The power of social media :) A young man viewed my LinkedIn profile today because we share an uncommon surname: Crackett. I looked at his profile, recognised the name and looked him up in my tree and found that he is my 4C2R. The ancestral couple that we share are my 3rd great grandfather, William Cracket, born about 1791 in the Lowick area and his probable wife Isabella Gowans, shown on some documents as Bell Cracket, born about 1795 at Holburn in Northumberland. Since they are his 5th great grandparents that gives us the “twice removed” from the two generation difference in our relationship to them.
I have added three new topics to my page DNA plus paper today:
- Deciding which DNA tests to take
- AncestryDNA circles
- Alias Smith and Jones?
You can access them from the link in this post or from the menu line of Digging up the Ancients.
Just as an aside, the lady in the picture directly above the menu item is my great aunt, Dorothy Ann Crackett, (1888-1974). She was born in Choppington, Northumberland. She married Ralph Tweddle in 1909 and they lived most of their married life in Radcliffe, Northumberland. (Just realised that if you are looking at this on a tablet, then the menu item is under a different lady. Sorry folks, I will have to look at how to optimise for reading on other devices.)
One of my distant genetic cousins is developing an autosomal DNA relationship calculator. This is a work-in-progress at the moment, so he is happy to have folks test and offer suggestions on improvements. You can find more information about his development activities on Robert James Liguori’s Blog. Beta-testing of the basic functionality is now started and he is adding more Relationship Range Providers so that we can calculate with various theoretical assumptions as the basis.
Robert and I have a genetic relationship proven by DNA testing, but have yet to find the paper trail that will point us to our common ancestors. We know that they are on our respective maternal sides as we have an autosomal match between his mother and my maternal aunt. I rather suspect that these distant grandparents are lurking behind brick walls due to illegitimacy on both of our relevant ancestral lines. Best guess so far is that our ancestral paths crossed somewhere in Durham, Yorkshire or Lancashire. Possible names under investigation so far: Whitehead, Horsfield, Bailey, Shepherd, Mitchell, Manners, Webb.
Wills and probate records are a valuable resource that I have not paid enough attention to. so far. Browsing through Cracket / Crackett probate records today I came across a William Crackett, Royal Naval Seaman, who died in 1806. Another interesting little conundrum.
Which William was this? Is he one of mine? Where did he travel to? Did he leave any little Cracketts in distant lands? I may have to invest in a copy of the will to see if it will give me any more clues.
Another DNA success story gives me an additional level of comfort that I am on the right track with my 4th great grandparents George Murray and Anne Ruddiman who married 31 March 1811 at Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland. I have previously been a little concerned about this couple as the name George Murray is very common in that part of the world. I now feel more confident that I have found the right George. If you are interested in knowing more about this match take a look at the article: “MRCA: George Murray and/or Anne Ruddiman” on my page DNA plus paper.
My second DNA success is a match that gives me increased confidence about my 3rd great grandparents John Henderson and Harriet Miller Newton. My match on AncestryDNA is descended from their daughter Elizabeth and I am descended from their son John. It was interesting to see that Ancestry only thought we had Harriet in common. The reason for this is that John was a bit of an enigma. My match has him documented with information from the census, as being born in Haydon Bridge. This is what I started out with too, but I have subsequently found a baptismal record in Kirkwhelpington which makes reference to his birth in Haydon Bridge. For more information about this match take a look at the article: “MRCA: John Henderson and/or Harriet Miller Newton” on my page DNA plus paper.
The first DNA result that I was able to make sense of gave me an increased confidence that my paper trail back to 3rd great grandparents John Thornton and Margery Hall is correct. John and Margery were married at Hartburn in 1822. I have found 8 children for them. The DNA match is between my maternal aunt and a descendent of their son Hall Thornton, born 1838, who emigrated to Lackawanna, Pennsylvania. To read more about this match take a look at the article: “MRCA: John Thornton and/or Margery Hall on my page DNA plus paper. This article explains the lines of descent.