So now I have another ball in the air. These Berks PA Thompsons. Without more details on where their information comes from, I can’t say what to do with them. Is it a story, does it come from a church record, are there siblings for Levi? With a birth and death date for Albert E Thompson it seems like it has some source, but what is it? Were they passing through Butler PA when Levi was born? Is that baptismal record for Albert the right Albert? I just can’t say, and there it hangs. I can’t add them in.
I also can’t add in any Thompsons from Butler PA. There are great candidates, but there are too many candidates and without some tangible proof like a church or census record..there’s nothing I can do with those. The only thing I can think to do is go through any church records I can find in Butler PA for some sort of baptism record for Levi.
With my results from FTDNA in, I’m left to think that we’re most likely from Southern or Southeast England and with all my Danish candidates falling away, it would appear that we’re Saxon English, or at least that my father and I are. Then all my other English matches fell away and left just one single Elmer match. Along with that record comes the realization that I still don’t match any Thompsons on the Y in any database. In fact, I’ve only gotten further away from the ones I had hoped to get closer to. The idea of an NPE becomes more likely.
As was pointed out to me in the past, The Elmers do overlap with a Thompson family in the 1700s in New Jersey. I have some autosomal matches who are related to that Thompson family and the Elmer family with them. What to do with them? If I recall, some of those Thompsons do make their way to Pennsylvania. I probably should do a survey of them to make sure of it. The time between those New Jersey Thompsons and Elmers and Levi gets kind of tight though especially if I am to consider the Berks PA Thompsons (Albert E’s parents) who were likely born in the 1780s. That is assuming that an NPE would occur between those families.
There is also the point to consider that an NPE can happen at any time. I’m definitely related to my father, but now I would need to search for possible Elmer parents at every generation back along my male line. From the advice of others in the genetic genealogy community, I should consider this seriously and proceed accordingly.
So, genetically speaking, I need to figure out when this may have happened. Of course that requires still more testing. On the Y side, the advice is to test other known Thompson relatives. For instance, my father and I match, but what about the Indiana Thompsons. If they don’t match then we could suspect an NPE between Albert 1870 and my Grandfather 1925. There is also the possibility that if they don’t match me, that they match a group of known Thompsons, which would be nice. If they do match then we would suspect an NPE from Albert 1870 back.
Also, I should continue working with the Elmer family to see if our match gets closer over time. So I would need to order more SNP testing to make sure we’re still on the same branch of R1b-U106 and the 67 marker test at FTDNA to make sure we don’t diverge too much. All of that is because there is still the possibility that even that match falls apart and we are then probably just men who are related way back beyond any records I’ll find. At that point if the Elmers fall away, it would be good to have those other Thompson results, matching or not to continue with.
Autosomal testing comes into play too. I should have at least one of the Indiana Thompsons tested at 23 and me (which has been my plan) to see where they overlap with my father. It could be very telling if they share the same autosomal matches that contain Elmer related people. It would, also remove my paternal grandmother (directly but not indirectly as they are probably also related to her like everyone in america). They may also have some matches that my father does not, that further point us in a good direction.
It seems that every time I lop a head off this thing, two heads grow in it’s place. No one said it would be easy, to the contrary, I was absolutely told it could not be done. This day at least, I’m starting to feel the sting of that statement. Every possibility from the past is still open and more are being added.
Will I be able to pull this swirling miasma into some sort of shape before I run out of resources?