Month: June 2019

Anatomy of a Match

UPDATE. January, 2022. Y-DNA testing indicates Richard Sainsbury of north Somerset was born in Urchfont, Wiltshire in 1708. Any speculation in this post that suggests otherwise is therefore obsolete. It remains online as a record of this research project.

What our matches to the Sparey-Sainsbury branch tell us, and where we go from here

We’ve so far found three descendants of Martha Sparey (1737-1811) and Gabriel Sparey (1722-1799) of Corsley, Wiltshire who share DNA with five descendants of Richard Sainsbury (?-1785) and Mary Willis (c.1714?-1806?) of Portbury, Clapton in Gordano and Nailsea, Somerset.

The results tell us that the Richard Sainsbury who lived in North Somerset in the mid- to late-1700s could have been a brother or cousin of Martha Sainsbury Sparey.

Martha’s father Edward might have been baptised in Heytesbury, Wiltshire in 1705. If so, Edward’s baptismal record tells us that his father’s name was Thomas. However, there are other Edward Sainsburys born in Wiltshire around the right time, so Thomas Sainsbury as our common ancestor is only speculation at this point.

This diagram shows the DNA connections we’ve so far established although the names of living descendants have been changed:

Lines indicate shared matches between descendants of these 18th-century Sainsbury men, Edward and Richard. Shared centimorgans range from 6 up to 26.

So what’s next?

We know from the Ancestry website that the person identified in this diagram as Irene shares DNA with George, Norm, Nancy, and Doreen. We known these four cousins (ranging from first cousins to 3rd cousins) are related to each other as descendants of Richard Sainsbury and Mary Willis of Somerset.

We also know (thanks to the chromosome mapping tool on the Gedmatch site) that the DNA shared by George, Nancy and Doreen is located on chromosome 14.

Therefore, if the DNA they share with Irene is also located on chromosome 14, it will indicate they all inherited the same DNA from a common (possibly Sainsbury) ancestor.

If we can determine the location of this match we will have a much stronger case for the family connection between Richard Sainsbury of Somerset and Martha Sainsbury of Wiltshire.

Over the summer

  • We’ll be looking for more connections between Sainsbury descendants on either side of the 300-year-old Somerset-Wiltshire divide.
  • We’ll use Gedmatch to examine the location of those matches. If they are on the same chromosome we’ll have stronger evidence of a shared family connection.
  • I’ll take a break from weekly blog posts, but please comment or contact me for more information or with new discoveries!