I was DNA tested on ancestry.com. On Ancestry you can search all of your genetic matches for specific names found in your matches’ family trees. So, I searched for every variation of the name Doucett to see what other people had discovered. There were many variations.
Once I identified DNA matches that had the same names I was researching, I tried something new. If you look at each of your DNA matches, you will see a statement that says, “predicted relationship” and then a statement of the level of confidence Ancestry has in that relationship, based on how many centimorgans you share with that individual. Centimorgans are units for measuring genetic linkage. If you click on the i in a circle next to the predicted confidence level you can find out exactly how many centimorgans are shared.
If you share more than 60 centimorgans, the likelihood is almost 100% that you and that individual share a common ancestor. If you share between 45-60 centimorgans the likelihood is very high and so on down the scale.
I found two DNA matches with whom I shared a high probability that we had a common g-g-grandfather. I went through their trees and discovered they both had a name “Douillette” at the right point in time. That name was one that I had often wondered about as the “missing link” in my family tree.
With that name in hand I did more research to confirm that this was the right connection. Turns out that (as best I can determine) my ancestor who was born in 1760 was illegitimate. None of his documents had his father’s name on them. However, toward the end of his life he started using the name Douillette, as did his son. Ultimately, his son totally changed his name to Doucet, perhaps to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy.
I’m still trying to confirm everything with documentation but I think this is basically right. The DNA information did not give me one answer but it did point me in a new direction. And, it does point out one thing I always say to new genealogists – don’t ever give up. At some point in the future the information you are seeking will show up or you will suddenly figure out a new way to find what you need. Happy research and I hope you too break through your brick wall!