Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's Him!! — DNA Genealogy Success

I got the e-mail today. Ms. Lessie's DNA results are in.

I logged in to the Family Tree DNA site and clicked on "Matches" in the Family Finder box.

Two names were listed under close relatives. My uncle's name was number one.

Thomas Swain Maness is my great-great-grandfather.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this — a lifetime goal, and here it is. My family has been looking for Thomas S. (Swain) since he disappeared in 1875. I was really discouraged when y-DNA testing showed no link between my uncle and one of Swain's cousins. But our Thomas and Ms. Lessie's grandfather Swain had too many things in common. So we never gave up.

While finding out was the goal, it's not the end. I'm on vacation right now without phone numbers and genealogy notes, so next week I'll tell Ms. Lessie and her son — our new cousins! — and hopefully plan a trip to meet them. The stories about Swain Maness will become part of our family lore.

I have a couple of other leads to follow. The two DNA tests tell me that:
- Swain was not biologically related to Abednego (and Shadrach, Meshach, and the other brothers).
- Swain told the truth about his name (Thomas S.), county, and age on his marriage license. Could he also have been telling the truth about his parents, the mysterious George and Mary (not found on censuses) instead of the oral-history Henry?

The best part was getting to call my uncle and tell him the news! He's been the third generation in this four-generation search, and he's encouraged me and helped in every way possible. Thanks, Uncle Oscar. Our great big genealogy gamble paid off!

Note: Family Tree DNA is an affiliate site, which means if you're interested in DNA testing, I'd appreciate it if you'd click on the link above or the ad at right to go to their website.


Joy said...

Woohoo! That is such an exciting event! What a wonderful thing to solve a family mystery that is so old.
Joy's Book Blog

Gerry said...

That's an amazing discovery, Beth! Congratulations! I'm stuck at my great-grandfather on my dad's side (but he takes us back to 1809 or so); I don't know where to go from there, and all the males in my direct line are gone. There's one very distant cousin left--a man--and we share this ancestor. I should encourage him to do the testing! Might it help us figure out where to go from there? Happy for you!

Bookish Miss said...

Yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaw! Congratulations! I'm so glad it was a match, I know how long you've been searching for answers.

*does the dance of joy*

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Thanks, Joy. (I like your blog with pictures of Ireland.)

Thanks, Gerry. You understand brick walls! This test only works for close relatives, up to third cousin. I'd be happy to bounce ideas around if you e-mail or message me.

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Thanks for doing the happy dance, Bookish Miss! It took me a few hours before I could write a post with words in it instead of just exclamation marks!