Saturday, May 5, 2018

DNA Cousins - Paternal Side

So as a follow up to my last post on maternal DNA cousins, here are my Paternal DNA cousins.  The purpose here was to look in my DNA matches within Ancestry to see how far back in my tree I can go with some cousin connections.  Ancestry shows if others show the same people in a tree as me, and we are matching some DNA.  That helps confirm that the tree may be correct (assuming there is documentation to back it up of course).


Robert CARTER, b. 1663 and Elizabeth LANDON, b. 1683

These two are my 7th great grandparents from Virginia.  It's very interesting to me that my maternal and paternal trees have absolutely NO intersection whatsoever.  My maternal side goes back to the Puritans who first came to New England and other immigrants who came in through New York and then moved to New York State and westwards.  My paternal side started with the immigrants who settled Virginia and included later immigrants who came in through the port of Baltimore.

Benjamin HARRISON IV, b. 1695 and Anne CARTER, b. 1696

Okay, so the son of Benjamin and Anne that is my direct ancestor, William, is not yet a proven son of these two, though it's generally accepted that he is.  But considering the VAST amount of Harrison cousins in my Ancestry account, he's definitely of that family line for sure, so it could really be true he is an undocumented son.  Without him, my 7th great grandparents above would not be true, but I'm listing them anyway at this point.  Hopefully it will be proven one day!

Nehemiah MOXLEY, b. 1738 and Elizabeth NORWOOD, b 1740

These two are my 6th great grandparents, they were in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  The Moxley family spread far and wide in Maryland.

Thomas LUCAS, b. 1733 and Mary CHAMBERLAINE

These two are my 5th great grandparents, they were located in Maryland.

William SHIPLEY, b. 1729 and Rebecca SELLMAN

These two are my 5th great grandpaents, they were also located in Maryland (seeing a pattern here?).  The Shipley family spread far and wide in Maryland just like the Moxley's, there are tons of them!

Anton POKORNOWSKI, b. 1813 and Marianna BUDZYNSKI, b. 1830

These two are my 3rd great grandparents, they both emigrated from Poland with their 7 children and settled in McLeod County, Minnesota. There they had 2 more children.  Oh, and Anton had a first wife in Poland and he had 8 kids with her, some of whom stayed in Poland, some of whom emigrated as well.  SO MANY CHILDREN!  This probably explains why I have a lot of DNA cousins in Ancestry with this line!

I'm really interested in how DNA is going to affect verification of family lines, it's certainly different from the old days!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DNA Cousins - Maternal Side

Although I am pretty careful with my privacy on websites and all (yes, even facebook!), apparently I could not care less where my DNA goes, so I've sent it off  to multiple companies for analysis.  Alas, no stunning reveals like on the TV shows, turns out my ancestry is "European" which matches exactly what my genealogy research has shown all these years.

My parents also sent their DNA in to one of the companies and amazingly the results came back knowing they were my parents without me having to tell them!  I know it's science and all, but to me that was really really cool.  Also it was nice to know my parents were really my parents because hey, you never know, I could have just been blending in after being switched at birth.

Guess which one is me

So anyway, lately I've been paging through all my cousin DNA matches in Ancestry taking a look at the common ancestors for those who list family trees, and taking wild guesses for those who did it for the DNA results only and didn't list a tree.  Sometimes it's easy to figure out when you look at shared matches.

I was looking through them all because I wanted to see if DNA matches would help me with any "unproven" ancestor connections.

For instance, I have an ancestor was in the Revolutionary War and I wanted to submit the lineage to the Daughters of the American Revolution.  However, there is one Father-Son connection where apparently everyone (including professional genealogists) have assumed paternity because there is no actual written proof anywhere.  I was pretty bummed and then thought well what if they really aren't father and son and I've been researching the wrong ancestry all these DECADES!


I finally decided that the father "Collins Mix" really was likely the father of son "Jonathan Collins Mix", because come on, "Collins!"

Then I just submitted for another ancestor who was better documented.

Thanks Kinsey Harrison and all his kids!!!

Anyway, back to DNA - so I thought, can I prove to my own satisfaction looking at cousins in Ancestry that the Collins and his son were really connected?

So here is how far back I was able to find cousin-connections for some of my lines - this is really cool in my opinion!


Thomas MIX, b.1678 and Deborah ROYCE, b.1683:

These two are my 7th great grandparents from Wallingford, Connecticut, and I had multiple cousins in my matches that had these 2 as our common ancestors.  So that answers the question of whether Collins was the Dad of Jonathan.  Though I don't think the DAR is ready to accept this kind of proof in their applications quite yet.

Richard BOWEN, b.1662 and Patience PECK, b.1669:

Same generation as Thomas and Deborah above (7th great grandparents), but they lived in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Again, I had multiple cousins with these 2 as our common ancestors in our trees on Ancestry.

Paul TOMULE, b.abt.1721 and Maria Anna KLEIN, b.abt.1738:

These 2 are my 6th great grandparents, as far from New England as can be, they were born in the Alsace-Lorraine region, then migrated south to Austria-Hungary to an area which later became Romania, though they are ethnic Germans.  Did you get all that?

Joseph MARCHAL, b.1755 and Margaretha PIERRE, b.abt.1760:

These are my 5th great grandparents who were born in what is now the Lorraine region of France.  Like Paul and Maria Anna above, they migrated south to Austria-Hungary to an area which later became Romania.

Johan REISER, b.1795 and Katharina SCHREIBER, b.1795:

These are my 4th great grandparents, their ancestors also migrated south to the Austria-Hungary region which later became Romania. All these people in Hungary and Romania but no actual Hungarians and Romanians in my ancestry, their ethnicity was mostly German, Luxembourgian and Lorrainian.  I made the last one up.  But it sounds cool.  Lotharingen?  Alsatian-Lorrainian?

William JONES, b.1793 and Sylvia BAIRD, b.abt.1797:

These are my 4th great grandparents who were born in Connecticut, but migrated down to New York state, first to Orange County, then westward to Tioga County and nearabouts.  I made that last word up too, but I think it really works, I'm keeping it.

Thomas WEAVER and Almira FINNEY:

These are my 3rd great grandparents, both born in New York state, Thomas was born in Dutchess County and Almira was born in Otsego County.  I wish I knew more about them, right now they are a brick wall!

Alonzo CHESLEY, b.1839 and Laura KIRBY, b.1849:

These are my 3rd great grandparents and this is a special case and is certainly something that DNA could help with.  We have a family story that my 3rd Great Grandmother, Laura, had an affair with her brother-in-law, Alonzo and produced a daughter, my 2nd great grandmother.  For the first time just a few days ago, I noticed a cousin in my Ancestry DNA who is a descendant of Alonzo and his wife Sarah Kirby (Laura's older sister).  So this could be it - this could be the first chance at prove that the affair did happen.  This will definitely bear watching to see how this turns out - am I related enough to end up being related to both Alonzo and Sarah, or is it just Sarah showing up, we'll have to see!!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Dad's Classics Illustrated

As a young child in the cold and dark times before the internet, I used to love reading my Dad's comic books that he had collected when he was a kid.  He had funny one's like Mad Magazine, but I also loved reading his Classics Illustrated.

Classics Illustrated were exactly what they sound like, short illustrated versions of classic novels in comic book form, so they were very easy to understand for kids.  I really like these and read certain of them over and over again.

I've read the "real" versions of most of them, but I can still see the comic book versions in my mind so easily!  I did a quick search for covers and these immediately jumped out at me and took me back:

And speaking of Wuthering Heights, there have been a ton of film versions of course and I do enjoy watching them.  When I was young I thought Heathcliff was so romantic, now of course I think he's a psychopath (but that's another blog post).  When it comes to his death scene, I don't really see the film's death scene, what overplays the film is what's in my mind's eye, which is the panel from the Classics Illustrated version I grew up reading which is this:

Why look, it's dead Heathcliff.

Dead Heathcliff!


OMG anonymous Classics Illustrated illustrator, did you have any idea what an impact you'd have on a small child seeing this?  It's the stuff of nightmares!!!!

But soul-crushing dead psychopaths who kill themselves to be with their objects of obsession aside, my absolute favorite Classics Illustrated is one that isn't well known today - it's a Mark Twain story:  Pudd'nhead Wilson!

Where has this story been all these years?  It's got drama, murder, baby-switching, blackmail, Italian noblemen, early use of forensics, everything you could ask for!  Much better than Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn lololol.  I'd tell you about it, but I don't want to ruin it for you!

So anyway, thanks for sharing your Classics Illustrated with me Dad, I really really enjoyed them, and NEVER would have heard of Pudd'nhead Wilson without them!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Julius Ensign Rockwell, I wish I could hug you

A long time ago, when the world was young and so was I, being a genealogist meant a lot more time in libraries making photo copies of books.

It's still something that should be done, but back then you didn't have as much of a choice.  So I have quite a library of photocopied pages from books in my files - town histories, published genealogies, etc.

I don't even want to think about all those pages being a dime a piece to copy!!

So in a fit of thinking about things that are not the laundry or cleaning I should have been doing, I thought about all those pages recently and thought, hey, I bet I could find some of them as used books online and then could have the book as my own reference!  I pulled a bunch out and went searching on various used book sites and found a few that seemed worth ordering and did.

One book that I ordered was "The Rockwell Family in America from 1630 to 1873" by Henry Ensign Rockwell, published in 1873.

I have one family line that goes back deep into New England history, and have some Rockwell ancestors, specifically the immigrants John Rockwell (1627-1673) and Sarah Ensign (abt 1630 - 1659).

The author of the book isn't a direct ancestor, but is in fact my 6th cousin 5x removed.

So I order the book and when it comes I'm surprised to open the box and have an envelope along with it - the envelope is full of old newspaper clippings and other handwritten notes on scraps of paper that apparently were all stored in the pages of the book - all on Rockwells!  I look through the book and there are a bunch of pages with handwriting all over them - further notes on the people mentioned on the page, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!! 

I look at the inside cover and it's signed "Julius Ensign Rockwell".

I look him up, and he's the son of the author!  So I have the author's son's notations and newspaper clippings and I spent exactly $24.50 on this book.  What a TREASURE!!

It's a genealogist's dream!!! 

The separate envelope contained things like this:

What I really enjoyed seeing was how similar it all looked to my files with random scraps of paper and notes on things I saw somewhere to look up later.  It's wonderful to have these kinds of reminders of the humanness of our ancestors.  Also, it's really freaking cool to have this book and these notes!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mix Ancestors Home Towns in England

My Mix family research has been able to go back far enough to identify the towns from which people emigrated before coming to the US.  This is my maternal grandfather's line and includes lots of very English names like:


Of course there are a few notable exceptions in calling these English, like the two Welsh surnames (Bourne and Bowen) and the Burnet name which although Thomas Burnet himself came from Braintree in Essex, the Burnet family is actually Scottish and from the Borderlands area of southern Scotland.

As a visual to help me, I went to My Maps in Google and put pins in each town that my Mix line immigrant was born in.  As you can see below, it really helps show the clustering of where this line of ancestors comes from (click to view larger):

So I can see with this that other than Wales and Scotland as mentioned earlier, the Mix ancestors are very clustered in the southern third of England, with a special concentration in East and Southwest England.

After emigrating, this is a very New England-centric line - they came to Massachusetts and Connecticut and those that moved, made their way to Rhode Island, or to Vermont, but then eventually to the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is where my Mix line ends up.

All in all though, a great visual!!