Back in March of 2012, I was contacted via the Ancestry.com messaging system by someone who saw my Ancestry Member Tree and noticed that our second great grandfathers were brothers. Since that time, this fourth cousin and I have exchanged many emails and lots of Stone family information. Most importantly, she was able to make me aware of research that her great grand aunt did when she applied to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1942. Unfortunately, despite our solid paper trails, this fourth cousin and I were not able to verify our relationship with DNA testing since we did not come up as matches to each other’s test, as can be the nature of autosomal DNA testing. As it turns out, though, her great grand aunt’s research provided the foundation for new research this fourth cousin and I have done which has lead to many new discoveries regarding the Stone line.
One item of much interest in the DAR application was the listing of the names of two spouses of children of Henry Stone. Using this information, it became possible to find census records and other documentation which lead to locating someone about a year ago who was likely a mutual fifth cousin to me and my fourth cousin. I say likely, because while there were many pieces of circumstantial evidence to support the connection, there was nothing which confirmed the maiden name of this fifth cousin’s third great grandmother. We concluded the connection was quite probable, but vowed to keep researching to see if additional information could be found to better substantiate our relationship.
About a month ago, Ancestry added a new record collection of Pennsylvania Death Certificates. Within this new record collection were two death certificates for sons of this fifth cousin’s third great grandmother, and the maiden name of their mother in both cases was Sarah Stone. Finally, we had the paper trail link we had been searching for.
As part of her ongoing genealogy research, this fifth cousin recently took the Ancestry DNA autosomal test. Just yesterday, she sent me a couple emails letting me know she had received her results back, and later, that she had found my test result among her matches. At long last, I now have the first match (outside my immediate family) that I can say is most likely a mutual descendant of my fourth great grandparents, Henry Stone and Margaret Murphy. I still need at least one more match, however, so that the proper triangulation of the matching chromosomes and segments can be done in order to confirm we are matching on the same ancestors.
All in all, this is a very exciting discovery and first step!