This week some fairly colorful characters have emerged from Ancestry.com. I decided it was time to load my tree for the world to see.... or at least for those who I invite to see it. Having decided that, I had no idea how much work it would be to connect all the source information for 4500 people who are in my tree...and most people have several different sources which can be associated with them...What was I thinking all these years by not doing it sooner? And as soon as you load it, the hints begin to arrive about people in your tree. Who knows how many I have to connect, safe to say tens of thousands...oh my!
I made the decision to load it because I made contact with a couple of people who are closely connected with our Smiths thru a DNA match. The funny thing is they are a Stephenson and a Stevenson family lines. I sent an email to the one person and before I knew it both had responded. They offered to try to help me sort out where our family connects. I am not sure what I expected when I did the DNA tests but I guess I thought that it would clear things up more...not muddy the water. It is so strange that our closest matches in the DNA database are to two Musgrave families and two Stephenson/Stevenson. Oh and a Shepard...who isn't a Shepard at all... This person was adopted and they have no idea what their original surname was. Father and Mother are unknown! We match all the same markers with each of these families with only two markers that are different.
So ..it appears for all practical purposes that Smith, though it is our name today...may not have been a name 10 generations ago...Interesting! It could be that for some reason we had a name change, an illegitimate birth, an adoption, both parents died so they were orphaned or they had a good or bad reason to disappear...It is at this point, anyone's guess what happened...the facts remain that within 10 generations our families connect with the Musgrave and the Stephenson/ Stevenson family...The genes do not lie...
I figured out how to invite the Stephenson/ Stevenson researchers to view my tree and we will see what we find. I also contacted the Shepard family and offered to give them access too. I will contact the Musgrave again at some point.
SO adding my tree to ancestry.com added a host of other issues which I had not planned on...as I said...I am now connecting the hints from public documents which are readily available through my ancestry.com subscription. I have also found that there are Smith's from our trees who think that James's father was Jonathan P Smith born in Pennsylvania in 1783 and lived in Ohio in the 1850 census. I have contacted them in hope that they can tell me how they determined this.
In the coming weeks, we'll write about some other colorful character as I attach source information to members of our tree and find out more about who we are and where we came from.