I am blessed or cursed with multiple relationships to individuals.
In many cases, I’m aware of these multiple relationships or at least propensity to have them in certain portions of my family. The tendency to have multiple relationships with many relatives is not unusual for some genealogists and often the multiple relationships are discovered within five or six generations of the pedigree (and close enough to create challenges in analyzing autosomal DNA test results). The specifics of what portions of the family intermarried more than once depend upon ethnicity, migration patterns, and other historical and sociological factors. But multiple relationships can occur anywhere in your tree.
Sometimes when you do not expect it.
While searching trees of DNA matches for specific last names is a hit and miss process, it can be a way to start going through matches in an attempt to pick the low-hanging DNA fruit before working further. That’s how I came upon this match: I searched for the last name of Dingman in the trees of my matches. My most recent Dingman ancestor is Mary (Dingman) Sargent, born in Ontario, Canada, in the 1810s/1820s.
One of those matches is for a person who will be referred to as TD. While searching the tree for the Dingman reference, another last name caught my attention: Tinsley. I have a fourth and a fifth great-grandmother whose maiden name was Tinsley and whose family was Virginia–completely unconnected to my Dingman family.
TD’s tree indicates that she descends from Enoch and Nancy (Dunaway) Tinsley, a couple who married in the 1810s probably in or around Fleming County, Kentucky. Enoch and Nancy are her third great-grandparents. Enoch and Nancy are my 4th great grandparents. There are a few names in her tree beyond Enoch and Nancy that do not appear to coincide with compiled information put together by myself and others, but the information from Enoch and Nancy to the current generation appears consistent with what I have already located. At this point, I’m not worried about the information in TD’s tree beyond Enoch and Nancy as I’m trying to determine my connection to TD.
While I need to focus on the Dingmans since that’s what I was working on, I do need to accurately determine my relationship to TD if possible. It is imperative that I remember that just because a tree has the same name as I do and even the same ancestor that I do that the possibility exists that my DNA connection to that person is not through that ancestor. There could be multiple connections.
TD’s 6th great-grandparent (according to her tree) is an Eva (Dingman) Stufflebeam, whose son John Stufflebeam was born in 1756 in Columbia County, New York. All of this information is from her tree and has not been validated. My Dingman family also was living in New York State during the same time period, but based on her tree and what I know about my Dingman family, I did not see an immediate possible genealogical connection. If there is one, it would have to be further back than my 6th great-grandfather Dingman. That’s a pretty far connection to have any shared DNA through an autosomal DNA test–but it is possible.
Looking at the shared matches with TD gave me some insight. TD and I share 8 cM across 1 segment. That’s something I need to keep in mind as well. The fact that we share DNA in only 1 segment means that we either share Tinsley DNA or Dingman DNA, but probably not both. TD and I currently have four shared matches:
- SVH–my third and sixth cousin (another double relationship). SVH is my third cousin through our common descent from Riley and Nancy (Newman) Rampley and a sixth cousin through our shared descent from James and Sarah (Gibson) Rampley. Riley was the great-grandson of James. SVH has two Rampley connections because her great-grandparents were distant cousins. Relevant to the discussion at hand (again trying to stay focused) is the fact that SVH descends from Nancy (Newman) Rampley who was a granddaughter of Enoch and Nancy (Dunaway) Tinsley.
- RN–my third cousin once removed. RN descends (as do I) from William and Rebecca (Tinsley) Newman. Rebecca was a daughter of Enoch and Nancy (Dunaway) Tinsley.
- CW–relationship unknown. CW and I have four shared matches. Three of them are descendants of William and Rebecca (Tinsley) Newman.
- DS–relationship unknown. DS and I have eight shared matches. Two of them are known descendants of William and Rebecca (Tinsley) Newman.
Based upon the shared matches with TD, I’m concluding that the one segment we share comes from our Tinsley-Dunaway connection and not the Dingman family. However, I am making a note on TD’s match that she shared more than one genealogical connection to me and that it appears (for reasons stated above) that the DNA she shares with me is through our Tinsley-Dunaway connection and not through our potential Dingman connection.
Additional consistent information is that my DNA matches have one other descendant of my most recent Dingman ancestor and a dozen matches who are a descendants of that most recent Dingman ancestor. TD is not a shared match with any of those thirteen Dingman descendants.
Given the distance of our potential Dingman connection, I doubted that the DNA connection I had with TD rested with that family. But it was still good to confirm.