Blaine Bettinger has a knack for posting polls at the Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook page. A recent one was:
TODAY’S POLL: how much DNA do you share with your closest ‘unknown’ match at MyHeritage? Unknown = you haven’t yet placed them in your tree.
My Closest Unknown Match: Molly
It turns out my closest match is Molly. She also matches my mom which is a good hint. Here is how Molly matches my mom by DNA:
On interesting thing I just noticed about Molly is that she is age 20 or below. My mom is 96. I am guessing that there could be a two generation gap between Molly and my mom. Molly was born in 2003, so there could even be a three generation difference. Molly has a tree, but her parents and grandparents show as private. I assume that they are all still living. I have sent a message to Molly, so perhaps she will write back.
Shared Matches between Gladys and Molly
MyHeritage shows shared matches between my mom, Gladys, and Molly:
Beth is mom’s second closest unknown match and also matches Molly – though more distantly. Danielle and Bridget show icons which means that they have triangulating DNA. This is specific matching DNA that has come from a common ancestor.
Beth’s Family Tree
Beth has a pretty good family tree:
Here is my mom’s tree:
Beth’s Schroek side is from Pennsylvania. My mom’s mom was from Pennsylvania, so my theory right now is that the common ancestor is on my mom’s mom’s side on the bottom side of her above tree.
A Pote Connection
Looking a little more closely at Beth’s family tree, I see a Pote connection. My mom has no Pote in her ancestry, but she does have Nicholson and a collateral line married into the Pote family. That seems like a likely connection. Here is what I have at Ancestry:
This shows the Schroek/Pote/Nicholson connection differently than the tree Beth has.
Here Beth has Martha N. Schroek. Her maiden name by my tree should be Pote. Beth also has Sarah Pote whose maiden name should be Nicholson. So the issue is mainly one of maiden names. However, Beth has Sarah Pote’s father as Sampson Pote, where I believe her father should be William Nicholson who is my mother’s great-grandfather.
Beth must have already been on my radar as here she is in a Nicholson Tree:
Beth shows as a 2nd cousin once removed to my mother.
What About Molly?
I mentioned above that I don’t have Molly’s tree. However, I can make a good guess as to where she is on the tree. Molly is probably at the level of Joshua and has as her ancestor Annie Nicholson born 1865 in Sheffield, England. That would make Molly a 1st cousin, three times removed to my mom.
Here are some statistics:
Molly would be at the top end of a 1st cousin three times removed or in a more reasonable range for a 1st cousin twice removed from my mom.
Going Down Molly and Gladys’ Shared Match List: Annette
Annette is after Beth on Molly and Gladys’ shared match list. It looks like Annette has a good tree with some common ancestors.
This shows that Gladys and Annette share Baker, Faunce and Peol ancestors.
The Philadelphia Bakers
Annette and Gladys are third cousins:
From what I can tell, Conrad Baker was a successful fisherman in Kensington in present day Philadelphia:
Here we see in the 1850 Census: Catherine and Mary and even a Pote. If I have it right, this part of Kensington is called Fishtown today.
Painting the Baker/Faunce common ancestors.
I use DNA Painter to paint common ancestors. Here is what I have for my mom so far:
Here’s my mom’s “new” Baker/Faunce DNA in light blue on Chromosomes 3 and 11:
I don’t think this DNA got passed down to me as I didn’t see a match between Annette and me at MyHeritage. This brought my mom’s mapped DNA up from 22% to 23%. On Chromosome 3, the change from brown to blue represents a crossover my mom has from her Nicholson grandparent side to her Lentz grandparent side.
Molly’s Next Shared Match with Gladys: Danielle
The good thing about Danielle is that she triangulates with my mom and Molly:
The area where the triangulation occurs is on Chromosome 3.
Here is Danielle’s tree:
Here is another tree I found at Ancestry:
This was more filled out but was missing Leon Edwards. Ancestry has Danielle and my mom as distant relatives. So it may be difficult to find common ancestors. However, I didn’t see any obvious family name matches to people in my mom’s known ancestry. I’ll just have to wait until later to solve this mystery. Danielle’s ancestors were from the same areas as my mom’s, so the potential is there for finding a common ancestor.
Summary and Conclusions
- A question by Blaine Bettinger lead to some DNA and genealogical research at MyHeritage
- I didn’t figure out how I am related to Molly but guessed at a relationship to my mom and a possible Nicholson or Lentz ancestry.
- I re-found Beth with a shared Nicholson ancestry.
- I found Annette who has an interesting connection to my mom on the Baker/Faunce line from early Kensington in current day Philadelphia. I was able to “paint” this DNA to my mom.
- I found a person triangulating with Molly and my mom, but was not able to find a common ancestor.