MGS had a winning Spring Workshop.

I attended the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) DNA Workshop last weekend. I was impressed with the conference organization and agenda.

The logistics were excellent. Registration was easy; the conference program booklet was done well with a few extra blank pages for notes. I don’t know how many people were there, but I’d guess a couple hundred. The venue, The Augusta Elks Club, was adequate for the event, and the food was good. The MGS bookstore people were there. If you have ancestors from Maine, the MGS Bookstore probably has a book or two that can augment your research. Also, the Maine Historical Society had folks there promoting the society.

However, the real reason for my attending was to see Blaine Bettinger (@Blaine_5) speak. I had never seen Blaine before, but I have used several of his genetic genealogy charts for years. Because I have respected his work for several years, I was excited to meet him in person and hear him speak. I was not disappointed. Blaine was energetic all day and kept the audience engaged and interested. As the day progressed on his topics got more and more advanced.

His first topic was “Introduction to DNA for Genealogists” and he explained the types of chromosomes (X, Y, Mitochondrial, and autosomal) and the tests for each of them. He also went through inheritance and what each of the tests might show you.

Mitochondrial DNA
Picture : by Emmanuel Douzery
[CC BY-SA 4.0]via Wikimedia Commons

His second session was “Using mtDNA and Y-DNA to Explore Your Genealogy.” He explained Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), what HVR1 & HVR2 tests are about and what a full genome test is. He also provided information about how mtDNA test results may be used to solve family mysteries. Then he moved on to Y-DNA testing. He described STR (short tandem repeat) testing versus SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms) testing. I understand the STR explanations fairly well, but I got lost in the SNP stuff, again. I’ve listened to other people speak about SNPs, I didn’t understand them either. One of these days, I’ll get it.

Again, he spoke about using the test results to solve family mysteries. As you may know from reading my blog, in my case, I was able to use Y-DNA results to be certain that “Roberts” surnamed individuals were on my paternal line. See: My Paternal Brick Wall and Finding Family … tools to determine my biological father and half-siblings for details.

After lunch, Blaine continued with “Using Autosomal DNA to Solve Family Mysteries.” Besides the basics of what Autosomal DNA is, he reminded us that we have two family trees. A Genealogical Family Tree and a Genetic Family Tree. The chance of matching a first or second cousin is really high (over 99%), but the chance of matching a fifth cousin might be as low as 10%. That is to say that only one in ten of your fifth cousins may hold a DNA string that you also inherited. That is understandable, on average a 5th cousin would match only 3.32cM or .0488% of a match.
(See http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_statistics for details.)

Blaine Bettinger
Photo used by permission

Blaine’s 4th talk of the day was about “Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze your DNA.” This talk was an intermediate session with a close look at some of GEDMatch’s tools. Besides looking at the various matches available, but also looked at phasing and a tool he runs on everyone he imports into GEDMatch, the “Are Your Parents Related” tool, which answers questions regarding homozygosity that can skew your other results. He also talked about Lazarus and triangulation tools that GEDMatch has.

Although Blaine took questions throughout his presentations regarding issues at that point, he also had a more formal Question and Answers session at the end of the conference using Q&A cards written during the conference.

I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. I thought Blaine Bettinger was a great speaker. He kept to the topics. His slides were legible and decipherable from across the room. I would go out of my way to attend future conferences where he is a speaker.

To learn more about Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., see his Genetic Genealogist website. His website includes a biography page, a presentations page, and a “Contact Me” page. I’m sure you will enjoy having him as a speaker for your conference and your attendees will learn a lot.

On May 21st, I’ll be going to the “Third Annual Southern Maine Genealogy Conference” sponsored by the Greater Portland Chapter (GPC) of the Maine Genealogical Society. This conference will be in Portland, ME, (much closer to me) and will feature D. Joshua Taylor of Who Do You Think You Are? fame (no known relationship). Another fantastic day of genealogical programming is scheduled. I’m looking forward to listening to him talk. You can register for this conference on the GPC-MGS website.

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Mitochondrial DNA Ancestors – Sarah H Blackhurst Barber (1847-1929)

Mitochondrial DNA ancestors

By – Don Taylor 

Sarah Blackhurst Barber is a particularly special ancestor for me. First, she is my most recent immigrant ancestor.  Second, she is a mitochondrial ancestor. That is to say, I carry her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to child.  As such, I received my mtDNA from my mother, who received it from her mother (Madonna Montran), who received it from her mother (Ida Barber), who received it from her mother (Sarah Blackhurst).  I have not done a mtDNA Test yet, but I should do one so that I have some experience with the test and its results.

There are very few of us with Sarah’s mtDNA. Sarah had two children, Ida and Eva. Eva died with no children. Ida had one daughter, Madonna.  Madonna only had one daughter and a son.  Her son is still living and carried her mtDNA but his children, of course, do not. Madonna’s daughter (my mother) had two boys. He and I carry it.  She also had two girls; one of them only had boys, they have the same mtDNA, but won’t pass it on to future generations.  The other daughter of my mother had two boys and a girl. Again, the two boys have the mtDNA but won’t pass it on. That leaves her daughter, the only descendant of Sarah’s with the potential of passing Sarah’s mitochondrial DNA on to a future generation (she doesn’t have any children yet).

My mtDNA Sources
• My mother (living)
• Madonna Montran
• Ida Barber
• Sarah Blackhurst
• Fanny Taylor

That said, Sarah did have five sisters.  I haven’t had a chance to trace any of their descendants. Hopefully, there are other descendants that her mtDNA has been passed along to.

Bio – Sarah H Blackhurst Barber (1847-1929)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 08

Sarah H Blackhurst was born in December 1847 in England, probably Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. She was the seventh child of Stephen and Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst.

Her older siblings include:
• Ellen (1829-1905)
• Elizabeth (~1831-1910)
• Mary (1833-1900)
• William Stephen (~1835-1917)
• Louisa (1838-1927) [1]
• Phoebe Anna (~1842-1929)

Auburn – State St. from Genesee St. c. 1910
Via Wikipedia [Public Domain]

Shortly after her birth, in 1848, her father left for the United States and settled in Auburn, Cayuga County, New York establishing himself as a shoe maker.  It was two years later that the family arrived. Ellen was not with them, but the rest of the family was enumerated in Auburn during the 1850 Census. [2][3]

The family was together during the New York 1855 Census. I have been unable to find the family in the 1860 Census.

On 8 October 1869, Sarah married Franklin E Barber in Sheridan Township, Calhoun County, Michigan. One very interesting aspect of their marriage is that he marriage occurred before the license was taken out.  The date of their license was 22 Jan 1870 and the the date of their marriage was 8 Nov 1969, seventy-five days earlier. None of the other entries on that page in the marriage registration logbook have similar confusing entries. Sarah’s sister “Louisee” (Louisa Sanders) was one of the witnesses. The other witness was James Hickey also of Sheridan Township. (His relationship is unknown.) Officiating the rite was Stephen White, a Justice of the Peace.[4]

In 1874, their first child, Ida, was born.

In December, 1877, their second child, another girl was born. They named her Eva.

In 1880, the young family is living in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan. Frank was a painter, who had been unemployed four of the previous twelve months. Sarah was keeping house for her two children, Ida, age 6 and Eva, age 2.[5]

In 1900, Sarah and 22-year-old daughter, Eva are living at 250 Fifth, Detroit, Michigan. Husband Frank is living at the Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids.[6]

Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI c.1910
By Detroit Publishing Co. [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

In 1910, the 62-year-old Sarah was living with her older daughter Ida in Detroit. Ida had divorced her third husband, Joseph Holdsworth. Sarah is listed in the 1910 Census as widowed;[7] however, her husband is till living at the Soldier’s home in Grand Rapids.  He is also identified as widowed.

1917 was a very bad year.  Her husband’s dying on April 7th may have been anti-climatic, but her youngest daughter, Eva, Sarah’s died on November 8th at the age of 33.

In 1920, Sarah was living in New York City at 134 Lawrence Street, Manhattan. This is now 126th Street and appears to be a parking ramp today.  The Census indicates that her granddaughter Madonna Montran was living with her. However, in January of 1920, when the Census was taken, Donna was on the road with the “Chin Chin” production.  Living with the 70-year-old Sarah is a boarder named Charles Smith. Charles was a 26-year-old German music composer.[8]

Limited Time Only: Save up to 30% on easy, affordable computer backup. Buy Now! Today, 125th Street is perceived to be the heart of Harlem. But in 1920, the black neighborhood started a few blocks north, at 130th Street.[9] There was an IRT station three blocks away at 125th and one at 130th. The IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit) was originally an elevated cable car system but converted to electric in 1903.  The line was closed in 1940.[10]

I believe that Sarah died on 6 September 1929, in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.[11]  I have ordered a copy of a death certificate for a person who I believe is our Sarah Barber.  When I receive it, it should confirm the death date and provide clues to burial information.

Further Actions: 

Await receipt of Death Certificate to confirm death date and a clue to her burial location.
Find Blackhurst Family in the 1860 Census. Location unknown (New York to Michigan).
Find the Barber Family in the 1870 Census. They should be in Calhoun County, MI.
Take a mtDNA Test to document Sarah’s mtDNA.

List of Greats
1. Ida May Barber [Montran] [Fisher] [Holdsworth] [Knight]
2. Sarah H Blackhurst [Barber]
3.     Fanny Taylor [Blackhurst]

ENDNOTES

[1] “Eleazer” in the 1850 Census is believe to be an alternative name for Louisa.

[2] 1920 Census; Sarah Barber Head – Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1209; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 958; “Arrival 1850”.

[3] New York, State Census, 1855; Stephen Blackhurst – New York, Cayuga, Sheet 37, Line 21, Note: All family members except for Stephen had been in City or town for 5 years.

[4] Michigan, Calhoun, Certified Copy of a Marriage Record; Barber-Blackhurst – 1869; Repository: Don Taylor personal files.

[5] 1880 Census; Frank Barber Head – Albion, Calhoun, Michigan, ED 062, Page No 13.

[6] 1900 Census; Sarah Barber Head – Detroit, Michigan, ED 36, Sheet 13B

[7] 1910 Census; Ida Holdsworth Head – Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

[8] 1920 Census; Sarah Barber Head – Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1209; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 958.
[9] Internet: Digital Harlem Blog –“Harlem in the 1920s

[10] Internet: Wikipedia – “125th Street (IRT Ninth Avenue Line)”

[11] New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948; Sarah Barber

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mtDNA & Minerva Tolliver Mannin

A cousin recently asked about Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g)’s Native American background. She wondered “if [I] have any evidence that Enoch and Minerva Mannin were Cherokee?” I told her that I no such evidence and I don’t believe she did (because of my X-Chromosome analysis). I then pointed her to my blog article “DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning.”  Then, I thought about the issue a bit more.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is quite simple. You receive your mtDNA from your mother. I received mine from my mother, but my son received his from his mother and none from me. Also, mtDNA doesn’t change much over time. That means my mtDNA is the same as my mother’s, which is the same as her mother’s (Madonna Montran), which is the same as her mother’s (Ida Barber), which is the same as her mother (Sarah Blackhurst), and the same as her mother (Fanny Taylor).
The same process is true for Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g)’s descendants. All of her children have her mtDNA, however, only her daughters carry that DNA on to their children. To prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Minerva was Native American, if we find a descendant of her daughter’s daughter’s daughter and that person is tested, the haplogroup that descendant is in would prove the descendant was Native American.
Haplogroup Migration Map
Courtesy of Edgarcayce.org.
Native Americans have mtDNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and sometimes X. My mtDNA haplogroup is T2b, which clearly identifies my maternal ancestry to be from Europe. If the female descendants of Minerva are A, B, C, or D, we can be certain that Minerva was Native American. I Minerva’s female descendants are I, J, K or T, U, V, or W, we can be fairly certain that Minerva’s female ancestry was from Europe.
The key in using mtDNA for genealogy, or any DNA for that matter, is to determine who should be tested in order to prove a particular question. In this case, the proof comes from finding a child of the female line of Minerva and have that individual tested.
I’ll admit, my research into descendants of Minerva is not complete. I welcome anyone who has information regarding her descendants, particularly female descendants, to help me fill in the many blanks and gaps that I have. That said, this is what I think I know.
Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g) had five daughters, Nancy Ann, Sarah Jane, Mary Ermaline, Gresella, and Prudence.
Nancy Ann married Jessie Monroe Barnett. They had four daughters
·      Flora Belle, Sarah A. Sadie, and Nettie. I have no further information regarding Sarah, Sadie, or Nettie.
·      Flora Belle married George Wesley Horn. They had two or three girls, two of whom died as children. One child, Helen Elvira Horn, married Harold Anderson and lived until 1968. I have no records regarding her children.
Sarah Jane married Joseph Hatfield Bryant. They had five daughters.
·      Nancy Ellen Bryant married John M Horn. They had one girl that I know of, Mary A. Horn. I have no marriage information or children information regarding her.
·      Adella Mamie Bryant married Elmer Boaz Knowles. They had five daughters. One died as a child, leaving four to consider.
·      Elsie Lillian Knowles married Vernon Smalley. I have not information about any children of theirs.
·      Clara Lavina Knowles married Luther Elbert Parker. I know of one child of theirs Elsie Joan Parker.
·      Lorraine Grace Knowles married Richard Markham Taylor. They had three daughters, two of whom may still be living. I also have information regarding several of those children’s children, so this line may be my best area of further inquiry and contacts.
·      Bessie Katherine Knowles married Albert Dickerman. They had one daughter that I know of, Lillian Katherine Dickerman.
Mary Ermaline married Thomas N Jones. I know of no children of them.
Gresella (or Greselle) is a mystery to me. I have no marriage or child information regarding her.
Finally, there is Prudence. I believe she was married twice. Once to Frank P. Bare and again to someone surnamed McDonald. I don’t know of any children that she had.

Actions:

If you are descended from any of these individuals, I would really like to hear from you. I would like to fill in Minerva’s descendants as well as I can. Please contact me either through commenting on this blog posting, directly via my email address (dontaylor50 (at) me.com), or though Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dontaylor50/).
I will also try to contact any of the descendants that I do know of, particularly in the Knowles, Taylor line and see if any of them would be interested in doing a mtDNA test to prove conclusively if Minerva was Native American or not.
I plan to continue working on my own and fill in whatever descendants that I can.

 ————-  DISCLAIMER  ————-

DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning

For many years, I have been hearing the stories that my 3rd Great Grandmother, Minerva Tolliver Manning was “Full-Blooded Cherokee.” I’ve never believed it and have written about the possibility of Minerva being Native American a few times before. Please see:


Ever being the skeptic, I considered that my grandmother had really gotten pregnant from a different man other than whom she said was the father. She was apparently estranged from her husband at the time of her pregnancy and anything is possible. (She never suggested that her husband was the father.) If the man she always said was the father actually was, then my mother’s half-sister will show the same genetic information on their X-chromosome.

My half-aunt was tested and sure enough, they are half sisters, which we expected. What is really cool is that for a person’s 22 chromosomes they are a mix of each of their parents, however, for the 23rd chromosome, the XX, a girl receives one X from their mother and one X from their father. The mother’s X is a blend of her parents but the father’s contribution is passed on with little to no change. That means that if two girls share the same father then one of the X chromosomes is identical between the two girls. My mother and my half-aunt share one X exactly, so we know, beyond any doubt, they share the same father.

Person
Name
% contribution atDNA
% cont. of X Chromosome
Individual
Mom & Half Aunt
100%
100%
Father
Clifford/Dick
50%
100%
Grandmother
Mary Manning
25%
50%
Great-grandfather
John W. Manning
12.5%
50%
2nd Great-Grandmother
Minerva Tolliver
6.25%
25%
3rd Great-Grandfather
Tulion Tolliver
3.125%
12.5%
As you can see from
the above table, a person’s 2rd Great-Grandmother provides four
times the contribution to an X chromosome than to the normal atDNA
contribution. If Minerva was full-blooded Cherokee as family history says then,
alternating sex through generations, her 2nd great-granddaughters should
have about 25% Native American contribution. Not there.  According the test results from 23 & Me,
their identical X-chromosome shows no Native American contributions.  
What is very interesting is that although both my mom and my
aunt are over 99% European, there is a .2% Sub-Saharan contribution overall and
it is on the X chromosome.  Looking at
only the shared X chromosome it appears to be between 4% and 6% of the X contribution.
That would be in keeping with a 4th or 5th Great-Grandparent’s
contribution.  If Minerva were ¼ to 1/8th
Sub-Saharan African, she would have had about the right percentage to “pass” as Native
American.  From the DNA evidence that
appears to me to be much more likely of a scenario than for Minerva to have
been Cherokee.
My Mom’s X results
My Aunt’s X results



 

Future Activity
As the saying goes, a mother knows her own children, but fathers can be a surprise. As such, I’m confident that Clifford/Dick was Mary’s child. I am also confident that Enoch and Minerva believed that Mary (and her sister Phoebe) were their granddaughters. Mary and Phoebe were orphaned and Enoch and Minerva raised them for a while.

Although reasonable and likely, there is always a possibility that someone else jumped into the mix. I know next to nothing about Mary’s parents, John William Manning and Eliza Jane Fannin. It is always possible that John William Manning wasn’t Mary’s father. Mary had a half brother, Robert, but we are not certain if he was John’s child or Eliza’s child who took on the surname of Manning. In either event, I don’t believe that line will provide much in the way of proof. Rather, Minerva had five daughters, Nancy Ann, Sarah Jane, Mary Ermaline, Grisella, and Prudence Manning. Their female descendants will have the mtDNA that would show Native American ancestry if Minerva were, in fact, Cherokee.

I’ll continue research for the descendants of Minerva and see if any of them are interested in testing, but as things sit currently, I am confident that Minerva was not Native American.

Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)

52 Ancestors #4 – Minerva Ann Tolliver Mannin (1821-1902)

County Map of Kentucky
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Minerva Ann Tolliver was born in Kentucky on 5 Feb 1821. Various records during her life record her name in many different ways, Minerva, Manerva, Minora, and Minna.  She was probably born in Bath County, near Greenup County, in the portion of Bath that became Morgan County in 1822 and Rowan County in 1856. I also suspect near what was to became Carter County in 1838. It is also likely that the county changes account for many of the different county designation of where she lived over the years.
There is a wonderful interactive map at Kentucky Historical Counties which allows you to select a date and see what counties existed then. If can then easily see the changes in the Bath/Morgan/Rowan counties over time.
There is considerable speculation regarding her early life. One thread indicates that Minerva was Native American (Cherokee). I don’t believe this to be the case. First, in none of the Census reports was Minerva ever reported as being anything but white.  Second, as my 3rd great-grandmother, I would expect to have about 3% of her genome.  Although I do have 2% unknown or trace, there is no evidence that I have any Native American in my ancestry. Likewise, my mother, who should have approximately 6% of Minerva’s genome shows no proportion of Native American. 23 & Me indicates she has 99.4% European ancestry as do I.  Because of the “stickiness” of DNA, although unlikely, it is still possible for Minerva to be Native American. I would be very interested in the mtDNA results of any direct female descendants of Minerva – that should answer the question definitively. 
Another theory is that Minerva was raised by Elijah Toliver and used his last name although she was born with the surname Mannin. This theory suggests that her father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. Her mother, Martha Patsy (Mannin), married Elijah Tolliver in 1825. Minerva was 3 years old then, so she probably wasn’t a child of Elijah. This thought is supported by Phoebe Mannin, Minerva’s granddaughter, who listed Minerva’s last name as “Mannin” when she created a family tree in 1973.
A third theory exists that Martha Patsy Mannin had Minerva out of wedlock. Thus, Minerva had the surname Mannin until Martha married. This scenario makes the most sense to me and explains many of the conflicting facts. (I think this is a case where Occam’s Razor applies and this is the simplest answer.)
Kentucky State Flag
Courtesy: Wikipedia
The records are unclear where her parents were born. Some say Kentucky, some say Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792 so it is possible that her parents were born in what was Virginia but is now Kentucky. It is also possible that Elijah was used on some occasions as her father and the unknown Mannin used at other times.
She and Enoch were married on 15 Oct 1843, in Grayson, Morgan County, Kentucky, when she was 22 years old. She had nine children, five girls and four boys. Four of her children preceded her in death.

John William Mannin (1846-1888)
Isaac Wilson Mannin (1848-1931)
Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett (1849-1913)
Meredith Mannin (1851-
Sarah Jane Mannin Bryant (1855-1942)
Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones Gates (1856-1899)
Gresella Mannin (1857-1897)
Prudence Mannin Bare McDonald (1860-1898)
Robert J Mannin (1869-

Following her and Enoch while they were in Kentucky is very confusing.  They appear to have moved between Bath, Carter, and Morgan counties between 1843 and 1883. (All are in northeast Kentucky.) However, as mentioned before they are all within a short distance from each other depending upon the year being considered.  This could be an excellent area for further research and study.

Her husband, Enoch, served the North during the Civil War (War of Rebellion or War of Northern Aggression depending upon your point of view) 

In 1880, she and Enoch were still in Carter County, Kentucky.  
She and Enoch moved to Minnesota in April 1883 to Holding township in Stearns County; their post office was Saint Anna.

Their eldest son, John William Manning, had two daughters, Mary & Phebe. John’s wife died in 1882 and the girls were living with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva, in 1885.  We aren’t sure how long they stayed with them. 

NE 1/4 of Section 22, Township 134 (May Township) today
View Larger Map
Enoch moved the family to Cass County in April, 1888. They settled on 160 acres in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota; Enoch received a homestead patent in 1894 for the land. Minerva’s life was that of a farmer’s wife; she kept house on the land that her husband owned and raised 9 children.

A Google map view of the property (Northeast quarter of section 22, township 134 (May Township), Range 31, today indicates a swampy bit of land along a creek without any evidence of current farming or of the original homestead.  She continued to live on the farm in May township until her death in 1902.

Marker of Minerva A (Tolliver)
Wife of Enoch Mannin
Feb 5, 1821- Oct 25, 1902
Photo by Don Taylor

Minerva marker and death certificate are inconsistent. One says she died on October 24th the other October 25. One says died at 81 years, 8 mos, 20 days (making her birth Feb 5, 1821) the other says she died at 82 years, 8 mos, 21 days (making her birth Feb 3, 1920).  The 1821 date is probably correct as she was x9 years old during most of the earlier census reports.

She is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery in Cass County.

I remember Minerva and celebrate her life today, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.

Sources: 
Tombstone/Marker Minerva A, Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota (Personal visit)
1850 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1860 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1880 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com

1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census – Via Ancestry.com
1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses – Via Ancestry.com
1900 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
Department of the Interior – Bureau of Pensions – Questionnaire, Enoch Mannin – 20 Nov 1897.
Google
Wikipedia

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