Saturday, October 26, 2019

Googling Gilford--new clues

While I'd searched on the same terms before, I like to try again after a few months have passed.  Today I ran a Google search for "Gilford Cook" Tennessee and it returned a book listed as

Correspondence of James K. Polk: 1842-1843 (Vol 6)
By James Knox Polk, Wayne Cutler

Page 566 was part of the preview and particularly interesting because it gave me the following information

6th Jan 1840
Letter from H. J. Anderson
Autograph Letter Signed
TN State Library & Archives Governor's Papers
Recommends Commutation of the prison sentence of Gilford Cook.

I thought it odd that it contained information on letters which were outside the time frame that the title suggests.  I might have missed this if I were just pulling books to search within.

This gives me an additional person to add to Gilford's FAN club listing.  I've written about Gilford in several previous blog posts.  What sparks my interest in him?  I've got about 7+ matches to descendants of Garrison King among the DNA matches of me and my siblings.  Garrison's wife is believed to be a Cook(perhaps sister of Gilford).  Our YDNA(111 marker) testing indicates that our Cook(e) line closely matches that of Shem Cooke of Granville Co NC and the surrounding areas. Shem owned land in Franklin Co. NC which is where Gilford was listed as being from and where he married. From information in his State Penitentiary records I also learned that he lived in Wilson Co TN before moving to Dickson TN in 1833 along with the name of a neighbor in each of those locations.  I need to find more on Gilford's descendants to see if they too are among my paternal DNA matches. My paternal Grandfather and his siblings were the products of a Cook & King marriage so they could connect thru either side...maybe---Or an entirely different line although I know the connection is paternal thanks to them uploading to GEDmatch..  Now to find out who H.J. Anderson is and hopefully the full contents of the letter.  More clues!

Previous Posts mentioning Gilford Cook:

Gilford Cook --Dickson Co TN

Garrison King--Dickson Co TN--list of heirs

Friday, October 25, 2019

Notes: My Lewis family in pre-statehood Tennessee.

In page 6 of Pat Alderman's "Greasy Cove in Unicoi County: Authentic Folklore" there is a paragraph mentioning the William Lewis massacre of 1793 which gives the location of the Lewis family home.  According to the description it should be in the area I've noted on the map. 

I've read several articles that were written about the Indian raid on the Lewis family in my 29 years of research but this is the first one I've read that mentions that the Indians thought they were attacking John Sevier's family.  William Lewis was away at the time of the attack.  A son and daughter survived the attack.  The daughter was taken by the Indians and ransomed for a rifle.  That daughter is my 3rd Great Grandmother Mary Lewis who would later marry Canada/Kennedy Rigsby in Carter Co TN.  The marriage license/bond is dated 9th of February 1809.  Their bondsman was Benjamin Kelly.  I've included a screenshot of part of the document below.  Note that the governor at that time was none other than John Sevier.


Google Maps.  Temple Hill Tennessee 37650  accessed 25 October 2019

Alderman, P. (1975). Greasy Cove in Unicoi County: Authentic folklore. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press.

"Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 December 2016), Carter > Marriage licenses, 1796-1950, Wilson & Olliver-Zimmerman & Summers > image 699 of 933; citing Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Post Roads & Lists of Letters

A post road is a route which is used to deliver mail.  I love reading through old newspapers and finding information about the establishing and sometimes the discontinuing of post roads and post offices in the areas in which my families settled. 

Below is just a small section of a notice that was published in the Nashville newspaper about Congress' actions regarding the post roads in the Alabama territory shortly before statehood. There are many more states listed within the full article. 

National Banner and Nashville Whig (Nashville, Tennessee) 11 Sep 1819 pg 1 col 3  accessed 14 Oct, 2019.

I also enjoy reading the listings of letters remaining at post offices in the areas in which my ancestors lived.  I've published a few of the listings to this blog

They read something like...

A list of letters remaining in the Post Office in Nashville, on the 1st day of January 1819, which if not taken out within three months will be sent to the General Post Office as dead letters. This blurb is followed by a listing of the persons to whom the letters are addressed.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Surnames of Jacob Sutton's Descendants.

 Today I worked with my Thruline™ of Jacob Sutton.  I looked at the DNA matches and noted the names of the ones which had known Sutton cousins as Shared matches.  The purpose of the exercise was to become familiar with the surnames carried by Jacob's descendants.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in finding the common ancestor surnames that we forget that our DNA cousins surnames change when daughters marry etc. and these are names we might not recognize unless we study the entire family.  I've been acquainted with researchers who only study their direct ancestor.  That's something I've never understood because it really limits your research and causes you to miss out on so many opportunities for discovering other records. 

I could have collected the info and arranged it any number of ways:  a spreadsheet, notebook, index cards etc.  I chose to save it as an image file.  I used Awesome Screenshot extension in my Chrome browser to capture the list view and add surnames. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Shared Segment Analysis: When a Match is both Paternal & Maternal

I'm working in matches at FamilyTreeDNA this morning and was looking at my brother, Michael's autosomal matches. Each of us have about 5 or so matches that show as matching our paternal & our maternal side.  My Mom, my paternal aunt,  3 of my siblings, and myself have our tests at FTDNA. So I gathered the segment data for one of Michael's matches that I'll call P. Smith just to get an idea of what was happening.  I then checked the match lists of my Mom, my paternal aunt, my siblings, my own match list,  and also my daughter's match list.  I was interested in seeing the size of the segments, how many of us had both or none and which segments each of us had.   I also wanted to know if my Aunt also had the segment that my brother had received from Dad.  Because of visual phasing and overlapping/shared/ICW matches I have a pretty good idea of the family groups that these segments were from but to simplify things I've only identified which of my grandparents passed on these segments.  

My brother was the only one of us tested that got both segments.  My sister got the segment from dad that was passed to him by his mother.  My other brother, and I got the segment from Mom that was passed to her by her dad.   My paternal Aunt did in fact have the same segment that Brother 1 received.  I have passed the segment of my MGF on to my daughter as well.  

From looking at the matches tree and also at share/ICW matches it appears that the PGM segment goes back along the lines of my Morrow/Sutton on back to the Knox Craig lines.  Not 100% certain but that is currently my hypothesis.  That would mean this segment is back around the 5th Great Grandparent level for me.  (screen snip from my working tree shown below)

The segment which my Mom passed to us(from our MGF) appears to be from my Mom's PGM's lines and from a person/couple who was born in the mid 1700s.

As a big fan of DNAPainter for analysis of dna matches, my next step is adding the matching segments to the profiles for each of the tests.  This is a simple process for the tests that just have one segment but has a few extra steps when there are multiple lines involved.  What I could do would be to add both segments under one group and then move the other segment to the appropriate group but I prefer to do it a different way.  I add just the one segment and then click on the option to add additional segments.  For me it works better that way.

It's important to note when we share more than one segment with a match, we cannot assume that both segments are thru the same lines without further evidence.  This drives home the importance of testing as many siblings and aunt/uncles/grandparents as possible.  Also I'm very thankful that this match was on a site that has a chromosome browser and that I had a good mix of tests with which to compare.