Recently I was contacted by someone I knew in high school who said, “Who knew we were related?” Skot had tested his DNA at Ancestry and had found me as a Shared Ancestor Hint. Ancestry compares your trees and if there is a match in ancestors and a match in DNA you are put on a list.
Shared Hathaway Ancestors
Skot’s and my genealogy research both lead to Simon Hathaway and Hannah Clifton.
I have the above chart to my grandfather and Skot’s grandmother. The chart says that Skot and I are seventh cousins. Simon and Hannah were born in the early 1700’s and married in Rochester, Massachusetts. This is interesting as Skot and I both grew up in Rochester.
Does Skot and My Shared DNA Point to Hathaway and Clifton?
AncestryDNA doesn’t show that the DNA you share is the same DNA of your shared ancestor. It sort of implies that but doesn’t prove that. To prove that, we need to use triangulation and have chromosome browser. I asked Skot to upload his DNA results to Gedmatch where we could compare the DNA results. Here is what my match with Skot looks like at Gedmatch.com:
This shows that we match on Chromosome 10. I have a paternal phased kit at Gedmatch, and Skot also matched me there. That match shows that we match on my father’s side who had the Hathaway ancestors, so that is good.
Further, I have mapped my Chromosome 10 and it shows we match in an area where I got my DNA from my Hartley grandparent and not my Frazer grandparent whose parents were from Ireland. That is also a good sign:
This map shows me as J on the fourth bar. The Hartley is in orange and for me it goes from position 32M to 114M. According to Gedmatch, I match Skot from 68M to 77M, so that is well within my orange Hartley grandfather DNA area.
Triangulation of DNA
Triangulation of DNA is when A matches B, B matches C and A matches C. This is fairly easy to do. Once this triangulation occurs, it indicates a common ancestor. It is more difficult to find the common ancestor of that triangulation for various reasons. The next thing I look at is my sister Lori’s spreadsheet of matches. These matches have tested at various places and uploaded their results to Gedmatch.com. I’m looking at Lori’s matches because she matches Skot also, and because her test is more recent, so I have more matches for her.
Lori’s biggest match is 54, but that is with me. Lori matches Skot from about 68 to 77M, so these all start before that point. A few end before then. Lori has other matches in this region. Lori’s matches tested at AncestryDNA, 23andme and FTDNA. I tend to prefer AncestryDNA matches as the family trees are easier for me to read.
Lori’s first match of 22 cM is with Cheryl. Skot and Cheryl match at about the same spot and about the same cM as Lori and Skot match. That means the three triangulate.
Now the Hard Part – Finding the Common Ancestor
Cheryl has over 25,000 people in her tree. Does she have Hathaways or Cliftons? At Ancestry, Cheryl and Lori are not Shared Ancestor Hints to each other. According to AncestryDNA, the common surnames between Lori and Cheryl are:
However, Baker and Schmidt appear to me on my mom’s side, so I won’t look at those. Phillips and Warren didn’t show anything obviously helpful. When I click on Cheryl’s White, I get this:
This is interesting as I have ancestors in Dighton on my Snell Line and also White and Hathaway ancestors. With a little trial and error, I see that Elizabeth Hathaway’s mother is Elizabeth Talbot. That is one of my ancestral names also. Elizabeth’s parents according to Cheryls were Jared Talbot and Sarah Andrews. I have a match in that couple. Here is my tree:
This is what I meant when I said that finding common ancestors among triangulated matches was not easy. I’m not happy that Lori and Cheryl’s common ancestor is from the 1600’s, but at least we found a match. Perhaps we will come back to Cheryl. Right now, a tie-breaker would help. Hathaway/Clifton or Talbot/Andrews?
Here is the spot of Skot’s genealogy where Ancestry has us matching:
Note that Ancestry simplified the situation a bit. We are matching on Simon Hathaway and Hannah Clifton. However, we also match on Arthur Hathaway. It is even more confusing than that because Arthur Hathaway was also the father of Simon Hathaway by his first wife Maria Luce. Wow. Then Skot has more than one Clifton in there.
One of my good matches at Chromsome 10 in this area of interest is Shamus. He matches me closely at 43.8 cM by FTDNA and 39.4 by Gedmatch.com. According to FTDNA, we share the following surnames:
Barstow Cook Swift Samson Talbot Taylor Townsend White Wing Ward
I looked through these names, but saw no obvious connection before the 1700’s.
Sarah matches Lori at 18 cM. She is at FTDNA. Her surnames that match are:
Clark Hatch Jewett Johnson Lutzelburger Lutzelberger Lombard Richmond Spooner Smith White Wing
At least between Shamus and Sarah are the common White and Wing names. By the way, Sarah has a different last name at Gedmatch and FTDNA, but I assume that she is the same person. Actually there is a way to prove it, because FTDNA has a chromosome browser. Here is how Sarah matches me using FTDNA’s chromosome browser:
Again, the DNA part is easy. It is the genealogy that is a bear.
Here is Sarah’s White and Wing connection:
Here is how I connect:
Again it is not a very satisfying connection. We connect only on Daniel Wing at the top. Our ancestors appear to be from two different mothers and Daniel who was born in 1617. I wasn’t able to place Sarah’s Hannah White.
I didn’t find out much about Joanne or Joanna Hatch. I did read an account of a family tradition that said that Joanna and Bachelor Wing were cousins.
At this point, I’m ready to call it quits.
Summary of Genealogy Linked to DNA
So far I match:
- Skot on Hathaway/Clifton – early 1700’s Rochester, MA
- Cheryl – Talbot/Andrews 1640’s Dighton, MA
- Shamus and Sarah – Wing 1617 Sandwich, MA
I’m sure there are other connections.
Continuing to Work Down My Sister Lori’s Match List
There are some 23andme matches, but I have no idea how to find their ancestry without contacting them. Next I see Michelle. I am able to find her using a Chrome add-on to AncestryDNA which I think is called DNA Helper. She matches at 22 cM at Gedmatch. Oddly, she matches at 27.6 cM at AncestryDNA where the matches are usually less than at Gedmatch. Unfortunately, her tree is private. I have been in touch with her by email and she says she is related to the Hatch family somehow. The next match is Sean at FTDNA, but he has no family tree.
Summary and Conclusion
- The DNA shows that there is a common ancestor between the paternal matches that I have on a particular segment of Chromosome 10
- Finding the one common ancestor of a triangulated group is difficult
- It is likely that there are holes in the ancestry trees of these Chromosome 10 matches. If all those holes were filled in, then the common ancestor may become apparent.
- While I was doing this exercise I filled in some missing ancestors on my Jewett line. One ancestor was a Reverend up in Rowley which I found interesting. So this exercise wasn’t a total waste of time.
- Skot and I still likely match on Hathaway and Clifton. However, the DNA tests we both took don’t necessarily point to those two ancestors.
- At this point, the only triangulated ancestors I found in this Chromosome 10 group was Daniel Wing from Sandwich b., 1617.
- In summary, the DNA is saying that there is some kind of colonial Massachusetts ancestry passed down. However, whether that ancestry is from Dighton, Rochester or Sandwich, MA or even somewhere else is not clear.