We have a brand new toy in our DNA sandbox today, thanks to Don Worth, a retired IT professional. I just love it when extremely talented people retire and we, in the genetic genealogy community, are the benefactors of their Act 2 evolution. Our volunteers make such a cumulative difference.
Drum Roll please.
Introducing…..the Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer, or ADSA.
The name alone doesn’t make your heart skip beats, but the product will. This tool absolutely proves the adage that a picture is worth 1000 words.
Don described his new tool, which, by the way, is free and being hosted by Rob Warthen at www.dnagedcom.com, thus:
I created this tool in an attempt to put all the relevant information available that was needed to evaluate segment matches on a single, interactive web page. It relies on the three files for a single test kit that DNAgedcom.com collects from FamilyTreeDNA.com. These files include information about your matches, matching segment locations and sizes, and “in common with” (ICW) data. Using these files, the tool will construct a table for each chromosome which includes match and segment information as well as a visual graph of overlapping segments, juxtiposed with a customized, color-coded ICW matrix that will permit you to triangulate matching segments without having to look in multiple spreadsheets or on different screens in FamilyTreeDNA. Additional information, such as ancestral surnames, suggested relationship ranges, and matching segments and ICWs on other chromosomes is provided by hovering over match names or segments on the screen. Emails to persons you match may also be generated from the page. The web page produced by this program does not depend on any other files and may be saved as a stand-alone .html file that will function locally (or offline) in your browser. You can even email it to your matches as an attachment. You can play with a working sample output here.
Who wants to play with sample output? I wanted to jump right in. Word of caution…read the instructions FIRST, and pay attention, or you’ll wind up downloading your files twice. The instructions can be found here.
I can’t tell you how many times, when I’ve been working with matches, that I’ve wondered to myself, “How many other people match us on this segment?” For quite a while you could only download 5 people at a time, but now you can download the entire data file. I’m a visual person. To me, visually seeing is believing and the ADSA makes this process so much easier. Truly, a picture is worth 1000 words.
I knew right away there were three things I wanted to do, so I’m going to run through each one of the three by way of examples to illustrate what you can do with the power of this wonderfully visual tool. I’ve also anonymized the matches.
1. Clusters of matches.
I know I’ve told you that I’m mapping my DNA to ancestors. When I first saw Don’s output, I knew immediately that this tool would be invaluable for grouping people from the same ancestral lines.
Barbara, the second row, is my mother and her DNA in this equation is extremely useful. It helps me identify right away which side of my family a match comes from. If you don’t have a parent available, aunts, uncles, cousins, all help, especially cumulatively.
Before we begin working with the results, take a minute and just sit and look at the graphic below. These two clusters shown on this page, one near the top and the other at the bottom….they represent your ancestors. Two very different ones in this case. This may be the only way you’ll ever “see” them, by virtue of a group of their descendants DNA clustered together. A view through the keyhole of time provided by DNA. Isn’t it beautiful?
All of these results in this “cluster of matches” example are my matches. In other words, the file is mine and these are people who are matching me. You can see that this tool provides us with start and end segments, total cMs and SNPs, and e-mails, but the true power is in the visual representation of the ICW (in common with) matrix. The mapped segments are a nice touch too, and Don has listed these in progressive order, meaning from beginning to end of the segment (left to right.)
Look at this initial clustered group, shown enlarged below. The first individual matches me and mother on one pink segment, but matches me on two segments, a pink and a black. That means he’s from Mom’s side, or at least through one line, but probably somewhat distant since that one segment is his only match on any chromosome. Because he also matches me on a segment where he doesn’t match Mom, he could also be related to me on my father’s side, or maybe we had a misread error on the black segment when comparing to Mom’s DNA. It is the adjoining segment. In essence, there isn’t enough information to do much with this, except ask questions, so let’s move on to something more informative.
Beginning with the third person, the next grouping or cluster is entirely non-matching to mother, so this entire cluster is from my father’s side AND related to each other.
There are 6 solid matches here, and then they start to trail off to matches that aren’t so solid.
By flying over the match names with my cursor, I might be able to tell, based on their surnames, which line is being represented by this cluster of matches. If I already have a confirmed cousin match in the group, then the rest of the group can be loosely attributed to that line, or a contributing (wife) line. Unfortunately, in this case, I can’t tell other than it looks like it might be through Halifax County, VA. I do have an NPE there and some wives without surnames.
Let’s look on down this chromosome. There is another very solid cluster, also on my Dad’s side. In this second cluster, I have identified a solid cousin and I can tell you that this is a Crumley grouping. My common ancestor with my Crumley cousin is William Crumley born about 1765 in Frederick Co., Va. and who died about 1840 in Lee Co., Va. His wife is unknown, but we have her mitochondrial DNA. Now this doesn’t mean that everyone in this group will all have a Crumley ancestor, they may not. They may instead have a Mercer, a Brown, a Johnson or a Gilkey, all known wives’ surnames of Crumley men upstream of William Crumley. But someplace, there is a common ancestor who contributed quite a bit of chromosome 1 to a significant number of descendants, and at least two of them are Crumleys.
At first, I found it really odd that my mother had almost no matches with me on chromosome 1. Some of my mother’s ancestors came to the States later, from the Netherlands and from Germany. Many of these groups are under-represented in testing. However other ancestral groups have been here a long time, Acadians and Brethren Germans. My father’s Appalachian, meaning colonial, ancestors seem to have more descendants who have tested.
However, looking now at chromosome 9, we see something different.
The second person, Doris, doesn’t match Mom anyplace, so is obviously related through my father, but look at that next grouping.
I can tell you based on hovering over the matches name that this is an Acadian grouping. The Acadians are a very endogamous French-Canadian group, having passed the same DNA around for hundreds of years. Therefore, a grouping is likely to share a large amount of common DNA, and this one does.
Based on this, I can then label all of these various matches as “Acadian” if nothing more.
Within a cluster, if I can identify one common ancestor, I can attribute the entire large group to the same lineage. Be careful with smaller groups or just one or two rectangle matches. Those aren’t nearly as strong and just because I match 2 people on the same segment doesn’t mean they match each other. However, when you see large segments of people matching each other, you have an ancestral grouping of some sort. The challenge of course is to identify the group – but a breakthrough with one match means a likely breakthrough with the rest of them too, or at least another step in that direction.
2. Source of DNA
I have several cousins who match me on two or more distinct lines. This tool makes it easy, in some cases, to see which line the DNA on a particular chromosome comes from.
I have both Claxton (James Lee Claxton/Clarkson born c 1775-1815 and Sarah Cook of Hancock Co., TN) and Campbell (John Campbell b c 1772-1838 and Jane Dobkins born c 1780-1850/1860 of Claiborne Co., Tn.) ancestry. My cousins, Joy and William do too. In this case, you can see that Joy matches a Claxton (proven by Y DNA to be from our line) and so does William on the first green matching segment. The second green segment is not found in the Claxton match, so it could be Claxton and the Claxton cousin didn’t receive it, or it could be Campbell, but it’s one or the other because Joy, William and I all three carry this segment.
What this means is that the light green segments are Claxton segments, as are the fuchsia segments. The source of the darker green segment is unknown. It could be either Claxton or Campbell or a third common line that we don’t know about.
3. Untangling Those Darned Moores
I swear, the Moore family is going to be the death of me yet. It’s one of my long-standing, extremely difficult brick walls. It seems like every road of every county in Virginia and NC had one or more Moore families. It’s a very common name. To make thing worse, the early Moores were very prolific and they all named their children the same names, like James and William, generation after generation.
The earliest sign I can find of my particular Moore family is in Prince Edward County, Virginia when James Moore married Mary Rice (daughter of Joseph Rice and wife Rachel) in the early 1740s. By the 1770s, the family was living in Halifax County, Virginia and their children were marrying and having children of their own of course. They were some of the early Methodists with their son, the Reverend William Moore being a dissenting minister in Halifax County and his brothers Rice and Mackness Moore doing the same in Hawkins and Grainger County, TN. Another son, James, went to Surry Co., NC. We have confirmed this with a DNA descendant match.
We have the DNA of our Moore line proven on the Y side through multiple sons. At the Moore Worldwide DNA project, we are group 19. Now there are Moores all over the place in Halifax County. I know, because I’ve paid for about half of them to DNA test and there are several distinct lines – far more than I expected. Ironically, the Anderson Moore family who lived across the road from our James and then his son Rev. William, who raised the orphan Raleigh Moore, grandson of the Rev. William Moore, is NOT of the same Moore DNA line. Based on the interaction of these two families, one would think assuredly that they were, which raises questions. This Anderson Moore was the son of yet another James Moore, this one from Amelia County, VA., found in the large group 1 of the Moore project. If this is all just too confusing and too close for comfort for you, well, join the crowd and what we Moore descendants have been dealing with for a decade now.
This raises the question of why there are so few matches to our Moore line. Was our Moore line a “new Moore line,” born perhaps to a Moore daughter who gave the child her surname. However, the child of course would pass on the father’s Y chromosome, establishing a “new” Moore genetic line. I’m not saying that is what happened, just that it’s odd that there are so few matches to a clearly colonial Moore line out of Virginia. With only one exception, someone genealogically stuck in Kentucky, to date, all DNA matches are all descendants of our James. We do know that there was a William Moore, wife Margaret, living adjacent to James Moore in Prince Edward County but he and his wife sold out and moved on and are unaccounted for.
I’ve seen this same pattern with the Younger family line too, and sure enough, we did prove that these two different Y chromosome Younger families in fact do share a common ancestor.
So you can see why I get excited when I find anything at all, and I mean anything, about the Moore family line.
A Moore descendant of Raleigh, the orphan, has taken the autosomal Family Finder test, and he matched my cousin Buster, a known Moore descendant, and also another Cumberland Gap region researcher, Larry. Larry also matches Buster. I was very excited to see this three way match and I wrote to Larry asking if he had a Moore line. Yes, he did, two in fact. The Levi Moore line out of Kentucky and an Alexander Moore line out of Stokes County, NC, after they wandered down from Berks Co., PA. sometime before 1803.
Groan. Two Moores – I can’t even manage to sort one out, how will I ever sort two?
Then Larry told me that he had 4 of his cousins tested too. Bless you Larry.
And better yet, one of Larry’s Moore lines is on his mother’s side and one on his father’s. Even better yet. Things are improving.
Now I’m really excited, right up until I discover that my cousin Buster matches two of Larry’s 3 cousins on his mother’s side and my Moore cousin from Halifax County, Virginia, matches the cousin on Larry’s father’s side.
How could I be THIS unlucky???
So I started out utilizing the ICW and Matrix tools at Family Tree DNA. Because these people all matched Larry on overlapping segments on the chromosome browser, my first thought was maybe that these two Moore lines were really one and the same. But then I pushed the ICW matches through to the Family Finder Matrix, and no, Larry’s paternal cousin does not match any of the three maternal cousins, who all match each other. So the two Moore families are not one and the same.
Crumb. Thank Heavens though for the Matrix which provides proof positive of whether your matches match each other. Remember, you have two sides to each chromosome and you will have matches to both sides. Without the Matrix tool, you have no way of knowing which of your matches are from the same side of your chromosome, meaning Mom’s side or Dad’s side.
Just about this time, as I was beginning to construct matrixes of who matches whom in the ICW compares between all of the ICW match permutations, I received a note from Don that he wanted beta testers for his new ADSA application. I immediately knew what I was going to test!
I started with my cousin Buster’s kit. Buster is one generation upstream from me, so one generation closer to the Moore ancestors.
On Larry’s maternal line, descended from the Levi Moore (Ky) line, he tested three cousins. Buster had the following match results with Larry and his maternal line cousins.
- Larry – match
- Janice – no match
- Ronald – match
- B.J. – match
On the graphic below, I’m showing only the right side, so you can see the matching ICW (in common with) block patterns. Larry is last, I’m second from last and Larry’s two cousins are the first and second red arrows. We are all matching to my cousin, Buster.
You can see that all of these people match Buster. Larry has blocks that are pink, red, fuchsia, gold, navy blue and lime green. All of the group above, except me and two other people, one of which is my known cousin on another line, match Larry on these blocks, or at least most of these blocks. I, however, match none of this group on none of these blocks, nor do my other known cousins who also descend through this same Moore line. This means that this group matches Buster through Buster’s mother’s line, not through the Estes line, which means that this Moore line is not the James Moore line of Halifax County. So the Levi Moore group of Kentucky is not descended from the James Moore group of Prince Edward and Halifax County.
Of course, I’m disappointed, but eliminating possibilities is just as important as confirming them. I keep telling myself that anyway.
The male Moore descendant in Halifax Co., proven via Y line testing, does match with Chloa, Larry’s paternal cousin, and with Larry as well, as shown below. Let’s see if we can discern any other people who match in a cluster, which would give us other people to contact about their Moore lines. Keep in mind that we don’t know that the DNA in common here is from the Moore line. It could come from another common line. That is part of what we’d like to prove.
Let’s take a closer look at what this is telling us.
First, there’s a much smaller group, and this is the only chromosome where Chloa matches our Moore cousin.
So let’s look at each line. The first person, John, doesn’t match anyone else, so he’s not in this group.
Larry and his cousin, Chloa are second and third from the bottom, and they form the match group. You can see that they match exactly except Chloa has one brighter green segment that matches our Moore cousin in a location with no other matches. However, the match group of navy blue, periwinkle, lime green and burgundy form a distinctive pattern. In addition to Chloa and Larry, Virginia, and Arlina share the same segments, plus Arlina had a pink segment that Larry and Chloa don’t have. Donald may be a cousin too, but we don’t know if Donald would also match the rest of the group. Linda might match Donald, but doesn’t look like she matches the group, but she could. At this point, we can drop back to Family Tree DNA and the matrix and take a look to see if these folks match each other in the way we’d expect based on the ADSA tool.
Just like we expected, John doesn’t match anyone. As expected, Larry, Chloa, Arlina, and Virginia all matched each other. As it turns out, Linda does not match the rest of the group, but she does match Donald, who does match Arlina. Therefore, our focus needs to be on contacting Arlina, Donald and Virginia and asking them about their Moore lines, or the surnames of known Moore wives, such as Rice in my James Moore line or wives surnames in Larry’s Moore line. Just on the basis of possibility, I would also contact Linda and ask, but she is the long shot. However, like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play, so just send that one extra e-mail. You never know. Life is made up of stories about serendipity and opportunities almost missed.
If Larry’s Moore line is the same as our Moore cousin’s line, genetically, maybe we can make headway by tracking Larry’s line. Larry was kind enough to provide me with a website, and his Moore line begins with daughter Sarah. Her father is Alexander Moore born in 1730 who married Elizabeth Wright. His father was Alexander born in 1710 and who lived in Bucks Co., PA. The younger Alexander died in Stokes Co., NC in 1803.
Our next step is to see if this Alexander Moore line has been Y DNA tested. Checking back at the Moore Worldwide project, this family line is not showing, but I’ve dropped a note to the administrators, just the same. Unfortunately, not everyone enters their most distant ancestor information which means that information is blank on the project website.
If this Alexander Moore line has been Y tested, then we already know they don’t match our group paternally. The connection, in that case, if this genetic connection is a Moore line, could be due to a daughter birth. If this Moore line has not been Y tested, then it means that I’ll be trying to track down a Moore descendant of one of these Alexander Moores to do the DNA test. It would be wonderful to finally make some headway on the James Moore family. We’ve been brick walled for such a long time.
If you descend from either of these Moore family lines, the James Moore (c 1720-c 1798) and Mary Rice line, or the Alexander Moore and Elizabeth Wright or Elizabeth Robinson line, please consider taking the Family Finder autosomal DNA test at Family Tree DNA. If you know of a male Moore who descends from the Alexander Moore line, let’s see if he would be willing to Y DNA test.
There is a great deal of power in the combined results of descendants, as you can clearly see, thanks to Don Worth and his new Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer tool.
Give it a test run at: http://www.DNAgedcom.com/adsa
Don wrote documentation and instructions, found here. Please read them before downloading your files.
And Don, a big, hearty thank you for this new way to “see” our ancestors! Thank you to Rob Warthen too for hosting this wonderful new tool!