Recently, I received a sharing invitation from a 23andMe autosomal DNA match. I responded in the affirmative and asked the sender for a copy of her gedcom, so that I could try to figure out the genealogical connection. Instead, she figured it out for us!
Cousin M. and I are predicted as 3rd to 4th cousins, sharing .70% DNA across 4 segments. According to the paper trail, I think that we are fifth cousins, but you’ll soon see why 23andMe predicts a closer relationship.
Cousin M. identified James Leach McEntire (1856-1920) as an ancestor. I’m related to James Leach McEntire at least 8 different ways; our closest relationship is 1st cousin, 4 times removed. . .twice.
We descend from Thomas Young Hemphill McEntire and Martha Hemphill AND from Thomas McEntire Hemphill and Malinda Burgin. Are all the Hemphills and McEntires in that sentence confusing you? Yes, they are to me, too. Suffice it to say that these people intermarried a lot and they liked to use the same names over and over.
Just to make it even more confusing, Martha Hemphill and Thomas McEntire Hemphill were siblings, and their parents were Captain Thomas Hemphill and Mary Ann Mackie. That’s just about to come into play with this DNA match.
As I said earlier, Cousin M. and I share DNA on 4 segments. One of the segments is very close to a segment that I match with another person. The other match is at FamilyTreeDNA, so I can’t compare all three of us directly. However, I’ve sketched in the other match below.
The purple segments are where Cousin M. and I match. Based on the Relationship Calculator above, this DNA could come from any of our common ancestors. But the pink segment on chromosome 12 can only come from Captain Thomas Hemphill and Mary Ann Mackie. Since it is so close to the purple segment on chromosome 12, then I think it is likely that whole stretch of DNA – starting with the pink and going through the purple – came from Captain Thomas and Mary Ann.