Y-DNA Test Results – Post 3: The Howell Test & Results

After the success I had with my Y-DNA test, my wife was excited to find what she could.  I explained to her that we could only do a mitochondrial test on her.  It would give a broad brushstroke of her maternal line; we knew that her great-grandmother emigrated from Switzerland around 1903 and not much more.  She was interested in her paternal side; family tradition held they come from Wales, however, there was no proof?  Anyway, we convinced her brother to take the test.  Mother was a little upset and concerned. She thought we were accusing her of a dalliance with the milkman and questioning her virtue.  We finally convinced her that we were only looking for what we might find several generations in the past.

Ancestry.Com – The Stonemasons

Brother Jerome took the test and after what seemed an interminable amount of time, the results came back — Haplogroup I1, what Ancestry calls “The Stonemasons.”  It is sort of an odd combination of Scandinavians and Mediterranean people.  The map Ancestry provides shows the people coming out of Africa, to Scandinavia, then to the Mediterranean, and then back to Scandinavia.  All that is well and good, but the real purpose of taking the test is to find a close match – and there was.  A person with the same last name showed up with a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in only six generations.  So the search was on, for the common ancestor.  Unfortunately, it was not an easy task.  The tree I have for my wife’s line traces ancestors into the early 1800s.  The cousin’s tree goes back to the mid 1700s.  Ancestors from both trees (Jerome’s and the match’s) were in Virginia in the early 1800s. I found no matches between the trees on first names though.

I worked on pushing my wife’s family history back another generation.  I do not have a name for sure yet, but I am getting close.  A couple more bits of information to sort out and assure which one of several Howell family heads is my wife’s 4th great-grandfather.  What I do know is.

Unknown Howell
Born:  Unknown.
He died about 1817, in Buckingham County, Virginia
In 1805, he lived in Charlotte County, Virginia
He had at least four children, a girl and three boys. The daughter married (1819-1820) a man whose last name was “Holman” and they moved to Alabama about 1821.

We know Mr. Howell was not religious, so he is unlikely to show up in any bibles or church records.
Trying to track him down among all of the Howells in the Virginia counties during the times is grueling work.

However, once I find that common ancestor, I will have a whole new tree of descendants to explore.  The cousin does not appear to have anyone in his tree that died in 1817.  I have looked carefully at the match’s tree and our tree and there is not a possibility for a common ancestor in seven generations on his tree and six generations on our tree.

I have not been particularly pleased with the MRCA generation suggestion by Ancestry.  In the cases where I have been able to trace back the number of generations suggested, none of them have been verifiable.  Admittedly, it is only three connections, but I expect an 87.5% likelihood of a match within the suggested MRCA generations.  I guess her family is n that remaining 12.5%.  I will see what turns up when I have another DNA hit.

Backup Solutions

I have been trying many different cloud storage solutions.  I use Drop Box to share working drafts of
various documents with other church members. 
It works really well.  I love how
it alerts me when another board member makes a change to a file. 
I have also been using Google Docs to share files with my
wife, family members, and friends.  It is
super the way it integrates with Picasa and provides a great platform for
sharing pictures.
I also use Syncplicity. 
It is a cool little program that sync’s my genealogy files off site.  I really like it; the free version provides 2GB of data space but the paid plan is excessively expensive.  At $15/month for 50GB, which would not be
enough, it is the most expensive of the various plans for off-site storage.
Having been in Computer Security for many years, I
understand the importance of having off-site backups.  I have known that the hodgepodge of things I
have been using are not really safe and effective.  I needed to put together a plan for myself.  I really like my local backup program.  Being a Mac owner, I find Time Machine is very
awesome.  Set it and forget it.  It is awesome.  I have a 2TB, USB connected backup drive,
which provides plenty of storage for my modest 320GB local drive.  Nevertheless, I really want to get something
off-site – just in case.
I considered four different off-site backup solution
providers.  (I did not consider Norton
Online Backup because of a past negative experience.)  They were, Back Blaze, Carbonite, Crash Plan,
and Mozy.
In considering a cloud (off-site) backup solution, I looked
at price, ease of use, and reviews.  I
quickly dropped Mozy Home from consideration. 
At $5.99 per month for 50GB and $9.99 per month for 125GB, it was just
too expensive.
I have several friends that use Carbonite.  At $4.92 per month for unlimited it was
definitely a contender.  I could be happy
with the basic “Home” version, as I do not need the External Hard Drive Backup
or the mirror image backup.
Then I looked at Back Blaze and Crash Plan.  They were both $4.17/month on a 1-year plan and
included unlimited storage.  Back Blaze does
not backup your Operating System nor your Applications.  It does backup attached storage, however,
that is not important in my case because the attached storage is only a backup.
 Moreover, really, if I have a catastrophic
problem I am not going to want to reinstall all my apps, even if I could
remember all the apps I have.  Crash Plan
Plus appears to back up everything and have unlimited space for the same price.
From my research, I had a good idea of the products I
thought were desirable.  I then Goggled “online
backup services reviews 2012” and started looking.
PCSupport.about.com ‘s writer Tim Fisher said his favorite
was Crash Plan Plus.
Computerworld’s review of “Five Backup Services keep yourData Safe” liked Crash Plan except that it took way to long to upload the first
time.  They then selected Mozy Home as
their selection.  I really do not care
about the several daylong upload times to get things started, but I can see
where some others might be.  The bottom
line is I selected Crash Plan Plus.  I
downloaded the 31-day free trial with the intent to purchase the plan the first
of next year if it works as well as I think it will.

Robert Harry Darling

“Harry” was born 18 August 1907 and was the second of two children of Rufus Harry and Hannah (Anna) McAlister Darling.  It appears that Rufus and Anna separated shortly after Harry’s birth.  In any event, in 1910 Robert was living with his mother and sister, Elizabeth Grace Darling, at 2219 Ward Street, Pittsburgh, PA with Robert & Emma Hennig and their three children.
Anna died in 1913 when Harry was only five years old, and his father was absent, so his grandmother, Margaret McAllister, took the two children in to raise them.  In August 1915, it was necessary for Margaret to return to Cumberland County, England to settle a family estate issue. However, the family story is that Margaret was determined to see Rufus’ children civilized by an extended stay in her home country.  She and the two children traveled aboard the SS New York, which was an American Line ship. Transatlantic passage was very dangerous in those days; it was only three years after the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage.  World War I had already begun in Europe and German U-Boats were on the prowl. The sinking of the RMS Lusitania occurred three months before this journey so there was a great concern for their safety.  The three travelers remained in England for over a year, so Harry and Elizabeth attended school while there were there.  They returned safely to the States in December of 1916 intending to live in the Brookline neighborhood of Pittsburgh. 
Any hopes Harry & Elizabeth may have had of reuniting with their father were dashed when, in June of 1917, their father, Rufus, died. Elizabeth’s (Betty’s) memories of her father were vague at best. He was away on “business” most of the time but remembered lots of presents when he returned.
In 1920, Harry and his sister lived with his grandmother, his uncle John W. McAllister, along with his wife and two daughters 411 Arlington Avenue, in the Mount Oliver neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Also living there was his uncle, John Darling and his wife, Emma, and their two children,  Cousin 1 and Cousin 2. Today, that area is a rugged, unbuildable, embankment above the railroad tracks just a few blocks from the river and the steel factories of the day.
On August 10, 1926, eighteen-year-old Harry married Nora Adaline Glies in a ceremony performed by Edward Carter, who was a Baptist minister, in Wellsburg, Brook County. West Virginia. Wellsburg is a small town on the Ohio River about forty-five miles west of Pittsburgh.  Both Harry and Nora lied about their ages and indicated that they were twenty-one on their marriage license.  At that time, West Virginia required a parent to pay the Marriage Bond for parties marrying under the age of twenty-one.  That marriage didn’t last long and they divorced sometime in 1927.
Harry and Florence were married sometime in 1929 and in 1930 lived in a $60/month four-plex at 110 North Fremont Street, Ross, PA.  With them was a boarder named William Doll.  During that time Harry worked as an automobile salesman.  In July 1930, Florence gave birth to a daughter, Girl 1.  Florence passed away in 1934.  Family history indicates that Elizabeth was living with them at that time.
In September 1938, Harry and Mae Reno were married by a minister by the name of Charles Smith. This union produced three children, Girl 2, born in 1939; Robert Harry, born in 1940; and Girl 3 born in 1941.  Family history says that sometime during this period he fathered a child with a nightclub singer and had a child named “Girl 4.”  No information has been discovered at this time.
It appears that Harry and Mae were divorced in 1942, so Harry became eligible for the draft. He enlisted in the Navy on 23 November 1943. He did not see combat, only serving at the Naval Hospital in San Diego.  He was discharged on 8 September 1944, before VE and VJ days.  It is understood that he was discharged due to mental breakdown; however, his discharge papers indicated that his discharge was honorable and that he was eligible for reenlistment.  His physical description at discharge was 6’0″, 155lbs, Blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, and a birthmark on his upper left breast.
It is not clear when, where, or how Harry met Florence Drexl, but by 1945, they had a daughter, Girl 5, who was followed by a son, Boy 2, in 1946.

Video: Memorial Day 2016 and added to this post on 9 Jun 2016

Harry died 22 January 1969 and is buried in Cadillac Memorial Gardens, East. Mt. Clemens, Michigan, which is about 25 miles north by northeast of Detroit.

Note: Mentions of “Cousin”, “Girl”, and “Boy” refer to living individuals.

What I’m working on

I thought I’d revisit the status of my genealogical research and compare the four family trees I am pursuing — Darling, Howell, Brown, & (Roberts?) I figured defining the trees and the blanks clearly and consistently would help me determine where I should put my efforts.
I started with generation 2 on all the trees, so the home person for each of the trees is well into their 80’s or have passed over.

Gen – Darling – Howell – Brown – (Roberts)
1-3      7        7        7         0       
 4       4        7        6         0
 5       7        3        4         0
 6       4        1        6         0
 7       1        2        6         0
 8       2        0        5         0
 9       2        0        6         0
10       4        0        4         0
—    —–    —–    —–    —–
Tot %  3.03%    1.95%    4.30%       0%

From this chart is is pretty clear that the “Roberts Notional” tree should be my Number 1 priority.
Certainly, there is a massive brick wall but I haven’t exhausted all of my possible research areas.  I am sure that this will be my first genealogical research trip.  I still need to put in a clear list of tasks.  Luckily the trip would only be an overnight type of trip (about 6 hours each way), but I think it will be important to make the trip.  I’ve exhausted almost everything I can do on line.

The second most important tree is the Darling Line. Neither the Huber nor the Trumpii families are traceable back to Switzerland.  I still have a lot of on-line research I can do.  I’ve gotten caught up in following the Darling/Swayze line because there is lots of information available.  I’ll admit, I followed the path of least resistance.  Also I focused on that line because of presentation I was putting together for “The Aunties” who were interested in the Darlings most of all.  My wife also has a 2nd cousin who I’m in contact with that I found a marriage licence that indicates some ancestors that are completely different from the ancestors she thought she had.  She’s asked that I help her with sorting that out.  

The Brown line stops in generation 3 with John Montran. We have no idea who his parents were, of even if John Montran was really his name. This one looks like a brick wall, but is probably a metal  reinforced concrete wall with just a brick facade.

Lastly, on the Howell line, James Ashley Hobbs’s mothers name is lost. We know it begins with an “M” but that is about all.  I think this one will probably be the easiest to determine. When I work on the Howell line, that will be my focus.  Although, following the Howells back earlier would be very fruitful.  We have several people related via DNA that we could connect with if we can go back one or two more generations.  We have the right names in the right counties only about 20 years apart so we are close to finding that relationship.

There are a few other trees I’m looking at and helping with as well. One is for my best friend, one for a former step-daughter (who I raised from 6-16), and one for a former customer that has a particularly interesting (famous) ancestor.

So my brick walls that I’m working on are:
Roberts – TN, NC, SC, VA
Huber – MI, Switzerland
Trumphi(i) – MI, Switzerland
Montran – MI
Hobbs, NC, VA

When I want some successes, I work on:
Darling, MI, (NY before 1840)
Howell, NC (VA before 1820 & Civil War)
Manning, MN, KY (Civil War too)
Smith/Middleton

Mom’s Memories 2

I was recently reading one of my favorite blogs, Marian’s Roots and Rambles. Her article was about “Any Sailors in the Family.”  I was a sailor, did 10 years active duty in the US Navy, but more interesting, I learned recently that my mother was a sailor as well.  She mentioned that somewhere or another she had gotten “seaman’s papers.” (I’ll have to look and see if I can figure out how to get a copy of them.)  She worked on a ferry boat on the Great Lakes.  In the early 1950’s she cooked aboard the SS Milwaukee Clipper. The ‘Clipper was an auto/train car (and passenger) ferry that ran between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She cooked and baked in the breads department and lived shipboard a season.  Of course, I was astonished and amazed.  It provided her with a place to stay (albeit cramped), meals, and money to send back to her mother to support me.  I had no idea.

By Boston Public Library [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

I went on to find out that the S. S. Milwaukee Clipper is still in existence. The ‘Clipper is a National Historic Landmark and dockside in Muskegon, Michigan. Their website explains a lot about the ship and its history. Built in 1904 as the Junita she was sold and completely overhauled in 1940, where a new steel superstructure was installed, she was fireproofed, had AC installed to the staterooms, and other comforts were added. I am sure that the crew quarters were tight.

Anyway, it was a fascinating side trip into a bit of my mother’s history that I had no idea about.