Top 10 Surnames in my Roberts-Brown Research

Roberts-Brown-2017
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
Surname Saturday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In a recent “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun,” Randy Seaver suggested we look at our surname list. My Roberts-Brown tree has 6,084 individuals. I manage the tree using Family Tree Maker 2017.  A Surname Report is available under person reports. Two clicks and the report is done is less than a second. The first click was to include all individuals in my file, not just the immediate family. The second click was to sort by surname count. It doesn’t provide a total of the number of unique surnames. But, again a couple clicks do it easily. A click on Share then select export to CSV.  The system asks where you want the report, you save it, then the system asks if you would like to open the Exported Report. I did and my computer launched Microsoft Excel. Entries are every other line. The last surname on the list was line 2801.  Subtract 3 for the three lines of header and divide 2798 by two and I learned I have 1,399 unique surnames in my tree.

I was surprised by the some of the results.

  Surname Count
1 Mannin 424
2 Roberts 243
3 Raidt 183
4 Brown 147
5 Krafve 120
6 Bryant 109
7 Warner 98
8 Wolcott 95
9 Unknown 75
10 Manning 70

Surprises

Raidt is the surname of my son’s maternal grandfather. I have done quite a bit of research on him, but I didn’t realize it was that extensive. For my Raidt research to be number 3 was quite a shock. I should, probably, break this research into a separate project.

Even more shocking was the Krafve surname.  Hildur Krafve was my step-grandmother and is the grandmother of two of my siblings. I didn’t think I researched that family much and was surprised that I have done so much research on that line. I have followed that family name through six generations. With all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, there were many names. That it rated high makes sense, but I was still surprised.

I was also surprised by Wolcott. My 5th great-grandmother was Mary Wolcott Parsons.  I have tentatively followed her ancestry back seven more generations to my earliest known ancestor, back in the 1500s.  But still, I had no idea that I had that many known Wolcotts.

Not Surprised

Before I knew who my biological father was, I did a lot of research on the Roberts surname. I was looking for and following potential connections based upon Y-DNA results and other people’s trees. Most of these Roberts entries are not related to me in any meaningful way. That I have over 200 individuals with the Roberts surname didn’t surprise me.
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My number one surname was Mannin and that my number 10 surname was Manning didn’t surprise me much. Mary Elizabeth Manning was my great-grandmother and I have done a lot of research in her ancestry. Her husband was Arthur Durrwood Brown. Seeing Brown, and the related surnames if Bryant and Warner, wasn’t much of a surprise either.

Sadly, my number 9 surname, “Unknown,” highlights mistakes in my tree. For a while I used “unknown” when I didn’t know an ancestor’s surname. For married women, whose maiden name don’t know, I’ve begun using their husband’s surname in brackets instead of “LNU” or “unknown.”  That gives me a better idea of where they fit in the tree without needing to see all the other details of the individual. That I have 75 individuals for whom I’ve entered their surname as “unknown” suggests that I need to so some cleanup.  Certainly, “unknown” could be the appropriate entry on occasion, but rarely is it the best entry. As an example, “Ann Laurie Unknown” doesn’t tell me as much as “Ann Laurie [Fannin].”  As long as I remain consistent, I think I’m okay using bracketed names in an unconventional manner.

Conclusion

I enjoy Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night suggestions. They make you think about your family tree in different ways.  In this case, looking at the surnames in this exercise reminded me that I need to be consistent in how I handle unknown surnames.

Keep Trees Wide, Not Deep – Example: Mannin/Barnett

Brown-Montran Research
DNA Research

Mannin/Manning/Brown

During the last meeting of the Maine Genealogical DNA Interest Group, someone asked if it is better to have a tree that is deep or a tree that is wide. I mentioned that, for autosomal DNA test matches, a wide tree is best.  The sheer number of potential 5th and 6th cousins is daunting. But, more importantly, the likelihood of your sharing DNA with a 4th cousin is only 69% and the likelihood of sharing DNA with a 5th cousin is only 30%.[i] Consequently, knowing your 10th great grandparents is of little use in matching DNA cousins.  (Consequently, knowing your 10th great grandparents is of little use in matching DNA cousins. There are two exceptions to this, Y-DNA tree (paternal only) is useful for connecting trees on a Y-DNA match.  Also, X-DNA can provide a similar usefulness.)

23 & Me Shared Matches
23 & Me: Shared Matches

The importance of having a wide tree was exemplified recently.  I was contacted through 23 and Me by a, potentially, 2nd to 4th cousin (I’ll call B.J.) I took a look at the match using 23 & Me‘s new She and my aunt Barbara shared 88cM across five segments. My mother shared 50cM across two segments; interestingly enough, I also shared 50cM across two segments. Looking at what segments all four of us share is an excellent example of how sticky DNA segments are.  All three of us shared the same sticky chunk of DNA.

Screen Shot - Chromosome 3 comparison
Screen Shot – 23 & Me – Chromosome 3 comparison showing sticky clump shared among all of us.

 

 

 

We exchanged basic tree information, she mentioned her ancestors were a Mannin and a Barnett. When she said that, I knew we were related and I was pretty sure I knew exactly how.  Nancy Ann Mannin married Jessie Monroe Barnett about 1867 in Kentucky. They later moved to Minnesota and settled May Township in Cass County, Minnesota.

A couple more email exchanges and I learned that B.J. and my Aunt Barbara were third cousins their common ancestor was Enoch Mannin. Enoch was one of those pivotal people in my genealogical research and I knew a lot about him and his descendants. I even had B.J.’s mother (but not her father nor her) in my family tree records.

Thanks to 23 and Me for providing the tools to connect with another cousin.

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I have tested my mother, my aunt, and myself with 23 and Me – Have you?


Endnotes:

[i] Internet: DNA Land – “Face it: DNA cannot find all your relatives” https://medium.com/@dl1dl1/face-it-dna-cannot-find-all-your-relatives-f68089b8e1e9#.1yar6d4d6

My Male Ancestors – Birth, Death, and Age at Death

Brown/Montran Research
Roberts/Barnes Research

One of the reasons that I enjoy Randy Seaver’s blog, Genea-Musings is that he regularly makes me realize the missing branches I have in my tree leaves have lots more to do on my tree.  His recent “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” asked folks to look at their tree and determine the age of death for their male ancestors. (He had done a similar thing for female ancestors the week before.)

Using Heredis, it is really simple to generate such a report. I clicked on myself, then clicked on Documents/Ancestor Report and the system generated the data. Then I went to Report Export, I selected Excel from several options.  After the information exported, the Excel spreadsheet opened automatically.

Because the ahnentafel numbers for the individuals are exported, it is easy to select just the male ancestors by deleting all of the odd numbers. I immediately saw that my 3rd great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, lived the longest – 88 years. The ancestor who died the earliest was my great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts, who died at an extremely young 24 years of age.

Next, I began seeing my gaps.  I have three people with a range of dates for their life.  For example, my great-grandfather John F. Montran was born sometime between 1860 and 1875 and died sometime before 1911. So, he could have died at 35 or died at 51 years or anywhere in between; I don’t know.

Then, I realized I have six ancestors for whom I have no death dates. More work.

Finally, I realized I have nine ancestors in the past five generations that I know nothing about.  No names, let alone birth or death dates. So, Randy’s challenge reminded me of how much more work I still have to do. But the good news is that I have 11 of my male ancestors identified as to their age at death. Even better, I have eight more this year than I would have had last year (all of my Roberts line.).  I even have one more than I would have had last week, So things are definitely looking up.

Chart of Male Ancestors, Dates of Birth and Death

Ahn. #
Surname
Birth Date
Death Date
Age at Death
Father
2
Hugh Eugene  Roberts
° 9/1926
† 27/3/1997
70
Grandfathers
4
Bert Allen  Roberts
° 7/9/1903
† 1/5/1949
45
6
Richard Earl  Brown
° 14/9/1903
† 19/1/1990
86
Great-Grandfathers
8
Hugh Ellis  Roberts
° 2/7/1884
† 30/8/1908
24
10
Joel Clinton Barnes
° 23/6/1857
† 30/6/1921
64
12
Arthur Durwood  Brown
° ~ 1864
† 27/8/1928
~ 64
14
John F  Montran
° <> 1860 & 1875
† < 1911
< 35
2nd Great-Grandfathers
16
Asa Ellis Roberts
° 28/2/1835
† 8/10/1887
52
18
Samuel Vaden Scott
° 1860
† 1931
71
20
Nelson Barnes
° 24/3/1816
† 21/2/1884
67
22
Nimrod Lister
° <> 1824 & 1827
† < 1909
< 82
24
William Henry Brown
° 1842
26
John William  Manning
° ~ 1845
† 25/4/1888
~ 43
28
Unknown (Montran)
30
Franklin E  Barber
° 10/1836
† 7/4/1917
80
Third Great-Grandfathers
32
John Calvin Roberts
° 3/3/1795
† 4/1873
78
34
Unknown Marshall
36
William H. Scott
38
Adrico J. Haley
40
Unknown (Barnes)
42
Unknown
44
Unknown (Lister)
46
Unknown
48
Barney Brown
° ~ 1814
† <> 1860 & 1870
<> 46 & 55
50
William M  Sanford
° ~ 1822
52
Enoch  Mannin
° 1819
† 7/4/1907
88
54
Unknown
56
Unknown (Montran)
58
Unknown
60
Unknown (Barber)
62
Stephen  Blackhurst
° ~ 1804
† 24/12/1869
~ 65
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Barnett Surname

Surname Saturday

Brown/Manning/Barnett

I only have one known direct Barnett ancestor, my 5th great grandmother, Catherine Barnett (Ancestor #209) on the Brown line. However, I have some 35 other known Barnetts identified in my family tree. Several Barnetts married into the Mannin and Brown families in my research, so even though I only have one direct Barnett ancestor, the Barnett surname is important in my research.
  

Barnett Name Meaning

There are two major threads of discussion regarding the meaning of the surname Barnett.
First is that it is a habitational name, relating to where people lived. Once source suggests that the name comes from a town in Hertfordshire, and the name of several parishes in that county. It also suggests it refers to towns in Middlesex and Lincoln.[i] Another source suggests the name derives from Old English bærnet ‘place cleared by burning’.[ii]
A second thread indicates that the name is a variant of Bernard or “the son of Barnard”.[iii] Barnard was a popular name in the 13th century and the Cistercian monk, Saint Barnard, provided impetus to the name’s use. Other popular variants of Barnett include Barnet and Barnette.

Geographical

I do not know where Catherine Barnett or her ancestors came from. But a good guess would be from England. The New York Passenger Lists on Ancestry indicates that more than half of the New York Passengers with the surname Barnett came from England. My Catherine was probably born in Virginia about 1782. If that is the case, her ancestors never immigrated, rather they just relocated to the colonies.

In1840 there were 71 Barnett households in Virginia and another 119 in Kentucky.[iv] Although Catherine married Meredith Mannin about 1797, I’m sure she had plenty of Barnett relatives in the area. Catherine appears to have died in Kentucky sometime before 1862.           

My Direct Barnett Ancestors

#209 – Catherine Barnett (1782-c.1862) – Generation 8
#104 – Meridith Mannin (1801-1885) – Generation 7
#52 – Enoch Mannin (1819-1907) – Generations 6
#26 – John William Manning (1845-1888) – Generations 5
#13 – Mary Elizabeth Manning (1874-1983) – Generation 4
#6 – Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990) (aka Richard Durand, aka Clifford Brown) – G3
My mother – Generation 2
Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

My records have 865 direct-line descendants of Catherine Barnett identified in my known Brown/Montran tree, which is about 19% of my entire tree are descendants of Catherine Barnett.

ENDNOTES

[i] Patronymica Britannica, written: 1838-1860 by Mark Antony Lower via Forebears http://forebears.io/surnames/barnett#meaning
[ii] Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press via Ancestry http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Barnett
[iii] ibid.
[iv] Barnett Family History, Ancestry; http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=barnett

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James Robert Mannin (1867-1937) – Second Great Grand Uncle

James Robert Mannin  (1867-1937) – Second Great Grand Uncle
I don’t know much about my second great grandfather John William Manning. I thought I might learn more by researching his son, my great grandmother’s (Mary Elizabeth Manning Brown) half brother James Robert Manning. I had many questions about “Bobby” as ‘grandma Brown called him. My great-aunt Delores wrote to me in 2005 regarding “uncle Bob” and mentioned he had moved to Washington State with his wife Martha. Uncle Bob had two sons, Grant & Herbert that she knew.[i]
Holding Township is Northwest of Saint Cloud
Saint Anna is in Avon Township just south of
Holding Township. Source: Google Maps
I had seen him in a couple censuses so I knew something of him and his life, but not too much. The earliest place I find a record for him is in the 1885 Minnesota Census[ii]. It shows him, along with is sisters Mary and (Phebe) Jane living near Saint Anna in Holding Township, Stearns County, Minnesota with their grandparents, Enoch and Menorvi (Minerva) Mannan (Mannin).
The 1895 Minnesota Census shows Enock (Enoch) and Minerva Mannin living in Township 134, Cass County, Minnesota. Living with them are Robert, his wife, and their two oldest children, Pearly and Earnest R Mannin[iii]. Neither the 1885 nor the 1895 Minnesota censuses provide relationship information. That is probably why many people associate Robert as being the child of Enoch and Minerva when Robert would be their grandson. That Robert is not Minerva’s child is evidenced by the 1900 Census that indicates Minerva’s had nine children, five of whom were still living[iv]. Her children would have included:

John William – Died in 1888.
Isaac Wilson – Living
in 1900.
Nancy Ann – Living in
1900.
Meredith – Unknown – Presumed dead (No reverences to him
after 1870 Census)
Sarah Jane – Living
in 1900.
Mary Ermaline –
Living in 1900.
Gresella – Died in 1897
Prudence – Living in
1900.
Charlie – Unknown – Presumed dead (No references to him
after the Civil War).

By my logic, Robert could not have been one of Minerva and Enoch’s children. Therefore, there must be an error in the Family Search trees for Robert.


1900 – Had Robert and family still been living with Enoch and Minerva in 1900, the relationship would have been clearly identified. However, in 1900, Robert shows up as James R Mannin living as a farmer in Township 135, Cass County, Minnesota with is wife, Martha, and children. In 1900, Martha had had four children all of whom were living. They were:

         Pearlie Mannin           Daughter  Born: Mar 1892.
         Ernest R Mannin        Son            Born: Nov 1894
         Minnie Mannin           Daughter  Born: Jul 1897
         Nora M Mannin          Daughter  Born: March 1899

It is important to note that the wife and two eldest children have the same names and respective ages as in the 1895 Minnesota Census. This evidence helps establish that Robert Mannin was known as James R Mannin in 1900. We will also see that Robert James Mannin and James Robert Mannin, and parts thereof are used interchangeably throughout the years. In addition, Mannin and Manning are used interchangeably.

The 1905 Minnesota Census shows James R Mannin still in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota. He had been in the state for 21 years and in the enumeration district for 6 months. With him are is wife Martha and six children:[v]

Pearle age 13
Ernest R age 10
Minnie age 7
Nora M age 5
Clara age 4
Herbert age 1

The 1910 Census finds Robert J Mannin living in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota. Living with him are his wife and six children. It is interesting to note that Ernest R is E. Raymond in this census.[vi].

The 1920 Census find James Mannin with his wife Martha, his son Herbert, and another son, Frank (aged 7) still living in May Township. Also living with them is their daughter Nora, her husband Elde Wagner, and their son Arthur[vii].

James Mannin, Head, Owns Mortgaged, M, W, 53, M, Read, Write, Born Kentucky, Farmer, General Farm, Own Account
Martha Mannin, Wife, F, W, 49, M, read, write, Kentucky, 
Herbert Mannin, Son, M, W, 15, S, attended school, Minnesota 
Frank Mannin, Son, M, W, 7 4/12, S, Attended school, Minnesota
Elde Wagner, Son Law, M, W, 26, M, read, write, Minnesota, both parents Wisconsin, Farm Laborer, Working Out for wage.
Nora Wagner, Daughter, F, W, 20, M, read write, Minnesota, 
Arthur Wagner, Grandson, M, W, 1-9/12, Minnesota

1930 – Sometime between 1920 and 1930, James Robert Mannin and family moved to Yakama, Washington where they are found in the 1930 Census[viii]. With James Robert are his wife Martha and his youngest son, 17 year-old Grant. I believe that Frank and Grant are the same child; however, I am unable to confirm/validate that assertion so far.

Then on Rootsweb I was able to find “Davis Family of England, Ohio & Minnesota & McGuire family of Virginia, Kentucky & Minnesota[ix]” which included James Robert Mannin and his pedigree. It says he died on 22 Dec 1937 in Yakima, Washington. It provided his mother’s name of Evelyn Brynard and his wife’s maiden name as Martha Jane McGuire. I don’t accept these as new facts, yet; however, I do accept them as clues for further research.

Actions:

Open a discussion on Family Search to move Robert under John William and make him a grandson to Enoch, not a son.
 Continue researching James Robert Mannin’s parentage (particularly sources for his mother Evelyn Brynard)
 Research James Robert Mannin’s wife, Martha Jane McGuire. 

Endnotes:

[i] Various, Letters, Don Taylor, Maine, Letter – Delores Brown Pribbenow – 2005-04-04. I Delores Sarah Pribbenow. http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/2014/11/letter-of-delores-sarah-brown-pribbenow.html/.
[ii] 1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census, Ancestry.com, 1885 – Holding, Stearns County, Minnesota – Page 3 (Post Office: Saint Anna).
[iii] 1895 Minnesota Census, Ancestry.com, 1895 Residence place:  Township 134.
[iv] 1900 Census (National Archives and Records Administration), Ancestry.com, 1900 Census; Minnesota, Cass, Township 134, District 0048 Sheet 5.
[v] 1905 Minnesota State Census, Family Search, James R Mannin, May township, Cass, Minnesota; citing p. 1, line 17, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 928,772. : accessed 20 November 2015). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPSF-L9Q.
[vi] 1910 Census (NARA), Ancestry.com, Year: 1910; Census Place: May, Cass, Minnesota; Roll: T624_693; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1374706. Record for Robert J Mannin.
[vii] 1920 Census, Ancestry.com, James Mannin – 1920; Census Place: May, Cass, Minnesota; Roll: T625_824; Page: 8B;Enumeration District: 94; Image: 811, Line 51. http://search.ancestry.com//cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1920usfedcen&indiv=try&h=26517460.
[viii] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, 1930; Census Place: Zillah, Yakima, Washington; Roll: 2524; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0047; Image: 796.0; FHL microfilm: 2342258.
[ix] Leslie Mikesell Wood, Davis Family of England, Ohio & Minnesota & McGuire family of Virginia, Kentucky & Minnesota (, 2011-04-21), Rootsweb.ancestry.com, ID: I156 – James Robert Mannin. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=mcguiredavis&id=I156.
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