A person I met through genetic genealogy circles said to me once that the ancestors were speaking to me. I wished at the time and for years after that they would speak more clearly. I think around this time last year, I was still deep into the mystery of the Elmores and no closer to figuring out my Aunt’s paternal family.
With those ghosts no longer haunting me, I feel like I can enjoy genetic genealogy as a hobby. Maybe I should have titled this “when a full time becomes a pastime”.
In December, having filled in a lot of information for my Aunt, I said “Maybe, I can treat this more as an enjoyable hobby now rather than the painful dismantling of my recent ancestor’s great and terrible machines”. For the most part that has been the case.
I’ve poked in on ancestryDNA and FTDNA with their various blessings and curses. I’ve stacked up the people with their common matches and checked out segments when I have that information available. Many times, I can get a good idea of where someone fits. I’ve looked around some blind corners and put together deeper trees based on the half-hearted trees left by genetic matches. I’m still surprised by the complete lack of family tree information for most matches at Ancestry.com. At the same time I’m happy that ancestry pulls such a large audience that most of our biggest and closest matches are there and usually not hard to place, now that I know which families to look at.
As I suspected in those last months of 2016, more matches have rolled in for both our Elmore family (picked up a new Elmore/Waughtel relative today on my account at Ancestry) and my Aunt’s Robert family (A brand new Robert/Bahan relative at FTDNA today too).
Because these people are not active partners, and often don’t return contacts, I am not going to have all the best information, but because they leave little stub trees, share triple digits of centimorgans and 12 to 24 segments, it’s not such a mystery how they fit.
On the known sides of the family, I’m content to put together the trees I have with simple “in common with” matches and to let my large second cousin level matches do the heavy lifting and sorting.
There are still some unknowns. Where do the Winters family members fit for my aunt? With another large, likely Bolton related match to my grandfather pulled in at FTDNA today, will I ever know how we are connected to that family?
There are those mysteries still on all sides, but I don’t feel like the clock is ticking on them any more. The Ancestors have stopped speaking to me for the moment and I’m really enjoying that.