How Far Can DNA Take You?

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.

View All DNA matches.png

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! screen_shot_2017-02-23_at_9_37_36_am

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.

  9 comments for “How Far Can DNA Take You?

  1. nicole stephens
    February 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Patricia!

    My father ” James Edward Madden ” was born in Pensylvania, Oil City he called it! He moved to Etobicoke at the age of 7 with his parents! He always stayed in Canada, Ontario! He visited family in the US once in a while, but he remained in Canada! Tomorrow, I will send you some names! I started my Tree with FTDNA! My nephew Glenn has started one with Ancestry!
    Goodnight, Nicole 😊


    • February 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.


      • Nicole Patricia Madden Stephens
        February 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm

        Hi Patricia!! It was my birthday yesterday, and I was so busy on the phone, and warm messages by emails that I received, WOW!! Sorry, I didn’t have time to reply to you before now!!

        On my Father’s side Madden from Pennsylvania! My father James Edward Madden’s father Daniel Madden from oil City, Pennsylvania, married to Frances Edith Carr in Brady’s Bend, Armstrong county, in 1899, Oct. 25th! Daniel, my great grandfather was born in 1878, Jan. 21st! Daniel’s father who is my Great great grandfather was Patrick Madden married to Anna Carroll!

        My father James Edward Madden when met my mother in 1943? around that time, left Canada at the end of the year to go to the American Navy, and came back in 1945, so I guess he never knew about me, as my bio mother was already married to Howard Craig who also was overseas since 1939, came back in 1945!
        I was born Feb. 25th in Montreal! Nobody understands how come I was born in Montreal since my mother Marjorie Regan lived in Etobicoke, Toronto! The family suspect that at that time she had a sister who lived in Montreal because her husband had a contract here, so I guess Marjorie had help form them!! Her name was Eileen Regan born in 1904! She was the oldest one! There was also Ethel born in 1906, Stephen John E. Regan born in 1910, Maisie Regan born in 1912, my mother Marjorie born in 1915!

        My Mother’s mother, who was my Maternal Grandmother, was Eliza Ada Sophia Ann Selves married to Richard Stephen Regan, July 10, 1904! Richard Stephen Regan, my Maternal Grandfather’s father was Stephen Joseph Regan who was my Great grandfather! Stephen Joseph Regan’s father who was my gggrandfather was John Regan!!

        Eliza Ada S. A. Selves’s mother, her name was Eliza Monk, married to Richard Selves, in St-Olave, Southwark, London, UK! Richard Selves’s mother was Judith Surridge born in 1831, married to George Selves!

        Eliza Monk, my ggrandmother, born in 1853 in Surrey, England, her father was Curtis Monk, born in 1827, married to Eliza Humm, born in 1828, married in 1851 in Colchester, Essex, England! They would be my gggrandparents!!

        I hope that I didn’t make any errors, it is confusing a bit I find, but I think it is okay!! I don’t if it will help you in anyway, but since we are related somehow, I’m sure you will find some days where it comes from??

        As soon as I learn more, I’ll let you know!! Have a great day, Nicole

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 26, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        Well a belated happy birthday Nicole!
        I will write all this information down in a pedigree chart and see if we can find our connection. The places you mention do seem to connect with the movements of the Harrop family. Has any of the Madden’s taken the YDNA test?


  2. Mrs. Davies
    February 25, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I think you perhaps should have mentioned to people that while your surname turned up in matches it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a DNA match. Those people may actually be matched to you through some other surname. I find generally I go first to a matches “tree if available” 90% have no tree. But I then go to ‘list of people’ and if only a few hundred I scan for common places that I know of especially if this person has one or two of my known surnames. It’s all in the method of searching that produces results and we all do it differently. It is still a ‘crap shoot’ at best. Have a great day.


    • March 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

      I agree those are common practices. I wanted to try this as a possibility to get me to a location to further explore the Stickle family. Thank you for your comment and reading my post!


  3. Nicole Patricia Madden Stephens
    February 26, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve got some more names on the Madden side which I forgot! My father James Edward Madden’s mother was Latha Iona Blauser, which is my grandmother, and her father was Samuel Blauser, my ggrandfather! I also have the name of my great aunt which was Lilian Pearl Blauser. I do not have the dates though! I’ll try to find them! I know that they were from Venango county, Pennsylvania USA


    • Nicole Patricia Madden Stephens
      February 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you Patricia for the birthday wishes!! Time flies really!! I’m lucky that I have found my bio family at my age!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: