Back to Newfoundland DNA: Dicks Family Joyce Line Update

It’s been since last Spring that I have written about Newfoundland DNA – specifically the Dicks Family of Newfoundland. Since that time two things have happened:

  1. There is now a new Facebook Group called Newfoundland Gedmatch. The purpose is to find those with Newfoundland heritage who have tested their autosomal DNA and uploaded those results to Gedmatch. At that point people compare their DNA results and their genealogy.
  2. I believe that as a result of 1 above, Pauline has joined Newfoundland Gedmatch and also this Dicks DNA Study Group.

Both of the above are great news. We now have 12 in the Dicks Study group that have tested their DNA. That is plenty of DNA for comparing results. The chart below makes it look like 13 people but Marilyn is in 2 lines. There are two other people that have tested from another Dicks Line. They probably descend from a brother of the Christopher Dicks in the second box from the top below. Due to the large size of the Dicks family, they provide a good study group.

Here is an overall view of Dicks descendants that have tested.


Those in green have tested their DNA. Pauline is descended from Rachel Dicks. I call her Line the Joyce Line because Rachel married James Joyce. The Joyce Line was already the largest Dicks Line – now it is bigger with 5 DNA tested members.

Here is a closer view of the Joyce Line:


Our new member, Pauline, is in the lower left.

Let’s Get Into the DNA

First I’ll do a comparison of everyone to everyone.


It looks like Pauline hit the jackpot with Molly at almost 109 cM shared. Eric and Crystal were from the more remote Dicks Line and don’t show any shared DNA with Pauline. Esther is my wife’s great Aunt. Wallace and Kenneth are a generation closer to a common ancestor than Judy, so they have higher DNA shared amounts. This doesn’t mean that all the DNA shared above is Dicks DNA. However, as the Dicks are the common ancestors, it would explain a lot of the matches.

Triangulating with Pauline

I like to look for triangulation groups (TGs). That is when Person A has a match with B and C. Then Person B also has a match with C. Hopefully it will become clear. When this happens, it pretty much locks in the common ancestor. It’s not needed if we are sure about our genealogy, but if there is any doubt these TGs help clear up the doubt.

There are a couple of ways to look for TGs. One is by spreadsheet and the other is by chromosome browser. I’ll try the chromosome browser method. For example, here is Chromosome 5:


The bars represent DNA matches with Pauline. Molly is in yellow, Kenneth in green, Nelson is in blue and Eric from the faraway Dicks branch has a tiny pink match. I won’t bother looking at the small pink match. So it looks like Pauline, Molly and Kenneth are in a TG. All we need to know is if Molly and Kenneth match each other.


Yes, they do, from about position 76M to 122M. Here is what our first TG looks like:


However, there is only one problem with this TG. Well not a problem, but is it a Joyce TG or a Dicks TG? All these people descend from James Joyce as well as Rachel Dicks. I tend to lean toward the Joyce TG as there are other Dicks descendants that could have matched here but didn’t. Either those Dicks descendants didn’t match by chance or this is a Joyce TG. I suppose if Pauline, Marilyn or Kenneth match any of their Joyce relatives that aren’t related to the Dicks that would prove that this is a Joyce TG.

Another Joyce tg at Chromosome 7?

Here is the next potential TG at Chromosome 7


#1 is Kenneth, #2 is Wallace. #3 is a tiny match with Crystal on the faraway Dicks Line. Kenneth and Wallace are both Joyce descendants. But do they match each other’s DNA?

They need to match near the beginning of Chromosome 7 and they do from position 4M to 19M. I won’t do the circle and line thing as it is similar to the previous image. Kenneth and Wallace are 2nd cousins.

Chromosome 12 TG on the Upshall Line

On Chromosome 12 Pauline matches my wife’s family: her mom Joan and her great Aunt Esther.


#3 is a small match with Sandra. I would think that even though Esther is Joan’s 1/2 Aunt that they still should match here at the end of Chromosome 12:


They have too many matches to show them all, but Joan and Esther do match Pauline from 107M to 132M which matches with the Chromosome Browser. Here comes another triangulation image:


Except I have another potential problem. Pauline tells me that some of her ancestors were from Harbor Buffet. This could be a Dicks TG or some other TG. Perhaps there is a clue here to bolster some of the missing ancestors in my wife’s Newfoundland genealogy. In cases like this, I tend to assume the match is with the known ancestor rather than the unknown. However, it is good to keep an open mind.

Here are some of the missing ancestors on my wife’s Upshall Line:



  • Pauline has shown good matches to others in the Dicks DNA Project – especially to those in the Joyce Line which she is a part of.
  • Pauline is in 2 Triangulation Groups (TGs) with the Joyce Line. These TGs point to the James Joyce/Rachel Dicks couple. Further testing may show which specific person of the couple that the DNA comes from.
  • Pauline is in 1 TG with my wife’s mother and great Aunt. This TG likely represents DNA from Christopher Dicks b. 1784. As some of my wife’s Harbour Buffet ancestors are unknown, there is also a chance that this TG represents some of those unknown ancestors.




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