Martha’s Family’s Harbour Buffett DNA

A lot has been going on with Harbour Buffett DNA and genealogy lately. My wife’s great Aunt Esther’s gedmatch list has had a lot of green numbers showing up lately near the top of her Gedmatch list. Green means new entries of people that have had their DNA tested and uploaded to Gedmatch. Esther’s ancestors are all from Harbour Buffett. Martha has come up as one of Esther’s recent matches at Gedmatch along with Martha’s brother and her maternal Aunt. Also there is a new Facebook Page called Harbour Buffett DNA.

Martha’s Genealogy

It is actually Martha’s mother’s genealogy that I am interested in.

I have a new tool where I can blur things for privacy. I don’t know if I need to, but I blurred out Martha’s mom from Martha’s genealogy tree. This is the side from Harbour Buffett. I’m even more interested in Martha’s Aunt’s genealogy. Martha has a separate tree for that line.

This line goes back further to Upshall which is interesting. My wife’s Great Aunt Esther is an Upshall. Another important aspect in comparing Martha to Elaine, Joan and Esther is that Martha shows no Dicks family in her direct ancestry. If she had Dicks ancestors, that would clould the DNA comparisons.

Esther’s Genealogy Compared to M.B. (Martha’s Maternal Aunt)

What is interesting to me is that Jane Upshall in Martha’s tree could be a sister to Henry Upshall in Esther’s tree. As this is Harbour Buffett, Newfoundland, there are other connections. AncestryDNA makes the obvious connection between Martha’s Aunt (M.B.) and Esther:

Here Esther and M.B. show as 3rd cousins. The graphic shows Esther and M.B.’s common ancestor of Kirby/Emberley. These are ancestors that my wife’s family do not share as they are only related on Esther’s Upshall side.  AncestryDNA thinks that Esther and M.B. should be 2nd cousins by DNA. There is at least one reason for that. That could be the Upshall connection.

The Upshall Connection

Here, I would like to work on the assumption that Martha’s ancestor Jane is Henry Upshall’s sister.

This shows that under this scenario, M.B. and Esther would be 2nd cousins once removed. To me, this is a likely guess and would explain AncestryDNA’s designation of 2nd cousin (along with the actual 3rd cousin Kirby/Emberley connection.)

Peter Upshall: A Common Ancestor?

Much of DNA matching is looking for Common Ancestors. One way to look at the Upshall connection is through Esther’s two 1/2 nieces: Joan and Elaine. Joan is my mother in law and Elaine is her sister. Joan and Elaine are only related on Esther’s paternal side and not her maternal Kirby/Emberley side. In autosomal DNA, it is all about separating between maternal and paternal sides.

Here is a look at Esther’s tree where she would match Elaine and Joan:

Further, Martha’s family does not show direct Dicks ancestors, so that would force the connection to be on the Upshall side.

Here is how Joan and Elaine fit in coming down from my proposed common ancestor:


Florence is Esther’s older half sister. Under this scenario, Joan and Elaine would be M.B.’s 3rd cousin. I had Elaine tested at AncestryDNA where she and M.B. show as possible 4th cousins by DNA. However, in my opinion 3rd cousin would work also. I would like to show that Upshall is a common ancestor between M.B., Joan, Elaine and Esther by comparing DNA matches.

AncestryDNA Shared Matches

AncestryDNA has a helpful utility called Shared Matches. Elaine has shared matches with M.B. AS Elaine and M.B. have a likely shared Upshall ancestor, the shared matches of Elaine and M.B. should also have a shared Upshall ancestor.

The first shared ancestor of M.B. and Elaine is Karen. She has a short tree.

Karen’s Newfoundland Ancestry

Karen shows both her parents as coming from Newfoundland. I recognize the names of Hollett and Gilbert. It would be a little work to try to build Karen’s tree back. Fortunately, has the 1935 Newfoundland Census. I see Clyde there with his parents Isaac and Mary in New Harbour Trinity District. There was a Malcolm Hollett in the 1921 Census for Spencer’s Cove, Placentia that might be the right person. I was ready to give up on this tree, but rememebered I sometimes have good luck searching for obituaries. I found this one:

This certainly fits with New Harbour. This also tells me that Clyde and Geraldine married around 1949. I sent a message off the Karen to see if she coiuld tell me any more. I’ll try another Shared match.

John’s Harbour Buffett Ancestry

John’s family tree at Ancestry looks like this:

John shows that his father, Jack was born and died in Harbour Buffett. That is a good sign. Here is the 1905 marriage record for Joseph Manning and Elizabeth Dicks:

Here are some other familiar names of Upshall and Kirby. This gives us birth dates for Joseph and Elizabeth. This tree at least got me back to Harbour Buffett. However, there was no clear connection to the Upshall Family.

Back to M.B.’s DNA

First, I’ll make one more adjustment to the family tree. I want to include Martha and her brother in the tree:


I will now look at all the matches between Martha, D.E., M.B., Joan, Elaine and Esther and see if anything pops out I am especially interested in matches with Joan and Elaine as that narrows down the ancestors to Upshall.

Time to Triangulate

A Triangulation Group (TG) is when three non-siblings match each other. When this happens there should be a common ancestor or ancestral couple. I compared all the above bottom row people to each other. I made Joan and Elaine yellow and Martha and her brother and Aunt green. That way, I can see where there is a green next to a yellow easily. Those are the matches that I am looking for.


On Chromosome 6, there is a TG between Elaine, Joan, MLB, DTE, and Martha. Interestingly, Esther is not in the TG (or she is in the TG below the 7 cM threshold). In my hypothetical Upshall tree, the TG would look like this:

I am assuming that Peter Upshall and his unknown wife are the common ancestors. Or put another way, if they aren’t then who is?


Two TGs on Chromosome 8

The first TG seems to have everyone in it: Esther, Joan, Elaine, Martha, DTE and MLB. The second TG just has Elaine, DTE and MLB.

An Upshall(?) TG Summary

Rather than go through every TG, here is a summary:


Based on this summary, Martha wins the prize. She is in 5 out of the 6 TGs. Everyone else is in 4 TGs. The first column names the TG based on the Chromosome. The second column is position where the TG is on the Chromosome (in Millions). The green indicates who that person is in the TG. I hope that this chart will be the baseline in case we come upon other Upshall descendants.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Due to the genealogy between Martha’s family and my wife’s family, shared DNA matches should lead to the Upshall line
  • A comparison of Ancestry DNA shared matches between Elaine and Martha’s Aunt didn’t lead to any obvious new leads.
  • Martha’s addition of her DNA as well as her brother and Aunt’s DNA to Gedmatch has been a big help in figuring out relationships.
  • I mapped out several Triangulation Groups between Elaine, Joan, Esther and Martha’s family. These TGs seem to point to either Peter Upshall or an ancestor along the Upshall Line.
  • The Summary of “Upshall” TGs could be a baseline for further Upshall descendant matches.


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