Oct 072017

Recently I was contacted by a new DNA match. This is the largest match I (well, technically my mother) has had through GEDMatch, so we were all pretty excited to work out where our trees met up. But we couldn’t.

This match did have a missing quarter of her family tree, as after 25 years of research she had found nothing more on her grandfather except the details on his son's birth certificate and baptism entry. So, as you do, I set to work on the offchance there was something a fresh set of eyes might spot. The key tool of choice for that proved to be the electoral rolls for Acton in London. The indexing looked suspiciously patchy. Some years were missing when I searched the index, so I went old-school, if you can call manually flipping through the pages of the digital scans of the rolls while comfortably seated in my home on the other side of the world from Acton "old-school".

You know what I found by accident while doing that? Rothschild Road.

Turns out I've been to Acton, sort of - on my last visit to the UK I went to the Acton Town tube station, then walked to Gunnersbury Park Museum. This was specifically because the Rothschilds who owned Ascott House in my one-place study of Wing also owned Gunnersbury, which was in the electoral roll district for Acton 110 years ago, along with a Rothschild Road that I imagine was filled with houses that the family built for their employees to tenant, just like the Rothschild Road in Wing.

Could my DNA match's mystery grandfather, or one of his parents, have been from Wing? I don't know yet. But thanks to my one-place study I know there's a reason that Wing folk were materialising in Acton right around the time in question!

Alex Coles

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