Genetic Communities

When I started dabbling with DNA I learned one thing; things will change and sometimes quickly. Last week AncestryDNA updated their database and added Genetic Communities. I will admit I was excited to get this function since I had read a few blog and Facebook Posts about it since Rootstech. Unfortunately, I did not visit the Ancestry booth at the conference and did not get signed up as a beta tester (I believe I read somewhere that this was an option). I usually like to get into any beta groups for Ancestry so I can have time to make my decision on things before the public weighs in.

I will admit that I am a big fan of Ancestry. I usually meet most of the changes with a positive, open mind. I am sure there have been a few things I was not fond of, but that is normal.

The Genetic Communities that AncestryDNA has now given us access to seem to hit the nail on the head for me.

As of the release of Genetic Communities, my DNA has been placed in three groups:

  • French Settlers Along the St. Lawrence (Likely, 60% confident).
  • Early Settlers of the Ohio River Valley: Indiana, Illinois and Iowa (Possible 20% confident).
  • Settlers of Western Pennsylvania (Possible 20% confident).

Each of these groups is definitely a well representation of my traditional paper research.

French Settlers Along the St. Lawrence

This represents my Canadian-French Heritage. I have this line traced back to“les filles du roi”  or King’s Daughter, Marguerite Abrahamm (my ninth great-grandmother), who married Joseph Ozanie Nadeau, dit Lavigne (contract date 6 Nov 1665) and then Chartier, Guillaume, on 31 Jan 1678.

Our line was in New Hampshire by 1880, Massachusetts by 1883, Maine in 1888 and finally Vermont in 1894.

Early Settlers of the Ohio River Valley: Indiana, Illinois and Iowa

I have a few lines that are in this area. Mostly my Kerr, Walker, and Hilton lines.

Settlers of Western Pennsylvania

This will have to be looked into more. I do have a few Pennsylvania lines, some going back to pre- Revolutionary War. Because of how early these lines are, it has been hard to nail down exact place names. Lines that could fit into this are  Richmond, Garlinger, and possibly Kerr.

It is obvious I will have to do a bit more work to see which lines are specific to the last two GC’s.

What I like about these communities is that you can see which of you DNA matches are connected to you in the communities. I also like that they give a lot of information about the history of the area. I know there has been some discussion about the some of the terms used in the historical sections. I am not letting that get in the way of connecting with possible cousins and continuing to learn about what our DNA can teach us.

My biggest disappointment is that my Irish line did not show up in the Munster Irish Community. I know I have my line back to County Cork, I know that I have autosomal matches to other O’Connell members, though I do not believe they have their tree back as far as I do. I am hoping that as more people in my O’Connell line test this GC will show up for us. The good news is that I have another O’Connell family member that has agreed it test. Until then, this post marks the beginning of my Genetic Communities.



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