Month: January 2020

A pair of high-quality Urchfont Edwards matches?

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.

UPDATE: January 25, 2022. This post and supporting family tree has been be updated in light of new evidence from documentary research and Y-DNA testing.

Last week an apparent Sainsbury family connection to one of our Somerset Sainsbury cousins became a (possible) Edwards match. For details see last week’s post: A crack in the case? A distant Edwards family match opens a new line of research.

This week we found additional shared matches between two Somerset Sainsbury cousins and a descendant of several families, including Edwards, who originated in Urchfont, Wiltshire.

One of the most important activities in our project is the continual identification and classification of Sainsbury descendants who match Somerset Sainbury cousins on genetic genealogy websites like Ancestry and MyHeritage.

We’re doing this to find a predominant cluster/family that might—based on the strength of numbers in our shared results—indicate our Sainsbury family of origin.

As described in last week’s post, however, some of those apparent “Sainsbury” matches may actually lead to the Urchfont Sainsburys through related ancestral lines.

A high-quality Urchfont connection

A couple of weeks ago, while re-checking the Sainsbury matches of several cousins, a new match appeared. We’ll call her Jane.

In terms of quality, given the purpose of our project, Jane’s ancestry had the advantage of having only one English grandparent—whose ancestors were from Dorset and Wiltshire. Her other ancestral lines lead back to Ireland, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe.

On the other hand, the ancestry of the Somerset Sainsbury cousin who matches Jane is centred on the Bristol area.

This means the DNA they share must have come from an ancestor on Jane’s single English line—of which one strand leads directly back to a Sainsbury family in Urchfont.

The quality of this match as evidence for an Urchfont connection to our family is therefore very high. However, there was still a problem . . .

A genetic mis-match

Our Somerset Sainsbury cousin who matches Jane does not match either Jane’s parent or her grandparent—both of whom have DNA tests on Ancestry. If the match is, indeed, on Jane’s English ancestral line, her parent and grandparent should share at least as much DNA (if not more) with our Somerset Sainsbury cousin.

The absence of those matches undermines the quality of this match as evidence of a family connection between the Sainsburys of north Somerset and the Sainsburys of Urchfont. But it was still worth exploring.

With the help of the family historian in Jane’s family, we searched Ancestry and MyHeritage for any other matches and quickly found two connections between Jane’s grandparent and two Somerset Sainsbury cousins.

The downloadable family tree at the top of this post shows how Jane’s grandfather and two of our Somerset Sainsbury cousins may be related through John SAINSBURY the Elder (1633-1710) or his wife Emm EDWARDS (1639-1720).

John SAINSBURY the Elder (1633-1710) and Emm EDWARDS (1639-1720)

“Item: I give unto Emme Saintsbury wife of John Saintsbury the elder of Escott…” Excerpt from the 1703 will of Emm’s cousin Robert Edwards. P2/E/252. Image 1762 of 3131.

If the family connection proposed by the tree at the top of this post is valid (and it certainly makes sense of the DNA connections we’ve found in this case) then it also indicates that all north Somerset Sainsbury descendants are related to the Sainsbury family or the Edwards family of Urchfont through our earliest known common ancestor, Richard Sainsbury (? – 1785).

So . . . was our earliest known Somerset Sainsbury ancestor the Richard Sainsbury who was baptised in Urchfont in 1708?

The investigation continues, but that’s the end of this week’s in-depth look at one of the highest quality matches we’ve found so far in our search for the genetic and documented origins of our Somerset Sainsbury family.

More DNA tests, more matches, more analysis, and more precise Y-DNA testing will add to our growing body of knowledge.

Y-DNA Testing for Sansburys and Sainsburys

Are you or are any of your close male relatives a Sainsbury or a Sansbury?

A Y-DNA test can indicate how closely you’re related to other branches of the Sainsbury and Sansbury family.

More results from Y-DNA tests will enable more detailed and accurate analysis of our shared history.

Can you help? Please visit the Sansbury/Sainsbury DNA Project Page.