09 January 2018

AncestryDNA unites family

The Doc Project on CBC recounts a happy story of an adopted man reunited with birth mother and brother after 50 years. Read the story and listen to the 20 minute segment at http://www.cbc.ca/radio/docproject/lost-and-found-a-doc-project-special-1.4414357/when-this-man-took-a-dna-test-he-discovered-a-50-year-secret-1.4414360


Elizabeth Kipp said...

An amazing story of coincidence and an especially exciting ending. Thank you for mentioning it John. How nice for this individual to have found his mother and a brother having lost his adopted mother.

Although for adoptees that is the best story in DNA; I am more partial to the benefit that AncestryDNA offers with their Shared Ancestor Hints (better known as shaky leaf hints!). My husband now has just over 200 shared ancestor hints and they, for the most part, do fit perfectly into his carefully prepared trees of 50 years (and less) standing. I think for a lot of genealogists this verification of all their years (decades in many many cases) of research is like dark chocolate at the end of the rainbow (well I guess some people say gold!). Plus you get to continue to develop these trees down to the present day which is truly amazing.

This story also appears to be Canadian which makes it even more interesting as Ancestry continues to test in greater and greater numbers around the world (my English and Australian matches are increasing almost daily). My husband's over 200 Shared Ancestor Hints (shaky leaf hints) are tracing back, around 95%, to his early Colonial American roots in both the New England Colonies (including for him Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) and the New Amsterdam Colonies (including New Amsterdam (New York) and Fort Orange (Albany). In one case in particular the name of one of his 2x great grandparent's wife was unknown although suggested to be Dorcas Gallup (her first name was known to be Dorcas). He is now up to nearly 10 Gallup matches. Because this is New Brunswick/Nova Scotia colonial history after the American Revolution (War of Independence) one has to be very careful to watch for endogamy with the many intermarriages between those early united empire loyalist families. However the Gallup family were Planted Settlers in the Truro area of Nova Scotia likely arriving there a decade or more before the loyalists. Thus far the matches are very very interesting although will continue to review them carefully.

Just thought I would share that other side of the AncestryDNA story. I actually like all the companies having tested at all of them as their databases have been helpful in the genealogy pursuit. With over 6 million people having tested at AncestryDNA, FT DNA and 23 and Me we are starting to see some interesting results. Gedmatch is sitting around half a million I think so 1 in 12 results are being uploaded there which is significant but also a small amount (less than 10%).

Elizabeth Kipp

Elizabeth Kipp said...

I didn't mention My Heritage above and would add that I have uploaded six kits thus far and have a set of matches. Unfortunately I haven't been able to discover with these matches yet. I understand changes are in the works so will have a look at them in the next week or so. It is exciting to have My Heritage into the DNA field as their historical records are excellent (I subscribe as I do also to Ancestry and Find My Past). I used to buy a lot of fiche and other records but it is easier just to subscribe to these major databases and have everything at hand without having to order up the information and then transcribe it! I am thinking of buying a Heritage DNA kit for myself as I like to have original DNA in the databases. I had unfortunately left them out in my earlier note.

I have actually been blogging on some of this information.

There are additions to Gedmatch from My Heritage.

Of note, My husband tested at Living DNA and they had assigned him to almost 2/3rds English ancestry and on checking his earliest ancestors in America I did find that he probably has 2/3rds of them from England as dissenters. Interestingly, My Heritage is the only one of the DNA services that picked up that proportion of English ancestry. One has to remember that the Ethnic ancestry component is based on different databases by each company so that there will be variability. The depth of the look at the ancestry also plays a role.

Elizabeth Kipp