Monday, October 31, 2016

What Ancestry DNA doesn't get quite right

Six months after testing myself, my daughter and my great Aunt on Ancestry, well, we have some mixed bag results. I have my first (yes first) ancestry hint. My great Aunt has one as well, and my daughter now has two. Funny because all my other kits have several, I guess I have more of a complete tree and that's why, but to be honest, not sure at all.

Almost all of my circles only include ones where my daughter falls. So no one that I match alone but match many in the circle seem to appear. Oh, and then there are the two funny circles. Funny because for both my daughter and I there are two circles not to an ancestor, but to an ancestor's brother. Thus I have a circle for one of the brothers to Martin D. J. Collins and to Sterling Alexander Hager (listed as Sr, and NOT the father of Sterling Alexander Hager who lived in Arkansas and Texas). This Sterling was the brother of Steeley Hager who died in Lauderdale county, Tennessee in 1848.

So while the ancestry DNA has helped confirm my tree, well, I don't know that it's any better than 23andme. And since Ancestry changed their file format, I can't upload to familytree DNA just yet either. So I am waiting. I feel like I do that a lot. Because despite the fact that all the other bloggers say that the testers on ancestry and familytree DNA are more into testing for genealogy, you really don't get more responses from either.

In the time since I tested with ancestry compared with the same time as 23andme, I got better responses to my inquiries actually on 23andme. And I could compare the DNA segments. Frankly though, I find the 23andme price too  high, and well, you have the same kind of looky loo mentality in testers now on both Ancestry and 23andme. A plethora of testers who are testing for curiosity sake for ancestry make up on Ancestry, and for health on 23andme.

I haven't given up though. Still love Gedmatch and the capability of comparing across all the companies. And still have great hopes that I will solve those mysteries, and eventually find one or both of my  Mom's half brothers.

My advice hasn't changed. Educate yourself. Learn about DNA. Correspond with as many as you can get to answer and have a robust tree to start. Don't give up on DNA, it's valuable, but just don't think it will provide all the answers yet either.

Yes, you can call me an Arkansas hillbilly

I have written before about how deeply I feel my ties to Pensacola. I have, however, omitted that I live in a state where I have several family ties. I didn't know until I was 20 that my grandfather's family came from Arkansas, but it was many more years before I knew just how strong my ties to Arkansas are.

From the window of the hospital where I worked, I could look out and see a church in Benton that was built on land donated by my grandfather's great grandmother and her two brothers. A few of the cousins I have found a long the way have shown me where the family lived and are buried. Through them I walked on land that my family owned when my grandfather's father was born.

Pop never knew his father, so that's what makes the discovery of his father's family, and of his half brother's children so special. I know that for all of his life, what he wanted more than anything, was to know about his father. Sadly it was about a decade after he died, but I found them.

A few weeks ago we took a drive up to Mount Magazine to see the fall foliage. On the way we drove through the area where my Adams, Roger and Hager family settled around the time of the Civil War. I know we were not far from the family cemetery for the Rogers, and a cousin told me that on the way up the mountain, I pass the remains of the saw mill ran by Henry Rogers. ( I still haven't seen it though).

I am not allowed to stop at  cemeteries on family outings any more. My daughter doesn't even want me to mention I have noticed one, and well, my mom isn't too fond of it either. So I plan on making a trip up there I hope soon with a co worker, whose husband is my fourth cousin. At least she shares my interest in visiting the family grave sites.

My mom and daughter did reluctantly agree that they could see why the family settled there. On the plateaus of the Ozark foothills, with scenic vistas I can picture the lives my family lived 160 or so years ago. And if she doesn't share my interest in family history, my daughter shares my interest in architecture.

We drive by and point out the interesting older homes, and she absolutely fell in love with the Franciscan Abby at Subiaco, Arkansas. I talk a lot about the history of our country, our state, or our family on these trips.  I hope she remembers at least half of what I say, and that someday, she may drive the same roads, walk the same land, and feel the same connections to her own history.