Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Susan R. Vinson Howell (1848-1910)

Source cleanup for Susan R. Vincent 

Sometimes you know that you have done wrong. I had a lot of information regarding Susan R. Vincent/Vinson and as I looked at her information I saw that many of my sources were missing and were cited poorly in other cases. Much of what I had was done on Ancestry years ago and the citations pointed to Ancestry.Com, but didn’t have enough detail for someone without access to my Family Tree Maker or without access to my tree on Ancestry to access find the information. Not good. So, I decided to clean up my sources and make sure that they stand on their own. I left the links that Ancestry puts in to the source document but I also added a copy of the document into the attached media. I set the media to “private” because I don’t care to have my copies of the data uploaded back to Ancestry. I really hate it when I do a search on someone and the search results include other people’s copies of census pages. I also wish that Ancestry wouldn’t return things I’ve posted in my searches, or I wish that at least they'd give me a button to turn that off. So anyway, for Susan I cleaned up my sources, changed my preferred name for her from Vincent to Vinson, and did some more research to add a bit more detail into what I know about her life.

Bio – Susan R. Vinson Howell (1848-1910)

No Story too Small 
Susan R Vinson was the third child of John and Lenora Busbee (possibly Beasley) Vinson in Halifax County, North Carolina, on 22 August 1848.[i] The only source for this date is her grave marker, however, the date is consistent with the 1850, 1860, and 1900 Census records. I have been unable to find her or her husband Peter F. Howell in the 1870 Census. The 1880 Census indicates that she was 33 and she should have been 31 at that census date. I believe this to just be an error in that census.

In the 1850 Census, she and her family were listed with the surname "Vincent" and were living in Halifax County, North Carolina. The 1850 Census does not describe relationships, however, it appears that their family consisted of both her parents, her siblings, Virginia and Elizabeth, and an aunt, Eliza Beasley. It also appears that her grandmother Elizabeth Vincent (Vinson) and another aunt, Nancy Vincent (Vinson) lived next door. Her father was farming the land.[ii]

Halifax County
Courtesy: Wikimedia
There is a name change for her mother in the 1860 Census, from Lenora to Ellenior [Eleanor?] and a change in birth years from c. 1818 to c. 1825, which indicates to me a different wife. There is also a four-year gap between Susan and her next younger brother, James. Because of this, I believe that Susan had a stepmother and the rest of her siblings were half siblings. The 1860 Census also indicates the family surname as Vinson and that they were living in the “Western District,” Halifax County. (Again note the 1860 Census does not indicate relationships within the household.) Their post office was Weldon, which probably was the closest town.

I am sure that the Civil War was a difficult time for a young teenage girl. Shortly after the war, on 10 Dec 1866, the 18 year old young woman married Peter Fletcher Howell. Peter was a CSA Veteran who, although from Halifax County, had joined up in Virginia to be part of Virginia’s 61st Infantry Regiment. As might be expected, 10 months later they had their first child, Anna Lee [or Annalee] on 8 October 1867.

(I have been unable to find the family in the 1870 Census.)

There is a six-year gap between Anna Lee and John D. That would make me think that there may have been another child born to Susan between 1868 and 1872, however, the 1900 Census indicates that she had five children all of whom are living. So, now I am really confused because I'm pretty sure that she had seven children.

Snapshot of 1900 Census showing Susan R Howell as having 5 Children
  • Anna Lee         8 Oct 1867
  • John D              about 1873
  • Augusta            about 1875
  • Martha F           about 1877
  • James D            2 Sep 1879
  • David B            3 Oct 1881
  • G. C.                 -- Feb 1884

I speculate, that she had more than the five children noted in the 1900 census and that she actually had eight children, three of whom had passed before 1900. I certainly need to do more research to prove this speculation.

During the 1880 Census, they are living in Faucetts [Faucett] Halifax County, North Carolina, USA. Susan is keeping house for Peter and their first five children.[iii] In 1886, her oldest daughter, Anna Lee was married.

(There is no 1890 Census, so we aren’t sure where the Howells were then.)

In 1892, Susan had mail that was unclaimed at the Weldon Post Office.[iv] I believe this is evidence that the Howells moved to Conocondy [Conoconnara] township before 1892. Certainly, they are in Conocondy during the 1900 Census.[v]

Her son, David Bushrod Howell, was married on 26 December 1907.

Marker for Susan R Vinson
wife of P. F. Howell
Courtesy: Find a Grave
Susan R Vinson Howell died in her home in Tillery (which is Connoconnara township) the night of 28 Feb 1910,[vi] probably sometime after midnight early in the morning of March 1st.[vii] Her body was shipped by train from Tillery to Weldon[viii] (approximately 17 miles). Her funeral was “held at the Baptist Church,” conducted by pastor, Rev. J. G. Blalock.[ix] Today there are four Baptist Churches in Weldon. Further research is necessary to determine which church the funeral was held at. Interment was at Cedarwood cemetery.[x]

Susan R Vinson Howell led a simple life. She was the daughter of a Halifax County farmer, married a Civil War veteran who farmed the land in Halifax County after the war, She had fat least five and probably 8 children, and died at age 61 in Halifax County as simple farmer’s wife.

List of Greats

  1. Susan A Vinson
  2. John Vincent

Things to do

  • Search for a timely and/or primary source for Susan’s birth.
  • Research Susan R. Vinson Howell’s children closely for a missing 8th child and for the deaths of several of the children before 1900.
  • Research which of the Baptist Churches Susan’s funeral was held at.


[i] FInd-A-Grave, Memorial# 82126013 - Susan R Vinson Howell.
[ii] 1850 United States Federal Census Ancestry.Com, 1850; Census Place:  , Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: M432_633; Page: 34A; Image: 73. [Family 636\   - John Vincent
[iii] 1880 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.Com, 1880; Census Place: Faucetts, Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: 966; Family History Film: 1254966; Page: 627C; Enumeration District: 137; Image: 0720. Family 175.
[iv] Roanoke News (Weldon, NC, ), Newspapers.Com, 1892-04-28, Pg 5 -  Unclaimed Letters.
[v] 1900 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.Com, 1900; Census Place: Conocondy, Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: 1199; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0027; FHL microfilm: 1241199. Howell, P. F.
[vi] Roanoke News (Weldon, NC, ), Newspapers.Com, 1910-03-03, Pg 3 - P. F. Howell.
[vii] FInd-A-Grave, Memorial# 82126013 - Susan R Vinson Howell.
[viii] Roanoke News (Weldon, NC, ), Newspapers.Com, 1910-03-03, Pg 3 - P. F. Howell.
[ix] Ibid.
[x] FInd-A-Grave, Memorial# 82126013 - Susan R Vinson Howell.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

William D. Hales - (1871-1943)

No Story too Small 
I decided to do some research for my stepdaughter. We know almost nothing about her 2nd great grandfather, William D. Hales, or his wife Katie. So, I thought he would be a good person to look at in much greater depth. My process it to use Ancestry.Com as a starting place. I have a subscription and it works well for me as a starting point. It provides quick and easy access to the various census records that can do a lot to determine a person’s life.

I was able to find and follow William through the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 censuses with very little problem. I had to understand more about his life to find him in the 1940 census, because he was in another state that he apparently had no previous history. I was also able to find him in several city directories, but nothing definitive about his birth or his death and only an estimated year regarding his marriage from the 1900 Census.

My next step in the process is to use Family Search and see if I could find clear information about his Birth, Marriage, or Death -- no such luck.

Newspapers then become my next source for searches. Thanks to Genealogy Bank, I was able to find his death date. I might have ignored the short notice if I hadn’t known that William was in Kansas City in 1935 and Independence, Kansas in 1940. I also found a couple other articles at Genealogy Bank regarding his life. Then I searched Newspapers.Com -- Va-Va-Va-Voom! There were about 20 articles regarding his life -- lots of great information. Once I assimilate all of that information from the newspapers regarding his life, I’ll be able to return again to further research. There is a lot of information to document and source. Here is what I've learned so far:

William D. Hales (1871-1943)

William D. Hales was born in Maryland in October 1871[i]. I do not yet know who his parents were. Nothing is known of his childhood, but when he was 19, in 1891, he married Katherine “Katie” Harmon[ii].

In 1900, William is an electrician renting a home at 2002 Walbrook Ave, Baltimore, Md., living with his wife and three young children, Mamie, Catherine, and Arthur.[iii] The family moved to Frederick, Md., and was living at 127 South Market Street.[iv] William worked for Frederick Gas & Electric, (FG&E) Company[v] and attended the Methodist Episcopal Church.[vi] In August of 1904, William left FG&E, and started his own electrical construction and supply office at 61 E. Patrick Street. Business was booming for William as he rewired Frederick City Hall and put in a new switchboard there. He also installed dental and medical equipment on West Patrick Street.[vii] He was a leader who presided over a special service held for men at the City Opera House.[viii] He was also a member of the Order of Knights of Pythias.[ix]

William was outspoken regarding individuals doing electrical repairs or installation who weren’t experienced or trained.[x] He was a registered voter and was selected to be on the Grand Jury for Frederick during September 1906.[xi] He was also involved in the community and was a baseball umpire.[xii]

2929 Walbrook Ave today
Thanks: Google Maps
By 1910, William and the family moved to 1819 Whitmore Ave in Baltimore where he continued to work as an electrician.[xiii] They moved again, this time to a three-story townhome at 2929 Walbrook Ave.;[xiv] a building that stands today although appears abandoned.

The family moved again, this time to Philadelphia, where William worked as an Engineer for a Casualty Company. In 1920, besides his wife, his daughter Mamie, her husband Ivan Snyder, and their six-year-old daughter, Mary K. lived with them.[xv]

By 1924, the family had moved back to Baltimore and lived at 4900 Liberty Heights Ave, in Gwynn Oak, (Baltimore).[xvi] The address is now a “Food Stop” grocery and fast food. His wife, Katherine, would live there until her death in 1935. William continued to working as an engineer for the Maryland Casualty Insurance Company and became a supervisor by 1929.[xvii] (Maryland Casualty Insurance Company is now part of Zurich American Insurance.)

Maryland Casualty Insurance Company headquarters
The 1930 census indicates the couple still living on Liberty Heights Ave. and William working as a mechanical engineer for the insurance company.

According to the 1940 census, William was divorced and living in Kansas City, Kansas in April 1935.[xviii] Meanwhile, Katie was still living at the Liberty Heights Ave house when she died in February of 1935, so, it appears that the two divorced sometime between 1930 and 1935. In 1940, William was still working, now as a safety engineer, at Casualty Insurance and living at the Booth hotel in Independence, KS.[xix] His time in Independence must have been short lived because he was back in Kansas City staying at the Snydorhoff hotel in Westport (Kansas City) when he died on 17 August 1943.[xx] His funeral was by Stine & McClure funeral home, however, I do not know, yet, where he was buried.

List of Greats

  1. Catherine B Hales
  2. William D Hales

Actions still needed

  • Birthdate: Determine William D. Hales exact birthdate.
  • Parents: Determine William’s parents’ names.
  • Marriage: Determine wedding date of William and Katherine.
  • Death: Determine where William is buried.
  • Children: the 1910 Census indicates that Katherine had had four children of which only three were living. Find out about the 4th, unknown, child.

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[i] 1900 United States Federal Census (Ancestry.Com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations Inc, 2004.), Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 616; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0227; FHL microfilm: 1240616.
[ii] 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,), Ancestry.Com, http://www.Ancestry.Com, 1930; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 871; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0670; Image: 33.0; FHL microfilm: 2340606.
[iii] 1900 United States Federal Census (Ancestry.Com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations Inc, 2004.), Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 616; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0227; FHL microfilm: 1240616.
[iv] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1902-05-30, Pg 3 - The Social World.
[v] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1904-08-18, Pg 3 -  Brief Bits.
[vi] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1903-04-18, Pg 5 - Church News.
[vii] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1905-06-28, Pg 3B - Brief Bits.
[viii] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1905-04-03, Pg 3 -  Mass-Meeting for Men.
[ix] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1906-07-26, Pg 3 - PITHIANS TO HOLD A BAZAAR         .
[x] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1906-05-15, Pg 3 - Condemns Wire Tinkerers.
[xi] Baltimore American (Baltimore, MD, ), Genealogy Bank, 1906-08-16 - Pg 5 - Frederick County Court.
[xii] The News (Frederick, Maryland),, 1906-08-15, Pg 3 -  Eagles Play Ball
[xiii] 1910 United States Federal Census (Ancestry.Com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations Inc, 2006.), Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0252; FHL microfilm: 1374571.
[xiv] Ancestry.Com, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data - Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page.  Check the directory titl), Ancestry.Com, http://www.Ancestry.Com, Baltimore, Maryland, 1914 - William D Hales. Hales, Wm D Supt h 2929 Walbrook Av.
[xv] Ancestry.Com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.Com Operations Inc, 2010), www.Ancestry.Com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 24, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1627; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 733; Image: 1055.
[xvi] Ancestry.Com, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data - Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page.  Check the directory titl), Ancestry.Com, http://www.Ancestry.Com, Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1924 - William D Hales. Hales, Wm D (Kath) eng h4900 Liberty Hts av.
[xvii] Reading Times (Reading, PA, ),, 1929-04-04, Pg 13  - Careful Driving Urged by Speaker.
[xviii] Ancestry.Com, 1940 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.Com Operations, Inc., 2012.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), Ancestry.Com, http://www.Ancestry.Com, 1940; Census Place: Independence, Montgomery, Kansas; Roll: T627_1247; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 63-30.
[xix] Ibid.
[xx] Kansas City Star, Genealogy Bank, Kansas City Star - 1943-08-19, Pg 13 - Deaths - William D Hales.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor (DFAW)

Application Submitted - DFAW

I’ve been doing genealogy for quite a number of years.  And I think I’ve done well.  However, in some respects the “proof of the pudding” is acceptance into a lineage society.  Also, one of the biggest problems that I have is my first three generations.  My mother never married my father. My maternal grandmother was married to someone other than my mother’s natural father and my mother’s birth certificate indicates her mother’s husband as the father and not her natural father.  Finally, my grandfather changed his name several times. He was born Clifford Brown, went by Clifford Durand and Richard Earl Durand during different times of his life and lived much of his later life as Richard Earl Brown.  I think I have these twists and turns documented but I don’t know if they are documented enough for a lineage society to accept. 

Logo of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor
I took a look at several societies for which I believe I should be eligible to join.  One society seemed perfect for me, the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor (DFAW).  Their purpose is to “record and preserve the history and genealogy of the founders of ancient Windsor, their families and descendants.”  Although a lineage society, they do not require documented descent from a founder for membership. After joining, you may submit lineage forms and documentation to their genealogist and, if approved, receive a certificate that you are a descendant. I should be able to do so.  My lineage is from Henry Wolcott, the Wolcotts to Mary who married Chester Parsons, the Parsons to Mary who married William Sanford, the Sanfords to Marion who married Henry Brown, and the Browns down to my grandfather. 

So, I’ve put together my Application for Membership, along with my check, and am sending it off in today’s mail.  I am looking forward to becoming a member of the DFAW.  I’ll continue to blog about my experiences with them.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A favorite childhood memory - The steam car

The Steam Car - Motley, MN, circa 1962

A Childhood Memory

I recently received a very nice story from a friend regarding her childhood. After reading it, I thanked her for sharing it because it was a really nice story.  Then she asked me, "What are some of [my] favorite memories of childhood?"  Wow, good question.   Certainly, some of my fondest memories relate to visiting my grandfather, Richard Earl Brown, up in Motley, Minnesota. One of my favorite memories was the first time I drove a "car" by myself.

Me sitting on the steam car ready for a drive
Motley, MN  circa 1962
(The red barrel on board contained the water.)
I had this crazy uncle.  I'm not sure he was actually an uncle, he may have just been some distant relative they called "uncle," or maybe just a neighbor that they called "uncle."  Anyway, this uncle was into steam power.  In the early 1960's he believed that steam would make a comeback. He had built several large steam powered "tractors" that were in various stages of operability.  He also built a much smaller "car."  This was a real contraption: a steam engine, with space behind the driver for wood, a tank for water, and open belts and pulleys on an old truck chassis with car tires.

One day "Uncle Steam Engine" fired started a fire in the box of the small steam car and had me load it up with wood to get a good head of steam going. Once it had a good head, and he showed me how to operate the contraption he let me go and take it around the block.  At that time it was all dirt roads around his place but it was amazing.  It probably only went about 25 or 30 miles per hour and you had to slow down a lot to corner the bald tires around the soft sand but it was amazing.  No horn but it did have a funny low pitched whistle which kind of sound like a "Dooo." I was about 12 at the time and found this experience to be one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

I would love to hear from anyone who remembers who it was in Motley that had the steam engines.  As I recall he lived south and east of the Hanson Bait Shop and only a few blocks from the old Brown house (Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown and her son, Richard Earl Brown) in the early 1960s.

Thanks Lee Ann for asking and helping me remember an interesting and exciting experience from my youth.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My DNA Projects - 1 October 2014

Where I am at with my various DNA Projects, October 1st, 2014.


I was mightily disappointed when Ancestry quit support for their Y-DNA testing. I was surprised to see that my results and other information was still on Ancestry, but, of course, there were no new matches. 

My Y-DNA Lineage from Ancestry.Com
My plan to follow my closest DNA match from Ancestry up five generations and back down five generations didn't yield any potential candidates for the "baby daddy."  So, without any further Y-DNA matches possible through Ancestry it appears that further looking into that line is not going to be fruitful.

My Wife’s Y-DNA - Ancestry

My wife's brother's Ancestry Y-DNA test results are in the same state. No new matches because Ancestry has stopped supporting Y-DNA.  Another promising tool that has ended in a dead end.  

I definitely feel that I wasted some money with Ancestry on their Y-DNA tests.  As such, I will probably never recommend Ancestry DNA Testing of any kind because of my bad experience with due to their decision to stop support of  Y-DNA testing.  

Family Tree DNA

My haplogroup's (R1b) migration from Family Tree DNA
My closest hit to my DNA (89% likelihood a common ancestor in 8 generations) still hasn't answered. So, I emailed him again.  I did do a search for him on line and found a person with his name died a couple years ago.  Not looking good for the home team.  The email address for him in Family Tree DNA is pointing to another person, so it is still possible that I will be able to connect with a relative of his and possibly share information.  We will see. 

Again, no new connections on Family Tree DNA.

I did not do an  upgrade kit for my brother-in-law so there is nothing about any connections to him in Family Tree DNA.

My Friend T-Roy

I've been helping a friend, T-Roy, with his genealogy.  In particular his paternal side is lost.  We know precious little regarding his grandfather and nothing before that. A search for his great grandparents has yielded several potential candidates, however, none are clear.  I suggested that a Y-DNA test might help us find someone who is related and then be able to connect the dots from the potential candidates.  We'll see.

My Autosomal Results


There was a new "3rd" cousin identified on Ancestry.  Because Ancestry doesn't tell you anything about the match I have no idea if the match is on my mother's line or my unknown paternal line. The individual, who is now my closest atDNA match didn't relate their DNA to a tree so I have no idea about potential surnames.  I emailed the individual and hopefully she will share her tree and other information. There were several other new matches, however, they were all 4th cousin and greater.  I looked at any family trees that they have and didn't see anything of interest.

23 & Me

23 and Me has been my most successful DNA testing company that I have used so far. There are several reasons for that. First, and foremost, I had both my mother and my DNA Tests submitted to 23 & Me. That is a big help in determining where matches come from. My initial plan was to use the tests to be able to discriminate matches from my unknown father’s side from my known mother’s side of the family.

My mother’s matches:

Looking at my mother’s matches, the closest match (excluding me) is Ronald M. with 2.3% Shared and 11 segments in common. I was able to contact the individual and after comparing trees, found that my mother and Ronald are second cousins, once removed. They share common ancestors with my mom’s great grandparents (Henry & Marian (Sanford) Brown).

The next closest match to my mother is Rick C. He and my mom share 1.61% and 10 segments. He responded to some queries and we quickly determined his is a 1st cousin, twice removed, from my mother. Their common ancestors are my mom’s grandparents (Arthur D & Mary (Manning) Brown).

The 3rd closest match is to M. C. this match was really great as it expanded our understand of a line and broke through a “brick wall.” A review of M. C.’s tree yielded a surname match on Blackhurst. Further investigation showed that M. C.’s ancestor, William Stephen Blackhurst, had a sibling named Sarah who was born about the same date as my mother’s grandmother. Another of the siblings and the father of William and Sarah died in the same city, Albion, MI, that our Sarah lived. Further correlation showed me that their William was, indeed, the sibling of our Sarah and that through this connection we were able to extend the line back another generation to our common ancestors, Stephen and Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst. 
My Ancestry Composition per 23 and Me

My matches:

On my paternal side, matches to me and not my mother, are much less interesting. The closest match is a male with whom I share only four segments (.91%). I sent him an introduction but he hasn’t responded. I’ve sent a few other individuals introductions and received no responses from most of them. The few that have responded I have looked at their trees, but haven’t found anything of particular interest. When less than 1% matches, investing much time isn’t very helpful.

My Aunt:

I recently sent a DNA kit to my half aunt (my mother’s half sister). In a phone call last week, she indicated that she received the kit and registered it. She said she’d have it in the mail later in the week. They take several weeks to process so that should be interesting. With some luck, she will have received some different segment from my mother and we can those differences to potentially find other relatives.


As I write this website is down.  This free site has a lot of potential and is the only place that I know if that allows you to submit your DNA results from multiple sites.  It is an unaffiliated, volunteer, website and is in need of donations to maintain its operation.  If you use it, please donate to them so they can keep the site in operation.
They give instructions on how to export your autosomal DNA test results from Ancestry.ComFamily Tree DNA, and 23&Me and you import the results into their system. Although their takes a while to process your data and populate into their system, don’t complain about the speed.  Again, did I say donate? 

The X Chromosome

I’ve recently been hearing a lot about X chromosome matching.  This has really gotten me excited and rejuvenated regarding using DNA as a method to find ancestors.

I’m looking forward to using the GEDMatch system to look at the X chromosome matches for my mom and my aunt (when her results are received).  Because one of the X chromosomes comes  from the mother and one from the father, having both my mother and her half sister’s X results will yield a clear look at their father’s (Clifford) X marker.  My mother and my aunt should match the X completely because the X chromosome is passed down from a person’s father relatively unchanged.  Thus, by testing two females with the same father we can basically jump a generation.  Their father, Clifford, received his X from his mother, Mary Elizabeth Manning which is a mix of her parents, approximately 50% from each.  Mary received her two X chromosomes from each parent so Clifford has a 50-50 chance to have received his X from his grandfather (John William Manning) and 50-50 chance from his grandmother (Eliza Fannin). His grandfather received his X from his great grandmother (Minerva Tolliver Mannin). If, as family legend says, Minerva was full-blooded Cherokee, Because Clifford whould have received about 50% of his X DNA from Minerva, we should be able to see some markers that are in common with Cherokee people if she was, in fact, Cherokee. The other great thing about this test is that Clifford should have also received about 25% of his X from Eliza’s parents both of whom are unknown. It certainly has the potential to open up a whole new area of investigation.

Using the X isn’t as clearly defining as using the Y chromosome but it clearly can yield more definitive results than the other 22 chromosomes typically do. I am very excited about pursuing this direction. One of the really cool things about your X Chromosome inheritance is that the potential surnames follow a really clear pattern. In my case the surnames of interest are:
  • Brown, 
  • Montran, 
  • Mannin(g), 
  • Barber, 
  • Fannin, 
  • Blackhurst, 
  • Toliver, 
  • Taylor, 
  • Cochron. 


DNA is a helpful tool. It has the potential to break down some brick walls, as it did for my Blackhurst tree. However, it is not likely to magically solve a problem or give answers to difficult questions.
There are a number of utilities that can help understand the matches I'll look at them in a future blog posting. In the meantime, I'll continue my searching in this area.

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