A Dorset, Newfoundland and New Zealand Connection by DNA

Heather first contacted me through AncestryDNA. This was in December 2015. She lived in New Zealand and matched my wife’s great Aunt Esther. What I know about Esther was that all her ancestors came by way of Newfoundland and her line came from Harbour Buffet. I took a look at Heather’s Ancestry Tree and didn’t see any Newfoundland ancestors. I did see a Crann ancestor she had from Dorset, England. I had heard from someone who thought that Aunt Esther should have some Crann relatives (at least that was my memory – Hann is also a Harbour Buffet name). So I thought that this was interesting. Perhaps we could find an English connection for a Newfoundlander and a New Zealander.

Since that time, I recommended that Heather upload her results to Gedmatch and also join the Newfoundland Gedmatch Facebook group. She did that and I’d like to take a look at the DNA to see what may be found.

Genetic Relatives and Family Trees

First, here is the match between Heather and Esther:

The estimated number of generations to a common ancestor is 3.7. That could mean a few things. However, someone in the 3rd cousin range may be suggested. Here are Heather’s Crann ancestors:

Harold is Heather’s dad, so Samuel Crann would be out 4 generations from Heather.

Here are Esther’s ancestors:

Frederick and Margaret were Esther’s parents. Even at three generations back from Esther, there are a few gaps. Interestingly, looking up the Upshall name on the internet appears to link it to Dorset. The early records of Harbour Buffet mention a Peter and a Thomas Upshall. As a wild stab, I notice these two transcribed Upshall births from the Hazelbury Bryan Parish records in Dorset.

In the original records, Peter is referred to as ‘base-born’. Here is a map of Hazelbury Bryan showing proximity to nearby ports:

Below is Netherbury, where Heather’s ancestor Samuel Crann lived in the early 1800’s. He was a bit to the Southwest of my stab in the dark Upshalls.

Esther and My Mother in Law

My mother in law is Esther’s half niece. She is related through Esther’s paternal side only – barring intermarriage issues.

Here is how Heather matches my mother in law Joan:

This tells us that for these matches, Heather and Joan are matching more on the Upshall side rather than Esther’s Shave side. A slight point of confusion is that Esther has the Dicks family on her father’s and mother’s side.

A Triangulation Group?

It appears that Heather, Esther and Joan are in a Triangulation Group on Chromosome 1. That would mean that Heather, Esther and Joan should have a shared ancestor based on the DNA.

Heather to Esther:

Heather to Joan:

Esther to Joan to complete the triangle:

For some reason, there is a break in the Esther to Joan match. However, clearly there is a triangulation group (TG). That means that at least 2 out of 6 segment matches that Heather has with Esther and Joan are on the Upshall side.

AncestryDNA Shared Matches

So far, I have shown that at least part of the DNA match could be on the Upshall line. I have also shown that some Upshalls lived not too far from some of Heather’s ancestors in Dorset. The next step is to see if there are any Dicks family related to Heather. I have headed up quite a large Newfoundland Dicks family project. If Heather is related to Newfoundland Dicks, perhaps we would have already known that. One easy way to check is to check the Shared Matches at AncestryDNA.

This list shows two 3rd cousins and nine 4th cousins. Even though these are shared matches between Heather and Esther, the relationship shown here is to Esther.  The first person on the list comes up as a probable 3rd cousin to Esther. His name is Terence. When I choose him and then choose his shared matches, I see Heather on Terence’s Shared Match list as a possible 4th cousin. The bad news about Terence’s Ancestry Tree is that there are 4 people on it. The good news is that one of those four, his mother, is listed as a Crann.

Now I feel like I am getting somewhere. I feel like I should be focusing on the Upshall side of Esther’s tree. This, of course, is the side least known:

Esther and heather’s 2nd Shared match

Esther and Heather’s second shared match at AncestryDNA is Elsie. She is a possible 3rd cousin to Esther. Like Terence, Elsie is a possible 4th cousin to Heather. Like Terence she has an Ancestry Tree of 4 people. Her names are Chafe and Hann. Hann is a name that was known to be in Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland where Esther’s parents came from. Elsie also notes some ancestry from Placentia, Newfoundland. Harbour Buffet is in Placentia Bay. The Chafe name sounds familiar to me also.

So far, I have two interesting connections with the first two Shared Matches between Heather and Esther. Too bad my mother in law, Joan, is not also on AncestryDNA. At this point, I could try to work Terence’s and Elsie’s genealogy back up the Crann Line. However, I’ll keep looking at more Shared Matches. Now I’m down to Esther’s 4th cousins.

Fourth Cousin shared matches between Heather and esther

Now we are getting a bit further out. Rather than detailing each Shared Match, I have summarized my findings in a table.

My conclusion from all this is that there is a Crann/Netherbury, Dorset connection between Heather and Esther.

Building a Crann Tree

From here, I could look at the matches of the matches. This could get further out results that I don’t want. So instead, I’ll look to build out Terence’s four person tree. First, I will start a tree with the one Crann that he has in the tree. I find the one Crann in the 1930 Census:

This is helpful as it shows Arline’s parents, their ages, where they were born (Newfoundland) and where their parents were born (also Newfoundland).

Connecting the dots

Hopefully, I’m connecting the right dots. Here is John Crann’s World War II Registration:

This was helpful as it gives his John’s date and place. Here is Trinny Cove about 7 miles across the Bay from Harbour Buffet:

Here is a 1921 Census of Trinny Cove from a Newfoundland Genealogy website:

It looks like there were three houses in Trinny Bay and two of those were Crann houses. The two eldest Cranns were born in Harbor Buffett. I now have two potential sets of parents for John Crann, with my first choice being Richard. I do note that John’s first son was named Richard, so that adds weight to my assumption. In addition, his first daughter was named Julia.

Here’s John and Anastacia’s marriage on 8 Oct 1911, thanks to FamilySearch:

Bell Island is on the NE side of Newfoundland. At about this time I got stuck finding out the parents of John from the bottom up.

Richard crann b. 1856 b. harbour buffet

I thought why not check to see if there is a tree for Richard Crann from the Trinny Cove Census of 1921? I went on to Ancestry and found a familiar sounding Crann. Here was a Samuel Crann. His grandfather was listed as being from Netherbury, Dorset.

The Henry who had all the children was shown as being born in Jean de Baie, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland and dieing at Flat Islands, Newfoundland. Now I have made at least one connection between one Crann who was from Netherbury and moved to Newfoundland.

A Google search helped me find a Crann Families of Newfoundland Web Page:

RICHARD2 CRANN (CRANN1) was born December 1856 in Harbour Buffett, NF, and died December 13, 1941 in Fair Haven, NF.   He married JULIA REID  She was born September 1858 in Little Harbour, NF, and died October 20, 1940 in Fair Haven, NF.

Children of RICHARD CRANN and JULIA REID are:

JOHN BENJAMEN3CRANN

ELIZA CRANN , b.December 1877, Harbour Buffett, NF

ELIZABETH CRANN , b. November 1898, Trinny Cove, NF; m. JOHN PEDDLE; b. Corner Brook NF

What I’ve done:

  • I’ve connected Terrence to Esther and Heather by DNA.
  • I have also connected Terrence’s mom to the Newfoundland Cranns and more specifically a Crann born in Harbour Buffet.
  • I have also found a Crann family showing ancestry to Netherbury, Dorset, England.

What I haven’t done:

  • Haven’t connected the Newfoundland Cranns to Heather’s Cranns in Netherbury
  • Haven’t connected Esther’s family to the Cranns other than by location
  • Haven’t connected Terrence’s ancestor Richard Crann to earlier Cranns

So I’m about halfway there. Let’s look to see if we can connect Heather’s Cranns to this John Crann from Netherbury, Dorset.

John Crann Born 1791

This appears to be the record of John’s baptism in Netherbury:

Here is Heather’s Tree:

Here is a more fleshed out tree I found at Ancestry:

This tree shows that the Newfoundlander John Crann and New Zealander Samuel Crann were brothers. Talk about going different ways! This seems to make Henry Crann b. 1757 the common ancestor of Esther and Heather.

Wild Guessing Time

That’s about it for the research. Now I get to wildly guess and make assumptions. Assumption one is that John Crann’s brothers did not also move to Newfoundland. I have the William above died in England, the first John died young and Samuel went to New Zealand. I’m not sure what happened to the other Robert.

Another Crann Tree

While poking around Ancestry, I found yet another Crann Tree called Henwood. This tree seems to fill in a few blanks:

There are a few things I like about this tree. One thing is that it gives the spread of John Crann’s children from 1817 to 1836. Secondly, it shows a likely tie-in with one of Esther’s matches. Way up above in my Blog I mentioned that Heather, Esther and Terrence had a match with someone named Matson. Part of Matson’s tree looks like this:

It ended with one of Matson’s great grandmothers who was Marina Irene Crann b. 1877. It showed her husband as having died in Harbour Buffet. If I stitch the two trees together at Marina, I get a tree for Matson. While I’m at it, I’ll add Heather in. She’s in green for New Zealand.

Heather and Matson show up at AncestryDNA as 4th cousins with a possible range between 4th and 6th cousins. This tree shows them as 4th cousins, once removed. I’ll now add Terence’s Line and Esther’s Line.

A Proposed Crann Tree

At first, I had Esther’s tree up a generation, but that didn’t give any room for John Crann to have a daughter that could fit into Esther’s tree. Esther has two places where a Crann daughter could fit. One is the wife of an Upshall. The other is Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Dicks. From my diagram above, it looks like Terrence’s missing ancestor would have to be a son of John Crann. Under the above scenario, Esther would be a 4th cousin to Heather and a third cousin once removed to Terrence and Matson.

For a few reasons, I’m favoring the theory that a Crann married an Upshall. I suppose that Catherine Crann who I have in one tree as being born 1821, could have married Upshall in 1840 and had Henry Upshall in 1841.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Comparison of Crann Trees and Crann DNA matches lead to a suggested new Crann Tree
  • By carefully placing the separate trees together, it indicates where the missing Crann in the tree would likely go.
  • If more Crann descendants upload their DNA to Gedmatch, it could help verify these lines through triangulation.
  • It appears that there is more room for analysis. In my Excel spreadsheet of compared matches, there were multiple matches between Ninky, Elsie, Heather and Esther. However, that would make the blog too long.

 

4 Replies to “A Dorset, Newfoundland and New Zealand Connection by DNA”

  1. Hi Joel, Your knowledge of triangulation just blows my mind. I love the way you reason things out.
    Have you noticed if my brother Howard, Dale Forrest or myself connect in any way to the Crans? We go back to Jane Cran who married Robert Dicks.
    I noticed Esther and I shared a high number of CMs, seeing we are so distantly related. Wonder if this is because we also share a Cran connection? Just wondering!
    I have a great uncle who will be 95 in a few weeks. Jane Cran is his great grandmother! I would love to see his DNA tested.
    Molly

    1. Hi Molly,

      No, you were the type of person I was trying to keep out of this study because of your many Newfoundland ancestors! I just went back to my Dicks DNA chart and see your Crann connection. What you are asking is a bit more complicated than what I did in this blog. However, once a good Crann Line is established with people who don’t have other Newfoundland ancestors, it may be possible to parse out the two Dicks lines you are on based on Crann ancestry.
      Joel

  2. Great article a lot of research gone into this. I am also a descendant of Samuel Crann and Sarah Crann also through the Robertson line. I have been trying to find a paper connection to the Dorset Crann’s and I have several trees. I also belong to the Guild of One Name Study and have been researching the Crann name worldwide. I now need to sit and reread your article. DNA is great for making the connections with the paper trail. Keep up the good work.

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