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.┬áMyHeritage 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.

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