The Keen Family of Broughton Gifford – Good Old Research and a DNA Mystery

I had done some preliminary research on my the family of my Great Great Grandmother, Dora Keen Wardell, a while ago. I found her and her mother and sisters in the 1841 Census in England. That info enabled me to figure out that they were from Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire.

Keen is a very common name in that area of Wiltshire, and to compound the difficulties of research in the 18th century, the families weren’t very unique when it came to first names.

Daniel Jane Keen marriageI am very confident that my Great Great Grandmother’s grandfather was a William Keen of Broughton Gifford. I am fairly confident that I know who is parents are, however, at this point I can’t be 100% sure. There were a few William Keens born about the same time in Broughton Gifford. Two of those are possibilities. A third William Keen who was the son of Daniel Keen and his first wife, Jane Shepherd, is the one that I am pretty sure is my ancestor.

I had been working on compiling as much data as I could for all of the Keen families in Broughton Gifford and attempting to connect them either to my family or others, when I found that I had a DNA match with a descendant of a Samuel Keen from Broughton Gifford.
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A New DNA Match Helps Connect Stanford Families


Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland Market Square

When I put together my first genealogy book back in 2013 I ran in to the challenge of deciding how to include not only my two direct Stanford lines, but also how to include the three other Stanford families in New Haven that I was pretty sure connected to one or the other of my Stanford lines but couldn’t prove it. I ended up making the book in three parts. The first two parts were my two families and the third was the three “probably related” families. One of which was the descendants of Patrick Stanford and Catherine Mulligan.

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Warning – Ancestry Trees Are Not Always Fact

Below is what I posted on Facebook today after getting another reply from someone with an obviously flawed tree on Ancestry.  I had a DNA match with this person and questioned the facts they had for a common ancestor. This tree wasn’t all that bad. They had the correct names and it was only for the furthest back individual that is seems people were trying to “force” facts for.  I hadn’t been able to find any facts for that individual and wondered about sources for some of the “facts” out there. Turns out..there is no source. Another person’s Ancestry tree is NOT a source.

Ancestry Tree

Ok.. Ancestry “Tree” rant! Beware of member submitted trees. I’d say that at least 90% of the trees I look at are wrong. People who don’t do “good” research post a tree.. other people do a search.. the bad tree shows up.. they assume it’s true and just copy it to their account. It snowballs. The message below is one I got today in reply to a question on a tree that I suspect is wrong. This is almost always the response I get. When you do a DNA test and a person has a tree attached.. it doesn’t mean those are your ancestors!! “Thru Lines” are often based on incorrect information. Trees on Ancestry are a good place to get clues- but DO THE RESEARCH YOURSELF!! Double check facts. Ancestry just wants your money – they don’t care if the info you get is wrong! /endrant

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