Monday, March 12, 2018

AncestryDNA Circles

I have heard many good and bad things about AncestryDNA Cirlces.  However, I have decided to look on the positive side of things, thus let us look at a positive side of AncestryDNA circles.

First of all, how do AncestryDNA Circles work? According to their support center, A DNA circle will form around an ancestor in your family tree if your tree is public and linked to your DNA test and if two or more of your DNA matches…
  • Are DNA matches to you and to each other at a 2nd cousin level or further out
  • Have public family trees attached to their DNA tests; and
  • Share a common ancestor (according to their trees)

In my example, I have decided to select my husband’s DNA test. He does not have a lot of matches and only recently has one DNA circle finally showed up. My husband’s paternal grandfather is the immigrant ancestor and on his mother’s side, they have only been here perhaps 100 years, or 2-3 generatons. Thus there are not a lot of descendants in the United States to be taking DNA tests.
What I am trying to do, is build out his tree, not only backwards, but what I call sideways and find who his cousins are too. I already found descendants of his paternal grandfather’s sister, who we didn’t know and was pleasantly surprise to see had come to America. From these matches, I have a lead on his great-grandparents names.  

What can you learn from your DNA Circles that you can't learn from your DNA matches? It all depends on your Circles. Let’s look at my husband’s circle. His Circle has 8 people, from the list option, I can easily see those who match my husband and the one who matches someone in his circle, but not directly with him. 

Therefore, this is a new person, that I might not have discovered, because the match and him don’t actually share DNA. You might wonder how they don’t share DNA when they share Ancestors.  Looking at the Chances of Finding a Match chart, as you move further up your Pedigree chart or further from yourself, you will match less and less of your distant cousins. This is why most Autosomal tests can predict common Ancestors at a limit of about 8 generations.
Looking at the Relationship Path back to the common Ancestor, I can see that my Husband and his match are 3rd Cousins 1x Removed.

So his relationship falls between 3rd cousin range who will not match 10% of their 3rd cousins and 4th cousins range where he will not match about 50% of his 4th cousins. This explains why he might not match all his cousins via DNA.

When I view his matches DNA Profile, I can see her tree and I can see her grandmother married an unknown Block, thus my husband’s match’s father is an unknown Block. My matches name, which I have hidden for her privacy, has her first and last name in her username. I went a step farther and looked up the name in Facebook and found someone with that name living in Wisconsin. Since my husband’s family is from this area, I feel confident that this is most likely his match.

The final thing I like to do is to add his matches to his tree. I do this in my genealogy software program. You can read my “Tracking MyDNA Matches” blog post to see how I actually keep track of my matches.

Anyway, my matches’ tree has who her great grandmother married and the date of their marriage. Even though the 1940 marriage date does not help me with on-line census research, the last name will help my physical research.  If I go back to the Shawano County, Wisconsin court house, I have several new surnames that I can look up and expand this branch of the family. I can also possibly find some information in online birth and marriage indexes from Wisconsin.  I can add these tasks to my to-do-list.

Keep in mind, even though my husband doesn’t match this descendant, it doesn’t mean he won’t match some of her first cousins, or her father’s first cousins.  Having new names in his tree, means my research has not hit a brick wall and has open up new research possibilities.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

An anomaly found in the 1930 US Census.

I decided to start looking at some of my DNA matches a little more completely. I was hoping I could build out the tree and see if I could figure out our relationship. All I know is that this family is in my Hilts/Hiltz branch, my maternal grandmother's maiden name. This branch of the family has been in the America's since 1710 and thus I have many, many matches to the Hilts/Hiltz branch. The biggest problem is trying to figure out which Hilts/Hiltz ancestor is our common ancestor.

Looking at this tree, the Williams name looks familiar. I have a Hilts/Hiltz descendant who married a Williams, however Eva Louise Williams doesn't look familiar, while Clara Frances Kyle does.  In fact, I found Clara married to Shepard Williams. I only have one child for Clara and Shepard and this is through another DNA match. Thus I have never actually researched this branch.

I decided to do a search on Shepard and Clara and I find the 1930 US Census record for them with their children, Laurence and Alice. Since I already had Laurence through that other DNA match, I was happy to find this census record.
I moved forward to the 1940 US Census and Shepard has passed away and Laurence is married and living with his family, on his own, however Alice is living with Clara along with Eva L.
Wait a Minute? If Eva is 19, should she not be living with her parents in the prior census? I looked at the census image, thinking perhaps the child is missed transcribed into the next family. I have seen this happen, however she is not the next person listed.
However, she is in the next house, the last person listed, is Eva L Williams, 8 years old and listed as the step-daughter. Strange indeed. Her father's birth location and her mother's birth location doesn't match either Ora Homes or his wife Flay Holmes. It even looks like someone added "step" after the fact. This are getting stranger and stranger.

When I did a Google Map search on the address, it doesn't exist anymore. To verify this fact, I have also check the tax records for the area, and that address does not come up. Neither, 812 or 814. 

If you look at Eva L Williams compare to her sister Alice R Williams, they are both born in Iowa and both their father's are listed as born in Wisconsin while both their mother's are listed as born in
Illinois. Shepard is showing born in Wisconsin and Clara is showing born in Illinois.

Finally, I did find a death certificate for Eva which listed her parents.

How did 1930 census record get created? We will probably never know how this error occurred, however I feel confident that Eva L Williams is actually the daughter of Shepard and Clara.