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Oh boy! The last few days when I’ve had a chance, I’ve been working in Gedmatch and figuring out how to triangulate my DNA+Gedcom matches. After finding several articles on Google – notably from Roberta Estes of DNAeXplained (Triangulation for Autosomal DNA) and a few others, I figured out my own system.

I am attempting to figure out which chromosome each of the matches correspond as well as how many of my other matches on the same chromosome match each other. Then I go in to each gedcom to look for shared ancestors.

Here is my step by step guide – just in case this system might be something you would like to try.

  1. Upload your raw DNA from Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree, or any of the others, to Gedmatch.com. Make sure your raw data is in a .zip file. (Gedmatch is FREE!!)
  2. After doing that, upload your gedcom file preferably with BOTH maternal and paternal pedigree lines. (My personal note: There have been so many matches I’ve found where one or the other side is not part of the gedcom – kind of hard to figure out a match if you don’t put the whole thing up there!)
  3. On the Gedmatch home screen, you will want to click on Gedcom+DNA matches. gedmatch1_1
  4. On the next screen you will input your DNA Kit number (which you will receive upon uploading your raw DNA data).gedmatch2
  5. The results page will show a spreadsheet type of chart that will include the following information for your matches: the DNA kit number, the different types of shared & etc. cMs (centimorgans – DNA language!), the Gedcom ID, DNA name, Gedcom name, and an email address of your match. Do NOT start emailing your matches or use the emails in a batch file. Abuse of emails is not what Gedmatch users want, need, or expect. (I have “sanitized” my results example.)gedmatch3
  6. Now – open a new spreadsheet on your computer (I used Excel). I input the chromosome number from #1 all the way to #22 (the X-Chromosome – #23 – is a whole different ballgame so for this instruction, I’m not going to mention it).
  7. Go back to your Gedmatch results page and click on the first kit number (left hand side) of your first match. This brings up the autosomal comparison. What you are looking for is the chromosome with a lot of blue.gedmatch3_1
  8. Once you find that chromosome (or more), open your snipping tool and snip that entire line. Instead of saving that as a .jpg, just right click directly on that snipped image of the chromosome and “copy”. Switch back to your spreadsheet and “paste” it in the correct chromosome position. Now go back to the autosomal comparison and snip the information box above the chromosome you snipped (it should have the chromosome number, start location, end location, centimorgans, and SNPs). Do the same to copy that box and then paste it on the same line as the copy of the chromosome string. Do that however many times you need (if there are more than one matching chromosome). Before you finish, you will want to go to the top of the autosomal comparison and copy and paste the information for the DNA kit number and name of the person you match. Then paste that to the side of your chromosome string in your spreadsheet.gedmatch5
  9. Now the really tedious part is clicking on the Gedcom ID for the match you were just working on. gedmatch3_2A new tab (or window) will open with the Individual detail. At the top of that, click on pedigree. The default is 5 generations (shown at the top left). gedmatch6_1Unless you can automatically see who the shared ancestor could be, I suggest entering 10 in the box for the number of generations and click submit. (Personal note: I’ve been entering 15 generations). Once that very lengthy pedigree chart opens, carefully go through it to find your shared ancestors.gedmatch7 If you are lucky and find them, go back to your spreadsheet and enter the names of the shared ancestors under where you have pasted the DNA kit number and name. It also helps if you list if the ancestors are on your paternal or maternal side.gedmatch8_1
  10. Now the fun begins – do that with every single one of your matches. Pretty soon, you will see some chromosomes that appear to be shared between your matches. In order to see if they really do share DNA with each other (as well as you), go back to the Gedmatch Home screen (I usually have several tabs open so I don’t lose my Gedcom kit match screen). Under DNA raw data, click on “One-to-One compare”. On the next screen, you will enter the DNA kit number from one of the matches and another kit number to compare (you will have to refer to your spreadsheet for this information). Before you click “submit” – make sure you have clicked on “Yes” for “show graphic bar for each chromosome.” When the results appear, check if the two that matches you – also match each other. They may not. If they do, you will want to create some sort of key on your spreadsheet in order to see at a glance that they match. I do this by changing the color of the font over the name/kit number. Gedmatch9_chrom1Notice above that the first three rows of my Chromosome #1 are all close to the same cMs. Those three also match each other as well as matching me (I have colored the names/kit numbers blue). My biggest problem – not finding a shared ancestor in any of them! The graphic below shows four matches to me on Chromosome #2. gedmatch9_chrom2Even though the bottom two appear to be close to the same string and cMs – they do not match each other – nor do they match the top string – and I can’t find shared ancestors on any of them! Then the following graphic for Chromosome #10 shows three matches to me and all three match each other. I did find the shared ancestors of Richard Lyman and Sarah Osborne on all three! gedmatch9_chrom10
  11. How this can help you is if two of your matches do not match each other but are for the same cMs, one could be on the paternal part of that chromosome and the other the maternal part.

Disclaimer: I am not a scientist. I am not very literate when it comes to DNA and triangulation. I do not have the answers. I am still scratching my head about some of the matches – same string, different shared ancestors. I do not know who many of my 3rd-4th great-grandparents are and therefore am sure that it’s not that I can not find the matches, but I just don’t know who to be looking for! Just because you “find” the shared ancestor(s), does not mean their (or your) Gedcom is accurate. A wrong spouse’s name, wrong parents’ names, or wrong dates can throw you off as well.

What I have discovered: I found matches on people that up until now were only relatives because they “adopted” or “fostered” an ancestor so I’m left wondering if there really was a familial connection to begin with or I’m just missing something. I’m also finding many matches that are in parts of the country where I can’t place my ancestors. I have many more matches on the paternal side of my family than on my mom’s side but I think the reason is because not many people on the maternal side have A) Not taken a DNA test, B) Not uploaded their raw DNA data to Gedmatch or C) Have not uploaded a Gedcom even if uploading raw DNA data.

I hope this helps some of you who are curious about “what else you can do” with your DNA information. It’s been very eye-opening and interesting and fun for me!

 

Baby Mary

baby mary

By the time I was born, the only set of grandparents still living were my mom’s parents – Glen R and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson. Forget about great-grandparents. My grandmother had four siblings still living: John and Clifford lived in Oregon, Nellie lived in Washington, and Clarence lived in Indiana. John Wilt died before I was old enough to meet him. As far as Clifford, I don’t remember meeting him but I may have as a small child. I knew Nellie from staying at her home in Washington when my parents and I toured the western states and because Aunt Nellie and her husband John Lilly visited Dayton many times. I also remember visiting Uncle Clarence in Indiana almost every year.

It wasn’t until I was almost a teen, that I even learned that my grandfather had an older brother who had died young as well as a younger foster sister, Eva. Apparently, everyone thought Eva had died as well (later I found out that Eva outlived my grandfather). But it never dawned on me until many years ago, even when I had seen her gravestone, that my grandfather had a baby sister named Mary who died before she celebrated her first birthday.

Several days ago, Ancestry published three new databases – Indiana marriage, birth and death records. I immediately began going through them for any new or correct information. Mary appeared on the 1910 census and the Indiana death index (no images) listed her date of death as July 1910. The search term of Mary Johnson 1910 did not bring her up. I tried various ways to find her until I gave up and just entered the month and year of death. Finally, her death certificate was located under Marry L Johnson (her gravestone reads: Mary A Johnson). She is buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson.

Mary died at home – 432 W. 17th street – in Anderson, Indiana at the age of 8 months and 14 days on July 17, 1910. The cause of death was listed as brain tumor and contributory cause was cholera infantum. I had to look that up. Merriam-Webster online defines it as “an acute noncontagious intestinal disturbance of infants formerly common in congested areas of high humidity and temperature.” I am left wondering if the brain tumor killed her or if she had become so dehydrated that her condition deteriorated rapidly.

An interesting thing to note is that my mother’s sister, Genevieve, died from a benign brain tumor. My aunt’s tumor was not cancerous but it was inoperable and 48 years after her baby aunt breathed her last, so did my Aunt Genevieve.

I am also left to wonder if my mother was named after my grandfather’s baby sister. I never heard him speak about his sister or how he felt at her death. He had just turned 11 when Mary was born so he was old enough to remember her short life.

Years ago, I found a crate of large pictures. One of them was of a baby that my mom thought was baby Mary. I don’t know if it is but I have included it above. It seemed that for so many years, she wasn’t talked about. Perhaps my Grandad thought about her when he lost his own daughter, Lois Evelyn, at just six weeks old or when Aunt Genevieve was so ill. But documents pertaining to Mary’s short life have been found – she did live, she did breathe, and she was loved.

follow-friday

When I run across amazing blog posts or articles, I want to share with my readers. Most of the time the articles I find may not be from just the week of my Follow Friday post, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go “back in time” to read them or perhaps find a new-to-you blog! So without further ado –

Broughton Images has two new posts from this past month (including one celebrating Memorial Day): Just Follow the Flags and Bonham Heritage Day Festival. The photographer truly captures the atmosphere and stirs emotions whether it’s photos of a Veterans Memorial surrounded by flags from each branch of military or Bonham’s courthouse on the square during the annual festival.

Becky Jamison has caught the Trello bug! She has started to use Trello to organize many items pertaining to her genealogy research. So please visit her Grace and Glory website and read what happened when she Brought Hidden Emails to Light.

And if you need something else to “spark” your creativity, visit Amy Johnson Crow’s site and read Creating Family History Videos Easily for Free using Adobe Spark. On top of that article, you’ll also want to read Amy’s suggestions for researching the new Indiana Vital records that Ancestry recently added. You can find that informative article here: Indiana Vital Records on Ancestry: Good & Bad. As I spent some time yesterday going through these records, I know of what Amy speaks!

The other day I had 28 New Ancestor Discoveries on Ancestry. Yesterday it dwindled to six. I knew why after I read Roberta Estes’ article on her DNAeXplained blog: Ancestry Refines New Ancestor Discoveries (NADs). Perhaps her explanation will help you in what has perplexed many researchers.

Do you find it difficult to organize everything you need in order to be more productive at research (whether it is for family history, work/school project, or to run a household)? Diane Haddad at the Genealogy Insider shares some tips with her article The Big Picture: Using Mind Mapping to Organize Research Ideas. See if it helps you!

These are just some of my favorite articles lately! What are you reading?

Indiana_Flag_(1903)

Thanks to a Facebook post on the Indiana Genealogy page yesterday, I learned that three new databases were added to Ancestry.com – Indiana Birth Certificates (1907-1940), Indiana Marriage Certificates (1958-2005), and Indiana Death Certificates (1899-2011). At first, I figured it was just transcriptions of these documents (and we all know that there can be errors in transcribing documents!). Imagine how thrilled I was to find out that these three databases all included scanned images of the records!

After spending almost an hour going through some of the records pertaining to my family and ancestors, I realized that if I didn’t set a time limit for myself, I would be up all night! I found the birth certificates for my mom, aunt and uncle! I found death certificates for some of my extended Wilt relatives. And even though I had said that I had found the last piece of the Johnson/Kirkpatrick puzzle, I was wrong! On Ellen Ora Johnson Moffitt’s death certificate, her mother’s name was listed . . . (drum roll please) . . . Nancy J Kirkpatrick!!! Oh, happy, happy dance!!!

I’m sure I will find even more details that I’ve missed when I go through these documents and some are even sad. I decided to look for the death certificate for Albert Wilt. He was my maternal grandmother’s younger half-brother, son of Joseph Napolean Wilt and Anna Park. Albert’s gravestone bears the years 1917-1933. I did find his death certificate and the cause of death listed was horrible: head crushed by railway tram as he walked along the tracks. His death was ruled an accident. My great-grandfather Joe was the informant but he listed his birth date as August 1, 1914. So was Joe correct and the incorrect birth year was put on the head stone? Whatever the case, Albert was too young and his death was tragic.

So if you have family and ancestors from Indiana, please go check out these three new databases. Perhaps you’ll find some information that can help break down some brick walls.

(Image: Indiana Flag 1903 from Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

wpid-wp-1438224440870.jpeg

On this Memorial Day, I remember those collateral relatives who paid the ultimate price in order to protect the freedom we have in this great nation of ours.

My second cousin once removed, Charles E Albert died in Italy on October 6, 1944 during WWII. Charley enlisted in the Army on February 4, 1943 at Columbus, Ohio. Three weeks after his death, his mother, Georgia Anna Amore Smith, received a telegram that was delivered by the Adjutant General, J A Uho. It read that Charley was killed in action. He was survived by his mother, stepfather William Smith, and ten siblings. He is buried in Greenfield, Ohio at Greenfield Cemetery.

My second cousin twice removed, Ward Lester Goul, died from wounds received in battle during WWI. He died on January 25, 1919 at the Evacuation Hospital and was buried at the American Cemetery in Nantes, France. Ward had been assigned to the 56th Coast Artillery after he was shipped overseas in March 1918.

Bill Amore and Wendy
Wendy and Jim (Bill) Amore 1969

My first cousin, James Amore, did not die during battle but during his service in Viet Nam, he was exposed to Agent Orange which caused him to die at a young age. Jim (or Bill as I called him) was the son of my uncle Paul Amore. He was born in October 1946 and died May 17, 1974 at the age of 27 years.

May we never forget those who served and died in order to keep our country free.

Ben_Jigsaw_Puzzle_Puzzle_Puzzle

In the past, I have written several articles about Ellen Ora Johnson, her family with Christopher Columbus Moffitt, and how I believed she was the daughter of Jacob M Johnson and Nancy Kirkpatrick. Those articles can be found here: Moffitt Mystery, Moffitt Mystery Part 2, Moffitt Mystery Part 3, Update on Part 3 – Moffitt Mystery, and Mystery Monday – Jacob M Johnson and Nancy Kirkpatrick.

Several months ago, I ran across a news article on Newspapers.com from The Daily Republican (Rushville, Indiana) on page 3 of the January 25, 1908 edition. It read: “Mrs. Nancy Cook of Knightstown visited Earl Atkins and family part of last week.” That one sentence was exciting because it showed a connection between Nancy Kirkpatrick Johnson Cook and the daughter of Ellen Ora Johnson Moffitt. Mrs. Earl Atkins was Lena Moffitt, the second oldest daughter of C.C. Moffitt and Ellen Ora Johnson.

I also located a memorial on Find a Grave for Elva Moffitt Griffith (third oldest daughter of C.C. and Ellen) that included her obituary which referenced Elva as the daughter of “Christopher Columbus and Ellen Cook Moffitt.” There’s that “Cook” name again. I returned once more to what I had found about Nancy Kirkpatrick.

Nancy was reportedly born on July 10, 1844 in Indiana. That birth date is listed on her gravestone located in Center Church Cemetery in Mays, Rush county, Indiana. The marriage record for her and Jacob M Johnson gives a marriage date of January 21, 1858. If both of those dates are correct, Nancy was 13 1/2 years old when she married. That wasn’t unheard of during that era, but it does create reasonable doubt. I believe Nancy was at least 2 years older when she married. People did lie about their ages – or not really know what year they were born so it is possible. In the 1860 US Census of Union twp in Howard county, Indiana, the household included: Jacob Johnson age 26 (putting his birth year at 1833-1834), Nancy Johnson age 23 (putting her birth year at 1836-1837), and Mary age 1 (birth year of 1858-1859). My belief is the name “Mary” was verbalized as “Orey” but the enumerator heard “Mary” or the girl did not have a real name yet so she was listed as Mary. (Many times children of a year or younger may not have been given their life-long name just in case they didn’t survive infancy.)

I couldn’t locate either Jacob or Nancy in the 1870 census but by 1880, Nancy is married to Allison Cook (married in 1865) and living in Center twp of Rush county, Indiana. Nancy’s age is listed as 36 (putting birth year as 1843-1844). There are two daughters and one son in the household: daughter Ollie B Cook is age 13 (birth year about 1867); daughter Martha A Cook is 11 (birth year about 1868-1869), and son Joseph R Cook is 8 (birth year 1871-1872).

By March 1, 1885 the family had moved to Osage county, Kansas and are shown on the Kansas State Census. Nancy is age 40, Allie (Ollie?) B Cook is 18, Martha A Cook is 15, and Joseph R Cook is 12.

In the 1900 US Census of Wayne twp, Henry county, Indiana, the household only includes Allison and Nancy, ages 66 and 46 respectively. It looks like Nancy has not aged very much since the 1885 Kansas census! The information shows that the couple have been married 35 years and that Nancy had 5 children but only 3 were living.

In the 1910 US Census, Nancy is living with her son, Joseph R Cook, and his family on Jefferson Street in Knightstown, Indiana. She is listed as widowed, mother of 4 children but only 3 living. Somehow one child was forgotten in ten years.

Nancy Jane Kirkpatrick Johnson Cook died in Knightstown on September 23, 1914. The death record in the Henry county Health office in New Castle records her as 71 years old.

As for her first husband, and brother to my second great-grandfather, Jacob M Johnson, he disappears after the 1860 census. I did locate his death date as May 26, 1864. So Nancy was a widow when she married Allison Cook – as opposed to a dissolution of marriage.

That is quite a bit of information but there is still nothing that ties Ellen Ora as the daughter of Nancy and Jacob. Luckily, I came across someone who had posted that she was their daughter so I contacted them. I wanted to know if they assumed the relationship based on circumstantial evidence just as I did.

Recently, this person contacted me and said they did have the evidence and would snail mail it to me. Monday, it arrived and was a type written sheet of genealogy information. The person who it originated from was none other than Ellen Ora’s daughter, Bessie Pearl Moffitt Lukens Tanner. The same daughter who had corresponded with my grandparents!

Jacob Marion Johnson has a birth date of May 20, 1833 and a death date of May 25, 1864. Nancy Jane Kirkpatrick was born July 10, 1843 (again, I think Nancy’s birth date is a bit off) and died the day that I have listed. They married on January 21, 1858 and two daughters were born to them: Ellen Ory Johnson and Lucretia Ann Johnson. Lucretia was born December 27, 1861 and died May 8, 1863. She was named after Nancy’s mother, Lucretia Zion.

Nancy married Allison Cook on November 16, 1865 and had three children: Ollie Bell (born November 3, 1866 and died March 22, 1952), Martha Ann (born July 24, 1871 and died August 3, 1887 after marrying William Moffitt in July 1887), and Joseph Rankin Cook – named after Nancy’s father, Joseph Kirkpatrick (born August 24, 1871 and died March 17, 1957).

Publicly, I want to thank Virginia Moffitt for providing the much needed last piece of the puzzle!

(Image: Wikimedia Commons, used under Creative Commons)

Flickr_-_USCapitol_-_Signing_of_the_Constitution

As broadcast legend Walter Cronkite would say: “You are there.” Perhaps, you aren’t or weren’t there, but were any of your ancestors?

In 1787, delegates from seven of the newly created states traveled to Philadelphia to begin deliberation for revising the Articles of Confederation. The result was historic – The Constitution of the United States.

Were any of my known ancestors living in the area in 1787? My four times great-grandfather, Adam Goul (1761-1845), had arrived in Pennsylvania around 1773 and in the first census of the United States, 1790, he was living in a small area called Kingsessing in Philadelphia. It is quite possible that he witnessed some of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention out and about in the Philadelphia area during the four months they were hashing out our government structure. Adam may have spoken with some of the men there and saw General George Washington from a distance. My newly found Lewis ancestors were living in Delaware county, Pennsylvania putting them right next door to Philadelphia. Perhaps at some point, one of them came across one or more delegates.

What would have been the feeling of the residents of Philadelphia besides being war weary from the Revolutionary War? Were they aware something so important was taking place just down the street? What were the newspapers reporting? And given what our country has seen at many political conventions, were there protesters outside the building that would come to be known as Independence Hall? And just what would today’s media sound like if all the technology of today was around back then?

 

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

I’ve had the opportunity to visit Philadelphia twice – once when I was a child and another the summer before my senior year of high school. At each visit, I stood in Independence Hall gazing at the area where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed. That whole city is full of history and through my ancestors, a bit of mystery as I wonder if Adam realized that he was in the middle of the most important events in our country’s narrative.

Top Image: Wikimedia commons – public domain.
Two bottom images: Original and digital images in possession of Wendy Littrell, address for private use.