Monday, October 7, 2013

DNA Monday: Stuff, random and otherwise

My DNA test results from 23andMe are continuing to work to connect me to new DNA cousins. And some interesting projects are in progress over on GEDmatch. Additionally, a tip off from the medical results from has helped me solve a personal medical mystery. These are exciting times, my friend!

DAR soon to accept DNA: Hey, check this blog post out from The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell about the big news that the DAR is going to be accepting DNA evidence for membership approval... along with the other usual stuff they want. As Judy sharply points out, they are only taking Y-DNA, which is a guy thing. Please read her blog post because this is a very big deal (at least to me) and marks our changing times.

The Basics of DNA testing for genealogy: If you are wondering about DNA for genealogy, here's a wonderful blog post by DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy, and you can see it here. Here is a lovely beginner's guide to the topic and while I know a bunch of stuff covered in this post, it was really good to have a re-check to make sure my understanding was clear. Thanks, Roberta!

A new GEDmatch project: Got an email from someone named Vivian because we matched through GEDmatch and 23andMe. She sent the same email out to a couple of hundred people telling them about their shared connection and letting us know that if we were interested in participating, to reply to the email. I replied, of course. Why wouldn't you want to?
In a couple of days she sent a rather long email letting us know that she'd found a sub-group of participants who all had Quaker ancestors. One of Mom's brick wall ancestors married a mystery man named Waggoner and that was one of the surnames included in the list. I just about stumbled over myself in crafting a quick reply!
This Waggoner guy has us stumped, but good. Sarah Wooden (1810 - 1870) married the mysterious Mr. Waggoner, had a daughter from whom we descend, that being Sarah (Waggoner) Whetstone (1825 - 1880). Presumably Mr. Waggoner died or otherwise made himself scarce such that Sarah Wooten then married Peter Yeast (1808 - 1851) in 1829. On his passing she married Phillip "Major" Durst (1817-1888) and they owned a whole big bunch of land together in what is now Garrett County, Maryland.
We know nothing about Mr. Waggoner and it's about to drive us (Mom and I) crazy! Maybe this DNA study group will give us a hint. There were very few Waggoners in what was then Allegany County around 1825 when Sarah Jr. was born and most of those were residing a ways east of where Sarah lived. Other researchers have suggested to Mom that Sarah wasn't married to Mr. Waggoner at all and that she was a "grass widow", meaning left in the grass where he lay with her. What Mom has found is that her marriage record to Peter Yeast states that her name was at the time of the marriage "Sarah Waggoner".

My medical mystery: I feel like one of the older ladies sitting on the porch chatting about their aches and pains in writing this:) Just to say that a clue for the 23andMe DNA test has uncovered a medical mystery that has been bothering me for a very long time. K304E: that's my mismatched gene. That was all I needed to get going and do a lot of googling to find what ails me. Science is amazing!!

Yours truly and Grandma Williams, Emma Susan (Whetstone) Williams (1897-1956)

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  1. You got the email from Vivian too? We got one as well, for my husband's profile (of course, I never get good matches), but Vivian matches his mother, where you match his father. Curiouser and curiouser.
    But then again, both their families are from the area where Western Maryland meets West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and I swear he must be related to every person living in that area.

    1. I did. But I don't think our (his father and Mom and I) House people and Vivian's match. But I dunno because our surname in common seems to be that Waggoner. Curioser and curioser!

      Mom and I have a theory: if you have family going back at least three or four generation in that area you are related to everyone!