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Success with WATO? (What Are the Odds)

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by JMCWSW, Jun 24, 2024.


    JMCWSW LostCousins Member

    Long story as short as possible.

    Mt gt. grandfather never married my gt. grandmother, but signed my Nana's birth registration, and gave his full name as middle names to my gt. Uncle Alf. I have endlessly looked for William DOD(D)SWORTH for about 45 years, with no success. He wasn't born in New Zealand, he didn't die in New Zealand and he never married anyone else in New Zealand (nor to all intents and purposes had any more children in New Zealand), so my first problem is I have no dob/dod, or places of birth/death. (Nor is he recorded anywhere in Australia).

    He first appears on an electoral roll in 1885, and it should be obvious I've found no reliable records as to his comings and goings to/from New Zealand. With the second "D" he appears on electoral rolls with gt.granma up until 1897. She remarried someone else in 1902.

    Bring on the DNA!!!!!

    I tested his surviving grandchildren, my Mum and her first cousin, Lionel, (with Ancestry, and loaded their results everywhere else.) I tested Lionel with YDNA (only at the lowest level) and have *hits* with the surname DODD/DODDS. Innumerable cousins of nth degree have tested, including gt.grandma's only other surviving grandchild to her first marriage. *And* as an aside, three months before he passed away at the age of 98, Lionel met his natural son, and discovered he had 9 grandchildren and innumerable gt. grandchildren himself.

    I can account for nearly all DNA matches at the closest levels; and I've done the LEEDS Method (using Mum & Lionel's cMs and creating a third column of their average cMs ***), and have half a dozen oddities with no trees, and no clues, that for all intents and purposes *must* be the missing links. Three of those belong to the same family, a pair of siblings and 1C1R. They're all based in Stoke-on-Trent, and I have absolutely no other family anywhere nearby (my other brick wall which does muddy the waters, being gt. grandma's father's family are most certainly Gloucestershire and/or Wales).

    I've built their family tree upwards, outwards and downwards, and its consistently Stoke-on-Trent and environs, from late 18th century. Among the family members are innumerable William DODDs, but one in particular:

    * William DODD b.1859 is at home with Mum, Dad and siblings on 1861, 1871 and 1881 census and then is missing off 1891 and 1901, before turning up again.
    * William DODD never marries, he dies single living with his single sister from 1911 until his death in 1942.
    * William DODD has a number of occupations (any of which could fit with also being a “rabbiter” in NZ, a possible “miner” and a farmer who goes bankrupt).

    Stumbling blocks... he's 8 years younger than gt.granma (but her first husband was some 28 years' older and her second husband 6 years older), and she had four children (b. 1874-1879) when they got together; but his options may have been limited, given the part of NZ they were living, and she was a good cook and home-maker (she ran a restaurant and boarding house in her earlier life).

    So I used William DODD as the hypothesis, with Mum's 2 * shared matches looking for my Nana's father.
    and William DODD as the hypothesis, with Lionel's * shared matches looking for Uncle Alf's father, and WATO is coming up "POSSIBLE".

    The biggest questions remaining are "WHY.... did he use the name William DOD(D)SWORTH?" and "How reliable is WATO?"

    Oh, and yes I have attempted to build trees for any DODSWORTH families who are DNA matches, but always come unstuck.


    *** average cMs Tester1 = 200
    *** average cMs Tester2 = 155
    *** matches Lionel only cMs Tester3 = 36


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