GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2002-01 > 1009936361
From: "Nancy Custer " <>
Subject: [DNA] How sure can I be?
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 17:52:41 -0800
When I joined the list a few months ago it was with the idea of using
DNA testing to support or disprove an old family story. After a few
weeks, I was sold and we did the test. Here is my question.
According to oral tradition in several branches of my mother's family
which have not been in contact with one another for several decades, my
gggrandfather who lived his known adult life as Harvey Kelley in
Cumberland County, TN was actually a member of a Dorsey family who came
from around Walhalla, SC. There are several stories to explain this
name change. In brief, it seems that Harvey (or whoever he was) was
involved in some "unfortunate" incident during or just after the Civil
War which necessitated his running away to Tennessee and changing his
name to Kelley.
Over the last 20 years or so, I have identified a Dorsey family from the
Walhalla area and eventually found an 1860 census record there for E. H.
Dorsey with a wife Louisa age 22 and son John A. age 4. Harvey Kelley's
wife was Louisa Bauknight who was born in May, 1838. Harvey and
Louisa's first son was John Alexander Kelley (my ggrandfather.)
Eventually, I came to believe that E. H. Dorsey was Elisha Dorsey son of
William H. and Martha Dorsey. Elisha had one proven brother Anderson
Dorsey who migrated to Cocke County, TN about the same time that Harvey
showed up in TN. At the same time, several of us looking for a number
of years have never found a trace of Elisha, Louisa, or John A. Dorsey
after the mid 1860's. Recently, I was able to track down a proven,
direct descendant of Anderson Dorsey and he very graciously agreed to
participate in a mini-DNA study with two of my Kelley cousins which we
did through Family Tree DNA.
Though I have not seen the actual results yet, I was notified by email
just before Christmas that all three samples matched at all 12 markers.
You can imagine how excited I am!
My question is, how confident can I be that my gggrandfather was from
this Dorsey family. What are the chances that my cousins would match
someone chosen randomly. I feel pretty confident that I have made the
right connection but other family members are asking just what it means
and suggesting that it is only another piece of circumstantial evidence
saying they MAY have shared a common ancestor in the past. At least one
cousin thinks we should extend the test to the remaining markers. Does
anybody have any numbers for the probability that two people chose
randomly would match at all 12 markers?
Ps One other piece of circumstantial evidence, an old unidentified
picture found in a Bible belonging to a descendant of Anderson Dorsey
has a very strong resemblance to the only picture we have of Harvey