Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Call for Bids--Dekalb County TN courthouse & jail

The call for bids to build the courthouse and jail in Smithville.  Dekalb County Tennessee was formed in 1837 but not officially organized til March of 1838.  

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)  07 Jul 1838, Sat  • Page 2
Available at https://www.newspapers.com

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

If you build it: Connecting AncestryDNA matches

Researchers who are using autosomal DNA testing know the importance of testing as many of your known relatives as possible, especially the elders of the family.  I love it when a 2nd cousin shows up among my matches because that can help in sorting.  I don't know about you, but I don't have a money tree.  In the absence of unlimited funds to purchase atDNA tests, something that I have had success with is finding those 2C1R, 2C2R, 3C, 3C1R and so on that I do not know who have tested.  After my grandparents passed we did not have the family gatherings every few years so I haven't kept up with my cousins who are spread across the US.  With the over abundance of testers with very small trees in my matches, the odds are in my favor that there are those among my matches who aren't showing up in the AncestryDNA circles because their tree isn't built out far enough.  I think this is one of the times when having Colonial American lines really makes things easier.  This process will not work if you have only a handful of 4th or closer cousins.  If that is the case for you I would suggest working the first few pages of your Distant Cousins to see which of the 4th cousins are SHARED for you and that Distant Cousin.

My Cook lines and also my Jakes/Harger lines(both paternal) are ones I have been focusing on lately.  I have a lot of genealogical questions for which I'd like to find answers. The steps are pretty much the same regardless of which group I choose.

  • Select a Focus Group(ex. my Jakes/Frizzell Great Grandparents)
  • Find a close cousin among the matches who is in the Focus group(you can do this by choosing one of your matches from the DNA circle if you have those)
  • Browse thru the Shared Matches that you share with that cousin.  Pick a few that have the smaller trees to build out in search of the MRCA.  
  • Don't ignore the larger trees.  Look at all the ones that aren't in the circle to see if they have a path that might lead to the Focus Ancestor.  I've found many who were only a generation away from the MRCA which would have put them in the circle.
  • Contact the match with any knew information you find and ask them to consider uploading to GEDmatch.  It's always nice to get a message from someone who can extend your family tree.
Utilize the NOTES feature on your match's page.  Connections lead to more connections as each of you may have documents, pictures or stories that would help the other in their research.  I guess this is why it upsets me a great deal when I cross paths with a researcher who is only researching his or her direct line. Don't be someone who misses out on finding that extra something just because you are only interested in your direct line.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Ancestors and Alcohol

The Daily Republican Banner  Sat. Oct  13, 1838 pg 1

An Advertisement from 1838 Nashville TN newspaper about wine and brandy available for sale was not that uncommon.  The earlier newspapers seem to have many advertisements where folks are either looking to purchase or to sell items used to make liquor. My Ogilvies were especially found of distilleries.  Stills and other items or ingredients used in the production of liquor were a common part of their estates.  Even shares in upcoming production of whiskey was mentioned in my 5th Great Grandfather, William Ogilvie's will(April Session 1813 Williamson Co. TN)

Nashville Whig --Wed. April 7 1813 advertisement states:
A Hynes & Co.
Are now manufacturing, and will
constantly have on hand, a number of the
best kind of Copper Stills.
Nashville, March 24, 1813

From the 1826 Madison Co TN probate records of Charles S. Barthe, I found the contents of a mercantile store listed--much of which is liquor.  As I first read though the inventory list I had wondered if it might have been a tavern due to the amount of drinks and glasses. Further along in the inventory listing there are large amounts of grains, household goods, fabrics, and medicines as well as work tools.  Perhaps the large stock of alcohol was due to it being used as more than just a good drink? It was a pain medicine, tonic, cough syrup and in some cases a disinfectant.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Horace Odell Holder-- July 1946-- son of Mrs. W. L. Leathers

I found this article which mentions Rockvale, TN while researching another story but thought this was worth mentioning.  Was Horace Odell Holder any relation to me?  I thought I'd check since I have many family lines in that area. As it happens, we share a 4th Great Grandparent, Mark Lambert Jackson.  He descends thru Mark's first wife Drucilla Rainey, while my connection is thru that of his 2nd wife Leannah Basey Webb. That makes us 1/2 5th Cousins.

Horace Odell Holder was the son of  Horace Lee Holder and Minnie Odell Hendrix Holder(who remarried to Walter Lee Leathers after Horace Lee Holders death in 1931)

Kingsport News,  04 Jul 1946, Thu,  Page 6 (available at www.newspapers.com )

I found an entry in a Virginia Directory for a Horace O Holder and wife but I am not sure if this is the same person or not.  This Horace O Holder is listed as USN.  The couple were divorced in the same year the directory covers and had only married the year before in Savannah Georgia according to Divorce Papers also available at Ancestry.com.  This will take further research to determine if this is the same Horace O Holder as the one from Rockvale.

1952 Newport News Virginia Directory (available at  www.ancestry.com )

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Williamson Co TN Probate packets

I've been working with probate files a lot lately.  I have many ancestors who were living in Williamson Co TN in the early 1800s.  There is a database at Ancestry which is called  Tennessee, Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965. While it does showcase the divorce records, the Williamson County TN section of this database is where I have been finding probate packets.  Probate packets are files which contain all the information used in wrapping up a person's estate after their death.

Example of item included in probate packet

Items you might find in a probate packet:

  • The original will(if one existed) 
  • Inventory of the Deceased's estate
  • Records of the Estate Sale(items, price, and buyer) 
  • Additional court records if there are minor heirs or if a will is contested etc.
  • Allotment records for the widow and minor heirs
  • Records of Bond posted
  • Affidavits on a number of subjects.
  • Subpoenas of witnesses
  • Records of death of the widow
  • Land Records/Deed Plots
(these are just some I have found..your results may vary)

In addition to Williamson County, the database contains the following TN counties: Anderson, Carroll, Cheatham, Dickson, Franklin, Haywood, Henderson, Obion, and Tipton.

The record types covered are searchable and browsable and in some cases listed alphabetically:

Divorce Court Minutes 1947-1949 
Divorce Court Minutes 1949-1951 

Divorce Court Files 1826-1900 (listed by Surname A-Z)

Divorce Records 1919-1950, A-Z 
Marriage Bonds/Licenses 1904-1910 

Death Records 1930-1939 
Divorce Records 1849-1932, A-Wr 
Original Wills 1800-1899 

Divorce Records 1860-1900, A-W 
Divorce Records 1900-1910, A-Z 
Divorce Records 1900-1930, A-Z 
Divorce Records 1910-1919, A-Z 
Divorce Records 1920-1929, A-Z 
Divorce Records 1930-1939, A-Z 

Divorce Court Docket 1941-1965 
Divorce Files 1860-1936 
Divorce Index 1860-1936 
Divorce, Probate and Other Files 1808-1885 

Chancery Court Records 1870-1915 
Divorce Index 1896-1950 
Divorce Records 1896-1950 
Other Court Records 1800-1918 

Divorce Records 1930-1939, Ve-Yo 
Divorce Records 1940-1950, A-Wy 

Divorce Index 1911-1950 
Divorce Records 1911-1950, A-Z
Wills 1829-1950 

Divorce Files 1900-1950, A-Z
Divorce, Probate and Other Records 1800-1899, A-Z 
Misc Records (Liquor Licenses thru Slave Records) 

The Tennessee, Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965 is a part of the Wills & Probates, Estates & Guardian Records Collection at Ancestry.com.  If you save the files to your tree please be sure they are listed as probate and not divorce facts.  Several years ago when I added a probate file for my Putmans from this database it would list the event as a divorce rather than a probate.  This is fixable but not without some work manually editing sorce.  This is likely something which could occur in mixed records sets and may be propagated if people aren't paying attention while they are adding the documents. Consult the database at Ancestry.com(if you aren't subscribed you may be able to view while at your local library.)  Many of these files are also available at FamilySearch.org.  Check the catalog there under Tennessee and the county in which you are interested.

Monday, July 17, 2017

AncestryDNA match category spread for my family's tests.

Mom's AncestryDNA matches include
2 children
1 granddaughter

2nd Cousin AncestryDNA category
(which includes some projected 1st-2nd cousins & 2nd-3rd cousins)
11 cousins--3 of which have uploaded to GEDmatch.com
AncestryDNA estimated shared cMs ranges from 623 cMs over 21 segments --235 cM over 9 segments
All are Paternal cousins except one--a known maternal 1C1R of the Acuff/Hale variety

3rd Cousin AncestryDNA category
39 cousins--6 of which have uploaded to GEDmatch.com
AncestryDNA estimated shared cMs ranges from 188 cMs over 9 segments-- 91 cMs over 5 segments

Subtracting those 50 matches and the 3 immediate family from her total shown 4th Cousins or closer match total and she has 2,266 4th cousins.  For the record all of Mom's 3rd cousins or closer have been asked if they would consider uploading their results to GEDmatch.  Looking at Mom's matches made me curious how the numbers compared to my results as well as those of my daughter, and my sister.

Mom is very fortunate to have many of  her closer cousins who have tested.  I wish more of the closer cousins would upload to GEDmatch.  It certainly would make sorting the matches easier.  In the end though it is their choice and more times than not, it is just not a priority for them.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Looking at the Head of Households for 1820 Elbert Co Georgia --Capt Oliver's Dist

Wanted to read through the Census for the area where my Upshaw/Patton lines had lived.  They would have been gone from the area for likely at least 15 yrs by the time this census was taken.  I see a lot of Cooks and also some familiar names like William King and Leroy Upshaw.  The Upshaw may be a cousin as the age was too young to be my direct Leroy Upshaw.  I'm sure there are errors in this listing as it is my attempt at reading the handwriting from the scanned images.  That said, the writing is worlds better than some I've tried to decipher.

John Y Allgood
William Nolan
Issachar Cook
John F Cook
Thomas Bell Sr
David Matten?
James Morrison
John Nunley
Peter Allgood
James Bell
Thomas Elliott
Abraham Cook
John Cook
Joshua Cook
Smith Cook
Thomas Cook
Samuel Cook
Thomas Thurlkill
Isaac Mobley
Aaron Brown
Mary Cook
Nathaniel Cook
William Stone
John B Cook
Nicholas Goode
Thomas Childers
David Hudson Jr
Becker Hudson
William Allgood Jr
Mchenry Irons
George Cook
Saml Snellings
William Allgood Sr
Patrick Jack

James Ragan
Edmond Lowrey
Parish Smith
Thomas Oliver
William King
Leroy Upshaw
Valentine Smith
Jesse Hendrick Sr
William Woods
William S Burch
Thomas Forstson
D??er Jeter
Walker Richardson
Thomas Laninham
Ralph Blackwell
Lewis Wilhight
John Winfield
Peter David
Gideon Hamm
Leonard Smith
William Hendrick
James A Depriest
William Burns

These are listed after the totals on the 2nd pg. (no explanation is offered by the census taker as to why they are listed separately)
Dyonesus Oliver
Isaac O Edwards
David Hudson Sr
William B Key
Andrew Woodley
Chole T Kee
George Perrin
William C Davis

Friday, July 14, 2017

A letter for Ellis P Cook--Nashville--April 1841

Searching Newspapers.com for Cooks in the middle Tennessee area I found a List of Letters Advertisement.

The Tennessean Nashville, Tennessee United States of America
Tuesday, April 20, 1841 pg 4  (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/12369797/)

List of Letters
Remaining in the Post Office at Nashville on the 15th day of April.
Persons applying for the letter to the following list, will please say "ADVERTISED"

Among those listed was
Cook, Ellis P

Not in my line that I know of but I was curious as to why he hadn't gotten the letter.

1839 Oct Robertson Co TN married to Louisa Y? Strother₁
1840 Davidson Co., TN₂
1850 Newton Co., MO₃ (Kitty Cortney b. in TN living in household)
1860 Newton Co., MO₄ (Louisa no longer in household youngest child age 7)
1870 Newton Co., MO₅ (Kitty still living in household
1870 Dec Newton Co., MO₆ married Catherine  "Kitty" Cortney
1880 Carroll Co., AR ₇

Looking at a timeline of events from records I found it appears he had moved from the Nashville area to Newton Co MO where he remained until sometime between 1870 and 1880 when he moved to Carroll Co., Arkansas.  After the death of his first wife it appears he married Kitty who had been living in his household since 1850.  Was Kitty kin to his first wife who was also born in TN.  Did he ever receive the letter?  Rabbit holes for another day.

The following sources were consulted as I fell down the rabbit hole.

1.  Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002 for Ellis P Cook  --Robertson Dec 1878 - Nov 1886: Marriages 5-8
Ancestry.com. Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002   Oct 16 1839 (it was indexed as 1840 and in the 1878-1886 book [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.

2.  Year: 1840; Census Place: Davidson, Tennessee; Roll: 520; Page: 285; Family History Library Film: 0024543
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census, Tennessee, Davidson Co. City of Nashville Ward 4  Image 41 of 257 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. 

3.  Year: 1850; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M432_408; Page: 342A; Image: 246
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census Missouri, Newton Co.  Van Buren Twp. Images 12 & 13 of 14[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. 

4.  Year: 1860; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M653_636; Page: 983; Family History Library Film: 803636
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census Missouri Newton Co. Van Buren Twp. Images 9 of 25. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. 

5.  Year: 1870; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M593_795; Page: 487B; Image: 386627; Family History Library Film: 552294
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census Missouri Newton Co. Van Buren Twp. Newtonia P.O. Images 12 of 33[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

6.  Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

7.  Year: 1880; Census Place: Eureka Springs, Carroll, Arkansas; Roll: 39; Family History Film: 1254039; Page: 159C; Enumeration District: 025; Image 15 of 57
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census Arkansas, Carroll Co., Eureka Springs Image 15 of 57  [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Genealogical details in an advertisement.

The Cincinnati Enquirer  Cincinnati, Ohio  Thu, Sep 5, 1901 – Page 12

My Daughter, Brittany's Folley line is her most recent immigrant line.  George Folley(her 3rd Great Grandfather) brought his family to the USA about 1887.  At the time, his family consisted of his wife and their two daughters.  His wife would die in 1888 of Yellow Fever. George was a tailor and remarried in New York to Barbara Klemme(from Franklin Co IN) about 3 years after his wife's death.  Franklin County, Indiana is where most of Brittany's Paternal Grandfather's German ancestors lived.  George and Barbara lived in Campbell Co Kentucky for awhile before moving on to Cincinnati Ohio.

I recently subscribed when I noticed a good deal on their Publisher Extra subscription which they were offering to Ancestry.com subscribers.  Imagine my surprise at finding genealogical information in an advertisement.   The subscription price is well worth it.  I found the details of George's Death published in The Cincinnati Enquirer and also ran across an advertisement from about 25 yrs prior to that which gives a little background about George's employment.

March 25 1929 pg 12The Cincinnati Enquirer(Cincinnati, Ohio)

The Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati, Ohio Mon, Mar 25, 1929 – Page 12

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reminder about Obituary information

Most researchers know that obituaries are often littered with errors. Names omitted---wrong info given because of the survivors' state of mind and countless other reasons.  I think my family takes the cake on it though.  My Great Grandmother Emma Frances Hale(Mrs. James Polk Acuff) is listed in her brother's obit in 1947[Sam Hale--Southern Standard (McMinnville, TN) ]despite the fact that she died in 1939.  My family really does need to stay in touch more. Today I found another example while checking the obits for my Aunts and Uncles.  This one I found today is likely to be a typo that no one caught.

My Dad's brother, Morris Bradford Cooke's obit list the year of death wrong.  It was 1994 when he died.  The obituary is in The Tennessean, (Nashville, TN) 12 Mar 1994, Sat, Page 16.  His Mother, my paternal grandmother died in July of 1993.  I know he was alive then as I was at her funeral and he was there.  We have the creepy picture by the casket to back that up also.  I have no idea why we do that...it happens a lot in my family.  I think it is fairly obvious if you look at all the other obituaries on the page and the date of publication.  If there is any doubt,  I may have to find those pics.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lemuel's FAN club

As a researcher you should be familiar with Cluster Genealogy as a method for finding out more about your ancestors.  You may also be familiar with the term Fan Club or Fan Club principle which was coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills to describe the group of individuals who were Family, Associates, and Neighbors of  an ancestor.  By examining the relationship of these persons to your ancestor,  you will gain a better insight into their lives and find more of their paper trail.  If you aren't familiar with this term please check out Mill's Historic Pathways site for more information on her excellent articles, books,  and presentations.

FAN club from Lemuel Manier's Probate Packet
  1. Susan E A. Manier (widow)
  2. John W. Manier(son)
  3. Stephen J. Manier(son)
  4. Eliza J. Manier King(daughter)
  5. Wm. B King(son-in-law)
  6. Minerva O. or A Hays(daughter--Widow of Robert Ralston)
  7. Ann Manier Floyd(daughter)
  8. John H. Floyd(son-in-law)
  9. Lemuel Manier(son)
  10. Leanne Manier Hill(daughter)
  11. William T. Hill(son-in-law)
  12. David C Manier(son)
  13. Anna W Manier(daughter)
  14. Amasa Manier(son)
  15. Drury Bennet(neighboring land owner married to Elizabeth Manier)
  16. James Carson(neighboring land owner)
  17. John Loney?(neighboring land owner)
  18. Wm. R. Nunn(neighboring land owner)
  19. Wm McKay(sold Lemuel land in R'ford Co Tn 16 Jan 1835)
  20. Solomon(negro)
  21. Mary(negro)
  22. Harriet(negro --child of Mary)
  23. Edmond(negro)
  24. Hardy(negro)
  25. Balam(negro)
  26. Chelsey William(executor)
  27. James D. Gillespie(witness)
  28. Christopher M Brooks(witness)
  29. Noah Scales(witness)
  30. Thomas Bullock(Deputy Court Clk)
  31. R. D. Morrison(witness)
  32. J P Calhoun(witness)
  33. John Bittle(witness)
  34. Robert Taylor(witness)
  35. R.C. Owen(witness)
  36. Stephen Bennett(witness)
  37. W.W. Floyd(witness)
  38. James T. Shurman(witness)
  39. Jacob(negro)
  40. Andy(negro)
  41. George(negro)
  42. James A. Hayes(son-in-law---2nd husband & eventually ex  husband of Minerva)
  43. Permelia Russell(widow of Daniel Russell)
  44. Daniel Russell(deceased trustee for Minerva)
  45. James S. Hamlett(Sheriff)
  46. William Ralston(son of Minerva who is her trustee)
  47. Wm S Fleming(Chancellor of Court 1874)
From the information in the Probate Pkt of 
David Lemuel Manier(Manire) 1792-1837  Williamson Co. TN

Image 2867-2984 of 2992

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information
Ancestry.com. Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Info found in Probate File of my 3rd Great Grandfather

Things I found in a 118 image probate file(At Ancestry.com) of my 3rd Great Grandfather, Lemuel Manier(Manire) who died in the year 1837 in Williamson County, Tennessee.  You really have to take it in the context of the times--before emancipation and women's rights.  Not that that justifies not giving folks rights or limiting them based on the color of their skin, their gender ...or both.  Some of the pages were poorly written.  Thankfully, there were 2 or 3 copes for a number of the documents and at least one was legible.

Information in the probate packet:
  • Date on which will was written & residence
  • Date on which will was proven
  • Listing of children complete with married names of daughters
  • Name of widow
  • Death info of widow
  • Land description(residence)
  • Additional land description & who it was purchased from
  • Names of neighbors from land description
  • Relationship status of daughters(marriage/divorce/widowed)
  • Location/Proof of relationship status of daughters or widow
  • Name of County Sheriff
  • Subpoenas executed.
  • Proof of death of estate trustee 
  • Estate sale items
  • Slave names and ages
  • record of slave death including the cost of coffin
  • Hiring out of slaves
  • 47 persons to add to Lemuel Manire's Genealogy FAN club(term coined by Elisabeth Shown Mills which describes a research method of studying an ancestor's Family, Associates, and Neighbors--also called cluster research)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crumbs from a Probate Packet and the makings of a citing nightmare...

My original intent in this post was to a small bit of information from the Lemuel Manier & heirs probate packet(ie. info on his daughter, Minerva's divorce).  Trying to cite it has me pulling my hair out as there are so many contradictions in the source listing.  The key, I feel, is to give directions on how to find that source again.

For what is is worth, Here is what Ancestry puts on the Record file as the source information & citation.

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information
Ancestry.com. Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

When viewing the images themselves below is the header you see if you view from the TN Wills & Probate search results.

Image  2976 of 2992  contains the following information giving clues about divorce of Minerva O Hays.

This case was on the 20th day of Dec 1875 heard on the petition of Minerva O Hays and the proof in the case from which it appears to the satisfaction of the court that since the making of the decree in this cause and the appointment of William Ralston as Trustee for Minerva O Hays she has been divorced from her husband and is now a feme sole and there is no longer any necessity of retaining Wm Ralston in the office of Trustee and her estate in his hands as such trustee.  Thereupon the court decrees that William Ralston as trustee deliver up and surrender to Minerva O Hays all of her effects in his hands take her receipt therefore and produce a file of such receipt in this court and upon his so doing that he be discharged from the office of trustee and be relieved from all liability as such.  The court decrees that she pay the cost of this.

Proof of divorce is given under oath by statement from Chelsey Williams(18th Dec 1875)
Who answers that her family of sons stated that she was divorced from him in Columbia, Maury Co TN in 1874 or the first part of 1875. (Image 2951 of 2992)

Monday, June 05, 2017

In Praise of City Directories

This week got off to a great start with me finding the 118 page probate/estate packet of my 3rd Great Grandfather.  I began reading over it last night and there is just so much information included.  I haven't even gotten half way thru and I'm seeing the names of all of his children, land descriptions and as this was before emancipation I've also found information pertaining to slaves which were hired out.  It lists their names and ages.  One in particular was a rather odd given name.  Consulting a directory at Ancestry.com for the family I was able to find a gentleman by the same name with the last name of our family. Not sure that it is the one listed in the probate info but is likely a nephew or son.  I found additional census listings also that contained the names mentioned in the probate file. I had worked with directories in my research on another case which I blogged about this past year.  Each time I use them I find even more information or uses. These tidbits are things that you might not expect to find.  If you want to know how the Country, State, County or City was run--just look in the directory for the city in question.  Below is a listing in no particular order of the things that I have found in a city directory.

  • Tax Laws specific to the publication year and area covered.
  • Occupation--sometimes it also lists place of employment
  • Females listed as "widow of.."
  • Maps--a variety
  • Election schedules & Elected officials
  • Business Directory--gives you an idea of what is booming in that area at the time.
  • Index to Advertisers--businesses that paid to have an ad listed.  The earlier ones can be really interesting. (One advertisement for a Sanitarium located in Nashville said that they could cure any addition but that they only took refined patients.)
  • Streetcar/Railway schedules.
  • Any number of stats for larger cities as well as a history of the area
  • Religious & other Societies and Associations
  • Listing of Local Churches

Friend and fellow genealogist, Miriam Robbins has been addressing this point for a number of years.  In addition to her Online Historical Directories site and blog she has also started a Facebook group on the topic.  More information about all of these can be found in her post at her AnceStories blog.  In my opinion city directories are just as valuable to a researcher today as they were to area residents at their time of publication. Their value is illustrated in this warning printed inside the cover of one of the Nashville Directories.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Will of William D Powell--July 1934-proved in Lee Co AL

"Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:SQWX-JCFG-9?cc=1909088&wc=M6QW-V68%3A179727801%2C180198101 : 22 May 2014), Rutherford > image 293 of 327; county courthouses, Tennessee.

Reading thru the Probate Records of Rutherford Co TN and I happen to find a will that was written by a resident of Louisville KY, William D. Powell.   Looks like it was proved in Lee Co AL in July 1934.  It provides a full listing of the living children including the areas where they live.  I was not able to figure out why the copy was included in the Rutherford Co TN records.  I did look for the location of Henning, Tennessee but it is in Lauderdale County which is not near Rutherford County.  I love the detail found in this will too.  Mr. Powell instructs that there is to be enough money put aside from his estate to make a $100 contribution to the Southern Baptist for 3 years.  He also in Item 6 makes a statement of faith.

A check at Ancestry shows that the Probate Papers in Lee County Alabama are extensive
The Ancestry "packet" contains 52 images.  

Cover Page 1
Order Papers 2–8
Will Papers 9–10
Petition Papers 11–14
Account Papers 15–34
Petition Papers 35–43
Order Papers 44–45
Petition Papers 46–49
Administration Papers 50–52

This makes me wonder about his descendants and if they stayed in contact given that he had children who were living in 8 different US states at the time of his death.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Shared Ancestor Hint thrown off by tree discrepancies

Overwhelmed with the amount of matches lately but today I took the time to work the Shared Ancestor Hints and noticed this.  

The match in question is genealogically a 5th cousin which this should show.  It's really not thru any fault of Ancestry that it isn't showing correctly.  I believe that it's actually caused by the match's entry for the husband of Annie Rice.  We both have the husband as James Hatfield but the middle initials are different for each of us and the other tree has him living over 40 yrs more than what I have in my tree.  That difference likely caused the comparison tool to think it was comparing two different Annie Rices.  I did check the shared matches and they are my Pittman/Hatfield cousins.  I think the DNA may actually be thru the Hatfield line on this one or there may be different shared segments of DNA among all of us and part may be Rice...some Hatfield and maybe some Pittman.  Be prepared to investigate and see what is causing things of this nature.  Triangulation is necessary if I want to be able to mark the matching segment and assign it to a specific ancestor or ancestor group.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

An example of why we must ALWAYS check the image.

Digging thru Riddles in the Warren Co TN area I was reminded of why you should always click thru to the image for further examination.

Reading the index would make you think this household is made up of 2 Males.  That really doesn't make sense given that the head of household is female.  Even if she were a person of color she would be listed in Total All column.

I pasted the column headers in just above the snippet of Mary's entry so you could see how many in each age group and gender were enumerated. (Click image to enlarge)

The index did not include the 3 white females in the household.  
1 ------- 30-under 40
1 ------- 50-under 60
1 ------- 70-under 80

I left a comment on this entry to make others aware of the omission.  

When you think about how many people this information has passed thru it's amazing that we still have any of it.

This particular entry was from the Ancestry Database of the 1830 United States Federal Census.  That database was made using images digitized by FamilySearch of the census pages which were microfilmed  by the NARA.  I do not know who indexed the census. Those pages of census data were collected by the census taker from someone in that household(and in some cases probably a neighbor).  From what I understand it was not uncommon for the census taker to collect the data and then write it on the census form later in his best...or sometimes worst handwriting.  I checked to see if the 1830 census pages still exist but from what I can gather the NARA only has the negative photostatic copies for the year 1830. [1]

Ancestry Database:
Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.1830; Image 141 of 158.

Family History Library Film:
Census Place: Warren, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 181; Page: 367; Family History Library Film: 0024539

Original data: 
Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

It's a Blogiversary!! MarieB's Genealogy Blog turns 13!!

It is hard to believe that it has been 13 years since I started blogging about my genealogy. There have been times when I rarely posted and others in which I posted a great deal.  I am thankful I have an outlet to share my excitement about my family history research and things that I've found that have been helpful and maybe at times--things to avoid.  Thanks to my readers past, present and future for being part of the journey.  I love my research and I love sharing tips and genealogy "happy dance" moments with you.  In celebration of the BlogiversaryI thought it might be a good idea to review the top 13 most popular posts of the 13 years!  Hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing many more posts with you!

13 Most Popular Posts
at MarieB's Genealogy Blog

  1. Arrival in America of my Putman/Putnam and Shropshire Ancestors--Oct 3, 2009
  2. Elisha Miller Robinson(1825-1896)--Jul 10, 2009
  3. How the houses my Grandparents lived in look today(Part 1 Part 2)--Oct 26, 2013
  4. My Grandmother's Post Cards--Tennessee Buildings--Oct 9, 2009
  5. My 32 Great Great Great Grandparents( 30 known, 2 unknown)--Sep 5, 2009
  6. Skill builders from the Board for Certification of Genealogists--Jul 19, 2004
  7. Examining a Maternal DNA Circle--Mason Combs(1746-1802) --Mar 21, 2017
  8. Dear Cousins: If you have taken an atDNA test--Nov 18, 2016
  9. Researching Confederate Records of the Civil War.--Aug 30, 2016
  10. 1840 Williamson Co. TN Census Head of Households Dist 25--Apr  19, 2016
  11. AncestryDNA Circles Spreadsheet strategy--Aug 9, 2016
  12. March 21, 1891--Birthday of Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke--Mar 31, 2017
  13. A plan for helping to identify my 3rd and 4th cousins DNA matches--Aug 27, 2016

Friday, April 21, 2017

AncestryDNA results--a 3 generation comparison of DNA Match

I have an example of  a DNA match across 3 generations and also a very good illustration of why the ability to compare in a chromosome browser is the only way to know with more certainty how we match someone.  Below you see the match, Joy compared to my Mom,Beatrice.  They share 10.1 cM across 1 DNA segment

Next let's look at my sister, Rebecca compared to Joy.(You can only do the comparison with tests for which you have admin or editor rights.)  Looks like she didn't get that segment from Mom.

Compared with Joy she and I share 25.3 cMs across 2 segments.  Wait--Mom only had 10.1 cM.  Where did I pick up the other 15.2 cMs?  Was it a no-call on Mom's test and actually from her side?  Did I get it from my Dad?  Dad passed before he could test but I have a phased kit of the DNA which I got from him.  I could compare my paternal phased DNA  if Joy were at GEDmatch.   Hopefully she will upload her results there.

Now let's take a look at my daughter, Brittany compared to Joy. Looks like she got both segments and would have the potential for passing these segments on to any children she may have.

Thoughts:  We can't know for sure that the 15.2 cM segment that I have and that I passed on is from my Dad without comparison of the tests results in a Chromosome Browser. Then we can draw some conclusions.  Think about it though--Rebecca's two children will not have these segments because she did not have them to pass on to them.  That is how sometimes we have different matches than our siblings  DNA Randomness. It's no wonder that on average we only match about half of our 4th cousins.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Perfect Example of why you should always check the image

Never in my research has there been a better example which illustrates the importance of always clicking thru to view the linked images.  If you check the image you will see this is the page on which the census taker, Lula S. Berry is adding all the people that were left out of earlier households. She has the words "Out Of Order" written at the top of the page.  It looks like the information to find the households which they were a part of is included in the Location & Household Column along with a note on one of the earlier entries before this grouping that says Information furnished by Ms? Irvine.   It is difficult to tell what her system may have been for referencing those households.  The snippet I included is of the Record which is linked to Stamped page 261 Sheet 61A.  The people ABOVE the blue line are included on the page which is linked to the record.   It looks like it was in question whether some infants should have been included or not and the census taker waited til the last to add them.  Also the persons who are shown on the record snippet BELOW the blue line and  located Two images ahead are guests at the Imperial Hotel in Monterey TN.  Always check the image and never blindly add from the record.  Additionally, It's a good idea to check at the end of a district to see if there are any persons of interest which were left out of the initial entry and are included at the end of that district.  Browsing thru this district which is in order by the stamped page number, you will see that sometimes the sheet number doesn't follow the pattern you would expect it to follow.  Always check the image and browse a few pages before and after the entry of interest especially if it doesn't appear to be a standard enumeration.  We could blame this on the census taker or the indexer.  In my opinion the blame is on us as researchers for not checking more closely.

1940 U.S. census, Putnam County, Tennessee, population schedule, Monterey Town, Enum. Dist: 71-18, p. 261 (stamped), digital image(45 of 48), Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 20 April 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3928.

Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

Enumeration District : 71-18; Description: CIVIL DISTRICT 14, MONTEREY TOWN, DR. W. C. OFFICER´S SANITARIUM

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Trello Board for organizing my DNA Brainstorming

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Legacy Family Tree Webinar by Lisa Alzo
entitled "Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists."  You can find this recorded webinar along with others by Lisa in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library.
I'm just getting started using Trello. At this point I am using the Free version.    I started by making a Board for my DNA matches. I'm not listing the matches but rather the reoccurring surnames and locations.  I think of Lists like the columns for the board and the Cards as the building blocks for that column. You can attach images and links to the Cards you add to the lists.  See my first board below.

My board has 4 lists--PGF(Paternal Grandfather), PGM(Paternal Grandmother), MGF(Maternal Grandfather) and MGM(Maternal Grandmother).  I have also put color labels which are the same color(or as close as I could get) to what I use in my DNA segment mapping for those Grandparents.  Clicking in the PGM lists brings up these options(below)

Trello boards also work for collaborating as you can share the boards or if you are more like me you might want them to help you focus on a research task.  It reminds me a bit of Bullet Journaling.  They are very customizable and there is no wrong way.  You decide what works for you and do that.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Use Word Clouds in your Family History Research

Word clouds are great for bringing together surnames and locations from your research.  I use them to pull together groups of people and locations especially when I am working on a DNA segment. You could also do this when researching families that migrated together.

A variety of free word cloud generators can be found by using your preferred search engine. For this word cloud I used the word cloud generator at http://www.abcya.com

And AncestryDNA's estimated Amount of Shared DNA is.....

In last Wednesday's blog post I asked if anyone wanted to take a guess at how many shared cMs a cousin match at AncestryDNA was estimated by Ancestry to have.  The match is kin to me 5 different ways. On reevaluating I found yet another shared Double line.  The only person who posted a guess via the comments was Randy Seaver,  so regardless,  he is the closest.  :-)  Perhaps the question was intimidating--DNA research can be like that sometimes.  Randomness.  It doesn't always follow logic or mathematical principles inheritance-wise.

The match shared the following connections with me

5C1R(2x)------Nathan Frizzell & Margaret Deason(my 4Gr his 5Gr) (*)
4C---------------James Morrow & Margaret Sutton(both 3rd Grs)
4C---------------James Jakes & Nancy Harger(both 3rd Grs)
4C1R-----------James Jakes & Nancy Harger(my 3rd Gr= his 4th Gr)

Additional discoveries of
6C---------------James Knox & Elizabeth Craig(Eoff line goes back to them)
6C1R-----------James Knox & Elizabeth Craig(see above)

I used the BLUE for the relationships that were thru my PGM's Dad and the PINK
for the ones that were thru my PGM's Mom.

Typically half of your 4th cousins won't even share DNA with you.
If I had guessed I would have taken the average for all the relationship amounts

4C=13.28  (times 2)
5C1R=1.66 (times 2)
6C= .83
6C1R= .42
Estimated Total that way would have been 37.77 cMs
Which would put me in really close to Randy's guess.  In reality I share 114 cMs across 9 segments as shown below.  That is a typical amount for 2nd Cousins once removed.

I should also note that the 114 cMs made it thru the Ancestry "cut" so it doesn't include anything that is in what they consider to be a "pile-up" region.  Ancestry matches will not include X Segments so there may still be more in common along the X where it is in the x inheritance path.  In typically fashion my sister has done it again and matched them more. The match shares 132 cMs with her across 7 segments.

I really need to see this match at GEDmatch. I think this is a great exercise in how large segments are passed.  In my daughter's matches there are many of the Wildes/Wilkinson descendants who share a large segment of 50 cMs on one chromosome.  Randomness for sure!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Care to guess the AncestryDNA estimated shared amount of cMs?

The DNA match(at AncestryDNA) that is related to me 5 different ways(all on my Dad's side) responded after a 2 year wait.  Never lose hope.  People get busy and have other priorities outside of genealogy---shocking--isn't it?

Here are all 4 connections paths with the Frizzell / Deason line being double for me so in essence 5 ways. Want to hazard a guess at the Ancestry predicted shared amount of cMs? Hopefully I will be able to see the amounts at GEDmatch soon and see what, if any, segments were excluded from that Ancestry estimate.  Also even with the intermarriage between these families I think I may be able to identify the difference in the segments. There are several testers who have the Frizzell/Deason lines exclusively, two with Morrow/Frizzell.

5C1R(2x)------Nathan Frizzell & Margaret Deason(my 4Gr his 5Gr) (*)
4C---------------James Morrow & Margaret Sutton(both 3rd Grs)
4C---------------James Jakes & Nancy Harger(both 3rd Grs)
4C1R-----------James Jakes & Nancy Harger(my 3rd Gr= his 4th Gr)

* my 4th Greats thru two lines.

Post your guess in the comments.  I'll post the answer along with the closest guess on Monday, April 17th. (There is no prize other than being correct or as close as possible)

Helpful Links:

Cousin Chart

Blaine Bettinger's Shared cM Project post
(link to the PDF file with range of shared cM amounts for given relationships is at the bottom of the post)

International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki  --autosomal DNA stats

Saturday, April 08, 2017

On this day in 1949(April 8): Kathy Fiscus

In my morning phone call with my Mom, she mentioned that today was the day that Little Kathy Fiscus (her Find a Grave memorial) fell in the well in San Marino, California.. The year was 1949 and Mom was 8 years old. She remembers listening to the news about it on the radio. The Wikipedia article tells a bit more about the rescue attempt. This reminded me a bit of Jessica McClure who fell in a well in Texas the year after I graduated high school. It is interesting the things that stick in our memories.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Ethnicity--My results at FTDNA's MyOrigins 2.0

FTDNA launched MyOrigins 2.0 today.  Mine results are shown below along with my ethnicity reports according to DNALand, and AncestryDNA.  MyHeritage has promised to make it's full Ethnicity report available free to all those who have uploaded their raw data(I've uploaded 4 tests) there from any of the other sites.  This and the coming of a chromosome browser, and downloadable matches were mentioned in the MyHeritage Webinar that was made available for free at Legacy's FamilyTreeWebinar site last week.

The two biggest changes from the earlier version were the increase in Scandinavian(decrease in West/Central Europe) and the addition of 4% Sephardic Jew.   I've never had ANY Jewish amount even traces in any of my other tests results, so that was interesting to see.


Notice the high amount of Irish at AncestryDNA and the low Scandinavia.  Also the Finland amount intrigues me as that region is showing up in my sister's results

DNA Land Results

To give you an idea of what is included here is the listing that pertains to my results from DNAland
Northwest European
Includes: Scottish Argyll_Bute_GBR and British in England; Icelandic in Iceland; Norwegian in Norway and Orcadian in Orkney Islands
Does not include: Saharawi in (Morocco) Western Sahara; Piapoco in Colombia; Estonian in Estonia; Basque/French and French in (South and 1 other site) France; Basque/Spanish and Iberian Population in Spain; Finnish in Finland and Gambian in Western Gambia

Includes: Balochi, Brahui and Makrani in Pakistan
Does not include: Turkmen and Uzbek in Uzbekistan; Hazara, Pathan and Sindhi in Pakistan; Iranian in Iran and Gujarati Indian from Gujarat (expat in Houston TX)

Includes: Finnish in Finland
Does not include: Nganasan and Russian in Russia; Belarusian in Belarus; Estonian in Estonia; Norwegian in Norway; Ashkenazi Jew in Poland and Ashkenazi Jew from East Europe especially Lithuania (expat in Baltimore MD)
Ambiguous Northeast European

Northeast European is a general category containing Finnish and North Slavic
Ambiguous West Eurasian
West Eurasian is a very general category containing Arab/Egyptian, Ashkenazi/Levantine, Central Asian, Northeast European, South Asian, South European, Northwest European, Southwestern European and Central Indoeuropean

From the Eurogenes K13, one of the Admixture tools at GEDmatch

There are many other Admixture tools at GEDmatch that you may use once you upload.  I chose this one because I thought it would be the most accurate for my lineage.  I think we can all agree that I'm mostly European.  :-)  In my opinion, being able to validly interpret a person's Ethnic mix using their DNA data is still in the infancy stage.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Recommendation: A History of England--John Thorn, Roger Lockyer, & David Smith

For those of us who are researching our family history and who have English ancestry, one of the best resources is the book, A History of England by John Thorn, Roger Lockyer, & David Smith.  I was lucky enough to find a 1963 printing at a thrift sale for 99 cents about 15 years ago.  It has 600 pages including the index and many maps of the area for the time period covered in each of the sections.  This could really be helpful to those doing DNA research to give them more information about what was going on in England during the time in which their ancestor was there. Also if your ancestor immigrated from England it could be helpful in determining why your ancestor decided to leave England.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My family's AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

At RootsTech 2017 Tim Sullivan, CEO and president of Ancestry announced that Ancestry would be rolling out a new tool in March for those who have taken their AncestryDNA test(an autosomal test).  As the name suggests it groups your DNA matches into communities.  If you are interested in knowing more about all the research put into developing and the basis for this feature you can see that at the Genetic Communities: Whitepaper.

What were my expectations?  In my own ancestry I have a great deal of colonial lines many of which settled in the southeastern United States.  Paternal lines I expect a good deal of English/Irish  represented in those matches.  Many of them were in Logan Co. KY, Union Co. SC and later Bedford, Rutherford and Williamson Co.,  TN.  My maternal lines are from the Isle of Man, England and Ireland.  In the states the concentration would be White, Warren and Van Buren Co TN area.  

For my daughter's ancestry my expectations were German and English with colonial communities in Georgia, East Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.  She did have ancestors who immigrated a lot later than mine 1830s and 1890s and I expected to see communities for them in Florida and also Franklin Co Indiana.

For my sister's results I was expecting along the same lines as my own even though we have a lot of variation in what we inherited from our Dad.

Results for:


Early Settlers of Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee
--You and 466 of your DNA matches, along with 114,564 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Early Settlers of Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee.

.....Settlers of the Ozarks & Middle Tennessee--You and 114 of your DNA matches, along with 9,988 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Settlers of the Ozarks & Middle Tennessee.

Early Settlers of Tennessee & the Deep South--You and 709 of your DNA matches, along with 214,588 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Early Settlers of Tennessee & the Deep South.

My Daughter
Early Settlers of Tennessee & the Deep South
Early Settlers of Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee
Early Settlers of Georgia & Florida

Early Settlers of Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee
....Settlers of the Ozarks & Middle Tennessee
Settlers of East Tennessee & the Blue Ridge Mountains
Settlers of Missouri Ozarks & East Tennessee

My sister(full sibling)
Early Settlers of Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee
Settlers of Western Tennessee, Arkansas & Northeast Texas
.....Early Settlers of Tennessee & the Deep South
Early Settlers of Northern Alabama

Clicking on one of your Genetic Communities takes you to a Origins page which includes a timeline and a more close-up view of the area it covers.

From there selecting CONNECTION loads a page which has a list of your matches and the Top Surnames found in that community.

I'm sure this feature will be helpful to many people especially those who don't already know much about their ancestry and those who immigrated later on.  Keep in mind that I'm writing this from the perspective of someone using the US version of Ancestry with colonial American roots on both sides of the family.  The experience will be different for each person.  I feel like the communities are too broad right now to be of any significant help to me.  I'm hoping that will change as time goes on and we will be able to look at a more detailed group.  While I do like to see the Associated last names, I think a better option would have been to link those names to a search of your matches from that genetic community.  When I clicked on a name that was what I expected(Yes I didn't read the text up above the names before clicking).  Still, a great feature and I'm sure it will bring additional interest in researching both genetic and traditional ancestry.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beckman family in 1930 Nashville City Directory.

A follow-up to my post from last Friday about finding my daughter's Paternal 2nd Gr Grandparents and their son(from Franklin Co. Indiana)  enumerated in Nashville Tennessee during the 1930 census.

It doesn't look like they were just passing thru.  I also found them in the Nashville Directory.

Directories are a great resource that often times get overlooked.  Ancestry has a pretty good selection of directories especially for the larger cities.  In addition to placing a person at a specific place within a given time period you can also find out about the area by reading the business directory section.  Some directories also contain additional information about the areas which they cover.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Attempt at comparing MyHeritage test amounts onsite to MyHeritage test Uploads at GEDmatch

I have been curious to compare how my matches at MyHeritage show up(amount-wise) when they are uploaded to GEDmatch.  Today I noticed that I had  three new matches from MyHeritage at GEDmatch in addition to one that I'd had for about a week.  Uploaded MyHeritage kit are those identified by a prefix of the letter H.  That gave me a total of 4 matches to compare the reported amounts from MyHeritage to the matching amount at GEDmatch.  Sadly, I was only able to positively identify one of the matches.  I could not find the other 3 matches among my 89 matches at MyHeritage.  I did a scan of all nine pages and when that didn't result in me finding any of the 3 matches  I did a search for the full names and email user names.  Still nothing.  So then I looked up to the amount shown at GEDmatch + 10cMs nothing that looked like a match despite the fact that most of the users appeared to have used their full name.

Below are the amounts from GEDmatch and the comparison with the one match I was able to identify.  

Below is a screenshot of the last two matches on my My Heritage DNA matches.  They were sorted from Greatest Total Amount to smallest.  Why are matches 2, 3 and 4 not listed?  Is the Total Matching Theshold to make the list 15 cMs?  Smallest amount to be considered a segment match 5 cMs?

More questions than answers.  I did check the DNA Match quality info button, as well as the DNA help files to see if I could find the answer to the above questions but did not see anything listing what the cutoff amounts were to be listed, nor the minimum amount of cMs to be considered a matching segment.  I'll post an update if I figure out the answers. Comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Examining a Maternal DNA Circle--Mason Combs(1746-1802)

Mason Combs while not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt is most likely my 5th Gr Grandfather and the father of Nancy Combs Fleming.

Examining the Mason Combs AncestryDNA Circle
Members:   124
Groups:    39

Mom matches 50 members which represent 18 groups.

I match 26 members also within the 18 groups.

My sister matches 18 members also within the 18 groups.

Members of the 18 Groups represent the following connections:

  • Descends from John Fleming and Nancy Combs thru their daughter Charlotta Fleming(This is the source of my Combs line)
  • Descends from John Fleming and Nancy Combs  thru their daughter Martha Fleming. Walling.
  • Descends from John Fleming and Nancy Combs  thru their son Samuel Logan Fleming
  • Descends from John Fleming and Nancy Combs thru their son William Logue Fleming.
  • Descends from Martin Johnson and Sarah Combs thru their son John Clark Johnson.
  • Descends from Martin Johnson and Sarah Combs thru their son Martin Johnson
  • Descends from Martin Johnson and Sarah Combs thru their daughter Nancy Johnson.
  • Descends from Martin Johnson and Sarah Combs thru their son Pleasant Miller Johnson.
  • Descends from Simon Combs and Martha Murrell thru their daughter Ellender Combs Hammer.
  • Descends from Jeremiah Combs and Charity Rhodes thru their daughter Nancy Combs Clark.
  • Descends from Jeremiah Combs and Charity Rhodes thru their daughter Sarah Combs Lane
  • Descends from Daniel Paine and Silvia Combs thru their son Herbert Murrell Paine.

There are several different subgroups within 3 of these groups.  Also a group shows as descending from  Amelia Millie Combs Hitchcock thru her daughter Nancy Hitchcock Fleming.  This group is totally misnamed and attributed because of a long standing belief that the Millie who married George Hitchcock was a Combs.  She was not. She was a Riddle.  The marriage record was found by Agnes Jones over 15 years ago in the  Roane County Tennessee marriage records.  Given that Millie was fairly young when she married George it is highly unlikely that this could have been a second marriage for her.  Nancy Hitchcock(sister to James P.) mentioned above married Alfred Patton Fleming a brother of Charlotta(and child of Nancy Combs Fleming)  and that is the source of the Combs DNA thru the Combs Fleming Connection and not thru a Hitchcock/Combs(which is actually a Combs/Riddle connection.)

I should mention that I descend from George Hitchcock and Amelia Riddle  as well as John Fleming and Nancy Combs so those who descend thru Alfred Patton Fleming & Nancy Hitchcock would be Double Cousins with me as Alfred is brother of Charlotta & Nancy is sister of James P. Hitchcock my 3rd Gr Grandparents.

Of course just being in the circle doesn't prove kinship to everyone in the circle.  We could just have common matches or lines on our trees could be attributed to the wrong ancestors and we could share DNA thru another ancestor.   The will of Mason Combs who dies in 1802 only mentions 2 sons Simeon and Jeremiah who apparently are not yet of age.  More research is necessary in order to draw solid conclusions.

Will of Phillip L. Gesell--1871 Franklin County, Indiana

My daughter's Paternal 5th Great Grandfather Phillip L. Gesell has such an informative will.  I found it today at Ancestry.  I've been wondering what all I'd see as far is it pertained to my own ancestry with the roll out of Ancestry's  Genetic Communities and today I thought about what it might mean for her ancestry as she too has atDNA tested at AncestryDNA.  While pretty much all of my lines are here in the US prior to the Revolutionary War, my daughter, Brittany has German lines which come to the US around 1830.  She also has an English line that immigrates in about 1890.

Phillip L. Gesell's Will is so wonderful because it names the children  and the husbands of his daughters as well as naming those who live out of state.  Three of the children are living in Iowa.

His Will is Recorded in Franklin Co Indiana.

Below is a small snippet of the will but it is perhaps the most informative portion.

Will of Phillip L Gesell
Probate Date 28 Aug 1871
Probate Place Franklin, Indiana, USA
Item Description Will Records, Vol 2-3, 1870-1890

Will Records; Author: Indiana. Probate Court (Franklin County); Probate Place: Franklin, Indiana   Will Records, Vol 2-3, 1870-1890  Ancestry.com. Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Indiana County, District and Probate Courts.
Accessed March 21, 2017

March 21, 1891--Birthday of Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke

Today is the birthday of my Paternal Grandmother, Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke.  She was born on this day in 1891 in Bell Buckle, a town in Bedford County, Tennessee to James Jakes and Thelitha Ann Frizzell Jakes.  She married Thomas DeWitt Cooke in Shelbyville, TN in 1912 and they lived around Christiana(Rutherford Co. TN) until they moved to Old Hickory in the mid 1920s when Tom went to work for Dupont.  They lived on Clarke Street in Old Hickory for the first few years and that is the residence they were living at when her only son(at that time), Tomie D.  died with Scarlet & Rheumatic Fever in 1927.  That loss stuck with her as it would any mother and I think it played a huge part in her being over protective of her children.  At the time that Tomie died, my grandmother was pregnant and 2 months later she delivered another son, my Uncle Morris.  The picture shows Tomie D. Olive June, and Pearl not long before Tomie came down with the illness which swept through the community.

At the time Old Hickory, TN was pretty much a company town with the vast majority of the residents employed at the Dupont Plant.  After Tomie's death they purchased plots at Mt. Olivet Cemetery where he is buried along with my Grandparents and several of their children.  They must have moved to 911 Dodson Street not too long after Tomie's death because they are on Dodson Street by time the 1930 Census rolls around.  It was the year that my Dad was born but he would not arrive until October so he was not enumerated on that census.  Daddy also came down with Rheumatic Fever and was bedridden for a great length of time.  I'm sure this must have been tough on not only my Dad who was in Elementary School, but also on Pearl who I can only imagine was fearing that he too would die.  He didn't though...not til many years later.  Daddy joined the service during the Korean War and Pearl insisted that they were not going to move from the house on Dodson St as long as he was away.  When Dad returned home he worked at Dupont for several years.  Pearl was in her late 70s when I was born..Dad was their youngest son and my parents didn't start a family until my Dad was 38. By the time I was old enough to have memories of Pearl she was in her 80s.  She was stern...but she had seen a lot in her lifetime.  The loss of a son...disease outbreak,  wars...the transition from buggies and horses to automobiles.  She and Tom had 3 sons and 4 daughters.  

My Grandfather retired from Dupont and in 1970 they along with my parents moved to Dickson TN.  My Grandpa was dying from Lung Cancer. and Emphysema  He passed in 1971 another loss for Pearl and our family.  During the biggest part of my childhood my Grandmother lived in the same neighborhood that my parents and I did--Spanish Oaks in the Pomona Community of Dickson Co. TN.  The things I remember most about my Grandmother.  Before moving to Pomona she used to make Kraut in a crock on the large shaded porch of the house where she lived on North Charlotte Street....as a child I was fascinated by the bright green flies.  Kids are weird and I was no different.  She loved flowers.  She planted them everywhere.  She made good homemade wine...and if you coughed while you were visiting her...she would give you some of the wine for your throat.  We coughed a lot.  She also thought that a shot of whiskey could ward off a cold.   After she hit her 90s, her present day memory failed but she could remember things from her childhood.  I always loved to hear her stories.  She had good and bad days...she could bless your heart in one breath...and tell you where to go in the next..they called it hardening of the arteries but I guess it was dementia.  She would hide money....and she had a small pistol which we were always taking away from her so she wouldn't hurt herself and she was always finding.  The first curse words I ever heard were said by her.  I remember her getting a self propelled lawnmower.  She was in her 90s...she would put it on "rabbit speed" and hold on for dear life.  I always wondered why she didn't pick the slower speed.  She must have been doing something right though because she lived to be 102 years old.  Happy Birthday, Granny Cooke!!