Can DNA break down my long-standing brick wall? Good question, and one of the reasons I started doing DNA testing. Last night I found new information that may yet hammer down another wall and it was uncovered due to DNA.
I have been on the hunt for information on a maternal great, great, grandmother for ages. Here is a brief summary of what I know –
- Name: Anna Eliza Stickle
- Born: 1814 in USA
- Married: 1835ish to Lewis Harrop
- Lived: Pennsylvania, New York and Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. She had children in all these locations.
I have census records, land, and death records but as this is the main details I will not list all the information here. I don’t know a lot when you think about how long I have been researching this family. Maybe DNA will help me to find some of the missing information.
Ancestry DNA Tools
The tools that Ancestry offers are the most useful I have found in comparison to other testing companies. Why? The trees! Many people have connected their trees to their DNA results which is the key to unlocking many puzzles. Couple that with the search feature and discoveries are within reach.
If you haven’t used the search feature on Ancestry here is a quick walk-through. On your DNA page click on View All DNA Matches.
The following page, you want to click on Search Matches.
I entered the Stickle surname and left the birth location blank.
I received 5 matches to people and each person has a tree that I am able to access!
The matches were not close matches (5th-8th cousin) so instead of getting in touch with them I wanted to investigate their trees to see what I could glean from them. I proceeded to look at each tree, my Anna did not show up in any of them, but there were clues.
What the trees offered were locations which I did not have before. Most of the Stickle matches have the location of Rhineland, Dutchess County, New York. This information is not conclusive but it contains clues to where I can look for information on Anna.
Try doing a surname search and see if you can find clues to follow. I also recommend connecting your DNA results to a tree so you and your DNA matches can do what I have done. If you would rather keep your tree private create a DNA tree, this is what I have done, it will help you to get the most out of your matches. If you haven’t yet taken a DNA test, what are you waiting for?
And to answer the question how far can DNA take you? I think pretty far and farther all the time.