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Strange family finder results?

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  • Strange family finder results?

    I recently recieved my results from Family finder. Some of them seemed reasonable and consistent with my paper trail, but there were some that I found inexplicable. I have been able to go reasonably far back using Church records, meaning at least late 18th Century in most cases. I have, however hit a few brick walls in the 19th Century, the last one happening in the 1870s, and a few in the 1840s, due to either cases of illegitimacy or incomplete records.

    To my surprise, I found "2nd-4th cousins" from completely different parts of my country, who had uploaded trees covering ancestors back to the 1600s, where all were clustered to the same county or even village, and with no seemingly possible connection to me, provided the connection was not through one of my few illegitimate lines, which I believe is improbable, due to the difficult land transportation in pre-industrial times. Could it be that the connection to these people instead is more than 400 years ago or could there have been a mix up at the lab?

    Another strange phenomenon was that lots of my 3d-5th, 5th-distant- and a few 2nd cousins only had ancestry from early 17th Century America. I also matched a few people of Scottish, English and Irish descent quite closely. I have Scottish ancestry that I know of in the late 17th Century and I recognized some of their surnames. Could they account for the close- and distant matches or do you think that some father in an illegitimacy case might have come from the British Isles or even the US?

  • #2
    Could be an explanation in many parts, maybe including some of these or maybe not.

    First, I note that you are from Sweden and Swedish settlement in America started in the mid-1600s, so some of your Swedish lines may have been there then. They were here not long after the Puritans in New England.

    Second I have lines in Denmark-Schleswig back to the 1600s and sometimes 1500s. Every generation there was some movement into or out of the home villages. Even if one group stayed put for 400 years they had relatives 100-200 miles away.

    Third in some of my lines the movement of clergy and military and traders had a genetic impact.

    Fourth, I have had some cousins with great paper genealogy who found they matched by DNA the family that lived next door 100 years ago instead of the family they had down on paper.

    Fifth, I had no idea I might be part Norwegian until my first cousin and fifth cousin (who do not match each other) started matching the same Norwegian families from a small inland area. Our best guess is the military or clerical connection, someone wandering too or from Copenhagen. If only one of them had had the matches it would not have been so clear that it was a real link.

    Sixth, I have had problems with too many people of the same name in the church records and had the wrong Peter U. several times.