Monday, October 3, 2016

The Boyt-Mathias Branch - Deciphering the DNA

Todays post is a visual account of the research I have done on the various DNA connections my family have to the Boyt family tree. - All names of living people  have been replaced with initials for public viewing but I have a version with full names for family to view privately.

The various DNA connections relating to my 3xG Grandmother Jane Boyt and her parents William Boyt and Mary Mathias are one of the best examples I have of how important it is to test as many people in your family as possible, and how valuable each and every test is in determining the validity of the researched relationships.
My paper research had formed the basis  of my family tree with a confirmed birth  certificate for my Great Grandfather Phillip Goodwin whose parents were James Goodwin and Mary Ann Gleeson. James birth was slightly more difficult to prove as there was no registered birth in the correct time frame for  James Goodwin, and his marriage certificate was from a year before the time when parents names must be provided. Family lore said James father was William Henry Goodwin who had been a soldier in the 58th Regiment. There was in fact a gravestone in Ngaruawahia for W.H. Goodwin ex the 58th regiment along with his wife Jane. Before long it was established that W.H Goodwin was infact Henry Goodrum and had married Jane Boyt, the eldest daughter of William Boyt (who was a Fencible living in Onehunga) and his wife Mary Mathias.  I did in fact then easily find the birth for their son James who was registered as James Goodrum.
The first DNA proof I was on the right track was a match to R.G who was a Grandaughter of James’ younger brother Samuel Henry Goodrum/Goodwin. She matches me with 46cM . This is a low result for our relationship of 2nd Cousins 2x removed, where the average match is more than double at 84cM. My mother matches her with 63cM, again around half of what you would expect for the relationship. However JG and LG match her with 188cM and 183cM respectively - quite a bit higher than the average.  The matches between RG and the rest of us confirmed  a common ancestor - and the most recent would be W.H Goodwin and/or his wife Jane Boyt. The next Boyt family match came soon after - V.M. is a Great Granddaughter of Susannah Boyt, Jane’s younger sister. Both JG and LG match VM, but RG, my mother and I do not appear to have any match at all.  Without JG and LG’s tests we would not be able to confirm the link which took the DNA proof of relationship back one generation to Janes parents William Boyt and Mary Mathias. Subsequently 3 more matches appeared, to J.F, a GG Granddaughter of Jane’s youngest brother Henry. JF matches all 5 descendants of Jane at varying amounts from  7.1cM with myself to 38.7cM with LG.  Next came a match to a JVP- GG Grandson of Henry Boyt. He matches with only LG, JG and RG but not with my mother nor I . Then most recently a match with CH and his daughter MH, who matches with RG, JG and LG but again not with my mother and me.
Combining the results of all the tests proves beyond any reasonable doubt that we all descend from either of William Boyt and Mary Mathias or both of them - the parents of all 3 of the Boyt Children.

My Mother is first cousin to both JG and LG who are sisters. She matches LG at 1023cM and JG at 866cM which confirms their relationship as 1st cousins and I match my mother as expected as with a parent child relationship.
It is clear to me that the Boyt portion of DNA that was passed down to J.G and LG was recombined differently with my mother who did not inherit nearly as much, and therefore I received very little.  My children may have no DNA connection tto the Boyts at all which is why its so important to me to reasearch my tree using tools of genetic genealogy as well as traditional paper research now.


  1. Great stuff - Isn't it a wonderful feeling when th DNA supports our traditional research.

  2. Great stuff - Isn't it a wonderful feeling when th DNA supports our traditional research.

  3. Hi,
    Finding it interesting reading the pages re the Goodwins and Boyts. My stepfather is descended from Joanna Boyt. I started researching them way back in the 80s and remember I found the Ngaruawahia link via reading NZ Herald death indexes at Auckland museum. I don't do much on it these days as I'm living in England and have two autistic kids. My usual email address is you want to contact is mousya at@ cheeseshop dot. org dot. uk
    Thank you for all your efforts.