Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

I have learned that genetic DNA is no magic tool to solving those Brick Walls in our family trees. It is tedious work.
I took my DNA test with 23andme.com 6 years ago. My sister tested with AncestryDNA.com and 23andme.com. We’ve had our brother, and a cousin tested at FamilyTreeDNA.com. Then I won a free kit from MyHeritage.com so we had another cousin tested. I really have been working to sort through the myriad of matches. At the same time learning the different tools to help in my quest.
This week I discovered two new tools on My Heritage DNA matches.


One is called “AutoClusters”. My Heritage is trying to make working with DNA matches easier. Each DNA “AutoCluster” is a grouping of your matches that also match to most or all others in that cluster and are all likely related on the same ancestral line. According to My Heritage

“This new tool was developed in collaboration with Evert-Jan Blom of GeneticAffairs.com, based on technology that he created, further enhanced by the MyHeritage team.”

My Heritage is a subscription based website. If you have tested with My Heritage and already subscribe, or did not test with My Heritage but want to upload your raw DNA Data and use their sources you may find this helpful.
To use this tool you must be a subscriber, then you can begin access at My Heritage.com website:

  • Start with the DNA drop down menu near the top of the page, by clicking on “DNA Tools”.

  • A new tools page opens. In the middle of the page is the AutoClusters icon and the “Explore” button, click on the “Explore” button.

  • On the left side of AutoClusters page is a “Generate” button. Go ahead and click on it.

  • Once the clusters are generated you will receive an email.
    The email will include a zip file. Save the file. I went ahead and saved it under my genealogy, DNA file on my Personal Computer. This file I update periodically to my online storage file for backup.
    There are three files included in the zip file. One is a spreadsheet (CSV), another is a html file and the third is a Read Me .pdf. Start with the Read me file.

  • When you open the html file it will open in your browser. The top part of the page is a really cool graphic that each time you open it sorts through and assembles the matches into the colorful clusters.
  • Now scroll down to “AutoClusters Information”. From here you can click the name in a Cluster that will take you back to the Review DNA Match page for that individual or you can click on the tree data amount and it will take you directly to their tree.
  • Reviewing the clusters I found that most clusters were groups of immediate family members of one of your matches. and as a result if there was not a tree (1) for one there was also no tree for all of them.
  • Known Relative matches in a single cluster can help you identify the family line for that cluster.

The Theory of Relativity

This second tool is called the theory of relativity

This is a notation that may appear at the top of your DNA matches page.

The idea is that the more users connect data  through My Heritage to their family trees the search engines will use those connections in finding possible family connections to those DNA matches. My Heritage emphasizes these are only theories and therefore no connections can be assumed. Both parties will need extensive trees and sources connected to those trees and the connections can only be as accurate as the member trees.

At this time I do not have any sources connected to my tree on My Heritage therefore I was unable to access this new tool.

If you have any questions please comment below. Hope this was of interest.



Report on Ferguson line findings from Salt Lake City Family History Library last December.

This time I turn to review the items gleaned from my research trip on the Ferguson Line. My grandfather J.E. Dougherty’s mother was Margaret Helen Ferguson. Her grandfather was reported to be David Ferguson “a noted physician in that country,” (Ireland).¹


it really does takes persistence in this business/hobby to be able to trace those elusive ancestors. Very early on I had seen the reference in Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. Vol. I-IV. for David Ferguson and when we went to Ireland in 2005 during our stay in Dublin I tried searching the National Archives for David Ferguson MD. I Just did not know enough to make any connections. I have continued to periodically search all the data bases for a David Ferguson in Dublin where his son was born 12 April 1827.

This past December while in Salt Lake City I did new searches in the Irish records for David Ferguson b. About 1800 living in Ireland in 1827.


Looking at Irish records on the the Irishgenealogy.ie site I was able to access the church records.

Looking for a David Ferguson who was a Physician.

Sorry this is pretty much unreadable. What it is a marriage record for Dublin (county)

Marriage solemnized at St Mar’s church in the Parish of St. Mary in the City of Dublin

David Ferguson MD    full   Bachelor    MD    Enfield Co. Meth     John Ferguson    Esqr

Maria Potterton           full   Spinster     —     97 Up. Dorset St      John Potterton   Esqr

Married in the parish church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland, by License  by me: Alexander Leeper

This marriage was solemnized between us: David Ferguson MD Marie Potterton  In the Presence of: Thos Potterson and Hamilton Ferguson

Since my 2x great grandfather was born in 1827 if this is his father this would be a second marriage. He should be listed as a widow not a bachelor.

If this is my 3x great grandfather it now shows who his father was.

Who was the Hamilton Ferguson shown as one of the witness’ at this marriage?

The next document I found on the Familysearch.org website was a index of Wills and Administrations²

David Ferguson,  12 March.   The Will

(79)   Effects under £2,000    of David Ferguson late of Enfield County Meath Medical Doctor deceased  who died 5 December 1872 at George’s -place Dublin was proved at the Principal Registry by the oath of Maria Ferguson of George’s-place aforesaid the Widow and one of the Executors

Unfortunately in reviewing the website for the National Archives of Ireland this Index may be the only surviving record of this will. I would truly love to see the Will to see if there is any genealogical information that shows if this is my David Ferguson.




¹ Pelletreau, William S. Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. Vol. I-IV. New York, USA: Lewis Publishing, 1907.

²Ireland Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZ5W-795 : 13 March 2018), David Ferguson, 05 Dec 1873; citing 00112, 005014891, Principal Probate Registry, Dublin; 100,977.

George Jones

I am just now getting around to reporting on my different discoveries while in Salt Lake City Family History Library last month. I spent some time working with George Ott, one of the consultants that the tour makes available to their participants. He is a great researcher that my sister and I have worked with often in the past. I now hove a sad story about the George Jones/Jane Langley family. Immigration was always difficult but for George and Jane it was probably unbearable.
If you have read my post “George Jones where are you?” you might recall the two boys Alfred Langley Jones and Walter Jones. They are my 2x great grandmother Ada Jane Jones’s younger brothers. Alfred Langley Jones was born in England in 12 March 1841  and Walter Jones was born 8 July 1843. While in Liverpool prior to the family sailing to the United States on the 7th of March, George and Jane had their two boys baptized at the parish church of St. Peter.

The Ships manifest for the Franconia shows their arrival on 22 April 1844 in New York and sailing out of Liverpool. What I have now discovered is that on May 3 just  eleven days later Alfred died and only 5 short days later the infant Walter died.

How crushing to have made that rigorous trip and then to have your two youngest children die before they were even established here. The death records shows they were both buried in Potters Field, meaning they had no money to pay for any kind of formal burial. At the time of their death the family was living at 308 Water Street. Was there some kind of housing there or were they living in some kind of immigrant facilities? When you go to google maps the Brooklyn Bridge is there today. When the family came into New York Harbor the ships anchorage may have been very close by. The bridge construction did not begin until 1869 and was completed 13 years later. Nearby is Immigrant Park and at pier 15 is the Wavertree, a 4 masted schooner out of Liverpool.



Working with DNA matches

I did my spitting in the tube way back in 2013. At that time ‘23 and me’ was my choice for my DNA testing company. I had read all of Bryan Sykes books. Starting with “The Seven Daughters of Eve” And was inspired to take my genealogy to the next level. At that time I had been doing Family History for 27 years and had reached the point where I was looking for means of addressing my ‘brick walls’. After five years there are so many more companies jumping into the DNA pool. The most prominent ones include, 23 and Me, Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage, and National Geographic. AncestryDNA touts they have tested a total 9 million. while 23 and Me in has tested 5 million with My Heritage and Family Tree DNA following in the numbers.¹ It is Big Business!

What do these numbers mean for the genealogist that is trying to solve brick walls through genetic DNA.

As more individuals test the chances of solving family questions increases.

Questions to ask:

  • Where in the world will I find the answers to my questions?
  • Are large numbers testing in that region?
  • How many of those 15 million + individuals that took a DNA test did so for reasons other then genealogy discoveries?

What percentage just did it to find out if they really were of a certain ethnic group like Native American, Italian, or say Irish.  That means a percentage of your matches may not have any information such as trees, family names and or family locations attached, or when attempting to contact them for more information they never respond or their response is less then helpful.

The large companies are diligently working to grow their numbers. You see their ads everywhere, especially around the holidays. This is good for business and may increase their numbers to improve their algorithms. But without just a few hints from those signing up, of how they may be related to you (family names and/or locations), just being identified as ‘third to fifth cousin’ does next to nothing to help you solve those questions in your family tree.

My Plan

  • Identify matches that are related to my maternal 2x great grandfather
  • identify their ancestors.
  • Identify location in 1846 and prior.
  • Identify the connection.

Genetically I have three male cousins, a brother, plus two sisters. Those are my closest, oldest known living relatives. Not much there for solving my ‘brick walls’.

All my cousins are on my mothers side of the family, luckily that is where my questions are. One cousin on my mothers line tested for us with Family Tree DNA, that was a yDNA test. My brother also did a yDNA test with Family Tree DNA for us.

Now one of my sisters has tested at Ancestry DNA as well as 23 and me. And another cousin  ( also a cousin to the first cousin) has been tested with My Heritage for us.

  • We recently had the yDNA kits upgraded to include autosomal.
  • I uploaded results from different testing companies to gedmatch.
  • I download from 23 and me to an Excel spreadsheet the data for my matches.
  • I downloaded from gedmatch to another Excel spreadsheet the data for the matches. Some matches were repeats.

So now the tedious task of identifying the family line to attach my matches to.

I’m a very visual person, I like using colors to identify family lines.


  • Blue for paternal line
  • Red for maternal line
  • On my spread sheets I added a column for family line.

  • Identify all known matches and then enter the family name in the newly created column.
  • Determine colors and highlight for all lines represented to date on you spreadsheet using the color code.  (I only color code the first column.)

  • Enter on DNA Painter  the known matches, using your color choices.

23 and me and gedmatch allow you to do comparisons of one to many and many to many. Now this may help you identify a few more lines. If you match subject A on chromosome 12  a large segment from say point c to l and subject B matches both you and  subject A within that same segment somewhere between c to l, does this mean that I can now add them to that line, maybe, but let’s do a little more due diligence.

Do they have a tree on gedmatch?

if they do not you may still be able to find a tree online.

On gedmatch the kit number for your matches indicate the source testing company.

M = 23 and me original (new kits have to be uploaded to gedmatches genius series.)

T = Family Tree DNA

A=Ancestry DNA

H = My Heritage

If you have a subscription to either Ancestry or My Heritage you may be able find their tree on line. If you also tested on the same site you will have access to their tree if it is  public. If not one of the clues may be the name they associate their data to. Often we use the same name or email handle across all formats.

Find their tree and or a list of names on their tree.

  • Look for names that also appear in your tree.
  • If they are a 3x to 5x cousin check location for their 2x to 4x great grandparents if determinable.
  • Contact them to determine and establish relationship.


  • Just because they have a Ferguson in their line and you have one on your maternal side also, does not mean they are one of your Ferguson’s. They could actually be genetically related to you on your paternal line. Do not be quick to jump to conclusions. Look to see who else they match that you match.
  • When you have two matches that also match each other, check further they may not relate to each other on the same line. Similar to above but their relationship is just coincidental.
  • Again do your due diligence.

Progress on my objective?

 Objective in Identify the maternal yDNA line, in order to determine who genetically our 2nd great grandfather was.

  • All the matches I have identified to date are mostly on my Paternal line.
  • Those on my maternal line to date are on my mothers mothers line.
  • I have tried contacting by email 2  third cousins on my family tree from the maternal y line. No response.
  • No success in Identifying any second cousin relationships on this line.
  • Yay! Found and solved one brick wall on my Paternal line.

I could use a few suggestions from you on how I might proceed.




While recently  in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library, I made a quick sojourn into the Kornmeyer family line. If you have been reading my blog you may remember that the Kornmeyers are my husbands paternal line. The first of this line to arrive in the United States was Martin Kornmeyer and his family in October 1850. They had left from the Grandduchy of Baden.as noted in the “Katholisch – Böhringen, Konstanx, Baden” (Catholic Church records)in 1848.


Located in the southern most reaches of Baden,  Böhringen may be found just north west of Konstanz, approximately 10 miles.

Leading west out of Lake Constance is the Rhine River. Munich is northeast of Konstanz.

Josephus Kornmeyer

During my research I found record in “Katholisch – Böhringen, Konstanz, Baden” recording the marriage record for Josephus Kornmeyer and Cecelia Froehlin on 05 May 1735. Then the following children entrants can be found subsequently  by year of the christening.

  • Maria Ursula 02 September 1736
  • Maria Helena 14 March 1738
  • Nicholus 08 December 1740
  • Gregorius  28 February 1743
  • Francisca 26 February 1746

Many entrants in the Catholic Parish records after 1800 show the parents of the bride and groom, this is one way to trace the family line back but this one prior to the 1800 only records the couple and the date. Finding Josephus  and Celcelia parent’s was to take a little more sleuthing.

I was assuming that Josephus was born between 1705 and 1715.

  • I searched the Parish records for Josephus christened during that time period in Böhringen.
  • I searched the Parish records for Josephus christened during that time period in neighboring parish Friedingen
    • Josephus Kornmeyer christened 22 March 1706 son of Gregorius Kornmeyer and Eva Muellerin
    • Josephus Kornmeyer christened 27 July 1706 son of Jacobu Kornmeyer and Maria Bieggerin.

Which couple if either are the parents of our Josephus Kornmeyer? That is a question to be solved another day.

Gregorius Kornmeyer

The following rather poor copy is Josephus and Cecelia’s son Gregorius’s christening in Böhringen, 28 February 1743.



Gregotius Kornmeyer married Anastatia Martinin 24 April 1765. The following children were christened in “Katholisch – Böhringen, Konstanz, Baden”according to their records to Gregorious Kornmeyer and Anastastia (or Anna Maria) Martinin:

  • Joseph
  • Joannes Baptista
  • Ignatios
  • Ana Maria
  • Maria Ana
  • Victoria
  • Josephus
  • Ignaious
  • Anastatia
  • Phillippus Jacobus  b. 1777 m. 1804 Waldburga Meyer d. 13 April 1824
  • Joannes Georgius
  • Fidelis  b.22 April 1782 m. 09 June 1817 Anna Maria Winier d. 20 Aug. 1857
  • Simon  b. 25 October 1783  d. 10 Dec. 1854

Phillippus Jacobus Kornmeyer

In the records of Böhringen, dated from 1818-1885 I have seen the family pages for Phillip  and his brother Fidel.

Phillip and his wife Waldburga Meyer had 13 children.  Number 5 was Martin b. 18 October 1811.

He had a sister Anna Maria b. 19 Jan 1822 who married a Pius Fahr 15 Nov 1847 in Böhringen

She and Pius have the following:

  • Teressia b. 14 Aug. 1849 Berndorf Rheinland Prusia
  • Dionis b. 08 Dec.  1851 Berndorf Rheinland Prusia d. 05 January 1852
  • Dionys b. 10 April 1853 Gottmadingen Konstanz Baden
  • Lenard b. 1856 Gottmadingen Konstanz Baden m. 22 February 1884 Sophie Fahr
  • Josef b. 18 March 1861 Gottmadingen Konstanz Baden
  • Bernard b. 10 Sept 1863 Gottmadingen Konstanz Baden

What I find interesting is that Berndorf is 480km from Gottmadingen Konstanz Baden. and you see by the map above that Gottmadingen is only 7 miles from Böhringen.

So question for the relatives is “did Anna Maria and her husband start out with Martin and his family for America?”

What about the 1848 Baden Revolution?



If you have not gotten evolved with you local society I would encourage you to do so. They can provide you with great resources, workshops, and discussion groups.

Every year JCGS (Jefferson County Genealogical Society) works on “Brick Walls”. Members submit their brick walls, then a few experienced members review and research the submitted problems. The findings along with a workshop on brick walls is presented at a regular meeting six months later.

This morning I was driving to the monthly local genealogy society meeting, hoping that there would be some specific help for me on my George Jones “brick wall”.  I had submitted “Who were George Jones parents and where was he born?”

George was my 3x great grandfather. Of course I had provided them with what I knew and what I had already researched. I had been having trouble from the very start. Finding George’s first name had been my first stumbling block. I thought once I knew his name I would be able to solve it all. False optimism. That was about 20 years ago. I would like to move on to the previous generation………I have to remind myself, “baby steps”.

Today’s workshop began by walking us through some hints on approaching those brick walls. 

Where to start.

  • Identify your question.
  • Review what is “Known” and the supporting documents.
  • Prepare a time line of facts
  • Layout a research plan

The question 

Try to state the problem in a single objective.  


Sometimes we look at the same document and focus only on what we initially learned and miss some hint. Do not overlook friends, acquaintances, and neighbors (FAN club). Who were the witnesses at a marriage, or godparents at a christening, neighbors on the census or in deeds?

Put the information from the documentation in a timeline. 

What documents are missing? What relevant documents will fill in the gaps and provide pertinent  information.

  •  Censuses – national, state, non population, veteran, etc.
  • City Directories
  • Immigration, migration
  • Church records, marriage, christening, etc.
  • Local court records, deeds, probate, guardianships, naturalization, arrest, etc.

The plan…..

What was happening in this time frame: wars, epidemics, disasters, industrialization, migration, political upheaval that may have affected your family.

Where are the records kept for the, area/areas you subject lived: Parish, courthouse, estate, state, national archives, local libraries, local Historical groups, etc.

Start with the immediate family and work outward. Use a spread sheet to organize the FAN club

Follow ALL the children not just your line. Parents often show up in their adult children’s homes later in their lives, or in the same town. How many of your friends have moved to be closer to their children and grandchildren. One of my ancestors moved from Cambridge , Massachusetts to California gold country to be nearer their daughter and her family when they were in their 70’s (between 1870 & 1877)

Break it into small pieces. Do not overwhelm yourself. Concentrate on one thing at a time. if you are looking for date of death, where were they last. Where were their children in the next record. Check those areas after you have exhausted where they were last known to be located.

So now that I have heard and summarized for myself on how to work on those pesky “ brick walls” I was anxious to hear the problems the society had taken on to attempt to solve. The first three presentations were reviewed and the findings were presented, I listened but kept wondering “what did they discover for me?”. Then they came to mine. A quick summary of the question and then lots of suggestions on where I should look. 

No answers? But a George Jones (19 July 1855) in the New York Herald index to marriages and deaths Vol.1 1835-1855. Something to definitely check out.

Each contributor was given a file with a report on what was done and what was found and where to go next. 

This summary of their search will be great going forward. It also illustrates that fresh eyes on the subject can help you in evaluating what you may be doing, right or wrong. While they did not answer my question I have their input and suggestions to continue my own search.

Today I want to share with you, the forms I use the most to help me.  You will also find them on the new forms page.

The First one I am providing today is my Mini Group Sheet it is tablet (5.5″x 8.5″) size and I use it as a work sheet. If I am finding lots of families in the records (such as the Parish records in a specific area) with the same last name. I might start keeping track of these families on these sheets. Later I will review this information with other source information(i.e. Census, marriage records, etc.) to develop family relationships.  I like to color code my family group sheets so I have these forms in Blue and Red.  Be sure that you have your printer set on color otherwise its just black and white.. You will find there are two to a page and you can simply cut apart.

Family group sheet mini

The Second form is a Document Log  check sheet. I create a new one for each individual when I first start researching an individual. This is a log of all the records or documents that I have on file for each individual. Each record or document is filed behind or with this log. This will let me know at a glance where the holes in my research are and what areas I need to focus on next. I have also provided blue, red, green and orange logs if you too would like them.


There are tricks to remember what the relationship is between two individuals with a common ancestor. If the common ancestor for both individuals a:

  • great grandparent ~then they are 2nd Cousins,
  • 2x great grandparent ~then they are 3rd Cousins,
  • 3x great grandparents~ then they are 4th cousins,
  • 4x ~ 5th cousins, etc.
  • but how about those generations once or twice removed.

That gets a little more difficult. so here is my cheat sheet for you. Click here

If you can print in color I encourage you to do so.

Steps to determine relationship between 2 individuals with a common ancestor.

  1. Find relationship of 1st individual to the common ancestor in the far right hand column above the common ancestor box
  2. Find the relationship of the 2nd individual to the common ancestor in the far right hand column below the  common ancestor box.
  3. Follow the path across and down to where the 1st relationship meets the second relationships row. That intersecting box is the relationship of the two individuals.

Feel free to use any or all of these forms and share. I will be adding others from time to time. If you are following me I will let you know as I add more.

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