Monday, April 13, 2015

DNA & Paper Trails

Sometimes when dancing with the ancestors, the paper trail is almost non-existent. Such is the case with my 2 x Great Grandmother Rebecca Adcock-Smith.

Here's what I knew in the beginning: 2 x Great Grandfather John B. Smith married a woman named Rebecca. 

That was the extent of my knowledge. Over time, I connected with some distant Smith cousins who said they thought Rebecca's surname was Adcock, but . . . they weren't 100% positive. It wasn't until  I discovered Ardena Clementine Smith-Aldridge's death certificate that . . .

. . . I had verification that Adcock was her mother's surname. Ardena, or Aunt Clem as my dad called her, was his grandfather (my great) John Leonard Smith's sister.

If not for Ardena knowing her mother's maiden name . . . I might still be a bit clueless.

I knew from doing research that the main Adcock family that settled in Warren County, TN and subsequently DeKalb County, TN came from South Carolina and . . .

. . . were the children of Leonard and Jane (Cantrell) Adcock. I knew that the majority of Leonard's children named at least one of their children Leonard. I pretty much knew that Rebecca was a grand-daughter of Leonard, but . . . didn't have a clue which of his many sons might or might not be here father.

Then, came an Ancestry DNA match to a woman who was a descendant of William Adcock, son of Leonard Adcock! Woo-hoo!!!

Then, today, with Ancestry's DNA Circles . . . I had a match to two different descendants of William and Francis (Ballinger/Ballenger) Adcock.

Again, a Woo-hoo!!

Now, disclaimer time: just because Ancestry DNA links you to someone, it doesn't mean you're 100% related. 

For me, the mere fact there is a DNA connection gives me hope . . . which is a good thing when using DNA to confirm relationships within the tree. At some point, I'll contact the DNA matches and request they upload their DNA profile to and . . . we can compare DNA using a chromosome browser which will verify the match.

But . . . sometimes, when stumbling along when dancing with the ancestors, the hope of a DNA match, to prove what you've found so far, or to support what you've found so far . . . is a step in the right direction. There are, however, always other steps to take. Don't be a lazy genealogist and not keep looking for the paper trail or more verifiable DNA data when you get a DNA match.

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