In order to further test the family legend of one of our Wright ancestors having been the leader of Clan MacGregor in Scotland, I compared the Y-DNA results of the three Gabriel Wright descendants who have tested to date with the two official DNA modal signatures of the Clan Gregor Society of Scotland I recently found at Family Tree DNA (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/macgregor,macgregor,macgregor/default.aspx?section=news). As I suspected was likely the case, in another apparent nail in the coffin of the family legend, the DNA test results of the three Gabriel Wright descendants are dramatically different from both of the official Clan MacGregor signatures, with a difference of twelve markers out of thirty-seven for my uncle’s test (kit number 280291) against each of the official signatures. Attached below is a screenshot of the comparisons.
Based on this comparison, along with the several matches (http://www.danstone.info/wrightdna.htm) of the three test participants to men having the Wright surname (including at least two who trace their Wright lineages back to Long Island, New York, in the latter half of the 1600s), it seems very unlikely that the family legend is accurate. This still leaves the question of where did Gabriel Wright originate from, however, and I’m hoping that the Wright descendant DNA testing I’m continuing to seek participants for may soon provide an answer.
I received word back today from a direct paternal descendant of Emanuel Stone (http://www.danstone.info/g0/p622.htm) who has agreed to participate in the Stone DNA testing. Emanuel is the brother of my second great grandfather, Theodore Stone. The results of this DNA test should allow me to genetically verify both of our lines of descent back to our mutual third great grandfather, James Stone. I do not expect any surprises with this test, but having test results from two different lines tracing back to James should prove very helpful for future comparisons with potential test candidates going back even further in the Stone line. Results of this new test should be back in late March 2014.
I’ve had more success in my search for testing candidates. After much looking, I managed to find a direct paternal descendant of Jacob Stone (http://www.danstone.info/g0/p302.htm), who was recorded in the Iowa state census of 1856 in Round Prairie Township, Jefferson County. I’ve long believed this is the same Jacob Stone who is the son of my fourth great grandfather, Henry Stone, although I have not yet linked Jacob (of the Iowa census) with Henry in my family tree [February 19, 2014 note: I have since linked them now that the DNA results are in]. There are three key reasons for my thinking they are the same Jacob Stone:
1) Jacob Stone’s birth of circa 1794 is consistent with the projected birth year range of Henry Stone’s children, and is also consistent with him later fighting in the War of 1812, which Henry Stone’s son, Jacob, is reported to have done.
2) Jacob Stone is recorded in the Iowa state census of 1856 in the household of George Stone (who I’m assuming is very likely his son). By matching up the children, it can be seen that this same George Stone and his family are recorded in the U.S. census of 1850 in Monongalia County, Virginia. Monongalia County is where James Stone (my third great grandfather) and Henry Stone are known to have lived.
3) James Stone is also recorded in the Iowa state census of 1856 in Round Prairie Township, Jefferson County. James, Jacob, and George are all recorded as having lived in Iowa for two years.
The results of this DNA test should finally allow me to prove or disprove whether this Jacob Stone is indeed Henry Stone’s son. Results are expected back in March 2014. In the meantime, I mailed off letters yesterday to a couple more potential test candidates, both direct paternal descendants of Henry Stone’s son, George Stone, who moved to Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Over the past several months, I have been exchanging research with the wife of a descendant of Elijah Lewark, who appeared on paper (despite the variations in spelling of the last name) to be the half brother of Anna Luark, one of my paternal third great grandmothers. This proposed cousin’s wife is a scientist, and very enthusiastic about DNA testing. With her help, I’ve learned a lot about DNA testing for genealogy, and she and I have been working together to use DNA to verify the mutual connection back to John Luark/Lewark (1774 – 1866) between her husband’s line and my line.
For comparisons, we’ve used the Ancestry DNA autosomal tests my dad and I took, the 23andme autosomal test her husband took, the Ancestry DNA autosomal test her husband took, the Family Tree DNA Y-DNA test my known Luark cousin took, along with uploads to gedmatch of all the autosomal tests for use with their comparison utilities. While results of the comparisons were promising, they were far from conclusive. Recently, her husband took advantage of Family Tree DNA’s Holiday Sale to take their Y-DNA 67 test.
Comparison of this new Y-DNA 67 test result with my known Luark cousin’s Y-DNA 37 test result (http://www.danstone.info/lewark-luark-ruark-rheuarkdna.htm) now shows there to be a very likely close connection, supporting the paper trails back to John Luark/Lewark. The results of this newly confirmed Lewark cousin’s test also further substantiate the likely connection previously found between my known Luark cousin’s test and at least one branch of the Ruark family line. There seem to be several Ruark/Rheuark family members who have tested, so it will be interesting to see if the specific connection between their line and the Luark/Lewark line can now be determined.
A descendant of the Wright family of Flushing has submitted a sample for Y-DNA testing. This should allow for verification with the previous Flushing family member who tested, and in turn allow me to determine whether or not my Wright line has a close connection with the Flushing line. The next step is to locate an Oyster Bay descendant for testing, to compare against the two other people who are thought to be descended from the Oyster Bay line and have already tested (and did not match each other). Once there are at least two matches from both the Flushing and Oyster Bay lines, it should be possible to determine whether or not there was a close connection between the two lines. Determining if my line matches either the Flushing line or Oyster Bay line will then give me a direction in which to focus my Wright research in the hopes of being able to verify Gabriel Wright’s ancestral line. If anyone reading this knows of a documented Oyster Bay descendant, please contact me.
I managed to locate someone who is believed to be a descendant of Philipp Stein and has already taken a Y-DNA test. The Philipp Stein line (http://www.crewfamily.com/descendants_of_philipp_stein.htm) is one I have researched for about a year now in the belief that my Stone line may be closely related to them based on lots of circumstantial evidence I have come across. It turns out the haplogroups between us are not the same and the DNA signatures are dramatically different. As the other person rightly pointed out, while this test result certainly puts a damper on a likely connection, a final determination cannot be made until at least one more descendant can be found for comparison.
Until an additional comparison is done, we must allow for the possibility of an undocumented adoption or non paternal event in either of our lines. Another possibility, as I discovered by reading a posting on the Ancestry.com message boards (http://boards.ancestrylibrary.com/localities.northam.usa.states.westvirginia.counties.pendleton/1870.2/mb.ashx), is that there were at least two different men named Henry Stone/Johann Heinrich Stein who lived in a similar area during roughly the same timeframe. One married Juliana Andre while the other married Susannah Zorn/Zornes (possible maiden name of Ruhlman).
Therefore, I’m continuing to seek DNA test candidates from either of the Stein lines as well as from my Stone line.
A cousin with a paper trail leading back to John Luark/Lewark has taken advantage of the Family Tree DNA holiday sale and ordered a Y-DNA test. He is descended from the marriage of John Luark/Lewark to Mary Elizabeth Hutton. While researches have always been under the belief that the John Luark/Lewark who married Catherine (Varner) Alderman (my line) is the same John Luark/Lewark who married Mary Elizabeth Hutton (my cousin’s line), I have yet to find anything definitive to verify this. The results of this new test, in comparison to the results of the test my other Luark cousin previously took, should finally be able to answer this with a great degree of certainty. Based on the autosomal DNA comparisons we have previously done, we will both be quite surprised if this new test result does not show a match, although the possibility of an undocumented adoption or non paternal event in either of our lines must always be kept in the back of our minds when doing DNA testing. Results are expected about mid January.