Thursday, 30 June 2016

DNA, Yay Yay Yay

Ahem... I'm very bad at this blogging gig. I said I'd be back to post and then I just sort of wandered off...

My main gift for Christmas 2015 was an Ancestry DNA test kit, and I got that sucker into the mail just as quickly as I could. The 6-8 week processing time threatened to drag forever, but in time my results came through.

It has been amazing. I wanted to get my DNA into as many of the big databases as possible, so I downloaded my raw DNA data and uploaded it to Gedmatch and FTDNA. I opted to pay for FTNDA's features to get access as quickly as possible.

The first person I reached out to got back to me swiftly. We're connected through my mother's father. She is researching an apparent genetic illness in her branch and asked if we have any instances of it in our branch. Well, we're quite a sizeable branch so I reached out to my great aunt to see if she'd ever heard of anyone with the condition in our family, but it seems to have skipped us. In the course of the conversation, she told me the family was having a reunion that very weekend, and thanks to that fortuitous phone call, I was able to go. I loved spending the day with my Wilton cousins. They're great people.

Other DNA matches were also on Mum's side - cousins also descended from her Robertson/McGhee ancestors. It's a great feeling to check off those branches as confirmed by DNA.

Then I found some matches on my Dad's side. My pet project is my great great grandmother Harlettee Louisa Groombridge, and I connected with a cousin descended from one of her brothers. That was awesome in its own right, but then we had a mutual match, and I connected with a descendant of Harlettee's son Frederick. I was thrilled. It's a dream to be able to trace Harlettee's descendants and fill out her tree.

The last of my grandparents lines to get a match was my grandmother, Jessie Rose Hanniver, but that finally came about five months after my test was done, and a second match popped up within the same week.

I've been looking at a fan chart to see where my gaps are. I hope to get some matches to the Wilton line beyond Thomas Wilton/Sarah Constable to confirm those lines, and to the Patersons beyond Robert Paterson and Eleanor Dunwoodie, and to the Lowery line beyond George Edward Lowery and Isobella Johanna Park, and with that all my great grandparents will be confirmed too.

It's so exciting!


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