Ethnicity Reports in Your DNA Do Offer Genealogy Clues

I have already done DNA testing on my mother and her brother. Both tested at Family Tree DNA and I really have been one to ignore the Ethnicity reports. But read on as there are clues given in those reports that can be very telling.

I recently asked my mother’s sister to also take a DNA test. Overkill? Well, maybe but I did hear from DNA experts that to get a better picture of the parents it is worthwhile to get three siblings to test if you are able. My mother has four siblings that are still with us so I was very pleased that her sister agreed to take the test.

I decided to test with Ancestry, and not because of the amazing analysis features offered, but because of the number of testers they have, 7 million! My aunt’s results arrived and nothing jumped out at me at first but yesterday I was looking at her matches and there was a group that wasn’t matching her siblings. I looked at each match individually to see if they had trees and sure enough there were two trees that caught my attention. The surname Stickle/Stickles appeared in their trees. STICKLE – are you really kidding me?

Anna Eliza Stickle was my mother’s great-grandmother, we know very little about her before she was in Canada. Anna and her husband Lewis had three children in the USA before settling in Etobicoke, Ontario. The family first appears in the 1852 Canadian census, further information was gleaned on the family from the 1861 census which asked married during the year and the enumerator actually put the year of marriage! 1836.

Anna married Lewis Harrop from Manchester, England, the couple moved to Canada between 1843-1849, as their son John was born in N.Y. in ’43 and daughter Mary in Canada in ’49. William Lewis was their last child and my ancestor.

Lewis died in 1861 and is buried at St. George’s-On-The-Hill Cemetery in Islington with no headstone to mark his grave. Anna remained a widow the rest of her life. Anna Eliza lived with her family until her passing in 1907 in Orangeville, Dufferin Co., Ontario.

For years descendants of Anna have been on a search for her family. Now DNA is pointing us in a direction. The Stickle DNA matches that have trees show the family lived in Dutchess, New York and the origins of the Stickles before coming to the USA is Amsterdam!!

How exciting, after years and I mean years of researching Irish records I now have a new place to explore and learn about.

A peek at my Aunts ethnicity report also seems to support her inheriting more of Anna Stickle’s DNA  –Screen_Shot_2018-03-16_at_7_52_53_PM_1

 

The New York Settlers ethnicity breakdown is NOT found in either her sister or brother’s DNA results!

Next, I will be researching the locations that the DNA matches have for their Stickle/s family in New York. I hope they have good Methodist records for B/M/D. Seriously though, how cool – Amsterdam!

A new place to add to my list of locations for a ‘family holiday’, good thing my kids don’t read my blog!

And I will be paying a little closer attention to the Ethnicity reports in the future! And test your Aunts and Uncles they may have the clue you need.

Open the DNA Floodgates

The floodgates have opened for me in the last two days and all because of DNA.

Yesterday it was all about my Norton family from Great Yarmouth, England. A person emailed me, yes you read that right, they contacted me! Our trees didn’t jive though because I had an error in mine. I had the wrong marriage for Jeremiah Norton, I had wrongly attributed an Elizabeth Jillings as his wife. They had found the correct marriage, Elizabeth Sharpe was the wife’s name. Yes, I made one of the worst genealogy mistakes…grab and go. <sheepishly hanging head> How do I know their tree is the right one? Because I wasn’t certain of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Jillings and to be honest I hadn’t done my due diligence on that marriage record. I meant to go back and research this couple but instead, I added it to my tree and I didn’t go back.

My new DNA cousin was a descendant of Elizabeth Sharp and her first husband Charles Wright. Elizabeth married a second time to Jeremiah Norton. We have five Norton descendants who show up as a match to three people who descend from the Sharpe – Wright marriage. So a lesson well learned all because of DNA. Today was going to be all about gathering data and correct records on the Norton family until an email arrived and I think I may be in genealogy heaven.

This person contacted me because we were DNA matches and they could see the surname Loftus on my online tree. The second match is with — get this — Mary Loftus who I blogged about yesterday!

Mary is an elusive ancestor I have been researching with a cousin Dani Lee McGowan and we have been stuck. This DNA cousin is matching with about seven people who we have identified as descendants of Mary Loftus’ two marriages. Our new DNA cousin has her Loftus family back to 1824 in Mayo, Ireland and has a tree that Mary would fit very well into.

At the moment I am working with both matches to see what more can be learned!

I know people who have been working on their trees for a number of years can relate to what this feels like – is euphoria the right word? A discovery like this happens maybe once a year for me if I am lucky, but to have two in two days is THE best kind of overwhelming!

With all the new matches that are bound to be on the horizon keep the floodgates open and try to keep up!

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DNA Search Tip

A quick tip to try when looking at your DNA matches, why not try searching the surnames of the Godparents on your relative’s baptism.

We know how important Godparents were and more often than not they were related in some way to the parents. Why not do a search for their names you have found but still are not 100% sure of the connection. You can do this by using the search feature on the DNA site for any matches.

 

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FTDNA search box

 

It may signify a connection and lead you to undiscovered branch in your tree.

I am going to try this for the names McGregor & Clark listed as Godparents below, although common when making contact with the match I can also ask the question them if their family was living in the same location at that time. The

The testee I am using would be the great grand nephew of Anne Tipper listed below.

 

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Baptism of Ann Tipper 1796 in Quebec

My fingers are crossed for a breakthrough for me or you! Let me know if you try it too.

Update: I had to add to this post because after doing a search I did find a MCGREGOR! I have to go send an email. Fingers-crossed!

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Alberta AGS Conference Day 1

I am attending AGS Conference this weekend in Edmonton and I have thoroughly enjoyed the first day. They have provided us with a great line-up of speakers, it has been wonderful reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and so much learning. DNA has been the biggest hit for attendees with topics covering all aspects and levels.

Being days away from a trip to Ireland meant Ruth Blair’s talk on Preparing for a Genealogical Trip in 7 Steps was a great session to attend. It also has me with a few last-minute To-Dos.

Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard inspired me to sit in my room after the banquet working on my DNA spreadsheet.

Today has Kyle Betit is giving the opening Keynote and I will be attending his later session on Advances in Irish Research.

A surprise for me during the AGM was hearing my name announced and being presented with an award for an article I had written for our local genealogy society. I tend to not have a lot of confidence with my writing and I found this encouraging.

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I guess I will keep writing!

Bring on Day 2.

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.

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The following page, you want to click on Search Matches.

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I entered the Stickle surname and left the birth location blank.

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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.

Locations

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.

How Irish Am I? A St. Patrick’s Day Question

I feel like I am pretty Irish. Researching back through my tree I have spent a lot of it stuck in Ireland.
My great grandparents countries or origin are:
Caroline Norton – b. Canada
Peter Jordan – b. Canada
Rachel Hodgins – b. Canada
William Harrop – b. Canada
David Stewart b. Canada
Bridget McMahon b. Canada
Bridget Melody b. Ireland
Samuel Dever b. Ireland

If we go back one generation I have
8 ggrandparents who were born in Ireland
3 in Canada
3 in England
1 in Scotland
1 in U.S.A

I would go back one more generation but most of my 3x great grandparents birth locations are unknown.

My brother did the DNA test at Ancestry and although our breakdown would not be identical it does show him to be predominantly Irish.

I guess it is not a stretch that I can identify with St. Patrick’s Day!

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