A DNA Match With Kristin Who Has Hartley Ancestry and a Possible Hartley Genealogical Breakthrough

I recently noticed that my daughter had a Shared Ancestor Hint with Kristin. Not long ago,  had my daughter Heather’s DNA tested. Kristin is Heather’s first Shared Ancestor Hint (SAH). An SAH means that two people have a DNA match and have a common ancestor or ancestors. Here is what that looks like for Heather:

This shows that Heather and Kristen are 4th cousins. Here is the amount of DNA that Heather and Kristen share:

AncestryDNA predicted that Heather and Kristen would be 4th cousins and they guessed right.

The Hartley Branch of Fall River

Many of my closer Hartley relatives are perhaps not aware of the Fall River branch of the Hartley family. They know that the Hartley family lived in Rochester, Massachusetts. Many know that Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet lived in New Bedford before that. However, not many know that Greenwood and Ann were first in Fall River for a short time. Here is the Hartley Family in 1870:

This Census record is very difficult to find in that the last names are all written wrong. Here is how Ancestry sees the name:

I’m glad the Hortcliffe name didn’t stick. Soon after this time, the Hartley family moved to New Bedford. They lived in Fall River for only one or two years.

Abel Burrows

Mary Ann Hartley married Abel Burrows on 12 February 1874- probably in New Bedford.

Abel was later to be a jeweller in Fall River, but at this time he was a weaver. Perhaps Abel and Mary Ann met while she lived in Fall River.

Here is the Burrows family in 1880 at 63 Pleasant Street, Fall River:

This appears to be Mary Ann Hartley Burrows at a Hartley family gathering in Rochester, MA around 1921:

Looking at the photo, my grandmother is to her right.

Connecting the DNA and the Family Tree

Here is the tree that I have so far:

The people in green have had their DNA tested and uploaded to Gedmatch where the DNA can be compared. Emily in yellow has tested at Ancestry, but has not uploaded her results to Gedmatch which is now Gedmatch Genesis. Mary Pilling at the top of the chart is Mary Wilkinson in the 1870 Census. I mentioned Emily here in a Blog on AutoClustering Joyce’s AncestryDNA results.

It looks like Kristin is a close relative to Emily:

Adding a Pilllng Line

Mary Pilling was a single mother before she married Robert Hartley and had Greenwood. Robert then died ans she married Robert Wilkinson:

Ruth is a Shared Match with Kristin and my father’s cousin Joyce.

Shared Matches Between Kristin and Joyce

Kristin may be the key to unlocking clues on my Hartley genealogy. Here are Joyce’s shared matches at AncestryDNA with Joyce, my father’s 1st cousin.

  • Jennifer – I messaged her. She has Williams ancestry and is checking on possible connections
  • Emily and Ruth – They are in the chart in yellow above.
  • Paul – shows two parents in his tree. This could be built out.
  • Luke – He has a private tree. I have sent him a message.
  • Sheryl – She has an ancestor from Colne

Colne is next door to Trawden where my ancestors lived. My ancestors were born, married and buried at the Colne Church.

Bracewell came up in another tree of a shared match of a shared match if that makes sense.

Building Out Paul’s Tree

At the risk of making this a long Blog, I’ll try and build out Paul’s tree. Paul’s parent’s were both from New Bedford, so that is interesting already. My guess is that my match with Paul is on his mother’s side. I wasn’t able to easily fill in all the names, but did make it back to a Hartley and a Bracewell. The Bracewell name is new to me but apparently common to some of these shared matches:

Robert Hartley is an ancestral name, so that is hopeful also. Robert Hartley in the tree above would be Paul’s 5th great-grandfather if I have the tree right. However, having said that, there still are many gaps in the tree and the connection is quite a ways back.

Sheryl’s Tree

This is the one with the Bracewell born 1778 from Colne:

This is as far as I got with the Ancestry suggestions. It seems like the father of Susy Hartley should be John Hartley like in Paul’s tree:

Combining Paul and Sheryl’s Trees

When I combine the two trees, it looks like this:


This means that, on paper, Sheryl and Paul are potentially 6th cousins with each other. I also see that Sheryl has potentially two Bracewell lines. All this gives me a lead to check into.

A Third Bracewell Tree?

I had mentioned above that I had seen a third Bracewell tree. This was from a Shared Match of a Shared Match. My father’s cousin Joyce and Kristin have a shared match with Luke. I mentioned him above, but his tree is locked. So I looked at Shared Matches between Between Luke and Joyce and came up with an additional Shared Match. This shared match is Mark and he is on a list of Shared Matches with Kristin, Paul and Sheryl, so he is in good company, so to speak.

Mark’s Bracewell Ancestors

Here are Mark’s Bracewell Ancestors:

This looks like Ellin Bracewell married John Hackin and they had a child named Margaret Hakin. Mark’s ancestral location map shows his ancestors in orange:

Margaret Hakin is Mark’s ancestor who was born in the area that I am interested in. Does it make sense that Margaret’s mother Ellin was born in New York?

This appears to be the marriage record for John and Ellin:

Here are a few choices for Ellin’s birth record. I’ll go with the more recent one as it has George as the father and it seems more reasonable:

Here is a hint for Ellin’s mother’s name:

Here is a guess for George’s birth:

Here is what I get:

This tree is more confusing as Reuben Speak is shown as the father of Susannah Cronshaw. There is no father’s name given on Susannah’s birth record. It is possible that this is right and that there is another link in Mark’s ancestry to Hartley/Bracewell. However, this route does not easily match with the same Hartley/Bracewell family as the other two DNA matches. The other possibility is that this DNA match is on the Bracewell side only and that Mark matches further back in his ancestrry.

Building Down from Hartley/Bracewell

The next logical step would be to build down from John Hartley born 1730 and his wife Anne Bracewell to see if I can link up my tree to this line.

Here is a tree from Ancestry with John Hartley born 1733 and Anna Bracewell:

This tree has two John’s as sons. A previous tree I looked at had three sons named John.

It looks like John and Anne were married on 23 September 1752 and they both lived in Trawden:

Trawden is good in that my known Hartley ancestors came from there. At this point, I assume that the family stayed in Trawden. I then looked for children born to John Hartley in Trawden:

If Anne lived long enough, she could have had children for 25 years or more. So, until about 1777. Here is the start of my tree:

Then I ran into a snag:

Here is another Robert. Also the mother is called Nanny now which could be a nickname for Anne.

Next is another John:

The mother’s name is back to Anne. If the first John died, then it would make sense if they have another John.

Finally, in 1772, we are back to Nanny:

I’ll add in the extra John above, just in case. I’m looking for a Hartley connection, so I’m more interested in the male Hartley’s.

James Hartley and Betty Baldwin

One of my top guesses for the parents of my ancestor Robert Hartley (father of Greenwood Hartley) is James Hartley and Better Baldwin. What if the James above born 1763 married Betty Baldwin?

One Holgate Tree I see at Ancestry has Elizabeth Southgate as the wife of James Hartley:

I don’t know if the creator had special knowledge of this marriage or if they were guessing.  I searched for this marriage at the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks Website and coud not find it.  I would follow up on the tree, but when I search for Elizabeth in trees, I find this:

Perhaps Elizabeth got attached to James above by mistake. It appears that the tree intended to have her married to John Hartley.

Did James the Son of John Hartley and Anne Bracewell Marry Betty Baldwin?

My best guess when I was researching Hartley genealogy was that James Hartley and Betty Baldwin were the most likely parents for Robert Hartley born about 1803. Now shared DNA matches with a good Hartley DNA matches Kristin and Joyce show a common ancestor of John Hartley and Anne Bracewell. This couple has a son named James. I’ll combine these lines and see how it looks:

  • Kristin and Joyce have a Shared Ancestor hint with Greenwood Hartley and Anne Emmet. This genealogical and DNA connection is quite certain.
  • Kristin and Joyce also have shared DNA matches with Sheryl and Paul
  • This shared DNA could be on the Hartley side (Trawden) or the Emmet side (Bacup). Sheryl and Paul have ancestors in the Colne/Trawden area.
  • Sheryl and Paul appear to have the shared ancestors of John Hartley and Anne Bracewell.
  • John Hartley and Anne Bracewell had a son James who could be the father of Robert who was the father of Greenwood Hartley.
  • This would combine my genealogical research with DNA evidence. There may be other explanations, but this one looks good right now – at least good enough to flesh out.

Fleshing Out the New James Hartley (Born 1763) Connection

One other item I see for James in Ancestry trees is his death:

This seems a bit sketchy to me. I have found no marriage record in Ancestry Trees for this James. Why would James be born in Trawden and die in Lancaster?

Lancaster is quite a ways from Colne. Unless, the record means to say that Lancaster represents the County of Lancashire.

Here is the record:

This does show that a James Hartley, son of John Hartley was buried in Lancaster. However, I’m not convinced that this is the same person.

Here is a James Hartley who was buried in Trawden in 1769:


There are many other James Hartley burials in the Colne Parish. Here is another possibility:

This James was 82 in 1845, so he was born about 1763. Here is the same person in 1841:

Little Lather in the Burial record is better rendered on page 2 of the 1841 Census as Little Laith.

Another Elderly James Hartley Farmer South of Trawden Village

Just to confuse things, there is another elderly James Hartley South of Trawden Village:


Little Laithe is listed in the Census as near New Laithe and Hole is listed as near Naze End on Page 11 of the 1841 Trawden Census. These places would be a short walk from each other. I like the second James for a few reasons. One reason is that he is married to Betty, The second is that he lives near Seghole. Mary Pillng who married Robert Hartley was born in Seghole in 1802. I haven’t found death records for this James and Betty Hartley. Perhaps they moved to be with relatives after this time.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Kristin’s DNA match with the Hartley family and especially with Joyce has been helpful
  • Kristin descends from Ann Hartley born 1855, so shared matches with her would be more likely to represent Hartley ancestors from England.
  • I looked at the Hartley’s of Fall River
  • I looked at shared matches between Joyce and Kristin. They had two shared matches that both had the same ancestors: John Hartley born 1730 and Anne Bracewell.
  • I started to build a case that John Hartley had as his son, James Hartley who married Betty Baldwin. They had Robert Hartley who was my 3rd great-grandfather born 1803 in Trawden.
  • I looked at two elderly James Hartley’s in the 1841 Trawden Census. I favored the elder one as a potential 4th great-grandfather because he was married to a Betty and because he lived very close to the birth home of Mary Pilling who was my 3rd great-grandmother.
  • Before I had this match with Kristin, I had no known DNA connection to my Hartley ancestors in Trawden, Lancashire. Kristin’s DNA results appears to have provided that DNA connection and given good evidence and direction for genealogical research.
  • This is a potential break in my genealogical brick wall that I have had for around 25 years. I will do some more work to see if this theory makes sense.


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