Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Using Puzzilla and FamilySearch Family Tree to Identify Autosomal, Y and mtDNA Candidates

I wrote about Puzzilla.org in Checking Out Puzzilla - a Descendant Viewer Using FamilySearch Family Tree (posted 21 November 2013).  The website accesses the FamilySearch Family Tree and the user can highlight an ancestor and see the descendants of the highlighted ancestor in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

One of the very best uses of this "tool" is, I think, to identify distant cousins who might be willing to take a DNA test to identify the Y-DNA haplogroup, the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup, and the degree of relationship using autosomal DNA.  

To illustrate this thought:  I need to find descendants of John Richman (1788-1867) and Ann Marshman (1784-1856) who resided in Hilperton, Wiltshire in England.  Autosomal DNA testing will help identify descendants of them, and thereby identify their Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.  

I don't know the parents or siblings of John Richman (1788-1867) and Ann Marshman (1784-`1856) yet.  Autosomal, Y, or mitochondrial DNA testing of descendants of their siblings may help identify possible parents.

The FamilySearch Family Tree, used in conjunction with Puzzilla, can help:

1)  Here is the Family Tree showing my ancestors (up to 6 generations) in Puzzilla.org (with me highlighted at the bottom of the tree)

2)  I found my ancestor, John Richman (1788-1867) in the tree above, and ran my mouse over him in the tree:

3)  When I clicked on John Richman, a new tree of his descendants appeared:

On these charts, the females are colored red and the males are colored blue.

4)  The tree line from John Rivhman to me is highlighted in yellow - I highlighted my father in the view below:

5)  But I'm looking for Y-DNA candidates and mtDNA candidates.  For the Y-DNA test, I'm looking for an all male line from John Richman (1788-1867) to a living person who could take a Y-DNA test.  There aren't many...one candidate is Edgar Valentine Richmond (1886-1963):

I know that there are male children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Edgar Valentine Richmond (1886-1963) because I've corresponded with one of them.  So that line is certainly a possibility for the Y-DNA.

6)  For the mitochondrial DNA line, one of the likeliest candidates is my aunt Evelyn Seaver (1903-1978):

She has daughters, who have daughters, who have daughters still living that I'm in contact with.  Evelyn's sisters Ruth and Marion also have  a female line with living people.  

7)  I am quite sure that the FamilySearch Family Tree does not have EVERY descendant of John Richman (1788-1867) or his wife, Ann Marshman (1784-1856).  I need to do more research on some of the lines so that I can add more descendants to my database and to the Family Tree.

Of course, the FamilySearch Family Tree won't show living persons in the family tree, which is why I, and my siblings and cousins, are not shown on the chart above.  

I really like the way Puzzilla displays the descendants.  I wish that the lines were heavier and the nodes were larger...just so they make a better graphic that I can show on my blog.  

Have you identified the potential cousins who you might want to encourage to have their DNA tested so that you can solve ancestral research problems?  I'm making a list...

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/02/using-puzzilla-and-familysearch-family.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Shirley A. said...

I hadn't heard of this program before, but I like it. Your suggestion to use it for finding candidates to test is right on. Aside from that, the image that is created is uniquely different from standard tree, very organic. Thanks for writing this post.