Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor (DFAW)

Application Submitted – DFAW

I’ve been doing genealogy for quite a number of years.  And I think I’ve done well.  However, in some respects the “proof of the
pudding” is acceptance into a lineage society. 
Also, one of the biggest problems that I have is my first three
generations.  My mother never married my
father. My maternal grandmother was married to someone other than my mother’s
natural father and my mother’s birth certificate indicates her mother’s husband
as the father and not her natural father. 
Finally, my grandfather changed his name several times. He was born
Clifford Brown, went by Clifford Durand and Richard Earl Durand during
different times of his life and lived much of his later life as Richard Earl
Brown.  I think I have these twists and
turns documented but I don’t know if they are documented enough for a lineage
society to accept. 
Logo of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor
I took a look at several societies for which I believe I
should be eligible to join.  One society
seemed perfect for me, the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor
(DFAW).  Their purpose is to “record and
preserve the history and genealogy of the founders of ancient Windsor, their
families and descendants.”  Although a
lineage society, they do not require documented descent from a founder for
membership. After joining, you may submit lineage forms and documentation to
their genealogist and, if approved, receive a certificate that you are a
descendant. I should be able to do so.  My lineage is from Henry Wolcott, the Wolcotts to Mary who married Chester Parsons, the Parsons to Mary who married William Sanford, the Sanfords to Marion who married Henry Brown, and the Browns down to my grandfather. 
So, I’ve put together my Application for Membership, along
with my check, and am sending it off in today’s mail.  I am looking forward to becoming a member of
the DFAW.  I’ll continue to blog about my
experiences with them.

A favorite childhood memory – The steam car

The Steam Car – Motley, MN, circa 1962

A Childhood Memory

I recently received a very nice story from a friend regarding her childhood. After reading it, I thanked her for sharing it because it was a really nice story.  Then she asked me, “What are some of [my] favorite memories of childhood?”  Wow, good question.   Certainly, some of my fondest memories relate to visiting my grandfather, Richard Earl Brown, up in Motley, Minnesota. One of my favorite memories was the first time I drove a “car” by myself.

Me sitting on the steam car ready for a drive
Motley, MN  circa 1962
(The red barrel on board contained the water.)

I had this crazy uncle.  I’m not sure he was actually an uncle, he may have just been some distant relative they called “uncle,” or maybe just a neighbor that they called “uncle.”  Anyway, this uncle was into steam power.  In the early 1960’s he believed that steam would make a comeback. He had built several large steam powered “tractors” that were in various stages of operability.  He also built a much smaller “car.”  This was a real contraption: a steam engine, with space behind the driver for wood, a tank for water, and open belts and pulleys on an old truck chassis with car tires.

One day “Uncle Steam Engine” fired started a fire in the box of the small steam car and had me load it up with wood to get a good head of steam going. Once it had a good head, and he showed me how to operate the contraption he let me go and take it around the block.  At that time it was all dirt roads around his place but it was amazing.  It probably only went about 25 or 30 miles per hour and you had to slow down a lot to corner the bald tires around the soft sand but it was amazing.  No horn but it did have a funny low pitched whistle which kind of sound like a “Dooo.” I was about 12 at the time and found this experience to be one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

I would love to hear from anyone who remembers who it was in Motley that had the steam engines.  As I recall he lived south and east of the Hanson Bait Shop and only a few blocks from the old Brown house (Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown and her son, Richard Earl Brown) in the early 1960s.

Thanks Lee Ann for asking and helping me remember an interesting and exciting experience from my youth.

 

My DNA Projects – 1 October 2014

Where I am at with my various DNA Projects, October 1st, 2014.

Ancestry.Com

I was mightily disappointed when Ancestry quit support for their Y-DNA testing. I was surprised to see that my results and other information was still on Ancestry, but, of course, there were no new matches. 
My Y-DNA Lineage from Ancestry.Com
My plan to follow my closest DNA match from Ancestry up five generations and back down five generations didn’t yield any potential candidates for the “baby daddy.”  So, without any further Y-DNA matches possible through Ancestry it appears that further looking into that line is not going to be fruitful.

My Wife’s Y-DNA – Ancestry

My wife’s brother’s Ancestry Y-DNA test results are in the same state. No new matches because Ancestry has stopped supporting Y-DNA.  Another promising tool that has ended in a dead end.  
I definitely feel that I wasted some money with Ancestry on their Y-DNA tests.  As such, I will probably never recommend Ancestry DNA Testing of any kind because of my bad experience with due to their decision to stop support of  Y-DNA testing.  

Family Tree DNA

My haplogroup’s (R1b) migration from Family Tree DNA
My closest hit to my DNA (89% likelihood a common ancestor in 8 generations) still hasn’t answered. So, I emailed him again.  I did do a search for him on line and found a person with his name died a couple years ago.  Not looking good for the home team.  The email address for him in Family Tree DNA is pointing to another person, so it is still possible that I will be able to connect with a relative of his and possibly share information.  We will see. 
Again, no new connections on Family Tree DNA.
I did not do an  upgrade kit for my brother-in-law so there is nothing about any connections to him in Family Tree DNA.

My Friend T-Roy
I’ve been helping a friend, T-Roy, with his genealogy.  In particular his paternal side is lost.  We know precious little regarding his grandfather and nothing before that. A search for his great grandparents has yielded several potential candidates, however, none are clear.  I suggested that a Y-DNA test might help us find someone who is related and then be able to connect the dots from the potential candidates.  We’ll see.

My Autosomal Results

Ancestry.Com

There was a new “3rd” cousin identified on Ancestry.  Because Ancestry doesn’t tell you anything about the match I have no idea if the match is on my mother’s line or my unknown paternal line. The individual, who is now my closest atDNA match didn’t relate their DNA to a tree so I have no idea about potential surnames.  I emailed the individual and hopefully she will share her tree and other information. There were several other new matches, however, they were all 4th cousin and greater.  I looked at any family trees that they have and didn’t see anything of interest.

23 & Me

23 and Me has been my most
successful DNA testing company that I have used so far. There are several
reasons for that. First, and foremost, I had both my mother and my DNA Tests
submitted to 23 & Me. That is a big help in determining where matches come
from. My initial plan was to use the tests to be able to discriminate matches
from my unknown father’s side from my known mother’s side of the family.

My mother’s matches:

Looking at my mother’s matches,
the closest match (excluding me) is Ronald M. with 2.3% Shared and 11 segments
in common. I was able to contact the individual and after comparing trees,
found that my mother and Ronald are second cousins, once removed. They share common
ancestors with my mom’s great grandparents (Henry & Marian (Sanford)
Brown).
The next closest match to my
mother is Rick C. He and my mom share 1.61% and 10 segments. He responded to
some queries and we quickly determined his is a 1st cousin, twice
removed, from my mother. Their common ancestors are my mom’s grandparents
(Arthur D & Mary (Manning) Brown).
The 3rd closest match
is to M. C. this match was really great as it expanded our understand of a line
and broke through a “brick wall.” A review of M. C.’s tree yielded a surname
match on Blackhurst. Further investigation showed that M. C.’s ancestor, William
Stephen Blackhurst, had a sibling named Sarah who was born about the same date
as my mother’s grandmother. Another of the siblings and the father of William
and Sarah died in the same city, Albion, MI, that our Sarah lived. Further
correlation showed me that their William was, indeed, the sibling of our Sarah
and that through this connection we were able to extend the line back another
generation to our common ancestors, Stephen and Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst. 
My Ancestry Composition per 23 and Me

My matches:

On my paternal side, matches to me and not my
mother, are much less interesting. The closest match is a male with whom I
share only four segments (.91%). I sent him an introduction but he hasn’t
responded. I’ve sent a few other individuals introductions and received no
responses from most of them. The few that have responded I have looked at their
trees, but haven’t found anything of particular interest. When less than 1%
matches, investing much time isn’t very helpful.

My Aunt:

I recently sent a DNA kit to my half aunt (my
mother’s half sister). In a phone call last week, she indicated that she
received the kit and registered it. She said she’d have it in the mail later in
the week. They take several weeks to process so that should be interesting. With
some luck, she will have received some different segment from my mother and we
can those differences to potentially find other relatives.

GEDMatch.Com

As I write this GEDMatch.com website is
down.  This free site has a lot of
potential and is the only place that I know if that allows you to submit your
DNA results from multiple sites.  It is
an unaffiliated, volunteer, website and is in need of donations to maintain its
operation.  If you use it, please donate
to them so they can keep the site in operation.
  
They give instructions on how to export your
autosomal DNA test results from Ancestry.ComFamily Tree DNA, and 23&Me and
you import the results into their system. Although their takes a while to process
your data and populate into their system, don’t complain about the speed.  Again, did I say donate? 

The X Chromosome

I’ve recently been hearing a lot about X
chromosome matching.  This has really
gotten me excited and rejuvenated regarding using DNA as a method to find
ancestors.
I’m looking forward to using the GEDMatch
system to look at the X chromosome matches for my mom and my aunt (when her
results are received).  Because one of
the X chromosomes comes  from the mother
and one from the father, having both my mother and her half sister’s X results
will yield a clear look at their father’s (Clifford) X marker.  My mother and my aunt should match the X
completely because the X chromosome is passed down from a person’s father
relatively unchanged.  Thus, by testing
two females with the same father we can basically jump a generation.  Their father, Clifford, received his X from
his mother, Mary Elizabeth Manning which is a mix of her parents, approximately
50% from each.  Mary received her two X
chromosomes from each parent so Clifford has a 50-50 chance to have received
his X from his grandfather (John William Manning) and 50-50 chance from his
grandmother (Eliza Fannin). His grandfather received his X from his great
grandmother (Minerva Tolliver Mannin). If, as family legend says, Minerva was full-blooded
Cherokee, Because Clifford whould have received about 50% of his X DNA from
Minerva, we should be able to see some markers that are in common with Cherokee
people if she was, in fact, Cherokee. The other great thing about this test is
that Clifford should have also received about 25% of his X from Eliza’s parents
both of whom are unknown. It certainly has the potential to open up a whole new
area of investigation.
Using the X isn’t as clearly defining as using
the Y chromosome but it clearly can yield more definitive results than the other
22 chromosomes typically do. I am very excited about pursuing this direction. One of the really cool things about your X Chromosome inheritance is that the potential surnames follow a really clear pattern. In my case the surnames of interest are:

Brown, 
Montran, 
Mannin(g), 
Barber, 
Fannin, 
Blackhurst, 
Toliver, 
Taylor, 
Cochron. 

Conclusion

DNA is a helpful tool. It has the potential to break down some brick walls, as it did for my Blackhurst tree. However, it is not likely to magically solve a problem or give answers to difficult questions.
There are a number of utilities that can help understand the matches I’ll look at them in a future blog posting. In the meantime, I’ll continue my searching in this area.

————Disclaimer ————-

“Chin Chin” plays Smith Opera House – 21 May 1920

Donna & “Chin Chin” Play the Smith
Opera House in Geneva, New York, May 21, 1920.

Many thanks to the Northern New York Library Network and their New York State HistoricNewspapers site. Because of their efforts, I learned that “Chin Chin” played in at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, New York on 21 May 1920. This was probably one of the last shows of the Chin Chin company and the last one that I have found so far.

Ad for “Chin Chin”
Geneva Daily Times
May 15, 1920
Source: NY State Historic Newspapers

This was a one night show so the pre-show advertising was very important. The initial ad for the show, which ran on May 15th, contained more detail than the show’s advertising typically had. It informed the reader that “Chin Chin” was a company of 70, mostly girls, the famous saxophone band, Mlle. Falloffski, grotesque dancing two car loads of scenery and much more. (I’ve always wondered what “grotesque dancing” was.) There was a more standard “Chin Chin” ad on the 17th. Articles apparently provided by the “Chin Chin” publicist were published on May 19th and 20th. Neither had any mention of Donna.

The Smith
Opera House

Stage of the Smith Opera House 1 April 1921
during a production of “Neighbors” by the Womens Club
Courtesy: Geneva Historical Society

Built in 1894 by William Smith, the Smith Opera House operated as the premier theater in the area for opera and vaudeville. Originally, it seated about 984 people, 425 on the floor level, 203 in the balcony, 300 in the gallery, and another 56 in the box seats.[i] The stage was relatively small, only 32 x 22 feet. As more and more of the theater’s engagements were movies, the theater switched to entirely movies in 1929. In 1931 the theater was converted to a 1400 seat movie theater. The theater continued a long decline and finally closed in the mid 1970s. In 1978 the theater was taken over by the City of Geneva. They worked with the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council to preserve and restore the theater to its previous grandeur. In 2008 Finger Lakes council teamed with the Geneva Arts Development Council to change the focus of the facility and renamed the theater, Smith Center for the Arts.

Smith Center for the Arts (Today)
Photo by Marcbela [CC-BY-SA-3.0 )],
via Wikimedia Commons

Today, it is a beautiful, renovated facility that features live performances (such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra), films (such as “Vertigo”), and educational theatre (such as “Dog Loves Books” a musical for K-2). (See http://thesmith.org/ for details of about the Smith.)

[i] The_Julius_Cahn_Gus_Hill_Theatrical_Guide
1913-1914.pdf

Genealogical Proof Standard – J. B. Burlison

Genealogical Proof Standard – J. B. Burlison

Lately I’ve been seeing many things about the Genealogical
Proof Standard. Certainly, Dr. Thomas Jones spoke about it at the recent Maine Genealogical Society that I
attended. It was also the subject of a recent Ancestry
Livestream
broadcast. In both of the presentations, they talked about being
careful to not think you have several sources of information when there is
really only one. I got to thinking about that and the impact it can have when
one mistake is repeated over and over because of a single error.
My mother grew up believing her birthdate was the 20th
of the month. She based that upon a little card she had with was dated the 20th
and her mother’s telling her the date. It wasn’t until she was in her late 50s
and her husband was retiring that she needed a copy of her birth certificate. When
she received it, she was flabbergasted. It indicated that she was born on the
15th. The card she had was actually referring to the recording of her birth and not the
actual date of her birth. We will never know why her mother always said her
birthday was the 20th, maybe because her mother really didn’t
remember and relied upon the little card to correct her memory. Maybe it was because
her birthday was the 20th day of the following month and remembering
the 20th would be easier. In any event, all of my mothers records,
school, employment, marriages, were wrong all of her life – because of a little
card which was interpreted incorrectly. 
Ancestry Livestream

As I listened to the “Analysis and Correlation” phase of the Ancestry Livestream presentation and in particular was asked if “my sources truly independent,” I thought of my mother’s case.  Knowing if the sources are independent is a
good thing, a really good thing.  Just because you have multiple sources for a
fact, that doesn’t mean the information is independent.

I was working on the ancestors of a very dear friend and
thought that I’d apply the analysis and correlation of what I have to an
ancestor of hers that I was investigating.

J. B. Burlison (1924-1972)

Birthdate

Burlison Marker – Courtesy Find-a-Grave

As I began analyzing the sources of J.B. Burlison’s birth records, I realized that all of them were based upon his death. A Find-a-Grave entry, his marker, a Rootsweb cemetery index, and the Social Security Death Index were all consistent and gave his birthdate as 24 Jul 1924. The problem is that all of these records were based upon his death records and not his birth. A case could be made that his SSDI birthdate was based upon his SS Application, but he still entered the date of his birth in that application based upon what he was told, not what he witnessed. The only other corroborating evidence to his birthdate was the 1930 Census Record that indicated was born sometime between 1924 and 1925.

Birthplace
Other than “Oklahoma,” it is only in J.B.’s various death records that his birthplace is reported — Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. One source, the Find-a-Grave entry, indicates he was born in Wanette. This is 111 miles west of where his father & mother were living, according to the 1920 Census, in Canadian, Cleveland County, and 129 miles east of where they were living, according to the 1930 Census, in Oakdale, Washita County, Oklahoma. Because his father was renting farms in both censuses, it is possible that they were in Wanette, Pottawatomie County, in 1924. I would really like to find something that corroborates the birthplace.

Military Service

Veteran’s Marker – J B Burlison – Courtesy: Find-a-Grave

J.B. Burlison’s gravesite, according to Find-a-Grave, includes a VA Marker. That marker indicates he was a PFC (Private First Class) and served during WW II in the 270 Fld Arty. Based upon that marker I believe that J.B. did serve, however, initial research has not yielded any information regarding that service – Nothing on Fold 3 or my other military sources. In addition, I couldn’t find anything about a 270th Field Artillery unit. I wonder which is more likely, that the marker has a mistake or that there is nothing about a 270th Field Artillery unit on the Internet. (I suppose I could just not be searching properly but I hate to think that that is the case). In any event, it bears further investigation.

Marriage
Oklahoma appears, to me, to be one of the least helpful states for genealogists. They seem to keep virtually all records to themselves and only give records to immediate family. As such, I can’t find any records showing his marriage to Bertha (Bertie). I’m sure that J.B. & Bertha were married sometime between 1940 and 1955 (probably between 1949 and 1951). They were both reported as single in the 1940 census and were reported as married in the 1955 Oklahoma City city directory. J.B. was in an automobile accident in 1949 and the newspapers make no mention of his being married nor of a wife, so I suspect he didn’t marry Bertha until after 1949. They had a child born late in 1951, so I suspect they were married before his birth.


Death
J.B.’s death is well documented by his marker (Find-a-Grave), various indexes, and newspaper articles that talk about his auto accident and then talk about his death from the accident in the following day’s paper.

Conclusion
As Crista Cowen (the Barefoot Genealogist) suggests in her LiveStream presentation of 9/25/2014, when you analyze and correlate data, you find the places that your information may be lacking. I find that the process is a reiterative effort. One that each time you analyze and correlate your you find new areas of investigation. In my case, I added the following tasks to my workload:

Find a corroborating birth record for J.B. Burlison recorded at the time of his birth.
Find a marriage record for J.B. Burlison and Bertha (White).
Find corroborating evidence of J.B.’s military service and information about the 270th Field Artillery.