The purpose of the DNA Weathers study is to learn more about the descendants of John Withers who was born about 1725 in Virginia, by using known lineages and atDNA and yDNA results to solve genealogical roadblocks and extend our ancestral lines. This study has been underway since March 2018.
A participant must have sufficient documentation of descent so they can reliably be assigned to the line being studied. Therefore it is important they have at least one ancestor with the surname of the study on their tree.
Trees with significant gaps in recent generations are an issue. A tree which is incomplete for the first approximately five to seven generations could mislead us to assume that shared DNA matches are from a Duke ancestor when instead the match could be from another unidentified non-Duke ancestor.
Genetic genealogy is the application of DNA evidence to historical genealogy research. Our study applies DNA results as evidence of descent based on identifying and assigning segments of DNA shared by two or more individuals descended from the ancestors being studied.
Genetic genealogy is a complex subject that can only be mastered with study and practice. Our team has the skills necessary to understand how to analyze large-scale DNA comparisons and to present DNA evidence as one of the sources supporting a genealogical tree. We encourage you to read some of the many websites, blogs and books that provided insight to this field.
This study includes anyone strongly matched to the study participants, whether their ancestor's surname is Weathers, Wheathers, Wethers, Withers or any other variation.
DNA inheritance patterns are random. Some direct line descendants do not inherit DNA from a particular ancestor or do not share any of the DNA they did inherit with another sibling or cousin and thus will not be helpful to our study which is based on cousin matching using both atDNA and yDNA results.
In every case the DNA results of the oldest generation in a family line will have the strongest DNA results, thus for example it is best if the study uses your parent’s DNA results rather than yours.
Our work is based on the concepts identified by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. As the study grew we evolved to use wikitree.com to capture the growing inter-connected lineage data. We use wikitree's 7cM threshold as a benchmark for confirming relationships; we post your furthest triangulation matches on wikitree as we identify them; and we encourage you to post your own matches for your siblings and near cousins using the wikitree.com DNA confirmation guidance so that your line can be fully DNA-verified.
As you can see from this chart which you can increase in size, fourth cousins – which form the majority of our cross-family group matches – on average only share about 13cM of their atDNA. In fact about 31% of fourth cousins will share no DNA, so having multiple people from your extended family join our effort is important for drawing relationship conclusions.
Note that my website is for my own personal research and does not include the results of the study which are circulated privately with conclusions posted on wikitree.com. Any descendants of the study participant can be auxiliary members and receive all study documentation as well.
Steps to Join Weathers Family atDNA Study:
Phase one: complete atDNA testing with ancestryDNA, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA or 23&Me. Testing techniques vary by company between a cheek swab or collecting a small amount of saliva. For the best prices look for holiday sales.
Phase two: after your atDNA testing results are complete, upload your results on Gedmatch.com (gedmatch login), a free DNA results repository site where families put their atDNA results to do statistical comparisons and draw genealogical conclusions regardless of the testing company used. Click on Gedmatch Directions and follow the steps. Provide your gedmatch number to the email at the bottom of this page so we can compare your DNA results to that of other descendants.
For males with the Weathers or Withers surname, if you have already completed yDNA testing we need your FTDNA kit number. It would be very helpful if males with the surname who have not yet tested would take a yDNA test with FTDNA up to the Y-111 marker test. It's expensive so its best to wait for a sale.
Phase three: provide the following data for our study participant sheet:
--your lineage back to your earliest known Weathers ancestor
--URL for your tree if you have one
We will next verify our understanding of your lineage with you. The reason we do this for each new participant is because we need to make certain we have the correct information available to the study leadership who may not be able to access your tree online and to ensure we know what you will be adding to our existing work on wikitree.com in the next phase. We are also looking at any non-Weathers matches you might have to other study participants.
Phase four: add your Weathers direct-line lineage to the tree we are building on wikitree.com. Use these wikitree directions for setting up your wikitree lineage.
This page shows an example of a public profile with attached ancestors and sources for Thomas Weathers. The DNA section on the center left shows atDNA matching data from our study which we added to support confirmation Thomas is the ancestor of these descendants. The bottom left shows sources. The far right shows by gedmatch number descendants of this Weathers progenitor in our study.
Our study participants are related to each other on other lines, so let us know as you discover matches you have to other participants. If you have time, consider adding your ancestors' spouses profiles to wikitree to help eliminate matches that are non-Weathers matches among us.
For your Weathers matches we will provide and explain the significance of your atDNA comparison data, post significant DNA matches to your and your ancestors' wikitree profiles, and identify potential ancestral connections based on our study data.
Based on comparing your DNA results to the results of others in the study we will also identify your non-Weathers matches because we have a number of study participants who are related to each other on non-Weathers lines. In regard to your non-Weathers matches, which we exclude from our analyses, we will put you in contact with your non-Weathers relatives in our study in case you want to work on those lines together, IF we believe you do not already know these people from participating in our other family line studies. As you have time, consider adding your ancestors' spouses to wikitree so we can further eliminate matches that are non-Weathers.