One of the most interesting things about my genetic genealogy experience with 23andme is how it has revitalized my genealogy research. While comparing my family tree with others who share my DNA, I have made some startling realizations about some of the "brick walls" and lesser known families in my lineage:
1) EDSON--I have long suspected that my great X 3 grandmother (mother of JOHN F MARTINE b 1831 Spencerport, Monroe Co NY) was an EDSON from the branch of the Bridgewater, Plymouth Co MA family that migrated to Oneida Co NY then Genesee Co NY after the Revolutionary War. There is enough circumstantial evidence to believe this is true (but no records). Now I have discovered that one of my DNA cousins has a definite shared ancestor with me in the EDSON family. And a second DNA cousin has ancestors that lived in Oneida Co NY for over 50 years. (Unfortunately she was adopted, and her paternal line has never been traced, but her father's family also lived in Oneida Co NY for a very long time). This has encouraged me to do much more research on the Oneida Co NY/ Genesee Co NY branch of the EDSON family.
2) MOORE of Nansemond Co VA to Chowan/Bertie Co NC to Madison Co KY to Franklin Co TN--I have enough documentation on this particular MOORE family to feel certain that they were my ancestors through my paternal grandmother Minttie Mae Bruton. Unfortunately, I have very little information on the women in this family, and not much has changed about that in the last five years or so. But now I have three DNA cousins whose ancestors lived in the exact same locations at the same time as my MOORE ancestors and in two cases their ancestral families intermarried (several times!) with my ancestral MOORE family. The new surname possibilities for female ancestors that I obtained from my DNA cousins are: BOYT/BOYET/BOYETTE, MAYFIELD, CLOWER and possibly DOZIER. It will be interesting to see if I can find out exactly how they are related to the MOORE, BENTON & STANDLY/STANLEY families.
3) WOFFORD of Spartanburg, South Carolina--I have pretty much given up trying to find documentation on my branch of the WOFFORD family (lineage of paternal grandmother Minttie Mae Bruton), who were supposedly from Maryland and made their way before the Revolutionary War to Spartanburg, South Carolina. I have not been successful in tracing WOFFORDs in records before the Rev War, although one must assume they migrated through North Carolina to get to South Carolina! Anyway, one of my DNA cousins is descended from the CAMP/KEMP family, which intermarried with my branch of the WOFFORD family (although I have not yet found our shared ancestor). One member of the same CAMP family ( not a shared ancestor), HOSEA CAMP b Jan 21, 1775 Durham NC married ELIZABETH BETSEY JORDAN, a descendant of my BRUTON family from Surry Co VA. And this couple lived in Spartanburg SC at the same time as my BRUTON & WOFFORD ancestors. And one of my female ancestors from the WOFFORD family was SARAH HOSEA--another untraceable family. So many tantalizing clues...so few answers!
4) JONES of Stamford, Fairfield Co CT. My first 23andme contact was an individual who shares quite a bit of DNA with me, about 0.60% (most others described above share about 0.20%). Her paternal ancestors were from Stamford, CT. When I heard that, I kicked up my heels! I am descended from nearly all of the original settlers of Stamford. So this was going to be a piece of cake, right? Well...no.
While I did establish shared ancestors in the WEBB & SLAWSON/SLASON family almost immediately, I was not able to find a connection in her JONES family. Her ancestor REYNOLDS F. JONES seems to be kind of a mystery man. He has been listed by some researchers as the son of EPHRAIM JONES & ANNE BISHOP, but his name REYNOLDS (F)inch JONES, is clearly a reference to REYNOLDS FINCH b Feb 19, 1775 Fairfield Co CT, (who was also the namesake of my great X 4 grandfather REYNOLDS FINCH SCOFIELD b Oct 23, 1783). It seems to me there is some kind of connection to the FINCH family of Stamford CT, but I haven't been able to find out how. While my Stamford CT pedigree is fairly complete, I am still missing maiden names for two women. It is quite possible they were somehow connected to the JONES family.
OK. Enough for now.
Have a great day!