Genealogy of the Woodcock Valley
|Posted on May 3, 2013 at 6:30 PM|
And, I guess we are just going to have to say I am DNA cursed!!!
In the summer of 2012, I had my husband do the Family Finder DNA test through Family Tree DNA. I had one purpose in mind...to once and for all solve the mystery of his James K. Isett (1813-1863) family tree. Well, he had 190 distant "cousin" matches, and a few closer matches, but all we did was prove he had no close matches to any other Isett names that have already been tested. This more or less proves that he does not belong to any of the well established Isett lines through Frederick and Barbara Isett, the immigrants, and their two known sons Jacob Isett (b. abt. 1725 and died before 1790) and Frederick Isett (1730-1803). However, interestingly, he did match a person who has ties to these Isett lines through marriage.
In my heart, I still suspect my husband's ancestor was adopted, or was the product of a "non-paternal" event of some sort. It will be interesting to see what happens as more people are eventually tested. For anyone with an interest, my husband's kit number is 250393.
In the spring of 2013, I tested my father's DNA using the Y-DNA 37 test in hopes of taking my Fisher line further back in time than my 3X great grandfather, Henry Fisher (abt. 1796 - 1876). I started off believing he would test into a Berks County, PA line, but with further research and while waiting on the results, I suspected this would not be the case. I did not disappoint myself...my dad did not match any other tested line!
At 12 markers, he matched 2,513 people. Of those, 24 of his matches still bore the last name of Fisher or Fischer. At 25 markers, he had 44 matches. None of these matces still carry the last name of Fisher/Fischer. Most of his matches at the 25 marker level bear the name Vance or Bowman. At 37 markers, he had 0 matches!
So, what does this mean? Either no one else from his direct line has been tested yet, or else there was an adoption or another "non-paternal" event that took place back when. If you would like to look at his results, he is kit number 281525.
In both cases with my husband and my dad, it is like James K. Isett and Henry Fisher were just dropped from the sky into the Woodcock Valley area of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties respectively. No one in the world wants to seem to claim them other than me. I think the DNA is trying to tell me just that...these are lost souls who were outcasts from whatever family they supposedly belonged to.
My hope is that as DNA testing continues to evolve that more and more people will be tested and that perhaps some day there will be a match to my husband and my father.
Please understand that even though I feel I am DNA cursed, I still support DNA testing. I have one genealogy friend who has broken down many brick walls through DNA testing in her family research. I believe DNA testing is a valuable genealogical tool. At the same time, I do want to warn others to be ready for the unexpected and be prepared to accept it if it does happen. It is what it is. They are still your family members no matter what the past reveals.
Family Tree DNA has lowered the price of their entry level Y-DNA 12 kit to just $49. The recommended minimum level of testing is Y-DNA 37, but you can start with the lower priced kit and upgrade at any time as your finances allow and as sales are posted. The Family Finder test is also a wonderful way to go if you want to look at all of your maternal and paternal lines and find other cousins who are also researching their families. Family Tree DNA just announced that they are going to offer sale prices more frequently as their lab gets caught up on processing results in order to encourage more testing and make the prices more affordable to genealogists.
There are other DNA testing companies and opportunities available too. I have only used Family Tree DNA. If you have already tested through another company or choose to use a different testing facility, you can share your results at ysearch, which allows a platform for everyone to post their results and compare them to others who have been tested through any company. You can only post Y-DNA test results. My dad is listed as user 65YXD.
DNA testing is a whole other aspect to genealogical research. I may feel cursed at the moment, but I am still optimistic that answers will be revealed in time and with patience and continued research.
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You can also visit my personal family database at
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