Jane (Lawson) Marshall (1820-____)

Roberts/Marshall/Lawson

My 3rd great grandmother, Jane Lawson, is one of my most frustrating research subjects – almost a brick wall. She just vanishes in my research.  She was born about 1820 in Tennessee. She probably married a man surnamed Marshall about 1842, because she had her only known child, Patience Anna Marshall, on 30 Dec 1843.

Her husband either died or vanished before 1849. The 1850 Census shows the 30-year-old Jane living with her younger brother Thomas, in Jefferson County, Illinois along with Thomas’ new wife and Jane’s daughter Patience. And there are no Marshalls in the mortality schedule identified in the 1850 Census for Jefferson or surrounding counties.

One researcher suggests that Jane may have married Farris Presley in Marion County, Illinois, in 1864, but I have been unable to confirm that.

In my research, I was able to place her as likely in the household of Jacob Lawson during the 1840 Census. (The census only provides names of heads of households.)

So, I’ve discovered woefully little about Jane and her life. I’ve followed her brother Thomas having 10 children and living Jefferson County all of his life. I’ve discovered her mother’s name was Patience, presumably who she named her daughter for.

Jane Lawson

  • Circa 1820 – Born
  • Circa 1842 – Married? (Unk Marshall)
  • 30 Dec 1843 – Gave birth to Patience.
  • 1 June 1850 – Lived with brother, Thomas

Jane’s Parents – Jacob and Patience Lawson

In the 1850 Census, her parents and (apparent) siblings are listed only as being in Jefferson County, Illinois, but the 1860 Census add a key fact, the family lived in Township 2S of Range 4E. Whenever I see a person living in the Midwest, I always check the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. There, I searched for the surname Lawson in Jefferson County Illinois.  There were six, and one of them was Jacob Lawson, in Township 2S, of Range 4E. He received bounty land.

Pursuant to an act of Congress on 28 September 1850, Jacob Lawson, private in Captain Waterhouse’s Company, Tennessee Volunteers – Florida ???? received 80 acres on 2 January 1854. It was the North Half of the South-East Quarter of section thirty-four. A quick review found the land about two miles south of Bluford and about two miles north of Interstate 64. (About 10 miles east of Mount Vernon and 90 miles east of Saint Louis.)

Painting of the Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran.
Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran

This new knowledge gives me a new direction and new hope for further research. What might I find about Jane when I research her other siblings? What Newspapers did Mount Vernon publish during her and her parent’s lives?  I also know that her father served honorably in the War of 1812. Jacob is the first of my ancestors for whom I learned served during the war of 1812. The Tennessee Volunteers are one of the key units during the War of 1812. I wonder what my 4th Great-Grandfather did in the war. It should be interesting to research that.

Review – DNA Painter

Tech Tuesday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Last fall, Blaine Bettinger mentioned in his Facebook group, “Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques” an introduction video was available on YouTube for DNA Painter. I respect Blaine’s opinions, so I knew that I wanted to give it a try. It took a while for me to get to it and I’m glad I finally did. Wow, great program.

DNA Painter helps you understand exactly where your DNA came from. With it you can determine if a segment of your DNA you have may have come from your great grandmother on your maternal grandmother’s side or from another ancestor.  You can paint with common DNA information from GEDMatch, Family Finder (Family Tree DNA), or 23&Me. Sadly, Ancestry doesn’t provide DNA segment matching data, so it can’t be used. However, the raw data from Ancestry may be exported by the DNA owner and then imported into GEDMatch or Family Finder where you may export the data for use in DNA Painter.


The DNA Painter video was great. I only needed to watch it once and I was confident I understood the tool enough to use it for DNA painting. I was right; the tool is very easy to use.

I am fortunate because I have had my mother tested and I have her results. So, if my mother has a DNA Segment and I have it, I know it came from her. All the other DNA that I received from my biological father, who passed away before autosomal DNA testing became available.

I began doing the DNA painting, copying the data about matching segments of DNA from various cousins. When I looked at the matches from my half-aunt and myself, I could see exactly which DNA segments came from my maternal grandfather (and his ancestors). I compared with a known third cousin and saw which DNA came from our common second great-grandparents.

Image of Note: Chromosome 3 has a long DNA segment known to be from Hugh Eugene Roberts
Note: Chromosome 3 (top line) has a long DNA segment known to be from Hugh Eugene Roberts

Image of Chromosome 3 has two DNA segments (in pink) known to be from Asa Roberts and a one segment from an unknown Ancestor, not Asa.
Note: Chromosome 3 (top line) has two DNA segments (in pink) known to be from Asa Roberts and one segment from an unknown Ancestor, not Asa.

I could see where bits of DNA came from.  In another example, I received a nice 141cM chunk of DNA from my father on Chromosome 3. Based upon other DNA matches, of that fragment of DNA a 21cM piece of it and another 17cM piece of was inherited from Asa Roberts. He also had a sizeable 47cM chunk of DNA inherited from another ancestor that apparently was not Asa. I don’t know who it was yet, but additional samples should show its source. It was fun to do, but I couldn’t see a substantial genealogical reason for doing it. How could I use this tool?

Image of DNA Painter - AHW match on C13
DNA Painter shows three DNA segments match on C. 13 for Glennis.

Then, I thought about my half-sister Glennis, so I started a new profile and began painting her DNA. We share a common mother, so, once again, I was able to copy that information into her profile and have all of her maternal DNA. Then, I could focus entirely on her unknown paternal side.  I began finding any of her biological cousins that do not contain our mom’s DNA. That is when I started to see a pattern.  There were segments that were shared by a common ancestor of multiple individuals. That proved, to me, that these segments were from a common ancestor. Their trees indicated that they shared a known ancestor, so I know that Glennis shares either the same common ancestor or an ancestor of that individual. Furthermore, if the individual is more genetically distant than a second cousin, I know that the descendants below the person’s second great-grandparent cannot be a direct line. That can save me considerable research disproving a potential family line.

DNA Painter is a great tool that can help identify likely genetic ancestors and help identify unlikely descendant lines. I like it.

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DISCLAIMER
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Don’t give up communicating with that match

DNA – Roberts

FTDNA Chromosome Browser Results

In 2016, my number 3 match In Family Finder (Family Tree DNA) was a 2nd to a 4th cousin with whom I shared 100cM of DNA. We shared a couple big chunks on Chromosome 3; there was another nice match on chromosome 12, and a small piece on Chromosome 11. I emailed him in November 2016 and waited.

During the ensuing months, I found two more cousins with whom I shared DNA but I still wondered about that first one. I wondered about him and I emailed him again in May 2017 hoping to figure out how we were related.

I emailed him again mostly as a follow-up in November 2017. And wow. A response. A nice response with enough information to show exactly how we are related. I came to learn that he is the 2nd great-grandson of my 2nd great-grandfather, Asa Ellis Roberts. In other words, he is my half 3rd cousin (we have different great-grandmothers). Asa had 16 children, 12 with his first wife, Cynthia Minerva Toney and 4 with his second wife, Patience Anna Marshall. (My line follows Patience’s children.)

If you are working to fill in the descendants of your ancestors and to connect with distant cousins, it is great to have a first contact message (email) and then remember to follow-up every few months. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a response. Just keep working at it and, hopefully, you will eventually receive the answer which will show a new line of cousins.

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DISCLAIMER
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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.
Search Military Records - Fold3

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.

Military Discharge of Asa E. Roberts

Amanuensis Monday

Military Discharge of Asa E. Roberts
Military Discharge of Asa E. Roberts

T:

To all whom it may concern:

Know Ye, that Asa Roberts a Private of Captain ??mon’s Company (I) 31st thirty-first Regiment of Illinois Vols who was enrolled on the 15th fifteenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and sixty one to serve three years, is hereby Discharged from the service of the United States this 26th twenty sixth day of July 1862 at Cairo, Illinois by reason of Chronic peritonitis and he is perfectly unfit for service.

Said Asa Roberts was born in Roane in the state of Tennessee is 26 twenty six years of age, five feet eight inches high fair complexion grey eyes dark hair and by occupation when enlisted a farmer.

Given at Cairo this 26 day of July 1862.

Wm K Strong

Brig Genl ??? Dist of Cairo.

Facts:

  • Asa Roberts enlisted 15 Aug 1861 for 3 years into Company I, 31st Regiment, Illinois Volunteers.
  • He was discharged 26 July 1862 at Cairo Illinois due to Chronic Peritonitis.
  • Born in Roane, Tennessee about 1836
  • Description: 5’8”, fair complexion, Grey eyes, dark hair.
  • Occupation before enlistment: Farmer