Sunday, November 25, 2012

Location, Location, Location! And the Name.

I made a connection at 23andMe, the genetic testing site that provides you with oodles of people who are related to you- somehow.  The irony is that this person is not related to me.

We found each other through a common surname, Puterbaugh.  She is a Puterbaugh descendant and I am not.  I listed the name as a collateral line.  William Puterbaugh married a distant cousin of mine, Mary Duryea Cornell, in the 1860s in Illinois.  I had high hopes for this branch because Mary's father, James S Cornell, was instrumental in the founding of Yorkville in Kendall County, Illinois.  His story is portrayed in history books and the ancestral angle is portrayed by genealogists.  A win-win situation.

This Puterbaugh descendant provided me with a listing of her Puterbaugh line, complete with names, variant spellings, and most importantly- locations.  Darke County, Ohio stood out for its name alone.  No Puterbaugh-Cornell marriage appeared in her direct ancestral line, though.  I realized that I had little about Mary's husband, William Puterbaugh, so I looked at Find A Grave to see if a descendant or kind soul had featured the man.  I knew I had the right guy when I saw the specifics of his birth:  1840 in "Dark Co., OH."

So we now had Puterbaughs in the same location at the same time.

A few family trees and researchers later, I was able to decide that William Puterbaugh was a second cousin to my contact's great grandfather.  Her cousin had married my cousin.  This does not make us related, but it is funny that we connected through a genetic genealogy website.

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