Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spencer DNA

My bucket list "who are your parents?" ancestor is my 4th great-grandfather, Asa SPENCER. His story is here and his database information is here. And seriously, I'm not getting any younger...

With so many different DNA testing sites, you can only use the tools each has available. My mom Jo (a Spencer descendant) and I both tested at Ancestry. As we all know, Ancestry will not provide us nerds with a chromosome browser or segments, so we have to make do. Ancestry does provide us with "Shared Matches" and the total centimorgans (cMs) and number of segments shared with a match. Using those tools, I created this spreadsheet, read from bottom to top:

My legend:

Bold denotes those who have tested at Ancestry
Total cMs and number of segments, provided by Ancestry, as matched to my mom Jo
Orange = all shared matches with Aleta
Blue = all shared matches with RH
Green = all shared matches with Eleda
Red = all shared matches with RC
Black = all shared matches with Ed S
Everyone here matches my mom Jo

What I tried to do in my head was visualize how these mini-groups of people matched each other. And what prompted the visualization was the recurring matches to the various HULING descendants. Ooh, a pattern! I had no Hulings in my own research, nor do my known cousins here, Eleda, Aleta, and RC, all of whom I have corresponded with and can verify descent from my Asa Spencer.

The testers RH and Katie show up as the first 4th cousin matches in my mom's Shared Matches list. None appear to have transferred to Gedmatch or FTDNA. Of course, I have messaged all of the other testers to no avail, which led me to the spreadsheet. 

Honestly, I think I did a pretty good job transferring my musings to paper.

Tell me what you think. Do you think I should pursue a relationship between the Spencers and Hulings? If so, what might the relationship be? Where else in the tree should I look? What else can I do to help determine Asa's parents? Is this a legit way to show relationships without segments? Help me, DNA!

© 2017 Sally Knudsen

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Test Post

This is a test.

I previously used a client to forward my blog posts to Twitter...and then it shut down. I have registered with And my first post came up with duplicate appendages:

Trying again. I checked the settings and they only appear once.

If they duplicate again, any ideas?

Monday, January 2, 2017

How Many Ancestors: 2017 Edition

Happy New Year!

My first post of 2017 is an update to the ongoing "how many ancestors have you identified" quest.

The idea is to list the "known by name" ancestors at each genealogical level: parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. As the potential ancestors double and the available records decrease over time, let's check mine and see where my research challenges are.

I realize now that I didn't do this assessment in 2016, so this will be two year's worth of progress. And progress there was!

Here's my chart from 2015:

And here is 2017's:

Go me!

In green above are the generations where I found new ancestors over the past two years.

In Level 7, the 4x great-grandparents, I made zero progress. The missing ancestors are my Irish lines. I may be forever stuck here.

In Level 8, the 5x great-grandparents, I made a LOT of progress, mostly filling in information through further research. This includes finding books on my colonial American lines, and locating more records in my French-Canadian lines.

The biggest jump is in the last group, the 7x great-grandparents. I quadrupled 2015's number. This is almost singularly due to my big break in my maternal grandmother's Wurttemberg lines. Once I broke through that brick wall this summer, the records filled in so much history. I wish you all would have Wurttemberg Lutheran ancestors,

When I first did this exercise in 2014, I had identified 160, or 16.5% of my direct ancestors through 10 generations.

In 2015, I had 196, or 19%.

By 2017, I had a whopping 319, or 31%.

The oldest record I have to date is my maternal 10th great-grandparents, Veit SUFFEL and Maria LACHENMAIER of Rudersberg in Wurttemberg. They were married in 1649:

Happy New Year and Happy Searching!

© 2017 Sally Knudsen