18 February 2010

My 23andMe Success Stories #2 & #3

I have successfully found common ancestors for two more of my 23andMe cousins. (See a previous blog for the first cousin found.) I am quite surprised to find my DNA still has enough of my ancestors genes from the 1600s to find matches!

As far as the actual markers are concerned, I share only on the Basic Genome level with my 23andMe cousins as it only tells you on which chromosome(s) we match; the starting and stopping points for the matching results; the length(s) of the segment; and the number of SNPs we share. No health issues are involved. The value of this information lies in the possibility that over time you will be sharing the same (or close to the same) segments with more than one person. If you can find the match with one person, then you know the match with the others is on the same lines. I have several 23andMe cousins matching me on the same segment, but we have yet to determine the common ancestor.

The key to determining a common ancestor really lies in good genealogy work. The more data (names, dates, and locations) you have for your ancestors, their siblings, grand children and great-grandchildren, the easier it is to find your common link. I’ve done genealogy for about forty years and tend to collect a lot of records of my family and ones to whom I think I am related. When others do the same, all of this is really easy.

Success #2: Bruce and Emily

Bruce and I are listed as probable 4th cousins with a cousinship range of 3rd to 7th. We share .21% of your tested genome.

Our paper trail indicates that we are 7th cousins once removed.

Descendants of Adam Hatfield
Adam Hatfield, (son of Jurian Hartsfelder and Margaret Unknown) b.ca 1655; m. Sarah Pauling were the parents of our common ancestor John Hatfield, below.

Bruce’s line:

1. John Hatfield, b: ca 1688 in Ulster Co, NY; m. Elizabeth/Jane Unknown, b: ca 1690
2. John Hatfield, b: ca 1717; m. Catherine Supplee
3. Adam Hatfield, b: 03 Nov 1741 in Montgomery Co, PA; m. Margaret Dilworth, b. ca 1750 in Lancaster, PA
4. Joseph Hatfield, b. 22 Jun 1790 in Westmoreland Co, PA; m. Phoebe Peppard , b. 11 Sep 1791 Ireland
5. Robert Marshall Hatfield, b. 29 Dec 1821 in Wayne Co, OH; m. Stuart, b. 02 Aug 1830 in Wayne Co, OH
6. Samuel Ruitherford Hatfield, b. 19 Feb 1852 in Ossian, Wells Co, IN; m. Durintha McCargar, b. 01 Jul 1857 Walcot Twp, Rice Co, MN
7. Mabel Roxanna Hatfield, b. 02 Jan 1880 in Fairbault, Rice Co, MN; m. John Edward (surname withheld), b. 28 Jan 1863 in Fairbault, Rice Co, MN
8. John Robert (surname withheld), b. 19 Oct 1909 in Fairbault, Rice Co, MN
9. Bruce

Emily’s line:

1. John Hatfield, b. ca 1688 in Ulster Co, NY; m. Elizabeth/Jane Unknown, b: ca 1690
2. Jane Hatfield, b. bet. 1720 - 1721 in Philadelphia Co, PA; m. James Cunrads, b. bet. 1722 - 1726 in Germantown, Philadelphia Co, PA
3. Elizabeth Ann Conard, b. bet. 1758 - 1761 in Montgomery Co, PA; m. Evan Jenkins, b: ca 1762
4. Jane Jenkins; m. Peter Ogan, b. ca 1784 in VA
5. Evan Ogan , b. 20 Nov 1802 in VA; m.Susan Wical, b. 20 Feb 1807 in OH/VA
6. Simon Peter Ogan, b. Aug 1826 OH; m. Emily Jane Studyvin
7. Mary Adeline Ogan, b. 11 Aug 1866 in Bureau Co, IL; m. Lowry Graham Gilmore, b. 14 Jun 1855 in Rochester, Monroe Co, NY
8. Emily Helen Gilmore, b. 14 Dec 1890 in Gray's Harbor, Gray's Harbor Co, WA
9. BJW
10. Emily (ME)

* * * * *

Success #3: Greg and Emily

Greg and I are listed at 23andMe with the probability of being 5th cousins and a range of cousinship being from 3rd to 10th cousin. Although we share only .11% of our genome that was tested, we have been able to find our common ancestor. Due to the detail work of both parties, I actually discovered that common ancestor before we even shared at the Basic Genome level.

Our paper work indicates we are 11th cousins.

Greg’s line:

1. Matthew Williams, b. ca 1606-1623 England; d. Bet. Jul 1659 - Nov 1665 CT; m. aft 1646 Wethersfield, Hartford Co, CT to Susanna Cole, dau of Samuel.
2. Amos Williams, b. 14 Mar 1645/46 Wethersfield, Hartford Co, CT; d. 20 Aug 1683 Wethersfield, Hartford Co, CT; m. 27 Jan 1669/70 to Elizabeth Rogers
3. Capt. Amos Williams, b. 17 Mar 1670/71 Wetherfield, Harford Co, CT; d. 19 Apr 1744 NJ; m. Johannah Wheeler, b. ca 1676; d. 13 Nov 1719
4. Samuel Williams, b. ca 1713 Newark, NJ; d. 01 Apr 1812 West Orange, NJ; m. Hannah Harrison
5. Jonathan Williams, b. ca 1747 West Orange, Essex Co, NJ; d. 15 Nov 1838 West Orange, Essex Co, NJ; m. ca 1771 Mary Squier
6. Nathan Williams, b. 12 Oct 1774 Orange, Essex Co, NJ; d. ca 1861; m. Catherine Wade
7. Jonathan Squier Williams, b. 11 Feb 1801 Mt. Pleasant Place, West Orange, Essex Co, NJ; d. 05 Aug 1875 Mt. Pleasant Place, West Orange, Essex Co, NJ; m. 22 Dec 1822 to Phoebe Perry.
8. Samuel Augustus Williams, b. 3 Sep 1824; d. Aug 1893; m. 30 Sep 1847 to Frances Harrison
9. Herbert Wallace Williams, b. ca 1862; d. ca 1944; m. Antoinetta Unknown
10. Helen Henrietta Williams, b. ca 1886 Orange, NJ; d. 14 Feb 1976 Grenada Hills, CA; m. 19 Jun 1912 Clifford Fowler Williams of Cleveland Ohio.
11. CEW
12. Greg

Emily’s line:

1. Matthew Williams, b. ca 1606-1623 England; d. Bet. Jul 1659 - Nov 1665 CT; m. aft 1646 Wethersfield, Hartford Co, CT to Susanna Cole, dau of Samuel.
2. Samuel Williams, b. 4 Jan 1653/54 Wetherssfield, Harford Co, CT; d. 8 May 1706 Elizabethwon, Essex Co, NJ; m. to Esther Wheeler, b. Milford, New Haven Co, CT
3. Nathaniel Williams, b. ca 1701 pos. Elizabethtown, Essex Co, NJ; d. 1764 Newark, NJ; m. Unknown
4. Esther Williams, m. ca 1730s to James Pierson, b. ca 1700 pos. Wales; d. ca 1761 Hanover Co, NJ
5. Hannah Pearson, b. ca 1736-37 Newark, Essex Co, NJ; d. aft 1785; m. ca 1758 Hanover Twp, Morris Co, NJ or Newark, NJ to Lemuel Bowers, b. ca 1709-12 Newark, NJ or Greenwich, CT; d. bef Apr 1785 Morris Co, NJ
6. Lemuel Bowers, b. ca 1761; d. 20 Sep 1830 Crown Point, Essex Co, NY; m. Oct 1780 Morristown, Morris Co, NJ to Sarah Mills, b. 1761 Hanover Twp, Litton, NJ
7. Hannah Bowers, b. ca 1792 NJ; d. Nov 1868 Jerseyville, Jersey Co, IL; m. Nov 1813 Bridport, Addison Co, VT to Charles Rufus Derby, b. ca 1795 VT; d. Sep ;1853 Jerseyville, Jersey Co, IL
8. Sarah Mills Derby, b. 24 Apr 1814 Bridport, Addison Co, VT; d. 12 Jun 1888 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS; m. 17 Dec 1833 Bridport, Addison Co, VT to Lambson Williams, b. 28 Sept 1804, Bridport, Addison Co, VT, d. 20 Dec 1878 Marion twp, Bourbon Co, KS
9. John Joseph Williams, b. Jul 1851, Jerseyville, Jersey Co, IL; d. Aug 1946 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS; m. Nov 1870 to Urvilla Victoria McCoon, b. Jun 1854 Dane Co, WI, d. Sep 1890 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS
10. Clyde Mills Williams, b. Nov 1887 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS, d. Aug 1957 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS; m. 1921 Olathe, Johnson Co, KS to Emily Helen Gilmore, b. 1890 Gray's Harbor, WA, d. 1942 Fort Scott, Bourbon Co, KS
11. BJW
12. Emily (me)

SO…who will be my next discovery of a common ancestor?

PS: I just received a match on my X Chromosome so that should be an interesting story once that common ancestor is found as there are ways to determine exactly who contributed to the chromosome pairs. Women inherit two X chromosomes, one being received from the father and one from the mother. BUT...not everyone in those ancestries make up the X. Watch this blog for how to know what lines to compare.


16 February 2010

Family Finder Test by Family Tree DNA Just Announced!

No one disputes the fact that tracing women is by far one of the most difficult feats for a genealogist, especially before DNA testing existed. Lineages stop at women for several reasons. Prior to the
twentieth century it was a man’s world. By law and custom husbands controlled society: men purchased land, paid taxes, served in the military, and left wills; children carried the male surname to the next generation; and many genealogies neglected female lines. Fewer records recorded women’s actions and with their names change at each marriage, it is most difficult to follow their trail.

Ten years ago Family Tree DNA began genetic testing with the genealogist in mind. At first the Y-chromosome test for men was established and later the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test for both men and women, but only for the HVR1 and HVR2 segments.

The advent of mitochondrial DNA testing has allowed women to join the world of DNA testing. Through mtDNA tests both men and women can find others who are related, even when the paper trail does not exist. A match on the HVR1 and HVR2 can be thousands of years ago, but through careful testing and good genealogical research, testers have found their common ancestor. The difficulty in finding cousins lies in the slow marker mutation of the mitochondria.

For the past several years, testing the full mitochondria (full genome sequence or FGS) has been more useful. This test can provide a genealogist with matches, even though the common ancestors for those matches could be a few hundred of years ago.

That can now change as genetic testing has progressed to a new level.

Just today Family Tree DNA announced its new Family Finder test. In their press release just hours ago, FTDNA stated:

“This is the most exciting genetic genealogy breakthrough since the company launched its Y-DNA test, which uncovered relatives in the direct paternal line”, says Bennett Greenspan, founder and President of Family Tree DNA.

Family Tree DNA is pleased to inform you of the pre-launch of our newest test: the autosomal-based Family Finder test. This pre-launch will progress in phases so that we do not exceed our lab’s capacity, and to ensure delivering results in a timely basis. A limited number of our customers are being offered the Family Finder Test during the prelaunch. We anticipate Family Finder will be offered for general release in the middle of March at the breakthrough price of $249.

Special Note: Since the Family Finder test requires an untouched vial of DNA, we cannot transfer DNA from Arizona to run the test. If a kit does not have an extra vial on file, we will mail a collection kit for a new FREE DNA extraction. After ordering, you will be notified whether we are able to use a stored vial or will be mailing a new collection kit.

This test analyzes your autosomal markers in all the chromosomes to determine shared blocks of markers with other testers. We inherit approximately 50% of our DNA from each of our parents as they did from their parents. In our autosomal markers that DNA mixes differently with each conception, therefore, different sections of the genes are passed along from generation to generation, picking up new segments from new family members. Mathematically, geneticists can determine possible sizes of shared segments with each generation at an accurate level for up to our fifth cousins. Thus, the size of the shared blocks of DNA helps determine the level of cousinship between two people. This autosomal test allows you to find people who are your fifth cousins or closer, thus putting a tighter, more exact genealogical time frame for matches.

The Family Finder test has many advantages for genealogy and for the genetic genealogy world.

I have thirteen DNA projects which include a haplogroup project, several surname projects, and three geographical projects. Within these projects there are people who do not know their biological surname due to an adoption, an illegitimate birth or some other surname change in the past. ALL of these projects will benefit from this new type of test.

For mitochondrial testing, a person can now determine if their matches are recent or more distant. I have six people who match me on the FGS. We cannot connect the paper trails and have no idea when the common ancestor lived. By all of us taking the Family Finder test, we can determine if the six of us are fifth cousins or less … or if we are more distant.

A group of people matching on their mtDNA can determine who in the group is more closely related with whom and who is more distantly related. Take the six of us. By everyone testing, we can determine if two or three of us are more closely related with each other than we are with some of the others.

With the result of the Family Finder test showing us who is closely related, we can begin to see the migration patterns of our collective line. This may help us track more ancestors.

For Surname groups, the new Family Finder test has wonderful opportunities to allow females to join the project. Women have long felt left out in Surname Projects, although many of them are the administrators or do most of the research for the project. Bringing more participants into the surname project creates more interest which can open avenues for research. With this test, a female does not have to locate a family member to do the testing for her, but still may. Females can find out how closely they are related to the men who have tested.

Some Surname Project members have tested fewer markers than others, leaving the administrator to wait until the test is upgraded before placing the tester in a particular group. There’s just not enough data to make the determination. However, with this test, I will be able to assign testers to the correct branch in a lineage even without the paper trail.

The Family Finder test helps determine whether the testers are closer or more distant cousins, thus better defining the branches in a family tree.

Many projects have groups who have a perfect or near-perfect match, but the common ancestor has not been located. With the Family Finder test those larger blocks of matches can be better defined, creating sub-branches of closer related members.

For example: In one of my projects I have several men who match perfectly on 37 markers and in some cases on 67 markers. However, with this autosomal test, I will be able to see who among them is more closely related. The size of the matching segments of DNA will vary with the testers and thus determine the cousinship probably.

Geographical Projects can be overwhelmingly large. Administrators are reduced to just maintaining the website, answering general questions, and watch for patterns that may indicate a certain haplotype location. The Family Finder test can uncover new clues to extended family groups among the members. This can bring more relevant lineages to the project and open up new avenues for research as new connections are discovered. Testers can explore the lost family connections behind migrations. Testers in other projects can find cousins in geographical projects, thus helping them find relatives in their homeland. Family Finder test can also break up large blocks of matches into more closely related groups as well as find connections between different surnames.

Adoptees can greatly benefit from the Family Finder test as any matches would be close matches. You can find aunts, uncles, half siblings, and recent cousins. The match would not be just on the unknown line, but anywhere in your lineage, thus you could connect with family members to find clues to help you trace your missing line.

How wonderful is this! A very useful test from a company who pioneered genetic genealogy!

NOW, I can have a central place to organize and track all my project participants.
NOW, I can find all those missing cousins and add new lines to my chart!
AND, it is so exciting that women and men can now be compared with equal status!

For more information on this test see: http://www.familytreedna.com/landing/family-finder.aspx


13 February 2010

23andMe Success Story

Joan gave permission to have her 23andMe success story posted on my blog. With every success story, interested genealogists can learn the importance of DNA testing and researching your lines in a wide path as you go back in time. Just knowing your direct line is not not very useful in finding cousins whether DNA testing or not.

I advise researchers to track their direct line to at least three generations on either side of it. That is, know the grandchildren of your ancestors as well as the spouses' parents and grandparents. It is a task, but greatly rewarding when you find common ancestors with complete strangers in the matter of hours.

Thank you Joan for sharing your story ... she wrote:

My closest match through the Relative Finder at 23andme is a probable 3rd cousin (no further back than 5th cousins) with whom I share a whopping 1.03% total DNA match. We've compared notes and proven that we are, indeed, 3rd cousins. Our great-grandmothers are sisters. Our match comes through channels that wouldn't have been findable through mtDNA or any other genealogical testing. The match is X and autosomal DNA.

What is really striking is that we share more than 90% of our X chromosomes. Our relationship is through his mother's father's mother and my father's mother's mother. These are lines not traceable through traditional genealogical DNA tests. We also share a segment of chromosome 2. Our match comes through the single X chromosome he inherited from his mother and the X chromosome I obviously inherited from my father.

What is also interesting is that we both have another unidentified (as yet) match with (apparently) the same other person who may turn out to be another match on the same line -- he hasn't come forward yet. This other person shares .78% DNA with me and is identified as a probable 3rd cousin and no further back than 4th cousin. The Relative Finder shows that we share FIVE half-identical segments!

Since we found each other we've been sharing family photos, and there is a great resemblance. His mother (who would be my 2nd cousin once removed) had no interest in all this when her son was originally tested with 23andme, but since we found each other she is now interested and has been tested -- should be interesting to see if we match even more closely when she gets her results.

We are building quite a little family here since I had already met another cousin (through traditional research) who descends from the same family -- another sister of my great-grandmother.

This was an interesting line to research and it is even more interesting to find proven DNA cousins in this line!

Dec, 2009

01 February 2010

Two New TV Series Based on Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy


There have been a lot of things happening with DNA testing these days and more yet to come so stay tuned to this blog. Currently, we have two new TV series focusing on genealogy in February and March.

Dr. Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. is the first African American to have his entire genome sequenced and analyzed. Knome, Inc. of Cambridge Mass did the testing and will be featured on Professor Gates' new TV series The Faces of America.

See: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/knome-featured-in-new-pbs-series-faces-of-america-with-henry-louis-gates-jr-83238922.html

February 10th begins a new PBS series called The Faces of America with Dr. Gates. The program is designed after his previous production entitled African American Lives, but this show will use the latest in genetic research. Those featured are: Yo-Yo Ma, Queen Noor, Meryl Streep, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Eva Longoria Parker, Mike Nichols, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Louise Erdrich, Kristi Yamaguchi, Elizabeth Alexander, and Mario Batali.


AND…we have waited two years for this event, but Who Do You Think You Are? Is finally scheduled to air on NBC March 5th. This is the American version styled after the British version and produced by Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay on the Friends series). Celebrities features are: Lisa Kudrow, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, and Spike Lee. The site gives bios for all the stars by clicking on their name and then their photo.

General information on the British version:

American version:

I strongly encourage all of you to tune into these shows. Not only will you find them interesting, but it is important that they get the viewership so they will continue. Having them continue will spur more interest in genealogy and genetic genealogy. Hopeful, and with your help, this will be our modern-day Roots.

Thank you,