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How to confirm descent from g g g grandparent?

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  • How to confirm descent from g g g grandparent?

    Any suggestions?
    I have a good paper trail to my 2x g grandfather Hall. I have convincing circumstantial evidence as to his parents Hall and Judd. If the link is correct, I have connected to a fairly well researched branch of ancestors, many of them founders of Middletown and Hartford, CT, i.e. John Clark.

    I just got my FF results, my only test. Many pages of Clark matches, 2nd to remote. One 2nd to 4th Clark match appears in repeated filtered searches. So I filtered "in common with" and got no less than 14 matches that overlap segment on Chromo 5, 10cm to 25 cm.
    One of these is a 5th to remote Cornwell, a surname from the Middletown, CT project I joined.

    How would you suggest proceeding? I need to determine if my 14 Clark matches are upstream of my Hall/Judd pair, or are just a match to another line. I am adopted with NO paternal info...just maternal to 4 and 5 generations.

  • #2
    It can be a bit dangerous to rely on surnames, especially common ones like Clark. A lot of people called Clark or listing Clark as an ancestor will be descended from totally different and unrelated ancestors who happen to have the same name. Conversely, a lot of people who are descended from the Clarks you think you descend from will be descended from a daughter so they will have different surnames in their trees and may never have discovered their female ancestor's maiden name.

    All you can really do is look at their trees if they've uploaded one here. Otherwise, email them and ask if they have a tree. Also, specifically ask them if they have any connection to Middletown or Hartford: many people are in situations like yours and aren't sure of their ancestry beyond a certain level, but they might have circumstantial evidence based on a location. I, for example, share a DNA segment with two people and we soon realised that we all had ancestors called George (different surnames) born 9 years apart in a small village in South Wales 200 years ago.

    In general, though, I think you should begin by looking "closer to home". If there's uncertainty about the Hall/Judd ancestry then you should begin by trying to confirm that. They would be your 3x great-grandparents, so you'd be looking for 4th cousins. You will only have a DNA match to around half of your 4th cousins, so the task is already difficult enough.

    You could possibly proceed by tracking down your 2nd and third cousins descended from you confirmed Hall ancestor, and get them to test. That would give you multiple chances of at least one of you linking to a 4th cousin via the Hall/Judd line, and might confirm whether or not any of the Clark matches possibly connect in that way.


    • #3
      Not for beginners

      Thanks really understand what I'm trying to do. In addition to the considerations you mentioned, I am adopted and have no information about my fathers side. Links to Middletown or Hartford could also come from fathers side.

      Furthermore, my Hall line deadends at the Hall/Judd pair. He died young in New York and I don't know his family yet. But I know his children. His wife remarried and had more children so their will be 1/2 cousins, to boot.

      My Clark match provided an extensive tree and I can confirm at least one link to Markum of Middletown, but no common ancestor as yet.

      I have been using my FamilySearch tree to search back for cousin surnames. Many possibilities.

      So I think I need to narrow the tasks and be patient. Its a big job for a beginner.

      Thanks so much for your response!


      • #4
        Originally posted by atwein View Post
        So I think I need to narrow the tasks and be patient. Its a big job for a beginner.
        It's a big job for anyone!

        In a way, I'm quite glad that my DNA research doesn't have any specific goals like yours. I have a brick wall with a great-great-grandmother, but since I have no real information about her before she left Ireland I can't do any targeted research: I just need to wait and hope that I eventually get a DNA match with a good tree which links to her. Similarly, I have a great-great-grandfather who was illegitimate, but my direct family (siblings, niece and nephew) are his only living descendants and we're not on the direct male line so I can't use Y-DNA to find his unknown father. Again, I just have to wait until there's a good DNA match.


        • #5
          Ha....waiting is a good strategy too. A first cousin or sibling could pop up on my dads side which would help a lot!


          • #6
            atwein send me a private message when you get a chance. My wife descends from the John Clark that you had mentioned (her maiden name is Clark). She has tested here and I would be more than willing to take a look and see if you are common matches and/or share someone that is. I will be honest however, there aren't a lot of Clarks that have tested.