DNA Day – Glennis

Today was a DNA day. That is to say, I tried to take some time and go back through various DNA matches; today I looked at my half-sister Glennis’ Ancestry results.

On Ancestry DNA her closest match is, of course, me sharing 1977cM of DNA.  Next is newly discovered half-aunt, Aunt Phyllis (See OMG – Another Half-Sibling).

Her next closest match is D.W. I’m not sure who that is or how that person fits in, so I emailed her administrator.

Next is C.D. the daughter of Aunt Phyllis, a newly discovered half first cousin.

J.M. appears next on her list. I don’t know who that is either, but she is related to me as well as Glennis so we know it is on our mom’s side. I messaged her too.

2nd cousin T.L. is next on the list; she is a descendant of Cora Brown, my grandfather’s sister.

Next was R.B. He is a new match on Ancestry DNA, there is a blue ball next to his name. I did the “Shared Matches tab and found he was not a match to me or anyone else on my mother’s line. I thought, “Oh my,” and with another click I learned that he and Glennis share 271 centimorgans of DNA – Enough to be second cousins. R.B. is Glennis’ closest match on her paternal side. That’s something to get excited about, and I did – almost giddy in my excitement. Although he didn’t place himself on a tree, he did have a tree on Ancestry. Assuming that he was the home person, I learned found his great-grandparents were on my notional tree as well.

I’ve contacted R.B.; hopefully, he will respond quickly (He last logged into Ancestry on Feb 25th). In any event, I have a new area to focus my research on my Peterson Paternal Project – The descendants of John Huber (1872-1946) and his wife Viola Cline (1879-1953). I suspect they just might be Glennis’ great-grandparents.

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DISCLAIMER
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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.

My Genealogical Year in Review – 2017

Dontaylorgenealogy.com

My blog received the most significant amount of effort from me during the year. I wrote 143 posts during the year – A couple of months with 14 posts, a couple of months with nine posts, but the result was 2.75 posts per week. My goal is to post a minimum of once every three days, so I met my goal by posting an average of once every 2.5 days. My number one post was the same as post as in 2016, “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people like to read rants.

My second most popular blog posting concerned learning of a half-sister for my mother. In “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” I write about learning that my mother has a half-sister that no one ever knew about. A woman, given up for adoption in the 1930s, through Ancestry DNA learned of her biological family, and I had the opportunity to be a part of the discovery. I had the enjoyable experience of traveling to Chicago and meeting her and her daughter. It was a great experience.

Number 3 on my blog posts was a surprise. Website Review: Lost Cousins didn’t provide much insight on their website. Instead, it pointed out to me some of the weaknesses in my data and research citations.
Search Military Records - Fold3

Number 4 was a posting about “Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.1.” I had become frustrated with Family Tree Maker when a previous version had corrupted my source citations. I returned to Family Tree Maker last year and have subsequently updated to Family Tree Maker for Mac 2017. I am pleased with the decision. It isn’t as robust as some other products, like Roots Magic, but has an actual Mac interface, which I prefer to Windows runtime emulators. If Roots Magic had a real Mac interface, I’d be hard-pressed to decide which I would use.

Number 5 is the main menu for my Brown family tree activities. When I am in communications with folks about my genealogical activities, I suggest they watch my four primary family pages, My mother’s line Brown-Montran, my biological father’s line Roberts-Barnes, my wife’s father’s line, Howell-Hobbs and my wife’s mother’s line, Darling-Huber.  I have done more research on my Brown-Montran tree, so as I might expect that tree had the highest number of visits.

I receive the most significant number of compliments and “that was interesting” statements from individuals regarding my Donna Montran vaudeville articles. For me, learning of Donna’s trunk and the photos and news clippings that it contained has provided insight into Donna’s life. My process of digitizing them, incorporating them into a much more extensive Donna Montran story is one of the most enjoyable activities in which I engage.

Scarborough Historical Society

My number two area of activities is with the Scarborough Historical Society. Certainly, I have become their “technology guru” and an important resource for people who come to the society and museum with genealogical questions. I am slowly beginning to know about the vast genealogical resources there. If you have ancestors in Scarborough, I can probably help you find resources. I also manage their Blog site, Scarborough Historical Society dot Org and serve on the society’s Board of Directors.

Genealogy Groups

Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS)

I am the Treasurer of the Greater Portland Chapter of MGS. I regularly attend meetings with them.  Additionally, the Chapter president has appointed me to be the “Officially Designated Representative” (ODR) to the Maine Genealogical Society. As the ODR I am a board member on the MGS and participate in their board meetings.

Maine Genealogical Society

Besides being the ODR to the MGS, I am also an assistant webmaster for their website – Maine Roots dot Org. I don’t do design activities; instead, I keep up with routine maintenance activities adding user accounts, changing prices on items for sale, etc.

Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group

I organized and lead a Genealogy Group at my public library.

Other

I am a regular participant at the Maine Genealogical DNA Interest Group and manage their website. I am a regular participant at the South Portland Library Genealogy Group.

Finally, add the MGS annual Fall Conference, the MGS Spring Workshop, and Summer Genealogical Fair and, somehow, I seem to keep busy. They say the key to a great retirement is to keep busy. I guess I am doing so and loving it.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy my blog articles. I will try to do a few more reviews of services; they seem to be my most popular postings. If you don’t subscribe to my blog, please do so. Also, I intersperse affiliate advertising on my blog. I try not to make promotion the focus of my activities. As a matter of fact, I endeavor to keep them unobtrusive. However, they have the potential to help offset my costs (although they haven’t so far). Your use of my links will be much appreciated.

The most amazing thing about 2017’s significant discoveries was that they weren’t even thought of in 2016. So, I’m excited to learn what developments 2018 will bring. I expect them to be things I haven’t thought of yet. Hopefully, your new year will be as exciting as I anticipate mine will be.