There is an ebb and flow to the pursuit of family history. Those brick walls put us off, then keep us at arm's distance while we swing vainly at our target with all our might. Then, suddenly—sometimes when we aren't yet aware of what is about to happen—something breaks loose from that impenetrable wall and just the right fact falls into place. Time to pause for the traditional genealogy happy dance—and then, prepare for the avalanche of work which falls into place.
That's pretty much what is happening right now. Discovery of evidence—at least, a copy of that original evidence—linking Joseph John Metzger and Michael Metzger as son to father reveals the reason why my husband has DNA matches reaching back to a man whom we hadn't even realized was part of the family. Now comes the slog to connect matches from among Joseph's descendants with Michael's third great-grandson, my husband.
There are quite a few matches to check, it turns out. Just this weekend, my husband's ThruLines connection to Michael Metzger increased by two matches to total sixty five. Of that number, six specifically claim Joseph as their direct line. Of course, with a most recent common ancestor for this group being at least as far removed as third great-grandfather, it is not surprising to see the centiMorgan count plummeting to the lower levels of not-quite-yet identical by state.
The closest of Joseph's DNA matching descendants squeaks by with twenty one centiMorgans, and the least of those matches clocks in at a fleeting ten centiMorgans. That entire range is considered a risky assumption, if basing relationship solely upon such a connection. However, I'll be confirming those tenuous matches with the traditional effort of piecing together a paper trail—and of course, those matches who have still managed to hold on to that patriline's surname Metzger have yet another promising token of relationship.
But it's all grunt work from here, at least on Joseph's line. Next week, we'll wrap up what can be found on the other tentative son of Michael Metzger and see whether we can find tidbits from the paper trail to support or reject yet another missing son hypothesis.