Posts Tagged ‘gedmatch’

In Which Sugar and I Are Not Related

February 7, 2017

Well, that’s a relief. 

I mean, he’s related to everyone.

When I first started working on his tree, over ten years ago, I knew of some other of his family’s researchers. They seemed to do the same kinds of things that I do, like make trees on ancestryDOTcom, and post memorials and photos to findagraveDOTcom. 

One fellow sent me a message about Sugar’s tree because he couldn’t find where I fit onto the tree and how he and I were related. I explained as vaguely as possible that I wouldn’t be in his tree, because we were not related, I was not a Lawton, and Sugar and I were friends. 

This exchange must have been about 2009. Recently I took an AncestryDNA test, and I found I have over 20K cousins on Ancestry alone. 

I loaded my raw data to gedmatch, and found several thousand more cousins there. 

I found a few folks that I had corresponded with in the past, so it was good to see that the DNA bore out what the paper records showed. 

I found one fellow that graduated from high school a few years before I did. He shares the African ancestry, which was interesting to see, because that helped me narrow down which line that was on, and it wasn’t the line I would have guessed. 

Gedmatch has a spreadsheet format, and one of the fields is for username. Lots of people don’t use a name; they use some kind of code, like Aunt Lou or Chicken Dinner or Cat Lover. These codes are not helpful, and in the case of Chicken Dinner, they only serve to make me hungry. 

So I’m scrolling down the list of usernames. Dozens, hundreds, of usernames. And I see it. I see *Him*. 

Boyce Mendenhall Lawton. Sugar’s cousin who wanted to know how we were related, and I told him we were not. 

I’m related to Boyce on Boyce’s mother’s side, and Sugar is related to Boyce on Boyce’s father’s side, but Sugar and I are not related. 

Now I want a chicken dinner.