Wednesday, 26 April 2017

DNA brings more Nelson connections

When I returned from my offline and out of the country vacation a week ago, I was intent upon resuming posts to this blog with gusto. But then I found a message with the subject line "how are we related?" waiting in my Ancestry message box. We are AncestryDNA matches, but the person didn't at that point have a family tree. She wondered if we are linked either through her mother's midwest Scandinavian families or her father's New England families.

Since I have no American midwest relatives of Scandinavian ancestry, we soon determined that we're related through our fathers. Her father was a Nelson, and because his parents' marriage was an old fashioned shotgun wedding in the Boston area, she knew absolutely nothing about his family. My latest cousin had her paternal grandparents and great grandparents' names and knew that her great grandfather, Arthur Hamilton Nelson (1874-1952) had been born in Nova Scotia, but not much more.

You know what happened next. Rather than getting back to blogging, I instead spent several hours over three days unravelling this latest DNA cousin's ancestry and her link to me. I love nothing more than a good genealogy mystery.

I was able to tell this latest DNA cousin more of her Colchester, Nova Scotia and New England Planter roots, and she has now begun baby steps to populating her tree. We are 5th cousins once removed. We both descend from my 4th great grandparents Alexander Nelson (abt 1737-1803) and Margaret Robinson (1735-1823), but my new cousin descends twice from them, through two of their sons, Charles Nelson (1771-1847) and Robinson Nelson (1774-1850), who are older brothers to my 3rd great grandfather, Elias Nelson (1783-1871). with Alexander and Margaret my cousin's 4th great grandparents.

My new cousin now know that there are thousands of Nelson cousins across North America (at least),and has much work ahead of her, learning more about genealogy and populating her family tree. But I don't want to scare her off from experiencing the passion of genealogy, so I'm trying very hard not to bombard her with information.

Like for instance, not all Nelsons descend from our great grandparents. Like there's are separate Nelson lines that originated on Prince Edward Island via Philadelphia in the early 19th century that is probably originally from England, whereas the Nova Scotia Nelsons are Scots in origin.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

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