Author Topic: Where are my paternal ancestors?  (Read 1658 times)

Offline Treefan

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Where are my paternal ancestors?
« on: Saturday 03 February 18 12:48 GMT (UK) »
I am very puzzled & I wondered if anyone can help me please?
For many years I have striven to research my family tree trawling through records, obtaining certificates and seeking out any form of evidence of proof to build up my tree to the very best of my ability. I am only human though and although I have tried my very best to make it as accurate a tree as I could possibly build I accept that human error could have cropped up along the way just as it could for anyone doing the same thing.
My efforts have always been along this route and a Christmas present of an Ancestry DNA kit broadened my approach. I did the test and waited and eventually receiving my results which showed 92 matches, a few close but mainly more distant.
I have been taking my time going through the list and started to realise that every one of them seemed to link to my maternal side with no matches what so ever showing for my paternal side. I have searched for the
surnames of all of my various paternal great grandparents within the trees of my matches but no results showed up at all.
So, what does this mean? Have I gone so horribly wrong within my tree that I have made it a work of fiction instead? I didn't think that this was the case as I have made contact with folk over the years who seemingly had come to the same results as me.
I realise that comparisons can only be made to those other DNA trees that exist within the Ancestry system which means that a great many ordinary trees could exist for which DNA trees have never been carried out but my tree is of a fair size containing a couple of thousand or more ancestors and with the subject matter being so popular now I would have expected for some distant matches to show up at least.
Am I expecting too much or have I not learned enough concerning the subject (which is still very new to me)?
The glaringly obvious thing I realise is that perhaps my biological paternal bloodline might not be what I was raised to believe but I have no other family members who I can ask to do further tests for comparison.
I just wondered what the odds were that all could be correct and in order with no matches showing up? Has anyone else ever come across this same puzzling situation? Is it possible that things might be right but that no other distant cousins have ever done a DNA test? For me to get 92 possible matches on my maternal side with none what so ever on my paternal side seems odd and wrong to me.
Any thoughts or comments would be very welcome please. As mentioned, this is a very new topic for me and I know that I haven't got my head around all it's ins and outs as yet. Am i reading into the situation wrongly or have I misunderstood how to go about it all or do my results show up a great problem for me?
Thank you.

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Offline Wendy2305

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 03 February 18 13:46 GMT (UK) »
I'm no DNA expert so could be wrong but surely even if your paternal line was wrong you would expect to see matches from trees with no matching surnames but maybe matching dates and places if you have only matches for known surnames obviously on your maternal side 2 things come to mind  the test you did only shows your maternal line or nobody on your paternal line has tested

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Offline Ayashi

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 03 February 18 14:33 GMT (UK) »
Do you know of people on Ancestry who are related according to the paperwork? It might be worth messaging them and asking if they have taken a DNA test. If you get people who are supposedly, say, third cousins who aren't coming up as a DNA match to you at all then that might be supportive of one theory. If they all say they haven't taken a DNA test it might be that for whatever reason that side hasn't been as forthcoming with the tests as your maternal side.

Offline familydar

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 03 February 18 14:48 GMT (UK) »
If your father wasn't an only child of an only child of an only child etc etc and you're able to link every single one of your matches to your maternal side, then it suggests that no descendants of anyone on your paternal side have tested WITH ANCESTRY.  They may have tested with other companies so I'd definitely recommend that you upload your own results to FTDNA and GEDMatch (both free) where you might have more luck.

But surely you have more than 92 matches?  I suspect you are quoting the number of 4th cousins or closer.  I have 71 of these and for the majority of them I'm unable to find the link, despite the past 20 years or so having been spent working my tree back to 5 or more generations on virtually all lines, with several generations more on many lines.  We are all dependent on other people's trees accurately reflecting a similar number of generations.  If all they have is their parents and grandparents, then unless you have worked all of your lines forwards through all the married daughters you're unlikely to find a matching surname.

As more and more people test you will get new matches and eventually some of them are likely to match your father's side (unless he was an only child etc etc).

Jane :-)
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Offline jillruss

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 03 February 18 15:26 GMT (UK) »
I'm still awaiting the results of my DNA test but it seems like its going to be hardwork when it arrives

I hope to learn as I go along, but my limited understanding as of now would  indicate to me that you perhaps need to do a bit more 'sideways' research of - say - at least up to your 4x greats and their siblings. As someone else has noted, if there were a lot of female siblings, there may be surnames you don't recognise but are actually connected. My gt grandfather had 5 sisters and no brothers.

The other obvious conclusion is that you're just unlucky enough not to have any (or many) on your paternal side who have taken DNA tests or never been into family history. I've been doing it now for about 12 years and have very rarely come across anyone with a connection to any of my family, even though I have got as far back as 10 generations on some lines and nearly always to at least 6 or 7. I suppose its just the luck of the draw!

As I understand it, you will get future notifications of DNA links, and the tests seem to have 'taken off' recently in a way that they hadn't only a few months ago. I myself used to think it would be a waste of time but I got fed up of trying to knock down my many brickwalls using conventional methods so thought it was worth a punt!

 Are there any connections (place and date, especially) in your DNA results which might help with this possibility you have mentioned:-

'The glaringly obvious thing I realise is that perhaps my biological paternal bloodline might not be what I was raised to believe but I have no other family members who I can ask to do further tests for comparison'

Good luck.
BRICKWALL - WILLIAM HORWOOD bn c.1779 in or near Berks. N.B. NOT s/o William & Joanna in Waltham St Lawrence.

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 03 February 18 15:57 GMT (UK) »
DNA databases are tiny compared with the population of even England, London with its population of about 8.7 million has more individuals than all the family history DNA databases so is it surprising that accurate matches are relatively rare

Last April:
Ancestry had a database of 4 million
23 and me had 2 million
FTDNA had 500,000
My Heritage around 700,000

Even the above numbers must be taken with a pinch of salt as a proportion of those are shared samples rather than unique samples.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Treefan

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 03 February 18 17:55 GMT (UK) »
Thank you all for reading my post & replying. I have noted the comments & thoughts which I will bear in mind as I continue to try to look into it all further.
As a complete novice in this area I am hoping that I will "learn the ropes" as I go along & that it might make more sense to me in time.
Now that Ancestry are advertising on TV too perhaps more folk might get caught up with the idea of taking a DNA test which will offer up more matches for folk & perhaps my luck may then change.
Thank you once again everyone, your help & advice is much appreciated.

Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 04 February 18 00:24 GMT (UK) »
I'm interested in how you determined that all your 92 matches were maternal line. It seems you based it on recognising surnames. That is certainly the obvious place to start, but I have found that surnames are not always as constant as we might hope. Adoptions, loose spelling and deliberate name changes can change things a lot. For example, I was once shown a Y-DNA match list, which you'd expect to contain mostly the one surname because Y-DNA tracks the male line of descent which generally correlates with surname, and there were many different surnames on it, and virtually none were the name of the person who did the test. So there must have been several surname changes in that family.

So I think trying to identify your paternal and maternal lines more rigorously would be a real help, if you haven't done it already. I hope I'm not telling you what you already know, but if you can't find even a distant cousin to test, you may be able to achieve the result you want by finding one or two of your matches that you can clearly identify as maternal line. Then you can click on each match in turn and then use the "Shared Matches" button to see who matches them and so is presumably also from the maternal line. Anyone who doesn't come up in one of those lists may be a paternal match (or they may not, as it won't pick up all maternal matches). But it would give a good indication.

Uploading your results to FTDNA and Gedmatch, as already suggested, could help, as they each have tools (probably better ones than Ancestry has) to do the same thing. You'll need to pay a small amount ($10 or $20) to use the tools on FTDNA, but they have a "not in common tool" which is a little more direct.

Hopefully this may allow you to confirm or otherwise that you have no paternal matches. I personally would be very surprised if you didn't have some, unless your paternal tree is wrong right from the root.

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Where are my paternal ancestors?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 04 February 18 01:26 GMT (UK) »
treefan good luck

Will my example help you ?

 I found a few connections with people on paternal side
a first cousin
A half cousin who came up as 3rd cousin match
and a few 4th/5th cousins who we were able to link through names and good trees.
family members who'd emigrated were more likely to do DNA tests .

Mother was adopted but we knew her mother had married and had a son ...

So I used the mutual match buttons .....only works well with second and third cousins
So mutual matches of my known cousins (1st 2nd and 3rd) show up as being connected

My theory was to look for someone who DIDN'T show up on any matches but did have dna in common with me

Have you tried that ?

We were really lucky that a man who had the same grandma as myself took the test 

he came up as second cousin because we have different grandfather's
.his father never knew he had a half sister.

I Found descendants of the birth  grandfather s ...father by using
 location  match button and pin point particular towns where  our ancestors lived

.none of the present generations  have  his surname
  thru generations more girls than boys ! But I did know some of his sister's married names

I.ve not found anyone with my father's surname in their direct line tree yet either
But have found some 5th  cousins with same surnames as his grandmithers so
Know the women in  my family were faithfyl !!

The family name is dying out in my branch.

I hope this makes sense ..I'm typing in the wee hours .

Happy hunting...

Have you had any 2nd or 3rd cousin matches ...with links you can't identify ..yet ?

many people have locked trees you can't tell who they match .
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid MCDERMID McDiarmid Gardner Jones ,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson ,McKay