Thursday, March 23, 2017

Living DNA Results

The results of my Living DNA test have arrived.

The screenshots are shared with you below, along with comparisons to other DNA companies.



Living DNA places my ancestry as more British than I was expecting.  My mother is about three quarters Irish, yet this test puts me at about ten percent.







Part of the attraction of Living DNA's test is breaking down where in Great Britain one's ancestry may have originated.  To be fair, I have not traced most of my ancestral lines to precise locations in Europe.

B F Lyon visualizations

Above is my father's tree with flags representing discovered places of origin.  Except for the short Lutter/Uhl branches, in the 1600s most of his ancestors left Europe for land that would become the United States.  The port of sailing is not necessarily where they were born and raised, so assigning a country of origin is tricky.


The three main DNA testing companies in the United States also provide ancestry estimates.

Family Tree DNA estimates my ancestry to be about 87% British Isles, which is most similar to Living DNA.


Ancestry.com estimates me to be more than half Irish and only thirteen percent British.


23andMe paints me at almost half British and Irish.




Living DNA estimates the locations of your ancestors throughout time.  The map above shows where my ancestors may have been about 500 years ago, when most people were stuck within a few miles of where they were born because travel was difficult and ocean-worthy ships were not yet developed.



The map above shows where my ancestors may have lived 1200 years ago, before written records to trace this genealogy.



Jumping back 5500 years ago, my ancestors could have been in all over Europe.  It's anyone's guess, but this is Living DNA's try.





In a similar vein, a new feature at 23andMe estimates when your most recent ancestor from a specific population entered your DNA.  Maybe 1950 is my mother's Irish, 1920 is her Ashkenazi grandparent, 1890 is my father's German paternal grandfather, and the rest is the mixture that I am.


I hope that Living DNA offers the matching with cousins feature of the other three DNA companies.  Because it is based in the United Kingdom, Living DNA may attract consumers who will not test with one of the companies marketed primarily in the United States and expose me to new DNA cousins.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Third Cousin Identified at AncestryDNA

A new DNA match appeared for me at Ancestry.com.  I am no fan of Ancestry.com's DNA services because there is no chromosome browser.  This is most unfortunate because Ancestry.com is well-poised to excel in its DNA services with its family tree matching and flagged records.

This person is my third cousin, once removed- if he is who I think he is.


Let's ignore the "Confidence: Very High" description.

This person shares 53 centimorgans over three segments.  Ancestry asks: "What does this mean?"  Nobody knows because Ancestry lacks a chromosome browser.

This match has not linked himself to a family tree.  The work-around is clicking on his name to reach his profile page where he lists a family tree.



This sparse tree contains four people: the DNA cousin, his father, and his paternal grandparents.  No mother.  No records are linked to any of these people.  The surname is the same for all, including the paternal grandmother, and is one of the most common surnames in the United States.  My only clue is the years of birth and death provided for the father.

A search for the father of the DNA tester produced a Find A Grave entry.  (I left virtual flowers on his memorial page in 2015.)



Here is Ancestry.com's advantage:  the record is flagged as already saved to my father's family tree, quickly leading to the connection.  The DNA tester's father was married to a great granddaughter of Stephen C Duryea (1814-1887) and Mary Evenshirer (1842-1916) - my father's great great grandparents.  She is the link, yet the tester omitted her from his tree.  And I still figured it out.

The DNA tester and my father are third cousins.  This is pending the person coming forward and confirming his mother's name.

That was easy.  Why doesn't Ancestry.com offer a chromosome browser like its competitors so we can gather the rest of the cousins who share these segments?


Family Tip via Find A Grave

Family tree help came in the form of a request through Find A Grave.  Someone asked me to link Alfred Eyre (1819-1874) as the husband of Henrietta Funtman (1815-1887) and the father of Alfred DeCiplet Eyre (1848-1912).



The Find A Grave memorial page for Alfred Eyre showed a Civil War gravestone with a date of death as September 11, 1874.  The problem was that this Alfred Eyre was buried in Maine.  The Alfred Eyre in my family tree lived in England, then New York and New Jersey.  I needed to investigate.

Alfred DeCiplet Eyre, the son of Henrietta Funtman and Alfred Eyre, first married Letty Duryea (1848-1889) in 1868 in New York City.  Letty died in Jersey City in 1889 after bearing at least thirteen children.  In 1890, Alfred remarried to Letty's sister, Mary Evenshirer (1842-1916).  My line descends from Mary's first marriage to Stephen C Duryea (1814-1887).





Henrietta died in 1887 in Jersey City.  She is buried in Hoboken Cemetery in North Bergen, Hudson County, New Jersey in the plot of Jacob Duryea (1850-1928).  Jacob was a brother of Letty and Mary, the daughters-in-law of Henrietta.  This plot was maybe meant for Eyres because Letty was originally buried there.  Letty was re-interred in Fairview Cemetery in Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey.  Alfred and Mary were buried with Letty.



Henrietta Funtman Eyre, died 1887, is not listed as buried in this plot, even though she has a stone.


Henrietta was elusive in records.  I found her with her husband and children in New York City in 1850 federal census and 1855 state census.  Her next definitive appearance is in 1887 when she died in Jersey City.  I lost track of her husband, Alfred.




I found an obituary for Jeannette Eyre, daughter of Alfred Eyre and Henrietta Funtman.  She was born around 1846 and died in 1856.  This is a great death notice because the grandfather, J M DeCiplet, is named.



So why would Alfred Eyre be buried in Maine?

Alfred Eyre was buried at Togus National Cemetery in 1874, indicating military service.  Ancestry.com has a database of occupants of National Homes for Disabled Soldiers.  Mrs Henrietta Eyre of Newark, New Jersey was the next of kin of Alfred Eyre, admitted to the Eastern Branch Home in Togus, Maine for a sciatic nerve injury.  Included was the date of death, September 11, 1874, regiment, and the location of the burial plot.



A civil war muster role provided the same regiment as the gravestone and the Home register:  New York 5th [Independent] Battery.

Glove cleaner was one of the occupations of Alfred Eyre's son, Alfred DeCiplet Eyre.
Alfred enlisted September 11, 1862.  Exactly 12 years later he died at a Soldier's Home.

The National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Togus, Maine, was the first established residential medical center for veterans and served the northeastern part of the United States.  Alfred Eyre ended up there because there was no such service available in New York or New Jersey.  I wonder if any of his family was able to visit him after his admittance.

Thank you to the Find A Grave contributor who requested this linking of family members, thereby completing some missing information in my family tree.