Dark Side of the Moon

For reference here is a nice visual from ancestry.com of my paternal tree. This constitutes my “Thompson family” really starting with my grandparents Charles and Elizabeth Thompson. I like this view because it shows the two “halves” of my dad’s family and gives you the idea of what we’re talking about with the two halves of his DNA.

What I’m focusing on here are “knowns”. So I have some results from known relatives of Elizabeth Jean Seelye. What is interesting is that these knowns supply information about genetic matches with my “Seelye” family, beginning with my grandmother Elizabeth, but they also supply information about my “Thompson” family beginning with Charles. Basically if I shine a light on the Seelye side of the house I can also see who is touched by their shadow and those are Thompsons.

Here are my dad’s large known genetic matches:

  • me 1/2 his DNA: 3586 cM
  • maternal relative shares McKendree Seelye and Elizabeth Beadle: 455 cM
  • maternal relative another generation removed who shares same Seelye Beadle Ancestors: 350 cM
  • maternal relative, cousin 2x removed sharing the parents of Clara Beadle: 157 cM
  • maternal relative 4th cousin level a couple times removed sharing grandparents of  Adelia Light: 23 cM

I don’t really count. I’m just there for moral support. I share the most DNA with my dad, but our comparisons are only for interest. Together though, you can see that his maternal relatives tested so far only could possibly cover about 985 cM. If half of my dad’s DNA is roughly 3586 cM (given what my half of his is like) then you can see the gap in coverage even on a side of the family that is being actively tested.In truth they cover less than their total 985 cM because the Seely/Beadle relatives often overlap each other (obviously because they share the same ancestors). At this point the representation from Mae Campbell is pretty small (but growing soon I think).

What I’m getting at here is that it is very hard to recreate my grandmother genetically even with all these resources, shared trees, known family…etc because I don’t really get the full picture of her half of my dad’s DNA. I get part. Mostly I’m getting the 1/4th of my dad’s DNA that belongs to the Seelye/Beadle family.

Still it has been invaluable to have them tested and available. I have been able to use their matches to sort out people at 23 and me and gedmatch.com in ways I never could before. I can sometimes separate maternal from paternal and in some instances I get a glimmer of matches that may line up with Mae Campbell and her family.

So as daunting as it can be, it is also exciting because I have more resources now for genetic genealogy than I have had at any other time in the past several years. Effectively you can take the 600 or so cM (not counting overlaps among the seelyes) and double it. Where their shadow falls is all paternal territory.

So these are some things I’ve learned just recently with the addition of that 455 cM match:

My single Williamson direct match (previous post) is at least partially maternal (the match had multiple segments. One of them is definitely through Elizabeth Seelye). Ahhh so close, but so far away. That genetic relative did also have my grandmother’s Fulkerson family. It may yet turn out that she is both maternal and paternal. We’ll see.

The autosomal match that had the Elmer family in her tree is also maternal and is related to Elizabeth Seelye. It’s a small world. I had hoped they would be a paternal match and maybe solidify some connection to the Elmer Y match..but not go. This match does ironically have Seelyes but they are apparently the “wrong” Seelyes. We’ll have to see on that too.

The single match that lines up with my dad’s Finks family from Virginia (nice straight tree match) is definitely related to my grandfather (Ina Finks son) so that was good. A nice paternal surname match with the Jeffries family of Virginia has, at a minimum, lined up as a paternal relative.

Several of the matches that have Boltons and possibly Stinsons in them (including some of his biggest matches), are also paternal (related to Charles Thompson). So there may be a Bolton/Stinson component to the family I have yet to put together. I’ve had my eye on the Stinsons for a while and the Boltons seem to be on the rise now.

Two genetic matches that also match with each other are related to Robert Bolton and Mary Hubbard in early 1700s Virginia (they are actually more closely related than that through Robert’s daughter Rebecca and down a few more generations to Rebecca’s granddaughter Rebecca Nelson). A Third genetic relative who does not overlap with these two had a much closer Bolton family that intertwines with a Stinson family in the 1800s. Those Boltons also go back to Robert Bolton and Mary Hubbard. So again, I can clearly see how my dad’s genetic relatives are related to each other..just not to him.

Add that to the possilble Ritchie or Fugate match that is paternal from Kentucky that I get the feeling is tied to my Williamsons but just can’t prove. See my post about The Wrong Thompson Family.

There is also a new set of paternal matches who overlap with each other and share the family of Abner Pipes 1738 Pennsylvania and Alexander Dutton Rachel Feazel family from 1770s Maryland. Again totally visibly related to each other but no connection yet to my dad’s paternal family.

When it comes to paternal and even some maternal family, I have an uphill battle to fight. There are enough unknowns in my dad’s tree that even without NPEs a person could be busy tracking things down for a long time. The Finks family is old and from Virginia, but there are many many nameless souls there.They also contain the Purnell family which is a total wash before the 1800s as far as records go. Assuming for the moment that I am related to the Williamsons, I still have a lot of mystery surrounding Henry Williamson’s father and may have the wrong branch of the Williamson tree. What if Henry Williamson’s father was Hammond Williamson’s nephew instead of son. What if the death certificate was right and Henry was wrong about where his father was born? How would that change things?

I am very likely staring right at my relatives and just have no idea. Pulling them out of the shadows has been much harder but also more rewarding than I expected.

One Comment

  1. Yet more paternal matches show up swirling around Letcher Kentucky, Russell Virginia, Floyd Kentucky (see my Williamson family) and Wilkes North Carolina. One group has two members who share the family of Archelous Craft (1749) and Elizabeth Adams. In these same family trees I see Hammons (see Hammon or Hammond Williamson) and Caudills (prominent in the wrong Thompson family). I get the feeling I'm just brushing the answers with my fingertips.

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