The Hunt for DNA Connections Goes On!

Through DNA the Hunt for Genealogical Connections Goes On!!

So over the last several weeks I have spent more time at Ancestry.com, trying to unravel the tangled roots of my various family lines, than either reading or listening to music. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading or listening at all, just that my focus has been on searching for dead people. One of the most interesting finds was a great-aunt Alice Matilda Ashton.

My great-grandfather John Sherrington Ashton III was born in 1858. The son of John Sherrington Ashton and Mary Parezo. John married Mary E Warwick in 1881. As far as I knew they had five children: Mary Catherine, Edward, William L., Horace, and Blanche. Of those children, my mother only knew one, William, who was to her Uncle Bill, who lived in Pennsylvania. From my genealogical searching I knew of Horace,Edward and Blanche. Edward and Blanche both died as teenagers. Horace was only one when he died. Recently, I discovered through DNA and Ancestry that Mary Catherine married an Emil Gottlieb and lived in Philadelphia. She even had a child named John Sherrington Gottlieb!!

Discovering the DNA Connection

Anyway, several weeks ago a high DNA match came up with a Jim Smith from New York. He was listed as a 3rd cousin and is one of my highest matches. When we (my wife and I) looked at his tree, we saw an Alice Ashton. After seeing that Alice was born in 1890 our thoughts immediately turned to Alice being a child of John and Mary.My wife quickly went to Family Search there she discovered a birth record for a female Ashton child of John and Mary born in March of 1890. No name was listed, but when we went back to the census we saw that the month and year of birth of the unnamed girl matched Alice’s.  (Alice’s mother Mary died in 1892 and John remarried.Margaret McCloskey, who was a grandfather’s mother.)

In the 1900 census,  Alice was living with a Danse family in Monroe Township in Middlesex County, NJ and her relationship to the head of the house was a servant!. Monroe Township is about 40 miles northeast of Beverly where Alice was born. A servant at nine years old! How sad!  Alice eventually married Sidney A Smith in New York in 1913. He was the grandfather of the Jim Smith who is my DNA match.

After we unraveled the mystery of the DNA connection I emailed Jim and welcomed him as a new cousin. Jim was thrilled to discover his Ashton roots since Alice was one of his brick walls. So through DNA Jim discovered more about a grandmother he didn’t know anything about and I discovered a great-aunt that I didn’t know anything about!!

Since then we have spent many hours trying to find connections to high DNA matches in my McCloskey line and also a connection to the Lehman family. So far we have had no luck in establishing either of those connections.I fear that both connections are back in Ireland!!

What Else has been Happening!

Over these last few weeks, I have also been reading. Today I finished Red Cell by Mark Henshaw. Yeah Me!. I will try to write about it tomorrow! I am also about halfway through 2 or 3 other books, that I can hopefully finish over the next week or so!!