Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

15 Oct 2016: A postcard from the past October 15, 2016

A few weeks ago my cousin, Sharon, mailed me an old postcard she’d come across.  It’s from our great-uncle Frederick Kranz to our great grand father John Kranz.  The card  was sent from Cristobal, Panama on December 1, 1919.  Here it is:

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The caption on the front of the card says “Looking Through arches showing guard gates Pedro Miguel, Panama Canal.”

The note on the back of the card says “Monday 12/1/19 Dear Father, Have arrived safe at Colon, Panama and am leaving for New York Thursday Dec 4. I will expect to see you about the 12th of December.”  It is addresses to Mr. John Kranz, 194 Elizabeth Street C/O Empire Wagon Works, New York, U.S.A.

I don’t know as much as I wish I did about what happened to my Kranz cousins.  Unfortunately I never had to the opportunity to sit down with my Grandmother when I had the interest to know the answers to these questions.  Sadly now that she’s gone, I’m left with holes in my understanding of what happened to my greater Kranz family relatives.  When it came to my grandmother’s brother Fred, I suspected he was the Fred Kranz I found on this ships manifest/crew listing I discovered on ancestry.com, but was never 100% certain until Sharon mailed me this postcard.



According to these papers, Frederick Kranz is listed an ordinary seaman, age 20, from America, height 5’9, weight 158, sailing on the General W.C. Gorgas arriving in the port of New York on October 13, 1919 from Cristobal, Canal Zone.  So these papers confirm that Fred was sailing on the General W.C. Gorgas at the same time as the postcard was sent.  It also confirmed that my great Grandfather did work at the Empire Wagon Works.  He was a blacksmith and made part for wagon wheels, or so my father always said.

Here’s a picture of the General W.C. Gorgas, the ship Fred was sailing back and from Panama to New York on back in 1919:

General W.C. Gorgas

General W.C. Gorgas

Ironically enough, I too have been through the Panama Canal, four times no less!  I used to work on a small cruise ship and we sailed through the canal on our Costa Rica/Panama cruises.  I even remember sailing through the Pedro Miguel locks, one of the three locks you pass through while sailing the Panama Canal.  Here’s some pictures I took of the Canal when I sailed through back in the mid 1990’s:


The Panama Canal as seen from the deck of the Yorktown Clipper

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I doubt what I saw a I sailed through the canal was much different from what Fred saw.  It’s pretty old school technology.  I wish I’d known of his adventures on the canal when I was there.  I do remember wondering if I was the first in my family to go that far south in the world.  Looks like I wasn’t.  Fred died back in 1984.  I never met him so I have no memories of this man who led such an interesting life. The lesson to be learned here is to ask those questions of your relatives now, before it’s too late to discover the interesting life stories of the generations that came before us.



6 July 2016: Forgotten Soldiers in a box of old postcards July 6, 2016

My father passed away a little over a month ago and so we’ve started the long process of organizing his belongings.  Dad was a bit of a pack rat but what he did have, I’m finding, was some very odd and interesting items. While home this past weekend I was looking through a box of vintage postcards he’d had and found an odd collection of what look like picture postcards from a military unit stationed in the South Pacific.  From the uniforms I’m going to guess they were taken during World War One.  Wondering who these men might have been I googled US Military in the South Pacific during WWI and discovered that we were indeed fighting there during WWI.  I have to admit, I don’t think I’d ever heard that in school.


According to Wikipedia:

The Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I consisted of various naval battles and the Allied conquest of German colonial possessions in the Pacific Ocean and China. The most significant military action was the careful and well-executed Siege of Tsingtao in what is now China, but smaller actions were also fought at Bita Paka and Toma in German New Guinea. All other German and Austrian possessions in Asia and the Pacific fell without bloodshed. Naval warfare was common; all of the colonial powers had naval squadrons stationed in the Indian or Pacific Oceans. These fleets operated by supporting the invasions of German-held territories and by destroying the East Asia Squadron.  One of the first land offensives in the Pacific theatre was the Occupation of German Samoa in August 29 and 30 1914 by New Zealand forces. The campaign to take Samoa ended without bloodshed after over 1,000 New Zealanders landed on the German colony, supported by an Australian and French naval squadron.

I’m not sure how much involvement American troops had in these actions but I have to assume we were there in some capacity.  I mean, we’re Americans … we generally don’t sit on the sidelines well.

Where did these postcards come from?  I’m not sure.  Dad could have just picked them up someplace because they looked cool but that seems unlikely.  A few of the other cards in the box were addressed to my great uncle Theodore VanSickles (Husband of Dorothy Pauline Wells – Daughter of Williams Rogers Wells) so maybe one of the men in this unit was a friend of his.

So what clues do I have as to who these men might be?  Well, there is writing on the back of two cards.  The first one is:

img528On the back of the card above with the men in the field is written: “I am all so on this picture were the x is. Please write soon.  From your loving son John.”

img531The only other card with writing on it is this one:

img526It says: “This is a picture of three XX Co. when doing a guard. No. 1 is James A Moore.  2. Mr. Lawrence and 3 Corporal McNally.   From John.  P.S. The next letter you write, why xxx me know how many cards that I have sent you while I was in the Army.”


From this I know these cards are of an Army unit. Unfortunately the last name of Lawrence and McNally aren’t much help and neither is James Moore as it’s a very common name.  So here I am posting them on the internet in the hopes that maybe a family member of a man in these photos might find me so I can find a good home for these cards.  Plus I’d really love to know more about what these men were doing during their service to our country.

Here are the rest of the cards:

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img540 img543 img541 img539 img538 img537 img536 img535 img534 img533 img532 img527-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.


2 July 2016: Using Gedmatch.com to find my cousins July 2, 2016

I’ve posted about my experiences using FamilyTreeDNA.com before.  Their site is fine but of course you’re limited to matches of people who’ve uploaded their DNA to that site only.  To widen my DNA net a little more, I downloaded my DNA info from FamilyTreeDNA and uploaded it to GedMatch.com.

GedMatch.com is a free site.  Refreshing, no?  But it’s not exactly user-friendly.  First of all their dashboard page is totally confusing if you don’t have a degree in genetics.  Be that as it may, it was pretty easy to follow their directions on how to download my data from FamilyTreeDNA and upload it onto GedMatch … which was what I thought would be the difficult part.  However GedMatch does not appear to notify you when you have DNA matches in their system.  I’d uploaded my DNA file a while back and was told it would take a few days to upload into their system.  I was never notified that it had been processed and so … completely forgot about it until a few days ago.

Here’s what the main page looks like after you log in:



HINT #1:  When they say to write down you Kit Number …. DO IT.  You have to have that number for everything.

It was yesterday I found the little sticky note with my DNA Kit Number jotted down on it which was what reminded me I’d never heard back from GedMatch.  So I logged back on to the site to see if I’d had any matches.  Looking at the options on the Dashboard had me a little lost.  I expected something like “See Your Matches.”  No, it seems the best way to see your DNA matches is to click on GEDCOM + DNA Matches.  First I’ll say that the best way to search and also be found is to upload a GedCom file for your ancestors.  How do you to this?  Well, if you use any sort of genealogy computer program you can export a gedcom file from it, which is what I did.  The GedCom contained all the names of my ancestors going back 12 generations.  I uploaded the file and connected it to my Kit Number … remember I told you to write down that Kit number!

So after I clicked on GEDCOM + DNA Matches, this is what I get:

My GedMatch Matches

My GedMatch Matches

For the privacy of my matches I’ve blacked out their private info.  I’ll just say they give names and email addresses.  You can click on the number under the column “GEDCOM ID” to get more info on that member.

Individual Detail Display Gedcom member

Again, I blacked out the info for their privacy.  It was this one, about 5 or 6 down on my list, that caught my attention.  They’re from Lanarkshire, Scotland!!!  Yes, that’s where the trail goes cold on my Geoghan Family.  I sent this member and email this morning with all my Geoghan info to see if it rang any genealogical bells for them.  Wish me luck!

So what else can you do on Gedmatch?

I’m not really into the technical DNA stuff but I like to see a good pie chart.  If you click on “Admixture – Heritage” and select the Eurogenes project, this the kind of report you’ll get:

GedMatch - EuroGenes Report for me

GedMatch – EuroGenes Report for me

Looks a lot like the report I got from FamilyTree DNA (See below)

Mtdan Frequency map close up

So what else is on GedMatch?  On the same “Admixture – Heritage” there are several projects to pick from.  Here’s what the MDLP Project looks like:

MDLP Project

MDLP Project

You’re definitely going to want to click on the “Click here for more information” link.  When you do, it takes you to Wikipedia where all those numbers are explained.  My breakdown goes as follows:

  • 40.18% … ENF: the component of the ancient European Neolithic Farmers with the peak in the ancient samples of LBK culture (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest values have been detected in Sardinians, Corsicans and Basques.
  • 25.97% … WHG-UHG: the native component of the ancient European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest percentage in the population of Estonians, Lithuanians, Finns and others.
  • 21.26% … ANE: component from North-Eurasian component by interpolating the non-East-Asian part of Native Americans’ ancestry.
  • 10.59% … Caucas – Gedrosia: identical to Pontikos’s Caucasus-Gedrosia cluster
  • 0.93% … NearEast: the modal component of Middle Easterners
  • 0.50% … Paleo-African: the modal component of African Pygmies and Bushmen
  • 0.47% … Amerindian: the modal component of the Native American
  • 0.09% … Oceanian: the modal component of the aboriginal inhabitants of Oceania, Austronesian, Melanesia and Micronesia(the peak in modern Papuans and Australian Aborigines)

Basically, I’m European … duh … knew that.  I’m definitely not Native American.  Would be nice though.

Here’s what the Dodecad Project looks like:

Dodecad ProjectThis one seems pretty spot on with what I know about my family.   There are a few other projects that give you different pie charts but they’re all pretty similar.

There are also comparisons that you can do between your DNA test kit and someone else’s. I did it between me and the gal from Lanarkshire.  There were a couple of other matches but really distant looking from the numbers.

There’s also a test called “Are your parent’s related?” Of course I had to check that one out.  Good news …..

Are your parents relatedI see there is something called Tier 1 membership which you have to pay for.  To be honest I can’t see that paying the $10 gets you much other than helping support the site.

So … If you’re a relation of mine and have your DNA results from another site, upload your DNA data onto GedMatch.com and let’s see if we’re related!


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.


2 June 2016: Samuel Hubbard’s Letters June 2, 2016

While working on cleaning up and enhancing the notes in my genealogy database, I came across a book I’d never seen before that contained an article about the diary and letters of my 8th great-grandfather, Samuel Hubbard (1610-1689) who was the son of James Hubbard and Naomi Cooke.  He is one of my immigrant ancestors as he was born in Mendlesham, England and came to the new world in 1633.  Here in America he married his wife Tacy Cooper.

The book I found is titled “Magazine of New England History.” The book is sort of like a collection of the magazine that have all been bound together to form a book.  The issue that I found was Volume I, Issue 3, dated July 1891, R. Hammett Tilley, Editor and Publisher, Newport, RI, Pages 172-178.  The article is called “Extracts from the Letter Book of Samuel Hubbard. Contributed by Ray Greene Huling, New Bedford, Mass.”

Sam Hubbard page 1

Here is the article contained:

Samuel Hubbard was one of the few Rhode Island pioneers who kept a diary and letter book. The manuscripts which he left covered, it is said, the period from 1541 to 1688, the last forty years of which period Mr. Hubbard resided at Newport. These papers were rich in interesting details of life in that community, especially of contemporary church life. They were seen by RE. John Comer in 1726, and were faithfully used by Dr. Isaac Backus in 1777, when he prepared his history of the Baptists.   They were extant in 1830, but as early as 1852 had been lost. The present writer has a copy of a note book into which Dr. Backus had transcribed much of the journal and a few of the several hundred letters which he saw in the original collection. Dr. Backus had also written on the outside of this note book, “Many more of his letters are in another book, No. 5 in quarto.” It is to be hoped that whoever now possesses this other note book will speedily make public its contents.

Samuel Hubbard, was born in 1610 in the village of Mendlesham, a market town some eighty miles northwest of London, in the county of Suffolk. He was the youngest of ten children born to James and Naomi (Cooke) Hubbard. Of these ten, three came to New England. Samuel arrived at Salem in October, 1633, but the next year removed to Watertown. He joined the company that marched through the wilderness to the Connecticut River and founded the towns of Windsor and Wethersfield. At the former place Jan. 4, 1636-7, he married Tase Cooper, a young woman of some twenty-eight years, who arrived at Dorchester in 1634. The young couple fixed their home at Wethersfield. Soon they removed to Springfield, where Mr. Hubbard kept an inn. After eight years, May 10, 1647, then again transferred their belongings to a new habitation, at Fairfield on Long Island Sound, then the outpost of the English Colonies on the side of the Dutch. Thence, also, he compelled to remove for a reason which he himself shall relate:

“God having enlightened both, but mostly my wife, into his holy ordinance of baptizing only of visible believer, and (she) being very zealous for it, she was mostly struck at, and answered two times publickly; where; where I was also said to be as bad as she, and sore threatened with imprisonment to Hartford jail, if not to renounce it or to remove; that scripture came into our minds, if they persecute you in one place flee to another. And so we did 2 day October, 1648. We went for Rhode Island and arrived there the 12 day. I and my wife upon our manifestation of our faith were baptized by brother John Clarke, 3 day of November, 1648.”

For upward of forty years he continued to live in Newport, at what he termed “Mayford,” probably leading the life of a small farmer and practicing his trade as a carpenter. He was intensely interested in the religious controversies of his day. For twenty-three years he was a member of the First Baptist Church at Newport. He was sent by the church Aug. 7, 1651 “to visit the bretherin who was imprisoned in Boston jayl for witnessing the truth of baptizing believers only, viz,. Brother John Clarke, Bro. Obadiah Holmes and Bro. John Crandall.” In 1657 he accompanied Mr. Holmes on a preaching tour to the Dutch on Long Island. In 1664 he was chosen alternate General Solicitor of the Colony, but does not appear to have assumed the duties of the office.

In 1665 Tase Hubbard first, and a little later Samuel Hubbard himself, became convinced of their obligation to observe the seventh day, instead of the first, as the weekly Sabbath. They remained, however, for six more year more in communion with the old First Church. Mr. Hubbard was even sent in 1668 with Mr. Torrey and Mr. Hiscox, to assist certain Baptists in Boston who had been arrested for their religious views and had been granted a disputation. Dec. 23, 1671, Mr. Hubbard with his wife, one daughter, and four others withdrew from their former church relations and formed the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America. In the controversies of this period Mr. Hubbard had his full share, as also in the subsequent extension of his peculiar beliefs in the new town of Westerly and at New London.

His later days were clouded by the death of friends all about him, and especially of his only son in 1671. He found abundant consolation in religion, nevertheless, and in correspondence with the friends still remaining, among whom were numbered Roger Williams and John Thornton of Providence, and Governor Leete of Connecticut. The last letter from his pen mentioned by Dr. Backus bears date May 7, 1688. He certainly was dead in 1692. His wife survived him and was present at a church meeting in 1697, after which no trace of her can be found. The exact dates of death and the place of burial cannot be determined in the case of either.

Samuel Hubbard was evidently a man of devout spirit, loyal to religious convictions and kindly disposed to all mankind. To his forethought it is undoubtedly due to the preservation of much that otherwise would have been lost concerning the local history of his time. Dr. Backus has pronounced his manuscripts a “valuable collection” containing “a fund of intelligence.” It is hoped that the following excerpts will not be without interest to those who may read them.

Note. Family Record of Samuel Hubbard.

Samuel Hubbard, born 1610 at Mendlesham, Co, Suffolk, England; came to Salem, Oct. 1633, Watertown, 1634, Windsor, 1635, Wethersfield, 1637, Springfield, may 10, 1639, Fairfield, May 10, 1647, Newport, Oct. 2, 1648, Freeman, 1655, perhaps earlier; alternate General Solicitor of Rhode Island, 1664; died after 1688, probably at Newport or Westerly. He married at Windsor, Jan. 4, 1636-7, Mr. Ludlow officiating.

Tase Cooper, born 1608 in England; came to Dorchester June 9, 1634 and to Windsor 1635; died after 1697, probably at Newport or Westerly.


  1. Naomi, b. Nov. 18, 1637 at Wethersfield; d. Nov. 28, 1637 at Wethersfield.
  2. Naomi, b. Oct. 19, 1638 at Wethersfield; d. May 5, 1643 at Springfield.

III. Ruth, b. Jan. 11, 1640 at Springfield; d. about 1691 at Westerly; m. Nov. 2, 1655, Robert Burdick who d. 1692. Children: 1, Robert, 2, Son, 3, Hubbard, 4, Thomas, 5, Naomi, 6, Ruth, 7, Benjamin, 8, Samuel, 9, Tacy, 10, Deborah.

  1. Rachel, b. March 10, 1642, at Springfield: m. Nov. 3, 1658, Andrew Langworthy. Children: 1, Samuel, 2, James.
  2. Samuel, b. March 25, 1644 at Springfield, d. soon.
  3. Bethiah, b. Dec. 19, 1646 at Springfield: d. April 17, 1707, at Westerly: m. Nov. 16, 1694, Joseph Clarke, Jr., b. April 2, 1643, d. Jan. 11, 1727. Children: 1, Judith, 2, Joseph, 3, Samuel, 4, John, 5, Bethiah, 6, Mary, 7, Susannah, 8, Thomas, 9, William.

VII. Samuel, b. Nov. 30, 1649 at Newport, d. there Jan. 20, 1670-1.



From Thomas and Esther Hubbard, dated at Southwark, near London, April 24, 1641.

Note. Thomas was the oldest brother of Samuel, and his senior by six years. Esther was the wife of Thomas. This letter has not been preserved.


From Alice Hubbard.

Dearly beloved brother and sister.

My love to you both remembered, hoping that you are well and yours, and I and mine are at this time, this is to satisfy you that my husband is gone to England, he went from me the 22 day of Dec., 1644 and ye Lord was please to carry him safe thither, so that that day month yt they weighed anchor here they cast anchor at Deal in Kent in England, and there as soon as he came out of the boat he met my brother Thomas Hubbard, tho neither my husband had ever been there before nor my brother. At present the Lord hath cast my husband into Ipswich, at your cousin Joseph Hubbard’s, and there is four of that stock that are very honest Christians. The Lord is pleased by his providence to call me thither and my five children; I wod have been very glad to hear from you before I had gone, but now the time is so short I can’t expect it: my husband also desires yt all his Christian friends might see wt God had done for his soul since he hath gone thither by blessing the changes he hath brought him under. Sister Sarah of Yarmouth in dead, her son Robert Jackson is well; my husband saw him, being returned from the war after 4 years service under Col. Cromwell’ in all weh he hath not been maimed or wounded. When you send to us, send to my brother Thomas Hubbard’s house in Freeman lane near Horsley down in Southwark, London.

Your loving sister,

Alice Hubbard.

From Charlestown, this 24 of October 1645.

Note. The writer’s husband was Benjamin Hubbard, brother of Samuel, and but two years older. Benjamin was at Charlestown with his wife as early at 1633, and became a freeman Sept. 3, 1634. In 1636 he was one of only a dozen householders enjoying the prefix of respect (Mr.) He was a cautious friend of Wheelright. He was made clerk of the writs Dec., 1641. He seems to have acquired rights to land at Seekonk also. After his arrival in England he wrote to Governor Winthrop a letter from London (dated 1644, but written, evidently, after Jan. 22, 1644-5, as the above letter shows) in which he speaks of his invention concerning longitude.” In 1652 he was a minister in Cobdock Co., Suffolk, and in 1654 he was living in Ardleagh; His death occurred in 1660. Savage gives his children as follows: 1, Benjamin, b. March 24, 1634; 2, Elizabeth, b. April 4, 1636; 3, Thomas, b. May 31, 1639; 4, Hannah, b. Dec. 16, 1641; and 5, James, b. Sept. 9, 1644; all at Charlestown. Hannah m. Richard Brooks of Boston.

The sister Sarah mentioned is the letter was Samuel Hubbard’s oldest sister, b. 1593, who had married John Jackson.


From Robert Cooper.

Loving and dear bro’r. and sister, Sam’l and Tase Hubbard, my hearty love rememb’d unto yo. The occasion of this my writing unto yo is to certify yo yt I like N.E. very well. I wod not have yo think yt I repent me of my coming to N.E. for it doth not, for I believe if I had staid there I sho’d never have been that weh now I see to my comfort and I hope it will be for my soul’s good. I rest yr poor yet loving brother.

Robert Cooper.

From Yarmouth, April 11, 1644.

This Robert was a brother of Tase Hubbard, the wife of Samuel. Another brother, John Cooper, was living in London as late as 1680.


From John Hazel.

Loving and dear Christian cousin and brother in Christ Jesus our Lord, I desire grace, mercy, and peace may be multiplied upon yo and my sister yr wife with a sanctified use of yr present condition, knowing that all this worketh tog’. For the best of those yt love God. Rom. 8. Not only losses and wants but persecutions and death itself for Ch’ts. Sake will be great advantage. Desir’g yt prayers for me unto the throne of grace, w’th my Christ’n rememberances and salutations in the Lord unto all the brethren and sisters; and bro. Clarke and bro. Luker in particular, I rest your loving cousin in wt I am able.

John Hazel.

Rehoboth, March 24, 1651.


From John Hazel.

Rehoboth, June 23, 1651.

It is ordered by the colony of the court, that he whoso is absent from their meeting in public, or set up any other meeting, shall pay 10s a person every day. In this cause we know not one another’s minds; to tarry I see no man forward, and to go, no man as yet, for ought I hear or see, can tell whether to go. I desire yon to be private in what is here written, on be instant with our God for us, yt the Lord wo’d guide our ways, I rest yours in the Lord Jesus to command in wt I am able.

John Hazel.

The enemies treason (threaten), as I hear since I concluded my letter, yt because we were not at the their meeting yesterday, yt out abstenance would prove costly.

Note. The Plymouth Colony Records show that Oct. 2, 1650 the Grand Inquest present to the Court “John Hazel, Mr. Edward Smith and his wife, Obadiah Holmes, Joseph Tory (Torrey) and his wife, of the town of Rehoboth, for the continuing of a meeting upon the Lord’s day from house to house, contrary to the order of this Court.” These persons had recently been baptized, it is believed by John Clarke; and had joined the Baptist Church at Newport. There is no record of sentence passed against them at Plymouth. But on July 20, 1651, Holmes with Clarke and Crandall were arrested while holding a meeting at the house of a brother Baptist at Lynn, and were subsequently imprisoned at Boston. The two latter were released on payment of a fine, but Holmes in September following was whipped thirty stripes with a three-corded whip. As he was led back to prison, John Hazel shook him by the hand, and said “Blessed be the Lord.” For this serious offence, Hazel was sentenced to pay forty shillings or to be whipped. He was resolved not to pay the fine, but after six or seven days imprisonment, on the day appointed for the whipping another paid it for him and he was released. The next day he fell sick at a friend’s house near Boston and within ten days died, being then nearly sixty years old. Just how he was a “cousin” to Samuel Hubbard is not known.

(To be continued.)

The Article continues in the next edition.  I will transcribe that and post it as soon as I’m able.


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.

Sam Hubbard Stones - Jennifer Sept 2012

Me and Samuel Hubbard’s headstone. September 2012.


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:


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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)


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


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.”


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.


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


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 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%.


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 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.