Gent Family

Shared Matches on Ancestry DNA

June 23, 2017

To paraphrase a famous advertisement:  Document gathering – hundreds of dollars. Genealogical research – thousands of dollars. Ancestry DNA –  priceless.

It does work! That is, assuming I and two other Pope descendants have done the research thoroughly.

For years, I’ve believed that my POPE line originated in Bosham in the late 1600s. But I’ve not been able to prove it to my own satisfaction. My three times great-grandfather William POPE married Elizabeth SAVAGE at Westbourne in 1804. My suspicion has been that my William was the same William baptised by Ann HART and William POPE in Bosham, in 1781. The dates work. And Bosham to Westbourne is less than six miles, northwest, as the crow files. But Pope is not an unusual name in that part of Sussex and I’ve hesitated to underscore the presumed relationship.

Several months ago a DNA match appeared with links to the Popes – and the indication that our most recent common ancestors were Thomas POPE and his wife Elizabeth SILVERLOCK. Of Bosham.  If my working theory is correct, then this couple would be my seven times great grandparents. I reached out to this distant cousin but still have received no reply.

A few weeks ago another DNA match showed up – again with links to the Bosham Popes.  Her father’s lineage traces back to – yes, the same Thomas and Elizabeth. While I might doubt one DNA match, I can’t ignore two.

DNA is a funny thing – particularly the further back one traces it. Neither of the two family historians mentioned above are a match for each other. And they do not match my father’s DNA. Which doesn’t mean that we aren’t related. It just means that the DNA segments passed to the two distant cousins are not a ‘match’ to the DNA segments my father inherited.

I have high hopes that, eventually, understanding DNA better will help me find my paternal great-grandmother’s birth family!


Ancestry DNA

December 4, 2016

In November I bit the bullet and sent away for an Ancestry DNA kit – I’d been pondering the idea for nearly and year, and finally decided it might well be a means of breaking through some brick walls. The kit, mailed from the States, arrived within a week and I ‘did the deed’ the next day, spitting into a test tube, mixing the blue solution thoroughly, and posting it that morning in the pre-paid envelope.

I checked the DNA tab on the Ancestry website regularly – and on the 15th of...

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Just an Update

September 4, 2013

No, I have not joined my ancestors, as someone recently wondered. I simply have not found the time to do much with my website in months. For that matter, I've done very little, genealogically speaking. I've been living in my new house for fourteen months now and it's finally at the point where I feel I can devote my attention to other interests ... like my family history and my work as the online parish clerk for Stourmouth! Stay tuned....

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Brick Walls

July 24, 2012

I read an article today which made me spring to the keyboard. We genealogists complain bitterly about our brick walls and how some ancestors are just impossible to trace. We mutter darkly about how people will be easier to track in the future.  But is that really the case? Will technology enable our great great grandchildren to learn more about our comings and goings? Will they even be able to locate us?

I’m not very old (or so I tell myself). Yet learning where I come from and what I’ve...

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On the Road Again

June 30, 2012

This month, I moved. The distance involved was not far, about 40 kilometres over the county line, but the effort required months of planning and a very large cube van, accompanied by three pickup trucks and my own car. At the other end, we began the process of arranging furniture and artwork, and unpacking more than 50 cardboard boxes. How can two people own so much stuff?

I started thinking of my ancestors. I can’t think of one who lived in the same house their entire adult life, although...

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Almost Famous

May 1, 2012
I enjoy watching genealogical programs such as Who Do You Think You Are – but I’m beginning to wonder if you have to be a celebrity in order to have “interesting” antecedents?  A stroll through my ancestral house results in a forlorn nodding of the head, and mutterings like “twist of fate” and “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”.

Last month marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  Joseph Bruce ISMAY 1862-1937 was involved with the White Star Line an...
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Getting Started?

April 7, 2012

I had three genealogical goals for 2012:  get organized, stay organized, and write a semi-monthly blog.  I’ve failed miserably at the first two but I think I can at least start – yes, it’s already April – on the third.  But what to use as a title?  Some quick Internet research later, and I’ve come up with Genealogical Gallivanting.


  1. an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms
  2. regular descent of a person, family,...

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