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.

View All DNA matches.png

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.

Finding Margaret

You know when you first started doing your family tree and it seems that every time you hit the library you found something new? Well, that’s what my memory of first starting out researching my family tree was like. It probably was a bit more onerous than that, but it’s the discoveries that suck you in. It is like winning the lottery or sitting at a slot machine in Vegas (minus the flashing lights), you get a win and you are hooked. In genealogy, uncovering another record or breaking through a brick wall is the best feeling in the world! These discoveries do not occur as often, but the euphoria still happens every time.

Today was one of those days, I am thrilled to say! I have been on the hunt for my geat great grandmother’s sister for quite a few years. Margaret Jeffery was born Quebec City October 8, 1830, to parents Elizabeth Tipper and Robert Jeffery and her nine siblings, four of which died in infancy. A life of adventure was in store for her, when she was seventeen, she met and married George Humphry, a Captain of the aptly named ship the Margaret.

Chalmer's Presbyterian Church, Quebec City

Chalmer’s Presbyterian Church, Quebec City — witnesses were her sister Elizabeth and her husband Frederick Yeates.

The Morning Chronicle Oct. 30, 1847

The Morning Chronicle Oct. 30, 1847

Margaret moves to her husband’s home in Saint Sauveur, Devon, England, and children start arriving. First George, followed by Emily and then Margaret Adelaide. Little George, only lives four months, but Emily and Margaret survive infancy. Margaret and her children are back in Quebec City in 1858, the girls Emily and Margaret are baptized and husband George is listed as deceased on the baptism record.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Quebec City

Baptism of Emily & Margaret, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Quebec City — Hannah my 2x great grandmother signs with the mother Margaret.

Margaret appears to stay put marrying again in Quebec City. The marriage takes place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on September 8, 1864, and the groom is James J. Atkins. Further searching on the couple lead me to the birth record of Frannie Elizabeth. I wasn’t sure if this was the right family as the birth was in a Methodist church in Montreal. I next look for the family in New York, as I know daughter Margaret’s daughter Emily Humphry gets married there.

In the 1875 New York census I find this family and I think it could be them.

1875 census Kings, Brooklyn Ward, E.D. 3

1875 census
Kings, Brooklyn Ward, E.D. 3

The entry lists the Atkins family consisting of parents James, Margaret with children Addie, Fannie, Henry and Lillie. This family looks promising, it states the right birth places for everyone.

The clincher arrived in the mail today, I had ordered a marriage record for Frannie Atkins who married in New York. This Frannie I suspected to be from the family in the census. A longshot but I was feeling lucky! The marriage record arrived today for Frannie Elizabeth Atkins to Gerald Forest Burroughs taking place in Brooklyn, New York in 1886. Frannie’s parents were listed as… James J. Atkins and Margaret Jeffery,!!!! and Fannie is from QUEBEC!! Success! My gamble paid off and I am so happy I followed my hunch that this was her.

Frannie Atkins marries Gerald Burroughs

Frannie Atkins marries Gerald Burroughs

I was saddened to discover that Margaret (Jeffery) (Humphry) Atkins passed away in New York on July 30, 1878. I do hope to track down where she is buried and someday get an opportunity to pay my respects and connect with some Atkins cousins!

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!