Some months ago I uploaded DNA data and a gedcom to MyHeritage and since then I have been receiving notification of so-called 'smart' matches or 'discoveries' for my tree. The latest concerns Richawe Ellis, wife of William Ellis, who I would reckon to be my 9xgreat grandparents. The match, apparently identified in a FamilySearch ancestral tree, claims that Richawe is actually the daughter of William Vennard and Maria Johanna Geyer. Naturally I'm inclined to regard that information as extremely doubtful since I thought I knew the 16th century sources very well, but on the off-chance, does anyone know of Camborne or Penwith Vennards? I understand that some Vennards have a Huguenot ancestry which could make a marriage to a continental Maria Johanna Geyer plausible.
I have only had luck on that site with my father's side of the family (Belgian) and they typically don't DNA test as records are readily accessible. The "smart matches" are like Ancestry "hints" so use your best judgment. I have not had good results with their DNA matching, but I did finally realize that my Cornish ancestors were categorized as Irish/Scott/Welsh and my Belgian line as Swedish. That is why I am overly Scandinavian ( one great-grandmother doesn't make me 44%!)
Post by Cornish Terrier on Jan 15, 2019 4:16:34 GMT -5
What I would actually like to post here is not really fit for polite company so I think I will allow you to exercise your imagination!
I also have my DNA results uploaded to MyHeritage and I provided a very basic tree simply because it seemed to be 'required'. A couple of months back I also received an email with numerous 'smart matches' which turned out to be not very smart at all!!
They had a Martin Trewhella married to a Jane Trewhella which did actually happen. However, the Martin this 'smart match' had tagged was actually the unmarried brother of the Jane who married her cousin Martin who belonged to another family altogether!!
Unmarried Martin and his sister Jane were younger siblings of my 2xgt-grandfather Benjamin Trewhella and I think that after more than 40 years of researching the family I should have a fair idea of who was who. That was just one of a myriad of 'not-so-smart' matches I received in a single email! And from memory that batch of 'smart matches' had at least one person with at least two different sets of information attached!
Whoever came up with that 'smart match' idea should have contact with their hindquarters from a size 10 travelling at rapid pace!!
Just think of how many people there are who will receive 'smart matches' and simply click the 'add to tree' button without giving it a second thought! (And I thought problems with online family trees had been a problem!! )
VENNARD - I can't say that I had actually come across that name prior to your post. But a check of the OPC database shows a few around Truro and Cuby with Tregony but mostly further up around the Liskeard district.
If you are comfortable with your own sources and with your own research then I would be inclined to treat this very cautiously. If there are no sources quoted I would be extremely suspicious but perhaps you could consider contacting the owner/owners of these gedcoms to enquire about any sources they may have. At least that way you might be able to check them for yourself.
One question - do your 'smart matches' come only from matched gedcoms or is there at least a fragment of evidence from dna test results to support them?
As I understand it, MyHeritage smart matches come from matching gedcoms within the MyHeritage database- no DNA. The match which sparked my enquiry was, I believe, a so-called 'discovery' and the matching gedcom was on FamilySearch. You are quite right, CT, the best way would be to enquire of the gedcom owner for details of the source. However, my record over the last 12 months on Ancestry for getting a response to a DNA query has been pretty poor! I've found the suggested smart matches matches in most cases are partially, but yet not wholly, correct - it's rather disappointing to think that there must be thousands of people out there happily clicking away and promulgating yet more spurious information as fact. It makes me wish we had not progressed from the more manual, less technological era of genealogical research. As for VENNARDs, I did meet a Cornish one once at a CFHS conference but his ancestors were centred around Gunnislake. He reckoned his ancestry was Huguenot, but the great influx of Huguenot refugees from France would have happened after the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572, and the further persecutions in the 1680s.
Post by Cornish Terrier on Jan 15, 2019 18:11:20 GMT -5
Apart from the relative ease of accessing genuine records these days I wholeheartedly agree! I tend to largely ignore the 'smart match' emails now although I have transferred them to a 'holding folder'. I may glance through them some time just to check if there is something genuine hidden among the rubbish.
Must go now - forecast 45C again today and low humidity so will be at the fire station on standby all day.