Sunday, July 30, 2017


John Cutter West (from Kimberley Gautreau)

For years I and other West family members had been trying to breakdown a brickwall and solve the mystery of John Cutter West's parentage. I'd taken a y-DNA test four years ago in hopes it would help me find an answer but that hadn't worked. Now I tried the Ancestry autosomal DNA test, and suddenlly that brick wall finally came down.

This is how it happened,

I found I had a DNA connection with a descendant  of my great gransduncle John Cuvier West and in the course of our messaging back & forth Paula mentioned she had  information that traced our ancestry back to Francis West and Margery Reve of Duxbury,Ma.  She offered to mail me a photocopy of it along with a copy of another relative's Mayflower Society application which traced our lineage down from Richard Warren.

Of course I said yes and  thanked her for her help.

A few days later a manilla envelope arrived in the mail with both documents.  The West research is 16 pages long, most of it citations.  And to my surprise, I found I had seen the information before. It was a line that said John Cutter West was the son of Paul West & Hannah Crowell of Liverpool, Nova Scotia.  My sister Cheryl and cousin Yvonne Ball told me about the Paul West connection but I had been skeptical because of the discrepancy in birthplaces and also because my y-DNA test years ago hadn't put me in a haplogroup that showed descent from Francis West. But here was 16 pages of research and citations done by Frank Osgood, husband of West cousin Virginia (Thayer) Osgood.

I decided that John Cutter West may have lied for some reason when he gave his birthplace as  Plymouth, Ma. on his marriage certificate. I also decided to enter the information on my Ancestry tree and see if any new DNA matches were made with it. This is what the new West  line from Francis West down to my father looks like.

The next day I checked the Shared Ancestor Hints on my DNA Resukts Page, and there it was: a match with a descendant of Thomas West and Sarah Hamilton,who I now know to be my 5x great grandparents.

The brickwall is down. The Elusive John Cutter West is no longer elusive.

Thanks to Cousin Paula( whose last name I don't know because I threw out the envelope), Virginia (Thayer)Osgood) and Frank Osgood..


Linda Stufflebean said...

Congratulations on the tumbling brick wall. We are distant cousins - last summer, I discovered my one and only (so far) Mayflower line through Susannah Soule, daughter of George Soule, who married Francis West. Francis was a brother of your Thomas West.

Wendy Callahan said...

Congrats, Bill! I'm so glad DNA helped resolve this mystery. Fingers crossed that it also resolves mine one day!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Congratulations, Bill! Always a great feeling when those nasty brick walls fall down. Feel free to add your update to the Genealogy Blog Party at Yes, you can share more than one post. :-)