Analyzing DNA Auto-Clusters with Pedigree Collapse: Paternal Super Cluster D

This post is my fourth in a series about Genetic Affairs’ auto-cluster tool and using it to analyze my paternal matches at AncestryDNA. It’s been about six weeks since my last post, so here’s a refresher:

I discovered my parental grandparents were closely related when running GEDMatch’s “Are Your Parents Related Tool?” on my father’s DNA kit in 2017. The results showed my father shared 120.7 cM of DNA with himself. Doing the math, my grandparents were likely first cousins, once removed (1C1R). I ran the Genetic Affairs auto-cluster tool on my father’s test at a range of 50 – 250 cM and previously identified four “super clusters”:


Paternal “Super Clusters” as interpreted from results of Genetic Affairs Auto-Cluster Tool, run date of 3 Jan 2019

My earlier posts examined Super Cluster A, Super Cluster B, and Super Cluster C and identified a MRCA — Most Recent Common Ancestor — for each. Today we’ll look at the final grouping, Super Cluster D.

Paternal Super Cluster D consists of clusters 22 – 25, as defined by Genetic Affairs:

Paternal Super Cluster D

Cluster 22 (Green) = Fowler/Faulk

  • 12 members
  • 50.1 – 76.7 cM
  • can place 4 of 12 cousins on tree
  • 3 descend from James S. Fowler & Mahala Elizabeth Faulk
  • 1 descends from Phillip Lemuel Faulk & Elizabeth Soles
  • Conclusion: This cluster contains descendants James S. Fowler & Mahala Elizabeth Faulk, and one generation up, Phillip Lemuel Faulk & Elizabeth Soles.

Cluster 23 (Red) = Unknown

  • 2 members
  • 57.3 – 74.2 cM
  • cannot place any cousins on tree

Cluster 24 (Purple) = Unknown

  • 5 members
  • 58.5 – 71.8 cM
  • cannot place any cousins on tree

Cluster 25 (Beige) = Unknown

  • 7 members
  • 50 – 70.6 cM
  • cannot place any cousins on tree

Unfortunately, only Cluster 22 has identifiable MRCAs. These shared ancestors point toward members of this super cluster being related through James S. Fowler and Mahala Elizabeth Faulk. I have not done as much research on this line, so additional descendancy research could result in my being able to place more matches on my tree.

My father does not descend multiple times from the Fowlers and Faulks, but there are some shared matches among clusters:


Concentrated Areas of Shared Matches Among Paternal Super Clusters

Area A-D shows shared matches between the Johnston and McKaskle clusters and the Fowler/Faulk cluster. These shared matches are likely explained by the marriage and resulting descendants of Rebecca Lurana Fowler and James Monroe McKaskle, and their daughter Martille McKaskle to Andrew Johnston.

Areas C1-D and C2-D show shared matches between the Smart and Fowler/Faulk clusters. These shared matches could be explained by the marriage and resulting descendants of Amarentha Smart, hypothetical daughter of Samuel Smart & Adeline Shaver, and her husband William Silas Johnston. Many of these testers descend through Andrew Johnston and Martille McKaskle, whose mother (as stated above) was Rebecca Lurana Fowler.

A key lesson learned from this exercise: Even when my father is not related multiple times to a certain ancestor couple, several of his cousins are — and their pedigree collapse effects this analysis also.

One thought on “Analyzing DNA Auto-Clusters with Pedigree Collapse: Paternal Super Cluster D”

  1. So do youu keep pushing back through our shared supergroup until some new names pop up? Not sure how you do this part, but your patience is extraordinary!

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