View Full Version : Citing Relationship Proofs from DNA Matches

20 May 2018, 03:38 PM
My apologies if this has been asked before but how do I cite evidence of a relationship? I have some ancestry/dna results and I've entered the basic information as a source, but do I put the specifics (something like "....showing PERSON A is the son of PERSON B with xxx confidence...") on each of PERSON A and PERSON B's data (as a general source?) or add an event like "Birth of Child" or the like?

I'm starting easy - my dad's my dad and mum's who I've listed her as, as well, but there hae been a few 'surprises' that I'd like to show the reasoning behind/back up for as well. I'm trying to do this methodically.

20 May 2018, 06:07 PM
I usually bring in DNA evidence in the NOTES field with sources attached to that. Mostly because the atDNA evidence tends to be about a preponderance of matches and not any single match. And also because the DNA evidence makes more sense when you put it in the context of the traditional records.

For example, my wife's Great Great Grandfather was Washington Lee who married Amanda Lee in Saline Co., Missouri 1836. We think that they may have been 1st cousins based on a number of factors, including a preponderance of atDNA matches that come down from the ancestors of the wives of three Lee brothers. I'm not sure how I could have cited all this coherently as individual evidence in the Reunion fields. See below:

"Amanda’s parentage is not yet proven but we have a conjecture that she is a daughter of Joel and Ora Lee and a 1st cousin to her husband.

Based upon a fairly thorough catalog of all Lees living in Howard, Cooper, Saline, and Petis counties in Missouri between 1830 and 1850 constructed from censuses, original records, and some information from other researchers, it appears that there are two main families in these counties prior to 1850. The two groups are not related (Y-DNA of their descendents doesn’t match). One is a group of Lees who moved to Howard Co. around 1818/19 from Madison Co., Kentucky, the parents being Richard Lee and Elizabeth. This family was quite prolific - there are lots of them.

The other, smaller, group is that of the three brothers who came directly from Virginia in 1819/20: John Lee, Joel (Joseph) Lee, and William Lee. Their father was William Lee Sr. (1742-1820). We have a very close Y-DNA match for a male descendent of George Washington Lee with relatives of William Lee Sr. in Virginia. By process of elimination, we at first thought that we could argue strongly that Amanda must have come from the Lees of Madison County, Kentucky.

[Arguments for why this isn't likely snipped for brevity]

We have found several atDNA matches that descend from both the Cassady’s (who are connected with both John’s wife Sally Owen and William Lee Jr.’s wife Polly Cassady) and the Newmans (connected with Joel’s wife Ora Newman) indicating that either or both of Washington or Amanda Lee descend from these families. There is no room in John’s birth order or in the 1830 census for John’s widow’s household for either Wash or Amanda. There is one unaccounted for male slot in the 1830 census for William Lee Jr. and more than one male and female slot with Joel Lee. For these reasons, we think it likely that Wash was a son of William and Polly (Cassady) Lee (95% certain) and Amanda was a daughter of Joel and Ora (Newman) Lee (75% certain - 25% she is from some as-yet-unknown Lee family not in this area of Missouri). We are now searching for a matrilineal descendant of Ora Newman’s ancestors to test for full-sequence mtDNA to compare with a test we did on a matrilineal descendant of Amanda Lee to rule that possibility in or out."

Full information on both Amanda and George Washington Lee here:

22 May 2018, 10:15 PM
Thank you - I think that's the only way to do it. What I might do is create a custom NOTES category - maybe "atDNA" or just "DNA" or maybe "Relationships."