Using Three DNA Tools Synergistically

In this post, I would like to look at using three DNA tools in conjunction with each other. Those tools are AncestryDNA’s Shared Ancestor Hints (SAH’s), Visual DNA Mapping, and Triangulation. This will be a triangulation of DNA tools, so to speak.

The above diagram is meant to show Shared Ancestry Hints at the top. The lower left is the visual mapping and the lower right is a symbol for triangulation. In my last blog, I looked at an SAH and visual mapping example. This blog will bring in another tool: triangulation.

Shared Ancestry Hints (SAH’s)

SAH’s are probably the least reliable of the three DNA analysis tools, but they are like the front man or salesman. They are the first easy introduction to a possible shared ancestor based on a DNA match. They are also the least intelligent. Ancestry takes a tree and takes a DNA match and blindly puts them together. Here is my wife’s aunt Lorraine’s  SAH that I looked at in my previous Blog:

Fortunately, Ann uploaded her DNA to Gedmatch. Here is how the match looks between Ann and Lorraine:

This is a huge amount of DNA shared for the proposed 8th cousin relationship. This Charles Pouliot at the SAH was born in 1631.

Visual Mapping

This method, developed by Kathy Johnston, compares three siblings and draws a map showing the DNA that the three siblings received from their four grandparents. Here is the map I made in my previous Blog for my wife’s Aunt Lorraine and her two siblings:

After looking at the map for Lorraine and comparing it to the SAH, I determined that the Chromosome 4 DNA match between Ann and Lorraine could not be on the Pouliot side as hinted at by the SAH. Lorraine’s match with Ann was squarely in the largest maroon LeFevre segment between 33 and 40 above. As the goal of the previous Blog was to compare the SAH with visual mapping I did no further analysis. I could not prove that the match indicated LeFevre or LeFevre ancestor DNA. I also could not prove that it did not represent LeFevre or LeFevre ancestor DNA.

As the above analysis was limited by the goal of that Blog, I wanted to look further into the DNA match between Lorraine and Ann in this Blog.


Triangulation is the matching of three or more people with each other on the same segment of the same chromosome. This specific DNA matching suggests a common ancestor that sent his or her DNA down to the three or more matching people. Further the matching would in most cases rule out spurious, false or Identical by Chance (IBC) matches.

candidates for triangulation

The people that I am looking to triangulate are:

  • Ann and Lorraine
  • Lorraine’s siblings Richard and Virginia
  • Lorraine’s Pouliot second cousins. A Pouliot DNA match on Chromosome 4 has been ruled out by Visual Mapping, but there could be a match on the other 3 Chromosome matches.
  • Lorraine’s 1st maternal cousins. These two match on the LeFevre and Pouliot sides.

Of the three siblings, only Lorraine matched Ann on Chromosome 4. Ann did not match the two Pouliot 2nd cousins at standard Gedmatch thresholds. Ann also did not match one of Lorraine’s first cousins, but matched the other one – Joseph:

Here is a graphic of the testers. I forgot to mention John above. He also did not match Ann.

This graphic shows Pouliot at the top, but the mapping showed that the Chromosome 4 match came from the LeFevre side. Here is Martin LeFevre courtesy of cousin Patricia:

back to the triangulation

Lorraine matches Ann and Ann matches Lorraine’s 1st cousin Joseph between 32 and 40 on Chromosome 4. Do you think that Lorraine matches her first cousin at this location? The answer can be seen at Joseph’s matches on the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:

These are Joseph’s matches to:

  1. Lorraine
  2. Virginia
  3. Richard

Joseph and Lorraine have a large match between 13 and 65M. That means that Triangulation has been established between SAH Ann, Lorraine and Joseph.

What Have I Shown?

I have shown that:

  • The match between Ann and Lorraine on Chromosome 4 is real.
  • That match indicates that Ann, Lorraine and Joseph have a common ancestor

What I don’t know:

  • Right now I have not determined the common ancestor indicated by the Triangulation. AncestryDNA indicates a choice of 15 ancestors shared between Ann and Lorraine. One of those, the Pouliot ancestor shown on the SAH has been ruled out. That leaves 14 other French Canadian names to look at!
  • I don’t know which segments were considered in the AncestryDNA match as Ancestry does not choose to share that information. Gedmatch showed matches in 4 segments on 4 chromosomes. AncestryDNA only showed two matching segments.
Looking at Lorraine and Ann’s genealogy: Shared Ancestral Names and Shared Matches

Here are the shared ancestral names between Lorraine and Ann:

Further, Ann and Lorraine have shared AncestryDNA matches. Here are the shared ancestral names with one of those shared DNA matches that has a tree:

A good place to start looking would be at Bergeron, Bouchard, Fortin, Girard, and Paradis.

Here is another Shared Match with a smaller tree:

This seems to limit the look to Bouchard, Fortin and Girard. Just to make life interesting, all these names are also in the better documented Pouliot tree. Yes, that is the same Pouliot where the DNA between our matches did not come from.

Here is the Tree I have for LeFevre:

See, I have a few blanks. On this tree, it appears that Bergeron (shown twice) could be a good bet to pursue. Perhaps Lorraine got Bergeron DNA from Martin LeFevre’s paternal and maternal sides. Under that scenario, she could have shared one of those 4 segments with both Ann and Joseph on Chromosome 4.

some late breaking news

Since starting this Blog, I decided I needed to spruce up the French Canadian side of my wife’s Ancestry Tree. I’ve worked on that a little and see there is at least one Bergeron common ancestor between Ann and Lorraine on the LeFevre side:

The SAH Anne’s ancestry is on the left and my wife’s LeFevre’s ancestry is on the right. I checked some other possible common names and found no obvious matches. Perhaps the above Jean-Baptiste Bergeron is the one who sent down his DNA to three of his descendants.

Here is what the shared genealogy looks like on a chart:

I would expect a new Shared Ancestor Hint at AncestryDNA based on the updated genealogy I filled in.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The Shared Ancestor Hint was like the salesman that got his foot in the door. His sales pitch, however, was based on shaky information. That shaky information is the ancestor trees as many others have pointed out. There is also an inclination by some to extend the trees of the names that they are more familiar with rather than extending all the family names back in time. For example, my wife’s grandmother was a LeFevre. When I was researching, I didn’t take the time to follow every line back to France via Quebec. Instead, I researched the familiar LeFevre line.
  • The visual mapping showed that the Shared Ancestor Hint could not indicate a match between the DNA and the common ancestor shown (Pouliot). This was a tearing down phase that showed something to be wrong, but did not show what was right
  • The triangulation was a re-building. It showed that the Chromosome 4 match was indeed valid and pointed to a common ancestor.
  • As a result of the Chromosome 4 triangulation, it showed that it would be worthwhile to further pursue who the common ancestor may be between Ann, Lorraine and Joseph. My initial shot at that indicated a possible Bergeron common ancestor.




A Shared Ancestry Hint of a French Canadian 8th Cousin and Visual Mapping

Recently I have been looking at my wife’s French Canadian Pouliot ancestry and DNA. My thought has been to find a Shared Ancestor Hint (SAH) at AncestryDNA. Then if the person in the Ancestry hint has uploaded their results to Gedmatch, I would be able to analyze those results. In this case, I would like to check using visual phasing to determine whether the match is on the Pouliot line or another line.

Here is the SAH:

Lorraine is my wife’s paternal Aunt. Here is what the DNA looks like at AncestryDNA:

Here is how the match looks like at At Gedmatch,

Actually, based on this person’s email, there are 2 matches. This is the Ancestry one. The other test was at 23andme. They are likely the same person. This AncestryDNA match got higher results perhaps due to the comparison within the same company.

The Goal: Compare Gedmatch, AncestryDNA and Visual Mapping

My goal as stated above is to map one or more of the matching Chromosomes to see if the match along the Pouliot line is likely. I do have two Pouliot 2nd cousins to Aunt Lorraine which will help. It would make sense to map the Chromosomes where they match Aunt Lorraine. Here is how Fred, who is a Pouliot 2nd cousin to Lorraine matches Lorraine on Chromosomes 4:

  1. Richard, my father in law
  2. Richard’s sister Lorraine
  3. Richard’s sister Virginia

Now To Visually Map Richard, Lorraine and Virginia On Chromosome 4

The good news is that there is a lot of Pouliot DNA for mapping this Chromosome. The bad news is that the original Chromosome match between Ann and Lorraine was fairly small.

First I compare the 3 siblings using the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:

In the image above, I’ve added the crossovers and the approximate locations on the Chromosome where they occur. There are a lot of crossovers bunched up on the right side. Next I assign the crossovers to a particular sibling. Note that I added two crossovers that I missed in the previous image:

  • Virginia has 109 crossovers
  • Richard has 3
  • Lorraine has 4 for a total of 17 crossovers. I have a question mark my Lorraine’s last crossover as I’m not sure if there is one there or not.

Next I map the 3 siblings based on crossover, Fully Identical Regions (FIRs in green), Half Identical Regions (HIRs in yellow) and the places where the siblings don’t match in red.

I’ll start in the middle of the Chromosome where Lorraine and Virginia have a FIR going over two segments (before positions 120):

This gets us started. The DNA that these 3 siblings inherited from two of their same grandparents are represented by green and purple and extend to each of their crossover lines. Next, I look for other FIRs or places where the siblings don’t match. For example, Richard and Virginia don’t match between 59 and 84, so I’ll add two new colors to Virginia, to show the DNA she got from the other two grandparents.

Here it looks like I’m stuck for now:

Now I add a HIR. Our Gedmatch match between Lorraine and Ann was between 33 and 40, so I’ll add one for Lorraine there.

I did this by arbitrarily extending one of Lorraine’s colors to the left and choosing another color to add so Lorraine and Richard would be HIR between 31 and 84. Then I extended those colors to the left as Lorraine had no crossovers on the left side of the Chromosome. Based on this HIR, I can fill in some more on the left had side:

Now I have a lot of the left side of Chromosome 4 mapped out. I also have Fred who is a second cousin on the Pouliot side. I’ll mush all the information together and then try to figure out what color Pouliot is:

Here I’m leaning toward a purple Pouliot. The reason is that Richard has a purple segment (and Pouliot match) from 4 to 14. Richard, Lorraine and Virginia match Fred from 102-126, but Richard may not be mapped in that area yet. However, Lorraine and Virginia have purple in that segment. In addition, I don’t have positions for the two crossovers between 95 and 120. I can get those from Gedmatch by comparing Richard and Virginia’s FIR at full resolution:

The FIR starts a little after 100M and ends at about 106.5. Those two positions numbers define the two crossovers between 95 and 120. That also confirms that Pouliot is purple. This defines a grandparent and the maternal and paternal sides of the Chromosome as Pouliot is on the maternal side for these three siblings. It also defines the other maternal grandparent (LeFevre) as being the red or maroon color.

Next, I can fill in all the other Pouliot sections provided by these 3 siblings’ Pouliot cousin Fred:

A few notes on the mapping:

  • Virginia didn’t match Pouliot from 4-14 where Richard did so she gets a LeFevre segment there.
  • Virginia also does not match Pouliot from 120 to 135 where her siblings do match Pouliot. So I give her another LeFevre segment there.
  • Virginia starts matching Pouliot again at 172. This points out a crossover location that I mislabeled previously as 177. Corrected above.
  • There is still a few small segments on the right that I haven’t filled in for Virginia and Richard.
Some additional adjustments

A close look shows that between 180 and 185, Lorraine and Richard don’t match. In order to meet the FIRs, HIRs, and no-matches on the right hand side, I came up with this:

I’m not sure if this is totally right on the right hand side, but it seems close. I show Virginia as having nine maternal segments which seems quite unusual. I would like to point out that the match on Chromomse 4 between Lorraine and Ann. Ann did not match Virginia or Richard on Chromosome 4. Those results (and lack of results) are consistent with the mapping above.

Back to the Original Match Between Lorraine and Ann

A big part of this Blog was to determine whether Lorraine’s small Chromosome 4 match with Ann was on a Pouliot segment. After all that mapping, I would say that the match could not have come through Lorraine’s Pouliot side. The largest LeFevre segment between the three siblings belongs to Lorraine between 0 and 95M.

From the above analysis, I made conclude:

  • The 8.6 cM match between Ann and Lorraine is did not come down to Lorraine through the Pouliot side
  • The match is either by chance or on the LeFevre side. There are 15 names in common between Ann and Lorraine. They are all French Canadian names. My assumption would be that I could rule out a DNA match on the paternal (Irish) side.
  • Ann and Lorraine still have matches on 3 other chromosomes.

Summary and Conclusion

  • I was not surprised that this match did not match on the Pouliot side given the inter-relatedness of French Canadian genealogy
  • It was possible that this shared match on Chromosome 4 could have been from the Pouliot side, but it wasn’t.
  • It is best to not assume that a Shared Ancestor Hint and the shared DNA match go back to the same shared ancestor(s)
  • I need to build out these French Canadian lines more at Ancestry
  • The best match between Ann and Lorraine was on Chromosome 19. However, there were no 2nd cousin Pouliot matches on that Chromosome.
  • This Blog satisfied my curiosity on at least one part of the match between Lorraine and Ann and got me to map out Chromosome 4 for these 3 siblings




Using a Triangulated Match With Visual Mapping

This Blog follows up on my recent Blog on Pouliot DNA. My in laws have French Canadian Pouliot ancestry. I was able to find some Triangulation Groups (TGs) using known relatives and a more distant Gedmatch relative, Robert.

Here is the TG in spreadsheet form:

Richard is my father in law. Virginia is his sister. Patricia is their maternal 1st cousin.

Here is the TG in genealogy chart form:

Here is Robert’s match with Richard (1) and Virginia (2) on Chromosome 3:

It looks like I am seeing a crossover for Richard and Virginia already. Can you see them?

My premise in this Blog is that TGs and Visual Mapping should work well together.

Visual Mapping Starts By Comparing At Least Three Siblings

Those siblings are Richard, Lorraine and Virginia:

The crossovers got a little messy at around 151M. There seems to be a lot going on there. I’ll start the mapping by the largest Fully Identical Region (FIR) in green and hope that I can resolve the other mess later.

The blue and green represent the DNA that Lorraine and Virginia received from the same two grandparents in their Fully Identical Region. Lorraine has no crossovers in the first part of the Chromosome, so I expanded her DNA to her first crossover at 155M. Note also above in the match between Lorraine and Richard. I ignored the small match that they had after 70M.

This is what I call the Swiss Cheese part of the Visual Phasing:

adding a HIR to the map

According to Kathy Johnston, I have one shot a creating a HIR. This will set the paternal and maternal sides. I would like to set it between 70 and 133 as I have a known Pouliot match there.

time to look at some cousin matches

At this point I like to look at real world DNA matches with cousins. Here is the visual phasing map with Robert’s matches below. He is a 4th cousin, twice removed to these 3 siblings.

Robert’s longer match (1) is with Richard and the shorter one (2) is with Virginia. That sets the purple as Pouliot. I can imagine Robert’s yellow matches from the Gedamatch Chromosome Browser fitting right into the Visual Phasing Map above the Browser. That means that the large blue stretches can be assigned as LeFevre DNA. I don’t know about the paternal side as there are no reference matches – yet.

Bring in the 1st cousins and nephew

Here John is a nephew, so he may match on the paternal or maternal side. Patricia and Joseph are 1st cousins on the mother’s side. It looks like with all these matches, we should be able to figure out something.

The first thing I notice is that Richard has a maternal crossover at 12M. How do I know this? Because if he didn’t, he would continue to match Patricia and Joseph to 72 as his two sister did.

Here I added in Richards maternal crossover at 12M on the top bar. Then as Richard and Virginia are fully identical from 0-12M, I made their two colors the same in that segment.

Also, as Richard does not match Patricia nor Joseph from 33-60M and Patricia and Joseph match Lorraine and Virginia in that stretch, Richard got his DNA from Pouliot in that region and a green segment can be added below that.

Lorraine matches her 1st cousin Patricia from 157-184M. Assuming the small segment I have before 176M is correct, then the whole maternal Chromosome will be from LeFevre for Lorraine. However, that created an odd result. When I checked my numbers, I see that I had the last crossovers mislabeled. Here are the correct numbers:

This makes sense as I thought that I was seeing more crossovers at higher numbers. Lorraine and Virginia both match Patricia from 190-195. That must be LeFevre if I have it mapped correctly.

This puts Lorraine’s last crossover on the paternal side. Then I put the opposite colors in for Richard as Lorraine and Richard have no match in that area. As Richard has no crossovers in that area, I carried his segments to the left. Lorraine have no match in Lorraine’s last open space. That calls for opposite colors. Then I can fill in Virginia’s teeny tiny blank space as it appears that she doesn’t match Richard there.

Here is the filled in Chromosome 3 with maternal grandparents identified:


  • The previous Pouliot Triangulation worked well as an aid in mapping this Chromosome and identifying maternal grandparents
  • First cousin maternal matches were a big help in filling in the missing segments and identifying crossovers
  • Lorraine has a long stretch of green which may help in identifying the paternal grandparents.



Visual Mapping of Butler Chromosome 5 Reveals an Identical By Chance (IBC) AKA False Match

I would like to try to map my in law’s Butler DNA on Chromosome 5. This is based on a rare paternal match that was found at AncestryDNA and cross-referenced at Gedmatch based on similar names and matches.

I have already mapped Chromosome 11 here. I would now like to map Chromosome 5 with the help of one match that my father in law Richard has with a Rooney descendant named Jeanette. That Rooney match is on Richard’s paternal grandmother’s side (Kerivan)

Mapping Chromosome 5

Chromosome 5 is one of the larger chromosomes with 1 being the largest. Now I compare the three Butler siblings: Lorraine; Richard; and Virginia and I add in crossover lines.

I have the locations of the proposed crossovers at the top. Note the smallest match between Lorraine and Virginia. I think that I have the resolution too low for that match, so I will take it out as there is no indication of a change from HIR to FIR (Half Identical Region to Fully Identical Region) or match to non match status in the other sibling comparisons. That will simplify things in the area of 35/38.

Just pretend the match between Lorraine and Virginia at 34 is not there. I will now assign the crossovers to the siblings. The first crossover goes to Richard as he is represented in a FIR (green) to HIR (yellow) change in the 1st comparison and in the HIR to FIR in the 3rd comparison.

The crossover tallies are in:

  • Richard (R) – 5
  • Virginia (V) – 4
  • Lorraine (L) – 2

Actually, I would not be surprised if Lorraine had an additional crossover at the very far right end of the Chromosome, but as it is so small, I am ignoring it for now.

Recall that Richard’s Kerivan Line match was 66-75M. That is probably within the segment R-V ending at 75.5M above. When I compare Lorraine and Richard at full resolution at Gedmatch I get this for Chromosome 5:

This defines Richard’s crossover (from HIR to FIR) and is at about 61M as every ^ is 1M. That means that my assumption about the Rooney/Kerivan match was correct. I am curious to see if I will be able to map the Butler paternal side with just one match.

time to map based on no match, HIR’s and Fir’s

I’ll just start with the large FIR between Lorraine and Richard.

The green FIR above translates to the same blue grandparent DNA on one side and the same green grandparent DNA on the other side for Lorraine and Richard. Then we need to expand these regions of DNA to the crossover lines for Lorraine and Richard:

Lorraine had no crossover to the left to keep her 2 grandparents’ DNA from expanding there. Richard goes to the right to his last crossover. Then we can add in other FIRs and put in opposite colors for the areas where siblings don’t match (red on the chromosome browser above).

This is what I call the Swiss Cheese phase of visual mapping.

comparing gedmatch cousin matches

At this point I would like to compare Gedmatch matches. There is one thing already that doesn’t make sense. According to Gedmatch, Richard has a Kerivan match between 66 and 75M. However, the mapping shows that Lorraine and Richard are in a FIR there. That means that if Richard has this match, then Lorraine should also. Let’s check Lorraine again. I still get no match. When I lower Lorraine’s threshold to 5 cM, I only get a small match with Jeanette on Chromosome 20. That could mean that Richard’s match with Jeanette on Chromosome 5 is by chance. That was disappointing, but informative.

That leaves us the maternal side. Are there matches there?

Here are the matches that I show for our 3 Butler siblings on Chromosome 5. Virginia shows a match on the maternal side with her 1st  cousins Patricia and Joseph (in pink). This could be helpful. But in this case, it appears that it isn’t. That is because in this segment, Virginia doesn’t match her two siblings. Should I give up? I have one more idea. As I mentioned above, Virginia has a maternal match from 88 to 118. However, John matches Richard and Lorraine in that same area. That means that John’s match in that area has to be paternal. John is a nephew, so he shares maternal and paternal matches. Unfortunately, as Richard and Lorraine are FIR in this segment, it tells us no more.

update based on reader comment

I had a comment questioning my apparently too hasty assertion that the John match above (from 81-115M) to Richard and Lorraine was paternal. I did put a little thought into that comment. M MacNeill has kindly phased John’s raw DNA on a different chromosome (Chromosome 1) and came up with this result.

This gets to the old adage about a picture being worth 1,000 words. As John is in a different generation (as is Marie, my wife – his cousin) it gets confusing. However, the above image shows the DNA John got from his four great grandparents on his paternal side.

The segment we are looking at above is between 75.5 and 117. In that stretch all 4 grandparents are represented by four different colors. This is part of what makes the analysis difficult. If there was an HIR in that region, the analysis would have been easier as there would have been only 3 grandparents to consider in that segment.

We know that John matches Virginia on a maternal match, but we don’t know which grandparent it represents. That leaves one other maternal grandparent and two paternal grandparents (from the viewpoint of the above map). John’s match with Richard and Lorraine from 88 to 115M could therefor be with one of Richard and Lorraine’s maternal grandparents or with either of the two paternal grandparents. This tells me that there is a bigger chance of the match being on the paternal side, but that the maternal side is not ruled out.

Updates on the Update

Since my update, I had a few important responses on the ISOGG Facebook Page that I would like to preserve in this Blog. Kathy Johnston, from whom I learned the visual mapping technique responded with a possible visual mapping:

I liked how she put in the Patricia and Joseph match suggesting that the purple could be the maternal side. I also received a response from M MacNeill who has been so helpful in working on the raw phasing of the Hartley and Butler families:

Here is a screenshot of comments relating to the image above:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I could map out one further HIR, but I won’t at this point
  • I had high hopes in mapping some paternal segments to specific grandparents on Chromosome 5, but it didn’t work out
  • I did find an apparent Identical by Chance (IBC) or what I call a false match between Richard and Jeanette at Chromosome 5. It appeared to be real before I mapped it out.
  • Future identified cousin matches may resolve the mapping of Chromosome 5
  • I appreciate comments from readers that help me to re-think my conclusions



Looking At French Canadian Pouliot DNA

My wife’s great grandmother was Emma Pouliot b. 1874 in Quebec. The exact location was St.-Étienne-de-Bolton, Brome, Quebec. According to her death record, she was from Eastman, Quebec. Could it be possible that she was born in Brome and later moved to Eastman?

The place with the stick pin is Brome, while Eastman is a few towns to the Northeast. The line below is the U.S boundary. This is what Emma Pouliot looked like:

I’d like to look at Pouliot DNA in this Blog. One reason that I’d like to look at Pouliot DNA is because of my wife’s Aunts. I had them tested at AncestryDNA and most of their Shared Ancestor Hints (SAHs) were from the Pouliot Line.

The Pouliot DNA Project

I’ve been involved in two other DNA projects. Both of them have been in populations that intermarried. On my grandmother’s side the Frazers intermarried as they usually looked to marry someone from the Church of Ireland in an area that had mostly Roman Catholics. On my wife’s mother’s side the Dicks intermarried with other Newfoundlanders. French Canadians have been known to intermarry due to the colonial nature of the area. There were only so many original settlers. Here are some of the Pouliot descendants I have so far:

I have been in touch with Robert in the left column in the past due to good DNA matches. Those on the right are closer relatives to my father in law Richard. They have all had their DNA tested. One group has for a common ancestor Emma Pouliot. Fred and Sleuth who are second cousins of my father in law Richard have the common ancestors of Joseph Pouliot and Josephine Fortin.

Pouliot DNA

Here is how the testers compared. I didn’t include my wife as all her Pouliot DNA is from her dad.

This shows that everyone matches – except for Fred and Robert.

Triangulation Groups

I like to look at Triangulation Groups (TGs) as these indicate common ancestors. Once we find these, we can confirm existing genealogy and suggest new genealogy in some cases. To do this, I can compare the segments of the nine that tested above. I’ll look at Robert as he is most distantly related. He is a 4th cousin, twice removed to those in my father in law’s generation.

In order for Robert to be in a TG, he would have to match two people within the same segment. Those two people would have to match each other. The other rule is that the two people that he is matching don’t count if they are siblings.

Here are my nominees for potential Robert TGs:

In the first highlighted box, Richard and Virginia are siblings, but Patricia as a 1st cousin can be a potential third in the TG. In the Red TG, we see Patricia and Joseph as siblings but their relative John makes the third with Robert. Finally Robert, Joseph and Sleuth may be in a TG.

Chromosome 3

In order for this to be a TG, Virginia and/or Richard must match Patricia in that area. Here is how Patricia matches Virginia, Richard and Robert on Chromosome 3:

Clearly they all match around the area of 130M. Here is how I think the Chromosome 3 TG would look like on the genealogy chart:

Chalk up one TG for Robert, Richard, Virginia and Joseph. Without Robert, we wouldn’t know if the common ancestor for Richard, Virginia and Patricia is Pouliot or LeFevre for this segment of Chromosome 3. Now we know. This will come in handy once I map Chromosome 3 for the Richard, Virginia, and Lorraine.

Chromosome 5

This potential TG is interesting as none of the matches are in my in law’s direct family. Here is how John matches Patricia, Joseph and Robert:

I’d say that is a match. As they say in Star Wars, “The force is strong within you”.

Chromosome 15 TG

If we could find a TG here, that would include Robert in all four of the families above. Actually, it may not be obvious above, but Jake, Richard, Lorraine and Virginia are all siblings. Marie is my wife and Richard is my father in law.

I’ll check to see if Joseph matches Sleuth around 95M.

#1 is Joseph’s match with Robert and the one we are looking for is #2 which is Sleuth’s match with Joseph of 26 cM. This should be of interest to Fred, who is Sleuth’s brother. He has done a lot of work on Pouliot genealogy.

Joseph and Sleuth can know that their Chromosome 15 matches with Robert come by way of Pouliot and not the Fortin side. With just the match between Joseph and Sleuth, we wouldn’t have known that.

I have covered all the families with TGs. That means that all these families have a paper trail and a DNA trail to a common Pouliot ancestor. Actually the common ancestors are Pouliot and Gobeil, but in the next generation down, they have the Pouliot name.

Any Potential Problems in This Analysis?

The only problem that I see would be that if we picked the wrong common ancestor. Perhaps there is another common ancestor that we don’t know about. Then this could mess up the analysis. However, my assumption is that our genealogies are fairly complete. If there were other potential common ancestors between Robert and Virginia in our Ancestry Trees, then AncestryDNA would have picked that up in the Shared Ancestor Hints. Other people in this group may want to check other lines to see if there are any other shared common ancestors that have been missed just to make sure.

Future Plans

As Lorraine and Virginia seemed to have about 80 Pouliot Shared Ancestor Hints, it seems there must be others with Pouliot ancestry that have uploaded their DNA results to Gedmatch. It would be good to find further TGs to validate existing genealogies and perhaps even find some on the Pouliot tree that did not know they were there.



A Toehold On the Paternal Side Butler DNA

In my last Blog, I visually mapped my father in law and his two sisters on their Chromosome 2. I was happy with the results as I got all their segments mapped on the maternal and paternal sides. I mentioned the difficulty in finding matches on the paternal side. The paternal match that I did have was not set in stone. It was somewhat inferred by email correspondence. I think of it as a construction job. The first few pieces of wood put in are a bit shaky until the rest of the structure is built around those first few pieces.

The Problem

The problem can be seen well at AncestryDNA. I have my Butler father in law tested at FTDNA, but his two sisters are tested at AncestryDNA. Here are Lorraine and Virginia’s Shared Ancestor Hints (SAHs):

Lorraine and Virginia Share 38 SAHs. I can tell this on my laptop that has Chrome as there is a icon for the shared Shared Ancestor Hints. All of Lorraine’s SAHs are on the maternal side (or locked). Of those maternal SAHs all but 2 or three matched on the Pouliot grandparent side. The other 2 or 3 were on the LeFevre grandparent side. An additional problem is linking those SAHs to gedmatch.

For Virginia, all her matches but one were maternal or locked. The one that was paternal was on the Kerivan side. No matches were found on the Butler side.

Following Virginia’s AncestryDNA Paternal SAH

Here is Virginia’s lone paternal SAH:

As can be seen above, this match is on Virginia’s Kerivan line.

the gedmatch connection: good and bad news

The good news is that Virginia matches someone at Gedmatch that seems to have a very similar name to the match at The bad news is that I have been unable to confirm that the two people are the same. However, I did think of an additional check. Lorraine did not match this AncestryDNA person. I opened up Gedmatch, found Virginia’s match. I ran the ‘One to Many’ utility for the match above who I will call Jeanette. On Jeanette’s ‘One to Many’ match list I saw Virginia and Richard but not Lorraine. That makes me feel 95% confident that I have the right person.

Jeanette’s matches with my butler in-laws

Here is the AncestryDNA match. It must be less than expected as the SAH shows third cousin once removed and the relationship predicted by the DNA is 5th to 8th cousin.

Jeanette and Virginia at Gedmatch:

Finally, Jeanette and Richard at Gedmatch:

Visual Phasing of Butler Chromosome 11

Based on the above results I would like to map Chromosome 11 for the Butlers using a method pioneered by Kathy Johnston. In the first step, I compare the three siblings, add approximate Chromosome locations for the crossovers and assign the crossovers to siblings:

I guessed at the 112 position as this was the border between a Fully Identical Region (FIR) shown in green and a Half Identical Region (HIR) shown in yellow. I can check this using the Full Resolution option at Gedmatch when comparing Lorraine to Virginia:

Each ^ is 1M, so the actual crossover from FIR to HIR is about 113. 4. It is close to the next crossover which is at 114.5M. For the assigned crossovers above, Virginia gets 6, Lorraine gets three and Richard gets one.

phasing strategy

While performing visual phasing, it is good to have a strategy. My strategy will be to include Richard in the first segment as he only has one crossover. By the way, one crossover means that Richard will have a complete unrecombined maternal or paternal Chromosome 11 from one of his grandparents. I could start where Richard and Virginia have their first FIR together, but instead I’ll choose the first place where Lorraine and Richard don’t match as there is more coverage in that lack of match stretch. The other thing to keep in mind is that the Rooney/Kerivan match is from 118 to 124M, so we will need to work our way to that side – likely by choosing a HIR in that area.

  • It looks like I could have chosen the first FIR and gotten the same results. A FIR (green) with two ‘no matches’ (red areas) over it like we have here is a good combination for mapping.
  • The Butlers have good coverage on this Chromosome.
  • I can already see that in the area of 118 to 124M Virginia and Lorraine have opposite grandparent matches. This shows why Virginia matched Jeanette and Lorraine did not.
Maternal matches

Before I continue mapping, I would like to see what this Butler DNA-tested trio have for maternal matches. They have two 1st cousins and two 2nd cousins that have tested. I entered all the cousins into Gedmatch, sorted them and took out everything except for how Richard, Lorraine and Virginia matched the cousins:

John is a nephew, so could match on the maternal or paternal side. Patricia and Joseph are maternal 1st cousins. However, that would not identify a specific maternal grandparent segment. The three siblings did not have appreciable matches with either of their 2nd cousins.

More Mapping

As the paternal Kerivan match is on the right hand side of this Chromosome, I’ll add a HIR between Lorraine and Richard. I did that by moving the blue for Richard to the right for the match with Virginia and for the part that didn’t match I put in green (opposite of red).

Once I set the HIR on the right, that meant that the blue area had to be Kerivan. That is the only place that Virginia and Richard have a matching color in the area of the Jeanette Kerivan/Rooney match (118-124). That leaves the purple to be Butler – the only other paternal grandparent.

This map leaves me with that ‘Swiss Cheese’ feeling. Before I scrap this map, let’s look at the 1st cousin matches to see if they can help fill in anything. They are the pink matches – signifying maternal.

Lorraine and Patricia match from 2 to 91. I take that to be the green match. I also assume that as they are first cousins, that their match length also represents the same grandparent. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I can extend the green to position 92.

This makes sense because Patricia starts matching Virginia at 77M. Before that she doesn’t match Virginia, so the maternal segment must be red for Virginia there. Actually, Lorraine’s green should extend further (to 114M) as she has no crossover until that point.

Here I moved Virginia’s red maternal segment to the right. Because the crossover was not on the maternal side it had to be on the paternal side. That gave her a crossover from Kerivan (blue) to Butler (purple) at 27M. The Chromosome is starting to fill in. Next, in the are from 39 to 77, Lorraine and Virginia don’t match. That means that Lorraine must have a blue Kerivan segment filling in at the top. Once I fill in Lorraine’s blue Kerivan segment, Lorraine and Virginia have a FIR (from 92-112M). That means I can fill in Virginia.

Now I’m almost done. I just have the last ever-difficult HIR to complete. Here my inclination is to check Patricia and Virginia at a lower threshold. If Patricia doesn’t match Virginia at the beginning of the Chromosome, then the red must carry through to the beginning for Virginia.

I was a bit surprised that the two cousins fit a match in the beginning of the Chromosome. I shouldn’t be surprised, because small matches are typically at either end of the Chromosome. That means the half match of the HIR is on the maternal side between Virginia and Lorraine. And the crossover is also on the maternal side.

How do I identify the maternal segments for chromosome 11?

I thought of a few things. One would be ICW which is an “in common with” feature that FTDNA uses. Or I could use the feature at Gedmatch which takes two people and finds people that are in common with them. I would be more satisfied with triangulated matches. The best way I know of to find these would be to start a surname study. Pouliot would be a good choice based on all the AncestryDNA Pouliot Shared Ancestor Hints that I mentioned at the beginning of the Blog.




Visual Phasing Butler DNA on Chromosome 2

The Butlers are my wife’s family. Over a year ago, I wrote a Blog called “Uncle Naffy, DNA and the Butler Brick Wall“. In that Blog, I wrote about how a match with Uncle Naffy who is believed to be a Crowley relative helped in producing a breakthrough in the Butler genealogy. Uncle Naffy is a rare paternal Butler match. Most of the Butler matches have been maternal on the French Canadian side.

Visual Mapping of Chromosomes

Since writing the Uncle Naffy Blog, I have also become aware of a tool to map Chromosomes. This visual mapping procedure was developed by Kathy Johnston. As the Uncle Naffy match was on Chromosome 2, why not map that Chromosome? In order to map my father in law Richard’s four grandparents, I need his results and two siblings. Since my Uncle Naffy Blog, I have tested Richards two sisters: Lorraine and Virginia. When I compare these three siblings at their Chromosomes 2, this is what I get:

  • In the green regions, the paired-up siblings share the DNA from two of their same grandparents.
  • In the yellow regions, the sibling pairs share one grandparent
  • In the red regions, the sibling pairs share no grandparents in common. That means they have their DNA from the opposite grandparent pair.
  • The areas between the green, yellow and red regions with the vertical lines added are the crossovers.
  • The crossovers are assigned to the person who has the most shared crossover regions
  • The numbers added are the approximate positions in millions of the crossovers
assigning the crossovers

Lorraine gets the first crossover because she is the one in common in the first two comparisons where the match goes from green to yellow. The other crossovers are from the same reasoning. Richard is in the top and bottom comparisons.

Mapping three butlers

I start by using two colors where Richard and Virginia match representing their shared Fully Identical Region (FIR) shared in green. These two colors represent the same grandparents that Richard and Virginia inherited their DNA from – one on their maternal side and one on their paternal side.

Richard is stuck between his two crossover points (R) but Virginia can go out in either direction to her two crossover points (V):

By using other green areas or Fully Identical Regions (FIRs) and areas where pairs don’t match using opposite colors, I get this:

This leaves a few holes. At this point we need to select a Half Identical Region (HIR). It would be nice to get Lorraine to the right side as she doesn’t have any more crossovers there. Lorraine and Virginia share a HIR from 128 to 204, so we will pick one color from each on Lorraine’s row and extend those to the right. As I mentioned, she has no crossovers we know about there to stop her.

I can fill in a little more using the FIRs and no-match areas.

Now we have four relative grandparents without names in a lot of these three siblings chromosomes. Using known matches, we can fill some of these in. The paternal grandparents are Butler and Kerivan. The maternal grandparents are LeFevre and Pouliot.

Adding relatives

The best known relative for this purpose is a 2nd cousin. Richard and his sisters have two known second cousins on the Pouliot side:

Here, the Pouliot matches didn’t help, due to a blank space. The Uncle Naffy match, assumed to be a Butler match helped. There was only one place that it could go. That sets the paternal side and also will make the green be Kerivan.

What now?

At this point I have two options. One, I can look for more matches or I can try to re-do the mapping. I tried looking around Ancestry for more matches. There are plenty of Pouliot matches there, but it is difficult to trace them to Gedmatch, or perhaps the Pouliot matches are not uploaded to Gedmatch. Right now, we have a proposed match identifying the paternal side. It would be nice to somehow get both sides.

Second Try at mapping Chromosome 2

In our two reference matches, we have Richard. He matches Pouliot and he matches Uncle Naffy. Also Lorraine matches both those reference matches. So let’s work on our Lorraine/Richard matches, rather than concentrating on Virginia who didn’t have too many crossovers. Between 128 and 149 Lorraine and Richard don’t match. This will be represented by two opposite colors.

Next, expand the segments to the crossovers:

That is good because our segments are now over our reference matches (Richard is over the Pouliot match and Lorraine’s represented DNA is over her Butler match). Next we can use the relationships with Lorraine on the right to create new segments from their relative grandparents (no pun intended).

Now we have another problem, we need both Lorraine and Richard to be expanded to the blue and yellow matches. Perhaps if we extend Lorraine to the left with an HIR, then Virginia will be opposite of Lorraine and Richard oppose of Virginia, it will work out to fill in the segments over our reference relative matches.

There. Now all we have to do is match the Pouliot (blue) and the Butler (yellow). The only colors the same between Lorraine and Richard above the blue is green, so that has to be Pouliot which is maternal. That means that the maternal side Butler is now top bar. The only color on the top bar (or either bar, for that matter) that is the same over the yellow Butler match is purple.

But there is more that I can do. Notice on Virginia’s Chromosome. I haven’t moved her over to her left-most crossover. This should help fill in some more.

Note that two crossovers in a row in a HIR cause a problem such as the L-L on the left side and the V-V on the right. However, I’m happy with the results. I now have the first Chromosome with 4 Butler grandparents. This is based on the presumption that Uncle Naffy is a Crowley relative who is ancestral to the Butler side. Virginia will be a good person to look for Kerivan matches. Lorraine looks like the best shot for checking Butler matches on Chromosome 2.

Finding Crossovers by comparing first cousins

It appears that we can look at these three sibling’s maternal cousins (Pat and Joe) to determine more crossovers. Here are Lorraine’s matches:

The crossover between Lorraine and Patricia is not clear by looking at the first yellow bar. But look above. This bar has a break between 67.4 and 67.9M that is not visible. That tells me that the maternal crossover for Lorraine occurs at that location.

Other crossovers

For Lorraines’ first crossover position, I will need to look at the Gedmatch expanded view. When I compare Lorraine to Virginia, I choose the full resolution box and get this:

Each up arrow (^) is 1M, so Lorraine’s crossover is at 27M. A little further on the same comparison is the change from HIR to FIR:

I would estimate this crossover at about 36.7M. These are the numbers for Lorraine and Virginia’s first crossovers:

Note that Richard’s first crossover is very close to his sister Virginia’s. Here is a closeup view of Richard’s first crossover using his comparison to Virginia:

There is a ^ mark right in the middle of the HIR for Richard and Virginia. Counting back from 40, that mark is 37. The FIR starts up again about 37.5, so that will be Richard’s first crossover.

Richard’s relatives on the chromosome browser

Here is a comparison of Richard to a nephew, two maternal first cousins and two second cousins on the Pouliot side, John as a nephew, may match on the maternal or paternal side. He is the son of another sibling of this trio not tested. Here, he appears to match on Richard’s paternal side

I’ll add in that maternal crossover for Richard:

Then the HIRs are added in for Lorraine and Virginia:

Once Richard’s crossover was found to be on the maternal side, that required his sisters’ first crossovers to be on the maternal side also.

filling in virginia’s blank spot

We just have a little area to fill in past 200M for Virginia. Is her crossover paternal or maternal? Here is how Virginia matches her nephew, and two maternal first cousins. The numbers that we will be looking for will be 224 and 227.

What we see is 224M. That means to me that there is no maternal crossover at 227 as all the matches carry on to what looks to be the end of the Chromosome. Therefore the 227 crossover must be on the paternal (Butler/Kerivan) side. Here is the completed Chromosome 2 map.

One observation is that the trio of siblings comes up short on Butler DNA (purple) for about the first third of the Chromosome.

Here are my wife’s father’s four grandparents all born in the 1870’s:

Bonus Feature: My Wife’s DNA a la Blaine Bettinger

Blaine Bettinger recently wrote a great instructive 5 Part Blog on Visual Phasing. My Blogs are my muddling and meddling with DNA. Blaine’s Blogs on the other hand are instructive. Part Four of Blaine’s Series shows how to take the results of the parent (and Aunts in this case) and apply them to the child (in this case my wife). I’ll look at Blaine’s Part Four and apply it to my wife. Here is Marie’s Dad’s Chromosome 2:

This tells me where Marie may or may not be getting DNA. She will get half of her DNA from her dad, but that will be a full Chromosome. To the extent that she gets her dad’s paternal side what she gets will be only Kerivan in the first two thirds and Butler in the last third.

Marie compared to Aunts Lorraine and virginia

Here I copied Blaine’s format, but was tempted to add some vertical lines. The browser images compare Marie to Aunt Lorraine and her Aunt Virginia.

Marie has one empty bar which we hope to fill with her 4 paternal great grandparents. Comparing Marie to Lorraine, they share a segment and then they don’t. With Marie compared to Virginia, the two keep sharing the same segment apparently. This appears to be Pouliot as Lorraine has a crossover from Pouliot to LeFevre right where she stops matching Marie. One way to check this is by comparing Marie to her dad’s maternal cousin. Marie matches that cousin in this segment which agrees with my reasoning as Pouliot is a maternal match.

For the next segment, it appears I can use the same reasoning. Marie matches Lorraine and Virginia but this time Lorraine’s match drops off right where she has a crossover from Kerivan to Butler. That makes me think that the match there is with Kerivan. Another way to look at it is that it has to be Kerivan there as Lorraine and Virginia don’t share a common grandparent on their maternal side in that location. Marie has to have the maternal Kerivan DNA in that location.

The next segment has to be Kerivan or Pouliot. Marie matches Virginia there who has Kerivan DNA, so that has to be it. That extends Marie’s Kerivan DNA. Next is the largest segment. Marie matches neither of her Aunts in that segment. The only grandparent that her Aunts don’t match in that segment is Pouliot. So far, Marie has no Butler nor LeFevre DNA:

In the next to the last segment, Marie does not match Virginia. That leaves her with Butler or Pouliot DNA. However, that is not helpful as Marie gets Butler or LeFevre from her father. Marie matches Lorraine, but that also could be Butler or LeFevre. It’s a split decision. In the last segment, there is a clue. Virginia matches Marie for Virginia’s entire maternal LeFevre segment. So that has to be LeFevre. If it was a Butler match, it wouldn’t be the entire segment as Virginia has some Kerivan in there that Marie could not have inherited from her father in that location.

Let’s try to reason through the empty space again.

  • Lorraine – matches on either Butler or LeFevre
  • Virginia – doesn’t match on Kerivan nor Pouliot which leaves, again, Butler or LeFevre
  • Richard – has on Butler or LeFevre

I suppose that this segment would more likely be LeFevre than Butler as larger segments are the rule more than smaller ones between father and daughter, however, I have no certaintly with that, so I will leave the segment blank for now.

The maternal cousins to the rescue

It’s time to bring back Pat and Joe. They are Marie’s father’s maternal first cousins. Here is where Marie matches them:

Due to the fact that Marie matches both of her father’s cousins at 222M before Virginia’s crossover at 225M means that Marie has a maternal match in that area. Here is Marie’s Paternal Chromosome 2 filled in:

Marie appears to be Butlerless or Butler free in Chromosome 2. This is a good example showing that Marie got exactly half of her DNA from her father and half from her mother. However, when we consider her Paternal Chromosome 2, she does not get 1/4 from each of her paternal great grandparents. She got 0% from her Butler great grandparent. She also got roughly 1/3 from her paternal grandfather and 2/3 from her paternal grandmother.

Back to Uncle Naffy

This brings the story full circle. I started this Blog based on a few large matches with Uncle Naffy. Uncle Naffy’s family stories lead me to believe that he was related to the Crowleys. A Crowley married the first Irish immigrant Butler in my wife’s line. I identified the Paternal Grandparents in the visual phasing in this Blog based on the assumption that Uncle Naffy was indeed a Crowley descendant. So, ironically, Uncle Naffy’s match results lead to the mapping of my father in law and his sisters’ Butler DNA which lead to the conclusion that my Butler wife Marie had no Butler DNA in her Chromosome 2.

Summary and Observations

  • The maternal side of these Butlers chromosomes are easier to map than the paternal side due to lack of verified paternal matches
  • The paternal side match with Uncle Naffy has not been linked to a tree, so will have to be verified at some point.
  • Having cousin matches made it possible to fill in this map. Otherwise it would still have blanks.
  • While writing this, I may have found a Kerivan ancestor match. I will follow up on that and likely write another blog on what I find.
  • Once some good Kerivan and/or Butler matches are found, they will likely lead to other verified matches on those lines. It is difficult to break through and get those first identifying paternal matches.
  • I had thought that my wife’s DNA results were somewhat obsolete after getting her parents’ results. Now I see that I can map her great grandparents thanks to Blaine Bettinger’s instructive Blog.

More Dicks (and Joyce) DNA from Newfoundland

Thanks to the Newfoundland Gedmatch Facebook Group I recently ‘met’ a new Dicks descendant who had DNA tested. Trudy is from the Joyce Line of Dicks like many other in the Dicks DNA Project.

Trudy is in the bottom row of green DNA tested Dicks descendants. She is 7 generations away from Christopher Dicks b. about 1784. This is the main Dicks Line that I have been looking at. However Christopher had a brother of interest also named Henry.


Seven generations is a long way away for autosomal DNA, but we will see what Trudy’s DNA shows us. As alluded to in the Blog Title, Trudy also has Joyce ancestry.


On a certain day in the early 1800’s Rachel Dicks married James Joyce. They had at least seven descendants that had their DNA tested. And of course they had many descendants that didn’t have their DNA tested. Trudy’s closest relative in the chart above is Pauline. They are 1st cousins once removed.

Here is how Trudy matches the other Dicks descendants with tested DNA:


That is a bit small, isn’t it? This shows no matches to the Henry Dicks Line, so we won’t need to look at them in this Blog. We can stick to the descendants of Christopher Dicks b. 1784.

Triangulation Groups

I tend to focus on Triangulation Groups (TGs). These are groups of people that match each other on the same segment. When this happens, it is a sure bet that the people in the TG have a common ancestor. There should be potentially two types of TGs that Trudy would be in: new ones and existing ones. The existing ones may tell us something, but the new ones should be more interesting. In addition, there is the possibility that Trudy could be in a Joyce TG, a Dicks TG, or even one from a different surname.

Downloaded segments

First, I download the matches of all the Christopher Dicks descendants and compare them. So I’m not re-creating the wheel, I’ll reproduce my TG Summary from a past Blog:


The first interesting thing I see in my downloaded segments is here at the end of Chromosome 1:


Trudy is in a TG with Esther and Forrest. Esther is my wife’s 1/2 great Aunt. Note that Judy and Wallace are not in this TG. They have plenty of other places to have their DNA match as they are niece and uncle.


As far as I know, Esther, Trudy and Forrest all share the DNA from Christopher Dicks and his wife Margaret, so that is what it looks like this shared segment is (unless anyone else knows of a different shared ancestor in each of their ancestry).

The next interesting TG in chromosome 4


Here I see Nelson, Molly and Trudy in a TG. This TG will be a little more challenging. Howie would also likely be in the TG if we were to lower the limits. One of the challenging things about this TG is that Molly descends from two Dicks Lines:


Nelson is from the Adams Line. Trudy is from the Joyce Line. Molly is from the Joyce and Cran Line. Nelson is Trudy’s 3rd cousin, three times removed. Nelson is Molly’s 3rd cousin, twice removed. Molly is Trudy’s 4th cousin once removed and 5th cousin, once removed. My guess is that Molly is related on the Joyce line as that would be closer to Trudy, but there is no way to know with certainty.

Moving right along.

Chromosome 5 TG – The Joyce family

Here I believe I see a Joyce TG:


Pauline, Molly and Trudy all descend from the Joyce Line. Within that TG is another TG with Wallace, Joan and Esther. I had to take the match between Wallace and Esther down to find it, but it was there. Then again, we see the close Judy/Wallace relationship. They could match with Lewis DNA, for example.


Untangling Chromosome 15


Here is a TG with Trudy, Esther and Howie (Molly). Think of Howie and Molly as a tag team. As siblings, their DNA can be interchanged in many situations. Here we are missing a match between Esther and Molly. However, it would have to be there at a lower threshold.

There is a lot of mystery in this TG. I assume that the TG is Dicks. However, Molly and Howie are from 2 Dicks Lines and Esther has Dicks on her father and mother’s sides. On Esther’s mother’s side, I don’t know where her Dicks ancestors come from.


Here, the only unambiguous line (as far as I know) is between Trudy and Christopher Dicks by way of the Joyce Line. For Esther, Marilyn and Howie I am not as sure. Sandra and Cheryl listed above are both from the Adams Line of Dicks, so that is a likely source of shared DNA for those two.

TG Summary

This chart is getting large:


Trudy is in 5 TGs. I think that 4 of them are new. Two of them appear to be Joyce TGs and three Dicks TGs.



More Nicholson DNA

I am happy that my Nicholson cousin Joan had her sister Linda DNA tested. Here is my mom’s tree showing people that have tested their DNA:


Linda and Joan share a red box as they are sisters. Most of this tree is on my mother’s mother’s side. The blue is her father’s side. On my mother’s mother’s side, yellow represents Lentz, red represents Nicholson and orange represents cousins that have Lentz and Nicholson ancestry.

Comparing DNA at Gedmatch

When I compare all the people above at Gedmatch, this is what I get for overall matches:


Linda, who recently tested, matches my mom less than her sister does. However, she matches cousin Judy more. The chart also shows that 4 of the people in the group are Nicholsons and not Lentz. One is a Lentz and not Nicholson and three are Nicholson and Lentz. However, our Lentz tester, Albert, had low results – which were consistent with the distant relationship. From the above charts:

  • If Carolyn, Joan and Linda match each other, it may be from a Nicholson or Allen DNA
  • Where Carolyn, Joan, Linda, or Nigel match Joshua, Judy, or Mom, it must be from Nicholson DNA
  • Where Joshua, Judy or Mom match each other only, it could be from Lentz or Nicholson DNA.
  • Where Joshua, Judy or Mom match Albert it would represent Lentz DNA
Looking for triangulation

Next I looked at the detailed matches between all the DNA of the people above. The purpose is to find triangulation. A Triangulation Group (TG) is three or more people that have matches along the same segment of a Chromosome. This TG indicates a unique common ancestor.

Here is a summary of past five TGs I have looked at:


  • Lentz only – Yellow
  • Nicholson only – Red
  • Lentz/Nicholson – Orange
any new TG’s due to linda?

Here are some of the new DNA matches that I downloaded from Gedmatch at Chromosome 5 from about 39M to 84M:


It looks like there should be a TG here somewhere. Looking through my old Blogs, I see that I did previously identify a TG at Chromosome 5. It looks like we have a TG with Carolyn, Joan, Mom and Linda. But what about Joshua and Judy below? I didn’t do a detailed analysis, but the both descend from William Lentz b. 1892 and Clementina Hodder. So their match is likely on the Hodder side.

unraveling chromosome 8

Here is what I have at Chromosome 8 from about 102 to 143M


Here for some reason, we see the number 133 repeated and it is associated with Carolyn. Here is what Carolyn’s Chromosome 8 matches look like on Gedmatch’s Chromosome Browser:


  1. Linda
  2. Judy
  3. Joan
  4. Mom

Note that my mom (4) doesn’t overlap with Linda, Judy, or Joan, but matches with Carolyn up to 133M. What does this mean? I will give a possible explanation.


Remember that a TG represents a specific ancestor. However, we don’t know if it is William Nicholson or Martha Ellis in this case. Let’s suppose that the TG for Carolyn, Judy, Joan and Linda represents Martha Ellis. I have that TG represented in dark circles and lines. That means that before 133M would represent where Carolyn (and my mom) got their William Nicholson DNA that they shared with each other. That relationship I have represented above in light blue circles. The other explanation would be the exact opposite scenario where Mom and Carolyn share the Ellis DNA and the others share Nicholson DNA. In order to know for sure, we would have to have someone who is a Nicholson but not and Ellis or Ellis but not a Nicholson to check.

A less likely scenario would be that the starts and stops at 133M for Carolyn are coincidences.

Updating the Triangulation Group Summary


I didn’t add Linda in every case as sometimes her results were the same as her sister’s results.

Revising Mom’s Chromosome Map

Based on Mom’s new matches with Linda representing William Nicholson and Martha Ellis, here is her new Chromosome Map thanks to Kitty Munson’s software:


I have put mom’s ancestors in chronological order with most recent ancestors on the top. This has made the William Nicholson b. 1836/Martha Ellis segments show up in a better color also.


Mapping My Chromosome 20 Using My Raw DNA Results

In a past blog, I mentioned My Big Fat Chromosome 20. That blog is also referenced on the ISOGG Chromosome Mapping Page. This particular Chromosome had puzzled me for a while due to the preponderance of matches I was getting there. I used visual phasing and determined that the overload of matches was on my paternal grandmother’s Frazer side rather than the Hartley side. I had previously supposed that the Hartley side held the key to all my matches as that side had colonial Massachusetts roots. Since that time, I had my brother’s DNA tested. He is shown as F in the bottom row below. I thought that his results might add some clarity to Chromosome 20.


Rather than clarifying things, I just got a shorter version of what I already had for Jon (F) than I had for myself (J) and my two sisters. The problem is the phenomenon of close crossovers at the beginning and end of each chromosome.  Jon also has quite a few matches in Chromosome 20 (unlike my sister Sharon who had Hartley DNA in most of her paternal Chromosome 20). He has almost 30% of his phased matches there according to his match spreadsheet based on Gedmatch.

Going to the Source – Raw Data Phasing

I have been learning how to phase my raw data based on a Whit Athey article, MS Access and the work that M Macneill has done. The Whit Athey Paper describes how to manipulate the raw DNA data of one parent and four siblings to get Dad Patterns and Mom Patterns. I have found these patterns to be useful.

Dad Patterns

Even though my dad never had his DNA tested, based on the certain principles, I have come up with a spreadsheet that shows for various sections of the chromosomes matching patterns that I have with my other three siblings. I use A’s and B’s to give a generalized pattern. The patterns will be in the order of Joel, Sharon, Heidi and Jon. Here is my Dad Pattern spreadsheet showing Chromosome 20:


I find my gap to next column handy. The first thing that I notice is that there are not many large gaps. If there were very large gaps, that might indicate an AAAA pattern where all the siblings match (in this case a paternal grandparent). One thing that I added today is a Start and Stop. This is the first and last tested position of the Chromosome. This is good to know in case a pattern is hiding at the beginning or end of the chromosome. Let’s just look at the second line of the spreadsheet. This shows that there is a pattern of ABAB from position 0 to 10M. This means that the first and third people (Joel and Heidi) match the same paternal grandparent and the 2nd and 4th siblings (Sharon and Jon) match the other paternal grandparent.

In the third row of the spreadsheet, a new paternal pattern starts (at 10M). This is ABAA. Now sibling 1, 3, and 4 (Joel, Heidi, and Jon) match each other. The difference between ABAB and ABAA is in the last position where I have Jon. He switched from a B to an A and now no longer matches Sharon, but he does match his other three siblings on the paternal side. As Jon is the one that changed, he gets the paternal crossover at this position.

A few other notes
  • These patterns are gradual. That means that there can be only one change at a time.
  • If it looks like there are two or more changes, then either something was done wrong or you have to invert the A’s and B’s
  • For example, above in row 4, I have an AABA pattern that goes to and ABAB. On face value, it looks like three changes. However, AABA is the same as BBAB. Actually it is the first B changing to an A. This is my position A, so I have a crossover around 54M on the paternal copy of my Chromosome 20.
  • These areas of patterns are also used to fill in bases received from Dad or Mom in the particular areas that the patterns occur in each chromosome.
  • If there are only three siblings tested, these patterns are not as informative.
Mom Pattern spreadsheet

I would not want to leave mom out. Here is the pattern of her 4 children matching on the maternal side:


Like the Dad Pattern Spreadsheet, everything looks well behaved as there are no large gaps between patterns. Also there are no gaps at the beginning or end of Chromosome 20. So there you have it. That is the phased DNA for myself and my other three siblings. But it doesn’t jump out at you and I don’t have a map yet. That is where I bring in the MacNeill <> Spreadsheet.

MacNeill’s Excel Spreadsheet

I adjusted MacNeill’s Chromosome 1 spreadsheet by replacing default numbers for Chromosome 20. Then I added in the locations I had in the spreadsheet above. Those are the Start36 and Stop36 columns. The 36 refers to Build 36 locations which Gedmatch uses. After that I colored in the bars to be consistent with the visual phasing I had done previously.


Actually, I now see that I colored Sharon’s paternal  bar backwards. She should have mostly Hartley (blue). This transposition also carried through to the next image, but I corrected it in the final image. I like having labels, so I copied this into PowerPoint and added some:


Next I add any appropriate cousin matches for Chromosome 20. I also made the sibling names on the left a little bigger. My mistake above on Sharon’s paternal bar is corrected and verified by her large paternal Hartley cousin match with Jim below.


I had to bring this back into PowerPoint to re-add the surnames. The places where the cousin matches start or stop may be crossovers for me and my siblings. From comparing the top part of the chart to the bottom, it should be obvious which crossovers are for me and my siblings and which are for the cousins. The good news is that the raw DNA phasing confirms my initial visual phasing done in January, 2016. The raw DNA phasing just filled in what I was unable to. The other good news was that there were significant cousin matches on both the paternal and maternal side of Chromosome 20 to make sure that all the grandparents were identified correctly. Since I did the original visual phasing last January 2016, I have gotten the DNA results of 2 more cousins. Also one additional cousin who previously had her match to only me at 23andme uploaded her results to Gedmatch.


  • The hard work in Raw DNA phasing is assigning all the bases of the siblings to the correct parent. Then patterns are discerned and noted.
  • The fun part is mapping out the results.
  • Raw DNA phasing and mapping is more accurate and complete than visual phasing. However, it takes a lot of work and works best when there is at least one tested parent.
  • The comparison of the raw DNA mapping to the actual cousin matches points out the fuzzy boundaries noted by others. This may be seen in Sharon’s short Lentz segment. Her cousin Judy match (who has Lentz ancestry) appears to exceed the length of Sharon’s Lentz segment.
  • Out of the four siblings, Sharon is the one who didn’t get the huge dose of Frazer ancestor matches. That means that she would be the best for looking for smaller matches at Her smallest match is 9.3 cM (5.9 Gen) and my smallest match at Gedmatch is 10.7 cM (5.2 Gen).
  • At a glance, one can see who is the best person for finding matches with each of the four side of the family. For example, I received a full dose of Lentz DNA on Chromosome 20. Here is my Lentz grandmother (b. 1900) in her younger days. Her DNA is represented in yellow in the charts above.