Sunday, November 8, 2015

Step 2 - Work your way down the tree? Kinda

Before I begin how my next step went, you need to know that this was not where I actually began.  I actually began exploring another cousins tree with a tree that had the name DePriest in it because it looked like that was going to lead me to breaking down a brick wall I have on my French Canadian grandfather.  The idea was to maximize my matches to my maternal side before exploring my paternal.

When I realized I was seeing my paternal side, I could not stop myself.  Curiosity took over and I followed line after line, generation after generation. Some of this post ties into that research.

So I left Step-1 with Peter Maxey and Arie Crowder as my Paternal 3G Grandparent candidates.

My next step is to get all of their kids named, born, married and buried.  I do this by using the member tree hints.  This can be a dangerous practice.  For example, when I first put Arie into this tree, I had the wrong mother.  Fortunately, I talked with a cousin that had done her research on that family and she told me that there are many trees that have the wrong mother for Arie, because a lot of people were forgetting/or didn't realize Moses married twice.  Had I not reached out and asked the question, I might have concluded that I was not related to Arie at all, because I had no connection up her branch.

I also want to mention that some of my 4th cousin matches are the nicest people in the world.  They are patient, they are helpful and most of all, they were more helpful and patient when they understood why I am asking and why my tree is getting built upside down.  My research is public.  I resorted to doing this on my main tree because Ancestry kept breaking my matches when I swapped my DNA around.  I had matches from two different trees showing up in my hints for a full week and a half and it wasn't registering new matches.  After that I decided that I am not going to be ashamed if someone gets disturbed by my tree, and I am not going to let Ancestry steal a full week worth of testing from my research.  The reaction I received when I went full on publicly open was the exact opposite of what I was expecting.  There are cousins actually wanting to help me and I have not had one person scold me for confusing them.

The name of my tree is Faucett Family (Paternal Experimental).  I have a little blurb on my profile that explains that I have no idea if anything on the paternal side is correct.  It is currently under construction.  My cousins that are curious ask me what I am doing and quite honestly, it has been my maternal side (where I have done my research and dug up the documents) that give me most trouble. Who knew!  So all that advice about keeping a secret tree and doing your research in the shadows?  You don't have to.  If you are fully open and willing to let yourself be vulnerable to criticism, it can actually help you in the long run.  I am not saying that is everyone's experience.  I am saying that is mine.

Back to Born, Married, and Buried.. 

Not all of these children have a spouse and some of them do not have death dates.  If I can't find them on the quick and dirty copy method, I don't bother.  Why? If anyone of my cousins are related to me through these people, they don't know it either.  Otherwise, there would be info about them.  I am completely dependant upon other people actually knowing who they are related to.  I need matches.  No info means no possible matches.  I am sure this is not always true, but when you have 10 kids to research, it seems like the most efficient way to handle this problem.

I already know that Pearl Maxey married John Fabris.  That is how Cousin A from my first post is related.  I also believe that they can not be my next step down, because the distance between me and Cousin A is currently correct.  That is not a hard assumption.  It is an assumption I use to prioritize my order of searching.

My first child couple is William D and Mary J Maxey - She has no maiden name and no parents in the public sector.  I already know how I am connected to William D.  I will not be able to know if I am related to Mary J.  I copied their children, just in case I get desperate and decide to look down a generation, but that is only if I have no luck with any of the others.

Charles, James have no spouses or deaths recorded.  Keep moving.

Zilla does get married, but as far as I see, she had no children from that marriage.  There has to be children to get a cousin.  More about this later.  Keep moving.

Myrtle marries William Nicholson.  Nicholson is a very familiar name.  I have researched that entire family genome.  They ARE Shannon County, Missouri.  I don't think they leave room for anyone else to live in Shannon county.  There are a ton of them!  I also know that I have matches on this connection.  That's good, right?  Well, yes, but it also leads me right back to the tangled mess that I was trying to distract myself from in the first place.

Starting with the paternal side of William Nicholson:

On John A "Jack" Nicholson and Martha Malinda Berry I have:

BS - 4-6th cousin - 71 cM - 4 segments
LB - 4-6th cousin - 27.6 cM - 1 segment
RM- 4-6th cousin - 31 cM - 2 segments
B2 - 4-6th cousin - 19 cM - 2 segments
CJ - 5-8th cousin - 15.6 cM - 1 segment
SH - 5-8th cousin - 8.7 cM - 1 segment (He does not have his Nicholson branch up to Jack,  but if he just had one more generation added, he would match me there)
IS - 5-8th cousin - 7.3 cM - 2 segments (He does not have his Nicholson branch up to Jack,  but if he just had one more generation added, he would match me there)
CW- 5-8th cousin - 6.1 cM - 1 segment
BJ - 5-8th cousin - 6.5 cM - 1 segment

On James W Nicholson and Lucretia Dover I have:

JR - 4-6th cousin 24.8 cM on 2 segments
JC - 5-8th cousin 6.6 cM on 1 segment

On Issac Nicholson and Betsey Walkingstick I have:

The O Group.  I call this the O group because she has 4 members that have tested and all of their trees are more or less the same from my point of view.

BJO - 5-8th cousin - 17.5 cM on 2 segments
C5O- 5-8th cousin - 11 cM on 2 segments
POO- 5-8th cousin - 11.3 cM on 2 segments
ROO- 5-8th cousin - 8.4 cM on 2 segments

and a couple stragglers
PC - 5-8th cousin - 14.6 on 2 segments
LH - 5-8th cousin - 5.1 on 1 segment

On John Nicholson and Elizabeth Andrews I have:

KD- 5-8th cousin - 10.8 cM on 1 segment
T6- 5-8th cousin 5.6 cM on 1 segment

So up the paternal line, that gives me a grand total of 18 matches so far..

Since I am really only trying to prove that William Nicholson is a viable candidate to be my grandfather, this might be enough, right?  Well.. maybe.

On Martha Malinda Berry, I have to work really hard to find my connection.  I get no more matches on the Berry line at all.  It could be that I have copied the wrong information.  It could be that some cousins just haven't worked their tree that far.  When I was working with this information before, I wasn't completely convinced that I was assuming the correct couple in this Nicholson line.  Now that I am right back here staring at it, I have to wonder, again, what this means.

I do finally get a match on John Smith IV and Mary Johns Smith

DB 5-8th cousin - 9.2 cM on 1 segment
RQ 5-8th cousin - 5.4 cM on 1 segment
LP 5-8th cousin - 8.5 cM on 1 segment

Remind me later to discuss what happened here and why it is important to mark your matches.

The next part of this is what really gives me problems.  I have no matches on William Nicholsons maternal side.

Nope.. none.

In fact, I eliminated him as a candidate when I was researching this before because of this.  One can make all kinds of stories up about how this could be possible.  I believe some of the greatest romance novels and hit drama movies are made of scenario's like this, but me?  I don't need this kind of drama in my life!

So what do I do with this?  Do I assume that 18 matches to his line means he IS a candidate, or do I assume that because I cannot match his mother, this is not a candidate.  As far as I know, there are no other Maxey/Crowder/Nicholson combinations to choose from.  I confirmed my connection to the Maxeys/Crowders.

So now I am like a child of divorce.  Do I choose to keep the Nicholsons or the Maxeys?  This isn't the only time this situation comes up with different matches.

A word about Zilla.

Zilla does get married.  She marries William Nicholson, Myrtles husband.  I think she married him later in life.  I don't know the story on that.  I just know it doesn't change anything in my research, because I am still dealing with the same ancestors. If I figure out this is my match, I will ask the juicy gossip.  :D

Now for that advice on marking your matches.  

When Ancestry fixed my tree something broke on this connection.  The match on John Smith IV and Mary Johns Smith no longer shows up as my matches on my Shared Ancestry Hints page even though they are on my current pedigree view.  When I look at the Smith name under the common surname list on each match, John Smith IV and Mary Johns Smith are not listed on my side of the list.  They are clearly there in my tree.  They are not in my ability to match to my cousins.

When I get a match, I copy their line from the ancestor they match to all the way down to their place.  On the ancestor and I upload one of these images and attach the couple and my match.  If I already have a marker up, I just go into my tree gallery, find the marker and add the new cousin to the image.  If this explanation makes no sense, I will clarify on a different blogpost.  Because I do this, I did not lose the knowledge that I match to these cousins on this ancestor when I am looking at the tree view.  I can even follow their line to them.

Ancestry is a little buggy in places.  If I have to choose the nice visual tree that automatically finds most matches or sifting through the trees on FTDNA, I choose the buggy visual, but.. dang this can be frustrating.  My take away?  Always mark my matches and put their connection in my tree.