Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How Accurate is DNA Phasing?

I've been going over the ethnicity result phasing at 23andMe again. My ethnicity results were phased with my mother's because we both tested at 23andMe. These results are also phased even if a parent hasn't tested. Phasing without a parent is done using haplotypes to attempt to separate each chromosome into two parts, one representing each parent. Ancestry also phases results but not for ethnicity. Ancestry phases for the matching process. They use the same haplotype process, however, but don't use parents at all. 

Haplotypes are picked out using computer programs that look for strings of matching alleles in your raw data results. These strings are learned through looking at genomes of those who have tested previously. This is 23andMe's explanation, "The technical term for determining which alleles reside on the same chromosome together is phasing. DNA data like our raw data is called unphased."

Looking at our families 23andMe phased ethnicity results it becomes apparent right away that results phased with at least one parent are much more accurate. Half of the genome can be correctly matched with one parent and anything left over can be attributed to the other parent. 

The breakdown of my ethnicity estimates by parent, below, is correct (they do reflect my documentation and family knowledge. My father's ancestry is about 100% European, whereas my mother had a European father and a mixed heritage Nicaraguan mother). If a parent tests with 23andMe and you connect with them you can get a chart like the one below. 

My ethnicity results vastly improved after they were phased with my mother. I think all of the companies should use phasing. 

A 23andMe explanation of how testing at least one parent can change your results: "Connecting with a parent may also increase the resolution of your assignments. That translates into better Ancestry Composition results, in the sense that you might see more assignment to the fine-resolution ancestries: for example, more Scandinavian and less Broadly Northern European."

Here is an example of how my own results improved. The Chromosome Painting map at 23andMe showed some Native American on the X chromosome I received from my father, which is orange in the illustration below. This was before my mother tested and connected with me. 

Below is the 23andMe X chromosome after my mother tested. The color scheme for Native American has changed and is yellow. The X chromosome I received from my father is now completely British and Irish, which would be correct based on what I know from his X maternal tree. The Native American disappeared. The X chromosome I received from my mother now appears to be nearly completely Native American, which would make sense because more Spanish men originally settled my maternal grandmother's place of origin Nicaragua than women. The chromosomes I received from my mother all moved to the top line of each chromosome which always happens if you phase with a parent.  

Correct Phasing When Phased with Parent

Looking at the Chromosome Painting maps ethnicity results it becomes very apparent that it's phased correctly 99.9% of the time when a parent tests. 

Here we see my Eastern European results which are correctly solely attributed to the chromosome phased as my father's (the bottom line on each chromosome). 

Below you can see my shared segments which mostly match a 1st cousin once removed (some of the segments are also from 2nd and 3rd cousins merged together). We share Austro--Hungarian ancestry on our Kappel/Kapple line. My 1st cousin once removed maternal grandparents and my great-grandparents, were both from the same village on the Austro-Hungarian border. They were mainly ethnically Germanic and Eastern European. If you compare the segments with the ethnicity chart from 23andMe, above, you can see some of  the segments match up very well (the chart below is from Genome Mate Pro and had assigned my father's segment to the top chromosome instead of to the bottom like 23andme).

Here is another view of the 23andMe ethnicity chart showing my French and German segments. They are actually all German segments. Again they match up well between the Kappel matches and the phased ethnicity results. If you look at chromosome 13 below there is an excellent match with the chart above.

When I first DNA tested about 10 years ago I had no German or Eastern European admixture. None of my results represented my grandfather Rudolph Kapple's Austro-Hungarian ancestry; it's very nice to see him represented now. 

Phasing Errors When a Parent hasn't tested

We begin to see problems with phased results that are statistical only with no parent testing. Looking at my cousins' and mother's results who haven't had a parent test you can see phasing errors. 

Below is the 23andMe chart showing my mother's phased ethnicity Chromosome Painting results. You can see where phasing errors occurred. My mother's father was of British Isles and German ancestry with no Native American or Sub Saharan African ancestry. This has been confirmed with both documentation and DNA testing. A paternal first cousin of my mother has DNA tested and has zero Native American or Sub Saharan African. Several of my mother's paternal 1st cousins once removed have also DNA tested and have zero percentages of those admixtures also. There should be no Native American or Sub Saharan segments on my mother's father's chromosomes. Mixing of Native American and British Isles on the same chromosome such as on chromosome 4, chart below, is definitely wrong. The Native American and Sub Saharan are all from my mother's Nicaraguan mother. Nicaraguans are descendants of the Spanish, Native American, and African Slaves that settled the country. 

Below I circled the chromosomes where phasing errors apparently resulted in Native American and African segments to be placed on my mother's father's chromosomes in error. My mother's father's chromosomes can be identified by long stretches of Northern European or British Isles segments. Often my mother's mother's chromosomes are the ones on top, but a few times they have flipped to the bottom one (this has occurred because without a parent testing there is no way to tell for certain which side the chromosome represents). Only 5 chromosomes appear to have phasing errors. 

It appears that some Native American and Sub Saharan African on these chromosomes should either move up to the top or down to the bottom of the chromosome. 

Below is chromosome 4. The top chromosome definitely looks like it would have been from my Nicaraguan grandmother with a couple of stretches of Spanish DNA. So the yellowish Native American should be moved up to the top chromosome, and a chunk of blue broadly European and Spanish should move down. 

Even at 90% confidence level the bottom half of chromosome 4 has a large British Isles segment which definitely represents my mother's father, as you see represented in the blue segment below. That chromosome should be all blue with no Native American. 

I have inherited a segment of Native American DNA in the same region of chromosome 4. This confirms that place on the chromosome is Native American and isn't a false positive result. 

I don't know what is going on with chromosome 15? A Native American segment overlaps an African segment. The top segment has a long stretch of  blue which is said to be Spanish. The bottom segment has a long stretch of a slightly different shade of blue said to be British Isles. I would guess the tip of 15 is mixed African and Native American , and the African segment should fit somewhere on the top and is definitely related to my mother's mother. I'm not sure what should be on the bottom chromosome once the other segment moves up? 

My own Native American Chromosome Paint chart has the chromosomes accurately phased because my results are not statistically phased but are parentally phased. Only two tiny segments end up on my paternal side chromosomes. This could represent actual very distant Native American ancestry on my father's side? One of his ancestors was an Indian trader in Pennsylvania who did have a Native wife although I'm not sure if we are descended from her? It's also possible that these tiny Native American segments are false positives? In any case the phasing has been at least 98% accurate. My Sub Saharan segments are 100% correct and are all on my Mother's chromosome. 

Analyzing my results along with my mother's and cousins' I can see where phasing with a parent improves DNA results substantially. As more people test new haplotypes will be found which will improve phasing without a parent testing. Otherwise raw data phased for the purpose of matching cousins or ethnicity can sometimes be in error and throw off our results. I am surprised, however, at how often my mother's chromosomes were correctly phased. Only 5 out of the 23 seem to have phasing issues. 

Both my mother and I have DNA that has been placed in the broad categories. It will be interesting to see how much better the phasing becomes and how much of the DNA in the broad categories is eventually correctly identified as more people test. All of the DNA currently assigned to French and German is actually German according to our DNA matches origins. It looks like most of my French DNA is somewhere in the broad European categories? It will be interesting to see if some of the now "European" categorized DNA  is ever named as French?

AncestryDNA claims their phasing process for matching has only a 1% error rate. I'm guessing on an individual level with a mixed genome like mine the error rate would be higher than 1%. Parental and statistical phasing for ethnicity really does improve the estimates. I wish all of the DNA companies would do that. The Chromosome Painting interactive map is an outstanding feature at 23andMe. If you are ethnically mixed, like I am, naming the segments according to ethnicity can help when you compare segments of cousins using chromosome browsers. Accurate ethnicity estimates can help identify the places of origin you share with your DNA matches. GEDmatch has a feature that will allow you to search for matches on each chromosome so you can compare matches with your Chromosome Paint map at 23andMe.

I believe phasing for ethnicity is what makes 23andMe's estimates more accurate than the other companies, especially if a parent also tests. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Tracing A Black Sheep

 I love Black Sheep ancestors and relatives because they show up in the records more often. Before researching my Grandmother Dorothy Mason-Kapple's family I didn't know anything about the origins of the paternal side of her family? I began tracing the Mason family from scratch a little over 20 years ago. 

I didn't even know what the name of my Grandmother Dorothy's father was? When I located a marriage record for her parents I then discovered his first name was Fred. From there I was able to locate Census records for his parents' household going back to the 1870's. 

I found two children I couldn't place in his widowed Mother Mary Owens-Mason's household in 1900 and 1910. A female name Vera Mason and male named Claude Mason were listed in 1900 as children of Mary E. Mason. I didn't believe that to be correct because of their ages. In 1910 they were listed as Grandchildren which seemed to be more realistic. I couldn't identify whose children they were however. I had thought maybe they were illegitimate children of a daughter because sometimes families covered up illegitimate children by claiming they were the children of their Grandparents. 

It was only last year that I discovered Vera and Claude were half siblings of my Grandmother Dorothy. I didn't know my Grandmother's father had been married before. His first wife died young. In 1900 Fred lived in his mother's household with his children. By 1910 he had married my Great-Grandmother Helen Mullen. His children with his first wife didn't live with this second family. 

My Great-Great Uncle Claude Sylvester Mason turned out to be a black sheep often recorded in newspapers and legal system records. The only family member he seemed to stay in touch with throughout his life was his sister Vera. 

Below is Claude Sylvester Mason's baptismal record from 1898. Oddly his first name Claude was not recorded on it? 

Vera continued to live with her grandmother. Claude was listed with his Grandmother in 1910 but actually lived in the Chicago Parental School, which was a Reform School for truants and incorrigible children.  

One positive thing you can say about this Reform School is it was probably the only integrated school in Chicago at the time. The kids farmed around the facility. The school was run like a military school with children wearing military uniforms and marching around the school grounds. I don't know how long Claude spent in Reform School in Chicago? He spent time there at the age of 11 according to the Census.

Did Reform School reform Claude Mason? No. I can understand, however, why Claude would have strayed from the straight and narrow. His father basically abandoned him. His grandmother Mary struggled financially after her husband died. I'm sure she would have had a difficult time working and managing young children at the same time. Claude probably roamed the notoriously crime ridden streets of some of the poverty stricken South Chicago neighborhoods and picked up bad habits. 

He probably learned more bad habits from fellow inmates at the Reform School. As a Chicago Superintendent of the time Superintendent MacQueary said truants:  "Frequenting cheap theaters, associating with bad companions, smoking, drinking, swearing, drifting into the habits of indolence--he is on the broad highway to crime." Bringing children with bad habits together and removing them from families didn't work when it came to reform either. As the Superintendent also said, "They are the children of the street, and as such are a menace in their possibilities for evil." Most eventually returned to the school after being paroled. 

A year after Claude was recorded at the Parental School his grandmother Mary Owens-Mason died in 1911. I'm not sure who he lived with after that? He was only 12 years old at the time of her death. He returned to Mattoon, Illinois, a previous place the family lived, with his Aunts Ida and Ada for his Grandmother's funeral. His sister Vera also returned with them, but not their father Fred Mason? 

Claude's next brush with the legal system is when he kited checks as a teenager. According to newspaper accounts Claude Mason and accomplice were arrested in Ohio for kiting checks on a crime spree from Chicago to Ohio. Claude had a Great-Uncle who spent some time at a soldier's home in Ohio. Not sure if he went to Ohio to see him? According to newspaper accounts Claude was 19 years old. Actually he was only 17 years old. One article stated his father was a paint dealer which was somewhat accurate. Actually Fred Mason was a painter. According to Claude the boys couldn't afford to live "the high life" in Chicago and that's what prompted the crime spree. He was sentenced to a year in the Ohio State Reformatory where he may have picked up the vocation of Electrician. In 1918 when he registered for the draft his occupation was Electrician. 

After spending a year in the Ohio State Reformatory Claude was in trouble again with the law in 1918. A reformatory didn't reform him this time either. He was arrested for robbery at the National Tea company where he was working. A letter from his sister Vera was intercepted by the Police who were then able to track him down and arrest him.

A few years later Claude is in trouble again. This time he and two others robbed a man on " Lovers' Lane" in Chicago in October of 1921. They were nicknamed the "Lovers' Lane Bandits". 

After the 1921 arrest Claude did some hard time at the notorious Joliet Prison. He served a 4 year sentence at Joliet. 

After his release in 1925 I haven't been able to find any evidence of any trouble with the law until the 1940's. In 1941 Claude was jailed for 60 days in Chicago. He actually relocated to Los Angeles around 1935 where his half siblings Mary, Dorothy, Frank, and Edwin also relocated to after WWII. Apparently he got into some trouble on a visit to Chicago in 1941. 

Unfortunately Claude commits another robbery in Los Angeles and does more hard time at the notorious San Quentin Prison in California. He got 5 years to life. 


Claude was scheduled to be paroled in 1948 but was released early in 1945.

According to a description from the San Quentin records Claude had abdominal scars from operations. 

I was happy to find a mug-shot of him with his San Quentin records at Ancestry.com. Although I was saddened to see what a broken man he appeared to be. 

Claude died in 1946, at age 47, soon after his parole from San Quentin. He died in Los Angeles County General Hospital which was a public hospital mainly serving the poor. Patients were generally housed in overcrowded wards.

He died due to Rheumatic Heart disease. He probably had Rheumatic fever as a child. His early death and life of crime are results of his difficult life. His mother died when he was a baby. His father abandoned him. His grandmother Mary Owens-Mason was his guardian. She worked as a washerwoman after the death of her husband Peter Mason and probably didn't have much energy to devote to raising Claude and his sister Vera. Living in poverty in a crime ridden area of Chicago it would have taken a strong person with family support to resist the street gang mentality of South Chicago (street gangs formed around ethnic groups and neighborhoods). If Claude Mason's life had turned out better it would have been a miracle.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Follow up to DNA Case Study/ Can I at least Confidently name the segments?

I've been continuing to research the Campbell family in Greene County, Tennessee based on the obituary for Eleanor Campbell. She might have been a niece of my brickwall ancestor Sarah "Sally" Campbell born about 1811 likely somewhere in Tennessee according to her daughter. I've been searching at Ancestry.com, and researching the digitized deed books and probate records at FamilySearch. So far I haven't been able to find anything linking my Sarah to Greene County, TN, or Eleanor for that matter. Maybe eventually a bible record may surface or there are courthouse records that haven't been digitized? In the meantime I wonder if I can at least confidently mark the DNA segments from our Greene County, TN matches as coming from Campbell on my Genome Mate Pro segment map? I do have segments I can confidently attribute to lines such as my Browning line. 

In order to have confidence in which ancestors these segments can be attributed to I first needed to make sure these matches didn't match my Mother on more than one line. Since my Mother is closer generation wise to Sarah Campbell-Wray I'm using her match results to establish who these segments came from?

Since AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, and FTDNA all predicted with some confidence that the Greene County, TN Campbell matches descended from George Lafayette Campbell, were 4th cousins to my mother I feel I only need to establish the segments came from ancestors going back to her 3rd or 4th Great-Grandparents on her Campbell line. 

I began to suspect Benjamin Browning, a brother of our ancestor Nathan Browning, may have fathered George Lafayette Campbell? He remained in Greene County, Tennessee whereas my Nathan Browning was already in Indiana when George was born. This would make most of George's descendants 4th cousins once removed of my Mother. Sarah Campbell was my mother's 2nd Great-Grandmother. Her parents would have been 3rd Great-Grandparents making any matches through them her 4th cousins.. 

I have a number of Browning segments confidently marked at Genome Mate Pro and none are shared with the Greene County, TN Campbells. To try to eliminate a possible relationship through the Browning family I marked all my mother's matches through Browning at Ancestry, then went back and looked at shared matches with the Campbell matches just to make sure none were shared? 

I was surprised at how consistently correct matches in the 4th cousin range at Ancestry were. They were right over 90% of the time. Since there are removals some of these cousins can end up as distant 5th to 7th cousins.

Going through the relevant matches, and looking at shared matches, I haven't found any related to the Browning family. Since I haven't worked on grouping matches, other than the Brownings, you don't see any groups listed with the Campbell matches below. 

What I did discover is one of these Greene County, TN matches shares Sarah Campbell-Wray as an ancestor through her daughter Charlotte Temple Wray. This match doesn't share any of the other Campbell matches with my mother even though they are all descended from George L. Campbell? I assume that's because they are distant cousins and share different segments with my Mother, and no longer share enough DNA with each other to match. (I'm also assuming that matches that are shared consistently between these families share the same segments. It would certainly help to know which chromosome the segments are on to verify that.)

Another way to establish which line these segments came from would be to compare the segments with other descendants of Sarah Campbell and her husband Anderson Wray. That way you can eliminate other routes of inheritance. Unfortunately their son William died in the Civil War and a couple of their daughters died young also. Other than my Mother's Great-Grandmother Elizabeth Wray-Forgey only two other daughters lived long enough to leave children. 

The easiest way to find matches who share Anderson Wray and Sarah Campbell as ancestors is to look at Thrulines at AncestryDNA. Since Sarah died young Anderson remarried and had more children with his 2nd wife. Looking at matches listed with Anderson Wray I have to be careful that they descend from Sarah. The only descendants I could confirm are descendants of Charlotte Temple Wray-Estep, one of Sarah's daughters. 

I then looked for these Thruline matches, and their shared  matches, at all of the other companies that share segment information. I was able to find a match at MyHeritage descended through another daughter of Sarah's name Polly Thurman Wray-Hall. She had a segment on chromosome 18 like the Greene County, TN Campbell matches. The segments didn't overlap however. This segment appears to come from the Wray side of the family. 

I had marked segments on chromosome 18 as likely from the Wray line and not the Campbell line on my Genome Mate Pro segment map. This worried me because the segments were close together. Our Wray family crossed paths with the Campbells just like the Brownings did. The Wrays, like some say the Campbells also, originally settled in Virginia. 

I decided to collect up more matches with segments on chromosome 18 since that one related to the problem I'm working on. The tip end of chromosome 18 seemed to relate to the Greene County, TN  Campbell family while the rest appear to be related to the Wray line. There is some overlapping which made me think of the possibility all of 18 related to the Wray family?

A positive factor in favor of chromosome 18 being split between Wray and Campbell is the fact matches on 18 don't always match each other. The matches on the tip end all descend from George Lafayette Campbell of Greene County, TN, whereas the longer segment matches to the left all match each other and share only Wray ancestors. So some of this overlapping may include false positive areas? My Mother's parents came from completely different ethnic backgrounds so I don't have the problem of separating matches from the same places. My maternal Grandmother was Nicaraguan. I don't believe overlapping is related to a segment misattributed to my Mother's father's line.   

Generally most of the Greene County, TN Campbell matches line up as expected on the far right tip, example below. 

This example below shows one small orange colored segment belonging to a Campbell match fitting like a puzzle piece next to larger Wray line matching segments. 

I can confidently name the segments to the left of the Campbell segments as coming from our Wray family line. 

I decided to confirm that the Wray family and Campbell family matches didn't match each other. Since some of these matches had a kit at FTDNA I was able to use the Matrix tool. Below you see a Wray match on Chromosome 18, GA, compared to George Lafayette Campbell descendants. All of the Campbell descendants match each other as expected, but don't match the Wray descendants who all share segments on chromosome 18. 

With more than a dozen matches now shared with Greene County, TN Campbells I have not found these matches associated with any other families of ours. Some share small segments on chromosome 18 but others also share larger overlapping segments on chromosomes 8, 5, and 12. The latter segments have not presented a problem with any other matches' segments overlapping with them. The segments on chromosome 18 are all shared by the descendants of two of George Lafayette Campbell's daughters. That would be about half a dozen matches. I'm leaning towards believing these segments are Campbell, and came from our ancestor Sarah Campbell. 

I'll keep collecting matches on these segments. I believe I'm on the right track, at least I haven't been proven wrong yet? I'm definitely open to any information that surfaces even if I'm proven wrong. 

Final thoughts 

Comparing with matches who tested at 4 different companies is challenging. All of the companies have different tools and some are better than others. I wish there was one company with good tools, trees, and a large database of matches to compare with. At this point we have to jump around between companies because, for instance, Ancestry has better trees and Thrulines, while other companies offer segment information. 23andMe and MyHeritage give you predictions regarding how shared matches are related to each other. Knowing how matches are related to each other helps to group them with families. From a list of shared matches this match below is a 3rd cousin to my mother and the father of this match. 

Sometimes close relatives, even siblings, test with different companies and in that case their relationship isn't apparent unless you can compare them at GEDmatch. We have to somehow pull all of the information from all of these sources together which is time consuming. As things stand now genetic genealogy is mainly for those with time to devote to learning about all of the different tools and navigating between companies. If you're looking to test with one company in order to solve a brickwall out past a 2nd Great-Grandparent's generation you are unlikely to do that at one company. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A DNA Case Study/ Plus Would Sharing the Chromosome Number be Possible?

I've been working on trying to break down a brickwall by using atDNA match chart. I got that idea from the RootsTech session by that called "Organize Your DNA Matches in a Diagram". 

A couple weeks ago I found important information that might help lead me to a resolution of the Campbell brickwall. My only confirmed Campbell ancestor is Sarah "Sally" Campbell. She was born about 1811 (according to a daughter Polly Wray Hall her mother was born in Tennessee). She was married to Anderson Wray in Jackson County, Indiana. 

A James T. Campbell lived near the family in Indiana. I believe, based on his age, he might be Sarah Campbell-Wray's brother. I've been researching James and his family. I did discover that the family came from East Tennessee based on a death certificate but I hadn't found any other information on him. The recent find regarding this family was an obituary for an Eleanor Campbell referred to as a sister on a census and daughter by descendants. I don't know which is correct? I do know they are related because James is always recorded as being born in Tennessee on census records and they share the same last name. James T. Campbell was in Indiana by the mid 1830s whereas Eleanor said she came to Indiana in 1846. 

Eleanor F. Campbell's obituary gives her birth place as Greene County, Tennessee. 


Even before finding this information I was leaning towards believing my Sarah might be from there. My mother has a number of atDNA matches descended from a George Lafayette Campbell of Greene County, Tennessee. I have not been able to find any other surnames in common or places in common with these matches. The families of these matches migrated from Greene County, TN to Alabama and Texas. All of my Mother's paternal ancestors had arrived in Indiana prior to 1840 and remained in the Midwest.

A problem I have is that I have other ancestors from Greene County, Tennessee. My ancestor Roger Browning migrated to that area in the 1790's. His second wife Elizabeth's maiden name isn't known so it's possible these matches match us through her family?

I knew my mother had a number of matches who descended from George Lafayette Campbell but didn't know exactly how many or how they were related to each other until I created the chart below. 

Charting each match descended from George Lafayette Campbell and Susannah Kaiser provided some very helpful information which has allowed me to find even more matches through this couple. I used the additional surnames of descendants to find matches that may not have their tree traced back far enough. I was then able to collect up segments for those who tested with companies who offer a chromosome browser. 

These matches shared DNA on chromosome 5, 12, and 18. Some of my mother's matches share a very large segment on chromosomes 8 & 12. There are false positive regions on both of these chromosomes  according to Genome Mate Pro. I believe that is why they predict these cousins are more closely related? 

Ancestry and 23andMe are pretty insistent that several of these cousins are 3rd or 4th cousins of my Mother. I believe they are at least 5th cousins probably with removals? George Lafayette Campbell's father was James M. Campbell born about 1800. The man I think might be my Sarah Campbell-Wray's brother is also named James and he was born about 1811. I doubt they would have been brothers with the same first name. They would most likely have been cousins. If they were cousins then my Mother would be at least a 5th cousin with removals. If the relationship is instead through Roger Browning's wife they would still be in the 5th cousin range possibly with removals?

Below you see AncestryDNA predicts chances are only 2% that one of these Campbell matches is a 5th cousin. 

When I clicked on the question mark next to the same matches name at MyHeritage a chart with the predicted possible relationship comes up. They don't give a percentage of the likelihood for each possible relationship. I believe the chart should have extended to 6th cousin or 5th cousin once removed? More research may prove I'm wrong about the relationship? 

A chart predicting the relationship of another match from the same family at 23andMe. They are predicting the match is a 4th cousin, and not extending the possibility the match is a 5th cousin. 

I noticed while making the chart two Campbell sisters married two Morton brothers. The growing list of matches with descendants from this one family all seem to come from the same 3 siblings Nancy Elvira Campbell, Mary Adeline Campbell, and James Wallace Campbell. 

Looking at the chart it's also interesting to see all of the matches are separated from George Lafayette and his wife Susannah by the same number of generations, except for one.

Going through matches on the same chromosomes I've found other families with the surname Campbell matching on the same segments as George Lafayette Campbell and Susannah's children. I'm not sure if that is a coincidence or these segments have been passed down in Campbell families for generations?

I believe it looks promising that these matches are related through the Campbell line. I need more documentation to prove it however. 

Would Sharing the Chromosome Number be Possible? 

Mapping the chromosomes of our Campbell brickwall matches has been very helpful. It has helped me confirm that segments have been passed down through this family because they are overlapping. It's also helped me find more matches through the same couple. 

I know AncestryDNA will never have a chromosome browser but I had heard they might share which chromosomes segments are shared on? Knowing the chromosomes segments are shared on would be helpful to me and others I'm sure. If I have distant cousins sharing DNA on the same chromosome that would suggest the segment could have come from the same source. 

The trees attached to DNA matches at AncestryDNA are very useful but without segment information the results aren't very useful when trying to connect with distant cousins. Many people share more than one couple with a match. The location of the segments is the only way to tell which couple a segment or segments came from. 

I may be mistaken about AncestryDNA planning on adding the segment chromosome numbers? It would be extremely helpful if they could do that though. The trees have helped identify my Campbell matches ancestors but there was no way to tell if the shared matches' segments came from the same ancestor? Additional segment information at AncestryDNA would help.   

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Celebrating 10 Year Blogiversary/ The Best of RootsTech 2021


I began this blog on March 1, 2011 so this is the 10th Anniversary of this blog. During the past 10 years I've shared the agony of waiting for DNA test results, and long waits for something in the mail. I've also shared the thrill of the ancestor chase and the satisfaction that came with breaking down brickwalls. 

What have I accomplished and shared over this decade? First of all I've added some branches to my tree. 

Below you can see just a few of the ancestors I've added since 2011 highlighted (couldn't get them all on a 6 generation chart):

With such a mixed heritage my genealogy research has led me to many different places through this decade. 

Some accomplishments and sources I've blogged about in the past decade include:

  1. Photos of my Kappel/Kurta Great-Grandparents were shared with me in 2019, I had never seen photos of them. Had no idea what they looked like before 2019.
  2. Owens family brickwall came down in 2015 with a lawsuit and resulting deed documents surfacing.
  3. Granada Nicaragua Church and Civil Registration digitized records became available online at Familysearch allowing me to extend by Nicaraguan lines and collect family documents.
  4. Irish land records became available online such as the revision books for County Galway which extended my knowledge of my Irish families.
  5. Irish Civil Registration records online is another online source I've blogged about.
  6. Styria, Austria and Burgenland, Austria Church records have come online in the past few years helping me extend more family lines.
  7. Civil Registration records for Burgenland helped fill in blanks in my family history 
  8. 1851Census Search Forms came online for Ireland allowing me to add mothers of my Irish great-great grandparents to my tree. 
  9. In the past decade Findmypast Ireland has allowed me to extend my Irish families to include new dog family members using the dog license records. Court records have added new stories for my family history. 
  10. Newspapers online have helped me confirm family lines and added new stories. A newspaper article provided me with the only photo I have of a great-uncle who was killed by a sniper in Germany at the end of WWII.
  11. Deed books coming online at Familysearch and other sites have helped add names to my family tree in the past decade. The James Trigg Campbell deed I located in Jackson County, Indiana may eventually break down my Campbell brickwall? 
  12. We confirmed many lines through DNA testing. I started a Forgey family DNA project and a Kappel family project at FTDNA. 
  13. IDing photos unmarked photos has also been a project I've been working on often using photo recognition websites. 
  14. Naturalization certificate files with photos helped ID photos. 
  15. I've blogged about information I've found on death certificates available online at sites such as Ancestry.com where old death certificates are available to view for free. Indiana death certificates are available online at Ancestry for instance. Other vital records now online have also been helpful.
  16. Virginia Memory Chancery records online has also been an invaluable resource which I've blogged about.
  17. I visited a courthouse in person for the first time in 2018 where I found documents not available online. I shared this experience in my blog. 
  18. Luckily I was able to get to all of my ancestral related countries and states in the past few years before COVID shut travel down. I've shared those experiences in this blog. 
Blogging about my family history has helped me focus my research and writing down my findings has helped me formulate proof arguments. I often refer back to old blog posts to review previous findings. 

Rootstech 2021

I always enjoy watching streamed RootsTech  sessions. This year all of the sessions are being streamed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Videos of the sessions will be available to watch even after the event is over so if you missed them during the event you can watch later. 

I found the animation of photos at MyHeritage one of the most interesting announcements this year. At the bottom of the page you can see one of the best animations produced for my photos which was of my Great-Grandmother Mary Kurta-Kappel. 

Connecting with cousins through the "Relatives at RootsTech" app was also fun.  The app used Familysearch trees to match up cousins who were also streaming the sessions. Since the shared trees at Familysearch contain errors these matches weren't always correct. I did find that 4th cousins and closer were generally correct. 

From "When Your Tree Is a Banyan: Untangling Endogamy" I learned about different sites where you can upload your family tree or have your DNA results analyzed so you can evaluate how much endogamy you might have. I have a little bit of endogamy as you can see in my French Canadian lines as demonstrated by the sideways sweep of lines. Endogamy makes figuring out how you relate to DNA matches difficult. 


Also I learned some tips for getting more out of MyHeritage DNA. 

Clicking on the question mark near the predicted DNA relationship brings up a chart showing how you might be related to a match. Below you can see it correctly outlines my relationship to my mother. 

Ancestry has a similar feature if you click on the shared DNA link. Below you see AncestryDNA is nearly 100% positive this match is my first cousin and she definitely is. I like the chart format however because I like charts for easy visualization. 

Another tip presented was if you click on your communities at MyHeritage DNA more information about the location is brought up which includes the number of people in the community, and first and last names common to families in a particular community. Also there is an animation of migrations through time you can play.

 Aside from the DNA information a session on new features at Familysearch and another on tips for using the site were presented. I watched the sessions "Demo: Getting the Most from FamilySearch Search" and "What's New On FamilySearch"

I heard about the hints at the Familysearch tree before but didn't know how to see them. After the presentation I  played with the tree features and discovered you can't see the hints in the fan chart view when I changed views I could see them. 

Ancestor pages at Familysearch have been updated to include more features and a different layout. This is the page for my Grandfather Rudolph Kapple. 

The session "Hidden Treasures: Discovering Local Sources in Your Irish Research" pointed out a website that led me to a family history society I hadn't heard of called the "Western Family History Association" which I will join. 

Other sessions I found interesting:

Many of the sessions are short so it doesn't take a long investment of time to watch them. I've enjoyed watching the sessions over the last few days and learned some new things. Right now I'm working on my Sarah Campbell Jackson County, Indiana brickwall. I've selected sessions based on this particular brickwall. I'll use some of the tips I've learned to continue trying to breakdown this wall down.