Tuesday, 25 September 2018

John Culbert’s BROTHER, Richard Culbert

Our ancestors, John Culbert and his wife, Mary Ward need no introduction...

And in a previous post, we met the Richard Culbert-Ann Jane Harlton family. Richard & Ann purchased the property beside our ancestors, John Culbert & Mary Ward in Biddulph Township near Lucan, Ontario. Richard & John purchased the land at the same time: October, 1840.

We assumed that Richard & John must have been brothers since they purchased land side-by-side at the same time. However, with no documentation to prove they were brothers, for all we know Richard & John could have been cousins, or even an uncle and his nephew.


Through Ancestry DNA testing, I’ve found a few descendants of Richard Culbert & Ann Jane Harlton who are my DNA “matches.” (DNA matches are people who’ve taken the DNA test and who are related to you by blood, whether close relations or distant relations.) Each of these matches shares various levels of DNA with me which indicate more or less how closely related we are. 

It’s more complicated than that and uses a unit of DNA measurement called centiMorgans but I’m not going to explain the science behind it at this point. I’m not a scientist nor do I play one on TV.

Now, back to these descendants of Richard Culbert & Ann Jane Harlton who took the DNA test and are my matches. Although these matches are definitely related to me (DNA proves that), their levels of DNA weren’t high enough to determine if Richard & John had been brothers or cousins.

But wait, don’t give up hope!

I’ve just found another DNA match who is a descendant of Richard Culbert & Ann Jane Harlton. His DNA levels with mine are high enough to indicate that Richard & John were probably brothers, not cousins. His DNA levels with my sister proved even more revealing; their shared DNA level was definitely high enough to indicate that Richard & John were brothers. There’s only a very slim chance I could be wrong.

So at last the mystery is solved! Thanks to my sister taking the DNA test, we have determined with a high level of accuracy and without official documents that Richard Culbert & John Culbert were brothers!

Now all we have to do is find out who Richard & John’s father was! We still don’t know the names of Richard & John Culbert’s parents nor the names of any other siblings they might have had. If and when we do find these names, it may lead to finding out much more information about the Culberts in Ireland.

Once again, I ask you to please consider taking the Ancestry DNA test. The story I’ve told you today is a prime example of how our family mysteries can be solved through the use of DNA testing.


  1. Is this Richard and Ann Culbert?


    1. Yes, that's our Richard Culbert and Ann (Harlton) Culbert.