Clifford and Luella (Bean) Brown

My mother and I received the results of our 23 & Me autosomal testing.  My mother’s closest match, according to 23 & Me, is a second-third cousin with whom she shares 2.30%, 11 segments.  I contacted the individual. We quickly determined that our common ancestors were Henry & Marion (Sanford) Brown and that our great-grandfathers were brothers.  Arthur and Clifford Brown.  It was very interesting to learn that my grandfather’s birth name was the same first name as her great-grandfather. Also, one of her g-grandfather’s children was named William Sanford Brown, clearly honoring Marion Sanford Brown’s family. It was also interesting to note that both brothers homesteaded land in Kidder County, North Dakota about the same time.  My g-grandfather left North Dakota and returned to Minnesota about 1917.  It appears that her g-grand father left North Dakota and returned to Minnesota between 1935 and 1940.  He then moved out to Eugene Oregon, about 1949, and remained there until his death in 1958.  She also sent a wonderful newspaper clipping from 1954 where her great-grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Clifford and Luella Brown with their 8 children
Date unknown (before 1954)

She also sent a wonderful photo of the family. I’ve extracted their faces and will be applying them to my Brown/Montran family tree on Ancestry.

It was great to add additional information regarding this line of Browns.

McAllister Murder – Who Owns This Hatchet – Jan 16, 1925

The Savannah Press – January 16, 1925

Who Owns This Hatchet With Which McAllister was Killed?

This is a picture of the hatchet with which Edward L. McAllister, who was discovered murdered in his home on Tuesday, was killed. The weapon, stained with blood, was found on a table within a few feet of the body In McAllister’s kitchen. It is one of the most interesting pieces of evidence in the case, the question of its ownership being important. Whether It belonged to the dead man is not definitely known, but the county police believe it was used by McAllister for cutting kindling wood in his kitchen.

The instrument is a sharp, narrow, thln-bladed hatchet. It was sunk into McAllister’s skull up to the hilt of the weapon three times. This type of hatchet is commonly known as a lather’s ax.

The blade of the weapon is about four inches long. It is narrow, thin and is composed of steel tempered for intensive sharpening. The hatchet of this kind is used by carpenters for the breaking of laths.

It has a cleverly made handle, but unmistakably hand-made and not machine-made. The machine-made handle is smoothly beveled, whereas there are imperfections in the handle of the hatchet found blood-spattered on the McAllister table. It was evidently made by a mechanic, carpenter or someone well versed in woodcraft.

The following was found on page 28 of the paper.

Work on M’Allister Murder Progressing

The county police today continued their investigation into the death of Edward L. McAllister, who was found on Tuesday murdered. It is understood the police are well satisfied with the progress of the case and an arrest is not improbable.

Georgia Property Tax Digests

For those of you who use Ancestry.Com.  They recently updated their Georgia Property Tax Digests. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1729  You can narrow your search by location, i.e. Robert Jones in Cobb County.  You can also browse the records. For Cobb County they have the following years:
1848
1849
1851
1873-1877
1878-1880
1890

Madonna’s Birth – 20 Feb 1893

Madonna’s Birth

There is an adage about always considering sources closest to an event as more accurate than others.  The age of my grandmother, Madonna/Donna is a perfect case of that policy.  
Donna was born 20 Feb 1893 in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan, to John F and Ida Montran [Montrau]. The 1900 (Madonna used a step father’s name) and 1910 censuses are consistent with that birth year. 
Donna went into show business. In the 1920 census her occupation was “actress” and her age was 23, although she would have been 26. During the next seven years Donna only aged three years being only 26 years old when her son was born in 1927.
Donna doesn’t show up in the 1930 census, due to travel during the census. However, she does show up in an April 1930 Passenger List, returning from Panama, as only 25 years old.  She kept that 1905 birthdate through her daughter’s birth in 1932. Sadly she kept to the 1905 birth year when she applied for a Social Security Number in 1937, a mistake which cost her in later life (twelve years of benefits).
In the 1940 Census she reported that she was only 36, although she was 47, aging 11 years in the ten years between censuses.  I’ll be very interested in seeing what she reported when the 1950 census comes out.
Year    Birth 
1893    1893
1900    1893
1910    1893
1920    1897
1927    1901
1930    1905
1932    1905
1937    1905
1940    1904
1976    1893

I should note that in all records the date, February 20th, was always the same, only the age or year changed. As Donna’s life shows, records closest to the event are typically the most accurate.

23 & Me – Blackhurst line exploration


My 23 & Me DNA results put me (and my mother) into contact with a couple people with whom the only surname we shared was Blackhurst.  One of them suggested that their ancestor, William Stephen Blackhurst had a sister who was twelve years younger named Sarah Blackhurst.  He also indicated that their parents were Stephen and Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst.  He provided several sources which provided a place for me to look much more closely at my Sarah and his suggestions.
I dove in and found lots of new information regarding Sarah that I didn’t know before. 
I learned that Sarah’s husband was Franklin (I had Frank) Barber. They were married in Calhoun County, Michigan. Sarah’s father came to the states about 1848, then Sarah’s mother and kids came to the States two years later (1850).  They settled in Auburn, Cayuga, New York, USA.   Somewhere between 1855 and 1860, they moved to Sheridan Township, Michigan (near to Albion). Sarah and Franklin were married in Albion (I’m ordering their marriage certificate) and their two children, Ida and Eva were born in Albion, which I knew previously. 
Stephen and Fanny are buried in Albion as well.  All the pieces connect and I’m certain of the relationship.  
So, the 23 & Me connection provided the impetus and the clue that opened up a family line I knew nothing about previously.  I am definitely looking forward to what additional connections the 23 & Me results will provide.  I’ll be writing more about the Blackhurst line after I finish a deep dive into those ancestors.
[Disclaimer:  The links to 23 & Me are connected to an affiliate program which provides a small reward to me if you purchase a DNA kit from them.  Although I receive a reward from them for a referral, my comments regarding 23 & Me are based solely upon my experiences with 23 & Me.]