DNA confirmation Citations

You can say you have proved a connection via paperwork and sources and most all of us know how to post a citation for that proof. But what do you do when you finally prove your paper trail (or lack thereof) of sources? How do you post a DNA confirmation citation?

I got a kick in the bum (completely unintentionally) from one of my heros, DNA expert extraordinaire, Peter Roberts.  I was doing the things I do on Wikitree (where I post all of my ongoing – it never ends does it? – research) and noticed Peter working with a profile and DNA triangulation.  As a part of what he had done we had a short email exchange about DNA confirmation and why it’s important to cite the DNA confirmation in the child’s information.

The kick in the bum made me go back and figure out how to add my DNA citations!

So for example, my grandmother’s DNA has been proven using a method called triangulation (basically I have found two other people who match my DNA, through testing, our segments match location on the same chromosome and our genealogical research sync’s-up as well). I am using atDNA (autosomal) with 4th cousins.  But how on earth do I cite this? I went to the DNA Confirmation Help Page on WikiTree and looked it up!

The citation ended up looking like this:

  1.  Maternal relationship is confirmed by a triangulated group consisting of M. Gaulden GEDmatch #,  Bubbette Blue GEDmatch # and Bubba Jones GEDmatch # sharing a 26.7 cM segment on chromosome 9 from 103,348,186 to 123,946,544

Roots Tech 2016 Take Away

My Travel? Good, despite a rough start of sitting through prolonged de-icing and a missed connection (and lunch with an old friend) to Los Angeles. Re-routed through San Francisco, I eventually arrived 16 hours after I started.

The start was great at breakfast on Thursday morning with the WikiTree Gang and bonus guests in Randy Seavers (http://www.geneamusings.com/) and his delightful wife. There, that’s it – the conference surely can’t top having breakfast with genea-guru and WikiTreer Randy Seavers, right?!

Au contraire! I visited the Genealogy Bloggers Mosh Pit with all of it’s various, colorful bloggers, hermetically connected to the net by Wire. “WE ARE BLOG you WILL be educated”. Oh they are individuals, but you can’t help but imagine they might be sharing thought through that umbilical. Took in a presentation at Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.com/) and chatted with the folks at HP who were touting the ability to scan images from your home HP printer straight to a Family History Center.

The Venders/Exhibiters were numerous – more numerous than last year. You could print a gigantic Fan Chart (the largest Family Tree Wall Chart was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records before our eyes!), scan your books and precious files, listen to vender centric lectures, buy tree jewelry, tree sculptures, and even find a place to stay for next year.

The Classes were full. Too full for some who were turned away after arriving late. I missed a class as I was flying around the United States. I did get in to see Kitty Munson Copper’s (http://www.kittycooper.com/ and yes she is a WikiTreer) class on DNA triangulation which was packed with eager genealogists hoping to learn how to prove their paper trails. Aside from some technical difficulties, the class was well presented, with WikiTree’s Kitty Cooper Smith offering a helping hand.

I met too many people to count and gave too many hugs to remember. I joined the Surname Society (http://surname-society.org/) and Ancestor Cloud (http://ancestorcloud.com/#/). I ate Mexican. I watched presentations. I got my picture taken in Orange.

Phtograph of Mags and AJ Jacobs
Mags (Grandmas Genes) and AJ Jacobs

I was attacked by an over-sized stuffed bear.

Bear Attack!
Bear Attack!

I Created a McElmoyle DNA Project on FamilyTree DNA (thanks Jim – https://www.familytreedna.com/projects.aspx). I met new friends/cousins. I ran into old friends/cousins that I met last year, who came by the WikiTree booth to see me (always fun) again. AND? I went to my hotel room exhausted after dinner every night.

It was only right that I would finish my time at Roots Tech the way I had begun it – Breakfast with Randy Seavers and his wife.

My Take away? It was fun, informative and exhausting. I have a year to rest – can’t wait til next year!

Photo’s courtesy of Michelle Hartley and Julie Ricketts.

Roots Tech 2016 or Bust

My Travel
I am a day away from my day long, continent spanning trip to reach the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. I leave at quarter to 10am EST and arrive at quarter to 10pm MST. So technically it will look like 12 hours, but in reality, it will be more.

On the way I get to meet a childhood friend in LA for lunch, and on the way home I get to play in Vegas with a WikiTree colleague. No, I didn’t plan it that way but when I realized I would be in LA for a good chunk of time and in Vegas for an even bigger chunk of time? Well things just fell into place. Then, because I am flying West Jet home from Vegas, I will be able to watch, for free, from the back of the seat in front of me, the Super Bowl. Go Bron..Pan..oh how do you choose? Peyton Manning’s probable final game/Super Bowl appearance, or, roll Panthers after one incredible season?

The Conference
I will be at the WikiTree booth, sporting my burnt orange with pride, giving out as many hugs as I can, while taking selfies with anyone who will take one with me AND posing for pictures with some of my favorite WikiTreers in WikiTree’s photo booth!

I will try to sneak in some classes in betwixt and between talking to every single person attending Roots Tech, about how incredible WikiTree has been for my Genealogical journey.

I will also tell anyone who will listen about how excited I am to have teamed-up with Marc Snelling to start Grandmas Genes and how much fun I am already having working on blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking as Grandmas Genes…I am becoming a social media Maven.

See you at Roots Tech!

Why DNA?

Oh, there are so many reasons why DNA.

DNA is the thread that makes up the fabric of who we are. It is also the tint in our Iris, the gray (what, you aren’t grey yet?) of our hair, the knock of our knees, the recipe of our self. It is also the road map of our ancestry.

I have, according to Doodle my Grandmother, my grandfather Gaulden’s hair and eyes. I can see in the mirror that I have my mothers smile. All of my siblings and I have the same basic build, in varying degrees, of our grandfather TC. One sibling has curly brown hair and resembles, again according to Doodle, Doodle’s mother Allie Compton. The other sibling is some kind of incredible replica of TC. I know that I see my sibling in the face and expressions of my niece. I also see the same niece in the face of second cousin. All our family traits, everything is inherited and that inheritance is decided by our DNA.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the carrier of our genetic (origins, the study of heredity) information. It is “a chemical consisting of a sequence of hundreds of millions of nucleotides found in the nuclei of cells containing the genetic information about an individual. It is shaped like a double-stranded helix, which consists of two paired DNA molecules and resembles a ladder that has been twisted. The “rungs” of the ladder are made of base pairs, or nucleotides with complementary hydrogen bonding patterns.”[1]

So in the simplest form DNA is hundreds of millions of very small things found in a cell – each cell in our bodies. How these tiny things are are set-up is how our body knows how to be. This is the basic thing to know.

We inherit parts of us from our mothers and our fathers. We also inherit parts of us from our grandparents and their parents and their parents and…HOW we inherit it is much harder to explain.

If we all inherited things only from each of our parents then we would all look just like our parents and each of our siblings. But as I discussed above, I don’t look just like my brother or my sister. I don’t look just like my father or my mother. I don’t look just like any of my grandparents. I look just like a random combination of all of, or parts of, different ancestors from the beginning of my family line(s).

So, I can ask my family questions and find out about my family history. I can be told I have my grandfathers eyes…wow I must have inherited them from him…but who did he inherit them from? Well, no one is alive today to tell me that. No one is alive to tell me who his father was from first hand experience either. I can go to the Library, County Archives, State or Provincial Archives and the National Archives and find the paper trail. The paper trail may or may not tell me anything further back than what the papers cover, but how can I find out about the rest of the story.

Technically a DNA test won’t tell me who I got my eyes from, but it can tell me that I have blue eyes based on what my DNA test says. A DNA test can also tell me that my mother is my mother (despite how many times my sister told me I was adopted), that my grandmother is my grandmother and that her great, great, grandmother is really her 2xgreatgrandmother. To connect the DNA with the paper trail, to prove that trail, is basically the found holy grail of our family history.

That is why DNA.

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1.↑ http://isogg.org/wiki/Genetics_Glossary

 

 

The Mystery of the Box, Part 1 – McElmoyle

It is wooden and rectangular, about 16″ x 6″ x 6″ or so. It is hinged at the back and has a rough clip at the front to keep it closed. The top is adorned with carefully written white letters. “J superscript N then McElmoyle”. The letters in the name McElmoyle are faded or worn, but they are there. The whole box is battered a bit, dripped with something in spots, dirty and dusty. It spent at least 40 years or so in the attic of a McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, South Carolina. About 80 miles from it’s original owners home in York, South Carolina and close to 4000 miles from it’s origination point in Antrim County, Northern Ireland.[1]

John McEmoyle carried all of his worldly possessions in this box when he arrived in South Carolina in the late 1700’s. Who knows what those original contents were. The contents it held in recent times were an original copy of the Immigration and naturalization records of John McEmoil (McElmoyle), Sr.

As Irish inheritance goes, this box would have been inherited by the first son of John, then the first son of that son and so on, on down the line.

But something is amiss…

John McElmoyle, Sr. had five living children proven by his 1811 Will.[2]

The first son would be James, who according to the McElmoyle Family Papers[3] was “single, may have been an invalid” and “deaf and dum”.[4]. The 1850 Census of York County, South Carolina lists him as living with his brother Daniels’ Widow Elizabeth, her new husband John D. Boyd, and his niece Harriet E. McElmoyle. John Getty’s, also listed, must be related to his brother Daniels’ daughter Mary Adaline McElmoyle Gettys.

So it seems James would have no male heirs to leave the box to.

The next son, Daniel has plenty of heirs. He dies early, his Widow remarries and the children are raised by their step-father. They might have had the box.

Daughter Margaret McElmoyle has no information suggesting she lived and breathed other than her 1812 inheritance from her father.

McELMOYLE SR., JOHN of York District, signed December 11, 1811
Wife: Mary
Sons: James and John, the plantation containing 200 acres.
Son: David, 140 acres on Turkey Creek, purchased from Abraham Livingston.
Daughter: Margaret McElmoile, the lease of 70 acres Indian land purchased from John White.
Son: Daniel
Executors: John McClenchan
Witnesses: Isaac McFaddin, Thos. Faris, Mary Polk
Proven: 22 Apr 1812[5]

John McElmoyle, Jr., “…believed to be the youngest, remained single and is believed buried at Rose Hill Cem. in York, SC as J.C. McElmoyle, died Feb. 2, 1884 aged 84 yrs.” This, again, is from the McElmoyle Family Papers. He does not appear to marry and lives with a niece in Census records from 1860 to 1880.

And then there is David, who like his sister Margaret, has no information suggesting he lived and breathed other than his 1812 inheritance from his father.

In John Sr.’s Will he divides his land, his livestock, farm implements, Negroes, and even specific pots and kitchen items, but nowhere in his will does he bequeath the box. There is this statement: “All the rest of my farming utensils and plantation and all my property not above mentioned, I give and bequeath jointly to my wife and two sons James and John.”

So John or James inherited the box and that is how it ended up in the attic of that McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, SC. But…

That McElmoyle Descendants great grand father was, according to the McElmoyle Family Papers, “probably a cousin [to John] who may have immigrated at later date. He too is buried at Bethesda…Do not confuse his descendants with Daniel son of John Mc. Senior.” How on earth would a descendant of a cousin of the John McElmoyle, Sr. family inherit the box and it’s contents?
McElmoyle-4

That is the question.

To be continued…
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1.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, p.1,No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
2.↑ McElmoyle, john (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.
3.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
4.↑ “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 10 November 2015), James Mcelmoyl in household of John D Boyd, York county, York, South Carolina, United States; citing family 1496, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
5.↑ McElmoyle, John (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.

Just Start

Oh to Start. Well that is what it all comes down to right? Nothing gets done unless you just start. Marc and I are doing just that.

We have known each other for a couple of years. He and I live in the same neighborhood. His sister is in my life “circle’s”. You know, those people you probably interact with at least weekly, but they aren’t really a “friend”. A neighbor who shares a fence, the fella at the butchershop you end up having long discussions with occasionally while shopping, the manager at your favorite store who patiently listened to a special request, made it happen and you always go out of your way to say hello.

So one afternoon when our paths crossed, Marc says to me, I hear you are into “Genealogy”. Oh, the conversation that followed. So now we…

…Just Start.