Who do you think you are? Does this really change after you do a little genealogy research? How about after you get those DNA test results? I thought I knew a lot about who I am. My family was a normal dysfunctional family. We had our rascals and sweethearts. We knew what poverty and wealth looked like. I knew what I did and didn’t want my life to turn into. But who were my people? Maybe that is the question I keep asking and why I still love genealogy. I have learned so much of history and the world. I was not looking for connections to greatness (well maybe at first) and I was not surprised to find just the common folks. But they are still very interesting people that I have discovered. Now I am delving more into the DNA of my family lines and it is interesting and daunting. My motivation was to solve our Brick wall. “William L. Dougherty“. Click on William’s name to see my earlier blog to learn more about him.
I took my own DNA test back in 2013 with 23 and Me. Gosh was it really 5 years ago. It has not solved my brick wall. I have found lots of connections and we did solve one other brick wall. But not “The One” I was looking for.
So now comes the daunting or maybe tedious work. Finding those collateral descendants who will help us move backward in time.
Who was William L. Dougherty?
The idea is that we need to duplicate our ancestors DNA. The yellow highlighted individual s the ones that I have. Those with a red dot I am looking for and the orange highlighted ancestor is my target ancestor. The idea is the orange target ancestor gave 50% of their DNA to their children (the next tier to his left) and not the same 50%. Their children gave 25% of the targets DNA to their children (the next tier moving left) and again not the same 25%. The next generation only gets 12.5% of the targets DNA and again not necessarily the same DNA. So my generation only receives about 6.25% of the targets DNA. So ideally if we had 16 descendants tested we may be able to come close to duplicating our targets DNA. That’s a simplified illustration. (Theoretically we could hope to approximate a facsimile of our ancestors DNA but with the endless variables it will be statistically near impossible.)
Start the search
Who is there out there that falls into those boxes?
- My parent only had two siblings. So my grandparent is as well covered as possible with 5 cousins tested.
- My grandparent had 6 siblings. 3 died before reaching 10 years of age. Two sisters had children, in this group there are four 1st cousins once removed. I doubt that any here are still alive so I will look for their children &/or grandchildren. The grandchildren will only have 3.125% of targets DNA. Unknown # of 2nd. cousins
- My great grandparent had 4 brothers. Some time ago I had been contacted by the descendants of one of the brothers. In the mean time we have moved and I lost contact. So I will try to find them again. Of the other three brothers I know of no children. Only one other ever married and I have not as yet found any children for him. That would be a possible 12 3rd cousins.
I will be reaching out to those known to me and see if they have tested or are willing to be tested. So if you are a descendant of William L. Dougherty and you are interested in solving the mystery of who William L. Dougherty was please contact me.