Once my dad’s DNA results became available I quickly received a message from someone interested in one of the branches. He shared a 4th great grandfather (1774 to 1821) with my father. His ancestor was a son of that 4th great grandfather as was mine. That meant my direct ancestor had a brother. Dolt! It shouldn't have surprised me but it did because I never checked the pre-1850. I stopped with the 1850 discounting the earlier head of household-only census.
Sure enough I found them in the 1810 and 1820 federal census. Not only did I find the 2 brothers but I found a third brother and 3 sisters. I may not have had names but I had an age guesstimate and knew how many to look for. All of a sudden I had some new research opportunities. Then I found I had another research mistake.
Let’s see if I can explain this…the grandson of my dad's direct ancestor (one of the 3 brothers) married my father's great grandmother whose mother’s maiden name was the same as his great grandmother's married name (death certificate info). I assumed a transcription error. Big mistake! As I followed the 3rd brother into the 1850 census I found his daughter was the same age and had the same name as my ancestor’s mother. It turned out that the granddaughter of one brother married the grandson of another. While 9 times out of 10 there is a transcription error this time it was correct.
Thanks to the DNA generated connection I learned a couple of valuable lessons.
1. Do not discount the pre-1850 census
2. Never assume a transcription error
I love it, the clearer it becomes the murkier it gets!