How Far Can DNA Take You?

Can DNA break down my long-standing brick wall? Good question, and one of the reasons I started doing DNA testing. Last night I found new information that may yet hammer down another wall and it was uncovered due to DNA.

I have been on the hunt for information on a maternal great, great, grandmother for ages. Here is a brief summary of what I know –

  • Name: Anna Eliza Stickle
  • Born: 1814 in USA
  • Married: 1835ish to Lewis Harrop
  • Lived: Pennsylvania, New York and Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. She had children in all these locations.

I have census records, land, and death records but as this is the main details I will not list all the information here. I don’t know a lot when you think about how long I have been researching this family. Maybe DNA will help me to find some of the missing information.

Ancestry DNA Tools

The tools that Ancestry offers are the most useful I have found in comparison to other testing companies. Why? The trees! Many people have connected their trees to their DNA results which is the key to unlocking many puzzles. Couple that with the search feature and discoveries are within reach.

If you haven’t used the search feature on Ancestry here is a quick walk-through. On your DNA page click on View All DNA Matches.

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The following page, you want to click on Search Matches.

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I entered the Stickle surname and left the birth location blank.

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I received 5 matches to people and each person has a tree that I am able to access! screen_shot_2017-02-23_at_9_37_36_am

The matches were not close matches (5th-8th cousin) so instead of getting in touch with them I wanted to investigate their trees to see what I could glean from them. I proceeded to look at each tree, my Anna did not show up in any of them, but there were clues.

Locations

What the trees offered were locations which I did not have before. Most of the Stickle matches have the location of Rhineland, Dutchess County, New York. This information is not conclusive but it contains clues to where I can look for information on Anna.

Try doing a surname search and see if you can find clues to follow. I also recommend connecting your DNA results to a tree so you and your DNA matches can do what I have done. If you would rather keep your tree private create a DNA tree, this is what I have done, it will help you to get the most out of your matches. If you haven’t yet taken a DNA test, what are you waiting for?

And to answer the question how far can DNA take you? I think pretty far and farther all the time.

William Lewis Harrop

I wanted to do a post in celebration of my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop’s birthday. William was the fifth and last child born to parents Lewis Harrop and Anna Eliza Stickle onSeptember 25, 1854, in Etobicoke, Ontario. The Harrop family had moved from New York sometime between 1843-1849, where their first three children were born.

In Etobicoke, the Harrop’s were farmers on land they rented. The father Lewis died in 1860 and was buried at St.-George’s-on-the-Hill Cemetery which is now located in the city of Toronto.

Anna Eliza along with her youngest children, William, Robert, Elizabeth and Mary relocated to Orangeville. Her oldest child Benjamin was married in 1856, moved to Chinguacousy, Peel Co., Ontario where he farmed.

In 1871, according to the Canadian census, my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop is living with the McKim family and working as a butcher’s apprentice. With land opening up in the west William makes a move to the Qu’ Appelle District of Assiniboine which later becomes the province of Saskatchewan.

About 1895 he took out an ad with a matrimonial agency and he struck up a correspondence with his future wife Isabella (Sherrill) Cornelius a widow from North Carolina. They were married about 1896 and Isabella moved with her daughter Flora Bell to rural Saskatchewan. The marriage was not long-lasting, William was widowed by 1904 and Isabelle’s daughter Flora went back to North Carolina, leaving her mother behind in the Indian Head Cemetery.

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The Harrop home in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. c1915

William may have used the same agency to find his second wife Rachel Hodgins who was from Huntley, Carleton Co., Ontario. They were married in Balcarres, Saskatchewan in 1907 and settled into life on William’s already well-established farm located on Sec 1 – 21-12-W2 in Balcarres. Three children were born to them over the next five years and the farm continued to prosper.

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Rachel Hodgins & William Harrop c1907

 

The start of the depression hit the farm hard ,coupled with the death of William in 1932, they Harrop family lost the farm that William had worked so hard to get established. Rachel his wife moved to Binscarth, Mantiboa where she died in 1950. Their children all moved to different locations, son Walter to Whitewood in Saskatchewan, Dorothy also to Binscarth and Wilma moved to Alberta.

 

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The Harrop family with unknown people. Back row ?, Walter & William Harrop. Front row Dorothy, ?, Wilma & Rachel c. 1920 probably taken at Balcarres, Saskatchewan.

 

 

 

52 Ancestors – #8 Anna Eliza (Stickle) Harrop

Anna is my 2x great grandmother and passed away at the age of 93 in 1907 in Ontario, Canada. I don’t know much about her life, but I will share what I do know with the hopes of uncovering more information. Census records list Anna as being born in the United States in 1814, and she could possibly be Pennsylvania-Dutch but without parent’s names I can only speculate.
Her husband Lewis Harrop is said to have left England with a brother and his first stop was also said to be Pennsylvania.
The first fact I can find on this family is the 1852 Canadian census where they are living on Con. 1 Lot 13 in Etobicoke, York Co. in Ontario. Lewis is listed as 51 along with his wife who is 38, they have 4 children Benjamin, Elizabeth, Robert and Mary Ann. The first 3 kids along with their mother, have the United States as their place of birth. Further census records will reveal that the 3 children were born in New York. Mary Ann and my great grandfather William Lewis were both born in Ontario.
The Harrop family is in the same location for the 1861 census but they lose the breadwinner July of that year. I found the father, Lewis after some searching, he was buried in St. George’s-on-the-Hill, on the outskirts of what is now Toronto in an unmarked grave.
The family relocated after Lewis’ death and settled in Orangeville, Dufferin Co. Benjamin the oldest had by this time married Mary Jane Russell and they had moved to Esquesing, Halton Co.
Elizabeth married William Young a widow with 4 young children. William was a gardner from England who died suddenly in 1888, leaving Elizabeth with 3 children of their own to raise. Elizabeth did not remarry but lived with her mother Eliza Anne.
Robert married Sarah Jackson and was a photographer, he later ran a newspaper in Chesterville, and his last occupation was for the railway.
Mary Ann married Michael Renahan and lived in Weston, Ontario where they raised their 3 children.
And my great grandfather William who lost his father when he was 5 was a butcher’s apprentice at 16, living with the butcher’s family. Later moved to Saskatchewan and married a girl from North Dakota who was a widow. He brought her and her daughter Fora Bell to his farm but lost his wife after 2 short years. William remarried in 1907 to Rachel Hodgins and they lived in Balcarres, Saskatchewan.
Anna Eliza or Eliza Anne (I have seen it written both ways) spent the remainder of her years living with her daughter Elizabeth Young. She did not remarry after losing Lewis and I do not know anything more about her life.

If you are connected to this family or know of the Stickle family in Pennsylvania/New York we should talk!! Get in touch with me by commenting or send me an e-mail cpgreber at telusplanet.net! Look forward to hearing from you!