YDNA meandering Elmers and Thompsons

After having been accepted into the R1b-U106 yahoo group, I used my access to contact a verified U106 person who shares a lot of my more off-beat strs. He and I are in much the same boat. There are a lot of people generally like us in R1b but on closer inspection we’re part of a pretty small group of individuals who are similar to each other.

He and I have discussed some of our autosomal matches in common too, which is also pretty interesting considering the nearness of Y DNA. It’s near enough to make us wonder about family convergences.

He in turn sent me a close match for both of us among the Elmers. Well one Elmer in particular. I’ve had a match with a single Elmer at SMGF for a while and have included them in my maps. They match at about the same level as the Knowltons at SMGF.

The Elmer he was showing me is from a different branch of the same family and where the Elmer at SMGF mismatched me on 3 markers..this Elmer only mismatched on 1. Now that is very interesting.

The Elmer at SMGF is a 34/37 match and because the other (Daniel we’ll call him) Elmer is tested with FTDNA we have fewer numbers to match on, but he’s a 31/32 match.

31 markers isn’t enough to prove a shared family without some really good paper trails but considering that this Elmer matches me where the other Elmer does not, he could well be a 36 out of 37 match.

Not too shabby.

Flipping back over to Autosomal DNA for a minute, I believe I’ve seen these Elmers before. One of the autosomal matches for my father who lists Thompsons also has this Elmer family in her tree. They marry into her Thompsons in New Jersey. The scary thing is that this Autosomal match also has Seeleys in her tree from the same area and I’d guess that these Seeleys are probably related to my Seeleys..although that should definitely be looked into.

These same Elmers marry into a local Seeley family.

So there are a lot of options left open by something like this. We could be Elmers who at some point became Thompsons through all the myriad ways that can happen. I could be seeing a tie to my father’s Seelye family and through the interconnectedness of all things, be seeing these Elmers that we are also related to a couple different ways. I could also be seeing a group of interrelated people from the same area in Britain who came to the new world.

It turns out that the home town for the Elmers in Britain (Braintree) is something like a hundred miles from Knowlton in Britain semi-mythical home of the Knowltons who are also 34/37 DNA matches.

All of that is really interesting, but I want to take a moment to look at those Thompsons again. While researching the Elmers who are pretty well documented, I of course ran into those Thompsons from the autosomal match. They seem well documented but the problem is, there are too many documents.

I’ve found 3 or more different trees for the same Benjamin Thompson who marries Elizabeth Elmer in the 1700s. One goes to Ireland and on to Yorkshire and another seems to be a mixed tree that eventually leads up to the same Thompsons who marry into the Hollingsworth family for Judith Heald’s family (although a different branch). A third leads back to William Thompson, reverend in Massachusetts in the 1600s.

This is the family I’d like to look into a bit more because William Thompson has a son Benjamin Thompson who is born while William is away in Virginia. William later becomes estranged from Benjamin and his melancholia is sited as a source.

This Benjamin Thompson is not the same one who marries Elizabeth Elmer, but in some trees is his ancestor. So William Thompson leads to Benjamin Thompson who marries Susannah Kirtland, who leads to Ben Thompson who marries Elizabeth (unknown) who leads to Ben Thompson who marries Anna Newcomb who then leads to Benjamin Thompson who marries Elizabeth Elmer.

This is not the most popular tree for these Thompsons by far. The Thomas Thompson 1677 from Ireland tree is more popular. The thing that interests me about it is the proximity to these other families, the story of melancholy and estrangement which can lead to uncertain trees and the fact that Reverand William Thompson is from Winwick, Lancashire England in the 1690s less than 45 miles from Malpas, England where the (top tier YDNA match at Ancestry.com) Edwardsons are from.

All very interesting and in need of more research.


  1. It turns out the Seeley family from the autosomal match mentioned above is not the same Seely family that belongs to me. I'm an "Obadiah" Seely and they are "Robert" Seelys. They are two separate families living in similar places. I don't know about the other Seeleys that marry into the Elmers. I need to trace them back specifically.

  2. There is a possibility the autosomal match is on my paternal grandmother's side though, at Gedmatch.com this particular match shows a match on the X with my father. Although, since I show a match on the X with my father I can't totally discount either side of my dad's family because if I could get my paternal grandfather's family back far enough, I'd probably see that my dad's parents are related in some way, just as my parents are and my wife and I are (in the 1700s).

    Also at Gedmatch I have a match with a man who matches my father but also shares and X match with me so he would be related to both my parents if that X match is correct.

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