More Crann DNA

In my previous Blog, I looked at creating genealogical trees using proposed Crann DNA matches. The matches I looked at were primarily at AncestryDNA. The advantage of Ancestry is that if the matches have trees, they are easy to find. Since that Blog, I had a question from Molly in my Newfoundland Dicks DNA Study Group. Molly would like to know if the DNA shows that she is descended from the Cranns. Molly has two lines of Dicks ancestry. One of them leads back to an early Crann connection.

Molly (or Marilyn) and her brother Howie are on a Dicks/Crann line on the right. They are also on a Dicks/Joyce line. My wife’s mom Joan and Joan’s half Aunt Esther are on another Dicks line. In my previous two Blogs, I got around a lot of the non-Crann common ancestors by finding a Crann descendant who moved from England to New Zealand. This tended to isolate matches to just Cranns and made things simpler. In the chart above, a lot of these people are related to each other in multiple ways due to living in isolated areas. Also Joan, Marilyn, Howie and Forrest did not test at AncestryDNA. Fortunately, they are all at Gedmatch.

Here was the match list at AncestryDNA:

These were presumed to have Crann ancestors. I know that Esther, Heather and Ninky are listed at Gedmatch. There are also others.

People Who Match One or Both of Two Kits

Getmatch has a utility where you put in two matching people and others show up that match both those people. This is sort of what AncestryDNA does with their matching feature. I did that for Esther and Heather. From that list, I found some people that match Heather and also match Esther.

Wayne and Marjorie

Wayne and Marjorie show up first on this list. Marjorie is probably the M.R. listed at AncestryDNA with the large tree. Wayne and Marjorie are siblings. If I’m interpreting Marjorie’s tree correctly, I get this:

This adds another New Zealand line in green to compare with the Newfoundlers. Also on that list of common matches are my mother in law, Joan and Molly who asked about her Crann connections. Forrest, who was listed as a Crann/Dicks descendant was not an obvious match to the New Zealand DNA testers. However, she did show a tree match to John Crann. Based on that, I’ll add Forrest, Molly and Howie:

Forrest also had that John Crann’s wife was Elizabeth, so I added that in. Under this tree, it would not be surprising for Forrest to not have a DNA match as Forrest and Heather would be 4th cousins twice removed. Next, I’ll add my mother in law and her half Aunt Esther:

Note that I just corrected Wayne and Marjorie and moved them up one step after getting in touch with Marjorie’s daughter Donna. In all subsequent diagrams, they should be shown as here.

My next step is to take all the tested people in the Tree above and compare their DNA in a spreadsheet, to look for Triangulation Groups (TGs).

Chromosome 10 TG

Here Heather, Wayne, Marjorie, Molly and Howie match each other. Joan and Esther match each other but not the rest of the group, so they are not in the same TG.

Based on the above, this appears to show a common ancestor of Crann for Marilyn. It’s a little surprising as Marilyn and Howie are 6th cousins to Wayne and Marjorie.

TG11: Heather, Esther, and Joan

I suppose Esther and Joan do not want to miss out on this TG which seems to point to Crann in Netherbury, Dorset, England:

This shows that the DNA that Joan and Esther match with Heather got to them somehow. That path had to be through the Upshall or Dicks wife (or both).

TG22: Esther, Heather, Wayne and Marjorie

Here, the match between Marjorie and Wayne are not highlighted as siblings are usually counted as one person in a TG.

It is interesting that after 250 years, the DNA still points to the Dorset, England home of the Cranns via Newfoundland and New Zealand.

These were only a few TGs. I only picked the DNA matches where there were pretty good New Zealand trees. There are probably other New Zealand DNA tested people that triangulate with Newfoundlanders who descend from the Crann family of Dorset.

If Heather wanted to map her Crann DNA based on these four testers, it would look like this:


A Dorset, Newfoundland and New Zealand Connection by DNA: Part 2

In my previous Blog I created a proposed tree based on AncestryDNA matches, Gedmatch matches and family trees. First, I created a more solid Crann tree by patching together existing trees. This would be the backbone of the study as there were pretty clear relationships. It looked like this:

One family had Newfoundland roots (Matson). Heather had New Zealand roots. They both matched by DNA and both had an ancestor in Netherbury, Dorset, England. Based on that tree, I added two other trees based on matching DNA:

One was another Crann tree. The other had no know Crann ancestors but a likely Crann DNA match. I felt comfortable doing that for a few reasons. The first reason was the AncestryDNA matches of the people in the proposed tree:

The 2nd and 3rd columns above showed how each person matched my wife’s great Aunt Esther and Heather. Further, Matson was related to Terence. This created a sort of circle. This is my interpretation of how Ancestry does their circles. The fact that there was this circular matching is in my opinion like what many do with Triangulation of DNA matches. This tends to insure that there is a common ancestor. This could also insure that the match of a match is not going far afield.

The other reason why Heather is an important match is that she is from New Zealand. I assume that her Crann ancestors went directly there. That means that I wouldn’t have to take into consideration Newfoundland intermarriages when considering DNA matches with Heather. In other words, I could assume that Heather was related on one line only. Or at least it would be more likely.

The  Elsie Connection

In the last Blog, I looked at the Terrence – Matson connection. They matched each other by DNA. They also matched Esther and Heather at AncestryDNA. In the same way, I would like to look at the Elsie connection. I mentioned in my last Blog that Elsie had 4 people in her tree. That was not totally right. She has 3 people and one is listed twice. I’ll ignore her grandmother as it is the same person she has down as her mother. Perhaps it was at that point that she gave up on her Ancestry Tree.

As before, I create a new tree for Elsie at Ancestry. I called it the Chafe/Hann Tree because at this time, we know of no Cranns in her ancestry. The problem with that is that we will need to build out both sides of Elsie’s ancestry. As I worked back her ancestry I looked at the Ancestry leaf hints. One hint surprised me as it was the first time I’d come across an Upshall in my genetic research. The fact that an Upshall popped up unannounced while I was chasing a probably Crann DNA lead seemed significant to me.

I already knew that there was at least one Hann family living in Harbour Buffet where some of my wife’s ancestor came from. From the Newfoundland’s Grand Banks web site, I find this family in the 1921 census for Little Harbour East:

This gives a month and year for each person’s birth and tells us where they were born. Little Harbour East is not far from Harbour Buffet. Actually, it is even closer than I had now that I have some good information from Devon Griffin:

Unlike the other wrong Little Harbour East I had, the right one is across the bay from Harbour Buffet. Here is the marriage record:

It looks like Jessie was quite young. I wonder who Malinda was. Esther’s middle name is Alinda. A little over a month after this, it looks like the two witnesses wed:

Now it looks like the groom for the previous wedding was a witness. Hmm…

George Upshall

From an Ancestry tree, I did get that Jesse (or Jessie) Upshall’s father was George Upshall. Of course, I don’t see that Ancestry Tree at the moment. I had trouble finding George at Ancestry also, but I appear to have found him at FamilySearch. There, he is shown as marrying in 1896. This only works if this was a second marriage as his proposed daughter Jessie was born about 1890.

This shows that the marriage took place in Little Harbour East and that George was a widower. Both the groom and bride were living in Little Harbour East at the time of the wedding.

Another tree gives George as the father of Melinda Upshall. That leaves me with this tree:

Based on this, I’d like to make a guess as to a new proposed Crann/Upshall Tree:

A New Guess for a Crann/Upshall Tree

This tree supposes that a daughter of John Crann b. 1791 married an Upshall. That Upshall then had at least two sons. One was Henry b. 1841 and one was George b. 1857 shown in purple above. Henry and George could have carried down that Crann DNA to Esther and Elsie. I took out the arrow going from John Crann b. 1791 to the Elizabeth that married Christopher Dicks in red above. However, it now occurs to me that it would be possible that that arrow could still be there as there could be a Crann daughter in both slots – on the Upshall and Dicks side.

Let’s look at my AncestryDNA relationship chart again:

Ancestry thinks by the DNA that Elsie and Esther should be 3rd cousins. My chart has them as 3rd cousins, once removed. Ancestry has Elsie and Heather as 4th cousins. I show them as 5th cousins by the chart. The problem with what I did was that I didn’t follow the Chafe and Hann lines up to eliminate other possible Crann connections. However, I think that my chart gives a plausible solution to the DNA matches. It is satisfying to be able to propose some possible relationships based on logical assumptions after so many years of dealing with genealogical records that just don’t seem to exist in many cases.

Summary and Conclusions

  • This method works well with larger DNA matches
  • I started with a large match where there appeared to be a known common ancestor.
  • Based on that match and known ancestor, I developed trees based on other common DNA matches and common ancestries.
  • This method was helped by a non-Newfoundland match. This resulted in narrowing down the search to one surname.
  • Problems could result if I didn’t get the right surname to begin with
  • Other problems could result by not eliminating other possible genealogical connections
  • I drew a proposed tree to make sure the proposed relationships make sense time-wise. The tree also makes sure the proposed genealogical relationships match the ones proposed by the DNA relationships








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:


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.