Monday, March 14, 2016

Developing a DNA Tree

My latest project has been a difficult one. I am trying to make sense of my DNA matches. I have been tested with AncestryDNA and with 23andMe. I have also transferred my AncestryDNA over to FamilyTreeDNA. Plus I have exported them to GEDmatch. So with all these DNA test result floating around, you would think I have tons of matches.

Well, not exactly and YES. Now I sound like a politician. Okay, here are my results. On AncestryDNA, the closest match I have outside of my three siblings and my two nephews are one 2nd Cousin, two 3rd Cousins and about 114 fourth cousins. The one 2nd cousin is adopted, and the two 3rd cousins - have no family tree, but based on “Shared Matches” I believe I know who are our common ancestor is. This is all well and good, but I am trying to figure out who my mother’s father’s family is. My mother was adopted by her step-father and thus I have no idea who her biological father is. I guess identifying my matches is a plus, because if I can fit them in my tree, then I know the match is not from my mother’s father’s side.

On 23andMe, I have lots of Third to Fourth Cousins while on FTDNA  I have lots of 2nd Cousin – 4th Cousins.

I either read it or saw it in a Webinar, but the DNA experts say I should create a DNA tree. So I decided to start with my AncestryDNA matches and see if I can find any common ancestors from my matches’ trees that I would not have in my tree.  To aid me in this step, I have used the Chrome extension, AncestryDNAHelper. This extension read all my matches and generated a report that I sorted by Ancestor Name and then went through this long list and bold the names who were on multiple trees.

I believe I have found two possible Common Ancestor’s couples. One would be about my 2nd great grandparents and the other would be about my 6-7th great grandparents.  Therefore I decided to concentrate on the 2nd great grandparents. The lucky couple is Peter Pedalty/Pedelty (1814-1904) and his lovely wife Mary Alderson (1814-1882). So far I have recorded descendants of three of their children which resulted in four matches. All these matches appear to be 3rd-4th cousins to each other.

So my question is this, are these really DNA matches through this couple? AncestryDNA has such limited resources since I can’t do any specific Chromosome matches with my matches. Therefore I turned to GEDmatch to see if any of these matches also exported their results to GEDmatch.  But checking against GEDmatch is sort of a bust. Since AncestryDNA keeps everything so hidden, I can’t compare email address because they don’t display in AncestryDNA. I try to see if anyone used sort of the same name, but the user names in AncestryDNA are not real names. I even try to type in what I think is the person’s real last name based on their Trees from AncestryDNA and still no luck. ARGH! I will have to contact these matches and ask if they have exported their results to GEDmatch and if so what is their ID.

On 23andMe I did match a Pedelty and it states 0.46% shared, 1 segment with 4th cousins predicted.  However, I can’t explore more until I get him to “share” with me.  Therefore, I will have to contact him and ask him to share with me.

On FTDNA I was able to export a file of all my matches and I wanted to see if any of those might be Pedalty/Pedelty. No luck, however, that just means their current name is not Pedalty.  Of the four matches on AncestryDNA, three are females and thus no longer have the Pedalty/Pedelty surname.

The next step I decided was to stay in one testing company. Mutiple testing companies are confusing me. Also, since I administer the test for my siblings, I will check their results against the Pedalty/Pedelty surname and one sister had two new matches.

One match goes down the same line as my male Pedalty line, but then takes it two more generations. The other match seems to run parallel to the Pedalty line I already started. What I mean by this is that the oldest Pedalty in that person’s line appears to be a possible uncle of Peter, since the age matches closest to Peter’s father’s age. Also, that person died in Lafayette County, Wisconsin where some of Peter’s children are born. Should I put that person as the possible uncle of Peter in my unpublished tree? This whole tree is just a working theory anyway, would it be so bad? Or should I just put it in as an unlink Pedalty line? Logic is telling me I should put it as an Unlink Pedalty since I have not made the connection yet.

So my project continues, trying to find common ancestors. My hope is I will finally figure out who my biological father really is. In the meantime, I will keep looking at the long list of ancestor’s of my matches and see if I can find anymore more common threads. I was hoping for something closer than the 6-7th great-grandparent possibility, but I might as well plug that into my tree.  

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