Paula’s Ellis DNA?

I had an email from Paula recently. Paula believes she descends from the Ellis family of Prince Edward Island. I told her I would take a look at the DNA as my wife’s family also descends from the Ellis family of PEI. Paula believes that she descends from Edward Stanley Ellis born 1905.

The Ellis Family

The Ellis Family was a large one from PEI. Here are a few of the descendants that I have been tracking by DNA:

Above are represented three of the children of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton. Paula has done it the right way by posting a tree at Gedmatch. She shows herself descending from William Ellis and Agnes Ellis. Note on the existing tree that Robert and his mother descend from Mary Ann and Agnes Ellis.

Here I have circled Paula in the purple William line and the salmon Agnes Line. I just noticed something interesting. I have that Sarah on the far right has three Ellis ancestors. That is a bit confusing. I am guessing that they are all related. I suppose this is where Paula’s offer to send my Tylenol comes in. Due to Paula’s configuration, she is on a branch by herself on the left. She is on a branch on the Agnes side on the right, but within that branch, she is sixth on that branch. Due to her distance from others, DNA matching should not be as good as others already within the Ellis group.

Paula’s DNA

Here is how Paula compares to other Ellis descendants in general:

Paula’s biggest match is with Agnes.

Triangulation Groups

Any Triangulation Group that Paula is in may give hints as to common ancestors. We have to be careful due to the intermarriages between common PEI families.

I found Paula to be in one Triangulation Group (TG) with Margaret and Laura here:

This TG could be shown this way:

Ruling Out Other Options

A lot of genetic genealogy is about ruling out options. Paula needs to check Margaret’s ancestry to make sure there are not any other ancestors she may be matching going back about four generations. If that can be done without finding other common ancestors, then that makes the above diagram more sure.

Paula would be a third cousin, twice removed to Margaret and a fourth cousin once removed to Laura. Paula matches both of them at 32.5 cM which is a very good match.

This shows that 32.5 is not far off from what one would suspect for a 4C1R or a 3C2R.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I cannot say for sure that Paula is an Ellis. I would like to see some closer relatives tested along her two long lines to be more sure. In that way, the DNA matches could be worked back or worked up the lines.
  • I cannot say that Paula is not an Ellis. The matches with other Ellis’ seem consistent with what would be expected.
  • Paula does triangulate with an Aunt/niece combination. The ancestry of the aunt and niece should be checked to see whether there are other common ancestors at the level of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton or at a more recent generation.

Paula at MyHeritage

I notice that Paula is also at MyHeritage. MyHeritage shows shared matches that Paula and my wife’s Aunt Elaine have. One common match appears to be a half sister of Paula. In these shared matches, I am looking for triangulation. MyHeritage will show that.


At the top is Paula’s estimated half- sister. To the right there is a purple icon which indicates triangulation. Further down is Sharon, also with triangulation. Here is Sharon’s tree:

Sharon has John Raynor and Sarah Simmons which is also a common ancestor of Elaine. This may be where the triangulation occurs. But notice that Sharon is missing a maternal side, so there may be other possibilities.

The next person to triangulate with Paul and Elaine is Stephen. He triangulates in the same spot that Sharon does on Chromosome 2:

I couldn’t figure out Stephen’s tree, so I don’t know if he has Raynor or Ellis ancestors.

The next person to triangulate with Elaine and Paula is Elizabeth. She also triangulates at the same spot as the previous two people. She also has no tree.

So, going through MyHeritage showed that Paula may triangulate on the Raynor side. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t an Ellis ancestor. All very interesting. We will have to see if more matches turn up that will solve Paula’s mystery.

Ronda’s Ellis DNA

I noted a new match for my mother in law, Joan and her sister Elaine at Gedmatch recently. Here is the match between Ronda and Joan:

Here is how Ronda and Elaine match:

This shows 3.5 generations to a common ancestor. That would typically mean that Elaine and Ronda are 2nd cousins, once removed. Ronda tested at Ancestry, so I looked for a 2nd or third cousin there and couldn’t find Ronda. Ancestry has Elaine and Ronda as 4th cousins by DNA for some reason.

Ronda clearly shows at Ancestry as a 2nd cousin once removed to Elaine. Elaine tested at Ancestry, but Joan did not. Here is a record of the common ancestors:

This photo was from Ronda’s tree but originally posted by someone named Richard.

Ronda is a Great Match

Ronda makes a great DNA match for several reasons:

  1. She comes from a line that is very prolific. James Henry Ellis had 12 children if I counted them right. Imagine if he had two children and one of those had two children through the generations down to today. If there was just one descendant left today, there wouldn’t be other 2nd cousins that had their DNA tested, so there would be no 2nd cousin matches on that line. However, there were a lot of children and a lot of those children had a lot of children. Out of those descendants, some had their DNA tested.
  2. Ronda has a tree at Ancestry and tested there.
  3. Ronda uploaded her results to, so I can tell how and where the matches are.
  4. Ronda only descends from one Ellis Line. Descending from more than one line can make things complicated. She also does not appear to match Elaine on other ancestral lines which could make things tricky. One exception is the MacArthur Line which I discuss later on.

A Few Mistakes at AncestryDNA

Ancestry made a few mistakes. The first one was that they have Elaine and Ronda as 4th cousins by DNA. This is a good reason to upload your DNA to gedmatch to get a second opinion. Ancestry has a program that removes some of the DNA matches that are too “matchy”. This works sometimes, but I don’t think it worked so well in this case.

The second mistake had to do with the program that Ancestry used to interpret the family trees. Ronda wrote down that James Henry Ellis married Clarinda Gorrill Ellis. In the tree I had for Elaine, I had that she married Clarinda Gorrill. Ancestry’s computer program was not smart enough to figure out that these two women were the same person. As a result, Ancestry has that Ronda and Elaine are 3rd cousins once removed based on the parents of Clarinda Gorrill. Technically, that is not correct, they are just 2nd cousins once removed.

The Ellis DNA Project

Here is what I have for the existing Ellis DNA Project:

These are people that descend from William Ellis born 1771. Robert and Agnes are there twice because they descend from two different children of William Ellis. Elaine, Joan and Melissa are in green currently on the James Henry Ellis Line. That is where I will add Ronda.

Ships Passing in the Night

However, when I compare Ronda to Melissa at Gedmatch, I get a very small match:

It looks like they are 6th cousins, once removed by DNA. That made me think I had the wrong Ronda. However, it may be that Ronda and Melissa don’t match very well. AncestryDNA seems to show the same issue in their DNA Circle (shown below).

Here is Elaine at the top. Ronda is bottom left and Melissa is on the bottom right with one other person. There is no line connecting Ronda and Melissa at AncestryDNA. That helps confirm that I am on the right track and that I have the right Ronda. Ronda had DNA that matched with Elaine and Joan and Melissa had different DNA that matched with Elaine and Joan.

Here is how Ronda, Elaine and Melissa are related:

Note that Eva Ellis was born in 1895 – 21 years after George. This is one case where triangulation of the DNA matches would not work well. Elaine matches Melissa and Ronda, but Melissa and Ronda don’t match very well and not in the same area that Elaine matches Melissa and Ronda.

Let’s Work the DNA at Gedmatch

Ellis Autosomal Matrix

Here is how all the Ellis descendants match each other:

Here the distinction of the different branches are not as clear as one would like. That could be due to matches on different family lines. Also, I didn’t really need Robert as he is the son of Agnes. Agnes and Robert are in both the Mary Ann and Agnes Lines of Ellis.

Ronda and DNA Triangulation

I noted that Ronda would not triangulate within the James Henry Ellis Line, but I did run everyone against everyone else at Gedmatch:

I found one triangulation group (TG) there. Elaine matches Ronda, Ronda matches Margaret and Margaret matches Elaine. It looks like that hunk of DNA is pointing back to William Ellis from the 1700’s:

I do have a line in blue of the MacArthurs. However, I think that the common ancestor for that line goes back even further than the generation of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton, so I’ll say that this is Ellis DNA rather than MacArthur DNA. In the diagram above, Ronda is a third cousin twice removed to Margaret.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Ronda was a great Ellis match for Joan, my mother-in-law and her sister Elaine.
  • Ronda is a second cousin once removed to Elaine and Joan
  • Ronda is a third cousin with Melissa, but their shared DNA dropped off very quickly from their matches with Joan and Elaine.
  • Ronda triangulated with Elaine and Margaret. This appears to identify the DNA of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton from the late 1700’s

My First Try at Two Sibling Visual Phasing

I recently had my wife’s Aunt Elaine’s DNA tested. She is the only sibling of my mother in law Joan. I would like to try to visually phase these two. Fortunately, they have have a half Aunt Es wasther. She is related on only one of their grandparent’s sides. That side is Upshall from Newfoundland. I am hoping that Esther’s DNA results will be helpful in visually phasing.

Aunt Esther’s Upshall DNA

Here is how Elaine matches Aunt Esther:

Here is how my mother in law Joan matches Esther:

It looks like Esther will be a big help in identifying Elaine and Joan’s maternal grandfather side.

Chromosome 1

I’ll just jump in and try Chromosome 1. That is the big one.

Already I have a bit of a problem. There is some green within the second HIR or Half Idendical Region (yellow area). I am ignoring it for now. This graphic shows that Joan and Elaine have no FIRs on Chromosome 1.

Next I add Esther’s DNA to the mix:

This is interesting. I see two maternal crossovers for Joan. Joan’s maternal grandparents are Upshall and Daley. Esther represents Upshall. So at 17.4M, Joan must go from Upshall to Daley. I say this because Elaine continues to match Esther (Upshall) after 17. 4M. The same thing happens at marker 117.6. Now look at Esther. She must have a maternal crossover between 70 and 117.6M.

Actually, it looks like I made a mistake. My first comparison of Joan and Elaine is the same as Esther and Joan, so I must have done it wrong. I’ll make sure I have Joan and Elaine this time and lower the levels to 3 cM and 300 SNPs. Now my results look more reasonable.

That looks a lot better. Forget my comment about there being no HIRs. There are at least five green HIRs between Elaine and Joan. Things didn’t line up perfectly, but I tried to fudge them in. Upshall is shown in orange which corresponds to the matches with Aunt Esther. Next, I add in some more Maternal segments for Elaine and Joan:

Again, the orange pretty much mimics the matches that Joan and Elaine have with Esther. The difference is with Elaine’s last orange segment. That goes more to the left as I don’t show a crossover there. There should also be a maternal crossover for Elaine to the left of her second orange segment. That means that to the left of that middle orange segment, there should be some green Daley.

The Paternal Part of the Puzzle

It would help to have some paternal matches at this point. Melissa is one match that I have mentioned in at least one previous Blog.

I like Melissa’s matches, because she doesn’t show any obvious Rayner in her ancestry. A Rayner would mess things up as that is Elaine and Joan’s maternal grandmother’s name. Jane would also be a good choice here.

Melissa adds some information. She represents the Ellis side. She matches Joan, but not Elaine. As Melissa does not match Elaine in this location, I have put down the paternal grandmother Daley in Elaine’s segment below Joan’s Ellis segment:

[Edit: the reddish paternal segment on Elaine’s bar should actually be Rayner.]

Now I have a little bit of paternal informatiion, but I appear to be at an impasse. Next, I will look at Joan’s Excel spreadsheet of matches. I see a Hayley there that matches through the Dicks Line. Dicks is a mother of Upshall, so that counts as an Upshall for my purposes.  Here is Joan’s match with Hayley:

This does not help as Esther already matches in this area. However, it does point out that I missed a crossover at the beginning of the Chromosome where the FIR (green) between Elaine and Joan goes to HIR (yellow).

I’ll take a break for now and move on to another Chromosome.

Mapping the X

I mentioned that Chromosome 1 was the largest Chromosome. The X Chromosome is fairly large also. There are some advantages to mapping the X Chromosome. One advantage is that Elaine and Joan’s paternal X is already mapped to their father’s mother (Daley).

See, I already mapped both of their paternal side X Chromosome. Joan and Elaine both get the same X Chromosome from their dad. This is the same one he got from his mom (Elizabeth Daley). Here is the genealogy:

See, that is why I check. Joan and Elaine’s dad was an Ellis and his mom was a Rayner, so I got that backward.

That leaves Upshall and Daley for the maternal side. I mapped three maternal crossovers, but there may be more that I don’t see.

Again, Esther will represent Upshall and not Daley. That is because Elizabeth died in the flu epidemic. Fred Upshall remarried a Shave and had Esther.

When I check Esther’s X against Elaine’s, I get no match. Joan and Esther, however, do match:

In fact, Joan’s matches with Esther line up with the crossovers I have. That is good news. Here I also changed the color of Rayner to be consistent with Chromosome 1.


I’m pretty sure the end result should look like this:

Back to Chromosome 1

In the Dicks DNA Project I have been working on, I have a Triangulation Group Summary. The mother of Fred Upshall was a Dicks, so Dicks helps to identify Upshall DNA.  Here is a partial shot of that Summary for Chromosome 1:

I have not added Elaine to the Summary yet. This shows that Cheryl, Charles, Joan and Elaine match on Chromosome 1. Here is how Cheryl matches Esther, Elaine and Joan:

Adding Cheryl and Position Numbers

I got the numbers on the top of the Joan/Elaine comparison from Gedmatch’s full resolution option on their chromosome browser. A few observations:

  • Cheryl’s matches confirm Elaine’s crossover at 94 and Joan’s at 118M
  • Cherlys’s match with Joan also indicates a likely Paternal crossover for Joan at 70M
  • Elaine and Esther match to 158M. That means that Elaine likely does not have a crossover at 152
  • Due to the centromere of Chromosome 1, the two browsers align very poorly around 152M. Note on the original comparison between Joan and Elaine how quickly the numbers go from 118 to 152M.
  • As mentioned above, Elaine’s Upshall segment should go past 152, but then there is a FIR. That means that Joan will have an Upshall segment above Elaine’s. That means that her Daley segment will look tiny, but it will actually go from 118 to 152M which is not so small.

Based on my above observations, I have this new map:

I gave Joan a paternal crossover at 70.5M. I also gave her a paternal crossover at 152M. This leads to another observation. The area between 60.5 and 70.5M is a FIR. That means that for Joan and Elaine, their paternal grandparent and maternal grandparent have to match. That means that at 60.5M, Joan’s Ellis DNA has to turn into Rayner DNA or Elaine’s Rayner DNA has to turn into Ellis DNA. Either way, there will be a Paternal Crossover for either Elaine or Joan at 60.5M. That means that there is not a maternal crossover at 60.5M for Elaine nor Joan. That will expand the maternal Daley to the left for Elaine and Joan:

This leads to more observations:

  • One I could have noted before. Betwen 17 to 26.6M Elaine and Join do not match each other. Elaine has Upshall DNA there, so Joan has to have Daley there.
  • Elaine has a Maternal Crossover at 26.6M. That means that there is no Paternal Crossover there. That means that I can move the two paternal segments to the left.
  • The fact that Elaine has a Maternal Crossover at 26.6M means that Joan has no maternal crossover there, so the Daley segment can be moved to the left also for Joan.

Moving the Daley segment to the left for Joan created a Maternal Crossover for her at 17. That means that there is no Paternal Crossover there and the two Paternal segments can be moved to the left:

So Chery’s matches were a help.

Summary and Conclusion

  • A first shot at two person visual phasing has shown promise.
  • Chromosome 1 is a difficult one, but I got a start on it
  • The X Chromosome was mapped for Elaine and Joan.




A First Look at My Wife’s Aunt Elaine’s DNA

Aunt Elaine has Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland Ancestry. She has some Nova Scotia in there also. Here are her roots in Canada on a map:

The red marker is Canso, Nova Scotia. PEI is to the NW and Newfoundland to the NE of Canso.

Aunt Elaine’s Ancestors


The top half of the Elaine’s ancestor’s are from PEI. The Upshall side is from Newfoundland and the Daley side is from Nova Scotia. That makes Aunt Elaine 1/2 PEI ,and 1/4 each of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Aunt Elaine at AncestryDNA – Shared Ancestor Hints

At Ancestry, Aunt Elaine has 84 Shared Ancestry Hints (SAHs). These are people that match by both DNA and family tree. When I say there is a match by family tree, I mean that Elaine and the match have at least one common ancestor. The first match is between Aunt Elaine and Aunt Elaine’s half Aunt Esther. Aunt Esther has Newfoundland Ancestry. When I look at shared matches between Aunt Elaine and Aunt Esther, there are three with SAH’s. They are all Newfoundland relatives, or rather relatives with shared Nefoundland ancestors.


Most of Elaine’s SAH’s are from PEI. There are two reasons for that. One is that Elaine is 1/2 from PEI. The other reason is that I have traced her Ellis ancestry quite a ways back. Also there were some pretty large Ellis familiies. Here are the results of the SAHs:

  • About 81 PEI Ancestors – mostly Ellis
  • About 3 Newfoundland ancestors – mostly Dicks
  • 0 Nova Scotia (Daley) ancestors

Where Have All the Daleys Gone?

Elaine has 2 PEI grandparents: Ellis and Rayner. She has one Newfoundland ancestor: Upshall. Where are the DNA matches for her Nova Scotia maternal grandmother Elizabeth Daley? AncestryDNA has search functions. One is for name and the other is for birthplace. When I put in Canso, NS into the search, I get 7 people that show as 4th cousins to Elaine by DNA.

The 1st two 4th cousin matches have ancestors in PEI. They also match others that are Elaine’s PEI matches. Elaine’s third match with a Canso ancestor is Barbara. Here is Barbara’s tree:


Note the Rhynold and Daley names that match with Elaine’s tree. Barbara’s Catherine Daley is shown as having died in Canso, NS.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Elaine has a ton of PEI Shared Ancestor Hints- mostly Ellis. In the past, when I have looked at Elaine’s sister’s DNA results, I have found it fairly easy to identify Ellis or PEI ancestors by DNA. These results help explain why that has been relatively easy.
  • Elaine has a few Shared Ancestor Hints from Newfoundland
  • Elaine has no Shared Ancestor Hints on her 1/4 Nova Scotia side. I have found a match with Barbara that has the Rhynold/Daley/Canso NS connection to Elaine
  • When I look at Elaine’s matches at, I will be able to find out exactly where her PEI matches are (on which parts of which of Elaine’s chromosomes).

My Mother in Law’s Ellis DNA and Genealogy

I’ve been Blogging about Genetic Genealogy for over 2 years and I don’t think that I’ve written on my mother in law’s Ellis DNA and Genealogy. I have Blogged about about her mother’s Newfoundland Upshall and Dicks DNA and genealogy, but not the Ellis side.

Joan’s Ellis Ancestors

I have a web page on Ellis genealogy here. The Ellis family started out around Northam, Devon, England:

In 1818, William Ellis, ship builder and husband of Hannah Tawton moved his family to Prince Edward Island. There they had many descendants. William’s great grandson, George Ellis moved to Massachusetts where he married Lillian Ethel Rayner in 1898. He was the grandfather of my mother in law, Joan.

Joan’s DNA

Joan’s second largest Ellis DNA match at Gedmatch is with Melissa:

Gedmatch shows an estimated 3.6 generations to a common ancestor. That would make Joan and Melissa 2nd cousins once removed. Melissa says that she and Joan share common ancestors James Henry Ellis b. 1846 and Clarinda Gorrill. That was easy:

Melissa tells me her mom was from PEI, so that line stayed there a few more generations than my wife’s Ellis family. That would make Melissa a 3rd cousin to my wife, Marie. Of course, now I’m curious as to how Marie and Melissa match by DNA:

Marie got DNA from half the chromosomes where her mom matched Melissa. However, Marie got the smaller match on Chromosome 3 and only part of the match her mom had on Chromosome 17.

Joan’s DNA Match with David

Joan’s top Ellis match at Gedmatch is with David.

I sent an email to the match. The email went to David’s daughter Betty who was working on her dad’s genealogy. She said her paternal grandmother was “Laura Freda MacArthur  from O’Leary Prince Edward Island.” I was able to find Betty’s tree at Ancestry:

I then found another Ancestry tree that showed that Nathaniel was born 1867. It has Nathaniel’s father as Hugh Malcolm MacArthur 1812-1870. Then his father was Malcolm MacArthur b. in Scotland 1783 and died 1865 PEI. The same Ancestry Tree has Marion MacArthur born between 1812 and 1835. The tree has her dad as the same Malcolm MacArthur. Using this Ancestry Tree, I get this connection:

Under this scenario, David and Joan would be 3rd cousins once removed. I would have expected a closer relationship based on the DNA match. Either that is the way the DNA shook out or perhaps Joan and David match on another line. David and Melissa would be 3rd cousins twice removed. Melissa does match David here:

However, the match is less than expected also and not on the same Chromosome. So my theory is not without its problems, but it is better than what I had before.

Joan’s next dna match: Sarah

I found Sarah’s tree on Ancestry:

Here she has Agnes Ellis, George Russell Ellis and Bridget MacArthur. Fortunately James Monroe Ellis appears to be from a different Ellis line. Sarah’s three ancestors I mentioned above are 4 generations from Sarah. She would likely match Joan at Sarah’s generation 5. Joan and Sarah appear to be 4th cousins three different ways.

Joan and Robert’s DNA and Common ancestor match

On Robert’s maternal side, I see William Ellis and his wife Hannah twice again, as well as a MacArthur. In addition, he has the Rayner name.

That could take a while to sort out. The good news is that this is starting to look like a PEI DNA project.

The Rayner connection

Here are Joan’s Rayner ancestors:

Robert above has both a GED and Wiki Tree at Gedmatch. On the GED, Robert shows his 4th great grandfather:

 Edward Rayner, b. 1775, Whittlesford, CAM, ENG, d. 1847, Tiltons Creek, PEI, CAN

This is the same person as Joan’s 3rd great grandfather. That makes Robert and Joan 4th cousins once removed by that line.

Joan’s PEI Common Ancestors

Next, I put all of Joan’s common ancestors for her top PEI gedmatch matches in an Excel Spreadsheet:

These are for David, Melissa, Sarah and Robert. I didn’t check the last two MacArthur/MacDougall ancestors, but I think that there was only one MacArthur family on the Island at the time. Assuming, I am right above, the DNA should agree.

Continuing Down Joan’s Gedmatch List

Joan’s next match is with Dorises. I can’t figure out how she fits in right now, so I’ll skip her. The common ancestor may even be in England. Betty, Daughter of David is in there also, so I’ll skip her. Agnes is next on Joan’s Gedmatch match list. Agnes appears to be the mother of Robert. Her match to Joan is very similar to Robert’s:

However, I would rather use Agnes in the PEI project as her matches with others should be better than the matches her son Robert has.

Joan at FTDNA

Joan’s DNA was taken at FTDNA. That means, I can only see her Ancestry matches if they have uploaded their results to Gedmatch. At FTDNA, I found John. He has no tree, so I sent him an email. He does have in ‘in common’ match with Melissa, so I suspect that he could have PEI genealogy.

The next paternal match for Joan at FTDNA is Glenda. She is listed above Melissa on Joan’s FTDNA match list. Glenda has Ellis, Rayner and MacDougall ancestors. That would make Joan and Glenda 3rd cousins once removed on the Rayner line. They would be half 3rd cousins on the Ellis line. That is because James Ellis married twice. I suspect if there is a MacDougall common ancestor, that would be further out. I can check that out later if I need to.

Here I have sorted the common ancestors into surnames. I have added Glenda and Joan’s common ancestors on the bottom row. Note that the wife of James Ellis b. 1801 is not a common ancestor as he had two different wives (Ramsay and MacArthur). Joan and Glenda are descended from different wives.

Back to Gedmatch

Joan matches Barry next. Barry does not have a tree listed at Gedmatch and has an AncestryDNA Kit number. Here is how he matches Joan:

I noticed that at Chromosome 11, Barry and Joan matched where David and Joan matched. That means that there could be a common ancestor. To find out I triangulate. All that means is that I check to see if Barry and David match each other at the same segment on Chromosome 11.

This shows that even though I don’t have Barry’s ancestry tree, I can tell that David, Joan and Barry have a common ancestor. Based on what I know now, that common ancestor could be MacArthur or MacDougall.

I wrote to Barry and he tells me he does have a MacArthur ancestor. His great great grandmother was Ellen MacArthur. She was born in 1845 or 1846 I suppose based on the age of her death in 1938.

A search for Ancestry Trees shows that Ellen’s dad was likely Hugh Malcolm MacArthur. His mother was Susanna Dyment or Mae Diamond. Hugh’s dad was Malcolm b. 1775.

Note that Barry and David are 2nd cousins once removed. Joan and Melissa are also 2nd cousins once removed, but in a different generation with respect to the MacArthur Line.

Joan and Lee

I had followed up on this match about a year ago. At the time, Lee’s daughter Elizabeth had decided the match could be on the MacArthur name.

Lee’s MacArthur Line appears to go back one more generation:

Here Lee and David are 4th cousins.

Joan’s MacArthur DNA

Joan’s Ellis tree has quickly turned into a MacArthur DNA tree. This is due to the fact that there appear to be many MacArthur descendants and importantly descendants that have had their DNA tested.

I have another Ellis descendant to try to balance out my DNA tree. That is Jane. I have been in touch before and she descends from James Ellis b. 1801. I put Jane on the Ellis tree so she would be easier to see:

It Takes (At Least) Three to Triangulate

Next I want to compare these people to each other. For this I use the Multiple Kit Analysis at Gedmatch. Then I choose the Segment CSV File. This gives me all the matches of everyone to everyone else, including the detailed information. The goal is to find Triangulation Groups (TGs). These will match each other at least three ways. Here is the beginning of my list of matches:

Note under Chromosome 1 that Melissa matches Agnes and Sarah matches Agnes, but Melissa doesn’t match Sarah. How is this? Actually Melissa and Sarah do match, but below the threshold. Usually, it is not advisable to lower the matching threshold, but in the case of TGs, I sometimes do. Here is how Melissa and Sarah match at a threshold of 5 cMs:

What this is telling me is that the following have common ancestors:

  • Melissa, Agnes and Sarah (Chromosome 1)
  • Joan, Sarah, Jane (Chromosome 2)
  • Melissa, Sarah, Agnes (Chromosome 2)
Finding the common ancestor for joan, Jane and sarah

The triangulation is the easy part. Finding the common ancestor is difficult. Let’s look at Joan’s TG as I have the list of common ancestors based on her ancestry:

I’m not sure if this list is complete. Joan’s TG has Joan, Sarah and Jane. That means that the DNA from that TG represents one common ancestor. The common ancestors between Joan, Jane, and Sarah appears to be William Ellis and Hannah Tawton. In fact, Sarah, has William and Hannah in her ancestry twice. I would think that would up the chances of those two being the common ancestors. We can’t know from this whether the TG represents William or Hannah, but we will say Ellis due to naming considerations. Their children who brought the DNA down to the present generation would have been named Ellis. However, what about MacArthur? Jane’s tree shows a Hugh MacArthur married to Nancy Ramsay. This couple is 6 generations from Jane. If I’m counting right, William Ellis and Hannah Tawton are listed as 7 generations from Jane. Now I’m back to the Ancestry trees. It appears that Hugh’s grandfather was probably Hugh MacArthur that married Flora Gillis. They would be common ancestors, but as Hugh was born before 1750, we will say that common ancestor is much less likely.

This common ancestor thing drives me a little crazy as I have to know everyone’s genealogy. I need to add Sarah to my Ellis DNA tree:

This shows that Jane, Joan and Sarah are all 4th cousins to each other. The DNA that they share on Chromosome 2 was likely from either William Ellis or Hannah Tawton. This does not show that Melissa does not belong to this line. If Melissa were to be in this TG, Melissa would have had to have gotten DNA from her mom’s dad Stanley. However, at this particular location, she may have gotten her DNA from her mom’ mom which would have kicked her out of this DNA match.

Also note on the yellow line that Jane descends from the first wife of James Ellis who was a Ramsay. However, that does not really change the common ancestors for Ellis. It would mean that Jane and Joan would not have a MacArthur common ancestor on this line.

Joan’s MacArthur TG on Chromosome 11?

Joan’s other TG with the group I looked at in this Blog is on Chromosome 11:

This shows that Joan, David and Barry have a common ancestor. David and Barry have MacArthur ancestry but not Ellis as far as I know.

Summary and Conclusions

I have started to take a look at Joan’s paternal side PEI DNA to see how she triangulates with others. The others that she matches also have PEI genealogy. For the two TGs that I looked at, one on Chromosome 2 is most likely Ellis/Tawton DNA. The second TG on Chromosome 11 appears to be MacArthur/MacDougall DNA. Using this I could map Joan’s DNA to these ancestors. In addition, other DNA tested people that are in a larger TG in these areas should have Ellis/Tawton or MacArthur/MacDougall genealogy. This is a good way to confirm existing genealogy and to focus genealogy where researcher are unclear on their genealogy. For example, in this Blog, I started out looking at the Ellis name, but the DNA and common genealogies pushed me in the direction of MacArthur.

There were other TGs that Joan was not in that I didn’t look at closely. This is because I am not sure of the different ways that these people may have common ancestors. I have identified some, but there may be others that I don’t know about. It takes a bit of work to look for common ancestors where there are common DNA matches. Where there are multiple common ancestors, this complicates matters.

As a result of this exercise, I have identified new PEI ancestors for my mother in law. These ancestors appear to be confirmed by Ancestry Trees and DNA, but could use further confirmation.