Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pemberton DNA Research

So I was finally bitten by the DNA bug last year when all the Black Friday sales were going on. had their autosomal DNA test for $69, and I just couldn't resist. I got my test results not too long after Christmas. Since then, I have tested my mom and dad (as well as my husband and his parents). I have been slowly sifting through the results since then.

One of my first discoveries was that a Pemberton cousin, D.C. (initials only to protect privacy of living relatives), had already tested. D.C.'s mother was the sister of my great-grandfather, John Vital Pemberton.

Another discovery soon after that occurred when I uploaded my results to FamilyTreeDNA. There I found a cousin match in the 2nd-4th cousin range named S.L. Interestingly, his great-grandmother is Samantha Pemberton, b. 1861 in Marmora Township, Hastings, Ontario, Canada. Samantha's father was William Pemberton, b. 1811 in Albany, New York. William Pemberton's father is Adam Pemberton (b. 1775) and Adam's father is Jeremiah Pemberton (b. 1742). I found all of this very interesting because my Pemberton's were also from the same region of Ontario and I had always suspected them to be descended from the Jeremiah Pemberton family from Albany. The Jeremiah Pemberton family from Albany were Loyalists during the American Revolution who later settled in Ontario.

My furthest back Pemberton ancestor that I have been able to document is my 4x-great-grandfather, Jeremiah Pemberton, b. abt 1812 in New York. Jeremiah married my 4x-great-garndmother, Susanna Jermyn, in 1836 in Toronto, not terribly far from Hastings County, Ontario, where S.L.'s Pemberton ancestors were living. Jeremiah and Susanna had several children in Ontario before settling in Michigan around 1856.

After getting in touch with S.L.'s kit administrator, P.L., who is a 5th cousin match, I decided to see if D.C.'s kit administrator at Ancestry would give me his raw data results to upload to GedMatch, since P.L. and S.L. had their results uploaded there as well. D.C.'s kit administrator was his wife, whom I had been in contact with several years earlier regarding our family tree, and she agreed to give me the results to upload.

Lo and behold, D.C. was a match to P.L. and S.L., so I then knew that our shared match had to be either on the Pemberton side or the Lesperance side. The most recent common ancestors of myself and D.C. are my 2x-great-grandparents, Lovell Hugh Pemberton and Alvina Mary Lesperance. The Lesperance line is French Canadian, and interestingly enough, S.L. and P.L. do have a French Canadian line on their paternal side, so I could not totally rule that out.

In the meantime, I finally had my mom's DNA tested at  She had a 3rd-4th cousin match with someone called bigdaddyhunter81. He had no tree attached to his results, and their shared matches were D.C. and a person called A.W., also without a tree. I then looked at my mom's shared matches with A.W., and found one called N.T. N.T. did have a tree attached, so I decided to go out on a limb and see if I could find a common ancestor.

Again, I hit gold on the Pemberton DNA research. N.T.'s great-grandmother was Hannah Elizabeth Pemberton, daughter of Samuel Pemberton and Emeline Meyers. Hannah was born abt 1864-1866 in Ontario and married James Pharoah 15 Nov 1888 in Dundas County, Ontario. Her father, Samuel Pemberton, was born abt 1818-1821 in Albany, New York. Some online trees have Samuel as the son of the same Adam Pemberton (b. 1775) as William's father in S.L. and P.L.'s tree. Samuel and William are potentially brothers, but I'm not too sure because the source documentation for Samuel's ancestry seems to be lacking.

In any event, I feel like I am at least getting a step closer to figuring out the origins of my Jeremiah Pemberton. Could he also be a brother of William and Samuel? He is in the right age range. William was born abt 1811, Jeremiah was born abt 1812, and Samuel was born abt 1818-21 If so, perhaps my Jeremiah is named after their grandfather, Jeremiah Pemberton (b. 1742). Interestingly enough, my Jeremiah had a daughter named Lydia, which is the name of Adam's (b. 1775) wife, the potential mother of the three boys. Could his daughter be named after his mother? My Jeremiah also had sons named Samuel and William. Could they be named after his brothers? Samuel had a son named Jeremiah as well.

Unfortunately, S.L. and P.L. are in Canada and do not have results at I have tried reaching out to N.T. to see if he has results at GedMatch or FamilyTreeDNA. I have also tried reaching out to bigdaddyhunter81 and the administrator of A.W.'s kit to see what they know about their ancestry. I also found a second descendant of Samuel Pemberton and Emeline Meyers who my mom matches at

Stay tuned as I delve more into my Pemberton DNA matches....


  1. I have to tell you that even though GEDMATCH is clearly the best way to do all the DNA matches, it's very frustrating to get things done when everyone is split up among the three companies and no GEDMATCH ! I hope you continue to be successful in your Pembertons research.

  2. Have you tracked your Pembertons to Nova Scotia yetÉ