My Genealogical DNA Test Experience Part 4 – Building Out My Tree

After bombing out with my four closest matches, I reassessed. I now had two cousins in the United States and they had come from somewhere.  I also had one closer cousin who actually lived in the same country and state as myself, but we believed our match to have come from outside of Australia – probably Scotland.

I joined ISOGG and began to follow the DNA-Newbie email group, following the provided links and improving my understanding of genetic inheritance.

I liked this explanation of cousins by Paul Stoneburger.  I also found a chart showing the expected relationships at various total shared cM, but I seem to have lost this just now.  However, it suggested that my match with John Samuelson really was just shy of the average second cousin level.  Since I knew he wasn’t a second cousin and it looked as if he wasn’t even a third cousin, I thought, what if he is a fourth cousin on both sides?  What if we have two brothers marrying two sisters?  Their children would look more closely related than they were.

So I returned to the old style paper genealogy.

I had already put a lot of time into this couple.  James Dunstall was born in South Australia in 1842.  The colony was brand new, with the first colonists arriving at the end of 1836 and my John Dunstall with his new bride arriving in 1840.  At that time, beautiful and fertile coastal land was up for grabs.  John Dunstall was young but the product of centuries of farmers from Sussex in England. He found himself some good land with good ocean views and more importantly, a decent bit of ocean for cargo ships to load cargo.  The Dunstalls had to work as hard as any colonist, but their hard work reaped its reward and they became comfortable.

Outside Yankalilla SA
Outside Yankalilla SA

John, Martha and Martha’s younger brother arrived in South Australia on the ‘Lalla Rookh’ in 1840.  A son was born to them in 1840 but he lived only a few weeks.  Their second son, born in 1842, was my James Dunstall.

The community at the two close settlements of Normanville and Yankalilla was strong and productive.  The settlements quickly turned into towns, a wharf was built and the local farmers formed close partnerships with a few ships who began a regular run along the coast.  Over the next two decades, colonists from all over the world poured into South Australia.  It wasn’t long before Port Adelaide was a lively, bustling place with the expected mix of merchants, seamen, employers and scavengers.  Adelaide, planned to be the capital from the very beginning, had grown to large town size and was beginning to seem urban.

Allan McLeod from Isle of Harris emigrated in 1855 with his family and took property at Cape Jervis not too far from the Dunstalls.  His son John McLeod was a Master Mariner with his own schooler, ‘The Resolute’.   This John McLeod, Master Mariner, was a witness at the marriage of James and Annie.  However, Annie wasn’t his sister.  He had his own sister called Annie, a girl of the same age as mine, but her life is nicely visible in the public records and can be confidently eliminated.

A few years later, this John McLeod married Martha Ann Dunstall, sister to my James and daughter of John and Martha.

James Dunstall and Annie McLeod were married on 31 May 1866 and a notice was placed in the local paper, ‘Mr James Dunstall of Normanville to Miss Anne McLeod of Port Adelaide’.  No parents mentioned at all.  The marriage certificate shows James Dunstall, Farmer aged 23, present residence Normanville, father’s name John Dunstall, and Anne McLeod, age 22 occupation column left blank, present residence North Adelaide, father’s name Kennis McLeod.  Witnesses were John McLeod master mariner of Port Adelaide and Martha Ann Dunstall of Normanville.

Anne’s name in the certificate box is Anne McLeod, in the signature it is Annie McLeod.  All parties signed their names.

I have gone over this certificate for clues more times than I can count.  I have always felt that Annie’s father was not present, and that she was alone in the colony.  In light of my DNA match, I decided to examine her life from a different perspective and seek possible family.

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