Post Archives from the ‘Case Studies’ Category

Children of James Mackin

Posted on: January 22nd, 2017 by
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In a previous blog post, I described the hypothesis I've been working on: three men named Mackin--Christopher, John, and James--who lived in the Madison, Wisconsin, area in the 1860s were related to each other, perhaps brothers. I have researched all three men and their descendants, and initiated a DNA testing project in order to determine whether this hypothesis is correct. Recently I heard from a Continue reading the story "Children of James Mackin"

Working with POISON DNA Segments

Posted on: January 8th, 2017 by
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Earlier this week Blaine Bettinger posted on "The Danger of Distant Matches."[1. Blaine Bettinger, "The Danger of Distant Matches," 6 January 2017, The Genetic Genealogist ( : accessed 7 January 2017). This was a follow-up to an earlier post, "Small Matching Segments--Friend or Foe?," 2 December 2014 ( : accessed 6 January 2017).] In his post Blaine colorfully calls segments smaller than 10 cM[2. cM Continue reading the story "Working with POISON DNA Segments"

The Christopher Mackin Problem, or Three Brothers?

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 by
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My husband's most distant ancestor in his surname line is Christopher Mackin. Christopher was born in Ireland 10 August 1821[1. St. James Cemetery (Town of Vermont, Dane County, Wisconsin; County Road F, south of Black Earth), Christopher Mackin marker; personally read and photographed by author, 2005.] and first appears in American records in Madison, Wisconsin, where he filed a declaration of intention in 1854.[2. Wisconsin, Continue reading the story "The Christopher Mackin Problem, or Three Brothers?"