Sunday, 8 July 2018

A Myriad of New Cousins

It has been a busy few months trying to keep up with all of our new DNA matches at the various DNA testing companies.  My 20 confirmed matches have jumped to 35 since the beginning of the year, and Marlene’s 26 matches have jumped to 51 in the same period.  Admittedly some of these are the same people testing with more than one company, but still, a remarkable increase in new cousins found.

Some of the new matches have been quite straight forward, whereby we compared ancestral trees and the relationship was obvious, but for others the relationships were more complex –
  •          Another previously unknown half-sibling for Marlene’s 3 LeBlanc 2nd cousins once removed, who were all adopted at birth.
  •         Two previously unknown illegitimate 2nd cousins on different lines.
  •          A new first cousin once removed on Marlene’s LeBlanc / Wood lines, who is unaware of any LeBlancs or Woods in her ancestry.
  •          A new third cousin once removed on my Brady line, who appears to have an unknown Brady great great grandfather – his great grandmother was illegitimate and raised by her mother, so this is the most likely source of his Brady DNA, and the geography fits.

None of these new cousins would have been found through researching in paper records, and probably would not have been revealed in conversations with older relatives.  So kudos to DNA testing!

DNA testing has now also confirmed the paper research back to the parents of 13 of our 16 great grandparents – i.e. we share significant amounts of DNA with identified descendants of siblings of 13 of our great grandparents, which proves that we have a common ancestor, but does not prove who that ancestor is.

Overall we have seen more than a 60% increase in DNA matches since the beginning of 2018, so if this trend continues we will more than double the number of matches by the end of the year.  Unfortunately we are still only able to confirm on paper the relationship with just over 0.1% of our DNA matches, but with each new match that we confirm, that percentage creeps slower higher.

I am looking forward to August, when Living DNAs matching service is scheduled to be unveiled.  Hopefully their database will contain more people from the United Kingdom and Ireland, providing more opportunity to find new cousins.

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