Genealogical research is always amazing and enlightening to me! I’ve been pursuing it for about four years, and it has been one of the most rewarding, challenging hobbies I have ever had. Adding my dna testing to my research just opened the doors to incredible new discoveries! One thing that has amazed me, is that as I expand my tree and search my dna matches on ancestry.com, I have discovered that I am related to almost everyone I know! LOL I live on a cul-de-sac, and am related to at least four other families who live on this same street! Some kinships have come through DNA, some just through expanding my family tree. When you come across names of neighbors and friends like Vorhees and Hollingsworth, you know you just have to check it out! Sure enough, I am kin to those neighbors! Not necessarily close kin, LOL We can prove it by dna and written records! Can you believe it! ? It blows me away as well! I recently met a nineteenth cousin! I have gotten so that 5th and 6th cousins seem like close kin! LOL
Recently, I’ve been helping a friend Sharon research her family tree. She is a Pierce by birth, and we have enjoyed researching and filling out her tree together! I had no idea where our exercise would lead! In her tree we ran across a Baird, then a couple other names that I thought I recognized, and sure enough, they were in my own tree. We learned we were related, but weren’t sure exactly how.
As I studied her Pierce/Pearce line further, I realized I had seen some of the names before. I had helped another friend complete some of his family tree, and yes, he had this same line of Pearces in his tree–Thomas Clayton from Greensboro, NC! We had already learned that through his Pearces, he was kin to our mechanic and friend, Jack Strickland! On ancestry.com, I got an email from a man named Donnie Bunn whose Pearce line matched Thomas Clayton’s exactly! Not only did we now have four people knowing each other and kin to each other, but Donnie ‘s family was part of the family who founded a small town near me, the town of Bunn, North Carolina. How very interesting to learn that the Bunns and the Pearces were part of the same family! I soon learned there were many Pearces in the area, and even a Pearce’s Church Road nearby! But wait, through ancestry.com, I met another Pearce researcher, one Tony Pearce, again the same line, and lo and behold, he was a friend of my friend Sharon! What a small world, they had no idea they were related! Sharon is from Pennsylvania by the way, the others are from this area, or at least North Carolina. So, now there were how many? Five I believe who all were cousins with the same Pearce line, although some of the lines didn’t join each other until 1590! LOL Richard Pearce, born 1590, came to America from England in 1647 settling in Rhode Island. While Sharon comes down from his son, Capt. Michael Pearce, Thomas comes down from his son Richard, as do Donnie, Tony, and Jack. What a small world!
But the piece de resistance for me, the ultimate shock and joyful surprise, was when I finally realized I had never checked my dna to see if I was related to the Pearce family–this line of Pearces, and my dna said I was! It took quite a bit of research for me to prove that indeed, this was the very same line of Pearce’s from which Sharon and the others also descended. To be quite honest, it blew me away! So, what–that makes 6 of us who have the same Pearce line that I know, and makes cousins out of us all! Thomas and I have been friends since college–about 47 years! Now we discover we are cousins! LOL And Sharon–we are neighbors, gardeners, and became friends ten years ago over our mutual love of daylillies! The others are newer friends and acquaintances, now cousins!
I had approximately 300 dna matches to the spelling Pierce, and 150 to Pearce, many of which were the same match for both spellings. But one match immediately caught my eye, because it was francielou! Francielou is the owner of a tree on ancestry.com–my ONE and ONLY dna match to my Italian Bottos! My Italian Bottos were kin to the Pearces! –along with my Rosas, Devotos, Brignardellos, and more! LOL My friends had some Italian ancestry also! Not only that, Francielou had taken the Pierce/Pearce line, the exact line as Sharon’s, and extended it all the way back to the 1100’s, including many Royals in the line. Now we were kin to King Henry II and III Plantagenet through the Pearces and through my Italian family! Awesome! Her Royal Highness Mary of Lancaster Plantagenet, 1320, was in the line, and King John Lackland Plantagenet, King of England who signed the Magna Carta was now a grandfather of all of us–Sharon’s and my 21st! Now that was a find! All in a day’s work, okay, several days work–but it is so much fun, and so rewarding!
Here’s wishing you similar adventures in exploring your family tree! Let it open new doors for you and introduce you to many delightful new people!