The Breakthrough with DNA it takes FAMILY

This is going to be a synopsis of AWESOMENESS that can come from using DNA in your Family History research.

Clifford and his sister Jennie
Without going into too much detail, my husband's family has been orphaned for well...forever.  His Great Grandfather Clifford was orphaned at a young age after his father James had skipped town, and his mother and sister were taken suddenly by an illness in the early 1900s.  He ended up living with relatives and being very successful in life. But none of his posterity ever knew where Grandpa James had come from or gone too.  Joyce my husband's grandmother, loved family history and had devoted a lot of time in the search for James and his family. She had dug up some details here and there but was never able to prove any theories or feel settled that she'd solved the mystery, even after hiring a professional genealogist to help.
So sat our wall...
Image from Family Tree DNA
After my first year of RootsTech, I felt a new vigor and hope with all that I was learning about DNA testing and genealogy.  So I took some classes and learned what I could, then gathered some of my husbands cousins and we set out to over come this wall.  We tested my father-in-law with Family Tree DNA, we did the 37 marker Y-DNA test, because I felt that was a good place to start.
We immediately had success, finding Jewell's in New Hampshire, & Connecticut areas.  But honestly we weren't exactly sure where to go next.  SO admittedly we sat on it awhile, connecting with more Jewell's as time went by but not ever really taking the time to figure out the next step in the process.  Then about a year later, one of said cousin's got a new drive and got the ball rolling again.  We took our new found distant cousin from New Hampshire's research, and started tracing his ancestors posterity down. Using what we like to call DESCENDANCY RESEARCH, an approach to genealogy that I'd been learning a lot about at the recent RootsTech  and other genealogy classes.  The idea is top down genealogy instead of bottom up, meaning we start with an ancestor way back and work our way forward, as you can imagine, there are A LOT of people in the lines when doing that approach, so we divided up the lines and set out to conquer.
It was LESS THAN a WEEK and we had FOUND him, our James Jewell in Ohio, where we had narrowed our search down to in previous searches.  It was confirmation and closure, and very exciting for those of us involved.  I was thrilled to be a part of it.  Joyce always told me that she felt like it needed to be a biological Jewell who would find James, but somehow I just think he wanted us to come together as a family to do it, it blessed so many more lives that way.


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