Monday, July 16, 2012

Genetic Genealogy - Tapley DNA - Part 2

Last month I wrote a post about my friend who took an autosomal DNA test with ftDNA and asked me for my help in managing his account. I discussed how to set up his account through the website, including how to add his surnames to the site.

Last week his results came back with a list of matches totaling 221 people! That's 23 pages of matches to go through!

The first thing we did was go through all the matches to see if there were any with the last name of Tapley. You can do this by typing in "Tapley" into the Name box. However, then I remembered that Keith's 2nd great-grandfather was really a Swain (son of Sarah Tapley and Cannath Swain; I think they were unmarried), so I also looked for Swain. There was one match with last name Swain and I suggested Keith email him right away.

We then performed the same search on the list of surnames that were shared between he and his matches. You can do this by typing in "Tapley" in the "Ancestral Surnames" box. This match has his pedigree posted with his profile, so we were able to find the Tapley in his tree. It was a Mary Tapley who married a Phillip Prettypool. This family ended up in Millidgeville, Georgia which is a good sign because Keith's family is from GA. I recommended that he email this match as well.

Unfortunately there were no matches with the Swain surname in their list.

The next thing I did was look to see if we were a match. Luckily we were not :-) However we did have quite a few matches in common. This is not unusual. Having matches in common does not necessarily mean we are related to each other. The key is to see what segments we share with each match. If Keith and I both share the same segment of a single match, then technically all 3 of us would be related. 

For example, JG and I share the biggest segment on chromosome 18. JG and Keith share the biggest segment on chromosome 1. However, Keith and JG also share a small segment on chromosome 18, about 1.92 cM which overlaps with the segment that I share with JG. So the 3 of us do share a very small amount of DNA. I did send JG a list of Keith's surnames, but we were unable to determine a connection (we weren't able to determine a connection between he and I either). 

I also added more surnames to Keith's list. Here is a list of additional surnames:


Next time we will discuss how to interact with his matches and try to determine connections.

Photo of quizzical thinker from the Joyful Public Speaking Blog, by Richard I Garber, accessed 15 July 2012.

To Cite This Post:
Ginger R. Smith, "Genetic Genealogy - Tapley DNA - Part 2," Genealogy By Ginger, 16 July 2012, ( : accessed [date])

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