My Brother’s MyHeritage Theory of Family Relativity Leads to Lancashire

I am finding MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity interesting. I looked at a few of “Theories” in a previous Blog, and will now look at my brother Jim’s. My brother JIm has six matches under MyHeritage’s (MH’s) Theory program. Three are ones that I have. Of those three two are mother and daughter. The three matches that Jim has that I don’t have all appear to be related to each other also.

Jim and Marcus at MH

Here is how MH shows Jim and Marcus’ merged trees:

Unfortunately, these two trees don’t seem to match well. How could Mary Pilling and Betty Wilkinson be sisters? When I look at MH’s full Theory, I see this:

Marcus shows Mary Pilling in his tree, but I don’t know how she is connected and I see no parents listed for Mary in Marcus’ tree.

Jim and Marcus: the DNA

I’ll look at Jim and Marcus’ DNA and then get back to the genealogy. Jim’s best match with Marcus is on Chromosome 1 shown in yellow below and circled:

Jim and Marcus also triangulate with Stanley who is from Great Britain and shows as the red match. Marcus is from Australia.

This Chromosome map below shows that Jim has Hartley DNA in the part of Chromosome 1 where he matches Marcus:

When I look at Jim’s match spreadsheet, I find that Marcus also appears at Ancestry, FTDNA and Gedmatch. I have been in touch with Marcus at Ancestry, though it is difficult to retrieve old messages there. Marcus wrote me in 2017:

I have a James Moorhouse born Bacup c1830, son of John Moorehouse and Betty Wilkinson. While the names are shared, I can’t make the connection fit correctly. I would love to identify this MRCA. cheers Marcus

Building a Tree for Stanley

Stanley, Marcus and Jim triangulate meaning that those three should have a common ancestor somewhere. So I’ll try building out Stanley’s tree to see if there is a connection. Here is Stanley’s tree:

Here is my version:

Ancestry has a lot of hints, but I am wary of Ancestry’s hints. Here is the family in 1939:

The family was living with a daughter, but I didn’t include her for possible privacy reasons. The family was in Stainforth. That leads me to the 1901 Census:

Here is Thomas as part of a large family in Stainforth, living on a farm. Here is Stainforth:

I am trying to make a connection to my Lancashire ancestors from Colne or Bacup. Muriel was born further North in Westmoreland, so I’ll stick to the Towler side for now. As I build out Stanley’s paternal side, I get this:

Somehow Nancy Berry pops up from all the Yorkshire ancestors as being from Colne. I also see a Wilkonson, but she is living in Yorkshire. I’m not too excited about the Wilkinson name as I don’t descend from the Wilkinson family. My Pilling ancestor married a Hartley, then a Wilkinson, so Wilkinsons were half siblings to my Hartley ancestors.

I don’t think Nancy died in 1825, because I see this entry in Giggleswick, Yorkshire:

Let’s not bury her yet.

Here is Nancy in 1841 when her husband was still alive:

The 1841 Census taker has Nancy born in Yorkshire which is apparently wrong.

Two Nancy Berry’s at Colne Parish

Noyna End is to the East of Foulridge. Great Marsden is to the West of Trawden.

Now that I’ve shown that Stanley’s tree goes back to Colne, can I show the same for Marcus’ tree?

Looking at Marcus’ Tree

I followed Marcus’ tree out to where it appeared the match with my family should be. There was a sticky point at Walter Humphreys. Ancestry wanted me to add a different father named Snook. However, I went with Marcus’ tree:

Here is information from one of the Ancestry Snook trees:

There must be some sort of Snook/Moorehouse debate going on somewhere.

James Moorehouse (1830-1886)

I’m still getting Snook suggestions for the parents of James Moorehouse, so I’ll take a look at James on my own.  Marcus has him born in Bacap, which I believe should be Bacup as that is where some of my ancestors came from.  Using the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks, I find this:

The only difference is in the Moorehouse/Moorhouse spelling. This appears to be James’ parents’ marriage record:

Here is the family in 1841 living at ‘Lower Crossrow’:

Lower Crossrow appears to be a location in Bacup.

Betty Wilkinson

I have Ancestry hints for the parents of Marcus’ Betty Wilson:


I’m not sure about the Moses Wilkinson from Tynemouth. This would be quite far from Trawden.

Here is what I have at my Willkinson web page:

The biggest problem with merging these two trees is that I show Betty marrying Robert Stansfield. Here is the marriage of Betty Wilkinson and Robert:

Here is a marriage for Moses Wilkinson and Jane Shaw:

This could be Jane’s baptism:

If this is the right person, she would have been baptized at a rather obscure Inghamite Church in Winewall which was part of Trawden. This is where my Hartley ancestors were from. So, nobody sneeze as this is quite the house of cards!

This is probably John and Jane:

More on Marcus’ Betty Wilkinson

There is one record that would indicate that Marcus’ Betty was from Bacup and not Trawden. The marriage record from St. Nicholas, Newchurch in Rossendale states that both bride and groom were “…in this Chapelry”.

The 1851 Census would have been helpful, but it appears that Betty had died by this time. John Moorhouse, said to be born in Burnley is a widow at this time. Although there is a connection between Trawden and Bacup for my Hartley ancestors and their half sibling Wilkinson not too long before the 1851 Census, there is no reason to believe that Betty Wilkinson would have moved from Trawden to Bacup before her supposed marriage to Moorehouse in 1820.

Assuming that Betty was from the Newchurch Chapelry, this could be her birth record:

It would have been customary for Betty to name her second son after her father. That could have been the case with her second son George:

According to Google Maps, here is Heap Clough to the West of Bacup and Haslingden:

Here is an older map:

I have also circled Goodshaw where another of my ancestors (Emmet) was born:

I note that my ancestors Edmund/Emmot and Mary Omerod married at St. James. This is the same place as I have the probable baptism of Betty Wilkinson about 45 years later.

Following Up On Betty Wilkinson of Haslingden

Here is a candidate for Marcus’ potential ancestors:

This could be the same George:

That would put George at just under 20 at the time he married. I think that Grain is Haslingden Grane. Grane looks to be across the street from Heap Clough:

Here is my guess for Mary Duckworth:

However, there was another Mary Duckworth born less than a year before this in the same Church. I’m guessing Heap Clough is right. Here are the likely parents:

I’m starting to get a tree for Betty Wilkinson:

I have two choices for Jonathan Duckworth:

Grane sounds familiar.

Here is the marriage for George and Betty Haworth:

A Haworth/Howorth Connection?

I have Howorth ancestors from the Bacup area.

I’ve already mentioned Edmund Emmet. James Howorth is shown above also. Another interesting thing is that Ancestry is suggesting this mother for George Wilkinson:

This is just about outside the reach of DNA matches. The Ancestry hint could correspond with this birth:

And this marriage:


So Where Am I?

  1. My brother Jim, Marcus and Stanley triangulate with their DNA matches. That means that they likely have a common ancestor. However, it may go back quite a way.
  2. I took Stanley’s tree back to a Nancy Berry. There were two Nancy Berry’s baptized in the Colne Parish Church around the time of Stanley’s Nancy in the 1770’s.
  3. I looked at Marcus’ genealogy tree and see that he had a Betty Wilkinson who could be the Betty Wilkinson I have at my Wilkinson website. However, this Betty would not be my direct descendant. My direct descendant married Betty’s brother Robert after my male direct descendant died.
  4. I decided that Marcus’ Betty Wilkinson was more likely a native of the Bacup area. I found a Betty Wilkinson from Heap Clough to the West of Haslingden.
  5. I traced Betty’s lineage back as well as I could. Heap Clough is not too far where some of my Emmet ancestors were from. I also found a Haworth and Howorth. I descend from Howorth in Bacup. I have not found where they lived before Bacup.
  6. So while I favor a Bacup area connection between Marcus’s family and mine, that doesn’t account for how Stanley ties in. As I guessed, it is likely far back – as in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s.

Summary and Conclusions

  • MH’s new Theory of Family Relativity resulted in my taking a fresh look at a DNA match who had a good tree.
  • It is still a bit unclear to me how MH’s Theory made Mary Pilling and Betty Wilkinson look like sisters given the trees I have seen.
  • As with many other genetic genealogy problems, I feel I am getting closer to a breakthrough, but I don’t quite get there.
  • I would say that the new information is that I have brought in a third person whose DNA triangulates with mine and Marcus’. His name is Stanley. Our three genealogical lines appeared to converge on Colne Parish in the mid- 1700’s, but as always, there are uncertainties.
  • A more likely candidate for Marcus’ Betty is Betty Wilkinson of Heap Clough, Haslingden of the St. James Parish. If I brought her ancestry back correctly, she has Haworth and Howorth ancestry. It is possible that one or both of these families are related to my Howorth ancestors.




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