Great news. My 3rd cousin, Joan, who is a Nicholson, posted her 1st cousin once removed, Carol’s DNA to Gedmatch.com. Carol is also a Nicholson descendant and my mother’s 2nd cousin.
This does 3 things:
- Improves my Chromosome mapping a la Kitty Munson
- Identifies my DNA by grandparent that I have mapped as per the Kathy Johnston method
- Creates a great link to the Nicholson side of the family that has been lost over the years.
In addition, these matches between Carol and my family are all higher than average. So even though my sisters and I are 2nd cousins once removed to Carol, we have about the amount of shared DNA to make us look like 2nd cousins.
William Nicholson born 1836 Sheffield England and Martha Ellis His Wife: Our Common Ancestors
The common ancestors between Joan, Carol, my mother Gladys, me and my 2 sisters are William Nicholson and Martha Ellis.
Judy and Joshua have tested also, but they are from both the Lentz and Nicholson side. Joan and Carol are helpful in that our only connection is Nicholson. That is the advantage of testing 2nd cousins. They usually can limit your matches to one of your 4 grandparents – or in this case, one of my mother’s 4 grandparents.
A Brief Sketch of William Nicholson
I am happy to have a photo of William. William was born in Sheffield, England in 1836. Working conditions were deplorable in Sheffield at this time. William’s father died in 1840 when William was 4. According to the newspaper, “On Thursday the 30th April, after a severe indisposition, aged 41, Mr. Matthew Nicholson, late of Suffolk road, leaving a numerous family to lament their loss.” The family was numerous with 12 children. William was number ten. William’s mother Martha made some money operating a beerhouse. Beerhouses were promoted at this time in England to counteract the effects of drunkenness due to gin consumption. This article was written about a year and a half after William’s father Matthew died:
William married Martha Ellis in 1854. William didn’t manufacture pen knives like the older generation but manufactured saws. He had 4 children in Sheffield, England between 1860 and 1869. After the Nicholson’s made the big move, he had 3 more children born in Philadelphia between 1871 and 1879. In Philadelphia he continued with his saw making skills. William’s wife Martha died in 1887. William married Emma Gardiner and had 2 more daughters. William died in 1919 in Philadelphia at age 83 – more than twice the age of his father when he died in Sheffield. I think William made a good decision to leave those unhealthy work conditions in Sheffield.
Updating My Chromosome Map
Here is what the DNA of my ancestors looks like mapped out:
My mother’s side is on the bottom of each chromosome bar. The DNA I got from the Nicholsons only is in light yellow. The light yellow also represents the DNA matches I have with Joan and her first cousin once removed Carol. Note on Chromosome 18 that the color goes from orange to yellow. There, the DNA I got is switching from my mother’s father’s side (Rathfelder) to my mother’s mother’s side (Nicholson).
Mapping My Chromosomes a la Kathy Johnston
I have also mapped my chromosomes using a method developed by Kathy Johnston. This method compares the matches that I have with my 2 sisters. From this, I can figure out how I inherited each of my 4 grandparents’ DNA. However, to distinguish the 4 grandparents, I need to have reference points. Carol’s DNA matches with me and my sisters provided many of those reference points for my mother’s mother’s side of the family. Where before on many chromosomes, I only knew I had maternal grandparent 1 or 2, now I know that they are Rathfelder or Lentz. [My Lentz grandmother’s mother was a Nicholson.]
For example, here is the same Chromosome 18:
My Chromosome is the bottom one. The other two are for my sisters. I match Carol from 71-74. So that confirms that the orange segment on the bottom right is from my mother’s Lentz side. And then more specifically through my mother’s mother’s Lentz mother’s Nicholson side. This change at positions 71 from green to orange on my mother’s father’s side to my mother’s mother’s side corresponds to the actual previous Kitty Munson DNA map where the color went from orange to light yellow.
There will be more time to look at Nicholson DNA in the future. For right now, I am glad that DNA has brought back together a family that settled in the Philadelphia area from Sheffield, England in 1870. My mom has only mentioned fond memories of her Nicholson grandmother. Those included Annie Nicholson Lentz’ cooking abilities and bringing my mom to church as a child. I expect other Nicholson branches have similar great memories.