Part 3: When there is no Drama…..Identifying Possible Matches

DNA EamesWe continue our look at using DNA to support our “documentary tree” by identifying possible matches. We have looked at problem identification and gleaned what we can from the website of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Here is a list of the parts and the links to the other posts:


Disclaimer: This is only an example of how I would incorporate the evidence offered by DNA if I had to do my portfolio over. I have no idea if my “solution” would be acceptable or not. Guidance on the topic is slim, but I am using the webiste to guide my DNA documentation, because it is all I have at the time of writing. Also, this field is changing so rapidly that this post will be “old news” in a very short period of time, but may still provide the future reader with a perspective and help them formulate questions they might not have thought of.

How do we incorporate the findings of DNA analysis into our information we have gathered about our ancestors? Let’s see if we can identify possible matches that support our “paper tree”.

My starting point is my Kinship Determination Project which provided three proofs. Number 1 is one of identity, but numbers 2 and 3 are relationship problems. DNA can assist with relationship problems:

  1. proving Jan Middents Cornelius Bode (JMCB), born in 1807 in Uphusen, Germany, was the same person as John C. Bode, farmer, in Stephenson County, Illinois in the 1860 census.
  2. Proving Hendrik Jans Bode, born in Germany was the son of JCMB.
  3. Proving Boyd Henry Bode, born in Illinois in 1878 was the son of Hendrik Jans Bode.

My plan is the following:

  1. I have already tested in Ancestry (autosomal) and I have a subscription.
  2. Using AncestryDNA, I will use DNA circles to identify some possible matches to my great great grandfather, JMCB. The KDP requires us to have three family groups linked which include the children of the third, making for 4 generations.
  3. I will compare the amount of actual shared DNA with the Shared CM tool to see what I should get. This may alert me to any pedigree collapse and if there are any unexpected paternal events.

The goal is to find test takers, who had a tree, that were 3rd cousins or greater. Anything closer would not  link to the generation furthest out—JMCB. I have 282 4th cousin matches. I am not interested in going through them one by one to find a connection to John C. Bode, although if I had to, I would. I also have 13 DNA Circles and one of them is for JMCB with seven members in the circle. Of the seven with trees that connect to JMCB some can be eliminated from consideration due to redundancy or that the common couple is not JMCB.

  1. VD1: We share 27.1 cM across 2 segments and a pedigree chart that takes us back to the common couple of Jan Middents Cornelius Bode and his wife, Antje Eckhoff Bode
  2. VD2: This is the son of VD1
  3. Bode1: We share 28.3 across 3 segments and a pedigree hart that takes us back to the common couple of Jan Middents Cornelius Bode and his wife, Antje Eckhoff Bode.
  4. Bode 2: this is the son of Bode1.
  5. Browne: The common couple for this match is Hendrik Bode and not his father.
  6. Burgel1: the common couple for this match is Hendrik Bode and not his father.
  7. Burgel2 : this is the daughter of Burgel1

Note: Circles are just clues to a common relationship and clues to the focus individual of that relationship. You may be confident of your tree, but we all know what Ancestry trees are riddled with erroneous relationships and identity mash ups! We will get to the analysis in Part 5.

Since there are generational test takers, I will look at only the oldest generation to verify the match. We will also eliminate matches who have a more recent common couple than JMCG. VD1 and Bode 1 remain as my targeted test takers who might serve as DNA evidence for my proofs of relationships for my KDP.

Next up:
Part 4: Crafting a citation using ESM Quick Sheet


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