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Identifying the father

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Val, May 15, 2022.

  1. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    I have a different problem. I am searching for my husbands Gt Grandfather. We know he was illegitimate.

    Here is what I have done but wonder if my assumptions are correct - also if they are, should I add them into Lost Cousins to see if any of them match my 'potential' gt grandfathers'?

    I have his birth certificate (born in London in 1880) which shows no father. My husband (Derek) has taken a DNA test with Ancestry and a Y-DNA test with FamilyTree DNA and his DNA has been uploaded to GEDmatch. None show any obvious links.

    Ancestry has lots of DNA hits but none have more than 127cM (and I know that that person is linked to him on his mother's line).

    I now live in the USA but my, and my husband's family, are all in the UK, although there looks as if there must be a Scottish branch in his family as his ethnicity estimate is 62% English, 31% Scottish, 7% elsewhere.

    I do have a few of his relatives from Scotland and some direct ancestors from Berwick upon Tweed in his fairly extensive tree. His gt grandmother was born in Stanwix, Cumberland and was living in Stanwix in 1861 and Newcastle upon Tyne in 1871. By 1881 she was in London as a servant having giving birth to Derek's grandfather on the 27 Jun 1880 in Marylebone, London.

    This is what I have done so far:
    I have found 3 DNA hits who match each other as well as my husband using Ancestry's Shared Matches.
    Match 1: LLW matches with 59cM
    Match 2: MF matches with 55cM
    Match 3: LVG matches with 35cM

    After many hours of research I have linked all 3 matches together - to Emily Marriner and Robert Simpson Hardie. Match 1 and 2 come from their daughter, Jessie and Match 3 from Jessie's sister Emily.

    So following Emily and Robert back down Emily's line I have 2 brothers of Emily who are my husband's potential Gt Grandfather and 3rd gt uncle's to Match 2 and 3 and 2nd gt uncle to Match 1.

    These 2 boys and Emily were born in London in the late 1850's and early 1860's and in 1881 were living at the Waterloo Arms Beer House at 37 Commercial Road in Lambeth with their parents, and my husband's grandmother was a servant working at 19 Brunswick Square, Camberwell.

    So do you think that my thinking is correct, and have I found the missing great grandfather - or am I clutching at straws! So far I haven't had any DNA matches to my husband from this 'potential line' which would at least support my theory.

    I'm going to put the 1881 census into his Lost Cousins account in the hopes that it might bring up some results.

    I watch 'Finding my Roots' here in the USA and Cece Moore makes it look so easy, but after about multiple weeks of research to build the tree and find the links I know it's not!!
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I think you mean that your husband's grandfather was illegitimate.
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In circumstances like these, once you have a hypothesis about the identity of the father, the first thing you need to do is work out precisely how your husband would be related to each of the relevant DNA matches (eg 2nd cousin once removed, half 3rd cousin or whatever) if the hypothesis is correct.

    It's possible that I could work it out from the information you've provided, but it's far better that you do it yourself, not least because you can then go on to the next stage which is to check how feasible your hypothesis is, by comparing the shared DNA with the range shown in Blaine Bettinger's chart.
  4. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    Yes, you are right, I did mean his grandfather was illegitimate.

    Match 1 & 2 are his 3rd cousins
    Match 3 is his 3rd cousin 1x removed

    From the Blaine Bettinger's chart
    1/2 3rd cousins would match 61 cM with range of 0-178 cM. With Match 1 having 59cM and Match 2 having 55cM
    1/2 3rd cousins 1xremoved would match 42 cM with a range of 0-165 cM. Which Match 3 has with 35cM.

    So they are all possible.
    I also put the 1881 census into Lost Cousins and have had a hit with someone whose direct relative would have been the mother of my suspects, so I'm hoping that she is going to respond to my request for contact, and will provide me with her email.

    I must say that so far it's looking very possible, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Val, you start by saying that they are 3rd cousins and 3rd cousins once removed, but when you talk about the chart they've become half cousins. Which is correct?
  6. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    I was assuming that they would be half cousins as they are not related in any way to my husbands Gt Grandmother, but I am obviously wrong as the software I use (Family Tree Maker) gives the relationship as cousins and not half cousins. My husband and match 1 and 2 have the same 2nd Gt Grandparents, and match 3 has the same Gt Grandparents but they are their 3rd GGP.

    Given this then the chart gives the following"

    3rd cousins would match 74 cM with range of 0-217 cM. With Match 1 having 59cM and Match 2 having 55cM
    3rd cousins once removed would match 48 cM with a range of 0-173 cM. Match 3 has with 35cM.

    Thank you for putting me right, I've been so wrapped up in trying to figure it all out that I got totally confused. You always give great advice with clarity, for which I thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2022
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I think my answer would be maybe. You've found a family to whom the missing great grandfather may be connected, with two brothers who seem to be in the right place at the right time. However, given the huge variation in the amount of DNA shared between people of a certain relationship, I think I would be spreading the net a bit wider, and investigating cousins and uncles etc to see if there may be others who fit the bill equally well.

    Identifying the right family is the first step, but identifying exactly which member of that family is the missing ancestor can be a whole lot harder.
  8. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    I'm not too worried about finding the 'exact' father, just the family that he would have belonged to. I have a large family tree for my husbands family but with one significant branch not represented. It is this that I would like to 'fill in'. Knowing the exact person is not going to make any difference to either my husband or his cousins!
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Knowing which of the two sons is the father won't significantly affect your husband's ancestry, because they have the same parents, but Pauline is right to urge caution, as there is no proof that either of them is the father - it's merely a hypothesis that is consistent with the evidence that you currently have. But it's probably not the only hypothesis that is consistent with the evidence - perhaps their father or one of his brothers is the person you've looking for.

    It may be that there are other matches which are relevant but you have not identified because they have no tree, or the tree is private. Have you looked at the shared matches?
  10. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    Thanks for the reply. Yes I have looked at shared matches - so far only 3 groups, but with the other 2 groups I couldn't find the connection between all of those who were in the group. It is obviously there, just I couldn't find it. It took me about 2 months or more to do all the research for the group I did and cost quite a bit in Scottish records - small price to pay, I know. I have one more line from this group that needs to be researched which could provide other options, but I am waiting for a New Zealand marriage certificate to find the parents of the husband, the wife is the line I have identified as the 'susects', but obviously the match could be from the husbands side.

    At the best, I know he is related to this family through DNA, so all is not lost, just how they fit in.

    I shall continue my search and look for more groups and see if I can create trees for each group to see if any of them are viable. But it looks like my approach is correct, which is what I was concerned about.

    Thanks again
  11. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    I thought that those who helped me would like to know the outcome of all my research.
    First I have to acknowledge my mistake - my husband is the 2nd cousin to 2 of his DNA and 2nd cousin 1x removed to the other, and not the 3rd - or 3rd 1 removed as I originally thought, but they are still within the range for 2nd cousins.

    However I have done more digging and spent time putting on a map where his Grandmother was in 1881 and where my 2 suspects were - the first were the 2 brothers and their family who were living at 37 Commercial Road and the second, the future husband of the sister of the 2 brothers (my 2nd suspect). Mary was living about 4.4 miles away from the 2 brothers in Commercial Road and only 1.1 mile from the future husband of the sister.

    Add to that that my husbands grandfather was called Robert Hardie Blease, and the Hardie name was used as the middle name for several of his cousins. There is no evidence in my original tree that his Blease line had anyone with Hardie in their name.

    But Emily married a Robert Simpson Hardie in New Zealand and it was Robert who was living in Chadwick Street 1.1 miles from where Mary was living. So now I have a Robert Simpson Hardie and Emily Marriner married and it is their descendants who have the DNA hits to my husband.

    I do know that this may not be correct, but the co-incidence is too much to ignore.

    The family of Robert Simpson Hardie is very small, with Robert's father dying 2 years after his birth. His mother had 2 sisters who I still need to try and find information for. With luck they might have married and I can get a DNA hit from that.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You can always go back another generation (or two) if you have to, though I appreciate it's not nearly so easy to research in New Zealand. A good next step would be search for Robert Simpson Hardie's ancestral surnames amongst your husband's matches.
  13. Val

    Val LostCousins Star

    Thanks Peter, that's what I am doing. Luckily Robert and Emily only went to New Zealand a few years before they married, (they were both in London at the 1881 census) although I haven't managed to find any evidence, but I now have the marriage certificate (married 3 Apr 1886), and a daughter born in New Zealand on the 6 Apr 1887 (who is the mother of one of the DNA matches), also a son who was born in New Zealand ( 22 Mar 1888 and then died there on the 28 Jul 1888). They must have come back to England shortly after that as their 2nd daughter (also a mother of one of the DNA matches) was born in London (registered in Q2 1889 in Lambeth). I have been singularly unsuccessful at finding any passenger lists for them leaving England and then returning.

    The family then moved back to Edinburgh for the 1901 census until Robert Simpson Hardie's death on the 28 Apr 1911 (Probate record confirms).

    I now have Robert's parents, he was an only child, to research. His father was born in Scotland around 1799, but haven't found any evidence - he died in 1856 in Newcastle upon Tyne so I may order his death certificate. His mother's line looks more promising, and it's looking like some of her siblings went to Pennsylvania - but it's early days yet to consider this line, and needs to be researched properly. Several Ancestry trees available, but most with dubious dates and no references!

    Thank you for reminding me of ancestral surnames, lot's of Mc's I'm afraid!

    I shall plod onwards.

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