname Blake]

No, I think it is just a guess that the name came from the captain.
+1 vote

Another possibility (of absolutely no value except to suggest lines of inquiry): The same DNA result that you are seeing could happen, without the line going through Jessie, if one of Jessie's brothers or uncles had opportunity to father a child in the Caribbean in the 1850s.  That child might have grown up to become Charles-Blake-who-married-Jane-Loader.  Some of his descendants seem to think that he was born in the Caribbean.  

by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (186k points)
I doubt it was an uncle, because I would see much weaker DNA matches with such a nice-sized comparison group.  For instance, I know a descendant of Mary Beatt's sister who has tested, and he is a match to just three people in the group, two of them weakly, and not a match at all to my uncle.  Ian's connection is stronger than this.

You are correct that I cannot be sure of the sex of the child who supplied the DNA that eventually reached "Bob."  But Bob is as strong a match to my mother and uncle as to the Jessie descendants in the group, and not much of a match to the others, so the DNA is making a fairly strong statement that Jessie was the child. And Jessie ended up in the right hemisphere and had the most uncertainty surrounding her life. It's exciting because there're only a couple of generations of uncertainty here at most, so it feels like it could be a solvable puzzle.  Even if there aren't records to fully solve it, I do expect further DNA results to gradually come in to help further nail down whether Charles Blake is the Fleming connection.
Interesting!  Yes, I believe that this puzzle can be solved!  Would the X-inheritance pattern be helpful?
"Bob" would have received no X-DNA down this line, so it would not be helpful for connecting him.
Then the fact that he does not have any shared X-chromosome does not contradict the current hypothesis that your connection with him is on his father's least that is something.  And you have another cousin from his paternal side in your triangulation group....what about the X in that cousin's case?

Another thought: Do you know if their ethnicity results are lending any support to the Caribbean ethnicity suggestions?
I know of no such ethnicity results.  Bob's cousin would also not have received any X-DNA from his line down from Charles Blake.  However, I think it possible that living Blake descendants could supply Y-DNA info. I have suggested the possibility, but that takes a certain amount of will, and more importantly, funds.

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