A New Nicholson DNA Relative at 23andMe

Back in August, I sent out a message on 23andMe to David who appeared to have Lentz or Nicholson ancestry. I wrote:

Hi I see we have common DNA matches that I know. You must be related to me on my Lentz or Nicholson side or both. Do you have any information on your family history?

David wrote back:

Nicholson side…What do you know about the Nicholson’s??? Most of my family on both sides are from Philly. My grandfather was George Nicholson.

This sent me off to my web page on Nicholsons. I found a George Nicholson but he seemed to be born too early to be David’s grandfather:

Plus, I didn’t have that this George had any children. Then I found another George apparently named for his Uncle George:

He was born in 1902, but I hadn’t taken his line any further. I went to Ancestry and found George in the 1940 Census at 400 Chandler Street, Philadelphia:

If I have it right, this is what shows up on Google maps at 400 Chandler Street:

David’s DNA and My DNA Relatives Chart

I have a chart for my DNA matches on my Nicholson side:

Looks like I have already been tracking David’s grandfather George Dockrell Nicholson as I have David’s cousin Robert who tested at Ancestry:

Here is David:

Turns out we are third cousins. My great-grandmother Annie Nicholson was the sister of David’s great-grandfather Walter Nicholson. Here is our common 2nd great-grandfather William Nicholson:

Here is David’s 23andMe photo:

My DNA Connection with David

The DNA connection that I have with David is either from William Nicholson or his wife Martha Ellis:

That shared DNA is mostly on our Chromosome 20 with a little on Chromosome 8. I have quite a few Nicholson relatives who have had their DNA tested. Those who tested on Ancestry like Robert don’t have the detailed information on DNA that 23andMe shows, so they don’t show below:

This is the DNA that I share with William Nicholson and Martha Ellis so far. Let’s see if David adds any new DNA to the mix. I use an online program to paint my DNA called DNAPainter. This is my whole maternal side:

This shows that I have 36% or a little over a third of my maternal DNA painted or identified. The purpleish color is William Nicholson and Martha Ellis.

On Chromosome 8, I share Nicholson/Ellis DNA with David and Linda:

This is also called triangulation when three people match. It is a proof of sorts that there has to be the same common ancestor between the three of them.

Shared Nicholson/Ellis DNA on Chromosome 20

Here David adds new DNA to my profile:

David’s match with me ends about where Carolyn’s picks up. That could mean that David and I share DNA from William Nicholson and Carolyn and I share our DNA from Martha Ellis. Or it could be the other way around. The way that DNA is inherited, it comes down separately from each ancestor. However, we don’t know which one it is coming from unless it is verified from an earlier ancestor – say the parents of William Nicholson or Martha Ellis.

My match with David on Chromosome 20 brings my maternally mapped DNA up to 37%:

Here is all my paternal and maternal DNA mapped:

I don’t know where I was before, but I am at 45% mapped now. The maternal side of my DNA shows on the bottom row. For example next to Chromosome 20, the bottom row is my maternal side which is all Nicholson. This was randomly inherited. So for each of my siblings, this would look different.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I’m glad that David contacted me. I was able to update my Nicholson tree once he identifed himself.
  • I was also able to map our DNA matches as David has opted to share his DNA results with me. Most of my matches have not opted in to DNA sharing.
  • David represents the first shared DNA coming from his great grandfather Walter Ellis Nicholson born in 1877 that is identified by Chromosome.


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