Untangling DNA

About a year or so ago and all in the interests of genealogy, I had a Y-DNA (follows the male line) test done. At the time there were only a couple of matches to mine and they were already known to me through more conventional records.

After a few months, as more people had tests done, the number of links grew a bit; again most of them were from people I knew and  shared the same or very similar surname (CURD, CURDS, CURDE etc) however, there were a couple (and now even more) who had other surnames! Perhaps even more surprisingly these were very close DNA matches differing in only 1 or 2 markers which makes it almost certain we share common ancestors. The fact that all these connected persons live in the USA made the match even more interesting. The surname with the most and best matches is ROSE which is obviously not one derived from CURD or one which could be easily mistaken for it.

I had previously contacted one or two of the ROSE relatives, but none could shed light on a possible connection – I assumed one of my ancestors must have “strayed” and, as there are many CURDs in the USA, I assumed the straying took place over there and left it at that; interesting diversion but one that seemed almost impossible to fully explain.

Today, I received an email from a W. ROSE in the USA:

Brian,  I understand that you are working on the Curd family
genealogy so you are probably aware of the fact that DNA of
a group of descendants of Robert ROSE & Dorothy match with
your Curd family descendants.  This Robert came to New England
in the 1630s and probably came from England, possibly Kent.
I’m forwarding the attached Article of the early Long Island, NY
settlers as Robert was the ROSE who was one of the first nine
settlers of Easthampton on Long Island in the 1640s having come
down from Lynn, MA.  This article states that six of the nine early
settlers came from Kent but we’re NOT certain at this time which
of these six are known to be from Kent.  It is possible that one is
our Robert ROSE whose wife was named Dorothy.
Based on there being Curd descendants who match our ROSEs,
there seems to be a connection between the two families and it
possibly began in the Kent area of England prior to the 1630 time
period.  We know that there were ROSEs living in that area so it
is possible that is where Robert came from and where the two
families connected. 
Thanks for your attention to this article and the possible connection
with our ROSE group.

Assuming this info is correct, it means that the “straying” appears to have taken place back here in Kent before 1630 and that my Hertfordshire CURD branch must be connected with KENT branch and also that the common CURD ancestor and therefore MY family were not from Hertfordshire after all!
Having been stuck in 1750 with one John CURD in Hertfordshire, this has rekindled my interest in the family’s history although finding records dating back so far won’t be easy!

CURD Family get together 2

We now have a date for the family get together:

Sarratt Local History Society are planning an Open Day and Curd Family get together in the village of Sarratt on Saturday July 19th.

There will be a display devoted to the story of the family of John Curd who married Susannah Pymley in the village church 8th August 1767.

Anyone with an interest in, or connections with, the Curd family is invited to contact John Hopkins for further details at john @ curdfamily.com (there are a couple of obvious spaces in that address, so don’t just copy and paste it).

I’ll certainly be going and am looking forward to meeting a few of my “email family”..

Free Family Tree Software

This time of year always seems to encourage a sudden burst in genealogy activity – I have made three solid new contacts for my tree in the last couple of weeks and am looking forward to making a few steps further back on the CURD line and a completely new start on the GRANT tree on Sue’s side.

For anybody just starting out, the standard advice about talking to living relatives still applies but you may also find it useful to start building your tree using your PC. Interesting to see that the highly regarded “Family Tree Legends 5” software is now available as a free download here. FTL has a feature lacking from many other solutions – it also allows proper storage of DNA info for individuals whereas most of the other packages insist on using the notes field.

FTL will of course allow import from and export to the standard GEDCOM files but interestingly it also imports directly from Family Tree Maker data.