A New Look for AutoClusters

I ran an AutoCluster and was surprised by the new look. I ran autocluster for my sister Lori:

The old look organized the clusters by how many were in the cluster. This newer, more logical approach organizes the clusters better to take into account the little gray dots.

Lori’s First 6 Clusters

It seems like these clusters could be related. There are four gray boxes connecting the small Cluster 2 to Cluster 1. There is one gray cluster connecting the red Cluster 3 to the green Cluster 2. And so on. I can tell that Lori’s orange Cluster 1 contains many 2nd cousins on my Hartley side and slightly more distant Snell relatives.

Lori’s Irish Clusters 8 Through 18

This has taken a lot of the guesswork away. I like that.

  • The top left Clusters 8 and 9 (green and blue) contain some of my matches with Frazer ancestry.
  • Green Cluster 12 has someone who I believe matches on a McMaster/Frazer Line.
  • Cluster 15 between purple and pink is an important match that goes to my Clarke/Spratt Lines. They also match on McMaster. They are swimming in a sea of what I believe to be other Irish matches.
  • The last lower right cluster contains the Spratt name where I have a brick wall.

Here is my Irish portion of my tree:

The clusters virtually mimic my tree which has Frazer at the top and Spratt at the bottom.

Lori’s Known and Unknown Clusters

Just by looking at Lori’s clusters I can tell the following:

  • Clusters 1-6: Paternal Hartley 2nd cousins back to Massachusetts Colonial times
  • Cluster 7: Maternal Nicholson/Ellis [Sheffield, England to Philadelphia]
  • Clusters 8-18: Frazer, McMaster, Clarke and Spratt from Ireland
  • Cluster 27: Maternal Lentz/Nicholson
  • Clusters 28 and 29: Maternal Rathfelder ancestors back to Latvia

That leaves just Clusters 19 through 26 which are not obvious. That leaves only 8 unknown clusters.

Comparing Lori’s Clusters to My Mom’s and My Siblings’ Clusters

Here is how Lori’s clusters compare to her mom’s:

Cluster 3 was a surprise as that was in Lori’s paternal Hartley grouping above and it matches one of my mother’s clusters. I’ll won’t assign that as a maternal or paternal cluster for now.

Here is what I get when I compare Lori’s four other siblings who have tested at AncestryDNA:


  • I gave Lori’s paternal Massachusetts grouping a blue color and her paternal Irish grouping a green color.
  • Lori has two new clusters where she doesn’t match anyone else’s clusters. These are Clusters 19 and 25. I assume that they are paternal clusters as they don’t match with her mother’s clusters.
  • My ancestors from Ireland were Protestant and married Protestants for the most part. This resulted in some inter-marriage of families. I assume that this is why Jon’s Cluster 6 is reflected in Lori’s Clusters 8, 9 and 10. Sharon’s Clusters 11 and 18 each show up in more than one of Lori’s clusters, etc.

Fleshing Out Lori’s Hartley and Frazer Mega-Clusters

Hartley – Colonial Massachusetts

The Hartley Clusters in blue seem to go quickly from 2nd cousins to Colonial Massachusetts. I still haven’t looked at Cluster 3 which is oddly shared with my mother. I suspect that it is indeed a paternal cluster as it is a lower numbered cluster for my sister and Jon than for my mother. Also there is a connection between Lori’s Cluster 3 and her Cluster 2.

Frazer – Ireland

Cluster 17 is interesting as the match with Keith goes back to two McMaster common ancestors:

With this information, I could go back to Sharon’s Cluster 15. I see that Keith is not Sharon’s largest match in her Cluster 15, but he is in that Cluster, so I can fine tune Sharon’s Cluster 15 to McMaster.

Lori’s New Clusters 19 and 25

There are only two people in Cluster 19. Their trees are not extensive and the match numbers are not impressive. I will just call this cluster paternal for now.

Cluster 25 and Peter

Peter is interesting as he shows one of his grandparents from Australia. If this match is on my Hartley side, that could go back to my English Hartley’s. I am interested in Peter’s Howarth ancestry as it could be linked to my Howorth ancestry from Lancashire, England. I just need to build out Peter’s tree

Peter’s Howarth Line goes back from Australia then to Ireland then to Rochdale, England where my Howorths were from. However, he also has an Irish Whiteside in there. I may be related to the Whiteside family. At this point, I’m leaning toward Howarth/Howorth in Rochdale, but I’ll just say it’s a paternal match for now.

Done with Lori’s Clusters – For Now

This is about as much as I have patience for right now. I had originally thought that Sue at Lori’s Cluster 26 was Massachusetts Colonial, but Sue uploaded her results to gedmatch and that showed that she matched us on our Frazer side.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Lori was the first autocluster that I have looked at with the new mega-clustering feature. This put our birds of a feather ancestors together.
  • This new rendering of the clusters helped me to see how my paternal Hartley and Frazer ancestors related to each other.
  • Two small maternal clusters showed relationships which confirmed a suspected Latvian ancestor cluster.
  • Cross-referencing Lori’s clusters to my mom’s and her siblings’ clusters helped to fine-tune these clusters.
  • Lori had two unique clusters. However, they were difficult to nail down past being paternal clusters.


Comparing Four Siblings’ AncestryDNA AutoCluster Results

In my previous Blog, I compared my AncestryDNA AutoCluster results to two of my siblings, Jon and Heidi. In this Blog, I will look at Sharon’s results:

For the previous three siblings, I looked at matches between 25 and 600 cM. For Sharon, I lowered the upper limit to 300 cM. This was to eliminate my 1st cousin’s daughter’s results.

Here are my sibling comparisons:

By bringing Sharon’s upper limit down to 300 cM, I eliminated my father’s first cousin, a daughter of a maternal first cousin and a paternal 2nd cousin. However, many of my paternal second cousins have tested.

Comparing My Clusters to My Three Siblings’ Clusters

Rather than trying to figure out each of Sharon’s clusters, I will compare her clusters to mine. To do this, I compared my clusters to Sharon’s in MS Access. This just saves time. The Query in Access looks like this:


I connected our two tables by the identifier. This is the identifier of the different AncestryDNA matches. Then I chose my clusters and Sharon’s clusters and I grouped them to get rid of duplicates. That Query resulted in this:

This is a lot easier than going through Sharon’s clusters one by one. The above table tells me a few things:

  • 13 of Sharon’s 18  clusters can be identified in my clusters.
  • I split Sharon’s Cluster 1 into my Clusters 1 and 2.
  • Sharon splits my Cluster 21 into her Clusters 3 and 18.

Here is how Sharon looks on my cluster list:

Sharon matches me on my Cluster 32 and 34 where Jon and Heidi did not.

Further Insight on My Cluster 32.

I have two matches in my Cluster 32. Sharon has three.  Of those people, Louisa, in my Cluster 32 has a private tree but told me that we match on Simon Hathaway born 1711 and Hannah Clifton. Sharon’s additional person in her Cluster 13 is Gloria:

Gloria has a fairly good size tree which includes a Hathaway:

I wonder if Gloria’s Florida Hathaway is related to my Massachusetts Hathaway ancestors? To find this out, I need to build out Gloria’s Hathaway Line. Ancestry’s suggestions for Gloria’s tree matched up to Rufus Jefferson Pitts, but then I ran into a snag:

Gloria had Susan Hathaway for Rufus’ mother and Ancestry had Rebecca Pate. Here is the 1880 Census which seems to support the Rebecca theory:

I also found 10 Ancestry Trees. Three had Susan Hathaway as Rufus’ mother and seven had Rebecca Pate. After searching a bit, I found this narrative at Ancestry concerning Rufus’ father, John Gilbert Pitts:

This appears to resolve the discrepancy.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out more about this Hathaway family.

Sharon’s Clusters Compared to Her Three Siblings’ Clusters

If I sort Sharon’s Clusters, I get this:

I’ll change this around and compare Sharon to her three siblings:

Sharon’s “new” clusters are 5 and 10. These are not shared by her siblings. Here are Sharon’s clusters sorted by size:

By cross-referencing, I get this:

Sharon’s “New” Clusters 5 and 10

That leaves two clusters to figure out. I’ll start with Cluster 5. Debra on Sharon’s match list has a family tree. However, I can’t tell how she might match. She has ancestors from a lot of the same places as my mother. I can tell that Cluster 5 is maternal due to Shared Matches with my mother.

Sharon’s Cluster 10

This cluster appears to be paternal based on a lack of Shared Matches with my mother. I note that Sharon has a match with Catherine who has  a good tree and is on Gedmatch. Based on Chromosome mapping, I can tell that Catherine matches on our Frazer side. This side has ancestors in Ireland and so does Catherine.

Sharon and Catherine’s match is at the beginning of the Chromosome where Sharon matches Catherine on the Frazer (blue) side. Note that Heidi should match there also. Jim did not test at Ancestry. In fact, Heidi does match Catherine at Gedmatch by slightly more than Sharon. For some reason, Ancestry has shaved some DNA off Heidi and Catherine’s match to just below the 25 cM that I chose for the clusters.

Here is one of Catherine’s Irish ancestors who lived in the vicinity of my Irish ancestors:

Here are the final (for now) results:

Sharon has a lot of Frazer clusters.

More Summaries

It seemed like Sharon and I had a lot of Frazer matches. Sharon had the most proportionately. It would be difficult to deduce much from the maternal side as the numbers are low there. Jon had the fewest maternal clusters. It would be worthwhile to see which clusters only Jon had at some point.

Next up I’ll look at my Mom’s clusters. Then perhaps my other sister’s.

Summary and Conclusions

  • By cross-referencing Sharon’s clusters with other existing clusters, I was able to speed up the cluster identification process.
  • Sharon had two clusters that her other three siblings did not have. One was maternal and unidentified so far. Sharon’s other new cluster was on the Frazer quarter of ancestors and likely goes back Ireland where one of my brick wall areas is on the Clarke/Spratt Lines.
  • I looked at percentages of clusters to see how the siblings compared to each other.
  • I tried to connect genealogically to the Hathaway family to one of the matches in a cluster, but got stuck.







AutoClustering My Sister’s AncestryDNA

It seems like AncestryDNA is best suited for AutoClustering. Which is good, because many people have tested at AncestryDNA. In my previous Blog, I autoclustered my brother Jon. I was able to cross-reference his clusters to ones I had found for myself. In some cases there was no cross-reference. In some cases, my brother’s clusters helped identify my own clusters. In this Blog, I’ll look at my sister Heidi’s clusters at Ancestry.

Heidi’s Clusters look like this:

I have left out the names on the top and left for privacy. I like using 600 cM for a top limit and 25 cM for a bottom limit. For Heidi, this gives her 23 clusters. Heidi has 403 4th cousins or closer. My brother Jon has 381 4th cousins or closer at AncestryDNA and he had 20 clusters using the same upper and lower match limits that I used for Heidi.

Nigel – a Non-Clustered Match

First, I’ll mention Nigel. He is the first one on the AutoCluster Report who is mentioned as not being clustered. I think that this is significant. Nigel matches Heidi at 66 cM. This is a very high match for a 5th cousin once removed. Here is the Shared Ancestry Hint between Nigel and Heidi:

The match is high for our family, but not with other descendants of this couple. As a result, Nigel and Heidi are not in a cluster.

Clusters By the Numbers

By this, I mean that I like to look at the highest matched clusters first. These are easiest to identify. Cluster 1 has the most people in it and the closest matches. This is because I have a lot of second cousins from my prolific Hartley/Snell great grandparents.

Heidi’s Clusters 1, 14 and 7

Here Heidi’s results are below and my brother Jon’s are above. What is interesting is that the top matches in Heidi’s and Jon’s first clusters are the same. However, for the Taylor match, the clusters point to different grandparent lines. This could partially be because Taylor is the daughter of our first cousin. Taylor matches us on both maternal grandparent lines.

Here is a tree with Nigel who I mentioned above:

Taylor is Cindy’s daughter. I find it interesting that there is a Cluster 14 and 7. Cluster 7 is Nicholson, but not Lentz. Cluster 14 is Nicholson and Lentz, but as Cluster 7 is already Nicholson, does this mean that Cluster 14 favors the Lentz side?

Heidi’s Clusters 10, 5 and 2

Heidi already has more maternal clusters than my brother Jon. Gladys is an interesting match. The common ancestors between Gladys and me were both Frazer’s. From what I can tell two first cousin Frazer’s married each other.

Heidi’s Next Three Clusters – More Obscure?

One would expect the clusters to represent more obscure common ancestors as the match levels go down.

Here are the common ancestors for one of the people in Cluster 15 (William McMaster and Margaret Frazer):

This goes back to about 1790, so back to my 4th great-grandparents.

Here are my Parker/Hatch 4th great-grandparents:

They lived in Nantucket and Isaac had a whaling boat repair business there.

Cluster 9 goes into a black hole where I am stuck. This is likely on my Clarke or Spratt Line. Cluster 9 is also Heidi’s 9th cluster by size and already I am getting stuck identifying the ancestors.

That makes sense, though, because Jane Spratt above is my 2nd great-grandmother and I don’t know who her parents were. Two more generations out from Spratt would result in 3 new surnames that I don’t know about (or could only make guesses at).

Heidi’s Clusters 16, 17 and 18

These next three clusters came in order:

Anthony Snell is interesting as he fought in the US Revolutionary War. I don’t have specific common ancestors for Clusters 17 and 18. This brings us past the halfway point for Heidi’s clusters.

More Clusters for Heidi – The Brick Wall Zone

The bottom clusters for Heidi should be in the area where I am stuck on the genealogical paper trail side.

The question marks show that I am not sure who the common ancestors are for the above clusters. I have done some work on Heidi’s Cluster 21 matches. Here is my best shot at finding common ancestors at Cluster 21:


Here are the rest of the clusters:

In my brother Jon’s clusters, I only saw two maternal clusters out of his 20. Here Heidi has 7 maternal clusters out of her 23.

Here is how Heidi’s clusters compare with my brother Jon’s:

10 out of Heidi’s 23 Clusters had no corresponding cluster with her brother Jon. Two other of Heidi’s clusters (14 and 11) were not a perfect match with one of Jon’s clusters.

Summary and Conclustions

  • Heidi had about 30% maternal clusters compared to her brother Jon’s 10% maternal clusters
  • It was interesting to look at the specific ancestors that were in the clusters (when I was able to identify them). I was able to identify 10 ancestral couples
  • Many of Heidi’s clusters were not equivalent to her brother Jon’s clusters. This means that it is helpful to look at the different results for the different siblings.
  • Heidi’s clusters offer another piece of the puzzle in breaking down some of my family’s genalogical brick walls.




AutoClustering My Brother at Ancestry

AutoClustering fans are happy that Genetic Affairs has the AncestryDNA autoclustering working again. I ran a report this morning for my brother Jon. I used an upper limit of 600 cM and lower limit of 25 cM. This gave me a manageable 20 Clusters.

I had been trying to get a similar autocluster for myself, but had trouble getting it work for me. First, I notice that there appears to be a connection between Clusters 1 and 2 based on the grey squares.

Clustering By Size

I like to cluster by match size. That means that I sort my cluster list by largest match:

I push the cM arrow twice. This should put the arrow pointing down which will put the larger matches on the top. The highest match in this case is also Cluster 1 with the most people in it. Many of these people are my Hartley/Snell relatives who have tested at AncestryDNA.

After that, I see my Clusters 8 and 4.

Clusters 1, 8 and 4

Cluster 1 is easy. This has many of my Hartley 2nd cousins. They descend from Hartley and Snell. I know one of the more distant relatives in this group descends from the Snell side only. The Snell side gets back to Colonial Massachusetts. My second great grandfather Isaiah Hatch Snell was born in 1837.

The top match in Cluster 8 is my 1st cousin’s daughter:

That would normally only identify this Cluster as maternal. However, in this case, I know that I am related to Otis on the Schwechheimer and Gangnus Lines. These two families lived in a German Colony in Latvia, where some of the families intermingled. Our common Schwechheimer ancestor was born in 1772.

Cluster 4: Nicholson/Ellis

This Cluster is lead by Carolyn. I have been in touch with Carolyn and Joan and know that they both descend from Nicholson and Ellis. They were both from Sheffield, England on my mother’s side. William Nicholson was born in 1836.

Here is a summary so far:

This is good news. Out of the top three clusters, I have three out of my four grandparents represented. I know common ancestors.

The Next Three Clusters: 9, 6 and 18

Cluster 9 gives me my fourth grandparent side. The match is with Ron. Our common ancestors are Clarke and Spratt on my Frazer grandparent side. Our common ancestor Thomas Clarke was born about 1823.

Cluster 6 is on my Frazer/Frazer side. Clarke/Spratt is from the mother of my Frazer grandmother’s side. Frazer is from her paternal side. This line goes back a ways, but it has been well researched.

Cluster 18 has only two people in it, but it is a great cluster as it represents my Pilgrim ancestry. The first match in the Cluster and I descend from Harvey Bradford, who is a descendant of William Bradford from the Mayflower. Harvey Bradford was born in 1809.

Here is a summary of Jon’s top six Clusters:

The pink represents maternal and blue is paternal. Frazer/Frazer means that I had two Frazer ancestors who married each other.

Clusters 5, 10 and 14

At some point these Clusters will be more difficult to nail down.

Cluster 5 appears to center in on my Parker ancestors who lived on Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Cluster 10 has some Spratt names. This name is my biggest brick wall. My Spratt ancestor died young in County Sligo, Ireland and I can’t find much information about her.

Cluster 14 is not obvious to me. YK and John have a shared match with Gladys from Cluster 6. The third person has a Frazer tree. I would say that Cluster 14 is another flavor of my intermarried Frazer Lines.

So while Cluster 14 was not obvious at first, I was able to figure it out through Shared Matches.

Clusters 7, 11, and 2

I am now getting deeper into the less obvious clusters.

Some people in Cluster 7 match Ron. Ron and I share Clarke, Spratt and McMaster heritage back in Ireland.

I have been in touch with Patricia from Cluster 11. She has uploaded to Gedmatch. The match is definitely on my Frazer side and that should hark back to Ireland. My guess is the Clarke/Spratt Lines.

Cluster 2

Cluster 2 is a large one with connection to my Hartley 2nd cousins in Cluster #1 based on the gray squares. Just because there are many in a cluster does not mean that the cluster is easy to identify. This is the 12th cluster by size of match. There are 18 members in the Cluster. Peter has the highest match to Jon. Peter also has 62 Shared Matches at AncestryDNA.

Next, I’ll look at some of the trees from Cluster 2 Members. Candy has this ancestor in her tree:

This is her only listed ancestor in the area where my colonial Massachusetts ancestors lived. Looking at another Ancestry Tree, I find these parents for Betsey:

I see only one Swift in my genealogical list, but many Wing’s. So that is a possibility.

Another Cluster 2 person has Wing in his ancestry and other surnames from the area around SE Massachusetts where my ancestors lived.

Cross-referencing Jon’s Cluster 2

Next, I’ll look at my Clusters to see where Jon’s Cluster 2 people are. Peter is Jon’s top match in Cluster 2. Peter is in my Cluster 1. In my previous Blog, I identified my Cluster 1 as my Colonial Massachusetts matches. In fact, the first 12 in Jon’s Cluster 2 are in my Cluster 1.

William is in my Cluster 1, but falls below the 25 cM level for Jon. William also has a Wareham ancestor:

There are other possibilities.

Here is my 8th cousin Linda from my Cluster 1:

According to Ancestry, Linda and I match at 23.8 cM and we are 8th cousins with common ancestors in the 1660’s. Right now, this couple is as good a guess as any other.  However, this couple is out nine generations from Linda and me. At that level, I would have 32 couples that would be possibilities. These 32 are just my Massachusetts Colonial ancestors who lived around that time.  All I have to do is disprove the other 31 couples or link my Cluster 1 members or Jon’s Cluster 2 to Finney and Warren.

Here is a summary of my top 12 Clusters:

At this point, I could give up or forge on into the unknown.

Forging On Into the Unknown with Clusters 3, 19 and 12

I’m at a loss for Cluster 3. For one thing, this is my brother Jon’s Cluster and I don’t have many notes on his matches. Perhaps a cross-reference to my clusters would help. Unfortunately, none of the people in Jon’s Cluster 3 are in any of my clusters. It’s a mystery. I suppose autoclustering more siblings may help.

Kitty from Jon’s Cluster 19 is in my Cluster 24

Bonnie is in Jon’s Cluster 12. Again I don’t see any of Jon’s Cluster 12 members in any of my clusters. Bonnie has a Hulme ancestor from Manchester, England that might be worth pursuing.

Jon’s Last Five Clusters

I recognize Jon’s Cluster 20. One member has a McMaster ancestor that I believe is related on McMaster and Frazer sides. If I am right, our common ancestor William McMaster was born about 1790.

Cluster 13

None of Jon’s Cluster 13 members match my clusters. Fortunately Catriona who has a private tree is on Gedmatch and I can tell she is related on my Frazer grandparent side.

Cluster 15

Jon has a Shared Ancestor Hint here, so that makes things easier:

This match is also part of a Snell and a Luther Circle at AncestryDNA. This is another of Jon’s Clusters where I have no members in my clusters.

Cluster 16

I don’t see anyone in Jon’s Cluster 16 that is in any of my clusters.

Jon’s 20 Cluster Summary

By Cluster:

Comparing Jon’s Clusters To MIne

I was able to cross-reference Jon’s clusters to mine in most cases. However, 30% of the time, Jon’s clusters were not found among my clusters. Also some of Jon’s clusters that I was able to decipher more or less, I had not figured out on my clusters. Finally, Jon has a match with someone who goes back to our most recent male Bradford. This is a match that I don’t have, but the cluster is one that has been identified.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I autoclustered my brother Jon’s matches at a lower level of 25 cM and upper level of 600 cM. That was a good level for Jon and resulted in 20 Clusters
  • I looked at Jon’s clusters starting with the largest matches. The higher match clusters were easy to figure out. At about halfway down the list, the common ancestors began to get more difficult to figure out.
  • I was able to find many common ancestors. I tried finding common ancestors for one of my Colonial Massachusetts clusters, but that was difficult.
  • Many of Jon’s clusters with matches near the last half of Jon’s list had no corresponding cluster for my matches. I found this to be interesting. This would lead me to look at more of my sibling clusters.
  • 18 of 20 (90%) of Jon’s clusters were on his paternal side.
  • Finally, I cross-referenced Jon’s clusters to many of my own clusters. This showed where Jon’s clusters did or did not match mine. In some cases, Jon’s clusters identified some of my own clusters that I had not figured out yet.



Making Sense of My FTDNA AutoClustering with a Leeds Color Analysis

AutoClustering is a new approach to looking at DNA matches. The progamming was created by Evert-Jan Blom. Right now the analysis is working better for FTDNA than it is for AncestryDNA. In a previous Blog, I looked at my 23andMe and FTDNA clusters, but had some trouble identifying many of the clusters. I was hoping that a Leeds Color Analysis would shed some light on my Clusters.

FTDNA AutoClusters

These are the 33 Clusters I came up with at FTDNA. I decided that FTDNA pads their DNA a bit. This padding problem blew up my orange Cluster 1 where there are a ton of matches on my Chromosome 20. These are on my Frazer grandmother’s side.

Here is a summary of some of my AutoClustering that I did previously:

The FTDNA results are in the middle column. It looks like I figured out 6 of the 33 Clusters.

Can the Leeds Color Analysis Help Figure Out More Clusters?

The Leeds Color Analysis also creates clusters, though not as graphically as the AutoCluster method. The good thing about the Leeds method is that it doesn’t rely on a  computer program and it requires some interpretation from the user. These could also be considered negatives.

Here is what I came up with using a Leeds Color Analysis of my FTDNA matches:

  • The first time a name came up as a match I gave them the color over their name.
  • If someone matched someone who matched someone up higher in the Cluster, I noted this on the spreadsheet.
  • I went out as far as FTDNA’s predicted 2nd to 4th cousin matches. This was 88 matches.
  • This represents 21 Clusters. Some are not technically clusters as there is only one person in the cluster. I assume that if I went to lower cM matches, I would get more matches in these one person ‘clusters’.
  • I identified three out of four of my grandparents

Starting with Hartley

In the Leeds Analysis, I used my father’s cousin as the lead Hartley person. He did not show up in the AutoClustering as he was too close a DNA match compared to the thresholds I used. However, the second person in the Blue column is Benjamin. He matches my father’s cousin Jim and becomes the lead person in the AutoClustering. A search for Benjamin in the AutoCluster shows that he is in Cluster #10.

Cluster 10

The problem is that Cluster 10 only has three people in it:

In the Leeds Color Analysis, there were 20 in the Blue column. When I go to my match with Benjamin at FTDNA and choose ICW, I get three people. So that makes sense. This is just one flavor of Hartley. A look at the ancestral names of these matches makes me think that this could be a Colonial SE Massachusetts branch. I’ll call this a Snell/Bradford Line as that covers all my Colonial ancestors:

I could be wrong, but that is my best guess right now. Next, I filtered for Hartley (blue on the Color Analysis) and added a column for the AutoCluster number to keep track of the Cluster number:

The other two people in AutoCluster #10 were not in the Leeds Color Analysis.

Going Down the Blue List

It would seem logical to go down the Blue list and put an AutoCluster numbers in for each person. I find the results interesting:

I would trust the Clusters except for #6 as that shows more than one color. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t all relate to AutoCluster numbers. I’m not sure why that is. Part of the reason is that I went by FTDNA predicted relationship and AutoCluster probably goes by total DNA match in cM.

I plugged these number back into my AutoCluster Summary:

Notice that I had one Hartley in Cluster 4 which I previously had as Frazer. Turns out that was a mistake and she should have been in Cluster 2. It all works out. It turns out I made another mistake and there is no obvious Hartley Cluster 8.

Corrected FTDNA Cluster Summary

I suppose it would be possible to further break down the Hartley into Colonial or non-colonial, but I’ll hold off on that for now. The Hartley List worked well, so I’ll move on to Frazer.

Plugging Leeds Frazer Colors Into AutoCluster

Here is what I get:

Again, I’m unsure why the people at the bottom of the list are not in clusters. The Clusters I found were not shared with other colors, so that was good. Now I feel like I am getting somewhere:


These are different flavors of Frazer in green. I also have Clarke who was my Frazer grandmother’s mother from my last look at AutoCluster. Frazer’s married Frazer’s. Frazer’s married McMaster’s who married McMaster’s. It gets complicated.

I now have 13 out of 33 Clusters identified. That is a good start. I have other ideas on how to identify other clusters, but that can wait for now.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I got stuck trying to identify many of my AutoCluster results from FTDNA.
  • Using the Leeds Color Analysis, I was able to put many matches into two major grandparent categories. I was able to cross-reference these matches to the AutoCluster.
  • My next idea is to use chromosomal analysis to identify the clusters. By this, I mean that I will compare the matches to my visual phasing results. This should get the clusters into the correct grandparent area.









Visual Phasing Six Siblings with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 20: Chromosome 19

I feel like I’m getting near the end of this series. So far, I have been able to solve the first 18 Chromosomes plus the X Chromosome.

Chromosome 19

Here is my first cut at crossover lines assigned to me and my five siblings:

The crossovers seemed straightforward. Actually, I think that there is an additional crossover for Jon (F) at the very end.

Adding Position Numbers to the Crossovers

Next I add the position numbers to the crossovers:

I didn’t have any easy position answer for the first and last crossovers. I could get this from Gedmatch.

Cousin Matches

I hope that I have enough cousin matches to solve Chromosome 19. I need at least one paternal match and one maternal match to solve the Chromosome. It looks like I should have one of each, so that is good. One of the best cousin matches is with Rathfelder cousin Anita:

This is a conservative rendition of her match. Jim, Jon and Sharon will also have Lentz DNA where they do not match Anita (in the area where Anita matches Heidi).

Here is Hartley cousin James’ matches with my family:

This may be enough to solve Chromosome 19:

Note that Jon and Sharon have a HIR for most of the Chromosome:

This is true except for the very ends of the Chromosome where Sharon has a crossover on the left and Jon has one on the right. Here is how that works out:

To be HIR, that means that two siblings have the same DNA from one grandparent and that they have different grandparent DNA on the other side. It turns out that Sharon and Jon share the same Lentz DNA but Jon has Hartley DNA and Sharon has Frazer DNA on the paternal side.

I got this far:

I don’t think that Jon really has a crossover on the right. Here is a close-up of the comparison of Jon (F) and Sharon on the right side of the Chromosome:

Jon and Sharon were HIR for most of the Chromosome. If Jon has a crossover, then their comparison would have to to either FIR or NIR. If this is a NIR, then I should see some red and I don’t. Now, I’m changing my mind back. Perhaps Jon does has a small FIR. If Jon has a Fully Identical Region with Sharon, then he would have a HIR with his other siblings:


The F & S comparison looks greener on the end compared to the other F comparisons.

This image doesn’t give enough detail to see the small crossovers, but shows that overall, I had the right idea with the visual phasing:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Heidi had a full Frazer Chromosome.
  • Jon and Sharon both had a full Lentz Chromosome.
  • Jon either had a full Hartley Chromosome or nearly full Hartley Chromosome.
  • I spent some time figuring out whether or not Jon had a crossover near the end. It was a judgement call and amounts to bug dust as it is such a small inconsequential piece of DNA.
  • Anita was our only maternal match, so she was very important for the solving of this Chromosome.




Visual Phasing Six Siblings with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 18: Chromosome 17

In my last Blog, I looked at Chromosome 15. This is because I took Chromosome 16 out-of-order by mistake. On to Chromosome 17,

Chromosome 17

Here is my first cut:

The first four crossovers are fairly close together. However, Chromosome 17 is much smaller than Chromosome 1. The spreadsheets are all the same width. That means that the spacing is further apart on the higher numbered chromosomes. That makes the crossovers easier to see.

Next, I take a second look and enter the crossover positions in a spreadsheet:

I needed the first four positions during my first look to get the order of the crossovers right.

Cousin Matches

I like this part of the process as it makes things go faster and shows crossovers. Hartley 1st cousin once removed Joyce is the best match for these six siblings:

Joyce’s matches point out two paternal crossovers for Jon and one for Lori. This is what I get for Joyce’s matches:

[Note here that I added orance Hartley on the Lori’s first segment by mistake. This is corrected later in the Blog.]

I didn’t fill in between Lori’s L and L segment. That is because Lori has two crossovers and could go from Hartley to Frazer and back to Hartley again. Sharon and Heidi had only one crossover each and would have needed two to go from Hartley to Frazer to Hartley. As they only had one crossover each, I filled in the gap between the two Hartley areas of DNA with more Hartley DNA. Jim had no crossover in that area, so I was able to fill in his gap with Hartley DNA also.

A Maternal Match

If I have a maternal match, it may be enough to solve the Chromosome. Lentz cousin Judith matches three siblings on the right-hand side of Chromosome 17:

There are not many crossovers, so I can expand the DNA to the right. I also gave Rathfelder DNA to Sharon, Heidi, and Lori on the right as they didn’t match Lentz cousin Judith.

Lori has the most crossover, hence a few blanks. To fill in the blanks I go vertical. That means I go up to where the Gedmatch sibling pair comparisons are. However, before I do that, I take a glance at the Segment Map. It looks like I have at least one mistake. By reviewing my map, I see this:

I missed a crossover for Jim (V) at the pink circle. I was going from right to left, so I’ll erase Jim’s maternal DNA to the left of the circled crossover. I had already added Hartley to the left of the V crossover based on a match with Hartley cousin Joyce. That means that the crossover at the circled area should go from Rathfelder to Lentz going right to left.

I can shrink the Segment Map very small to see that I have fixed the problem:

Going Vertical for Lori

Now I can go above for Lori to fill in her missing DNA with FIRs and NIRs. Here is an issue:

The Jon (F) and Lori comparison has a green FIR at the top of the image above for the first segment. That means that Lori should have Frazer/Lentz DNA, but I have her with Hartley DNA already. I had added that above by mistake. Lori does not match cousin Joyce in that segment and should have Frazer DNA there:

Next, if I have Lori’s paternal side right (which I didn’t before), she should go from Lentz to Rathfelder  and then back to Lentz on her maternal side. Then at the last L crossover above, she would go back to Rathfelder.

On my computer, this is the solution to Chromosome 17 at 40% size:

To quote an old joke, “I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong”. I thought I saw an error, but I’m not used to this comparison. When I look more closely the top and bottom of the image above match.


My Previous Attempt at Chromosome 17

I first started working on Chromosome 17 in January of 2016. This is what I came up with:

At the time, I was working with three siblings and didn’t have as many cousin matches.

Here is the new analysis. The colors are different and the maternal and paternal are reversed. Not only that, the sibling order is different:

There are also more crossovers in the newer version due to twice as many siblings. However, despite all the differences, the results were the same. It seems a bit ironic that I used the same colors that Fox adopted for his spreadsheet.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I missed one of Jim’s crossovers, but was able to fix it.
  • I wrongly assigned Hartley DNA to Lori, but I was able to find that error and fix it.
  • Jim, Sharon and Heidi have full Hartley DNA on the paternal side of their Chromosome 17.
  • Joel has  a full paternal copy of Frazer.
  • Sharon and Heidi have full Rathfelder maternal copies of Chromosome 17.
  • When looking for Frazer or Hartley matches on Chromosome 17, I know the best people to go to to look for matches.
  • Between all six siblings we recieved the full amount of DNA from our four grandparents.
  • A comparison with an earlier attempt I did at solving Chromsome 17 for three siblings matches with my current results.





Visual Phasing Six Siblings with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 17: Chromosome 15

I went a bit out of order as my last Chromosome solved was Chromosome 16. That just shows how easy it is to make a mistake or get mixed up.

Chromosome 15

On the right, on a separate spreadsheet, I write down the initials and the locations of the crossovers. The three locations in yellow indicate that I am not sure of the order of the crossovers. I was also not sure of the last crossover. However, I have convinced myself that there is one there:

I believe that the last segment is a small HIR in the V & D and the V &L comparisons. This last crossover will go to Jim (V).

Next, I go through the crossovers again and write down the position numbers:

This gives me a second look at the crossovers. I think I have this right now. I am missing the last position number which is not a big deal. I can get it from the full resolution comparison between Jim (V) and Jon (F):

The beginning of the match is at 95.5M. Each ^ is 1M, so the beginning of the FIR (and thus the crossover) is as 99.4.

Cousin Matches

This Chromosome should be easy to solve. Here are matches with Hartley cousin Patricia:

My first match ends at 41.4 while Jon and Lori’s matches end at 43.7M. That seems to indicate a crossover that I didn’t see on the paternal side. However, my match with Hartley cousin Beth clears that up:

Beth shows my match goes way beyond 41.4 to 53.9M. Here is how I fill in paternal DNA based on Beth’s match with me and my siblings:

Here I have assumed that a no-vote for Hartley is a vote for Frazer.

Match with maternal Rathfelder cousin Inese may be enough to solve the Chromosome:

Next, I should be able to finish by extending DNA to the crossovers and comparing the sibling pairs from Gedmatch:


However, when I get to the right-hand side, I see that I have done something wrong. The Joel (D) and Lori comparison show an FIR in the next to last segment. However, to do that would require a double crossover for Lori and she only has one. Perhaps the Segment Map will show my mistake:

Here I boxed some areas that are right in the sibling comparison, but wrong in the Segment Map (which represents my Chromosome Map). Interestingly, the first mistake is at V but at the F & D comparison.

The Segment Map pointed out exactly where the problem was. I have a crossover at V which doesn’t make sense. I should only have crossovers at D. I’ll take that V crossover out and carry it over to my next crossover:

After my next crossover, I see I have an FIR with Lori. That means that my crossover has to be on my maternal side (Lentz).

Next I won’t outline all the problems, but I do see one at the top:

This one starts with Jon (F). There should be an FIR, but I have NIR. I can fix this by reversing Jon’s crossover at F. This is confirmed by an FIR between Jon and Heidi:

When I reverse Jon’s crossover, I see that I have corrected the two errors:

Here is what I get for a finished Chromosome 15:

This looks like a match:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Two mistakes were solved by comparing the Segment Map to the Gedmatch sibling pair comparisons.
  • Joel and Lori have recieved a full dose of Hartley on their paternal sides.
  • Sharon has a full dose of Frazer. Jim has 99% Frazer DNA on his paternal side of Chromosome 15.
  • A bit of Rathfelder is missing.
  • So far, it seems like the paternal Hartley and Frazer are the most popular for full Chromosomes. Maternal Rathfelder is least likely to be represented across the chromosome for some reason.  This may have to do with the fact that females tend to have more crossovers than males on average.






Visual Phasing Six Siblings with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 16: Chromosome 16

The last two Chromosomes (13 and 14) went well. We will see what is in store for Chromosome 15. Actually, I see that I have been working on Chromosome 16, so I’ll go with that.

Chromosome 16

After a break with the two easy Chromosomes, it looks like I am back to a bit of a challenge:

I have two difficult areas, signified by lack of siblings’ initials.

Cousin Matches – the Easy Way Out

It is my hope that cousin matches will define some of the confusing crossover areas. I’ll start with Hartley cousin Maury:

Maury shows that Jim has a crossover at 72.3 in the second problem area.


Once I saw that crossover, it appeared that there was only one other crossover (for S). This is what I get:

Back to Maury

That is what I get out of Maury’s match. I note that the end of Maury’s first match with Lori is at 20.1M and the end of the other matches is at 21.1, so there is a possible crossover for Lori there. I’ll hold off on that for now until I find other information.

Matches with Rathfelder cousin Anita fill in some maternal DNA:

Matches with Lentz cousin Joan give the other side of the maternal coin:

Figuring Out the Two Missing Crossovers with a Detailed Analysis

The first step is to look at the V & H comparison at Gedmatch full resolution:

This gives the positions of the crossovers at 20.4 and 21.6.

The V & L comparison has two very close changes:

This is because Jim (V) and Lori go from NIR and quickly to an FIR with a small FIR in the middle.

Here are the results:

The FD and DL are for the crossover for Joel (D) that I already have. I interpret the other matches to mean that there is a close double crossover for Jim (V). One is at 20.3 and the other is at about 21M.

Expanding Around the Double V Crossover

My next strategy is to work around Jim (V). This is because I’m not totally sure of the two crossovers.

I’ll use the gedmatch sibling comparisons to expand the DNA more:

At this point, I see that Jim (V) and Heidi are NIR in the larger missing segment above. That means that Jim needs to be Hartley /Rathfelder there which agrees with the proposed double crossover for Jim (V).

I don’t know how to fill in the little V-V segment. This would have to be either Frazer/Rathfelder or Hartley/Lentz. If it was Hartley/Lentz, then Jim would be FIR with Jon, Joel and Sharon in that little segment.

Here is Jim and Jon:

Here’s Jim and Joel:

Here’s JIma and Sharon:

The question is: Is there a FIR between about 20.8 and 21.2M? I can’t tell, but I’ll say there is:


Basically, it is not a big deal either way, so it’s a judgement call.

Here’s my crossover list:

After working the DNA a bit, I get this:

This comparison between the Segment Map and the Gedmatch sibling chart confirms Chromosome 16

Summary and Conclusions

  • Once the crossovers are accurately identified, it is fairly easy to solve the Chromosome.
  • Lori and Joel got a full dose of Hartley. Heidi got a full dose of Frazer.
  • There is a small segment of Rathfelder DNA missing.




A Large MyHeritage DNA Match That is Small at AncestryDNA

I recently had a match at MyHeritage that was of pretty good size.

My DNA Match with Kathleen

Kathleen is from Australia. That is good news for me. My father has Hartley and Frazer ancestors. Hartley’s have ancestors from Colonial Massachusetts and more recently from Lancashire, England. If I match on the Hartley side with someone from Australia, that most likely will filter out the Colonial Massachusetts ancestors on my Hartley side and focus on the Lancashire side.

Here is what my DNA match with Kathleen looks like at MyHeritage:

Kathleen at AncestryDNA

This is how Kathleen and I match at AncestryDNA:

This is quite a difference. Kathleen has gone from 57.2 cM at MyHeritage to 8.2 cM at AncestryDNA. Which one is right?

I tend to like the AncestryDNA estimates. They use a process that strips away some of the DNA matches that they consider less than significant.

Kathleen at Gedmatch

Gedmatch has a DNA matching number in the middle of AncestryDNA and MyHeritage:

However, a common ancestor of 4.6 generations would be an estimated third cousin once removed, similar to the MyHeritage estimate. I think that AncestryDNA’s estimate of 5th to 8th cousin is more accurate.

Where is the Common Ancestor for Kathleen and Me?

Here is one of Kathleen’s ancestors,  Emma Walker born 1806 from Haslingdon in orange:

I have an ancestor from Goodshaw to the NE of Haslingdon who was Edmund Emmet, born in 1759. These places were fairly close. If Edmund Emmet was our common ancestor, that would be on the order of 5th cousins. I am thinking that the common ancestor would likely be at least another generation out – on the order of 6th cousins. Of course, we don’t know all our ancestors, so there are other possibilities. This is just one of the more likely possibilities.

Other Considerations

Kathleen and I have these common matches according to Gedmatch:

Numbers 4-6 include my father’s cousin and his two daughters. Some others have UK or NZ emails. #1 is Kathleen matching with me. The fact that I have my father’s cousin in this comparison insures that my match with Kathleen is along my Hartley grandparent line.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I have found from experience that the AncestryDNA estimates as to relationships based on DNA matching is fairly accurate.
  • MyHeritage uses some matches under Gedmatch’s threshold of 7 cM making their overall DNA match quite high.
  • When there is what looks to be a significant DNA match, but a difficult genealogical connection, I like to keep in mind that the relationship could be further out than it seems. This is the lesson in this case where we can compare AncestryDNA, MyHeritage and Gedmatch. However, we don’t always have the luxury of having these three comparisons.