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DNA "surprises"

DNA "surprises"

Posted: 9 Dec 2012 5:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
I think most of us know (pretty well) our genealogy data 4-5 generations back....at least on paper. With all the "matches" i have received, not a one of us can match up our families on paper. However, our families are from the same area...the south. When you look at the time-frame and the area of the country, it becomes evident that some family "alliances" took place during and just after the Civil War, a time of great upheaval in the American south. Whether by rape or by illicit relations, there seems to hve been some mingling. This statement is certainly not meant in any disrespectful manner, but it just seems that the war had a profound affect on our family lines....and they weren't recorded.

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 9 Dec 2012 8:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hopkins
If you are talking about African American family trees, you could likely use the matches to determine a new more lines on the pedigree by tracing the names of the plantation/slave owners and the names of the overseers. Then look for those names in the surname lists. You can also watch for frequently appearing surnames. When you find several genetic links to the same family, look for the reason.

My family lines were from New York and New England, but I have one uncle who ran away from home and ended up in Louisiana as an overseers and later slave owner around the time of the Civil War. I would not be at all surprised to find a distant cousin link to one of his descendants. Unless they took the surname 'Hopkins" I am not sure how we would find the link before Ancestry releases the raw data.

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 9 Dec 2012 8:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
Actually, not any race in particular. Just some "unreported" relationships of any type :)

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 12 Dec 2012 5:03AM GMT
Classification: Query
Almost all of my father's family lines are solid southern U.S. going back to the 1700s. I've had several 4th and 5th cousin DNA matches so far where we share a common ancestor, but like you, most do not but the maps almost always overlap in the south.

The area where most of my ancestors lived was never invaded by the northern forces, so I don't think rape was an issue in my case (at least by military from elsewhere). As far as illicit relationships, I'm not sure if the period around the civil war had any more or less of that than any other time period - it's always been going on. The children were indeed recorded in the census, and although you obviously can't prove the father, you sometimes can determine if it's not who you think. For example, I have a gggg uncle who was born in 1866 but his mother's husband was killed in the war in 1864 and she didn't remarrry until 1868. He is listed in the 1870 census as expected, with the last name of the first husband.

What I think might be happening is that most of the trees I've matched on DNA pretty much start with the immigrant ancestor. if that far, so the common ancestor you are not seeing could very well be British Isles or Europe.

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 12 Dec 2012 5:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
I can definitely attest to being one of the "surprises" in a family tree. I know quite a few of my 3rd and 4th gr grands and one in particular had the name of his father listed on his death certificate. By itself, that is not proof that his father was the man listed (the son of a local slave holder), so I filed the info away thinking there was probably no way to prove it was him.

I received a dna match from the area last year (on a different test) but since my family and his had been in the area for many generations and his tree wasn't as "fleshed out", we couldn't determine the connection.

In October I received another dna match from the area whose tree held familiar surnames. I dusted off the info I had filed away and went to work! Using my tree, the new match's tree, and several other trees to help extend my original match's tree, I found our connection. Although my two new cousins did not share a dna match with each other, they and my father shared a common set of 4th gr grandparents. Thus the dna proved that the man listed on my 3rd great grandfather's death certificate WAS indeed his father. It also helped greatly that his mother gave all of her children their father's surnames as it aids in knowing which direction to look.

Since making this discovery and adding the appropriate line to my tree, I have discovered several additional cousins through the dna test here who connect along this line. Some as distant as 8th cousins!

I am hoping to be able to connect several other lines both through testing here and at alternate companies.

Happily, MOST of the new cousins I've contacted have been very receptive to our new found relationship. I'll be even happier when ancestry releases the segment data!

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 13 Dec 2012 1:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hold on, though. Not to say you aren't right, but "4-5 generations back" is only half the number of generations that the autosomal test tends to pick up, and only a tiny fraction of the number of ancestors the autosomal test can reveal.

If you and all of your matches are only five generations back on paper (I know, only a genealogist would say "only," lol), then - even if you don't count yourself as a generation - you still have 960 ancestors to locate before you start wondering if great-great-great-grandpa was actually the neighbour. :)

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 13 Dec 2012 3:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 13 Dec 2012 3:09AM GMT
I agree with you Shari. Since undergoing my own autosomal testing I have had probably a couple of dozen instances where the common ancestor that I shared with my matches were people who lived back in the 1600s.

Despite what the testing companies usually say, this autosomal DNA seems to be able to show common ancestors who lived more than just 4-5 generations ago and anyone who doesn't bother to look any earlier on their matches trees for a familiar name is probably missing a lot of common ancestors.

I personally pay little attention when clicking on a match's name to the Pedigree and Surnames page and go on to click the "View Full Tree" since in most cases the common ancestors that I have found lived before the people who are shown on the Pedigree and Surnames page and they lived too far in the past for their surname to show up on the surname list found on that page.

Re: DNA "surprises"

Posted: 13 Dec 2012 4:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 13 Dec 2012 4:33AM GMT
lol Shari--I think you misunderstood what I was saying!

All of my cousins found here (that connect through that line) are not 5 generations back and they don't all come from the same gr grands that my 2 cousins from the other dna site do. They come from that same LINE--meaning after having figured out who my 4th great grandfather was and being able to see who his ancestors were, I have determined other matches to come from someone who is also related to me on that line (usually from a couple who would have been my 4th gr grandfather's grandparents or great grandparents or descendants thereof. So some are 8th cousins once removed, some are 6th or 7th cousins, etc. None yet are as close as the two I've found at the other dna site.

So the matches I'm referring to are descendants of ancestors of my 3rd great grandfather. I haven't yet figured out how all of my other "European" cousins connect with my family.

Hope thats more understandable! ;)
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