Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Question of Paternity

Something that has frustrated me and some of the 2000+ descendants that I have identified of my convict ancestor Elizabeth Phipps  is that we don't know the paternity of the children she bore. The likely fathers are fellow convicts James Westbrook (her partner in crime) and William Magick.

DNA has confirmed my line of descent from Elizabeth. It has also enabled me to connect to around twenty 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins on that line (some previously unknown to me), add more branches to my tree and include more of Elizabeth's descendants in my database. This is rather useful when trying to fathom out those treeless matches on Ancestry and FTDNA. I keep a list of Elizabeth's descendants surnames close by and if a new match has one of those surnames I have a starting point for communication.

Just recently I have lopped a branch off my tree and added another one because of a conversation I am having on Facebook with others who are also curious as to Elizabeth's relationships. One of my 3rd cousins set up, in August, a Facebook page for Elizabeth's descendants who are interested in solving our mystery. As I have been having a break from research I only found the page about a week ago.

This closed group, ELIZABETH PHIPPS - London to Richmond, New South Wales, Australia 1814, only has 28 members about 6 of whom are engaging in discussion and sharing resources, thoughts and ideas. Membership of the group has made me revisit my research with a critical eye.

William Magick had a family in England before being transported to New South Wales. I am hopeful that as more people take DNA tests we may be able to compare results from William's first family descendants and Elizabeth descendants to solve this paternity problem. What do you think of our chances?

One of my purposes in writing this post is to let other Phipps descendants (some of whom I know follow this blog) about the Facebook Group where they may discuss this issue with fellow descendants.

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