Sunday, August 14, 2016

Maternal/Paternal Connections

Sometimes, when dancing with the ancestors, you find connections between your maternal and paternal lines. Oh, not the obvious connection of your parents, but rather a far distant connection.

This isn't a simple connection that both your maternal/paternal lines all lived in the same town for generations. Multiple connections between both lines are certain to be found in those instances. No, the connections I'm talking about are when the lines were in the same place, at the same time, generations past.

In my parents case, my father's ancestors, for the most part, settled in Warren County, Tennessee, while my mother's ancestors settled in Nelson County, Kentucky. As Fate would have it, mom and dad both ended up in Louisville, Kentucky working for the same company. They met, dated for many years, married, had children and grandchildren. Our normal vacations were Kentucky to visit mom's family and then on to Tennessee to visit dad's family. And they lived happily ever after.

Before all that happened, my maternal lines lived in two places: Maryland and Massachusetts (and New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, etc.). The Maryland lines, in the late 1700s, migrated to central Kentucky (Nelson County) so they could practice their Catholic faith free from the persecution they were experiencing in Maryland. My many times Great Grandpappy William Boarman actually spent 30 days in jail for being a Catholic. He was dang proud of that jail time. Meanwhile, an ancestor from Massachusetts ended up in Indiana, then Kentucky, and well, one day my mother was born.

At the same time, my paternal lines had settled in Virginia and, as I was to later learn, Maryland as well. In fact, many of my maternal ancestors went to court against my immigrant Mitchell ancestor. Who knew? But, at some point, the Virginia ancestors moved to Warren County, Tennessee. The various lines married, produced children, and eventually my dad was born.

But, in doing the family research on both lines, I sometimes run across a familiar name. One of those times was the name McPherson. My 6 x Paternal Great Grandfather was Daniel McPherson. He married Elizabeth Nevitt. Well, when researching my maternal line, I discovered that my 6 x Maternal Grandmother Susannah, who married William Nalley, was a McPherson. Well, some more digging and I realized that both Daniel and Susannah were both from Charles County, Maryland. Then, was the discovery of Daniel's last will and testament with one of the witnesses being . . . Mrs. Susannah Nalley. 

Yes, Susannah was either a sister or cousin to Daniel. I have not been able to determine the exact relationship. But, what was obvious to me was that suddenly, beyond a casual living in the same town connection, there was actually a distant blood/dna connection between my maternal and paternal lines. Wow!

Then, this morning, came another connection when I received an email from Ancestry DNA regarding a distant cousin with the common ancestor being 7 x Great Grandfather Richard Nevitt, father of 6 x Great Grandmother Elizabeth Nevitt who married Daniel McPherson.

The interesting fact about this particular distant cousin is, prior to this recent match to Richard Nevitt, that we were already related on my maternal line. In fact, we share a number of common ancestors: 6 x Greats Thomas and Mary (Aisquith) Hagan, 7 x Greats James and Mary (Goodrick) Semmes, 7 x Great Charles Beaven and 6 x Greats Thomas James and Jane (Edelen) Boarman. All of those are my maternal lines, and now, descending down to this cousin, is one of my paternal lines. 

So, when dancing with the ancestors, it is possible that your maternal and paternal lines will intersect far beyond the common connection of your parents.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Turner Line

9 x Great Grandfather Thomas Turner was born in Essex County, England about 1624. He settled in Virginia first, where he married Judith Mattingly, by whom he had at least two known children: Thomas and Mary. At some point, he and his family ended up in St. Mary's County Maryland (more on this below). After Judith's death, in about 1660, he married secondly Emma Morris-Johnson, the widow of William Johnson, by whom she had one child: Elizabeth.

Note: William Johnson was the brother of my 9 x Great Grandmother Agatha Johnson-Langworth. She married James Langworth.

Thomas immigrated to America by 1656/7 as a free adult and resided at St Winnifred's, St. Clement's Bay in St. Mary's County, Maryland.

From information I've been able to find about him, I know the following:
  • He was educated
  • He was Catholic
  • He was an attorney (good thing he was educated - ha!)
  • He served in the Lower House, St. Mary's County in 1662.
  • He was Clerk of the Secretary's Office and of the Provincial Court between 1657-58
  • He was Clerk of the Lower House in 1658
At his death, he left property in both Maryland and England to his wife and children.

His daughter Mary Turner (my 8 x Great Grandmother) married Joseph Pile.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bridget Hewitt

As always, dancing with the ancestors is an intricate dance with many varied steps. One misstep and . . . SPLAT, you're on the floor. This is something you should always remember when doing your own dancing with your ancestors

Here's what I initially knew about 11 x Great Grammy Bridget Hewett. She married Henry Clitherow. This has been documented time over time. They had a number of children, one of whom was my 10 x Great Grandmother Anne Cletherow. 

I hadn't bothered to look past 11 x Great Grammy regarding her parents. I decided to do so today. The Ancestry trees - always suspect, please always verify through other sources what you find on Ancestry - indicated she was the daughter of William Hewett and his wife Alice Elizabeth Leveson. 

Great! I have a starting point. A bit of Googling - Google is your friend - later and here's what I found out about William and Alice (Leveson) Hewitt: they had a number of children, all who died in infancy except their daughter Anne.

Have you figured out the issue? 

Well, in case you haven't, I'll point it out: William and Alice had a single child to survive in adulthood, and her name was not Bridget. In fact, their daughter's marriage to Edward Osborne is well documented.

So, I did a bit more research and found out that William Hewett indicates he had a brother Thomas. Well, a bit more Googling and I had the last will and testament of Thomas Hewett which lists his many bequests, one of which was to Henry Clyderow (a variant of Cletherow). The next bequest, right after the one to Henry, was to Thomas's daughter "Bridget Hewett". 


So, suddenly, with a wee bit of work on my part, I was able to disprove that Bridget was the daughter of William and Alice Elizabeth (Leveson) Hewett, and prove that she was the daughter of Thomas Hewett and Julian Amcots, daughter of Sir William Amcots.

So, when dancing with the ancestors, take just a bit more time to double check your facts and do some additional research. And, whatever you do, never take Ancestry trees at face value. There is far too much information out there that's easily obtainable with a few quick searches on Google or some other search engine.