The Beauty Of DNA

October 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

My cousins and I have been making real progress on our Hodges line.  We matched someone who had a Catherine Hodges Mix in his tree.  She married Henry Mix the same year and in the same place as Thomas James Hodges, our ancestor.  Looking at Switzerland County, Indiana, where both Catherine and Thomas married, I found John Hodges, b. 1791 and his wife, Rachel in 1850.  On the line immediately above them is Catherine Mix and her husband, along with a Jacob Hodges.  I made a tree for John and Rachel, then added all of the people with the last name of Hodges who married in Switzerland County before 1860 as their children and started following them all.  I found the husband of Elizabeth Hodges, who married John H Gillis in 1844, and found him and 3 small children living with John and Rachel in 1850.

John and Rachel disappear after that 1850 census.  I’m not sure what happened to them, but John Gillis lived in Switzerland County for awhile, then moved to Miami County, Ohio.

Jacob Hodges, the young man living with Catherine Mix in 1850 and 1860, married Rosanna Douglas in Switzerland County in 1864.  I followed him and his family in census records, and while Jacob himself disappears after 1880, in 1900 Rosa is living in Miami County, Ohio along with John Gillis, though in separate households.  I followed Jacob and Rosa’s 3 sons and ended finding DNA matches to them for myself, my brother, and one of my cousin’s uncles.  That was exciting.

Now I’m addicted to the shaky leaves that show how many other trees my ancestors are in.  I go to each one and click on the name of the tree owner, which takes me to their Ancestry profile page, and see if they’ve had their DNA tested at Ancestry.  More and more of them have.  I’ve also started 5 Facebook groups for descendants of my various family lines.  They’re small groups and not a lot happens in them, but all of the members are my cousins; 1st, 2nd, 4th 3x removed and so on.  And most of them are just as obsessive as me when it comes to climbing our family trees.  It’s really been a blessing.  We share documents we find, I share the profiles of those other people on Ancestry who have our family members in their trees and who’ve taken DNA tests so we can discover if any of our DNA kits match, and we talk.  Because of the way DNA is passed down through the generations, while my own and my brother’s kits may not match one of those other people, one of my cousin’s kits might.  I, being not very DNA savvy, was very surprised when my brother DNA matched someone and I didn’t.  Now my cousins and myself are on a quest to get as many members of our family DNA tested as possible.

If you’re serious about genealogy, please have your DNA tested.  You’ll be surprised at how big your family tree really is.