To preface my story, this match (let's call him John) is listed as
The matches that I've been able to confirm as matching me or my brother, are with a shared ancestor going back to 4th or 6th great grandparent - and they only have 20-25 cM matching. So finding this new match to hubs and such a close match was exciting.
The puzzler was that none of the match's surnames or ancestral tree are the same as my husband's. And we can both go back quite far with sources to prove the genealogy. So what gives? After scratching my head for a bit I had an "aha" moment.
I suddenly realized that one of the match's surnames was the same as the name bandied about as a bit of family lore from hubs' grandmother. Grandmother always claimed that her husband was the son of the hired man and not the son of the man he thought was his father, his mother's husband. We dismissed this as petty gossip on her part.
But now, having seen the lineage and done my own investigation, we have a compelling case that supports her claim. I don't want to use names yet so I'm going to make up names for each individual.
Sally, hubs' great grandmother
Sally's son Alex, hub's grandfather
Sally's husband William
Sally's brother Jim
Sally's hired man Mr. Smith
Hub's close match, John
John's grandfather Calvin Smith
John's great-grandfather Ralph Smith
Great grandmother Sally came from England in 1913 to live with her brother Jim. Jim lived next door to Calvin Smith. (the grandfather of our match )
Great Sally was said to have had hub's grandpa (Alex) by the hired man (Mr. Smith) who was not her husband.
We also find that Sally's husband William was living next door to Ralph Smith and two sons in 1911. They were all farmers.
Ralph Smith and his sons were all farmers and farm hands. This fits with the story of Great Grandma Sally messing around with the hired man.
Given the presumed close relationship indicated by the DNA samples, we have a theory that either Man B (our match's grandpa) or one of his nephews (we have a good candidate) was the father of hubs' Grandpa.
Now the question is how do we tactfully suggest this to our match (or do we even bring it up??) and how do we gather more evidence.
We plan on asking hubs' mother to have her DNA tested through 23andMe.com so we can see if she also matches hubs' match John, and if so, by how much.
We will also ask hubs' father to take a DNA test so we can see if he matches the same person as hubs'. One of them should match, the other should not. If it is hubs' mother who matches, that would fit the correct lineage. (maternal not paternal)
Hubs is going to join some surname groups for the lineage he thought was his. If he is not related he won't match anyone in those groups.
The new match's ancestors were all running around in the same very small community as hubs' ancestors. So there is a chance that the common ancestor is a secret that a wife or mother took to the grave. We would have to test more family members to try to narrow down the shared ancestor.
We'd like to get one of hubs' uncles to submit a DNA test if possible.
Meantime I'm doing some sleuthing to try to eliminate any possibility that there is a different shared surname and thus ancestor. But it certainly looks like hubs has a new cousin and many new family surnames to research! Mind you this is only in the theory stage, there is no definite proof of what the relationship is to our new-found match.
FN1: cM is unit of genetic distance on a chromosome. Closer relationships have longer cMs because recombination has not occurred as often.