Thursday, November 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

Sarah Tart
T. J?  Bennet
Wm. Gregory

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

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

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

Will Book written page # 278 & 279

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paternal DNA matches with some of the Nowlin descendants.

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

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

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Total cM Comparisons over Known Relationships

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

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

Paternal Segments Representation

Paternal Segments Representation

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

Chr   Couple

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

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

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Revisiting the New River Notes website

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

Upper New River Valley covers the following counties

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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

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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

PLEASE pay attention when saving files to your Ancestry Tree

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

Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965

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

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

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

Add caption

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

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

More Frizzell & Manley segments identified.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Will of John Cathey--March 1837 Session--Lincoln Co NC

Read over some of the Lincoln Co. North Carolina probate records and found the will of John Cathey which was proved at the March 1837 Session of the Lincoln Co Court.  John listed all his children but apparently did not approve one of his daughter's choice of a husband.

4th I give and bequeath to my second daughter Jinny Mauney --one dollar

Later in the will he makes the following stipulation.  

also all my other property bequeathed to my wife at her decease to be equally divided among all of my children except my daughter Jenny Mauney.  it is my desire that she do not heir any of my estate until after the death of her husband Livingston Mauney.
You can find the complete will of John Cathey at the link below.

Will of John Cathey--March 1837 Session--Lincoln Co NC
"North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970," images, FamilySearch (,170758801 : accessed 27 May 2015), Lincoln > Wills, 1824-1838, Vol. 01 > image 466 of 489; county courthouses, North Carolina

Livingston Mauney and Abram Houser took out a marriage bond on August 21 1829 in Lincoln County, North Carolina for Livingston Mauney to marry Jane Cathey.

Livingston Mauney and Jane Cathey 21 August 1829 Lincoln Co NC  Abram Houser. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

All records I could find showed the marriage as the same day as the bond.  While I am not sure that is accurate John Cathey's will proves that they must have married at least by the time of his writing the will and he was apparently not very fond of Livingston.  Livingston is thought to be the son of Dr. George Mauney Sr. even though he is not mentioned in George's will of 1840.  A check of the files at Ancestry and Rootsweb have Livingston's date of death as 16th November 1849 though I never found a source for that.  There are a lot of unanswered questions.  What caused John Cathey to not like Livingston?   What was the cause of death for Livingston?  Forties is fairly young to die..even back then.  What became of Jane "Jenny" Cathey Mauney?  Did she also die around that time?  Did she get her inheritance when her husband died if she was still living?  Now if I can just find info concerning one of my ancestors.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Few Probate Packets of South Carolina Cook families

A hot topic of the Cook/Putman researchers lately has been trying to determine if the Cook and Putman families knew each other prior to their arrival in Williamson Co. TN.  The Putmans were in Union Co. SC.  With the rain just made sense to use the time to see what Cook families I could find in the Union Co SC area.  I didn't find any obvious connection to my Cooks but I really enjoyed reading over them..

Several of these Cook families were Quaker Families.  The estate inventories provide a great deal of information about the deceased as well as listing the names of those who purchased items.  I enjoyed the beautiful writing on some of the pages.  If these don't interest you, go to the main FamilySearch site and find a state in which your ancestors lived and see what is available for the counties in which your families lived.

The SC Probate files at FamilySearch  aren't searchable however I found an index and then used that to navigate to the Cook images.  

Union Co SC

York Co SC 

While reading over the estate inventories, you might find tools with which you are unfamiliar.  There were several that I didn't recognize and too some that I just wanted to see.  There are several books at Google Books that will help identify tools.  I found The Illustrated Sheffield List to be very helpful and it is available free.  Most of the items that I was unfamiliar with had to do with horses.  In the inventory of Isaac Cook's estate there was a copy of Barkley's Apology as well as a Bible.

There are many State probate documents available at FamilySearch.  Most of the ones I have found aren't searchable but are browsable.  A great deal of these records have a  scanned index and once you find that you can use that to find the surnames of interests within the browsable probate documents.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Two Henry Cook Revolutionary War Applicants

While I do have experience researching pensions most of that research has been with Confederate Pension files.  I wrote a blog post in 2014 looking at how many ancestors I had that fought in the Revolutionary War which gave me an idea of how many different options I had for joining Daughters of the American Revolution. I'm not considering doing that but it impressed  me when I found 11 lines which descendants had used to gain membership.  In retrospect, this really should not have been surprising as most of my ancestors were in America prior to 1770s.   With Confederate Pensions I had always loved the widow's applications because you can find copies of marriage records there and lists of children's names and ages.  You can find that in some of the soldiers but they don't always remember the children like the mother's do.   The women always seemed to give a lot more detail with the exception of the details for the battles in which the soldier had participated.  The Revolutionary Pension files for the soldiers seem to tell much more than that of the Confederate files that I have read over.  I accessed the Revolutionary War Applications through HeritageQuest.  I am lucky to have a library which provides this access to its patrons and allows them to research from the comfort of their own home.  My Cook line is one of my major brick-walls so I decided to find a few of the Cook men who applied.  The two I selected were both named Henry Cook and were in TN at the time they applied.  They both had been in areas where my Cook line was known to have been but do not appear to be kin to me at this time.

Henry Cook 21947  S2460 (the #s listed through out his file)
Applied while living in Carroll Co TN (in 1833)
born March 12 1752 at Thompson's Creek Virginia
Family moved to Orange Co NC near Butler's Fort.(when claimant was a "stout boy")
That was where he lived during the time of the American Revolution.  He remained in Orange Co NC until 1796 when he moved to Woodfin Co KY at which place he lived for about a year.  He then moved to Columbia Kentucky(Adair Co KY) and remained there about 8 years.  Around 1807 he moved to Bedford Co TN and the next year on to Franklin Co TN where he lived for abt eight years.  In 1823 he moved to Carroll Co TN where he was living at the time of filing for the pension.  There is more detail in the application about the battles in which he participated but I was focused more on his life after he made his way to TN.  He doesn't mention a wife or children but the 1830 Federal Census for Carroll Co TN lists a Henry Cook(pg 189) who is between 70 & 80 yrs of age.  In the same household there is a white female between the age of 60 & 70 and a white female between the ages of 15 & 20

Henry Cook  11970  S3181(the #s listed though out his file)
Applied while living in Williamson Co TN (in 1833)
born May 15 1760 in Lunenburg Co Virginia
He states that he served 3 tours(one as a sub. for this father John Cook) He has a brother who also fought named John.
Lived in the Lunenburg Co area for awhile.  Moved to Halifax Co VA in 1801. then on to Williamson Co TN.  There is a a great deal of information about the battles in both of the Henry Cooks' pension applications.  I would recommend picking a few applicants who either have names you are researching or who live in the area in which you have ancestors and reading through their files.  If you are lucky you might find a connection to your own lines.

Several other sites(both free & subscription sites) besides HeritageQuest have American Revolutionary War Records.  Fold3, Ancestry and FamilySearch are among those that come to mind.

Surname Range : Cook, Elizabeth - Cook, Jacob
Source Information U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Changes within the Ancestor Discoveries Tool on Mom's DNA Results

One of the projected ancestors on the Ancestry New Discovery tool on my Mom's DNA results is morphing ...
April 2nd he was William Lewis

April 6th he's William Terrell Lewis

This conglomerate ancestor is also shown at FamilySearch where the submitter sourced a tree at  I did note where one of the Lewis researchers took the time to add a story that told about our William Lewis.  The file at FamilySearch provides some insight into why the discovery looks like it does.  Still not sure how they "weigh" the facts and decide what to use and what not to use as the name, Place and Date of Birth etc.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Lessons & the search for something positive among the negatives

Things I think Ancestry should have done before launching the New Ancestor Discoveries.

  • Proofread all press releases and ad banners twice.  Proofread them again for good measure.
  • Checked terminology.  An Ancestor is a person from whom one is descended
  • Not assumed that the researchers didn't want to research to discover....some of us like the thrill of the chase and finding the documents to prove or disprove our theories.
  • Be realistic in what you can deliver.  I love enthusiasm about a new product or service..but overstating what can be done...and adding more detail than necessary makes me doubt any future products or services..moreso if that detail actually shows the shortcomings of the product.
If there is anything positive coming out of Ancestry's New Ancestor Discoveries campaign, I think that it forces me to examine my research more closely which is always a good thing.  I'm reminded of the Logic Puzzles that used to be in the Dell Crossword Puzzle books.  What do the New Ancestor Discoveries tell me.

  • My Mom shares a good bit of DNA with Descendants of Alfred Patton Fleming & Nancy Hitchcock Fleming(because their children were double cousin with her GG Grandparents) This would be Hitchcock and/or Fleming DNA.
  • I share a good bit of DNA with Descendants of Milton  M Rushing because my GG Grandparents are both kin to him.  This would be Frizzell and/or Weaver DNA.
I will be looking forward to new discoveries.  I can't wait until it scans the Eoff, Jakes, Sutton, Craig, Knox and Morrow families.  I know that I have DNA from those as I had an X segment match with 6 distant cousins from those families.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Dickson County Tennessee Will of Goodwin Kirk--Written May 1835

I was reading through some more Dickson Co. TN probate records and found a will for a Goodwin Kirk.  It appears that when the will was put before the court for probate that the daughters & their husband contested the will.  A man by the name of Hudson J. Shropshire was appointed admin over the estate.  The daughters & son in laws dropped the  suit soon after that and William Kirk again went forth settling the estate.  I won't call the following a transcription, because it is not word for word as I couldn't make out all of it but I have tried to make it easier to read format and spelling wise.  Please check original scans.  Links to original scans are provided below each document .

I, Goodwin Kirk of the County of Dickson and State Tennessee do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made

And first I direct that my body be decently interred at the premises on which I now live in said county in a manner suitable to my condition in life and as to such worldly estates as it hath pleased God to entrust me with I dispose of the same as follows

First I direct that all my debts and final expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of any that I may die possessed of or may come in to the hands of my beloved son William Kirk.
Secondly I give and bequeath unto my beloved son William Kirk two negro to wit Edman and Nan to have and to hold to his own proper use and benefit after my death.
Thirdly I give and bequeath unto my son William as aforesaid all my house hold & kitchen furniture.
Forthly I give & bequeath unto William all my stock cattle hogs & sheep.
Fifthly I give and bequeath unto my son Jesse L. Kirk the sum of fifty cents to be paid after my death.
Sixthly I give and bequeath unto my beloved son James Kirk the sum of fifty cents
Seventhly I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sally Walkins the sum of fifty cents
Eightly I give and bequeath unto my daughter Scinthia T. Nesbitt the sum of fifty cents.
Ninthly I give  & bequeath unto my daughter Rebecca Davie the sum of fifty cents all to be paid after my death.

I do hereby make ordain & appoint my beloved son William Kirk my sole executor of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I Goodwin Kirk the said testator have to this my last will written on one sheet of paper set my hand & seal this the 2nd day of May 1835
X   Goodwin Kirk (seal & mark)

Test: Reas. Bowen(signature)
Wm. Richardson(signature)

Dickson Co., TN Probate Records, Goodwin Kirk packet, will, 2 May 1835; imaged in "Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," ; accessed 3 April 2015) Dickson > Wills, 1800-1899 > image 709 of 1419 

State of Tennessee Dickson County
June Term of the County Court 1836

This day was produced in open Court a paper writing purporting to be the last will and
testament of Goodwin Kirk deced which will when produced in court for probate was
contested by Alex Wilkins and wife and James H. Davie and wife legatees of said
deceased whereupon it was ordered by the court that the said Wilkins and Davie give
bono with security in the some of five thousand dollars for the prosecution to effect of
the invalidity of said will in the circuit court of Dickson County for heal thereon to be
had then Hudson J. Shropshire was appt administration pen de ti liter and entered into
with security satisfactory to the court and qualified and it was further ordered by the
court that certified copy of these proceedings be made out and filed in the circuit court.
I certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original order made by the county court
given under my hand at the office the 11th of June 1836

Wm Hightown Clk

"Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927" Dickson Wills, 1800-1899 Image 706  of 1415

William Kirk Executor of Goodwin Kirk deceased states that when the said Goodwin
Kirk's will was proved in the County Court A Wilkins and Jas. H. Davie took exception
to said will and threw it into the circuit court but soon after the said Wilkins and Davie
withdrew their suit in said circuit court and he the Executor took possession of the state
agreeable to the provisions of the will--that he paid all the debts that he ever heard of
against the estate and held all the balance of the property That the several legatees to
whom were bequeathed the sum of fifty-cents each never applied for their said legacies
or anymore ___ of them.  That all the property belonging to said estate 
besides the Negros did not exceed in value the sum of one hundred dollars.  That no
debts ever came against the estate except for funeral expenses which were paid--and the
Executor prays the court to receive this as his final settlement.  County Court Clerks
Office Aug 9th 1842 Wm Kirk

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 9th day of Augt 1842  Thos J. Kelly Clk

"Tennessee, Probate Court Files, 1795-1955"  Dickson > County Court estate settlements > 1800-1885 > Jordan, John P. - Northam, Samual > Image 358 of 2989

Inventory of Goodwin Kirk's Estate

Shropshire is the maiden name of my GGGG Grandmother who was from Oglethorpe GA so I had to look into the man who was appointed over the estate. Was Hudson Shropshire connected to my own Shropshire line?  I checked the census records and found a Hudson Shropshire in the 1820 & 1830 Census records for Dickson Co TN.  By 1840 we find him in Johnson Co Arkansas.  A check of the 1850 Census shows him still in Johnson Co Ark and it appears they probably left Dickson Co TN not long after he was no longer the admin for the Kirk estate.  Hudson dies not long after the 1850 Census in Johnson Co Arkansas.  I checked a few files and records and it appears that Hudson J. Shropshire is my cousin.  We both descend from St. John Shropshire & Elizabeth Winkfield through their son Winkfield and through separate sons of Winkfield.  In this case it looks like we are 3rd Cousins 5x Removed.  Another tie to Dickson Co. Tennessee.

Source Citation  Year: 1850; Census Place: Pittsburg, Johnson, Arkansas; Roll: M432_27; Page: 119B; Image: 243
Source Information 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

My first impression of AncestryDNA's DNA hints

While I'm not a current subscriber to Ancestry, I have had my DNA tests done there and I have a Family Tree on their website.  They announced new technology using trees and dna evidence to further our research.  See the Ancestry announcement at their blog.  I received the following email about this new feature.

When I clicked on "Show Me"  I was taken to my Mother's DNA kit which I admin.  It showed me a list of 3 new discoveries of her Ancestors.

This is going to be a great tool but I see some issues with it.  The three people it showed were persons I already know about.  When you click on the discoveries you are taken to an outline for that person with the option to "Learn More About" which, when clicked, takes you to the subscription options for US & World if you aren't already subscribed.   If you click on "See her connection" to this new ancestor you are taken to the 14 day trial option page. The Sarah Reid I had not put in the database.   She did not die in 1850 though as it states.  She was killed in 1793 by Indians at Greasy Cove(which is in present day Unicoi Co. TN). Only two of the children survived. I am a descendant of the daughter, Mary Polly Lewis who was taken by the Indians and later ransomed by her brother who traded a gun in order to get her back.  Wm. Lewis'  2nd wife died in 1850.  Wm. Lewis was already in my database and I'm not really sure why they would call this a new discovery.  It looks like a mixed soup of information for the 1st and the 2nd wife and showing them as one.  Odd.

The Nancy M Hitchcock is not an ancestor of my mother.  She is a cousin.  Her Brother James P. Hitchcock is my Mom's GG Grandfather...they both married into the Fleming family.   Nancy married the brother of James' wife and that may be why the DNA is making it appear here.

They have already put Nancy's husband Alfred Fleming in Mom's DNA circles as an ancestor(which he is not) though they do correctly list him as an Uncle.  odd.  Will it be doing this in all cases where you have two siblings of one family marrying two siblings of another?  What will it do for cousin marriages?  It is some what easy to see when you know of the intermarriages..but if you don't it further adds to the confusion.  Maybe there is something in the works to help with this.

 As with anything new there is sure to be a learning curve on both sides. I just hope this will be a very useful tool for researchers.

Nice DNA surprises...2nd cousin 1 removed uploads to GEDmatch

What a difference it makes to have a closer known cousin upload to GEDmatch.  I had asked one of my maternal cousins(a 2nd cousin once removed) if he would consider uploading and sent him a link to a how-to.  We both had our tests done at  Since I am not a subscriber outside of having my test done there I really don't get much use from the circles because you can't see who is in those circles with you.  I had actually been so caught up in things around here that I had not looked at my research for the last several days which is unusual for me.  Now that this cousin, has uploaded I am able to compare a known to unknowns.  So my plans for the day are to compare segments that he and I have in common to others who match along those segments.  We share DNA on 7 different chromosomes with two segments on one of those chromosomes.  Our largest segment match is 69.5cM and our total shared over all is 198.9 cM, which falls within the high range  of 2C1R using this chart.  Gedmatch estimated us to be 3.1 generations away from the MRCA.  The Most Recent Common Ancestors are my Gr Grandparents, David Enoch Luna & Nancy Pitman Luna.  They are his GG Grandparents.

Path to the  MRCA
Me----->Mom ----->Mom's Dad --------->MRCA Luna & Pitman
Him---->His Dad--> His Dad's Mom --->Her Mom--->MRCA Luna & Pitman

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dickson Co TN Probate Records--A. N. Balthrop--proved March 31, 1949 in Rutherford Co TN

On days when the weather isn't that great I enjoy reading through old land and probate records. Today was one of those days.  I found a will that I thought was amusing and spent most of the day researching the family.  No...I have no connection to the family outside of the will being brought before the judge in Dickson Co TN where I grew up.  It was the will of Alvin Nixon Balthrop and included many details. I spent a good part of the day looking over census records, obituaries, cemetery records and family files concerning the family.  I learned that Alvin was called Nick and that he had one son and 3 daughters with his first wife.
The children are listed in his will as follows:
Bobby Balthrop
Roberta(Mrs. H. L. Arnold Jr.)
Bettie(Mrs. Harold T. Shehann)
Becky(Mrs Windle Bates)

Nick's will was written Feb. 21 1948 and proved  Mar 31 1949, just a little bit over a year later in Rutherford Co TN where Nick and his 2nd wife Ruth Caskey Balthrop were living.   He was employed by Consolidated Products of Danville Illinois.  There was a statement from Rutherford Co. dated 1952 with the copy of the will stating the date it was proved in Rutherford Co TN. (see below) and I believe his will is on file with the Dickson Co. Court because it was needed in order to prove ownership of lands or inheritance.

It appears that the Balthrop family was in Virginia as early as late 1600s.  They were in the Westmoreland Virginia area and by 1750s were in Warren Co NC. William Balthrop, GG Grandfather of Alvin Nixon Balthrop was the head of the family that came to Dickson TN.  I see where there are many descendants researching this family and  they seem to be plagued by use of the same names over and over again each generation just like I am in my research.  I am including several of the snippets from the will of Alvin Nixon Balthop.  The full will can be seen at Family Search.

"Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch-- Dickson > Wills, 1800-1950 > image 1999 of 2261; county courthouses, Tennessee.

Nick owned the following properties which were mentioned in his will
Properties in
Dickson Co TN Yellow Creek 11th Civil District.(1/3 share)
Jefferson Co KY Louisville
Rutherford Co TN property(left to 2nd wife Ruth Caskey Balthrop)

Nick is shown here at age 10 in the 1910 Census(see original census record for more detail)
1910 Dickson Co TN Civil Dist 11 Sheet 4A
Lee Balthrop Head M 44 Tennessee
Rebecka A Balthrop Wife F 30 Tennessee
David L Balthrop Son M 13 Tennessee (Loy)
Alvin N Balthrop Son M 10 Tennessee (Nick)
Mary Balthrop Daughter F 8 Tennessee
Eliner Balthrop Daughter F 5 Tennessee
Armock Balthrop Son M 3 Tennessee (This is Carmack)
Panthea Balthrop Sister F 55 Tennessee

Both Bettye and Roberta passed in August of 2014.

Nick was buried in Lone Oak Cemetery in Lewisburg(Marshall Co.) TN.  I found several of the family members on FindAGrave and suggested edits to link them to one another.

Monday, March 23, 2015

J. H. Hale TN Confederate Pension Application--It's almost a book(66 images)

I intended to read through a few of the TN Confederate Pension applications today.  I checked the TN State Library & Archives Confederate Pension Index and found one for a J. H. Hale(S2278) who applied in White Co Tennessee(a county near the area where my Hales lived)  Logged onto and selected the TN Confederate Pension Applications---Applications by Soldiers and then the link for Pensions by Soldiers covering 2242-2292.  This section had 686 images typed in 500 and ended up right in the middle of pension S2278.  Talk about luck...or was it.  A check soon told me the pension files contained 66 images(images 462-528 of 686).  I read through the documents. This application process started in 1899 and goes on for 12+ years.He states that he lives in Putman Co TN but his Post Office is in White Co.  He had enlisted underage as a member of Co K 25th TN Conf. and served for a year and then was released in 1862.  J. H. Hale was born in Jackson Co TN in Aug 1844.  Apparently after being released he still wanted to fight so he followed Dibrell and fought "bearing my own expenses".  He had numerous people who offered sworn affidavits about his character --neighbors and those who served with him.   They can't seem to find his records.  Then it appears they find one that shows him serving but doesn't show his release.  He tells of his wife and invalid daughter in the files. Over the course of the correspondence there is some mix up with his pension and it appears they start noting 5911 as his pension number(I checked this one and it is a J. H. Hale of Rhea Co TN who applies in 1908)   There are obvious differences in these soldiers identities ...different household sizes, counties of residence and application dates as well as dates of service.  The White Co. J. H. Hale's application is Rejected after letter upon letter to the pension board from people in the community who have known him for many years and know his circumstances.  The Rhea Co J. H. Hale's pension is approved.  It is a good read and lets you see the human condition.

I keep on noticing in many pension applications, people wrote using paper with informative letterheads.  All of these were from the J. H. Hale application  I have snipped a few of these with the dates below as it shows occupations and dates.  I have also included the 1900 & 1910 Census Records for J. H. Hale of Putnam Co TN.  Click on the images for larger views.

Source Citation

Year: 1900; Census Place: Civil District 4, Putnam, Tennessee; Roll: 1592; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1241592
Source Information 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

Source Citation
Year: 1910; Census Place: Civil District 4, Putnam, Tennessee; Roll: T624_1516; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1375529
Source Information 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

O.K. Holladay Cookeville  

Senator for counties of Clay, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam

Senate of Tennessee--Nashville    3/16/1911

J. T. Pointer--Trustee--Putnam County  
Cookeville Tennessee 
Oct 2nd 1905

E, L Ferrell, Cookeville
Superintendent of Public Roads
March 21 1912  Putnam Co Tennessee

Tennessee Central Railroad Company
H. B. Chamberlain, W. K, McAlister, Receivers
Office of the General Agent
Rutledge Smith General Agent--Cookeville Tenn.
Nashville Tenn, April 27 1916

Pennock-Walter Manufacturing Co.
Manufacturers of White Oak & Hickory Wagon Spokes
Algood, Tenn.
J. A. Efferson President
J. L. Efferson, Vice- President
C. B. Rickman, Secretary
T. J. Clark, Treasurer
April 11 1914 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

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 but 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!!

Tomie D. Cooke Jr., Olive June Cooke Brannon & Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Roane Co. TN --Will of John Rice--April Session of 1815

Reading through some of the Roane County Tennessee court records.  While this John Rice is not in my direct Rice line(to my knowledge) I felt like the information contained within this was post worthy.

Will of John Rice ---Rice attached his seal 22nd September of 1812 & it was declared his last will & testament in the court's April Session in 1815

  • Gives his wife Susannah $200 in cash which is to be applied by her to purchase whatever household good and furniture she would like.  He also gives to her one bed and furniture.  
  • To William Rice, son of his first wife he leaves $1. 
  • His personal and real estate to be equally divided among his children.  
  • Leaves to Milly Bartlett a young Negroe whose value will be deducted out of her proportional part of his estate.  
  • Betsy & Esau Rice(his grandchildren and heirs of his son John Rice) shall have one equal share between them.  
  • Desires that his two old Negroes Jack & Jenny shall not be parted or separated but shall be permitted to live together in the same family.

  • Appoints his son Isaac Rice as sole executor
  • Witnesses were:  John C. Haley, Henry Matlock & John Williams

"Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch (,179950601 : accessed 12 March 2015), Roane > Settlements, Wills, 1802-1824, Vol. A > image 46 & 47 of 136; county courthouses, Tennessee.(orig. book pgs 60 & 61.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Don't Discount the Double Check

Today I was reminded of why you should always double check things.  I have been working with several other researchers on a Chromosome 20 puzzle .  We have 5 people who match along a given segment(with slight variations in the length) and who all match each other.    I had been waiting on my mother's results so that I could at least narrow down the lines over which I needed to search.  Those results came in Friday afternoon and late Saturday I ran a check on three of them against my Mom's results and neither matched.  This told me that the segment match was along my father's lines.  I noted this without writing it down and planned to email the researchers Sunday morning to let them know that we could narrow it down to Dad's lines.  Sunday morning came and I sat down to write the email and always one to double check...I checked again.  I input the numbers of the only kit that I hadn't run a one to one on with my Mom's kit....The only reason I had not ran this kit against hers was that this tester was a known closer cousin of one of the others and I thought that running just one was enough.  Was I ever puzzled when they had a match....Not on Chromosome 20...but on Chromosome 21.   It was a smaller match than the ones we were working on.  So I checked my notes and ran each of the remaining test against my Mom's.  None of them matched her accept this kit. I ran a One to One on mine and his and I had a match with him on Chromosome 21 also but it was smaller than the segment that he and Mom shared and that was why it was not showing in my Genome Mate.  So now, in addition to my Chromosome 20 puzzle...I have a Chromosome 21 puzzle.  One puzzle at a time....

Friday, March 06, 2015

Improvements at HeritageQuest Online site

This is a follow up to my post from several weeks ago March 4, 2015 --- HeritageQuest Online to be powered by Ancestry .  If you have access to HeritageQuest Online through your library or a society membership your luck just increased in leaps and bounds.  No more missing the elusive ancestor in the census records because the indexed name doesn't match your spelling of the name.  No more having to search on varied spellings.  The new search capability alone is one I'd been hoping to see here every since I began using the site many years back.

In addition to the 1790-1940 US Federal Census Schedules which are now all indexed you also get

  • 1850 & 1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules
  • 1890 Veterans Schedules
  • Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880
  • U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes
  • U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885
  • U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895
  • U.S., Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940

You will also find improvements on search capabilities in the other sections of the site which includes Books & Directories, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Freedman's Bank,  PERSI and  US Serial Set.  Also be sure to check out the Research Aids and Maps sections.

If you don't currently have access to HeritageQuest Online, check with your local library or state library.  Many of libraries offer access to cardholders.  It is also one of the sites that doesn't require that you be at the library in order to access.

Friday, February 27, 2015 site --Genealogy Gem

If you were to ask me if I had any research interest in Kentucky I would have said not very much.  Sure my Frizzells had ties there but moved back and forth from Bedford Co. TN and Calloway Co. KY and for reasons which I have never been able to find my maternal grandfather was born in Jordan, Fulton Co. KY in 1892 despite the family having lived in Dekalb Co. TN.  Beyond that there seemed to be no really lasting ties in Kentucky.  Today I found a wonderful Kentucky resource that made me think about something I'd really not considered.  Over half of my GGG grandparents came from Virginia.  Did they leave a paper trail through Kentucky?  Did some of the children or siblings settle along the way?  The Kentucky Land Office page of the Kentucky Government website has a great deal of information available online.  The section which really peaked my interest was where they had scanned copies of wills that were found in the patent files.

I would recommend that if you have Virginia ancestors who moved south into Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri or  or even Mississippi, that you check these resources and read through a few of the wills.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

March 4, 2015 --- HeritageQuest Online to be powered by Ancestry

When I logged into my library's HeritageQuest Online tonight I noticed they had an announcement.
Looks like exciting news.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finding the Sisters of my Direct Lines for Clues to DNA Connections

Following my own advice and working on the daughter lines of my GGGG Grandparents.(eventually I will do this for my 5th greats)  Had so many names not in my direct line among those with a large portion of DNA matching close enough to put us as connected around the GGG or GGGG and started noticing surnames that were repeating.  So now I am going in search of those names.  Have already found where a sister of my Frizzell married into the Elliot family.  That may be the reason for several occurrences of the Elliott surname in a few of my matches files.  This is not an easy process.  DNA by itself is meaningless if you can't find the connection and back it with a paper trail.  It's not like the DNA linking someone to a crime where you have the  crime.  So now I think I have about 20 specific DNA projects I am working on to find cousins.....and then there are the other priorities in my life which come first.  I so wish I was more organized but I guess that is something for which we all strive.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Just for fun

Thought it would be fun to run my DNA kit through a few of the Admixture utilities and see how they compared to AncestryDNA"s interpretation 

This was Ancestry's Ethnic makeup guesstimate shown below

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Chromosome Mysteries and hopes for some answers....A learning process for sure.

After having gotten my DNA results almost a month ago I have been working on finding matches to help solve a few of the research issues I have had on several of my family lines.  While waiting for responses from some of those I contacted I started looking more in depth at names and groupings of people that match along each chromosome.  I have been comparing matches along the X chromosome(Chromo 23) and noticed that I have over 6 matches who have the Taylor surname listed in their user name.  Given the X inheritance pattern (paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents) it intrigues me even further because you would think that there would be a wide assortment of surnames.  I don't have a Taylor surname in my direct line that I know of though I have always suspected that my GGG Grandfather, William Taylor Hale(Warren & Van Buren Co. TN), possibly had the middle name because it was the maiden name of either his Mother or one of his Grandmothers.  Since I have not gotten his line back with proof any further than him I do not know if this is so.  Another thought as I was looking through the family tree shares of people who match my DNA --I have noticed that there are several who have the surnames Archer, Collins Martin & Scott in their trees. I checked over my new matches at AncestryDNA and found a tester's name that I recognized.  She is a 4th cousin through my Daniel Pittman & Comfort Hatfield line.  I have had known matches of Daniel & Comfort's son David & his wife Mary Adcock but to get the DNA connection back even further is exciting.  I recommended that she put her DNA data at GEDmatch so that we could compare chromosome segment matches.  Sure hope she does as it would really help to sort those lines out.  Still waiting on Mom's DNA to show up as processing.  I would expect to have the results by the end of this month which will help me to determine what matches are on her side and which were from Dad..

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Using "wait time" for DNA results wisely

Over these past 2+ weeks since I've gotten my DNA results, I've been busy analyzing and comparing in an effort to break through some of my genealogy brick walls.   I really had a hard time waiting on the results but while waiting(and it really wasn't that long--around 4 weeks) I wanted to use my time wisely.  If you have additional suggestions please add them in the comments.

Things to do while waiting for your DNA results:

  • SET UP INQUIRY & INFORMATIONAL TEMPLATES  --  I did set up several templates with a link to my working file at Rootsweb's WorldConnect...a listing of my GGG & GGGG Grandparents and areas in which they lived.
  • "FLESH OUT" YOUR FILES   -- I also made some efforts to find the maiden names of a few of the females where I had just their given name.  While I didn't have a lot of luck with that, I was able to pick up some new names by finding who my direct line's siblings had married.
  • WRITE A PLAN OF ACTION  --  I did my atDNA test at Ancestry so my plan was to download raw data...upload it to FTDNA & GEDmatch.  I set up my username at GEDmatch ahead of time and uploaded a GEDCOM.  I also uploaded a "barebones" file of my direct lines to Ancestry.
  • DOWN LOAD GENOME MATE  --  This is a WONDERFUL software that lets you compare segments of your results.  The first week I had my results at GEDmatch I was doing this by writing things down or copying into a spreadsheet...this is so much better.  I don't regret having tinkered with it the hard way....I think I learned more by doing that.  When I started out researching in 1990 I used the hand cranked microfilm this day it is still my preference when viewing microfilm.(Don't judge
  • STOCK UP ON OFFICE SUPPLIES  --  Truth is....I look for any and every excuse to do this.  You will need loads of index cards for it notes unlimited supply of ink pens and mechanical pencils...and Print off a few 100 blank pedigree sheets and family group sheets so you can just grab those when the notion hits you.  As far as the pedigree charts take two of them and label one X inheritence Son and X inheritence Daughter....use these as your guides for checking contributors to your X Chromosome.
  • WATCH GENEALOGY SHOWS  --  I have a bunch of shows such as Finding Your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are? on my DVR.  You may also be able to find these OnDemand or on the web.
  • GET FAMILIAR WITH DNA TERMS AND TYPES -- Read DNA blogs like DNA Explained   Join USER groups for the site(or hopefully sites) to which you plan to upload your DNA.  For my budget, testing at Ancestry and uploading to GEDmatch and FTDNA was the way to go. 

Several things I learned since getting my DNA results:

If you email 30 people you will get several responses....but then one day 20 will answer all at will be overwhelming...don't stress.

Having a public tree at doesn't mean that anyone with a username can see it.  Be sure to send a share to a match if you use Ancestry.   Those who have their test there but who do not have a subscription(such as myself) cannot see your public tree.  I did not know that.  I assumed(wrongly) that if I made a tree public, that anyone that had registered and had a user id could see it.  That is not the case. I feel like the explanation of Public tree as given by Ancestry needs some clarification. Ancestry allows you to share(and turn off a share) with several different options.  Don't miss out on a cousin connection because you didn't share your tree.

Not everyone loves genealogy. WHAT!!!!   Some have done the DNA tests purely for the entertainment value of knowing their ethnic makeup.  Sad but true...