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 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.