Genealogy > Thom(p)son DNA Project

DNA Success Stories

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It's good to see some Y DNA success. I've had little, but I hold out a lot of hope. Some day, one of my Thompsons will accidentally fall onto a cheek swab...I'm sure of it.

It's been a while, and I've had a lot of successes recently so I thought I should report. Sorry it's a book.

With a lot of help from  Dusevoir and a DNA test for my dad, I've been able to use and 23 and me genetic results to find and verify a dozen or more people in my family tree. Since most of my confirmed matches so far have been in the mid to late 1600s and early really validates quite a chunk of people downstream.

Ironically, my closest matches haven't been very good about getting back to me, and I find that my biggest struggle is getting family tree information to compare to. Still, it's been invaluable.

Here's a "for instance". My dad and I seem to have a lot of Virginia genetic relatives, although my tree only contained a single branch from Virginia, my Finks family. I followed several genetic relatives trees (built a lot of them myself) and kept running into different VA Thompson families. I began working those down. (in genetic relatives you often get the destination first, then you have to figure out the road to get there). So every spouse and child matters. Eventually I worked my way down from the 1600s to the mid to late 1700s where I found a record for Isabel Thompson who marries Alden Williamson.

Ironically, that sat for weeks while I filled in other parts of my tree. Eventually I got back to it because I was contacted by a member of my Williamson family from Madison Indiana. I've been stuck on the parents of Henry Williamson since I started making family trees. Henry's father dies before the 1850 census so he never appears named with Henry. Henry's mother lives, but the children are bound out by 1860 to multiple families. 

So what I had in my tree was "No name" Williamson (possibly Joseph given the 1840 census) who is from Kentucky and marries a woman in Indiana named Susannah. Since there are no marriage records, I've been pretty good and stuck.

So back to Alden Williamson from VA. He has a son Hammond Williamson. Hammond moves to Kentucky, where all his children are born. The kicker is that Hammond born 1783 dies in Madison Indiana in 1874. He has multiple sons who die in Indiana between 1840 and 1850. Some tragedy befalls this family as several husband-less Williamson women show in the census.

I had a red palm print on my forehead because Hammond Williamson appears in the 1850 census, in the same town, one page before the Widow Susannah Williamson and her son Henry.  DOH!

I can't be totally faulted though, there is another Williamson family active in Madison at the time, from Maryland.

So yeah, I went the really really long way around, but I feel more confident about it and the extended family tree is already built. I started looking for my Thompsons..and in a way I suppose I found them..just not the ones I was looking for.

Henry Williamson is bound out until 21, leaves Indiana to serve in the Civil War in Iowa, his brothers serve and die in and for Madison Indiana along with Levi Thompson (my other 3rd great from PA). Henry moves back to Indiana, marries a widow also named Susanna (like his mom) and has two daughters. Ida Williamson marries Albert Thompson (Levi's son) in Alexandria Indiana and there's my family.

Now I have two Thompson families. These new Virginia Thompsons have some quirks but the consensus seems to be that they're from Ulster Ireland in the early 1700s.

What makes this a good genetic example is what happened after I found my Williamsons. I was able to connect them to the family trees of two genetic relatives at 23 and me, because having mapped out all the wives and siblings, I know that just as I'm also a Williamson, my Williamsons are also Stewarts from New Kent VA and Billingsleys from Maryland. Those family connections still show in my DNA.

Here's the thing that always floors me though. As many times as I've done this, it's always amazing. A person I didn't know existed until a couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth Stewart, born in Perthshire Scotland in 1718 is alive and measurable in Michigan nearly 300 years later.

When I tuck in my kids at night, I'm tucking in her kids too.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Good saga, Mike! And it's NOT too long  :)

You've worked for so long on this, it's really good to see you finding some success. The more familiar we get with DNA and it's possibilities, the better the research is going to get.  I wish the Family Tree DNA info could be submitted to 23 and me for a fee. I hate paying $200 (incl the newsletter) just to be entered in their database when Tom already has 67 markers done...............



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