Great DNA test result in family tree

I, along with my Dad and husband, have had my DNA tested at FamilyTreeDNA. We’ve all had our mitochondrial (mother’s mother’s etc. line) DNA tested, as well as our autosomal DNA, which matches DNA from lots of different ancestral branches. And my husband and Dad have also had their Y-DNA tested (father’s father’s etc. line).

The autosomal FamilyFinder test has the greatest potential for making genealogically significant links for me as a female, who doesn’t have Y-DNA to test. I recently made a DNA connection with a distant cousin, both of us descended from brothers born circa 1710 in Coldingham in Berwickshire. That is way earlier than autosomal DNA would normally match, so we may have some other lines in common, which bumped the matching proportion up. But we do share Fair ancestors circa 1700 in Coldingham, which is nice.

However I’ve just made a much more recent autosomal DNA contact, which is very exciting. My maiden name is Moore, and my Dad’s Moore ancestors lived in Leeds in West Yorkshire, and before then in West Bromwich in Staffordshire. We’ve traced them back to the 18th century on one line. My ggg-grandparents were a Mr Moore married to a Miss Moore, and we’ve actually had more luck tracing Miss/Mrs Moore’s line than her husband! And it’s through her we’re back to Moores in the early 1700s in West Bromwich.

Anyway I was contacted recently by someone who matches my autosomal DNA. He found me through GEDmatch, which is a site which compares DNA results from lots of different testing companies, so not just FamilyTreeDNA. I’d uploaded my DNA results and my husband’s to GEDmatch, and the new contact found he matched my autosomal DNA. He’d uploaded his GEDCOM to there, and I was able to browse his family tree, and discovered yes, we are cousins. We descend from brothers Josiah Moore (b. 1841) and Thomas James Moore (b. ca 1855), sons of Josiah Moore and Jane Moore (nee Moore!) in West Bromwich. Thomas moved with his wife and children to Leeds in West Yorkshire. And Josiah’s son, my new cousin’s ancestor, moved from West Bromwich to Lancashire. Josiah and Thomas are our gg-grandfathers, so we are 4th cousins, which is pretty near the limit for good autosomal matching. But it worked!

We are now exchanging family tree information. It took me nearly 30 years to trace my Moores to West Bromwich, needing the 1901 census to find my recently married g-grandparents. We had no idea my great-grandfather was born in West Bromwich, we assumed they were all Yorkshire. Not being able to trace a marriage record for great granddad and great granny didn’t help. But luckily the couple, with their baby daughter, were living with the husband’s parents in Leeds in 1901. Which helped immensely.

So yay for DNA. This is a wonderful result for me. It vindicates the family line that I’ve traced back from Yorkshire to Staffordshire. There was estrangement in my earlier family, so we knew nothing about the earlier Moores. And in my new cousin’s family a premature death and a mother’s remarriage meant they had a similar issue. But we were all able to trace our lines back, find a common connection, and DNA backs that up. I’m really chuffed. And hopefully I’ll make more good autosomal DNA matches in future.

About vivdunstan

Academic historian, genealogist, former computer scientist, and Doctor Who fan.
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9 Responses to Great DNA test result in family tree

  1. Alison says:

    That’s brilliant Viv. Great to see a tie up between family research and DNA results. I’ve got my mitochondrial but not taken things further yet.

    • vivdunstan says:

      I recommend adding autosomal, because although mitochondrial is interesting, you are unlikely to make a genealogically significant link with it. But autosomal has the potential to find cousins with common ancestors in the last 4 or 5 generations. It all depends which exact chunks of DNA you inherit – a bit of a lottery to be honest, from generation to generation. It would be interesting, for example, to see how many you and I have in common 🙂

  2. chmjr2 says:

    Great to hear that someone is having success in tracing their Moore line. It is a hard name to trace because it is so common and you can easily be lead down the wrong path. I have been able to get only as far as my gr gr grandfather. I have also used DNA and that has helped with my other family lines. I wish you the best of luck in your research.

    • vivdunstan says:

      Yes I had to wait until the 1901 census was available, to give me the corroborating evidence I need. Even then I had to check and double check that I had found my Moore great-grandparents properly! I was very glad to make the breakthrough. All the best with your Moore family history hunt.

  3. chmjr2 says:

    Also may I suggest that you tag your post in Genealogy and Family History. You may reach a few more people that could help you.

  4. Catherine Downs (nee Moore) says:

    Hi Viv, I am astounded to find your blog this morning whilst I was searching for “Annie Tate born Dublin” randomly on Google… I realize we are quite closely related – our Fathers are cousins! My Dad is John Moore, son of Thomas James. I have been trying to research the Moore/ Tate line without much success and my eyes widened as all unfolded before me! I would love to hear more about your discoveries along that line and perhaps update our family tree? I am particularly interested in the Taite/ Fagan connection and the similarities with Annie’s own life with her husband John (first mother death, second marriage/children) and subsquent family estrangement.
    Of course, I am happy to share any information with you about the current family. I presently live in New York with my husband & 2 teenage girls.
    Best wishes,
    Catherine Downs (nee Moore)

  5. KarenW says:

    I descend from the Fair’s of Coldingham, who immigrated to Canada!

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