Monday, February 11, 2019
Don't Forget King
One of the projects associated with my recent trip to explore family roots in northern Florida was that of the story of King Stockton. This was a project long in the making, mostly because I lacked any clue as to how to identify the man. Just recently, I've had some leads as to the possibility that his name was King Stockton. Now that I'm home from my research trip to Florida, I'm eager to resume the search for his family history.
I mentioned yesterday that I needed, first, to attend to one portion of my biweekly tallying duties, before continuing any report on what I've been discovering about this man named King. There's an additional reason for wanting to complete that tally, despite the temptation to just call it a night when I arrived home from Florida: the part I was missing was my biweekly DNA match tally. Something has popped up on the DNA side of my count which I want to explore further. But first, the numbers.
Since I've been tracking trees for not only my mother and father but also for my husband's parents, I keep track of DNA matches for both myself and my husband. Now that the holiday sales results are finally showing themselves in an uptick in matches, I thought it would be informative to see how that impacted my counts.
There was, as it turned out, a slight uptick in matches for this biweekly period, though not as many as I hoped. My match counts advanced by twelve on 23andMe, by thirty eight at FamilyTreeDNA, and by a whopping 344 at MyHeritage. That brings my totals to 1,119 at 23andMe and 3,513 at FamilyTreeDNA. The count at MyHeritage just blows me away: I'm now at 7,088 matches.
In a similar pattern, my husband's results have also jumped up by thirteen at 23andMe, by twenty three at FamilyTreeDNA, and by 318 at MyHeritage. In addition, while I can't view a tally for increased number of matches at Ancestry.com (it just reads "1000+" for fourth cousins and closer), my husband's match count went up by twenty five. His respective totals are now 1,072 at 23andMe, 2,219 at FamilyTreeDNA, 5,360 at MyHeritage, and 753 at AncestryDNA.
The increases in matches during this post-holiday season don't seem to be as extravagant as those from the previous year. I hope that doesn't mean the wave has crested; I'm still waiting for that silver-bullet match which will bring answers to all my burning genealogical questions.
Still, while I may not have discovered the links I was hoping for—but who knows, they might show up with this next DNA sale for Valentine's Day—I did stumble upon something which, in retrospect, was not as surprising as it seemed at first. It turns out that, buried among all the DNA test results for the thousands of matches I've already accumulated—far too many for me to catch up with—was one particular connection pertinent to the research subject at hand right now: I may be related to King Stockton.
The discovery came unexpectedly. I was looking for someone—anyone—who might have posted a family tree for the man my family knew as King. There weren't too many trees online which involved the same geographic and time parameters as the King I was seeking, but there was, at least, just one such tree.
It only takes one, as you may well know from your own experience. This tree appeared to be well researched, and seemed to be cataloguing records concerning the right man. I decided to click through to send the researcher a message on Ancestry.com.
Ancestry has this handy device on their website in which, if you are trying to contact another subscriber and each of you has already taken a DNA test at that company, the website will notify you of the potential connection. As soon as I clicked through to email this tree's researcher, that is the notification I received. In Ancestry's estimation, we are anywhere from fifth to eighth cousin.
Thankfully, this researcher was gracious enough to respond to my message, and we have been comparing notes ever since. Of course, during my travels last week, I was hampered in that I couldn't, simultaneously, research documents online while gabbing with relatives in real life. But even then, thanks to my mother's cousin, I gleaned some family stories which may help determine more about this man named King Stockton who once was, oddly enough, both enslaved by and on friendly terms with the very family that I had traveled to northern Florida to research.
Thus, a story I remember from my childhood now becomes a research project filled with oral traditions but not very much of a paper trail with which to verify those details. On the other hand, I now have the privilege of working together with another experienced, long-term family history researcher, with whom I hope to —someday—piece together as reasonable a history of his life as possible.