William’s Newfoundland DNA

I recently wrote a Blog about Brenda’s Newfoundland DNA and her DNA matches with my wife’s family. I had a response to that Blog requestingt that I check out the DNA of William. William is about #20 on Esther’s Gedmatch List. Aunt Esther is my mother-in-law’s 1/2 Aunt.

By Gedmatch, Joan and William could be about 2nd cousins once removed or similar. However, with Newfoundland genealogy, there can be many lines of family connections.

William at Ancestry

I see from William’s Gedmatch number that William has tested at Ancestry. I can now go down Esther’s match list and see how closely people match by DNA:

This William looks to be the same as the one at Gedmatch. Here is William’s tree at Ancestry:

There are some holes in the genealogy, but the common surname at William’s great grandparent level is Dicks. There are also some ancestors marked as ‘private’ at the lower right of William’s tree. This happens when the ancestor is not noted as deceased. I found out by an e email from Norma that this is the right William. Ancestry thinks that Joan and William are third cousins. If so, the common ancestor would be on the level that has three of Williams 2nd great-grandparents identified out of 16. This would also be at the same level as the parents of Esther Dicks.

A Quick and Dirty Tree for William

As some ancestors are missing on William’s tree, I’ll whip up what is called a quick and dirty tree.

Ancestry has suggested ancestors, so I just used their suggestions. Now we have 12 out of 16 potential 2nd great-grandparents for William. It appears that William favors the Collins. Senior, and Butler surnames. If I understand it correctly, my wife’s Great Aunt Esther should have the Butler name on her maternal side, but I have gotten around to fitting it into her genealogy.

Esther Dicks Born 1854

Norma tells me that William’s Esther Dicks may have come from Harbour Buffet where both sides of Esther’s family were from. The clue I got from Ancestry thought that Esther Dicks was from Flat Island where a lot of William’s ancestors were from. However, I don’t have a lot of evidence showing where Esther Dicks was born.

William’s DNA

It would be nice if we could figure out more about William’s ancestry by looking at his DNA and his matches. One problem with William’s match with Esther is that she has Dicks on her mother’s and father’s side:


My mother-in-law Joan only matches Esther on her paternal side, so matches that Esther, Joan and William share force the match to Esther’s paternal side. This is also true forJoan’s sister Elaine. Here is how Joan and William match at Gedmatch:

Joan and William match by only 31 cM which leaves an extra 150 cM for William to match Esther where she doesn’t match Joan. Part or all of this 150 cM could represent the [lower] maternal side of Esther’s tree. Well, it can’t be all of 150 cM, as this is how William matches Joan’s sister Elaine:

Comparing William to Other Dicks Descendants

The next logical step is to compare William to other Dicks descendants. These would be descendants of Christopher Dicks who was born about 1784 and Married Margaret. One problem with this is that I have not added Joseph Dicks to this Line. I probably should, but I’m only partially convinced that his is a son of Christopher Dicks.

This could explain why Esther has so many matches to other Dicks descendants.

Here is the Dicks Matrix I get for William:

William is at the top, but I don’t see that he clearly matches any of the groups more than the groups match themselves. As Norma pointed out to me, William matches Esther the best followed by Anne and Brenda. I do notice that William also matches DIddie pretty well. Based on my last Blog on Brenda, a common ancestor could be Dicks and Crann. I also wonder about the Collins name as the common Crann Ancestor from England had a wife named Collens.

Here is the tree I’m pulling the results from. This is just a tree of Dicks descendants who have had their DNA tested (noted by the green boxes):

Esther and Anne are one generation up on most others except for Nelson in the Adams Line. Given that fact, and that William has good matches with Diddie and Brenda, I would tend to put William’s DNA match in with the Crann Line on the right. For William to have such a good match with Brenda who is two generations down from Esther and Anne seems significant to me.  Looking at Triangulation Groups may clarify things.

Getting More Specific With Triangulation Groups (TGs)

Triangulation Groups are when three or more people all match each other in three ways on the same segment of DNA. When this happens, those three people are supposed to have a unique common ancestor. In practice, it is difficult to narrow this down to one common ancestor, but often a common ancestral couple can be found.

This is not my favorite step as it involves comparing 31 people’s DNA with each other. Also I have to change all the names for privacy.

First, the Crann Test

In my previous Blog, I looked at four additional people. Three had Crann ancestry, but no specific Newfoundland ancestry. One person had Crann ancestry and Newfoundland ancestry, but no known Dicks ancestry.

Equally Confused and Illuminated

This is the Matrix I should have produced in my previous Blog:

In the bottom right of the matrix, I have a box around the Crann’s from New Zealand. They show to be matching clearly with the Christopher Dicks group. I had thought that it would be more clear that they would be matching with the Crann Group. However, they have a small match with Judy from the Joyce group. Then they match with Molly and Howie who are in both the Joyce and Crann Group. Finally, Heather has a respectable match with Brenda who is only in the Crann Group. Other than that there is an ambiguous match with Kirsten from the Burton group and no matches above 7 cM in the Adams Line descendants.

Richard from Newfoundland with Crann Ancestry But Not Dicks

Richard has Crann Ancestry, but not Dicks. That means his match with Cheryl is likely on a non-Crann non-Dicks Line. Richard matches William and others by a greater amount than he matches the New Zealand Crann descendants. That tells me he is matching these people on multiple lines. William matches the three New Zealand Crann descendants at levels right around the threshold of 7 cM. William matches Richard at 132 cM so must have other matches with Richard outside of the Crann and Dicks Lines. Hmm….

Triangulating Between the Dicks, Cranns, and Richard

Hey, why not? Let’s find out what happens.

TG01 With Richard

Richard is in the mix for quality control and for his Crann ancestry:

Normally, if I saw Anne, Randy and Forrest in a TG, I would assume that this would be a Dicks TG. However, I am told that Richard has no Dicks ancestry.  Here is Richard’s paternal Newfoundland side:

It seems like there could be room for some DIcks, but there are no Dicks in Richard’s known genealogy.

TG01 with William

Based on known genealogies, this TG probably represents a Dicks common ancestor going back to Christopher Dicks who was born 1784 or his wife Margaret.

TG03 with William

The DNA is telling me that William, Diddie, Sandi and Wallace have a common ancestor. However, I’m a little confused as to who that may be. It may be a Dicks as all these people have Dicks ancestors. However, it seems like there could be other possibilities.

Summary of William’s TGs

Rather than boringly going through each of William’s TGs, I will summarize them. There are quite a few:

  • Even though the TGs may not be based on Dicks ancestry, I have set up the headings for the different Dicks branches.
  • TGs that have Richard in them probably don’t include Dicks ancestry – though we are not totally certain of that. They are in salmon color
  • TGs with Elaine or Joan have to be on Esther’s paternal side.
  • William was in one TG with New Zealand Cranns.
  • I added up the people in William’s TGs at the bottom. The numbers seem to favor William coming from the Christopher Group that has Esther and Anne in it.

Is Esther Dicks from the Christopher Dicks Line?

I have Esther Dicks being born 1854. That would seem to fit the tree I have, but it would fit in other branches also:

I would go with Esther being in this branch of the Dicks, and wait to see if more information comes in to prove this or disprove it.

A Double TG for Esther – Chromosome 11

I wanted to mention an interesting double TG for Esther:

The question is, “How can Esther be in two overlapping TGs at the same time?” The answer is that one TG has to be on her maternal side and one has to be on the paternal side. Esther, like everyone else, has a full set of paternal and maternal chromosomes. The first TG is with Joan and Edward. I have mentioned that Joan only matches Esther on her paternal side. The next TG is with William, Anne and Richard. My assumption is that Richard has no Dicks ancestors. That means that William, Richard and Anne must share a non-Dicks ancestor on Esther’s maternal side. Here is Esther’s maternal side:

The matches are not large, so my guess is that the common ancestor goes back to the 1700’s. That would likely be in the last row of people. There are 4 people out of 16 possible in that row. There are only three surnames: Emberley, Tibbo and Dicks. We have ruled out Dicks for now. However, we could bring up Shave (or Sheave) and Kirby to that row. Also Griffith.

Summary and Conclusions

  • As requested, I looked at how William matched my wife’s relatives and some other people (mostly Dicks descendants) who I had been looking at.
  • I got a bit side-tracked by issues that I was already considering.
  • It helped that I included Cranns from New Zealand and Richard who had no known Dicks ancestry as a control.
  • Knowing that my mother-in-law and her sister only match their Aunt Esther on the paternal side aslo narrows down some DNA matching options.
  • William probably matches a lot of people with Newfoundland heritage, which makes DNA analysis difficult.
  • Based on my Dicks DNA project, William appears to match people from the Christopher Dicks Line more than others. This is after accounting for the fact that two of the people in that group are one generation closer to a common ancestor than most in the Project. This also accounts for the fact that there are some non-Dicks TGs included in that group.
  • I looked at a special case for my mother-in-law’s Aunt Esther where she was in two TGs at the same place on a Chromosome and explained how this could happen.


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