Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Ray of DNA Hope for my Lamphier/Lanfear Mystery

I last wrote about my second great-grandfather Devier James Lsmphier Smith (1839-1894) in 52 Ancestors Week 19: #26 Devier James Lamphier Smith (1839-1894).  According to his father's will, Devier was adopted and his birth surname was Lamphier (or similar).

I have looked for potential Lamphier/Lamphere/Lampher/Lamfear/Lanphere/Lanpher/Lanfear/etc. families in Jefferson County, New York but have been unable to find any record of Devier's birth, baptism or adoption.  My speculation is that he was the son of an unwed Lanfear mother or the unwanted son of a Lanfear father, perhaps because the father died around the time Devier was born.

I was looking through my MyHeritage DNA Matches today, and the third one on my match list has an interesting ancestor in her family tree.  Here is the match information (with living person names blanked out):

I share 44.7 cM in three segments with this match person, and we are likely 3rd to 5th cousins.

Here is the pedigree chart provided by MyHeritage for this match:

One of this person's 2nd great-grandparents is Nancy Lanfear (1816-1898), who married Walter R. Brown (1815-1891).

I found this Nancy Lanfear (1816-1898) in several Ancestry Member Trees, with parents Isaac Lanfear (1776-1851) and Rosannah Lown (1783-1881).  The trees have six children for Isaac and Rosannah (Lown) Lanfear, four daughters and two sons.

This Lanfear family resided in Lorraine, Jefferson County, New York, two towns away from Henderson, Jefferson County, New York, which is where the Ranslow Smith family resided in the 1840 time frame.

The Chromosome Browser on MyHeritage indicates that there are matching segments on three chromosomes:

The largest segments are on Chromosome 4, with 22.3 cM and on Chromosome 5 with 15.4 cM.

I need to work through my FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage and GEDMatch matches to see if there are any other matches at the specific places on these chromosomes.

This gives me a ray of hope that I may be able to solve my Devier Lamphier Smith mystery.  I had targeted the Isaac Lanfear family as one of the potential families that he was descended from.

If a child of Isaac and Rosannah (Lown) Lanfear was the birth parent of Devier Lamphier Smith, then I would be the 3rd cousin once removed to this DNA match. This relationship has an average common DNA of 0.39%, which is close to what the MyHeritage test shows.


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Linda Stufflebean said...

Yeah, Randy! I hope this tantalizing clue leads you to the answer. It certainly seems like you are on the right trail.

Amberly said...

Such great news!! Good luck.