Review: Living DNA

I received my results from Living DNA. There was a problem with my first sample and they sent me a second kit. I bought my original kit when it was on sale last November. It cost $108.95. The good news is they provide results of Y-DNA, mtDNA, as well as atDNA. The results are easy to follow and the maps can be drilled down into showing interesting detail. In my case, I am 98% European, 83% Great Britain and Ireland, and 13% Central England, 12% North Yorkshire, 11% South England, Etc.

Chart showing modern populations sharing my DNA

 

Living DNA provided my mitochondrial DNA haplogroup of T2b and my paternal (Y-DNA) haplogroup of R-L21 and the subclade R-Z2961. If I hadn’t already known those results learning them would have been invaluable.

The bad news is that Living DNA doesn’t appear to have any connections to potential cousins or provide a way to compare your results with anyone else. However, downloading your results for importing into GEDMatch or other services is easy. Just select Download Raw Data, agree that you are aware of the impact such information can provide and that you take responsibility for the data once you download the raw data. Then you may download the results from the three tests. The atDNA test loaded into GEDMatch easily as a Generic Kit and the results were as I expected.

Sharing your results on Twitter and Facebook is easy, however, doing a nice report for printing isn’t an option.

I don’t recommend Living DNA for family historians who are looking to snare cousins that might have artifacts from their common ancestors. Also, the lack of a nice-quality printed report removes it from being a great “coffee table” service. However, if you want to learn your mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups and use other services for cousin connecting, then Living DNA might be for you.

Hopefully, they will improve the report printing soon.

Review – DNA Painter

Tech Tuesday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Last fall, Blaine Bettinger mentioned in his Facebook group, “Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques” an introduction video was available on YouTube for DNA Painter. I respect Blaine’s opinions, so I knew that I wanted to give it a try. It took a while for me to get to it and I’m glad I finally did. Wow, great program.

DNA Painter helps you understand exactly where your DNA came from. With it you can determine if a segment of your DNA you have may have come from your great grandmother on your maternal grandmother’s side or from another ancestor.  You can paint with common DNA information from GEDMatch, Family Finder (Family Tree DNA), or 23&Me. Sadly, Ancestry doesn’t provide DNA segment matching data, so it can’t be used. However, the raw data from Ancestry may be exported by the DNA owner and then imported into GEDMatch or Family Finder where you may export the data for use in DNA Painter.


The DNA Painter video was great. I only needed to watch it once and I was confident I understood the tool enough to use it for DNA painting. I was right; the tool is very easy to use.

I am fortunate because I have had my mother tested and I have her results. So, if my mother has a DNA Segment and I have it, I know it came from her. All the other DNA that I received from my biological father, who passed away before autosomal DNA testing became available.

I began doing the DNA painting, copying the data about matching segments of DNA from various cousins. When I looked at the matches from my half-aunt and myself, I could see exactly which DNA segments came from my maternal grandfather (and his ancestors). I compared with a known third cousin and saw which DNA came from our common second great-grandparents.

Image of Note: Chromosome 3 has a long DNA segment known to be from Hugh Eugene Roberts
Note: Chromosome 3 (top line) has a long DNA segment known to be from Hugh Eugene Roberts
Image of Chromosome 3 has two DNA segments (in pink) known to be from Asa Roberts and a one segment from an unknown Ancestor, not Asa.
Note: Chromosome 3 (top line) has two DNA segments (in pink) known to be from Asa Roberts and one segment from an unknown Ancestor, not Asa.

I could see where bits of DNA came from.  In another example, I received a nice 141cM chunk of DNA from my father on Chromosome 3. Based upon other DNA matches, of that fragment of DNA a 21cM piece of it and another 17cM piece of was inherited from Asa Roberts. He also had a sizeable 47cM chunk of DNA inherited from another ancestor that apparently was not Asa. I don’t know who it was yet, but additional samples should show its source. It was fun to do, but I couldn’t see a substantial genealogical reason for doing it. How could I use this tool?

Image of DNA Painter - AHW match on C13
DNA Painter shows three DNA segments match on C. 13 for Glennis.

Then, I thought about my half-sister Glennis, so I started a new profile and began painting her DNA. We share a common mother, so, once again, I was able to copy that information into her profile and have all of her maternal DNA. Then, I could focus entirely on her unknown paternal side.  I began finding any of her biological cousins that do not contain our mom’s DNA. That is when I started to see a pattern.  There were segments that were shared by a common ancestor of multiple individuals. That proved, to me, that these segments were from a common ancestor. Their trees indicated that they shared a known ancestor, so I know that Glennis shares either the same common ancestor or an ancestor of that individual. Furthermore, if the individual is more genetically distant than a second cousin, I know that the descendants below the person’s second great-grandparent cannot be a direct line. That can save me considerable research disproving a potential family line.

DNA Painter is a great tool that can help identify likely genetic ancestors and help identify unlikely descendant lines. I like it.

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DISCLAIMER
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Don’t give up communicating with that match

DNA – Roberts

FTDNA Chromosome Browser Results

In 2016, my number 3 match In Family Finder (Family Tree DNA) was a 2nd to a 4th cousin with whom I shared 100cM of DNA. We shared a couple big chunks on Chromosome 3; there was another nice match on chromosome 12, and a small piece on Chromosome 11. I emailed him in November 2016 and waited.

During the ensuing months, I found two more cousins with whom I shared DNA but I still wondered about that first one. I wondered about him and I emailed him again in May 2017 hoping to figure out how we were related.

I emailed him again mostly as a follow-up in November 2017. And wow. A response. A nice response with enough information to show exactly how we are related. I came to learn that he is the 2nd great-grandson of my 2nd great-grandfather, Asa Ellis Roberts. In other words, he is my half 3rd cousin (we have different great-grandmothers). Asa had 16 children, 12 with his first wife, Cynthia Minerva Toney and 4 with his second wife, Patience Anna Marshall. (My line follows Patience’s children.)

If you are working to fill in the descendants of your ancestors and to connect with distant cousins, it is great to have a first contact message (email) and then remember to follow-up every few months. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a response. Just keep working at it and, hopefully, you will eventually receive the answer which will show a new line of cousins.

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DISCLAIMER
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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.

Mitochondrial DNA and Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One of the great controversies in my genealogical efforts is in my Brown/Manning ancestors and relates to the parentage of Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin. I know quite a bit about Minerva. She was born in Carter County, Kentucky in 1821. She married Enoch Mannin on October 15, 1843. Her husband Enoch led a group of 9 families (including her) to move to Minnesota in September 1882. At first, Enoch and Minerva settled in Stearns County but relocated to Cass County about 1888. Minerva died in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota on 24 Oct 1902.

I wrote about Minerva and her life in 2014 (See: Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)). The controversy revolves around her be Native American. Many researchers believe she was Native American. Indeed, she might have been, but I don’t think so. One bit of evidence is that she was never identified as “Indian” in any of the census records nor any other document I have seen. The other is that neither my mother nor my aunt have any segments that indicate a Native American lineage.  Surprisingly, both have segments on their X chromosome that indicate Sub-Saharan African. Their matching X-chromosome would have come from their common father, Richard. He would have received his X-chromosome as a recombinant X from his mother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown. She would have received one of her X-chromosomes as a replica of her father’s (John William Manning) X-chromosome. And he would have received his X as a recombinant X from his mother, Minerva Ann (Toliver) Mannin. It is also interesting to note that the percentage of Sub-Saharan African DNA on my mother’s and my aunt’s test results is consistent with the percentage of DNA that I would expect to be Sub-Saharan African if Minerva were 50% black. I wrote about this, also in 2014 in an article, “DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning.”

It may be that mitochondrial DNA may be the answer.  Your mitochondrial DNA came from your mother, who got hers from her mother, who got hers from her mother and so forth. If a female line descendant of Minerva were tested and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) showed ancestry from North America/Asia that would be convincing evidence that Minerva was Native American.  If the results showed ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa, that would be compelling evidence that Minerva was of African Descent.  If a mtDNA descendant were of European ancestry, we’d have no joy and have nothing to prove one way or another.

I would love to have a mtDNA descendant of Minerva take a mtDNA test and learn of the results. If you are such a descendant, please contact me.

Minerva Ann Tolliver had five daughters. The following chart shows the female descendants that I know about.  I know it is not complete, so If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals that information would help me further understand this family line. Minerva’s daughters were:

  1. Nancy Ann Mannin. Nancy married Jessie Monroe Barnett and had five daughters
    1. Frances M Barnett (1870-?) – I have no further information.
    2. Emma Nettie Barnett (1874-?) – I have no further information.
    3. Flarra Belle Barnett Flarra married George Wesley Horn and had two daughters.
      1. Helen Elvira Horn. Helen married Harold Anderson – I have no further information
      2. Dorothy Ellen Horn. No Issue.
    4. Sarah A Barnett (1883-?) – I have no further information.
    5. Sadie Barnett – I have no further information.
  2. Sarah Jane Mannin. Sarah married Joseph Hatfield Bryant and had four daughters
    1. Nancy Ellen Bryant. Nancy married John M Horn and had one daughter (that I know about).
      1. Mary A Horn (1903-?)
    2. Alice May Bryant. Alice married Sherman Morgan and Charles Lemmon and had three daughters
      1. Della Morgan
      2. Esther Lemmon
      3. Mary Etta Lemmon
    3. Hattie Ellen Bryant. Hattie married William Berry and had one known daughter.
      1. Dawn (Harvey) Berry
    4. Clara K Bryant. Clara married Oscar Harvey and had three known children.
      1. Evelyn Harvey
      2. Lois Harvey
      3. Dawn Harvey (Could this be the same Dawn as Hattie’s child?)
    5. Adella Mamie Bryant. Adella married Elmer Boaz Knowles They had five daughters.
      1. Elsie Lillian Knowles. Essie married Vernon Smalley – No further information.
      2. Alice May Knowles – No further information
      3. Clara Lavina Knowles – Married Luther Elbert Parker. They had two daughters that I know of. Both of them appear to be living.
        1. Daughter 1 Living
        2. Daughter 2 Living
      4. Lorraine Grace Knowles – Married Richard Markham Taylor. They had three daughters. Two of them appear to be Living.
        1. Daughter 1 Living
        2. Evelyn Joyce Taylor (1937-1984)
        3. Daughter 3 Living
      5. Bessie Katherine Knowles. Bessie married Albert Dickerman. They appear to have had one daughter
        1. Lillian Katherine (Dickerman) Breyer 1942-1990.
  3. Mary Ermaine Mannin – Married George Washington Gates in 1899 – No further information.
  4. Gresella Mannin (1856-1897) – No further Information.
  5. Prudence Mannin – Prudence married Frank P Bare – No further information.

Although this chart only shows female descendants that I know about. If you are male and your mother or your mother’s mother is any of these individuals, you too carry the mtDNA of Minerva. If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals, I would love to receive that information to help make my records more accurate.

Once again, if you are a descendant of Minerva (Tolliver) Mannin and carry her mtDNA, I am extremely interested in hearing from you. Please use the form below.  Thank you.

My public tree is on Ancestry.Com. Please see it for further details on this tree.

Further Action

  • Expand upon the Lorraine Grace Knowles & Richard Markham Taylor family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
  • Expand upon the Bessie Katherine Knowles & Albert Dickerman family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
  • Further research the descendants of Nancy Ann Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Sarah Jane Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Mary Ermaine Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Gresella Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Prudence Mannin.