On Monday I drove 2 1/2 hours each way to see my mom’s second cousin; Margaret. I met Margaret a few years ago through my research on the Beaton and the Batten Family. On the front seat of my car was a DNA kit that I’d purchased in hope that she would agree to do yet another DNA kit. This time it was an Ancestry kit. I wanted to have her do it so I could have the results and be able to separate out my matches; my mom’s DNA matches from my dad’s DNA matches. Just before I pulled away from the curb I did a Periscope video to capture the moment. In case you’re not familiar with this, it’s an offshoot of Twitter; where you post a video type tweet. I figure if Kevin O’Leary can do it so can it. Anyway, I think only one person has watched it so it turned out to be not a completely scary first attempt.
Once I arrived at Margaret’s I opened up the dashboard for her DNA on Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and I explained to her the ethnic origins and then we got to the matches. We looked over all the names of her 2-4 cousins matches to see if she might recognize anyone. Unfortunately, no one stood out. My goal was to then go over Margaret’s tree details so that I could post what she knows about her family as a link to her DNA. I’m familiar with one line of her family; namely her father’s but I don’t really know a lot about her mom’s side. I have to say that Margaret and I had a great time. She a wonderful women; who is so strong and I enjoyed our conversation so much. It’s times like these that I realize how much I miss my mom and the interest she took in my family history project.
Margaret had her photo album out which she’d made several years ago. It has a pedigree chart that was created by her mom and to which she’s added photos. She told me she didn’t want to leave her children boxes of photos that they wouldn’t know what to do with and who the people were. She truly is a women after my own heart and I told her that she’s smarter than the average bear but that would make sense anyway because she’s my cousin and we’re all smart. Of course we laughed at that……
We spent 3 hours looking at her photos and mine and her tree information and figuring out who else we could test to see how she and I connect and if her family story is correct, which is that her grandmother was the illegitimate child of George William Batten. This time was so valuable because I could show tell her about families that I’ve discovered and she could tell me if she knew of them when she was a child. I have to tell you having my Flip Pal and Zcan+ made it so easy to capture all the photos and information and we didn’t have to waste too much time as both are so easy to use.
So overall it was a very productive trip and Margaret agreed to do the Ancestry DNA kit and I came away with more possible leads to follow and with some luck we might be able to figure out the mystery of who William (Willie) and Annie Beaton/Batten were and who their parents were. The final best news I got when I was travelling in the car, was that one of my cousin’s had received my other DNA kit and was asking questions so she could help her mom; Violet complete the kit. Violet is my mom’s only living sister.
So many new possibilities are on the way with these kits but DNA isn’t the only answer, it’s just another way to approach your family history. I do the usual research and I think that DNA is just an added complement and perhaps will help you when your genealogy gets stuck.