Playing With My DNA

A few weeks ago, it was DNA Day, and because I was #StayingIn, I thought I should try doing something different. I work with my DNA every day, and what I usually do, is either work on my Beaton/Batten Mystery, organize my other matches or work on client projects.

So I decided I’d work with my DNA results in MyHeritage and in Ancestry but try a different approach. Often I work with my uncle’s or parents’ DNA, but today it was going to be about me.

So starting with Ancestry, I went to the map instead of the DNA match list. You did know there was a map, right? If not, then when you go to your match page, look to the right of your “list,” and you’ll see map. Here it plots all of your cousins that have their location identified in their profile. (So if you haven’t done that to your own profile, you might want to so your cousins will see you). The map shows your 4th cousins or closer, and you can actually filter them by 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins.

I’ve looked here before, but I’m going to just check for any cousins in Australia. I actually have two. I’m sure there are more, but remember these are only the ones that have provided their locations.

Both of the cousins are 4th cousin matches. One living in Adelaide, South Australia, and the other is shown in the center. This doesn’t mean she lives in the center; it’s just presented that way because she wasn’t any more specific than Australia in her profile.

As it turns out, one cousin is from my mom’s side, and the other is from my dad’s, and each of them has a small tree.

When I check out my Dad’s cousin, I discover that this person shares 20cM with me and because I have access to my Dad’s and my uncle Ken’s DNA on Ancestry, I find out that they share 23 cM and 22 cM respectively.

When I look at who I have in common with the DNA match, I don’t have anyone in common other than my siblings and my own children. This is also the case when I compare them to my uncle Ken. But my dad actually has a few more people in common. (There’s that randomness of DNA again).

When looking at those cousin’s trees and profiles, it’s a good idea to see if you can gather any hints as to their age. In this case, out of three, one I can see is 60+, as noted in her profile, and her tree showed her grandparents being born in 1907. The second match shows her parents in her tree as being born in 1907, and the third one I can’t really draw a conclusion because their profile is looked after by someone else, and it’s not clear if the “home person” in the tree is my father’s DNA match.

After I’ve looked at my cousin, and these two additional cousins that my dad has, it’s easy to see who the common ancestral couple is between the three matches. William Shuttleworth and wife; Elizabeth Slater.

But because these represent my DNA matches 2x great grandparent and because my dad only shares 23 cM with the match. Our connection is probably a bit further back. So there needs to be further research on the trees to discover my link to them. But it gives me a starting point.

Ok, now let’s look at that other Australia cousin. His connection is through my mom’s side of the family. I can tell this because he’s also a match to my uncle Don (my mom’s brother). This distant cousin actually has a tree. Strangely enough, when I look at how we are connected, I see a bunch of matches that I’ve identified as being part of the Beaton/Batten Mystery. I know that because as I find them, I always mark them with one of the Ancestry group dots that I’ve created.

I match this DNA connection at 21 cM and my uncle at 24cM. My uncle has 9 cousins in common with (let’s call him Wilky). When you look at the trees that these matches have, you don’t find any in common couple, person or surname common to their trees. However, some of the trees are incomplete, so here again, it will require further research to see if I can discover a commonality between the trees.

So now, let’s have a look at MyHeritage. Again I started at my DNA match results. I scroll about halfway down the page where I come to a map. Here it says that I have 258 matches from Australia. The map is based on the location of my matches, not where they were born.

When I get to the list of Australian matches the range of DNA is from 38 cM all the way down to 8 cM.

Alan is my best match and relates to my mom’s side of the family. I know this because I see my mother as an in common match between myself and Alan.

I should mention that I uploaded my mom’s FTDNA raw data to the MyHeritage site. (I also see my uncles as I’ve uploaded their kits as well). I tested my mom at FTDNA because, at the time, that was the only place you could DNA test if you lived in Canada. By the time Ancestry DNA came to Canada, my mom’s Alzheimer’s was too advanced to do a DNA test that required spit. This is very helpful when I’m trying to place one side of the family over the other. (To upload to MyHeritage you can go HERE.)

As you can see above, Alan has a tree, including 58 people, but when I look at it, there are no familiar family names. As I scroll down, I can see who I have in common with Alan, and there are no names that are familiar or that have any notes.

So I decide to move on to the next match on my list of 258.

Carla is my next best match at 32.5 cM, and she’s in a tree managed by someone with the same surname, and that person is also on my list just two matches below Carla. What’s interesting on this page is that MyHeritage shows we have a common ancestral surname of LaPage. LaPage is a surname from my father’s side, and Carla has my father and my dad’s brother Ken in common with her. As I look over the tree, I don’t see any of my family surnames on the list, and there are no locations given for birth, marriage, or death, but still, because of the LePage surnames, I may pursue this further.

So I can just continue through my DNA matches following the same process. My point is that sometimes we get in a rut, so I think it’s a good idea to look at our DNA matches differently. You never know what you might find.

Note: Ancestry DNA US click HERE Ancestry DNA Canada click HERE

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