DNA: Exploring AncestryDNA Thrulines

ThruLines® is a tool from AncestryDNA that shows you how you might be related to people with whom you share DNA.

A ThruLine is a hypothetical connection based on information from your family tree that supports a link between your tree and the family tree of the person you match (a match is someone who shares some DNA with you).

For a ThruLine to exist both you and your match need to have a family tree linked to your DNA test. AncestryDNA uses the family tree linked to your test to find people who are in your tree and also in the
trees of your matches.

You can find ThruLines from any page on Ancestry®. Click the DNA tab to start. ThruLines are available for ancestors through to 5th great-grandparents.

Here is a screenshot of my husband Greg’s ThruLines.

We know all of Greg’s great great grandparents, but when it comes to earlier generations there are gaps. ThruLines, using a combination of DNA and family trees, has the potential to help identify some of the ancestors whose name we don’t know. These suggestions are identified in green.

Thomas Harvey, born 1739, has been identified as possibly one of Greg’s fifth great grandfathers.

I select Thomas from the grid on ThruLines. While hovering it shows me there are two DNA matches who are also descended from Thomas. I am invited to evaluate the relationship paths.

One of the matches is a second cousin descended from Greg’s great grandmother Edith Caroline Edwards. The other match is identified as possibly a sixth cousin.

If I click on the green ‘Evaluate’ button beside the name of Thomas Harvey, I see two different sorts of trees to review. One tree is created by the DNA match, but it is a private tree with apparently no records. However, clicking on the private tree I can see that there are in fact 13 records attached. So I can evaluate the possible shared ancestry I have written to the match requesting access to the tree.

There are also 3 other trees with Thomas Harvey, with up to 3 records attached. The researchers have no DNA connection but are researching the same ancestors. Selecting one of the other trees I can see the three attached records and I can review these further. I am also invited to add Thomas to my tree on the basis of the research done by the Ancestry member. I prefer to progress more slowly and to evaluate the records to see if Thomas Harvey is indeed the father of Jane.

ThruLines has given me some hints to work on to go further back on the Harvey line and review the records to see if I can link Greg’s 4th great grandmother Jane Harvey to Thomas and Patience Harvey. The difficulty is that Harvey is not an uncommon surname and Jane is a common forename. It is hard to be certain that Jane Harvey is linked to this family. Parish records in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are less useful in making connections between the generations. I do not think there are wills available for this family which would help to link the generations.

ThruLines® is a useful tool for suggesting connections between DNA matches and providing hints about possible relationships. However, as with all such hints and clues, the written records must also be assessed to determine if the relationship suggested by the DNA evidence actually holds

WikiTree link for Jane Harvey: Jane (Harvey) Edwards (abt. 1766 – 1842)

Wikitree – what is it and should I use it?

Front page of Wikitree.com as at 16 September 2022

Recently a user on a Reddit genealogy forum asked, Wikitree-what is it and should I use it?

He received some interesting answers.

One user replied:

WikiTree is a free global tree, where one profile is created per ancestor that users collaborate on. The most popular global trees are FamilySearch, Geni, and WikiTree.

Advantages of working on a global tree are:
. you have other people to share the work with and learn from
. all the best sources and info and are combined into one place
. gives the opportunity to see conflated information you probably wouldn’t notice outside a global tree (for example, two profiles have the same date of birth and parents but aren’t the same person, meaning further research is needed)
. view relationships to other people in the global tree
. other people are more likely to see your research vs. just having it in your own tree

While smaller than the other global trees, WikiTree focuses the most on accuracy and tries to enforce a standard of having at least one source per profile , and only using reliable sources for pre-1700 profiles. It is probably the most “serious” genealogy site of the three. It is not a records repository site like Ancestry or FamilySearch though.

Another user wrote:

I am a big fan of the Wiki collaborative editing concept, but I found the WikiTree UI clunky to use and got discouraged after a few days.

Another pointed out that:

Wikitree is not a records repository. It's aim is to be the most accurate "one world tree" there is, where users are supposed to collaborate on profiles of people, and list sources to support the facts.

While it sometimes falls short of 100% accuracy and profiles without enough good sources, I generally find it a good place to collaborate. There are a lot of experienced genealogists contributing, and it's a bit harder for a newbie to cause too much erroneous damage than it would be on the FamilySearch shared tree. It's also good in that you can write (or edit or contribute too) a biography for your ancestors - describe the facts, anecdotes if any, and research notes if there are complicated interpretations of sources.

I find it a useful place to share my research - I think of it more of a site to "give to" rather than one to "take from" -- my family members and distant cousins can make use of what I've found, and review sources to make sure that I (and others) didn't get any of it wrong. I like to think of genealogy as a perpetual work in progress, and we should all share what we know. It saves a lot of hours not having to blindly replicate some complicated research that someone else has already done.

It also has neat things like seeing how you are connected to famous people. I also like how users can enter DNA info on their profiles (not DNA data itself, but that they took a test and where), and that info is propogated in a useful way through their relations in the tree. It has lots of useful and fun apps for various purposes.

If you're interested in it, one warning -- it's a bit of a learning curve to learn the ins and outs, but there are good help pages and videos. Also it is time-consuming to create good profiles, so it is for the patient and careful type. You have to search to see if a profile exists or not to determine of you should create a new profile or edit an existing one, because one person should only have one profile. And the features won't be useful unless you build out your tree enough to connect in to the rest of the world.

Other people on the Reddit forum complained that the collaborative process sometime allowed incorrect information to be added.

Another user noted that “Adding sources is a lot of work and if you’re not familiar with wiki formatting it is slow.”

A user added a few pointers:

You’ve gotten a lot of good explanations on what wikitree is so here’s a few tips on using it.

1. It’s a great way to share your research with others. A cousin is curious and all you have to do is send a link. No long email with info. It’s all there in a free, easy to understand way.
2. Is that it’s a great way to keep your research online. Since they encourage putting in all your sources, you know have access to it all online and can work on your tree anywhere. Sure you can do that on other sites, but I personally find wikitree to be an easier way to do it. And it’s free.
3. Rootstech. [I think the author means Rootsearch found on the right of the data entry screen] It puts your info in the search boxes. Click the site you want to search and voila. No more jumping back and forth having to put in the info on each site you use.
4. The community is actually active and you can get help and actual support.
5. Join a project. Sometimes we burn out on our own trees. Those brick walls just get us. Maybe there’s a project you can join. A challenge that you can find. Some project generate a list of profile with errors so you can quickly help others.

Things you may not like 
1. It’s meant as a genetic tree, so adoptive parents/children may find that off putting.
2. It’s a lot of work putting in all the data.
3. As with all shared trees you have to trust the other users.

A review of Wikitree published at https://www.dnaweekly.com/reviews/wikitree/ was unfavourable. The reviewer found the interface clunky and unintuitive. She wanted to explore uploading a GEDCOM file, a file which contains genealogical information about individuals such as names, events, and relationships; the records are linked together by metadata. However, she found it best to start building her tree. It is apparent from her efforts that she is not an experienced genealogist, for she entered her maternal grandmother with her married name, not her maiden name. She could not

 “locate any birth, death, or marriage certificates for any of my family members, even though I’d found them on other sites. If you’re after historical records specifically, you’d be better with Ancestry. It has a huge bank of records with an easy-to-use searching tool.”

Of course—and some people miss the point—this is because WikiTree is not a records repository.

The reviewer misunderstood Wikitree and was disappointed.

A response on the Reddit forum about sourcing points to a useful browser extension:

Entering sources is really easy using the WikiTree Sourcer browser extension (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:WikiTree_Sourcer). It came out in October. Easily cite Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, ScotlandsPeople, Find A Grave, UK BMD, with more sites to be added in the future. It even automatically adds a free sharing link for Ancestry sources.

For sources from other sites, most of the WikiTree projects have pages dedicated to source citation templates you can copy and fill in, or source citation examples for specific sites.

I have been using this extension recently and I found it very effective for adding information to profiles. I recommend it. There is a YouTube video which explains how to use it, at WikiTree Sourcer Extension Intro and Overview.

I agree that the interface of WikiTree is clunky but it is effective. It takes a little while to get used to and some knowledge of genealogical conventions such as the use of maiden names for women is required. It is expected that sources are cited according to conventions but as the Help page says: “the important thing is citing the source, not how it’s done.” “Genealogy without sources is mythology!” (According to a 2011 post by Tamura Jones the source of this aphorism is possibly Mary L. Henke.)

Family Tree Magazine has an introduction to Wikitree at https://familytreemagazine.com/websites/wikitree-tutorial/ The presentation notes “This is a collaboration—it’s meant to be accurate. Mistakes will happen, but the group assumes the best intentions of others and pledges to be courteous as they hammer out their differences in research findings.”

In a post of 26 April 2019, the genealogist Kitty Cooper discusses why you should add your research to WikiTree. She starts her post “A heartbreaking moment for any family historian is when you discover that your late genealogist cousin’s wife has shredded all his papers. This actually happened in my family.”  Sadly, this has happened in my family too. However, with Wikitree I believe my research will be there as a resource for my descendants and my cousins to use now and indefinitely into the future, safe, I hope, from accidental or malicious damage.

To sum up: Wikitree is not a records repository but a global family tree with a profile for each person. Wikitree users collaborate in their research. Wikitree is a site to give to rather than take from. My family members and distant cousins can make use of what I’ve found and review sources to make sure that I didn’t get any of it wrong. I agree with the idea of “genealogy as a perpetual work in progress”, and that we should share what we know. Not having to replicate complicated research that someone else has already done can save a lot of time. The Wikitree interface is a little rough and ready, and it takes time to learn, but there are tools to help.

Related posts

Tree progress September 2022

In May 2018 I wrote in this journal about progress I was making on my family tree. The previous ten generations of my children’s ancestors have a maximum total of 1,023 people. How many of these, I wondered, could I name.

I found that I knew the names of only 319 (31%). Today, four and a half years later, I can name 384 (38%). This is 65 more, an increase of 26 on what I knew a year ago. I have yet to discover the names and other information about the remaining 639.

Ten generations takes you to your 7th great grandparents. Where I know their date of birth, most of my children’s 7th great grandparents were born in the late 1600s and 1700s. I know the names of 99 of the 512 ancestors of this generation. I don’t know very much more than the names of 44.

In recent years I have transferred the outcome of much of my research to WikiTree, a collaborative project intended to produce a single worldwide family tree.

In a post of 26 April 2019, the genealogist Kitty Cooper discusses why you should add your research to WikiTree. My research will be there as a resource for my cousins to use now and indefinitely into the future, safe, I hope, from accidental or malicious damage.

There are discrepancies between my personal research tree and WikiTree. For one thing, I have names of ancestors on my personal tree about whom I know nothing more. These people cannot be added to WikiTree until I have more information about them. When I add a person to WikiTree I provide source citations: I state how I know the facts being added and about the relationship of the newly-added profile to other people on the tree. Adding my family tree to WikiTree is an excellent way to review and verify my family history research.

When looking at the 1,023 individuals of the previous ten generations of our ancestors, I now have 313 recorded on WikiTree, 31% of the possible maximum. This is 55 more than the 258 recorded on WikiTree a year ago. I need to find more details for the 70 ancestors where I know not much more than the name and add them to WikiTree. The challenge remains to try to learn about the 639 ancestors missing from our tree.

Chart generated from Wikitree of my daughter’s ancestors

Related posts

‘You’ve never had it so good’

As part of its 5-year Productivity Inquiry, the Australian Productivity Commission recently released an interim report into Australia’s productivity performance, entitled 5-year Productivity Inquiry: The Key to Prosperity.  The report states that:

At the turn of the twentieth century, life was materially worse for the average Australian than it is today, in many dimensions:
. For every 10 000 newborn babies, more than 1000 died before they reached their first birthday, compared to just 3 in 10 000 today.
. For infants who survived childbirth, life expectancy was about 60 years, compared to more than 80 years today. The invention of antibiotics, which largely eradicated infectious diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, pneumonia, typhoid fever, plague, tuberculosis, typhus, and syphilis, was decades away, and only became part of mainstream medicine from the 1950s.
. During their 60 years of life, the average Australian worked much longer hours than today (the 48 hour week was made law in 1916). There was little access to paid leave (paid annual leave was first introduced into industry awards beginning in 1935). And the workplace was more dangerous workplace.
. The average Australian died before accessing the age pension, which was introduced in 1909 for men aged 65 years and over. The average person could afford far fewer goods and services with wages he earned.
. Home life was more crowded (about 5 people per household in 1910 compared to less than 3 today in much larger houses) and much dirtier: automatic dishwashers and washing machines did not become commonplace in Australian households until at least the 1970s, and until the 1950s toilets were often located outside the house.

I thought it would be interesting to look at how some of this applied to those of our family who lived in the two decades either side of 1901, the year the Australian states federated to become a single nation.

This chart, produced using the application DNAPainter, shows my children’s direct ancestors who were alive in this period.

Generation from children:

  • Great grandparents: 7 were born in these decades
  • Great great grandparents: all 16 lived in these decades and 1 died
  • 3*great grandparents: 24 of the 32 lived in these decades and 10 died in the period
  • 4*great grandparents: 9 of the 64 are known to have lived in these decades and 6 died in the period

Altogether 56 of my children’s ancestors lived in the period 1891 – 1911, 7 were born in the period and 17 died in the period.

My children’s great grandparents who were born between 1891 and 1912 lived between 49 and 105 years. They died at average age of just under 77 years.

The age at first marriage for this generation ranged from 19 to 26 years, with an average age of 22. Families were usually small: two women had one child each, one had two and the fourth had six. No child died younger than one year old; one child died aged 17 months; the rest lived to adulthood.

All my children’s 16 great great grandparents were alive in the decades either side of 1901. They were born between 1856 and 1889. They died between 1898 and 1966 aged between 35 and 85, with the average age just over 70; Sarah Jane Young nee Way died at the age of 35 giving birth. This generation was first married between the ages of 18 and 38 at an average age of 25. The women had between one and ten children. The average was 5. Three families each lost a child aged less than one year. This was 7% of the 41 children born to this generation of women.

Twenty-four of my children’s 32 third great grandparents were alive in the decades either side of 1901. They were born between 1822 and 1862. All members of that generation died between 1872 and 1942. The average age at death was just over 65; the range was 26 to 85. (Annie Frances Champion Crespigny nee Chauncy died aged 26 as a consequence of childbirth.) The men and women of this generation were first married between the ages of 17 and 42 with the average age being 24. The women had between two and thirteen children, on average they had 7 children. Eight families lost between one and three children aged less than one year: 14 of the 112, or 12.5%, of the children born to this generation of women.

Nine of my children’s 64 fourth great grandparents were alive in the decades either side of 1901. Of the 47 fourth great grandparents whose year of birth I know, all were born between the years 1766 and 1835. I have the death dates for only 40 people of this generation. They died between 1832 and 1915. They were aged 36 to 92 with an average age at death of 63. For the 43 people whose age at marriage I know, their age at first marriage ranges from 17 to 49 with the average age being 25. The women had between at least 3 and 11 children, with the average being 7 children. 9 women lost at least one child and up to 4 children in infancy; 16 children out of 164, or one in ten died in the first year of life.

I have found it hard to gather the information for people living seven generations earlier—over 200 years ago— and thus am less confident in the figures but I think they give an indication of the experiences of those who lived in the era.

Clearly, however, the generation that was born around the time of Australian Federation in 1901 lived longer than previous generations and had smaller families.

Generation from childrenAverage LifespanAverage age when first marriedAverage number of children born to womenRate of babies died before they reached their first birthday
Great grandparents772220
Great great grandparents702557%
3*great grandparents6524712%
4*great grandparents6325710%

Based on the experience of Greg’s and my ancestors, I agree with the Productivity Commission that

  • Babies born to the generation born around 1900 were more likely to survive past one year than in previous generations.
  • The generation born in 1900 had longer lifespans than their forebears and their families were smaller.
  • The generation born around 1900 would seem to have been more likely to have been able to collect a pension and they lived in smaller households than their forebears.

The Productivity Commission asserts that

“at the turn of the twentieth century, life was materially worse for the average Australian than it is today on many dimensions”. The Commission states there has been a “dramatic rise in living standards over the past two centuries. This is despite the global population increasing almost 7-fold over that period. Just 200 years ago, 90 per cent of the world’s population lived in a state of extreme poverty, compared to less than 10 per cent today . In Australia, economic output per person — a general measure of prosperity — is around 7 times higher than at Federation (121 years ago).  This transformation is ultimately a function of human ingenuity: of being more productive — working smarter not harder.” …
“It means that people alive today have the opportunity to access an array of goods and services that were unimaginable in the past. And access to these goods and services can transform people’s quality of life.”

Ross Gittens wrote in ‘’The Age’’ of 10 August:

“When you think about it, this is amazing. Objectively, there’s no doubt we’re hugely more prosperous than our forebears. Our lives are longer and healthier, with less pain, less physical exertion, less work per week, bigger and better homes, more education, more comfort, more convenience, more entertainment, more holidays and travel, more ready contact with family and friends, and greater access to the rest of the world."

Gittens questions whether we feel better off: “We’re undoubtedly better off in 100 ways, but do we feel much better about it?”

I think the improvements in health and longevity mean we are indeed better off than previous generations.

The generation born around 1900 were fated to live through two world wars with all their dreadful consequences.  My maternal grandfather was a firm believer in education. His own made a huge difference in his ability to recover from the second World War 2. In its aftermath he was recruited to work in Australia, where he built a new life.

I do not think our ancestors would have hankered after, or even imagined, the blessings we take for granted, such as our many possessions and our ability to travel in comfort at great speed but they would have envied our health, our education, and the luxury we enjoy of freedom from worry about food and housing.


The expression ‘You’ve never had it so good’ was made popular by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. In 1957, Macmillan made a speech in Bedford, UK to his fellow Conservatives, in which he offered the opinion that: “Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good”. In the speech he celebrated the success of Britain’s post-war economy while at the same time urging wage restraint and warning against inflation. He was mimicking the line of the US Democratic Party which used ‘You never had it so good’ as a slogan in the 1952 US election campaign. From https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/youve-never-had-it-so-good.html

Julia Wilkinson née Mainwaring (1857 – 1907)

My second great grand-aunt Julia Mainwaring, the sixth of seven children of Gordon Mainwaring and Mary Mainwaring née Hickey, died in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire on 17 August 1907, 115 years ago tomorrow.

Julia was born on 10 April 1857 in Peachey Belt, South Australia, then a forested area where firewood and fencing material was gathered, now the industrial suburb of Penfield, 35 kilometres north of central Adelaide. The Mainwarings had a farm there, sold in 1859.

FOR SALE, 60 Acres of LAND (Section 4108) in the PEACHEY BELT, and near the thriving township of Penfield. On it is erected a comfortable 5-roomed Dwelling-house, with an Acre of Garden fenced in, and planted with Vines and Fruit Trees adjoining; also a Well of excellent water, Stockyard, Stackyard, &c. It is subdivided into two paddocks of 40 and 20 acres respectively, the larger of which was fallowed last year, and is now under crop. For further particulars, enquire of H. Gilbert, Esq, solicitor, Adelaide; or to Mr. G. Mainwaring, on the premises.

By 1861 the family lived in Ward Street, North Adelaide, later moving to East Terrace opposite the Botanic Gardens. In 1866 they left for England; Julia was nine years old.

In 1871 the family, including Julia, then thirteen, was living at 94 Grosvenor Place Marylebone. The household included 4 live-in servants.

In 1874 Julia was involved in Shakespearean tableaux with her sister Alice. She appeared as Juliet in a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tableau arranged by Edward Matthew Ward, RA. She also appeared as Anne Page in the ‘Merry Wives of Windsor‘, arranged by the author and journalist Edward Dicey; her character was described by The Times as “arch and pretty”.

Portrait of Julia Mainwaring hanging in the Chinese Room at Whitmore Hall

On 12 July 1875 at St Swithin, London Stone, Julia married John Campbell Wilkinson, a retired naval lieutenant:

From the Morning Post of 14 July 1875:

Wilkinson -Mainwaring. -On the 12th inst., at the parish church, St. Swithin's, by the Rev. Edward Allfrey, John Campbell Wilkinson, lieutenant R. N., youngest son of George Yeldham Wilkinson, Esq., of Tapton, Derbyshire, to Julia, youngest daughter of the late Gordon Mainwaring, Esq. of Whitmore, Staffordshire.

In 1891 Julia and her husband were living in Bryanston Street, Marylebone, with two servants. (I have not been able to find John and Julia Wilkinson on the 1881 census)

In February 1900 John Campbell Wilkinson died at the age of fifty-six He was buried in a grave among those of the Mainwaring family, at All Soul’s cemetery in Kensal Green.

In the 1901 census Julia, possibly on holiday, was recorded as staying at Oriental Place in Brighton.

On 17 August 1907 Julia, fifty years old, died at Combe Cottage, Hambleden in Buckinghamshire and was buried with her family at All Soul’s cemetery in Kensal Green. Her probate records give her usual residence as 55 Connaught Street, Hyde Park, London. She left a will, with the executor her brother-in-law Augustus Frederick Wilkinson.

John and Julia Wilkinson had no children.



Alice Moore née Mainwaring (1852 – 1878)

My second great grand aunt Alice Mainwaring was born in Adelaide, South Australia 170 years ago today, on 14 August 1852. Baptised on 14 October at St Andrew’s, Walkerville, she was the fourth of seven children of Gordon Mainwaring and Mary Mainwaring née Hickey.

Portrait of Alice Mainwaring hanging in the Chinese Room at Whitmore Hall

In 1862 Alice’s grandfather Rowland Mainwaring died and her father inherited the family estate of Whitmore in Staffordshire, England.

In April 1863 her sister Emily died aged fourteen, “after a long and most painful illness”. Her oldest sister Ellen was married in February 1865.

On 5 January 1866, when Alice was thirteen years old, she and her family—without Ellen and without her oldest brother who was at school there—sailed for England on the clipper ship “City of Adelaide. (This ship, which had been launched two years before, is now on display in Port Adelaide. It is said to be the world’s oldest remaining vessel of its type.)

Until their departure for England, the family had been living on East Terrace, opposite the Botanic Gardens. Alice’s maternal aunt Julia Morris was matron of the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, situated nearby in the grounds of the Gardens.

In January 1866 there was a sale of the ‘superior household goods’ and effects of Gordon Mainwaring who had left the colony which included a pianoforte, a very elegant full drawing room suite in walnut and green damask, tapestry and brussels carpets.

The family settled in London in 1869. Whitmore Hall was leased and the family did not move there. The 1871 census has them living at 94 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, not far from Regent’s Park.

Alice’s father died 21 December 1872 and was buried at All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green.

Alice’s portrait hangs at Whitmore Hall, in the Chinese Room. She was evidently very pretty, and it was hoped that she would marry well. Family stories mention a match with Lord Brooke, heir of the Earl of Warwick, but it is said that she was not considered suitable and that permission to wed was refused.

Alice seems to have moved in artistic circles. ‘Miss Alice Mainwaring of Whitmore’ appeared in a Shakespearean tableau as Portia from the Merchant of Venice. The tableau, arranged by the popular R.A. portraitist James Sant, was one of a series held to raise money for charity.

From the Morning Post 22 April 1876 page 6

On 22 May 1878 Alice Mainwaring married Lieutenant William Boyle Moore of the 37th Regiment at St Mary’s, Bryanston-square, London.

London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P89/MRY2/080 Retrieved through ancestry.com

On 3 June 1878, less than 2 weeks after her marriage, Alice died at the Queens Hotel in Hastings on her honeymoon. She was only twenty-five. It has been variously suggested that she committed suicide, that she died choking on a fishbone, and that the fishbone story was concocted to hide some other distressing truth. Her death certificate states she died of pleuropneumonia (a severe bacterial infection) after an illness of three days.

Death certificate of Alice Moore
The Queen’s Hotel, Hastings (about 1882). Image from Historical Hastings: Queens Hotel.
The marriage and death notices of Alice Moore née Mainwaring appeared in the same column of the Adelaide Express and Telegraph of 24 July 1878

Alice was buried with her father, at All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green.


  • Cavenagh-Mainwaring, Christine and Britton, Heather, (editor.) Whitmore Hall : from 1066 to Waltzing Matilda. Adelaide Peacock Publications, 2013. Page 109.


Philip Champion de Crespigny, General Manager of the Bank of Victoria

My great great grandfather Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850 – 1927) was General Manager of the Bank of Victoria.

One of my cousins recently obtained a photograph of the staff of the bank in 1917 from the Historical Services Curator of the National Australia Bank (which was formed by the amalgamation of the Bank of Victoria with the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney in 1927 and the National Bank of Australasia in 1982).

Staff of the Bank of Victoria in 1917

The photo appears to have been taken on the roof of the bank’s head office in Collins Street. There are no names with the photo, but clearly recognisable seated at the centre is Philip Champion de Crespigny.

Philip Champion de Crespigny in 1917

His obituary notice in the Argus (Melbourne), on 12 March 1927, outlines Philip de Crespigny’s banking career:

[Crespigny] joined the service of the Bank of Victoria in June, 1866, as a junior clerk. After spending a few years in country districts in service of the bank he was promoted to the position of manager at Epsom, and he filled a similar position at other country towns. Subsequently he was placed in charge of the South Melbourne branch of the bank. At the end of 1892 he was appointed assistant inspector, and he continued to act in that capacity until 1908, when he took the office of chief inspector. In 1916 he became general manager of the bank in succession to Mr George Stewart.

At the time of his first marriage, to Annie Frances Chauncy in 1877, Philip de Crespigny was the manager of the Bank of Victoria branch at Epsom five miles north-east of Bendigo. His oldest son Philip was born there in 1879. In early 1882 Philip moved from Epsom to Queenscliff, a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula, 30 kilometres south-east of Geelong. The Bank of Victoria was at 76 Hesse Street. Philip’s son, my great grandfather Constantine Trent, was born at Queenscliff in March 1882. Philip’s wife Annie died at Queenscliff in 1883.

In 1886 Philip transferred to be manager of the Elmore branch, forty kilometres northeast of Bendigo. In 1887 he was appointed manager of the South Melbourne branch. In 1888 he became Assistant Inspector of Branches, and was appointed Inspector of Branches in 1908. In 1916 he became the bank’s General Manager.

Another obituary, in the Melbourne Herald of 11 March 1927, notes that Philip was remembered for his “ability as a financial expert [and this] was known throughout Australia. During the war period, he gave his services freely to the Government, his advice having been of the greatest value to the country.”

A 1918 photograph of the Bank of Victoria’s office in Collins Street shows an advertisement for the 7th War loan.

In its half-yearly reports during the war the Bank made mention of employees who had been killed in action or died of wounds.

Philip had six sons of whom the four eldest served in the war and one, Philip, was killed in 1918.



Lieutenant John Walker R.N.

On 17 May 1838 at Launceston, Tasmania, one of my fourth great aunts, Theresa Susannah Eunice Snell Chauncy (1807-1876), married John Walker (1796-1855), a retired officer of the Royal Navy. He was forty-two; she was thirty-one.

The Naval Biographical Dictionary compiled in 1849 by William Richard O’Byrne, has a brief account of Walker’s career.

At the age of ten or so, he entered the Royal Navy on 9 May 1806 as a First class volunteer [cadet] on the Swallow sloop (387 tonnes, 121 men) under Captain Alexander Milner. The Swallow patrolled the Channel and the coasts of Spain and Portugal. He attained the rating of midshipman in early 1809.

In August 1809, five months later, he was transferred to HMS Norge, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line. The Norge was commanded as follows:

  • 1808 – 1809 Captain Edmund Boger
  • 1810 – 1811 Captain John Sprat Rainier
  • 1811 Captain William Waller
  • 1812 – 1814 Captain Samuel Jackson
  • 1814 – 1815 Captain Charles Dashwood

Walker served on the Norge off Lisbon, at the defence of Cadiz, in the Mediterranean, in the North Sea, and on the North American and West India stations. From late 1813 held the rank of Master’s Mate, a midshipman who had passed the exam for Lieutenant, and was eligible for promotion when a vacancy became available. In 1814-15 he took part in the operations against New Orleans. HMS Norge was paid off in August 1815. On leaving the Norge Walker was presented with a commission bearing the date 17 February 1815. He was on half-pay from 1815.

In 1821 the crew of the Norge and other members of an 1814 convoy shared in the distribution of head-money arising from the capture of American gun-boats and sundry bales of cotton. In 1847 the Admiralty issued a clasp (or bar) marked “14 Dec. Boat Service 1814” to survivors of the boat service, including the crew of the Norge, who claimed the clasp to the Naval General Service Medal.

HMS ‘Norge’ (captured from the Danes 1807) off Pendennis Castle. 1811 watercolour by artist W.H.
In the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London Object: PAF5858

When John Walker married Theresa Chauncy on 17 May 1838 in Launceston, Tasmania, the Launceston Advertiser of 24 May 1838 reported:

MARRIED.—At St. John's Church, on the 17th inst., Lieut. JOHN WALKER, R.N., to THERESA, daughter of W.S. CHAUNCY, Esq., of London.

John and Theresa Walker moved to Adelaide, where John Walker carried on business as a general merchant and shipping agent. The Walkers established a farm called Havering on the banks of the River Torrens.

Havering about 1839 pastel on paper by Theresa Walker. Havering was a farm established by the Walkers on the banks of the River Torrens, Adelaide.

John Walker chaired a local landowners meeting and in 1839 the village of Walkerville was named after him.

From The Colonist (Sydney, NSW), Saturday 19 January 1839, page 3:

WALKERVILLE.-At a recent meeting of the proprietors of the preliminary section on the Torrens, immediately adjoining North Adelaide, purchased from Governor Hindmarsh for 1100l,. and now laid out by Messrs, Hindmarsh and Lindsay, surveyors, as a village, containing 100 acre allotments, it was proposed that the name of Walkerville should be given to the property, in compliment to our excellent colonist, Captain Walker, R. N., who is also a considerable proprietor. The proposal was agreed to unanimously; and Walkerville promises speedily to rival Hindmarsh Town, and become the most delightful suburb of Adelaide. Allotments, we are informed, are selling in both villages at from 25l. to 50l. each, according to situation

During the 1840s, John Walker fell victim to overspeculation in land value and a South Australian financial depression. He was imprisoned briefly for debt in 1841. In 1849 he left the colony with wife Theresa to take up a government position in Tasmania.

John Walker painted in 1846 by his sister-in-law Martha Berkeley (Theresa’s sister). The painting is now hanging in the Art Gallery of South Australia.

John Walker died 8 January 1855. From the Hobart Colonial Times of 11 January 1855:

On Monday, the 8th of December, at Government Cottage, Launceston, LIEUT. WALKER, R.N , Port Officer, aged 58 years, deeply lamented by a large circle of friends, whose esteem he had gained by his affability of manner, and his undeviating rectitude in the discharge of his duty The funeral will leave Government Cottage on Wednesday, the 10th instant, at 4 p m. [Should be January but misreported in newspapers.]

From the The Cornwall Chronicle of 10 January 1855 and repeated in the Adelaide Times 27 January 1855 :

The death of this gentleman, who was formerly a well known merchant of this city, is thus recorded in the Launceston Cornwall Chronicle of the 10th inst. :—
It is our painful duty to record the death on Monday evening, of Lieutenant John Walker, who for some years past has filled the appointments of Port Officer of Hobart Town, and Harbour Master of this port. Lieutenant Walker, as will be seen by the following extract from O'Byrne, has been on half-pay since 1815. He commanded in the mercantile marine, trading to India and these colonies, until about the year 1839, when he removed to Adelaide, and entered largely into mercantile transactions, in which not being successful he returned to this colony, where he has since been employed in the Port Office department. Lieutenant Walker was of amiable temperament, and accommodating and courteous in the discharge of his official duties. In private life he was the warm hearted friend and excellent companion. He lived respected and died lamented. O'Byrne furnishes the following brief sketch of Lieutenant Walker's naval career :—
WALKER (Lieut. 1815, F-P., 10 ; H-P., 31.) — John Walker, (a) entered the Navy 9th May, 1806, as Fst-cl. Vol. on board the Swallow sloop, Capt. Alex. Milner, employed in the channel, and off the coast of Spain and Portugal. In August, 1809, five months after he had attained the rating of Midshipman, he removed to the Norge, 74; and in that ship commanded by Capts. John Sprat, Rainer, and Chas. Dashwood, he continued to serve off Lisbon, at the defence of Cadiz, in the Mediterranean, and North Sea, and on the North American and West India stations, until August, 1815 —the last 19 months in the capacity of Master's Mate. He took part, in 1814 15, in the operations against New Orleans, including the Battle of Lake Borgne in 1815. On leaving the Norge he was presented with a commission bearing date 17th February, 1815. He has since been on half-pay.

John Walker and his wife had no children, and he appears never to have made a Will. After his death his widow lodged a claim for oustanding half-pay from the navy. She received 28 pounds 5 shillings.



AncestryDNA: latest updates to ethnicity estimates

AncestryDNA has launched a new feature, a chromosome painter, which ‘paints’ your DNA with your ethnicities, showing the DNA regions that make up your ethnicity estimate.

Overnight my kits updated to show the new information. It’s found under the ‘DNA Story’ tab.

Five years ago when I looked at my ethnicity AncestryDNA reported it as 100% European:

  • 59% from Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man
  • 20% Europe East
  • 12% from Ireland
  • 4% from Finland / North-west Russia
  • 2% from Europe-West
  • 2% from Italy/Greece
  • <1% from the Iberian peninsula

At the time, the results seemed to underestimate my German heritage. My mother and her ancestors are from Germany.

It has now refined the results:

  • Scotland 41%
  • Germanic Europe 33%
  • England and Northwestern Europe 13%
  • Sweden and Denmark 6%
  • Wales 3%
  • Ireland 3%
  • Baltics 1%

At https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/AncestryDNA-Ethnicity AncestryDNA explains it calculates its ethnicity estimate:

To discover where you come from, we compare your DNA to the DNA of people with known origins from around the world. These people are our reference panel. Our reference panel has over 56,580 DNA samples from people with deep regional roots and documented family trees. We survey your DNA at over 700,000 locations and look at how much DNA you share with people from the reference panel in each ethnicity region.

Recently AncestryDNA provides estimates of ethnicity inheritance from each parent. They use your DNA matches to split your DNA into the halves that came from each parent. First, they find the segments that connect only to one parent or the other. Then, they separate out the DNA you got from each parent by piecing together the segments that overlap. After they have separated your DNA into the parts that correspond with each parent, they calculate an ethnicity estimate on the two halves. From this, they can show your “ethnicity inheritance”—the ethnicity percentages passed down to you from each parent.

These are my results.

Both of my parents have tested with AncestryDNA, so I can compare the estimate with its results. The differences are partly because I inherited only part of their DNA.

Column 1 has the ethnicity percentage I am estimated to have inherited from my parent and column 2 has their ethnicity estimate from their own test with AncestryDNA.

% I inherited from parent 1My father’s ethnicity estimate
Germanic Europe0%3%
England and Northwestern Europe6%8%
Sweden and Denmark0%0%
% I inherited from parent 2My mother’s ethnicity estimate
Germanic Europe33%79%
England and Northwestern Europe7%10%
Sweden and Denmark6%3%
Eastern Europe and Russia0%6%

It seems doubtful to me that I inherited Irish ethnicity from my mother. She herself shows no Irish ethnicity in her results and my documented family tree has an Irish connection on my father’s side, reflected in his ethnicity results, with no Irish connections for my mother.

AncestryDNA’s Chromosome Painter displays these results:

My Chromosome map at AncestryDNA as at July 2022

When I look at the results by different regions I see that Ireland has been assigned solely to chromosome 7, as has Wales. AncestryDNA has allocated Wales to one of my parents and Ireland to the other.

I suspect the breakdown by chromosome needs to be refined.

By way of comparison this is my father’s AncestryDNA chromosome painter picture. It can be compared with the map I have developed using DNAPainter.

My father’s Chromosome Painter results from AncestryDNA July 2022
My father’s chromosome map at DNAPainter where I have been able to assign shared DNA according to ancestors shared with DNA matches

For the most part AncestryDNA has allocated regions to whole chromosomes.

So far at DNAPainter I have only managed to paint just over a quarter of my father’s DNA profile. I can make some comparison between the two diagrams.

The Basque inheritance AncestryDNA shows on the paternal chromosome 1 appears to be inherited from Philip Chauncy and Susan Mitchell, my father’s great great grandparents.

My father has inherited Scottish and Irish ancestry from both his mother and his father. His Welsh ancestry was inherited only from his father. This does correspond with my known tree.

English ancestry has only been inherited from his mother; English ancestry is not so well defined for me – many forebears were born in England but had come from elsewhere, the issue becomes from what generation ethnicity is determined.

My father has inherited his Germanic Europe ancestry from his father on chromosome 6. It is not clear which ancestors might be responsible for this inheritance.

To be useful AncestryDNA’s Chromosome Painter diagrams clearly need more work.

I remain more interested in ancestral contributions to DNA rather than the vague attributions of ethnicity.

Unfortunately, for privacy reasons (or so it is said), AncestryDNA chooses not share detailed information about DNA matches. To obtain the details and be able to derive the information about which DNA you inherited from which ancestors you need to use other companies, such as MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA, or GedMatch.



Anniversary of the marriage of Philip Crespigny and Charlotte Dana

Today in 1849, 173 years ago, my 3rd great grandparents Philip Robert Champion Crespigny and Charlotte Frances Dana were married at the British Embassy in Paris.

The official residence of the British ambassador to France since 1814 has been the Hôtel de Charost, located at 39 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, just a few doors down from the Élysée Palace. It was built in 1720 and bought by the Duke of Wellington in 1814.

Ambassade du Royaume-Uni à Paris.
Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons. Photograph by user Chabe01 in 2017. CC-BY-SA-4.0
Hôtel de Charost, residence of the British Ambassador, view from the garden.
Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, photographed by user Croquant in 2010 CC BY-SA 3.0
The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; General Register Office: Foreign Registers and Returns; Class: RG 33; Piece: 69 retrieved through ancestry.com

Philip was recorded as bachelor of Boulogne-sur-mer. Charlotte was a spinster of Albrighton in the County of Salop. Her previous marriage had ended in divorce. This was not mentioned on the registration.

The marriage was performed by Archdeacon Michael Keating, witnessed by a Fred Shanney or Channey. I do not know who he was.

Soon after their marriage Philip and Charlotte Crespigny emigrated to Australia.

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