Ancestry Updated Ethnicity Estimates & DNA Communities

DNA
Roberts-Brown Ancestors
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry has updated their Ethnicity estimates once again. Ancestry likes to look at your DNA from a world perspective, but I find the “DNA Communities” much more interesting. Besides showing you where ancestors may have settled in the United States, it shows possible ancestors from that place and “featured matches,” people who also are in that group and are DNA matches. In my case, I fit into five DNA Communities.

  • My DNA Communities

    Early Connecticut & New York Settlers

  • Southern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin Settlers
  • Central Appalachia Settlers
  • Delaware Valley, Chesapeake, and Midwest Settlers
  • Lower Michigan & Virginia Settlers.

Looking closer at one of the Communities, “Early Connecticut & New York Settlers – 1700-1975,” all four ancestors suggested are from my tree, and all have entries placing them in the location during the period suggested.

Sarah Blackhurst (1847-1928)

2nd Great-Grandmother – Born in England in 1847, immigrated to New York in 1850, located to Michigan in 1860, where she died.

Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

2nd Great-Grandfather – Born in New York in 1816, moved to Indiana about 1845, where he died.

Chester Parsons (1799-1887)

4th Great-Grandfather – Born in Massachusetts, moved to New York for a short while, located to Michigan by 1826, where he died.

Madonna Montran (1893-1976)

Grandmother – Born in Michigan, lived in New York on and off during her vaudeville career from 1919 to 1930. She lived in Chicago, Michigan, and Minnesota after 1930; she died in Minnesota.

As I look at these “communities,” I wonder if Ancestry really looked at DNA matches or if they only looked at my tree and grouped various individuals into their community based solely upon my tree entries. Likewise, the “Featured Matches” included only people that have trees with the same people that I have in my tree that I do share at least some DNA with.

I guess the bottom line is that I am not impressed with the DNA Communities. That causes me to circle back to looking at Ancestry Ethnicity Estimates.

I did a Birthplace Chart/Spreadsheet about five years ago because it was “all the rage.” It had the potential to help me see what my ethnicity was. Of my 16 2nd great-grandparents, only one was an immigrant. Two were unknown, and the other 13 were all born in the United States. So, from it, I learned I was at least 6.25% from Great Britain.

I recently had a cousin who asked if I knew exactly what “Heinz 57 Variety” we were. I told him I hadn’t determined that because most of our ancestors have been in the United States for many generations. Looking at my skin tone, I figure I’m of northern European ancestry. But, after texting with my cousin, I thought it might be fun to add another generation to my Birthplace chart/spreadsheet from five years ago and see if anything new pops up after five years of further research.

No changes. I’m still 6.25% English.

My Illinois-born 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from a mix of Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky. My Ohio 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and my Ohio 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from a mix of New Hampshire, New York, and Michigan. There are still 18% of my ancestors that are unknown, but a whopping 2/3 of my 3rd great-grandparents were born in the United States. So, ethnically, I am definitely an American with a smidgen of English.

My “unknown” ethnicity places are known “brick walls.” My great-grandfather, John Montran, parentage is still unknown. I have a project to watch for all Montran’s I can find and learn more about their locations in hopes I can eventually connect John to immigrant ancestors. Likewise, My 2nd great-grandmother, Elisa Jane Fannin, parents have been elusive. I know she was born in Kentucky; I’ve looked at her several times looking for her parents. I need to do more research to try to find her parentage.

My Ethnicity map per Ancestry 2021

Ancestry indicates my ancestors are between 62 and 100% from England, Belgium, and the Channel Islands. Probably true; I have nothing in my pedigree research to disagree with that assessment. Still, it is always nice to receive confirmation.

 

Sutherland – Surname Saturday

Roberts Research

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry indicates that Sutherland surname is a Scottish regional name from the Old Norse suðr ‘south’ + land ‘land.’ Sutherland lays south of Scandinavia and the Norse colonies in the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Forebears add that it comes from the province of Moray.

Geographical[i]

Today, the most significant number of people with the Sutherland surname live in the United States with over 40,000. As you might expect, it has the highest frequency in Scotland, where one in 462 people have the surname.

In the United States, the most significant number of people with the Sutherland surname live in California, with over 4,000 people. The highest frequency for the surname is Wyoming, where one in 3,823 have the surname.

Direct Sutherland Ancestors

I have not had a chance to do in-depth research of my Sutherland ancestors, so all of my estimated ancestors are notional. However, it appears that I have seven known Sutherland ancestors in two separate paths.

    • 3rd Great-Grandmother: Tamise (Possibly Tammy or Fanny) Sutherland (1796-1864)
    • 4th Great-Grandfather: Reuben Sutherland (1768-1799)
    • 5th Great-Grandfather: William J Sutherland (1741-1815)*
    • 6th Great-Grandfather: William Sutherland (1715-1768)

————-

    • 5th Great-Grandmother: Hannah Sutherland (1747-1810)*
    • 6th Great-Grandfather: Col. David Sutherland (1711-1794)
    • 7th Great-Grandfather: William Sutherland (1690-1772)

(* Note: William J Sutherland and Hannah Sutherland married. It is unclear what their relationship may have been before their marriage.)

Interestingly enough, Tamise Sutherland, wife of Joel Cruff Taft, is my next planned research subject in my Roberts Research.

Historical

1840 – Tamise (Sutherland) Taft is my only known Sutherland ancestor that was living in 1840. She had already married Joel Cruff Taft. They lived in Broome County, New York, at the time. In 1840, 29% of the Sutherlands (or 96 households) in the United States lived in New York; however,  none of the Sutherlands appear to have lived in Broome County.

Direct Sutherland Descendants

Genealogy

My records have identified 287 direct descendants of William Sutherland (1715-1768) and 289 for William Sutherland (1690-1772), most of whom are duplicated. These include 27 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, 15 Taft, and many more surnames. I only have eight descendants of the Sutherlands with the Sutherland surname, indicating I have much more research to do on my Sutherland cousins.

Other Sutherlands

Festival TV Monte-Carlo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, there are many famous Sutherlands. Donald Sutherland and his son Kiefer are probably the most famous. However, Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland, also comes to mind. Again, I have much more research to do on my Sutherland cousins. I would love to learn that Donald, one of my favorite actors, is related.

Sources:


Endnotes

[i] Current populations based upon information available at Forebears.

 

Ancestor Sketch – Joel Cruff Taft – #42

Roberts-Barnes-Taft Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Researching Joel Cruff Taft had its challenges. The most obvious one is tracing an individual through the early (before 1850) censuses. The second problem in researching Joel was regularly running into his grandfather, Silas Taft, who was a “minuteman” in the Revolution. I’m looking forward to writing about him

Joel Cruff Taft – Ancestor #42

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) – Patriot!
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Stephen Taft (1710-1803)

Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)

Christmas, 1800, was doubly blessed when Asa and Sarah (Whitney) Taft had their fourth child, Joel Cruff Taft, on Christmas Day. I’m not sure where the name “Joel” came from, but Asa’s mother’s maiden name was Cruff, which is the likely source of Joel’s middle name.

Joel had three older siblings:

      • Asa Perry, six years older.
      • Lurancy, four years older.
      • Amanda, two years older.

Joel was the first of their children born in Broome County, New York. The Taft’s had moved there from Peru, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in either 1799 or 1800. Joel’s mother had two more children, Seth (in 1803) and John (in 1805), before she died in 1813, while Joel was only 12 years old. Asa remarried and had eleven children altogether.

I have not successfully found the ten-year-old’s father, Asa Taft, in the 1810 Census. (See: Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census.)

Marriage

In 1819, Joel married Tamise Sutherland in Triangle, Broome County, New York.

They had ten children.

The Children of Joel Cruff Taft & Tamise (Sutherland) Taft

Silas 28 Apr 1820
Mercy Eliza 27 Mar 1822
Sarah Emaline 27 May 1824
Amanda J. 14 Feb 1826
Catherine Tammy 25 Aug 1828
Candace Irene 25 Aug 1830
Joanna Lucy 7 Mar 1832
Lurancy Caroline 11 Nov 1834
Platina 19 Mar 1835
William 30 Apr 1842

The 1820 Census found Joel living near his brother, Silas, and his father, Asa, in Lisle, Broome County, New York. In his household are his wife and his oldest son, Silas.

In 1822 property that had been his mother’s was sold to Justus B. Sutherland; Joel and several of his siblings benefited from the sale.

The 1830 household (See Joel Cruff Taft & the 1830 Census) of Joel Taft suggests tragedy. Silas, who would have been ten years old, isn’t enumerated in the household, suggesting he died before 1 June 1830. The 1830 Census does indicate four females in the household that fit the profile for his four youngest daughters.  There was another male child in the household, under the age of 5, who I haven’t been able to name.

The 1840 Census (see Joel Cruff Taft & the 1840 Census) finds Joel still in Broome County. All of his known daughters are accounted for.

  • Females – Under 5: 2     Platina (age 4) Lurancy (Age (5)
  • Females – 5 thru 9: 1     Joanna (Age 8)
  • Females – 10 thru 14: 3     Candance (Age 10), Catherine (Age 12) (Amanda (age 14)
  • Females – 15 thru 19: 1     Sarah (Age 16)
  • Females – 40 thru 49: 1     Tamise (age 44)

The 1840 Census also indicates there were two males in the household besides Joel. One was 10 to 14 and one was 20 to 30. Certainly, the one from 10 to 14 is the same unknown male child enumerated in the 1830 Census. But could the 20 to 30 year old be Silas?  Possibly.

In 1841, his daughter Platina died at six years of age.

In 1847, his daughter Amanda died at the age of 20.

Joel died on 19 April 1849 in Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana. He was survived by his wife Tamise and at least seven of his children, Mercy, Sarah, Catherine, Candance, Jeanne, Lurancy, and William. I haven’t determined death dates for his sons Silas and “unknown.”

Events by Location

New York, Broome Birth (1800)
New York, Broome, Barker 1840
New York, Broome, Lisle 1820, 1830
New York, Broome, Lisle Marriage
Indiana, Sullivan, Fairbanks Death (1849)

Note: Barker, Lisle, and Triangle are all within six miles of each other. It is possible that the Census takers recorded the locations differently during each enumeration.

Followup

Research Joel’s other children, particularly Seth’s death and the heretofore unknown name son.

Follow property records to determine if Joel lived in several places or if the various places’ names changed during the census recordings.

Sources

  • 1820 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Asa Taft, Asa Taft Jr., Joel C Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York.
  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – Joel Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York. Year: 1830; Census Place: Lisle, Broome, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 85; Page: 109; Family History Library Film: 0017145
  • 1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – J C Jogt (J C Taft) – Barker, Broome, New York. Year: 1840; Census Place: Barker, Broome, New York; Roll: 266; Page: 400; Family History Library Film: 0017179
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Name Restricted – Nat’l # 887132 – Ancestor #A112392 https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_descendants/?action=list&MyPrimary_Seqn=1001593&MyLineageCount=1.
  • Family Group Record, Family Search, Joel Cruff Taft (K8BN-FDM) – See File: 20170512 Family K8BN-FDM.pdf. Marriage Place: Triangle, Broome, New York, United States
  • Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007, Family Search, William Taft & Elizabeth Scott – Marriage 23 June 1883. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX : 10 December 2017), William Taft and Elizabeth Scott, 23 Jun 1883; citing Sullivan, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004171419. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX.
  • S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889­-1970, Ancestry.Com, Joel C Taft – Volume: 265. National Number 52981 – State Number 1007 (Indiana). http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=SARMemberApps&h=1149463.
  • United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975, Family Search, Broome County Deeds 1819-1824 – Vol 8 – Pages 108&109. Joel C Taft to Justus B Sutherland – 25 Jun 1822. “United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D5L9-RBMM: 29 January 2021), Joel C Taft, 1822.

Family Sketch – Mabel Ilean Roberts

Roberts Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.As I began a second look at my great-grandfather, Hugh Ellis Roberts, I learned about my grand-aunt[i] (my grandfather’s sister), Mabel Ilean Roberts’ life. Wow; her life was filled with so much tragedy.

Mabel Ilean (Roberts) Hart, Collins, Webb (1908-1964)

Birth

Mabel was born on 2 June 1908, the 4th child of Hugh Ellis and Clora Dell (Scott) Roberts. Before she was three months old, her father died at the age of 24.

     Grand-aunt Mable Roberts
(Photo courtesy of the Chris H. Bailey family photo collection.[ii])
Mabel’s mother, Clora, remarried later that year, on 1 December 1908, to Hosea Lee Adams.  Life with her step-father must have been tough, as her mother divorced Hosea while Mabel was still a teenager. Meanwhile, Mable clearly wanted to get out of there because she married Olan Branson Hart on 3 January 1925, when she was still only 16 years old. Olan was 18.

Six months after her marriage, she had her son, Arthur Carlton, and two years after that, she had a daughter, Georgia C. Hart, on 2 August 1927.

By 1933, her marriage with Olan had collapsed, as Olan married Anna Mae Padget on 5 February 1934.

Mabel married Luke Marion Collins on 1 October 1938 in Shelby, Macomb County, Michigan.

On 22 September 1942, Mabel’s son Arthur married Virginia Lee Russell. They had a son, Arthur, the following year. Arthur died on 14 November 1943, before his first birthday. Joy came back into Mabel’s life as her second grandson, Randall Olan Hart, was born. Only to be crushed again when the accident happened.

Arthur (Sr.)’s wife, Virginia, was driving early Sunday morning (about 1 AM) on 25 June 1944 when the police were chasing a speeder. Trying to evade police, the speeder blew a stop and slammed into the car driven by Virginia. Virginia was pronounced dead when she was admitted to Highland Park General Hospital. In the car with them was Mabel’s daughter, Georgia. Six days later, Georgia died.

Luke and Mabel divorced on 13 September 1945.

Mabel married a third time to Nelson Raymond Webb on 8 December 1952.

Mabel died on 15 January 1964 at the age of 55.

Timeline

1908         Death of father, Hugh.
1934         Divorce from Olan after nine years.
1942         Death of first grandson, Arthur.
1944         Deaths of daughter and daughter-in-law.
1945         Death of mother, Clora & Luke Collins divorce after six years.
1964         Her death at age 55

I don’t typically spend a lot of time researching a grand-aunt’s life and certainly not the lives of first cousins, once removed (Arthur & Georgia), but the accident that killed Georgia and Arthur’s wife was just so horrific I just had to stop and look at their lives a bit more than usual.

I’ll add, seeing this reminded me of the importance of rules regarding police High-Speed Police Pursuits. To see two young women died due to a police pursuit of a traffic infraction is saddening.

Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, 2 July 1944, Page 10 – “Girl Traffic Victim” thanks to Newspapers.com. https://www.newspapers.com/image/98149112/?terms=%22Girl%20Traffic%20Victim%22&match=1


Endnotes

[i] Some people say the sibling of a grandparent is a great-aunt or a great-uncle. Others call that sibling a grand-aunt or grand uncle. I prefer using “grand” as it makes it clear that aunt or uncle is the sibling of a grandparent.

[ii] Thank you so much, Chris, for the photo image!

Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census

Roberts-Barnes-Taft
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Following families in the early census records is always tricky. Finding children in pre-1850 Census records is particularly challenging. Such is the case of Joel Cruff Taft and the 1810 Census.

Expectations

Joel Cruff Taft was born 25 December 1800 the fourth child of Asa Taft (1774-1839)

I would expect the Asa Taft household of 1810 to include 9 year-old Joel, his two sisters, Lurancy (age 14) and Amanda (age 11), and three brothers, Asa (age 15), Seth (age 7), and John (age 5). Asa should be about 36 and his wife was 36 also. Joel and his younger siblings were born in New York, so Asa should be found in New York during the 1810 Census.

So, I would expect a household looking like: 3-1-0-1-0 || 0-1-0-1-0. There may be others in the household

An initial search for Asa Taft in the 1810 Census was unsuccessful.

A search for any Taft in New York during the 1810 Census yielded 11 results. None of the results were located in Broome County (established in 1807) or Tioga County that Broome County was split off from. A review of the enumerated Tafts failed to yield a viable candidate to be Asa.

Name Location Family Comment
Robert Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 0-2-2-0-1|1-0-2-0-1 No males under 10
Dane Taft Otsego Co. 3-1-1-1-1|1-2-1-0-0 No females 26-45
D Saft [Taft] Otsego Co. 4-0-2-1-0|1-2-1-1-0 No males 10-16
Pitts Taft Palmyra, Ontario Co. 0-0-1-0-0|0-0-1-0-0 No children
Matthew Taft Hartford, Washington Co. 2-1-1-1-1|4-0-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Josiah Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 2-0-1-1-0|1-0-0-1-0 Not enough males under 10.
Jesse Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 1-0-0-1-0|0-0-1-0-0 Not enough males under 10.
Eleazer Taft Johnstown, Montgomery Co. 0-1-2-0-1|0-1-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
Grindall Taft Pittstown, Rensselaer Co. 0-1-0-1-1|0-2-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
S Taft Middlefield, Otsego Co. 1-1-0-1-1 | 0-1-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Widow Toft New York, New York Co. 0-0-2-1-0|0-1-2-0-1 Not enough males under 10.

It seems clear to me that Asa Taft doesn’t appear in New York during the 1810 Census, nor does it appear that he is living with any of his Taft family members in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Name Location Family
Lovet Taft (Sr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-2-2-0-1|2-1-1-0-2
Daniel Taft Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-0-0-1-0|1-1-0-1-0
Lovett Taft (Jr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 2-?-3-0-0|0-0-1-0-0

I am going to cease my search for Asa & Joel in the 1810 Census for now. Also, Joel was born after the 1800 Census, so I wouldn’t find him there.