Love the research!

Maybe I should have been a detective!

Since retiring from teaching eight years ago, I have started to organize my family history research more carefully. This is mainly because of the DNA tests I have requested from members of my family. I am having to keep better records of what I have done and who are matches to all the people I have had tested. Thanks to UTAS for the Diploma of Family History which I have completed since retirement. They helped with the organizing and planning for my research.

At the moment I am working with an as yet unknown 4th cousin with username wollen100. She matches my mother, my brother and me with DNA . It is only  a small amount about 21cMs for each of us. But we think it might come down through the BOYD side of the tree.

Me, daughter of my mother, daughter of Hannah DAVEY, daughter of Martha COLGRAVE, daughter of Susan BOYD, daughter of John Henry or Holliday BOYD and Martha BOYD , was Virco/Vico nee HEARN.

Birth certificate of Harriet where father is noted as John Holliday Boyd

On two birth certificates for John’s children he is mentioned as John Holliday Boyd. Looking on Ancestry, most public trees have his parents as William and Ann Boyd from Ireland. But I think that name Holliday must be significant. Also I noted that John had no children with the name of William. Perhaps a clue that William is not his father.

John was a convict tried at the Central Criminal Court in London and sent to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) in the 1830s. But on the convict conduct record it says his native place was Plymouth which is in Devon in England. I have found a John Holliday Boyd born in 1809 in Maker, Cornwall which is across the river from Plymouth. Parents were Robert Boyd and Nancy Holliday and their marriage was in 1797 in Devon. Maybe these are the couple I need to concentrate on to find that connection to my 4th cousin.

She has a lot of ancestors in the Plymouth area of Devon with surnames VEALE, WYATT, ELLIOTT, PRIDEUX, WEST, SWAIN and WICKETT. So more research needed to connect my Boyds to one of these names on my cousins tree.   I have found an Ann Boyd marrying a Richard Wyatt in 1793 at Ivybridge in Devon. Maybe Ann and Robert are siblings!

Come on Sue, get on with that research!!

Surprise, surprise!

It is from my dad’s DNA testing that I have had a lot of surprises. I have been researching my family for over 45 years and thought I had all the paper work correct.

Imagine my surprise when I find all these DNA matches to dad that don’t fit into the paperwork I have.

Dad Ancestry matches

The starred matches are those I have as connections in my home database. They include myself, my brother, dad’s half brother (another surprise), five 1st or 2nd cousins already known to us, and finally three cousins who I have now connected to dad’s tree.

But there is someone who is a 1st or 2nd cousin match who I have no idea about. When I look at the shared matches for that person, none come back to known relatives. So somewhere my paper trail must be wrong.

Dad unknown cousin

Then I looked at ethnicity. Dad’s great grandfather was half Samoan, so dad and I should have some Polynesian in our DNA – not a skerrick. Those 5 known cousins do from 3-10%. So where is dad’s and mine?

Dad DNA story

Where has all the Irish ethnicity come from? I hadn’t found any Irish in dad’s paperwork. Looks like there have been some lies passed down in the family oral history. Or maybe the truth wasn’t known and it is only now with DNA that the truth is appearing.

With dad’s half brother (same father) having done a DNA test, I can now sort dad’s matches into paternal and maternal. But when looking at the maternal matches, I find the unknown 1st or 2nd cousin comes in there. But doesn’t match those with the Polynesian ethnicity. So maybe dad’s maternal grandfather is not the son of the Samoan whaling captain I have researched for years.

I have started using the tool What are the odds (part of DNA painter) which allows me to make hypotheses of where dad’s grandfather might be in the unknown cousin’s tree.

Dad DNA painter WATO

Looking at the unknown cousin’s tree, there is a lot of Irish in there, but I still need to find which person is dad’s direct relative.

Readers: What surprises have you found in your paper trail and or DNA trail?