I have recently created a Copple surname group on Facebook for persons interested in DNA, genealogy and researching their Copple kin. This private group is all about connecting with folks who have a Copple line in their family tree, and trying to tie DNA test results to that Copple branch. Variant spellings include Copple / Cople/ Cobble/ Cauble/ Capple / Gobble.
If your DNA/genealogy interests or your family tree branch includes Copple, please consider joining! You can check it out here.
Last week in the “Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques” group on Facebook, Blaine Bettinger posted a study of his own 4th-cousins-and-closer matches on Ancestry.com which can be viewed here. I decided to do the same. These are my results:
Matches which are included here are matches who, in general, share at least 20 cM of DNA with me (although I have some matches at the 20 cM level who are labeled as “distant” cousins).
The “Amt DNA” information does NOT come from Ancestry; it comes from having done a process called “chromosome mapping” or “visual phasing” and it required the DNA results from both my parents, as well as from my sibs, compared against that of my 1st and 2nd cousins who have tested. On my dad’s side, the amount shared skews towards my grandmother, in part because one of my X chromosomes comes from her and her alone.
The number of matches sharing >= 50 cM with me also skews towards my paternal grandmother because 2 of my dad’s 3 maternal 1st cousins have tested at Ancestry, as well as some of their children and grandchildren. All are no more distant than 2C1R to me. (Note: in that figure I do not include my dad, my sibling, or my paternal 1st cousins — since they share both paternal grandparents with me.)
However, in total numbers of matches, my two grandparents with “colonial” ancestry (and by that I mean roots in the U.S. at least as early as 1790 — but not necessarily as far back as, say, 1650), are the ones with the most matches. That seems to correlate with what I’ve heard from others who have tested at Ancestry. My paternal grandfather has one line — his maternal grandfather — that is “colonial”. My maternal grandmother has 2 lines — both of her maternal grandparents are “colonial”.
I compared the paternal and maternal labeling, but it doesn’t tell me much, in my opinion. Ancestry only labels the DNA match as paternal or maternal if the match is >= 20 cM for both parent and child. Where there are differences in the totals, it is due to the match being >= 20 cM for me, but not for my parent. That’s an artifact of the computer algorithms.
Finally, tree availability in and of itself may not be the be-all end-all for matches. 85% of the matches I identify as paternal unknowns — I cannot discern which grandparent they are kin to — have public trees. The trees have done nothing to help me figure out how that match is related to me! Any suggestions?
This is the wedding notice of my great-great grandparents, Samuel Adams Englehart and Libby Copple (here listed as Libby Jewell). I posted about Sam here. He was 26 in December 1878 when he married Libby Jewell at the home of her adoptive mother, Mrs. Polly Esther (Keeler) (Jewell) (Fike) Rose.
Libby was 17 years old on her wedding day. She was born in Mendocino County, California in 1861 to Ben Franklin Copple and his wife Phoebe (Harvey) Copple, who died in childbirth or very soon after Libby was born. But that’s a story for another post.
“Married: Englehart-Jewell,” Healdsburg Enterprise (Healdsburg, California), 26 Dec 1878, pg 2, col 1; digital images, California Digital Newspaper Collection, (http://cdnc.ucr.edu : accessed 3 Sep 2020).
Lucile McDonald, a native of Collin County, Texas, married Earl Harold Copple in Kerr County, Texas (in what is known as the Texas Hill Country) on 17 February, 1941. She was 24 years old.
Her husband Earl was 32 years old and also a Texas native, being from Kimble County (adjacent to Kerr.) Earl was one of 10 children and the youngest son born to Virgil O. and Rosa (McDonald) Copple. Earl may be related to me twice over, as his paternal grandparents were cousins in some degree.
The bride was married in blue, with a corsage of pink carnations.
“McDonald-Copple Marriage Solemnized,” Kerrville Mountain Sun (Kerrville, Texas), 20 Feb 19416, pg 2, col 3; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 June 2020).
As is the case with everyone who has had a DNA test at Ancestry, my small matches are gone. (However, I did go through the match list of my parents and my sibling and 1st cousins, “saving” small matches that were of interest (like “Thru Lines” matches) by marking them with a group identifier or making notes.
For me, the issue was removing old notes for small matches where I had indicated “doesn’t match mom or dad” so those false matches would not be saved!
The blessing of having both your parents alive and willing to test means you can check any of your own matches to validate whether they match one of your parents (if your parents give you collaborator access). I had already determined — via 3rd party tools — that over 25% of my matches were invalid. Meaning they didn’t match one of my parents.
So, all in all, I’m not at all upset at losing matches. Especially if it speeds up server response time.
How many matches did my family members and I lose? Over 50% in each case!
The reduction in matches (everyone with < 8 cM of DNA shared) isn’t the only change. Ancestry also updated the number of shared segments with your matches. Mom and Dad still show more than the 22 autosomal segments they share in actuality, but it’s a lot closer. You can see that all he segment numbers go down for my matches with my closest kin.
My segments with my father were always fewer than with my mother. One reason is that there are fewer recombinations passed down from males, as I understand it. Another reason may be that my dad and I tested back in 2012, and therefore tested under a different version than my mother, who tested years later.
Here’s a list of my mom’s top matches, noting old number of segments compared to new number of segments. Segment number only changed when appropriate, so some of these 50 cM matches show no change.
The last change at Ancestry DNA was the addition of longest segment information. From what I’m hearing, this feature will be most useful to those who have significant endogamy in their ancestry (Acadian French, Ashkenazi Jewish, etc.) However, it can be useful if your match has tested elsewhere, and you have the chromosome segment information.
For the match below who has tested elsewhere, I already know that my mother’s (and mine, for that matter) primary segment match is on chr 9, and is hugely long (60 – 90 cM) per other vendors. So, seeing the below information validates that Ancestry shows the match on chromosome 9 as well, despite the fact they don’t tell you where you match.
The longest segment is calculated before Ancestry’s algorithms massage the data by removing “pile-up” regions (shared by many people) which are not considered genealogically relevant.