A little over a year ago I took a DNA test with Ancestry.com in hopes of finally putting to rest a family legend that we had Native North American blood. While this was accomplished (we do not have Native bloodlines), my initial test opened up a whole new world of discoveries for me.
I had known for several years that my paternal Grandfather, William "Bill" Taylor, had been born out of wedlock. His birth certificate listed his father as "unknown". I had also discovered that my paternal Great Grandmother, Olive Taylor, had been born prior to her mother being married.
My DNA test resulted in contact with someone who shared a very close DNA match to me, but who lived halfway across the country and who had a surname I did not recognize. After much collective investigating, along with follow up DNA tests for my Dad and a Y Chromosome DNA test for me (see my Y Chromosome explanation on my page), I discovered my paternal Great Grandfather was one Herbert Granville Clarke, who had lived briefly near my Great Grandmother and her family. 1 mystery solved.
I have recently discovered, again through careful DNA matching, that my paternal Great Grandmother's father was John Manly Taylor, whom her mother (Amelia Smith) married after she married and divorced William Andrew Pickle. Ancestry has done a lot of the detective work for me, confirming genetic matches with whom my Dad and I share a common ancestor. I am now in the process of assembly my colourful Taylor lineage and starting contact with long lost Taylor relatives, most of whom still live in the USA where my first Taylor Grandfather was born in 1618.
DNA can be very helpful in confirming lineage, and there are various types of tests that can be taken. I strongly recommend anyone interested in their ancestry invest in one of these tests - the results may surprise you, and will most certainly help your research.