Color Clustering Technique

Dana Leeds recently had a couple posts on her blog site, “The Enthusiastic Genealogist,” about using color clustering to identify common surnames in genealogy. I thought I’d try using her technique to see if the process would shed new light onto two old problems.

Montran-Barber Line

First, my grandmother’s line, Montran and Barber.  My mother tested on 23&Me and so did my mother’s half-sister, Barbara. Having half-siblings in the tree makes DNA tracking a lot easier. In my mother’s case, if a person has a DNA match with my mother and her half-sister, we know that the match comes from my mother’s paternal side.  If the person matches with my mother and not her half-sister, I know that the match comes from my mother’s maternal side.

The process is pretty straight forward, enter the name, and a color for the connection using a different color if the individual is not related to the previous people. Once you have the colors determined, add if the individual has a tree available. If so, enter the surnames for that line into a chart.

I entered the individual’s name, amount of DNA shared, and blue, if there was a match with Aunt Barbara and another color is the match was not with Aunt Barbara. In my mother’s case, the first 50 matches all matched with Aunt Barbara. With no diversity I couldn’t find anyone that might potentially have Montran or Barber ancestors. So, it didn’t work for my mother.

Peterson Paternal Project

Next, I went to work on my half-sister’s paternal project. If she and I are a common match to an individual, we know that the connection is on our common mother’s side. If an individual matches Glennis and not me, I know that the match is on her unknown paternal side.

Ignoring matches with me (the Brown/Montran line), and using the Enthusiastic Genealogist’s technique showed four trees. All of which have some relationship with another.

Trees relating to Peterson Paternity Project

A review of the surnames found in the trees available showed only one surname was repeated in two trees, Hemsworth. More exciting though, I learned that, although tree 271 above, didn’t have a Hemsworth in it, my previous research found a Hemsworth one generation further back than 271’s tree showed. With three DNA matches all having Hemsworth in their trees, it is time to speculate a possible connection.

DNA – Glennis’ Paternal Search – Part 15

Looking at Viola Cline more closely.

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My half-sister Glennis is a DNA match on Ancestry.Com with several individuals who have common ancestors with Nathan Smith Morgan and his wife, Belinda [sometimes Malinda Odell. In the search to determine Glennis’ biological father, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Nathan and Belinda.

On the last DNA Day, 22 March 2018, I began to suspect that someone close to Viola Cline was going to be a likely candidate. I looked at a couple of Viola Cline’s grandsons and determined they were possible, but unlikely, candidates. I had quite a bit of difficulty tracing Viola’s daughters and their children. So, I thought I’d look at Viola again and see what I could learn.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comI learned that Mary Corinne Huber married Roy Lee Ezzell. In the 1940 Census they still hadn’t any children. Placing them out of consideration.

I examined John Clifford Huber previously. His two sons are possible but unlikely candidates.

Genevieve married Chas (Charles?) Osborne. The 1940 Census indicates that they had 1 son who was a 1year-old so, he’s not possible.

Finally, Elenore Elizabeth married Wilmont Schlaff. They had a son (possibly living), who is not a candidate.

1.    Descendants of John and Viola (Cline) Huber

#.# Child Notes/Comments Status
1. Mary Corinne Huber Married Roy Lee Ezzell

Married [Unk] Cook

1.1    Possibly Living Born 1944
2. John Clifford Huber Married Naomi Stewart
2.1.    [Possibly living] Possible but Unlikely
2.2.    Roy L. Huber Possible but Unlikely
3. Genevieve Huber Married Chas Osborne
3.1. Possibly Living Born 1939 Not Possible
4. Eleanor Elizabeth Huber Married Wilmont Schlaff No apparent children in 1940 Census.

There don’t appear to be any likely candidates from the descendants of Viola Cline.

I also took a look at the matches Glennis has on Ancestry.Com and GEDMatch.Com. Neither had any new matches that could shed light on Glennis’ DNA connections.

As such, next I’ll investigate the descendants of her four siblings.

  • Fotilla Cline – born 1873/4.
  • Amos C Cline – born 1875
  • Forest Cline – born 1877/8
  • Rufus Cline – born 1879.

Note – My Criteria:

  • “Candidates” are males born between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not considered” are females who are unlikely to have had a male child between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not a Candidate” are males born between 1915 and 1925 as being too young to have had a son between 1925 and 1935 and too old to be a candidate.
  • “Possible but unlikely” are males born between 1925 and 1935, but are not named Paul or Phil, which are the likely names of Glennis’ biological father, or otherwise don’t appear to fit the likely candidate who would have been in Minnesota or Michigan in 1953. I will revisit these possibilities later of this project fails to find a potential candidate.

Ancestor Bio – Hannah Darling (c. 1824-Before 1880?)

Darling Line
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-33

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Tracing female ancestors is often difficult in 19th century America. As I continue my research into the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling, one of his sisters, the oldest sister, was quite easy to follow. The other two sisters have been very problematic. I wrote about Deidamia, the oldest sister, previously. Basically, she born in New York, married Lawrence G. Limbocker, moved to Michigan, had three children, and probably died in Michigan.  Hannah and Sally Ann are a different story.

Darling Research 2018 – Ancestor #96

List of Grandparents

Hannah Darling (c. 1824-Before 1880?)

Hannah was born the 7th of eight children of Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling, most likely in New Hampshire, although she may have been born in New York.

Hannah’s Siblings were

The only real source I have regarding Hannah is the 1850 Census[1]. In it, she appears to be living with her brother, Andrew/Andress Darling, his wife Antoinette and their two children, Sarah and Alice. In the same household appears to be Hannah’s youngest brother, Franklin, and her mother, Sally A. (Munsell) Darling.

The 1830 Census[2] does not provide the names of anyone in the household except for the head of household. The 1830 Census indicates the following females in the Abner Darling household of Clarkson, Monroe, New York:

  • Females 5 thru 9             2          (Probably Hannah, age 6, and Sally Ann, age 9.)
  • Females 15 thru 19         1          (Probably Diedamia, Age 16.)
  • Females 40 to 49             1          (Probably Sally, age 45.)

Hannah’s father, Abner died in 1839. In the 1840 Census[3], Abner’s son, Rufus, is the head of the household. Living with Rufus in 1840 are  the following females:

  • Females    15-19             2          (Probably Hannah, age 16, and Sally Ann, age 19.)
  • Females    50-59             1          (Probably Sally, age 55.)

I have been unsuccessful finding any references to Hannah after the 1850 Census. She is not mentioned in her brother’s (Abner C. Darling’s) obituary in September 1880.  As such, I believe Hannah probably died between 1850 and 1880.

Other Trees

Family Search has Hannah in their Family Tree. She is person KJ6Z-V1S. All entries for her are by “Family Search” and have no sources for information. It does suggest an 1820 birth year.

On Ancestry, there are five trees that appear to include Hannah. Two of them are mine. The other three are private.  I have sent contact messages to the two individuals managing the three private trees. One tree indicates Hannah Darling being born in 1820. I’ve selected the 1824-1825 birth year in my tree because of the 1850 Census and that she fits into the 1830 and 1840 censuses by speculation.  I would be a lot more comfortable that Hannah was actually a child of Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling if I could find a record that clearly shows the relationship.

The second private tree on Ancestry did not have Hannah identified but did have Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling but none of their children.

I have not heard back about the third private tree yet.

A fairly exhaustive online search, including newspapers and other resources has not provided any further information.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


[1] 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – A M Darling – Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch : 12 April 2016), Am Darling, Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 1092, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[2] 1830 Census (A), Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York – Page 271. Source Citation
1830; Census Place: Clarkson, Monroe, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271; Family History Library Film: 0017154.

[3] 1840 Census (FS), Family Search, New York, Monroe, Clarkson, Page 177 – Rufus H Darling.

Charles Selefsky & Family in the 1900 Census

Dion-Spry Project

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes when you at a census closely, you realize something in there is just not possible. Such is the case of Charles Selensky (aka Selefsky, Selefske, & Seleske) as he appears in the 1900 Census. His step-children just aren’t right.

1900 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit – Charles Lelensky [Selefsky]


Selensky, Charles      Head       May 1855          45         Married for 10 years.

___, Hattie                Wife        June 1857         42         Married for 10 years 3 Children, 3 Living

___, Otto                   Son         Jul 1880            19

___, Adelia                Dau.        Dec 1883          16

___, Albert                Son         Mar 1886           14

Sauli, Anna                Step-Dau Jan 1887           13

___, Walter                Step-Son Mar 1888           11

___, Hugo                 Step-Son Nov 1897            2       

Salensky Louise        Mother    June 1818         82         Wid 4 Children, 4 Living.

At first glance, it appears that Hattie had three children with a previous husband, and unknown Sauli (or Sante) There are three children with another surname and she had had three children, all of whom were living. Then I noticed that Hugo was only two years old but Charles and Hattie had been married for 10 years. Even though Hugo is identified as a Sauli, and is identified as a step-son, I’m confident that Hugo must be the child of Charles and Hattie and that the enumerator made a mistake.

So, I’m tentatively putting Hugo’s parents as Charles and Hattie and the other three children, Otto, Adelia (Ottilia), and Albert as the children of Charles and Unknown.

If you can think of another scenario that makes sense of this Census Record, I’d love to hear it.

Ancestor Bio – Ottilie Salefske Spry

Dion-Spry Project

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-32
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Some names are both easy and difficult to follow. In the case of the Salefske line the surname is spelled, Salefske, Salefski, Salefsky, Salesky…. You get the idea, it was spelled by the individual who heard the name and guessed at the spelling. Ottilie’s siblings also appear to have taken on different spellings in many of their dealings.  Sorting out what should be the surname and what should not is an exercise in futility. I’ll just go with Salefske for the surname and know that individual records may have virtually any surname spelling. Ottilie’s first name is also a mix of records, sometimes, it has one “t” sometimes two “l’s;” sometimes it is Tillie, Lillie, Tily, Matilda and even Adelia. All-in-all, I’ve given up trying to determine her first name as well. I’m spelling it as “Ottilie,” mostly because that spelling is more common than any of the others.

Dion-Spry 2018 – Ancestor #15

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother:  Viola Lorraine Spry (1908-2002)
  • 1st Great-grandmother:  Ottilie Rhine-Selefske
  • 2nd Great-grandfather:  Charles/Carl Salefske
  • 3rd Great-grandfather:  Frederick Salefske

Ottilie Salefske (1883-1975)

Ottilie Salefske was born in December 1883 in West Prussia, a province of the Kingdom of Prussia. After 1945, West Prussia became a part of Poland. Her father was Charles/Carl Salefske. It is unclear who her mother was. She and five of her siblings immigrated to the United States in 1888.[i]

She became a naturalized citizen when her father became a citizen in 1892.

In 1900, the 16-year-old was living at 246 Lovett, Detroit Michigan with her father (Charles); step-mother, Hattie; brothers Otto and Albert; a step-sister Anna; a step-brother Walter; and another brother, Hugo, who I believe to be a half-brother.

Name Relationship Born
Leo Fredrick Salefske Brother 30 Dec 1876 – Germany
Otto Julins Salefske Brother Jul 1880 – Germany
Augusta F. Salefske Sister 1881 – Germany
Albert C. Salefske Brother Mar 1886 – Germany
Anna Janke (Salefske)[ii] Step-sister Jan 1887 – Michigan
Walter Janke (Salefske) Step-brother Mar 1888 – Michigan
Hugo Salefske Half-Brother Nov 1897 – Michigan


Sometime between 1901 and 1902, Ottilie married Thomas Frederick Spry.[iii]

Together they had four children

  • Ethel H Spry – Born 1902, Died 1985.
  • Unnamed boy – Born and died in 1904.
  • Viola Lorraine Spry – Born 1908.
  • Isabel Jean Spry – Born 1918.

The couple probably lived in Ypsilanti for a short time after marriage. Ethel and the unnamed boy were born there. The other two children were born in Detroit.


The 1910 Census finds the family at 671 Buchanan Street, Detroit.

By 1918, when Thomas registered for the draft, they were living at 1415 25th Street, Detroit.

The 1920 Census finds the family still at 1415 25th Street.[iv]

5727 Missouri Ave, Detroit, MI – Photo by Google Maps

The 1930 Census finds Thomas and Ottilie renting at 5727 Missouri Avenue Living with then was their 11 year-old daughter, Isabel. Their daughter Viola was living with them while the whereabout of her husband, Albert Dion, is unknown.

The 1940 Census finds Thomas and Ottilie still at 5727 Missouri Ave, Detroit. Their daughter Violet, and Violet’s husband, Albert Dion, are living with them, as is their Granddaughter, Janet.

Death & Burial

Ottilie (Salefske) Spry died in October 1975. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles/Carl; step-mother, Hattie; Brothers Leo, Otto, and Hugo; sister Augusta; her husband, Thomas, and her unnamed child who died in 1904.

She was survived by her three daughters, Ethel, Viola, and Isabel.

Her burial location is unknown.


  • 1900 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit – Charles Lelensky –
  • 1910 Census, Thomas Spry – Detroit, Wayne, Michigan – ED 211, Sheet 9B. Year: 1910; Census Place: Detroit Ward 14, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T624_686; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0211; FHL microfilm: 1374699
  • 1920 Census (A), Thomas Spry – Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. Year: 1920; Census Place: Detroit Ward 12, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T625_811; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 363.
  • 1930 Census (NARA), 1930 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit – ED 82-300, Sheet 12-A – Thomas Spry.
  • 1940 Census, 1940 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit, ED 84-527, Sheet 8B – Thomas Spry. 1940; Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: m-t0627-01856; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 84-527
  • Michigan Births, 1867-1902, Ethel Spry – 3 Sep 1902. “Michigan Births, 1867-1902,” database with images, FamilySearch, Thos. F. Spry in entry for Ethel Spry, 03 Sep 1902; citing item 1 p 419 rn 1673, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,363,098.
  • Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952, Albert Dian & Viola Spry – 17 May 1927.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Isabel Jean Spry – 7 Aug 1918. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
  • Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.
  • S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Ottilie Spry – 1883-1975 – (No Image). U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2014.
  • Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.
  • S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Thomas Frederick Spry. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch, Thomas Frederick Spry, 1917-1918; citing Detroit City, Michigan, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,675,372.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


[i] The 1900 Census indicates she arrived in 1888 and had been in the US for 11 years.

The 1910 Census indicates she arrived in 1886.

The 1930 Census indicates she arrived in 1887.

[ii] The 1900 Census indicates the surname for Anna, Walter, & Hugo was Sauli. It is very difficult to read. Hugo’s obituary establishes Walter’s surname as Janke. I assume that Anna’s surname was the same. Leo’s obituary identifies Walter’s surname as Salefske. So I suspect Walter went by both surnames during his life.

[iii] The 1910 Census indicates the couple had been married for eight years.

[iv] The 1920 Census indicates they were renting at 1417 25th. 1415 and 1417 are the same building. I believe the Draft Registration is more likely correct.