So my wife's Ancestry.com DNA came back in. The first thing I looked at was her list of DNA-matched cousins, of course. The ethnicity results of these tests are quite broad and a little suspect but DNA matches are wonderful for confirming or challenging my family tree.
As I suspected, there was nothing obvious on her mother's side. My mother-in-law's family has been urbanites for a long time and tended to have smaller families. Additionally, half her family are recent immigrants (1850+), which means that they have fewer people testing. Americans are probably 90% of the DNA pool at Ancestry.com, which means we're not going to see a lot of Swiss or German cousins.
However, there was some good results on her father's side, who has deep colonial roots:
William Nicholson and Telitha Thomas confirmed.
Thomas Thomas and Sarah (Eades?) confirmed.
Levi Ferguson and Rachel Collins confirmed.
All these were already confirmed by 23andme testing but additional evidence is always welcome.
Now to the more exciting bits:
I have several DNA cousin matches with John Thomas Collins and Nancy Curtis as the common ancestor. Rachel had a brother named Buford and a sister named Malinda, both of whom have descendants who share DNA with my wife. In a previous post about Levi, I was unsure about the identity of Rachel's parents, although I had a decent guess. It turns out my guess was correct! Yay!
In another previous post, I argued that Levi's parents were Robert Ferguson and Rachel Falls while every other family tree on Ancestry had Aaron Ferguson and Catherine Beck as his parents. DNA has provided me with more evidence that I was right.
Rachel Fall's parents were John Falls and Rebecca Shields of Lincoln County, North Carolina. She had a sister named Sarah Falls, whose descendant shares a small segment of DNA with my wife. Pardon me while I perform my touchdown dance.
We also have some matches with Levi's grandparents, James Ferguson and Sarah Barnet, and his great grandparents, Robert Ferguson, born 1722 in Scotland, and Elizabeth Wylley, born 1738 in North Carolina.
There was one Rippey in the matches, which may confirm that line, but I can't find the exact common ancestor. There are a lot more matches, with whom I can't locate a common ancestor yet but who have good family trees. Perhaps some digging will uncover more matches. Also, in the next year, I hope to collect more spit from some earlier generations, which should really sharpen these results.