To Test or Not to Test has been the question for the past few years. Since Ancestry.com and other such organizations have been touting the reliability of DNA testing to determine heritage, I have been mulling it over in my mind to do so, thinking it might clear up some questions once and for all. The following is the experience of members of my known family and myself.
A few months ago I contacted my cousin Betty Fitzgerald about finding a relative in our line to test. She decided to pay for her second cousin Steve Patrick to submit to testing. He did a paternal test; the shorter version not giving as many markers. The results were totally confusing and I felt I would have to employ a geneticist to interpret them. We set that idea aside.
We thought we could back-door it going through another known family member. Next I got in touch with Judy C. Ware and asked her to encourage her husband Jim to test. He did and results came back with no match to Steve.
Over the course of this past week I have made several calls to Ancestry’s DNA department and spoken with there representative to help me make sense of the results. In comparing Steve and Jim I found out that they were separated by 10 generations; no match. Steve’s closest match was 3 generations; a man named Charles Lewis Tucker VIII. I contacted that individual and this is her reply. “I will send you a pedigree chart from my mother’s brother. This was the only way to get back in my grandfather’s line. My name is Nikki and I am a woman, not a man.”
Nikki sent me her Chart for the Tucker Family. I called Betty and inquired about Tucker’s in the family and she did not know of any.
In the meantime I had informed everyone in my family we were not a match to James Ware and his wife Agnes Todd, based on what I was told from Ancestry. I detached James Ware and descendants from my Ancestry tree, I reorganized my album where I keep my hard-copies and deleted the beginning of the biography of Capt. John Ware.
Marti Martin and I spent the weekend combing through all information about another James Ware who lived in Caroline Co. about the same time, trying to determine his connection to John Ware, my “last known” ancestor, and who might be his father. ZIP! One thing was accomplished. We did find out more information about Clary Ware Sale. We she married a Robert Sale and we know she had a daughter named Clarissa who married James Hurt and had two granddaughters named Elizabeth and Agnes. Clary’s brother James Jr. became the guardian of these two girls, before he left Virginia and moved to Kentucky.
By this time Marti had become convinced we had gotten off track. ” I re-read the Hayes stuff where it said the Ware family had a senator from GA—and we found Clara in Virginia—I now feel in my gut that your John is Judy’s James son…”
I decided to call Ancestry again. After speaking with them, this morning, I finally understand this testing and know that it was a waste of time and money for our family. First there are 2 types of testing; paternal and maternal. The two men who tested went back on their paternal lines. That is why we could not get a match, because Steve Patrick, a third cousin to me and second to Betty Fitzgerald, went back to a match with his great-grandfather who was not a Ware. Judy Ware’s husband Jim, goes straight back on a male line to James Ware, married to Agnes Todd. Our Ware line zigs-zags back and forth through both male and female lines. There is no way to compare our test to Jim’s, because you must compare male to male and female to female.
Back to the drawing board and researching the “old-fashioned way.” I have re-established the original Biography for John Ware on the website, because we can neither confirm or deny the connection to James Ware and Agnes Todd through the DNA Testing. However, the preponderance of evidence seems to weigh on the side of a connection to this Ware line.
I am not trying to discourage you from testing, but before you do, make sure you are certain of your direct lineage, either paternal or maternal to avoid both a costly and embarrassing mistake.