Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Betty's Genealogical Face Palm Awards for 2016

Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat 1677-1747  who was NOT the father of THOMAS (aka GEORGE THOMAS) FRAZIER b 1725, Quaker, of North Carolina

The last couple of weeks I have been enjoying's new app, "We're Related", which attempts to match ancestors in your family tree with those of celebrities, politicians, historical figures, etc--mostly incorrectly--to see if you are related.  The fun is in finding out for sure,  yeah or nay.  The family tree information in the app comes from user submitted trees on, so you can imagine the level of inaccuracy!

This has got me thinking again about how very important it is to thoroughly document & source your family tree, and not simply copy what you find in someone else's online family tree.

In my research over the past year I have found some really wild bloopers in online trees.  I'd thought I'd share a few here.

So without further ado, here are my "Genealogical Face Palm Awards" for 2016:

--THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 (aka GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER in many online trees, another error that also has been passed on exponentially, but ah, I digress....).  THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 North Carolina, the Quaker, who  lived his entire life in North Carolina, who married MARY PUGH, and whose children, grandchildren & great grandchildren for the most part were Quakers, down to this very day, was in no way the son of SIMON FRASER, 11th LORD LOVAT  b 1667  & LADY KATHERINE MARGARET McKENZIE--whoever that was, if in fact she even existed!

SIMON FRASER 11th LORD LOVAT  was actually married three times; first a forced marriage to AMELIA MURRAY;  second in 1717 to MARGARET GRANT with whom he had five children: GEORGINA, JANET, SYBIL, SIMON & ALEXANDER; and after MARGARET's death in 1729 to PRIMROSE CAMPBELL, by whom he had one son, ARCHIBALD.

SIMON FRASER  11th LORD LOVAT, chief of clan Fraser, was convicted of treason after the battle of Culloden, and was beheaded at the Tower of London April 9, 1747.  He was a prominent historical figure, and is easily researched. He was absolutely not the father of THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 (aka GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER). 

--NANCY MORGAN WHITECOTTON (?) born 1780 who married WILLIAM MANNING in Whitley Co Kentucky. She was not the daughter of ISAAC NEWTON WHITECOTTON b 1775 & ELIZABETH STUMP, who were  both born in Hampshire/Hardy Co Virginia (now W VA), and both died in Jackson Co Alabama.

NANCY was practically the same age as ISAAC NEWTON WHITECOTTON, so it would be biologically impossible for her to be ISAAC's daughter.  ISAAC & ELIZABETH did have a daughter named NANCY born circa 1800, but she married HIRAM ROSS and lived in Jackson Co & Marshall Co Alabama, according to census records 1830-1860.

In the 1850 Jackson Co Alabama census,  ELIZABETH (STUMP) WHITECOTTON age 77 was living in her daughter NANCY & HIRAM ROSS'  household.

WILLIAM MANNING, a blacksmith & wife NANCY age 75 & 70 respectively, were actually living in Whitley Co Kentucky at the time of the 1850 census. Sons WILLIAM MANNING Jr age 18 & JACOB MANNING age 16 were in the household.

NANCY MORGAN WHITECOTTON was also not the daughter of JAMES WHITECOTTON (Rev War) born March 14, 1750 Stafford Co VA, (lived Hampshire/Hardy Co VA; Washington, Mercer & Marion Co KY ) and his 2nd wife RUTH NEWTON HUDSPETH. They also had a daughter NANCY, but she was born circa 1800 and married HENRY BROWN, according to Washington Co Kentucky marriage records.

--IGNATIOUS BUTLER born Oct 2, 1755, of Monongalia Co Virginia was absolutely NOT the son of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER, Harvard graduate & DORCAS ABBOTT, of Rockingham Co New Hampshire.  I wrote about this hugely glaring error in a previous blogpost.

--ANN DAWSON was not the wife of ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON b circa 1754 of Rowan/Burke Co North Carolina.   There was a couple with these names, but the marriage record, available on, indicates this couple was married June 11, 1782,  in Skelton in Cleveland, York Co England.

ANN DAWSON absolutely could not be the correct spouse for ISAAC T THOMPSON of Burke Co NC for two reasons. One:  By his own admission in his Rev War Pension application, he had always resided in the same area of Rowan/Burke Co NC, all his life.  Two:  According to his Rev War pension record, he fought in the Revolutionary War, and in fact was still enlisted in 1782. The Revolutionary War did not end until 1783.  There is no way that a patriot fighting for liberty from England would drop everything, sail over to England to marry in 1782, and then return to fight some more!!

If you examine the 1800, 1810 and 1820 Burke Co NC census records, it becomes apparent that ISAAC T THOMPSON was married at least 3 times.  The names of his wives have never been determined. However, I now have numerous DNA matches to descendants of many of the families who lived in Rowan/Burke Co NC from the time that it was first settled:  HENNESSEE, NEILL, SHERRILL, BALLEW, CONNELLY.  This should come as no surprise, since this particular THOMPSON family lived in Rowan/Burke Co NC from about 1750 onward to the present.

And while we're at it: ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON b circa 1754 Virginia  was NOT the son of JOHN THOMPSON born Nov 10, 1711 South Berwick, York Co Maine & MARY SUNLEY born March 28, 1703 Yorkshire, England.  ABSOLUTELY. NOT.  ISAAC by his own admission was born "near the Dan River" which was in Halifax/Pittsylvania Co Virginia, and moved to Rowan county North Carolina at a very young age.  He never lived in either England or Maine.

All the best for the New Year!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Discovering Melungeon Ancestry in the Bruton & Whitecotton Families via Autosomal DNA Test Results

One of the benefits of testing with AncestryDNA is that it is possible to receive a very large number of DNA matches.  Currently I have nearly 25,000 matches on AncestryDNA, which is far more than one might receive from an autosomal DNA test with 23andMe or FamilyTree DNA.

While AncestryDNA has not yet offered a chromosome browser to allow folks to compare with others and find exactly where and on what chromosome the match occurs, this large number of matches & their family trees can be very helpful when you want to look at the big picture.

Which is exactly what I did this weekend.

My great x 3 grandmother was HAPPY RIDDLE born 1805 Virginia who married MOSES WHITECOTTON & lived in Jackson & Decatur Co Alabama and  Bledsoe & Bradley Co Tennessee between 1820 & 1850.

The RIDDLE family was not part of the core group of Melungeon families who lived on Newman's Ridge in Hawkins/Hancock Co Tennessee.

However, MOSES RIDDLE/RIDLEY b about 1720 Virginia married MARY GIBSON, whose family was considered Melungeon. MOSES RIDDLE & MARY GIBSON were HAPPY RIDDLE's great grandparents.  See my previous blogpost about his ancestry.

I do have several DNA matches, which along with genealogical records, suggest that MINTTIE MAY BRUTON, my paternal grandmother,  descends from this particular RIDDLE family. Other paternal family members also have these same DNA matches.

On a whim, I decided to see if I was a DNA match to any of the other surnames from the core group of Melungeons who lived on the Flatt River in Orange Co North Carolina, who migrated through Pittsylvania, Montgomery & Lee Co Virginia, and who ended up on Newmans' Ridge Hawkins/Hancock Co Tennessee: COLLINS, GIBSON, BUNCH, BOWLIN, & GOINS/GOIN/GOING/GOWEN.

To my surprise,  I found that I have a significant number of  DNA matches with descendants of ALL of these families, particularly with descendants of JOHN GOIN born about 1702 Stafford Co Virginia & MARY KEIFE.

I was also surprised to find a significant number of  DNA matches with descendants of EDWARD "OLD NED" SIZEMORE, whose Y-DNA has been proven to be Native American. Like the RIDDLEs, the SIZEMOREs were not part of the core group of Melungeons, but intermarried with them before they migrated to Tennessee.

This is a new discovery, and I have not yet compiled data from the other testing companies.

I have no idea yet how these families intersect with my paternal family tree. I am missing a lot of women. WILLIAM GOIN born about 1680 & wife CATHERINE PATTERSON  lived in Stafford Co Virginia during the same time period that my WHITECOTTON ancestors lived there.

My great x 4 grandfather HENRY LANGFORD/LANKFORD purchased land May 1773 in Pittsylvania Co Virginia from DAVID GOING, a free person of color, and his wife MARTHA. The ancestry of HENRY's 2nd wife MARY, whom he married about 1782 in Surry Co North Carolina, is unknown. Could she have been the link with these Melungeon families?

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do!  But this is a very exciting discovery.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Who was Doris McCall?

This past week I received several new matches on 23andMe, two of them from adoptees who appear to be related to my father's family.

One of them is a woman whom I'll call "S".  In her own words, she was born in 1949 and "adopted at 5 days old from a Northeast blackmarket adoption agency in Binghamton, New York".

The curious thing is, she is matching-- on the same chromosomal location--both my brother and myself, grandchildren of ALONZO COX HUBER, and also two known 2nd cousins from the family of ARETTA HUBER & JEFFERSON SPAKE of Vici, Dewey Co Oklahoma (ARETTA was my paternal grandfather ALONZO's sister).

So far, "S" is not matching any other descendants of grandfather ALONZO COX HUBER, or any other descendants of my great grandparents PHILLIP LUTHER HUBER & CRAMELIA FRAZIER of Marshall Co Iowa.

That said, she definitely seems to be related to my paternal family, at about 3rd-5th cousin level. My paternal family mainly lived in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Oklahoma, and had no connection whatsoever to New York state.

The only clue that "S" has about her birth parents is that her mother was named DORIS McCALL.
Was McCALL her maiden name?  Was she from New York?  Or was "S" born elsewhere, and taken to the agency in Binghamton, New York at 5 days old?

And how on earth does my midwestern paternal family intersect with DORIS McCALL??

Since the SPAKE/HUBER family was from Oklahoma, I looked there first. There were two with the name DORIS McCALL born in Oklahoma in census records:

--DORIS McCALL born 1910, divorced & lived in Texas in 1930s, Tempe, Arizona in 1940 census. No further information.

--DORIS T McCALL born 1918 Beaver Co Oklahoma--very near Vici, Dewey Co Oklahoma--the daughter of HERSCHEL & IDA  McCALL, moved with her family by 1930 to Brownsville, Cameron Co Texas and married DUKE McCAULEY, died 1979.

There was also a younger DORIS McCALL born about 1932 in Corpus Christi, Texas, daughter of GEORGE & IDA McCALL.  She is intriguing because....

In July 1948, CAROL GENE SPAKE born Sept 17, 1932, the son of MERLE SPAKE & ZELPHA PICKERING of Enid, Oklahoma, ran away from home.  This made the papers because CAROL GENE SPAKE was a diabetic, and needed his insulin shots.  He also ran away more than once! By Oct 1948, he was in Fort Worth, Texas, and looking for work, according to newspaper accounts. He did not return to Oklahoma for several years. To my knowledge, he was the only grandson of ARETTA HUBER & JEFFERSON SPAKE to live for any time in Texas. He died in Enid, Oklahoma in 1967.

Several other DORIS McCALLs of correct age range were listed in the 1940 census in Texas.

Likewise there were several of that name & correct age range in New York state in the 1940 census.

"S" is also looking into a DORIS McCALL related to ROBERT McCALL of Green Co New York, which is  near Binghamton, Broome Co New York.

I have suggested that "S" upload her raw DNA data from 23andMe to, and FamilyTreeDNA, and if possible test with AncestryDNA, in order to receive more matches, and possibly find more clues about her parents' families.

Any McCALL or SPAKE/HUBER descendants with any possible information, please contact me.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

IGNATIOUS BUTLER Born Oct 2, 1755 Monongalia Co Virginia was NOT the Son of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER & DORCAS ABBOTT of New Hampshire

Here's a little horror story of how one error in one family tree can spread online like wildfire.

My great x 5 grandfather Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER was born April 6, 1729 Windham, Connecticut, died  Dec 29, 1804 Nottingham Rockingham Co New Hampshire. He married DORCAS ABBOTT April 17, 1754 in Andover, Essex Co Massachusetts.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER was the son of MALACHI BUTLER & JEMIMA DAGGETT, of Edgarstown, Dukes Co Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard).  The family also lived for a time in Connecticut, where BENJAMIN was born.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER graduated from Harvard with  a Bachelor of Arts in 1752, and a Master's degree in 1758.  He was ordained as a minister, and that was his profession for most of his life. He & his family moved after 1758 to Rockingham Co New Hampshire.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER & his wife DORCAS ABBOTT  were NOT the parents of IGNATIOUS BUTLER who was born Oct 1755 supposedly in England, and died in Bath Co Kentucky.

Sadly, I have seen over a hundred online trees with this error, particularly on

And how do I know this is incorrect?  I spent over two years researching the BENJAMIN BUTLER & DORCAS ABBOTT family & the BUTLER pedigree for application to the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  My application & pedigree were accepted as correct in 2011.

Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER left a will which was probated Jan 10, 1805 Nottingham, Rockingham Co New Hampshire and in it he lists his 2nd wife PHEBE, son HENRY BUTLER, and two daughters MARY (who married ABRAHAM BROWN) and DORCAS (who married JONATHAN CILLEY).

Here is a scanned copy of the will of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER

 Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER had no connection whatsoever to Virginia, and was in fact attending Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1755 when IGNATIOUS BUTLER was born in Virginia.

A quick check of Massachusetts birth records & published genealogies shows that BENJAMIN & DORCAS BUTLER never had a son named IGNATIOUS.

--"History of Martha's Vineyard" by Dr Charles Bank Vol III p 17-66;
--"Ancestors of Gen Benjamin Franklin Butler" by Blanche Butler Ames;
--"History of Northfield New Hampshire" by Lucy Cross, page 29-31;
--"History of the Town of Canterbury New Hampshire 1727-1912" by James Otis Lyford p 43;
--"Lineage Book of the Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors" by Robert Glenn Thurtle;
--"Lineage Book, National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution DAR, Vol 31" by DAR page 311, lineage of NELLIE PRESCOTT BROWN
--"Genealogy and Family History of the State of Maine Vol 4" by Burrage & Stubbs p 1731, section of BUTLER & ABBOTT
--" Register of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the District of Columbia 1970" (BUTLER lineage registered by JOHN HENRY BRONSON SMITH)
--appears on several different lists from Harvard University.
--An detailed biography appears in "Colonial Collegians"by Conrad Edick Wright, published 2005. See the NEHGS website, American Ancestry. 

Please refer to my tree "New England Ancestors of Ruby Bolton Brown"  profile page for Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER

Or, if you don't have a subscription, here is the version

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Letters to Jessie by Patricia Pulver Fitzgerald

I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Pulver Fitzgerald at a recent Skagit Valley Genealogy Society meeting where we both were speaking.

Patricia recently published a book called "Letters to Jessie" (Green Ivy Publishing, Feb 2016).

Her grandmother, Jessie Whitney Pulver, was born Aug 7, 1896 in Burlington, Skagit Co Washington,  the daughter of William H Whitney & Anna Rose Dunnett, both born in Canada.

Jessie & her family lived in the same family home in  Burlington from about 1901 until her death in 1982.  The house is still standing.

In 1915,  Jessie married Rudolph Henry Pulver, the son of Swiss immigrants who settled in Skagit Valley before 1887.

Jessie kept all  correspondence from her family in New Brunswick, Canada & Washington state, and these letters were handed down to Patricia.  She transcribed 200 letters for the book, which also contains images of the actual letters and commentary.

"Letters to Jessie" should definitely appeal to anyone interested in Skagit Valley history, as the Pulver & Whitney families were prominent pioneers and had many connections to other families in this area.

Here is a press release/description  from Green Ivy Publishing

And here is a press release from  A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth WA

"Letters to Jessie"  is available on

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Contemplating the Ancestry & DNA of MOSES RIDDLE, the Melungeon

There is a great deal of conjecture & "theoretical" genealogy available on the Internet regarding  Melungeons in general and MOSES RIDDLE/RIDLEY in particular.

According to the research of Roberts J Estes, Jack H Goins, Penny Ferguson & Janet Lewis Crain (Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population publ 2013), who compiled & analyzed Y-DNA test results of male descendants of known Melungeon families, direct male descendants of MOSES RIDDLE have a Y-DNA haplogroup of R1a1b2 (European). 

They also note that MOSES RIDDLE is the only Melungeon who is actually listed as "Indian" in historical records. And descendants of EDWARD "NED" SIZEMORE are the only Melungeon family whose Y-DNA is actually Native American.  

Therefore, if MOSES RIDDLE truly was "Indian",  his mother would have had to have been Native American, since his father's DNA was European.  It is important to note that she would NOT have been Cherokee, as that tribe did not live in the areas of Virginia & North Carolina in which MOSES lived. Some researchers have speculated a connection to the Saponi tribe of Virginia. 

The discovery of MOSES RIDDLE/RIDLEY's Y-DNA haplogroup sheds some light on one of the more common theories about MOSES RIDDLE's parents.  

Many online trees & blogs indicate that  MOSES' father was EDWARD BUSS, born about 1671, a free person of color who was a slave to JAMES VAULX in Westmoreland Co Virginia until freed Feb 24, 1708;  and that MOSES' mother was MARGARET REDLEY/RIDLEY,  a white indentured servant from the household of CALEB BUTLER.

On June 1713,  Westmoreland Co Virginia , EDWARD BUSS was charged in court with illegally cohabiting with  MARGARET REDLEY/RIDLEY. She had also been brought into Westmoreland Co Virginia court several times previous to that date for fornication & bearing illegitimate children, all listed as mulatto, or mixed. 

However, EDWARD BUSS testified in Westmoreland Co Virginia court on Sept 20, 1702 that "he was the son of an English or white woman"--meaning that his father was African or mulatto. Likely EDWARD's father was a free person of color who married a white indentured servant. 

Thus it is unlikely EDWARD BUSS could be the father of MOSES RIDDLE whose Y-DNA is European.

Another theory which deserves further research is that MOSES RIDDLE may not have been Native American Indian, but  East Indian. The haplogroup R1a1b2 does exist in East Indian populations, although rare. It occurs about 1% in Bhargavas & Brahmins. 

In Westmoreland Co Virginia, there are court records beginning in 1707 for WILLIAM aka "BILLY INDIAN" who was abducted as a child from East India by DANIEL NEALE and made a servant in NEALE's household.  Court ruled that he was not a slave, that he was abducted illegally,  and should be released from servitude. 

There are other historical references to East Indians being brought to Virginia in the early colonial days. 

A Timeline of records for MOSES RIDDLE/RIDLEY:

--MOSES RIDDLE or RIDLEY, born around 1720 likely in the area of Louisa Co Virginia, first appears in records of the Flatt River region of Granville/Orange Co North Carolina in 1752, when he was witness to the land grant of THOMAS GIBSON Jr. Another researcher also indicates that WILLIAM BOLEN, THOMAS COLLINS & MOSES RIDDLE all lost their improvements on their land to JOHN BROWN's survey that same year  (I have not actually seen a copy of these records).

--In 1755 Orange Co North Carolina  tax list, MOSES RIDDLE & wife MARY were listed as "Mulattoes" (i.e. of mixed race, but not necessarily African),  and were living adjacent to THOMAS GIBSON Jr and his sons CHARLES  & MAGER/MAJOR GIBSON, GIDEON BUNCH, MICAJER BUNCH, THOMAS COLLINS, SAMUEL COLLINS & JOHN COLLINS--all families later called Melungeon  (In 1745 THOMAS GIBSON Jr, SAMUEL COLLINS & THOMAS COLLINS had all been called into Louisa Co VA court for "concealing tithtables" i.e., they had not paid tax on slaves or non-whites in their household. It's likely their wives and/or children were the non-whites in question).

--March & Sept court, 1756 Orange Co North Carolina; THOMAS WADE against MOSES RIDLEY; defendant failed to appear both sessions.

--Sept 13, 1756 Orange Co North Carolina MOSES RIDDLE/RIDLEY was chain bearer & witness on the land grant of WILLIAM COMBS, who purchased 385 ac adj THOMAS GIBSON Jr, JOSEPH COLLINS & JOHN WADE.

--Feb court 1761 Orange Co North Carolina; suit of WILLIAM CHAVES (CHAVIS) against MOSES REDLEY, a poor debtor

--1761 Orange Co North Carolina MOSES RIDDLE & CHARLES GIBSON were witnesses on the land grant of JOHN BROWN;698 ac adj THOMAS GIBSON Jr & JAMES WATSON

--Nov Court 1763 Oranges Co North Carolina; JOHN BROWN against MOSES RIDDLE; defendant failed to appear in court.

--1767 Pittsylvania Co Virginia (formed from Halifax Co); MOSES RIDDLE "Indian" on tax list, next to son WILLIAM RIDDLE who was not listed as "Indian".

--Sept 9, 1768 Pittsylvania Co Virginia; land grant to MOSES RIDDLE; 400 ac between EDWARD SMITH's & OLDHAM's lines; on Sandy River, south side (Pittsylvania Co).

--1786 Henry Co Virginia (formed from Pittsylvania); MOSES RIDDLE on tax list ( I have not actually found this record).

--MOSES RIDDLE's wife is often listed in online family trees as MARY GIBSON, daughter of THOMAS GIBSON Sr & MARY ALLEN, but this is incorrect. According to  the 1734  Hanover Co VA will of THOMAS GIBSON Sr,  his daughter MARY  was "MARY BROOKS", wife of RICHARD BROOKS.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Family of Rev ABRAHAM B JONES and LUCINDA SCOTT of McNairy County Tennessee

In my continuing effort to further document my SCOTT, JONES & BRUTON families of McNairy Co Tennessee, here is my research so far on the collateral line of LUCINDA SCOTT, sister of my gg grandmother, LAVINA SCOTT BRUTON.

LUCINDA SCOTT, the daughter of THOMAS SCOTT Sr & ELIZABETH JONES,  was born about 1817 in probably Rutherford Co Tennessee. She married Nov 1, 1838 to Rev ABRAHAM B JONES in McNairy Co Tennessee.  He was the son of an unknown JONES & ELIZABETH, maiden name unknown.  Rev ABRAHAM B JONES, who was born April 11, 1816 in South Carolina, does not appear to be related  to LUCINDA's mother, ELIZABETH JONES, who was the daughter of NICHOLAS JONES & MARTHA "PATSY" MOORE.

In the 1840 census, Rev ABRAHAM B JONES & LUCINDA, a young couple with 1 son age under 5 years, were living next door to THOMAS SCOTT Sr, who appears to be a widowed male age 60-70, with an unmarried female age 30-40 living in the household,  with a male age 10-15, and two females under age 10.

Although THOMAS SCOTT Sr migrated to Greene Co Missouri in 1846, and died there in 1849, (several of his children also moved to Missouri at same time)  LUCINDA & her husband  remained in McNairy Co Tennessee for the rest of their lives.

According to census records,  here are the children & grandchildren of Rev ABRAHAM B JONES & LUCINDA SCOTT:

--JESSE BLUFORD JONES  born Aug 25, 1839 McNairy Co Tennessee; died March 18, 1913 Adamsville, McNairy Co Tennessee; married about 1869 MARY MILLS. Their children were:

LUCY JONES born 1883 McNairy Co Tennessee m JOHN FULLWOOD

WILLIE JONES (f) born Jan 31, 1885 McNairy Co Tennessee; died July 22, 1968 Kilbourne, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana; married ROBERT FLETCHER SCOTT (a 2nd cousin, see attached tree above) b March 13, 1881 McNairy Co Tennessee .

ABRAHAM BLUFORD "MOSES" JONES born March 6, 1888 McNairy Co Tennessee; died Dec 5, 1938 Memphis, Shelby Co Tennessee; married JULIA YOUNG

STOW JONES (m) born April 1890 McNairy Co Tennessee, no further info

JOHNIE JONES (f) born Jan 1896 McNairy Co Tennessee, no further info

--JAMES FRANKLIN JONES born April 22, 1846 McNairy Co Tennessee; died Feb 10, 1904 Texas or Oklahoma; married JEANNETTE "NETTIE"CATHERINE FLATT March 24, 1870 McNairy Co Tennessee.  NETTIE was born March 7, 1852 Hardin Co Tennessee, and died Jan 31, 1939 Ardmore, Carter Co Oklahoma. Their children were:

PEARL JONES born July 1881 or 1882 McNairy Co Tennessee; died Oklahoma

BLAKIE JONES (f) born May 1885 McNairy Co Tennessee, died Oklahoma or Texas

LOUIS JONES  born June 16, 1888 McNairy Co Tennessee; died Jan 13, 1944 Ardmore, Carter Co Oklahoma; married LAURA LEDBETTER.

GRACE J JONES born July 6, 1892 Texas; died April 1985 Texas; married VERNE THORNTON.

--EMILY EMMA JONES born about 1850 McNairy Co Tennessee; no further info

--Dr ABRAHAM ALPHONSO JONES born 1854 McNairy Co Tennessee; died Feb 23, 1913 Wichita Falls, Texas; married 1st) LUCY E CLEVELAN on March 20, 1879 McNairy Co Tennessee; 2nd) MINNIE L unknown before 1900 in Texas

MARY E JONES born 1881 Texas; married unknown BROWN; widow with son living in father's household in 1910 Wichita Falls, Texas census.

ORA JONES (m) born 1883 Tennessee or Texas

LESTER JONES born 1893 Texas

--FOSTER SCOTT JONES born 1857 McNairy Co Tennessee; died April 19, 1889 McNairy Co Tennessee, no children.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Accurate are Ethnic Results From Current Autosomal DNA Testing?

A few weeks ago,  I decided to make a fan chart for each of my great grandparents, just to see how much progress I've made on my research, and how much more there is to be done.

While I was at it, I decided to make an estimate of my ethnic background according to the charts, and compare with my ethnic results from 23andMe, Family Tree DNA and DNA.

From the ancestors that I know of so far (two pedigrees are incomplete), my estimated ethnic percentages look like this:

68% English

8.5% Scottish

6.5% Dutch/Belgian/Walloon

6.5% German/Swiss

5% French

2% Irish

2% Welsh

0.5% Norwegian

0.5% Polish

0.5% Other (possibly East Indian)

This really surprised me!  I knew I had significant English ancestry, but thought the percentages would be higher for other parts of my ethnic admixture!

And in fact the German/Swiss percentage will likely be higher, when and if I ever am able to fully trace the lineage of great grandfather PHILLIP LUTHER HUBER.

To look at it another way:

78.5% British Isles

19.5 European

0.5% Other

In comparison, here are my Ancestry Composition ethnic percentages from 23andMe, speculative setting, which seems to be the most accurate.

Here are my percentages from Family Tree DNA

And here are my percentages from DNA

The Scandinavian element is likely from my Scottish & Manx ancestry.

I have yet to run into any Southern European/Iberian ancestors in my tree.

Both DNA & Family Tree DNA have me pegged as much more Western European than British Isles (and since I don't have a full pedigree for the Huber family, this may be closer to the truth).

I have very few Irish ancestors, so the 29% Ireland and  the 8% Great Britain from DNA make no sense whatsoever, when you actually look at my family tree.

So there you have it.  I am certain these companies will be updating their ethnic composition results, and will become more accurate, as more people are tested. Stay tuned!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Was ESTHER BONNER the wife of of BENTON MOORE of Bertie County North Carolina?

For years, I have been puzzling over the will abstract of THOMAS BONNER Sr of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina, written 1755, proved 1757.  In the will, he calls one of his daughters "ESTHER MORE".  And ARTHUR MOORE, my great x 5 grandfather, witnessed the will.

My first instinct was to say that ESTHER BONNER was likely the 1st wife of ARTHUR MOORE, who later married ELIZABETH STANLEY (although I've never been able to prove her maiden name).

So for years I've showed this marriage in my family tree, not certain whether or not it was actually correct. I could find no other records to prove or disprove a marriage between ARTHUR & ESTHER.

Fast forward to earlier this month, when a researcher sent me an email, asking questions about the MOORE family of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina.  Because of the questions he asked, I was required to go back & review all my initial research.

One of the  documents I looked at was the actual full transcription of the 1755 will of THOMAS BONNER Sr. Fortunately, I had a copy in my files and also attached to my online tree.  And this is what I found:

"--3'ly. I Give to my well beloved Dafter (daughter), ESTHER MORE, two hundred ackers of Land, to her and her heirs, bounded by the (Cashy) road and Hintons' Line and Blithehenden (Blitchenden) Line."

Land!!! THOMAS BONNER left his daughter ESTHER land!!  And not only that, the land's location was very specifically described!!

This meant that I could look through land deeds and tax lists and see if ARTHUR  MOORE  or any other MOORE from Bertie Co was listed as owner.  Perhaps I'd even get lucky and find a  land deed showing the sale of this particular piece of land, with ESTHER signing away her dower rights.

What I have found so far is this:

--On the 1757 tax list, BENTON MOORE (head) was living with son ARTHUR MOORE and CHARLES JONES Jr (both over age 21, but not land owners); they lived next door to AMOS HINTON.

-- Jan 1759, CHRISTOPHER HOLLOMAN & AMOS HINTON of Bertie Co sold to THOMAS WALKER of same; 200 ac adjacent BENTON MOORE & the Cashy road. Witnessed: BRYAN HARE, AR. MOOR, WILLIAM WILLIFORD.

This deed suggests that BENTON MOORE was owner of the land that was bequeathed to ESTHER BONNER MOORE!

Since there were NO deeds showing a sale of this particular piece land previously to 1759, one can only assume that BENTON MOORE was indeed the husband of ESTHER, and would be considered legal owner of the property. ESTHER would have had to sign away her dower rights, if the land had been sold.

Unfortunately, the area in which they lived became Hertford County in 1759, and I have not been able to trace further deeds.  Apparently the Hertford Court House burned twice, so haven't been able to locate a will for BENTON MOORE or ESTHER BONNER MOORE, either.

The latest record I've found for BENTON MOORE is the will  of RICHARD WASHINGTON, dated Sept 1764 Hertford Co North Carolina. BENTON was co-executor with RICHARD's wife PATIENCE.  ARTHUR MOORE & MOSES MOORE were witnesses.

It is my belief that PATIENCE was BENTON MOORE's daughter.  She could not have been BENTON's sister, as she was much younger than RICHARD WASHINGTON at the time of his death.  In fact RICHARD notes in his will that if she should bear a child after his decease, then part of the estate would go to that child.

PATIENCE may have married 2nd to another older man, CHARLES JONES Jr, and moved to Edgecombe Co North Carolina, as per this deed:

June 24, 1765 Edgecombe Co NC; CHARLES JONES, Junr. and wife, PATIENCE of Edgecombe Co. to JACOB ROBINS of same, for £20 VA money a tract of land on the south side of Little Mill Swamp adj NATHAN HICKMAN, it being the plantation where JOHN ARTESS lived.

So, in my estimation, here are three of the children of BENTON MOORE & ESTHER BONNER. There may have been more, of course.

--PATIENCE MOORE (named after ESTHER's sister, PATIENCE BONNER?) born about 1720 Chowan/Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1740 RICHARD WASHINGTON; 2nd (unverified) by 1765 CHARLES JONES Jr of Bertie & Edgecombe Co NC

--MOSES MOORE (named after ESTHER's brother, MOSES BONNER?) born about 1730 Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1750 MARY POLLY RUTLAND; m 2nd, about 1810, very late in life, SARAH Unknown. In his  will dated Nov 1, 1817, MOSES states: " I give and bequeath to my beloved wife SARAH MOORE all the property real and personal she possessed at our Marriage after paying her just debts out of the same".

--ARTHUR MOORE born about 1733 Bertie Co NC; m before 1858 ELIZABETH STANLEY (maiden name unverified). Will dated 1821 Franklin Co TN.

Lots more work to be done.  But I believe I am on the right track here!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Have Some Fun with Your Genealogy! #My Colorful Ancestry

Many thanks to J. Paul Hawthorne, who had a great idea for a color-coded five generation chart showing ancestral birthplaces,  and who shared his idea on Facebook & other places.

The chart took off like wildfire on the web, because all genealogists and especially Geneabloggers like to have a bit of fun with their family history!

I made the following five generation from J Paul Hawthorne's template:

Since posting this on Facebook a week ago, I have seen several variations, including charts showing place of death, cause of death, haplogroups. Some folks have added even more generations!  

Making up this chart is not only fun for adult genealogists, but would be a great activity to do with kids & grandkids.

The original five generation template was made in Excel. 

For Mac users: download the chart & edit it in Numbers, take a screenshot, then post it where you want it!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fearless Females: BRIDGET, born 1715, the wife of GEORGE WHITECOTTON Sr of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County Virginia

Acquia Church, built on site of Overwharton Parish Church, Stafford Co Virginia

March is Women's History Month! Taking inspiration from the writing prompts on Lisa Alzo's blog, The Accidental Genealogist,  I will be exploring several of the "Mystery Women" in my family tree.

BRIDGET, who was born about 1715, is one of my favorite "mystery women".  Whether she was born in Ireland or in Virginia is unknown.  She married, when she was about age 15, to GEORGE WHITECOTTON Sr, a man about ten years older than she, who died at age 37 on March 23, 1744 in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia. 

She had, by first husband GEORGE, at least three children: 

GEORGE WHITECOTTON Jr born 1730 Stafford Co Virginia
MARY WHITECOTTON born Jan 20, 1739 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia 
AXTON WHITECOTTON born Feb 13, 1742 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia

A possible son JOHN WHITECOTTON born 1735 and a daughter ELIZABETH WHITECOTTON born 1732 have not been verified, but may also be her children.

When her first husband died, BRIDGET became a widow with up to five children to support. GEORGE died intestate, but an inventory shows that he was not destitute, but not rich, either. Land is not mentioned in the estate records. His debts were, however, and court records in 1745 show BRIDGET, his executor, paying off numerous debts.

Three years after her first husband's death, BRIDGET married WILLIAM McCONCHIE on Nov 10, 1747 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia.  The marriage was to be short-lived, as WILLIAM died before 1750. There was only one son from this marriage, RICHARD McCONCHIE born July 10, 1748 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia. I have never been able to trace him.

Very soon after WILLIAM's death, BRIDGET married a third time to STEPHEN PILCHER III. They were married Dec 1, 1750 in St Paul's Parish, Stafford Co Virginia.  She was STEPHEN's third wife, but it seems doubtful that she was his last wife! They had possibly three children:

EDWARD PILCHER born 1751 Stafford Co Virginia
MOSES PILCHER born 1752 Stafford Co Virginia
SARAH SALLY PILCHER born 1753 Stafford Co Virginia

A court record from Sept 22, 1755 Prince William Co Virginia (formed from Stafford Co) addressed property from the estate of WILLIAM McCONCHIE to be used for the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON.  Had BRIDGET died by 1755?

On motion of JOHN SINCLAIR it is ordered that CUTHBERT HARRISON deliver estate of WILLIAM McCONCHIE decd to said JOHN, it being lodged in his hand for the use of the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON."

I have not yet been able to discern the relationship between JOHN SINCLAIR, CUTHBERT HARRISON and the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON. 

STEPHEN PILCHER III's will was dated March 2, 1775 in Stafford Co Virginia and mentions that his wife was "with child".  Since BRIDGET would have been age 60 or thereabouts, she would have been well past her childbearing years.  So it is likely that BRIDGET died sometime before September 1755. 

(Sidenote: Whoever STEPHEN PILCHER III's fourth wife was, after his death in 1775 she & STEPHEN's children did not get to enjoy the property left to them in STEPHEN's will.  Because STEPHEN failed to "subscribe" (sign?) the will, his entire estate was given to his brother Capt MASON PILCHER.  A lawsuit was started by STEPHEN's son-in-law JOHN DALGARN in 1792, on behalf of his mother-in-law and her children, but it was not settled until 1819--long after most of the parties involved had died!)

Have a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fearless Females: RHEUA or RUHAMAH, wife of SAMUEL BROWN of Pound Ridge, Westchester County New York

March is Women's History Month! Taking inspiration from the writing prompts on Lisa Alzo's blog, The Accidental Genealogist,  I will be exploring several of the "Mystery Women" in my family tree.

RHEUA/RUHAMAH, my great x 5 grandmother, was the wife of SAMUEL BROWN of Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York. She is a mystery woman in my family tree--who should NOT be a mystery woman!! 

According to her gravestone in the Longridge Union Cemetery in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, she died July 17, 1865, age "88 years and 3 months". That would make her birthday April 1777.  

Where she was born is more of an enigma. Was it Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut? or Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York? The two locations are only a few miles apart. The 1850 census record shows her as born about 1776 in Connecticut; the 1860 census shows her as born 1777 in New York. So which was it?

Records shows her name alternately as RHEUA and RUHAMAH. She is called REUHAMAH in her husband's 1850 will. But her gravestone shows her name as RHEUA. 

RHEUA/RUHAMAH married SAMUEL BROWN in about 1796, probably in Westchester County New York.  I have not been able to find a marriage record. They had six children:

--MARY "POLLY" BROWN born July 5, 1797 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married SIMEON DIBBLE

--CLARISSA A BROWN born Nov 13, 1798 in Stamford, Fairfield Co Connecticut, who married CHARLES G BETTS

--AARON THOMAS BROWN born Jan 19, 1801 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married MARY REMINGTON, then LAURA SMITH

--HARRIET BROWN born March 18, 1802 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married ABSALOM SHERWOOD

--ALEXANDER "SANDY" BROWN born March 28, 1806 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married JANE TYLER.

--ELIZA BROWN born about 1823 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married DEWITT CLINTON "DWC" CARPENTER. 

These are the six children named in the 1850 will of SAMUEL BROWN. There may have been others born in the 17 years between 1806 & 1823, but these are the children who survived & can be found in census records.

Records are readily available for Stamford, so that was the first place I checked.  Certainly, there were families with daughters named "RHEUA" or "RUHAMAH", but none born in 1777, much less April 1777. 

Likewise, I have been unsuccessful in finding RHEUA/RUHAMAH in Westchester Co New York families.  Searches of early Westchester wills have proved fruitless.  I have also looked for males named AARON or ALEXANDER, as those names do not appear in the family of SAMUEL BROWN. 

I have also carefully examined early census records to see who was living adjacent to SAMUEL BROWN , and also to his father, SOLOMON BROWN.   So far, none of the families that I have researched had a daughter named RHEUA/RUHAMAH.  

I was particularly interested in the family of EBENEZER DeFOREST born about 1750, who lived next to SAMUEL & RHEUA/RUHAMAH BROWN for a number of years. However his will does not mention a daughter RHEUA/RUHAMAH. In the 1850 census, a STEPHEN DeFOREST age 22 (likely a grandson of EBENEZER DeFOREST) was living in the household of SAMUEL & RHEUA/RUHAMAH BROWN.

Unlike JANE my great x 3 grandmother (see previous posts), I have not received any DNA matches that would help me discover RHEUA/RUHAMAH's maiden name.  And since I am descended from nearly ALL the earliest families of Stamford, it is likely that, whoever her parents were, I am already related to them anyway in a different part of my tree!

I would very much like to know more of RHEUA/RUHAMAH's story, and especially find out more about the 17 year gap between her son ALEXANDER and daughter ELIZA.  

The thought has occurred to me that RUHAMAH was the first wife of SAMUEL BROWN, and mother of most of his children, and RHEUA was a second wife, and mother of ELIZA only . But so far I have found only one gravestone next to SAMUEL's, in Stamford, and none in Pound Ridge. And 1850 & 1860 census both show the wife of SAMUEL BROWN as RUHAMAH!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016


Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Footnote on JANE born 1795-1797 Burke Co North Carolina: Definitely a Descendant of the SHERRILL family

After my last post, I decided to delve further into the genealogy of the three couples that I mentioned as likely parents for JANE, wife of JOSEPH THOMPSON of Burke Co North Carolina.

They were:


WILLIAM NEILL Sr b 1720 & 2nd wife SARAH widow ALLEN (much younger than WILLIAM)


I  added SHERRILL descendants to my chart of DNA matches to Rowan/Burke Co NC families.

WOW. Clearly related to the SHERRILL family! Not only do my brother & I match descendants of the SHERRILL family, but other THOMPSON descendants from the Burke Co NC family match some of these SHERRILL descendants as well!

I now believe that my great x 3 grandmother JANE was actually the daughter of DAVID BALLEW born 1778 & SARAH SHERRILL.  A younger DAVID BALLEW, possibly a brother to JANE,  lived next door to ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON in the 1820 Burke Co NC census. 

This lineage would make complete sense, considering the DNA match evidence that I've compiled. 

A previous theory that JANE was the daughter of WILLIAM CONNELLY & REBECCA SHERRILL has proven to be incorrect. 

Clearly much more work to be done. But I think I'm on the right track!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fearless Females: JANE born 1795-1797 Burke County North Carolina: Was She a NEILL, BALLEW, CONNELLY or HENNESSEE?

As I said in my previous post, I now have quite a bit of DNA evidence that strongly suggests an ancestral connection to the NEILL, BALLEW, CONNELLY & HENNESSEE families of Burke Co North Carolina. I believe that some or possibly all of these families were somehow in the ancestry of my great x 3 grandmother JANE, who married JOSEPH THOMPSON about 1815 in Burke Co North Carolina. Some of these families may have been in the ancestry of JOSEPH THOMPSON, also.

Right away, I was able to rule out the sons of PATRICK HENNESSEE  as likely fathers to JANE.  PATRICK, the immigrant ancestor who died in 1795,  only had two sons, JOHN HENNESSEE b 1764 and JAMES HENNESSEE b 1766, both of whom left wills which did not name a daughter JANE.

But because of the strong DNA connection to this  HENNESSEE family--which includes several different DNA matches between Burke Co NC HENNESSEE descendants and descendants of my Burke Co NC THOMPSON family-- it is my theory that my great x 4 grandfather ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON married a daughter of PATRICK HENNESSEE , who was his neighbor on Hunting Creek in Burke Co from about 1778 onward.

Here is a compiled chart of all the DNA matches I have received from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTree DNA  that are descendants from these four families:

Several things pop out at me with this chart.  First of all, I am definitely related to all four of these Burke Co North Carolina families!   How I am related remains to be discovered.  Second, none of my DNA matches so far are descended from the CONNELLY family alone, but only in conjunction with the  BALLEW family, and a few in conjunction with the HENNESSEE family.

Clearly the BALLEW & CONNELLY families were deeply intermarried! 

So, JANE--who's your daddy?

I've narrowed my genealogical search down to three couples who lived in Burke Co North Carolina during the time period in question, roughly 1790-1830.

--WILLIAM BALLEW born April 7, 1750 Bedford Co VA; died about 1830 Burke Co NC; married about 1773 in Rowan Co NC  ELIZABETH CONNELLY. Some online trees show a daughter JANE born about 1795, but I am having difficulty finding out more, or finding any sources. 

--WILLIAM NEILL Sr born about 1720, died June 20, 1797 Burke Co NC; and his 2nd wife SARAH widow of Unknown ALLEN & ROBERT ARTHUR (whom she married March 1, 1773 Rowan Co NC). WILLIAM married SARAH after his first wife MARY POLLY CLINTON died in around 1779 in Rowan or Burke Co NC. There are three transcriptions of WILLIAM's 1797 will; two of the transcriptions show daughters JANE and CATHERINE plus sons and three sons-in-laws, husbands of his daughters from 1st marriage to MARY POLLY CLINTON; the other transcription shows no daughters at all, but lists the sons and three sons-in-law.  One of the transcriptions naming daughter JANE is in the book, "Revolutionary War Soldiers of Western North Carolina, Volume 2 Burke County" by Emmett White, page 234-235.

--WILLIAM CONNELLY born  June 22, 1774 Lincoln Co NC; died Dec 24, 1820 Burke Co NC; married REBECCA SHERRILL; They had a daughter JANE born about 1795 who possibly married JOHN KINCAID. Some sources show the wife of JOHN KINCAID as JANE SPENCER, and on the cemetery record where she is buried she is shown as JANE CONNELLY SPENCER KINCAID!  Very confusing.  This needs further investigation. It is possible that JANE CONNELLY married 1st to a SPENCER, but so far, I haven't seen any records to support this.

So which is the correct set of parents for my great x 3 grandmother JANE? Difficult to say. Stay Tuned!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016