The DNA that we inherit from our parents is random. If you’ve taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes, and have other family members who have tested there, chances are that you have seen examples of DNA matches that match your parent and/or siblings, but do not match you.
Case in point, my father and sister have a DNA match (both exactly 17.1cM) to a person who is a Williams family of Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, Georgia descendant:
This person does not match my DNA profile, according to the parameters as set by AncestryDNA. If we were to lower the thresholds by using a chromosome browser, available on a third-party utility site such as GEDmatch, it’s possible that we may share a lower amount of DNA.
In any case, my father and sister do match this person. I happened across their profile by looking for Williams family members in Taliaferro County, Georgia, which connect to my father’s line.
In checking and finding this particular match, I looked closely at their family tree and was amazed to learn that they are related to Paul Williams, an original member of legendary Motown recording group, The Temptations.
I soon found out that though Paul was born in Birmingham, Alabama, his father was originally from Crawfordville, GA. I’ve previously mentioned how small Crawfordville is and how my husband’s maternal family is from there.
Other intriguing clues followed. I further checked other Ancestry family trees and profiles who have Paul Williams included. Though I did not match any of these profiles myself, between my father and sister, they were AncestryDNA matches to five different profiles!
How cool is it to find out all of this through DNA testing, right? Who knew that one of Crawfordville’s famous sons, or rather grandsons, is an original member of arguably one of the greatest male groups in music history? Even more so, who would’ve thought that my father is DNA connected to the family of Paul Williams?
Just who is the most recent common ancestor for all of these matches? Where is the shared DNA originating from? What is the human story of their ancestry? These questions and more will hopefully be answered in short time.
As more information is discovered, this is an opportunity to share the message to DNA test as many family members as you can, because you never know just how the randomness of DNA inheritance will reveal itself.
There are important connections, stories, and lessons to be learned and shared. This is our situation…
The Genealogy Situation Room