Monday, September 12, 2011

DNA Importance in Genealogical Research

                                                   DNA IN GENEALOGY 
     It would be difficult to over estimate the importance of DNA in confirming and or assisting in one's genealogical research. I make this statement from a positive experience in two of my four primary descendant lines, Holt, my father, and Davis, my mother.
     Ten or twelve years ago,  Mott Holt, from Hawaii, a direct lineal descendant of John Holt, son of Thomas Holt, the only proven direct lineal descendant of the immigrant, Henry Holt, and I compared our  Holt line records research. I descended from Thomas, the youngest son of Thomas Sr. He descended through John, the oldest son of Thomas Holt Sr. We had both, unbeknownst to each other, worked our way back along our individual lines and ended up with Thomas, Henry's son as our common ancestor.
     Five or six years later, we each, again,  unbeknownst to the other, had gotten our individual DNA done. When we again got in contact and compared results, it was a perfect 37 marker match, absolutely confirming our individual record's research.
     For at least 35 years I have been researching my Davis ancestry and for 35 years I have had an absolutely, impregnable stone wall. My great Grandfather, Joseph Davis, seemed to have appeared out of the mist. I knew his mother's name, Agnes Leman, but that is all I knew. I knew she was born in 1820 in Ireland and that Joseph was born in 1840 in Pennsylvania. Who was his father? I had absolutely no clue.
     My cousin, Frank Davis, is a direct line male descendant of Joseph so we had his DNA done. The result floored us both. Joseph's true biological father's surname was Boyd and it was a perfect 37 marker match. No ifs, ands or buts, Joseph's father's surname was Boyd. What Boyd family? We don't know yet but we think he was a member of one of the three or four Boyd families living in Middlesex Twp., Butler Co. Pa. in 1840. We believe Agnes was living there in 1840. Unfortunately, women were only counted and listed in age groups in a family and not named in the 1840 census. We are in touch with the Boyd match person but have not completed our research on his family's whereabouts in 1840.


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