Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

15 May 2016: Brigadier General Clark Crandall of Hopkinton and Alfred May 15, 2016

I was cleaning up some notes in my genealogy database and spent the afternoon polishing up my notes for my great, great, great-grandfather, Clark Crandall (1785-1862.) Clark is one the ancestors in my family tree that I wish I could go back in time and talk to so I could glean some of the finer details of his life that are conspicuously missing from the records left behind.

What finer details, you ask … well, for one, what is his father’s name.  Clark was born 17 April 1785 in Hopkinton, Washington County, Rhode Island to Jane Crandall.  Problem is, in all the records, Jane is always listed as mother but there is never a mention of his father’s identity.  I find this odd because it’s as if no one is ashamed of this fatherless fact.  I would have thought that back in 1785, an unmarried mother would wreak havoc with records, the disgrace of an unwed mother and all.  It’s almost like there was no shame in the birth, as if for some reason it was acceptable to society which I think highly unlikely.

Another odd fact of Clark is that I see mentions of him being a brigadier general in historical books, but none of them military related.  I mean there’s not mention one of him on http://www.fold3.com, the military genealogy site.  You’d think there’s be some record of him there if he served long enough to attain such a high rank.

Anyway, just to share what I’ve collected on Grandpa Clark, here are my notes:

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Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, Volume 11,

Page 2073

Year: 1819

Battalion of infantry in the county of Steuben commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Simeon Bacon:

Charles Oliver, adjutant

One Hundred and Twenty-sixth regiment of infantry:

Clark Crandall, colonel.

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Page 2194

Year: 1820

Allegany County.

New Brigade organized, consisting of the militia in the county of Allegany, and denominated the Fifty-second brigade of infantry:

Clark Crandall, brigadier general.

The One Hundred and Twenty-sixth regiment of infantry is the county of Allegany being organized into four battalions, Resolved that the following officers be and they are hereby appointed, viz.:

Battalion in the town of Alfred:

Alexander Head, major commandant; David Crandall, adjutant.

Asa Coon, captain; Joseph Goodrich, Lieutenant; Dennis Saunders, ensign.

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1820 US Federal Census, Alfred, Allegany, New York, Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820 (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Name: Clark Crandall
  • Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (William Ladurney: Age 8)
  • Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 5
  • Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Clark: Age 35)
  • Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Amelia Jane: Age 1, Orpha: Age 16)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1
  • Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Amelia: Age 32)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
  • Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 5
  • Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
  • Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
  • Total Free White Persons: 12
  • Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 12

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1830 US Federal Census, Alfred, Allegany, New York  (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Name: Clark Crandall
  • Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Ira: Age 8)
  • Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1
  • Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (William Ladurney: Age 18)
  • Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Clark: Age 45)
  • Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Susan: Age 1, Mary Elizabeth, Age 4)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Eleanor Matilda: Age 6)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Amelia Jane: Age 11)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Orpha: Age 16)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1(Amelia: Age 42)
  • Free White Persons – Under 20: 9
  • Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
  • Total Free White Persons: 11
  • Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 11

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1840 US Federal Census: Alfred, Allegany, New York  (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Name: Clark Crandall
  • Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Ira: Age 18)
  • Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Clark, Age 55)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Amanda: Age 9)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 2 (Susan: Age 10, Mary Elizabeth, Age 14)
  • Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Amelia, Age 52)
  • Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
  • Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
  • Total Free White Persons: 6
  • Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

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1850 US Federal Census: Alfred, Allegany, New York, Family Number 307, Dated 9 Sept 1850, Page 40  (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Clark Crandall (Head) Age 65 … Born In RI … Occ: Farmer … Value of Real Estate Owned: 50
  • Amelia Crandall (Wife) Age 61 … Born in RI … No Occupation Listed
  • Ira B Crandall (Son) Age 28 … Born in NY … No Occupation Listed … Value of Real Estate Owned: 2000
  • Harriet L Crandall (Daughter-in-law)… Female … Age 27 … Born in NY
  • Samuel S Warner … Male … Age 20 … Born in NY … Occ: Carpenter
  • Daniel B Crandall (Relationship Unknown) Male … Age 22 … Born in NY … No Occupation Listed
  • James Gorden … Male … Age 20 … Born in NY … No Occupation Listed
  • Jenette Stickney … Female … Age 17 … Born in NY … No Occupation Listed

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New York State Census: Alfred, Allegany, New York, Household number: 61, Line Number: 53  (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Clark Crandall (Head) Age 70 … Born in RI … Value of house: 500 … Occ: Hard to read, might be “none”
  • Amelia Crandall (Wife) Age 66 … Born in RI … No Occ listed.

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1860 US Federal Census: Alfred, Allegany, New York July 31, 1860, Dwelling # and Family #: 567, Page 72, Post Office: Andover.  (Original Record available on Ancestry.com)

  • Clark Crandall (Head) Age: 75 … Occupation: Grocery Man … Place of Birth: RI
  • Amelia Crandall (Wife) Age 71 … Occ: House Labor … … Place of Birth: RI

NOTE: Two doors down on the Census is their daughter Orpha and her family: Phineas C. Stillman, Orpha Stillman, Ellinor Stillman, Albert S.Stillman, Amelia E. Stillman, Mary Stillman

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First Alfred Seventh Day Baptist Church, Membership Records (1816-1886)

By Ilou M. Sanford, 1995, Heritage Books, Inc. Pages 27-32 (From the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society)

Page number listed below is as noted in the book as the page that the record comes from in the original text., Page.29

Judge Clark Crandall

b Hopkinton Apr 17, 1785 , ad ’16, d Alfred Nov 9’62 … m abt 1810 Amelia Vincent sis/o David; ex Sep 5’47

(Abbreviations: ad = admitted, d = died, ex = excluded, b = born, m = married)

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Allegany County and it People: A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, John S. Minard, Esq. Historian, Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor. W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896,

History of Alfred, New York

ALFRED. BY SILAS C. BURDICK. CHAPTER LV. REMINISCENCES BY ETHAN LANPHEAR

Page 633:

…..Amos Crandall, Clark Crandall and Maxson Stillman used to act as choristers alternately, always standing in front of the pulpit to lead the congregation in singing….. (Re – the Alfred, NY 7th Day Baptist Church)

Page 648:

Judge Clark Crandall was born in Hopkinton, RI, April 17, 1785. His family removed to Petersburg, Rensselaer Co., in 1793, and from there he came on foot, in 1807, with two companions, and became one of the three first settlers of the present town of Alfred. He married Amelia Vincent during the first year of his residence in the town. Descended from ancestors who had been prominent in public affairs, strong and resolute, he at once assumed the position of a leader which he continued to hold during his lifetime. His first public office was that of a commissioner for the opening of roads. He was a constituent member of the First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Alfred in 1813, and supervisor of the town in 1814 and 1815, and town clerk three terms. He was made captain of the militia in 1811, second major in 1812, colonel of the 126th regiment of the state militia in 1819, and brigadier general in 1820. He established the first manufactory in the town, wooden pails, built the first courthouse in Allegany county in 1819, represented the county in the state legislature in 1820-21, and was one of the presidential electors of the state in 1832. Having been made a justice of sessions he was called “Judge Crandall” during the remainder of his lifetime. Always engaged in business enterprises, he was subject to varying fortunes financially. In 1836 he succeeded Luke Greene in the tanning and currying business at Alfred, and some years later he engaged in the cheese trade, finding markets mostly in Pennsylvania for the dairy product of his town, which he conveyed thither over the “Laurel Mountains” in wagons. This was the beginning of a business which has since assumed large proportions. Honest, persistent, public-spirited and kind hearted to a fault, he served his generation well and died in Alfred November 6, 1862, aged 77 years. His son, Ira B., and his youngest daughter, Amanda, wife of William C. Burdick, are still living in Alfred.”

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The Sabbath Recorder“, Vol 18, No 49, p 195, Dec. 4, 1862.

In Alfred, N. Y., November 9, 1862, of liver complaint, Mr. Clark Crandall, better known as Judge Crandall, aged 77 years, 6 months, and 22 days. He was born in Rhode Island, 1785, moved to Petersburgh, N. Y., and to Alfred in 1807,being one of the first three settlers in the town, and assisted in organizing the 1st Seventh-day Baptist Church in that town. In 1820 he was elected Member of the Assembly, and afterwards held the office of County Judge of Allegany for three years. When the Town of Almond was set off from Alfred, in 1821, he was a member of the Assembly. At that time many towns were being formed in the western part of the State, and there was much wrangling and disputing about names. The Judge had taxed brain to think of one for this town, but could not satisfy himself. The morning that the bill came up, just before it was called, a boy came through the crowd selling almonds; he bought some, and at the same time the thought struck him that Almond was just the name he wanted, and handed it in. It was immediately adopted; but its eccentricity attracted the attention of the members, and many perplexed for names, came to ask him where he found his. ‘I bought it of a boy,’ replied the Judge. Perhaps no one man did as much to build up the town of Alfred, in its first settlement as he. He was always noted for his resolution and public spirit, and it followed him till the last. He only gave up when his strength became so reduced that he could no longer walk. There was a large circle of friends in attendance at his funeral, though a majority of his own family were absent in distant parts of the United States and South America. He will be greatly missed in the town of Alfred.

N. W.

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If you have any additional info on Clark, let me know and I’ll update this post.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

8 May 2016: My DNA Test Results … Part 2: The Family Finder Test May 8, 2016

So yesterday I wrote about my mtDNA or maternal line DNA test. Today I’m going to share my experiences with Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder DNA test. According to their website, this is what Family Tree DNA says about the Family Finder test …

  • Family Finder is an autosomal DNA test that automatically finds your relatives within 5 generations. It works by comparing your DNA to the DNA of other users in our massive database.
  • Discover unknown family connections
  • Confirm uncertain relationships
  • Connect with living relatives
  • Gain a genealogical leg up
  • myOrigins will give you a very detailed geographic breakdown of where your ancestors came from. It works by comparing your DNA to the DNA of hundreds of ethnic groups around the world.
  • Learn your ethnic background
  • Gain insight into your ancestry
  • Confirm family lore

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, let’s see if it lives up to expectations. Let’s start with the Family Finder test Dashboard:

FF Dashboard

The first item on the dashboard is my MATCHES and here are the top matches I was paired with:

FF matches

The first question you’re probably asking is … how accurate is this test? Well, pretty accurate when you consider that Alice (seen above) is listed as potentially between my 2nd and 4th cousin and in reality she’s my third cousin once removed! Yep, we’d crossed paths via email a few years back through this blog. When I emailed her through my Matches page here, she reminded me of that. With that in mind, I think we can accept the legitimacy of this test and lay any doubts to rest.

If you click on any of my matches, a pop up box will come up that looks like this. (Again, I blocked out personal info to protect the privacy of my cousins.)

FF Match Pop Up

It gives you more info on what that person is looking for and their dead ends. With my cousin Alice, it gave us a match score of 83.27, the highest there. My second highest comparison score is Michelle at 63.38. On the website, they describe this score as: “This is the sum of the autosomal DNA, given in centiMorgans (cM), that you and your genetic match share.”

Next on the Dashboard is the Chromosome Browser. Here’s how the website describes it: “Chromosome Browser page allows you to compare your matching DNA segments (blocks) with your genetic matches. You may assign a known relationship to a person by clicking on the Assign button.”

I did a comparison between me and my known cousin Alice, and this is what it showed:

Chromosone with Alice

Is this a lot?  I’m not sure, but it’s enough to make us 3rd cousins.

The Known Relationships button on the dashboard is just a place for you to keep track of those you’ve officially found a connection to.

Next is My Origins. This is what I see when it first opens up:

My Origins First View

Well, there you have it. I’m 99% European and 1% South/Central Asian. My Asian actually comes out of the middle of Afghanistan! Humm… maybe that explains why my mother has crocheted me so many afghans … interesting ….

When I hit the Expand under my Ethnic Makeup, this is what you see:

My Origins - Expanded View

When you break it down, I’m:

  • 55% British Isles
  • 20% Southern Europe
  • 9% Western and Central Europe
  • 8% Finland and Northern Siberia
  • 7% Eastern Europe
  • 1% Central Asia

Some of this makes sense right off the bat. Firstly, my maternal grandfather’s history is 100% English, so that accounts for 25% right there for The British Isles. My paternal grandfather’s history is 100% Scottish and Irish. Put those together and at least 50% of my DNA should say British Isles. With the 55% they list, I say that’s pretty accurate.

So what about the rest?

My paternal grandmother is a mix. Her father has very deep roots in Bavaria, Germany. Her mother has deep roots in modern-day Slovakia.   They’re saying that the area of Slovakia is Eastern European and German is Western and Central Europe. With that in mind, you’d think both my Eastern and Western/Central Europeans would be about 12.5%.

My maternal grandmother’s parents were both born in Bavaria, Germany. Her mother’s parents are: Father Germany, Mother … not quite sure. This is the elusive Regina Van Glahn who we aren’t sue if she came from Germany or Holland. Since I’ve got this strange 8% of my DNA coming out of the region of Finland and Northern Siberia, I’m wondering if the Van Glahn line of my family is somehow connected to that part of the world. This is also the family line that we have Jewish roots on. Could that be my Central Asian connection as well?

My real question is where is all the Southern European coming from? I mean 20%? That’s a lot! And I have no one from that area for like 16 generations! Yes, I have some VERY Distant ancestors that were in Italy for quite a few generations. To give you an idea of old they are, here’s who I’m talking about:

  • Sir Roger De Hautville, Grand Count of Sicily. Born 1030 in Sicily. (My 22nd Great Grandfather) His father was born in England.
  • Count Roger II, King of Sicily. Born 1093 in Sicily (My 21st Great Grandfather)
  • King Tancred of Both Sicilys, Born 1130 in Sicily (My 20th Great Grandfather)
  • Aaron Fitz Roger, born 1249 in Rome, Italy (My 19th Great Grandfather)
  • Aaron (or John) Fitz Roger, born 1260 in Rome Italy (My 18th Great Grandfather)
  • Aaron Fitz Roger, born in Italy (My 17th Great Grandfather)
  • John Fits Roger, Gentleman, Morn 1335 in England (My 16th Great Grandfather)

So you can see there were 7 generations of the family that were born in Italy, but that was about 900 years ago, so I’m not sure that’s what’s accounting for all that Southern European. I also have very old roots in Spain. Here’s an example of them:

  • Alphonso VIII, King of Leon and Castile, Born 1105, Spain (My 23rd Great Grandfather)
  • Ferdinand II, King of Leon, born 1137 in Toledo, Spain (My 22nd Great Grandfather)
  • Alphonso IX, King of Leon, born 1171 in Spain (My 21st Great Grandfather)
  • Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon, Born circa 1198 in Spain (My 20th Great Grandfather)
  • Princess Eleanor of Castile, born 1244 in Castile, Burgos, Spain (My 19th Great Grandmother)
  • Eleanor moved to England and married King Edward I (Longshanks) Plantagenet.

Again, this seems so distant to account for the 20% in my DNA. I’m really at a loss to understand how this number could be so high.

So that’s about it. Was it worth the money? That remains to be seen. One of the reasons I did this test was that I’m searching for a long-lost close relative. I’m hoping perhaps we can find each other through our DNA as conventional searching hasn’t worked so far. I’ve also downloaded the raw DNA data from Family Tree DNA and uploaded it onto another site, www.gedmatch.com. I’m curious to see if this yields any matches. I uploaded my data there today, but he site says it takes a few days to process the info. I’ll post again to give a review of that site. I would have loved to be able to upload my DNA data onto my Ancestry.com account, but they don’t let you do that there.  Seems a little unfair as you can upload your Ancestry DNA data onto Family Tree DNA’s site.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

7 May 2016: My DNA Results are in! … PART ONE mtDNA May 7, 2016

I finally received the results of my DNA tests last week. As I said in my first post, I used the company Family Tree DNA. Mostly because I’d read on-line reviews that insinuated that you got more detailed results with them. I did two tests, the Family Finder and the mtDNA. The Family Finder tested you for your whole spectrum DNA and the mtDNA only tests your maternal line DNA. Since there’s quite a bit of info here, I’m going to split this up into two posts.

First I’ll start with my mtDNA test. This is the test that zeros in on just my maternal line. My direct maternal line has been one of my most annoying brick walls. Here’s what I know starting with me:

  • Me
  • Myra Wells (my mom)
  • Florence Jeanatte Weber 1902-1961 (my grandmother) born in Jersey City, NJ
  • Julia Regina Erbig 1882-1954 (my great grandmother) born in Jersey City, NJ
  • Catherine/Kate Green 1860-1936 (my great great grandmother) born in New Jersey
  • Regina Von Glahn 1835-1907 (my great great great grandmother) born in Germany or Holland

Regina has been impossible to track down past her passenger manifest to America in 1850. The only scrap of info I had as a lead was an old family rumor that the female line in the family had Jewish roots. I was hoping that with this mtDNA test, I’d be able to prove or disprove this theory and perhaps find someone else with the same line where we could share info and find a way to break through my brick wall.

When the test results came back in, I have to say I was annoyed that they are so vague. Perhaps it’s just the test itself, but I was annoyed by the way in which the results are explained to you. I’ll get to that later on. First of all, this is the dashboard you get on the website when you log in.

My Family Tree DNA Dashboard

My Family Tree DNA Dashboard

Let’s start with my Matches.   As you can see below the website has listed folks who, like me, are in their database and have been found as a match for their mtDNA, maternal line DNA. (I’ve blacked out their last names for their privacy.) Under the column “Genetic Distance” a 0 (zero) means we are an exact match and that our family connection is the closest. As the numbers go up, our common ancestor goes farther back in time. The other info listed is the ancestor the person listed on their profile as the farthest back they can trace. If you click on the little blue square that looks like a family tree it will show you the family tree that person built on the site. I found it extremely useful to be able to look at their family tree to see if I could find any commonality. If you click on the envelope you can also email these folks to see if they want to work with you on your research.

My mtDNA Matches

The next item on the dashboard is my Ancestral Origins. This report was what annoyed me the most about my results, mainly because Family Tree DNA gives you no explanation of what it means. I actually had to call them up and the explanation I did get was really strange. Here’s the first few lines of the report. I’ll scan and attach the full one below as well. Another thing I didn’t like was that there is no way to download these results as a PDF.

Mt DNA Ancestral Origins

Here’s what the columns mean:

  • Country Total: The total number of people in the Family Tree DNA database that claim to have ancestry in the country listed.
  • Match Total: The total number of people listed in “Country Total” that are actually matches to your mtDNA.
  • Percentage: The percentage of people in “Country Total” that are in your “Match Total.” Yes, had I a calculator, I could have figured this one out for myself.
  • Comment: Either a region of that country or ethnic people of that country that your matches have listed as part of their ancestry, which of course is pretty subjective as it could very well be based of family rumor more than truth proved with evidence.

Interestingly enough, my highest percentage of match came from the country of Morocco with 14.5%.

Morocco

When I called customer service to ask for an explanation of this report, even the Family Tree DNA rep said this report was kind of weird. When I asked about ways to find out if I was Jewish or not, he said that by the extremely large amount of Jewish ancestry noted in the comments fields of my report that odds were extremely high I had Jewish roots on my maternal line!

Mazel Tov

No, I didn’t get exacting scientific proof … yet … but that was good enough for me. Yeah! I’m a Jew. I’ll take it where I can get it. I’m so tired of just being plain old white bread European.

Here’s my Full Ancestral Origins Report:

Report Page 1

Report Page 1

Report Page 2

Report Page 2

Report Page 4

Report Page 3

Report Page 4

Report Page 4

Report Page 5

Report Page 5

The next item on the dashboard is the Matches Map. Here’s what it looks like when you open it up:

mtDNA Matches Map whole World

If you zoom in on a place, here’s what you see. If you click on a pin, the info for that person pops up.

mtDNA Matches Map for NYC

All things considered, this is just another way of looking at your matches.

The next item on the dashboard is the Migration Map. Here’s what it looks like.

MtDna Migration Map

There is no explanation to help you understand what this map really means so I honestly have no clue what it’s supposed to tell me. You’d think if they went through the trouble of creating it, they’d at least want you to understand it.

The other tab is the Frequency Map. Here’s what it looks like:

mtDNA Frequency Map

At least this map gives you a little explanation, but then when you click on one of the pie charts, I’m lost again. It doesn’t explain what A,B,C,D and X are for.

Mtdan Frequency map close up

Next on the Dashboard is the Haplogroup Origins. Take a look for yourself, but I don’t see how this differs from the Ancestral Group origins report much.

Haplogroup origins

 

Next on the dashboard is my Results. I’m Haplogroup H7, which according to Family Tree DNA is an uncommon branch found in low frequencies. Gee, nice to know I’m special.  Here’s the scientific gobbledygook they throw at you here:

Results 1

Results 2The last item on the dashboard is my Certificates. Here’s what I got:

CertifiacateThe only other certificate was the migration map which was kind of redundant.  So what did I think of this test? I have mixed feelings.  I get the impression that no matter what company I used, I was going to have a difficult time proving my Jewish heritage and really that was the only reason I did the test. I feel that there is interesting results to be had here, but was disappointed that Family Tree DNA did such a poor job of interpreting these results in an easy to understand way.  I think the Family Finder test results were more interesting.  That test will be my next post here.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

29 April 2016: I cleaned … and found a murderer lurking in my files! April 29, 2016

I’m hoping to be moving at some time in the near future. In preparation for said move, I’ve been poking in every nook and cranny of my apartment to find things I can toss out. This past weekend, I started to look through a jumbo plastic container with some random genealogy papers. Wondering what it was, I pulled out an article I’d printed out ages ago about Edward Geoghan. There not being too many Geoghans in Brooklyn, I suppose I’d printed it out to see if I’d be able to find out if we were related. What followed was an afternoon of slowly uncovering what is a truly sad and horrific story of one family.

Here’s the article:

Brooklyn Daily Standard Union, 8 February 1893

FOR MURDER: EDWARD GEOGHAN ON TRIAL IN THE COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER.

Edward GEOGHAN, a truck driver, 28 years of age, was placed on trial this morning in the Kings County Court of OYER & TERMINER, at which Judge CULLEN is presiding, for murder in the first degree, in having shot and killed his wife, Ellen GEOGHAN, at the residence of her sister, Mrs. Catherine BRENNAN, 103 Wyckoff street, on the 8th day of September last. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney RIDGEWAY, while Counselor MCMAHON appears for the accused.

On the day in question, GEOGHAN went to the residence of his sister-in-law, where his wife was stopping, and emptied the five chambers of a 32 calibre revolver at her, two of the bullets took effect, one lodging in the woman’s head and the other in her stomach. One of the bullets, in glancing off after striking a piece of furniture, slightly wounded the six-months old child of the couple in the right thigh, the burning powder from the weapon setting fire to the child’s stocking. Another bullet shattered the index trigger finger of the murderer. GEOGHAN, after the shooting threw the revolver into a pail of water in the kitchen and fled from the house. Patrolman STEABOLD, who lives in the neighborhood, heard the shots, and on going into the street, and seeing GEOGHAN in the act of running away, started in pursuit, and captured him after a short chase. GEOGHAN on being taken back and being identified by his wife as her assailant coolly denied that he had done the shooting or had ever had a revolver; but a carving knife as sharp as a razor, with which it is supposed he intended to finish the job if the pistol failed, was found in his breast pocket. The couple had been married but eighteen months, but quarrels growing out of the husband’s jealousy became so frequent that Mrs. GEOGHAN resolved to leave her husband. The latter, she said, had also threatened to kill her and conceived a violent hatred of her mother.

Mrs. GEOGHAN was removed to the hospital, where she died soon after.

Quite a sad story. Yet I had to wonder if we were related somehow. The early 1890s generally are not an easy search when it comes to census records, but I lucked out as there was a New York State Census taken in 1892. When I looked it up on Ancestry.com, this is what I found:

1892 NY Census Brooklyn Edward Geoghan

It would appear that Edward and Ellen’s son was named Edward. I had to wonder what became of this child and also to his father.

Knowing there had to be newspaper accounts of the incident and subsequent trial, I turned to http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html , an excellent source for New York State newspaper archives. The website didn’t disappoint.

From this article in the New York Tribune, we find out that Edward was convicted of murder in the first degree, his defense of temporary insanity didn’t seem to help his case any.

1893 Jan Feb New York tTribune

From this article in Buffalo Evening News dated September 2, 1893, we see that the Governor commuted Edward sentence of death to life imprisonment.

1893 Sept 2 Buffalo Evening News

From this article in the New Rochelle Pioneer dated September 9, 1893, we see that the reason for the Governor to commute his sentence was that upon examination, Edward was found insane.

1893 Sept 9 New Rocelle Pioneer

I googled the main characters in the article and didn’t come up with much more on a simple Google search. I then switched to a look at Google books and found the following appeal. It differs from the accounts of the newspaper a little. It says that the incident happened not at his sister-in-law’s house, but at his mother-in-law’s house and that the sister-in-law was there.

The New York State Reporter

The New York State Reporter

Appeal page 2

Page 3 Appeal

While I was on Ancestry, I also found Edward’s prison intake record from Sing Sing prison. It notes that after his sentence was commuted by the Governor from death to life, he was sent to an asylum. It gives quite a bit of physical description of Edward and lists the names of two of his aunts, Mrs. Mary O’Connor and Mrs. Briget Mc T-something I can’t quite make out. McTearny maybe. No mention of the son, Edward Jr. or of Edward’s parents.  Here’s that intake record:

Edward Geoghan Sing Sing intake Record

So what happened to Edward Jr? I mean, poor thing, to have your mother killed by your father who was now in an asylum for who knows how long.

From here I decided to look for any info on Ellen and found her on findagrave.com as buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.  I know it’s her because of the date of death, the date of her murder.  Unfortunately, I looked at the bottom of the page and found out what happened to little Edward Jr.

Ellen on FAG

When I opened the link, I found Edward Jr.

Ed Jr on FAG

I can only wonder how little Edward died.  This really is a sad story.

So what happened to Edward Sr.?  Last we saw he was transferred from prison to an asylum.  On the 1900 US Federal Census I found him listed as a patient at the Matteawan State Hospital in Fishkill, New York.

1900 US Federal Census, Fishkill, New York, Matteawan State Hospital

1900 US Federal Census, Fishkill, New York, Matteawan State Hospital

He wasn’t at this hospital for more than a few years before I found him on the 1905 New York State Census as well as the 1910 Federal Census as a patient at Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts in Dannemora, Clinton County, New York.

1905 New York State Census: Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts

1905 New York State Census: Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts

1910 US Federal Census: Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts

1910 US Federal Census: Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts

I found this bit of information online:

Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts opened in 1900. Dannemora confined and cared for male inmates who were declared insane while serving sentences. Matteawan State Hospital transferred to Dannemora all male inmates who had at least six months left to serve on their sentences. Males serving sentences for felonies in State prisons, reformatories, or penitentiaries, and who were declared insane, were also transferred to Dannemora. In 1912, the name of the institution was changed to the Dannemora State Hospital. In 1972, Dannemora closed and all inmates were transferred to Matteawan.

When Dannemora State Hospital closed, the site became the Adirondack Correctional Treatment and Evaluation Center. This facility offered programs for the rehabilitation of persistent offenders and included a diagnostic team of specialists in psychiatry and psychology. In 1975, the Center closed and the site was converted into the Clinton Annex, a medium security facility for male inmates. Camp Adirondack, a medium security work camp, was also established at the site in 1975. The following year, Camp Adirondack was transferred to Ray Brook and was renamed the Adirondack Correctional Facility.

And this is where the trail ended.  I can’t find any death record for Edward or find him on any census record after 1910. Such a sad story, but an excellent case study in how to take a single article and find out the story behind the story.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

23 April 2016: A Geoghan by any other name .. like Gahigan … is still just as hard to research April 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 11:42 am

To further update my Geoghan relatives on the progress of my research, this post will show you what I’ve discovered since I last posted last month.

I was able to order an original copy of the 1861 Census of Scotland with the family on it. Here it is:

1861 Census Gahigan

1861 Census of Scotland – Gahigan Family

Here a close up view of the family:

1861 Census Gahigan CU

Here is what it says:

1861 Scotland Census:  ED 2, Household 62, Line 8, Registration District: Partick, Civil Parish: Govan, County: Lanarkshire, Address: 32 Bridge Street

  • George Gahigan: Head … Age 35 … Born in Ireland …Occ: Dock Labourer
  • Ann Gahigan:     Spouse: Age 35 … Born in Ireland
  • Catherine Gahigan: Daughter … Age 10 … Born in Partick … Occ: Scholar
  • James Gahigan:  Son … Age 5 … Born in Partick … Occ: Scholar
  • George Gahigan: Son … Age 9 Months … Born in Partick
  • Patrick Donnelly:  Border … Age 24 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Dock Lab.
  • Patrick Moren: Age 22
  • Peter Coyne: Age 21

I was really hoping that when I got a look at the original document (and not just the transcription online) that it would be more specific on where in Ireland they were from, but that wasn’t the case.  I was also hoping that the original document might tell me more about this “Patrick Donnelly” who was a border living with them.  Donnelly being Ann’s maiden name, there’s still a possibility that she might be a relation of his.

Because I like to be thorough, I also made a copy of the first page of the census so I could see the area that it covered.  Here is that first page in case you’d like to see how the streets of their outlying section of Glasgow ran.

1861 Census of Scotland - Front page of enumeration district of the Gahigan residence.

1861 Census of Scotland – Front page of enumeration district of the Gahigan residence.

Glasgow is a port city of the river Clyde and it would appear George was a laborer down on the city’s docks.  Here is a photo I found online of Old Govan circa 1903.  Taken years after George worked there, but you still get a feel for the activity of the area:

OLD GOVAN

I next ordered an original copy of George and Ann’s marriage record.  Again hoping that it would give a clue as to where in Ireland they were born … and again I was left hanging.  Here is the record:

Marriage Record of George Gahigan and Ann Donnelly

Marriage Record of George Gahigan and Ann Donnelly

Here’s a close up look:

1850 George Gahigan and Ann Donnelly Marriage Record CU

I’ve never seen a marriage recorded with two dates.  George and Ann “Booked” on June 12, but “Married” on June 28. I’ve poked around a little to discover what the difference is but haven’t had much luck.  I would venture to guess that “Booked” might relate to getting the license and “Married” was the actual ceremony.   It lists George as being from Govan parish and Ann from Gorbals parish.  Govan and Gorbals were right next to each other.  Here’s a parish map of the county of Lanarkshire.  Both are at the upper left side:

lanark800

When I started doing searches for the Donnelly family in Gorbals, I found this:

1841 Census of Scotland: Civil Paris: Glasgow, St. Mary’s, County: Lanarkshire, Address Old Wynd, Parish 644/1, ED 15, Page 9, Line 566

  • Arthur Donnelly … Age 40 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Laborer (Estimated Birth Year: 1801)
  • Eliza Donnelly … Age 40 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1801)
  • Rose Donnelly … Age 15 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1826)
  • Owen Donnelly … Age 16 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Plaster Ap (Estimated Birth Year: 1825)
  • Ann Donnelly … Age 15 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1826)
  • John McDead … Age 3 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Plaster Ap (Estimated Birth Year: 1838) (Yes, this is probably a typo on the ancestry.com transcription.  He’s probably thirty something in age.  Hard to believe a 3-year-old would be a plaster apprentice.)
  • Robert White … Age 30 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1811)
  • Eliz White … Age 25 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1816)
  • Margaret McKenna … Age 33 … Born in Ireland (Estimated Birth Year: 1808)

Old Wynd is a road in the same area of Glasgow that we consistently see all the event of this family take place.  Here it is at the center of a map:

Old Wynd Street

I’m sorry to say there’s not much there today.  Here’s a Google Earth street view of the road:

Old Wynd Photo

So is the Ann Donnelly on this 1841 census, our Ann, the Ann that Married George Gahigan?  I don’t know, but the probability is high. She’s the right age, born in Ireland, lives in the right neighborhood.  I’ve always doubted that Ann and George, though both born in Ireland, knew each other there.  It was more likely that they were both immigrants living in Scotland, having come separately with their respective families.

So the search continues …

When and from where did the leave Ireland for Scotland and with whom? I haven’t discovered that quite yet, but I’ll keep on digging until I figure it out.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, family genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

17 March 2016: For my Geoghan Cousins … more history on our Irish/Scottish roots March 17, 2016

I’ve been redoubling my efforts to unearth the history of the Geoghan family. Of all my family lines, the Geoghans are the most stubborn and cause the most brick walls. Seeing as my last name is Geoghan, I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this fact …

As it stands, the earliest definite record of the Geoghan family is the marriage record of my great-grandfather Thomas Geoghan, who married Ellen Stapleton in Unionville, CT on 28 Oct 1883. This record is on file in the Unionville town clerks office, but that is where the paper trail on them ends … or does it …

Geoghan variations

A few weeks ago, I came across a birth record on familysearch.org for a Thomas Gihigan with the exact same birthdate as is on my great-grandfather Thomas Geoghan’s death certificate. Could these two Thomas’ be the same man? Maybe yes and maybe no. Let’s examine the evidence.

The first thing I did was trot on down to the Orlando Family History Center and order the microfilm for the record that was on familysearch.org. FamilySearch.org is the genealogy website that is run by the Mormon Church, and if you find a record that there is no image for on the site, you can usually order the microfilm of the original record and have it sent to local Family History Center at your local Mormon church for a nominal fee. I did just that and here is the birth record of Thomas Gihigan:

Thomas LR

WOW! I love this record! I mean those Scots are insanely detailed in their record keeping. Here’s a transcription of the above:

  • Birth Registration: Partick, district of Lanark
  • Thomas Gihigan, Born 15 Aug 1862 at 10:40am at 1 Wells Lane, Partick
  • Father: George Gihigan, Construction laborer
  • Mother: Ann Gihigan, maiden name Donnelly
  • Married: July 1, 1850, Glasgow
  • Informant: Ann Gihigan, signed with an “x” for her mark.
  • Birth Registered, August 29th, 1862

Partick is just to the west of downtown Glasgow, in Lanarkshire Scotland. A neat little area when you wonder around its streets on Google Earth. Also note that on the birth record, Ann signed with “Her mark,” not a signature. I highly suspect that she was not able to read and write. This unfortunate circumstance will probably led to a myriad of frenetic spellings of our last name of Geoghan.

Partick, Scotland

Partick, Scotland

Taking the info on this record, I did some research into George Gihigan and his wife, Ann Donnelly. I found records on a few other children they had:

  • Ann Gahigan                      Born 19 Nov 1857             Govan, Lanark, Scotland
  • George Gihigan                Born 8 Jul 1860                  Govan, Lanark, Scotland

Govan is either part of Partick, or Partick is part of Govan. I honestly can’t quite figure out how the Scottish are designating areas, districts, regions, but I think Partick is a part of Govan.

Partick-nr-Broomhill, Govan, Glasgow, Tram Car

Partick-nr-Broomhill, Govan, Glasgow, Tram Car

When I did a search of George Gihigan with a wife Ann and children Ann, George and Thomas, I found this record in the 1861 Census of Scotland:

1861 Scotland Census: ED 2, Household 62, Line 8, Registration District: Partick, Civil Parish: Govan, County: Lanarkshire, Address: 32 Bridge Street

  • George Gahigan: Head … Age 35 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Dock Labourer
  • Ann Gahigan:     Spouse: Age 35 … Born in Ireland
  • Catherine Gahigan: Daughter … Age 10 … Born in Partick … Occ: Scholar
  • James Gahigan:   Son … Age 5 … Born in Partick … Occ: Scholar
  • George Gahigan: Son … Age 9 Months … Born in Partick
  • Patrick Donnelly: Age 24
  • Patrick Moren: Age 22
  • Peter Coyne: Age 21

This record show George and Ann with children Catherine, James and George. If this is Thomas’ parents, Thomas would have been born the year after this census was done. Just because I couldn’t find birth records on Familysearch.org doesn’t mean they aren’t out there somewhere so this doesn’t bother me. I’ll also note that one of the other men in the house is Patrick Donnelly. Could he be a relation of the mother whose maiden name was Donnelly?

Since both Thomas’ birth record and this census record had street names with them, I did a little digging on Well Lane and Bridge Street.   I found a website with a street index for the 1881 census for Scotland that listed both streets in the same area of Govan:

Street Index, 1881 Census for: Govan (646-2) Lanark, Scotland

Enumeration District 3

Bridge Street     Burnbank House

Castlebank St     Dumbarton Road

Kelvin Street      Knowe Street

Well Lane            Well Street

Dumbarton Road, Partick

Dumbarton Road, Partick

According to another website I found (http://www.glasgowguide.co.uk/info-streetschanged3.html) these streets have changed names since them.

A list of Glasgow street names which were subject to change prior to the 1940s

Old Name: Well Lane, Partick … New Name: Cooper’s Well Lane, W. 1.

Old name: Bridge Street, Partick               … New Name: Partick Bridge Street, Wl

If the address of 32 Bridge Street on the 1861 Census is correct as the current 32 Partick Bridge Street, this is where they lived:

32 Partick Bridge Street - Previously 32 Bridge Street

By comparison, here is where Coopers Well Lane is:

Coopers Well

Turns out these modern streets are right in the same small neighborhood which lends credibility to the theory that the birth record family and the census record family are one in the same, but this is where I lose the paper trail in Scotland.

 

Immigrants_Behold_the_Statue_of_Liberty

 

Now we turn to America. As I stated above, I was left with a gap from the marriage record in the year 1883 and the 1861 Census of Scotland.   My first glimpse of who I suspect is the same family is in the 1875 Rhode Island State Census with this family:

1875 Rhode Island State Census: East Greenwich, Kent County, RI, ED 2, Line 22, Household 154, Vol 5, Page 86

  • George Mc Geohegan: Head … Age 47 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Bleacher in Print Works
  • Ann Mc Geohegan:       Wife … Age 49 … Born in Ireland … Housekeeper … Cannot read or write
  • Catharine Mc Geohegan: Daughter … Age 24 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Work in Print Works
  • Peter Kehea:       Son in Law … Age 24 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Laborer in Print Works
  • James Mc Geohegan:   Son … Age 19 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Laborer in Print Works
  • George Mc Geohegan: Son … Age 15 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Laborer in Print Works
  • Thomas Mc Geohegan: Son … Age 12 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Laborer in Print Works

1875 RI Census Kent East Greenwich McGeohegan Family

When you compare this census record to the 1861 census in Scotland, here is how it matches up:

George Sr:   Same birth place on both records. 1861 has him born circa 1826 where 1875 has him born circa 1828

Ann: Same birth place on both records. Both 1861 and 1875 have her born circa 1826. EXACT MATCH

Catherine: Same birth place on both records. Both 1861 and 1875 have her born circa 1851. EXACT MATCH

James: Same birth place on both records. Both 1861 and 1875 have him born circa 1856. EXACT MATCH

George: Same birth place on both records. Both 1861 and 1875 have her born circa 1860. EXACT MATCH

Thomas I compare with his birth record and the 1875 census: Same birth place on both records. 1875 census says born circa 1863 (when he was born in 1862 so a strong match)

 

This same family shows up on the 1880 US Federal Census with yet another creative spelling of our last name:

1880 US Federal Census: East Greenwich, Kent Co., Rhode Island, Sheet C, Sheet # 185, House 288, Family 408

  • George Mcgorgan: Head … Age 55 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Works in Print Works … Parents born in Ireland
  • Ann Mcgorgan:       Wife … Age 55 … Born in Ireland … Occ: Keeps House … Parents born in Ireland
  • James Mcgorgan:     Son … Age 25 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Works in Print Works
  • George Mcgorgan:   Son … Age 20 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Works in Print Works
  • Thomas Mcgorgan:   Son … Age 18 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Works in Print Works
  • Catherine Keough: Daughter … Age 27 … Born in Scotland … Occ: Keeps House
  • James Keough:     Grandson … Age 4 … Born in Rhode Island
  • Peter Keough:           Grandson … Age 3 … Born in Rhode Island
  • Annie Keough: Granddaughter … Age 2 … Born in Rhode Island
  • Mary Keough: Granddaughter … Age 1 … Born in Rhode Island
1880 US Federal Census: PAGE 1

1880 US Federal Census: PAGE 1

1880 US Federal Census East Greenwich Kent RI Geoghan Family

1880 US Federal Census: PAGE 2

If you have doubts about Mcgorgan as being Geoghan, note that Daughter Catherine was married to Peter Kehea in the 1875 census, and here she is Catherine Keough. Catherine’s daughter Mary is indeed the daughter of the Peter who was on the 1875 but missing from the 1880 census. I found this record of her birth on familysearch.org:

Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914: Indexing #: I04917-0 … System Origin   Rhode Island-EASy … GS Film # 1822628

Name: Mary Elizabeth Kehoe … Gender : Female

Birth Date/Place: 10 May 1879, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Father’s Name: Peter Kehoe … Mother’s Name: Katharine

This is where I’d love to say I found the family on the 1890 US Federal Census, but almost the entire census burned in a fire in Washington DC. We know that prior to 1900, that my great-grandfather, Thomas, was living in Unionville, Hartford County, Conn, and that on the 1900 US Federal Census, the family was living in Westport, CT. Family rumor was that there was a flood in Unionville and it washed the family farm away, so the packed up what little they had left and moved to Westport.

So if my Great Grandfather is the same Thomas as the one in the above records from Scotland and Rhode Island, what happened to the rest of the family? I haven’t been able to track down what happened to his parents, George and Ann, but I was able to find his sister Catherine and niece Mary. Here is a 1900 US Federal Census from Farmington, Hartford County, Conn with what I suspect is Mary Kehoe, Thomas’ niece, the daughter of his sister Catherine.

1900 US Federal Census: Farmington Township, Hartford, Connecticut, District 136, Sheet # Letter 4A, Household ID 77, Line # 32, GS Film # 1240136, Digital Folder # 004118707

  • Charles Carrington: Head … Age 61 … Born in Connecticut
  • Elizabeth Carrington: Wife … Age 62 … Born in Connecticut
  • Mary Kehoe: Servant … Age 21 … Born in Rhode Island … Single … White … Born: May 1879 … Father Born Ireland, Mother born Scotland
1900 US Federal Census

1900 US Federal Census

Farmington where Mary was in 1900 is only a twenty-minute drive from Unionville where Thomas was living with his family just before 1900. I find this a little more than coincidence. I couldn’t find Catherine on the 1900 census, but I did find her in 1920 with Mary and a young adopted son:

1920 US Federal Census: New Haven Ward 2, New Haven, Connecticut Sheet Letter A, Sheet Number 13

  • Katherine Kehoe: Head … Widowed Female, Age 68 … Born in Scotland … Father’s Birthplace: Scotland … Mother’s Birthplace: Ireland … Can read and write … Owns home.
  • Mary Farmer: Daughter … Age 40 … Born in Rhode Island
  • Walter Leide: Adopted Son … Age 7 … Born in Connecticut

1920 US Fedeal Census NewHaven

The only other record I could find on Thomas’ family was of his brother George. I found a death record for him in Richmond, NYC, New York, listing him as George McGeoghan. He died 24 June 1905.

When you trace this family from Scotland to America, I feel pretty certain they are the same family. I’m still searching for some immigration paperwork to tie them together a little more definitively. One thing that I think is very interesting is that on the Rhode Island Census’ it lists the occupations of the men in the family as “Works in Print Works,” and our great-grandfather Thomas was listed on the 1910 Census with an occupation of “Paper Maker, Paper Factory.” Another coincidence? We’ll have to see what future research shows.

I’ll post again when I have more developments.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

25 Feb 2016: Breaking the DNA Barrier February 25, 2016

I thought I’d do a series of posts allowing you to follow along with my experiences in having my DNA tested.  I know lots of folks who have considered using modern technology to aid in their genealogy research, but the price seems a little high with an uncertain outcome of success. For a long time, this was me.  I mean I already know a startling amount about my family history.  What more could I learn from the DNA that is locked inside the cells of my body?

Well, we’re about to find out.

After doing some research, I decided to work with Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) I chose them because from the chatter I read online, they give you the best results for the money. And it wasn’t cheap. I decided to purchase two tests, the Family Finder and the mtDNA Ancestry Test.

ftda-logo

Here’s what they consist of:

mtDNA Ancestry Test: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down almost unchanged from a mother to her children. That lets you trace your maternal ancestry using the world’s largest mtDNA database.

Family Finder: Will give you a very detailed geographic breakdown of where your ancestors came from. It works by comparing your DNA to the DNA of hundreds of ethnic groups around the world.

The Family Finder test is $99 and the mtDNA is $199, so all together it was about $312 including a shipping charge.  Considering the package it came in, I think that shipping charge was a bit high.

What came in the mail from Family Tree DNA

What came in the mail from Family Tree DNA

After I placed my order online, they mailed the test out to me very quickly.  I followed the instructions given and swabbed the inside of my cheeks.  Today I mailed back my samples, so now we wait to see what I get for my $312.

My samples and release form to be mailed back.

My samples and release form to be mailed back.

What am I hoping for?

I have two goals in mind that were the reasons I decided to outlay such a sum of cash. First, there’s been a persistent rumor on my mom’s side of the family, that my mother’s, mother’s, mothers’, mother’s, etc, side of the family was jewish. Since I’ve been unable to track that maternal line back to Europe, hopefully the mtDNA test will either prove or disprove the rumor that I’m a Jew.  Personally, I’m hoping I’m one of God’s chose people.  There’s not a whole lot of us at my Baptist church.  :-)  The most distant female line ancestor I know of is Regina Von Glahn. She was born in February 1835 in either Germany or Holland.  She came to America in 1850 and married Jacob Green, then died 17 February 1907 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Hopefully with this test, I’ll find out more about Regina’s origins.

The second reason, and the reason that I’ve decided to spend the money now instead of later is that I’m searching for a long-lost relative. I recently read an article that said that many people who have been adopted do DNA tests to find out about their biological family histories. In the case of Family Tree DNA, I had to sign a release form to send back with my samples.  This form gives  FT DNA permission to disclose my name and address to any close family matches that they may find in their database.  I’m hoping that maybe he has or he will send in his DNA for testing, if so, maybe I’ll be able to find this relative.  Since he was adopted and I’m having difficulty tracking him down after his adoption, who knows … maybe being one of God’s chosen people will help!

Anyway, this is post number one.  I’ll post again to let you know what results I get from my test.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

 
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