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01 April 2020

Quarantine Quests: A Hobby With Infinite Possibilities

Chris Pattillo writes:

It’s times like these when I most appreciate being interested in family history research because I can do it from anywhere and the possibilities of how to spend my time are infinite. Now that I have so much extra time while I shelter-at-home, it is nice to enjoy a hobby that keeps me engaged endlessly. There’s no fear of feeling lonely when I am able to find new ancestors and share my discoveries with my siblings and cousins.
From your Ancestry account, look for ThruLines
on the DNA tab, then select "Filters" to view matches.

Two days ago, I was poking around on my Ancestry account on the ThruLines page, which is under the DNA tab, and I noticed for the first time a button labeled “Filters.” I clicked on that and saw a category for “Potential Ancestors.” What I found when I clicked on that choice is something I’ve been pursuing fervently for the past three years – ever since I nailed down my third-great-grandparents Hiram W. Gaines and Hulda Waller, while I was on my 2017 Genealogy Journey and traveling in the Southern United States–South Carolina to be exact.

Ever since that find, I’ve been seeking Hiram’s parents. I have worked pretty hard on this. Various searches led me to well-documented trees for Hiram Gaines (1725-1805) married to Margaret Teliaferro (1775-1783), but no matter how hard I tried I could not prove a connection to this family. These trees included several Hiram Gaineses. As it's a somewhat unusual name, I felt certain this was my family, but I could find no proof and did find negative clues that showed that I was wrong. Has this ever happened to you?
This screenshot shows me with a DNA connection to William S. Gaines
But the beauty of DNA is that it does not lie. ThruLines told me I have a DNA connection to William Shanklin Gaines (1757-1851) and that he is my fourth-great-grandfather: the man I have most wanted to find for three years. As a bonus, it also showed a DNA connection to his father, Hiram T. Gaines, my fifth-great-grandfather! Needless to say, I was pretty excited to find this but before I shared my discovery with others I thought I should make sure it was right, so I called CGS member Vinnie Schwarz and asked her about it. She confirmed that I could trust ThruLines. This is something I appreciate about CGS. I am grateful to be able to reach out to other CGS members, who are more knowledgeable than I am, and to be able to ask for guidance and confirmation. It is one of the best and most valuable things about being a member of our society–especially at times like these.

Have you made any big discoveries while you have been staying at home? Let us know and we will share your story.

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