Ancestry’s ThruLines – Part 3 – Asa Ellis Roberts

In previous articles, I’ve considered Ancestry’s new ThruLinestm feature. In Part 1, I looked atThruLinestm in a general manner. In Part 2, I developed a process and decided on some caveats I would use with it.  Here in Part 3, I proof my process/procedure by using it and verify the process holds true in use.  Briefly, the process is:

  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.

I used the process focusing on my 2nd great-grandfather’s (Asa Ellis Robert) descendants.

All of the descendants of Asa are 3rd cousins. Asa was married twice, so descendants of Asa and Patience Anna Marshall should be 3rd cousins. Descendants of Asa and Cynthia Minerva Toney would be half third cousins to me. DNA Painter’s Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 indicates that a 3rd cousin should share between 0 and 217 cM of DNA and half 3rd cousins should share between 0 and 178 cM of DNA.

ThruLinestm indicates I have 18 Cousins that have tested with AncestryDNA.

  1. In all cases, the DNA amount matched matches expectations as suggested in DNAPainter.
  2. In all cases, the individuals are descended from individuals that I had independently identified as children of Asa.
  3. In all cases, the individuals have a pedigree chart that makes sense.

Thanks to ThruLinestm I added 37 new cousins to my chart all descended from Asa Ellis Roberts.

  1. 17 new cousins descended from Rosa Della Roberts.
  2. 2 New cousins descended from Charles W. Roberts.
  3. 10 New half-cousins descended from Sarah A. Roberts.
  4. 8 New half-cousins descended from William T. Roberts.

The process is much faster than any methods I ever used before to verify a person’s relationship to my tree. I’m happy with the process and feel confident that I’m adding valuable information to my tree to better the likelihood of connecting ancestors. ThruLinestm is great for widening your tree to include individuals that are descendants of a known family unit.

If you are a descendant of Asa Ellis Roberts, consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is a great genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too.

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 ———-

 

Follow the “X”

By Don Taylor

Image by Caroline Davis2010 (CC BY 2.0)

Twenty-Two of our chromosomes are recombinant in nature, which means you receive 50% of your mother’s DNA and 50% of your father’s DNA.  The 23rd chromosome, the X-Y or X-X, is quite different. If you are a male, you received a “Y” chromosome from your father and you received an “X” chromosome from your mother. That X is a recombinant, in that it consists of 50% of your mother’s DNA. However, if you are a female, you received 50% from your mother as recombinant from her, but you also received your other X chromosome as a duplicate from your father. The effect of that is that the amount of DNA received from an ancestor through your X chromosome is higher if the ancestor path switches gender every generation. For example, my mother received 50% from her mother and 50% from her father. Her father received 100% of his X DNA from his mother (recombinant).

Blaine Bettinger (The Genetic Genealogist) has an excellent article, “More X-Chromosome Charts,” which provides charts showing both the Ahnentafel numbers and the percentage of X-DNA you received from which ancestors. The effect of this switching back and forth is that a male receives 12.5% of his mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother instead of the 0.78% that he received from that ancestor (a 5th great-grandmother) in the other 22 chromosomes.

I call that line a “zig-zag” line because it shifts gender every generation can provide insight into genetic connections that can really help in understanding matches and where you and that person may have a common ancestor.

The following are my “zig-zag” ancestors:

Ahnentafel #PersonSexExpected %
of X-DNA
3My motherF100
6Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990)M50
13Mary Elizabeth Manning (1878-1983)F50
26John William Manning (1846-1888)M25
53Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)F25
106Tulion Tolliver (unknown dates)M12.5
213Unknown 5th great-grandmotherF12.5

 In any generation you follow a woman’s mother, the expected % of X-DNA is cut in half. So my mother received 50% of her X-DNA from her mother. I have 50% of my X-DNA from my mother’s mother, so a similar “zig-zag” chart for my mother would be:

Ahnentafel #PersonSexExpected %
of X-DNA
3My motherF100
7Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)F50
14John Montran (c.1867-c.1897)M25
29Unknown 2nd great-grandmotherM25

Because my great-grandfather, John Montran’s life is such a mystery and because his parents are a complete mystery to me, discovering ancestors with whom I share X-DNA with may provide key insight into potential candidates for John.

If you share any of the above ancestors with me, I’d love to hear from you and try compare our matches in order to learn of our common ancestor. 

DNA Testing and Results Companies

23 and Me requires you to compare DNA in their browser and then manually determine if there is a match on the X-Chromosome. You can download your raw DNA data and import it into several other services. (Kits available for $69 until 23 Nov 2018)

AncestryDNA doesn’t provide information about X-DNA Matches nor does it provide for a chromosome browser. You can, however, download your raw DNA data and import it into FamilyTree DNA and GEDMatch. (Kits are available for $59 until 21 Nov 2018)

FamilyTree DNA shows you that an individual has an X-Match with you, even if that match is extremely low, even down to 1cM if they match otherwise at higher levels. You can test with FamilyTree DNA, with “Family Finder.” Alternately, you can also upload raw DNA results from Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage and the National Genographic Project 2.0. (Kits are $79.00)

GEDMatch allows you to select whether a match is based on autosomal or X. By selecting X, you can see only those matches with whom you share X-DNA. If you look at the individual’s kit number and it begins with “A” they kit was imported from Ancestry. GEDMatch does no testing but allows you to upload your raw DNA data from various services including Ancestry, FTDNA, WeGene, MyHeritage and others. GEDMatch does no testing,

MyHeritageDNA does not show you your X-Matches (at least not with uploaded kit results).

LivingDNA does not show you any match data.

Looking solely at X-Chromosome match capability,  FamilyTree DNA and GEDMatch are the best, with 23 and Me following closely behind. AncestryDNA, Living DNA, and MyHeritageDNA do not support X-Chromosome match analysis. Look closely at your tree and your X-Chromosome, you may find that a new clue to help find that elusive ancestor.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Hemsworth Speculation

Hemsworth Speculation Leads to a Conclusion.

Peterson Paternal Project
By Don Taylor

I think I have enough information to finally speculate on my half-sister’s paternity.

I’ll call each of the individuals in this study by the amount of DNA they share with my sister. There are three individuals who have trees I could use for comparison, #117, #201, and #271. Ancestry indicates that he is likely a 2nd or 3rd cousin. As such they would share a common great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent.

Continue reading “Hemsworth Speculation”

Color Clustering Technique

Dana Leeds recently had a couple posts on her blog site, “The Enthusiastic Genealogist,” about using color clustering to identify common surnames in genealogy. I thought I’d try using her technique to see if the process would shed new light onto two old problems.

Montran-Barber Line

First, my grandmother’s line, Montran and Barber.  My mother tested on 23&Me and so did my mother’s half-sister, Barbara. Having half-siblings in the tree makes DNA tracking a lot easier. In my mother’s case, if a person has a DNA match with my mother and her half-sister, we know that the match comes from my mother’s paternal side.  If the person matches with my mother and not her half-sister, I know that the match comes from my mother’s maternal side.

The process is pretty straight forward, enter the name, and a color for the connection using a different color if the individual is not related to the previous people. Once you have the colors determined, add if the individual has a tree available. If so, enter the surnames for that line into a chart.

I entered the individual’s name, amount of DNA shared, and blue, if there was a match with Aunt Barbara and another color is the match was not with Aunt Barbara. In my mother’s case, the first 50 matches all matched with Aunt Barbara. With no diversity I couldn’t find anyone that might potentially have Montran or Barber ancestors. So, it didn’t work for my mother.

Peterson Paternal Project

Next, I went to work on my half-sister’s paternal project. If she and I are a common match to an individual, we know that the connection is on our common mother’s side. If an individual matches Glennis and not me, I know that the match is on her unknown paternal side.

Ignoring matches with me (the Brown/Montran line), and using the Enthusiastic Genealogist’s technique showed four trees. All of which have some relationship with another.

Trees relating to Peterson Paternity Project

A review of the surnames found in the trees available showed only one surname was repeated in two trees, Hemsworth. More exciting though, I learned that, although tree 271 above, didn’t have a Hemsworth in it, my previous research found a Hemsworth one generation further back than 271’s tree showed. With three DNA matches all having Hemsworth in their trees, it is time to speculate a possible connection.