Monday, September 25, 2017

Mitochondrial Riddle

Never say never.  I guess that somewhat applies here.  I've always said that I didn't have a question that mitochondrial dna(mtDNA--mother line DNA) could answer but as I was sending a Hitckcock researcher additional info, I realized that is not the case.

Since I began researching in 1990 other Hitchcock researchers always listed George Hiichcock's wife as Millie Combs.  I had it written in my notes but had never seen a source and still haven't for that matter. Fast forward about 15 years and I received an email from Agnes Jones about records for a George Hitchcox and Milly Riddle in Roane Co TN marriage records in 1806. In addition to that marriage I was also able to find a Riddle land owner whose land bordered the widowed Millie Hitchcock in Warren Co TN where George and Milly had raised their family.  The land had been granted to Basil Riddle around the time of George and Milly's marriage.  Now he was selling it to William Edde.  William Edde's son would later marry Milly Hitchcock's daughter.  There are not many records that I've found so far which I can identify as this Basil Riddle.  The name gets reused for several generations in various areas.  I did find a statement in a wills sales, inventory book in Warren Co TN which mentioned Basil Riddle dying intestate, his meager estate and the fact that he has five heirs--none of whose names are mentioned.(see Bazell Riddle post)

A little backstory into what I feel probably brought about the story that Milly's maiden name was Combs.  While I am a descendant of George Hitchcock and Milly Riddle, I am also a descendant of John Fleming and Nancy Combs.  Two of George and Milly's children(James P and Nancy) married two of John and Nancy's children(Charlotta and Alfred P.)   This may have added to the confusion.  So while I may not be able to tell if Milly was a Combs...I can see if she and Nancy had the same mother.  I carry Nancy Combs Fleming's  mtDNA.  Milly has a lot of female descendants so I could probably find a straight line female line and I'd like for that to be thru a different line than that of her daughter Nancy Hitchcock Fleming's line(Not to be confused with Nancy Combs Fleming)  Of course the thing holding me back now would be to find the finances to pay for the mtDNA test.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Democratic State Convention 1853 Bedford Co TN --Delegates

Democratic State Convention  Nashville Tennessee
Davidson Co. Courthouse
Wed 27 April 1853

Bedford Co TN

Nashville Union (Nashville, Tennessee)26 Apr 1853, Tue Pg 2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

August 1941--Shelbyville Man Dies in Local Hospital

I found this article using  It is the closest thing to an obituary that I have been able to find for my paternal Grandmother's dad, James M Jakes.  He was living with my Grandparents in Old Hickory(Davidson Co. Tennessee) in the 1940 US Federal Census. I do have a copy of his death certificate which shows that he is buried in Willow Mount Cemetery in Bedford Co TN.  For whatever reason his death year was never placed on his gravestone. 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) 15 Aug 1941, Fri  Pg 15

James Jakes (1857-1941)

James Jakes (1857-1941)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bankrupt Notices Several Middle TN Counties--March 1842--Part 3

Bankrupt Notices from The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)--23 Mar 1842(Wed) Pg. 3
The following are the persons filing from Giles, Lawrence, Maury, Montgomery, and Robertson Counties of the Middle District of TN and I've listed them by county in no particular order.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Elzey Families involved in Buggy Wreck--1895

I found the following article in an old Alabama newspaper at  Was it published in there because the Elzeys had a connection to that area of Alabama?  I wish I knew.  May have been carried in many newspapers over the country as they liked to run news from all over the US.  My 3rd Great Grandmother Adeline Eliza Elzey Hale was said to have been born in Alabama but I have never been able to find anything on her family.  The only insight I have is info given by her granddaughter, Phoebe Hale McCormick.  In evaluating the information in the statement I need to remind myself that Phoebe was only 5 years old when her Dad's mother, Adeline passed away in April of 1905.   Too, it should be noted that Phoebe's Dad, John Nathaniel Hale  was the youngest child.  John N. Hale never knew his Daddy as William Taylor Hale drowned in the Collins River shortly before his birth.  The account of Wm Taylor Hale's unfortunate death is mentioned in Phoebe's recollection of her Grandparents.  Much of the information detail events which happened up to 80 years before Phoebe was even born.

Of course these events in this newspaper article are happening in  1895 which is about 10 years before Adeline Hale dies.  These could be nephews, or brothers cousins or even great nephews.  Her surname has been spelled a variety of ways.  The details of the buggy wreck are pretty gruesome.

The Eutaw Whig and Observer (Eutaw, Alabama)
01 Aug 1895 Thu
Page 1

So I went looking for any record of a William Elzey in the 1880 census and found one in the Adams Co Indiana area. From that information I was able to find details of who he married and also his Death Certificate(from which lists him as a widower.  

Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011  Searched on William Elsey (Decatur area)
Year:  1904 Roll : 01

The Ancestry Database Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Based on records from:
Indiana State Board of Health. Death Certificates, 1900–2011. Microfilm. Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

I did a search for the cemetery where he is buried, having gotten that information from the Death Certificate and found a listing for Reynolds Cemetery at the Adams County page of the INGenWeb.  Addition info was listed at the website in an obituary and while it didn't say exactly when his wife died it gave the impression that it had been more than several years.  The obituary also told of Wm. Elzey coming to the Decatur area in 1836 with his father from Clinton Co Ohio.  His father is also buried at the Reynolds Cemetery.  LOTS of information.  Also in the Reynolds Cemetery there is a Mary E Elzey Mann who dies in Oct of 1895.  This particular Elzey family doesn't appear to be connected to my Adeline Elzey Hale within the 1800s.  There may be some connection back in Deleware and Maryland. There are several families from Maryland and Connecticut which settled in Van Buren Co TN.  I am also intrigued by the Martin Family connection to this Elzey.  There are many many Martin family connections in my autosomal DNA results but no patterns yet.  I'm putting this aside for now but this information could come in handy if I ever make a connection to Elzeys in Maryland.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Van Buren Co TN -1857 Political meeting

The A.J. McElroy mentioned is my 3rd Great Grandfather whose full name was Andrew Jackson McElroy. His Dad was Andrew McElroy who moved his family to the area from Oglethorpe County, Georgia.

Nashville Union and American (Nashville, Tennessee)12 Apr 1857, Sun  Page 2

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Do you use Member Name or Username on your AncestryDNA test?

I use my Real Name(Member Name) on my account as my Display name.  I've been working with shared matches and have found that you cannot send an AncestryDNA  share link to a person who has the preference set to show their Real Name rather than their username. Showing the Real Name is the recommended setting by Ancestry.  While this may help to identify the tester,  you can't use that name to send a the share link.  You must find their email address or some how figure out their username. Sure you can message them and ask for an email address or their username but then the message system seems to be sporadic at best.  Counter productive for sure and I hope there is a work around.  If they are identifiable at GEDmatch that isn't a problem as you can get their email address from your One To Many match list there.

Just be aware if you use your Real Name instead of username, folks who don't know your username or have your email won't be able to send you a DNA share link.  I suppose you could put your username on your profile.  I have my email address on my profile but I am not sure how many people browse to the profile page.  Having had luck "cold" sending DNA shares when no other form of contact seemed to get the Tester's attention, anything that makes the process harder is frustrating.  Really hope that I haven't missed any invites. I also wonder if messages work the same way.  Though I have never gotten an error message while sending one,  there have been many that I have sent which didn't show up in my Sent Folder or don't accumulate on the match page.  I searched Ancestry.Support and couldn't find any mention of this but received the error only on Profiles that used Real Name.  Does this happen to you?

Friday, September 08, 2017

Bankrupt Notices Several Middle TN Counties--March 1842--Part 2

Bankrupt Notices from The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)--23 Mar 1842(Wed) Pg. 3
The following are the persons filing from Dekalb, Putnam, Smith, Sumner, Warren, White, and Wilson Counties of the Middle District of TN and I've listed them by county in no particular order.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

DNA: Searching for Patterns--Comparing using AncestryDNA Helper and Shared Match Tab

What You Will Need
  • Your DNA Matches in Triangulated Groups (Spreadsheet or Genome Mate Pro)
  • Chrome Browser
  • AncestryDNA Helper for Chrome (AncestryDNA Helper How-To PDF file)
  • A Triangulation group spaning a large segment with a yet to be discovered connection
  • Two or more AncestryDNA testers from that Triangulation Group(TG)
  • Share links from any AncestryDNA testers who match on that segment.

Gather as many of the Share Links from persons in the TG as you can.  Compare each of the members to each other(see image a) noting patterns of Surnames and Locations.  This is similar to using the Share Tab Tool however you aren't limited to 4th or closer cousins(see image b).  If you have a full sibling or full siblings which have also tested at Ancestry, obtain a share link from them if you do not already have one.  Run a comparison of their test against the members of the TG and repeat the same process with their Trees looking at patterns in Surnames or Locations.

(image a)

(image b)

It's easier than ever to utilize the Share DNA Matches View now that both the Owner AND/OR the Guest Viewer have the ability to turn off the SHARE view.

Your results may vary but this method has worked for me each of the 3 times I have used it.  The segment sizes in the group ranged from 19-48 cMs.   You can do something similar to this using Match-O-Matic in DNAGEDCOM although you may have to use an older version of DNAGEDCOM to do that.  I don't think it was in the last release.  I run both versions on my computer.  Hope this will be useful to others who are trying to map their chromosomes to the contributing ancestor or ancestor couple.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Murder! No Murder.

The Nashville Republican(March 1843) printed news that it received from the Sparta Gazette(Sparta TN) about a murder that was said to have taken place in Van Buren Co Tennessee.  Last names were mentioned but no first names and the details about the incident and the persons involved were not very clear,but the paper did mention the confusion.

The Tennessean (Nashville, TN) Wednesday  15 March 1843 pg 2
(at that time the paper was called the Republican Banner)

In the end the story that the Gazette had printed ended up being a false report.  The Sparta Gazette printed a retraction of sorts which the Republican Banner also passed along to it's readers.  

The Tennessean (Nashville, TN) Wednesday  22 March 1843 pg 2
(at that time the paper was called the Republican Banner)

While this was a rumor, over the next 130 years in the Van Buren and Warren Co TN area there would be murders and lynchings that would make the national news. I heard my Mom talk about some of these as she knew the Bratcher, Gibbs and Yates families from having grown up in that area. Victor Hillis was married to my maternal Great Grandmother's sister.

  • 1894--The murder of Carroll Martin during a robbery. 
  • 1896--William and Victor Hillis(Brothers) were tried for the Martin's murder TWICE. The first trial resulted in hung jury, They were convicted and sentenced to death as a result of the 2nd trial but were lynched by a mob shortly after that.. 
  • 1943--Novella Johnson Yates killed her husband with an ax. She served a number of years in a mental institution. 
  • 1955--Four members of the Bratcher family were killed by Billy Gibbs. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Bankrupt Notices Several Middle TN Counties--March 1842--Part 1

Bankrupt Notices from The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)--23 Mar 1842(Wed) Pg. 3
The following are the persons filing from Bedford, Coffee, Davidson, Rutherford, and Williamson Counties of the Middle District of TN and I've listed them by county in no particular order.