Thursday, February 23, 2023

Filling in the Feltons and the Edsons of New York in my Family Tree


John Felton Martine 
born 15 June 1831 Spencerport, Monroe, New York
died 30 Jan 1907 Orting, Pierce, Washington

My great great grandfather, pictured above,  came from a family that consistently, over several generations, named sons after a maternal grandfather. So when it was discovered that his full name was JOHN FELTON MARTINE, I was hopeful that I could connect his mother MARY EDSON MARTINE, with the family of JOHN FELTON Sr who died about  1820 in Clarence Hollow, Erie County, New York.  My theory was the MARY EDSON MARTINE's mother was likely a daughter of JOHN FELTON Sr who married JOHN EDSON Sr of Genesee County, New York.

I have had great difficulty researching subsequent generations of the FELTON & EDSON families in this area of New York state  because they left few descendants. This is partially due to the fact that both JOHN FELTON Sr and JOHN EDSON Sr and many of their children died during epidemics that spread up into New York state via the Erie Canal. There were several such epidemics, including a devastating Cholera epidemic which swept into the area in 1832. 

So, for many years, I did not add previous generations of either the FELTON or EDSON family to my online tree.  There were just too many unanswered questions. 

Now, however, with the advent of Ancestry's new Sideview feature I have been better able to discern which of matches are maternal. I now have over 36,000 maternal matches.  Recently, I started looking for DNA matches to descendants of both JOHN FELTON Sr and JOHN EDSON Sr, and to  previous generations in their families, knowing that the matches would likely be small in terms of cM, and in the 5th-8th cousin range.

Currently I have found nine DNA matches on AncestryDNA to descendants of JOHN FELTON Sr & his wife PERSIS ROGERS, and also to previous generations of the FELTON family which was originally from Essex County, Massachusetts.   Likewise I have found eight DNA matches to previous generations of the EDSON family, which was originally from Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.  The matches range from 21 cM to 8 cM in length.

These FELTON & EDSON DNA matches are also matching other MARTINE descendants in my maternal AncestryDNA match list, so I am very hopeful that I am on the right track with my theory.  I have yet to find segment data, however, even though I have cross-referenced these FELTON & EDSON  AncestryDNA matches with matches on 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA and Gedmatch.  I would really like to be able to find segment data so that I can use DNAPainter to verify my theory.

Here is the section of my Ancestry Tree for these families.  I have capitalized the first names of ancestors with whom I have established a DNA connection. 

For more information on my MARTINE, FELTON & EDSON lines,  see my public Ancestry Tree, "Martine of Westchester Co New York and Scofield of Stamford, Fairfield Connecticut"

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2023

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Ancestry's New Sideview Feature

Two thumbs way, way up for Ancestry's new Sideview feature, which separates your AncestryDNA matches into maternal or paternal groups! This feature will be a game changer, particularly for people who are searching for clues about their birth parents.

Right now I have  88,831 DNA matches on Ancestry-- an overwhelming number-- and although I have worked diligently over the last few years to attribute my AncestryDNA  matches to my ancestors, there are literally thousands of matches that I could never place.  Now, with the ability to learn whether those matches are on my maternal or paternal side, there is a much better chance that I will be able to figure out how I am connected to those matches. 

Since the update, when you go to your AncestryDNA matches the website will immediately show you the "By Parent" feature (BETA).  At first, you will only see "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" as choices;  you will have the opportunity to edit each parent to represent either your maternal or paternal side.  In most cases, this should be pretty easy; a list of surnames and matches is provided to help you decide. **Hint** if you don't see anything definitive in the surname list, check out the matches. 

For me, it was extremely easy to discern which Sideview parent was paternal! 

As I have written many times before in this blog, I have a HUGE number of DNA matches to my paternal FRAZIER family, through the Quaker THOMAS FRAZIER Sr b 1725 North Carolina (and his wife MARY PUGH), down through his male descendants,  to my paternal great grandmother CAROLINE AMELIA "CRAMELIA" FRAZIER HUBER. So attributing Parent 2 to the Paternal side was not a challenge!

Once I chose Parent 2 as Paternal, Ancestry marked my Parent 1 matches as Maternal. I was able to verify this by checking the DNA matches associated with Parent 1.  It is fortunate that I have a few known close cousin matches on my maternal side, because the surname list was "generic" and would have offered no clues.

I am particularly excited to know which matches are Maternal in my list, since DNA matches for that side of my family tree have been few & far between (smaller families in general, fewer descendants).  This tool will allow me to really hone in on my maternal ancestors who were "DNA providers."

Another great feature of Sideview is that it helps you correct your errors. Several matches I had previously marked as possibly related to BOTH my mother & father. Sideview has shown that those matches are actually on my Maternal side. At this time I have no DNA matches on Ancestry that are related to both parents.  

If Ancestry disagrees with a parental designation that you had previously added to a match, it is marked in red. This allows you to go back & re-evaluate the match.

Overall, I am finding this feature to be a significant improvement for AncestryDNA. How could it be made even better? By adding a chromosome browser and/or showing segment & chromosome data for each match.   

I have spent a lot of time cross-referencing my AncestryDNA matches with DNA matches on other testing websites & Gedmatch, and have added chromosome data to my AncestryDNA matches whenever  possible.  But finding those matches by cross-referencing doesn't happen frequently, and there are still thousands of matches in my list that are still unknown. 

5694 of my AncestryDNA matches are currently marked "Unassigned".  Looking forward to the next update!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2022