Ancestry’s ThruLines – Part 2

General Genealogy
DNA, Brown Line
By Don Taylor

I was recently asked what I thought about Ancestry’s new ThruLinestm feature, how much did I use it and what do I accept from it. In using autosomal DNA results, it is always good to have a very wide tree. The wider your tree is, the more cousins you have identified, the more likely you will be able to determine the relationship between you and a DNA match.

So, I decided to look at the matches that reach my great-grandparents, Arthur and Mary (Manning) Brown. They had 12 children, 11 of whom reached adulthood, so I figured there would be many cousins there.

ThruLines for Arthur Durwood Brown (Partial)

I tend to analyze each person left to right, so I started with a 2nd cousin, descended from Victoria Brown.

ThruLines – Victoria Brown Segment
  1. Look at the centimorgan (cM) match amount. In this first case, the individual and I share 134 cM across nine segments. Our trees suggest we are 2nd The Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 at DNAPainter.com https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4 indicates that 2nd cousins should share between 46 and 515 cm of genetic material. So, our match is within the expected range.
  2. Does the other person’s tree match yours? In this case, we have all of the same data for her grandmother. In order to accept a ThruLinestm display, both 1 and 2 must pass.
  3. Do the other descendant entries make sense? In this case, the cousin’s father is still living (and thus redacted). I had the same person with no discrepancies in data. Therefore, I am sure of the match. I did contact the individual to learn of her first name and then entered her into my tree in the right place.
ThruLines – Edward Brown Segment

The next cousin to analyze is a descendant of Edward Lewis Brown. This cousin and I share 144 cM over seven segments, well within the expected range for 2nd cousins, once removed.

According to ThruLines, this match a great-granddaughter of Edward through her mother and her grandmother both of which have private entries.  My records indicate that Edward had ten children, seven of whom were girls. I also don’t have information on any of the granddaughters of Edward. As such, I can’t place this individual on the tree at all. I then contacted the cousin and asked her about her connection to Edward Brown. Her mother and her grandmother’s name if possible.  Once I receive that information, if her grandmother matches one of my known children of Edward Brown, I will accept her and her mother’s names from her tree.

ThruLines Arthur Brown Segment

Cousin number 3 was somewhat expected. The amount of DNA, 98 cM, fit expectations for 2nd cousins once removed. I had identical information for her grandfather and her great grandfather. Looking at my data, I had four potential women (all living) who could be the mother of this cousin. I contacted her and asked which of the sisters was her mother. She replied, and I placed her onto my tree.

I followed a similar process for all of the other cousins that ThruLinestm provided connections to.

As you can see, my process it to:

  1. Confirm the shared DNA amount matches expectations for the relationship.
  2. Confirm the cousin’s descendants from the common ancestor and a known child of the common ancestor.
  3. Analyze the remaining path to the cousin, assuring things make sense.

Then, I accept the individual’s tree as “tentative” from the grandchild of the common ancestor to the cousin.

I like ThruLinestm, but only for widening my tree to include individuals that are descendants of a known family unit.


Note: I do not even consider anything in the individual’s tree before our common ancestor.

Ancestry’s ThruLines

By Don Taylor

One of the many huge announcements made at Roots Tech was Ancestry unveiling of ThruLinestm. Many bloggers have been writing about it, and I thought I’d see what it can do for me and the DNA Kits that I manage on Ancestry.

Immediately upon entering  AncestryDNA®, you now see ThruLines as the right-hand block which used to house DNA Circles.  There is a link in the block to restore DNA Circles if you wish, but I wanted to Explore ThruLines.

ThruLines then presents a block of my ancestors, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., all the way to my 5th great-grandparents. (About the limit of what Autosomal DNA results can predict relationship at.)

As I clicked on my parents, ThruLines presented my half siblings for whom I’ve known about for several years now. The same thing was true when I looked at my grandparents’ entries. Looking at my great-grandparents, Hugh and Clora Scott Robert’s ThruLines yielded a 2nd cousin that I’ve corresponded with before.

Clicking on the 2 down block opens up the names of two individuals from Beth’s tree.

When I looked at my Great Grandparents, Joel Clinton and Marada Alice (Lister) Barnes, the power of ThruLines came alive. Two new lines showed. It showed my paternal grandmother had two sisters — one a half great-aunt to me the other a great-aunt. I had known about Essie’s sisters, Flora and Mabel, but hadn’t traced their descendants down. ThruLines provided links to a half 2nd cousin 1x removed (Beth) and to another 2nd cousin 1x removed (JK). In both cases, I know about their grandparents (Flora & Mable) but I didn’t have descendants for either Flora or Mable. The first one, “Beth” had a tree that provided names, dates, and relationships.  That line should be easy to replicate with sources. The second person, cousin “JK,” had two “Private” individuals between her and my great-aunt Mabel.  I should be able to follow Mable’s descendants to that cousin fairly quickly also. However, because ThruLines shows JK’s mother and grandfather are the pathway to her great-grandmother Mable, JK’s line is clear enough to provide information to be able to ask clear and concise questions regarding JK’s ancestors.

Continuing to look at my great-grandfather Arthur Durwood Brown, I found seven DNA cousins with whom I share Art Brown as a common ancestor. Two of the seven were new to me. That is to say, I knew they were DNA cousins before, but I didn’t know exactly how they were related.  Thanks to ThruLines, it is clear.

One problem I do see with ThruLines is that it relies entirely upon individual’s trees.  That is to say, if someone has a mistake, the mistake takes shape and form throughout the system. As an example, I believe my 2nd great grandfather is William Henry Brown, but many others think that Arthur Durwood Brown’s father was Henry “Mack” Brown. ThruLines won’t show anyone who believes that Henry “Mack” Brown might be the common ancestor because he doesn’t show as an ancestor in my tree. So, if your tree is right, ThruLines will confirm your tree. But if your tree is wrong, then ThruLines will confirm your tree with the wrong trees of someone else.  I think it is a dangerous path to follow.

So, it is essential for you to do your own research to validate any “hints” you receive from anyone and  ThruLines is no exception to that rule. Consider what ThruLine provides as a hint and you’ll be okay.  I like ThruLines much better than I liked DNA Circles. It will be more useful in helping me to quickly develop width to my tree, something that is important in understanding DNA match results.

———- Disclaimer ———-

 

DNA Doesn’t Lie – John Montran

Brown-Montran Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For a few years, I’ve hypothesized that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran and John Foster Montran were the same person.

I have been unable to find a record of John F. Montran and my great-grandmother, Ida Mae Barber marrying in 1892. My grandmother was born in 1893 with the name Donna Montran and when Ida remarried in 1897 to Max Fisher she indicated her surname was Montran and that she was married once before. So, I believe John Montran and Ida were married about 1892.  Donna indicated in 1911 that her father was dead. Certainly, John F. Montran doesn’t seem to exist anytime in the 20th century. I have found no records for John F. Montran after my grandmother’s birth in 1893.

John Foster Montran married Maude Minnie Winter in 1894. I have found no records for John Foster Montran before 1894. He had two children with Maude, Thelma M. Montran and Ruth Grace Montran, in 1895 and 1897 respectively. In the 1900 Census, Maude is listed as a widow and John appears nowhere else.

  • 1892 – John Montran married Ida
  • 1893 – Donna was born.
  • 1894 – John and Ida separate.
  • 1894 – John married Maude Minnie Winter
  • 1895 – Thelma is born.
  • 1897 – Ruth is born.
  • 1898-1900 John dies.
  • 1911 – Donna indicates her father, John Montran, was dead.

All the parts appeared to fit. The locations weren’t too far off. Donna indicated her father was born in Pennsylvania but had lived in Canada. Maude indicated her husband was born in Canada, but Maude and (her) John married in Pennsylvania.

DNA image by Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

I figured that DNA testing would prove the two John Montrans were one. I began researching the descendants of John and Maude (Winter) Montran. In 2015, I found a living descendant, I’ll call Sue[i]. I contacted her and asked if she would be interested in doing a DNA Test. The results should prove my hypothesis that the two John’s were the same person. She wasn’t interested in testing then, but maybe sometime.

I continued searching and finally found another descendant of John and Maude (Winter) Montran, I call him James[ii]. I contacted him, and learned he wasn’t interested in testing either.

I continued searching but didn’t find any additional living descendants of John and Maude and I set the project aside for a while.

It had been nearly two years since I had contacted Sue, so I thought I’d follow-up with her and see if she was interested in testing now.  She replied that she had tested with 23 and Me and had her results.  My mother tested with 23 and Me several years ago. My mother and Sue should show as a match. If my hypothesis is correct, they would be half first cousins, once removed. No match on 23 & Me. When you look for matches on 23 & Me, the page says, “Note: your anonymous matches have been opted out of DNA Relatives and are no longer visible within the tool.”  I thought, maybe Sue opted out of DNA Relatives. I asked her to double check her settings. She responded that she opted in to DNA Relatives the day before. She also shared her results with me.  Again, nothing, nada.

Using Blaine Bettenger’s “Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4,” I could see that half first cousins, once removed (1C1R) should share 226cM of DNA. And that the range seen for half-1C1Rs was from 57 to 530.  I even decreased the match criteria from the usual 7cm segment match required to only 4cM segment match and still no match with Sue.

Of course, it is possible that there was a non-paternal event that caused these DNA results, and it is always good to keep an open mind.  However, these results prove to my satisfaction that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran, and the John Foster Montran who married Maude Minnie Winter were two different people.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Separate John F and John Foster in all my records and notional work and indicate that they were definitely different individuals.


————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Endnotes

[i] Surnames are removed from living individuals. First Names used may or may not be the same as the living individual’s name.

[ii] Ibid.

DNA – Glennis Paternity Project Part 11

Another GEDMatch Match

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Recently, I returned to looking at the matches for my half-sister Glennis to see what might be new. One of the nice features of GEDMatch is that when you look at a match you can click on the “L” to list the matches that match that individual. In Glennis’ case when I do that if the individual also matches our mother, I know that the match is on her maternal side. If the individual doesn’t match our mother (nor obviously me) that means the match is on her unknown paternal side.

In the past she has matched to several people who have appear to have a common ancestor on a Morgan/Odell family in West Virginia. I encountered a match with AHW and contacted the individual’s listed email address. It is always awesome when the individual responds. After a couple emails, AHW’s tree was shared with me.

I also took a look at AHW using DNA Painter and found a nice long match on chromosome 13 with two other individuals.

Image of DNA Painter - AHW match on C13
AHW matches two others on C-13

According to his tree, his Great-Grandmother was Rachel Odell who I had on my “notional” list. She was one of 11 children of William Odell and Jane Morgan. She and her husband were the brother and sister of Nathan Smith Morgan and Belinda Odell that are am currently researching.

AHW shares 58.3cM of DNA with Glennis which would suggest they are 3rd cousins. However, because a brother and sister married a non-related sister and brother there is some endogamy and the relationship is likely a generation further back than I’d otherwise expect.

That suggests that Jacob Morgan and Elizabeth Smith and/or Joshua Odell and Susannah Davis are the most likely common ancestor. So, the finding confirms that I am in the right tree and studying the right family line who also appear to have had the four people in the line.

D'oh!
D’OH by Stannered [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia.com
The thing that I hadn’t realized, but knew if I thought about it, was that it then proved that the Rachel Odell line has to be a dead end. If Rachel were a common ancestor, then AHW would be a 2nd cousin and not a 3rd and I would expect much more DNA in common. It is kind of a “doh moment.”

The good news of this match is that it confirms Jacob Morgan and Elizabeth Smith and/or Joshua Odell and Susannah Davis as likely common ancestors. It also eliminates their grandchild Rachel Odell and her descendants from consideration.

I still have hundreds of descendants to analyze but eliminating one group is awesome. So back to the children of Nathan Smith Morgan and Belinda Odell. I only have four of their 12 children to look at left. Then I can go down the other 25 lines. Sigh…. Hopefully, someone else will test and I’ll be able to jump to a lower spot on the tree.

Thank you MWH, (AHW’s contact) for your help and thanks to your other family members on Facebook for helping me narrow my research.

DNA – Glennis’ Paternal Search – Part 7

Following Morgan/Morgan/Morgan/Davis

By Don Taylor

In the search to find the biological father of my sister Glennis, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan of Pleasants County, West Virginia.

Francis and Fannie had 12 children

Child Children Notes/comments
Clara M Morgan Gail Hemsworth
Naomi Hemsworth
Married Everett Luzader

Married Earl Deem

Henry Clifford Morgan None. Died at age 15.
Lewis V. P. Morgan Lula Edna Morgan
Opal Jean Morgan
Died at age 2.

Married William Davis

Rosa Virginia Morgan
Dora D. Morgan
Ephraim Stokeley Morgan
Nathan Spencer Morgan
John A. Morgan
Sarah D Morgan
Unnamed Morgan
Orien E. Morgan
James Cyrus Morgan

Lewis V. P. Morgan was born 30 December 1871 in Lafayette, West Virginia.  He was the third child of Francis Marion and Fannie R. (McGregor) Morgan.

He married Maude L. Lamp in 1899 in Tyler County, West Virginia. They had two children.

  1. Lula Edna Morgan, was born in 1900 & died in 1902 at the age of 2 due to a fire.
  2. Opal Jean Morgan, was born in 1902 in Pleasants County, West Virginia. Opal married William Henry Davis in 1920. They had two girls and appear to have had no sons.

Lewis’s wife died in 1908 and he never remarried.

  • During the 1910 Census Lewis was living with his sister Rosa and her husband, F. M. May.
  • During the 1920 Census, Lewis was living with his mother-in-law, Sarah L Lany.
  • During the 1930 Census, Lewis was living with his uncle, Elie H. Morgan.

It does not appear that the descendants of Lewis V.P. Morgan could be potential candidates for Glennis’ biological father.


Sources

1910 Census (FS), Family Search, F M May (Lewis Morgan) – Lafayette, Pleasants, West Virginia. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPF5-6Y6.

1920 Census (FS), Family Search, Sarah L Lany – Meade, Tyler, West Virginia. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN2Q-ZP3.

1930 Census (FS), Family Search, Elie H Morgan – Saint Marys, Pleasants, West Virginia. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XMHY-2T1.

Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Lewis V. P. Morgan – Memorial# 34028908. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=34028908.

West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, Family Search, Lewis V P Morgan – 30 Dec 1871. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NM7W-26D.

West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, Family Search, Lewis Morgan & Maud Lamp – 1899. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FYYS-VXT.