A Tangled Web We Weave

Untangling The Past

After my first blog failed miserably I made the decision to find something else to write about. For some reason “Fermentation” was going to be it! SEO was perfect, monetization was practical and my chosen new theme was perfect, if a little expensive! There were two problems to this well researched choice. I don’t like fermented food and I live on a boat where space is at a premium! So, here I am doing what I have been quietly doing most of my life, writing stories. Only this time the stories are not hidden away in boxes!

My Personal Steps & Trips

The first steps I took were reasonably simple. I made the decision to use DNA in my family research and to use Ancestry based on numbers…….a lot of others had made the same choice!

My box arrived promptly. The instructions were simple and I was ready to go. Surprisingly I found I was not a good spitter! My mouth was dry long before I had reached the magic line. This was followed by impatient waiting. Every few days I walked along to the office to see if my results had been returned. A timely post on Facebook alerted me to the idea that my results would be online. DUH!

Ancestry DNA Results

The DNA Connection

My New First Cousin

I hope the above title doesn’t frighten anyone off but my first impression was one of paralysis! All of a sudden I had a first cousin I had never heard of. I followed my own advice from Growing My Family Tree and focused on the 836 cM. ( I had already decided that Extremely High was a good start to something) Wikipedia has a good definition but from a practical point of view it didn’t help much:
“In genetics, a centimorgan or map unit is a unit for measuring genetic linkage. It is defined as the distance between chromosome positions for which the expected average number of intervening chromosomal crossovers in a single generation is 0.01. It is often used to infer distance along a chromosome” Wikipedia

I did have a more personal reply from a Facebook request but again I was still left with the same problem. Although I had added to my knowledge base practically I was still in the same position.

A.N. “As others have already said, 836 cMs is a very strong match and you should definitely follow that one up! Generally anything over 50cMs is definitely worth following. Very small amounts of cM shared (eg. under 10) can be matches by chance and they should really be ignored.”

It seems my new cousin has an unlinked tree so looking for familiar names at this stage is not an option.

I made a very rookie mistake by linking my DNA results to my “Registered Guest” account instead of the account where I had a “World Wide” subscription. Luckily for me Ancestry has a very active Facebook page where newbies and oldies share their knowledge, or lack of it, freely. The solution to my problem was to link my DNA to the correct Ancestry page by inviting myself and accepting to be the “Manager” of the results. Believe it or not that took me all afternoon. I hasten to add that my being slow on the uptake wasn’t the only reason it took me so long. Apparently when Ancestry has a free or 50% off day the site can get overloaded which causes glitches. Far from being frustrated by technology it actually gave me some comfort if you consider the alternative!

Yet Another Tangled Web We Weave

Young Arthur c1915

This particular tangled web was definitely not of my making. It had it’s beginnings in 1915. That is, 9 months before my father was born! My family story has always been presented rather simply and, by the standards of today, the “Father Unknown” status was neither here no there. However, if we were to turn the clock back 96 years we would be looking at a very different scenario. In fact it may well be the root cause of Father’s somewhat distant personality that I wrote about in, “Not All Fathers “Father”

The story my mother told me was, that as my father’s birth mother was unmarried, Dad was brought up by his aunt. Their family name being Wetherall. The only aunt I ever had contact with in the UK was my Aunty Doll. After we had emigrated to New Zealand I frequently received gifts from her. Mainly the “Beano” and “School Friend” if I remember correctly! When I was older my mother shared the fact that “Aunty Doll” was actually my Grandmother. Unfortunately by the time I received this little gem Aunty Doll had died and I never had the opportunity to let her know that I knew this. I still feel sad about this even today. (Secrets seem to be so well kept in those days). This sad little tale went unchallenged until I joined 26 million other Ansestry DNA’ers. Linking my results triggered contact from a family member and, according to her records, my father had taken the maiden name of Adcock from his mother! No mention of Wetheralls or the fact that my father was illegitimate. Her research showed that my Grandmother married J Griffith! Now the J Griffith I know was married to my “Aunty Doll”! It appears that my maiden name of Adcock materialised from nowhere. There was only one course of action as far as I was concerned and that was to pass my version of Arthur Adcock (my father) to my new Ancestry BFF. Some webs are just to complicated for this newbie!

If you like puzzles then I hope you have enjoyed looking at the mismatched pieces that make up my first Ancestry Mystery. Better still, if you have a theory please share it in the comments below!

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