Remember the Ladies–CoronaLife Day 978

I am into genealogy, and I have been exploring DNA matches for quite some time. I was working on my husband’s DNA, and he matched three people in the same family: JLW, PW, and MP. JLW is the father of PW, and the grandfather of MP, who is not PW’s child. PW is MP’s aunt. (See tree below. Boxes with red outlines indicate people with DNA tested.)

This family matched my husband (JD) on his maternal grandmother’s Baldwin line. (See tree.) This family ALSO had shared DNA matches to descendants of my husband’s maternal grandfather’s Hedrick line. The three yellow boxes in the tree are Hedrick siblings.

JLW’s Baldwin connection was immediately apparent, as his mother was a Baldwin. So I went searching for the Hedrick connection. I didn’t find it. Which was frustrating, because it could not be that far back.

Then I noticed something. JLW matched with descendants of VH. His daughter and granddaughter, PW and MP, matched VH’s descendants, but they ALSO matched LH’s descendants. JLW did not, and since children cannot inherit DNA parents do not have, this could only mean one thing: PW and MP’s matches to LH’s descendants had to come through their mother, EBL. (See tree.)

Realizing JLW did not match both VH and LH’s descendants made me think that this Hedrick connection might not be real. So I looked at VH’s husband, CE. And lo and behold, I found the connection.

JLW’s great-grandparents were Abijah Baldwin and Elisabeth Payne. CE’s great-grandparents were Charter Mitchell and Elisabeth Payne. Elisabeth married Abijah after Charter died very young. JLW and CE’s grandfathers were half-brothers through Elisabeth! (See blue box path in the tree.)

Now I turned my attention to JLW’s wife, EBL, trying to find a Hedrick connection to explain her connection to LH’s descendants. Once more, it eluded me. Then I realized something odd: PW and MP matched LH’s descendants, but NOT LH himself!

Again, children can not inherit DNA the parent doesn’t have, so if they matched LH’s descendants but not LH, then the only answer was that they matched through LH’s wife, OB.

EBL’s mother was a Blankenship, and OB also had a Blankenship line. But try as I might, those two lines did not converge.

Which meant EBL and OB probably matched through EBL’s father. Trouble was, EBL was illegitimate, and her father seemed unknown. Then I found her marriage record, and saw she listed her father’s name as Lee Blankenship.

I tried to find Lee, and located him and his family. When I traced HIS Blankenship line, sure enough his line intersected with OB’s. EBL and OB were 3rd cousins. (See pink box path in tree.)

This explained their children and grandchildren’s matches.

So it turns out that the Hedrick connection was a phantom. It was just coincidence that all three sets of JLW, PW, and MP’s matches (my husband, VH’s descendants, and LH’s descendants) had Hedrick siblings in their lines.

The lesson is to always remain open to other answers, as the obvious one is not always correct. And remember to look at the ladies, even though they are often harder to trace–they might hold the key to your mystery.

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