Genetic Genealogy Success Stories

Y-chromosome DNA Successes

From the Fuller DNA Project
"Two men share the same surname and family lore that they are descended from Pilgrims that arrived on the Mayflower.  However, both men's genealogical paper trails end in the 1700-1800's.  They both take the Y-DNA test and match a "paper-trailed" descendant of Mayflower passenger, Edward Fuller."
- - Posted 25 Mar 2005

From the Kerchner DNA Project
"Two early German immigrants to colonial Pennsylvania arrived within several years of each other and have the same surname. They settled in the same township and named their children similar given names. But no paper trails in church or legal records have been found to link the two early immigrant families. Were they brothers or related in some way? Genetic Genealogy can provide some clues. See the Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Project Success Stories webpage for more details on this case."
- - Posted 28 Mar 2005
 

From the Crews DNA Project
"DNA did it !!!!  We finally found the guardianship papers of the children of my great-great grandfather!  (Under a derivative name).   Little did we know that my great grandfather had 2 sisters.  A descendant of one of the sisters gave me the clue what our name might have been, and gave me the names of my great-great grandfather and his children.  With the DNA match I was off and running and found the line on the LDS site.  Talk about happy campers - that's us!. AND, I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to you both!! (<---A Fuller cousin and Katherine Borges - Admin for the Fuller DNA Project)  The Fuller DNA project taught me what was available and Katherine's calls were priceless!"
- - Posted on 28 Apr 2005

From the Hart DNA Project
"The male Y chromosome tests for descendants of Deacon Stephen Hart, arriving with wife and children on Nov 2, 1631 (on a ship called "the Lyon," along with John Winthrop and his family) to the Massachusetts Colony/relocating to Farmington, CT 1636 was successful showing my husband of 32 years had Y chromosome DNA tests that matched other descendants of Deacon Stephen Hart (born about 1605, Essex, England)".
- -Posted on 3 Jul 2005

From the Hurst DNA Project
"We have proven that my Hurst group, the largest in Virginia or maybe the US, is not related to a particular English Hurst family, as has been a theory for a century - different haplogroups. We have shown that two Hurst families in the Shenandoah Valley in the 1700s were related - perfect 37/37 matches. My personal favorite is finding descendants of two probable brothers from 200 years ago in another line and finding them to be perfect matches." See the Hurst Surname Project DNA Success Stories
- - Posted on 21 Jan 2006

From the Clan MacLaren DNA Project
"William Lawson was born in Scotland in 1731, captured by the English in 1746, transported to the Colonies (Maryland?) and sold, died in 1826 in Scott County, Virginia.  Today his descendants are in a number of states in the U.S. and some of them have organized into the Lawson Family Heritage Group.  Their purpose is to research their ancestry.  Four of these descendants, all male, have joined both the Lawson Surname DNA Project and the Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project (Lawson can be associated with Clan MacLaren).  These four, three of them descended from one son of William and the fourth descended from a second son, are of haplogroup R1b and have a signature different from any others in either the Lawson DNA Project or the MacLaren DNA Project.  We have just had our first surprise match.  A Losson matches this unique signature.  At this time, we don't know how he ties in, but a number of us are working on that.  It looks like the surname changed from Lawson to Losson between 1910 and 1920. Another DNA success story!!"
 
- - Posted on 6 May 2006

From the Davenport DNA Project
"The "original" Davenport can be traced back to Ormus De Davenport, (one of many spelling variations), alive at the time of the Norman Conquest around 1066 AD in the Cheshire area of England. Almost 800 years later, in 1851, Amzi Benedict Davenport published the first major Davenport genealogy. Although Amzi concentrated on his own line, the Rev. John Davenport, (founder of New Haven, Connecticut), he and others were able to document the line back to Ormus. Twenty five years later he published a newer updated edition. Today, except for a few minor instances, that research has stood the test of time. Because of Amzi's research, it is Ormus that most Davenports hope to trace back to.

     In the 1600's, five Davenports resided in the Boston area. They were the Rev. John (1597-1670), Thomas "of Dorchester" (abt 1604-1685), Humphrey (bef 1622-abt 1680), Capt. Richard (abt 1606-1665), and Lancelot (abt 1594-?). All supposedly originated in England and shared the same family crest, but no genealogical link has been found to prove any connections.
     One of the original goals of the Davenport Surname DNA Project was to determine if these five Davenport lines were related and, if any were descended from Ormus. In the project's first year, we discovered Rev. John and Thomas shared a common ancestor, while Humphrey did not. Surprisingly, we also discovered that they match the descendents of Richard Davenport, born in England in 1642, and settling in Virginia and then Albemarle, North Carolina. We have not found descendents of Capt. Richard or Lancelot yet.
     The next step was to confirm an English connection. In 2005 we began an extensive search for Davenports of known Cheshire ancestry. We found a few and some matched the Rev. John/Thomas/Richard lines. This was encouraging, we were on the right track. Finally, we were able to locate a Bromley-Davenport who was willing to donate his DNA.. The Bromley-Davenport's are one of the few remaining lines with documentation back to Ormus.
     The Bromley Davenports matched the others. This means the Rev. John, Thomas of Dorchester, Albemarle's, and several other individuals of "unknown English ancestry" all have a common Davenport ancestor with the Bromley Davenports. It's official now, DNA corroborated our common descent from Ormus De Davenport; but the who, where, and when - we don't yet know. As more markers and participants become available, that day may come."
- - Posted on 5 Jun 2006

From the Hart DNA Project
"
My father submitted his DNA sample several years ago. It didn't match any of the Hart lines that were part of the project. My Hart's came from Ireland and the rest of the participants came from other countries. Then 2 months ago another Hart submitted a sample that matched 36 out of 37 markers. This Hart's ancestors left Ireland a generation before mine and went to England for 2 generations before coming to America. I discounted any Hart's from England when doing my US census search, not thinking that my ancestor's siblings or uncles may have made a "side trip" to England. The DNA match is what made this connection possible. So now that I am in contact with this other Hart descendant researcher, we are searching for our common ancestor in Ireland. Each of us has clues the other didn't. 2007 will be our year to find the link. So, the DNA project is a wonderful tool and I highly recommend it. Special thanks to Lewis for all his help."
- - Posted on 27 Dec 2006

A Stewart Success Story
"A man contacted me with a sad story.  Due to circumstances beyond his control, his parents had died without revealing anything about his ancestral Stewart family.  He didn't even know the name of his Stewart grandfather.  Since this is South Carolina, all his friends and his wife's family seemed to know their ancestors for many generations back.  As he grew older, he felt more and more deprived.  He had been trying for years to find out who he was.
     There was a faint sparse paper trail leading to my Stewart family (I'm the historian and keeper of voluminous records), but it was not enough to establish his identity.  The man finally turned to Family Tree DNA, where our family's DNA was on file.  FTDNA put him in touch with me, and using all these clues, we pinpointed his father, his grandfather, and several generations back.  We located an old friend of his grandfather' s family, age 99, and he had the intense pleasure of meeting her and hearing her say "You're a Stewart.  I can tell by looking at you!"
     This coming year he plans to join us at our 100th anniversary Stewart reunion in South Carolina.  He has found his family at last" - -
Posted on 1 Jan 2007

From the Talley DNA Project
"Rejoice with me. I, and many others, had a brick wall. Our mutual ancestor, Alexander Tolley, died in Dorchester Co. MD in 1777. From the age given we could calculate he was born about 1730, but there were not any Tolleys living in Dorchester Co. around that time. WE had looked at Tolleys in Baltimore Co., and some references to Tolleys in Virginia, but we could never find anything at all about his ancestry. A descendant of Alexander Tolley received his 37 marker results a few days ago, and he has 7 perfect 37 marker matches with a group of Talleys from Virginia. They, too, do not know their common ancestor, but this gives us a whole new perspective on from where my Alexander Tolley came. Thank heavens for DNA!"
- - Posted on 23 Jan 2007

From the Lewis DNA Project
"
Not until about 14 years ago did I take any real interest in where I came from.  When I really began thinking about my Grandpa Lewis (my dad's dad) and how he grew up without knowing his father, it broke my heart.  This is what gave me a push into doing my ancestry research.  Our male Lewis line, at that point, consisted only of my grandfather, my dad and my brother.  
     Using the Internet was a great help.  Though it took longer than I ever realized it would, and I had little to go on, I finally found my first record that my great grandfather, Joseph Alexander Lewis, even existed.  It was an 1888/89 city directory for Dallas, TX.  There he was, living with my great grandmother, Miss Grace Clink.  I followed this man's trail finding his two other wives, all of the other children involved, as well as his line back to Virginia, and further.  Even with an exact name match, both birth years were close (+/- a couple of years), the occupations of both men were the same, I still had in the back of my mind the knowledge that he may not be MY great grandfather.  I continued on with my search speaking to other descendents from this Joseph's other families, finding that the time frame and various information I discovered all seemed to match.  I found old photos, seeing for the first time, my great grandfather.  To be able to show this to my dad ... it was the best gift I could've ever given him.  I only wish I could've shown my grandfather, but he had already passed on.  As always, in the back of my mind I knew that I may never be 100% sure that these two Josephs were one in the same. 
    
 A few years ago I found the LEWIS Surname DNA Project.  In talking with my dad about it he agreed to have his DNA taken and, hopefully, match up with another Lewis.  Although I would check back regularly we were always still placed in the UNMATCHED group of markers.  Until recently.  I couldn't believe it when I received the email stating that I had a close match to another Lewis who had recently signed up with the group.  In corresponding with the cousin of this other participant I discovered that I had the correct family line all along.  We both descend from our common ancestor, Edward Lewis of Prince George, VA, born October 03, 1728 and died in Mecklenburg Co., VA on August 13, 1780.   I descend from his son Francis, and the other participant's line descends from his son, Nathaniel.  To be able to say that, to know that, everything I had turned up on this man was a part of my father's, and his father's past.  This is where we came from.  It was overwhelming.  All of that work had paid off, and the DNA Project verified it all. - Posted on 11 Feb 2007

From the Stevens DNA Project
"Just after Christmas, an exact 12-marker match with a man with my surname appeared on my FTDNA personal page. I got a little excited but then calmed myself through the realization that it was only a 12-marker match and my surname (Stevens) is relatively common. I attempted to contact the man via email and, through the auspices of FTDNA, by snail mail. Since I didn't get a response from him, I gave up. To say I was disappointed is putting
it very mildly.
     In the evening on St. Patrick's Day, I decided to give it one last try. I sent the man another email, this time attaching a link to my Y-Search pedigree.  Lo and behold, I got an answer the next morning!  As it turns out, this man's grandfather was the younger brother of my great-grandfather!!!
Hallelujah!!!
     My great-grandfather was nearly 19 years older than his grandfather (even though they were brothers), so my match is only four years older than I, despite the difference of one generation.  Anyway, I am overjoyed. After reading his email, I was able to find my match in my family book. He is supposed to create a Y-Search entry as soon as he finds the info he received from the Genographic Project (he just moved, and it's in a box somewhere). I am also hoping he will upgrade to 67 markers.  It feels great to finally have a dna success story to tell."
- Posted on 20 Mar 2007

Blaski DNA Success Story

In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, there were two B’l’aszkowski families living near Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, the location of the original Chicago Polish downtown. My father lived with the other family from 1910 to 1917 after his father died in 1903. Both families changed their surnames from B’l’aszkowski to Blaski at some time between 1910 and 1920, for business reasons.
     ‘l’ means l with a slash through it, a Polish letter. l and 'l' are both Polish letters but if our name is spelled with an l - that refers to a totally different group of people usually living near Warsaw.
      Both families had immigrated to Chicago from West Prussia (occupied Poland) in the 1880s. Some family members thought that we were related but no one had any written evidence. There is written evidence that both families were Kashubs, living in that unique 1000 year old, 5000 sq. mi. section of West Prussia (Poland) just west of Danzig (Gdansk) along the Baltic Sea, called Kashubia. The Kashubs do not migrate to other regions of Poland since they speak their own language, besides Polish, very different from present-day Polish. The language was handed down within each family since there was no written version until the early 1900s. A few B’l’aszkowski families did emigrate to Canada and the U.S. in the 1800s, taking their verbal Kashub language with them. The B’l’aszkowski surname is unique to the Kashub region and can be traced back to the 1600s when many Kashubs joined with King Jan III Sobieski Polish forces and Austrian forces to defeat the much larger Turkish forces at the walls of Vienna. The Kashubs were awarded family crests, common to more than one surname, for their service.
      Knowing the information in the previous paragraphs, members of both families with direct male lineages were tested to determine if there was a common ancestor. There was, probably within the last 200 years - the result of using a 67-marker DNA test. That common ancestor has not been found in the written records, as of this date, but we are still searching. - Posted on 17 Apr 2007

Ellis DNA Success Story

�Back in AD 2001, I (Lloyd D. Ellis) entered the world of DNA testing, first with Oxford Ancestors, later with FamilyTreeDNA and EthnoAncestry, in the hope that someday I and others would find a meaningful match to their lineage.  Surprise! In 2006 FTDNA advised me that I had one mismatch on 37 markers with another Ellis. I knew nothing of this person nor had our research paths crossed. I have a solid paper trail back to N. Wales c. 1500, thanks in part to Quaker records and the Clywd FHS. My Ellis match had his paper trail back to one Humphrey Ellis of Pennsylvania b. 1688 in N. Wales.
     The DNA match assisted in proving our male lineage back to one Cadwalader Ellis, Sr., b.c. 1655 in Llanycil Parish, N. Wales, who had two sons, Cadwalader Ellis, Jr. (the authors line) and a younger son Humphrey Ellis.
     Then another brick wall (one of many) appeared in 1500. No Wills or other
historical data was available further back in time. Our male ancestor Syr John ap David Pastor of Llanycil Parish was born c. 1500.  A fellow researcher in the UK suggested that I have a look at the published pedigrees in the National Library of Wales of Peter Bartrum and Lewys Dwnn Deputy Herald of Arms for Wales in the 16th. century. Pedigrees? I had never thought of researching Nobility or pedigrees.
     Another exciting Surprise ! Syr John ap David is shown as a direct male descendant of Rhirid Flaidd b. c. 1150, Lord of Penllyn, N. Wales. His pedigree goes back to Cunedda Wledig King of N. Wales b. c. AD 380 in Southern Scotland and further back into the mists of time". 
- - Posted on 29 Oct 2007

Sites of interest:

From the Bauman DNA Project
     "My ancestor, John Bowman, was born to George and Maria Barbara Keller Bowman in Berks County, PA, one year after George and Maria Barbara arrived in Philadelphia. The George Bowman Family genealogy book, first published in the 1970s, presented John's descendents, with everyone assuming John was the only child of George and Maria Barbara Bowman.

     In fact, as recorded in that book, Maria Barbara's name was unknown, John's birth date was in error, the estimated date of their arrival was several years to late, and everyone assumed George was German/Swiss, but no idea of their town of origin. Using usual and customary genealogical research, I found George and Maria Barbara's marriage record in Bodigheim, Mosbach, Baden, Germany. Much to my surprise, included was the record of five children having been born in Bodigheim. Four were living at the time of their departure for America. No doubt we had cousins we knew not of!
     I found and researched an Elias Bowman who seemed to meet all criteria to be John's brother. He had lived in Berkeley County, WV, then in Washington County, TN. But without DNA, no one could be certain. Finding Donald Campbell Bowman was key!
     I found an email address for the Donald Bowman noted in the wedding announcement, and sent any email just as I left my office. When I arrived home ten minutes later, the phone was ringing. It was Don! And the rest, as they say, is history! DNA testing through Family Tree DNA Bauman Project confirmed that the Elias I had found living in Berkeley County, WV and Washington County, TN was, in fact, the older brother of John Bowman, my ancestor." Complete Story 
- Posted on 16 Jan 2008

Steedman mystery solved!
     My father traced our family history some 25 years ago, and found an interesting story of a child born out of wedlock in Kircaldy (Scotland) in 1796 - highly unusual at that time! The mother, Elizabeth Nairn, was called before the Presbyterian church elders to explain her pregnancy, and the meeting is recorded in the kirk sessions. Elizabeth said that "the child was begot in the sands about the twilight" - the quaintest phrase for sunset sex on the beach that I've ever heard ; ) And she named the father as Andrew Steedman. Andrew Steedman was then called to explain himself to the Presbyterian elders, and claimed innocence. Elizabeth had the child as a single woman and named the child Andrew Steedman after the alleged father. As this is my paternal line, over the years we have enjoyed joking about our "dubious" ancestry and speculating as to whether our surname should really be Steedman or not.
     A couple of years ago, I came across the Stidham/Stedman Family Tree DNA project at http://www.familytreedna.com/public/stidham-stedman/
, and thought it would be interesting to get my paternal grandfather tested, for a giggle. We expected that we would be Steedmans; Elizabeth was in trouble whoever she named as the father, whereas Andrew Steedman's motivation for lying is obvious.
     Some weeks later, the results showed that we bore no genetic resemblance to the Steedmans! That was interesting enough. Then I did a search on www.ysearch.org
and my grandfather's closest match over 37 markers was a surname Bridges, originating from - wait for it - Kirkcaldy in Fife, Scotland. The match was not exact, but combined with the geographical coincidence, and close matches to several other Bridges descendants, I'm now highly confident that more than 200 years later, we not only have proved that Andrew Steedman was not the father, but can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the father was a man named Bridges! - - Posted on 16 Mar 2008 

 McCamish/McAmis DNA Success Story
    Around 1770 three brothers McCamish appeared in old Bedford County, Virginia. Two served in the Revolutionary War. Afterwards all three moved to eastern Tennessee. Though family lore said they were Scotch-Irish who came from Ulster and were of Scottish descent, the records are poor in Ireland and Scotland. No trace of them could be found. Thus we decided to try Y DNA research.
The first descendant's results indicated he was R1b1c7 - north west Irish. Furthermore, he appeared to be a sept of the O'Cathain clan. We worked with the Ulster Heritage DNA project, which has a large database of Ulster DNA and are involved in mapping out the O'Neill lineages. So probably not Scots.
     We also tested a descendent of one brother for whom we had no proof he was related. He matched, so we knew we had identified the family modal values. We have paper proof the third brother is related.
I had already identified two places where the surname clusters in Ulster. The largest was in County Down, where it is often McComish. This group used different first names. Nonetheless, we tested a descendent. He also was R1b1c7, but not a close match.
Attention turned to the second group in Tyrone, which used the same first names as the three brothers. I managed to find a descendent of a late 18th century man living in Australia. I found him via two other Australian researchers with female lines of descent. When the results came back it was a match. He spells his name McKemmish.
     So now we know it is highly probable that the McCamish/McAmis brothers came from Tyrone or north in Derry. Irish research shows they migrated to south east Tyrone in the 1700s from Derry.  I doubt it can be proven, but the surname was probably 'son of Thomas'. It is possible that the brothers descend from a man named Thomas who was briefly chief of the O'Cathains in the early 1500s:
http://ulsterman3.tripod.com/Chief_Thomas.htm
Our project webpages are here:
www.familytreedna.com/public/McAmis
https://www.familytreedna.com/surname_join.aspx?code=G23570&special=true
We're now doing more Irish genealogy. If anyone does not have a paper trail to the three brothers, we might be able to help.
- - Posted on 2 Apr 2008

From the Bradt DNA Project
     "I have been searching for my great-great-grandfather's first name for over 30 years, during which I researched and published 2 Bradt books on Bradt descendants from two brothers, Albert and Arent, who were born in Norway, moved to Holland, and came to the present Albany/Schenectady area in 1637. Their descendants are legion and from family lore I was sure my gggrandfather belonged to this family, even if I could not find the confirmation.
     When I went to a genealogy program on DNA, I grew very excited at the possibilities it opened up. Since there was no Bradt project at FTDNA, I started one myself, using my brother's sample. After only a few Bradt results, it became clear that I was indeed a Bradt, all of whose results were very close. But I was looking for a clue as to which brother I was descended from and the first results did not provide that. Finally Hale Bradt, whose line I had helped figure out while writing my book, tested identical for 67 markers! He is an Arent descendant, 10th generation. Now I claim Arent as my ancestor also with a high degree of confidence. Hale and I probably had a common ancestor 6 generations back, even though the paper trail does not show this. I am grateful to Y-DNA for providing part of the answer to my missing link." - - Posted on 23 Feb 2009    

Perkins DNA Success Story
I decided to look at my Ancestry DNA results today and found someone with an exact match but a different surname. When I looked at his profile it turned out that he is a Perkins by ancestry. His line is traced back to 1824 in Bedfordshire, Eng. This is the first time I have had a Perkins match in England. I had previously been looking atthe family of William Perkins, merchant tailor of London, who was from Berkshire, as the possible progenitor of my line. Now to find some more Perkins from Beds to test. Anyone out there from Bedforshire? Since I have the Somerled R1a1a haplotype a DNA match to a Perkins is pretty indicative of a relationship. - - Submitted on 15 Nov 2009

Germany to Russia DNA Success Story
My maternal ancestors left Seulberg, Germany in 1767 to go to the Volga, Russia.  It took me ten years to discover that Seulberg was the ancestral village. I found numerous families with the same surname still living at and near that location (near Frankfort au Main ). I tested my uncle, born 1929/Chicago, a fifth cousin born 1955/Siberia and a person today living at Seulberg born in the 1930s. All matched as predicted with 67 marker tests yDNA tests. From my uncle as
base, the other two matched 65/67 and 63/67. - - Submitted on 16 Nov 2009

Allen DNA Revealed!
My husband is a "Falls" and I had been unsuccessfully researching his line for about 15 years. We had hit a brick wall in Tennessee in the 1830's, when records were a bit sketchy. I had my father-in-law DNA tested and his results came back as matches to the "Allen/Allan" families. When I presented this information to him, he said, "Oh, yeah, the name used to be Allen". After getting past my "mad" at not being told 15 years sooner, I was able to see that an illegitimate child was the reason the surname did not change in 1837. I've still not located the Allen father as there were many in the area to choose from. But, I'm still on the trail...- - Submitted on 16 Nov 2009

Successes from the Gaines and Fanning DNA Groups
The Gaines group that I administer has a man in his 70's whose father took the surname of a foster family that he was living with.  He has two 67 exact matches with another surname group;12 66/67
matches and 12 65/67 matches all with the same surname group.   I would say he found his father's genetic name. at least 26 times.
     The Fanning group that I administer has a man whose father was adopted as an infant. He has 5 66/67 matches and other less matches in the group.
     I consider both men to have had extraordinary luck in finding their genetic families. - - Submitted on 16 Nov 2009

From the Jenkins DNA Project
My Jenkins line had been stumping me for quite awhile when I decided to jump into the Y-DNA foray on FamilyTreeDNA. I had read up on it quite a bit and was sure I wouldn't have a match right away. It seemed like my Jenkins line had to be one of those rare untraceable lines.  It did not take long to match someone exactly 37 markers...then when we both upgraded to 67 markers, still no mutations! This was another Jenkins living in Florida. Fortunately for me, they'd been able to trace their Jenkins line back to the 1600s in Maryland. I still have not made the connection, however I know exactly what line of Jenkins I have to research!
     I believe in this research so much, I now Administer several projects. - - Submitted on 17 Nov 2009

From Norway to Finland DNA success
My father's father's father, Amund Hansen Trangsrud, is from Grue parish, Hedmark, in Eastern-Norway. Genealogists have traced the y-line to Olof Mattsson Lehmoinen, who first appeared in mid-1600's tax records in V�rmland, Western-Sweden. (Lehmoinen is a Finnish name. Many Finns settled in the forests of Western-Sweden/Eastern-Norway around 1600. ) A few years ago, someone informed me that there was a Lehmonen Family website (in Finland). I emailed them, requesting that one of them test their yDNA. Eerikki Lehmonen took the test and was an exact 12 marker match. He then upgraded 67-marker. We differ by 3 at 67-markers and are each other's closest matches. We are approximately 16th cousins. - - Submitted on 20 Nov 2009

Flower (without the s) Project
I descend from Lamrock Flower, Whitwell, Rutland, England and Hartford, CT, 1660-1716.  I had a 37 marker test performed by FTDNA. I received an e-mail from a lady whose uncle had a forty marker test performed by Genetrack Biolabs. We matched on all 25 markers that both of us were tested for. For the remaining markers, one of us or the other were not tested. We are still trying to confirm a common ancestor. Another lady contacted me. Her brother and I match on 36 of 37 markers. Their surname is Flowers. We are still trying to confirm a common ancestor. A second cousins grandmother and my grandfather were siblings. She married a Flower. Through our combined research efforts, we found that her husband was descended from a brother of our second oldest ancestor. - - Submitted on 1 Feb 2012

Whitlow Surname Y-DNA Project Success Story
Until 2009, there was no Y-DNA Project for Whitlows and variant spellings. My wife and I (we are co-administrators) decided to start one after we met a genealogist who had researched Whitlaws, and who believed that my wifes brick wall (her great great grandfather born about 1804) was a half brother to the genealogists GGGF. After we attended a Whitlaw Family Reunion in SC and collected samples from cousins and also from my wifes cousin, we found an exact 67 marker match between my wifes cousin and the genealogists cousin, identifying the MRCA as their 3 great grandfather, and extending my wifes ancestor tree into the 1600s. We are pursuing more findings using genetealogical triangulation.  - - Submitted on 1 Feb 2012

West Family Group Y-DNA Success Story
In 2006, I decided to try DNA as a means to further almost 50 years of traditional genealogical research. I had inherited source materials dating to the 1790s, and believed that I knew all my cousins because 5 successive generations in my surname line (dating to about 1650s) only had one male that survived to reproduce. I was very surprised and so were dozens of other West descendants to learn that my 6th GGF had another family by his first wife, many of whom survived to today. I was invited to, and attended, their reunion in 2008, and we stay in contact and exchange research information. - - Submitted on 1 Feb 2012

Taylor Family Group Success Story
My husband and I have worked for 20+ years on traditional research for my mothers Taylor family, and have good documentation to the 1600s. After my husbands success in his West Surname DNA group, we were convinced that it might help us to join the Taylor Project, using a male cousins (he was willing we paid!) DNA. The results opened the world of genetic triangulation to us, thanks to another project participant. These tests affirmed our traditional genealogical research back to 1729. - - Submitted on 1 Feb 2012

For more Y-chromosome success stories:

The Phillips DNA Project

Mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA Successes

"A woman wanting to prove her fifth great grandmother in her maternal line could not prove the link between the sixth and seventh generations in the pedigree.  mtDNA appeared to be the only answer.  After much researching, a female line descendant from a proven daughter of the seventh generation "grandmother" was found and mtDNA testing for both descendants proved that they were descended from the same seventh generation female.  It also proved the descent from the husband thus providing two ancestor lines to her pedigree." - - Posted on 16 Apr 2005

From the U5 Haplogroup Project
"U28 - Elizabeth Buckner, b. 1728 Surry Co., VA. Until Sunday, U28 had no matches. But, thankfully, she sent in her pedigree. I added the sisters of Henrietta Caudill to the basic pedigree she sent, then added some documentary evidence for the ancestors for U28. U89 is listed below U28 on the results page. She joined the project on Sunday. Her HVR1 results match those of U28. Her Earliest Known Ancestor was Polly Caudill Eldridge, born 1899. There was no pedigree for U89 because the rest of her known ancestors are living. Just looking at the Earliest Known Ancestor of U28 and U89 does not suggest any connection. However, U89's ancestor Polly was born in Letcher Co., Kentucky and if we look at U28's pedigree we can see that U28 also had ancestry there. That was good enough for me to begin working on Polly's ancestry. I was pretty certain that I could find the common ancestor. It took several generations, but I found the common ancestor who is Henrietta Caudill, b. 1759 Sussex Co. VA.  U89 got an additional 150 years of maternal genealogy beyond what she already knew, and the lineage of both U28 and U89 is now confirmed by DNA results. 
     These two women live extremely far apart. They were not previously known to one another, and they had no suspected connection.  I believe that this is the first chance mtDNA match that has been made by any project. So for any people who think that mitochondrial DNA results are only good for anthropological use, that joining a haplogroup project is a waste of time, and that providing your pedigree isn't important, we have just blown those ideas out of the water." U5 Haplogroup Discussion - - Posted on 5 Jun 2006

Emma's Story
"Emma's mother was unwed and barely 18 years old.  When Emma was born, an old preacher abducted her and raised her as his own.  He probably thought he was doing the right thing and later he claimed to have legally adopted her (e.g. 1930 census).  Emma was raised with the preacher's surname and she never knew her real mother's name.
     Emma's daughter recently started to add some genealogical evidence such as census records to the family stories so that she could present an iron clad story of Emma's ancestry to her  before she died.  Despite her best efforts there was always some doubt that she had the right family.   Emma's daughter did some research on the web and discovered that mtDNA might offer a tool to solve this puzzle once and for all.
Using her own mtDNA and mtDNA from Emma's presumed Aunt Oleta (HVR1 & HVR2), she found an exact match, thus confirming the paper trail!" 
- - Posted on 27 Nov 2006

INDIAN? A mtDNA Finding
"That's just one of Grandma's stories! We are tall, have fair skin, olive complexion, black hair, but there is that slight indication of high cheek bones. Hmmm...
In 2001 Euripia Ellis sent off her sample to Oxford Ancestors in the UK.  Grandma was right! Oxford Ancestors found that she was of the Haplogroup D and called clan Djionasee. "She is the founder of one of the four major clans which colonized both North and South America some twelve thousand years ago. We think that Djionasee herself lived in North-Eastern Asia but are not sure of the exact when or where."  Later studies indicate that clan D originated in the area of Mongolia some 40,000 years ago and was found in eastern Mongolia (home of Genghis Kahn) along the Amur river and
near the Sea of Okhotsk.
     But, Euripia's more recent ancestors came from the S. E. part of the State of Minas Gerais, near Brazil's highest rainforest mountain. Minas Gerais is the State where the Portuguese found large amounts of gold and diamonds.
    Maria Altina (Tall Mary) was born around 1895 near the village of Sapucai. As a small child, she was given to (the Nascimento's ?) a Portuguese family to be reared on their Fazenda (plantation), a common custom of the Indians. Maria Altina's daughter was Maria Joanna de Almeida (5'10"), born 16 July 1916. She was adopted by the Almeida's and took their name. Her daughter was Euripia Ellis nee Euripia G. de Almeida.
     The Aimor� tribe frequented (Sapucai) this part of Brazil. The adventurer Anthony Knivet in the 1600's described the Aimor� as 'tall, powerful men, paler in colour than the bronze-skinned Tupi.' "They were nomads and cannibals and the most deadly shots (arrows) of all the Indian tribes." The Jesuit Jacom� Monteiro described them as very good looking, some tall and 'others as lusty as Germans, and some females as pale-skinned as any other nation'.
"
- - Posted on 30 Oct 2007

From the Bahamas DNA Project
"Margaret married Joseph Albury and had Catherine Albury (b. 1815 Harbour Island, Eleuthera Bahamas. Eliza Ann Albury was born abt 1817 in the Bahamas and married 1836 in Harbour Island. A 5th generation direct maternal line descendants of Margaret and Eliza Ann are exact matches on HVR1 and HVR2. Margaret and Eliza Ann share the same maiden name, are from the same generation, are associated
with the same small geographic area (Harbour Island), and their mtDNA matches exactly on both HVR1 and HVR2. I believe it is most likely that Margaret and Eliza Ann are sisters. If so, the direct maternal line descendant of Eliza Ann is able to extend her ancestry back one more generation to Margaret and Joseph Albury. There is one other person with direct maternal line ancestry from the Bahamas who also matches this exact same mtDNA signature but they can't yet make a genealogical connection. Their descendant charts are at:
http://home. comcast.net/ ~libpjr1/ bahmtdna. htm#EAAlbury 
They match 13 other FTDNA customers on both HVR1 and HVR2.
     Euphemia Albury (b. abt 1832 married John Russell in Cherokee Sound, Abaco). Elenor Albury b. 1831 of Hope Town Abaco married John Sawyer in Abaco. 4th generation descendants of Euphemia and Eleanor are exact matches on HVR1 and HVR2. Euphemia and Eleanor share the same maiden name, are from the same generation, are associated with the same geographic area (Hope Town and Cherokee Sound, Abaco), and
their mtDNA matches exactly on both HVR1 and HVR2. I believe it is most likely that Euphemia and Eleanor are sisters. There is one other person with direct maternal line ancestry from Abaco who also matches this exact same mtDNA signature but s/he can't yet make a genealogical connection. Their descendant charts are at:
http://home. comcast.net/ ~libpjr1/ bahmtdna. htm#EuAlbury 
They match 5 other FTDNA customers on both HVR1 and HVR2.
     Lenora Pinder (b. 1838) married an Albury and they had Bertina Albury who married Edward Roberts of Cherokee Sound, Abaco). Frances Jane Pinder (b. 1830 Cherokee Sound) married William Sweeting of Cherokee Sound. Frances Jane may be the daughter of Patience. 4th generation descendants of Lenora and Frances Jane are exact matches on HVR1 and HVR2. Lenora and Frances Jane share the same maiden name, are from the same generation, are associated with the same geographic area (Cherokee Sound, Abaco), and their mtDNA matches
exactly on both HVR1 and HVR2. I believe it is most likely that Lenora and Frances Jane are sisters. Their descendant charts are at:
http://home. comcast.net/ ~libpjr1/ bahmtdna. htm#Birdie 
They match no other FTDNA customers on both HVR1 and HVR2.
     In each of these three cases it is possible, but I believe less likely, that two sisters or "mtDNA cousins" married men with the same surname and had children in the same time period and geographic area. There are 51 mtDNA results in the Bahamas DNA Project. Prior to testing, 49 of them where not suspected to share a direct maternal line ancestor. 27 of those 49 (55%) match someone else in the project. 32 "different" direct maternal lines have been revealed. Only the three matching pairs above have been able to make a likely genealogical connection "on paper".
- - Posted on 4 Jan 2008

"I started to seriously research my heritage about 12 years ago. I purchased an early version of Family Tree Maker (FTM) and admittedly, the box sat on the shelf for a while as I gathered up what I knew personally about my ancestors. I made inquiries to my paternal father who, though I hadn�t had much contact with him since I was quite young, was willing to send me reams of papers and copies of documents such as family bibles. On my mother�s side I was fortunate, as well. Apparently, an aunt, who had recently passed, had begun to document my maternal side. Her research went to another aunt with whom I was very close. As my mother was explaining what I was doing � over the phone and in French � she told my mother that I could expect the papers soon.
     I knew my mother was French � it was her first language, she tells me. And just looking at my uncles, aunts, cousins, and pictures of my grandparents�well, you can tell. Along with the materials forwarded to me and the information I gleaned from oral histories given by living relatives, I was able to document my direct maternal line back seven generations, though many other marital offshoots led even further back. According to what I had on hand, my furthest known direct maternal-line ancestor was �Clothilde Quinter� � and the spelling was questionable.
     For many years � and through several software updates � I continued to explore the various branches; often finding sympathetic links to non-direct family members, which served to flesh out what I call the �inside� of my family lines. (You know; in FTM the direct paternal & maternal lines form the outside lines whereas their marriages constitute the inside familial links.)
A couple of years ago I came across an article � in Time, I believe � relating DNA research conducted on a fossil found on a mountaintop in the Alps. After researching online, I signed up to have my own DNA tested � and my step-father�s and his mother�s � to see if there would be anything productive to aid in my research. I had, by this time, become the so-called family genealogy �expert,� and had worked on my wife�s family and that of several friends.
     Of the three of us who submitted to testing only my step-father has benefited�up until last week. I received an email from Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, which began in a familiar way as I had received other inquiries that led, effectively, nowhere. Lucie inquired as to whether I was of Acadian descent, and whether I would be interested in participating in a project. Of course I replied, and we exchanged several emails the very first day.
In one of these I provided her with information about my maternal line, and she introduced me to the project; further offering to forward my information to noted [Acadian French heritage] researcher Stephen A. White.
     How very pleased I was to relate to my mother only two days following that Mr. White had not only corrected a couple of errors in my information, but was able to provide detailed information about my direct maternal line, which he had extended to twice its length. One of these �errors� might have been the stumbling block for my own research, yet by combining his knowledge of my mtDNA and his extensive research on Acadian heritages, he was able to double my maternal line to 14 generations.
This was truly a �success story� for me and my family. My mother has already requested an updated poster to bring to her next family reunion in Louisiana! Merci beaucoup Lucie and Stephen!"
Troy D.A. Hammond
Mr. White adds:
     "I am glad to learn that Mr. Hammond is so happy with the way I was able to complete his family tree. That I was able to do so is as much a result of his having had his mtDNA tested as anything else, because in the context of our early Acadian families his results suggested that he must be a descendant of Andr�e Guyon. Sorting through the problems in the documentation was thus quite rewarding, given that the end result confirmed what the mtDNA had suggested.
Sincerely yours, Stephen A. White"
- - Posted on 22 Apr 2008

From the Mothers of Acadia DNA Project
"
I have been doing some form of Family History Research for over 30 years. During that time I traced my mother�s family on the male lineage back to France and was delighted with the results. In the meantime a cousin on my father�s side took up that research and I started on my husband�s European lines � German, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.
     I had been a subscriber to Richard Eastman�s Genealogy Newsletter for a long time and about two years ago I read an article he wrote about DNA testing. I thought it sounded interesting and so I ordered the basic test � then decided to go to the second level of testing. Because it is mtDNA and traces the direct maternal line I went back and started researching that line and ran into a brick wall. Even though I had two major source books I could not find any information before the mid 1700s. I started a broader search and discovered that my maternal line may have immigrated to Acadia (Nova Scotia) in the mid 1600s. I was doing online research and thought that I had figured out my maternal lineage but because I had no access to primary sources I could not be sure. I joined the French Heritage DNA Project during this time.
     Very recently I received an invitation to join an mtDNA Project and I accepted. I sent the information on my maternal lineage to Lucie LeBlanc Consentino who sent it to Stephen White for verification. After fewer corrections than I expected, I can now lay claim to being a 16th generation descendent from a daughter of Acadia � Jeanne Motin de Reux. I am fortunate to descend from such a distinguished line, because at sixteen generations it gives me the longest female-line lineage to date
     On my paternal line, my cousin had done all the research and again thought that we knew which English �Carter� line we could claim as our ancestors but one link was weak on documentation. We convinced our Carter male first cousin to have his DNA tested and submitted our lineage to the Carter Society. Through the DNA test comparisons we were able to determine which Carter settler of the new world we descended from.
     I am delighted with all the new information that I have recently obtained. It has become my custom to print a small family history book with pictures for each new baby that is born in our family. As my nieces and nephews turn forty years old I make a Family History Book as a birthday present for them. The DNA results will add an additional validation to some of the information."
- - Posted on 1 May 2008

HVR1 mtDNA match!
"MtDNA has just today proved useful to me for genealogical purposes. I had recently (last fall) done some historical research that extended my maternal line back for several more generations. I thought what I had looked good, but I wasn't sure that it was airtight. I just got an HVR 1 match at FTDNA who noticed my newly established most distant ancestor was hers as well. She wrote me and we found that we were descended from two sisters who were born in Virginia in the late 18th century. This was at least partial confirmation that the part of my research of which I was least sure was in fact correct! I hope others will have this pleasant experience too." - - Posted on 6 Feb 2009

FTDNA and 23andMe mtDNA match
     "Some time ago, I received my HVR1 & HVR2 reults from Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). I had two exact matches. After contacting both of them we found, after additional research, that one of my exact matches was also descended from my 7th generation matrilineal ancestress, Hester Delaplaine, b 1763, Berkeley Co, VA. My cousin subsequently did the complete FGS, mtDNA test at FTDNA, and was then found by Ron Scott to be in haplogroup U4b2a1a1, a line descended from Ron�s own U4b2a1a haplogroup.
     I have not yet done the complete FGS test, but I have been tested at 23andMe. Using my mtDNA results at 23andMe, I was able to confirm that I also had the same A15236G marker which indicates U4b2a1a1.
     By comparing all of my 23andMe results with the revised Cambridge Reference Standard, rCRS, I found an additional difference from the rCRS at G513A. This is apparently in the HVR region for which I have test results at both SMGF and FTDNA. Since the results at SMGF and FTDNA agree with each other and neither shows a difference from rCRS at G513A, I initially assumed that there was an error in the 23andMe results.
     Ron Scott suggested that I explore the possibility of a heteroplasmy in my mtDNA. Frankly, I had not thought of this possibility. However, with the recent announced sale at FTDNA for FGS, along with the announcement by FTDNA to look more carefully for evidence of heteroplasmy, upgrading to FGS seems like a logical next step.
     This story is both an example of a DNA success story as well as a description of the additional research to which that success leads.  Many thanks for the advice and assistance of many people in the genetic genealogy community, including Larry Vick and Ron Scott." - - Posted on 8 Oct 2009


Autosomal DNA Successes

"The 23andMe Relative Finder looks like it has some amazing potential. For me it lists: 2 potential 3rd cousins, 6 potential 4th cousins, 31 potential 5th cousins, 61 potential more distant cousins.  All were anonymous at first, but I've since been sharing my results with a few people, such as two who mentioned Newfoundland in their public profiles. It turns out that one of these was one of my 6 listed potential 4th cousins. He and I share DNA segments on chromosomes 3 and 10, and have already found that we have the surnames Greening and Prince (both residing in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland) in common in our pedigrees... so within hours of getting my test results back it looks like I've found a new cousin that I didn't know before, and also I now have a good idea of the path that two of my DNA segments took through my pedigree to get to me."
 - - Posted on 26 Sep 2009 

"With the help of Robert Stubbs whom my mother matched in 23andMe�s Relative Finder, we have figured out a line the two share (actually my mother has three lines to the common ancestors' due to one case of first cousins marrying). My mother and Robert are both descendants of Johann Georg JUNG (b. abt 1732 in GE) and his wife Ann MOSS (b. abt 1730)."
- - Posted on 8 Oct 2009

I have 83 relatives identified in Relative Finder, but one who is only 0.13% not only matches but has found exactly where we match. My 10th great grandparents are his 8th, making us 9th cousins two times removed. Jonathan Hatch came to this country about 1645, having been born in England in 1625. - - Posted on 29 Oct 2009

I was contacted by a projected Distant Cousin. When I compared our Family Inheritance charts we share a section on the long arm of CHR 8. Comparing pedigrees, we share descent from William Womack and his wife Mary Jane Allen, both of 17th century VA, and are 10th cousins twice removed. - - Posted on 9 Nov 2009

I have received contact from a predicted 3rd cousin. We compared genealogies and determined that we are 3rd cousins, once removed. Her mother and I share 4 GG Grandparents. We have HIR segments on four chromosomes, CHR 4, 6, 20 and X, with 0.11Gb shared. Our Genome Comparison is 74.59% as compared to 77.79% with my dual paternal/maternal first cousin. I have added 3 generations of descendants I did not have. - - Posted on 17 Nov 2009

23andMe said Lynleigh was my 4th cousin. I sent a long list of 4th great grandparents to her with some detail. Her husband does the genealogy, and late last night he sent our connection! We are 6th cousins once removed on my Simpson line out of KY to MO. This is definitely one of the lines in the middle of my pedigree that goes back and forth from male to female, along my paternal grandmother's line. - - Posted on 29 Nov 2009
 
"Next to me, my father's best match is a woman in Arkansas with whom he shares a 23 cM segment on chromosome 6 and a 13 cM segment on chromosome 16. With me she only shares the segment on chromosome 16 and so she didn't stand out among my matches as being of particular significance.
     When I contacted her and we compared pedigrees, it was discovered that she descends from George Apsey JANES who was born in 1852 to Charles JANES and Catherine MERRIGAN. Charles and Catherine were married in 1831, at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. My father descends from their daughter Jane, making my father and his Family Finder match third cousins."  - - Posted on 9 Dec 2010

"I had some success with Family Finder. A lady in Australia wrote me to say we were showing a match on Family Finder and that she had a McKenzie in her background and that she descended from a Thomas Urquhart McKenzie who emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland in 1841. I happened to know a lot about this family as I had the complete family tree and I even had this lady's name on my Family Tree. Her details I got from New Zealand with 2000 other members of the same family and we are 5th cousins. She was only 2 years old when her details were recorded by the family archivist and she was able to bring me up to date with her marriage and her children. For my part I was able to give her the complete family tree including my own family where we connected from a common McKenzie ancestor born in 1700. This is the only Family Finder where I have been able to make an exact connection."  - - Posted on 9 Dec 2010

"Relative Finder suggests the range is 3rd to 7th cousins, and they are 7th cousins two times removed. - -
Hello cousin Larry! :)
Unbelievable!. Thanks for the genealogy chart. We have a common ancestor: Sarah Willis who married Benjamin Hawkins. Your chart #5 - 22 and 23.
You descend from their daughter, Sarah Hawkins who married John Morton and lived in Woodford Co, Kentucky.
I descend from their son, Benjamin Jr. who married Ann Bourne. (Ann's mother was a Jane Morton, which suggests some extra kinship going on.)
Now, can I borrow some money? (Just kidding!) Seriously, the mind boggles at the implications for genealogy, or when we all have an iPhone app that instantly indicates how we're related to everyone in the room!" - - Posted on 9 Dec 2010


"
For over 30 years I have been trying to establish the ancestry of my great great great grandfather Jacob Youngman (b. ca Aug 1823, d. 24 May 1903). No one in our family knew his ancestry, but his son Charles Youngman (b. 1872) left a tantalizing clue in his biography that was published in the book "History of Harrison County, Missouri" where Charles Youngman says that Jacob Youngman's father lived in Kentucky, moved to Indiana where he entered land, and later moved to central Missouri where he died. Not too many Youngmans fit this description. In the past year I have been focusing on a John Youngman (b. ca 1793) who is listed in the 1840 Census in Clay County, Missouri, but is not listed there in the 1850 Census. A William Youngman (b. ca 1818) appears in nearby Ray County, Missouri in the 1850 Census. This genealogical puzzle is complicated by the fact that John Youngman appears to have been married 3 times and was divorced from his first two wives. He had children by all three wives with Jacob Youngman seeming to be his son by his second wife Elizabeth Reeves. In 2010 I was able to establish contact with another Youngman researcher, Susie Brewer, whose husband is a great great grandson of Mary Jane Youngman (b. Nov 1835), who appears to be a half-sister to Jacob Youngman (b. ca Aug 1823), being a daughter of John Youngman's third wife Priscilla Clark. The key evidence to solving this genealogical puzzle has come from autosomal DNA testing. I compared autosomal DNA results from two great great grandsons of William Youngman (b. ca 1818) and two descendents of Mary Jane Youngman (b. Nov 1835) to results from 4 great grandchildren of Jacob Youngman (b. ca Aug 1823) and 6 great great grandchildren of Jacob Youngman. Analysis of the autosomal data suggests that William Youngman (b. ca 1818), Jacob Youngman (b. ca Aug 1823), and Mary Jane Youngman (b. Nov 1835) were half-siblings."  - - Submitted on 31 Jan 2012

Family Finder DNA Success Story for the Pitts DNA Project

We had long suspected that Mary Lenora Pitts was a daughter of Pitman Pitts (b. 1784 VA) and Mary C. Andrews Pitts. This was, in part, due to the 1860 census showing Mary Lenora and another girl (possibly granddaughters) living with Mary C. Andrews Pitts. We had tried for several years to figure out a way to test this hypothesis using mtDNA by testing the descendants of Mary Lenora Pitts to a living person who was in a direct female line. But the other two daughters of Mary C. did not produce viable direct female lines.
The autosomal Family Finder test, however, made testing this hypothesis easy since the lines could be mixtures of males and females.
I matched Nancy (the descendant of Mary Lenora) on chromosome 3 and my sister Imogene matched her on a slightly larger segment in the same area on chromosome 3 (both with the Affymetrix and Illumina chips). My 3rd cousin once removed (Sue, verified by both Family Finder and Y-dna with her brother at 67 markers exact) matched Nancy on Chromosome 5 with the Affymetrix chip but not with the Illumina chip. My 1st cousin once removed, Celestine, however, did not match Nancy with the Affymetrix chip, but did match her on chromosome 16 with the Illumina chip. So all four of us that tested matched Nancy. We are fourth cousins with our most recent common ancestors being Pitman Pitts and Mary C. Andrews Pitts. - - Submitted on 1 Feb 2012

"My closest match in 23andme's relative finder was to a 101 yr-old lady who was in ill health. I corresponded with her grandson who told me she was left motherless at the age of 3 when the whole family had Scarlet Fever. Her father dispersed the surviving children, and gave her to his mother to raise. She had researched back to her ggparents Benjamin Forry and Amanda Swank, who had lived in Indiana. I found the Forrys in my fairly extensive tree as my gggmother's brother and sister-in-law. The grandson was able to tell his now hospitalized grandmother (my match) about her new third cousin and about several generations of her mother's family she hadn't known."  - - Submitted on 4 Feb 2012


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