Lately, I have been uploading DNA kits that I manage to MyHeritage. One of those kits was for my wife’s great Aunt Esther. Esther’s parents were both from Harbour Buffett, Newfoundland. I was surprised to see that her match, Wallace, had a grandparent with the Upshall surname.
Here is one of my favorites photos of Harbour Buffett. It looks quite tranquil.
A Little Upshall Genealogy
As genetic genealogy looks at how the DNA and the genealogy match up, I tend to draw simple trees with just the descendants in them that have tested their DNA. This is what I have before adding Wallace:
This tree is based on genealogy, conjecture and DNA. Karen and Ruby were added based on the DNA. Based on their DNA testing, we supposed that Frederick Nelson had a younger daughter named Jessie Kate. This still needs to be proved by genealogy. Also the Peter at the top has not been proven.
Here is Wallace’s paternal tree at MyHeritage:
Wallace’s paternal grandmother is listed as Elizabeth Upshall. That name sounded familiar. I had researched her before. Wallace had the marriage date and place for Elizabeth. The Cambridge, MA marriage record showed that Elizabeth’s parents were Henry and Kate. The marriage record’s stated birthplace for Elizabeth was a bit inaccurate – St. John’s, Newfoundland. But close enough.
Here is how Wallace fits in on the Henry Upshall Line:
Wallace is Esther’s 1st cousin once removed. I also added Catherine Dicks to the top. She is important as I run a Dicks DNA Project. There are many Dicks descendants around that have had their DNA tested. About half of the DNA that Wallace and Esther share is Upshall and about half is Dicks. In addition, I have tied in the Crann family to the Dicks family by DNA. By comparing Wallace to other DNA testers, I should be able to further confirm this relationship. For example, at MyHeritage, Richard shows as a common DNA match between Wallace and Esther. I wrote a Blog about Richard’s connection to the Crann family here.
Looking at Wallace’s DNA
Here is how Wallace matches Esther looking at the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser:
In general, the larger matches indicate more recent ancestors. The smaller matches indicate more ancient ancestors. However, there are exceptions to that rule.
Wallace and DNA Triangulation
MyHeritage has a new feature that shows when people triangulate. Triangulation happens when three or more people match each other on same part of their DNA. I can check for triangulation for Esther, her two half nieces Joan and Elaine and Wallace as they are all at MyHeritage. When triangulation occurs, it is a strong indication of a common ancestor.
This is how Esther matches Joan in Red, Elaine in Orange and Wallace in Yellow:
The boxed areas at Chromosome 1 and 13 are the areas of triangulation. This feature works better when comparing only three people as there is more of a chance of triangulating.
Here is how Esther triangulates with Joan and Wallace:
This added triangulation Groups (TGs) on Chromosomes 3 and 9. Also the TG on Chromosome 13 is larger.
When I take out Joan and add Elaine, I get these TGs:
These TGs are more helpful for people when they are unsure if they have a certain ancestor. In this case, we already know that the common ancestors are Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks. However, if Wallace uploads his DNA results to gedmatch.com, we will be able to test others there to see if they triangulate. This will be helpful both for those with Upshall ancestry and with Dicks ancestry (and perhaps other ancestries).
Summary and Conclusions
- I’ve gone over some of the basic matches between Wallace, Esther and Esther’s two half nieces Joan and Elaine.
- The DNA agrees with the paper trail that shows that Wallace and Esther both descend from Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks of Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland
- There may be more analysis that is possible at MyHeritage, but the best DNA analysis can be done if Wallace uploads his results to gedmatch.com. There, he would find matches with many Upshall and Dicks descendants – as well as many others.