An Ancestry/Gedmatch Success Story: Lentz DNA

This story starts with a plain genealogy match – just the tree. Al contacted me last April through Ancestry about our possible Lentz connection. I suggested a DNA test. We went back and forth and saw that our Lentz locations, names, occupations and churches sounded familiar. We decided that we had a common ancestor in John Lentz born 1792. Here a portion of my Lentz web page:


Al descended from William while I descended from Jacob. Where I left off with William Andrew, was about as far back as Al had gotten.

Lentz DNA

In early July I noticed that Al had an AncestryDNA match with my mom. It wasn’t large, but it was there:

This was good news, as my Lentz DNA documentation was sketchier than I thought it should be. Maybe sketchy isn’t the right word, but there were some ambiguities. I had trouble nailing down John Lentz as it appeared that there may have been two of them in the same area.

Here is the connection between Al and my mom:


The Lentz side is in yellow. My previous Lentz DNA testers were also part of the Nicholson family (in orange above), so Al was an important link to the non-Nicholson Lentz side. Al is in the bottom left box.

upload to gedmatch

My next step was to ask Al to upload to gedmatch. Sometimes this step is easy, sometimes not. Al had trouble uploading but just recently, I discovered that he had actually uploaded his results. When I checked the results, there was no match between Al and my mom. I had to lower the thresholds to find the match:


The interesting point here is that I would have never seen Al’s match with my mom at Gedmatch, because their match is below their threshold.

yes, but do we have triangulation?

If Al were to match with another person that matched my mom, we would have a triangulation group (TG) which would make this match all the more solid. Fortunately, one of my mom’s first cousins, once removed also uploaded her 23andme results after some initial problems many months ago. I had to lower the thresholds even further to get her match, but it was right where it needed to be for triangulation:


In order to close the loop, Judy had to match my mom at this location. This was not a problem:


My conclusion is that the TG merges in on John Lentz:


Technically, the match could be with John Lentz or his wife Elisabeth, but we will say John Lentz. Further, I am now able to identify the match on Chromosome 14 between my match and Judy as a Lentz match – or more specifically from my mom’s grandfather Jacob Lentz:


Here is Jacob with bow tie and cigar:


How AncestryDNA and Gedmatch Worked Well Together

AncestryDNA told me I had the match. They also provided a way to get in contact with someone with the same ancestry. However, Ancestry says this about the match:


They thought that Al and my mom would have what I would assume to be a 15% chance of having a recent common ancestor or couple (John Lentz and his wife Elisabeth). That is where Gedmatch came in. If I could show that Al, my mom and someone else triangulated, that should significantly up the odds that there was indeed a common ancestor. Due to Al and Judy uploading to Gedmatch, I found that to be the case.

Solving Joanna’s Mystery DNA Match with Visual Mapping

Recently I had a question from Joanna, who is part of a Frazer DNA Project that I’m working on. She has a large mystery match and would like to know which side of the family the match is on. Joanna is also interested in having her chromosomes mapped using Visual Phasing. Visual Phasing is a method that Kathy Johnston has pioneered using the DNA results of at least 3 siblings. Blaine Bettinger has also written a 5 part series on this subject.  Perhaps the mapping could help her find out what side of her family this mystery match is on.

Joanna’s Mystery DNA Connection with Mystery Vickey

Joanna’s siblings are Janet and Jonathan. I will check to see how the three siblings match up with Vickey.


On Vickey’s One to Many list, I saw Joanna and Janet, but not Jonathan. You can see why Joanna is interested as her match with Vickey is 55 cM. I didn’t want to leave out Jonathan, so I ran a One to One between him and Vickey at Gedmatch;


Jonathan does match Vickey, but he just fell off the bottom of Vickey’s One to Many List. The start of Jonathan’s match is at the start of Joanna’s orange bar above. His match with Vickey ends before his sister Janet’s match with Vickey starts. Now, in Joanna’s family we have a small, medium and large match with Mystery Vickey.

Visual Mapping of Joanna, Janet and Jonathan

As all the above matches are on Chromosome 13, it would make sense to start there. The first step is to compare the 3 siblings in the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:


I then added crossover lines and attempted to assign the right sibling or siblings to the right crossover. This Chromosome was not simple. It looks like there are or could be close crossovers in three different places – around position 29, 33 and 98. In addition, something strange seems to be going on at the 72/73/74 location. That leaves only 2 crossovers which appear to be less than complicated. Those are: the first crossover which I have given to Jonathan and; the crossover at 62 which I gave to Janet.

Mapping the JJJ siblings

From 33 to about 73, Joanna and Jonathan have a Fully Identical Region (FIR). That means in that area, Joanna and Jonathan got their DNA from two of the same grandparents. One of those grandparents was on their Paternal side and one on the Maternal side.


Above I’ve portrayed Joanna and Jonathan’s shared grandparents as blue and red. The next step is extending the blue and red bars. I’ll keep Jonathan’s two grandparents where they are as he has crossovers on either side. However, I’ll extend Joanna’s DNA from her 2 grandparents to the right. Should I extend them to 98 or to the end?

A single or double crossover at 98?

The simplest scenario at Position 98 would be a crossover assigned to Joanna. Joanna is the common factor in the first two comparisons, so that would make sense. In that scenario, neither Janet nor Jonathan would have crossovers at 98. However, that does not appear to go along with what we know. Recall above that I looked at Vickey’s match with Joanna and Janet:


Why isn’t Janet matching Vickey for 55 cM as Joanna is? Something happened around Position 97. That something has to be a crossover for Janet. That sets a few things in motion. Now that we know Janet has a crossover, that means that Jonathan also has a crossover there. Our two options at 98 were either a single crossover for Joanna or a double crossover including Janet and Jonathan. My conclusion:

  • Janet has a crossover at 98
  • Jonathan also has a crossover at 98
  • Joanna does not have a crossover at 98

The immediate result is that I can send Joanna’s DNA over to the right side of the page:


In the next step, I want to take advantage of the Joanna to Janet FIR and the places where siblings don’t match at all. This is where there is red in the Browser and no blue bar below. In these areas I will use two different colors.


The Irony of Vickey’s match

Next, I’d like to use Vickey’s match with Joanna and Janet set the crossover at position 98. We will now pick a ‘side’ to the colors. We will say that Vickey is a red match. In the area between 62 and 98 Joanna and Janet are in a Half Identical Region (HIR). That means that they have one grandparent in common our their four. The irony is that we are mapping this Chromosome to find out where Vickey fits in. Yet we are first using Vickey’s match to map the Chromosome.


Here I have added in Vickey’s matches with Joanna, Janet and Jonathan. Note that Janet’s match with Vickey starts right near her crossover. Before that, Janet matched another of her four grandparents (shown in yellow). Also Jonathan’s match with Vickey ends right by his crossover where he received his DNA from another grandparent (the same yellow). Now we have Joanna and her two siblings’ Chromosome 13 roughly mapped out. We have relative positions for their four grandparents. Can we now find out which of Joanna’s grandparents the Mystery Vickey is related to?

Finding Which of Joanna’s Grandparents Matches Vickey

In January, 2016, I wrote a blog about Joanna and her Chromosome 15. Here are the results I came up with (after I went back and corrected a mistake I found):


I show this to indicate the possible grandparents that Vickey could be related to. Chromosome 15 was also a much easier Chromosome to analyze. There were only three crossovers for Joanna and her siblings on Chromosome 15. The 90-97 area was where Joanna matched a Williams relative. From 67-92, Joanna and Janet matched Frazer relatives.

For Chromosome 13, however, the [maternal] Williams relative did not match with Joanna, Janet and Jonathan. So it will not be possible to make determinations on Joanna’s maternal side. There were, however matches on the Frazer side. Betty has not uploaded her results to Gedmatch, but she is on FTDNA which has a browser and gives Chromosome match locations.  Betty is our last chance to at least identify the paternal part of Joanna and her siblings’ Chromosome 13.  Fortunately, Betty matches Joanna twice and Jonathan once:


Now all I have to do is see where Betty’s DNA would fit on our Chromosome 13 Map.


It looks like Betty has shown that Vickey is related somewhere along the line of Frazer – or more specifically Edward Frazer born in 1867. Here are a few notes on what I did:

  • I extended Jonathan’s Seymour DNA to the right as he had no Frazer match there where his two sisters did. They both matched Vickey. Then I added a blue segment above Jonathan’s yellow segment as Jonathan has a HIR with his two sisters at the end of Chromosome 13.
  • Question: Why didn’t I match Betty to the blue maternal side of the Chromosome? There is room for her DNA there also.
  • Answer: Imagine that I moved all the Betty matches up to the blue segments. That would leave a problem for Janet. In that scenario Joanna would have a blue match and Janet would also have to have the same blue match, but Janet didn’t match Betty from 75-96. Janet also did not match Vickey from 63-107. So that alternative scenario does not work out.
  • For more distant relationships, one would not want to make deductions based on lack of matches. However, with siblings there has to be an explanation as to why one sibling would have a match and the other would not based on the visual mapping.

Edward Frazer is wearing a top hat at the bottom right. In our Chromosome 13 Map, his DNA is shown as red and his Seymour wife as yellow.


The fact that Vickey matches on this Frazer line doesn’t mean that Vickey has to have Frazer ancestors. It just means that she and Edward Frazer must have a common ancestor. That common ancestor may be along the Palmer line, for example (Edward Frazer’s mother’s Line).

Betty to the rescue again

Let’s use Betty’s results to fill in the rest of Joanna’s family’s Chromosome 13:


  • Note that Betty matches Joanna from 29-43 and Jonathan from 33-43. That tells me that Jonathan has a paternal crossover at 33. Because Joanna doesn’t have a paternal crossover at 33, that means she has a maternal crossover there. The rest I fill in using the FIR and HIR regions.
  • The smaller segments at the beginning of the Chromosome correspond with all the crossovers at the beginning of the Chromosome. There are 5 crossovers up to position 33. In Chromosome 15 that I mention earlier in the blog, there were 3 crossovers for the whole Chromosome. After position 33 on Chromosome 13, there are fewer, more spaced out crossovers which account for the larger segments of inherited grandparent DNA.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Visual Mapping can be fun and helpful in finding out where mystery matches come from
  • Without the help of Joanna’s 2nd cousin Betty, we would not have a complete map. We would also not be able to know which grandparent Vickey was related to.
  • If Betty’s results were only at AncestryDNA, we would not be able to do this analysis as AncestryDNA does not give detailed information on DNA matches. The fact that she tested at FTDNA helped us come to these conclusions, even though her results were not uploaded to
  • Joanna may know of more test results with known relatives that could help fill out the maternal side of Chromosome 13 or we may find out more in the future.




Using M MacNeills Raw DNA Phasing Spreadsheet and My Problem Chromosome 10

I have written many blogs about phasing my own raw DNA. One of the things that was bothering me while going through the process was the presentation of the results. It is possible to phase millions of bases using the raw DNA results from one parent and at least 3 siblings. But once the DNA is phased, how can those results be best portrayed? In my previous Blog on the subject, I was able to figure out a fairly simple way to show my results, but the outcome was not totally satisfactory.


I liked how I was able to get the grandparents’ surnames at least in the first 2 bars. I also liked how I had a simple scale at the bottom. However, one of my bars went too far. Also, my simple chart started at zero and Chromosomes start at different positions. I was able to fix the bar going too far today. Excel makes these bars based on distance rather than positions, so one of my equations was wrong.

I told M MacNeill <> of my concerns and he sent me his spreadsheet. One feature I really liked about the MacNeill Spreadsheet is that it had a place for cousin matches at the bottom. Below is the first Chromosome where I used my phased raw data from my mom and 3 other siblings to create a MacNeill Chart.


Sharon’s maternal first little segment didn’t work out perfectly, but that didn’t bother me. I know that the beginning and ends of Chromosomes can have small problematic segments. Note at the bottom that my match to Carolyn in yellow shows where my maternal crossover is in the upper part of the chart where I go from red to orange.

My Chromosome 10

I am looking at my Chromosome 10 because, for one thing, I have had trouble trying to visually phase this Chromosome in the past. Here is my attempt at visual phasing from early in 2016:


Here is another try including additional cousins that tested:


Note how different the maternal (lower) side is. I switched most of the maternal grandparents around.

Here is the MacNeill spreadsheet showing just the cousin matching part:


I have some good matches here. Blue is Hartley, green is Frazer, yellow is Lentz. Red is Rathfelder. This makes it clear that my chromosome is mapped wrong. I need more Hartley and Lentz. The above chart includes my brother who I had tested not too long ago.

Here is another try with my brother’s DNA results included:


My sister Sharon (S) has a better look now on her maternal side. I got rid of the small purple segment.

Looking At the Raw DNA Phasing – Paternal Side

I have two spreadsheet summarizing the results of the many hours of work it took to phase my family’s DNA  from the raw data. One spreadsheet is for the paternal side phased DNA and the other is maternal. I have patterns for both sides. They are based on the order of my siblings: me (Joel), Sharon, Heidi and Jonathan. So an ABBB pattern would mean that Sharon, Heidi, and Jonathan all get their DNA from one grandparent, and I get mine from the other. Here is the paternal spreadsheet:


These patterns go logically one to the other. The first pattern goes from AABA to AAAA at position 2,605,158. The B changed to an A in Heidi position, so the crossover goes to her at that position. I have a column called GaptoNext. This is based on the number of tested SNPs between patterns. When this number is large, I suspect an AAAA pattern. That was the case above highlighted in yellow. Except there is a problem. To go from ABAB to AAAA means 2 changes, and there should only be one change (or crossover) at a time. This caused me to look at the bases.

A Paternal pattern missed

Here is what I found.


I had missed an AABA pattern at Build 36 Position 30,683,878. I took another look by setting my MS Access query so that Sharon and Heidi would have a different base from Dad:


This shows that the there is a change from ABAB to AABA even sooner than I thought between ID 400008 and 400045. This is an ID I created that sequentially numbers the tested SNPs. You can see another way I missed this pattern, because I didn’t fill in the missing bases. TTC? should be TTCT. CCT? should be CCTC.

What does the missing pattern represent?

The pattern of ABAB TO AABA is actually my crossover (Joel). It is a bit more difficult to see than the others. That is because the ABAB pattern is the same as BABA. The change of BABA to AABA is my change of the first B to the first A. Naturally, I put myself in the first position. In rough terms, that gives me a paternal crossover at about position 30.5M. This is a good location as it does not interfere with a large match that I have with an unknown paternal DNA relative named Shamus:


Here is my corrected Dad Pattern for Chromosome 10:


I have gone from 6 to 8 crossovers as the previous correction lead to another one. I also took out one of Heidi’s crossovers that I had wrongly identified. So fixing one problem fixed a lot of others. It helps to describe the start and stop of each pattern and to describe each crossover. The important results are the person and the last Position column. These show who the crossover belongs to and where that crossover occurs on the chromosome. I then entered the paternal crossover results into the MacNeill Spreadsheet and got this:


I took out the large space between the siblings. The problem is that the space is now the same as between the maternal and paternal phased part for each sibling. Excel has no happy medium that I’ve found.

The blue is Hartley and green is Frazer. The raw phasing in the upper part of the chart matches with the cousin matches below. It is interesting that some of the cousin matches define the crossovers. For example, the Jim to Sharon match gives Sharon’s crossover. Also the Paul to Sharon match gives Sharon’s other crossover. The Paul to Jonathan match gives Jon’s first crossover.

The Maternal Side

Hopefully resolving the maternal phasing will be easier than the paternal side. My visual phasing only showed four crossovers. Here is my unfinished spreadsheet showing 5 crossovers (under the Person column):


Here, it looks like I already added an AAAA pattern to the end. That was because the AABA pattern ended at about 114M and the Chromosome itself ends at about 135M. My GapstoNext column showed that gap as almost 20,000 SNPs. My question now is: should I add an AAAA pattern to the beginning also? Perhaps. An AAAA pattern means that 4 siblings match and all got their DNA in that area from their maternal (in this case) grandmother. Those results were consistent with how I had the visual phasing done. In fact, the visual phasing indicated that the 4 siblings should all get their maternal DNA from the Lentz side up until about 60M. Let’s take a closer look. This gets at my first note above in the spreadsheet image. There were only 3 single SNPs showing the AAAB pattern and they were spaced a long way apart – over 10 Megabases each. In this case, I will disregard those 3 widely spaced patterns as some type of mistake and stay with the AAAA pattern. Once I made the change from the AAAA pattern to the AAAB pattern, that brings us up to about 60M for my (Joel’s) first crossover. That seems to fit well. That leaves us with 4 crossovers – one per sibling as opposed to the two per sibling on the paternal side.

First I’ll compact the Gedmatch browser results, then show the raw DNA Phasing results on the MacNeill Chart:



When I compare the results, I see a problem I had with the visual phasing. The next to the last crossover looked to belong to Sharon, but instead it belonged to Heidi. Also Jon’s second paternal crossover should have been marked as an “F” above. That was just a typo. The third J for Joel crossover that I had above was not a crossover. In the middle, the 2 close crossovers of J and S should be instead S and J if I’m reading the MacNeill Chart correctly. It looks like all the FIRs and HIRs, etc. match. Once I did the raw DNA phasing, it is obvious how the gedmatch browser results had to match the raw DNA phasing results. Before, I did the raw DNA phasing it was not so obvious.

I’m happy with the results. I get to pick whatever colors I want for the four grandparents. It still would be nice to have some sort of labels or color key. After a hard day of phasing DNA, it is rewarding to see the results displayed so nicely. Thank you Mr. MacNeill.

A few observations:

  • The 4 siblings did not inherit any Rathfelder DNA (brown) on the left side of Chromosome 10
  • Lentz DNA (yellow) is missing from the right side of the Chromosome for the same 4 siblings
  • As I have my mother’s DNA results, that would make up for the missing DNA from those 2 maternal grandparents
  • Short segments of Hartley DNA (blue) are missing near the beginning and near the end of the Chromosome (i.e. none of the four siblings inherited Hartley grandfather DNA in those areas).


  • M MacNeill has the best display that I am aware of for mapping phased DNA.
  • The final mapping is like the final exam where previous mistakes are brought out, but there is a chance to correct them.
  • The phasing process is difficult, but there are built in checks and balances to find and correct mistakes or missed patterns.
  • The raw DNA phasing procedure (I use the Athey method) would generally be used if a parent has been tested and the visual one is used if a parent has not been tested. However, the visual phasing as developed by Kathy Johnston is important to use as a framework for the raw DNA phasing as well as a check for the end result.
  • The raw DNA phasing results appear to be better than what I was able to get using the visual phasing. Not because the visual phasing method is bad; more because I have not mastered it.
  • If you are using someone else’s spreadsheet, it is a good idea to know how they work in case anything goes wrong.
  • After writing many blogs on visual and raw data DNA phasing, it is nice to see everything come together using the MacNeill Spreadsheets and Charts.

Cathy’s DNA From the Newfoundland Dicks Family

The DNA results for Cathy just came in. She fits in on the Dicks/Burton Line here:


Cathy’s closest relative in the Dicks DNA Project is Denise (2nd cousin once removed). Here is how she matches everyone in the Project:


The first thing I noticed is that Cathy doesn’t match anyone in the Henry Dicks Line. They are in the rectangle to the lower right of the comparison. The Henry Dicks is believed to be a brother to Christopher Dicks b. 1784. As expected, Cathy’s largest match is with Denise.

Cathy and Esther at AncestryDNA

Cathy got my attention as she is mentioned in 2 New Ancestor Discoveries (NADs) at AncestryDNA. Esther is my wife’s 1/2 great Aunt. Esther and Cathy share many surnames including Dicks, Burton, Kirby and possibly Butler. When Ancestry sees that many people match by DNA and match by genealogy they give what is called a NAD. Actually, the others match each other by DNA, but they are not in Esther’s genealogy. That is why the note for Esther’s NADs says these are potential ancestors or relatives not already in Esther’s family tree:


Here are the areas where Cathy and Esther match:


The names above would be on Esther’s maternal side where she doesn’t match Joan. I checked gedmatch and Esther does not match Cathy and Joan in these three above segments. That means that it possible that these segments could represent the Kirby or Butler names as suggested by AncestryDNA.

Cathy and Triangulation

Now I will see who Cathy triangulated with in the Dicks Project. Triangulation is a more rigorous method than AncestryDNA uses. Triangulation means that 3 people match each other on the same Chromosome and the same segment of that chromosome. When this happens, those three (or more) have a common ancestor. This is helpful in verifying genealogy and finding new ancestors.

Cathy’s Triangulation Group (TG) at chromosome 2

There is already a Dicks TG at Chromosome 2 with Denise, Sandra, Joan and Nelson. Now Cathy has joined it.


All the people in the column to the right above should be in this TG.


I mention Molly and Kirsten as it is interesting that they are not in the TG. They are shown in purple circles.  It looks like they could have at least matched Cathy and Denise but did not. That means that they their match at this spot represents a different common ancestor than the others in the TG. One possibility is that The TG represents Christopher Dicks in the top circle and the match Molly and Kirsten have represents the wife (or it could be the other way around). Another possibility is that Molly and Kirsten have a separate common ancestor from the Dicks.

Cathy in a new TG (chromosome 5)

Sort of. This should have been a TG before.


Here we have a TG with Cathy, Nelson, Judy, and Wallace. The reason I didn’t have this TG before is because I found no match between Judy and Nelson. Now with Cathy in the mix, I see that Judy and Nelson should be in the TG. So I looked for a smaller match (between 5 and 7 cM) between Judy and Nelson and see that there was one right where we needed it for the TG.


It seems we know quite a bit about the DNA of Christopher Dicks and his wife Margaret. Here is the updated Dicks TG Matrix. This represents 20 DNA tested Dicks descendants and 33 TGs.


Two New Christopher Dicks Descendants DNA Results

I recently came across two new Dicks descendants’ DNA results. One is for Cheryl and the other is Charles. They are both from the Christopher Dicks Line of Newfoundland, born 1784. The group is getting big, so here is part of the Christopher Line:


Cheryl is important for the Adams line as now there are three there. Charles is important for the Burton Line as he also makes the third in that line. Plus he is the closest to the common ancestors of the line of Frances Dicks and Charles Burton.

Cheryl and Charles’ Newfoundland DNA

When I compare Cheryl to Nelson at gedmatch, it says that their common ancestor is 3.5 generations away. That is exactly what we should expect for these two as they are 2nd cousins, once removed. Here are Cheryl and Charles compared to the other 19 Dicks descendants’ DNA:


I found it interesting that Cheryl and Esther were more closely related by DNA than Cheryl and Nelson. Remember Cheryl and Nelson were 2nd cousins once removed. However, Cheryl and Esther are 3rd cousins once removed. My guess is that Esther and Cheryl have some additional common ancestors.

The Dicks DNA Details: Triangulation Groups

Triangulation Groups (or TGs) are when 3 or more people have DNA that matches each other on the same chromosome and the same segment of that chromosome. When that happens, those 3 share a common ancestor. However, it may be difficult to determine who that common ancestor is. In a family project such as this, it is most likely that that common ancestor would be a Dicks ancestor or a spouse of a Dicks ancestor.

What I do is compare the detailed results of each of the 21 Dicks descendants in the project to look for TGs. Then it should be possible to draw some conclusions from those results.

Chromosome 1: One TG Or Two?

Here we have our 2 new Project people: Cheryl and Charles:


This is a new TG and it gets a little complicated right from the start. This is a four person TG, so there are different overlaps. If we look at this as 2 TGs, the first would go from 70M to 83M and the second TG would go from 83M to 106M. Here is how it looks from Cheryl’s point of view:


#1 is Cheryl’s match to Esther. #2 is Joan showing where she comes into the TG later (in green). #3 is Charles. #4 is Wallace, #5 is Claude and #8 is Nelson – all outside the TG(s). I am tempted to call this one TG. One reason is that Joan and Charles match from 70M to 84M, going a little over the first 83M boundary of the TG. Also the same people are in both sections. It may be that Cheryl just had a poor DNA read in the section between her green and yellow sections of her matches.

Another possibility could be that this could represent 2 Dicks Lines. Recall we have a Henry Dicks Line and a Christopher Dicks line.

Here is what the new TG1 looks like on the Dicks Genealogy Chart:



  • Sandra and Nelson match in this area, so their match is likely on the Mercer or Adams Line.
  • This is a non-Molly TG. She is in two other Dicks Lines. She matches Wallace in the area of this TG, so perhaps that match is on the Joyce Line.
  • Claude is thought to be in the Henry Dicks Line, but we are not sure.

TG9A Revised

I had already found a TG at Chromosome 9. Now Cheryl is added to that.


This will look a lot like TG1 except that Kirsten is replacing Charles:


TG10 – Adams Or Dicks DNA?


Here is my guess for TG10, although technically, this TG could be pointing to either Elizabeth Dicks or Thomas Adams DNA:


TG13 – A Two Way Split


I split this existing TG13 into TG13A with Cheryl and TG13B with Judy. Kenneth and Gordon from the Henry Line are in both TGs.


Here I have Gordon and Kenneth in red. Cheryl is in TG13A and Judy in yellow (TG13B). Again, this chart is focused on the Dicks family. There is a possibility that there could be another family in common between these lines that I don’t know about.

Chromosome 15 – A Lot Going On


Here I see 2 TGs and some people that are not in the 2 TGs. First is Charles, Joan and Esther in gold. Then there is Nelson, Gordon, Charles, Kenneth and Judy in the pink TG. Howie, Molly and Pauline would be in a TG, but siblings are generally not considered as part of a TG trio. That is because they had to get all of their DNA from their parents, so it would be like 2 people if you consider Molly and Howie as their parent and Pauline as the other person.

Here are a few comments:

  • Pauline, Molly and Howie are likely matching DNA on their Joyce side
  • If the match with Gordon and Kenneth is a Dicks match, why don’t Charles, Esther and Joan also match them? Does that mean that the Charles, Esther, Joan TG is a non-Dicks TG?
  • I previously had TG15 split in two. It appears I can get it down to one TG with a common location between 51 and 62M on the Chromosome.
  • I had noted before that Gordon seems more closely related to the Christopher Dicks line than the Henry Dicks Line. He is also in TGs with the Christopher Dicks Line. Both his line and Esther and Joan’s line have a Christopher b. 1812 or 1813. Both Christopher ancestors are married to an Elizabeth. Gordon’s line identifies her as a Collier. Could it be that the lines are the same? Something to think about.


Note that Charles is in two different TGs. The blue circles represent the non-TG with Molly, Howie and Pauline who have a Joyce ancestor.

New TG17


The common area in this TG is between 30M and 37M. As this is likely a Dicks TG. Esther and Joan’s match likely represent the non-Dicks Upshall ancestry. This is important to know when checking matches in this area of the Chromosome.

Chromosome 18 – Two New Cheryl TGs


Here is what Cheryl’s browser looks like:


  • #1 Molly
  • #2 and #3: Sandra and Nelson (probably an Adams TG)
  • #5 and #6: Judy and Wallace

New Chromosome 20 TG


Again, I am thinking that Charles may be related on the Upshall Line of Esther. Another possibility is the Burton line. Esther and Charles both have Burtons in their ancestry.

Updated Dicks Triangulation Matrix

I have made quite a few changes to the Dicks Triangulation Matrix:


  • Gordon is in 5 TGs with the Christopher Dicks Line and in none with the Henry Dicks Line
  • Cheryl is in 7 TGs including 2 that appear to be non-Dicks TGs
  • Project members are in an average of 6 TGs each

Summary and Conclusions

  • Cheryl and Charles have added important DNA results to the Dicks family puzzle.
  • It looks from the DNA, common ancestral names and birth dates that Gordon could be more likely in the Christopher Line rather than the Henry Dicks Line. Someone who knows the genealogy better may be able to confirm this theory or refute it.
  • On the other hand, Charles is in TGs 4 out of 5 times with Kenneth. Is that significant?
  • It appears that Charles could have more of a connection to Esther and Joan than just the Dicks family. Both Esther and Charles have Burton ancestors. A connection with Esther and Joan’s Upshall line is an additional possibility.
  • It is possible to draw conclusions for matches that are in areas of a TG but are not in the TG. That means that those matches outside the TGs do not have the same common ancestors as those within the TG.

More Dicks DNA – Marilyn’s Brother

I just finished 2 Blogs on the Henry Dicks Line which is a parallel line to my wife’s Christopher Dicks Line. Then I heard that Marilyn had her brother tested. Marilyn is on 2 different Christopher Dicks Lines.

Henry Dicks Line Updates

In other news, I found out that Eric’s dad, Claude, has been tested for DNA. What is more it is Claude that Eric believes to be likely related on the Henry Dicks Line. The confusing part was that Eric was in a Triangulation Group with my mother in law Joan and Joan’s half Aunt Eshter. So isn’t that confusing. That means that for now (as I understand it) Eric’s TG with my wife’s side of the family may not refer back to a Dicks ancestor. I’ll take Eric off the TG Matrix for now and put his father into the Dicks family comparisons. The good news is that there are a lot of Dicks descendants around. The bad news is that is is difficult to keep track of all of them.

I also got this note recently from Crystal from the Henry Dicks Line:

In looking at Ivy’s ancestors, We also share another ancestor. We are both related to The Vatchers as well as the Matthews and the Dicks. Burgeo is so small that you bound to be related in 2 or 3 different ways going way back!

In addition, Crystal tells me she has extra Dicks DNA on her dad’s side as shown here on this Henry Dicks Chart. Her mom’s side of the Dicks line leads up to the first pink rectangle. I have Crystal in a slightly different green to make sure I don’t forget she is in two Dicks Lines.


Back to the Christopher Dicks Line and Marilyn’s Brother

Here is an updated Christopher Line Chart. All I did was add Marilyn’s brother Howie to an old chart I had:


The chart is getting tiny. So I will point out that Marilyn and her brother are on the Joyce and Cran Lines. The Joyce Line is the large Line to the right of center and the Cran Line is on the right. That reminds me of something I brought up in an email. My wife’s 1/2 great Aunt Esther has 2 Dicks Lines also. One is through Christopher. The other one she doesn’t share with Joan due to the 1/2 part. However, I noted that Esther is in 3 TGs that she does not share with Joan. In those 3, she shares all 3 of them with people from the Adams Line. The Adams line is the one on the left.


These are the non-Joan, Esther TGs. They all have Nelson in them and two of them have Sandra. I just need to check to see if Esther’s other Dicks ancestor might fit in. “Hi Sandra, any room for Esther’s ancestor?”

However, when I look at Esther’s tree, this is what I see:


Assuming that this tree is right, there is no room for Jane Ann Dicks in Sandra’s tree. That is because Jane Ann was b. 1841 and Sandra descends from Elizabeth Dicks b. 1809 who married Thomas Adams. Sandra would have descended from a male Dicks. I will leave this as a mystery for now. Perhaps the 3 TGs above between Esther and Nelson are non-Dicks TGs.

Marilyn’s Brother and Claude

Now I will compare all those who have Dicks ancestors. I will look especially at Marilyn’s brother and Claude (Eric’s) dad who may have Dicks ancestors. This resulted in 754 lines of matches. However, each match is listed twice, so there are only 377 matches. A lot of these matches are between close relatives. There would be a lot more matches if I had included Eric and Larry in the mix.

Chromosome 2

Here we have a complicated stretch of DNA:


This may take a bit of explaining. Previously, I had this as two TGs:

  • TG2D (180-192) with Sandra, Nelson, Denise and Joan
  • TG2E (201-209) with Sandra, Nelson and Marilyn

I see now that Denise should have been in the TG2E. Now we can add Howie to TG2E also. There is another way to look at this TG. That would be that it is a larger TG and that Joan’s DNA didn’t extend to the higher end of it and Marilyn and Howie’s DNA didn’t extend to the first part of it. A few other things:

  • Kenneth and Judy are not in this TG. As they both descend from a Miller line, that would be a likely source of their DNA match.
  • Kirsten also does not appear to be in the TG. I’m not sure how to explain the matches between Kirsten and Marilyn and Kirsten and Howie. The simplest explanation would be that Marilyn and Howie are in the TG through their father’s side and match Kirsten on their mother’s side. However, I don’t know enough about everyone’s genealogy to know if that is feasible.

Here is the larger TG drawn out:


This was a little tricky to draw. What this is supposed to represent is that Sandra, Nelson and Denise are in the larger TG. Joan (in yellow) is in the first part of it and Marilyn and Howie are in the second part or it. I guessed that Marilyn and Howie might be in the box on the right as none of the other four Joyce line descendants are in this TG.


I can give a likely reason Joan dropped out of this TG and Marilyn and Howie dropped in. It has to do with crossovers. Let’s look at Joan first. Joan has 2 copies of her Chromosome 2 as we all do. One is maternal and one is paternal. Joan’s Dicks DNA comes from her maternal side. Joan’s maternal DNA is made up of her mother’s two parents DNA joined together (recombined). Those 2 parents were Joan’s grandfather Frederick Upshall and grandmother Daly. Joan’s maternal Chromosome 2 is alternating between Upshall (whose mother was a Dicks) and Daly.

Here is a map of my actual Chromosome 2 showing the alternating pattern:


This chart was created by M MacNeill []. It is possible to map this out if you have 2 parents tested, or if you have one tested and 2 or 3 siblings tested. There is even a way to map your grandparents with siblings and no parent tested. In the case above. Light blue represents my maternal grandmother and dark blue is my maternal grandfather. The light red is my paternal grandmother and the dark red is my paternal grandfather. Everyone’s DNA follows the same type of pattern. The actual configurations where the changes are will be different. The place where a color goes from one to another is called a crossover. Sometimes there is no crossover or recombination and you will have all your DNA on a particular copy (maternal or paternal) of a chromosome from one grandparent instead of two.

Back to the TG at Chromosome 2:


Notice what Joan’s matches with Sandra, Denise and Nelson have in common: they all end around 192M. That should be the place where Joan’s DNA switches from her grandpa Upshall to grandma Daly.

Here is Joan’s Chromosome 2:


This shows her matches with:

  1. Esther
  2. Nelson
  3. Sandra
  4. Denise

To the right of the one blue bar on top of the 2 green bars is where Joan drops out of this Dicks TG. I can almost map Joan’s Maternal grandparents from this gedmatch chromosome broswer. Here is my guess:


A few notes:

  • Joan’s Daly grandmother is not from Newfoundland
  • Another possibility could be that the Upshall segment could extend to Joan’s matches with #2, 3, and 4, eliminating the first Daly segment I have.

Another interesting question is: Why doesn’t Esther match Joan where Joan matches Nelson, Sandra, and Denise? The answer would be that Esther has Upshall DNA in this area rather than Dicks and Joan got Dicks DNA in this area. It’s a bit confusing as you have to picture what is happening on each side of the match between Esther and Joan.

Marilyn and Howie’s appearance in TG2

I’d like to bring up an interesting point about siblings. Siblings represent the only relationship where you will find appreciable FIRs. FIRs are Fully Identical regions. Here is Marilyn’s match with her brother Howie on Chromosome 2:


This shows that Marilyn and Howie match each other along the blue line. That is from 0 to 147M. Then they don’t match from 147M to 182M. Then they match again to the end of the Chromosome 2. Above the blue bar are green and yellow areas. The yellow is how we match everyone other than siblings. The green is the FIR. That means a double match. As siblings, Marilyn and Howie share all their 4 grandparents: 2 Paternal and 2 Maternal grandparents. Looking at Marilyn and Howie’s Chromosome 2, I can know what the green, yellow and red regions mean:

  • Green – Marilyn and Howie both share a maternal grandparent and a paternal one. We just can’t tell which one right now.
  • Yellow – Marilyn and Howie both share a maternal grandparent or a paternal grandparent. Again we can’t tell which one right now.
  • Red – Marilyn and Howie share the DNA of neither their maternal nor paternal grandparent.

Here is the 2nd part of the TG at Chromosome 2:


The appearance of Marilyn and Howie in this TG is clear: 201M. I just found out recently that there is a way to expand matches to great detail as shown in the Gedmatch Chromosome Broswer. Here is Marilyn and Howie expanded at around 201M:


This is difficult to see. The number in the middle is 200M. That is one tick mark away from 201 where Marilyn and Howie enter the TG. Another interesting thing is that Marilyn (Molly) above gets out of the TG at 208 and Howie gets out between 212 and 218.  What does all this mean?

  • Based on the expanded view, Marilyn and Howie are FIR from a little after 195M. They jump into the TG at 201. FIR means that Marilyn and Howie share the same 2 grandparents – one maternal and one paternal. However, without the comparison of another sibling, this is difficult to see. I am assuming that from 195 to 201M, Marilyn and Howie share the same 2 grandparents, but not necessarily the same two as after 201M. At 201M, Marilyn and Howie both get their DNA from their paternal grandmother Sarah Priscilla. Sarah is the one with Dicks DNA.
  • At 208M, Marilyn drops out of the TG before Howie.

Here is an expanded view of an already expanded view of Marilyn and Howie at 208M:


Every little tick mark [^] is 1M. So 2 ^’s before 210M is 208M. That is where Marilyn and Howie go from FIR to HIR. An HIR is a Half Identical Region. That means that Marilyn and Howie match one grandparent (on the maternal or paternal side) and they don’t match the other grandparent (on the opposite of the maternal or paternal side where they do match). This is easier to show by mapping it out:


It is clear that from 201 to 208, that Marilyn and Howie are in a TG. They are also FIR. That means that they have 2 grandparents the same (one paternal and one maternal, here represented by blue and yellow). The TG identifies the paternal grandparent as Sarah. She is the one that descends from the Dicks family. We don’t know which Maternal grandparent that Marilyn and Howie got their DNA from. We just know that it is the same grandparent.

At 208M, two things happen. Marilyn exits the TG and is now in an HIR with her brother Howie. HIR means that Marilyn gets her DNA from one grandparent (on the maternal or paternal side). On the other side from where she gets her DNA, she doesn’t get her DNA from the other. In this case, that means that she continues to match the same maternal grandparent and switches the paternal grandparent that she gets her DNA from from Sarah to Jesse.

All this is to say that it is helpful to have a sibling or more tested.

Chromosome 12

Like the TG at Chromosome 2, the TG that Howie is in at Chromosome 12 is not new. It has been described previously. Here is what it looks like in a spreadsheet:


The difference is that there is a Joyce Line TG within an apparent Dicks TG (in gold). Also within the gold TG there are single matches of people from the Henry Dicks Line. That could mean a few things:

  • The green matches are in non-Dicks lines
  • The green matches are with Dicks lines. If that is true, that would mean that the gold TG must point back to the wife of Christopher Dicks who I have as Margaret b. 1789.

In TG2, I had missed Denise in part of the TG. Previously I had missed Pauline in this one. Part of the reason I may have missed Denise in TG2 is that her match with Marilyn was less than 7 cM so didn’t show up at Gedmatch at threshold levels. In this case Marilyn doesn’t match Pauline, because she drops out of the TG right around the spot where Pauline joins in the TG (127M).

Here is Joan compared with Esther, Howie, Marilyn and Pauline:


In the above browser image, Joan’s maternal grandparent mapping would likely go Upshall, Daly, Upshall. One can see where Howie and Marilyn jump into the TG in the 2 yellow bars. You can also see how Marilyn (#3) jumps out of the TG on the right and Pauline (#4) jumps in (green bar).

For comparison, I will show the same matches from Esther’s point of view:


Esther’s view has to be exactly the same for #1 as they are comparing the same 2 people (Joan and Esther). Esther’s view gives a crisper indication of Marilyn’s crossover.

Chromosome 12 is shorter than Chromosome 2, so it should be simpler. Here are Marilyn and Howie compared at Chromosome 12:


Marilyn and Howie have 3 HIR’s, one FIR and one area where they don’t match either of their grandparents. In that area where they don’t match, if Marilyn got her DNA from her her maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather, for example, it would mean that Howie would have to get his DNA from his maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.

We have more detail on the positions from the TG:


Howie and Molly jump into the TG at 114M. Molly jumps out at 126M and Howie jumps out at 132M. Actually, he had to as that is the end of the Chromosome!

Looking at Marilyn and Howie’s expanded view of Chromosome 12, their FIR starts at 101M. That switches to an HIR at about 126.5M. That corresponds where Marilyn gets out of the TG. It also corresponds where the green goes to yellow in the Gedmatch Chromosome browser in the image above.


This looks similar to the Chromosome 2 map of Marilyn and Howie. This time I was a bit more brave due to my experience with Chromosome 2 and mapped their DNA to the beginning of their HIR rather than just to the beginning of where they jumped into the TG (113M). The reason for this is for there to be a change at 113M would require a double crossover for these two which is unlikely. Another note is that the yellow grandparent in this example may not be the same as the yellow one in Chromosome 2. It is just meant to represent one of the maternal grandparents in each case.

One More Question On Crossovers

I’m learning this as I go along. I had determined a crossover above at 126.5M above where one sibling left the TG and the other stayed in. However, I did not have a crossover at 114M where both siblings entered the TG. Why is that? I had a crossover at 126.5 because the chromosome browser verified that the siblings were switching from a FIR to an HIR at 126.5. To me, this verified the crossover in conjunction with the change in TG at the same location. At 114M, there was no change:


Above is the close-up view of Marilyn’s match to Howie on Chromosome 12 between positions 110 and 120M. The whole area on either side of 114M is FIR. That likely indicates no crossover at Marilyn’s and Howie’s grandparent level. However, it was Marilyn’s great grandmother Bertha Joyce that had her grandparents’ Dicks and Joyce DNA recombining into a crossover. It is likely that this TG represents the DNA that Bertha Joyce received from her grandparents probably sometime around the American Civil War. I note that the TG that I looked at above at Chromosome 2 followed the same pattern. The crossover was where one sibling left the TG and the other remained. Where the two siblings started in the TG, there was no change in the FIR region to an HIR.

So the answer is that there was a crossover at some point at position 114M, but quite a while before the time period that we are looking at here. So it is hidden in my map above.

Dicks TG Matrix Update


  • Here I took out Eric as his father Claude (who is believed to be the one descended from the Dicks family) was not found to be in a TG. Eric was in a TG with Joan and Esther, but that must have been on his maternal (non-Dicks) side.
  • I didn’t add 2 extra columns for Howie, but put him in the appropriate boxes where the existing TGs for his sister Marilyn were.
  • I added Denise to TG2E and Pauline to TG12B. That was an important addition for Marilyn and Howie as it seem to indicate that their Dicks DNA comes from the Joyce rather than the Cran Line in this case. Recall that in TG2E, I was suggesting that this might represent the Cran line for Marilyn and Howie.

The All-Dicks Comparison


The top left box are the Christopher Line descendants. The bottom right box is the Henry Dicks Line descendants. This now includes Claude and Howie. For an interesting comparison, run down the two columns of Molly and Howie and see how the total cMs of their matches differ.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I didn’t add any new TGs by the addition of Marilyn’s brother Howie and Eric’s father Claude.
  • Marilyn and Howie are the first known Dicks descendant siblings to have their DNA tested. So I took advantage of that to explain how crossovers work and how they are important in mapping DNA.
  • The combination of the sibling comparisons and TGs made it possible to partially map two of Marilyn’s and Howie’s paternal grandparents on portions of Chromosomes 2 and 12.
  • I also showed a likely scenario for Joan’s crossover point within a TG which would lead to mapping segments that she received from her maternal grandparents
  • I clarified a few issues and refined the Dicks Triangulation Group Matrix



A Bad AncestryDNA Hint Analyzed

In a previous Blog, I looked at what I called a false AncestryDNA hint. What I meant by that was that the DNA match itself was false. Because I did not match the other person’s mother’s or father’s DNA results, I could not match the person. There was much discussion on Facebook as to whether the AncestryDNA Shared Ancestor Hint (SAH) was good, bad, false, unconfirmed, etc. However, whatever the hint should have been called, there was no sense in following up on a DNA match that was false.

In this Blog I want to look at a SAH that is not false, but only bad. I don’t have a generic definition for what a bad SAH is, but in this case it is an AncestryDNA member match that lead to an ancestry tree hint on my father’s father’s side. In this blog, I will show that the actual DNA match as shown at Gedmatch was on my father’s mother’s side.

What AncestryDNA Shows

Here is the shared DNA of my member match Carol:


Ancestry has their little DNA symbol and even gives the amount of DNA we share across 1 segment. This DNA matching information is on the very same page with this heading:


Somehow this leads me to believe that the DNA match is leading me to an Ancestry Tree hint right below my DNA member match information:


Incredible. AncestryDNA has found a hint of two shared 7th great grandparents nine generations away from my match and me. Except that it is incredibly wrong based on the DNA match. How do I know?

My Ancestry Match at Gedmatch

Fortunately, my match, Carol,  was wise enough to upload her results to gedmatch. Here is our match at gedmatch:


This looks like a decent match. Now I know where we match. I can check on my Visual Phasing map of Chromosome 11. Thanks to Kathy Johnston for the method.


The middle bar is me (J). The paternal half is shown as blue and purple. Oh no, it shows that the area that I match Carol (24-36M) is a Frazer segment for me. This is my father’s mother’s side, not my father’s father’s side that had ancestors going back to colonial Massachusetts (John Davis and Hannah Lombard). All my Frazer ancestors were in Ireland before the 1880’s or so. I must have made a mistake. I’m just sitting here at a 10 year old computer that is about to die and Ancestry with it’s billions of dollars of resources is giving me a hint that they think is right. Ancestry really makes me doubt my work. So I check other Hartley reference matches. I add my brother to the visual phasing. No, it looks like I had it right after all. This is definitely an Irish Frazer match.

Shared Matches?

Perhaps if AncestryDNA had given me some shared matches, it would have tipped me off that this is the wrong DNA. However, at this level of match, apparently they don’t do this.


But that’s OK. I have Gedmatch which will give me shared matches. Gedmatch will even show how the shared matches match Carol on Chromsome 11 on a Chromosome Browser:


#1 and #2 are matches to Carol that I don’t know. #3 is me and #4 is my sister Sharon. It even looks like these matches to Carol could triangulate. However, Ancestry has told us that triangulation has about a one percent chance or less of happening at this level of relationship. That is why they use circles. Should I go against the advice of the mighty Ancestry? Below is Ancesty’s probability that 3 people will match at the same segment (triangulation).


I’ve gone this far, so let’s see what happens. Perhaps I will have beat the Ancestry odds of my finding a Triangulation Group (TG). At Gedmatch, I used the Multiple Kit Analysis for Carol and her first 3 matches as shown above and downloaded the segments for Chromosome 11:


I didn’t bother adding my sister Sharon to the mix. It looks like Cheri and Hazel are closely related, but that’s OK. I see that:

  • Hazel matchs Cheri
  • Carol matches Cheri
  • Carol matches Hazel
  • Carol matches Joel
  • Joel matches Cheri
  • Joel matches Hazel

That meets the definition of a Triangulation Group.

So far with Carol I have:

  • Checked her against my paternally phased kit to make sure she matched me on my paternal side.
  • Checked her results against my visual phasing map and mapped her to the appropriate grandparent
  • Shown that she was in a TG

To me, this confirms that my match with Carol is a real match on my father’s mother’s Frazer side and not my Hartley side.

Can Ancestry Redeem Itself?

After giving me a ‘bad’ hint, no chromosome browser, and telling me that resistance as well as triangulating is futile, can Ancestry redeem itself? Now that I know my match with Carol is not in Colonial Massachusetts, but Ireland, I can go back and check Carol’s Map and Locations button at AncestryDNA. Hmmm…. where should I look? Perhaps Ireland?


Oh look. Carol has ancestors in Enniskillen, not too far from my blue ancestors. In fact, some of my other DNA relatives along the Frazer line have shown Enniskillen as a home base.

Summary and Conclusion

  • Ancestry gave me a ‘bad’ hint in that the DNA they used to point me to Colonial Massachusetts should have pointed me to Ireland
  • By implying that their DNA match leads to a specific tree, they also imply where the DNA came from. In this case the implication was the DNA match inferred my Hartley ancestors. In fact, I have shown that the DNA points to my Frazer grandmother whose parents were both born in Ireland.
  • Ancestry Shared Ancestor Hints take the easy way out. They point to places with good records and trees that are relatively easily created rather than to the places with more difficult ancestry such as Ireland. That is not helpful in furthering my research.
  • The Colonial Massachusetts match between Carol and myself may be correct. However, there is no sense trying to confirm or denying our shared Colonial Massachusetts ancestry with a DNA match that leads to late 1800’s Ireland.
  • I seriously doubt Ancestry’s probability of finding triangulation at the 4th cousin level between three people as being 1% or less. The 2 surname groups that I have worked on have large matrices of TGs for each surname.
  • Ancestry Hints are not useless without Gedmatch. However, they can be misleading.
  • It looks that close to 90% of my SAH’s are in the Distant Cousin range. Be very wary of these Distant Cousin matches that have not been verified by Gedmatch.





The DNA of Henry Dicks of Newfoundland b. 1774: Part 2

In my last blog, I gave some updated information on the DNA matches of descendants of Henry Dicks of Newfoundland. As I was writing the blog, new DNA was being uploaded to Perhaps the most important results for the Henry Dicks group were tokenized between the last Blog and this one. Those were the DNA results of Gordon. Here is why his results are so important:


You might say that Gordon is higher up on the ladder than the other Henry Dicks descendant DNA testers. That makes all his relationships to other Dicks ancestors closer by a generation or more.

Step 1: All Gordon’s Matches

The first thing I do when I look at new results is run a ‘one to many’ at Gedmatch. That shows all the matches Gordon has.


Out of Gordon’s top 13 matches, 6 are already in our group. Larry is his son. Kenneth, Nelson, and Judy were mentioned in the previous blog. Esther is my wife’s great aunt. Esther and Nelson are one rung up the ladder from Gordon – closer to a common ancestors.

Step 2: All Gordon’s Dicks Descendant Matches

The next utility I use at Gedmatch is called the Multiple Kit Analysis. Here I’ll look at 18 Dicks descendants at once and compare them to each other:


The first 6 testers are from the Henry Dicks Line. The 2nd 12 are from the Christopher Dicks Line. The numbers are in cM and represent the closeness of their DNA matches. I don’t have the names going across the top, but the order is the same as going down. The first grey box in the top right is grey because it represents Gordon’s match with himself. The next box shows that Gordon and Ivy match each other at a level of 14.2 cM.

Now, how to interpret this?

  • Shannon has poor matches overall, so we will look at her Uncle Dennis’ results instead
  • Gordon and Eric seem to have larger matches with the Christopher Dicks Line as compared to the Henry Dicks line. There may be more than one explanation for this.
  • Ivy, Dennis and Crystal have higher matches with Henry Dicks descendants than they do with Christopher Dicks descendants.
  • Dennis and Crystal share a common ancestor of Henry Harold Dicks b. 1811. That explains their larger match.
  • Crystal and Ivy share Dicks and Matthews ancestors. That would explain their larger match.

Step 3: Dicks Triangulation

Triangulation Groups or TGs have been called the gold standard of genetic genealogy. In this step I download all the specific matches from the last chart. The specifics are what Chromosome the matches are on and what location on the chromosome that the matches are on. These go into a spreadsheet of 608 lines. This represents 304 shared Dicks descendants’ DNA. Not all the DNA is from Dicks. The closer the relationship that is looked at between the 2 people, the more likely the match is not representing Dicks DNA.

Chromosome 6 TG

The first TG that Gordon is in is fairly straightforward.


The gold area is the area of the TG. There are 3 other matches that could be in the TG but aren’t. They don’t even match with people within the TG. For that reason, my assumption is that they match on the non-Dicks side of the realtionship. For Wallace and Judy that would be their Lewis ancestors. Likewise the Mercer ancestors are likely represent on Chromsome 6 for Nelson and Sandra. For Joan and Esther, the large segment they share is likely Upshall DNA. So the TG helps not only those that are in the TG, but those that could be but aren’t.

Here is the Dicks TG on Chromosome 6 displayed on the genealogy chart:


So the fact that Gordon is in TGs with those in another line of the Dicks family doesn’t mean that Gordon is not in the Henry Dicks Line. It just means that there are more outside his line to match and the relationships outside the Henry line are as close as those within. For example, the relationships here are 5th cousins. The relationship Gordon has with the person to his lower right in the Henry line is 4th cousin twice removed. That is equivalent to a 5th cousin.

Chromosome 15 TG

This is the one I mentioned I would address later in my previous Blog. Now is later. This one is a little more complicated, so I took out the double match entries to simplify it:


This is a 4 person TG, so there are more matches. However, within the TG are 2 non-TG matches. These are likely for the Upshall and Joyce Lines. I wasn’t going to draw out the genealogy chart TGs, but doing so illustrates a few points:


Here the patriarch, assumed to be Christopher Dicks, is at the top of the orange TG. The first point I wanted to make is that Gordon is a 4th cousin once removed to Nelson. That is a closer relationship than he has with those currently in his own Henry Dicks Line. The second point I tried to make showing the blue TG. The blue TG is the existing TG which consists of those within the Christopher b. 1789 (son of Christopher) TG. There is even a 3rd point. Assume that Gordon does not descend from Christopher b. 1789 (and I have no evidence that he does). This diagram shows a pretty rock solid intertwined pair of TGs. The first TG identified Christopher b. 1789 and the second one identified that there is also a TG leading up to the patriarch Christopher. In other words, this is proof to me that Henry and Christopher Dicks are brothers. Finally, the above can be seen as one or two TGs. I would prefer to keep them separate as one identifies one ancestor and the other identifies older Christopher ancestor.

Chromosome 17 TG – Hold on to your seats

The ride may get a bit bumpy on this next TG. Here is Chromosome 17 from about 52M-78M:


Here, we have the TG found in the previous Blog with Dennis, Crystal and Wallace from about 52M-64M. Then after that is a new TG with Gordon, Nelson, and Esther from about 58M-72M. So that shows 2 TGs with different people in them, but the TGs overlap a bit. Then after that are two matches. One is between Forrest and Esther that would have to be outside the TG. The other is between Nelson and Sandra that would also be outside the TG.

These two TGs have has me a bit stumped. I have a few theories:

  1. This could be due to endogamy. Esther has Dicks on her father’s and mother’s side
  2. Could it be that one TG represents the patriarch Christopher’s DNA and the other represents his wife’s DNA? In that case we would be seeing a sort of mid 1700’s phasing?
  3. Another option is that these 2 TGs represent common ancestors from different lines.

I suppose it won’t hurt to draw these 2 out.


Given that the chart is geared toward the Dicks Line in general, it would tend to favor Theory #2. Does anyone else have any ideas?

A Note on Ivy and crystal

In a previous Blog on the Henry Line, I had identified a TG with Esther, Joan, and Crystal. Here is what it looks like in gold on the current spreadsheet:


Note that Crystal is conspicuously missing from this TG. Well, not that conspicuous as I didn’t notice at first. I was looking at Ivy/Crystal DNA matches, because at the top of the blog, I had noted they matched each other more than usual because they both shared not only the ancestor of Henry Dicks but also shared a common Matthews ancestor. Now we have a TG on Chromosome 5 between Esther, Joan and Crytal. We assume that TG represents Dicks DNA and a common ancestor of the patriarch Christopher Dicks. That means that between 73M and 111M Esther and Joan share Dicks DNA. Then why do Crystal and Ivy match each other and not match Esther and Joan from 77M to 85M? A likely explanation is that location is where they share Matthews DNA. This also means that at some point between 85M and 90M, Crystal has a crossover. This particular crossover is where the DNA she received crossed over from Matthews to Dicks or more specifically from John Matthews to  Fanny Dicks.


So we can identify very specifically from this TG, the exact ancestor that Crystal got her DNA from in these two segments of Chromosome 5. Usually we can just know it is one or the other ancestor. We have essentially phased Crystal’s 2nd great grandfather William Matthew’s DNA into a paternal and maternal side.

There are other likely implications from this TG

  • Wallace and Judy probably share Miller DNA in their Chromosome 5 segment above
  • Pauline and Kenneth likely share Joyce DNA in this area of Chromosome 5
  • Molly and Kenneth likely share Joyce DNA in this area of Chromosome 5

Now look at the last two bullets. If Kenneth shares Joyce DNA with Pauline and Molly, why do Pauline and Molly not share Joyce DNA with each other? The answer is that they do:


So while finding a non-Dicks match within a Dicks TG, I found a separate non-Dicks TG. These 2 TGs, like the Chromosome 17 TGs are overlapping TGs to some extent. However, unlike the Chromosome 17 TGs, I was able to explain these 2 overlapping TGs at Chromosome 5. Perhaps what I have learned at Chromosome 5, I will be able to apply to Chromosome 17. But not now.

My Dicks Family TG Summary Table

This is a sort of a fingerprint of the Dicks TGs to date.


A few notes:

  • I have the new (non-Dicks) Joyce TG I mentioned above as TG5A in a raspberry color
  • Here I split out TG 15A and 15B. 15A goes with Christopher Dicks b. 1789 and 15B goes with his father Christopher.
  • TG17A & B are the problem ones!
  • Gordon is in the most Henry Line TGs
  • The dark green TGs represent the common ancestor of the patriarch Christopher Dicks and his wife. The light green represent Christopher Dicks b. 1789, the son of the patriarch.
  • There is still no TG just within the Henry Dicks Line. A lot of that is due to there being no critical mass there yet. There needs to be a few more Henry Line testers for that to happen.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The addition of Gordon’s results have resulted in some more Dicks TGs
  • G17A and 17B were a problem as these were 2 overlapping TG – making it difficult to interpret the results
  • TG16A & B were interesting as they appear to show a definite link between the Henry and Christopher Lines and a link between the father Christopher and his two sons.
  • There appears to be no reason to question the genealogy chart as posted
  • I was able to find some non-Dicks DNA while looking at TGs. What other secrets are lurking out there deep within our DNA?
  • It has been interesting watching the Dicks DNA project expand.


The DNA of Henry Dicks of Newfoundland b. 1774

My past Blogs on the Dicks family of Newfoundland with one exception have focused on the Christopher Dicks descendants. I’ve written about the Christopher Dicks descendants because my wife is from that line. Here is a Henry Dicks Line working tree:


I haven’t put much thought into the tree. I just mushed together trees I found. Eric is unsure of how he is connected to this line, so he is off to the side until we find out more. I believe that P.M. is on Ancestry but not so will not be analyzed. The others in green with first names are on Gedmatch. I use to analyze the DNA.

  • One important thing to note is that this chart shows that Shannon, Crystal and Ivy are all 6th cousins to each other. As such, their chances for sharing much of the Henry Dicks (b. 1774) DNA is quite small.
  • G.D. aka Gordon has the best chances to match others. He is a 4th cousin once or twice removed to the other Henry Dicks Line testers.
  • Also note the ancestors in pink. There are 2 Frances Dicks. They both married a Matthews. This is possible, but also looks suspicious.

This chart is from FTDNA which indicates less than 2% chance of matching for 6th cousins:

FTDNA Chances of Finding a Match

The chances of a 4th cousin, once removed matching should be halfway between the > 10% and > 50% (>30%?).

Now All the Dicks DNA


Above I have the everyone comparison. Actually not everyone as I don’t have Shannon’s Uncle Dennis and Larry’s father Gordon yet.

Here’s what I see:

  • Ivy, Larry, Shannon, Crystal, and Eric in the purple rectangle are believed to be from the Henry Line from their research.
  • Everyone else is from the Christopher Dicks line.
  • My wife’s mom is Joan and her 1/2 great Aunt is Esther.
  • Christopher and Henry are believed to be brothers.
  • The DNA tested people within the Henry Line group don’t appear to match each other at significantly higher levels than those within the Christopher Dicks group. One exception to that rule appears to be Ivy and Crystal.
  • The DNA above seems to suggest that Ivy, Crystal and Eric are from the same line. On my earlier genealogy chart, Ivy and Crystal both show descent from Frances Dicks who married a Matthews. Perhaps this is one line instead of two. Perhaps Eric is also in that line.
  • To the right of the purple box shows where the Henry Line Dicks descendants match with Christopher Line Dicks descendants. This could mean that the groups match at the parents of Henry and Christopher. Alternatively, it could mean that 1) The two groups match because they descend from both lines or 2) The two groups could match on another non-Dicks line. Confusing, isn’t it?

To get to an answer to the questions in the last bullet requires a closer look at the Dicks DNA.

Dicks DNA and Triangulation

Triangulation is the case where at least three people have matching DNA. The DNA must be in the same area of the same Chromosome. Also Person 1 must match person 2, person 2 must match person 3 and person 1 must match person 3 in the same area. When that happens, we say that triangulated matching DNA segment represents a common ancestor or ancestral couple. This is helpful in sorting out which Dicks descendant goes in which Dicks Line. In a place like Newfoundland where intermarriage was not unusual, triangulation can be both helpful and/or confusing!

To triangulate, I downloaded everyone’s match to everyone else (with the exception of Larry and Gordon for now). Those DNA matches are put in a spreadsheet.


Here I have highlighted the Henry Dicks Line testers in green. The way this downloads from Gedmatch, every match shows up twice: once in the name1 column and once in the name2 column.

A Deeper Look Into Chromosome 13

I picked Chromosome 13, because it appears that a lot is going on here.


Here I have sorted by Chromosome and Start Position. Right now, let’s just look at Larry, Kenneth, and Judy. It appears that there is a Triangulation Group (TG) between these 3 people. Larry matches Kenneth and Judy and Judy matches Kenneth. That is all we need and it is all at location 107M or before on Chromosome 13. That means that Larry, Judy, and Kenneth must have a common set of ancestors. But who are they? A good candidate would be Christopher Dicks. This is the Christopher who is believed to be the father of Henry. This will be difficult to show as I need to go to the bigger Dicks Chart:


On the left, I circled Larry and his dad. On the right is Judy and her 2nd cousin once removed Kenneth. That means that Larry is a 6th cousin with Judy and a mere 5th cousin, once removed to Kenneth. Just to be sure, I’ll check Larry’s dad, Gordon, to see how he matches with Kenneth.


That is a good match. Gedmatch thinks that these 2 have a common ancestor close to 4 generations away. Their actual Dicks ancestor according to the Dicks genealogy chart is actually 6 generations away from each of them. Other explanations:

  • These 2 may have more than one set of common ancestors. That isn’t obvious from my chart, but my chart doesn’t show everything. It just focuses on the Dicks lines.
  • These 2 could have a set of common ancestors that is closer to 4 generations away that isn’t obvious right now.
  • These 2 may just share a lot of DNA down from the mid 1700′ from Christopher Dicks and his wife.

Speaking of Larry’s father Gordon, I wrote to Larry and told him that his DNA results – at least for this Blog – would become obsolete once his father’s results were in. The reason for this is that Larry got all his DNA from his Dad and his dad would have on average twice as much Dicks DNA as Larry. Larry was fine with that.

Now that I have this new TG, I need a place to put it. Fortunately, I have a chart of the Dicks TGs that I have discovered:


I have the Henry Line TGs in darker green – or rather the TGs in which there were Henry Line descendants . The Christopher Dicks Line only TGs are in lighter green. Non-Dicks TGs are in pink. Marilyn is in 2 different Dicks lines, so she is in grey as it is difficult to tell which line she is in from the DNA. The TG numbers and positions are in the first 2 column. As I look at Gordon’s new TG with Judy and Kenneth, I see the only other TG that Judy and Kenneth share is with Nelson. That TG is on Chromosome 15 from 51-65M. Let’s see if Gordon matches Nelson.


They do match on Chromosome 15, right in the area of an existing presumed Dicks TG. But that will be the subject for a future Blog on the Henry Dicks line.

Back to Chromosome 13

What about the other matches on Chromosome 13?


First is Ivy and Esther. I’m not sure about this match. Esther is my wife’s 1/2 great Aunt. That means that Esther’s father was my mother in law’s grandfather, but Esther was from a second wife after the first died in the Flu Epidemic.Esther also has Dicks ancestors from both her parents. One Dicks line has not been figured out yet.

The next match is Joan and Esther. There is no overlap between this match and the previous. If there was, we may be able to show that the matches were for 2 different lines. This could be an Upshall match.

Nelson and Sandra – these 2 are uncle and niece, so they will share a lot of non-Dicks DNA.

More on Shannon’s Uncle Dennis

While I was out doing an errand I see that Dennis’ DNA at Gedmatch has been tokenized. I’m not sure if that is a real word, but it is a good thing. That means I can use all the features at Gedmatch now for him. Here is the revised all Dicks Matrix with Dennis at third down from the top of the list:


Now this is interesting. Where Shannon had no DNA matches with other Henry Dicks Line testers, her Uncle Dennis does. He matches with Crytal and Eric. The larger match between Dennis and Crystal appears to confirm a common ancestor with Henry Harold Dicks b. 1811:

If the chart is right, these 2 would be 4th cousins, once removed.


Dennis’ First TG – chromosome 17

Here Dennis matches Wallace and Crystal. Then Crystal and Wallace match each other: a classic 3 person TG.



This is a bit of a far-flung TG with Dennis and Crystal on the left representing the Henry Line and Wallace on the right. Assuming Christopher Dicks as the common ancestor, the chart represents 5th cousins, once and twice removed.


This is the first Dicks TG for Chromosome 17. Also the first TG for Dennis and the first Henry Line TG with 2 Henry Line descendants.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The addition to the Dicks DNA project of Ivy, Shannon, Dennis, Larry and Gordon is making a big impact.
  • Those in TGs will need to check their genealogies to see if there are other possible common ancestors. If not, we can assume that we were right in assigning common ancestors to the Dicks line.
  • Comparing the DNA in some ways is the easy part. Then there is the interpretation of the DNA matches.
  • Next, I will look at Gordon’s DNA and also see if there are other implications that can be made from the DNA matches.





A False AncestryDNA Shared Ancestor Hint Analyzed

In this Blog, I would like to look at a Shared Ancestor Hint at AncestryDNA that appears to be a false DNA match. Deborah matches myself and my 3 siblings in the 6 cM range according to AncestryDNA using their own method which is supposed to take out false matches. Deborah’s match also results in a Shared Ancestor Hint (SAH) with myself and each of my 3 siblings:


This SAH looks fairly straightforward. It shows we have colonial Massachusetts ancestors that lived in Plymouth. Here is my phased paternal match with Deborah at Gedmatch:


These results were also consistent with the visual phasing I did between 2 of my siblings:


The above Chromosome 13 map shows that the match with Deborah was in my Hartley grandfather’s region to the right of each blue bar. The first bar shows Sharon’s DNA, the second shows mine and the third is my sister Heidi’s.

This was initially exciting. I now had a chance to identify specific DNA and assign that DNA to a specific set of colonial ancestors. I contacted Deborah and found out that both her parents were tested also and  those results were at Gedmatch. She affirmed that the match would be on her mother’s side (based on genealogy). I compared my kit with Deborah’s mother’s and got no match. That appeared to prove that the Ancestry Shared Ancestry Hint was incorrect. The DNA that Ancestry matched with Churchill and Burbank could not be right.

This lead me to believe that I matched on Deborah’s father’s side. I checked that match at DNA which came up a blank. I wrote back to Deborah to say that this looked like my first confirmed Identical By Chance match.

Just to make sure, I compared Deborah’s family and my family:


What this shows is that neither I nor any of my siblings match Deborah’s parents. That is shown by the blank pink areas in the upper right and the lower left portions of the chart. Again, that means our match is not real. Yet, Deborah shows up as having a Shared Ancestor Hint for me and my 3 siblings. What is also interesting is that my sister Sharon has a 21.6 cM false match with Deborah. However, when I compare Sharon and Deborah ‘One to One’ at Gedmatch, I get a more reasonable result:


I suppose Sharon and Deborah share smaller segments. I checked again with a 5 cM threshold and indeed Sharon and Deborah share 2 more segments between 5 and 7 cM.

Any False Triangulation?

One other way to check Deborah’s match with my family is to see if she triangulates. I compared Deborah and Sharon in the Utility at Gedmatch that shows others that match both Sharon and Deborah. Here is the results of those matches at Chromosome 13 as shown in a browser:


Deborah and Sharon’s match is the blue top right one. Here there is clearly no indication of triangulation with Sharon and Deborah.  I would expect many other matches lining up below the top right blue match bar if there was any triangulated matches. This is further indication of a false match.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Ancestry is wise in not supplying me with a Chromosome Browser as it would prove some of their Shared Ancestor Hints as false.
  • A corollary would be, if you don’t want to prove AnceteryDNA Shared Ancestor Hints wrong, don’t use Gedmatch to compare your results
  • As others have noted, it is not enough to match someone through your phased kit. You also have to match the other person’s phased kit (or one of their parents) to be a real match.
  • This analysis applies to a relatively small match. This Shared Ancestry Hint was also at or near the bottom of the AncestryDNA list.
  • Be wary of the smaller matches. Focus on the larger ones unless you have good analysis such as triangulation to verify a smaller match.