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  • #46
    I have a dozen or so death certificates in hand and have looked through hundreds of digital copies of census forms and similar documents. That doesn't make me all that experienced actually but it does make me experienced enough to know that the paper records are far from perfect. For instance I have multiple records pointing tothe first husband of one of my great grandmothers being named Jack Finn. Family members recall him being named July Finn instead but I can find no record of him under either name.

    The only thing that doesn't lie is the DNA but even it can mislead.

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    • #47
      Here are my thoughts about this latest discussion, in a nutshelll: I too don't always trust online genealogies, but they can point one in the right direction. Any genealogy, even those hard-copy published ones, long-accepted and done by professional genealogists, can be flawed. Most of these have no backup DNA evidence. Many people can be wonderful document collectors (I'm one of them by the way) but without even just the most basic DNA evidence, it becomes a task of really collecting information on long-dead people we might not actually be related to by blood.

      At some point, I think we all have to accept the possibility of a non-paternal event occurring somewhere in our family trees. Our ancestors were human. If they were anything other than what they were (or what they did or how they lived) none of us would be here, enjoying our own immediate family, enjoying our work or even enjoying our hobbies (including genealogy). NPE's can be hidden by very legal paper documents, even those in the most seriously researched of genealogies.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by 507 View Post
        I appreciate your input and advice. I have death certificates and birth certificates of several ancestors. Pictures. Letters. Power bills. Land deeds. Bibles. Census records. But my point is that none of this proves anything. They are records that can be very very flawed. I am also somewhat dissapointed in the YDNA test I took because i wanted Concrete evidence. Facts. Not speculation. I have 2 exact matches on 37 markers and about 8 or 9 matches on 36 of 37 markers. Several have my last name but several don't. None are from anywhere around my part of the country either. I am from Georgia. All my matches are from Pennsylvania or the Pennsylvania area. But the project coordinator keeps insisting I belong in the project and he knows for certain who I am descended from based on the YDNA test results.
        507, the fact that you match others with your surname at 37 markers means it's doubtful you had an NPE too recently. Try to find your MRCA on paper with these ppl.

        Before, I was under the impression that you only matched men with other surnames. Now that I see that's not the case I'm now extremely uncertain as to why you feel embarrassed over your DNA. Some lines just don't mutate much. That's the way it is. Some of my cousins are in their surname project, and in addition to matching several men with their surname (MCRA pre-1600) exactly at 67 markers, they also match several men with another surname (MRCA pre-1600 also). Two even match exactly at 111 markers, one from each surname. Best we can figure though, their DNA just isn't mutating at the expected rates and our connection is likely pre-surnames.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by katerennie4 View Post
          507, the fact that you match others with your surname at 37 markers means it's doubtful you had an NPE too recently. Try to find your MRCA on paper with these ppl.

          Before, I was under the impression that you only matched men with other surnames. Now that I see that's not the case I'm now extremely uncertain as to why you feel embarrassed over your DNA. Some lines just don't mutate much. That's the way it is. Some of my cousins are in their surname project, and in addition to matching several men with their surname (MCRA pre-1600) exactly at 67 markers, they also match several men with another surname (MRCA pre-1600 also). Two even match exactly at 111 markers, one from each surname. Best we can figure though, their DNA just isn't mutating at the expected rates and our connection is likely pre-surnames.

          Thats thing about it. My grandfather was born in 1908. The project has about 20 people in my " cluster", all of whom supposedly descend from 1 of 3 brothers who came to pennsylvania from england in 1682. The project coordinator says based on my YDNA 37 marker test, he is for certain i was descended from one of those 3 brothers like the other 19 people in my cluster. I have no idea if hes right or not . I wish i did.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by 507 View Post
            Thats thing about it. My grandfather was born in 1908. The project has about 20 people in my " cluster", all of whom supposedly descend from 1 of 3 brothers who came to pennsylvania from england in 1682. The project coordinator says based on my YDNA 37 marker test, he is for certain i was descended from one of those 3 brothers like the other 19 people in my cluster. I have no idea if hes right or not . I wish i did.
            Your project Admin can see things you may not be able to see or understand yet, put a little trust in to their judgement yes, but do the paper trail research yourself so you can prove it to yourself if you are in fact related to those lineages of Pennsylvania or not.

            Exchange family tree information with the men of your surname who you do match with to see if the common male ancestor can be identified.
            And all of you who are a good 37 marker match really should be considering upgrading to the 67 marker level for no other reason then to prove to yourselves that you really are related to one another.

            The point of the 67 marker upgrade is to give you more confidence in your matches, high level marker matches can really help convince you there really is a kinship there after all. But keep digging in the paper records, the answers are in the paper records!
            Donald Locke
            FTDNA Customer
            Last edited by Donald Locke; 25 April 2012, 02:45 PM.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Donald Locke View Post
              Your project Admin can see things you may not be able to see or understand yet, put a little trust in to their judgement yes, but do the paper trail research yourself so you can prove it to yourself if you are in fact related to those lineages of Pennsylvania or not.

              Exchange family tree information with the men of your surname who you do match with to see if the common male ancestor can be identified.
              And all of you who are a good 37 marker match really should be considering upgrading to the 67 marker level for no other reason then to prove to yourselves that you really are related to one another.

              The point of the 67 marker upgrade is to give you more confidence in your matches, high level marker matches can really help convince you there really is a kinship there after all. But keep digging in the paper records, the answers are in the paper records!
              Most of my matches are already 67 or 111 markers. The cost for me to upgrade is $100. Are the percentages that tell you the probability of MRCA really accurate ?

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              • #52
                I find the MRCA predictions are reasonably close, but they are a prediction and with any predictions they can be off a bit, plus or minus a few generations.
                I have a 65/67 match to a man in England of my surname.

                The 65/67 match TiP report states:
                Generations Percentage
                4 - 46.92%
                8 - 85.95%
                12 - 97.23%
                16 - 99.53%
                20 - 99.93%
                24 - 99.99%
                28 - 100.00%

                I know for a fact that he and I could not have shared a common male ancestor with in the last 10 generations because my direct forefather was in Maryland USA by 1728. His direct ancestors have always lived in England, so I know through the paper trail research that who ever our common male ancestor is, must have been born prior to the immigration of my forefather to Maryland. But my immigrant forefather very well could be the grand father or great grand father of his ancestor.

                I predict our MRCA is between the 10th and 14th generation ago, but easily could have been more distanced then that. Knowing that mans ethnic ancestry and my ethnic ancestry, I have zero doubts we shared a common male ancestor some where back in both our trees, it is just a matter of finding the right paper records to be able to make the connection between the 2 trees. Everything I now know about that mans family who I match with, fits exactly with what I know of my own family in the USA.
                So it isn't a matter for me of acceptance "if" this is a kinship between us, I know it to be a kinship between us, we just need to prove out the paper trail connection if possible which is a daunting task because that kinship could easly be back in the mid to later 1600's in England.

                The MRCA prediction from the TiP report fits in with what I know of both family trees and I would say yes the prediction is reasonably close in my case anyway.

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                • #53
                  Since some of your matches of your same surname have already upgraded to the 67 marker level, then that is what I would recommend for you to do, is to upgrade too. It is especially important for you to have confidence in your matches. If you have doubts at the lower marker levels, those doubts could go away and give you confidence of a good 67 marker match, and that confidence can go a long way for you by being better able to see good 67 marker matches to men of your surname.

                  That confidence can help you better focus your attention only to those men you do match with and use that focus to work on those paper trail connections. For me that is a part of the upgrade issue, is to give the participants more confidence in their high level matches and use that energy to find that kinship in the paper records if possible.
                  It may take years, even decades to figure out the kinship, but the answers are in the paper records that I am certain of.

                  Think of your 67 marker matches as clues, with each new clue gives you a whole new branch of the tree to be exploring in the paper records to try to find that paper trail connection. With each new clue, gives you that many more oppertunities to identify the MRCA.
                  It really is a big connect the dots puzzle and the more "dots" or rather DNA participants you have that you do match with, the better the odds are of figuring out who the MRCA was.

                  Trust me when I say this, I know many 67 marker participants who have no matches to men of their surname to even be exploring a kinship, so feel lucky and blessed that you do already have lower matches to compare to, and view that information as clues and follow those clues.
                  Yes it is a lot more paper trail research to do, but if and when the MRCA is identified will it all pay off in the end.

                  Every close 67 marker match of your same surname should be explored in the paper records because those are all clues for you to be following in the paper records. By getting in contact with those potential cousins and exchanging family tree information with one another, you are increasing the odds of being able to identify a MRCA between both trees.

                  And that is the ultimate goal, is to be able to identify the MRCA so the 2 trees can be connected.

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