I get notifications from time to time from 23andMe about new DNA matches and I don’t usually know how we match up. Recently I had such a notice of a potential 3rd cousin and I did know how we match.
How Zoë and I Match by Genealogy on the Clarke Side
Zoë and I match by McMaster and I later found out Clarke. I’ll start with the Clarke side. This is the tree that I have so far of DNA relatives on my Clarke side:
Zoë descends from Catherine Clarke and William McMaster on the right side of the tree where I am. It turns out that this is an important DNA match, as I have one DNA match on that side who is Melissa. However, she tested at Ancestry which does not show detailed DNA information like 23andMe does. Zoë tells me that Violet McMaster is a many times great grandmother to her, so I’ll build down her tree from there.
From what I can figure out this is how we connect:
So it turns out that we are third cousins, but it looks like third cousins twice removed. Our common ancestors are Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt. When I look at my common DNA relatives with Zoë, Stephen shows up from the left side of the tree. He tested at 23andMe also. Ron from the left side of the tree shows up at MyHeritage.
These two are Zoë’s ancestors William McMaster and Catherine Clarke:
How Zoë and I Match by McMaster Tree
Here is my existing McMaster DNA Tree:
This tree is larger and needs a road map. I don’t need the left side of this tree for Zoë. The left side of the tree is for a branch of the McMaster family that ended up in Canada. The down arrow is where I need to add Zoë’s ancestor William McMaster.
Zoë and I are at opposite ends of this DNA McMaster tree. We appear to be 4th cousins once removed. Our common ancestors are Fanny McMaster and James McMaster. That means that I am related to Zoë by four ancestors and three out of those four ancestors are McMasters.
Adding Zoë to My DNA Painter Profile
This is my DNA map of known matches:
This shows that I have identified 51% of the available spaces on the two copies of my chromosomes (paternal and maternal). Here is my paternal side where I match Zoë:
On this side I am 57% painted or identified. I’ve checked ahead and saw that Zoë adds new information to this map. That is probably because she represents a new relative on my family trees also.
Here is how I match Zoë at 23andMe:
We match on Chromosomes 3 and 17 and twice on Chromosome 7. the question now is which DNA goes with which pair of ancestors? Chances are slightly higher that I match Zoë by Clarke and McMaster than the second McMaster and McMaster relationship. It is also possible that each of the four DNA segments could represent one of our four common ancestors. The easiest way to identify all the DNA would be to create a new category on my DNA map called Clarke 1823 or Mcmaster 1829.
Here is how Zoë shows up on my Chromosome Map on Chromosomes 3 and 7:
On Chromosome 3, Zoë is a new match. On Chromosome 7, she overlaps with Ron. On Chromosome 3, my match with Zoë has no overlap with other matches. Here is my phased map of Chromosome 3:
This is the portion of my Chromosome I got from my Frazer grandmother shown by the red arrow above. She is the one with Clarke and McMaster ancestors. So it would make sense that I would match Zoë on the right side of the paternal copy of Chromosome 3.
On Chromosome 7, I match Zoë in two areas that are close to each other. The first segment overlaps with a match with Ron. Ron also has Clarke and McMaster Ancestry. It is my guess that that segment triangulates between Zoë, Ron and me:
One More Scenario and Another McMaster Tree
Ron is also related to Zoë and me on the McMaster side, but that brings up another McMaster tree:
I must have planned on meeting Zoë or one of her relatives as I left a space (outlined in an orange box). Here I have added in Zoë:
This connection goes back 7 generations for Zoë. So while this connection is less likely than the Clarke connection, it is still a possible connection. I have a quick fix:
I added 1764 to the possible place that this DNA could have come from. Even that designation is not totally correct as the triangulated match with Ron could not be from the McMaster born in 1829. Even these designations are simplifications as the DNA could have come from the wives of these two McMasters and one Clarke.
Finally Chromosome 17
Zoë’s match is interesting here:
The place where the DNA changes from Barry to Zoe appears to indicate an old crossover from Barry. A crossover is where your DNA changes from one family to another. The simple explanation woudl be that this is a crossover from the Frazer DNA I got from Barry to the Clarke DNA that I got represented from the match with Zoë.
Here is where that split appears in my tree (see above). With the addition of Zoë’s matches:
That put me up 1% on the paternal side. Overall, I am still at 51% ‘painted’.
Summary and Conclusions
- The ancestors that Zoë and I share belonged to the minority Church of Ireland in Roman Catholic Ireland. They tended to marry within their faith, but that resulted in the intermarriage of lines.
- The Clarke line was not related to McMaster as far as I know in Ireland. However, one Clarke sister married a McMaster in Boston (Zoë’s ancestors) and another Clarke sister married that McMaster’s nephew who was a Frazer (my ancestors).
- I mapped out the different relationships in one Clarke tree and two McMaster trees
- Due to the relationships involved, the assigning of the DNA to a patricular couple was not easy. There were a possible three couples that this DNA could represent except for the case where the DNA overlapped with Ron. In that case, the DNA could only be from a possible two couples.