First Genetic Relative with the Williamsons

For reference here is my paternal line with wives: Albert Thompson & Ida Williamson -> Ray Thompson & Ina Finks -> Charles Thompson & Elizabeth Seelye -> my dad -> me.

Although I have a few genetic relatives I believe are related to my Williamson family I haven’t had anyone that actually contained my Williamsons in their tree..until last night. Hunting down a lead on some possible Williamson related people from Kentucky, I unexpectedly ran right into the Williamsons.

The shared ancestors would be Alden Williamson (b 1750) and Isabelle Thompson (my other Thompson family).

Now, not too long ago, I would have been jumping up and down about this, but now I’m a little reserved.

What is going against it?

  • There are references to known maternal relatives of my father in this match’s tree. Farther back in time but still present are the Fulkersons that are related to my Seelye family.
  • The match is over two chromosomes and each match individually is pretty small. They are individually small enough that they don’t necessarily stand up on their own.
  • There are no known overlapping relatives..just a group of matches I haven’t figured out yet. One of them is a group I only have a single tree for and that is the tree that contains a big east coast family with the Elmer family in it…also very active where my Seelye related family lived.
  • I may see false positives from Virginia that are really related to my Finks family (Ray Thompson’s wife). They have a long history there and not all of it is known.
  • Also as I said in my post about our Y breakdown there is a non-paternal event somewhere between my grandfather and Albert Thompson as my grandfather effectively does not match the Y of his paternal uncle (Ray Thompson’s brother). So it may be that my grandfather is not related to his father Ray Thompson at all…which is our connection to the Williamsons.

So, those things give me pause. What do I think this match has going for it?

  • Autosomal DNA is weird, sometimes small segments are handed down intact for generations and other times they get whittled away bits at a time. So those small match sizes may be a whittled down representative of a solid match.
  • This is the first time the Williamsons have been named. It’s the first time I’ve found them in the family tree of a genetic relative, unlike my grandmother’s family which I usually find in any family tree…including those I know to be paternal matches. So I have a lot of history of false positives for my Seelye family.
  • Circumstantially, I see a lot of activity surrounding places my Williamsons lived in Kentucky including a string of overlapping matches that seem to share family there.
  • Although I think it is unlikely and I’m pretty resigned that we don’t have a Thompson Y, I should say that I haven’t yet tied the Indiana Thompsons to another Thompson family either. They are much, much more likely to connect to a Thompson family..but we just haven’t tied that one up yet.
  • Although our Ys don’t match up, I have a gut feeling that Ray Thompson is the father of Charles Thompson, but is likely not the son of Albert Thompson. Maybe it’s because Ray looks so different to me from his brothers or that my grandfather looked a lot like Ray when he was older. Maybe it’s because I can see my cousin’s features in my grandfather and Ray. It’s a hunch. Logically, I can say the Finks/Thompson match up is the most likely break given the odd circumstances surrounding it but those circumstances may also be the best thing they have going for it. For all intents and purposes Ray thought he was my grandfather’s father and Ray’s family took responsibility for my grandfather and raised him.

So basically I have a hunch with added weight from circumstantial evidence and this finding in a genetic relative’s tree, that make me think the family picture in this post: is an accurate depiction. Ida Williamson is there with my 2 year old grandfather (her grandson) on her lap. Her son Ray is in the back row looking like a serial killer. She is Ray’s mother, but Ray’s father is.. is not pictured.

Hopefully this is one of those things that can be resolved with 23 and me testing from my Indiana Thompsons who would share Ida Williamson as a great grandmother in this scenario or with further testing of my Seelye family to see if this match is totally on their side of the family.

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