Crutchfield Project – It’s a Start

Ancestor Biography – Crutchfield Project

52 Ancestors – Week 137

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I was recently asked to help someone learn more about his ancestry. He knew he was Italian, but didn’t know how much. He also knew his parent’s names, and where they were born and where they lived, but not much more.  My first recommendation was that he take an autosomal DNA test. It might give an idea of some of his ancestry.  It also might provide connections to here-to-for unknown cousins that may know much more of the family history. I ordered a kit for him through Ancestry.Com and he has received it.

I also began looking at his parents and see what I could learn about them. I found information about his father quickly. Information about his mother was more difficult to find. There were different spellings of her name, both first and surname. There were also differences in both date and place of birth. I didn’t find anything that I was convinced was correct regarding her ancestry. Then I used Newspapers.com and did a search for her maiden and surname in the states she was believed to live in.

Obituary for Kathryn M Smith
Source: Newspapers.Com

The results provided an obituary for her sister and provided the names of some of her other siblings. It then became easy to find her in the 1940 Census and other census records. A minor stumbling block overcome thanks to Newspapers.com. I will write more about Emily in my next post of the Crutchfield-Galella project. But for now, I would like to focus on Ralph Crutchfield. I don’t normally write about parents, however, because this family line is completely unknown to me I wanted to understand their lives also.

Crutchfield-Galella Project 2017 – Ancestor CG-02

List of Ancestors

  • Father: Ralph Crutchfield
  • Grandfather: Ervin Ogden Crutchfield

 

Ralph Crutchfield (1913-1997)

Ralph Crutchfield was born the youngest of four children on 24 December 1913 in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas. His parents were Ervin Ogden and Dormer Crutchfield.

I have not had a chance to research his two older sisters, Blanche and Florence nor his older brother Emanuel.

The 1920 Census indicates the family living in Illinois Township, Pope County, Arkansas at 319 Torrence Street. The family consisted of the six-year-old Ralph, who was attending school, his parents, and his three siblings. His father, Ervin, was a coal miner.

In 1930, Ralph attended Russellville High School as a Junior. The 1930 Census indicates that his three siblings were no longer living at home and the household consisted of him, working as a newsboy for the newspaper, his father who also worked for the newspaper as a newspaper agent, and his mother who kept house.

Yearbook photo of Ralph Crutchfield - Arkansas Russellville Russellville High School 1931
Source: Climax Yearbook, via Ancestry.Com

In 1931, Ralph graduated from Russellville High School.

It appears that Ralph met and married Emily C. Galella sometime before 1935 as the two of them are living in Chicago then.

The 1940 Census shows Ralph, his wife “Emile” and their two children renting a home at 3312 Hoyne Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Ralph was working as a soda fountain manager at a retail drug store.

In 1951, Ralph was living in Illinois when he registered for Social Security and received his SSN.

Ralph Crutchfield died on 21 July 1997, probably in Chicago, I at the age of 83. His burial location is unknown.


Think you might be related to Ralph Crutchfield?  
A DNA Test at Ancestry.Com will prove it one way or another.

Birth, Marriage & Death Records


Sources:

1920 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, 1920 Census – Ervin Crutchfield – Illinois, Pope, Arkansas. http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/1920usfedcen/40011696/printer-friendly.

1930 Census (FS), Family Search, 1930 Census – Ralph Crutchfield – Illinois, Pope Arkansas. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XMGQ-WDX.

1940 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Ralph Crutchfield – Chicago, Cook, ILL, ED 103-2877, Sheet 9B, Line 77. http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/1940usfedcen/144720395/printer-friendly?_phsrc=UeZ897&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&gss=angs-g&ne.

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012, Ancestry.Com, Russellville High School 1930, Russellville, Arkansas – Climax yearbook, Page 25 – Ralph Crutchfield.

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012, Ancestry.Com, Russellville High School 1931, Russellville, Arkansas – Climax yearbook – Ralph Crutchfield.

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, SSA&C – Ralph Crutchfield. http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/Numident/806318407/printer-friendly?_phsrc=UeZ906&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&gss=angs-g&new=1.

U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Ancestry.Com, SSDI – Ralph Crutchfield. http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/ssdi/13415883/printer-friendly?ssrc=pt&tid=51376149&pid=27567751021&usePUB=true.

DNA Match leads to 3rd Great’s

Autosomal DNA
Brown/Manning/Fannin Line

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.On 23 and Me, I contacted a cousin I’ll call “JK.” The individual shared 1.34% of his DNA with my mother and .77% of his DNA with me. He also shared .91% of his DNA with my Aunt Barbara.  Because of the match with Aunt Barbara, the match is on my mother’s father’s (Dick Brown) line and the amount of DNA suggested a second to third cousin with my mother.

JK responded to my inquiry after a few months and indicated that he had been adopted and that his mother was Elizabeth Fannin. He also provided a link to his mother’s obituary.  I immediately became excited. My 2nd great grandmother was Eliza Jane Fannin and I don’t know much about her. Fannin is a popular name in Kentucky and because Eliza could easily be Elizabeth, I hadn’t been able to identify Eliza Jane’s parents.  Could I find the common ancestor between JK and me that would lead to new discoveries?

The obituary for Elizabeth Fannin showed her father was Mason Fannin.[i] I was a little concerned because Mason Fannin was born in West Virginia and my Eliza Jane Fannin was born in Kentucky, but I continued on. The 1930 Census confirmed the Mason Fannin family with his wife and several of the children mentioned in the obituary.[ii]  More importantly, Mason’s parents were born in Kentucky.  I appeared to be on the right trail.

Photo of Andrew Jackson "Jack" Fannin
Andrew Jackson “Jack” Fannin

Next, I was able to find Mason Fannin’s parents in West Virginia Births. His parents were Jack Fannin and Susan McKnight.[iii]

Family Search quickly show me that Jack Fannin was Rev. Andrew Jackson Fannin (1863-1952)  (Family Search ID L2DN-DKR). It also showed that Rev. Andrew Jackson Fannin had a sister, Eliza Fannin born 1856. Their (Jack & Eliza) parents were [unknown] Fannin and Cynthia Ann Bare.

 

Chart of relationships

JK Individual
Elizabeth Fannin Parent
Mason Fannin Grandparent
Andrew Jackson Fannin Great-grandparent
[Unknown & Cynthia Ann Bare 2nd Great-grandparents

 

[Unknown] & Cynthia Ann Bare 2nd Great-grandparents
Eliza Jane Fannin Great-grandmother
Mary Elizabeth Manning Grandmother
Richard “Dick” Brown Parent
My mother Individual

So, if [Unknown] and Cynthia Ann (Bare) Fannin are the common ancestors between JK and my mother they would be 3rd cousins. That fits the range of shared expected DNA for both my mother and her half-sister, Aunt Barbara. JK would also be a 3rd cousin once removed to me fitting the shared DNA that JK and I share[iv].

Family Search also indicates that Andrew Jackson and Eliza Jane Fannin had four other siblings, providing a wealth of clues and leads.

Do I know for certain that this Eliza Fannin is my Eliza Jane Fannin?  No, but the evidence is compelling enough to sketch in the relationship and continue researching the family.  If I find something inconsistent with my known history for Eliza Jane I’ll reconsider and relook at the relationship, however, I have confidence that I’ve broken through a small wall and puts Eliza’s parents next in my Brown Research.

Endnotes


[i] News Herald, Files (Personal), Betty J. [Fannin] DeMark  POSTED: 04/13/10, 12:01 AM EDT. http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20100413/betty-j-demark.
[ii] 1930 Census (NARA), Ancestry.Com, Mason Fannin – West Virginia Fayette Kanawha District 0024. http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/1930usfedcen/99823152/printer-friendly.
[iii] West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, West Virginia Culture, Delayed Birth Certificate – Mason Fannin – Oct 18, 1885.jpg. FamilySearch : 4 December 2014), Mason Fannin, 18 Oct 1885; citing Caperton, Fayette, West Virginia, United States, county courthouses, West Virginia; FHL microfilm 1,992,467. http://(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X55N-NK3.
[iv] I use the DNA Geek’s DNA Detectives Autosomal Statistics Chart to predect relationships.  See: http://thednageek.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DNA-Detectives-Autosomal-Statistics-Chart.png

Fannin – Surname Saturday

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Name Origin

Fannin is an Irish surname. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name “O Fionnáin” meaning   ‘descendant of Fionnán’, a diminutive of Finn.[i] Forebears suggests it means “Descendant of the little, blond man; grandson of little Fionn (fair).”[ii]

Geographical

According to Ancestry, during the 1880 Census fully 1/3 of all Fannin families lived in Kentucky, which is where my only known Fannin ancestor, Eliza Jane Fannin, was born about 1860.

My Earliest Fannin Ancestors

Eliza Jane Fannin is my only known Fannin. The 1880 Census indicates she was 19 years old indicating birth between June 1860 and May 1861. She was the wife of John William Manning and they had one daughter, Mary, living with them in Pine Grove, Rowan County, Kentucky. According to oral history, she died in December 1882.

Further Fannin Research

I have been unsuccessful finding clear evidence of Eliza Jane Fannin’s ancestors through normal research methods. However, recently a DNA connection has been found who has Fannin ancestors in Kentucky in the 1860s.

My Direct Fannin Ancestors

#27 – Eliza Jane Fannin (1861-1882) – Generation 5

I have no proven Fannin cousins; however, I have encountered DNA evidence of possible Fannin relatives.

My records have 499 direct descendants of Eliza Jane identified over eight generations, which is 19% of my known Brown/Montran family line.

Today (2014) there are some 8,442 individuals with 7,158 in the United States with the Fannin surname.[iii]

Endnotes


[i] Ancestry – Fannin Family History – https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Fannin

[ii] Forebears – Fannin Surname Meaning and Statistics – http://forebears.io/surnames/fannin

[iii] Ibid.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 12

Family Photos #1 – Russell, Donna, & Sammy

Treasure Chest Thursday

by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week I took a look at ten photos from the Donna Darling Collection. Unfortunately, three of the photos were blurry or otherwise unusable. Of the remaining seven photos, five included uncle Russ as a child. One showed Russell and Donna and one showed Russ with Sammy.  One photo showed all three. There were also two additional photos of Donna but both were family type photos and not part of her vaudeville life.

Some of the photos were badly damaged but I was able to clean them up significantly. For each of the photos, I have:

  • Original scanned image.
  • Original cropped image.
  • Edited PSD (Adobe Photoshop Elements) image
  • Edited JPG image

With each edited version of the photo, I added a caption.  I am certain about the individuals shown, however, the dates are by guess and by golly.

Names:

Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.
Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.

Donna was born Madonna Montran. She used Donna Montran in her early vaudeville days. She then used Donna Darling as her stage name. I don’t believe that she ever used the surname Amsterdam.  Sometime after 1935, Donna lived with a man named Russell Kees. Although I don’t believe that Donna and Russell were ever married, Donna and her two children, Russell and Sylvia began using the Kees surname.  Sammy was born Samson Amsterdam. He used the stage name of Sammy Clark for many years. If the names aren’t confusing to you, you are good.

I have uploaded the seven photos to Google Photos. The downloads from Google Photos are generally of sufficient quality to work for most situations.  However, if you need a higher quality image of any of the photos let me know and I’ll send you one.

 

We’re Related – Fanning, Roosevelt, & Clemmens

We’re Related – A Third Look for my Wife

Famous Friday

by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It had been a while since I tried using “We’re Related,” so I thought I’d take another quick look at my wife’s closest matches. Among the latest matches is my wife’s closest match so far, a 4th cousin 3 times removed – Dakota Fanning.

There are still seven individuals who are supposed to be 9 degrees of separation cousins, but I decided to focus on Theodore Roosevelt (8th cousin once removed) and Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) a supposed 6th cousin 3 times removed.

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning – Photo by Anthony Citrano

Hanna Dakota Fanning is an actress and model. She was born February 23, 1994, in Conyers, Georgia. At the age of eight, she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for her work in “I Am Sam.” She is also known for her roles in “Coraline” (2009), “War of the Worlds” (2005) and the role of Jane in “The Twilight Saga” movie series.

The relationship with Dakota Fanning follows my wife’s Howell line:

 

The relationship From Thomas Pankey to Dakota is:

  • Thomas A Pankey (c. 1760 – 1829)
  • Nancy Branch Pankey (1797-1865)
    (I wrote about Nancy Branch Pankey, the sister of Caroline M. A. Pankey, previously)
  • Nancy Jane Pankey (1831-1898)
  • John Alva Covington (1862-1907)
  • Neil Covington (1889-1976) (Note: Neil is a female.)
  • Assumed Living Arrington
  • Rick Arrington (From My Heritage)[i]
  • Heather Joy Arrington (from IMDb)[ii]
  • Dakota Fanning

My previous research indicated that Nancy Jane Panky probably married Joseph L. Covington on 23 April 1861 in Henry Virginia. Readily available on-line resources provided Dakota’s parents and grandparents names. I readily accept the Ancestry trees that make the link from Covington to Arrington and am quite certain that Dakota Fanning is a fourth cousin three times removed to my wife.

Theodore Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt Photo by Pach Brothers

The 26th President of the United States was a driving force for the Progressive Era. Famous for establishing the US Forest Service, he proclaimed 18 national monuments and placed over a quarter of a million acres of land under public protection.

The relationship with Teddy Roosevelt follows my wife’s Darling line:

John Munsell and Lydia Way were identified as ancestors on the way to a common ancestor with Winston Churchill. Both are on my future ancestor research list. However, I am not comfortable with John Munsell being born in 1690. My research found Timothy Munsell’s father John Munsell born in 1702. The Munsell family lived in and around Lyme, New London County Connecticut and there were several John Munsells. That said, I believe the relationship with Theodore Roosevelt is still possible, but with 4 generations of uncertainty, I’m unconvinced.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain – Photo By A.F. Bradley, New York [ [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are among the greatest classics of American fiction.

You may have noticed that one tree suggests that Lydia Way was the mother of Timothy Munsell and the other tree suggests that Lydia Morrill was the mother of Timothy Munsell. There could be one Lydia who had two different surnames before she married a Munsell. However, there could also be two different Lydia’s one the mother of Timothy Munsell, one not

Again, researching the parents of Timothy Munsell is on my research plan. A relationship with Mark Twain is possible, but we are still 4 generations away from certainty. So, I’ll put the relationship with Mark Twain to be possible.

Conclusion

Yes, “We’re Related” is fun and can provide clear direction to famous cousins.  However, it can also provide questionable lineages. Its genealogical pathways should be taken as possible but never true without your own research to follow the tangled webs.


Endnotes

[i] Biographical Summaries of Notable People MyHeritage.com [online database]. Lehi, UT, USA: MyHeritage (USA) Inc. https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10182/biographical-summaries-of-notable-people  – Record: Heather Joy Arrington

[ii] IMDb – Entry for Dakota Fanning – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0266824/bio