Wednesday, October 8, 2014

AncestryDNA Post 3 - Doing a Surname Search

In Part 1 of my series of posts about my AncestryDNA test, I wrote about one of my closest relative matches and in Part 2, I wrote about those Shaky Leafs you see in your results when AncestryDNA has found a connection in the family tree of you and your match. In Part 3 of my series, I will discuss how I found a connection by using the Surname Search function in AncestryDNA. This can be especially important when trying to narrow down a person as your ancestor or in adding sons and daughters to your ancestral couple. 

I became interested in the CREEKMORE surname while working with an adoptee who had several DNA matches with Jasper Newton Campbell and Dinah Creekmore of Whitley County, Kentucky as their ancestors. I, too, descend from this couple. They were my 5th great-grandparents. 

My goal is to find all my Creekmore matches, evaluate their trees and determine which matches are legit, or, in other words, which matches might share a Creekmore ancestor with me. 

1.  Log in to your account 

2.  Hover your mouse over the DNA link and when the drop down box appears, click on "View Your DNA Results" - The next page will list your matches in order of relationship - your closest relatives are listed at the top. Any known family members will be listed at the top 

AncestryDNA Matches

3.  Click the "Search Matches" box in the top right of your match list

AncestryDNA Matches-1

4.  Type "Creekmore" into the Search Box. Leave the "Search by location" search box empty for now. Click the Search Button

5.  There are 11 distant cousin matches with "Creekmore" in their trees

AncestryDNA Creekmore Matches

6.  Click on the first person's name. This will bring up the pedigree for this match and a list of direct ancestor surnames that appear in both your tree and your match's tree

AncestryDNA Creekmore Surname

7.  To find ancestors associated with the Creekmore surname, click on the name in the shared ancestors (yellow) box or scroll down the list of names and click on Creekmore. 

Clicking on the name in the yellow box will bring up a box with your match's list of direct Creekmore ancestors on the left and your list of direct Creekmore ancestors on the right. 

AncestryDNA Creekmore Surname-1

This match has Nancy Ann Creekmore, born 1760 in Grayson, VA and died 1836 in Whitley, KY as his direct ancestor. I have 3 direct Creekmore ancestors – Robert, Ballentine, and Dinah. Ballentine, the oldest, was born in Norfolk Co., VA in 1784. Grayson Co., VA did not form until 1793, but its original county was Orange which eventually was split up into parts of Kentucky and West Virginia. It is possible that our two ancestors descend from a common ancestor, but who that common ancestor is not apparent at this time.

Clicking on the surname in the list below brings up information about that ancestor, including their parents’ names and their list of children. 

AncestryDNA Creekmore Surname-2

Nancy Ann Creekmore

8. Click on the “View Full Tree” button to view their ancestor in their online tree. 

Nancy Ann Creekmore VA to KY

9.  Once the match and surname is reviewed, add a note and mark the match as a “favorite” by clicking on the star to the left of the match’s photo. 

AncestryDNA matches favorites and notes

I will file this match away as a possible cousin and their ancestor Nancy Ann Creekmore as a possible connection. I am still looking for more solid matches. Let's look at the next match. 

Clicking on the 2nd match provides a Shared Ancestor Hint (aka Shaky Leaf). It suggests that my match and I are connected via our shared ancestors, Ballentine Creekmore and his wife, Mary Lemon Brown. 

AncestryDNA - Shared Ancestor Hint - Creekmore

According to this "hint," my 5th great-grandmother, Dinah Green Creekmore and my match's 4th great grandfather, Duane Green Berry Creekmore, were siblings and their parents were Ballentine Batchelor Creekmore and Mary Lemon Brown. This makes my match and I 6th cousins 1x removed. According to AncestryDNA, we are predicted as Distant Cousins, with a possible range of 5th to 8th and a low confidence. Our actual relationship of 6th cousins 1x removed fits in with the predicted relationship of 5th to 8th cousins. 

My next step is to see if this match has uploaded their AncestryDNA results to If so, then I can compare their DNA results to my father and grandfather, who are also direct descendants of Ballentine Creekmore and Mary Lemon Brown. If they have not yet uploaded to, then I will encourage them to do so. AncestryDNA does not give us access to our chromosome data, so Gedmatch is a good tool to use to view our chromosome data with and to compare to people who tested with other companies. 

I can also compare the chromosome segments that I share with this match to those that I share with another Creekmore descendant who tested with ftDNA. A positive match will help confirm that the Creekmore surname is the connection that I have with this AncestryDNA match. I had always suspected that Duane Creekmore was also the child of Ballentine Creekmore and Mary Lemon Brown, but I was not sure. An autosomal DNA match between me, a descendant of Dinah Creekmore, and my match, a descendant of Duane Creekmore, provides evidence that supports this suspicion. 

I will communicate with this match with the hopes of exchanging information and photos and stories. I will also add their direct line ancestry to my family tree file, thus building out my family tree further.  

Have YOU tested with AncestryDNA? And if so, what connections have you found? Tell us about them in a comment below or email me

Additional Reading: 

Working with my Closest Matches - How I found a new cousin on my King side (Part 1)

Those Shaky Leafs - The Shaky Leaf and How I found my Next Match (Part 2)

How my AncestryDNA stands up in Gedmatch - A tale about why it's important to have access to our chromosome data because it's not always what it looks like!

Leaping Into the Unknown - Why Take a DNA test by Judy Russell

No comments:

Post a Comment