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  • Unknown grandfather

    Excuse the lengthy post but I want to give as much information as possible to ensure a helpful reply.
    My father's family was purely Acadian on his mother's side and probably on his father's as well. Y111 done on our nephew indicates a surname of Arsenault. Going back to 5th gr-grandparents, these are the surnames in my tree (UK being all the unknowns on the missing grandfather's side:

    Father - Casey

    GPs - Unknown Arsenault, Casey

    GGPs - Arsenault, UK, Casey, Babineau

    2nd GGP - Arsenault, 3UK, Casey, Leblanc, Babineau, Theriault

    3rd GGP - Arsenault, 7UK, Casey, Hache, Leblanc, Gaudet, Babineau, Leblanc, Theriault, Arsenault

    4th GGP - Arsenault, 15UK, Casey, Leger, Hache, Arsenault, Leblanc, Bourgeois, Gaudet, Ouelette, Babineau, Leger, Leblanc, Cormier, Theriault, Surette, Arsenault, Gaudet

    5th GGP - Arsenaukt, 31UK, Casey, Lapierre, Leger, Hache, Hache, Melanson, Arsenault, Poirier, Leblanc, Hebert, Bourgeois, Belliveau, Gaudet, Melanson, Ouelette, Poirier, Babineau, Breau, Leger, Leblanc, Leblanc, Hebert, Cormier, Melanson, Theriault, Robichaud, Surette, Babineau, Arsenault, Boudreau, Gaudet, Melanson

    When my father was born in 1911, there was an Arsenault family living two doors down from my grandmother's family who had two sons of an age to be the possible father. Two of my sisters have a match on Ancestry who is a descendant of that family who would be a 1st cousin twice removed if one of these brothers were my unknown grandfather but the numbers are only 123 cM and 73 cM which do fall within the range.

    The problem is that myself and three sisters have a group of matches with ties to the village of Egmont Bay, Prince Edward Island with the following amounts of shared cM with myself and my three sisters:

    Match 1 - 190, 168, 193, 192,
    Match 2 - 189, 177, 223, 150
    Match 3 - 180, 181, 170, 131
    Match 4 - 144, 174, 142, 159

    To my knowledge, my grandmother had no known close connections to anyone in PEI though one of the family rumours over the years was that the unknown grandfather was an Arsenault from PEI. My question is which of these two families is a more likely prospect - the neighbour family with the smaller shared cM, or the PEI family with four fairly strong numbers for shared cMs?

    Thanks for your patience.

  • #2
    The group of matches you have in PEI, are they Arsenaults? If so, are they related to the Arsenault family living two doors down from your grandmother's family? Could a member of the PEI family have been visiting the Arsenault family living two doors down from my grandmother's family?

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    • #3
      The 4 matches in PEI all descend from the same family in Egmont Bay; two are a brother and sister who come up as 2nd cousins once removed to the other two assuming the information they gave me on their family is correct. The other two come up as 2nd cousins.
      As the information in my tree currently stands, the PEI matches come up as 6th cousins both to myself and the Ancestry match. Of course, if I put a potential candidate from either the PEI family or the Ancestry match as my grandfather, it changes my relationship of the family involved but not my relationship with the other family and not their relationship with each other. So it basically seems to come down to a question of which proposed scenario is more likely?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Oldcrone View Post
        The 4 matches in PEI all descend from the same family in Egmont Bay; two are a brother and sister who come up as 2nd cousins once removed to the other two assuming the information they gave me on their family is correct. The other two come up as 2nd cousins.
        As the information in my tree currently stands, the PEI matches come up as 6th cousins both to myself and the Ancestry match. Of course, if I put a potential candidate from either the PEI family or the Ancestry match as my grandfather, it changes my relationship of the family involved but not my relationship with the other family and not their relationship with each other. So it basically seems to come down to a question of which proposed scenario is more likely?
        I think the problem you are going to run into is that being Acadian on your mother's side and potentially your father's side also you are potentially related to these matches multiple times. This would cause more DNA to be shared and making relationships appear closer than they actually are. If there is another researcher you can find that has experience working with Acadian autosomal matches you might want to get their input. Obviously you will want to test the oldest generations you can. Is your father or a sibling of his available to test? How about your matches, is there a parent or someone a generation or two older than them available to test?

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        • #5
          Actually, my mother is not Acadian - purely English, Scottish as far as back as we've been able to trace.
          I am aware that the endogomous nature of the Acadian population makes matches generally more distant than predicted though I have run across a couple that fit in right where they should.
          My father was the only one of my grandmother's children who was an NPE, born when she was only 15 years old. He did have three half siblings but only one is still alive and I don't see the advantage of trying to have her tested even if it were possible since she had a different father.
          My latest match - one of the four descended from the PEI family - is actually more of my father's generation, currently age 93 which perhaps explains why her numbers are relatively high - actually the top match for at least one of my sisters after immediate family. Her daughter who administers her account is awaiting the results of her own test.

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