Friday, November 22, 2019

DNA CONNECTIONS AND DISCOVERIES ~ A new 2nd cousin leads to more information on my Mom’s family line

I find myself checking for new DNA matches, pretty much daily.  Most of the time it’s while I’m watching TV and using my iPad.  My DNA site of choice is Ancestry, although my DNA is on all of the sites (FtDNA, 23 & Me, Gedmatch, MyHeritage and Living DNA).

The other night while checking on new matches, I came across one that was 30 cms on 3 segments and had a tree of 102 people and shock, also a common ancestor.  I say shocked because while I have a lot of matches, I don’t have all that many that have common ancestors.

I looked at the match and saw that it was managed by someone I’ll call her Anna.  Right away I clicked on Anna’s name to see what her profile said about her.  She lives in Australia and joined Ancestry in 2005.  Her last sign in was that same day.  That’s certainly a positive sign that someone is actively working their tree and/or matches.
Next I checked our shared matches (hoping we had some) and sure enough we did.  She matches my brother, my nephew and a first cousin on my maternal side.
My next step was to check her tree and take a look at our common ancestor.  Woohoo!  The common ancestors are my 3rd great grandparents Charles Milne and Margaret Ritchie.  And I see not only the name Milne in the tree but also Beechey/Beechy which I know to be associated with my Milne family. 

(Click on this image to enlarge it)

This is a SOLID match which also follows my own paper trail and years of research.  I did a little more looking at her tree and discovered she had information on that Beechey line, that I had yet to uncover.
Next step – send her a message.  We all know that sending messages to our DNA matches is a gamble at best.  Will they respond?  Many times the answer is no.  But, when someone has checked in recently and is managing other people’s DNA you have a better chance that the person will respond.

Sure enough, I heard back the very next day.  After all, we are in very different time zones.  She was excited to make contact with me and told me that the person who actually took the DNA test and is a match to members of my family, is her mother-in-law who is 98 years old.  So, I’m actually related to Anna’s husband and not her.  The test taker who is 98, is my 2nd cousin once removed.

Testing the oldest members in our families is so useful, as it can take you back another generation or two.

Anna and I have exchanged emails and invited one another to be viewers on our DNA.  We have a lot to share with one another and are both excited.

Huge bonus when you connect with cousins is not only the extra information, but the possibility of pictures.  Sure enough, Anna has already shared a beautiful wedding photo with me.  I haven’t asked her permission yet, so I cannot share it.  If she does give me permission I’ll be sure and share.

I have new stories to add to my tree and have located lots of new records on Ancestry.  And that’s the only site I’ve checked so far.  There’s still Family Search, MyHeritage and others.

There’s a whole lot to like about DNA.  One of my favorites is the verification of years of research.  What a wonderful feeling to know that we have been doing it correctly and following the right trail.  This is just one example of a DNA success story.  I have so many more.

Do you have DNA connection stories?  I’d love to hear about them.

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Aboyne Parish Kirkyard in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland – my visit to my 3rd great grandparents, Charles Milne & Margaret Ritchie’s burial site

Surname Saturday - A Very Early Post about my Milne family

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Congrats on the new "close" cousin, Diane. Australia? You must be really excited. I finally did the DNA test a few months ago. I've been managing my brother's test for over three years. Both have verified the paper trail. My test has turned up a large cluster of matches pointing to a common surname - matches my brother did not get. And the research continues...

    1. Hi Cathy. This is my second time finding a cousin in Australia. Then recently I've also found links to South Africa. And, as to you and your brother. I have found it amazing how the DNA varies from person to person. Happens with me and my brother and also with my two nieces. Their mothers were sisters and sometimes one matches someone and the other doesn't and their matches are quite different. Just shows how important it is to test as many people as we can.
      Thanks for always stopping by :)

  2. Congratulations, Diane. Very exciting!


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.