Cluster Genealogy Part 3 – I have Maine on My Wall.

Back to CW and his family…

CW has a One Name Study already on the go on WikiTree. Which has come in so very handy. He has it structured in part by early W’s – everywhere he had already found them.

To further my own research of his brickwall I have to study ALL of the early W’s in Maine. I

ended up researching outside of Maine because another W researcher had a fella from South Carolina mixed in with the Maine W’s. Can’t have that!

So Maine it is and will be for this client.

Today, in Grandma’s Genes offices, I hung a big piece of paper and drew a map of Maine on it. Then I printed a map of Waldo County, Maine and hung it on the bigger map. Getting your area up on a wall when doing cluster genealogy can be incredibly helpful. You can also go new school and use Google Earth as well (using Google Earth for Genealogy will be another Blog post).

For now it’s just the idea of using maps in whatever form to help you.

Right now I have the area’s that I have documented for a specific theory – unproven – of how the W family moved around in Maine. Richard’s son Simeon has a biographical note about him in the (the son) “was born in Scarboro, Maine. His parents soon after moved to Cornish, Maine, then to Parsonfield, and in 1833 they removed to Troy, Maine” ( reference given upon request to protect the privacy of CW’s family).

My hand-drawn map now has Scarborough, Parsonfield and Troy highlighted in yellow. I can look back over my shoulder and see it and it helps me see what towns or villages might have been in between during this family’s travels to Waldo. This means I have clues about where I might find further information.

Maine State Map from Google Maps

No I didn’t take a picture of the one I drew – ok, I did but I deemed my artwork unworthy of your eyes.

CW and his brick wall grab me away from other things off and on during the months I have been working with my genealogical sledge hammer. It’s a nice distraction. An even bigger distraction is the hand-drawn map of Maine. If any of you reading this is a client, I will give you a grand tour of my map of Maine, next time you are in the office.

Genealogy On Folks!


Cluster Genealogy – 2 DNA & Geography

CW, as stated in the first post about Cluster Genealogy, has had every possible DNA test one could have. So one of the first things I did was look at his surname DNA project and his results as compared to others who match him closely.

For those who need a little help to find DNA projects, simply type the Surname you are interested in into a search engine, “Smith DNA Project”, and if there is a DNA project for the surname it will pop up. Oh! What we did before the internet! Editorial comments aside, it’s pretty easy to find. One note of caution, do not copy and post information directly from the DNA project to anywhere public.

So in looking at CW’s DNA Surname Project I found several entries for “W” in the spread sheet who share CW’s Haplogroup, R-M269. In just looking at the people listed in the same Haplogroup, I see:

Samuel, b. 1643, Portsmith, New Hampshire, d. 1718
Ichabod, 1610, England
Thomas, 1787, Buckfastliegh, Devon (alternate surname spelling) This fella is also listed in this subclade but also in two other subclades.
No Name Unknown Origin
No Name Unknown Origin
William, b. 1750 – 1795, United Kingdom
Charles, b. 1769 Unknown – 1850 Alabama
Levi, 1780 – 1849 Unknown Origin
Levi, 1780 – 1849 Unknown Origin
No Name Unknown Origin
Samuel H., b. 1803, Cornish, ME, USA¬† <— this is CW’s ancestor
William, b.1800 d.aft 1880, Unknown Origin
Levi, B. 1780 and d. 1849, Unknown Origin
William (completely different surname) b 1860 d 1910 Unknown Origin

All of these entries are listed with the note, “R1b-M343 Backbone SNP Pack”, so it appears that FTDNA thinks these fella’s are all connected to some point in time (could be thousands of years).

So I now have a list of possible family members for CW, that I will need to research to see if they “fit”.

I have already had an opportunity to look into Levi, 1780-1849 as a fellow WikiTreer has Levi of SC associated with what he believes is CW’s Maine line (he had all of the children of this family located in Maine, then the one Child, Levi, in SC, an anomaly worth looking into for sure). Researching this Levi of SC gives us a man who was born in South Carolina, lived in South Carolina and died in South Carolina. There is no apparent connection, in the genealogical time frame, to CW’s family in Maine. I did find another Levi who lived in Maine at the right time and the right place to possibly be Levi who is the Levi of Maine and the one connected to CW..

So new questions arise, were the DNA tests associated with Levi of SC, actually for the Levi of Maine? The only way to find out is to search for the testers and find out what information they have for the paper trail. Then we can see which of the Levi’s in the DNA Project belong to Levi of Maine and which belong to the Levi of SC.

Off to find some paper trails for the rest and to find some testers to help with identifying the right Levi’s!

Cluster Genealogy – 1 – Geography

I am working with CW on a Paternal line brickwall – SW (Samuel). To help break down this brick wall CW has taken DNA tests – all of them. The Autosomal DNA Results information is a good place to look at relationships back to any of his 64, 4th great grandparents (we all have 64, 4th Great grands).

Using WikiTree’s Relationship Finder gives us CW’s relationship Trail to his brickwall:

Relationship Trail

1. CW is the son of TW
2. TW is the son of EW
3. EW is the son of EW, Jr.
4. EW, Jr. is the son of EW, Sr.
5. EW, Sr. is the son of Samuel W.
6. Samuel W. is the son of Samuel W.

This trail tells us that Samuel is the fourth great grandfather of CW. Which places this Brickwall squarely in the range where we can use Autosomal tests to help determine the possible siblings and cousins of Samuel. But to find his father we will need to look at CW’s y-DNA test information.

We know that he is haplogroup (“A haplogroup is a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor on the patrilineal or matrilineal line – ISOGG ) R1b1b2 (from 23andMe) or R-M269 (FamilyTree DNA) which is a very common Western European haplogroup. Since we know his haplogroup we can look to see if there is a “W” DNA project by doing a google search. To our surprise, we not only find a “W” DNA Project but CW has already joined this project.

Scrolling down the Project Results spreadsheet, we find CW in the list of Project Kits. We see also, adjacent to CW, others who are listed in the same Haplogroup with very close connections to CW and his brickwall. They are, Levi, b. 1780 and William, b. abt. 1800. How do we know they are close? It’s in the numbers – they are grouped together in the DNA Project spreadsheet because they share mutations (“A permanent structural alteration or change in the DNA sequence. Mutations in the sperm or egg are called germline mutations. Germline mutations in the Y chromosome of the male are passed on to all of his male-line descendants. Mutations that occur after conception are called somatic mutations; these mutations may be found in different tissues of the body and they are not passed on to offspring” – ISOGG).

CW has information that shows his brickwall Samuel was most probably born and lived in Maine. His birthplace is listed as Cornish Maine in his son’s Death Certificate. This may or may not be correct considering this information was given by his son’s wife. Did his son tell his wife where his father was born? Did she remember it correctly? Did her father-in-Law tell her this? We have no way of knowing for sure.

Samuel lived in Waldo County, Maine, in the 1850 and 1860 Census Records and in Somerset County, Maine in the 1870 Census with his son Albion. Looking on the map Waldo and Somerset Counties are next to each other, but Cornish is in York County which is not connected to Waldo or Somerset County, lying about 124 miles away. It’s not unusual for younger children in a family to move away from the family’s area – their birth area – in search of land and opportunity. Plus in a quick review of the early history of Cornish, the village was very close to the confluence of three important Native American trails. These trails were often the routes that future roads followed.

So we now have some places to start looking for Samuel, and we are going to have to employ a process called Cluster Genealogy, “Cluster genealogy is a research technique employed by genealogists to learn more about an ancestor by examining records left by the ancestor’s cluster. A person’s cluster consists of the extended family, friends, neighbors, and other associates such as business partners. Researching the lives of an ancestor’s cluster leads to a more complete and more accurate picture of the ancestor’s life.” – WikiPedia

Determining the geography of an ancestor will help us to further the research we need to do in order to chip away at CW’s Brick Wall. Hopefully while we chip away, we will also find Levi and William’s paper connection to CW’s family.