A 23andMe DNA Match with My Daughter’s Namesake

I recently was contacted by a DNA match at 23andMe and she had the same name as my daughter. As 23andMe gives birth dates, I knew it was not my daughter but a second cousin of mine who was born before my daughter. As my great grandparents had 13 surviving children, I have a lot of 2nd cousins.

Heather’s DNA Match

Heather and I have a large DNA match. Heather shot to the top of my 23andMe match list:

Heather shares more than twice the amount of DNA with me compared to my other 2nd cousins at 23andMe. This had me concerned at first as I originally thought that Heather was a 2nd cousin once removed. At that level, her DNA match with me would have been off the scale. This had me going back to my online genealogy to check where Heather was on the family tree:

This tree shows my Hartley second cousins who have tested for DNA at different companies. I am missing some testers. I know there are more under Grace Hartley and I didn’t include my children or nieces and nephews. There are also other lines I have missed, so I should update this tree.

Heather is on the Greenwood line:

That brings me to a match with Heather who is two generations closer to Greenwood Hartley compared to Charles.

Heather Shares About as Much as DNA with Me as Possible:

The 7.84% DNA that we share is 584 cM. Blaine Bettinger has a shared DNA project. He gets people to tell him how much DNA they share with each relationship and he puts that in a chart:

When I thought that Heather was my 2nd cousin, once removed, I thought that something was wrong as our match would be off that chart. As it is, our match of 584 cM is very near the top reported 2nd cousin match.

23andMe Thought That Heather and I Were 1st Cousins

That was a bit of surprise. I suppose that was based on average shared DNA. But your mileage may vary as the saying goes. Here are some more numbers from the Shared cM Project:

Based on that study, our DNA match would indicate that we would be closer to 1st cousins once removed. Here are my two first cousins and three first cousins once removed at Gedmatch.com:

The first two in the orange box are 1st cousins on my mother’s side. The second three are 1st cousins once removed on my father’s (Hartley) side. The last is the highest 2nd cousin match at Gedmatch. That means that Heather at 584 cM has a higher match than my three 1st Hartley cousins once removed. These are my father’s cousins. I find that interesting.

The DNA that Heather and I share is from our two great grandparents. They are James Hartley and Annie Snell. Here they are with some of their children:

In fact, roughly half  of Heather and my shared DNA is from James Hartley and half is from Annie Snell. It is possible to figure out exactly which is which, but it takes matches with descendants of older common ancestors to figure that out. I’ll give a few examples later in the Blog.

23andMe Family Tree

23andMe has a Family Tree. They try to figure out your tree by the DNA, but that isn’t always precise. So they want you to add known relatives to that tree. Here is my tree:

Normally a family tree would have the paternal ancestors on the left, but this one does not. My Hartley ancestors are in blue on the right. Here is more of a close-up of the Hartley side:

One, person, DL, I don’t have matched up to a named line. Heather is on the Greenwood line and her father is Sonny’s brother. You don’t know the players without a program. My line goes off to the left where it matches up with my mother’s ancestors. It took a bit of trial and error to get Heather into the tree correctly at 23andMe, but I have her now:

This shows that Heather is 1st cousin to my 2nd cousin Woody.

DNA Painter

I have my Chromosomes painted or mapped by my various matches. I’d like to see if Heather adds any new information to that map. I already have a lot of Hartley 2nd cousins mapped. Here is what I have mapped so far:

My paternal DNA is on the top row of every chromosome and my maternal DNA is on the bottom row of each chromosome. The predominant green is where I would match Heather as that color represents James Hartley and Annie Snell our common 2nd great grandparents.

This shows up better when I choose my paternal-only side on the Painter:

It would be easier to say which chromosomes that Heather and I share no Hartley matches on. Those are Chromosomes:

  • 6
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 21
  • 22
  • X

Part of the reason that I may not have Hartley on a chromosome is that my chromosomes may have recombined or not recombined more likely to exclude Hartley on a certain Chromosome. The only two choices on my paternal side are Hartley or my father’s mother who was a Frazer. So if I got all Frazer DNA on a particular Chromosome, I will not have any Hartley matches on that Chromosome. I would not match Heather on the X Chromosome because men only recieve one copy of that Chromosome from their mother. That means I have no Hartley X Chromosome DNA. Heather doesn’t really have any Hartley X Chromosome DNA either. She did get an X Chromosome from her father, but that X Chromosome was the same that he got from his Gifford mother. So she got Gifford DNA from her father on the X Chromosome, not Hartley.

Right now I am 45% painted overall and 53% painted on my paternal side. I’ll see if Heather adds anything or if I am already maxed out. Here is the data I need for DNA Painter:

One interesting thing I see already is that my match with Heather starts at position 1 for Chromosomes 2, 4, 13 and 15. That would be right at the start of these chromosomes. I already have a match painted at or close to the beginning of Chromosome 2, but not at the beginnings of Chromosome 4, 13, and 15. That is encouraging.

I choose, “Paint a New Match”.

I refreshed my percent painted:

This shows that I am up to 47% painted now overall or an increase of 2%. I also added 17 segments from my match with Heather. However, I’m sure a lot of those segements are overlapping other Hartley/Snell matches.

On my paternal side I am now at 56%. That is a increase of 3 percentage points or quite a bit at this point in my mapping.

Here is my new green Hartley/Snell mapped DNA:

One interesting thing is that the Hartley side is filled up now on Chromosome 13. Here are my second cousin matches on Chromosome 13:

I kept the names out for privacy, but Heather is the match at the top. I have also mapped my DNA to my 4 grandparents. My guess is that my Chromosome 13 is all Hartley. I need to find my Blog on Chromosome 13. Back in November 2018, I mapped out my Chromosome 13 and that of my 5 siblings:

This was one of the easiest chromosomes to map because there were not many crossovers. The crossovers are when you change in your chromosome from the DNA you got from one grandparent to the spouse of that grandparent. I am in the third row above and I have all the same paternal grandparent (Hartley) and the same maternal grandparent (Rathfelder). That means that it was not unexpected to have my Chromosome filled in with green Hartley DNA on the DNA Painter that I mentioned earllier.

So in the example above, if Heather uploaded her DNA to gedmatch where I have my siblings’ DNA, she would not match my brother Jim on Chromosome 13. That is because Jim got Frazer DNA in the first part of his Chromosome 13 where Heather matched me. Heather would match Jon and Heidi as much as she matches me. For Lori and Sharon, Heather would match on Chromosome 13, but not as much as she matches me as she would be matching in different/fewer regions.

Heather’s Older DNA

The DNA that Heather and I share came down from James Hartley born in 1862 and Annie Snell born in 1866. I mentioned earlier in the Blog that it should be possible to identify some older DNA. That can be seen at DNA Painter. The first example I see of this is in Chromosome 4:

On this Chromosome, Heather matches me at the beginning and end of the Chromosome. In the middle, I have some matches from my Frazer side. In yellow, I have a match with Anne whose ancestry goes all the way back to Abraham Howorth (or so we believe). This DNA goes all the way back to 1768. The Howorth family lived in Bacup, Lancahsire, England:


Beth, Jim and Joyce didn’t match Ann on Chromosome 4, but they did on Chromosome 8. When that happens, we call that triangulation which is a sort of check that the DNA really did come from where we think it did. In this case, Heather would extend that triangulation to Chromosome 4. If Heather  uploads her DNA to Gedmatch, she would likely match Ann through their common 4th great-grandparents.

Chromosome 9

An example of identified Snell DNA is on Chromosome 9:

I left out the names, but my match in blue is Celeste. Her ancestors were Otis Snell and Mary Parker. My match with Heather is right above the blue match. That means that Heather likely matches Celelste also.

Here are Mary and Otis:

Those are the only two examples I have right now of older DNA. I would like to find more examples. This would require getting some of my AncestryDNA matches to upload to Gedmatch. AncestryDNA has a lot of matches but they do not use a Chromosome Browser. That means I can tell how much DNA I share with a match there, but I cannot tell on what chromosomes I match them nor can I tell on what portion of the chromosome I match them.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was glad to hear from Heather
  • I was surprised at how much DNA we shared with each other. The amount is right near the top of the scale of likely DNA matching
  • Because Heather and I share so much common DNA that came down from James Hartley and Annie Snell born in the 1860’s, I was able to add a lot of DNA to my DNA Map using DNA Painter.
  • I showed a few cases where I could identify older DNA matches that Heather and I shared going back to Howorth, Snell and Parker.

Charles: A Hartley Second Cousin at 23andMe

I see that 23andMe shows that I have a DNA match with a second cousin twice removed named Charles. After a little snooping around I think I know who it must be.

Charles’ Genealogy

I keep a DNA/Genealogy tree. These are for people that are related to me and have had their DNA tested. Here is part of the Hartley tree that I have so far:

Jennifer is my second cousin once removed. So Charles will be down an extra layer. James Hartley at the top of the tree had 13 children, so the more descendants I can get the better. I believe that Charles is on the Greenwood Line. Greenwood, also known as Green was born in 1897 in Rochester, MA.

Here is where Charles comes in:

It is good to have DNA from a different line because Greenwood, who was born in 1897, had a different mix of DNA passed down to him from his two parents than any of his other siblings. Chrales represents a fourth generation of DNA testers who have descended from James Hartley and Annie Snell.

My DNA Match with Charles

Here is my matches with Charles at 23andMe:

We match on 5 different chromosomes. I can ‘paint’ that match onto my chromosome map. This is what I have already:

I have a paternal side and maternal side for each of my chromosomes. I match Charles on my paternal Hartley side. Charles will paint in as green as that represents our common ancestors James Hartley and Annie Snell. Right now I am 44% painted overall and 54% painted on my paternal side. I have already painted 13 Hartley/Snell descendants. Let’s see if Charles adds anything unique.

Turns out he doesn’t. And it turns out I had already added his DNA to my chromosome map using DNAPainter which is the program that produces the graphic above. I have already mentioned Charles in a Blog here.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I thought I didn’t know where Charles, my DNA match, fit in, but I had figured  out where Charles fit in before.
  • I now have a note at 23andMe showing where Charles fits in and I have him on my Hartley DNA/genealogy chart.
  • Although Charles could have added new DNA that came down from James Hartley and Annie Snell, he didn’t. That DNA was already covered by twelve other DNA matches who are also descendants of Hartley/Snell.
  • Charles represents a fifth child of Hartley/Snell with DNA matches to me. James Hartley had 13 children. The first child got half of his parents DNA. The second child, combined with the first represented a total of 75% of their parents’ DNA. The third child combined with the first two would have inherited a total of of 87.5% of their parents’ DNA. That means that adding this Greenwood line added a theoretical extra 3% of DNA from James Hartley and Annie Snell.



Comparing My Family’s Common Ancestor Results at AncestryDNA: Part 1

Recently, I was looking at my sister Heidi’s Common Ancestor results at AncestryDNA and noticed that she had a lot of new ones that I wasn’t aware of. In order to find these, I go to DNA matches, then I filter for common ancestors. Because I like to count things, I’ll put the results in a table. It will be interesting to compare the results for me and my 4 siblings who have tested at AncestryDNA. Here is a chart starting with me:

Also The numbers are good, but it is the actual common ancestors that are interesting. I guess I should add the mother’s side also. Ironically, my mother isn’t listed as being on my mother’s side, but my siblings are. That’s OK. Also, I don’t know if the mother’s side works for distant cousins:

Here is the filled out chart:

The comparison is interesting:

  • I have the fewest DNA matches with common ancestors.
  • My sister Lori has the most DNA matches with common ancestors
  • Maternal side matches are not given for Distant Cousins
  • My mother’s 4th cousin matches and Distant Cousin Matches are important ones. Many of these would not be covered by my and my siblings’ matches.

Looking At My Mother’s Common Ancestors

First, I went through my mother’s 4th cousin and Distant Relative Common Ancestor matches and put a colored dot with the ancestor to designate the branch. I have had trouble identifying Lentz ancestors previously, but now I notice quite a few, so I would like to take a look at those matches.

Shoring Up the Lentz Common Ancestors

Here is the Lentz DNA matching chart I have so far:

The left part of the chart has Nicholson matches and there are a lot of them, so I would like to augment the right-hand side of the chart. Green means that the DNA match is listed in a place where I can tell where on the chromosome the match is. This is usually at Gedmatch.com. My mom’s top non-Nicholson match is Radelle. She linked her DNA results at Ancestry to her mother, so that is a little confusing. What that means is that Radelle is actually a 4th cousin to my mom instead of the 3rd cousin once removed that AncestryDNA shows. Radelle and my mom have one shared DNA match, so I sent a message to that match. The match had no Ancestry Tree.

My mom’s next match is with Deborah. She is also on the chart, though she has a lower DNA match. Deborah is on a branch with more connections. However, I didn’t see that Deborah and my Mom have any shared DNA matches.

Now that I have a purple dot for Lentz, I am able to filter by that dot:

Radelle and Deborah were the first two matches with Lentz common ancestors out of eight.

The next match is another Deborah and appears to be the mother of the previous Deborah. She also has no shared matches with my Mom.

Back to George Adam Lentz Born 1770

I’ll need to add an extra level on my chart for the next match. Here is what AncestryDNA shows for the connection:

Of course Ancestry wants me to evaluate the connection. I notice that TL’s tree goes up to a Lantz instead of a Lentz, so that is a little suspicious. The other suspicious part is that by this tree, George would have been 13 years old when Sarah was born. I’ll leave TL off my chart for now. From another tree at Ancestry, here are Sarah’s parents:

There is a probably a connection somewhere, but it doesn’t appear to be here.

John to John

This tree seems more reasonable as it goes up to Eliza Lentz. I’ll be a bit lazy and I won’t evaluate this tree. It is consistent with my chart with the Glenn surname. Here is John added in:

So if this is right, John is Radelle’s second cousin twice removed. It’s nice to have some company on the Eliza Lentz line.

Betty on the William Lentz Line

Betty appears to be related to the two Deborahs:

Another Bogus George Adam Lentz Connection

I had hope for these connections, but they didn’t pan out:

Mary Lantz was born when my ancestor George was 7 years old.

The last person on my list is Al who is already on my Lentz DNA match tree. So of the eight people I identified, 4 were already on the Tree. Two didn’t match by the AncestryDNA suggested genealogy and two were added.

My Mom’s Baker and Faunce Lines

Here is my chart so far:

In a sense my siblings and I are not as important as my mom should have more DNA than we do for these matches. Here is my mom’s top DNA match on that line:

The Baker family was large, so that means many descendants with DNA matches.

Adding Peter and Justin to the Baker DNA Tree

Now I’m up to four Baker Lines. Justin adds another generation going down.

FL On the Catherine Baker Slater Line

I just looked up Annette. She was a match on MyHeritage. FL at AncestryDNA is on that Line also.

This is beginning to look like a real surname DNA project now.

An Older Faunce Match with Lauren

Now I need to figure out how to get Lauren onto this tree. Actually, I need to build a new Faunce Tree:

I just didn’t add all the others under Catherine Faunce from above. Hopefully, I’ll find more matches here also.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I started by comparing my siblings’ common ancestor DNA matches with mine and my mother’s common ancestor DNA matches.
  • This comparison showed that I should look at my siblings’ results.
  • I then saw that my mother must have more common ancestor matches to look at.
  • I looked at two different Philadelphia lines and matches that my mom had showing common ancestors.
  • The two matches my mom had with common ancestors going back to George Adam Lentz didn’t pan out. I would still like to find some matches there – though this is going back to about as far as a DNA match would be expected.

Shared Clustering for My Father’s First Cousin Joyce

Shared Clustering is a program that was brought to my attention by Jim Bartlett. As Joyce is my father’s first cousin, I share common ancestors with two out of four of her grandparents:

However, once I go down this route, I need to know something about Joyce’s Gurney and Rounseville sides to make sure I’m not going down the wrong path.

Jumping Into Joyce’s Shared Clustering

I had thought that I had downloaded Joyce’s matches from Ancestry already, but I guess it didn’t save the results. I’ll need to try again:

Joyce has quite a few matches – over 84,000. This could take a while to download. The advantage of using Joyce’s matches is that she is one generation closer than me to get matches from my great-grandparents. Stated another way, her Hartley and Snell matches should be about twice as strong as mine.

Now that Joyce’s matches are downloaded, I can begin to cluster. I’ll choose a lower limit of 50 cM:


I’ll put the results in a chart:

The good news is that all four of Joyce’s grandparents are represented in the chart above. There were six clusters. There were two more on the Gurney side that I didn’t enter.

Joyce’s 40 cM Clusters

Going from 50 to 40 cM adds two clusters:

The split is pretty even between Gurney in the upper left and Hartley in the lower right. Joyce’s Hartley mother was one of 13 children, so she has a lot of close relatives.

When I compare the clusters at two levels in MS Access, I get this:

Hartley was Clusters 5 and 6 previously. This shows that old Cluster 5 mapped to Cluster 6 and Cluster 6 mapped to new Clusters 6 and 7. That shows that the clusters are reorganizing.

Victoria in Cluster 6 with Howorth Ancestry

One person in Cluster 6 has Howorth ancestry. It would be worth looking into Victoria’s tree:

This is Victoria’s paternal side. I’ll try to recreate Victoria’s tree.  I want to focus on Margaret Howorth. According to the 1910 Census, James’ mother was Margaret and Margaret’s father was from England:

The 1910 Census has her born in Iowa in about 1878. Here is some information about Margaret from her marriage record:

Edmund Howorth from England

In 1880, Edmund was living on a Farm in Iowa with his family:

This appears to be Edmund living with his parents in Ohio in 1850:

The next record which is a hint at Ancestry seems to be a leap of faith except that one of my ancestors attended this same Baptist Church:

The record makes it clear that Edmund’s mother’s maiden name was also Howorth:

That means that Joyce could be related on either side of the family or both.

Edmund the father was a weaver in 1823. I’m not sure where Long Bridge is or was. I assume in Bacup. This also matches Edmund’s birth on the 1900 Census:

By 1856 the elder Edmund had made his way to Crawford, Iowa:

Howorths in England

It appears that the Howorth’s should have been in England in 1841 for the Census. This could be the younger Edmund:

He was living at Waterside which I assume is in Bacup with perhaps his grandmother and Uncles?

Back to Iowa for Edmunds 1861 Will

Edmund mentions first his daughter Sarah, then his wife Mary:

Next. he mentions his four children and finally his brother Daniel and his son Daniel executor:

The son Edmund is not mentioned. However Edmund is referred to as Senr. which I take to be Senior and thus the son Edmund is implied in the will.

Liverpool to New York in 1842

This appears to be the Howorth family traveling to New York in 1842:

However, some of the family appears to be missing. I assume that the elder James was a brother of Edmund.

Connecting the Howorths

I would like to connect this family to my line:

Perhaps more DNA review will help clear this up. These two lines are from Australia on the left and the US on the right and are connected by genealogy and DNA.

On To Joyce’s 30 cM Clusters

At 30 cM, Joyce has 21 clusters. Using Access, I get the new cross-cluster comparison:

I’ll try this for now:

However, there were two Cluster 6’s last time, so I’ll have to check. Also, I’ll want to see if there are any new Hartley side clusters.

Gurney Clusters 7 and 11

I have a note that one of the people has many of my ancestor names, but the DNA match is in a Gurney Cluster. That tells me that I should not pursue the ancestry of this one match. That is, unless this match has other DNA matches on my Hartley side.

There is a similar situation at Gurney Cluster 11. However, this Cluster has common ancestors from Joyce’s maternal and paternal sides.

First, if there is more than one common ancestor, I tend to go with the closest common ancestors.

Hartley Cluster 13

This is the big Cluster this time:

It also has a funny bump at the bottom. The top left of the Cluster is a part I’m interested in.

I already looked at Victoria’s tree above. That is the tree with two Howorth Lines. Above are my Greenwood Hartley matches. Here is Greenwood and his wife Ann Emmet:

It was Ann’s mother who was a Howorth.

Of the 7 I show in the first part of Cluster 13, I have already been tracking the last 5. I have Kristen and Emily in a tree already:

I have been unable to figure out where saudet fits in. Jennifer doesn’t have a tree and I haven’t been able to get in touch with her. Perhaps the first two matches, Janet and Stephen, will help place saudet.

From comparing trees, it is clear that saudet is related to Stephen. So I will look at Janet’s tree:

It appears that both sides of Janet’s tree are from Lancashire. I see that James Stott was born in Cloughfold, to the West of Bacup:

Janet had this marriage for James:

I’ll assume that Janet knows her genealogy.

Here Janet has James mother as Malley Stott. The 1881 Census mentions a Sarah Stott. So there is some confusion. Was Malley a nickname? So I didn’t make the genealogical connection but now Janet is on my radar. I did make a geographical connection.

The Other Side of Cluster 13

In the middle of Cluster 13 are a lot of close relatives. It comes out of that on someone named Bessey. I’ll take a look at her tree:

It’s a bit skimpy, but I get some hints:

Althea was married to a Fearing. I thought that I was related tot he Fearings through the Snells and this shows how. We both descend from Bradford and Snell.

It looks like I was already tracking a Katherine. This person must be the same person or a sister:

The part of the Cluster in green is Snell:

Moving on to Joyce’s 25 cM Clusters

This gets Joyce up to 43 clusters.

Cluster 2

Cluster 2 is broken into two major parts and a small part at the end. The first part is probably Snell/Bradford. The second part is probably Hathaway/Clifton. The third small part seems to merge back into Gurney (not related to me).

Running the 25 cM Clusters Through Access

Access makes reviewing the clusters easier:

This is only part of the answer. Looking at the last two columns, this tells us that the previous Cluster 1 mapped to Cluster 2 at the 25 cM limit. However, that is not the whole story:

When I sort by new Cluster 2, I see that it comes from other places. Usually the clustering is going from few to many. In this case, it went from many to one. From the chart above, at 50 cM, Clusters 3 and 4 are Gurney Clusters. This may be a result of the way I did my Access query or have to do with relatives of relatives.

Here is my Access query:

It starts with the 25 cM Clusters. There is a right handed arrow which means to include all the 25 cM Clusters plus the clusters where the 25 cM clusters are the same as the 30 cM clusters. I do that the same way down the line. I tried to query a slightly different way and got the same results.

Here are Clusters 3, 4 and 5 from 50 cM:

Clusters 3 and 4 are Gurney matches and Cluster 5 shows Hartley matches.

I can simplify my Access Query by only including those Hartley Clusters I considered at 30 cM:

Interestingly when I restrict the 30 cM Cluster, I no longer show Gurney Clusters 3 and 4 at the 50 cM level. This shows that previous Cluster 13 may now be 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 9. Cluster 2 is interesting in that it also came from Cluster 1.

Here is another way to slice and dice it:

Cluster 5 at 50 cM was my Snell side. Cluster 6 was my Hartley side. That means that Clusters 6, 7, 9, and 25 should be on the Hartley side. This is generally true except for Cluster 25:

There is someone there who is related to Joyce on her Gurney side. However, he also has a Howorth ancestor which would be on Joyce’s and my Hartley side. I had discussed this some above.

Restricting Members

In my previous Blog I restricted my wife’s large French Canadian clusters to 40. I wonder what would happen if I restricted Joyce’s clusters? One of the great things about the Shared Clustering Program is that it only takes a minute to see what happens. I tried it and it didn’t help. I only lost one cluster and I lost the English Hartley Clusters that I am interested in. So where it helped in one case, it didn’t help here.

Looking At Clusters 2, 6, 7, 9, 25

Actually, I already mentioned that Cluster 25 is a Gurney Cluster, so that is confusing. I already looked at Cluster 2.

Plus, Victoria’s tree with the Howorth families is now in Cluster 6. After shuffling things around a bit, I get this:

This also has Cluster 5 which I missed above. It takes a little bit to sort these out.

Cluster 4

I haven’t mentioned Cluster 4. This also came from busy previous Cluster 13. Cluster 4 is hanging off of the top left of Cluster 5:

There are only 6 matches in Cluster 6, but two are associated with Cluster 5 and one with Cluster 9. As Cluster 5 and 9 both have Snell’s in them, that tells me something about Cluster 4. Here is one tree in Cluster 4:

I’ll fill out this tree to see if I find any common ancestors:

Now if Ancestry could have figured this out, it would have saved me some time. Here is my tree:

Our common ancestors are Snell and Head. However, my guess is that there are other connections. I see also Palmer in LPs tree. I had to extend my existing chart from Isaiah Snell:

This is how LP matches Joyce:

More Snells in Cluster 5

Joyce’s first match in Cluster 5 has a very large tree. Joyce and John’s ancestors go two steps beyond the tree above to Thomas Snell. I might as well add in John. However, it will make the names tiny. That makes John and Joyce 8th cousins:

The other Snell match who I know of is OT:

Here is OT added in:

Cluster 7 From Lancashire

Cluster 7 has an interesting shape:

New in this Cluster is Ruth. Joyce and Ruth’s common ancestry go back to Pilling.

Ruth is in yellow as are the other 2 in this Cluster. One theory is that the overlapping clusters in Cluster 7 are for Hartley and Emmet. As Ruth has no known Emmet DNA, that could mean that Kristen is related to Joyce more on the Hartley side and Emily is related to Joyce more on the Emmet side.

Cluster 8

This Cluster is situated between my Hartley and Snell Clusters. There are only three in this Cluster. One match, LD, has a tree:

Here is my buildout on LD’s maternal side:

I’m curious about this part of the tree:

I did a genealogy on the Snell’s years ago and didn’t have that Samuel had a son named Peter. This Peter was from Freetown and Samuel was from Tiverton. So there must be a Snell connection, but perhaps not through Samuel. Also looking at Cluster 8, there are some matches to Cluster 9 which is a Snell Cluster.

Taking Joyce’s Clusters Down to the Minimum at 20 cM

This involves correlated matches that are down to 6 cM. This gets me 104 clusters. At the 6th cousin level, Joyce has 128 5th great-grandparents. However, I have already mapped out a match for Joyce at the 8th cousin level. At this level, Joyce has 512 7th great-grandparents. That is far back and old.

Comparison in Access

I brought part of the cluster spreadsheet into Access and compared it to the two previous cluster runs. I set the previous run to only include non-null values. Then I sorted by new cluster number:

So that tells me that the new Cluster 1 and 4 came from the old Cluster 6. Cluster 6 is the one I had as Howorth previously.

Here the new Cluster 1 has many notes on Howorth. However, I have no notes on Clusters 2, 3, and 4. Cluster 4 extends down quite far with a lot of small matches.

Starting at the Top – Joan’s Tree

There are some names above Cluster 1:

  • Sammy doesn’t have a usable tree
  • Ann has a common ancestor with Joyce of James and Mary Howorth
  • Joan has a tree with three people

Here is Joan’s tree:

Here is Mary Jane in 1940:

I think I already tracked this family. Here is Victoria’s tree:

Joan’s tree matches up with Edmund and Sabrina:

Actually, I have a guess for Edmund at the top:

This is from the Ebebezer Baptist Church in Bacup where my Howorth were baptized. Edmund mentions his brother Daniel in his will. That must be his brother Daniel above.

Here are the dates of the births:

The Tong Connection

Edmund and Ann’s children were born in Tong. I mentioned Tong in a previous Blog. Here are the children of my ancestor James Howorth:

This timeline is confusing becuase there are two Betty’s. Also Abram is another name for Abraham, so there appear to be two of those. Esther is my ancestor. I have that her youngest two siblings were born in Tong. Tong is to the East or SouthEast of Bacup:

Cluster 1

Cluster 1 adds Sara:

Sara’s tree already made the connection with Edmund Howorth of 1823.

Gretchen has an unlinked tree:

Now that I’ve gone down this route, I feel obliged to check for a Howorth connection:

I have a feeling the connection is through Hetty Nuttall, but I had trouble figuring out where in England she was born.

From Bacup to Trawden: Cluster 1 to Cluster 54

Cluster 53 has a Snell/Bradford common ancestor. Then there are some closer cousins. Then there are two with Hartley/Emmet ancestors. So Cluster 53 is a compound Cluster. Cluster 54 has some Hartley/Emmet common ancestors. Below that, there is a Sarah Pilling ancestor that I would like to look at. The first person in Cluster 55 has a Hartley ancestor from the area where my Hartley’s lived. The first person in Cluster 56 has Hartley also but no tree.

Sarah Pilling Common Ancestor

A match associated with Cluster 54 shows Charles and Joyce as having a common ancestor with Sarah Pilling:

I would like to take a look at this connection. In my tree, I have that Sarah Pilling was a single mother:

Charles’ tree stops short of the older Sarah Pilling:

Apparently, Ancestry made the connection based on my tree:

This is the record I had for John:

I don’t know if Charles got his/her information from my tree or if it was gotten independently. apparently, there was a record that John was the illegitimate son of Sarah. I had assumed that Greenwood Pilling was also an illegitimate son of Sarah who was not baptized (or at least I found no record).

Also, I note that if I have my tree right, there would be Stansfield in this line:

I have come up with Stansfield connections in other DNA matches, so that is something to consider.

Cluster 55

Here is how these Clusters compare in Access with Clusters from earlier runs:

That check that by walking it forward. By forward, I mean from the 20 cM run to the 25 cM run to the 30 cM run. 55 goes to Cluster 1 then Cluster 14. The problem is, I haven’t been tracking these Clusters.

The previous Cluster 1 was under the radar with only three matches:

This further mapped back to Cluster 14 at the 30 cM cutoff. That was also under the radar:

However, since Cluster 55 below has a Shackleton, perhaps it would be be worthwhile to look at Claire’s tree. Claire is also in Clusters 55 and 1.

Claire’s Cluster 55 Tree

This tree has dates but no places. I’ll be making my own tree. My tree shows that this family was from Wharfesdale which is between Ilkley and Otley:

I brought Claire’s tree back to 1823 int Otley. There I found an Elizabeth Hartley:

The clues for Elizabeth’s parents lead me to John Hartley of Colne and Sarah West of Otley. Here is Elizabeth’s birth and baptismal record:

The 1851 Census says that John Hartley was from Colne:

Here is Elizabeth in 1841:

Elizabether’s father, John, is listed on the previous page as an agricultural laborer. He apparently became a paper maker because of his father in laws. Also there is a George Hartley living next door – perhaps a brother of John who was born in Yorkshire.

Here is George’s birth in 1815 to Samuel Hartley:

It looks like I am stuck on John Hartley.

Lee’s Cluster 55 Tree

Lee also has a Hartley in his tree:

Confusingly, Margaret’s father is given as Lawrence Halstead:


Rebecca’s Tree

Rebecca in Cluster 55 has a tree with Shackleton:

Ancestry has shared surnames in green. Here some more of Rebecca’s tree:

The tree I built out for Rebecca also has a John Shackleton:

I’ll look into Rebecca’s tree. In 1871, Thomas Shackleton with his father Henry and family were living in Harden, Yorkshire, but were born in Heptonstall:

Here is Henry’s marriage record:

Beyond that, I cannot be sure.

Summary and Conclusions

  • In this survey on Joyce’s clustered, I focused mostly on the Hartley side. However, I looked at a few Snell matches
  • I used the clusters to identify new people in them with new trees that I could build out. It helps to know that you are looking for a certain branch of the family that lived in or probably near a certain location.
  • I didn’t have any major breakthroughs but attempted more contacts and got closer to finding out more about my ancestry.

23andMe Your Family Tree Beta

23andMe has a new feature. It tries to predict your family tree based on DNA alone. Here is mine:

This tree looks like it could have been designed by Dr. Seuss. It turns out that this is at least potentially helpful as I have had trouble figuring out who is who at 23andMe.

My guess is that the left hand side is to represent my mother’s side. My right hand side is my paternal side. However, a closer inspection of the tree shows that to not be the case. 23andMe gives you the opportunity to add some known ancestors in:

Iain to the lower left of me (JH) is right. He descends from my mother’s Uncle Leo from Latvia. However, other of my mother’s relatives are listed on my father’s side.

My Hartley/Snell Great Grandparents

Probably a good strategy for determining a paternal or maternal side is to go with the largest group. My Hartley/Snell grandparents had 13 children and most of them had children. So I picked that group to be the paternal side. This happened to be on the right-hand side of my 23andMe DNA Tree:

Daniel and Harold are rightly placed on the same level as me as second cousins. I suppose that it would be fun to try to fill this part in a bit. I’m familiar with this family on the right:

Mary Hartley was my great Aunt Mary and lived close by when I was growing up.

Fixing Mistakes in the Tree

It looks that it may be possible to fix mistakes in the future:

It’s not as much fun building out the tree when you know it is wrong. Here is my second cousin Judy:

She descends from my mother’s grandparents Lentz and Nicholson. Here she shows as descending from my father’s great-grandparents Snell and Bradford.

Even though Judith is shown on my paternal side, this relationship appears relatively correct:

Will and Judith’s ancestos would be my mother’s grandparents Lentz and Nicholson. However, as 23andMe does not show that couple as my direct ancestors, they do not give me the opportunity to enter both ancestors.

Gail On My Family Tree

Even though Gail should be on my maternal side, I figured out who she was by looking through my messages:

Gail actually descends from the Nicholsons. In fact, I already had her on the right hand side of a Nicholson chart I created:

As Joan, Linda, and Gail are sisters, it would be possible to perform visual phasing on their DNA results. I added to my chart that Gail was on 23andMe, so I would remember.

I’ll add Gail’s ancestry to the 23andMe tree:

My guess is that Alexander, Amelia and John descend from Nellie Nicholson. Nellie was the daughter of William Nicholson of Sheffield, England, not Isaiah Snell of Rochester, Massachusetts.

Sorting Out the Hartley Branch of the 23andMe Tree

I think I have figured out who Charles is:

Charles should be my second cousin twice removed. The DNA Tree shows Charles as my 3rd cousin once removed. Here is the DNA that Charles and I share:

Here is Charles added on to my own chart:

Charles represents a seventh child of James Hartley and Annie Snell. The only person who I can’t identify in my Hartley 2nd cousin group is DL. DL must come either from one of the children not shown above or perhaps come more distantly from the Snell family. My great-grandparents had 15 children over a 25 year period. Two died in infancy and two didn’t have children. That leaves 11 children with offspring. I show 7 above, so DL may come from one of the lines not represented above (or from a line that only tested at AncestryDNA).

Pro’s and Con’s of 23andMe’s ‘Your Family Tree’

I’ll start with the negatives:


  • The tree mixes up maternal and paternal relatives. This would be solved if I had my mother tested at 23andMe. My suspicious side says that this is a scheme to get more people to test at 23andMe.
  • There are only two relatives shown on the tree that are on my maternal side. One is right and one is wrong. There appear to be 6 relatives that should be on the my mother’s side that show on my father’s side. That means that my mother’s side mathces are placed mostly wrong.
  • There is currently no way to correct the tree. Apparently this is in the works and would be quite helpful.


  • The tree prioritizes cousins to look at and contact
  • The tree gives potential lines based apparently on common matches.
  • Even though groups may be on the wrong paternal/maternal side, the common ancestors for those groups may be correct. This can help identify common ancestors for others in the group when one common ancestors is known.
  • Hopefully 23andMe will use the information added by me and others to correct their algorithms and improve their trees.
  • The tree gives a possible way that your tree could have been based just on DNA matches and helps put your 23andMe DNA matches into a context.




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.




MyHeritage and the Theory of Family Relativity

First, MyHeritage gets credit for a catchy name for their new utility. That reminds me of this cartoon:

MyHeritage is doing what AncestryDNA does in matching up family history trees and DNA. In this Blog, I’ll look at my top three matches at MyHeritage that use this utility.


I have blogged about this connection previously through Melanie’s mother Emily. Actually, it looks like I have written three Blogs on this connection. I was quite happy to come across Melanie and Emily. Here is Melanie and my shared tree at MyHeritage:

As a result of our connection, I shared a photo I had of Melanie’s great-grandmother Violet Frazer which appears on her tree. Melanie says this would have been taken on her wedding day. This was a very clear and clean match. Melanie and I share 19.9 cM of DNA.

Celeste: Theory of Family Relativity #2

I don’t recall Celeste. So this is a new find for me.

Celeste and I share 12.7 cM of DNA on Chromosome 9:

I have a web page on the Snell family and what I have matches what Celeste has. In fact, Norman was born in the same Town that I was. Here are our common ancestors:

Mary Ann was from Nantucket. Her father had a business repairing ships. Otis was on an early whaling voyage from New Bedford to Hawaii. He jumped ship, made his way to Nantucket and married Mary Ann in 1828.

Celeste and Snell/Parker at DNA Painter

I can paint Celeste’s DNA onto my chromosome map:

This takes up a small segment in dark blue on the top part of Chromosome 9 (the paternal part) that was already taken up by my great-grandparents’ DNA. However, this DNA goes further back in time and is more specific.

Here is the expanded view of the paternal side of my Chromosome 9:

The dark blue overlaps with Beth and Jim, so that means that Beth and Jim should have Snell/Parker DNA in that area of their Chromosome 9 also.

Marilee: Family #3

My match with Melanie was known and accurate. My match with Celeste was unknown and accurate. My match with Marilee is known, but I had a different connection shown than MyHeritage shows. This is what MyHeritage shows:

Here is how I had Marilee’s connection:

I show Marilee in a separate John Line in pink. MyHeritage shows us both in the Richard Frazer Line. I circled myself in the Philip Line, but I am also in the Richard line above. I left my family out of the yellow line to save room.

So how do I reconcile these trees? MyHeritage (MH) shows an expanded view that seems convincing:

There is a connection shown and percentage that I had not noticed before. When I click on the green percentage, it gives a comparison between my tree and a third tree. The same with Marilee’s comparison. It compares Mariee’s John Frazer with a John James Frazer in another tree and gives the match a 100% probability.

There is another thing that I didn’t notice. There is a tab called Path 2:

This path compares to another tree, which I recognize as Joanna’s – a Frazer researcher.

So, Who Is Right?

We may both be right. All I have to do is show two lines of Frazer descent for Marilee and that will reconcile the two trees.

Marilee and the Richard Line

If Marilee is from the Richard Line, it would support the earlier birth dates for Richard and his siblings. So, that in itself is interesting. Here is what I have now for the Richard Line:

I’m not sure about David on the left. Jane was added in. She has many matches and appears to belong in this line. Here is a detailed comparison between John James Frazer and John Frazer:

Marilee’s Tree

Next, I compare this with Marilee’s tree:

Here is the disconnect. Both trees cannot be right. MyHeritage ignored Marilee’s tree in favor of two other trees. Interesting.

Based On the Above, Marilee Cannot Descend from John and Richard Frazer

That means that there is more work to be done to figure out which tree is right. One might argue that John Frazer born 1825 was named for his father’s father John born 1755. It may be that DNA analysis could shed light on which line Marilee would most likely be in. There is a program called What Are the Odds? (WATO). However, I have not used this yet. It takes two scenarios and looks at the odds of one scenario being more likely than the other based on DNA matching. This could be the subject of a future Blog in addition to more genealogical analysis.

Match #4: Warwick from New Zealand

I’m having fun, so why stop at three? Warwick is my third Irish connection out of my top four Relativily Matches:

According to MH, Warwick is my 4th cousin, once removed and we share 17.8 cM on Chromosome 12:

For a reality check, I make sure that I have Frazer grandparent DNA in that part of my Chromosome 12:

I do. I expect that my siblings Sharon, Jon and Lori will also match Warwick. They do. In fact Emily, Paul and Stephen who are known McMaster descendants are shared DNA matches between Warwick and me.

Checking Warwick’s Tree

Warwick’s tree matches with what I have on my McMaster Web Page – at least down to Samuel:

Let’s Paint Warwick

Warwick represents some very old DNA:

The darker colored DNA next to Warwick’s is my 2nd cousin Paul:

I now know that Paul’s Chromosome match with me goes back to his McMaster side. MH shows it like this:

Paul, Warwick and I are in a Triangulation Group (TG). This TG goes back to Abraham McMaster or his wife Margery.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I took my first look at MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity to see how it worked
  • Match #1 was no surprise
  • Match #2 was a surprise as I didn’t know about it. I’m sure this match was buried deep in my match list and the program nicely pulled it out. The matching trees were easily verifiable.
  • Match #3 , Marilee, was on my radar. However, the MH utility brought into question Marilee’s tree. The utility disregarded Marilee’s tree in favor of two other trees. Now I am not sure of either tree and will need to do some more analysis of the Marilee’s DNA matches.
  • I ended the Blog with Match #4. This match easily mapped new DNA and a new common ancestor onto my DNA Painter Chromosome Map.
  • Overall, I like the program and now see how it works. MH has an advantage over the AncestryDNA programs in that they show where on the chromosome the matches take place.
  • The down-side to the MH Relativity is that I only have 6 matches in the program. The two that I didn’t look at are related to the ones that I did look at.

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.


AutoClustering My Daughter’s DNA

In my previous post, I took an initial look at Heather’s DNA. In this Blog, I’d like to look at AutoClustering Heather’s DNA. AutoClustering puts Heather’s AncestryDNA matches into groups or clusters. Then those clusters are grouped together. This makes it easy to see which matches go where.

Heather’s AutoCluster

Based on Heather’s number of 4th cousin matches or closer at Ancestry, I chose a lower limit of 20 cM and an upper limit of 600 cM. 20 cM is the limit AncestryDNA uses for 4th cousin matches.  Currently, Heather has 297 in that category.

Here are Heather’s 41 Clusters:

Some of these Clusters will be on her maternal side and some on Heather’s paternal side. The clusters with gray dots between them mean that these groups of matches match each other.

Heather has 283 matches in these clusters minus 22 that didn’t fit into any cluster.

Let’s Identify Some of Heather’s Clusters: Her Highest Matches

AutoCluster puts Heather’s clusters in the order of the match level. So the highest match in a cluster shows first. I’ll creat a spreadsheet for Heather:

This mimics the way AutoCluster lists its clusters with the highest match in the cluster listed first. I can recognize some of these names right away.

D.J. is a close relation to Heather on her mother’s side. I have not yet identified anyone on Heather’s maternal grandmother Cavanaugh side.

Next, I’ll sort by cluster, to get a skeleton for Heather’s clusters:

This brings me down to Cluster 21 or 22. I only identified one Jarek Cluster, but based on the gray dots between clusters, the Jarek or Polish relatives appear to go down as far as Cluster 14. I should have included Wozniak in those clusters.

The Bigger Picture

This shows that we have some gaps to fill in between clusters 23 and 39. I’m looking to locate some Cavanaugh ancestors. Clusters 23-39 would be one place to find them.

Cluster 32 – Cavanaugh Side?

I will be happy to find someone from Heather’s Cavanaugh grandmother side. Glenn from Cluster 32 has a tree:

I’d like to match Glenn’s tree above to Heather’s tree:

Ancestry puts Glenn and Heather at estimated 4th cousins. That means that if Heather and Glenn are in the same generation, then they will need to go back to Heather’s column starting with Jeremiah Warren and one row past where Glenn has gone.

I tried building out Glenn’s tree, but couldn’t find a connection to Heather’s tree. I think that I was on the right track as another person in the Cluster has a common ancestor with Julius Lafantasie and Emma Chamberland. So, no luck right now with Cluster 32.

Cluster 35

As I go down the clusters, I notice some match me or my siblings, so they are likely Hartley Clusters:

Donna has a 10 person tree in Cluster 35. Let’s see if that tree leads anywhere familiar.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Using Clusters, I was able to identify specific regions for three out of four of Heather’s grandparents
  • I had trouble pinning down Heather’s Cavanaugh grandmother side.
  • Once Ancestry has a chance to analyze Heather’s tree, it may make it’s own suggestions as to her Cavanaugh side.
  • One issue with the AutoClustering is that it requires you to build out a lot of trees to try to find connections. Then once the trees are built out it is very rare that a connection is made.




A First Look At My Daughter’s DNA

I recently got an AncestryDNA kit for my daughter Heather and son JJ. My daughter’s results came in first and she gave me access to her results. The first thing that I did was to link my tree to her results.

That way Ancestry can figure out where the matches are between Heather’s tree and her DNA matches.

What I’m Looking For

  • I now have my mother’s DNA, and mine. With Heather, I’ll have a better look at how DNA is inherited down through three generations.
  • Heather has some Polish ancestry which is different than mine. It will be interesting to see how that shows up in the DNA.
  • I have been working on Heather and JJ’s maternal genealogy. One of the lines came out differently than expected and I wanted to see if the DNA confirms that. Also I want to see if the DNA helps in other areas of their maternal genealogy.

So I’m looking for quite a bit.

Heather’s Ethnicity

At first blush, I don’t see any special indication of Polish:

Perhaps Polish fits into Heather’s 26% Germanic Europe.

I pressed ‘Discover Your DNA Story’, and saw this:

I never see that big blue blob on my ethnicity. That refers to Eastern Europe and Russia. Heather has 17% of that. That must be from her Polish Dziadziu. I had to look that one up:

The Polish name for grandfather is dziadek, used when speaking about one’s grandfather. It is pronounced “jah-deck.” Dziadziu, sometimes spelled dziadzio, is used when speaking to one’s grandfather. It is pronounced “jah-goo.”

Theoretically, Heather is 1/4 Polish, however, the DNA can vary and perhaps Dziadziu had some other non-Polish mixed in with his ancestry.

Also above there is a sub-group called Northern England & the Midlands. My father’s side has ancestors from there. Also Heather has some ancestors on her mother’s side from that part of England.

Migration Routes

On my Ethnicity Report, there is also a section for Migration Routes. This does not show up for Heather as I just linked her to an ancestral tree this morning. Here is what I show:

This basically shows how my ancestors migrated from Europe to North America. It uses ancestral trees for that. For example, my mother’s German ancestors migrated from Germany to Philadelphia. Some of my father’s ancestors came over on the Mayflower and some came to Massachusetts later from Lancashire County in England.

Heather’s Genealogy

This is what I have so far:

Jarek is Heather’s Polish side. The controversial part is where Cavanaugh goes to Warren on the tree. I’d like to see if Heather shows any Warren DNA.

Heather’s DNA Matches

Heather has no Shared Ancestor Hints (SAHs). It will take a while for Ancestry to figure these out. These are based on Heather’s tree also. These hints show when Heather shows a common ancestor with a DNA match.

Heather has 297 4th cousins or closer. These are estimated to be 4th cousins or closer based on the level of Heather’s DNA matches.

Heather’s Match List

Heather’s first category is under Parent/Child. She shows me there. Ancestry can tell we are in this category from the amount of DNA we share. The next category is close family. Here Heather shares more DNA than she would with a 1st cousin. In the Close Family category are my siblings, Heather’s Aunts and Uncles and my mother – Heather’s grandmother. Heather has one person in her 1st cousin category. Justin recently took an AncestryDNA test.

Heather’s Second Cousins

This is where the list gets more interesting.

These are Heather’s top 5 matches in the 2nd Cousin Category. Cindy is my 1st cousin, so she is Heather’s 1st cousin once removed. D.J. and H.G. are people I don’t know, so they must be on Heather’s maternal side. S.W. is my second cousin, so Heather’s 2nd cousin once removed. Joyce is my father’s 1st cousin, so would be Heather’s 1st cousin twice removed.

D.J. and H.G.

D.J. doesn’t have a tree, so I don’t know how he is related to Heather. Perhaps the J is for Jarek? However, when I look at D.J.’s shared matches, one of those shared matches is H.G. That means that D.J. and H.G. are related.

Here is H.G.’s tree:


Ancestry shows that H.G. and Heather share Jarek and Wozniak. Ancestry knows this already, because I just linked Heather to a tree. One confusing thing is that H.G.’s profile shows as a female but H.G. in the above tree shows as male. Francis Jarek and Antonina Wozniak are H.G.’s grandparents. These two are Heather’s great-grandparents. That means that Heather and H.G. are 1st cousins, once removed. My guess would be the same for D.J. Heather or I could get in touch with D.J. to find out.

Comparing Heather and H.G.’s Ethnicity

If I push the Compare button for Heather’s DNA match H.G., I get this:

This shows that H.G. hasn’t updated her ethnicity report. She still has the old estimates.

This shows that H.G. is 98% Eastern Europe and Russian. I take that to mean that H.G. is almost all Polish and Heather is much less so.

Downloading Heather’s DNA

Next, I’d like to download Heather’s DNA. Ancestry doesn’t have a way to look at the individual chromosomes for comparison, so I have to download Heather’s DNA for that.

Once I have downloaded Heather’s DNA, I can upload it to Gedmatch Genesis. This used to be plain Gedmatch. I uploaded Heather’s DNA to Genesis and it gave me a PW number to identify Heather.

Heather and Her Grandmother At Genesis

It takes a while for Heather’s DNA to ‘tokenize’ at Genesis. After this happens, Heather will have a list of matches with other relatives who have uploaded their DNA to Gedmatch or Genesis from different DNA testing companies. Right now I can make single comparisons. I can compare myself to Heather, but that will just show that we match everywhere. That is because Heather has a maternal and paternal copy of her chromosomes. Naturally, she got all her paternal part from me. However, Heather got about one half of her paternal chromosomes from my mom:

This shows that Heather doesn’t match her grandma on Chromosome 17, but does match her all the way across on Chromosomes 19-21. On Chromosomes 18 and 22, Heather matches her paternal grandmother for parts and doesn’t on other parts. Why is that? Heather must match her paternal grandfather in the black areas.

Crossovers Or Recombination Points

The spot where Heather’s DNA goes from her grandmother’s DNA to her grandfather’s DNA is called a crossover or recombination point. When Heather’s DNA was formed, her dad’s maternal and paternal DNA split up and recombined to make Heather’s DNA. The same happened with Heather’s mom. Heather had no paternal recombination on Chromosomes 17 and 19-21. This is normal on the higher-numbered shorter chromosomes. This means that though Heather got her DNA from her mom and dad, it is made up from the recombination of the DNA from her four grandparents.

There were over 400,000 SNPs used to make the comparison. These SNPs are Heather’s individual DNA markers that I downloaded from Ancestry.

Other Cool Things To Do With Heather’s DNA

This is the introduction. There are other cool things to do:

  • Though it is difficult to do with just two siblings, it is possible to use visual phasing to map out how Heather and JJ got their DNA from their four grandparents but comparing their DNA results to each other.
  • It is possible to use a program called DNAPainter to map out Heather’s matches on her chromosomes.
  • AutoCluster looks at Heather’s AncestryDNA matches and clusters them according to how they match each other. This does not required the detailed chromosome information from Genesis.
  • I haven’t looked at DNA to confirm Heather’s genealogy except for two close maternal relatives.
  • I’ll be able to create a maternally phased and paternally phased kit for Heather at Genesis. This will show which of Heather’s matches are on my side and which ones are on her mom’s side.