Letter of Delores Sarah Brown Pribbenow dated Letter – 4 April 2005.

Amanuensis Monday 

Transcript of Letter from Delores Brown Pribbenow

I find Facebook to be one of the absolute best resources I’ve ever used for research. A few months ago I was able to “friend” a first cousin once removed. “BLZ’s” mother, Delores, and my grandfather were siblings. As such, she is a contemporary with my mother. She also lived near my grandfather and great grandmother for many years and had her own stories. She also has some of the old records and writings of her mother, Delores, and her grandmother (my great-grandmother) Mary Brown. I wrote Delores in 2001 and received a wonderful letter that I’ve incorporated into my research long ago. I found out from BLZ that her mother wrote another letter, this time for her children, in 2005; of which, my cousin scanned and sent me a copy. This 2005 letter included many new (to me) tidbits of information regarding family. I admit I have a difficult time using old handwritten documents so I transcribed it for my use.

There are many new tidbits of information.  One of the best was my grandfather’s middle name.  He changed his name from Clifford D. Brown to Richard Earl Durand to Richard Earl Brown.  I have never found a document which included his “D.” middle name.  Delores’ letter is the first place I’ve ever seen a middle name for him — Durwood.  Durwood fits as it was his father’s middle name. There is also mention of a great grand uncle, Robert Manning, that I had never heard of before.  I knew that a Robert J Manning lived with Enoch, Minerva, Mary, and Phoebe as shown in th 1885 Minnesota Census but I never knew the relationship. So, it appears that all three children were living with their grandparents in 1885.  I learned the occupations of several great uncles and the surname of the man Adia/Ada married. All-in-all a very helpful letter.

If you are able to connect with a cousin, start with sharing photos or stories, eventually, you may find the cousin has fresh documents you haven’t seen before. Cousins can be great resource to enhance your understand and knowledge of your family.

Below is a copy of the letter and my transcript. There are a couple of words I can’t quite make out, so, anyone who wants to help please feel free to comment. I have also highlighted new tidbits of information.

— — — — — — (Page 1) — — — — — — 

April 4th, 2005
Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 1 Dated April 4, 2005
Source: BLZ

I, Delores Sarah Pribbenow, being of sound mind do write this truth for my children to refer to:

I was born the 11/7/1917 to Arthur Durwood Brown and Mary Elizabeth Manning. Mary was born 1876 April 17, lived to be 107. She died on mothers Day. Born 1876 in Kernsville, Kentucky, maiden name Manning. Art was born in Lansing Michigan, they had twelve children raised 10 to adulthood. Two died as infants (Dorothy & Martin) of measles. Children are as follows: Clyde Leroy B. Clarence Andrew B, Victoria Cocialia, Cora Elsie, Clifford (Dick) Durwood, Edward, Louis B., Arthur Eugene B. Charles W B. Delores Sarah, Nettie Mae Viola, the youngest. My mom passed away in Bethany Home in Brainerd. My father passed away in Walker Minn. in hospital, I remember it well. My momn& I camped on the campgrounds at Leach Lake to be near him at his last moment. He died in the night time during a terrific storm. Power was all out. So we didn’t hear until morning when we went to see him, we transported his body by train to Sylvan depot and he was buried in Sylvan or Gull River Cemetery. My Dad, Arthur had surgery in Brainerd for Gall Stones and appendicitis, never recovered his health. Doctored in Rochester, Mayo Clinic, and other doctors ended up in Walker. No help. I’m sure it was cancer he had yellow jaundice and lot of pain with chills, he kept is appendix and gall

[———– Next sheet (Page 2) ————-]

Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ

bladder & stones in a glass jar until his death. My memories of him are seeing him sitting in a chair braced up against a tree with a straw hat on and smoking a corn cob pipe. Also walking with hands clasp behind his back – while viewing his crops in the field. We raised cucumbers for the Heinz pickle company acres and acres of them. Back breaking job to get them ready to sell. We lived many miles from towns had to transport by team & wagon at least twenty miles one way. My mother had one sister Phoebie and a half brother Robert Manning.

My dad had many Sisters and Brothers, ???? I remember them

Uncle William 
   “  Clyde
   “  Clifford – Wife Lou Lou 
   “  Edward – farmer wife Dora 
   “  Fred was a barber – wife Anna 
   “  Charlie – A cook – Minnie his wife 
Aunt – Ada – husband Ben Mayers – a lawyer owned an island in Gull Lake also a gold mine
   “  Bertha
   “  Minnie 

In the old days they had a child every 9 months it seemed up to a dozen and they continued to rename the child after the aunts and uncles – making it very confusing. I had many uncles and cousins I never ever met.

[———– Next sheet (Page 3) ————-]

Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ

My Mothers Sister Phoebe Brown, Richmond. Sisters married Brothers, my uncle Clyde Brown, my dads brother married my mothers sister Phoebe. They had two children, Stella Brown Barnet, Henry Brown – They were my double cousins. Then Uncle Clyde was crushed between to box cars on the M N I rail road he was a brake men, Phoebe later remarried to William Richmond they had Billie, Mahala, Norman, George Herbert Jim Gilbert uncle Will R. died and Phoebe remarried to Milo Upton.

Uncle Bob Mannings wife was Martha – She died in the State of Washington they had sons named Grant & Herbert, that I new

Uncle Ed Brown died of cancer – had button put in this throat talked there that also my Brother Ed had the same thing many years later – Cancer has taken all of my family – I am the only one left.

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 ————-