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UnChopping Down my Johnson Family Tree with DNA & Research

  • 20 Oct 2018
  • 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
  • NIU CONFERENCE CENTER, 5555 Trillium Blvd., Hoffman Estates, IL

UnChopping Down my
Johnson Family Tree with DNA & Research

by Jeffrey Bockman

My Grandmother was in the DAR and Magna Charta Society based upon a James Johnson & Rebecca Jones. He was the son of James Johnson & Millie Moorman; she was the daughter of Zachariah Moorman & Elizabeth Terrell. The Terrell line supposedly connected back to the Plantagenet Kings of England. Unfortunately I was never able to find any real supporting documents so “I Chopped Down My Royal Family Tree.”

Eleven years ago the “Y-DNA” results from a 4th cousin, the only living direct descent male in my Johnson line, matched with others who were also claiming descent from the Annandale Johnsons. Traditional research, relooking at old records and visits to Ohio and Virginia uncovered records and helped me find other people to test and also helped me see where other project members fit in. I created the Johnson Project Olive Group webpage after the original project site was removed two years ago. While verifying the claimed pedigrees of the group members before posting them, I noticed some interesting differences when researching uphill vs. downhill. 

This presentation will explain how traditional research, the Johnson Surname Project, recruiting distant cousins for Y-DNA and at-DNA Tests are verifying connections. We will take a quick look at the DNA results at Ancestry, FamilyTreeeDNA, MyHeritage and Gedmatch along with some spreadsheets to help organize the relationships and the DNA results to see if they agree.

The at-DNA test results have helped show that many of the relationships claimed by my Grandmother may have in fact been correct after all!

 Jeffrey A. Bockman, lecturer and author of Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can't Buy / Record & Preserve Your Family's History, was a contributing editor and writer for the former Everton‘s Genealogical Helper and Heritage Quest Magazine. He has written for the Digital Genealogist, FGS Forum and others. He is a project manager for the Johnson DNA Project. His website is


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