For over a year, I've believed that Clement Simpson and Arminta “Minty” Dutton were the parents of Nelson Simpson, the grandparents of Thomas Simpson, the great grandparents of Lowell Simpson, the 2nd great grandparents of Wayne, Bill, and Terry Simpson, and my 3rd great grandparents. I felt that I had compelling evidence to support my belief but I was unhappy that I did not have any firm documentary proof.
My 2nd great grandfather, Nelson, was born in Ohio in 1826, which was the right time and place to be the youngest son of Clement and Minty. In what I suspect was not a coincidence, Nelson later named his oldest son James Clement and two of his other sons Emery and Thomas, which happened to also be the names of Clement and Minty’s two other sons. This is strong circumstantial evidence but I still kept an asterisk next to their connection.
Genetic testing has now proved this relationship. Samuel Smith from Yakima, Washington, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year at the age of 65, shared 1% of my DNA in 3 different chromosomes. His cousin, Virginia Smith of California, shares 0.6% of my DNA, also in 3 chromosomes. This connection may sound tenuous but when you do the math, it is consistent with 3rd or 4th cousins.
I share an average of 12.5% of my DNA with my 1st cousins. However, my son, Joseph, only shares an average of 3% of his DNA with their children. When our children have children, they will only share an average of 0.78% of their DNA. In practice, they may share more or less than this amount, depending on which of their grandparent's genes they shuffled down to the next generation. So a match of 1% meant that Sam, Virginia and I may have the same 2nd or 3rd great grandfather.
Fortunately, Virginia has a neice who is an enthusiastic genealogist and she provided a detailed family tree. It did not take much time for me to determine that we were all the 3rd great grandchildren of Clement Simpson and Arminta Dutton. They were descended from Emory Dutton Simpson, the 2nd son of Arminta and the 4th son of Clement.
Happily, this discovery validated my research and uncovered some distant cousins. Unfortunately, while I have other strong genetic matches out there, if those matches do not also have a detailed, accurate family tree then it’s hard to determine how we are related. Getting further confirmations or breakthroughs is going to take quite a bit more work.