Monday, 15 January 2018

Another potentially identified DNA connection

Isn't it nice when things just work out?

I haven't done much regarding DNA over the past month or so, due to other activities.  But I have tried to keep up with the "new" events, such as the MyHeritage changes.  I'll write more about my results at that site at another time - this post is about an Ancestry find.

Late last night, (probably too late, I should have been on my way to bed, but you know that thought, "I'll just check one more thing" 🙂) I decided to look at how many '4th cousin and closer' matches I have on Ancestry.  I thought it would probably be 81, which is what it went up to a week ago. But the numbers have been increasing more rapidly recently, with five new matches in that category since the beginning of the year, so I am ever hopeful of an increase.

The total was 82!

I quickly searched for the new match -  no tree and only a 'good' confidence level, with 22.7 centimorgans shared across 3 DNA segments.  That could mean three segments at about 7.5cM each, or it could be one longer segment and a couple of smaller ones.  I won't know unless they transfer their data to another site.  Still, it would be worth following up when I get time.

But then I looked for any shared matches.  Often there are none, as shared matches only show for matches in the "4th cousin and closer" category so, if this match also matches some of my more distant matches, the more distant ones won't show up on this person's profile.  But, this time, there was one shared match shown, predicted 'high confidence', with 38cM shared across 2 DNA segments.  And with a tree of eleven people.

I keep a running total of the numbers of matches I have, as well as noting the names of new matches and anything interesting about them (like whether they have a family tree, or a surname in common with me). So I could tell that the shared match had appeared on the 9th of January and, at that time, was not showing a family tree.  So I am fortunate in that it looks like they are interested in finding out more about their ancestry, as they have taken the trouble to add some family details.

There were two surnames in common with me, LEWIS in Wales and ALLEN in London.  The Welsh one was not in one of "my" counties, so I took a closer look at the ALLEN first.

There were no dates, just the location for the one female ALLEN's birth in London.  But her marriage was shown, so that gave me her husband's name.  Armed with that information, I was able to identify their marriage, in 1926, on Ancestry.  London records are well represented on the site so I didn't just find the civil registration index but also an image of the actual parish register.  That gave me the bride's father's details, Herbert Henry ALLEN, a poulterer.  As the bride's age was shown on the certificate, it didn't take long to find the family in the 1911 census, Herbert Henry (33), with wife, Ada (32), and children, Edward (12), Florence (11), Herbert Henry (10), Frederick (7), Joseph (6), Dorothy Violet (5), Cyril James (4), Bessie Maud (3) and Frank Reuben (1).  From there I checked the 1901 census, which showed Herbert and Ada, along with the two older children.  Herbert's birthplace was Lambeth in both censuses.  Ada's and the children's varied from Lambeth to Brixton and Stockwell, but these are fairly closely connected areas in south west London, and all familiar from my own family.

The next step was to identify the marriage of Herbert Henry ALLEN to Ada - I used FreeBMD for that and found that the most probable entry was in September 1898, in Camberwell.  Back to Ancestry to search for the church records.  Yes, again the entry was there - Herbert Henry ALLEN, aged 20, married Ada SPRINKS on September 12, 1898.  Herbert's father was a John ALLEN, Perambulator Maker.

Now that's exciting - because my John Prosser ALLEN, snr, was also a perambulator maker. And, on February 10th, 1878, my John, with his wife, Sarah, christened their son, Herbert Henry ALLEN!

Obviously, I need to continue to work through the details, and check for my John and Sarah in records such as the censuses, to make sure their Herbert is with them, or not, as appropriate, and that there's no evidence to suggest this isn't the right connection to my DNA match.  I also need to contact the shared match who appeared on my list yesterday, to confirm whether or not they connect to the same family line.  And, of course, it would be great if both matches transferred their raw data to one of the other DNA sites, so that we can check exactly where we match on the DNA.  That would also mean I could look for more evidence, for or against the connection, amongst my other DNA matches.

ALLEN is a fairly common surname, so I don't follow up general references to it on my DNA matches' surname lists - but, who knows, if these two matches do transfer their data, perhaps there'll be others matching over the same segments and with the same surname.  I'd certainly be following those up then!

Just going back to the quantity of DNA shared - 38cM is the average for 4th cousins (based on Blaine Bettinger's Shared cM Project*) whereas we actually appear to be 3rd cousins.  So the shared DNA is a bit on the low side, but well within the range.  The match with 22.7cM could be more distant, but I am hopeful that they will still be within the range of my genealogy!

(And I did eventually get to bed last night - although it was 'today' rather than yesterday!)

Blaine Bettinger's Shared cM Project - https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/
Interactive Tool by Jonny Perl - https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcm

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