Sunday, January 24, 2016

Will of William Cook-- Surry County, North Carolina April 1801

Reading through some early Cook wills and thought this one contained a good deal of information on the family of William Cook of Surry Co., North Carolina so have put some of the information contained in the will below.  The image of the will in its entirety can be found at in the North Carolina Wills and Probate Collection

Name William Cook
Probate Date 27 Apr 1801
Probate Place Surry, North Carolina, USA
Source Information
Item Description Wills, Vol 1-3, 1771-1827

Image 491 of 626 Book pg 44 North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts.

Wife:     Keziah


  • Samuel Cook (listed in the first portion of the will)

  • Mary(eldest daughter)  Her Children:  Nancy, Polly and  Elizabeth Shores.
  • Benjamin Cook
  • David Cook

  • John Cook
  • William Cook
  • Hannah Meridith
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Sarah Jones
  • Frances Cook
  • Keziah DeJarnete

Also listed in the will are the following listed as Negros
Negros: George, Tom, Rachel, Berry, Susey, Old Sam, Jane, Hale? and Ransome

Benjamin Carter
Keziah Cook

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sorting thru Putman DNA matches.

Working on the Union Co South Carolina Putmans today in my DNA research. Several from this family came to Williamson/Bedford/Rutherford Co TN. I am a descendant of Jabel/Jabez Putman thru his daughter Elizabeth Putman Cook(my 2nd Great Grandmother) From the DNA I can identify several segments coming from Jabel Putman and his wife...I show matches to Descendants of their sons Hiram and Noah as well as daughters Parry, Sarah "Sally" and Susan Frances. Over the past few months I have been writing notes to those that matched my AncestryDNA and were in the Jabel Putman DNA circle with me at Several had already uploaded to GEDmatch which was very helpful because you really cannot compare segment matches at Ancestry and Identify segments. The best you can do at Ancestry is tell total amt of cMs shared but that does very little other than give you a guesstimate of what relationship you might be in reference to the averages on the Inherited cMs chart which I use. I seem to remember that Ancestry removes false positive areas and doesn't count X segment matches(but that could have changed or I could be mistaken). The best policy is to have kits uploaded to so that you can compare the segments using your own settings. I generally don't lower below 7cM or 500 SNPs to be considered a segment match that is from a common ancestor. When I have a grouping of kits of descendants of the same couple I will sometimes lower slightly to see if I can get any clues for other unknown areas of a chromosome but that doesn't really happen much as I am busy working on many large segments which I have yet to find the common ancestor or ancestor couple even though I have most of my 4th Great Grandparents for all of my lines(with one or two exceptions).

I am hopeful that one or more of my Cook/Putman cousins will take an autosomal dna test so I can find our common segments and search within the ones we do not have in common with the Putman cousins to help and determine the origins of the Cook line since we can't make it past our 2nd Great Grandfather, Wm. Clifford Cook.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Pondering on the Littles, Lambs, Putmans and their many connections to the Cooks

William C. Cook & Elizabeth Putman were married in Williamson Co TN Sept 27 1831. Wm. C. Cook obtained their marriage license and signed a marriage bond on Sept 25th.  There is a Zachariah Little that signs with him on the marriage bond.  William C. Cook also signed on Zachariah's marriage bond also taken out on the same day(Sept 26) to a Mary Hill.   I have never been able to find William C. Cook in the 1850 census but I believe that is due to the 1850 census records for the Rover being lost/destroyed or missed entirely.  I found Zachariah in the 1850 census of Marshall Co TN and it appears that Mary has died after having several children with him and he has remarried to a Lydia Swinford(Sept 20th 1844 in Lincoln Co TN)

There is also an Alfred L. Little listed in the estate inventory for Joseph S. Cook--an estate over which William C. Cook was the named administrator(Jan Term 1839).  Not sure how these Little families connect to the Cook line or to one another.   They may just have been neighbors however it was usually kin who signed off on bonds and a lot of times neighbors WERE  kinfolk.  Charles and Hardy Pope are also mentioned in the inventory listing as purchasing items.  I believe some of Hardy's children married into the Lamb family which intermarried heavily with the Putmans and is well represented in the listing of those purchasing items from Joseph S. Cook's estate.  Other purchases were Richard Nance, Johnathan Vickers?, Joseph Hight, James Putman, Hiram Putman, William Putman, Noah Putman and Nancy Putman.  Nancy Putman is listed as the purchaser of 1 large Bible.  I believe that this Nancy Putman is Nancy Tyler Putman widow of Jabel/Jabez Putman and mother of Elizabeth Putman Cook, Parry Putman Lamb and the other male Putmans listed.  I wonder what became of the Bible. I believe the Hight and the Pope families also are connected to each other after looking thru some of the family histories in my copy of the History of Rover & the 10th District of Bedford From a glance at the 1850 Census I see Little families in Cannon, Bedford, Rutherford, Marshall and Williamson Counties of TN

Wish we had a clue who Joseph's wife was before they married and if they were William Clifford Cook's parents.  My autosomal dna is matching with others who have Cooks out of Orange/Chatham Co NC area but whether that is Cook DNA or DNA from another line of that area which came to Bedford Co TN is hard to say.  Once there are non Cook descendants from William Clifford Cook's line testing we may be able to sort out some of that mystery.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Will of Thomas Tart--Sampson Co NC Will Book 1 pg 369-371

Information from the Will of Thomas Tart
Sampson Co NC  Will Book 1 pg 369-371 
Written 26th Dec 1848
Proven May Term 1850

  • Eldest Daughter, Sarrah Hanes of TN $400
  • 4 Grandchildren(Children of daughter Patsy) $50 each  Named: John Westbrook, Sarah Byrd, Mary Piles?, Wm. Westbrook Jr.
  • John Tart Land $200
  • Thomas Tart Land $200
  • Nathan Tart Land $200
  • James Tart Land and owes not to this estate for $150
  • Nancy Denning  Money and Property $40
  • Pharrabe McLamb Money and Property $40
  • Elizabeth McLamb Money and Property $40

Later in the will it also mentions daughter Patsy again and 4 grandchildren which are her children
and says "by John Ward Sr"   he leaves them $25 each.  So it seems like Patsy had 8 children in all
4 by John Ward Sr and 4 by Wm. Westbrook Sr..
Any additional monies left over after debts are paid and the executor has paid off the above legacies should be divided equal among the youngest 7 children

Sarah Tart
T. J?  Bennet
Wm. Gregory

Additional Info not given in will:  
Thomas Tart is the father of Sarrah Tart Haynes who married Abraham Haynes. Sarrah & Abraham are buried in Rutherford Co TN. and lived in the Williamson and Rutherford Co TN area.

I became interested in this will as some of my DNA matches are descendants of Abraham  & Sarah but I have no known connection to any of the other relatives in their tree that I can see thus far which would lead me to believe our connection is some time prior to that couple.  These were the only persons in that matches tree that were in the "right" area that I could tell.  It is also possible that our connection is a separate still unknown to either or both of us at this point ancestor.  I did have fun reading over this will so if nothing else it had entertainment value.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Will of John Cook--Orange Co. NC Feb Term 1811---written March 9, 1798

Will Book written page # 278 & 279

In the Name of God Amen the ninth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety eight.  I John Cook of the county of Orange & state of North Carolina being sick and weak of body but sound and perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God for the same do make this my last will & testament in manner & form following.

First, I give & bequeath to my beloved son Archibald Cook the land & plantation whereon he now lives containing seventy acres as has been already surveyed.  I give & bequeath unto my beloved son David Cook the land & plantation whereon he now lives with all the land on the South side of the road. I give & bequeath unto my beloved son Robert Cook the use of one bay mare to raise a colt on which she is with foal now & after the colt can be raised off he is to have the colt and return the mare to my estate again.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Sarah Cook the use of all my lands & plantation with all the stock of all kinds with household furniture & all my estate of what kind so ever during her natural life and after her decease my Will and desire is that all my lands stock of all kinds and of what kind so ever be equally divided between all my children & I do hereby appoint my beloved son David Cook & friend Hardy Hurdle my executor of this my last will & Testament and I do hereby renounce all other wills but this alone.
In Witness whereof I have here unto set my hand & seal

Orange Co Feb. Term 1811
The executor of the foregoing last will & testament of John Cook Dec'd was duly proved in open court by the oath of Hardy Hurdle one of the subscribing witnesses there to & ordered to be recorded

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 
Wills, Vol [A]-D 1752-1822
Source Information North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts
Images 605 & 606  of 782

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paternal DNA matches with some of the Nowlin descendants.

In the process of sorting thru my DNA matches and looking at their trees in order to identify our common ancestors I noticed that I had a good many matches who were descendants of Bryan Ward Nowlin and wife Lucy Wade.  Their Great Grandson Bryan Ward Nowlin (son of Jabus Swanson Nowlin) died in 1861.  I located his will in Marshall Co TN Probate records on and learned that he was a doctor.  He and Rebecca Ewing Niell had 10 children only 5 of which lived beyond the age of 7.  That must have been heartbreaking.  He lists the surviving children in his will. a snippet of which is shown below.  B. W. Nowlin himself was only 41 when he died.

  • James Ozro Nowlin
  • Thomas Light Nowlin
  • Milton Gross Nowlin
  • Harriet Elizabeth Nowlin
  • Rebecca Lavona Nowlin
These DNA matches are on my Paternal side and the Bedford, Marshall, Rutherford and Williamson Co TN area is where m Dad's lines lived.

B W Nowlin Probate Date 13 July 1861 Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts. Marshall Co TN Wills, Vol A-C, 1835-1912  pg 422

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Total cM Comparisons over Known Relationships

Below is the chart showing the Total cM Comparisons over Known Relationships for my Daughter.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

For those interested in seeing more comparisons and averages check out The Shared cM Project at The Genetic Genealogist's website.  Also there are several charts at the ISOGG wiki.

Paternal Segments Representation

Paternal Segments Representation

To date I have identified segments from my paternal side on the following chromosomes in my DNA (in no particular order)

Chr   Couple

2:  Putman/Tyler, King/Upshaw
3:  Frizzell/Manley
4:  Morrow/Sutton, Putman/Prince
5:  Deason
6:  Manley/Frizzell, King/Upshaw
7:  King/Manire, Putman/Tyler
10:  Frizzell/Manley
11:  Manley/Wilson, Deason
12:  Manire/Jackson, Putman/Tyler
14:  Frizzell/Manley, Upshaw/Bradley
15:  King/Manire
17:  Frizzell/Manley
21:  Manire/Jackson
X:  Knox/Craig, Deason

Couple= Most Recent Common ancestor with others who match that segment

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Revisiting the New River Notes website

I remember looking over the New River Notes website in the late 90s when Jeff Weaver created it. It was great then but it is even better now.  I have 17 more years experience researching and a better idea of where my ancestors lived.   There has also been a great deal added to the website over those years.  I need to take a day and read through it.  If you have ancestors in the counties it covers or in the surrounding counties it really is worth your time to check it out.

Upper New River Valley covers the following counties

  • North Carolina   
    • Alleghany
    • Ashe
    • Surry
    • Watauga 
    • Wilkes 
    • Yadkin
  • Virginia:  
    • Bland
    • Carroll
    • Floyd
    • Giles 
    • Grayson
    • Montgomery
    • Patrick
    • Pulaski 
    • Smyth
    • Tazewell
    • Washington
    • Wythe

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AncestryDNA finally has a tab that lets you see In Common With for your matches

So excited to see this tool!!  Now you don't have to convince people to send a share DNA link.  They have also added filters for parents if you have had either of your parents tested you can filter by matches in common with either of them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

PLEASE pay attention when saving files to your Ancestry Tree

This post was written to make people aware of the issues within this database and its description ---NOT to discourage people from using all the resources possible to find information on their ancestors.

Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965

I have a love hate relationship with this database.  While I love that the information is online and available to view at home with an Ancestry subscription, I hate that the index is so misleading.  Yes, the vast majority of the records are divorce records however,  there are other types within this database.  The description says that only Divorce records are indexed and searchable but that is not the case.  I could provide several examples within the set of the Williamson Co TN record section as I have Putmans and Cooks from that area in the 1830s.  The examples below show how the index could cause problems within my Putman research.

Note the description of the Williamson Co TN record set as well as the statement on what is indexed and searchable.

This search result would be fine if it was a is not

Add caption

As a researcher I am aware that you should check and double check records even if you feel there might not be anything within the database that would pertain to your research.  Because the records which aren't divorces ARE indexed(at least the ones I've found in Williamson Co TN) when you try and add the document to your tree at Ancestry it is tagged a Divorce record source and doesn't allow you to change that field.

This only happens when you try to add the first image or two to  a person in your online tree.  It doesn't happen if you try to add the pages after the index card.  Once you get past that point you will get an error on the additional pages which as it should prevents adding.  Sure there is a work around but how many will add the first page of the document without doing that and then have it listed as a Divorce and thus pass on this error.  Most people would notice in this example it is obviously impossible for a divorce to happen in 1837 or 1838 when one party has died in 1835.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

More Frizzell & Manley segments identified.

Haven't posted much in a month with school being out.  I have been enjoying the last high school summer as this coming year is my daughter's Senior Year in High School.  Rest assured I have been tinkering in genealogy almost every day just haven't had extra time to write about it.  Today I wanted to make a point to post though.  I have been frustrated by lack of responses from DNA matches I have tried contacting from all of the sites where I manage kits...Ancestry, FTDNA and Gedmatch.  I keep telling myself I need to make a form letter...but I never have though I do have the lists of GGGG Grandparents for both sides that I can copy and paste into an email.  I generally find whatever my last letter was and adapt it each time.  I guess this will help especially at Ancestry not to get caught in their spammer filter.  At any rate the other night I was writing a few of my matches....actually it was one person who was over all the I wrote to her and I kept it pretty simple.  Basically I match 3 of your kits and would like to know the connection and briefly mentioned the Gedmatch site and that it was free with some neat tools.  Just got a message a bit ago and all the kits are now at GEDmatch!!!  I am thrilled as I have identified a large segment on two chromosomes.  So don't give up!!