Alternate Names

Have you learned thru the years that spelling matters when doing an Internet search? On the other hand, have you found that spelling of names varies — and thus a specific spelling doesn’t matter any more? That need to be able to search for various spellings of a name was behind the development of the Soundex code.

Soundex code was very valuable in pre-Internet days for locating census records. It can still be used today with searches of Ancestry’s databases. Unfortunately, this concept isn’t used when Ancestry’s computers compares the trees of people who have a DNA match to identify the common ancestor. Instead, the computer is looking for an exact match.

As I’ve started researching an ancestor that Ancestry identified as a potential match, I’m running into spelling issues.

This new ancestor is a revolutionary war veteran, Major Simon Van Arsdale. In addition to his revolutionary war service, Simon Van Arsdale was part of the Low Dutch Settlement that migrated to Kentucky.

The discovery of Simon Van Arsdale as a potential ancestor is opening up doors to other potential ancestors and a lot of interesting history. Unfortunately, the spelling of the Van Arsdale name is making it difficult to locate records and to identify DNA matches. So far, I’ve identified the following spellings for this surname:

  • VanArsdale
  • Van Arsdale
  • Van Arsdalen
  • Vanarsdall
  • Vannarsdall
  • Van Artsdalen
  • Van Osdol
  • Vanosdol

For the most part, clicking to also use Soundex when searching Ancestry databases will help me get around the many spellings of the name. However, that option isn’t available when working with DNA matches. I recently learned that I should use the ‘alternate name’ fact to add variations on the spelling of a name.

This morning as I was thinking about the need to add ‘alternate name’ facts for Simon Van Arsdale, I saw a Facebook post questioning why Ancestry’s computers can’t find common ancestors when both parties of a DNA match have large trees. I believe the same post also talked about how changing the spelling of a name (Fannie to Fanny) caused the number of matches on a ThruLines to drop. In the comments on the post was a suggestion to add an ‘alternate name’ fact for the different spelling of the name. (Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find this post back. Thus, I can’t give credit to the parties who wrote the post and the comment.)

In thinking about this question as to why the computers aren’t finding the common ancestors, I realized that spelling of surnames and name variations could be a big issue with my tree. I have a lot of places in my tree where the name I have could be slightly different from the name another person might have in their tree. However, I have one surname where this could be a big issue: CURREY.

Over the years, I have found that when the name is spelled with the ‘e’, the record is usually for someone in my line. I have also found records using the CURRY spelling that are for individuals in my line. Thus, the name could be spelled CURREY or CURRY. Since I only have the CURREY spelling in my direct ancestral line, I’m going to experiment with adding CURRY as an alternate name to see what happens to my ThruLines.

Below are the number of ThruLines matches for each generation of my CURREY line:

  • Hiram Currey – Dodge City – 1866-1943 —– 3 matches
  • Hiram Currey – Leavenworth – 1835-1901 —– 7 matches
  • Hiram Currey – Peoria – 1787 – ? —– 16 matches
  • HIram Currey – Ohio –? – ? —– 22 matches
  • Thomas Currey — Ohio — ? – ? —– 16 matches

I will add the ‘CURRY’ alternate name for each ancestor and their children. Then I will re-check my numbers in a few days. Hopefully, I will see the number of matches increase!

Small cM DNA Matches

Do you remember having conversations with your parents similar to ‘Why can’t I? Everyone else is doing it.’ Well, that is how I sometimes feel when it comes to my DNA research strategy. In other words, I often haven’t had a specific strategy, but was following the ‘crowd’.

That was at least true when I submitted my spit to Ancestry to have an autosomal DNA test completed over 4 years ago. At the time, I didin’t know much about DNA but was hoping that it would help break down the numerous brick walls in my family tree.

It was only after getting my results back that I started learning about the perceived limitations of these results.

Since my tree was already complete thru 5 and 6 generations and mostly complete thru 7 generations, my hopes of using my Ancestry DNA results to prove a new ancestor were dashed.

Then came the summer of 2020 when Ancestry announced that it had plans to remove the 6 and 7 cM matches from our lists of matches. Since Ancestry had also recently announced that over 18 million people had had their DNA tested by Ancestry, I knew that these smaller matches were adding to the data load. Thus, I looked at this move for what it was – a cost saving measure.

That was until I looked at my own ThruLines data and realized that I had ‘brick wall shattering’ information in my ThruLInes that utilized quite a few of these smaller matches to build these connections.

Thus, I started working to tag these smaller matches — starting with those identified as having a common ancestor. In working thru these matches, I found matches to support my paper research identifying Rachel Harris, daughter of Peter Harris as my third great grandmother. These matches helped me identify Peter’s wife along with the parents of Peter Harris and his wife, Rachel Simonse VanArsdale. This discovery led me to three revolutionary war ancestors and a very rich family history going back to the 1600s.

Knowing that there had to be other ‘yet to be identified’ common ancestors lurking in this pool of 6-7 cM matches, I decided I was going to try and tag as many of these matches as I could. Roberta Estes provided some guidance on how to do this in her blog on July 16: Ancestry to Remove DNA Matches Soon – Preservation Strategies with Detailed Instructions. So, I started by searching these matches for some of my surnames and then tagging them. Since this was a slow labor intensive process, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to save very many of these matches.

Then I saw a post by Roger Froysaa on the Facebook group, Ancestry DNA Matching where Roger shared a script that could automatically tag these 6 and 7 cM matches. Roger not only shared several versions of his script but also wrote a script to cause the list of matches to scroll to the bottom. These scripts worked — to a point. I would either get an ‘Aw Shucks’ your browser crashed OR a message from Ancestry that their backend servers were overtaxed. Charles Updike shared changes to the script, including a different script to scroll to the bottom.

This morning, I saw another post on the AncestryDNA Matching group about these scripts. This post was by Kay Simpkins where she shared a script written by Earl Haiks. I found the script in one of Kay’s comments on her post and copied/pasted it into Notepad.

After reading all of the comments on Kay’s post, I realized that I didn’t have to sort out the 6-7 cm matches, I just had to run the script. I renamed my ‘6-7 cM Matches’ group and called it ‘Distant Relatives’ so that I wouldn’t have to edit the script shared by Kay. I then ran it on my matches — and it was QUICK and I didn’t get any of those error messages. In about 4 hours early this morning, I was able to run this script on five tests. I still have one test to run the script on but am waiting until tonight when it should run faster than midday.

Below are the stats for these five kits:

SUCCESS AT LAST!

Now, I just have to continue researching ancestors / descendants on my tree so that Ancestry’s computing power can figure out the common ancestor for these distant matches.

None of this would have been possible if others had not been willing to share via a blog post or Facebook community. Thank you Roberta Estes, Roger Froysaa, Charles Updike, Kay Simpkins and Earl Haiks for your contributions to this conversation. Also a shout out to Jason Lee for creating and administering the AncestryDNA Matching Facebook group.

Help Needed!

As with many other genealogists, I’m struggling with the upcoming loss of small matches from my Ancestry DNA match list. I have no idea how many of these matches I have but I’m guessing it is in the thousands.

Since I will never have the time to work thru thousands upon thousands of matches to figure out how we connect, I’m hoping to use Ancestry’s computer technology to help me. Thus, I’m concentrating on my ThruLines matches, including the “potential ancestors”.

I have done a lot of descendancy research which I believe is helping Ancestry’s ThruLines technology connect me to DNA matches who have very small trees. Seeing the words ‘No Tree’ or ‘Unlinked Tree’ in my list of matches means I will scroll right past the match and will never take the time to figure out our relationship.

Thus, I need my over 100,000 matches to have a searchable tree attached to their DNA test(s).

PLEASE help me figure out our DNA connection by attaching a tree to your DNA results.

Completeness Part Two

Have you seen Ancestry’s recent news that they will be dropping smaller matches from our list of DNA matches? (Ancestry to Remove DNA Matches Soon) With over 100,000 matches on my list, I’m not sure I will miss most of those small matches.

However, I decided to look at my ThruLines and Common Ancestors matches to see what the impact might be. Since I have four DNA tests to manage, including my mother, I decided to start with the 5th great grandparent ThruLines. My goal is to add color coding dots and notes for ALL of the matches for each match listed on ThruLines.

As I’ve worked my way thru all of these 5th great grandparent ThruLines, I observed some matches with very small trees where the common ancestor was identified.

After finishing the 5th great grandparent ThruLines, I then looked at 6-7 cM matches who have an identified common ancestors. Going thru that list, I again observed quite a few small trees showing up as having a common ancestor.

Since I have done a lot of descendancy research, I’m guessing that all of that research is helping Ancestry’s computers to make these ‘common ancestor’ links between these small trees and my larger tree.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical report to ‘grade’ me on my research of descendants. However, seeing these DNA matches with small trees showing up with common ancestor connections is enough validation for me.

Thus, I will continue to work on my descendancy research — after I get done marking my 6-7 cM matches that appear to have a known connection.

For more information on how to do descendancy research, check out Crista Cowan’s video: What Is Descendancy Research.

ThruLines Error

Recently Jason Lee posted a Facebook poll asking whether readers agree or disagree with the statement, “All ThruLines errors are because of errors in trees.” As of today, 802 people agree with that statement, while I am in the minority of 120 people disagreeing.

The reason, I disagree with the statement is that the ThruLines for my 2nd great grandfather, James Crawford. This ThruLines suggests that William Monroe as a child of James Crawford based on a DNA match with a known 3rd cousin once removed.

Even though this match has a very small tree, she has enough in her tree that our trees should connect. Eugene Beggs, son of Walter Beggs and Ethel Anita Lighter is in both of our trees. My match’s tree includes Eugene Beggs’ father, Walter, but not his mother, Ethel Lighter.

Thus, our common ancestors are Washington Marion Crawford and his wife, Mary Foster. Not only is ThruLines suggesting an incorrect connection on the Crawford line but also on the Foster line. This time, it is suggesting Margaret E. Jordan as a daughter of Zebulon Foster.

In hopes of getting the algorithm to correct these ThruLines, I added this cousin to my tree several months ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t observed any change in the ThruLines. Not only do I have Eugene Beggs and his link to Washington Marion Crawford and Mary Foster in my tree, I have also researched these families and attached sources.

I keep hoping that the computer algorithm for ThruLines will discover this connection and show the correct way our lines connect.

Although I haven’t researched all of the suggested connections thru ThruLines, I haven’t found other errors. For the most part, I have been able to document the suggested connections. Because the ThruLines tool helps me see connections between myself and my DNA matches, I appreciate the information provided. However, I wish there was a way to report this ThruLines error to Ancestry. Unfortunately, I haven’t found such ability.

Online Trees

Is organization one of your 2020 goals? If so, have you been following the tips in The Genealogy Guys Blog? Today’s post, ‘Organizing Your Online Trees,’ is a challenge for me.

It is a challenge since I never considered having to ‘keep  them up to date.’

For years, I have shared my work with others either thru a website, thru my Ancestry tree or thru a gedcom file. Since having my DNA tested, I have used gedcom files to share my tree with the various sites where my DNA data has been uploaded.

Thanks to hosting site and software changes, some of my early attempts at sharing are no longer easily accessed. This would include my original website hosted on GeoCities. About the time GeoCities was being discontinued, I had transitioned to using The Master Genealogist for my genealogy research. Thus, I was able to take advantage of John Cardinal’s software, Second Site and his hosting service to continue sharing my work online.

When support for The Master Genealogist was discontinued, I converted my data to RootsMagic. One of the ‘selling’ points for RootsMagic was the ability to publish my data online. Thus, I switched my online file from Second Site to RootsMagic’s.

Since the release of RootsMagic’s TreeShare, I have had my RootsMagic data connected to my Ancestry Tree. I’ve also been taking advantage of the ability to connect individuals in my RM data to Family Search.

Thus, my primary online trees include

For DNA purposes, I do have some of my data on the following sites:

Since my GedCom has been shared in many ways, I don’t have a complete list of where my data may be available online. Thus, the challenge!

Since most of my current research has not involved new DNA ancestors, I don’t feel a lot of pressure to update my GedCom data on My Heritage, FamilyTree DNA or GedMatch.

In terms of updating online trees, my focus will be on my Ancestry tree, my ancestors on FamilySearch and my RootsMagic online data. Thank you ‘The Genealogy Guys’ for the challenge!

Member Search

Have you seen it? Ancestry recently released an improvement to their ‘Member Search’.

I played around with it a little yesterday, and this feature has a lot of potential. However, I think a better understanding of how the search works is needed before I can use it effectively.

To access the ‘Member Search’ feature, pull down the SEARCH menu on Ancestry’s screen.

Click on MEMBER SEARCH at the bottom of that menu. The Member Search screen will open with the default search for a member by their name or user ID.

In the past, one had to pretty much know the exact name or user id in order to locate that user. This is one of the areas that has been improved. Instead of needed to know the exact name, one can search for part of their name.

While experimenting with this expanded search feature, I discovered what I believe to be a clue to a DNA match in the list of results. As part of the icon for the user, there is a small symbol for DNA on the bottom right of the circle.

I also discovered that when searching for a user by their surname, the results can be very numerous. For the following illustrations, I searched for users with a surname that I am researching to help protect the privacy of Ancestry users.

A search for CRAWFORD produced too many results – 9, 839 of them!

I then searched for BRILES. Since most BRILES families descend from Conrad Broil of North Carolina, I was hoping this would be an easy way to identify those researchers.

Not only did this pick up the Briles, but it picked up what appears to be SOUNDEX variations of the name. In addition, it pulled users with a first name of Brilee. 
A search for the Wells surname pulled up names that contained ‘well’ such as Honeywell.
The search for a member by name is an improvement over the older functionality. However, it could be improved by using fields (first name, last name, userID) along with exactness choices (exact, soundex, …)
Besides the broadened capability to search for a member, there is a new feature: the ability to search for a member by research interest. Getting to this feature is a little hidden. Note the ‘down carrot’ to the right of ‘Find a Specific Member’. That indicates there is ‘more’. Click on ‘Find a Specific Member’ to reveal the other option.

A box containing additional information is revealed. Unfortunately, it is NOT obvious that there is a second option. The faint line dividing the box into 2 parts is the only clue. Click on the bottom half of the box to get to the screen to ‘Find Members by Research Interest’.

This screen looks promising. When I first heard about this capability, I thought, ‘GREAT! now I can find others researching members of my FAN club.’

So, I started searching. My first search was for CRAWFORD in Preble County, Ohio. I quickly discovered that the YEAR info would not accept a range of dates. Since I didn’t know exactly which date to use, I opted to not put anything in the year field. There are two distinct CRAWFORD families living in Preble County Ohio. I know of at least three other Ancestry users who are actively researching one of these lines. Thus, I expected at least three results — and I got zero!

I then tried a search for CRAWFORD in Warren County, Indiana. Since both families had descendants move from Preble County, Ohio to Warren County, Indiana, I expected at least the three results. Again, I got ZERO results.

Not one to give up, I decided to try CRAWFORD in Ford County, Kansas. Again, both families had CRAWFORD descendants in Ford County. Since my line was in Ford County from about 1884 to the 1970s, I expected the results to include my cousins who not only have had their DNA tested, but also have trees on Ancestry showing their Ford County Crawford connection. Again, the results were ZERO.

So, the BIG question is where is the data being pulled from for this aspect of the Member Search since it does not appear to be pulling from member trees. My theory is that this search feature is pulling from the ‘Research Interest’ section on our profile pages. Based on that theory, I added several ‘CRAWFORD’ interests to our list of 14 Research Interests yesterday.

Thus, I turned to my ‘free’ account to test this theory. If my theory is correct, then the ‘Find Members by Research Interest’ search from my free account should pull up my paid account.

However, when I performed a search from my free account for Crawford in Ford County, Kansas, I got ZERO.

Thinking that there might be a ‘lag’ in the indexing of my changes, I then tried to search for one of the listings in ‘Research Interests’ that was there before yesterday on my paid account, userid: philbrick.

When I searched for Griffith in Kansas from the free Ancestry account, I got 2 results – neither of which was our Ancestry account.

When I looked at the first profile, Griffith was listed but there was no mention of a place.

When I looked at the second profile, Griffith was listed for Grand Rapids. Again, Kansas did not appear in the list of ‘Research Interests’

When I searched for Griffith, the ‘philbrick’ profile did come up in the first 50 hits. 
I tried a similar search for Jerby. When I searched for Jerby in Kansas, there were ZERO results. When I searched for Jerby, the only profile that came up was our ‘philbrick’ profile.
I then tried a search from my free account for a surname that is listed in our profile but not listed in the ‘Research Interests’: Minnick. There were 80 results. None of those results were our ‘philbrick’ account. I spot checked several of the results and they had ‘Minnick’ listed in their ‘Research Interests’
Conclusions:

  1. It appears that the ‘Member Search Results’ for the ‘Find Members by Research Interest’ is pulling from the information in the ‘Research Interests’ section of a members’ profile.
  2. However, it also appears that there is an indexing lag of at least 24 hours and likely more.
  3. It does NOT appear that this search pulls from the ABOUT YOU section of a member profile.
  4. It does NOT appear that this search uses any information from a tree for these results.
  5. There is a designation for DNA matches in the list of results from these searches.

Thus, I need to do a whole lot more editing of my Research Interests if I wish to be found thru this search method and hope that the indexing catches up.

Fabulous Find

Do you use Ancestry.com in your genealogy research? If so, have you checked out one of their newest sources of shaky leaf hints: Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current? Randy Searver’s instructions on how to access just the hints from this one source in his Using the ‘Mining Ancestry.com Hints from a Specific Collection’ Tool makes it easy to pull these hints. 


I’ve been using this tool with great success — but have gone one step further: filtering by name. Since my recent research has centered on the descendants of James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford, I entered one of the descendant’s surname: Guthrie.

By using the mining tool for the obituary index and filtering the results by the surname Guthrie, I found a fabulous obituary for William Anderson Guthrie:
William GuthriePark Leader, Dies
Former Senator Recently Honored at Clifty Falls Ceremony on 85th Birthday

Dupont, Ind., August 6 (spl.) — William A. Guthrie, age eighty-five, for many years a member of the Indiana conservation commission and a former state senator, died at his home here last night.He was one of the early leaders in forming the state park system and because of his activity in establishing Clifty Falls state park near Madison, a plaque was placed on the new south gateway of the park in his honor. It was unveiled with ceremonies on his eighty-fifth birthday anniversary, with Governor Paul V. McNutt as principal speaker.Mr. Guthrie was born in Dupont, May 13, 1851, the son of Anderson Crawford and Anne Wilson Guthrie. He received his education at College Hill and Moore’s Hill College, which is now Evansville College. He married Sarah Lewis on October 28, 1875. Mrs. Guthrie died in 1925 in Cairo, Egypt.Lifetime RepublicanMr. Guthrie, a lifetime Republican, was active in the affairs of councils in Indiana and was one of the small coterie of state senators who brought about the first election of Albert J Beveridge to the United State senate. During this session, Mr. Guthrie devoted much time to obtaining passage of the pure food bill. In 1908, he was a delegate to the Republican national convention and a presidential elector in 1916 and 1928. During the world war, he served as vice-president of food production in Indiana and a short time later was vice-president of the deep waterway commission of Indiana.Mr. Guthrie was a Baptist. He was a member of the Academy of Science, an honorary member of the Nature Study Club of Indiana and of the Rotary Club of Madison.Mr. Guthrie was a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows, Mystic Shrine, Audubon Society, Columbia Club, Pioneer Society of Indiana and an honorary member of the Historical Society of Jefferson County.He served as vice-president of the Belt Railroad and Stock Yards Company and a member of the executive Committee. He held positions in the Fletcher Avenue Savings and Loan Association, the Guthrie-Thompson Company, the Federal Timber Company, and the Florida Orchard Company. He was president of the Freehold Company.For many years Mr. Guthrie had come to Dupont to spend the summer months at the family home here. He spent the greater part of the year at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, where he had lived many years. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Lucy Guthrie Crecraft of Akron, O., five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. W. B. Guthrie, a grandson is proprietor of Turkey Run hotel at Turkey Run state park.
“William Guthrie, Park Leader, Dies,” The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, IN), 6 August 1936, page 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online October 2019). 

Check it out for yourself !

 See what fabulous find you can make!

Media Issues

Have you seen DearMyrtle’s challenge?

When I first saw the challenge, I thought I should be in pretty good shape. After all, I scanned the family photos and attached them in my The Master Genealogist software several years ago. Since I’ve worked my way thru 5 generations of data review, I figured I should be set.

That was until yesterday when I was verifying descendants for a thru-lines DNA match on Ancestry. As I was working with a known first cousin twice removed, I decided to check FamilySearch to see if there were any additional sources attached to this cousin.

To my surprise, I found a slightly different set of parents than expected. I expected to find John Frederick Mentzer and Anna Wells Mentzer as the parents of a family of 8 children, including Mildred Mabel Mentzer. Instead, I found Fred Mentzer and Anna Wells Mentzer as the parents of one child, Mildred Mentzer. After digging thru my Mentzer records to verify that John and Anna did have a daughter named Mildred and that said daughter was married to a VanValkenburg, I merged Mildred and the two sets of parents.

Knowing that someone could object to this merger and undo the merge, I wanted to add supporting documentation to support the merge. Thus, I (thought I) added an image of the obituary for Fred Mentzer. The obituary clearly indicated that Fred Mentzer was also known as John Frederick Mentzer. It also listed the children and their residency at the time of Fred’s death. I also added a page from a Woodson County Historical Society publication that included a picture of the family when the children were young and a list of the children and their spouses.

Since my attempt to create an image of the obituary from a PDF file, did not include the entire obituary that attempt was a failure. Thankfully, I discovered the problem and have since uploaded an image showing the entire obituary.

Besides the images, I transferred 9 source records from my RootsMagic program to FamilySearch for John F. Mentzer. However, it is the images that connect the John F. Mentzer of Woodson County, Kansas to Mabel VanValkenburg of California. 

Thus, I’ve been thinking about DearMyrtle’s challenge and this experience with FamilySearch. Although I do some work with the FamilySearch tree, I primarily share my work via my Ancestry tree, Heartland Genealogy, and via my RootsMagic site. Thus, I was curious whether the images I have tagged in my RM database transferred to my Ancestry tree and/or my RootsMagic site.

What I discovered is that some but nowhere near all images have been uploaded to either location. I’ve also discovered that if I have already uploaded a source to Ancestry, any changes to that source are not uploaded to Ancestry. In other words, if I go back and add an image to a source, that isn’t seen as a change. Thus, the option to update the source is not present.

IN addition, I discovered that I have been lax in working with images in RootsMagic. I have tried to add an image or pdf file to my sources. For some reason, I was apparently assuming that the image was also being attached to the event and person. The lack of green check marks in the camera column proves that I was making an incorrect assumption.

Knowing that I obviously needed help with images, I’m re-watching the video: Pictures and Media in RootsMagic.

So, I obviously have work to do!
My plan of action is slightly different from DearMyrtle’s.

  • Work with one ancestral couple at a time
  • Verify that I have images attached to sources
  • When appropriate, attach an image to an event
  • Verify that I have photographs (already scanned and on my computer) attached to the individual with one photo selected as the primary image
  • Verify ‘Scrapbook’ report contents
  • Run RootsMagic’s TreeShare to update my Ancestry Tree
  • Download any photographs I’ve saved on Ancestry and attach to RM tree
  • Use RM’s ability to connect to the FamilySearch tree to upload sources to FS
  • Upload images to the ‘Memories’ section of FamilySearch
  • Verify that notes exist for an event and copy/paste into the NOTES on Ancestry.
  • Work thru the children of the ancestral couple, repeating the above steps

Thanks to Cary Bright who shared a checklist on DearMyrtle’s challenge, I can follow her lead and create my own checklist.

So, why am I going back over work I’ve already done (again)?

  • Improve accuracy of the data in my tree
  • Improve ability to connect with DNA matches
  • Improve quality of FamilySearch tree by sharing sources and images
  • Preserve images by having them on Ancestry and FamilySearch
  • Connect with other researchers
Join me and others in this challenge to update images! Another example of why a genealogists work is never done!

Sub-Clustering

I just watched Blaine Bettinger’s video, Sub-Clustering Shared Matches. As I was following the video, I was also trying to do this with my brother’s DNA matches.

The match I started with is listed on my match page as a second cousin. In reality, she is a first cousin once removed. Our common ancestors are Judson Crawford and Josie Hammond.

Her shared match list contained 157 matches. I marked them all with a yellow dot labeled: ICW EB.

When I got to the part about creating Sub-Group 1, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Other than my brothers, the first match on the list was a first cousin to ICW EB. The next 4 matches are listed as 3rd cousins. They are all known descendants of my great-grandparents.

Unsure on how to proceed, I searched the Facebook group, Genetic Genealogy Tips & Tricks, for the term sub-group. That helped me find the original post on May 1 about the video and this technique. In the comments, I found the answer to my question about using these close cousins to create subgroup 1.

Thus, I skipped my second cousins who I know descend from Judson and Josie Crawford. To create sub-group 1, I started with the first match after these cousins. My brother shares 143 cM with this match and has 27 shared matches with her. These shared matches were marked with an Orange dot labeled, “ICW EB – Sub-group 1”.

For ‘sub-group 2’, I used the next match that does not descend from Judson and Josie Crawford. This match descends from Judson’s father, Washington Marion Crawford. These 32 shared matches were marked with a Green dot labeled, “ICW EB – Sub-group2.”

I skipped another match with Judson and Josie as common ancestors for ‘sub-group 3’. The next match was also a descendant of Washington Marion Crawford. I added these shared matches to Sub-group 2.

The next match is believed to be another descendant of Washington Marion Crawford. Since I haven’t been able to verify the ancestor of this match, I created another subgroup on this match.

I continued working thru these shared matches, creating 11 subgroups. The common ancestors of my ICW match are Judson Crawford and Josie Hammond. Thus, I expected to find subgroups for CRAWFORD, FOSTER, HAMMOND and RALSTON. The subgroups revealed CRAWFORD and FOSTER matches. However, the HAMMOND and/or RALSTON matches are not obvious in these 11 subgroups. 

This is an interesting method to study DNA matches.