Peterson Paternal Project – Biddle-Hall Branch

Part Four

Sometimes it just gets easier, but the results are difficult to believe, so you keep making more work for yourself.  That is what happened when I investigated the fourth line of my Peterson Paternal Project.[i]

Samuel Biddle and Mary Margaret Hall – Descendants

I needed to follow the descendants of Samuel and Mary Margaret (Hall) Biddle and see where any male descendants were likely to have been in 1953 when my half-sister Glennis was conceived. I kept looking, and looking, and looking for more children and grandchildren for Samuel and Mary, but just couldn’t find any.  If I had looked at the family trees of other people and believed them when they showed only one child and four grandchildren, I would have saved a lot of time and effort.

biddle-hall-descendants
Descendants of Samuel Biddle and Mary Margaret Hall

Samuel and Mary had four children, however, three of them had no issue. Only their youngest child, Nicholas Boulden Biddle, had children – four of them.  Nicholas’ daughter, Mary Jean, was too young to have had male children old enough to be the biological father of Glennis.  That left Nicholas’ three boys, Richard Wyllys, Brent N, and Samuel Lee to have the potential to be Glennis’ biological father.

First, if any of the three were the biological father, then the relationship would be first cousins rather than second cousins.  The DNA cMs indicated 2nd cousins, not 1st so, this is a very unlikely connection.

Second, all three of them married before 1950.

Third, all three of them were in West Virginia in 1949.

Finally, all three appear to have stayed in West Virginia into the 1950s and none of them show any indications of having left West Virginia in 1953.

Consequently, I don’t believe any of them is a candidate to be Glennis’ biological father.


ENDNOTES

[i] My half-sister Glennis has long wondered who her biological father is. Ancestry DNA provided a clue; she shares 201 centimorgans of DNA across 8 segments with someone.  The shared CM suggests they are second cousins, meaning that she and the other person likely share a great grandparent. The logic is that if I can take all eight of his great-grandparents and follow their descendants, possibly one of them was in the right place at the right time to be Glennis’ father. If so, I will have a very likely candidate to my Glennis’ biological father.


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Website Review – Lost Cousins

Tech Tuesday – Lost Cousin

Review by Don Taylor

I recently was listening to a podcast about the UK based service Lost Cousins. I had heard of it before, but I hadn’t given it a try nor had I looked at it for what it might be able to do to help folks in their genealogical research.

The primary purpose of LostCousins.Com is to help you find lost cousins so that you may better collaborate in your genealogical research. Most sites that connect you with other researchers do so based upon name and submitted tree information. This leads to many potential connections but few actual relatives. Consequently, many connections are unlikely to respond to your queries because they are too distant, often related by marriage, sometimes by multiple marriages. Lost Cousins does it a bit different; they focus on the quality of matches to other researchers rather than the quantity of matches. They use key census records as the key to finding cousins. You tag an ancestor in a particular census, on a specific page, with a relationship to you. Another person does the same thing. For example, in the 1880 Census, my 2nd Great-Grandfather is listed.  If the same person on the same page of the census is your ancestor too, then we are related.

Signing up is very easy to do. The site has a free level which doesn’t require you to provide a credit card nor detailed personal information.  You only need to subscribe (pay) if you find a lost cousin that you want to contact. (A subscriber may contact you, but you need to be a subscriber to initiate the first contact.) Even then, the service is very inexpensive (£10 per year).

Although Lost Cousins uses eight specific census records, the majority of users enter data into either the 1881 England & Wales Census or the 1880 US Census. The vast majority of my ancestors were in the United States in 1880, so I began entering my ancestors into the system.  For the 1880 Census, they ask you to enter the Roll / Film number, Page / Sheet number and letter, Surname, Forename, Age, and Relationship to you (typically, “blood relative” or “direct ancestor”).  In my case, into the 1880 US Census, I entered Roll 575, Page 374A, Surname Barber, Forename Frank, Age 40, and Direct Descendant. (Note: I entered “Frank” as he was entered into the census and not “Franklin” as was his actual name.) Then, I entered a second person, Asa Roberts and all was well. Neither of them had any cousin matches, but that was okay. I knew I have lots more ancestors to enter.

After only two entries, I ran into MY problem. I realized, particularly in some of my Family Tree Maker corrupted source entries (see Review and Rant), but also, some of my early entries didn’t have all of the information that I should have entered. Sure, I had enough information to find the record again, Name, Place, and Census Year is sufficient to search and find most entries, but it wasn’t the right information to enter into Lost Cousins. So, I need to go back and clean up some of my Census Record citations. That’s okay; I should clean them up regardless. I  entered other direct ancestors into the system, but so far no matches to cousins.

The eight censuses that Lost Cousins uses are:

  • 1841 England & Wales
  • 1880 United States
  • 1881 Canada
  • 1881 England & Wales
  • 1881 Scotland
  • 1911 England & Wales
  • 1911 Ireland
  • 1940 United States

In the two I entered, I did the “Search for Cousins.” No matches.  I’m not surprised. With only two entries in the 1880 US Census, Lost Cousins suggests I only have a match potential of 0.06%.

There are two ways for me to increase the likelihood of finding a lost cousin. First, I need to enter more of my ancestors from any of the above censuses into their system. Second, more cousins need to register and enter their ancestors into the system. I can take care of the first item, but I need you to help out by you to fulfill the second item. So, if you aren’t registered with Lost Cousins, I encourage you to register. Maybe, we are lost cousins, but if you don’t register we may never know.

The process doesn’t take long, and there is a potential for a big hit. Consequently, I think it is time well spent. The process of adding ancestors brought to my attention the need for me to clean up some of the census citations in my records.  Sigh….

Note:  Lost Cousins also produces a newsletter that registered individuals may subscribe to. Past newsletters are searchable, so registration may not only provide leads on lost cousins but may also provide leads regarding other websites and resources.

Reminder to Self:

  • Never take shortcuts in source citations!

My Future Actions:

  • Clean up my sources for the 1880 US Census, the 1881 England & Wales Census, and the 1881 Canadian Census.
  • Enter remaining ancestors with 1880 or 1881 census entries into Lost Cousins.

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Don’t avoid those Bright Shiny Objects.

Brown Research

Bright Shiny Objects - Photo by arbyreed - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Bright Shiney Objects

Photo by Arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 

I’ll admit it; I get diverted from my goals by Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs).  I was working on a problem ancestor of mine, my third great-grandmother, Mary C. LNU (Last Name Unknown), about whom I know very little.

Bio – Mary C. (LNU) Brown (1823-?)

What I think I know:

  • She was born about 1824 in New York.[i]
  • She probably married Barney/Daney Brown about 1841.[ii]
  • In 1850, she was living with her apparent husband, Barney, and two children, William H and Myron O Brown in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.[iii]
  • In 1860, she and her apparent husband, Daney, were living with four children, Henry W, Myron O, Alice C. and David V. Brown in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.[iv]
  • In the 1870 census, it appears that she is living alone.[v] Her son, Henry, was married and making a life with his wife and two children nearby. Not sure where Myron, Alice, or David were. I can’t find them nor their father, Barney/Daney, in the 1870 census either. So, I figured he possibly died in the Civil War. Certainly, I have a lot more research to do to determine if one of the many Browns who fought for the Union was my Barney/Daney Brown.

Newspapers

After I had figured out that I had exhausted my many searching methods on Family Search, Ancestry, and Genealogy in Time (read Google) for Mary, Barney/Daney, and the children, I thought I’d see if there were any newspapers of the area. I like using The Ancestor Hunt to seek out newspapers. I research Michigan enough that I have a bookmark right to Kenneth Mark’s Michigan page in my browser. I click it, then do a {Control/f} to “find” type “Saline” and–Bang–there were three newspapers listed for Saline. One was 1958-2014, outside of my possible range. But two were in the 1800s, both at Central Michigan University. So, off I go (metaphorically speaking).

Digital Michigan Newspapers – It is a “Bright Shiny Object.”

I quickly figured out how to search only the Saline papers and found lots of articles about various Browns, but none that appeared to be about this family unit.  (It might be really helpful if I decide to do a locational surname study.)  But this is a nice site.  I’d just bet I can find some juicy bits of information there – It It looks like it is a BSO!

Newspaper Clipping - Obituary - Janette A. Arnold Wakefield Parsons
Obituary Janette A. Arnold Wakefield Parsons

I went back to my genealogy program (I use Heredis) and selected the people who had any event in Saline in my database – 45 people.  I’ll bet some of these people are in those papers. As I worked through the list, at first I didn’t find articles about lots of them, A tantalizing bit here and there, like Sarah Young had perfect attendance in school in 1881. Then, I hit some really important articles. My 4th great-grandfather, Chester Parsons’ personal property was auctioned off by the administrator of his estate. Awesome detail of what was going up for sale, “12 cows, 16 head young cattle, seven head horses, 52 acres wheat on the ground and a large quantity of farm implements. Eighty acres of timber land is also offered for sale at a bargain.”  Very interesting stuff. I even learned that someone named Daniel Reeves lived on Chester Parson’s farm for six years, including two years while Chester was still alive.[vi] Who was Daniel Reeves and why was he living on the Parson farm?  I also found the obituary for Chester Parson’s second wife, which provided the date he married her, her maiden and widowed names, and her daughter’s names.  Those names might be helpful when I find Chester Parsons’ probate records.

The bottom line is that in a couple hours of investigating this BSO, I learned a couple dozen facts, developed several new avenues of inquiry and had a lot of fun.  I know that I probably should have kept to my research goal: What was Mary C [Brown]’s maiden surname? I still don’t know the answer to that, but I do know lots of new things. So it is okay with me that I diverted to look at the BSOs. The information I found added texture to my understanding of the lives of several ancestors. So, I’m glad I didn’t toss aside that Bright Shiney Object once I knew it wouldn’t answer my research question. I hope you find BSOs you can have fun with also.

Future Actions:

  • Research Mary C. [Brown] and determine her maiden surname, place of birth, death, etc. (Again.)
  • Find the Probate Records for Chester Parsons (1799-1887) – Washtenaw County, Michigan.
  • Determine if Barney/Daney Brown served in the Civil War.
  • Determine if there is a relationship between Daniel Reeves and the Parsons family.
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ENDNOTES

  • [i] The 1850, 1860, and 1870 census records for her are all consistent, 26, 36, and 46 years old respectively.
  • [ii] Their first child, William Henry Brown, was born about 1842 in Michigan.
  • [iii] United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF8P-F8S : accessed 23 March 2016), Barney Brown, Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States; citing family 185, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • [iv] “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWDZ-DLM : accessed 23 March 2016), Daney Brown, 1860.
  • [v] Year: 1870; Census Place: Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: M593_708; Page: 315B; Image: 166772; Family History Library Film: 552207  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
  • [vi] Saline Observer (Saline, MI) – 1891-12-10, Pg 5, Column 2 (last paragraph) – via Digital Michigan Newspapers; Central Michigan University
.

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Deed Transfer – Robert Bryan to Lewis Bryan

Amanuensis Monday – Howell Research – 3 April 1794

Transcription & Interpretation by Don Taylor

[Source: Martin County Old Deed Records. Book C, Pages 248 and 249.]

Image of Deed Record of property transfer Robert Bryan to Lewis Bryan (1)
Martin County Old Deed Records. Book C, Page 249.

This Indenture made this the 3rd day of April in the year of our lord

Christ One Thousand Seven Hundred Ninety Four between Robert

Bryan of Martin county and Province of North Carolina of the one

part and Lewis Bryan of the County and province aforesaid of the other

part ??? ??? that the said Robert Bryan for and in Consideration

of the sum of one hundred pounds give to him in land  ???  ??? to

[page change]

Image of Deed Record of property transfer Robert Bryan to Lewis Bryan (2)
Martin County Old Deed Records. Book C, Page 249.

in him off?? do our knowledge therein of these with fully satisfied and paid and ??

in faith granted buy and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain

see unto the said Lewis Bryan his heirs and assigns forever a tract of land

Containing one hundred ninety acres lying and being in the county of Martin

On the south side of Conoho Creek Beginning at a point in Hampton ?? ???

Tence No 59 N E 180 Pole asine Thence no 35 W S45 pole to asire on the ???

Thence along the ?? Creek to 59 E b 180 pole to an path thence to 35 EB 145 pole

Bryan ?? by deed of sale proved and registered in the registrar’s office of

??? county together with all houses buildings & privileges ??? residences

to the same belonging or in anywise appertaining unto the said Lewis Bryan

his heirs and assigns forever. In witness ?? of I Robert Bryan hise???

In the presence of ??? Witness.

John Hyman Durat

Catron Bryan (Her Mark) [Plain “X”]

Robert R Bryan (His Mark)


Facts:

Residences: Robert Bryan and Lewis Bryan were alive on 3 Apr 1894 and both lived in Martin County, North Carolina

Event: Property Sale – Robert Bryan sold 190 acres in Martin County for 100 pounds to Lewis Brian. I am unable to decipher the physical location of the property other than it appears to be adjoining Conoho Creek.

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Discover

 

Buck – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Buck was a nickname used to describe someone resembling a he-goat (Old English Bucc(a)) or a male deer (Old English Bucc). Sometimes, it was a topographic name for someone living near a beech tree (Middle English boc).[i] There are also several different sources for Buck from German roots, but it appears that my Buck ancestors were probably English.

Geographical

The 1840 Census indicated there were 1158 Buck families in the United States. The majority of them lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Illinois.[ii] (Note: This includes many of the German forms of Buck.)

My Earliest Ancestors

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder and Population FinderMy most recent known Buck ancestor is my 7th great grand-grandmother, Jerusha Buck. Jerusha Buck was born 25 August 1739 in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her parents were Enoch Buck and Mary Beebe. She married Grover Buel on 15 February 1758. They had at least five children, including my ancestor Deborah Buel. my ancestor. She died in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on 23 September 1778, and was buried about 25 miles away in the Old Amenia Burying Ground, in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York.[iii]

I have not had a chance to research Jerusha Buck, nor her father,Enoch, in depth yet, so my understand of their lives is quite limited still.

My Direct Buck Ancestors

  • #1662 – Enoch Buck (1683-1745) – Married Mary Beebe – 8th Great Grandparents
  • #831 – Jerusha Buck (1739-1778) – Married Grover Buel. – 7th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel – Married Wicks Weeks Rowley – 6th Great Grandparents
  • Electa Rowley – Married Robert Maben – 5th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel Maben – Married Chester Parsons – 4th Great Grandparents
  • Mary E. Parsons – Married William Sanford – 3rd Great Grandparents
  • Marion Sanford – Married William Henry Brown – 2nd Great Grandparents
  • Arthur Durwood Brown – Married Mary Elizabeth Manning – Great Grandparents
  • Richard Earl Brown – Grandparents (Biological father of child with Madonna Montran)
  • My mother – Generation 2
  • Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

I only have six individuals with the surname Buck, in my records.  However, my records do have 292 direct-line descendants of Enoch and Mary (Beebe) Buck identified over fourteen generations, which is about 5% of my known Roberts/Brown Ancestors.


ENDNOTES


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