Scattering Breadcrumbs – Your 2016 Genetic Genealogy Goal


Consider this an invitation to be messy.

Yep, I’m asking you to scatter some bread crumbs.

As I look at each new year, I try to focus on something I can finish or at least make progress with.

I’m inviting you to do the same.

In 2016, what is your most pressing genetic genealogy goal? Or maybe your most important genealogy goal that DNA might be able to help you with?

Limit yourself to one ancestor or couple, please, and list their name first so it’s easy for people to see. Be specific so that someone who sees the breadcrumbs can follow them and can determine whether or not they are from the right family line to help you.

Here’s my example.

My 2016 Brick Wall That Needs to Fall

I am brick walled on my Moore line.

James Moore, born about 1721, was first found in Amelia County, Virginia in 1742 on the tax lists. That part of Amelia would later become Prince Edward County, Virginia.  He was a neighbor to Joseph and Rachel Rice and married their daughter, Mary, around 1745.  James Moore is mentioned in Joseph Rice’s will in 1766 as his son-in-law.  By 1770, James and Mary Rice Moore are living in Halifax County, VA, where they live for the rest of their lives.  James and Mary’s death dates are uncertain and there is no will.  Their children are:

  • James (marries Susanna and believed moved to Stokes Co., NC)
  • William (Methodist minister, marries Lucy, stays in Halifax Co.)
  • Lydia (unproven, marries Edward Henderson, stays in Halifax Co.)
  • Mackness (marries Sarah Thompson, moves to Grainger Co., TN)
  • Rice (Methodist minister, marries Elizabeth Madison, moves to Grainger Co., TN)
  • Thomas (unproven, married Polly Baker, dead by 1804 in Halifax leaving 2 orphans)
  • Sally (marries Martin Stubblefield, moves to Grainger/Hawkins Co., TN)
  • Mary (marries Richard Thompson)

We do have Y DNA samples from three of James’ sons’ lines, so we know what his Y DNA looks like. But we cannot find any matches to any Moores other than the Moore men that we know and love as cousins or who are also disconnected at a later date.

My shout-out is this. If you’re a Moore male whose early lineage comes from Virginia or even Pennsylvania, and your line hasn’t been Y DNA tested, please, PLEASE Y DNA test at Family Tree DNA. The only way we’re ever going to connect James with an ancestral line is through Y DNA testing.  I’ve already combed the records of relevant and even just potential feeder counties with no luck.  Many records have burned.

There is a wonderful Moore DNA project that helps people connect with their Moore line.  So whether you connect to my Moore line or not, you’ll likely connect to some line.

Also, if anyone is descended from James Moore’s children’s lines, please take the autosomal Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA or contact me if you already have tested at Family Tree DNA or elsewhere.

Your Turn

Please feel free to list your 2016 genetic genealogy goal in the comments section. You don’t know who is going to read your goal and be or know the right person to solve your problem.  People Google 24X7, and yes, my blog shows up in google search results.  As I used to tell my kids, “If you don’t ask, the answer is no.”

So….ask away and scatter a few breadcrumbs. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  You just never know what wonderful discovery may be waiting in the shadows, or who is going to find your breadcrumbs.  As you can see, someone already found mine and it didn’t take long at all!




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173 thoughts on “Scattering Breadcrumbs – Your 2016 Genetic Genealogy Goal

  1. Isaac Carter, married Lydia Newstead 1795 in Fauquier, Virginia, then Sarah Redman in 1814.. His descendant’s Y-DNA does not match any other Carters who have been tested nor any other surnames in Fauquier. Closest surname matches are Raines, Cotton, and Skelton, with four or more mutations at 37 markers. Researchers have been researching for over thirty years and we had our first DNA test done in 2003. Would love for 2016 to be the year we break down this brick wall.

  2. Roberta, you too???? None of my DNA matching Moore’s respond to me – Well, 3 did and told me they didn’t know their connectiion, but that CeCe Moore is working on them. Then I came up with a cousin link to Ce Ce Moore. She didn’t respond. I put a note on mine saying ‘Brick’. LOL. I have not tried Rockstar Genealogists yet, I’ll check that!. Anniedear

      • Brick Wall — Burt Moore’s birth document and ancestors ship records.

        Roberta nobody knows more about the Moore’s than you do. Thank-you so much for compiling all the records on so many Virginia Moore’s in your attempt to find yours. By the way, do you have other surnames that match your Moore tester as close as he matches other Moores?
        Our Moore surname project has 2 surnames which we match as closely as we do our Moore surname testers . These surnames are:
        1. Alexander who have traced their ancestry to Glasgow, Scotland.
        2. Montgomery who have theirs to Ulster Plantation.
        After corresponding with the Alexander group admin. we came to this conclusion: These 3 surnames definitely share a common ancestor in the old country. My brother’s (130051) Big Y SNP test results put us in Haplogroup R-BY3364. I don’t think it is a very old group and have been told these men may have taken their surnames around the 1300’s.
        I was just thinking since your have no matches older than your James Moore, could it be possible that he took his surname later, also?

        Now my breadcrumbs:
        From land and court records we believe our Burt Moore was the son of Joseph Moore who was born 1715 IR died about 1785 in Spartanburg, S.C. (No records found)
        Burt’s grandfather, believed to be Patrick Moore, may have immigrated from Ireland c. 1722 due to records found in the First Church of Situate, Plymouth Co., MA. Joseph inherited land after his Father died, but appears to have sold out in Halifax, VA around 1766. A Joseph Moore purchases land in 1770 on the N. Fork of the Pacolet river which is in Spartanburg, S.C. where Burt lived according to his testimony in his Rev. War pension application. He said he was born in Halifax Co., VA and moved to Spartanburg, S.C. when he was 8 or 10 years old. I am in the process of looking at records in this area to try to prove the relationship between Burt and Joseph Moore..

        yDNA test results place almost 75 Moore men in group 2 of Moore Worldwide.
        Around 10 of these men can tract their ancestry back to Burt Moore, and these tests have helped to prove descendants of Burt’s first wife when no traditional records could be found. A will and bible record proved his children by his 2nd wife. It has been great to be able to use both yDNA and atDNA to support our relationships. But what about the other 65 men in this group? We can not find a connection, so how are we related? This is the frustrating part of genetic genealogy, but Roberta I am constantly learning from you. Thanks for this opportunity to post, Janice Moore Cronan

        • For years I could have sworn our Moore lines were one and the same. Y DNA to the rescue. Unfortunately, I need to encourage my Moore guys, at least one of them, to upgrade to 111 markers. We only have 5 Moores that match. They do match other names, but none exactly. So frustrating. Maybe 2016 is the year!!!

  3. My brick wall – Marcyan (Martin) Malek parents. He was born in 1850 in Skibice, Lubelskie, Poland. Died Nov 13, 1922 in Cheboygan, MI. I think his parents were Francis and Konrada Malek, I think they died before 1872. The story is Martin stowed away on a ship to America after his parents died. I have tried to look at some Polish records, but have a lot of trouble as i don’t know Polish.

  4. What about court records. Virginia is rich in records. That is how I obtained a lot of information to topple my brick walls. The Library of Virginia has great tools. Check it out and good luck.

  5. Moore – there are strong Moore matches (amidst Garrett matches) that show up in my Y Garrett results. I think biologically Garrett at least in one case. Also some strong Moore autosomal results that I think point to the same possible NPE, and are in fact biologically Garrett. All in that sort of area. Probably not relevant but thought I would mention.

  6. My brick wall for 2016 is John Rose who became Clerk of Court in Beaufort SC in 1766. In SC at the time there was no way this would have happened without political connections. He was educated, affluent enough to buy property on the Coosaw River, and slaves. He became a warden and vestry member at St Helena’s Parish (again, connections). Later in life he moved to the Dorchester SC area where his closest friends were from the prominent Waring family. He was an amateur painter and painted The Old Plantation, the most famous of all paintings of 18th century slave life on the plantations. He played the organ in church and was a deacon in the Dorchester church. At his death he left a library that included Wilberforces’s anti-slavery writings along with theology, travel, medicine, philosophy, etc. In her memoir of the early Charleston area Poyas described him as better educated in music and art than other Lowcountry plantation owners. And yet we can’t figure out where the heck he came from! It is unbelievable. We desperately need a male lineage descendant for a yDNA test and as many autosomal test subjects as possible. Barring that we (including the Williamsburg Foundation scholar who has written a book on him but is also stumped) need a miracle document. So if you can help please do. I would pay for the test.

      • Thanks! We think that the most likely family is Rose of Kilravock in Scotland. There were others from that family in the area. The catch is that he never seemed to have anything to do with any of them, and he was definitely not a direct descendant of those in SC.

  7. My goal for this year is to find my husband’s LOGAN ancestor in Ireland. He’s tested up to 67 markers and has 1 match @ 1 marker off. His match has pointed me to County Tyrone Ireland as that is where his father PJ Logan/Lagan immigrated from back in 1925.
    I’ve learned that PJ’s parents were Joseph Lagan and Roseanne McCullough and they were both born in Co Tyrone. Joseph in 1867 and Roseanne in 1871.
    My problem is getting back a couple more generations on the LOGAN/LAGAN side because my husband’s gg-grandfather was JAMES LOGAN b. abt 1840 in Ireland. He appears in the 1870 Philadelphia Co PA Census for the 1st time with his wife Annie McCooey.
    I’ve found Annie’s parents – Patrick McCooey and Mary Neacy; Mary’s parents were John Neacy and Catherine Mulholland. I’ve been able to find Annie’s birth certificate and also the Neacy side – births and marriages in the Irish Records that went online in July…
    Now to find the LOGAN side!!!

  8. Keywords: Joel and Susannah Meador

    My ggg grandmother, Martha A. Unknown, b. 1813 VA, d. 1892 Lonoke Co., AR. She first married William C. Gant in 1831 in Lincoln Co., TN (I descend from them). After his death, she married Washington Webb in 1841 in Giles Co., TN.

    My paternal aunt has her mtDNA, and I’ve had her tested. She has seven exact matches, and three of the matches are documented descendants of different daughters of Joel and Susannah Meador of Bedford Co., VA circa mid 1700s. All the other exact matches have known or suspected maternal roots in Virginia.

    Autosomally, I have several DNA matches with descendants of Martha and her second husband Washington. If I give Martha a “phantom” maternal grandmother who is an unknown daughter of Joel and Susannah Meador, I get about a half-dozen Ancestry hinted matches with them. (I know this doesn’t prove anything.)

    If I take a leap of faith and assume I descend from Joel and Susannah and not some other female relative of Susannah’s, then I need to find a female descendant of theirs, probably a granddaughter, who was with her family Lincoln Co., TN in 1831 when Martha first married.

    • Hmmm I keep getting DNA “hits” on lines connected to Susannah Meador. I have no idea how I could relate. My maternal DNA is J (this is a simple test done many years ago for Nat Geographic and there are likely more bits to that)
      My direct maternal line currently ends in Scotland.

      • Susannah and Joel had a least 6 or 7 daughters and a total of 14 children based on some trees I see. (I haven’t verified.) They did a good job of propagating their DNA!

        My aunt is J1c1b1, by the way.

      • So it MIGHT be from a MtDna match! way back somewhere. I have a fairly well fleshed out tree and have no real connections to the “south”. There is an unproven story from one of my contacts that some of my johnston(e)s went to the VA colony. Any idea of Susannah’s maiden name?

  9. Charlotte (Richardson) Dobson (1776-1861) is my 5g grandmother on my maternal line ( I’m hoping to use mtDNA to determine who her parents were. There are two theories – one is that they were John Richardson and Mary Flintoff – for this I need a female-line descendant of their daughter Elizabeth (Richardson) Purdy or of Mary’s sister Jane (Flintoff) Humphrey. The second theory is that she was born in Prince Edward Island, to a British officer stationed there. If so, she could be the sister of Barbara Ann (Richardson) Ingraham, so I’d be interested in comparing mtDNA results with a female-line descendant of hers.

    • Flintoff is an unusual name. Not much help to find relatives in the U.S but the name in my family comes from Yorkshire to Lancashire in the late 1700’s with an Engineer. Two Flintoff boys married two Singleton girls, brothers and sisters. There is a famous cricketer in England who went on to become a Top Gear presenter. He is from one couple and I am from the other. He went on My DNA Journey, a TV programme over here and they told him his Y line was Viking but they didn’t say whether it was Norse or Dane. Interesting to know though because I am testing relatives to find as many haplogroup sand subclades as I can.

  10. GGF Edmund Richards (1856-1923). Born in Calais, Maine, believe the fishing industry brought him to Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. Married Abbie May Richards (1876-1936) on February 22, 1895 in Riverhead, NY. Died at St Peter’s Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Municipal clerks have said public records destroyed by fire in Calais, Maine for birth year. Father listed as George on marriage license. Marriage license indicates a previous marriage.
    Currently waiting on male Y-DNA results of last living male descendant. Some descendants have also taken atDNA tests. Profiles on GEDMatch.

  11. Many claim to be the descendant of James Colbert (b. ca. 1720 d. Jan 1784) of the Chickasaw Nations. However, there are no records of any Chickasaw male-descendant of James Colbert who has ever taken a y-DNA test. James had many sons including William, George, Levi, and James. I would like to see 2 or 3 descendants of the Chickasaw Colbert’s take y-DNA tests to prove the identity of James Colbert’s father. I would also be willing to pay for the y-DNA tests if registered Chickasaw descendants cannot afford to pay for the tests. I believe my 5th GG Joseph Calvert/Colbert was the father of James Colbert. However, descendants of William d’Blanville Colbert claim that he is the be father of James Colbert. I have taken Family Finders y-DNA-67 claim and intend to take the y-DNA-111 test. The descendants of William d’Blanville Colbert refuse to take a y-DNA test. That is my goal for 2016.

  12. Sarah Frances Harris born 1819 in Georgia, married 1834 in Pike County, GA to William C. Germany, died 1859 Chambers County, Alabama is my brick wall. mtDNA from 3 descendants is T2a1a. These three descendants who are first cousin once removed, second cousin once removed, or third cousin to one another are not perfect matches. Each is off on mtDNA by one or two markers. So I need anyone who has a possible Harris connection in Georgia, especially the Pike County area, to take an mtDNA and a Family Finder test.

    • You know you’ve been at this too long when you start recognizing the names of your DNA matches who post on forums. 🙂

      I just checked the state of our match on chr 10. There are 10 of us overlaying and ICW there now. Three are my family members, three are yours, and the four others I’ve never communicated with. I’m going to go look to see if the four others have trees available.

  13. Bless you for allowing us to share our breadcrumbs! I almost cried when I saw today’s post. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I hope I might be able to help you, too. I have Moore ancestors who migrated to NC, and I will study my information and let you know if I find anything helpful.


    My biggest brick wall ancestor is my paternal 2nd great grandmother, Angeline Wanamaker Craft. I do not know the names of her parents or what happened to her after November of 1882. She was born about 1845, purportedly in South Carolina. She married Joseph Craft, also purportedly born in South Carolina about 1838. My great grandmother was their daughter, Julia Elizabeth Craft (Moseley), born September 17, 1880 in Charleston, South Carolina.

    My great grandmother’s 1951 obituary and death certificate list her parents as Joseph Craft and Angeline Wanamaker Craft. The informant providing that information for the death certificate was my grandfather.

    Angeline and Joseph appear on only one census together, the 1870 census for Orangeburg County, South Carolina, with children Mamie (4) and Rebecca (2). Angeline next appears as Angeline Krafts, widow, on the June, 1880 census for Orangeburg County with four different children: Mary (birth name Mary Ann), age 11, Martha (birth name Martha Alice), age 8, Richard (4), and Joseph (2).

    Marriage licenses were not mandated in South Carolina until 1931, and there are no estate proceedings, deeds or mortgages of record in either Joseph or Angeline’s name on file in Orangeburg County, although all records filed before April, 1865 in Orangeburg were destroyed during the US Civil War; nor are there death certificates under either name in the death indexes for South Carolina recorded between 1821 and 1960.

    Angeline had two known sisters, Mary Ann and Margaret, both of whom used the maiden name Johnson. I have tracked each of their lines as far as possible, but the only helpful clue was gleaned from Margaret’s death certificate, which states her father’s name was Joseph Craft, but her mother’s name is illegible.

    An Angeline Wanamaker, age 5, appears on the 1850 census for Orangeburg County in the household of Whitfield W. Wanamaker. This Angeline has been proven not to be my Angeline, however. That Angeline married Rev. Artemus Briggs Watson and had children, the dates of birth of which overlap the dates of birth of my Angeline’s known children.

    There is also an Angeline Johnson, age 5, on the 1850 census for Orangeburg County in the household of William Johnson and his wife, Elizabeth Johnson. Two other children are also shown, a son, Edward and a daughter Olivia. I have not been able to find out anything more about any of the Johnsons named. They seem to have disappeared.

    The only other record of Angeline Craft is from the admissions records of the Orphan House of Charleston, SC, where she abandoned four of her children in November of 1882. A fifth child, Sue or Lue, born Nov, 1879, was not admitted to the orphanage, nor have I determined if this Sue/Lue was actually my great grandmother, Julia or yet another child.

    On the applications for admission, Angeline stated her full name to be Angeline V. Johannes Craft and that her husband, John Craft was deceased. She also stated the date of her marriage as 1859. At the time, a minimum of one year residency in the city of Charleston was required before a child could be placed in the orphanage. Angeline stated on the application that she had resided at 33 Rutledge Ave. in the City of Charleston for at least one year, but I could not locate her at that address in the City Directories for 1880 1881, or 1882. There were Johannes in Charleston, South Carolina at that time, but I cannot connect her to any of them.

    I suspect Angeline gave false names and dates on the application, possibly out of embarrassment, or possibly because she did not want to be found once she left the children at the orphanage. The records show she never returned and they had no visitors during their incarceration. One of the children died of typhoid in the orphanage, the others were indentured out. I was able to trace one son and his descendants, one of whom took the y-dna test and an autosomal test for me.

    One final tidbit of information which may be significant. My great aunt recounted to another family member that when she was a child, she saw a Kodak photograph of Angeline in her casket, but that it upset my great grandmother Julia so much, Julia instructed Katherine to tear it up, which she apparently did. If the photograph was paper, it would seem to indicate the photo was taken after 1901 when Kodak paper was invented. Katherine told this family member that Julia referred to her mother as Elizabeth, and that the photograph was of an elderly woman. My great aunt was born in 1915.

    I don’t know where to turn or if it is even possible to determine anything new, but if you or any of your visitors have any suggestions or direction, I would be most grateful. Angeline Craft is a mystery I have tried to solve for 40 years.

    Thank you so much,

    Lynda Moseley
    Fairfax, SC

  14. Daniel Dimmitt Ward first appears as b. Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1804. Long space where I don’t know where he was. Daniel married Margaret Full in Nova Scotia 1835. Her family were Loyalists. She died 1839 and he married Harriet Newell Cooke about 1840 in Nova Scotia. The Cookes came on the Mayflower. After that they were like gypsies moving here, there and everywhere between Canada and the U.S. Since Canada/PEI were British there is no record of emigration. I haven’t found any ship’s passenger lists; I don’t think there were any or maybe they didn’t have them or they weren’t kept. In any case, I can’t find any.

    I have no reason to think he was Irish but it just feels like he might have been. I do have a small percentage of Irish DNA. But I also have a whole line that came from Scotland so……….

    I did find a Ward in PEI 1798 census who could be his father. I only say this because the location and time is right. There is a marriage between Ebenezer Ward and Margaret Clark in 1792 but there are too many children hash marks in the 1798 census for all those children to be theirs. So maybe Margaret was a second wife. I’ve guestimated Ebenezer was born about 1761. I haven’t found Ebenezer after that. I would assume Margaret Clark Ward remarried if Ebenezer died and ditto if Margaret died. Maybe they emigrated to Nova Scotia soon after 1798. From the census, Daniel and his wife, Margaret, lived near Harriet Cooke’s family so he probably knew her when he was married the first time.

    I have wondered if Daniel were a criminal, changed his name, used a stepfather’s name, mother’s maiden name, or what. In the Cook genealogy book it says Daniel D. Ward so whatever name he used it was his name by then. In fact, now that I think about it, when he married Margaret Full his name was Daniel D. Ward. So? Nothing enlightening there!

    I’ve been in contact with a man researching the Clark family and he says the couple I found is probably who he is looking for as parents of Phoebe Clark Ward. She was b. 1809 in PEI, married there and eventually emigrated through Detroit Michigan in 1853. By that time Daniel D. Ward and Harriet Newell Cooke Ward had lived in Michigan twice. That also makes me think Phoebe was related to Daniel. Eventually Phoebe and her family moved to Iowa. When Daniel’s wife, Harriet Newell Cooke, died in 1863 Daniel “gave the children away”. There were only 4 left at home by that time but it’s very possible 3 or 4 of them lived with Phoebe. The location and time would work and I could never figure out why none of Daniel or Harriet’s family stepped up to take any of them. Maybe they did. Maybe it was Phoebe. Harriet’s siblings were all dying off around that time. Maybe no one in her family could take on children. Even Phoebe Clark Ward Weeks died in 1873.

    I have some verbal family lore from 5 generations back that has not proved accurate so I double check everything I’ve had passed to me. The middle name as Dimmitt was written on a photo with a question mark. I don’t know if the question mark meant the spelling or the name or the identity of the person. Also passed along by the same person is that Daniel’s father died in/during/after the war of 1812 and his mother married a Clark/e. I’ve exhausted that idea with no results. One thing that could be right is that Margaret Clark was Margaret Saunders and married a Clark/e first and then Ward. The oral history was one of those “gramma said” and I think we all know how accurate that can be.

    I do have a private tree at ancestry with documentation and also my GEDcom tree at every site I could find. I have an issue with someone I don’t know downloading my documents from ancestry and then uploading them as her own. And she has families mixed up so it doesn’t make any sense anyway. The problem is she has done no research so when she uploads them again sometimes she gets them with the right person and sometimes not. And of course there is no credit to me so anyone wanting more information is SOL because she doesn’t know or maybe she just makes up something.

    Daniel Dimmit Ward b. 1804 PEI
    m. 1st Margaret Full 1835 Nova Scotia. She died 1839 in N.S.
    m. 2nd Harriet Newell Cooke in N.S. about 1840 she died 1863 in Illinois -her lineage was Mayflower Cookes
    Children of Daniel Dimmitt Ward and Harriet Newell Cooke Ward:
    Charles DeWolfe Ward b. N.S.1841-1898 (m. 1st Jameson 2nd Loveless)
    Margaret H. b. N.S. 1843 -1863 (m. Porter)
    Francis Cooke b. London, Adelaide, Western Co.,Canada 1844-1928 (m. Hall)
    Sarah Ann Ward b. Canada 1846-1873 (m. Rollo)
    Henry Allen b. Brooke Twp., Western Co., Canada 1847-1916 (m. Justus)
    Harriet Newell jr. b. Port Huron, Michigan 1851- suicide 1928 (m. 1st Vail d. m. Fernow)
    Rosamond Shurr b. Bayham, London Co., Ontario 1852-1919 (m 1st Edwards m. 2nd Smith)
    William Cook b. Canada 1854-? (m. Richardson)
    Mary Louise b. Scotland, N.S. 1856-1942 (m. Sullivan possibly son of family who took her in)
    John Redding b Quincy, Illinois 1858-? (m. 1st Weaver m. 2nd Hermann)
    Albert Lafayette b. Spencer Twp., Ralls Co., MO 1859-1937 (m. Peters)
    Edgar Young b. Ralls Co., MO 1860-1863
    Stillborn boy b. Payson, Ill 1861

    I’ve connected with cousins only to find them at the same spot I am. Looking for Daniel!

    • I also have Scottish ancestors who landed in PEI and moved to Nova Scotia. One resource I use a lot is the government on-line tool for genealogy :
      The problem is I cannot find any of the marriage records you are talking about. Nobody by such names in the time period. In PEI, there is a John Ward and wife Mary who die within a day of each other in 1832. One could presume they could have been Daniel’s parents.
      One thing I learned is that the Scottish immigrants spoke of course Gaelic. The name for Daniel and Donald is the same in Gaelic. So you may be looking for a Donald…
      Good luck!

      • There are only newspaper announcements of marriages and baptisms in PEI in early 1800. I’m not able to find John and Mary Ward. I never have any luck at the PEI web site. The time period I need is not documented anywhere.

      • Unfortuately, about no record was taken in late 18th and early 19th century in Atlantic Canada. Father O’Shea, archivist and historian from the Charlottetown diocese, wrote this to me after confirming there was no further church record: “I don’t have much advice for your ongoing searches but you might find help up your way in cracking open some old sources which should be out there somewhere. Press on.”

        Look for books about the early Scottish parish in Prince-Edward-Island, there may be some critical info waiting.

  15. My 2016 genetic genealogy goal is to find our North Carolina Davis family. Family members have worked on this puzzle for over 50 years! Using DNA, we are actually well on our way, I hope!

    We found a male Davis cousin last year in Texas and tested his Y-DNA and FF. His Y-DNA does not match anyone in the Davis surname project, but through Gedmatch, we found a FF match with an ancestor who was Prudence Davis and a will for her father, William Davis I. The will lists a son named Solomon Davis b. 1767. Then we found a William Davis III family history in the High Point NC Library and from it we found a living male Davis in NC. He was willing to do the YDNA test and we are now waiting for the results.

    If anyone thinks they are related to William Davis I, b. 1725 in Maryland and died in 1799 in Rowan County, NC, I would like to hear from you. William’s will lists 4 sons (John, Solomon, William II and Joseph) and 7 daughters. Most remained in NC and lived & died in Davidson County which was split off of Rowan County in 1822, although my branch from Solomon went west to Tennessee, then Illinois and Arkansas.

    Thanks, Janet S.
    PS to Lynn Teague. There are some Teague family members who intermarried with the Davis family in Davidson Co NC.

    • I just posted my Davis from NC brick wall. To add a layer of difficulty, my Davis married a Brown.

      • My birthparents are a Davis and a Teague from Mecklenburg County NC. The family lore is that our Davis was a Virginian who returned from the Civil War, had some trouble that ended with him killing a man, and he moved to NC and changed his name. I have limited info on the Davis line, but have lots of Teague info.

  16. 2016 Wall That Needs to Fall: Williams!
    Silas Walker Williams was born in Tennessee in 1851 and married Mary Elizabeth Watts in 1873. He was in Crawford County, Arkansas by 1873 and Johnson County in the 1880’s where he died in 1909. His marriage license states his first name is William, so William Silas Walker Williams. Family tradition says his father was William or Billy Williams. The 1880 census states that WSW Williams parents were both born in Tennessee.

    My request is for male Williams Y-DNA candidates to DNA test (Y-37, and preferably higher) and join the Williams surname project on FTDNA. The number of William Williams in the United States in early America is a surprisingly crowded field, and impossible to trace without some DNA clarification. If any are fortunate enough to have a solid paper trail, you also are requested to test…it would mean so much to those of us whose lineage is unclear. Many excellent researchers have spent decades trying to find the lineage. Female Williams descendants can do Family Finder at FTDNA, which also can “crack the code.” Much thanks, and thank you Roberta for issuing this challenge!

  17. Thanks for the opportunity! My brick wall is my great grandmother:

    Lydia Jane Canniff b. July 13, 1864 in Hastings Ontario, Canada d. 1928 Daisy, Stevens Co,, WA. USA. Married William Henry Maxwell 1887, Claire, Isabella, Michigan, had 10 children.

    It is reported that she was orphaned at 6 years old and she is found in the 1871 and 1881 census’ in Hastings County, Ontario Canada with the Isaac Fox family, yet I can find no family connection with the Fox family and any Canniff’s.

    I have a 4th cousin DNA match with a descendant of Caroline Canniff, 1835-1921 descendant of Isaac Canniff 1806-1890, and a few other Canniff descendants of his father Abraham T. Canniff 1770-1842. After building several trees for the other Canniff families I have not been able to connect my GG to any of these lines.

    It is presumed by other cousins that Jonas Canniff 1862-1930 is her brother, though no proof has been found. He was also orphaned and found with another family in the 1871 and 1881 census in the same district.

    The parents are presumed to be Jane Lucas and Jonas Maxwell, though the only proof of this is the marriage of Thomas Jonas Canniff who may or may not be the same person as the presumed brother Jonas, in Michigan at around the same time as Lydia Jane was in Michigan but in a different place.

    I have been to the Family History Library in Utah but there is no birth record of Lydia Jane (Jennie) Canniff, or marriage or death for her parents. They just happen to all fall outside the dates of which the library has records for that area of Ontario.

  18. My brick wall is my gr-gr-grandmother Celia(or Cecilia) Ann Coward born about 1853 in South Carolina. Possibly Marlboro or a nearby county. She married Thomas McGee of Richmond Co., NC. He appears to have preceeded her in death. She died in Scotland Co, NC in 1923. Although her death certificate lists her mother as Harriet Cole and there are many other Coward individuals in that area, her trail seems to get tangled and stop there.

  19. My CASE line brick wall is hidden among the picturesque atone walls of Connecticut, along with the burial place of my son’s 3rd great grandfather, Chester Case and his 4th great grandfather Joseph CASE of Hartford and Manchester, CT. Joseph married Caroline Risley on Jan 1. 1818, according to The Genealogy of the Brainerd-Brainard Family in America 1849-1908 by Lucy Abigail Brainard, found on Google Books. The marriage is listed on p. 58 of Part III , Descendants of Joshua Brainard. I would like to know who Joseph Case’s father is, and to try to link him to one of the sons of William Case, born 1595 in Aylesham, England who died on the ship on his way to America with his two sons.

    My son’s DNA has been tested at FTDNA and has joined the CASE/CASS project. The administrator said that my son Ron’s DNA shows him related greater than 99.8% to the New England subgroup and believes that Ron is definitely descended from one of those two sons of William. But none have yet matched our Case line through genealogical records.

    My son is the only known male descendant of his deceased grandfather Harold Chester Case, from Trumbull, CT., although it is possible there is a son by his other son Harold Jr. born in Tennessee while Harold Jr. was in the army there in the late 1940s. Harold. Sr. had two brothers, Hanson, Jr, and Raymond, only one of which had a son, Richard, and since my husband is deceased we have lost touch with that part of the family. Harold’s father Hanson Bates Case was the only living son of his father Leander Case, b. in 1850 in Manchester, Ct. son of Chester.

    I would like one of those unfound males to test at FTDNA

  20. My major brick wall is MARTHA (last name unknown) (abt 1784 – bef 1838), of Laurens County, South Carolina. She had known marriages to Jonathan Blakely (1745-1809) and Henry McKelvy/McKelvey (1790-1867), having children with both men in Laurens County. She appeared between marriages as a head of household, aged 26-44 in the Laurens County 1810 census. Judging by the ages of her children she was likely born about 1784 and died sometime prior to Henry’s marriage to Nancy Gassaway/Gazaway in 1838. Henry and his wife Nancy moved to Tallapoosa County, Alabama by 1850. Martha appears in several Petitions in Laurens County as the wife of Henry but I have found no records indicating Martha’s parents or even her actual birth or death. DNA matches suggest a possible connection to the families of Prather and Odell, who were in Maryland and later in Laurens County, SC.

  21. My first brick wall is Jacob Frederick and Mary Toers/Tuers/Turse.
    Jacob was born 13 Dec 1758 in Likely Sussex or Bergen Co NJ. He dies 5 Apr 1844 in Monroe Orange County NY. His will was probated 9 Apr 1844.
    He m 1. Mary Toers c1758-c 1810 ( Will of John Toers: the lawful kin of my three sisters VIZ: Rachel who was the wife of Michael Moore; Mary who was the wife of Jacob Frederick; and Leah who was the wife of John King, ) and had 4 children;
    Charity 1780- 25 Aug 1847 Orange Co NY m Jonathan Wilkes 1753- c1851,
    Mary 9 Feb 1781 Orange Co NY- 24 Jul 1874 Eaton Wyoming PA m James Pilgrim 25 Feb 1780 Orange NY – 21 Dec 1862 Eaton Wyoming PA,
    Margaret 13 Feb 1784 – 20 Aug 1874( Orange Co NY – m John O’Neal Apr 1775- 26 Mar 1871,
    Jacob 16 Mar 1791 Chester, Orange, NY- 9 Jan 1870 Ashley, Stearns MN- m Catherine Stevens 7 Aug 1792 Chester Orange NY – 9 Aug 1883 Sauk Centre, Stearns, MN (my line).
    He m 2. Elizabeth1773- 26 Nov 1851 Monroe Orange Co NY and had
    James(1812- 23 May 1851 Ramapo Rockland Co NY m Mary Ann,
    Martha (c 1813-after 1860) m Michael Chase ,
    John 24 Nov 1815 – 4 Jun 1881 Chester, Orange Co NY m Polly Ann Stevens (sister of Catherine m Jacob) and
    Hannah c1817-c 1880 m William H White.
    I would love to have parents for either Jacob or Mary. I have tentative lines for Charity Toers but none for Leah. (Too many John Kings).

  22. Roberta, I like the way you think! Brick walls, yeah they frustrate you – but they also intrigue you to the point of frustration. My Noah Wilson Brown, b abt 1829, most likely in Stokes County, North Carolina, is mine. The oh-so-common surname alone sent me screaming despite the oral family lore the original surname was Hixs/Hicks – an ancestor who lost his Hicks family, taken in by the Brown family, and assumed their surname (still holds true today in 2016). I was one of the early ones to jump into Y-DNA hoping for a miracle – than goodness my brother was a continuous male descendant!. Got several a few years later when matches turned up with the 2 of the 3 Hicks family/men in Peters Creek/Danbury area, Stokes County, NC. In time we did a pretty good job at matching 65-66/67 markers. YES !!!!! Problem was none of us could figure out where we merged/connected. To add to this additional frustration, we eventually had another match with the Emanuel Dees/Dease b 1675 family (married Ruth Potts) originally from early Virginia or Scotland. Fascinated, we extended testing at Family Tree (Hapolgroup G) and we still continued to match 110/111 markers with Emanuel Dees family. You would think I would be happy knowing at least the Hicks surname was true, . .My poor Noah and his wife, Nancy Jane Duggins 1830 NC -1920 Tazewell, Va.from Rockingham County, NC is still an orphan – no known/documented birth or parents for him (or her except J & M Duggins), no known burial for Noah in supposedly Raleigh, NC (maybe mass burial in nearby Oak Wood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC) during the Civil War. I’ve run into many other descendants along the Hicks/Brown line, but they know no more than I. Noah & Nancy children were: Rufus John 1848-1926 m Nancy Lankford, Reuben Armistead 1850-1920 m Minerva Glidewell & Susan Frances Flynt, William Lindsey 1852-1931 m Margaret Lankford & Nancy Oliver Hill (my line), Ladocia Louise “Doskey” 1855-aft 1930 m John Shelton & Solomon Jewell, Eliza Jane 1860-aft 1900 m Robert Richard Monroe Smith, Emily J. Emma 1860’s-1933 m Edw Lambert, and Samuel Brown 1860-aft 1930 While there seems to be many clues, just can’t put them together! Y-DNA gave us the gift we were all searching for (matches) – but be careful what you wish for – you just might get it and then don’t know what to do with it! So if anybody reads this regarding Noah (or Manoath) Wilson Brown and his wife Nancy Jane Duggins who were married 1847 in Stokes County, NC please follow my bread crumbs on Ancestry, Family Tree, the old Roots Web sight, and any of the other message boards or sights I’ve posted on – BREAD CRUMBS ARE GOOD !.

  23. My brick wall: my ggg grandmother Elizabeth Parke Rainey (H3g1a).She’s my mt ancestress. Born ca 1799 in Scotland (probably) or N. Ireland., married James Orr 1816 in Armagh, immigrated to Quebec in 1831. Old family letter said she was related to Daniel Parke of Virginia who is thought to descend from Robert Parke, who came over to MA with John Winthrop. At first I thought there was no connection but now I think it might be true. I have no exact mt matches but my 1-differences have as their earliest mt ancestress, an Elizabeth (and thus an H3g1a too), born in MA, ca 1635, married to a Matthias St-John, also born in MA. Parents from England. A little coincidental. Been informed by a project administrator that my autosomal dna also seems to match those early St-Johns, maybe even through the Hoyts. I have no American nor English ancestry that I know of. But I have many English and Early American matches. There’s something here but I just can’t get to the bottom of it. (1) Brickwall 1: how I fit in with those St-Johns – think it might be an ancestor in England before they came over (2) Brickwall 2; and who my Elizabeth Parke Rainey’s parents were. Was told that Parke might be her mother’s or grandmother’s maiden name. And it seems Elizabeth used a traditional naming pattern at least for her first few children. So, and this is just a guess, perhaps her mother was called Sarah Parke. Many thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this.

  24. Shelley surname Brick Wall:

    James Commodore Shelley, b. 28 April 1888, Phelps County, Missouri
    mother was Medora? Dora M. Giesler, b. 1867, Missouri
    grandmother was Mary F. Giesler, b. 1840, Crawford or Maries County, Missouri
    greats of gma were Noah and Sarah

    Commodore had four children:
    married Pearl Evelyn Allen, b. 1892 in Marion Township, Missouri
    1st child was Norman Thomas Shelley, b. 1910 in Springfield, MO; died 1977
    divorced 1912 from Pearl

    married Sylvia Grace Yoakum in 1915; no children; divorced?

    married Frances Adella Hasler, unknown year
    1st child was Milton Eugene, b. 1918, d. 1983
    2nd child was Mary Dell, b. 1921, d. 1942
    3rd child was James Lee, b. 1933, d. 1996

    Commodore lived in Missouri first.
    Lived in Imboden, Arkansas, 1900 Census
    Lived with step-father John Goss Hill, Jr. and mother Dora;
    also lived in Imboden, AR with grandmother Mary F. van Fossen and her husband, Thomas D. van Fossen, who married in 1885
    Moved to Springfield, Missouri, 1910 Census

    Commodore stayed mostly in Springfield for remaining years until his death in 1960.
    He signed his grandmother’s [Mary F. van Fossen] death certificate as informant, 1921

    Y-DNA 12-marker testing has been done on myself, the grandson of Commodore: Henri Paul Shelley; email is below:

  25. Roberta, thanks for all you do. I enjoy reading your blog and hopefully am gaining a little working knowledge of DNA.

    My, one of many, “brick wall” that I would love to crash throughout 2016 is my Thomas Brown/Nancy Davis line, my gg grandparents.

    Nancy Davis, b. 1806 -d. after 1890, is my earliest known/supposed maternal ancestor and a solid brick wall! According to census records, Nancy was born in NC, her father in VA, her mother in SC. She married Thomas Brown in Lawrence Co., KY in 1833. Thomas Brown was born about 1808 in KY. Both parents born in KY. His mother was possibly Jane. Thomas and Nancy lived in Morgan, Rowan, and Greenup Counties. Both died after 1890.

    Thomas and Nancy (Davis) Brown had six children,
    • Elizabeth Jane m. Thomas Cassity, lived in Morgan Co., KY. 11 children
    • John Fisher, m. Matilda Martha Cassity. Lived in Rowan Co., KY. 7 children
    • Mary Margaret, m. Napoleon B. Ensor, lived in Carter and Greenup Co., KY. 10 children my great grandparents,
    • Martha, m. 1) ?, 2) Elijah Scott, 3) William Richards. No children
    • Thomas Davis, m. Mary Ann Glackin, lived in York Co., PA, 3 children
    • Harvey/Henry m. Martha Alexander Bradburn, lived in Carter Co., KY, 2 children

    Family Finder results have, so far, not yielded any clues so, I decided to do the FMS test. The results came back and there was my first cousin among the matches. Yeah! Then I saw the match distance of 3….which I think is Jeff Foxworthy bad!! I have one 0 distance match on

    Our mothers are sisters…maybe… I don’t think there could be 3 mutations in 1 generation!? My cousin and I are the same mito haplogroup F2b4 and I have autosomal matches with many of my maternal and paternal surnames, so I’m stumped. I think I have reason to suspect a problem, possibly a NPE.

    My cousin is in the process of doing the FF test.
    One 1C1R, has done Y testing and is a Rayburn, my mom’s surname.
    Another supposed 1C1R, has done FF and we do match as 1C1R.
    I’ve also tested at Ancestry and uploaded results to Gedmatch, Kits F353075 and A136882.

    According to my mother, my great grandmother, Mary Margaret Brown, knew nothing about her “mother’s people”. I find this curious, since her mother lived next to her for many years. Surely they talked and according to one document, Nancy’s brother visited her.

  26. Would love to locate any information on Patrick Hall, we think he died in Obion County Kentucky but we cannot locate the cemetary. His people lived in Webster county so he could possibly could have lived there. We have so little on him, but we can scatter what crumbs we have. He was married to Selena Whitaker. Hope someone can take these clues and help us.

  27. At present I have two people who are brick walls. John Wesley Kittelle (b. February 1865 in either Illinois or Indiana). He married about 1894 in Chicago. Cook County, Illinois to Mary E. Murphy. They had 3 children, Eveline and Kittellene/Katherine S. and William K. Eveline disappears after the 1900 census, Kittellene/Katherine S. (i suspect the Kittellene was a mistake on the census worker’s part as whatever records I’ve found show her as Katherine), and William is also in the records. Both Katherine and William have issue. I am looking for John Wesley Kittelle’s parents and on up the line. Kittelle is not a common name. John Wesley and Mary E. divorced and she remarried but had no more children. He disappears. He was living and working as a leathercraftsman/harness maker in Chicago, he was a Mason, but I can not find anything on him after about 1910 U. S. Census.

    The other brick wall is Enos Howard, born 05 July 1760 in HIllsdale, Columbia County (formerly Albany County), New York (Columbia County was not in existance until about 1786). It is possible that Enos was born someplace else, perhaps in Massachusetts which is just across the state line from Hillsdale. Enos served in the Revolutionary War. He married Martha B. Soule in Austerlitz, Columbia County, New York in 1783. She was the daughter of Ebenezer Soule (4th great grandson of George Soule of the Mayflower) and Mercy (Foote) Soule. There is a tantalizing hint in History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Volume 3 – by Luther Reily Kelker. © 1907 The Lewis Publishing Company p. 527
    “The great-great-grandfather, John Howard, came from Endland. ____ was a Soldier in the revolutionary war. He was taken prisoner by Lord Howe, but Released on account of his honorable connections in England. The family was Connected with the royal family and members of it were in the house of parliament.”
    And also mentioned in the background information of Clinton Norman Howard (b. 28 July 1868 and Enos’ great grandson) in a pamphlet published for Clinton Norman’s lectures.
    There is a possible connection to Stephen Howard, another Revolutionary War veteran who also has parents unknown and a closely matching Y DNA profile. I am searching for Enos Howard’s parents.

    Any information or clues would be deeply appreciated and if I can assist anyone I will gladly do so.

  28. Brick wall: Elizabeth Rhodes b. 09 Mar 1806 Huntingdon, PA d. 09 Feb 1881 Wayne County, OH married Jacob Soliday b. 18May 1802 in Woodberry, Huntingdon, PA d. 21 Nov 1871 Wayne County, OH. Married in 1826 in Huntingdon, PA. I do not have parents for Elizabeth Rhodes or Jacob’s mother: Margaret b. 1784 in PA d. 1869 in Ohio, who was married to Henry Soliday, b. 1760 d. 1836 in PA. Thanks for any help regarding these ancestors.

    • Hello Bonnie,
      Have you tried looking in the U.S. Quaker Meeting records? In that time and place there were many coming either from further east in Pennsylvania or up from Loudoun or Frederick counties in Virginia. For example, I have been reading through the Fairfax, VA Monthly Meeting minutes and have come across numerous Rhodes.

      I also found a couple of young women in western Pennsylvania who were disowned for marrying men named “Salladay” or “Salliday” (I would suggest searching for “s*l*day”) which indicates that the S*l*day men were not Quaker (but liked Quaker women?!)

      The main problem is that the index on Ancestry is dismal. Do not trust that the dates or events are correct. Nor that everything is caught by the index (far from it). You just have to slog through, but occasional nuggets of information are worth the slog! If you find anything in the index, go back and forth for several months until you get the whole story, as everything (then, as now!) was discussed on and on and on…

      Good luck,

  29. Would love to solve the following brick wall: Allen Clark Hodges born probably in New York 1831 (census says NY and PA), married in Steuben Co., NY 1853, moved to Lenawee Co., MI shortly after 1880 census. Neighbor in the 1860 census in Steuben Co. is Andrew Jackson Hodge, possible brother born 1835. Have not found either male in 1850 census. Have gone page by page in Steuben Co. and tried initials and other spellings. We have a Y DNA group with 7 who share a common ancestor about time of Rev. War around Albany, NY. Have just taken advantage of FTDNA sale and ordered kits for cousins to narrow down the DNA possible connections to this line.

  30. What a great idea! Here is my brick wall.
    Sarah Ann GAMBILL Larkin
    born: 31 January 1820 TN
    married: 1 Sep 1836 Claiborne Parish, LA to Michael W. Larkin born Ireland 1815
    lived in Bossier Parish, LA. Last found on 1880 census living with her daughter, Lou J. Oates and family in Texarkana, Miller Co, Arkansas. I cannot find a place of death although a Larkin family bible does states that she died 13 July 1888.

    Sarah Ann GAMBILL had the following siblings: William B. Gambill d. 1866
    Elizabeth Jane Gambill b. 1823 TN, married Patrick Bogan Cash
    Julia Gambill b. TN married Asa Holmes;
    Susan Gambill b. TN m. Abner V. Neely, migrated to MO
    James M. Gambill b 1824 TN died 1853 LA married Eliza Cox
    Mary Gambill b TN, married Marshall Flowers.
    Wm B, Elizabeth Jane, James M all migrated to Bossier Parish, Louisiana from TN.

    Although I found Sarah’s siblings when William B. Gambill died intestate in 1866 and the succession papers named them, I cannot find the parents of them.

    I suspect, but cannot confirm, that their father is James H. Gambill. If anyone can confirm this, I would be thrilled. This is a long standing brick wall for me.

    Thank you- here’s hoping.

  31. My fifth great-grandmother in the direct maternal line is Judith Brinkley. I can’t find a birth date, birth place, or parents for her. She was married to a Robert Brinkley (and not, as a lot of the family trees on Ancestry have it, William Brinkley or Abraham Brinkley), but I don’t have that date or place either. She was living in Halifax County, North Carolina, but I suspect she may have been from Nansemond County, Virginia, where her husband Robert also probably came from. She left a will dated 1797, listing daughters Anne Daniel, Sally Cox (my 4th great-grandmother), Priscilla Hurt, Polly Holt, and Elizabeth Harris, as well as the children of her deceased son Robert Brinkley. She had another predeceased son, William, whose children were not mentioned in the will, apparently because they were the children of William and his “consort.” She was the administrator of the estate of her husband Robert in 1768, whose will, if any, hasn’t turned up.

    I’d very much appreciate any information anyone has on Judith. If anything I have helps anyone else, I’d be happy to share it.

    • I descend from Sally’s brother, Robert, and have done a good bit of work on the this family. I can tell that you have too because you’ve got it all right! Well, I don’t know if it’s right but your deductions are reasonable and consistent with the dribs of information that have come down to us. Anyway, about Judith: maybe she isn’t your fifth great grandmother after all. Maybe. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that she was the second wife and not the mother of any of Robert’s children. Nobody is named for her that I can find, but pretty much every single subsequent branch has a Sarah. Common name yes, but extremely common in this family. This is a pretty slim reed but I’m pursuing the possibility that Robert’s first wife was Sarah Brown.

  32. Roberta, I am descended from Campbells who match the Group 30 men who closely match Campbells of Amherst Co., VA. We have an email group, a Yahoo group and most of us are also members of Campbell_Kids which is for the family of George and Caty Campbells descendants but has been extended to include other Amherst Campbells and those who match their dna.
    Some of my family have dna matches to descendants of John and George of Claiborne Co., TN. Mine may be partly due to my Hurst ancestry. But I’m not the only one of our Campbells who has these matches. Our Campbell men listed as earliest ancestors were in VA, Stokes Co., NC, LIncoln Co., TN and Jackson and Madison Co., AL. One William Campbell b. about 1747 in VA was married to a Lydia. We believe her maiden name was Moore. She may have been from the Moores of Albemarle Co., but they had relatives in other VA counties.
    William and Lydia’s daughter, Elizabeth Campbell, married William Barnett Campbell, said to be a cousin. HIs descendant told me he has a 73 cm match with George’s descendant. None of the 4 above are my ancestors, but William Barnett Campbell and Eliizabeth had a grandson, Stephen Thomas Campbell who married Martha A. Campbell, sister of my greatgrandmother. Again, this was said to be a cousin marriage. Martha and Margaret were the daughters of John Campbell who m. 1 Elizabeth Beller, 1803 VA and 2. Aney Webster 1819 AL. John Campbell and Aney Webster are my great greatgrandparents.
    I am sure you have run across these Campbells before in your research. I am curious to know why some have the dna matches to Campbells of Hawkins Co.,
    TN and Claiborne Co. TN. I read with interest your discussion about Charles and why you believe he was the father of George and John of Claiborne Co., TN. Now I’m wondering if Charles might have been a close relative of our Campbell men that are ancestors of my group members.

    Also, many of us have various dna tests with Ancestry and FTDNA and most have their files on gedmatch. I would be interested in comparing dna of our Campbells with kit numbers of George and John’s descendants.

    • The migration pattern for Hawkins Co., TN was directly down the Shenandoah Valley, so I’ve always suspected that Charles Campbell was from Augusta/Rockingham area. I would love to work on a group effort at GedMatch. I will e-mail you to coordinate.

  33. My top brick wall is my father’s parents. DNA proved in 2015 that his parents were NOT who we thought they were. Our best clues are through DNA, which points to Schmale, Small, Christen, Price, Helfrich and others, especially in Jersey City, New Jersey and nearby in 1904-1905. He was born June 17, 1905 in Jersey City, NJ.

    I would be so grateful for any clues.

  34. My genetic genealogy goal for 2016 is to determine who were the parents of Robert M. YOUNG. Robert was born about 1813 in Tennessee and in 1835 married Cassa / Cassy Ann Hendry in Washington County, Tennesse, Robert appears in the Washington County tax rolls between 1833-1837. He purchased land in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1845 and Marshall County, Alabama in 1858. He and his family appear in the 1850 Census in DeKalb county, Alabama and the 1860 census in Blount County, Alabama.

    My mother and her siblings are Robert’s great grandchildren. I have DNA results for mom and one of her sisters. My uncle’s Family Finder and yDNA test are pending, and another sister will be testing soon.

    So far, matches of interest include descendants of Jane YOUNG and Henry MILLER; Agnes YOUNG and Isaac BOWMAN; Rebecca YOUNG and Michael KROUS; Hugh P. YOUNG; Isabella YOUNG and William LISENBY; Jane YOUNG and John LONG; and Martha YOUNG and David ROGERS. All these people lived in Washington County, Tennessee at some point in time.

    I would love to hear from anyone connected with these families!

  35. My messy genetic genealogy breadcrumb project is to definitively determine the parentage of my third great-grandfather, William Owston (1778-1857). We know that he is the son of Thomas Owston — but the parish records indicate that there were two contemporary Thomas Owstons that were simultaneously fathering children in the same parish (Ganton, North Yorks). The two Thomases were probably seventh cousins and not any closer than that. The mothers’ names were not listed in the christening records. We tackled this in 1990 by meticulously assigning the children to the specific parents using standard genealogical practices. My William (as there was another) was assigned to the elder Thomas. However, in 2015, I took our family project to 111 STR markers. My line had a closer genetic distance with the younger Thomas Owston’s descendants than we did with the elder (these were definitively placed and we are sure of that). We introduced autosomal testing to all sides and it was inconclusive. We are now awaiting three Big Y kits to see if SNPs will define which Thomas is my fourth great-grandfather and which is my seventh cousin, six times removed.

  36. My brick wall is “playing it backwards” from a great grandmother, but can’t make the final link.

    Through DNA I found my friends 2nd cousin on his maternal side. Sure enough, that family had a Stevens Branch (his mother Geri Stevens b. 1935 ca). He ( b. 1955) was with her until he was 5 years old and she abandoned him.

    Ancestry identified a 2n cousin as one of his closest matches. If I am correct, a 2nd cousin would be his mother’s or father’s 1st cousin and both ancestry and Gedmatch offered clues. (Paternal family pretty well confirmed with 8 of them having DNA tests and frequent GedMatch participants too) I need help with maternal family though.

    Following up on public tree of 2nd cousin, who was not among the paternal matches, I found a Stevens branch. A grandmother from this 2nd cousin’s tree, (could be my friends great grandmother) was widowed young with 4 children (Stevens); then re-married a Rankin and moved to California and had more children, (2nd cousin’s father one of them) widowed again and finally married later in life to a Chambers. I contacted the 2nd cousin and she was somewhat reluctant to offer any info saying that a Amy Stevens (youngest of the 4 Stevens children) was “just” her father’s half sister. She has, however posted several photos, one of which shows said grandmother with 3 of her 4 Stevens children (one deceased), and 1 Rankin 1/2 sibling, celebrating their mother’s 90th birthday. I am not ready to write this off yet.

    I also talked to my friend about memories of his family and he remembers once his grandparents visitied him before he was abandoned and they said they owned a circus. A child would remember this for sure. My friend is bipolar and has an amazing photographic memory. The 4 Stevens siblings were 2 boys and 2 girls — Howard, Mabel, Ernst Bee and Amy.

    I found a Stevens Brothers Circus that fit the time frame and location. The circus historical site has many photographs of this show including photos of; “Little Bob” or “Bobbie” Stevens, and one of his mother he called “Mud.” She looks amazingly like the photos from the 2nd cousins (DNA) photos from her public tree.

    By this time DNA 2nd cousin has made it clear she is not interested in this search and doesn’t know a Geri Stevens, who would be her 1st cousin and she wants no more contact. After first contact I had only answered her questions, but she claims I am barking up the wrong tree. She is probably in her 80’s so I honor her request to buzz off.

    Meanwhile, my inquiring friend sees photos of this cousins said grandmother (could be his great grandmother) and he says “not sure” but when he sees the circus photo of “Mud” (nothing in photo to suggest circus at this point) and says “That’s my grandma!” and lights up.

    Looking at the reluctant 2nd cousin’s tree, and a couple others, with one a historical society, I wonder if Howard (found also as William Howard, and since his father was Willy, I think maybe this is a more complete name) or Ernst Bee (also found as Ernst Clifford) the Stevens brothers could either one be this Robert or Little Bob, or Bobby, who is “the boss” of the circus as the photos suggest. Problem: the names don’t match unless Ernst Bee is “Bobbie.” or Howard was using an alias??? Cannot find much on this circus except winter quarters and performers memories. Evidently, Little Bob had a few wives and lots of girlfriends. Does Geri fit in there someplace is my dilemma???

    My friends mother, when he was born, was a dancer in a big city Chicago club with mob and huge political ties. His paternal DNA linked him closely with 8 members of a sicilian family, with one being “very close” and according to the family, that branch were “players”. The GedMatch is amazing and they have been helpful. It’s possible his mother did not know who fathered her child or had to hide this child for safety reasons. One can only guess.

    My friend was fostered by a 50-yr-old black woman where he was left. After going through several foster homes he bounced back to her. He also remembers, previous to that when he was still with is mom, she worked nights, slept days, and lived on Michigan ave, across from Navy Pier. At 4 years of age he ran out of the high rise, across Michigan ave and jumped off Navy Pier twice. Hey! I believe it! He’s still a piece of work. But he didn’t know his foster mother worked as a makeup artist at the same club as his mother’s employment until he was in his teens and the entire foster family was suddenly relocated out of state to a rural location in Michigan. He was told about that time when asking about her. He remembers expensive gifts, including cars, showing up at the foster mother’s home, and lots of ‘gifts from the girls.” too in the city before the move. This story doesn’t change and I have heard it on and off for 10 years.

    She gave most the cars away because she didn’t drive. He is white and his foster family were black. His birth certificate lists his father as “negro” (common in the 1950’s) and researching that name I have found some possible links to the foster family, however, outside of a last name, he never had a clue until I helped him get his driver’s licence reinstated and he had to have a valid birth certificate a few years ago. I began trying to trace his birth certificate father at that point. His DNA does not support that relationship even though he was not questioning anything. The DNA test was my birthday gift to him for his 60th BD. I was expecting African descent. I am my family’s genealogist this was not expected. When my friends bipolar swings into depression he mourns his lost mother and asks me to find his family. I include all of this because it is part of the “cookie trail” of this mystery.

    He believes, after we talked recently, that she probably disappeared about the time of his relocation, too and maybe all this is a witness protection situation. He looked for her and never could find her in his late teens. I cannot even find reference to her as one of the showgirls, but they had stage names. I cannot find any birth certificate for Geri Stevens, b. CA 1935, nor can I find census or anything to confirm she existed except his birth certificate and him, of course. He wants to know what happened to her and I just want to solve the mystery and give him some peace in that big gap of his life. I have been working on it about 10 years off and on. DNA was our breakthrough.

    His foster mother disappeared as well, when he was in his early 20’s so no picking her mind either. He had a daughter once, but does not know where she is either, as she and her mother disappeared, too. This all could be connected to his bipolar condition (complicated for sure) and he has also had open brain surgery due to an auto accident to boot. I am a retired college/university professor and he has worked for me about 20 years, and eventually became homeless and I took him in. (It aint easy! But he has a good heart and is a good friend)

    I can follow the great grandmother back to the DNA 2nd cousin, and the Stevens siblings branch, but bamo! –brick wall. Talk about a trail of crumbs. There seems to be mystery with this circus family connected by the great grandmother’s photos. Maybe lots of skeletons, which my friend cares nothing about having most of his life no ties to anyone. But he still wants to know what happened to his mother. Any ideas????? I apologize for the length of this.

    • A suggestion. Have you tried FB group Search Angels? They are a dedicated group of very knowledgable volunteers who assist adoptees and others search for their parents and families. Their sister group on FB is DNA Detectives, another group of “angels”. I wish you success in finding your friend’s mother. Sounds like he is deserving of some peace in his life.

    • I hope I am not repeating, do not see my first reply.
      You might try the FB group Search Angels. They are an amazing group of knowledgable, dedicated volunteers who assist adoptees and others to find their parents and families. Their sister group, DNA Detectives, are another group of “angels”.
      Good luck on your quest to help your friend.

  37. This is my most irksome brickwall – John Ryan b 1831 Cullen Tipperary married 1852 Cullen Tipperary to Ellen Heffernan b 1829 Tipperary had a daughter Catharine b1853 Cullen Tipperary emigrated to New York sometime between 1853 and 1855, family found residing in Watervliet in 1855 New York census, John died sometime previous to 1866 lost all trace of the family and have no knowledge of Johns demise other than a letter from his father in Ireland stating he had died, last known location for Ellen and Catharine was c/o Cohoes Post Office in 1866, Johns parents were John Ryan b 1789 d 1868 ? tipperary and Catherine Hannon d 1856 Ennis, Clare, Ireland, Johns paternal grand parents were Thomas Ryan b c1770 d1841 ? tipperary and Mary Buckley b c1768, i have a mountain of potential 2nd to distant cousins in the USA that i cannot find paper trails too, however some of those appear to be from my maternal side as well, however best paternal links appear to be 4th to 5th cousins in the state of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia plus North and South Carolina, i would love to find these guy’s it might help with the huge number of FTDNA matches that i have.

  38. My brick wall is my wife’s great-great grandfather Henry Hoyt (Henry J; or Henry John Hoyt) born about 1823 in “New York.” The large extended Hoyt family is well-document thanks to David W. Hoyt’s book in the 1870s but this Henry Hoyt is not in it and so far no luck in finding Henry’s immediate family nor his NY county of birth. He left New York soon after his marriage to English immigrant Elizabeth Graves and settled in Wisconsin, first Fond du Lac County, then finally Mondovi, Buffalo Co., Wisconsin. Henry died in 1864 as a Union soldier in Salisbury NC Confederate prison. Y-DNA tells us he is a descendant of Massachusetts immigrant Simon Hoyt and recent autosomal DNA results strongly suggest he is a descendant of Zerubbabel Hoyt through Abram Hoyt and wife Dorothy Keeler. Many cousin marriages in this family add an element of complexity to autosomal DNA tracking but has offered the biggest leap forward in years. Any information or suggestions much appreciated. . .

  39. Rachel E. Dees b 1835-1840 TN was said to be an orphan. Rachel, my GGM, married my GGF John Wesley Lewis in Pope Co. IL in Dec. 1863. John Lewis had been living in Calloway Co. KY for many years and had been married to two Taylor sisters, who left him with young children. The family bible lists a Josephus Monroe Dees b 1859 among the children.
    Rachel and John had daughters Sarah Alice born in 1865 in Illinois (probably Cairo) and Udora Campbell in 1867 in Missouri. John Wesley Jr., Thomas Charles, Viola Jane, Marzee, Montezella, and Rachel Elizabeth were born in Sebastian Co. AR.
    There were several Dees families living in Marshall Co. KY, adjacent to Calloway Co. when John was living there. Like John and Rachel, these Dees families were Methodists.
    I have searched the online census records for Dees of any name in KY, IL, MO, and TN. In Pope Co. IL (because of the marriage license), I searched for just the name Rachel (spelled various ways) in the right age bracket. No luck.
    I did find two interesting possibilities in other counties:
    In Graves Co. KY, adjacent to Calloway Co., I found two DEES girls (Sarah age 13 and Rachel age 10, both born TN) living with C. Harper, 60, and Martha Harper, 61 in 1850. This Rachel fits perfectly, but I cannot think of what to do next. I found Castleton Harper in the 1840 census in Graves and used that data to post a query on the Genforum Harper surname web page. I searched for any Rachel in Graves in 1860 and found no likely candidate. By that time the Harpers are gone – probably deceased. Since Rachel named her first daughter Sarah, you could make a case that she named her after her sister. But this would assume that Rachel’s son Josephus Monroe was born out of wedlock.
    I found a Rachel LEACH age 10, along with William Leach age 8, living with Jonathan Dees and wife Mary in Wayne Co. MO. But the birthplace does not fit: it says MO and lists different places for the husband and wife, which leads you to believe the place was correct. I have also posted a query on the Leach Genforum to try to find out what happened to this Rachel.
    There was a Rachel E. Dees, age 17, b KY, in the household of Andrew Dees in 1860 in Bollinger Co. MO. This is the same family that moves to Arkansas, not too far from the Lewis family. However, there is no Josephus Monroe Dees in this family and, as he was born in 1859, there should be.
    I can find no leads in Pope Co.
    Rachel is mtDNA Haplogroup H. My aunt and I have done the mtDNA FS test. I have auDNA tested many relatives and have a few Dees matches and a few Lewis matches, but nothing has given me a lead. My aunt, who was the original genealogist in our family, is 105 and I am desperately trying to find Rachel’s parents and ancestors to share with her.

  40. JOHN WRIGHT LEWIS was born about 12 November 1812 Florence, South Carolina. He married Annie Sukie Kent and they had 10 children together. She dies on the trip back from visiting a brother? In Missouri or Mississippi, and they bury her on the side of the road in 1854. He returns to South Carolina and let’s the kids run wild. He then married Lilie Sarah “Sallie” Gardner in 1858, and they had 8 more children together. He died on January 31, 1900, in Falls County, Texas, having lived a long life of 85 years, and was buried there at Mustang Prairie, near Kosse, Texas in Falls County.
    It has been suggested that this is the same person as Exum Lewis, but I do not agree-different birth and death dates in different counties.
    Second brick wall:
    WALLER BROWN: When Waller Brown was born in 1749 in Spotsylvania, Virginia, his father, Samuel, was 32 and his mother, Martha?, was 29. He had four sons and two daughters with Sarah “Sally” Edwards Long.?. He then married Frances “Fanny” Watkins and they had 15 children together. He died on September 30, 1833, in Pike County, Georgia, having lived a long life of 84 years.

  41. Now my breadcrumbs… Which Lauchlin McKinnon and what happened to their sons?

    I have amongst my ancestors a Lauchlin McKinnon and his wife Catherine McDonald who came to Canada in 1772 aboard the ship Alexander, coming from Eigg island, Hebrides, Scotland. They first arrived in what is now PEI but the following year are found in Montmagny, Quebec, where their first daughter Genevieve is born. It seems they were recruited by Daniel McKinnon (not known to be related) the innkeeper in Montmagny who was to also become the landlord of the “Seigneurie de Matane” a bit further downstream on the St. Lawrence. I would like to know what the names of their parents were. As unbelievable as it is there were four Laughlin McKinnon on Eigg at the time out of a population of about 350.

    This is what I have of the Eigg Roll (census 1764/65)
    Location : Claidill in Eigg, papists
    Lauchlan McKINNON 29 —— we know this person established himself and his family in Pisquid NS
    Morjory McDONALD his wife 26
    John McKINNON his son 7
    Malcum McKINNON his son 2
    Mory McDONALD servant 27

    Location : Five penies in Eigg, papists

    Donald McKINNON 32
    John McKINNON 29
    Lauchlan McKINNON 19
    Effie BROUN widow 65 (mother?)

    Location : Sandor in Eigg, papists

    Malcum BEATON 60
    Caristina McGUARY his wife 63
    Lauchlan McKINNON 21 (son-in-law?)
    Morion BEATON his dau 24
    John McKINNON 2 1/2 (grandson?)
    Ranold McDONALD 70

    Location : Sand Beg in Eigg, papists

    Lauchlan McKINNON 27
    Caristin McDONALD widow 50 (mother?)
    Cathrina McKINNON 21 (sister?)

    So, the one in Cleadale (Claidill) was married to Marjorie McDonald and established in Pisquid. The Lauchlan-Catherine McDonald who arrived in 1790, was probably the youngest of the group maybe the son of Elfie BROUN?. Since one was already married, unless both wife and child died in the interim, mine would be the one from Sand Beg?

    I have the names of the children and know of the marriages of two daughters, but have no information on the male children beyond their baptism. Did they become soldiers and died on the battlefield? Did they move somewhere in the US?

    Here is the family in Canada:
    Nicolas/Lauchlin McKinnon &/1772 Catherine MCDONALD

    o Genevieve 1773-1852 &1796 Jean Pierre ST-LAURENT 1776… these are my ancestors.

    o Clarisse 1776-1862
    o Jean Baptiste 1778-1779
    o François Isaac 1779
    o Marie 1781 &1805 Jacques FORBES … Many descendants
    o Nicolas Ignace 1784
    o Marguerite 1790 &1811 Gabriel PEPIN LACHANCE

    Any other catholic Scots out there? It seems Lauchlin gave up on his given name after a few kids… The French priest could not deal with it so he became Nicolas…

    • Oh! so there were other Alexander passengers who left for Quebec City beside the Barra people…

      My own ancestors were Neil (Noël) MacIntyre and Margaret (Marguerite) MacKenzie, innkeepers in St-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, a few village away from Montmagny. Three other couples made the trip with them: his brothers Angus (Ignace) MacIntyre married to Flora (Geneviève) MacNeil; Roderick (Rodrigue) MacIntyre married to Mary MacNeil; plus another couple from Barra, Angus (Ignace) MacNeil and Catherine MacNeil. I’m trying to establish at what moment they moved from PEI to Quebec. I definitely need to give a look at the name you listed.

      I am also interested in Donald (Daniel) McKinnon, he is the one married to Mary MacIntyre, right? His wife may be related to my MacIntyre brothers (I’m hoping for a sister), but I couldn’t find them past the burying of a their son John (Jean) in Berthier-sur-Mer, I should try again.

      Anyway, I am in touch with a professional genealogist (and distant cousin) who’s working with others on the Alexander passengers, maybe he knows the right people to answer your question. email me: jumellesrichard at hotmail dot com.

      He says the Scottish naming tradition is to name the first son and daughter after the paternal grand-parents and the second son and daughter after the maternal grand-parents. See if anything seems to match.

      While I’m at it, I’m looking for Margaret MacKenzie’s mother name (which might be Flora MacDonald, but not THE Flora MacDonald) and try to find out Magaret’s second daughter’s first name which is Geneviève in Quebec’s records but surely wasn’t her christening name, as she doesn’t seem to be born in Quebec. I need to try to establish if there is any convention among the late 18th century Scottish community to rename the Floras into Genevièves.

      Besides I’ll see if I can triangulate both my parents’ family Y-DNA signature. And maybe try to make some sense of my autosomal DNA using my grand-mother’s Family Finder (I’m waiting for the result).

      • As you suggest, I will send you a personal message. But for the record, yes name equivalents were an interesting challenge. My McKinnon became Maquinal under the pen of the French priest. Because of that, tracing families is quite a challenge. Denis Savart has a web page
        which he says is being reconstructed because he published an article in Memoires, the journal of the Societe de genealogie canadienne française.
        Here is what he says : “La page de Neil MacIntyre & Marguerite MacKenzie (alias Edouard/Leonard McIntyre & Brigitte McKenzie) est temporairement indisponible pour une refonte editoriale”. The number of aliases gives you the hint… You can contact him to see how you can purchase the article from the society.

    • Hi Suzanne! I am also a descendent of Laughlin/Lachlan/Cline MacKinnon from Eigg through his daughter Mary who married James Forbes. I have found once a mention that Laughlin’s wife Catherine was an Amerindian who converted to Christianism, but have not found proof that it is true. I also found a court paper stating that Laughlin was Donald’s McKinnon brother (when the seigneurie was dismantled after Donald’s death). Maybe Laughlin was Donald’s younger brother, who came to join him and married here in Quebec? He is my brick wall too!

      • Well Amélie we do have an interesting case here! If we could join forces…
        Did you test your DNA? It could be interesting to find out, now that we know how we are related, whether we share any DNA. I have been looking to my matches to find Scottish links. But because I have so many French Canadian relatives I have not been able to find any who is not related to me through the French links.

      • Hello, I just posted with Suzanne Lesage that I am working on history of Donald Mckinnon….and I am tripping over your information while doing so. I’d like to compare notes. My partner is a direct descendant of a McKinnon thus my searches. Thank you. Ewen.

      • Hi, Laughlin Mckinnon and Donald Mckinnon were brothers, they came with the 78th regiment during the seven years war1757 to 1763, in 1763 Donald was lieutenant in the 78th fraser regiment and after capitain in the 84th, and Lauchlan(Laughlin) was soldier in the 78th, Donald did buy the Seigneurie of Matane, but Lauchlan went back to Scotland in 1763 or 1764 because he had a fiancé Catherine MacDonald, he came back in 1772 with hes wife, and his sister Mary Henderson(Mckinnon) and her Husband Donald Henderson from Glamisdale isle of Eigg, the French Canadien priest change the name Henderson for Anderson, and for some Mckinnon they change for Mckinnal. my ancestors are Donald Henderson and Mary-Catherine Mckinnon from Isle of Eigg. Donald and Mary Catherine had 5 childs, Christine born in Scotland 1770, Augustin born Montmagny 1774, Brigitte 1775, Margaret 1778 who married Basile Gaudreau my ancestor, and Catherine born in 1780.

        • Julien
          I would like to talk to you. Many years have passed and a lot of the info you talk about I now have, but not all. For example I now know that they are linked to the families that settled in Glengarry in Eastern Ontario where there is even an Eigg road.
          The Scottish people in PEI are very interested in the whereabouts of those catholic Scots. A second edition of theIr book is in preparation.
          As a note, Augustin is Angus. And it seems the name in the Eigg families was MacDonell which the French priest had written Magdonel – not that far off.
          About Lauchlan having served – there were four Lauchlan McKinnon in the Highlanders. Do you have proof of which one would be the brother of Donald, seigneur de Matane?

          • i have found a Hough Mackinnon born in 1709 In isle of eigg, wife Flora, children Donald Mackinnon born 1740 ,Mary born 1742 and Neil born in 1744, maybe it is the same that Augustin Mckinnon, i know that Augustin was a common translation name for Hugh back in the time , i also found a Lauchlin Nicolas Mckinnon born in 1715 son of Iain Na of Mishnish, he also had a brother Donald Mackinnon born in 1739 Nothing know about him.

          • I did some mistake before, Donald Mackinnon was caporal in 1763 in the 78th fraser regiment at the end of the 7 years war, and he was Lieutenant in the 84th regiment in 1783 at the end of the American revolution, (Ranald Mackinnon and John Mackinnon sons of Iain Na of Mishnish was on the same regiment during the american revolution, they had a brother Donald and a Other brother Lauchlin Nicolas, we dont know Nothing about them. maybe they are the sames

          • Ranald and John McKinnon 84th regiment of foot (Royal Highland Emigrants)

            Ranald is the father of many McKinnons of the maritimes. He settled in Nova Scotia and was predominant there for many years. His brother John drowned.

            Donald McKinnon was in the same regiment but a different batallion. His batallion were mostly former soldiers of the F&I war, where the Ranald McKinnon Batallion were a mix of old and new recruits newly landed from Scotland. They both served in different locations, the Donald McKinnon battalion serving mostly in the defences of Quebec and Lower Canada. I do not find a family link between them albeit they could be cousins.

        • I am going to jump in here.

          I would like to speak to you both if possible via phone email etc..

          I am a researcher doing work on the McKinnons of Quebec, and part of a project to locate the descendants of Fraser’s Highlanders. You both fit the bill. some of the information you have is incorrect and I have a few documents that may assist you. I also live in the house of Donald McKinnon of 1767 before he moved to Matane. (St Thomas, now Montmagny, Quebec). My wife is a descendant of another Donald McKinnon who settled in Berthier, Quebec. An uncle or cousin. Getting a DNA test done once it arrives. Both were Fraser Highlanders and I also believe Lauchlin was a Fraser Highlander as well.

          my email is

          Ewen Booth
          -Clan MacKinnon Society of Quebec
          -Fraser’s Descendant Project

    • Hello. In my searches I have found three “Donald or Daniel” McKinnons living in Matane, Montmagny and Berthier Quebec. Including the one you talk about. I would love to compare notes with you as many people are linking the wrong people together or thinking it is one person as well. I will share all that I find, as I also want to correct the local history which is has not been pursued further. Names were changed over the years as the parish priests wrote how the name sounded and many people did not know how to write themselves so things are well hidden. Thank you.

    • In French canadien document, the name of the parents of Laughlin(Lauchlan) McKinnon is Augustin Mckinnon (Augustin for Hugh probably) and Christin McDonald, so in the sensus we find Lauchlan Mckinnon with is mother widow Caristin(Christin) Mcdonald and Cathrin Mckinnon hes wife, in the french document Laughlin is born in 1738 wich is perfect for 27 years old and is wife cathrine born 1743 wich is perfect for 21 years old.

    • Lauchlin Nicolas Mckinnon was the Brother of Lieutenant Donald Mckinnon inn keeper of Montmagny and after Lord of Matane, Lauchlin was a soldier he came in Québec with hes brother in 1759, then he went back to Scotland and came back in 1772, i have read this in the papers of the missions of matane, Lauchlin came with his sister as well Mary-Catherine Mckinnon married to Donald Henderson they came on the same ship in 1772, all from Isle of Eigg, we know that Donald Mckinnon was born in Kildonnan Isle of eigg.

      • Hello RE: Lauchlin and Donald McKinnon in Matane, Quebec.

        Please do not rely on the archives in Matane to base history on. They are inaccurate unless they are original documents dated back to the times the people were living. Stuff written in later years by local historians are full of errors simply because they did not understand the Scots people, or have the technology we have now to make searches on line for original documents. If you have seen original documents please let me know so I can take a few hour drive and find them myself. When I was there in 2017 they had nothing except recent history written by people with many mistakes, and a biased outlook. (They had incorporated 3 Donald McKinnons into one person) Some of the findings make sense but I am the one who said that Lauchlin was most likely a Fraser Highlander who returned to Scotland then returned to St-Thomas , and then eventually to Matane with his brother Donald. Christine McKinnon married Donald Anderson, Not Henderson. That is a common error with the parish priest records. I live in the house of Donald McKinnon and I believe Donald Anderson may have owned it later. It was a Tavern and a merchant store after 1767.

        We do know that Christine, Lauchlin and Donald were from a Hugh McKinnon and Catherine McDonald as Donald’s wedding document in 1765 states so. We also know that Donald sponsored Lauchlin and other Scottish families to move from PEI to St-Thomas and eventually Matane as he has a Land Petition claiming so. Christine shows up with Donald Anderson and has kids in St-Thomas so we have documents there before they disappear. I have documents for all of this, but yes as we all state it is elusive!! The new findings look good, I just like to have documentation to solid things up. It is unfortunate that the British sold the paper files of most of the soldiers of the 1757-1763 era so they have become the “Burned Archives”, and have been lost.

        I am searching for these McKinnons, and others, as well as any descendants from the soldiers of the 78th regiment of foot (Fraser’s Highlanders 1757-1763). If anybody wishes to contact me personally at I will share what I have found to date. I am a volunteer and do this for the love of re-connecting people to their past history, if I can.

        Thank you
        Ewen Booth
        Montmagny, Quebec. Canada

        • Hi Thank you for the informations ! but iam sure that Donald Anderson real name was Henderson, you can find the document that Donald Henderson and Lauchlin Mckinnon and there wifes came from isle of eigg to Prince edward island in 1772 and we know that Lauchlin(Lauchlan) had a sister Catherine, and a mother Caristin widow,because of the parish of eigg 1765 Caristin Mcdonald name in french document is Christine Mcdonald,

          • Unless you had found a document that proove us that Catherine Mckinnon and Donald Henderson(Anderson) was in canada before 1772, iam sure that everyone we talking about are from isle of eigg and that the real name of my Ancestor is Henderson

          • “Real name”! This is very much a recent concept as most of these people were illiterate.
            And Eigg was not a parish either – a church in ruins, no assigned priest and no records. The data we have is from the 1765 census, called the Eigg Roll – and pronounced like the Chinese egg roll…

        • if you want to contact me, my name on facebook is (Julien Donald Lacroix Gaudreau), i have a tartan shirt and a Greek and Scottish flag behind me

    • Hello! Gee! I wish I had seen this post years ago. I am a descendant of Marie McKinnon and Jacques Forbes, and have been stumped by the Scottish side of things. I appreciate your research. Have you ever been able to draw any conclusions?

      • Hello
        If you wish to send me an email to my personal email I can discuss this further with you. I have this pegged down pretty good and so do a couple of others who have been talking on this post back and forth.

        Thank you

  42. My biggest brick wall is my 2nd-great-grandfather James Graham. He was born about 1854 in the United States. He was from Chicago, Illinois (but may not have been born there). He and his wife Catherine Elizabeth Winters were in Montreal, Quebec, Canada by 1881. They had two children: my great-grandmother Kathleen (probably born Catherine) and her younger brother Garfield, born 26 May 1881 or 1882 in Quebec, Canada (probably Montreal). The last record I have of James Graham is an entry in the 1883 Montreal city directory. His wife remarried James Mapplebeck in 1885. Their marriage record stated that she was the widow of “the late James Graham of Chicago.” However, there is a family story that James Graham had been a Catholic priest before their marriage and that he left his family and returned to the priesthood. I do not know how much, if any, of the family story is true. In Montreal he worked as a bookkeeper/accountant. I am looking for male direct-line descendants of his son Garfield. I am hoping that Y-DNA testing will give me more information about James Graham and his ancestors.

  43. Just one? My double-fifth great-grandparents, Charles Taylor, born c1772 South Carolina, died 1852 in Marion County, Mississippi (now Lamar County), and his first wife, name unknown, born before 1775 in South Carolina, died before 1830 in Mississippi. He allegedly had Lumbee ancestry, and she is commonly said to have been “full-blood Creek.” I’ve heard that Charles Taylor may have been connected to a Goins family. I’ve also heard that he was the son of Charles Taylor Sr. and a Miss Bryant of Marion County, South Carolina, daughter of Jesse Bryant and Obedience Turbeville.

    He was a blacksmith and miller.

    Charles Taylor and his first wife had five daughters–Keziah Taylor Culpepper, Lucinda Taylor Spikes, Sarah Taylor Byrd, Elizabeth Taylor Rouse, and Helena Taylor Slade. I am descended from Elizabeth Taylor and Helena Slade.

    Charles Taylor’s second wife was Mrs. Anna Hardin, maiden name unknown, born c1796 in Virginia, and died after 1860 in Angelina County, Texas.

    The older daughters were born in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

    Census records put this family in Washington County, Mississippi in 1808-1810, in Hancock County in 1818, and in Marion County (now Lamar County) in 1820 and afterwards.

    I hope to learn where they were married (either marriage), more about where they were born (a county, please!), and who their parents were.

    I would especially love a name for my mysterious double-fifth great-grandmother!

    • If you want to add a second ancestor, just make a second comment. Don’t combine two ancestors in one comment because people won’t see the second one. That’s why just one:)

      • Ah, I hadn’t realized I’d put two ancestors into the comment. But I think of them as a single brick wall–a married couple. Can’t write about one without the other. Especially since I don’t even have a name for her–first or last.

        I figure fifth great-grandparents are close enough to me–especially since I descend from them twice–that there could be descendants of their siblings in that one-to-many list. How cool is that?

        • And since you descend from them twice, you’ll carry more of their DNA than if you only descended from them once – so that increases your chances of matches as well.

  44. My brick wall is a tough one – because I don’t have a name or any other information. My mum’s half sister Nicole was a foundling, left on a doorstep in Montreal, Canada in 1944. Through DNA, we have proven that Nicole’s biological father was James Edward Madden, my grandfather. My goal for this year (and every year until we find her) is to identify her biological mother.

  45. Martha Carrico, born abt 1807 in Indiana (according to the 1850 census, the only one where she appears by name, albeit her married name). Six of her children lived to appear on the 1880 and later censuses and gave various birthplaces for their mother: Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia

    Married Robert Sherman on 25 March 1825 (according to her 1857 divorce petition)
    They lived in Sullivan County, Indiana

    • Benjamin F Sherman abt 1826-1875
    • William P Sherman 1828-1873
    • Charles B Sherman abt 1830-1891
    • Josiah H Sherman 1831-1904
    • John D Sherman 1835-1912
    • Mary Sherman 1836-1915
    • Martha “Mattie” Sherman 1839- aft 1910
    • K/Catharine “Kate” Sherman 1842-1930

    Martha Carrico Sherman died on 4 April 1858 in Sullivan County, Indiana
    Her probate records give no indication of who her parents were. Reason Carrico (adopted son of Charles Carrico and Martha Reason) claimed compensation for having nursed her in her last illness, but no indication that he was family.

    There were two Carrico families in the area at the time Martha was born: Charles Carrico (wife Martha Reason) and Josiah Carrico (wife Catherine Anderson). You will note that my Martha had a child possibly named after each of these people, so no help there. Of the known children of these two couples none is named Martha.

    The courthouse in Sullivan County, Indiana burned down in 1850, taking with it any helpful information such as marriage bonds or probate records.

    DNA evidence

    The Carrico Y-DNA signature is distinctive, but my Martha is female and her father and brothers are as yet unknown.

    Autosomal DNA tests of my immediate family and known relatives on that side do show a few matches from the descendants of both Charles and Josiah, but by far the strongest matches are the descendants of a Matthew Carrico, born abt 1810 in what became Spencer County, Kentucky (created from Bullitt, Nelson and Shelby counties.) His parents are also unknown.

    mtDNA – I have recently tracked down a descendant of Martha through all females and she agreed to take a mtDNA full sequence test. The results are pending.

    Needed: mtDNA test from a matrilineal descendant of one of the other Carrico wives: Martha Reason, Catherine Anderson or wives of any of the Carricos who were in Kentucky at the relevant time to have a daughter born in 1807.
    If this applies to you, please get in touch! I am more than willing to help out with the expense.

    • I am related to two descendants of the Matthew Carrico you mentioned (per autosomal DNA). Probably the cousins you mentioned! We haven’t figured out where our shared Chromosome 11 segment comes from (i.e., we haven’t ruled out a Carrico connection).

      • Interesting! Did you also test with FamilyTreeDNA or did you “meet” them on GEDmatch? I’m one of the Admins of the Carrico Family Autosomal project and am always looking for more Carricos 🙂

        • I “met” them at GEDmatch–one of them is 256089 in the Carrico DNA Project–the other is not a Carrico by name.

  46. My maternal grandfather’s paternal grandmother was Hannah Delaney Burdick, born about 1817 in New York State (or was it Ohio or North Carolina, census records vary), died in 1889 in Douglas County, Missouri: Interesting trajectory, sort of the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse. She married Thomas Jefferson Dobyns around 1833 (from the birth of their oldest child in 1834 — so about the age of 16), probably in Indiana or Ohio. T.J. Dobyns came out of Blacksburg, Virginia with his parents to Shelby County, Indiana about that time (1834). I don’t know the names of Hannah’s parents, suspect “Delaney” probably represents a familial connection, perhaps her mother’s maiden name. Burdick is a relatively uncommon name, so you’d think tracking her antecedants wouldn’t that tough, but no luck so far. Let 2016 be the year I get to know Hannah a little better!

  47. William Monday (1763-1837) is my 3rd great grandfather. I want to find his parents, the name of his first wife and any additional children he had with his first wife.

    Mar 1763 – William was born in North Carolina, probably in what is now Lincoln County … Tryon County at that time.

    Mar 1780 – William volunteered at Lincoln County, NC, as a private under Capt. Parks for three months, stationed at Widow Beason’s until discharge in Jun 1780.

    Jul 1780 – William’s father’s death occurred a few weeks after he returned home, presumably in Lincoln County. Father is not named. There is no probate and there are no land records. Several deeds of other people refer to “Monday’s cabins”.

    Jul 1780 – Shortly after he returned home, his mother moved to Ninety Six District, SC. Mother is not named. My guess is this move was after the death of her husband and possibly to live with a settled son/daughter … but I have no proof of this.

    Aug 1780 – William volunteered at Old Ninety-Six, SC, as a private under Capt. John Ryans, for nine months, stationed at Rambows Station (aka Rambow’s Mills) until discharge in May 1781.

    May 1781 – William states. “I lived awhile after the Revolutionary War in the State of South Carolina”.

    Over the next 15 years of so, there are references to a William Monday in various places (1782, Lincoln County, NC; 1785, South Carolina; 1790, Burke County, NC; 1794, Lincoln County, NC; 1796, Buncombe County, NC). I’m not sure if any (or all) of these are him.

    About 1797 – William married his first wife. Her name and location of marriage are unknown.

    1798 – Birth of Mary Monday, daughter of William and his first wife, in Buncombe County, NC

    May 1812 – First proven occurrence of William in Claiborne County, TN, when he was called as a juror. Two men (Arthur and James Monday), whom I believe may be his brothers, were in Claiborne County, TN as early as Feb 1806 and he may have been there that early, as well.

    1812-7 Dec 1837 – William lived in Claiborne County, TN until his death in 1837.

    29 Oct 1826 (or 1827) – William married his second wife (my 3rd great grandmother), Mary/Polly Gross/Groce. They were married at the home of Nelson McWilliams, by John Wallen, JP. James Lake, his son-in-law, husband of his daughter, Mary, was the witness. He was 63 years old; she was about 35.

    They had three children: William Lake Monday (my 2nd great grandfather), Jacob Monday and Malissa Monday, who married William Chittum. Many of their descendants still live in Claiborne County, TN.

    I have several autosomal matches with Monday descendants, all of whom descend from William … and none of whom are Y-line descendants! There is no Monday/Munday/Mundy surname project. If I could find a Y-line descendant of William, I would be willing to pay for the test and administer a surname project.

  48. I’m looking for my gg grandfather who was said to have ran off to America when he disappeared in Sweden in 1869, leaving a wife and two sons under 3. His name was Per/Pehr (Peter) Wilhelm Lundin (Lundén), but he has not been found under those names after 1869. He was born in Stockholm in 1843 and was only 26 disappeared, so chances are that he had a second family in North America. It’s likely that he spoke Finnish like his mother Katarina (b. 1807 in Kylsbo, Norberg, Västmanland). He was a trained tailor and had high grades.

    Per’s foster father Adolf Fredrik Jonsson/Jönsson (b 1826 in Älghult, Kronoberg) emigrated to North America in April the same year. Adolf’s son Carl Johan Adolfsson (b. Åseda, Kronberg) followed in February 1870. Adolf’s wife Stina Pettersdotter (b. 1823 Åseda, Kronoberg) came over in 1872, but the couple returned a year later and eventually died in Sweden. I have not been able to find them in the US either. It’s possible that Per first moved to the same place as his foster family.

    Thank you! It’s worth a shot. 🙂

  49. Thank you Roberta, for your blog and this place on your blog . My brick wall is my fourth great grandfather , Peter KURTZ/KURTS. There is a question about the date and place of his birth. The International marriage record says ger for Germany I’m not sure if that refers to his nationality or his place of birth. On census records over the years he is alternatively listed as born in Pennsylvania or Germany. Following following the census records for his children I also find inconsistencies in the location of their father’s birth. Therefore I do not know his parents.

    Peter married Elizabeth Fairchild in 1836 or 1840 in the Presbyterian Church in Wilkes Barre, Luzerne County, Penn. For children were born in Pennsylvania they moved to Iowa between 1844 and 1849 Peter Drive in Louisa County Iowa in 1868.

    The Kurtz surname is common in the Anabaptist communities. Some family trees have parents attached to him but without sources. I find problems with all of them.

    Thanks Roberta for this opportunity and thanks to the genealogy community for reading this post.

  50. This is my breadcrumb (and what a wonderful idea)!! I have a brick wall with my Cornelius family surname. This surname is where I began many years ago and has proved to be my most frustrating!! My third great grandfather is Daniel H Cornelius, b 1 March 1809 in New York, died 7 Sept 1869 in McKean County Pa. He married Delila Otto b 20 July 1815 and died 5 Nov 1895, of German descent. Her family was from New Jersey. I would love to share more with anyone willing to listen, thank you for the forum.

    • I have Cornelius in Orange county NY at that period. ? Cornelius m my Hannah Smith. They had two sons David (1795) and Julius (1804). No Daniel but there must have been other families there. Your Daniel could be a cousin

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