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 Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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 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 Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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 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 ( : 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: 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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), ( : 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

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 Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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 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!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Visuals of DNA randomness

Segments Mapped to the Grandparents
Looking at a Segment map where 3 of the 4 Grandparents have tested and there is a phased kit with the DNA of the untested Grandparent.  It is easy to see that while we can be genealogically kin to someone the lines get whittled down at random.  

There are several instances more so on the Paternal side where the entire chromosome copy is from one grandparent.   4(PGF) 3(PGM) 0(MGF) 2(MGM)  

Granted there are still DNA segments which passed thru each of the grandparents, when entire chromosomes are passed, especially the larger chromosomes, the other lines which didn't "make the cut"  are no longer represented on that particular chromosome.
(Image below is a segment map generated from my database using Genomate Pro.)

PGF(Paternal Grandfather) PGM(Paternal Grandmother)
MGF(Maternal Grandfather) MGM(Maternal Grandmother)

Paternal Phased Kit Comparisons
Running a One to One comparison of the Paternal Phased kit of my sister(full sibling) against my Paternal Phased kit 

Ignore the lower part of the line(Blue & Gray) as this is Phased kit comparisons and only contains Paternal DNA  
Red=No Match

I did not include the X in the comparison because as full siblings and females we have an identical Paternal X chromosome. (Image below from comparison tools at

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unexpected Find Friday--Indiana Beckmans in 1930 Nashville Tennessee.

A few days ago I was going over census records for my daughter's paternal lines and noticed that I didn't have her Dad's Grandpa's 1930 census entry.  Most of my family is from the Middle  Tennessee area.  So I go to my Ancestry Tree run a search and guess who is in Davidson Co Tennessee in 1930 renting a house at 1101 North 2nd Street?

Source Citation
Year: 1930; Census Place: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee; Roll: 2242; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0063; Image: 70.0; FHL microfilm: 2341976

Brittany's Great Grandpa.  No!  Not her maternal Great Grandfather, Thomas D. Cooke(although he is also living in Davidson Co TN.)  Her Great Grandfather, George Stanley Beckman and his parents.  Stanley's Dad was a carpenter and he taught his son the trade. We had been told that at one time some of the family went to California to work but I'd never heard of them living in  Nashville.  It doesn't look like a boarding house and they were employed so it was more than an overnight stay.  By 1940, they would be in Baker County Florida.

Stanley's mother was born in England and immigrated with her parents from Chelsea, Middlesex, England  as a small child in 1887.  She is listed as Naturalized Alien on all of her US Federal Census records.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Working AncestryDNA circles and a few observations

My sister and I have both tested at AncestryDNA.  When I am working on a segment and it is pointing in the direction of a specific ancestor, I always check my AncestryDNA circles to see if I have a Circle for that particular ancestor or ancestor couple.  I work the circles.  What do I mean by work?  I have a spreadsheet template I use.  I begin by adding the Ancestor's name at the top.  The spreadsheet has columns for:
  • Ancestry User Name
  • Match or Match to Circle
  • Estimated cMs/segments
  • Group(Child thru which they descend)
  • GEDmatch #(known and added as they upload)
I add the info for each circle I work and this helps me to track not only who matches me but the descendant pathways.  Also and probably the most important thing for me is that I can see at a glance which tester would be the most valuable to have their info at GEDmatch.   I generally write those who Ancestry estimates match me on multiple segments or at amounts greater than 15 cMs.  I ask them to consider uploading to GEDmatch if they are not already there and if they have uploaded, how to identify them among my many matches.  I want to focus on these larger matches for a number of reasons. The circle membership gives me a pretty good idea of where they could match me. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the matches but I feel if you focus on the larger ones, those will help in identifying others.   I also like to look at the smaller matches and see how their estimated segment matches are in comparison with my sister's results.  If they match her at amounts over 15cMs I also message them. 

Stay focused on the larger matches when trying to get folks to GEDmatch.  However do not forget the randomness of DNA.  Siblings can vary greatly in what matches they have.
My sister and I are a great example of that.

Since Mom tested I was able to make phased kits(thanks to GEDmatch tools) which show the matches that each of us got from Dad(who passed before we began DNA testing.)  I have compared my Paternal Phased Kit to my sister, Becca's Paternal Phased Kit and also compared each of our Maternal Phased Kits.   Below are the results

Comparing Paternal Phased for Marie and Paternal Phased for Becca(Full siblings)
(Chr 1-22, X not included)
Largest segment = 134.6 cM
Total of segments > 7 cM = 1,526.2 cM
33 matching segments
Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 1.6

Comparing Maternal Phased for Marie and Maternal Phased for Becca(Full siblings)
(Chr 1-22, X not included)
Largest segment = 145.6 cM
Total of segments > 7 cM = 2,513.8 cM
50 matching segments
Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 1.3

So you can see that on our Paternal lines we appear to have gotten a greater variety, while Mom seems to have given us more of the same.  

Table below shows another example of the randomness. The amounts shown are those estimated by Ancestry and they tend to be slightly higher at GEDmatch.

Comparing segment matches we have to
members of a Paternal Ancestor Circle.  

Sunday, March 05, 2017

An Important X Chromosome segment match

While there are those that feel that the X Chromosome matches are not too useful, I respectfully disagree.  It can be helpful in certain situations.  Females who share a Dad will share a full X chromosome(the copy that their PGM gave their Dad)  In my case, it was a bit different.  I'm not sure why I checked to see if I had any new large X matches at GEDmatch Friday, but i did.    It was a rather large match around 34.3 centiMorgans.  So I marked it as PGM since it was also in common on my Paternal Phased Kit.  This match who is a Male also shared some Autosomal DNA.  So I checked and his match was along a segment that I share with about 10 other groups.  I say groups because there are about 25 individuals who share this segment which  match me in a range from about 18 cMs to 22 cMs.  I have never been able to identify which of my lines it came from although I was able to narrow it as coming from my PGM side because my sister and I don't match along this Paternal segment.  Dad gave her a segment from our PGF on this portion.  With the new information from the X Match,  I could further narrow down the possibilities among the PGM lines.  Looking at my lines I narrowed mine down to Frizzell, Kennedy, Knox, Sutton or Weaver.  This new match had no pedigree at GEDmatch or FTDNA and only the name and location of his Surname in the Ancestral Surname section at FTDNA.  I sent him a short email listing the possible surname connections and mentioning Tennessee as a possible area of connection and also mentioning that the large X match would indicate that our match is from his maternal lines..  I heard back the next morning.   He didn't know much about his Mom's lines but he did give me the name of his grandfather. To my surprise when I  checked on led to the grandfather's Mother's maiden name---Sutton.  But how did these Suttons connect to mine?  They were in Bedford County Tennessee which was the area where mine had lived.  I traced them back to about the mid 1800s and then things start looking really familiar.  I share a set of 3rd Gr Grandparents with his Mom and we also share a Morrow line as a sibling of my direct Morrow line married downstream into his Suttons.

That match had been at FTDNA for six months.  I hadn't noticed the new match at FTDNA because the automal match segment is not terribly great and so it was pretty much buried there by those who match me at larger amounts.  I never would have noticed it had I not checked the X matches at GEDmatch.  I also would not have likely noticed it at all had he tested at AncestryDNA.  Sure the smaller segment might have shown up in my Distant Cousins matches which I don't check much.  I'm almost certain that if you match someone exclusively on the X and no other chromosome you can only see that without great effort(and on some sites maybe not at all) but you can at GEDmatch.  At least using the interfaces at the site.  You might notice if you download and use a spreadsheet to manage your matches.  I think at FTDNA you would really have to dig thru the matches.  At AncestryDNA I don't think you would even see it because if I remember this correctly the algorithm that AncestryDNA uses to generate your list of matches doesn't consider the X.  If I am wrong on that, someone please correct me in the comments

I've got a good deal of the Bedford Co TN books in my personal library so I'm going to be going thru the land and court records looking for additional information.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

History--Take an Interest--Pass it on

Are we remembering our history and are we involving our next generations in the preservation and documentation of that history? This is a question that has been on my mind for a good while now. I have always had a love for history but it was not brought to the forefront until I was about 22 years old. I was going thru a rough part of my life dealing with a loss and I needed a hobby which would take my mind off of my grief. I was lucky enough to have a family friend who took me to a college library and started me in finding my family in census records. From then on, I was hooked on history and wanted to know more about my ancestors and about history makers. Does that still happen today? I don't know if people still mentor--they should. I see so many of the younger generation turning to other outlets sometimes ones which are self-destructive.

Electronic media is used for everything. I'm not saying it is bad--it's not. It makes research so much easier than it has been in years but in some ways it makes our research lazy if we are not careful. Sometimes the only way you can find a record is in "Boots on the ground" mode. Everything is not online. Print out those family pictures you have on that SD card. Have something you can pass on to your cousins and descendants. Write letters. Go to your local library and look through their historical collection. The majority of those are books not available in digital copies and are non-circulating. I have always said, "I've never had to wait for a book to charge." Find a happy balance between old and new.

Support your local historical society. If there is one in your area, you are lucky. So many are inactive in the areas where my family lived. I think in some ways the generation gap and the Internet played a part. You could get a great deal of things on-line and the members of the historical societies for whatever reason, just let the societies die out rather than make an online presence. If you are a member of a historical society I challenge you to find a way to get the younger generations in your area involved.

Start your own blog about history, whether it is your family history, memories, traditions or local history you find fascinating. It can be any kind--Local Sports history, old buildings, church histories.  There is a need for blogs about family history as was brought to my attention recently.

Lend a hand. There are many indexing projects out there preserving and making available historical documents. The first one that comes to mind is but there are many more out there. Google search for a type that would interest you.

Teach or learn a trade so that it isn't forgotten to time. Cooking, gardening, building, fishing--teach so it lives on; learn so it lives on. When you are older, those smells of food cooking, scent of flowers, sounds of nature will be ones that stick with you.

Many families don't sit around the supper table and talk anymore. So much of oral history isn't passed on. Don't forget the art of conversation. Talk to your elders but more importantly, listen to them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shared Ancestor Hints are just that--Hints

I was extremely happy to get 14 new 4th cousins or closer matches on my AncestryDNA results overnight.  I wish people understood the importance of uploading to GEDmatch. Too many treat the circles or the DNA Hints as facts.  To them it is unnecessary to upload their raw data atDNA results to GEDmatch because Ancestry has told them the connection. Sure,  if you don't want to prove your research, go ahead and believe that!  Ancestry gives you hints and clues,  It is on you to investigate and research those.

I have the perfect example among my matches.  This match is kin to me on my Mom's side thru the Luna line at my 4th Great Grandparents.  She is not DNA kin to me or my Mother but she shows as DNA kin to my daughter and the Shared Ancestor Hint is my 4th Great Grandparents(my daughter's 5th Great Grandparents)  Clicking on the "i" shows that my daughter and this match have a shared estimated atDNA of 6.6 centiMorgans(cMs) shared across 1 DNA segment.

Ancestry has done a better job on their wording on the Shared Ancestor Hints than they did when they first appeared.  [If you want to learn more about hints & shared records watch Ancestry's Crista Cowan and her presentation, "Don't be a Searcher, be a Researcher" from RootsTech 2017.

What we should hear  "You have a 6th cousin through the Luna line of your maternal Grandmother with whom you share a 6.6 cM  portion of DNA across 1 segment.  It is possible that it may be through that Luna line. You need to investigate further"

Instead many people feel that they don't need to investigate further and take that info at face value whether it is through lack of understanding, laziness or just not really carrying to know the truth. I'm not talking about those that just tested to learn ethnicity and don't care to do more. I am fine with that.

Thankfully this match agreed to upload to GEDmatch.  Since both of my daughter's Paternal Grandparents have tested I was able to tell that the connection was through my daughter's Paternal Grandmother's lines.  I was also able to take it back a step further in finding where to look as my daughter's PGM's Mother(my daughter's Great Grandmother) had also tested.

The match amount at GEDmatch to:
Daughter:  11.3 cMs on 1 segment
Her  PGM:  12.4 cMs on 1 segment
Her PGM's Mom 12.6 cMs on 1 segment

I should also mention that while my Daughter tested at AncestryDNA, her PGM tested at 23&me and her Great Grandmother tested at FTDNA.  We can compare all of these test at GEDmatch.

I did run the One to One for this match against my results and my Moms and she didn't have any measurable DNA match with us.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Apparently it's Large Colonial Segment Week

I had a large 54 centiMorgans DNA segment(or chunk)  in Mom's matches that showed up just under a week ago.  Upon examining others who matched Mom and each other along the same segment I was able to determine it was likely from the Luna/Looney lines. All those that matched Mom along that segment have Robert Looney and Elizabeth Llewellyn as their most recent common ancestors.  This is my Mom's 5th Gr Grandparents and back a good ways.  That put Mom matching 6th cousins and several 6th cousins once removed at an amount (54cMs) that typically is indicative of 3rd cousins.   I am thinking that this has something to do with this couple  being from the Isle of Man or colonial.

Last night I found that I had a new match that AncestryDNA estimated matched me at 50 cMs shared on one segment.  The match is going to be on my Paternal side as he didn't match my Mom's test.  Upon checking this match with my sister's test I found that he matched her even better.  I think they probably share the same 50 cMs segment but they also share 4 other segments which I didn't get and match at 101 cMs over 5 segments.  It is entirely possible that they share 5 different segments which doesn't include the 50 cM segment that he and I share.  Shared matches appear to be somewhere along our PGM's Jakes/Morrow/Harger/Frizzell  lines--all colonial.  I can't wait to hear back from this match and hope to get them to upload to GEDmatch so I can identify the segments in my sister's file and make note that I got segments from our  PGF along the 4 which I don't have in common with my sister.

PGF= Paternal Grandfather
PGM=Paternal Grandmother

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Andrew Jackson McElroy (1820-1900)

Looking through the ProQuest Historical Newspaper in search of some information on a Paternal great-uncle and had the urge to search for my 3rd Great Grandfather, Andrew Jackson McElroy(from my Maternal lines).  I didn't have a source document for his death date.  I knew it was some time after the Ogle Co.'s Compendium of Biography which was published in 1898.  I also knew that he had written his will November 20th of 1896 and that the will was proved September 3rd of 1900 and recorded the next day in Van Buren Co TN Records.    The first item that came up in my query led me to the answer.

Death of A.J. M'Elroy  Prominent Citizen of White County Joins the Majority---Special Dispatch in The American
SPARTA, Tenn., Aug 21-  Andrew Jackson McElroy, one of the oldest and best known men of this section, died Sunday night at his home at Bone Cave in Van Buren County after confinement to his room for some time.  Col. McElroy was 86 years of age and until the past two or three years had regularly attended the courts here, where he enjoyed a fair practice.

He had ever taken a great interest in politics and was an ardent Democrat.  Besides holding several minor offices he represented this district in the State Senate from 1885-1887.  His character was spotless and he was admired by all who knew him.  The interment took place last evening at the family burying ground before a large attendance of relatives and friends.
(Source: "Death of A.J. M'Elroy -Prominent Citizen of White County Joins the Majority";.Special Dispatch in The American; The Nashville American(1894-1910); Aug 22, 1900; Digital Collection of ProQuest Historical Newspapers:  The Nashville Tennessean pg 8. )

I did a Google search and found a site that lets you check a date to see what day of the week it was on for a given year.  August 21, 1900 was a Tuesday which puts him dying on Sunday August 19, 1900.  Problem solved!

Andrew Jackson McElroy was likely born in April of 1820 as that is the age which he lists the most consistently in census records.  For the 1870 Census he is listed as a few years younger.  I just feel fortunate that he was listed at all.  Several of my other folks aren't listed in 1870.  The 1870 census is the first census after reconstruction and is notorious for inaccurate information some of which is possibly due to census takers from the north being using in many areas of the south.  See the Census Book for more information on this and other census records.   Below are a few of  Andrew J. McElroy's Census entries.

1830 White Co TN
Andrew McElroy
1 5-under 10
1 10-under 15  (Andrew J. age 10 )
1 40-under 50  
1 under 5
1 5-under 10
1 13-under 20
1 30- under 40
(Source: 1830 White Co. Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 182; pg. 13; FHL Film: 0024540) 

1840 White Co TN
Andrew McElroy
1 10 under 15
1 15 under 20
1 20-under 30 (Andrew J. age: 20)
1 40-under 50
1 50-under 60
1 10 under 15
2 15 under 20
1 40 under 50
(Source: 1840 White County, Tennessee; Roll: 536; pg. 19; FHL Film: 0024550)

1850 Van Buren Co. TN 1st Dist   pg. 367B  14/14
 A. J. McElroy 30 M Clk of Crt $5000 TN
Jane McElroy 24 F TN
Levina McElroy 4 F TN
Sarah McElroy 3 F TN
James K. P. McElroy 10/12 M TN  
(Source: 1850 Van Buren, County Tennessee, Dist 1 ;Roll: M432_897; pg. 367B)

1860 Van Buren Co. TN Spencer P.O. pg 21  273/273
A. J. McElroy 40 M Farmer $10,000 $1737 TN
Jane McElroy 32 F TN
Leviney McElroy 14 F TN
Sarah McElroy 13 F TN
J. K. P. McElroy 9 M TN
Martha McElroy 7 F TN
Eliza McElroy 5 F TN
A.J.M. McElroy 1 M TN
John O? 18 M common Laborer TN  
(Source: 1860; Van Buren, Tennessee Spencer P.O.; Roll: M653_1277; pg 21 FHL Film: 805277)

1870 Van Buren Co. TN Bone Cave 1st Civil Dist pg. 304a  15/15
A.J. McElroy 47 M W Lawyer
Martha McElroy 27 F W Keeping House
Levina McElroy 23 F W
Sarah McElroy 21 F W
Polk K McElroy 20 M W
Martha McElroy 18 F W
Eliza McElroy 15 F W
A. J. McElroy 11 M W
William McElroy 7 M W
Eveline Greer 9 F W
Elizabeth Greer 7 F W
William Greer 5 M W
Hiram C. Carter 62 M W Sadler
(Source: 1870 Van Buren County, Tennessee, Dist 1; Roll: M593_1567; Page: 304A; FHL Film: 553066)

1880 Van Buren, Tennessee Dist 1 Page 246D
A. J. McElroy Self M M W 68 TN Lawyer GA  GA
Martha McElroy Wife F M W 40 TN  Keeping House GA GA
Andrew J. McElroy Son M S W 21 TN  At Home TN  TN
Wm. McElroy Son M S W 19 TN At Home TN TN
Wm. Greer SSon M S W 16 TN  At Home TN  TN
E. Wallace Niece F S W 22 TN At Home TN TN
R. G. Waterhouse Other M S W 24 TN Minister Of Gospel  TN TN  
(Source: 1880 Van Buren County, Tennessee, Dist 1 ; Roll: 1283; FH L Film:1255283; pg: 246D; Enum Dist 127)

1900 Van Buren Co. TN Dist 1 Enum Dist 133  Page 3B  Sheet 3B  56/56
Andrew J McElroy Head W M Apr 1820 80 M 31 TN GA GA
Martha McElroy Wife W F Dec 1842 57 M 31 2 of 3 children living TN TN TN
Lizzie Zimmerman Aunt W F Nov 1854  45 wd 1 of 1 children living TN TN TN
Eva Zimmerman Cousin W F Aug 1888  11 S  Missouri Ohio TN  
(Source: 1900 Van Buren, County, Tennessee Dist 1 ; Roll: 1603; pg: 3B; Enum Dist: 0133; FHL film: 1241603)