Thursday, 2 November 2017

Are you clicking on all the buttons?



I haven't got any ANCESTRY.Com DNA circles despite some matches that should be reasonably documented. However on my home screen below the DNA circles box there are four smaller  boxes bearing the names of two couples.  Ancestry calls them “potential new ancestors who are not already in my family tree”.



Both are American with a long term American history one of which was from Kansas. They come with a little spiel about the couples derived from the trees of contributing DNA matches. One couple is John James McCann born Ireland and Eleanor Collin born Essex. They were married so my matching DNA could not have come from both of them. They lived and died in the USA in the last century and for a quarter of the one before. It tells me they had approximately 19 children. I was confused as none of my relatives had appeared to have moved to Kansas in the 1860s. My history of Kansas is limited to the Wizard of Oz. Connections were explained via lines to family circles.


As Ancestry is inclined to do this information has come and gone on my page over the past year. As Dorothy would say  "My! People come and go so quickly here! "

 I’d looked at the screens and once or twice and decided they were too far fetched, probably just a sample of what “circles” looked like.


I recently updated my tree with a possible Vince connection-Hannah Vince b 1808, my three times great grandmother and Sarah her sister my 4xgrand aunt. I wasn’t entirely convinced of their connection but hints were pointing that way. I 'synced' my tree and went to bed.

Perhaps it was serendipitous because the very next day when 86-year-old twins’ test results emerged the common surname with them was Vince and what's more their trees revealed their grandparents were McCann and Collin. Vince was also in my follow-up notes for the above hint which I hadn’t done anything about. Lo and behold Eleanor Collin was the daughter of one Sarah Vince my 3x great grandmother’s sister!  So it turns out I’m related to one of the boxes and the other by marriage only.

As many have not experienced the “value” of this Ancestry service (hint) I decided to take a few screen shots to explain. 

As we all know when you explore on Ancestry (especially via Family Tree Maker) cookies beget hints and subsequently information re Vince, Collin and McCann came thick and fast. The penny dropped. Suddenly the circles in my mysterious boxes made sense. McCann had come from Ireland via London with the Army and Collin came from Great Wakeling in Essex. They married in London, began their family and moved to Canada with the Army and then through USA to Kansas. 

Speculative family circles appear
Your matches are located

More surprisingly these previously confusing boxes seemed to have expanded with information. Suddenly there were more buttons to click. One was a  Relationship one showing how each of the people listed connected with me either indirectly or directly with DNA.  A corresponding list gave “circle” confidence and then a relationship to Eleanor Collin. Drop down information galore.


Make sure you click on the relationship boxes
Even a relation of  relation may help if they have a big tree


Well this is very revealing I'm sure the information has been updated in the months or so since I first dismissed the match as a bit far-fetched. Maybe I missed it first time round. Some say there's been an Ancestry algorithm upgrade or perhaps even an upgrade of the software and visual presentation of the information.

Maybe I understand the possibilities a little better. I wouldn't have not noticed the drop down button (I’m sure). I should have noticed the upgrades and the possible improvements.



The information spells out the tree - similar to the shared match hints



They had practically given it to me on a plate

Here’s the descendants chart for my match from my Family Tree maker program.

 The relationship chart showing how I'm related to Eleanor Collin
So from waking up the next morning and seeing the two new DNA matches I made  contact with the daughter of one of the twins  in Kansas. I guess she is  down right amazed at such a quick response to the test results and she is surprised to know that she has “cousins” albeit distant in the land down under.

It’s not uncommon for Aussie researchers to complain that there’s too many people with no trees or too many with “all American trees”.  In this case a few English facts got me there and the circles were possible due to the trees maintained by the family offspring g of Eleanor and James.

 Now that I’ve figured out the technology side of the story……. 

What was Eleanor and James’ story?

Eleanor was born 29/8/1837 in Great Wakering in Essex. She married an Irish soldier, James John McCann in 1857. He had fought in the Crimean war and was nursed back to health by Florence Nightingale before returning to London.  They married after a three week courtship.  A year later they were sent to Canada as Guard of Honour for the Crown Prince Albert. He and Eleanor decided to stay in Quebec. There they added 4 daughters and a son to their only English daughter.

In 1868 they moved to Illinois in the USA where 5 more children were born. After Illinois it was a move to Missouri and then to Kansas in 1877 where another daughter was born. From Kansas they moved to Denver and then back to Kansas in 1882.

All in all they had 12 children.    At the time of his death in 1909 James had 34 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. No doubt there is plenty more DNA in Kansas from this expansive family.  Let’s not forget I’m a very  distant relation (5th Cousin ) back to the English Vince and Cracknell family.

I take my hat off to James and Eleanor. James was well travelled with his Army adventures and after a three week courtship Eleanor was carried along in the adventure. The rest is (family) history.
Eleanor Collin McCann with her youngest born daughter Tressa (supplied by Ginger Ballard)


1 comment:

  1. Well done Robyn. An excellent tutorial and of course I really enjoyed the subject! ��

    ReplyDelete