Bob’s DNA Connection to the Upshall Family

Over the years, there have not been too many Upshall matches. So when an Upshall descendant, Bob, contacted me about a DNA match recently, that was good news. Upshall is my mother in law’s mother’s name. I had my mother in law Joan tested, her sister Elaine tested and their half Aunt Esther tested. They all descend from Upshalls.

Bob’s Family Tree

Bob tested on Family Tree DNA where I found his tree.

Bob has Upshall on his paternal side. I see a Peter and Jane A Upshall in Harbour Buffett in 1945:

Based on this couples’ age, they should have been born around 1883. This cannot be the right couple because Margaret or Maggie Upshall was born around then. I found Maggie’s 1898 wedding record and it appears that her mother’s name could have been Emma:

As Emma was 18 in 1898, that would means she was born about 1880. I do note that there was a widow Emma Upshall who married in 1894 in Harbour Buffett:

This widow would have been born about 1850. Could this be Emma Masters?

I built out Bob’s tree much like he did, except with an Emma instead of a Jenny:

Bob’s DNA at Gedmatch

Bob tested at FTDNA. Esther tested at AncestryDNA, but I uploaded her results to FTDNA where Bob found her. Bob wonders if Peter Upshall could be Henry Upshall’s brother. Henry is Esther’s grandfather. Here is a tree showing that possible scenario:

Martha’s family was highlighted in my previous Blog. The above tree is my fabrication, but in my previous Blog I gave a lot of reasons why Martha’s tree should be joined with Esther’s. In th above tree, Bob and Esther are 2nd cousins, twice removed. That means the Esther is 2nd cousins with Bob’s grandfather, but Bob is removed twice from his grandfather

I was happy to hear that Bob was willing and able to upload his results to Gedmatch for comparison. My wife’s Great Aunt Esther has a lot of new matches at gedmatch. These new matches appear in green. Bob is Esther’s 10th green match on her ‘one to many’ list of matches. Bob is about 42nd overall on Esther’s list. Here are the details of the match between Bob and Esther:

An important number is the Estimated number of generations to MRCA. At 4.0, this would be equivalent to a 3rd cousin. Above, I mentioned that Bob and Esther are 2nd cousins, twice removed. Genetically speaking, that is equivalent to a 3rd cousin relationship. So, on that level, that makes my hypothetical tree look good.

Bob’s DNA Compared to Joan and Elaine

Bob has no match with Joan. By my hypothetical tree above, Joan and Bob would be third cousins once removed. FTDNA has had this chart out for a while:


That tells me that there is a 70% chance that Bob and Joan should match. Or a 30% chance that they would not match.

Here is Bob’s match with Elaine:

They match, but the DNA match makes it look like a distant match.

Bob’s DNA Compared to Martha’s Family

Under my hypothetical tree, Bob and Martha would be 4th cousins. He would be third cousin once removed with Martha’s Aunt. Here is Bob’s match with Martha’s Aunt:

Based on just the MRCA, this would be close to a 3rd cousin, once removed. However, it would have been nice if there were shared matches on the same segments where Bob and Esther matched.

Bob’s Match with Martha’s Brother

Bob’s Match with Martha

What Does All This Tell Us?

To me, the evidence is inconclusive. The levels of matches between Bob, Elaine and Joan are below average for a 3rd cousin once removed relationship. However they would be within the possible ranges. Bob’s level of DNA matches with Elaine and Martha’s family are about average for what we had proposed. I feel like the person on the stand who said, “I will neither confirm nor deny…”.

Triangulation Groups (TGs)

Triangulation is when three non-siblings match on the same segment of DNA. A TG indicates a common ancestor or ancestral couple. There is triangulation between Bob and Martha’s family. There is also triangulation between Elaine, Bob and Esther at a low level. However, there is no triangulation between the three groups. This does disprove a common ancestor. However, this does not prove a common ancestor between the three families.

TG with Bob and Martha’s Family: Chromosome 19


This indicates a common Upshall ancestor (or with Peter’s spouse). Or with another common ancestor.

TG with Bob and Esther’s Side: Chromosome 12



This also indicates a common Upshall ancestor (or with Peter’s spouse). Or with another common ancestor.

Gedmatch Full Features

It took a while for Bob’s DNA to ‘tokenize’ at Gedmatch. Now everthing is up and running. I can see Bob’s list of ‘one to many’ matches. Bob’s first match has a Masters surname. He may want to follow up there.

Bob’s Matches in Common with Esther

A favorite utility at Gedmatch is awkwardly named, “People who match one or both of 2 kits”.  This should show on what lines Bob and Esther could be related.

Here are common matches Esther has with Bob on Chromosome 8:

The area I’m interested in is in the top right of this Chromosome Browser. Here Bob is #4. #1 is JoJo at Ancestry, but I don’t know much about her. Numbers 2 and 3 I know from a Dicks DNA project. These two are Marilyn and Howie. They are actually in two Dicks Lines. One is Dicks/Joyce and one is Dicks/Crann. I would not be surprised if this TG represents a Crann common ancestor. I have hypothesized that Esther has a Crann ancestor in previous Blogs. In my theory a Crann marries an Upshall. Confusing, isnt’ it?

Bob and Esther: Shared Matches on Chromosome 10

This represents Esther and Bob’s large match on Chromosome 10. Here Esther’s match with Bob is shown as #6. #7 could be a TG with someone named Dave. I don’t know a lot about him.

Bob and Esther: Shared Matches on Chromosome 12

This represents the TG I had mentioned above. Esther’s match to Martha is #2. Bob is #6. This is the Chromosome that ties things together. However, it is difficult to tell if this TG harks back to Peter Upshall or a more distant ancestor.

Here is my TG summary from my previous post:

At that time, TG12 was the large TG. Here Bob would piggy back onto TG12 but only from about 89 to 93M.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Bob’s genealogy appears to point to a common Upshall ancestor
  • This common ancestor could be at the level of Peter Upshall or even an ancestor of Peter
  • The DNA connection between Bob, Martha’s family and Esther’s family does not seem to be quite as strong as the connection between Martha’s family and Esther’s family. That may because there are three each in Martha’s and Esther’s families
  • At this point, it is inconclusive as to whether the DNA matches point to Peter Upshall, an ancestor of Peter Upshall or another surname.
  • More research on the DNA connections between Upshall, Crann and Masters may sort things out in the future.
  • The DNA connections may also bring a clearer shared genealogical ancestry to light.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *