My DNA Thoughts 2018

I have been a professional genealogist for several years but over time my interests have become firmly focused on using DNA in solving family mysteries. While I am happy to do traditional genealogical research as part of genetic genealogy, I no longer enjoy doing traditional genealogy for its own sake. I suppose this is not surprising as I started in the early 2000s, to use genetic genealogy in trying to solve my own family mystery, namely, to find my father’s biological family. Also, being a physical science graduate, I like crunching numbers and puzzle solving.

In 2013, I succeeded in confirming who my father’s father was and who were his paternal family. After that, I focused on trying to find my father’s mother. This has proved very difficult as I appear to have found his maternal grandfather but this man’s wife is not my father’s grandmother so I have a gap to fill. I have been working on closing the gap in my knowledge for some time now, using all the genetic genealogy tools I can find and by testing very many people who might help with the quest. I check Family Tree DNA, Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage and Gedmatch daily looking for new useful DNA matches. I cross-check the segment(s) of DNA using the great  tool at

So, as 2018 is rolling on, I have been reflecting on my goals for this year. Certainly, I want to confirm who my father’s mother is (and my grandmother) and I will continue doggedly with this DNA research. I will focus my professional efforts on genetic genealogy and use traditional genealogy where required.

The world of genetic genealogy and genetic anthropology gets more exciting every year with new ways of using genetics. For example, Ancient DNA is one area where cutting edge research is producing fantastic new insights.



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6 Responses to My DNA Thoughts 2018

  1. I am happy your mystery is progressing. My Mom wishes she knew more about her Grandfather, likely a potato famine refugee, who came without his parents. What strikes me from what you shared is, aren’t you doing detective legwork too? It can’t be about DNA you find or not. If censuses aren’t what you need, if perhaps your paternal Grandma didn’t live with her children: can you not ask the relatives of the Grandpa you found? It seems as easy as going through the relatives, asking: “Who was the Mother”?

    I care wholeheartedly about animal welfare. Cats are family members as dear to me as anyone. When I see posts that a cat’s family couldn’t be found because “The phone number connected with their tattoo doesn’t work”… I wonder, isn’t there an address? Can’t someone visit even a former address and ask where the people went? Genetics are a valuable tool but the old-fashioned way probably helps in tandem. Nice to touch base with someone to whom I subscribe, the month of my blog’s seventh anniversary! Sincerely, Carolyn.

  2. Kenneth D Roberts says:

    I admire your fortitude and success. I began my search for my grandmothers Irish lineage in 1968 hoping it would take me to her roots in Ireland BUT I never got her Murphy family out of the USA. My grandmother, :Lillian Blanch MURPHY born 26 Jan 1898 in Homer Twp., Morgan County, Ohio married Worthy Doster ROBERTS and died 16 Sep 1949. She was daughter of George Washington Patrick MURPHY born 31 Jul 1868 in Morgan County, Ohio married Inez Eleanor Shanor and died 7 Dec 1938 in Glouster, Athens County, Ohio. He was son of William MURPHY born 11 May 1833 in Morgan County, Ohio married Melissa Kirkbride and died 9 Feb 1887 in Morgan County, Ohio. He was son of Isaac MURPHEY born 28 Dec 1803 in Loudon County, Virginia married Malinda Armstrong and died 9 Jun 1865 in Morgan County, Ohio. He was son of William MURPHEY born circa 1750 of County Cork, Ireland married Susan Margaret McMicheal died circa 1846 in Bloom Twp., Morgan County, Ohio

    Note: all of the dates and places are documented except the birth in County Cork, Ireland. That information is based on family “tradition” I have been told that trying to find a “William Murphy” from County Cork is like trying to find a John Smith in London, England BUT I am hoping that you might have some suggestions. I have had my DNA tested with Ancestry, MyHeritage and Family Tree but so far I have not gotten ANY hits with Murphy cousins.

    • mjordan says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thank you for your kind words. Your connection with Cork is quite far back Autosomal DNA testing may not be able to reach back as far as you need to go. I would recommend uploading your raw data to which is free and has tools which the individual testing companies do not. I would also recommend uploading your raw data to Family Tree DNA as this would widen your search base, Also, if you have a a male Murphy cousin, I would recommend having him do a YDNA test to see his male line matches.

  3. Jeffrie Lane says:

    Hi Margaret,

    It’s always good to hear from you! I enjoy getting your missives whenever they arrive. One of these days I’ll get around to the DNA test, but not before getting your valuable advice. Not alot of genealogy getting done around here – too much work.

    Warm regards,


    On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 10:55 AM, Cork Genealogist – Genetic Genealogy Interests wrote:

    > mjordan posted: “I have been a professional genealogist for several years > but over time my interests have become much firmly focused on using DNA in > solving family mysteries. While I am happy to do traditional genealogical > research as part of genetic genealogy, I no longe” >

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