DNA May Prove the Robert Alcorn/Susannah Turpin Connection
I have blogged many times before about the difficulties of separating all of the Johns, James and Roberts in the Alcorn family tree. Many genealogists (not you, of course) have taken the easy way out and simply picked out the geographically-closest Alcorns or the ones with the most distinguished lineage to put on their trees. As a result, you will find all kinds of conflicting trees when you start your research.
The arguments about the parentage of my ancestor John Alcorn (1799-1897) who died in Jessamine County have been fierce. One camp says he is the son of Robert (Robin) Alcorn and Mary Elledge. The other says, no, he is the son of Robert and Susannah Turpin.
Both have good arguments. We know that both Roberts had sons named John born in about 1800. We know that the Jessamine County John was born in what later became Gallatin County. We know that the sons of Robert and Mary Elledge all grew up in Gallatin County. But we also know that Susannah Turpin died in Gallatin County. Wills don't help, because they don't distinguish the Johns from each other.
My mother, a long-time Alcorn researcher, was in the Robert/Susannah camp. Her tree ran 1) Garrett Alcorn, son of 2) James (married to Annie Alcorn), son of 3) James (married to Sarah Hicks), son of 4) John (married to unknown, Nancy McPherson, and Elizabeth Barnett), son of 5) Robert (married to Susannah Turpin), son of 6) John Alcorn (married to Jane Breckinridge).
I have personally been trying to answer this puzzle for over 20 years. My mother worked on it at least 20 years before me. It didn't look like we would ever find the proof we needed. But that was before DNA testing.
I recently completed AncestryDNA™ testing at Ancestry.com. I did it for a lark, mainly to see my ethnicity background. What I didn't know when I took the test was that Ancestry compares your results and provides you with a list of others who have taken the test that share your DNA. The test doesn't tell you how you link up, only that you do. It does, however, provide an indication of how related you are based on how much of your DNA you have in common.
I was so excited to find more than a hundred second, third and fourth cousins. And quite a few were Alcorns. including a third cousin descended from the John in question. There were also a number of Breckinridge matches.
But the big surprise was how many Turpins, Fields and Jeffersons showed up as DNA connections. See the Alcorn-Jefferson Connection. Is this proof that John was actually the son of Susannah Turpin?
To check out the hypothesis, I ran a search of my DNA matches for Elledges, Boones and Bryans. Only a handful of connections showed up, and those were of very low probability.
Autosomal DNA doesn't tell us how we are connected to our DNA cousins, only that we are connected. It is possible that I have a line that connects to the Turpins and Fields on some other branch, but for now, I am feeling pretty confident about the Robert/Susannah connection.
If anyone else has participated in testing and found different results, I would love to hear from you.