Bret turned to a professional genealogist to get help solving the puzzle using autosomal DNA. The genealogist is Nicole Meruvia. Nicole@genealogybynicole.com
Her website can be found at: https://www.genealogybynicole.com
Bret shared the report that she created for him and Nicole gave me permission to share it on the Hawkins DNA blog site. I think that the method that she used is an inspiration to me to work on some of my own brick walls with my own autosomal DNA tests! And anyone reading this during the weekend of St Patrick Day 2018 can take advantage of FTDNA's St Patrick's day sale. The family finder test is $20 cheaper than normal: $59!
Here is the report from Nicole:
I have finished my research on both of your projects! I enjoyed researching both of these and learning more about middle Tennessee history!
- Determining 3rd great grandfather Hawkins. My approach and the only definitive way to prove direct relation to one brother over the another is to look for common ancestors between you and the spouses of each of the brothers. After lots of searching I was not able to determine who Charity Miller or Mary Polly Tinney’s parents were to assist with this analysis. However, If you do a search against your DNA matches on Ancestry.com for “Tinney” you do get several results. Let’s examine them:
- After searching for “Tinney” scroll to match, “lindoncreak”. Her Tinney line is the best documented of the others in your DNA match list. She descends from a Nathanael Tinney born in VA in 1765. He is the son of Daniel Tenney b. 1721. Note the change in spelling to Tenney with an “e”.
- Now if you do a search for the new spelling “Tenney” you get even more DNA matches with this name in their tree. If you click on the closest match, “mc_kcer”. She descends from a James Tenney and Thankful Shippee through their son Peter. Let’s see if we can find a connection through Thankful Shippee’s ancestors….
- Search for the name Shippee against your Ancestry DNA matches. Click on match, “TL12866”, click on “Shippee” in his surname list, now click on his ancestor Joseph Shippee, then his father Thomas b. 1675. Now click on Thomas’ son Peter and you will see Thankful Shippee! We have confirmed DNA triangulation with the Shippee line.
- Now let’s see if we can confirm even more by connecting James Tenney with another DNA match. DNA match, “B.K., managed by Marc Lough” also descends from James Tenney and Thankful Shippee through their son, Samuel. That’s a different son and therefore another triangulation to confirm! Her tree traces the Tenney line all the way to Daniel Tenney born 1652 in Rowley, Essex, Massahusetts. She also shows the same Daniel Tenney from letter a. above in her tree as a descendant of the same Daniel Tenney born 1652 (need to open her tree and the search for Daniel Tenney).
- If you browse the rest of your DNA matches who have the surname Tenney, you will see their lines all trace to Massachusetts. (those who have well documented lineage on the Tenney line)
- Conclusion: John is your 3rd great grandfather based on the number of DNA matches who share his wife’s surname – Tinney/Tenney and their connections to each other as outlined above.
Thank you again for allowing me to work on these projects! Let me know what questions you have or how I can be of further assistance!
For more information on Bret's Hawkins line try the following posts: