DNA Matrix: Snatching A Century-Old Secret From the Grave

Published on: 24 April 2020

When my cousins and I tested our DNA, we were not prepared for the surprise revealed by Charting Companion’s DNA Matrix chart. Note the red centiMorgans (DNA Units) at the intersection below the boxes.

User-defined CSV match fi

The red indicates that the amount of DNA shared is too low for “first cousins”. Also, the yellow-highlighted DNA shared by the family on the left (blue), is consistently in a very low probability range. (Click for a detailed explanation of the DNA Matrix).

There is something wrong with this chart: the genealogical relationships (family tree) are inconsistent with the laboratory results. This tree, by the way, is based on official government birth certificates.

What is the explanation of this discrepancy?

After further investigation centering around some puzzling remarks made a long time ago by relatives now gone, we came to the conclusion that the (blue) family on the left could be from a different father. In 1909, my feisty 19-year old Scottish grandmother Connie had just gotten off the boat, alone and unsupervised on a new continent. What could go wrong? Well, she met a mystery man and had her first daughter Ruby. Later, she met & married my grandfather Alfred, who impersonated Ruby’s birth father.

The real tree looks like this:


We share one grand-parent with the family on the left, which makes them half-cousins. All the red is gone, as the DNA is consistent with the new tree. Charting Companion’s DNA Matrix chart revealed a secret that would otherwise have been lost forever. We all had a chuckle, ever so grateful to our grandmother, for had she done anything differently, we would not exist!

Try the DNA Matrix on your own tree to prove your research.

Charting Companion works with all genealogy programs: Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, Legacy, Ancestral Quest, Family Historian, GEDCOM, etc. You can also download your Ancestry, FamilySearch or MyHeritage GEDCOM file.

Get Charting Companion today and make family history. Charting Companion is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Share this page

Facebook Twitter Email