I can perhaps put Rhodri's comments in a related context.
I have just downloaded from America a 663 Megabyte series of files from an
individual who has digitised over 40+ years of personal correspondence,
mainly to do with the surname Swan(n) in America. Much of the speculation
therein can be disregarded now, but some of the personal comments in these
letters are irreplaceable as most of the correspondents are now deceased,
and many are sharing their handed-down family stories. As we all know,
there can be kernels of truth in those.
About 2 years ago he took an autosomal DNA test, and discovered that his
grandmother, whom he had always thought was a Swan, was in fact not. There
had been slight family stories suggesting something was amiss, and he
finally decided to investigate using this approach. So about 3/8ths of his
lifetime of family history research was invalid, in the direct sense that it
did not relate to him.
Of course the research is still valid, but it was not directly applicable to
him, personally. All I can do is reassure him that it will not be forgotten
as long as I am around. Yet another case of "Ancestors I thought I might
have had". Has this result affected his motivation to do more? For sure,
the answer is Yes. Does he want to be involved in our attempts to try and
trace the line that he thought his grandmother had come from back further?
As yet I do not know the answer to that question.
Of course, it is everyone's call whether they want to verify their
documentation research this way. This is the downside, if you do not. You
can build paper trails in the air, which may be very gratifying to you, but
may also be ultimately shown not to be who you really are. They are
creative fiction which can stand modern-day comparison with some of the
descent trees in Burke's Peerage in the 19th century before the advent of
researchers like John Horace Round.
I should add that this looks like an interesting 1-day meeting on this
subject. Attendance costs £20 and is not too far to drive from Wales to
I am speaking for 5-10 minutes at the end on ISOGG (International Society of
Genetic Genealogy), plus I will be on the Q&A panel. All the speakers are
excellent, and are my regular colleagues at WDYTYA.
Introduction to the DNA
Lectures from WDYTYA 2016
From: dyfed-bounces(a)rootsweb.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On
Behalf Of yr achwr via
Sent: 06 June 2016 17:04
To: Marcelle; DYFED(a)rootsweb.com
Subject: Re: [Dyfed] DAVIES James - died 1868 Llangeler, Carmarthen
You won't want to here, and there is no easy way of saying it.
I suggest you obtain the death certificate for this James Davies.
It may well be that your James Davies is not the son of Enoch & Margaret
You would not be the first and probably won't be the last to follow the
We have all done it at some point in our research!
The coincidences of same name, same age and same address are too much too
It better for you find out for certain now, and if necessary start again.
Message Received: Jun 06 2016, 10:58 AM
From: "Marcelle via" <dyfed(a)rootsweb.com>
Subject: [Dyfed] DAVIES James - died 1868 Llangeler, Carmarthen
On page 3 of the Burials in the Parish of Llangeler, Carmarthen, 1868 is
listed James Davies of Trefach who was buried 13 June 1868 (so born about
Can someone tell me anything more about this person. His address is the same
as the last person on the same page, Enoch Davies who was my grt grt
grandfather. His son James was my grt grandfather, also born 1841, but he
died in 1887 in Australia so I'm intrigued to find out who this other James
I looked on Ancestry to no avail. Is there somewhere else I could look?