|Posted on October 2, 2013 at 10:05 PM|
Recently, I put an e-mail out to all of my fellow Isett researchers when Family Tree DNA announced that they were lowering the cost of their Family Finder DNA test. Valene Woolridge and I have communicated over the years about her husband's connections to the Isett family, and she decided to do testing on several members of her family, including her husband.
I was ecstatic when I realized that Valene's husband was submitting a Family Finder test. He descends through Charlotte "Lottie" Regina Young, a daughter of David and Mary J. (Isett) Young and a granddaughter of Simon and Caroline (Beamer) Isett. Simon Isett (1806-1877) was a son of Jacob and Sarah Isett. Jacob Isett was born in 1780 and died in 1853. Jacob Isett's parents are unknown. Jacob resided in the Sinking Valley and Frankstown areas of Blair County.
I was hoping so hard that Robert Woolridge's Family Finder test results would either connect him to my husband, a descendant of James K. Isett (1813-1863), or to a fellow researcher who descends from the immigrant son, Jacob Isett (abt. 1725-bef. 1790). Sadly, Robert's test results did not show a connection to either Isett line. However, Family Finder test reults are very "hit or miss" once you get past third cousin status. So, there could still be a connection, but it just was not picked up due to genetic distance.
HOWEVER, even though I am DNA cursed, all was not lost!!! Robert Woolridge also did a y-DNA test. Interestingly, just like in my own testing experiences, he had no y-DNA Woolridge matches. His Woolridge line dead ends with Stephen Woolridge (b. abt. 1800), who lived in Franklin County, PA. Members of his family eventually moved to Blair County, PA. Robert's y-DNA did match some Ginter family members. Here is where it gets interesting!
I know one Ginter, who attends my church. So, I asked him for some family information, and he was able to give me enough to get me started. On a whim, I started researching his line and the Ginter family in Huntingdon and Blair Counties in PA. In Huntingdon County, I quickly found myself in a geographic area that I am familiar with that relates to my mother's family. As I continued my research on the Ginter family, all of a sudden, the light bulb went off in my blonde head! My third great-grandmother's name was Angeline Ginther (1839-1920), who married John Kinch (1831-1894). Here I was in the same geographical area, and I just knew her name was Ginter, with Ginther as a variation!!! Sure enough, I researched her line, which I had somehow avoided up until this point, and found that her father was John Conrad Ginter (1791-1865), who connects to the man from my church and the people Robert Woolridge is matching from the Ginter family.
To make a long story short, it turns out Robert Woolridge and I are related (somehow) through Ginter blood! Here I was hoping for a connection to my husband or my long time research friend, and it turns out I am the one related! Not only am I related to Robert, but I am also related to the man in my church with the last name of Ginter! Through this process, I have came in contact with other Ginter researchers who have ties to Huntingdon and Blair Counties, and also to Bath County, Kentucky. The Ginter family is large and complex. We still do not know Robert Woolridge's exact spot in the Ginter family, but we will continue to research and look for clues. I greatly appeciate receiving Valene Woolridge's permission to share her husband's test results and how they took me full circle with DNA testing. We are all in amazement by this turn of events.
Is the Isett family still my nemesis? Yes! Do I still consider myself to be DNA cursed? Yes! However, this is has been one amazing DNA journey, and it is rather awesome how this one turned out!