A New Frazer STR Tree with Associated Families

First, I don’t like to make STR trees. They take a while to build and then when the SNP results come out, I can be proven wrong with my previous STR trees. Nonetheless, I’ll forge ahead based on the new 111 STR results from a Frazier relative.

First, Who Are the Associated Families

My understanding is that our Frazer ancestors came to Scotland at some time around the time of Christ. They probably formed a small group of people around the Inverness area. At the time when people were taking on surnames, they probably took on the surnames of the people who were surrounding them at the time. This would likely account for the names of Riley, Hayes, Stuart, Grant and Frazer/Frazier below. There were likely other names adopted. The name of Chisolm comes to mind and perhaps other names that haven’t had YDNA tests.

Building a STR Tree

First I extracted STR results from Frazers and other more distantly related families:

These are 25 STR results for Riley, Hayes, Stuart, Grant and Frazer/Frazier. From this, it appears clearly that a DYS447 of 24 defines Frazer/Frazier and a DYS447 of 25 defines the families above. It appears that the value of 25 is older as there are more of that number and it is applied to three different families.

Without getting into the details, here is a simple tree:

The important thing here is that our most recent Frazier tester falls solidly in with our North Roscommon Frazers.

Further, there is a clear break between Riley and Hayes/Stuart/Grant:

This is just with 25 STR testing.

Frazer and Related Families at 37 STRs

Here is the testing up to 37 STRs:

I took out the markers that were all the same. There was a further distinction I didn’t note above in the first 25 markers that identifies the Archibald line of the North Roscommon Frazers. That is a DYS391 of 11. This is where I was before Richard’s 111 STR results came in. It looked like he was fairly closely related to the Roscommon Ireland Frazers. At the 37 STR level, one of the Stuarts drops out as he only tested to 25 STRs.

111 STRs

At this level, some more families drop out:

There is still one Riley and one Stuart left. In the last column, there was a 16, 17 and 15 for results. In that case, I assumed that the 16 was the ancestral value and that Riley mutated up and Stuart mutated down. I made a similar assumption in the column that had 12, 13 and 14.

It is in the lighter blue 38-111 STRs that Richard shows some of his differences from the North Roscommon Frazers in DYS710, 717 and 712. These are the three markers that appear to put Richard further back as a match with our Roscommon Frazers before they were in Roscommon. Again, the SNP results should give a better idea if this is indeed the case.

This is my best guess for a STR tree:

The big question is whether Richard is under Archibald Frazer or further back as I have it in the above diagram. The main reason for putting Richard’s common ancestor with Archibald Frazer descendants back before the Irish Frazers is that Jonathan’s matches with other known Irish Frazer descendants appears to be closer than with Richard. Here are Jonathan’s STR matches:

Jonathan matches known North Roscommon Frazer descendants at a GD between 1 and 4. He matches Richard at a GD of 7 which is about the same level at which he matches two Stuart descendants.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I built a Frazer STR tree which tries to take into account other related families of Riley, Hayes, Grant and Stuart.
  • Frazier seems solidly in the Frazer camp based on one of the STR markers
  • However, based on genetic distance, it seems like Richard should have a common ancestor with the North Roscommon Frazers at some point before they moved to Ireland.
  • These findings seem consistent with what I looked at in my previoius Blog on Richard’s 111 STR results
  • My guess is that Richard’s BigY SNP results will confirm what appears to be happening with his less reliable STR results


AutoClustering My Mother-In-Law Joan’s AncestryDNA

I’m excited about looking at my mother-in-law’s DNA. I tried autoclustering her FTDNA results but had a difficult time identifying many of her clusters.

Making Joan’s DNA Fun Again

When I first started looking at Joan’s DNA several years ago, it seemed like a lot of her matches resulted in common ancestors. Then later, I saw that there was a lot of inter-marriage going on in Prince Edward Island (PEI) where Joan’s two paternal grandparents came from. Let’s take a look at the Geneticaffairs AutoCluster for Joan:

That’s not very clear, is it? My previous autocluster reports were in the range of three or four hundred matches. This report is quite large, with about 650 matches. Large is good, but it makes the chart difficult to view. To get the Chart above, I used thresholds between 25 and 600cM.

Joan’s Ancestry

Joan’s ancestry is one-half PEI, 1/4 Newfoundland and 1/4 Nova Scotia. The records are poor for Newfoundland and the Nova Scotia relatives are a bit obscure.

The first column has Joan’s great-grandparents. Ellis through Hopgood are PEI. Upshall and Dicks are Newfoundland. Daley and Rhynold are Nova Scotia. Here is a guess on how Joan’s autocluster will look:

It would be nice to sort the Ellis from the Rayner in the top square. However, there is some crossovers in the families as you go back in time. I’m also curious to look into Joan’s Newfoundland and more obscure Nova Scotia ancestry.

Let’s Get to the Clusters

First I start with the Identifying Spreadsheet. This is to identify Joan’s 66 clusters – or to at least get a start on them.

This goes down to Cluster 42, because the results went off my screen. However Brian at Cluster 41 is important.

Brian’s Upshall Match

Here is an Upshall Tree. I think I have it right:

Brian is Joan’s 1st cousin once removed. However, they are only related on the Upshall side because Fred Upshall’s first wife died and he remarried and had Gertrude and Esther. I drew my big green box starting with Brian in Cluster 41 in my initial guess.

Joan’s Ellis Side

Joan’s Cluster Chart is headed up by E.E. Here is E.E.’s Shared Ancestor Hint (SAH) with Joan at AncestryDNA:

E.E. is in Joan’s Cluster 1 and is a second cousin to Joan. E.E. is the top left square in this cluster.

The higher matches are on the top left and the lower matches are on the lower right. The Shared Matches fade out a bit from the top left to the lower right. Most of Joan’s matches with Newfoundland ancestry can be found in this cluster. That should include more of the Dicks relatives than Upshalls.

Now I have two out of 66 clusters:

These might not be the best names for these clusters, but that is what I am calling them right now. Cluster 1 has 105 members and Cluster 41 has 101 members, so those two matches represent clusters that total to over 200 matches.

Joan’s AncestryDNA Circles and Her Clusters

Joan has 22 Circles at AncestryDNA. These Circles point to common ancestors and should help to identify Joan’s clusters. One of the more obscure clusters leads me to Gordon with Rhynold ancestry:

Gordon and many others are in Cluster 61. This probably represents the start of Joan’s Daley maternal grandmother’s side:

Cluster 61 has been bolded and the Upshall Cluster is shown in the upper right of the image above. These may be other Newfoundland Clusters between Upshall and Daley/Rhynold.

Daley represents 1/4 of Joan’s DNA but a smaller percentage of her actual matches. I have now defined the three main areas of Joan’s ancestry on the clusters. They are: PEI, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Separating Ellis from Rayner

I have distinguished three areas of Joan’s ancestry. I have Joan’s Ellis, Upshall and Daley ancestry. Now I would like to separate the Ellis DNA from the Rayner DNA. This is a little difficult due to crisscrossing of Rayner and Ellis ancestry. Here is some of Joan’s paternal ancestry:

Back to the Circles

Here is a Rayner Circle from Ancestry:

There are 21 in this circle. Hazel is a match with strong confidence. Yet, she appears in Joan’s Cluster 1:

I do see that while Hazel has two Rayner Lines, she also has an Ellis ancestor:

It looks like Joan may be matching on this Ellis Line rather than the Rayner side. Confusing, isn’t it?

The Mary Watson Circle

Mary Watson was the wife of Edward John Rayner. If Edward was in Cluster 1, shouldn’t Mary be also? Or can AncestryDNA somehow separate the two?:

Joan’s first non-close family relative in the Mary Watson Circle is Esther. Turns out Esther is in Cluster 13. Hence, my question above.


Looking at Esther’s tree, I don’t see Mary Watson:

Perhaps it is more obvious through other trees.

One of the next matches to Joan in the Mary Watson tree is Mary-Ann. Mary-Ann is in Cluster 12. Mary-Ann has one non-private person in her tree who is not a Rayner and not a Watson. At this point, I can choose to trust Ancestry’s Circles or trust them. I’ll assume that there is something to the Circles and add Cluster 12 as a Mary Watson Cluster.

Here is Joan’s green Cluster 12 highlighted:

Let’s Try a Mary Yeo Circle

Here is Mary Yeo.

Mary is Joan’s third great-grandmother on her paternal Rayner side.

Wanda is a top match in the Mary Yeo Circe, but she is in Cluster 1. Wanda also has at least one Ellis ancestor. I am beginning to question some of these Ancestry Circles. However, to be fair, I have had trouble separating out Ellis and Rayner by hand, so I’m sure a computer program would have the same problems.

One More Rayner Side Circle: Amelia Watson

Ronald is a top match in the Amelia Watson Circle. He has Gorrill, Hopgood and Watson ancestors. He is also in Cluster 7. Hmm…

An Additional Ellis Cluster

Kath is in Cluster 4:

However, Kath is in the Pring Circle. The Circles are confusing me right now, so I’ll have to ignore them. Note that Kath has two Shared Ancestor Hints (SAHs). Here is the second:

I suppose that is how Kath got into the Pring Circle. Fortunately both these ancestors are on the Ellis side. From the above, it appears that Richard Gorrill Married two Newcombe sisters. I’ll record this in my spreadsheet like this:

This shows that I have five PEI Clusters identified out of what appears to be a total of 40 PEI Clusters.

One More Cluster – #19

There is always one more Cluster to Identify. My next strategy is to look down the list of clusters from my AutoCluster Report:

I have a few notes for Heather and L.M. that indicate that they should be on the Rayner side.

More on Newfoundland DNA

I have written many Blogs about Dicks and other Newfoundland DNA. I will look into those matches now.

Crann DNA

Joan matches other with Crann DNA. Heather is from New Zealand and Joan and Heather’s common ancestors are likely Henry Crann born 1757 in Netherbury, Dorset, England and his wife Elizabeth Collens. This is a case where the DNA gets ahead of the genealogy. Heather is in Joan’s Cluster 46

Building Out Terrence’s Tree

Terrence is also in Cluster 46 and has a tree with four people. I am curious about his tree as his mother is a Crann. I have avoided building out any trees in this Blog, so I will build one out now:

This is Terrence’s mother’s grandfather’s line going right back to Jenry Crann and Elizabeth Collens. One interesting thing about this tree is that I have Richard Crann being born in Harbour Buffett where Joan’s Newfoundland ancestors lived.

Tyler Also from Cluster 46

In addition to Terrence is Tyler. I don’t have to build out his tree. His tree also goes back to John Crann. When I put Heather, Terrence, and Tyler in a tree, I get this Cluster 46 Crann Tree:

R.N. From Cluster 46

R.N. is Joan’s last match at Cluster 46 (at the threshold that I set). Turns out R.N. also has a tree on the New Zealand Branch:

Now Joan has symmetry in her Cluster 46 between Newfoundland on the left and New Zealand on the right.

Where is Joan in Cluster 46?

That is the problem. I don’t have good records for the match. I had proposed that John Crann had a daughter named Elizabeth who married Christopher Dicks.

The problem with this theory is that I don’t have any paper evidence. I already had Tyler in this tree, but I am missing Terrence. He needs to be added in. I note that at Ancestry all the trees that have a name for Christopher Dicks wife have Elizabeth Collier. There is one researcher who has Christopher’s wife as Elizabeth Crann but has no parents for her.

Summary and Conclusions

  • With the AutoClustering technique, I was able to break down Joan’s DNA into her three ancestral regions.
  • I had some difficulty in splitting Joan’s PEI Ellis and Rayner grandparent clusters. This may be partly due to a fairly high 600cM top limit for the clusters.
  • I wonder if I lower the top number will I get more clusters. There were a lot of people in the two main Ellis and Upshall Clusters.
  • I focused on one small Crann cluster with small matches but good trees. This cluster added to my previous work where I propose the Elizabeth Crann is the wife of the Christopher Dicks born about 1812.









My Mother-In-Law and Her FTDNA AutoClustering

Joan’s Genealogy

I find Joan’s DNA fun to work with. Even though Joan has Canadian background, she has no French Canadian which can muck up the works. I don’t mean to sound prejudice in a DNA sort of way. Joan is 1/4 Newfoundland, 1/4 Daley which is from Nova Scotia and the other half is from Prince Edward Island. Out of Joan’s four grandparents, the Daley side seems to be most obscure. However, the Newfoundland side is problematic due to poor records there. The Church in Harbour Buffet burned down at one point.

  • Ellis and Rayner – PEI
  • Upshall – Newfoundland
  • Daley – Nova Scotia

AutoClustering Joan

For some reason, Joan’s results came through as untitled text files:

I was able to change the first two files to csv files and the last one to an html file and that solved the problem. I chose a range between 12 and 400 cM.

How Many Clusters?

Joan had so many clusters that they ran off the graph:

I’ll say Joan has over 80 clusters. 

This represents about the first 25 of Joan’s clusters. Here is the total at the bottom of the report:

I forgot that FTDNA add small segments to make the matches larger, so I should have had a higher bottom cutoff point.

Joan’s Cluster #1 – Newfoundland

A journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step. Joan’s top match is Ken. I’ve looked at his DNA before and had trouble figuring out where all of his DNA came from. If you look real close, you will see Ken’s grey dots going toward other clusters. Those are other places where he is related to Joan. I mentioned that French Canadians mucked up the works with intermarriage. This would be true of islands also – like Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

Joan’s #1 AutoCluster Match: Ken

Ken and Joan both descend from Christopher Dicks born in the 1780’s and his wife Margaret. I have run a DIcks DNA project and I recognize a lot of people in this Cluster.

Joan and Nancy

I didn’t recognize Nancy’s name in the group. Here is her tree:

I don’t get a lot of Upshall leads, so this is interesting. I assume that Nancy also has Dicks ancestry at some point. See, AutoClustering leads to good things.

That was quite easy. Here is the spreadsheet I use to keep track:

Cluster 2: PEI

I recognize some PEI descendants in Cluster 2. I have written about Glenda. She descends from Elllis and Rayner and matches Joan equally on those lines. That means I need to look at other Cluster 2 people and their trees.

Barbara and Lee

Barbara and Lee from Cluster 2 both have McArthur or MacArthur in their trees. That would seem to favor the Ellis side over the Rayner side:

However, I am just matching surnames, I am not matching actual shared ancestors. That would take more work.

Agnes’ Tree

It seems that there a lot of good trees at FTNDA. Agnes matches on the Rayner side.

Agnes’ maternal side has an Edward Rayner. His parent are the Edward John Rayner and Mary Watson in Joan’s tree. Of course, that favors the Rayner side. However, I note that there is an Ellis on Agnes’ Rayner side also.

Jane’s Tree

Here is where I need Ancestry to pull the trees together for me:

Jane has McArthur and Ellis on her paternal side.

I guess I’ll call this cluster Ellis/McArthur for now.

I spent a bit of time on this cluster, but it is Joan’s second largest cluster.

Joan’s Cluster Three People Don’t Look Familiar

Unlike the first two clusters, I don’t recognize these matches. There were four trees for the 13 people in this cluster. I think I’ll skip this one. By the little dots to the left and above this cluster, I would say there is some connection to the previous PEI cluster. It seems like an odd group. At least one tree was from New Zealand and one was from Ireland.

Skipping on to Cluster 4

As I look at the names and trees, it appears that this Cluster is from Newfoundland. I’ll just call this a Newfoundland Cluster:

That also gave me an idea for a name for Cluster 3.

DNAPainter to the Rescue?

I’m getting stuck on these Clusters, so I’ll take a look at what I have already painted for Joan. Here is the key to Joan’s painted Chromsomes:

One problem I see with this is that DNAPainter takes from many places – not just FTDNA.

Melissa in Cluster 34

Melissa has a common ancestor of Ellis/Gorrill with Joan.

I’m not so sure about the other two matches in the group. So I didn’t find a lot by that method.

The Clicking on Trees Method

Next, I’ll just click on trees to see if anything shows up. This resulted in a few general discoveries. I then clicked on the highest cM button to try to overcome FTDNA’s over-counting of their DNA matches.

Here are some of the clusters partly identified:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I had trouble finding specific ancestors for many of these clusters. I think it may be related to FTDNA having higher cM matching than is warranted. This may be partially fixed by raising the lower threshold to 20 cM when running an AutoCluster Report at FTDNA.
  • At Joan’s 2nd great-granparent level, I can identify 16 ancestors. In this analysis, I got 92 clusters. That is too many. 
  • Even though the cluster identification was difficult, it was good to take a fresh look at Joan’s FTDNA through the eyes of AutoClustering. I have at least one new lead to follow up on.
  • Another issue that makes Joan’s cluster identification difficult is that her ancestors come from two islands: PEI and Newfoundland. There was some intermarriage going on there. Joan is also once quarter from Nova Scotia. I’m not aware of intermarriage there, but matches with these relatives are relatively rare (no pun intended). 

Painting My Wife’s Chromosomes

In this Blog I’ll paint my wife’s chromosomes. I use DNAPainter for this. This utility requires a subscription for over one painting, and I’m over that now, so I subscribed. Painting DNA is taking all your DNA matches and painting them onto your chromosomes. The match that you have shows that you have DNA from a common ancestor. So what I will be showing is where my wife, Marie, inherited her DNA on which chromosome and from which ancestor. Hopefully, it will become clear as I go along.

Right now I have profiles for my mother, myself and two siblings:

Next, I’ll create a profile for Marie. DNAPainter just needs to know her name and that she is a female. This makes a difference for the X Chromosome as women have two of those.

Which Matches Do I Paint for Marie?

I will look at painting no matches closer than those that represent Marie’s grandparents. That means that I don’t want to count matches from 1st cousins. Full 1st cousins share two grandparents. The first two people who I will paint will be Marie’s father’s 1st cousins Patricia and Joe. That makes them first cousins once removed to Marie.

Marie’s match with Patricia and Joe will show up on her map as DNA from Joseph LeFevre and Emma Pouliot. That is because we don’t know who the DNA came from. It should be part LeFevre and part Pouliot. Here is Marie’s match with Patricia from Gedmatch.com:

Here is what that looks at DNAPainter:

The DNA is on Marie’s paternal side, so that is on the blue bar. The key at the bottom says who the DNA is from. Now Marie has gone from zero to 7% of her chromosomes painted with adding just one cousin:

Marie also matches Patricia on her X Chromosome. So I added that. Next I need to add Patricia’s brother Joe. This time I’ll paste in his X Chromosome match along with the other matches. Gedmatch has you do a different query for the two. Adding Joe brings Marie’s painted DNA up to 10%. Now we can expand the Chromosomes to see the details:


The X Chromosome expands to this:

This shows that Joe shares more X Chromosome with Marie than Patricia does. Next I added RL who matches only on the LeFevre side as far as I know. This added 1% to Marie’s map and got her up to 11% mapped.

Here is Marie’s match with RL on Chromosome 12. Where RL matches Joe, that is likely all LeFevre DNA. On the right where RL does not overlap with Joe and Patricia, we don’t know if the DNA was from the LeFevre side or Pouliot side.

[Note: I have RL in the wrong color which I correct later in the Blog.]

Adding Some Pouliot DNA

Marie has some matches with Pouliot only DNA. These matches are with Fred, Don and Sleuth:

Now, wherever Marie has a match with Fred and Patricia and those matches overlap, that will show that the match with Patricia was on the Pouliot side and not the LeFevre side.

Here is a new color and this gets Marie’s painted chromosomes up to 13%. Here is Don on expanded view on Chromosome 1:

The green overtook the pink in the expanded view. This is OK as Pouliot is the more specific match and the older one. This tells us that Marie’s match with Patricia on Chromosome 1 is from the Pouliot side and not the LeFevre side. Next I added Don’s two siblings to bring Marie’s painted DNA up to 14%

So far, I have painted 6 matches to Marie’s paternal side. This represents only one of her grandparents – the LeFevre side. This 14% represents 27% of Marie’s paternal side DNA.

Starting Marie’s Maternal Side DNA Painting

Marie has Ellis and Upshall grandparents on her maternal side. Marie matches her half great Aunt Esther on the Upshall side. The half part is important as it narrows down the match to one of Marie’s great-grandparents.

This brings Marie’s mapped DNA up to 20%. So we are one fifth complete.

Here I wanted Frederick on the bottom as he is on the maternal side. I also added a line by choosing Joseph LeFevre/Emma Pouliot. I then chose Edit Group and I checked a box saying I wanted a line below this group.

More Painting

I don’t want to stop now. Marie’s next match at Gedmatch is a first cousin once removed, but he is a younger cousin. He shares two of Marie’s grandparents as common ancestors, so we won’t map him. After Nick is Gaby. Gaby is Marie’s second cousin on Marie’s paternal side. This match represents Marie’s Irish side.

This brings Marie to 23% mapped:

Next: More LeFevre DNA

Sandra has been a big help in uploading her DNA to Gedmatch. She tells me that she is a third cousin to Marie. Their common ancestors are  Edmond Lazare Lefevre and Leocadie Methot.

Sandra manages three DNA kits including her own that are close matches to Marie. I assume that they all have LeFevre and Methot common ancestors. I mentioned RL above but didn’t put in the correct common ancestor.

Here I will want to move RL to another group, but I haven’t set up that group yet, so I’ll add KK first.

Here I have added a new pair of ancestors for Marie on her maternal side with a splash of tangerine. I moved the ancestral pair down one on the key so they would be with the other LeFevre’s. Next I moved RL to the Edmond LeFevre Group. I see now that I could have created a new group before also.

I then added Sandra which brings the mapped number of segments up to 116.

Adding Anne to Marie’s Maternal Side

As I go down the list, it takes a little bit more to figure out where the people fit in. This looks to be the right tree for Anne:

Marie is Joan’s daughter, so that makes Marie a second cousin twice removed to Anne. So we are quickly back to about 1812 with Marie’s DNA.

This is only the second maternal ancestral pair. Unfortunately, I don’t have a last name for Elizabeth. Crann would be a guess. We still have no ancestors for Marie’s fourth grandparent: Ellis.

Ronda: An Ellis Match for Marie

Ronda is next on the list at Gedmatch:

Ronda is a third cousin to Marie. Note that there is another shared ancestor hint. However, it is further out and also on the Ellis line.

As this is a new grandparent match, it means that there will be no overlaps with any other matches and this brings Marie’s painted DNA up to 26%.

An Unknown Upshall Side Match

The next match going down the Gedmatch list is Leslie. Unfortunately, I can’t see an obvious common ancestor for Leslie and Marie. I’ll have to wait until I find one.

After the unknown is Sarah. I was able to find her at AncestryDNA. She has a Shared Ancestry Hint with Marie:

This is Marie’s first painted DNA from the 1700’s. The new matches are on the maternal sides of Chromosomes 2, 4, and 6.

On Chromosome 6, I circled one of Marie’s crossovers. That is where her DNA crossed over from her Upshall side in light blue to her Ellis side in teal and orange. The actual location of the crossover is where the blue changes to teal.

Next is another unknown match. This is with Bobby. I can tell that the match is on the Ellis side, but not exactly where. I do see that Bobby also has his DNA at FTDNA. However, the tree is not all filled out there either.

Next is Danielle. I can tell by Shared Matches at AncestryDNA that she is related on the LeFevre side, but the detailed tree is missing also.

Karen and Martha with Newfoundland Roots

Newfoundland Roots means the Upshall side for Marie. I don’t have a good tree for Karen, but I have blogged about her. Based on her DNA, I have theorized this tree:


We’ll say I’m right. I have that Henry Upshall married Catherine Dicks. I added Karen’s match on Chromosomes 8 and 9 in lilac:


For Martha, I have another best guess tree:

Actually, this is double made up as we cannot easily prove that Peter Upshall is the father of Henry Upshall. However, this is a best fit tree. Marie would be a third cousin once removed to Martha’s maternal aunt. I believe that M.B. is Martha’s maternal aunt.

The good news is that I’m getting more maternal side matches for Marie. The bad news is that paperwork in Newfoundland is missing and it is hard to verify the last two matches.

Michelle at FTDNA on the LeFevre Side

I mentioned FTDNA above. Marie has matches there also. Here is an interesting one with Michelle. Michelle is related to Marie only on the LeFevre side:

Michelle’s maternal grandparents were Martin LeFevre and Mabel Ford. Marie’s great-grandparents were Martin LeFevre and Emma Pouliot. Emma died and Martin remarried Mabel. Here is Marie’s match with Michelle at FTDNA:

Transferred to DNAPainter:

I now have an entry for Joseph Martin LeFevre by himself as well as the couple of Joseph LeFevre and Emma Pouliot.

More Maternal DNA for Marie on the Upshall Side: Edward

Edward and Marie have this common ancestor:

Here Marie and Edward are fourth cousins. They have a common ancestor of Christopher Dicks and Elizabeth Crann. I’m not positive about the Crann. Here I made a couple of mistakes:

First I forgot to assign this to the maternal side and secondly I already had an entry for Christopher Dicks. Fortunately, DNAPainter had a way for me to merge this group into the right one on Chomosomes 9 and 11 (Chistopher Dicks in purple).

This gets Marie up to 150 segments mapped.

Marie and Wallace at MyHeritage

Marie has a good match with Wallace at MyHeritage. I uploaded Marie’s results there while writing this Blog.

Here is where I have Wallace:

Wallace is a 2nd cousin once removed to Marie. At this point, Marie’s maternal chromosomes are 22% filled in and her paternal chromosomes are 36% filled in. A lot of paternal LeFevre relatives have tested. Here is Marie’s maternal side only:

That is what 22% filled in looks like.

Adding Cheryl and More of Martha’s family

Cheryl has Dicks ancestry. I have written many Blogs on this family and how their descendants match up by DNA.

Cheryl is on the bottom left. She is a fourth cousin once removed to Marie. As there are some missing lines in Marie’s Newfoundland genealogy, there may be other ways Marie is matching some of these Newfoundland descendants. Here is how Cheryl compares with some others on Chromosome 9:

The light blue represents Christopher Dicks born 1784 or his wife Margaret. Many people descend from this couple.

Next, I’ll add Martha’s brother and Martha. Some of these matches are not adding new DNA.

Back to LeFevre

Here is a match on the LeFevre side:

This is on the French Canadian side. Note that there are two other pairs of shared ancestors. However, this is the most recent.

This is Marie’s first mapped French Canadian DNA from the 1700’s (in red). It is interesting that Marie and Kbou also match by XDNA. In order for this X match to occur, there cannot be any two males in a row in Marie’s or Kbou’s ancestries. Looking at their trees above we see that is indeed true. This match brought Marie’s mapped chromosomes up to 30%.

I could keep on going, but I’ll stop here.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I mapped 30% of Marie’s chromosomes using DNAPainter and matches from Gedmatch, FTDNA and MyHeritage. AncestryDNA was helpful to provide trees but it does not provide the detailed DNA information needed to map the chromosomes.
  • I was able to paint 10% of Marie’s chromosomes with two of her first matches. After that, things went more slowly.
  • Of Marie’s four grandparents, Butler matches are the most rare. Marie had one Butler match.
  • I gave an example of a crossover.
  • Marie has DNA mapped on every chromosome. However, a paternal or maternal side may be missing.
  • It would be interesting to create a DNAPainter map for Marie’s mother and father and see how they compare to Marie’s map.

An Adoptee’s Match with My Wife’s Mother and Aunt

I recently had a message from an adoptee named Martha. Martha was understandably enthused about a match she had with my wife’s Aunt Elaine and mom, Joan.

Martha’s DNA Matches

Here is how Martha matches Aunt Elaine:

Based on the match, MyHeritage puts Martha and Aunt Elaine between 1st cousin twice removed and 2nd cousin twice removed.

Here is how Martha matches Elaine’s sister Joan:

The big difference is that Elaine had a match on Chromosome 19 with Martha that Joan did not. Joan and Martha are said to be between 3rd cousin and 5th cousin. I find it interesting that MyHeritage distinguishes between 2nd cousin twice removed and third cousin as from a DNA standpoint, I would think that they would be quite similar.

Martha and Joan at FTDNA

Martha and Joan are both at FTDNA. Martha mentioned that she and Joan match on the X Chromosome, but I don’t believe that the match is significant:

My understanding is that a match between two women of less than about 15 cM is not significant. These matches are all below 7 cM and are quite tiny. I suppose that the matches could represent some type of general ethnic similarity.

Where is the Common Ancestor between Joan, Elaine and Martha?

If Martha is a 3rd cousin with Joan and Elaine, that means that their common ancestor would be back 4 generations. MyHeritage shows Shared Matches which come in handy:

Joan and Martha’s first shared match is, of course, Elaine. After that, the next match is Vance. Let’s look at his tree:

The father’s side is missing. However, I did find this additional information on a Family Tree at Ancestry:

That gives me a better feeling about Vance’s family tree.

Here is Joan’s father’s tree. It seems like Martha and Joan must match in PEI:

George Ellis and Lillian Rayner are Joan’s paternal grandparents. My guess is that Martha and Joan may match on more than one line. The two names I see in common in the tree of Vance and Joan are MacArthur and Yeo. However, MacArthur appears more recently in Joan’s tree than Yeo. So this may be the closer match.

Back to the DNA and Triangulation

Using Triangulation, we can know where Martha, Vance, Joan and Elaine have common DNA. This DNA should correspond to a specific common ancestor.

This shows that Joan, Martha and Vance triangulate on Chromosomes 4, 17 and 18. I checked between Elaine, Martha and Vance and the triangulated segments are the same.

Martha at Ancestry

Martha also tested at Ancestry. At AncestryDNA, Martha and Elaine are predicted as 4th cousins which is a big difference from what MyHeritage showed. Based on the color mapping of Elaine to her four grandparents, it seems like Martha matches on the Ellis side rather than the Rayner side.  This type of mapping is also known as the Leeds Method. Based on this, my best bet is that the match could be through the MacArthur side.


This seems to be confirmed by the spreadsheet that I have for Joan:

Based on past research I had found a common ancestor of MacArthur/MacDougall. This was for a DNA match that Joan and Barry had right at the spot where there were triangulated segments on Chromosome 4 between Vance, Joan, Elaine and Martha.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Different testing companies have different ways of representing what relationship the test results represent. AncestryDNA turns out to be fairly accurate.
  • I looked at common matches at Ancestry between Elaine and Martha. These seemed to put Martha and Elaine’s match along the Elaine’s Ellis ancestry Line.
  • Martha, Joan, Elaine and Vance triangulated at MyHeritage. Vance had Yeo and MacArthur in his ancestry which was shared with Joan and Elaine. However, the MacArthur ancestry occurs more recently in Joan and Elaine’s ancestry.
  • Joan’s worksheet shows that I had identified MacArthur as a common ancestor with another match on Chromosome 4. This was in the same place as the triangulated segments between Vance, Joan, Elaine and Martha. Right now, MacArthur seems like the best bet for a common ancestral surname between Martha and Elaine. Assuming that Malcolm MacArthur is the common ancestor, that would make Elaine and Martha about 4th cousins. The DNA matches could be higher due to matches on other more distant lines.


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. MyHeritage 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.

Ronda’s Ellis DNA

I noted a new match for my mother in law, Joan and her sister Elaine at Gedmatch recently. Here is the match between Ronda and Joan:

Here is how Ronda and Elaine match:

This shows 3.5 generations to a common ancestor. That would typically mean that Elaine and Ronda are 2nd cousins, once removed. Ronda tested at Ancestry, so I looked for a 2nd or third cousin there and couldn’t find Ronda. Ancestry has Elaine and Ronda as 4th cousins by DNA for some reason.

Ronda clearly shows at Ancestry as a 2nd cousin once removed to Elaine. Elaine tested at Ancestry, but Joan did not. Here is a record of the common ancestors:

This photo was from Ronda’s tree but originally posted by someone named Richard.

Ronda is a Great Match

Ronda makes a great DNA match for several reasons:

  1. She comes from a line that is very prolific. James Henry Ellis had 12 children if I counted them right. Imagine if he had two children and one of those had two children through the generations down to today. If there was just one descendant left today, there wouldn’t be other 2nd cousins that had their DNA tested, so there would be no 2nd cousin matches on that line. However, there were a lot of children and a lot of those children had a lot of children. Out of those descendants, some had their DNA tested.
  2. Ronda has a tree at Ancestry and tested there.
  3. Ronda uploaded her results to Gedmatch.com, so I can tell how and where the matches are.
  4. Ronda only descends from one Ellis Line. Descending from more than one line can make things complicated. She also does not appear to match Elaine on other ancestral lines which could make things tricky. One exception is the MacArthur Line which I discuss later on.

A Few Mistakes at AncestryDNA

Ancestry made a few mistakes. The first one was that they have Elaine and Ronda as 4th cousins by DNA. This is a good reason to upload your DNA to gedmatch to get a second opinion. Ancestry has a program that removes some of the DNA matches that are too “matchy”. This works sometimes, but I don’t think it worked so well in this case.

The second mistake had to do with the program that Ancestry used to interpret the family trees. Ronda wrote down that James Henry Ellis married Clarinda Gorrill Ellis. In the tree I had for Elaine, I had that she married Clarinda Gorrill. Ancestry’s computer program was not smart enough to figure out that these two women were the same person. As a result, Ancestry has that Ronda and Elaine are 3rd cousins once removed based on the parents of Clarinda Gorrill. Technically, that is not correct, they are just 2nd cousins once removed.

The Ellis DNA Project

Here is what I have for the existing Ellis DNA Project:

These are people that descend from William Ellis born 1771. Robert and Agnes are there twice because they descend from two different children of William Ellis. Elaine, Joan and Melissa are in green currently on the James Henry Ellis Line. That is where I will add Ronda.

Ships Passing in the Night

However, when I compare Ronda to Melissa at Gedmatch, I get a very small match:

It looks like they are 6th cousins, once removed by DNA. That made me think I had the wrong Ronda. However, it may be that Ronda and Melissa don’t match very well. AncestryDNA seems to show the same issue in their DNA Circle (shown below).

Here is Elaine at the top. Ronda is bottom left and Melissa is on the bottom right with one other person. There is no line connecting Ronda and Melissa at AncestryDNA. That helps confirm that I am on the right track and that I have the right Ronda. Ronda had DNA that matched with Elaine and Joan and Melissa had different DNA that matched with Elaine and Joan.

Here is how Ronda, Elaine and Melissa are related:

Note that Eva Ellis was born in 1895 – 21 years after George. This is one case where triangulation of the DNA matches would not work well. Elaine matches Melissa and Ronda, but Melissa and Ronda don’t match very well and not in the same area that Elaine matches Melissa and Ronda.

Let’s Work the DNA at Gedmatch

Ellis Autosomal Matrix

Here is how all the Ellis descendants match each other:

Here the distinction of the different branches are not as clear as one would like. That could be due to matches on different family lines. Also, I didn’t really need Robert as he is the son of Agnes. Agnes and Robert are in both the Mary Ann and Agnes Lines of Ellis.

Ronda and DNA Triangulation

I noted that Ronda would not triangulate within the James Henry Ellis Line, but I did run everyone against everyone else at Gedmatch:

I found one triangulation group (TG) there. Elaine matches Ronda, Ronda matches Margaret and Margaret matches Elaine. It looks like that hunk of DNA is pointing back to William Ellis from the 1700’s:

I do have a line in blue of the MacArthurs. However, I think that the common ancestor for that line goes back even further than the generation of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton, so I’ll say that this is Ellis DNA rather than MacArthur DNA. In the diagram above, Ronda is a third cousin twice removed to Margaret.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Ronda was a great Ellis match for Joan, my mother-in-law and her sister Elaine.
  • Ronda is a second cousin once removed to Elaine and Joan
  • Ronda is a third cousin with Melissa, but their shared DNA dropped off very quickly from their matches with Joan and Elaine.
  • Ronda triangulated with Elaine and Margaret. This appears to identify the DNA of William Ellis and Hannah Tawton from the late 1700’s

My First Try at Two Sibling Visual Phasing

I recently had my wife’s Aunt Elaine’s DNA tested. She is the only sibling of my mother in law Joan. I would like to try to visually phase these two. Fortunately, they have have a half Aunt Esther. She is related on only one of their grandparent’s sides. That side is Upshall from Newfoundland. I am hoping that Esther’s DNA results will be helpful in visually phasing.

Aunt Esther’s Upshall DNA

Here is how Elaine matches Aunt Esther:

Here is how my mother in law Joan matches Esther:

It looks like Esther will be a big help in identifying Elaine and Joan’s maternal grandfather side.

Chromosome 1

I’ll just jump in and try Chromosome 1. That is the big one.

Already I have a bit of a problem. There is some green within the second HIR or Half Idendical Region (yellow area). I am ignoring it for now. This graphic shows that Joan and Elaine have no FIRs on Chromosome 1.

Next I add Esther’s DNA to the mix:

This is interesting. I see two maternal crossovers for Joan. Joan’s maternal grandparents are Upshall and Daley. Esther represents Upshall. So at 17.4M, Joan must go from Upshall to Daley. I say this because Elaine continues to match Esther (Upshall) after 17. 4M. The same thing happens at marker 117.6. Now look at Esther. She must have a maternal crossover between 70 and 117.6M.

Actually, it looks like I made a mistake. My first comparison of Joan and Elaine is the same as Esther and Joan, so I must have done it wrong. I’ll make sure I have Joan and Elaine this time and lower the levels to 3 cM and 300 SNPs. Now my results look more reasonable.

That looks a lot better. Forget my comment about there being no HIRs. There are at least five green HIRs between Elaine and Joan. Things didn’t line up perfectly, but I tried to fudge them in. Upshall is shown in orange which corresponds to the matches with Aunt Esther. Next, I add in some more Maternal segments for Elaine and Joan:

Again, the orange pretty much mimics the matches that Joan and Elaine have with Esther. The difference is with Elaine’s last orange segment. That goes more to the left as I don’t show a crossover there. There should also be a maternal crossover for Elaine to the left of her second orange segment. That means that to the left of that middle orange segment, there should be some green Daley.

The Paternal Part of the Puzzle

It would help to have some paternal matches at this point. Melissa is one match that I have mentioned in at least one previous Blog.

I like Melissa’s matches, because she doesn’t show any obvious Rayner in her ancestry. A Rayner would mess things up as that is Elaine and Joan’s maternal grandmother’s name. Jane would also be a good choice here.

Melissa adds some information. She represents the Ellis side. She matches Joan, but not Elaine. As Melissa does not match Elaine in this location, I have put down the paternal grandmother Daley in Elaine’s segment below Joan’s Ellis segment:

[Edit: the reddish paternal segment on Elaine’s bar should actually be Rayner.]

Now I have a little bit of paternal informatiion, but I appear to be at an impasse. Next, I will look at Joan’s Excel spreadsheet of matches. I see a Hayley there that matches through the Dicks Line. Dicks is a mother of Upshall, so that counts as an Upshall for my purposes.  Here is Joan’s match with Hayley:

This does not help as Esther already matches in this area. However, it does point out that I missed a crossover at the beginning of the Chromosome where the FIR (green) between Elaine and Joan goes to HIR (yellow).

I’ll take a break for now and move on to another Chromosome.

Mapping the X

I mentioned that Chromosome 1 was the largest Chromosome. The X Chromosome is fairly large also. There are some advantages to mapping the X Chromosome. One advantage is that Elaine and Joan’s paternal X is already mapped to their father’s mother (Daley).

See, I already mapped both of their paternal side X Chromosome. Joan and Elaine both get the same X Chromosome from their dad. This is the same one he got from his mom (Elizabeth Daley). Here is the genealogy:

See, that is why I check. Joan and Elaine’s dad was an Ellis and his mom was a Rayner, so I got that backward.

That leaves Upshall and Daley for the maternal side. I mapped three maternal crossovers, but there may be more that I don’t see.

Again, Esther will represent Upshall and not Daley. That is because Elizabeth died in the flu epidemic. Fred Upshall remarried a Shave and had Esther.

When I check Esther’s X against Elaine’s, I get no match. Joan and Esther, however, do match:

In fact, Joan’s matches with Esther line up with the crossovers I have. That is good news. Here I also changed the color of Rayner to be consistent with Chromosome 1.


I’m pretty sure the end result should look like this:

Back to Chromosome 1

In the Dicks DNA Project I have been working on, I have a Triangulation Group Summary. The mother of Fred Upshall was a Dicks, so Dicks helps to identify Upshall DNA.  Here is a partial shot of that Summary for Chromosome 1:

I have not added Elaine to the Summary yet. This shows that Cheryl, Charles, Joan and Elaine match on Chromosome 1. Here is how Cheryl matches Esther, Elaine and Joan:

Adding Cheryl and Position Numbers

I got the numbers on the top of the Joan/Elaine comparison from Gedmatch’s full resolution option on their chromosome browser. A few observations:

  • Cheryl’s matches confirm Elaine’s crossover at 94 and Joan’s at 118M
  • Cherlys’s match with Joan also indicates a likely Paternal crossover for Joan at 70M
  • Elaine and Esther match to 158M. That means that Elaine likely does not have a crossover at 152
  • Due to the centromere of Chromosome 1, the two browsers align very poorly around 152M. Note on the original comparison between Joan and Elaine how quickly the numbers go from 118 to 152M.
  • As mentioned above, Elaine’s Upshall segment should go past 152, but then there is a FIR. That means that Joan will have an Upshall segment above Elaine’s. That means that her Daley segment will look tiny, but it will actually go from 118 to 152M which is not so small.

Based on my above observations, I have this new map:

I gave Joan a paternal crossover at 70.5M. I also gave her a paternal crossover at 152M. This leads to another observation. The area between 60.5 and 70.5M is a FIR. That means that for Joan and Elaine, their paternal grandparent and maternal grandparent have to match. That means that at 60.5M, Joan’s Ellis DNA has to turn into Rayner DNA or Elaine’s Rayner DNA has to turn into Ellis DNA. Either way, there will be a Paternal Crossover for either Elaine or Joan at 60.5M. That means that there is not a maternal crossover at 60.5M for Elaine nor Joan. That will expand the maternal Daley to the left for Elaine and Joan:

This leads to more observations:

  • One I could have noted before. Betwen 17 to 26.6M Elaine and Join do not match each other. Elaine has Upshall DNA there, so Joan has to have Daley there.
  • Elaine has a Maternal Crossover at 26.6M. That means that there is no Paternal Crossover there. That means that I can move the two paternal segments to the left.
  • The fact that Elaine has a Maternal Crossover at 26.6M means that Joan has no maternal crossover there, so the Daley segment can be moved to the left also for Joan.

Moving the Daley segment to the left for Joan created a Maternal Crossover for her at 17. That means that there is no Paternal Crossover there and the two Paternal segments can be moved to the left:

So Chery’s matches were a help.

Summary and Conclusion

  • A first shot at two person visual phasing has shown promise.
  • Chromosome 1 is a difficult one, but I got a start on it
  • The X Chromosome was mapped for Elaine and Joan.




A First Look at My Wife’s Aunt Elaine’s DNA

Aunt Elaine has Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland Ancestry. She has some Nova Scotia in there also. Here are her roots in Canada on a map:

The red marker is Canso, Nova Scotia. PEI is to the NW and Newfoundland to the NE of Canso.

Aunt Elaine’s Ancestors


The top half of the Elaine’s ancestor’s are from PEI. The Upshall side is from Newfoundland and the Daley side is from Nova Scotia. That makes Aunt Elaine 1/2 PEI ,and 1/4 each of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Aunt Elaine at AncestryDNA – Shared Ancestor Hints

At Ancestry, Aunt Elaine has 84 Shared Ancestry Hints (SAHs). These are people that match by both DNA and family tree. When I say there is a match by family tree, I mean that Elaine and the match have at least one common ancestor. The first match is between Aunt Elaine and Aunt Elaine’s half Aunt Esther. Aunt Esther has Newfoundland Ancestry. When I look at shared matches between Aunt Elaine and Aunt Esther, there are three with SAH’s. They are all Newfoundland relatives, or rather relatives with shared Nefoundland ancestors.


Most of Elaine’s SAH’s are from PEI. There are two reasons for that. One is that Elaine is 1/2 from PEI. The other reason is that I have traced her Ellis ancestry quite a ways back. Also there were some pretty large Ellis familiies. Here are the results of the SAHs:

  • About 81 PEI Ancestors – mostly Ellis
  • About 3 Newfoundland ancestors – mostly Dicks
  • 0 Nova Scotia (Daley) ancestors

Where Have All the Daleys Gone?

Elaine has 2 PEI grandparents: Ellis and Rayner. She has one Newfoundland ancestor: Upshall. Where are the DNA matches for her Nova Scotia maternal grandmother Elizabeth Daley? AncestryDNA has search functions. One is for name and the other is for birthplace. When I put in Canso, NS into the search, I get 7 people that show as 4th cousins to Elaine by DNA.

The 1st two 4th cousin matches have ancestors in PEI. They also match others that are Elaine’s PEI matches. Elaine’s third match with a Canso ancestor is Barbara. Here is Barbara’s tree:


Note the Rhynold and Daley names that match with Elaine’s tree. Barbara’s Catherine Daley is shown as having died in Canso, NS.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Elaine has a ton of PEI Shared Ancestor Hints- mostly Ellis. In the past, when I have looked at Elaine’s sister’s DNA results, I have found it fairly easy to identify Ellis or PEI ancestors by DNA. These results help explain why that has been relatively easy.
  • Elaine has a few Shared Ancestor Hints from Newfoundland
  • Elaine has no Shared Ancestor Hints on her 1/4 Nova Scotia side. I have found a match with Barbara that has the Rhynold/Daley/Canso NS connection to Elaine
  • When I look at Elaine’s matches at Gedmatch.com, I will be able to find out exactly where her PEI matches are (on which parts of which of Elaine’s chromosomes).

My Mother in Law’s Ellis DNA and Genealogy

I’ve been Blogging about Genetic Genealogy for over 2 years and I don’t think that I’ve written on my mother in law’s Ellis DNA and Genealogy. I have Blogged about about her mother’s Newfoundland Upshall and Dicks DNA and genealogy, but not the Ellis side.

Joan’s Ellis Ancestors

I have a web page on Ellis genealogy here. The Ellis family started out around Northam, Devon, England:

In 1818, William Ellis, ship builder and husband of Hannah Tawton moved his family to Prince Edward Island. There they had many descendants. William’s great grandson, George Ellis moved to Massachusetts where he married Lillian Ethel Rayner in 1898. He was the grandfather of my mother in law, Joan.

Joan’s DNA

Joan’s second largest Ellis DNA match at Gedmatch is with Melissa:

Gedmatch shows an estimated 3.6 generations to a common ancestor. That would make Joan and Melissa 2nd cousins once removed. Melissa says that she and Joan share common ancestors James Henry Ellis b. 1846 and Clarinda Gorrill. That was easy:

Melissa tells me her mom was from PEI, so that line stayed there a few more generations than my wife’s Ellis family. That would make Melissa a 3rd cousin to my wife, Marie. Of course, now I’m curious as to how Marie and Melissa match by DNA:

Marie got DNA from half the chromosomes where her mom matched Melissa. However, Marie got the smaller match on Chromosome 3 and only part of the match her mom had on Chromosome 17.

Joan’s DNA Match with David

Joan’s top Ellis match at Gedmatch is with David.

I sent an email to the match. The email went to David’s daughter Betty who was working on her dad’s genealogy. She said her paternal grandmother was “Laura Freda MacArthur  from O’Leary Prince Edward Island.” I was able to find Betty’s tree at Ancestry:

I then found another Ancestry tree that showed that Nathaniel was born 1867. It has Nathaniel’s father as Hugh Malcolm MacArthur 1812-1870. Then his father was Malcolm MacArthur b. in Scotland 1783 and died 1865 PEI. The same Ancestry Tree has Marion MacArthur born between 1812 and 1835. The tree has her dad as the same Malcolm MacArthur. Using this Ancestry Tree, I get this connection:

Under this scenario, David and Joan would be 3rd cousins once removed. I would have expected a closer relationship based on the DNA match. Either that is the way the DNA shook out or perhaps Joan and David match on another line. David and Melissa would be 3rd cousins twice removed. Melissa does match David here:

However, the match is less than expected also and not on the same Chromosome. So my theory is not without its problems, but it is better than what I had before.

Joan’s next dna match: Sarah

I found Sarah’s tree on Ancestry:

Here she has Agnes Ellis, George Russell Ellis and Bridget MacArthur. Fortunately James Monroe Ellis appears to be from a different Ellis line. Sarah’s three ancestors I mentioned above are 4 generations from Sarah. She would likely match Joan at Sarah’s generation 5. Joan and Sarah appear to be 4th cousins three different ways.

Joan and Robert’s DNA and Common ancestor match

On Robert’s maternal side, I see William Ellis and his wife Hannah twice again, as well as a MacArthur. In addition, he has the Rayner name.

That could take a while to sort out. The good news is that this is starting to look like a PEI DNA project.

The Rayner connection

Here are Joan’s Rayner ancestors:

Robert above has both a GED and Wiki Tree at Gedmatch. On the GED, Robert shows his 4th great grandfather:

 Edward Rayner, b. 1775, Whittlesford, CAM, ENG, d. 1847, Tiltons Creek, PEI, CAN

This is the same person as Joan’s 3rd great grandfather. That makes Robert and Joan 4th cousins once removed by that line.

Joan’s PEI Common Ancestors

Next, I put all of Joan’s common ancestors for her top PEI gedmatch matches in an Excel Spreadsheet:

These are for David, Melissa, Sarah and Robert. I didn’t check the last two MacArthur/MacDougall ancestors, but I think that there was only one MacArthur family on the Island at the time. Assuming, I am right above, the DNA should agree.

Continuing Down Joan’s Gedmatch List

Joan’s next match is with Dorises. I can’t figure out how she fits in right now, so I’ll skip her. The common ancestor may even be in England. Betty, Daughter of David is in there also, so I’ll skip her. Agnes is next on Joan’s Gedmatch match list. Agnes appears to be the mother of Robert. Her match to Joan is very similar to Robert’s:

However, I would rather use Agnes in the PEI project as her matches with others should be better than the matches her son Robert has.

Joan at FTDNA

Joan’s DNA was taken at FTDNA. That means, I can only see her Ancestry matches if they have uploaded their results to Gedmatch. At FTDNA, I found John. He has no tree, so I sent him an email. He does have in ‘in common’ match with Melissa, so I suspect that he could have PEI genealogy.

The next paternal match for Joan at FTDNA is Glenda. She is listed above Melissa on Joan’s FTDNA match list. Glenda has Ellis, Rayner and MacDougall ancestors. That would make Joan and Glenda 3rd cousins once removed on the Rayner line. They would be half 3rd cousins on the Ellis line. That is because James Ellis married twice. I suspect if there is a MacDougall common ancestor, that would be further out. I can check that out later if I need to.

Here I have sorted the common ancestors into surnames. I have added Glenda and Joan’s common ancestors on the bottom row. Note that the wife of James Ellis b. 1801 is not a common ancestor as he had two different wives (Ramsay and MacArthur). Joan and Glenda are descended from different wives.

Back to Gedmatch

Joan matches Barry next. Barry does not have a tree listed at Gedmatch and has an AncestryDNA Kit number. Here is how he matches Joan:

I noticed that at Chromosome 11, Barry and Joan matched where David and Joan matched. That means that there could be a common ancestor. To find out I triangulate. All that means is that I check to see if Barry and David match each other at the same segment on Chromosome 11.

This shows that even though I don’t have Barry’s ancestry tree, I can tell that David, Joan and Barry have a common ancestor. Based on what I know now, that common ancestor could be MacArthur or MacDougall.

I wrote to Barry and he tells me he does have a MacArthur ancestor. His great great grandmother was Ellen MacArthur. She was born in 1845 or 1846 I suppose based on the age of her death in 1938.

A search for Ancestry Trees shows that Ellen’s dad was likely Hugh Malcolm MacArthur. His mother was Susanna Dyment or Mae Diamond. Hugh’s dad was Malcolm b. 1775.

Note that Barry and David are 2nd cousins once removed. Joan and Melissa are also 2nd cousins once removed, but in a different generation with respect to the MacArthur Line.

Joan and Lee

I had followed up on this match about a year ago. At the time, Lee’s daughter Elizabeth had decided the match could be on the MacArthur name.

Lee’s MacArthur Line appears to go back one more generation:

Here Lee and David are 4th cousins.

Joan’s MacArthur DNA

Joan’s Ellis tree has quickly turned into a MacArthur DNA tree. This is due to the fact that there appear to be many MacArthur descendants and importantly descendants that have had their DNA tested.

I have another Ellis descendant to try to balance out my DNA tree. That is Jane. I have been in touch before and she descends from James Ellis b. 1801. I put Jane on the Ellis tree so she would be easier to see:

It Takes (At Least) Three to Triangulate

Next I want to compare these people to each other. For this I use the Multiple Kit Analysis at Gedmatch. Then I choose the Segment CSV File. This gives me all the matches of everyone to everyone else, including the detailed information. The goal is to find Triangulation Groups (TGs). These will match each other at least three ways. Here is the beginning of my list of matches:

Note under Chromosome 1 that Melissa matches Agnes and Sarah matches Agnes, but Melissa doesn’t match Sarah. How is this? Actually Melissa and Sarah do match, but below the threshold. Usually, it is not advisable to lower the matching threshold, but in the case of TGs, I sometimes do. Here is how Melissa and Sarah match at a threshold of 5 cMs:

What this is telling me is that the following have common ancestors:

  • Melissa, Agnes and Sarah (Chromosome 1)
  • Joan, Sarah, Jane (Chromosome 2)
  • Melissa, Sarah, Agnes (Chromosome 2)
Finding the common ancestor for joan, Jane and sarah

The triangulation is the easy part. Finding the common ancestor is difficult. Let’s look at Joan’s TG as I have the list of common ancestors based on her ancestry:

I’m not sure if this list is complete. Joan’s TG has Joan, Sarah and Jane. That means that the DNA from that TG represents one common ancestor. The common ancestors between Joan, Jane, and Sarah appears to be William Ellis and Hannah Tawton. In fact, Sarah, has William and Hannah in her ancestry twice. I would think that would up the chances of those two being the common ancestors. We can’t know from this whether the TG represents William or Hannah, but we will say Ellis due to naming considerations. Their children who brought the DNA down to the present generation would have been named Ellis. However, what about MacArthur? Jane’s tree shows a Hugh MacArthur married to Nancy Ramsay. This couple is 6 generations from Jane. If I’m counting right, William Ellis and Hannah Tawton are listed as 7 generations from Jane. Now I’m back to the Ancestry trees. It appears that Hugh’s grandfather was probably Hugh MacArthur that married Flora Gillis. They would be common ancestors, but as Hugh was born before 1750, we will say that common ancestor is much less likely.

This common ancestor thing drives me a little crazy as I have to know everyone’s genealogy. I need to add Sarah to my Ellis DNA tree:

This shows that Jane, Joan and Sarah are all 4th cousins to each other. The DNA that they share on Chromosome 2 was likely from either William Ellis or Hannah Tawton. This does not show that Melissa does not belong to this line. If Melissa were to be in this TG, Melissa would have had to have gotten DNA from her mom’s dad Stanley. However, at this particular location, she may have gotten her DNA from her mom’ mom which would have kicked her out of this DNA match.

Also note on the yellow line that Jane descends from the first wife of James Ellis who was a Ramsay. However, that does not really change the common ancestors for Ellis. It would mean that Jane and Joan would not have a MacArthur common ancestor on this line.

Joan’s MacArthur TG on Chromosome 11?

Joan’s other TG with the group I looked at in this Blog is on Chromosome 11:

This shows that Joan, David and Barry have a common ancestor. David and Barry have MacArthur ancestry but not Ellis as far as I know.

Summary and Conclusions

I have started to take a look at Joan’s paternal side PEI DNA to see how she triangulates with others. The others that she matches also have PEI genealogy. For the two TGs that I looked at, one on Chromosome 2 is most likely Ellis/Tawton DNA. The second TG on Chromosome 11 appears to be MacArthur/MacDougall DNA. Using this I could map Joan’s DNA to these ancestors. In addition, other DNA tested people that are in a larger TG in these areas should have Ellis/Tawton or MacArthur/MacDougall genealogy. This is a good way to confirm existing genealogy and to focus genealogy where researcher are unclear on their genealogy. For example, in this Blog, I started out looking at the Ellis name, but the DNA and common genealogies pushed me in the direction of MacArthur.

There were other TGs that Joan was not in that I didn’t look at closely. This is because I am not sure of the different ways that these people may have common ancestors. I have identified some, but there may be others that I don’t know about. It takes a bit of work to look for common ancestors where there are common DNA matches. Where there are multiple common ancestors, this complicates matters.

As a result of this exercise, I have identified new PEI ancestors for my mother in law. These ancestors appear to be confirmed by Ancestry Trees and DNA, but could use further confirmation.