Sunday, 26 March 2017

A DNA disappointment

Not all DNA discoveries are satisfying, I learned this week.

Several years ago, I found a tree on Ancestry that, as well as being Dougherty, had similar names to my Dougherty ancestors, and the added bonus? This Dougherty had originally settled in South Hero, Vermont in the 19th century.

South Hero is where my 2nd great grandfather Marcus Dougherty originally settled after arriving from Dungiven, Ireland. His brother James, who became a Congregationalist minister, also initially settled in South Hero, before moving on to the nearby villages of first Milton and then Johnson.

I should mention that yes, there were other Dougherty families in those areas of Vermont in the early to mid 19th century, and no, so far there is no DNA connection with any of them.

But, what were the chances that this Dougherty could not be a relation of mine? I mean really. I was seized with this idea for years. Literally.

For several years, the owner of that Ancestry tree and I messaged back and forth sporadically. Earlier this year, he announced that he was doing the AncestryDNA test. This was exciting news. His results came back this week, and much to our shared dismay, we don't appear on each other's lists of DNA matches. Nor does he appear on my siblings' or cousin's DNA matches. At my suggestion, he uploaded his raw data to This is a site where people can post their raw DNA data from tests conducted by Ancestry, 23 And Me and Family Tree DNA, but it also gives a much more details breakdown of DNA, chromosome by chromosome. Yes, there really are that many genealogy geeks like me out there.

I compared our DNA on GEDMatch, and we share only a very small amount of DNA in one chromosome, not enough to consider us relatives on any level. Boom.

He's now trying to figure out his next steps in his hunt for his ancestors. And me? As I say,

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

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