31 March, 2014

DNA Comes To The Rescue!

The dilemma below is largely resolved, thanks to some dna detective work.

I had done a dna analysis with a while ago. Recently I uploaded the raw data to FamilyTreedna which is really cool. First, it offers access to a different pool of matches, so there are more people who share chromosome strands with me than just those on ancestry. Secondly, FamilyTree has some really awesome features. With those who have uploaded a family tree, you can click on their tree to see what possible ancestors you have in common. To make it easier, there's a search box where you can plug in a surname to see if it appears in their tree, then click on the results to view them. These are just some of the features of FamilyTree that make it worthwhile to test there, or to upload results from other tests to it.

Anyway, I was browsing through the family trees of those on my dna matching list. I noticed the name Ebenezer Humphrey of Hingham on two of them. Ebenezer was the father of Mary Humphrey who married.... you guessed it! Zerubbabel Hersey! One of these 2 members who had him on their tree shared other ancestors with me, but the other one had only that line in common with me, so I thought that bolstered my theory that Zerubbabel was in my direct line.

I shared this revelation with my brother David (who had done a lot of research on our family genealogy years ago and continues to be involved), and he dug out an old sketch of a family tree for the Herseys, made back in the 1800's.

Hersey Family Tree, created 1895
(this is just part of the tree, it's quite large!)

And he confirmed that on this old family tree, Zerubbabel Hersey appears as a great-grandfather of ours! Victory! And, in this case anyway, the dna data helped to confirm a theory. 

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