Adding to My Mother-in-Law Ellis’ DNA Map

I learned something interesting recently. My wife’s mother’s DNA seems more endogamous than my wife’s father’s. Endogamous means that your ancestors tended to intermarry with each other’s cousins. One way to check this is through AncestryDNA. Here are some numbers for Joan:

Divide Joan’s close matches by all her matches and multiply by 100 to get a percentage. I get 9.6%. For Joan’s sister Elaine, I get 10.5%. My wife’s father is not at Ancestry, but his two sisters are. For Lorraine, I get 7.3% and for Suzy, I get 7.6%. That means that there was more intermarriage on the Ellis side than the Butler side. The higher the percentage, the higher the intermarriage rate. I had assumed, that as half of Butler was French Canadian, that there would be more intermarriage there, but the PEI and Newfoundland ancestry of the Ellis family trumps the Butlers.

Updating Joan’s DNAPainter Map

This is what I have:

The higher percentage Joan has explains why I had trouble finding consistant common ancestors for some of Joan’s DNA matches. Many matches had more than one possible set of common ancestors. Joan is 36% painted overall now. I would like to bring that number up a bit in this Blog.

Ivan at MyHeritage

MyHeritage has DNA and Trees, so is a good place to start:

Based on Joan’s ThruLines at Ancestry, George seems to be a likely son of Peter Upshall:

Ivan overlaps with two people who have Dicks genealogy:

That means that Ivan could have Dicks genealogy or that Edna and Cheryl could have Upshall genealogy. There are even other possibilities!

Glenys at MyHeritage

Glenys matches on the Upshall Line:

She shows as a 2nd cousin once removed. I can check on the tree quickly. Glenys has her mom as Gladys Upshall from Newfoundland. She has her grandfather as Theordore Malcolm Upshall from Harbour Buffett. That is where my wife’s ancestors came from, so that makes sense.

This record at Ancestry is helpful:

I painted Glenys in, but she did not add any new DNA.

Irma at MyHeritage (MacArthur)

The MacArthurs had a large family, so Joan will have a lot of 4th cousins from that line:

Here are the ThruLines from Ancestry:

Joan has 175 matches, with 55 matches on her Marion MacArthur Line. The Effie MacArthur at MyHeritage is probably the Euphemia at Ancestry. Let’s add in Irma:

On Chromosomes 4 and 9, the MacArthur DNA is bumping into the Ellis DNA, so something could be off in the genealogy on one or both sides.

Unfortunately, I’m not up to sorting it our right now. My guess is that Irma could have Ellis ancestry.

Mervyn on the Upshall Side

Mervyn is also on Ancestry:

Based on Joan’s 7 matches to descendants of Susan Upshall, I’d say it is time to add Susan to my wife’s ancestry tree.

The match on Chromosome 2 is interesting:

Mervyn is matching the Dicks. However, if Chris Dicks married a Collette for example, this would make sense as Mervyn is also a Collette.

Richard on the MacArthur Line

It is not clear to me why the top person was deleted. It seems clear that it would be MacArthur/MacDougall. I’ll just assume the genealogy is right.

Richard filled in some paternal DNA for Joan on Chromosomes 1 and 17, but her overall painted percentage is still 36%.

Rebecca: Another MacArthur Descendant

Rebecca comes down by way of Hugh MacArthur:

Rebecaa matches Joan on Chromosome 11:

Rebecca’s match overlaps a bit on the Rayner side. My colors are a bit off. I need more contrast between MacArthur and William Ellis. Also between Ed and John Rayner.

Rebecca brings Joan up to 37% painted overall and 29% paternal.

David at MyHeritage: A New Line?

David matches on the Gorrill/Newcombe line.

David’s match is on Chromosome 14 and gets Joan up to 31% painted (from 29%) on her paternal side.

Rhonda on the Ellis Side

I feel like I have a long way to go here:

Rhonda shows as a third cousin twice removed to Joan.

The match on Chromosome 17 should indicate that the match with Debbie should be on the Ellis side and not the Gorrill side.

Wendy on the Newcombe/Pring Line

This would be a new set of ancestors to map:

Joan and Wendy have a different possibility at the 5th cousin level, but I will stick with this option. First, I’ll check on William, son of William Newcombe. I see this in the 1851 Census for Devon, England:

That means that that William and Mary had a pretty big family.

This results in a bit of a mess as Chromosome 2 shows overlap with other families. Something to work out at a later time! Also, I see that other trees have names other than Pring for Mary.

Wayne on the MacArthur Line

The tree looks legit. We have come across Euphemia or Effie before.

Wayne fills in a bit of a gap at the end of Chromosome 4 for Joan:

Wayne also matches Joan on Chromosome 18 but only in areas already covered by other matches.

Devin on the Dicks Line

Bonnie on the MacArthur Line

I have had good luck painting in the MacArthur line:

Bonnie gets the paternal side up to 32% painted:

She fills in some missing area on the paternal side of Joan’s Chromosome 12.

Richard on Joan’s Daly Line

Joan doesn’t have many matches on her Daly side:

Richard is a good find. That brings Joan up to 44% painted on her maternal side and 38% overall. For some reason, the Theory above shows ‘deleted profile’. Here is Richard’s tree on his maternal side:

Richard would be a good candidate for an X Chromosome match to Joan based on their genealogy. However, MyHeritage does not show X Chromosome matches.

Loretta with a Single Ellis Common Ancestor


According to MyHeritage, Joan and Loretta are 1/2 third cousins once removed. That means that they only have one common ancestor who is James Henry Ellis born in 1801. That also means that the DNA that these two share comes from James Ellis.

Loretta’s matches with Joan are on Chromosomes 9 and 11. On Chromosome 9, Loretta fills in some blank space. On Chromosome 11, Loretta’s matches indicates that Marianne’s and Melissa’s DNA are from the Ellis and not the Gorrill side.

Janet on the Dicks Line

Janet fills in a small blank in the maternal copy of Chromosome 15:

Shantall and Hopgood/Watson Common Ancestors

Shantall provides the first painted in segment for Joan on her Chromosome 22:

Sharon on the Rayner/Simmons Line

Sharon is Joan’s first paternal side match on Chromosome 10:

This match tips the scales and gets Joan up one percent to 33% painted paternally and 39% overall.

Clarice on the Rheihold/Hurst Line

Clarice is the first maternal side identified match for Joan on Chromosome 16:

A Small Rayner/Hopgood Match with Brian

This small match was the first for Rayner/Hopgood and shows at the very beginning of Chromosome 9:

Josh on the Hopgood Line

Josh is the last Theory of Relativity at MyHeritage that Joan has right now:

The Theory has a few deleted profiles, but the genealogy seems alright:

Josh is the first painted Hopgood/Yeo segment:

Summary and Conclusions

Here is the new map for Joan:

  • I was pleased overall with looking at the Theories at MyHeritage. They added many new segments
  • I didn’t add some segments as there were multiple close common ancestors
  • There were some theories especially on the MacArthur line where the genealogy was messed up, so I didn’t try to fix the genealogy.
  • I was hoping to get Joan up to 40% painted. I think I can do that by working out the MacArthur genealogy or looking at Gedmatch for DNA matches. This can be handled in a subsequent Blog.
  • The interrelatedness of some of Joan’s ancestors presents some challenges when looking at the DNA.
  • I enjoy making these maps, but it can be a time-consuming exercise.

A Newfoundland DNA Match with Barbara on My Wife’s Side

I was perusing my mother-in-law Joan’s Gedmatch results recently and noticed that she had a match with Barbara. This match is a little over 200 days old, so fairly recent. Here is Joan’s match with Barbara at Gedmatch:

Barbara also shows as a match to Joan at Ancestry and Ancestry suggest a common ancestor between the two:

My guess is that Joan and Barbara could share other common ancestors. However, this DNA match is important due to the lack of vital records for this part of Newfoundland. I already have a fairly extensive family trees of Upshalls who match by DNA:

The Newfoundland branch descends from Sarah Upshall. The George Upshall Line from Sarah is in the 4th and 5th columns. Here I add in Barbara without checking Ancestry’s genealogy:

Barbara is on the bottom left in green. I use green to indicate that detailed chromosome information is available for her.

DNA Painter

Because there is detailed information for Barbara’s match with Joan, I can use DNA Painter. This maps out Joan’s DNA. Here is some of the DNA that Barbara has added to Joan’s map:

Unfortunately, the program gave Peter Upshall a lighter color. It is better to have lighter colors for the more recent ancestors. However, I can adjust that in the program. At this point, Joan is 36% painted over all. That breaks down to:

  • 28% paternal
  • 44% maternal

Barbara matches on Joan’s maternal side. I’m pretty sure that Barbara added to the maternal and overall amount of DNA that Joan has identified on her map. Here is Joan’s Chromosome Map as shown by DNA Painter:

The top row for each chromosome is paternal and the bottom row is maternal.

More Painting: Aunt Esther

My mother-in-law’s Aunt Esther has this match with Barbara:

Right now Esther is 35% painted, but 53% painted on her paternal Upshall side:

I had already added Barbara to Esther’s DNA Map. Here she is on Chromosome 1:

Painter Joan’s Sister Elaine

Elaine has a more modest match with Barbara:

This adds a new set of ancestors for Elaine, going back to Peter Upshall born in 1800:

This raised Elaine’s maternally painted side from 30% to 31%.

Painting My Wife, Marie

I would have thought my wife would have had a bigger DNA match with Barbara based on her mother Joan’s match:

This match gives confimation that Karen is indeed matching on the Upshall side.

Summary and Conclusions

Barbara is another piece in the puzzle for confirming Upshall genealogy by DNA and was helpful in the DNA mapping of my wife’s family.



Looking for the Father of Blake Through DNA

I recently received a message from Stephanie at AncestryDNA. She is interested in finding out who her father’s father is. Stephanie was able to trace her paternal grandfather’s ancestry to Newfoundland through DNA matches. Stephanie also uploaded her dad’s DNA to Gedmatch, which should help. Both Stephanie and I understand that Newfoundland ancestry is complicated. I’m also a bit handicapped working on my laptop.

Blake and Esther

Esther is my wife’s half great Aunt. Here are Esther’s grandparents’ surnames:

  • Upshall
  • Dicks
  • Shave
  • Kirby

These four grandparents go back to when genealogical records were scarce. My understanding is that they were all from Harbour Buffet in Newfoundland and that the Church burned down there which resulted in the loss of early vital records. Stephanie thought that her father could be associated with the names of Brown, Hodder, Faith, Reid and Worrell. However, I see none of those names in Esther’s ancestry.

Looking at Blake’s DNA

I asked Stephanie if her father’s DNA was at Gedmatch and she surprised me by saying yes. She had been in touch with Marilyn who had suggested that she upload her father’s DNA to that web site. This should help in analyzing the DNA. Esther is Blake’s first match at Gedmatch, so I can see why Stephanie would be interested in this match.

The X Chromosome

I’ll get this out of the way. Blake is believed to be related to Esther on his paternal side. The father does not pass down the X Chromosome to his son. Therefore, I would not expect Blake to match Esther on the X Chromosome. Looking at Gedmatch, I see that to be the case. This is not a proof, but supporting evidence that Blake matches Esther on his paternal side.

Diving Into Gedmatch

Let’s look at how Blake and Esther match at Gedmatch:

This looks impressive. Gedmatch thinks that Blake and Esther could have a common ancestor 3 generations ago. That would be at Esther’s great-grandparent level. The good news is that I have all the surnames for Esther filled in at this level, except for Elizabeth and I believe that she should be a Crann. The bad news is that if Blake and Esther are related on several lines, the relationships could be further back in time.

Gedmatch and Triangulation

The classic way to find unknown ancestry is through triangulation. The theory is that if A matches B by DNA, B matches C and A matches C, then the DNA from that match if it is from the same segment of the same Chromosome should point to a common ancestor. That means that if Blake is C and we have A and B with known ancestry, then their ancestry can be applied to C – or Blake in this case. However, the problem is finding out how far back in time this common ancestry is.

Common Matches at Gedmatch

First I’ll look at Blake and Esther’s common matches at Gedmatch. To do that I use a utility called “People who match both, or one of two kits”.

I’ve never watched the video mentioned above. I’ll put in Blake’s Gedmatch number first as I want to see his closest shared matches with Esther. I took the top 15 matches on that list and then chose the triangulation option at Gedmatch.

The checklist above lists Blake’s 15 top shared matches with Esther. By the way, Esther may not be the best person to do this shared analysis with. I chose her because she was Blake’s closest match and because I already know something about her genealogy. Esther is a special case as her father was born in 1879. That means that Esther will have closer than normal DNA matches to most people.

Let’s Triangulate

I am able to do this at Gedmatch because I am on Tier 1 at least for a few more days. I assume that this saves me a huge amount of time. Here were my options for Blake’s 15 matches:

I chose Triangulation.

Blake’s first triangulation is on his Chromosome 1 between Blake, M.W. and djm. Here I am a bit out of my element as I don’t know much about the genealogy of M.W. and djm. However, I like this triangulation as it is a large one of 47 cM:

This triangulation features two people who Esther is not closely matched to by DNA, so I would suspect that this match represents a set of common ancestors for Blake outside of Esther’s known ancestry. I was able to find M.W. at Ancestry, but M.W. had no tree. I believe that djm would have tested originally at FTDNA.

Another large triangulation is on Chromosome 20:

Anne appears in many of these triangulations. Each green segment represents a triangulation between Blake and two others. The largest segment represents triangulation between Blake, Anne and Joan, my mother-in-law. Let’s see if we can now triangulate the genealogy.

Fortunately, I found Anne in one of my charts that mixes DNA matches and genealogy:

This shows that Joan and Anne have the common ancestors of Christopher Dicks and Elizabeth. I have guessed based on DNA matches that she could be a Crann. This could mean a few things. It could mean that Blake’s ancestors are Christopher Dicks and Elizabeth Crann. Or it could mean that Blake’s ancestors are one generation back from Christopher Dicks and his wife Elizabeth.

Adding Brenda to the Mix

These two triangulated segments on Chromosome 20 represent matches with Brenda:

The first highlighted segmented is the triangulation between Blake, Anne and Brenda. The second is the triangulation between Blake, Joan and Brenda. Here is Brenda in my DNA tree:

Here is an analogous Crann tree. However, this one is more speculative especially on the part where my mother-in-law Joan is:

From this exercise, I gather that Blake descends from the Dicks family and probably the Crann family, though the genealogy is shaky with the Crann family.

I note that Stephanie has these potential ancestors at Ancestry on a speculative tree:

I am not tracking Sarah Ann Dicks on my Dicks tree. However, I may not have run across her yet as the descendant of a DNA match. Here is a Dicks/Reid connection I have on my tree:

Blake probably does not descend from this couple as that would make Anne and Blake first cousins once removed and this would be obvious from the DNA matches.

Anything Else?

There are more analyses that could be done. I like to do an autosomal DNA matrix match at Gedmatch, but I couldn’t get that to work today. That could give a hint as to which Dicks line Blake is most affiliated with. Another helpful tool is clustering. There are two programs for this. One is Auto Clusters which has a small fee. The other is Shared Clustering which is free. These tools could also give hints as to Blake’s Newfoundland ancestry.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Stephanie’s dad Blake has a large DNA match with my wife’s half great Aunt Esther. This places Blake’s unknown paternal ancestry solidly in Newfoundland and Esther’s parents were both from Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland.
  • Unfortunately, Newfoundland genetics is confusing due to the amount of intermarriage.
  • In addition, early vital records from Harbour Buffet are missing.
  • Blake’s DNA results have been uploaded to Gedmatch. This makes DNA triangulation possible. Using triangulation, it seems clear that Blake has Dicks and possibly Crann ancestry. This fits well with the direction that Stephanie has been heading in finding paternal ancestors for her father.

Will’s Newfoundland DNA and Matches to My Wife’s Family

I recently had an email from Will’s 1/2 niece Marilyn. She had uploaded her Uncle’s DNA results to DNA. In the past, I have looked at DNA matches for the Dicks family of Newfoundland and Marilyn is in that project. I am interested in Newfoundland as my wife has some of her ancestry from Harbour Buffet in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

Will’s Genealogy

In the tree, Will looks like he must be Marilyn’s 1/2 Great Uncle.

That is interesting, because Will should be a third cousin to Esther who is my wife’s 1/2 Great Aunt. However, Esther and Will have a large DNA match:

Gedmatch guesses that Will and Esther have a common ancestor that is 2.7 generation away. That would be closer to a 1st cousin once removed or a 2nd cousin. Also note that Will and Esther have a lot of matches on different chromosomes that are on the smaller side. My guess is that means that these two are related on several different lines further in the past. Here is how the DNA match looks at FTDNA:

This version includes the X Chromosome. Marilyn had a question about that that I can look at later.

Going Back Further in Will and Esther’s Genealogy

Here is Esther’s genealogy, such as I have it:

I have circled Esther and Will’s known connection. My guess is that there are other connections at the level of Christopher Dicks and Margaret. The problem is that I have eight missing 2nd grandparents for Esther in that row.

It would be good to take a look at Will’s other ancestors also. Will doesn’t have a tree at FTDNA. Apparently, Marilyn’s grandmother remarried and had Will. That means that I know half of Will’s ancestry through Marilyn. Here is the portion of Marilyn’s tree that relates to Will:

I forgot to mention above that Esther is doubly (at least) related to Will as a third cousin:

Will descends from a Joyce line and a Dicks line. I left out Will’s Dick’s connection on the right to save space. As I don’t have a tree for Will, I will try to make a private one at Ancestry. I am also tempted to ‘borrow’ from this tree I found at Ancestry:

Here Uncle Will is listed as Willis Clarke. That same tree has this record:

This shows Zacharias Clarke of Baine Harbour marrying Bertha Slade nee Joyce in 1906. However, the math is a bit off for Bertha’s age if she was born 1871.

This leaves me with a lop-sided tree for Willis:

Willis and Esther and the Crann Connection

Based on some guessing and some DNA matches, I have this Crann connection for Willis and Esther:

Under this scenario, Esther’s great grandfather Christopher Dicks married Elizabeth Crann. Based on the above, Esther and Willis would be 3rd cousins three different ways – two on the Dicks line and one on the Crann Line. If I have this tree right, it may account for all the DNA matches between Esther and Willis.

Crann DNA

One way to isolate the Crann DNA is to go outside of Newfoundland.

This tree shows Henry Crann from Netherbury, Dorset, England. One son, John Crann, ends up in Newfoundland. Another son, Samuel, ends up in New Zealand. That means that if Willis matches Heather, Wayne or Marjorie from New Zealand, it is more than likely that that DNA match will represent Crann ancestry (or Collins).

Here is Willis’ match to Marjorie:

Willis matches Wayne here:

I couldn’t find Heather at Gedmatch, so she may no longer be listed there.

Uncle Will’s X Chromosome

Marilyn wrote to me concerning her Uncle:

He shares DNA with my brother on X Chromosome so that is a mystery to me. 

X DNA inheritance follows a specific pattern. This pattern is more restricted for men as they only inherit an X Chromosome from their parents. By comparing Marilyn’s brother’s tree with Marilyn’s Uncle tree, we will be able to see where recent shared X Chromosome inheritance comes from.

I had started a tree for Uncle Willis, but didnt’ get too far:

After looking at Marilyn’s brother’s tree, I see where Marilyn’s question comes from:

The obvious match between Marilyn’s brother Howie and Uncle Willis is on the paternal side. However, Howie got no X Chromosome from his father. Here is Howie’s X inheritance taken out one more generation:

X Chromosome matches are tricky as they can travel further back in time than other autosomal DNA matches.

Uncle Willis has an X match with Marilyn:

Also with Marilyn’s Aunt DIddie:

Here is Uncle Willis and Howie:


Here I can see what happened. Howie only has a small X match with Uncle Willis. As such, I would not bother following this. Assuming that this is a valid match, I would say that this could be a very ancient match. This tells me that Marilyn and Aunt DIddie match Uncle Willis on their paternal side. Howie matches his Uncle Willis on his maternal side, but it is too small of a match to be of much consequence.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was interested in following Marilyn’s Uncle Will’s Crann connections based on my previous research into this line.
  • Some Crann DNA matches can be traced to lines that have never lived in Newfoundland. That makes it easier to identify the DNA from these matches as being from Crann descendants.
  • I stayed away from the Dicks connections in this Blog. It would be helpful to find more DIcks matches that are outside of Newfoundland, so that the DNA for those matches could be determined with more certainty.
  • I looked at Uncle Willis’ X Chromosome matches. The one he had with Howie was confusing at first. That was because Uncle Willis is related to Howie on Howie’s paternal line and Howie got no X DNA from his father. However, as the match was small compared to his sister Marilyn, it was clear that the X DNA match  between Howie and Willis was either a false match or one that goes back many, many generations.

My Wife’s Theories of Relativity and DNA Painting

My wife Marie has Butler, Ellis, Lefevre and  Upshall. Butler is originally from Ireland, Ellis from PEI, LeFevre from Quebec and Upshall from Newfoundland. I have uplaoded Marie’s DNA results to MyHeritage. They have a utility called Theories of Relativity. This matches DNA with family trees. Once I get those connections, I can map Marie’s DNA using DNA Painter an online utility.

DNA Painter

I have already mapped quite a bit of Marie’s DNA here:

This shows that Marie is 30% painted or mapped. I’d like to improve this by looking at MyHeritage’s Theories.

Marie’s Theories of Relativity (TOR)

Marie’s top TOR is already mapped. That is Fred. Marie’s second TOR is Jo-Ann. Their common ancestors are Hopgood and Watson:

Marie and Jo-Ann match here:

I downloaded the details of this DNA match and entered them in at DNA Painter. I didn’t have these ancestors at DNA Painter, so I added them along with a new suggested color:

When I do this, I notice a potential problem:

This indicates that Jo-Ann’s match is bumping into Sarah’s match. That makes me suspect that I have mapped Sarah wrong. Sarah may have Hopgood/Watson ancestors also that I didn’t notice.

Another Look at Sarah

Sarah’s results are at AncestryDNA and Gedmatch. This is how I have Sarah at Ancestry:

That means that there is a mix-up somewhere. The reason I suspect it is on Sarah’s side is because the DNA match for Marie and Sarah is high for a 4th cousin once removed. I don’t want to try to fix this at this time, so I’ll just note the discrepancy. The problem is that one shared segment should represent one shared common ancestor. In this case it represents two.

Even with the overlaps, Jo-Ann brings up Marie’s mapped DNA to 31%.

Caroline and the LeFevre/Boure Line

Next is Wallace who I already mapped. Then Caroline. TOR shows a common ancestor with this couple:

This tree is also not without its problems. How could Charles Lefebvre be born in 1891 and have a daughter born 1870? This Ancestry Tree from Marie’s cousin has a Charles:

When I checked details on Caroline’s tree, it said that Charles was born before 1891. So I’ll say Caroline’s tree is OK. Caroline doesn’t add much new DNA, but doesn’t conflict with other DNA

Caroline overlaps with orange and pink but those are also LeFevre matches from more recent generations:

Pierre -Luc and an Older Pouliot Ancestor

Here is how MyHeritage shows the connection:

My suspicious side says that there could be other ancestral connections, but my lazy side says, put this in as is. Pierre-Luc’s DNA doesn’t bump into anyone that it shouldn’t bump into.

Pierre-Luc bumps into Joe and Patricia but they have common ancestors with Marie of LeFevre and Pouliot. That means that Joe and Patricia’s pink segments above Pierre are most likely Pouliot DNA. That means that if I wanted to get fancy, I could re-assign those two Joe and Patricia segments to Emma Pouliot. But I won’t.

The Problem with Daniel: Too Many Ancestors

Here is how MyHeritage shows Daniel:

But also like this:

DNA Painter may help figure out which DNA goes where. First, I’ll put Daniel in ambiguously:

Here are the hairs we are trying to split:

On Chromosome 2, we still can’t tell where Daniel belongs:


First I had to change Daniel’s color to green so he would show up better. In order to tell where Daniel belongs, we need an older match. The pink, orange and blue matches are too recent. That means that I entered Daniel correctly as Methot or LeFevre. For brevity, I left out the spouses. Sorry, spouses.

Daniel’s DNA matches with Marie were just under the limit of 7 cM, so they didn’t get painted:

Irma with PEI Ancestry

Matches on Chromosomes 2 and 3 will be too small to paint:

Painting this brings up more problems:

Here we have some bad overlaps between Ellis, Hopgood and MacArthur. One may be explained in that Irma has a different path to Ellis:

The Hopgood segment was one we just mapped from Jo-Ann – but with reservations.

Here is another path for Jo-Ann:

Here is a more likely, but slightly more distant relationship:


The Problem with Marie’s DNA Matches

Marie has four grandparents as do we all:

  • Ellis from PEI – Island genealogy and intermarriage, but the records are pretty good
  • Upshall from Newfoundland – More intermarriage like in PEI, but the records are not as good or missing
  • Butler from Ireland – No known intermarriage but very few relatives who have tested or posted genealogies
  • LeFevre from Quebec – Very good genealogies but a lot of intermarriage

Summary and Observations

  • Marie has confusing intermarriage issues on three out of four sides of her tree. This makes analyzing her genetic genealogy difficult
  • The further back the match is, the more possibility there is that the DNA could represent multiple sets of common ancestors
  • DNA Painter points out some of these issues. However, it is possible that DNA Painter could also sort out from which ancestors these DNA matches come from where there is more than one possibility.
  • I may come back to this later and try to sort this out.



Aunt Esther’s Newfoundland Ancestors, MyHeritage’s Theories of Relativity, and DNA Painter

I’m surprised that I have never written about my wife’s Aunt Esther’s Theories of Relativity (TOR). MyHeritage takes DNA matches and matches them up with ancestral trees. I’ll go through Esther’s Theories of Relativity.

Esther’s Top TOR – Wallace

I have Blogged about Wallace before. Here is how Wallace and Esther’s TOR looks like:

Esther and Wallace are 1st cousins once removed. I have already painted Wallace’s DNA onto Esther’s chromosome map.

Wallace accounts for some of the Esther’s green DNA above which represents DNA from either Henry Upshall or Catherine Dicks. The above map shows Esther’s paternal side which is 50% mapped.

TOR#2- Marilyn

Esther and Marilyn show as third cousins twice removed. The common ancestors are Christopher Dicks born about 1784 and Margaret. I don’t see Christopher Dicks on Esther’s Chromosome Painter Map. However, there is a problem with the match between Marilyn and Esther. The problem is that these two match by too much DNA for this relationship:

Marilyn and Esther share 151.5 cM. That puts them off the chart for 3C2R. However, there is a 0.46% chance of this being right. The more likely reason is that Marilyn and Esther match on more than one line. This is common with people who have Harbour Buffet genealogy. I’ll just ignore that for now and sort it out later, perhaps.

However, I see that Esther and Marilyn have this other match:

Marilyn descends from two of Christopher Dicks’ children: Robert and Rachel Dicks.

Here is how Marilyn and Esther match:

Here is the addition on Esther’s paternal side:

This brought up Esther’s paternally mapped DNA up 1% to 51% and her entire mapped DNA up 1% to 30%.

There is a utility at Gedmatch called ‘Are your parents related?’. Esther’s parents are related on several chromosomes. Here is one spot on Chromosome 2, where Esther matches Marilyn also:

I see that Wallace also matches Esther in this region.

TOR #3 – Annie

In the past, I have not looked much at Esther’s maternal side. That is because my mother-in-law is Esther’s half niece and is not related on Esther’s maternal side. However, I’ll look at Esther’s maternal side now.

I’ll just paint Annie’s match onto Esther. This is what Esther’s maternal side looks like so far at 8% painted:

The addition brings Esther’s maternal map back to the late 1700’s:

That gets Esther’s maternal side up to 10% painted.

I do see one problem at Chromosome 1 already:

Violet and Annie both match Esther on the right side of Chromosome 1. That segment cannot be for both shared ancestor couples. It could be that Violet has Shave and/or Parsons ancestors or some other similar explanation. This is another reason I haven’t looked into Esther’s maternal side!

TOR #4 – Josiah

Josiah looks like he could be Annie’s Uncle:

That also makes Josiah, Esther’s third cousin.

Josiah has a similar issue with Violet, but on a different segment of Chromosome 1:

I’ll file that under the category of ‘sort it out later’.

TOR #5 – Frederick

Frederick appears to be Annie’s brother. His Theory of Relativity is missing a generation, so I won’t show it. It turns out that Frederick didn’t add any new Shave/Parsons DNA to Esther’s map that his sister and uncle didn’t already have:

Frederick’s matches show up in grey cross-hatch above.

TOR #6 – Jacqueline

Esther also has Kirby ancestors, but this shows only the Shave/Parsons common ancestors.

I decided to change Shave/Parsons to yellow. Jacqueline adds quite a bit:

TOR #7 – David, Another Pafford Descendant

This could take a while as Esther has a lot of matches:

Stephen adds a large match to Esther’s Chromosome 1:

Esther’s maternal side is now 15% painted. Esher’s entire chromosomes are now 33% or one third painted:

As far as I know, MyHeritage does not show X Chromosome matches. That means that we have to go to Gedmatch to get X Chromosome matches.

Marilyn and Esther’s X Match

I mentioned Marilyn above. I know that her DNA has been uploaded to Gedmatch. The X Chromosome is a special case and follows a specific inheritance in that the X Chromosome is never passed down from father to son. That means that the X Chromosome match that Marilyn and Esther share was passed down from Margaret, the wife of Christopher Dicks. We can know that because of Esther’s tree:

Above, I had that Margaret may have been a Burton, but in looking at other trees, I don’t see that as much of an option.

Now Esther has a little color on her paternal side X Chromosome. That is the side that men don’t have. I could do much more, but I’ll get back to the Theories of Relativity.

TOR #8 – Rowena

Rowena takes us back a generation on the Dicks side:

I don’t know when this Christopher was born, but I’ll say about 1750. I’ll paint this match and see what happens. I see a few potential problems. One is that these segment sizes are quite large for such an old match:

The other potential problem is that Rowena and MB have a match with Esther that overlap on Chromosome 2:

Rowena’s common ancestor with Esther is Christopher Dicks and MB’s common ancestors are Peter Upshall and Margaret.

TOR’s #9 and 10 – Another Wallace and Valetta

This is not the same as the earlier Wallace but seems to be another brother of Annie:

As such, he did not add any more Shave/Parsons DNA to Esther’s map. TOR #10, Valetta appears to be Wallace’s sister.

TOR #11 – Laurie

Here is someone with a more recent Shave ancestor:

However, MyHeritage also shows this possible match:

To make things more confusing, Laurie has a Joseph Dicks in her tree which may be the same Joseph I have on Esther’s maternal side:

It may be that further DNA analysis could sort this out, but I’ll skip Laurie for now.

TOR #12 – Janet

Janet also has two TOR’s – one on Esther’s paternal side and one on her maternal side, so I’ll skip her for now also.

TOR #12 – Harold

Harold is forging into new old territory:

I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m tempted to add the Pike name to Esther’s maternal side.

As a follow-up, I could check on Esther’s likely maternal Pike ancestors.

Summaries and Conclusions

  • MyHeritage’s Theories of Relativity lend themselves to the DNA Painter program.
  • I had some problem when the Theories of Relativity were on Esther’s Paternal and Maternal sides, so I chose to ignore those situations.
  • One shortcoming of MyHeritage is that they don’t show X Chromosome matches. Those are important for showing specific common ancestors.
  • I could follow up on Esther’s DNA painting by looking for more Gedmatch matches.
  • It appears that Esther has Pike ancestry on her maternal side based on one Theory of Relativity




Mervyn’s Newfoundland DNA: Proceed With Caution

I don’t mean to single out Mervyn for proceeding with caution. You need to proceed with caution with most people from Newfoundland who have had their DNA tested. Due to the small isolated locations in Newfoundland, some re-intermarrying of families happened.

Mervyn got in touch with me because he matched my wife’s 1/2 great Aunt Esther. Esther’s parents were both from Harbour Buffett, so Esther matches most people by DNA who have Harbour Buffett Roots.

Mervyn and Esther Show Common Ancestors at Ancestry

Here is what AncestryDNA shows:

Ancestry thinks that based on the DNA match Mervyn and Esther have a 2% chance of being second cousins twice removed:

Mervyn and Esther appear to be related at least three different ways. Here is the ancestry of Mervyn’s maternal grandfather:

Peter Upshall is a shared ancestor twice. William Shave and Margaret Burton are also shared ancestors.`

Here are the AncestryDNA Thrulines for Peter Upshall from Esther’s viewpoint:

These add up to a lot of Upshall matches for Esther. I counted 45 matches above for Esther. But as I suggest above, how do we know that they are for Upshall or Shave? Or they could be for Burton.

Joan To the Rescue

Joan is my mother-in-law. She is Esther’s 1/2 niece. That means that Joan is related to Esther only on Ether’s paternal side. Here is Esther’s tree:

Esther matches Mervyn on Esther’s paternal and maternal sides. However, Esther matches Joan on Esther’s paternal side only. One complicating factor is that Esther has Dicks on her paternal and maternal sides. Mervyn has Upshall, Shave, Burton and Dicks on his maternal side. This is where my title comes in: Proceed with Caution.

Joan’s Peter Upshall ThruLines

Here is how Joan matches Mervyn:

Joan matches Mervyn at 30 cm.

The Upshall Genetic Genealogy Tree

I created this tree that mixes Upshall genealogy and DNA matches:

This is a work in process. The ideal people on this tree would also have their DNA uploaded to Gedmatch. Fortunately, Mervyn has done that.

Here Esther and Mervyn are in green as their DNA is at Gedmatch. I have pretty much the same problem, in that there is the potential to match on different lines.

After some more finessing:

Above, MB is important as I don’t see any Dicks in her ancestry. Karen is a special case as the tree followed the DNA testing rather than the genealogy. We have no record that Jessie Kate was the daughter of Henry Upshall, but she fits in well there. Also I haven’t added in my mother-in-law Joan or her sister Elaine.

Looking At Gedmatch

Let’s look at how Mervyn matches MB, Esther, Joan and Karen.

Here are the DNA matches between Mervyn and Esther:

Mervyn and MB

Mervyn and Joan

Mervyn and Elaine

I also had Joan’s sister Elaine tested:

Mervyn and Karen

Esther’s Matches

Esther and MB

From this, I deduce that Mervyn’s match with Esther on Chromosome 17 is an Upshall match.

Esther and Joan

This one almost goes off my computer screen:

This brings up an interesting point. The common ancestor for Joan and Esther is Esther’s father. However, this also represents the DNA of Esther’s maternal grandparents Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks. I had painted this so far onto Esther’s Chromosomes using a web tool called DNA Painter:

Here Esther is 17% painted and 25% paternally painted. Let’s add in Joan’s DNA matches:

Now Esther is 45% paternally painted and 26% painted overall:


While I’m at it, I can add in the matches between Esther and Elaine:

This gets Esther up to 29% painted and 50% paternally painted.

A Side Trip to Esther’s X Chromosome

I note that above, I have nothing mapped for Esther’s X Chromosome. According to Gedmatch, this is her largest match:

This Fran seems to be this person at Ancestry:

This Ancestry page has that Caroline is the daughter of Moses Burton Dicks:

The Dicks Genetic Genealogy Chart I have shows this:

I’ll add in Fran:

A Snag On Esther’s Side

Here is Esther’s tree:

The interesting thing is that the X match could be on Esther’s paternal or maternal side. It seems like the match has eliminated a Dicks common ancestor. That is because the elder Christopher Dicks did not pass down an X Chromosome to either son Christopher or Joseph – assuming I have the genealogy right. That means that this match likely represents Burton or some sort – again assuming that the Margaret who married Christopher Dicks was a Burton. So, although I still have not painted in any of Esther’s X Chromosome, i did learn something about this match.

Mervyn’s Dicks Side

Mervyn says his genealogy is a work in progress and aren’t they all? I had some questions about Mervyn’s Dicks side. Ancestry shows these possible connections between Mervyn and Esther:

It turns out that Ancestry found some connections and a possible connection. Here is how Ancestry shows the Dicks connection:

One problem is that Frances Dicks show that she gave birth to Margaret at about the age 14.

This match-up seems more likely:

However, as my wife and mother-in-law are not related on this side, I am not looking so much at these matches.

Mervyn and Joan’s Unlikely Shave Connection

Here is a new one on me from AncestryDNA:

I’m not sure how Ancestry came up with this. My best guess is that Elizabeth could be Elizabeth Crann. Look at the ThruLines:

For one thing this shows that Joan’s ancestor Elizabeth was born in 1820 and was a sister to George Alfred Shave born 47 years later! Also Elizabeth would have been born when her father was negative 5 years old. Further, Joan and Esther have the same Newfoundland genealogy, so how could they descend from siblings? Let’s forget about this screwed-up line. I hope that Ancestry didn’t deduce this from anything I have on my Tree at Ancestry.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was all over the place with Mervyn’s genealogy and DNA matches. However, as I said, Newfoundland genealogy and DNA matches are confusing.
  • Even Ancestry seemed confused with its genealogy. Perhaps it is pulling from something in my tree or someone else’s tree that is off.
  • Overall, I did a brief summary of Mervyn’s genealogy and DNA matches. There is a lot there.
  • There would be more room for doing analysis at Gedmatch to try to parse out the different lines from Mervyn’s ancestry. It looks like it could be a lot of work to do this.
  • I was glad to improve my Uphall genetic genealogy tree and use my existing Dicks genetic genealogy trree. I see that I need to spruce up the Upshall Tree.
  • I took a diversion to ‘paint’ some more of Esther’s DNA and look at her top X Chromosome match.
  • Esther is Mervyn’s top match. However, Mervyn is number 17 on Esther’s Geadmatch match list. That is because Esther is of an older generation. Also because other of her closer relatives have tested their DNA.

Esther’s Newfoundland ThruLines at AncestryDNA

Esther is my wife’s 1/2 great Aunt and has Newfoundland Ancestry on both sides. AncestryDNA’s ThruLines takes DNA matches and matches those up with Ancestry Tree matches. Let’s take a look at Esther’s ThruLines to see what they show.

Esther’s Parents

Here are Esther’s Parents:

Here are the ThruLines for Fred Upshall:

These people are not related on the Shave side, so the relationships show correctly as half relationships. These people are my mother in law, Joan, her sister Elaine, my wife Marie and Marie’s niece Tina. These four should show up in Esther’s more distant Upshall side ThruLines.

Esther’s Grandparents


Very quickly, Esther is back to 1841 with her Upshall grandfather. I am more interested in the Upshall and Dicks side as that is the side where my wife and her mother are related.

Here are the Henry Upshall ThruLines:

On the right is Karen. I have written Blogs about her family. I put her great-grandmother Jessie as the daughter of Henry Upshall based on DNA evidence even though there was no genealogical evidence. This was a bit dicey, but based on the amount of DNA shared between Esther and Karen, it seems like the right thing to do. According to Ancestry DNA, that amount of shared DNA is most likely to be a 1st cousin, twice removed relationship:

Nicholas and Esther

How does Nicholas fit in? For one thing, 1st cousin four times removed goes right off the chart:

I would think that a 1st cousin four times removed would be similar to the 2nd cousin once removed. Either way, the chances of this being right are <1% according to AncestryDNA.

Nicholas’ Genealogy

Here is the expanded view of ThruLines:

One problem is that Nicholas’ parents and grandparents are shown as living, so I don’t have information on them. Nicholas’ tree is managed by Kara. She has Gladys Uppshall Knight as Nicholas’ maternal great-grandmother. From there, Stephanie’s tree kicks in with Theodore the father of Gladys.

Here is the 1935 Census for St John’s West:

The assumption is that this is the same Gladys in 1945:

Here is a replacement birth record for Malcolm:

This shows that Malcolm’s mother was a Shave. That makes it more surprising that Esther and Nicholas don’t have more matching DNA as Esther’s mother was a Shave.

Here is another after the fact record for Malcolm’s brother:

This could be William in the 1945 Census living next to his brother:

Was Alexander the Son of Henry Upshall?

I have it that way on my Ancestry Tree, but not on my Upshall Web Page. I don’t see any genealogical evidence that would put Alexander as the son of Henry Upshall. It is that way in some on-line Trees. Based on the low amount of DNA match and the shaky genealogical evidence, I would call into question this particular ThruLine at this time.

Esther’s Upshall Great-Grandparents

Here, things get more interesting as there is no known genealogical evidence for Esther’s great-grandparents. These ancestors are a best guess scenario. Here are the ThruLines for best-guess Peter Upshall:

At first look, it seems as though there are a lot of different DNA matches for these likely children of Peter Upshall.

George Upshall Branch 1829

Here, note that Pat, like Nicholas has Shave and Upshall in her ancestry. I note she also has Burton which Eshter has, so perhaps other names also. 280 cM is a huge match for a 2nd cousin twice removed:

Ancestry says that Pat and Esther look like 2nd cousins. However, that is assuming that they are not related on other lines which they are.  For comparison, I had mentioned above that Nicholas’ match to Esther should have been equivalent to a 2nd cousin once removed. Another thing I’d like to do is to see if these people have shared matches with each other. I note that Nicholas does not have a shared match with Pat. That means that he shares less than 20 cM with Pat.

Checking with Joan and Elaine

One way to check these matches is by Joan and Elaine. They are Esther’s half nieces. That means that they match on the Upshall side and not the Shave side. Here is what Joan shows:

Now the DNA matches are quite a bit different. When I look at the numbers for Joan and her sister Elaine, I get this for the proposed George Upshall Branch:

Sarah Upshall Branch 1831

Here Esther has 10 DNA matches on the Sarah Upshall Collett Branch:

Here are the results for Eshter, Joan and Elaine:

  • I added in a Maximum % column, so we could see what the highest likelihood is for the DNA match
  • Green indicates that the DNA matches got that highest mark
  • This seems to indicate that Esther does not match this Sarah Upshall Collett on other lines.
  • None of the numbers seem unreasonable. The <1% can be explained by matching on many other lines and getting too high of a match.
  • Joan and Elaine match Sarah and Esther doesn’t. That means that Florence (who is Joan and Elaine’s mother) got DNA that her sister Esther did not.
  • Esther went off the chart with the 2nd cousin 4 times removed category.
  • To do this right, I would need to check all the genealogy. I didn’t. The genealogy is likely good up to the children of Peter and Margaret Upshall and then missing.
  • All these numbers seem to confirm that the trees are likely trees.

Jane Upshall Branch

Jane appears to be well documented by DNA. Esther has 14 matches to Jane’s descendants along the Tulk Line. I have noted close matches to Tulk in the past, so this may explain those DNA matches.

Jane also has a rare Upshall birth record:

However, I find it odd that she was born in November and baptized in September. Perhaps she was born in 1838. I assume that there was only one Peter and Margaret Upshall at the time. Burin was about 90 miles away from Harbour Buffett, so I assume there was a travelling minister who performed these baptisms on 29 September 1839. I have that Jane was born in Burin which is not accurate. She was born in Garnish Gut according to this record. I’m not sure where Garnish Gut is, but I assume that it is part of or near Harbour Buffett.

An additional confusing point is that Peter was the father of Christopher Upshall also in 1833:

This means that Peter may have had a first wife Mary or the transcription may have been off. Christopher doesn’t show up on the ThruLines. I don’t see many trees for Christopher. Here is one:

This person shows Margaret as the mother and the birth at Famish Gut which perhaps makes more sense. Perhaps there were few descendants on this line.

So far the matches for the descendants of the three potential children of Peter and Margaret Upshall looks like this:

The evidence looks pretty good. I added Karen from the more recent Henry Upshall Line to show how good her numbers were.

Susan Upshall Born 1848

This Line is a little more confusing:

Roy’s grandmother is Margaret Collett. That begs the question of Elizabeth Webber. Shouldn’t she be a Collett also? Here is some information from

The same web page has this on Elizabeth:

According to this information, Elizabeth Webber is really Elizabeth Collett.

Here is the last of Esther’s ThruLines at this level:

This was a bit of an annoying exercise, but it does seem to verify the trees for the descendants. However, I have not tried to disprove the theory. That would take a bit of work. I do recognize interfering influences of the DNA matches through intermarriage.  I showed some of those effects by comparing Esther’s matches to her half nieces Joan and Elaine. The main interferences could be other relationships with the Dicks, Shave and Burton families. The other thing I didn’t do was to check the genealogy of each line. This would take a while to do. The last confirmation would be to check to see if each of these matches match each other. The best way to do that is with Genetic Affairs’ AutoClusters.

Esther and AutoClusters

Here is a ‘basic’ AutoCluster I ran for Esther.

Esther has all Newfoundland ancestry, so almost all her clusters match other clusters. This AutoCluster ran January 9, 2019 between the match levels of 50 and 250 cM. I checked my Chart above to see which clusters the matches were in:

It turns out that the Jane Upshall Tulk Line were all in Cluster 14. In the other Lines, there was not enough information or the matches were outside the range. However, the other two Clusters found were 8 and 11.

This means that while Esther is matching Cluster 14 by Peter and Margaret Upshall, all the 10 in my Chart are matching each other by Jane Upshall and her Tulk husband.

Esther’s ThruLines With Christopher Dicks Born 1812

Christopher was married to Elizabeth. My best guess is that she was Elizabeth Crann. Esther has 12 new DNA matches on the Christopher Dicks Line. These matches could have gotten their DNA from Christopher Dicks or from his wife Elizabeth or both.

The matches under Catherine Dicks have already been looked at. Compare this with the Gedmatch Tree I have been working on for the Dicks Family:

ThruLines has a David Branch that I don’t have and I have a Christopher Branch that Thrulines doesn’t have.

The David Dicks Branch

Here is a partial opening of that Branch:

One interesting thing here is that Frances is also related to Esther through the Jane Upshall Tulk Line:

That is because Caroline Dicks married Edwin Kingwell Tulk according to the trees at Ancestry.

Cathy in the David Dicks Branch

Here is how ThruLines shows Cathy:

I had Cathy in a different Branch. However, if the ThruLines are right and I am right, she could be in two Dicks Branches of Frances Dicks Burton and Christopher Dicks:

Here is a summary of the David Dicks Branch:

It seems like everything checks out OK. Esther was matching too high to Newf due to matches on Esther’s maternal side. Joan isn’t related to Esther on Esther’s maternal side, so that took the extra DNA out of the equation. I skipped checking Joan’s sister Elaine’s results to save time. Joan matched one person David, who didn’t match Esther.

Going Up One Generation to Christopher Dicks Born about 1784

The Dicks family was huge and then spread out from there.

Here are nine children of Christopher who have matching DNA with Esther:

  1. John Michael – before 1808 – I haven’t been following this Branch. Has some Joseph’s in this Branch
  2. Elizabeth – 1809 – Married Thomas Adams
  3. Joseph – born 1810
  4. Frances born 1811 – Married Charles Burton
  5. Christopher Born 1812 – covered in previous section
  6. Rachel born 1817 – married James Joyce
  7. James Dicks born 1830 – also has a Joseph Dicks son. I haven’t been following this Branch either.
  8. George born 1832
  9. Robert born 1824 – so should be above

I trace six children in my Dicks Gedmatch DNA project. I didn’t have John Michael, James or Joseph. Altogether, there are 77 DNA matches represented in these 8 proposed children. That would be too many matches to check for this Blog.

Joseph Dicks

Although I don’t have Joseph Dicks on my Dicks DNA Chart, I have that Esther descends from Joseph Dicks on her maternal side:

I have Joseph Dicks born at Famish Gut in 1810 to Christopher and Margaret. However, this does not appear on Esther’s ThruLines or on my own Dicks DNA Chart.

I’ll look at the genealogy behind the John Michael and James DIcks Branches as I am unfamiliar with them.

John Michael Dicks Born 1808

The ThruLines Profile for John Michael shows this:

This information is a bit sparse. It shows that John Michael would have been over 105 years old when he died.

In a previous Blog I note this Joseph:

My thought was that this was a more likely ancestor for Esther.

Joseph Dicks and Violet

After changing Esther’s Jane Ann Line, I noticed that ThruLines did have a Joseph Dicks Branch with one large match:

However, this follows from the way I had Esther’s tree. Violet has a huge match with Esther at 359 cM. Here is a much closer relationship between Violet and Esther at 2nd cousin:

My mother-in-law, Joan also has a good match with Violet:

Violet’s Tree

Now I’m suspicious that Tulk may be related to Upshall.

Upshall of Dorset ThruLines

Newfoundland is too complicated with the intermarriages and lost records. Lets go back to Dorset, England:

My current thinking is that Peter Upshall born in 1800 in Dorset was the daughter of Sarah Upshall. Sarah is shown here with three of her siblings. This Dorset, England ThruLines appears to confirm that Sarah was the sister of Joseph, George and Charles who shows a Private above. This is a chance to find out what my wife’s Upshall relatives have been up to since 1737. Judy above is probably in Australia. Margaret’s paternal grandmother was born in England and died in Rhode Island.

The Charles Upshall Branch

Ross and Peter’s parents were both from Dorset, England.

Here is one of the trees I had been working with:

For some reason I am missing the Jane Upshall/Tulk Branch. I also need to go up two levels to John Upshall.

I had previously added an additional sibling Ann Upshall due to a match with my wife’s Aunt Elaine. Due to the fact that none of Peter’s Aunts or Uncles did not live in Newfoundland, my guess is that the DNA matches represent John and Elisabeth Upshall.

Here are some potential siblings to Sarah Upshall that I took from an online Ancestry Upshall Tree:

After quite a bit of typing, I get this:

This is a small version of the Upshall DNA match tree. I didn’t add in Ann Upshall or many of the Newfoundland Upshalls.

Shared DNA Matches

When I check how Judy on the bottom left of the chart above matches Esther, I get these shared DNA matches:

Many of these shared matches are with descendants of Newfoundland Upshalls.

Elaine and Joan’s Hazelbury Bryan Thrulines

One of Elaine’s Hazelbury Bryan Thrulines is with Peter on the Charles Upshall Branch shown above. The other is with Hazel on the Joseph Branch.

It looks like Hazel’s Branch stayed in England while Judy’s branch went to Australia:

Joan also has a ThruLines match with Hazel.

More of Esther’s English Upshall Shared DNA Matches

Elaine and Margaret from the George Upshall Branch have a shared DNA match named Trenton. Trenton has a good sized tree:

Trenton’s father’s mother’s father was Peter Upshall Boutcher. This sounds suspicious. There must be an Upshall in Peter’s ancestry. The Collett Genealogy that I referred to above is very helpful:

Here is one relationship that ThruLines didn’t figure out, but it helped in conjunction with Shared DNA Matches:

Putting the Upshall’s Together

Here I added a representative person from the Upshall/Tulk Branch:

Based on the ThruLines there are over 10 matches each on the Sarah Upshall Collett and Jane Upshall Tulk Branches. So the above tree is just a skeleton.

One Last Shared Match Between Esther and Judy

I don’t want to leave too much low hanging fruit. AU is a shared match with Dorset descendant Judy and Esther. Here is his three person tree and his DNA match:

AU and Esther have a DNA match of 69 cM. Here is Jacob in 1935 in Harbour Buffett:

Edward and Martha married in 1916:

Unfortunately, I soon got stuck at the level of Edward Upshall:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Going Through many of Esther’s ThruLines was a large undertaking. I may have been better off just looking at the Upshall ThruLines.
  • It was helpful have two of Esther’s 1/2 Nieces to compare the results. This is because Esther matches on many intermarried lines and Joan and Elaine only match on Esther’s paternal side.
  • Esther’s ThruLines complemented and expanded upon the previous DNA work I have done on the Upshall and Dicks Families.
  • I compared Esther’s Upshall ThruLines with her AutoCluster results. The Jane Upshall/Tulk Line showed clearly in one of Esther’s Clusters.
  • I brought Esther’s ThruLines back to John Upshall born 1737 in Dorset, England and his wife Elisabeth Ellis. To me, the results clearly show that Esther descends through John Upshall and his daughter Sarah Upshall to Peter Upshall who was an early settler in Newfoundland in the Harbour Buffett area.
  • I was a little surprised that Esther had four DNA matches going back to a common ancestor who was born in 1737
  • ThruLines work well with Shared DNA Matches. I was able to find at least one new Upshall Line using Shared Matches to ThruLine Matches.
  • In the future, I would like to concentrate more on the Upshall Branches and build them out in my Excel spreadsheet.
  • It may be helpful to also check to see how many Upshall descendants have their DNA at Gedmatch, FTDNA and MyHeritage. This would allow for more detailed DNA analysis.
  • ThruLines are able to put together many trees and DNA matches in order to see a possible big picture solution to some genealogical problems.



Some Upshall and Hollett Genealogy

I recently had this request from Shirley:

My Mother was Lillian Florence May Hollett who was born in Montreal, but her father was Samuel Hollett from Spensers Cove Placentia Bay NL.
My father was Cecil Llewelyn Upshall, born in Harbour Buffett NL.
Can you give me any information on either of those backgrounds?

This could be the couple in 1945:

Cecil was born in Placentia and Lillie in Canada according to this Census. Here is Grand Falls where the couple were in 1945:

The 1921 Census

This gives some more information. Cecil’s parents were Isaac and Rebecca. Cecil’s grandmother was Lizzie Hann from Harbour Buffett. Here is the marriage record for Isaac and Rebecca:

Isaac was a fisherman. Both Isaac and Rebecca were living in Harbour Buffet at the time of their marriage. Before this, the genealogy gets a little shaky:

Martha shows that Isaac’s parents were Peter and Hannah. Martha has this further information:

Martha has Peter dying in Kingwell:

Here is the tree I have for my wife:

My wife’s ancestor Henry Upshall was born around 1841. Perhaps Peter was a brother or other relative to Henry.

Shirley’s Hollett Side

So far Shirley’s tree looks like this:

Here is the marriage record for Samuel and May:

This couple married in a Methodist Church in Montreal. Samuel was a carpenter and his parents were John and Susan Butcher. It appears that Samuel was born at Sound Island in 1860.

This is not too far from Spencers Cove.


Records have his death at Botwood:

Botwood is to the Northeast of Grand Falls. Samuel is listed as 84 years old in 1944. The number next to the cause of death is for something else. He shows as being born in Burin. This record for another Hollett birth appears to tie things together:

This shows that Sound Island was in the District and Parish of Burin. I was not aware of this connection previously:

Sound Island and Burin appear to be about 100 miles away from each other.  It is a good thing that the Holletts were Methodists as those records appear to have survived better than some of the other records.

Here is the tree that I have for Shirley:

Due to missing records, it may be helpful for Shirley to take a DNA test. This could help to solidify existing connections and perhaps suggest some new connections.




AutoClustering Aunt Esther’s Newfoundland DNA

In previous Blog, I looked at the autoclustering of my mother-in-law Joan’s DNA. Esther is Joan’s half Aunt. That means that Joan and Esther have a connection on only one of Joan’s grandparents. All of Esther’s four grandparents were from Newfoundland. I am hoping that the AutoClustering process will make sense of Esther’s Newfoundland DNA.

Esther’s AutoCluster

This is the overall chart:

The 54 clusters are difficult to see because Esther has 612 matches. I set Esther’s autoclustering limits between 30 and 600 cM and was a little surprised at how many matches Esther had at that level.

Esther’s Family Tree

There are a few holes in Esther’s family tree:

The Peter Upshall born 1800 above is also a guess.  I’m not as familiar with the Shave and Kirby sides as my wife is not related on that side. The Clusters should identify some of them.

Here is a spreadsheet that I will need to fill in.

My wife is at the top of the list with the largest match in Cluster 1. In a way that is not good because my wife will be related to two of Aunt Esther’s grandparents: Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks. Perhaps that is why the Cluster 1 is so large. I will try another AutoCluster for Esher between 40 cM and 250 cM. That should be clearer. Also Marie’s niece Tina is the top match for Cluster 6. Tina will also share Upshall and Dicks matches. However, lowering the upper match limit to 250 cM will not solve all the problems. Even though Marie and Tina share both Upshall and Dicks, it is possible that many in the clusters will only have either Upshall or Dicks DNA. Or they will have more Upshall than Dicks or the other way around.

Esther’s Shared Ancestor Hints (SAHs)

At AncestryDNA, Esther has some Shared Ancestor HInts. Here is one:

Pat is a 2nd cousin once removed. Esther and Pat share the common ancestors of Shave and Burton. I was looking for easy answers but got thrown for a loop because Pat is in Cluster 1. She is in Cluster 1 with Marie who is not related on the Shave side. Interesting.

Here is some more of Pat’s paternal side lineage:

This tells me that perhaps Pat is in Cluster 1 because of her Upshall match and not her Shave/Burton match. That could mean that Margaret Upshall is a sister to Esther’s grandfather. If that is the case, then Esther and Pat may be 2nd cousins once removed on the Upshall side also. It’s a possibility.

A Kirby/Emberley SAH

Here Esther and M.B. are shown as 3rd cousins. AncestryDNA thinks they share enough DNA to be 2nd cousins, so something is going on. Not only that, M.B. is also in Cluster 1. Martha is the administrator for M.B. Look at Martha’s tree for M.B.

There is Upshall again. I have been in touch with Martha and we both agree that Peter is a pretty good potential ancestor. He was born to Sarah Upshall who was a single mother in Haselbury Bryan, Dorset, England.  So far, I’m thinking that there is more than meets the eye to these SAHs.

This Just In: Another AutoCluster for Esther

While I am thinking about the Upshalls in other SAHs, I’ll look at another AutoCluster for Esther. Things are still a bit muddy. I changed the lower limit to 40 and the upper limit to 250cM and got almost 300 fewer matches for Esther. However the picture is still muddy:

Esther is down to 33 clusters, but the grey dots between clusters represents crossover in ancestral lines. M.B. who was previously in Cluster 1 is now in Cluster 19. Changing the thresholds changes the delicate balance of the clusters and the relationship between the clusters apparently.

Which AutoCluster Version Should I Use?

It seems like Newfoundland genetic genealogy is already complicated enough. There are intermarriages of lines and missing lines. I have just put in for a third AutoCluster for Esther at the default thresholds of 50-250cM. I am hoping that those thresholds will simplify things.

Take 3 with Esther’s AutoCluster

You can’t say I’m not trying.

This looks more manageable with 20 clusters and 220 matches. I’m ready to rock this AutoCluster.

Cluster 1: Dicks?

My notes for many in this Cluster indicate the Dicks family. D.M. in Cluster 1 has a good match and Dicks on her maternal side:

I was able to build out D.M like this:

However, I have been proposing that Elizabeth Collier could be Elizabeth Crann. That is something to keep in mind. It looks like D.M. matches Esther on Kirby, Dicks, Dicks wife Elizabeth, Shave and Burton. That is quite a bit.

Cluster 14 – Kirby/Emberley

My notes for this Cluster say Kirby and Emberley. AutoCluster sorts the clusters by size of match and this cluster has the second largest match.

Cluster 8 – Upshall?

I’d like to make a guess that Cluster 8 could be an Upshall Cluster. There are a lot of high matches but not a lot of answers there:

I’ll make it a working theory. The first person on the list is Jane. I couldn’t see any connection to Esther in her tree. The second person James said that his grandmother was Laura Upshall.

Laura Upshall’s Tree

I found a Laura Upshall from England and a Laura from Newfoundland born in Harbour Buffet. So I chose the Laura from Harbour Buffet and built out a fast tree at Ancestry:

Assuming this tree is right, Esther and James are 2nd cousins twice removed with the common ancestors of Peter Upshall and Margaret Burton. While I’m at it, I’ll add Margaret Burton to Esther’s tree. The good thing about Laura’s tree is that I don’t see any Dicks in it. This could rule out Cluster 8 from being a Dicks Cluster. Here is what I have so far:

I still don’t see any Shave Clusters.

Another Cluster 8 Tree

Next down on the list of Esther’s matches on Cluster 8 is someone I call Hat. Here is what I think is his tree:

I think the person taking the test is the son of Ella Grace Upshall, but I’m not sure. Again, I don’t see Dicks in there which is good. One other thing is that these trees also have Shave. So that is a possibility.

Cluster 8: Shave Or Upshall?

One way to tell might be by comparing Esther to her half Niece Joan, my mother-in-law. Joan is related on Esther’s Upshall side but not her Shave side. The Jane that I couldn’t connect to Esther from Cluster 8 is in Joan’s Cluster 41. I had that listed as an Upshall Cluster for Joan. James is also in Joan’s Cluster 41. Finally Hat is in Joan’s Cluster 41, so that is three for three.

A Tree for Eileen from Esther’s Cluster 8

Christina has a short tree, but her mother’s Reid name looks like a possible Newfoundland name. I assume that Christina’s mother Eileen is the one that took the test. I see from the 1940 Census that Eileen’s father was born in Newfoundland, so I guessed right:

Will Flint, Michigan lead back to Upshall?

The answer is no.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah Ann Dicks was born in Harbour Buffet as I couldn’t find records for her birth and Harbour Buffett records are poor. I have that William Reid was born in Harbour Buffett in 1811.

Here is a tree for Lorna in Cluster 8:

I don’t see Upshall here. But Margaret Burton may have married Peter Upshall and she may be the daughter of Charles Burton. She did name what appears to be her second son Charles. It would have been customary to name the wife’s second son after her father. I know, a lot of if’s.

Christina From Cluster 8 and Her Tree

Christina’s tree looks hopeful.

Here is Madge and family in 1935 St. John’s West:

I can’t tell if Hattie is the same as Ethie. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much further than Christina’s tree.

A Possible Upshall Tree

Now that I’ve reduced the possibility of Cluster 8 being Shave, it is more likely an Upshall Cluster. I’ll build a theoretical tree for Upshall with theoretical but possible common ancestors Peter Upshall and Margaret Burton:


I put this out there to see if it makes sense genealogically and with the DNA evidence.

Summary at Mid-Point

Here is my spreadsheet so far:

Subject to change.

An Upshall in Cluster 11

Here is Barbara’s paternal side of her tree:

Peter and Alice Upshall married in 1916:

Here is a marriage for Henry Upshall to an Elizabeth Smith:

Henry was said to be living at Little Harbour at the time of the marriage.

Madonna’s Cluster 11 Tree

Madonna shows her maternal grandparents at Ancestry:

I recognized the Collett name and built out Madonna’s tree with some help from other Ancestry Trees:

It’s not my greatest tree as I didn’t build out Susan Collett. I see a record showing a Peter Collett marrying a Susanna Hann in 1905:

That gives me a new line for my horizontal Upshall Tree:

B,A. On Cluster 11

B.A. appears to have an Upshall on his tree. I say appears because there are many trees posted by B.A.’s administrator. I picked the tree that most looked like B.A.’s initials and it had an Upshall in the line:

Solomon Upshall 1921

In 1921 Solomon was living among many Upshalls in Little Harbour:

I wasn’t able to build out past Henry Upshall. I did note one Ancestry Tree had this:

I suppose that is possible.

Cluster 10 and Phyllis’ Tree

Phyllis is missing her paternal side, but her maternal side has some familiar names:

A lot of these names are beginning to sound familiar after a while.

Building out Phyllis’ tree:

Dicks is a common ancestor, but there are other possibilities. With these clusters, I am looking for trends. The clusters are saying to me, in a particular cluster the DNA says that you are more related within this group than outside of this group. So in a sense, the clusters may be clearer than what the genealogy is showing.

Another Cluster 10 Tree: Not All Trees Are Created Equal

This tree is better, in a way, than Phyllis’. Tha maternal side is England and Toronto. That leaves the paternal side:

I built out this tree and found some common ancestors:

This person goes by ‘it’ for short at Ancestry. It is 2nd cousin once removed to Esther. I prefer it’s tree because it is less ambiguous. It’s one Shave/Burton line is the one that is in Harbour Buffett where Esther’s ancestors lived. Where was Shave on Phyllis’ tree? Shave may have been on her paternal side that Phyllis didn’t show

Richard’s Cluster 10 Tree

I could use another tree to confirm, even though I am pretty sure of Shave/Burton already. Richard has a small, but high-grade tree:

The reason I like his tree is that maternal side and paternal side are shown. Also it narrows down to a name I know instead of expanding out to many ambiguous matches. I sort of cut off Lucy Shave. Sorry, Lucy. Richard’s Tree shows two lines of connections:

However, the closer Shave/Burton connection puts Richard also at 2nd cousin once removed to Esther. Cluster 10 represents Esther’s fourth grandparent Line of Shave:

A Shave/Burton Tree


Here is Esther’s Cluster 10 Shave/Burton Tree:

Cluster 4

Cluster 4 is next on the GeneticAffairs Report. Daisy is Esther’s first match with 177 cM. Her tree says that she shares the Dicks ancestral name with Esther.

Daisy has a good tree:

Daisy has Joyce and Dicks at her 2nd great-grandparent level above. Here are two more generations on Daisy’s Tree:

This shows Christopher Dicks and his wife twice. Daisy descends from Rachel and Robert Dicks. I’m sure there is a Crann connection also, but this should be overshadowed by the Dicks connections.

That means that Esther and Daisy are 4th cousins once removed twice on the Dicks Line.

Match #2 on Cluster 4 – Julie

Julie shows her two parents on her Ancestry Tree. My first attempt to build out Julie’s tree was a disaster. I think that Julie attached her DNAresults to her mother’s side. I was able to fix this by going into Julie’s tree and going down one lever from her mother. This worked better and I came up with a Newfoundland Tree for Julie’s paternal side:

None of the names sound familiar, but at least I’m in Newfoundland instead of Ireland. I built out Julie’s tree a bit but didn’t find a connection to Esther.

I was able to build out Julie’s tree a little more:

The tree has William Henry Dicks from England. That means that the match could go back to England or that a descendant of Christopher Dicks moved back to England and then back to Newfoundland.

I’m ready for a new cluster.

Cluster 12 – Bridget and bam

I’ll start with bam because he has Newfoundland ancestors in his tree. Here is my build-out based on some Ancestry suggestions:


There are a few interesting things about this tree. First, it is possible  that this Charles Burton could be an Uncle or father of Esther’s ancestor Margaret Burton born 1825. Also The Frances Dicks could be the Frances Dicks I have as daughter of Christopher Dicks. I have this tree, roughly based on DNA testing:

However, I see that the first George in the tree must be wrong. He should be in a later generation. Also there is a discrepancy on the birth date of Frances Dicks. I have her here are born 1811, but 1805 may make sense also.

That still leaves the question as to whether this is a Burton or Dicks Cluster (or something else!). I think I may be able to figure out the answer to that question, but not today.

Cluster 20

This could be the last Cluster for now. The top match with a tree is G,K. Here is a clue from AncestryDNA:

G.K. and Esther both have a Joseph Dicks in their tree. I had added in Joseph on Esther’s maternal line. She had a Jane Dicks there that I couldn’t place. The Dicks on Esther’s paternal side were easier to place.

My Theory on Joseph Dicks

I think that the Joseph Dicks in G.K’s tree and the one in Esther’s tree could be the same person. In G.K.’s tree Joseph is born in 1818 in Oderin and has son Michael in 1869 with Mary Murphy. She could have been a second wife. In Esther’s tree, Joseph is born in 1810 in Famish Gut and has Jane Ann Dicks with Mary Griffith in 1841. If I’m right, that would make Esther and G.K. half third cousins. I had that Esther’s Joseph descended from Christopher Dicks. However, the tree that I made for G.K. has Joseph’s parents as John Dicks and Mary Corbett. That may make more sense.

One point is that the tree I make for G.K. has Joseph Bulley Dicks born in 1818:

However, G.K. has Joseph born in 1849.

Jerome’s Cluster 20 Joseph Dicks Tree

I notice that Jerome follows G.K with a later birth date for Joseph Dicks:

It appears that Jerome is 2nd cousin to G.K and they both descend from different daughters of Michael Dicks.

Beth in Cluster 20

Beth in Cluster 20 also has a Joseph Dicks tree but with the earlier Joseph Dicks birth date:

Esther’s Cluster Summary

This is a start:

I’m sure that the more I work on this, the more it will come together:

In general the matches between clusters seem fewer as you go down and to the right. That would mean that if I am right with Joseph Dicks, then that is one of the more unique lines. Cluster 20 represents a Roman Catholic Line also, and I believe that most or all of the other lines are Church of England. I see that I already had a 14 and 15 Cluster label, so my newer label for Cluster 15 should refer to the lower right of the green box.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Looking at Esther’s 20 Cluster Report was helpful. It was also a lot of work to build out and analyze trees.
  • I forgot to mention the Crann connection in New Zealand. This is the small Cluster 2. I believe that the younger Christopher Dicks married Elizabeth Crann, so it may be fitting that the small Crann Cluster was next to the large Dicks Cluster 1.
  • The clusters help to focus on where to look when comparing trees. The clusters at least suggest that the ancestors should be along the same line as each other.
  • Clusters are a good place to try out theories on ancestors. The theory I had on Joseph Dicks seemed to play out well. From my previous Dicks DNA project, I had tried to connect Esther’s Joseph Dicks line and was unsuccessful. This would explain the fact that the Joseph Line appears to be differenrt than the Chirstopher Dicks Lines.
  • I hope to continue looking at Esther’s DNA clusters at some point and comparing them with her half-niece Joan’s. For example, I would not expect that Joan would be matching Esther’s Cluster 20 as that is Esther’s maternal side and Joan matches Esther on Esther’s paternal side.
  • A lot of the progress is from reviewing the matches’ trees, but the AutoClustering helps focus and direct the analsysis of trees.