Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Dryden & Toher family photos 1860s-1880s California

 My grandmother, RUBY BOLTON BROWN, had an older sister GLADYS ADELINE BROWN who married JOSEPH BURTON DRYDEN in 1912 in San Francisco, California.

Back in the spring of 2020, a cousin from the DRYDEN family sent me two very old photo albums that appeared to be from California in the 1860s-1880s.  All the photos were in very good condition, but few of them included any sort of clues or information that would help identify the individuals in the photos.

Now, many months later, with the help of other researchers on Ancestry.com, and articles & obituaries in San Francisco newspapers from the time period, I have been able to identify several of the people from the albums.  It appears that all of the photos in the albums are from the DRYDEN or TOHER family.  None of them are from my grandmother's BROWN family.

For reference, here is the family tree of JOSEPH BURTON DRYDEN b 1887 San Francisco, California. He was the only child of GEORGE HENRY SHEPPARD DRYDEN b 1864 Solano County, California, and MARY ANN TOHER b 1868 San Francisco, California.

Here is a photo of JOSEPH'S father, GEORGE HENRY SHEPPARD DRYDEN as a young man, probably taken about 1880.  I was able to identify him, even though there was no writing or clues on the photo, as the same photo was used later in a San Francisco newspaper article.

Here is a photo of GEORGE H S DRYDEN  as a toddler, taken about 1868, possibly in Solano County, California.

This is a photo of GEORGE H S DRYDEN's wife, MARY ANN TOHER b 1868 San Francisco.

GEORGE H S DRYDEN was the son of CORNELIUS PAYNTER DRYDEN b 1825 Delaware & SARAH SHEPPARD b abt 1842 New York. They lived in Solano County, California from about 1866 until about 1871, when they moved to San Francisco. Besides GEORGE, they had three daughters. I was only able to identify one in the photos from the albums. This is LULU DRYDEN b 1874 San Francisco. She apparently never married, and died in 1937 in Seattle, Washington.

MARY ANN TOHER DRYDEN was the daughter of JOHN TOHER Jr b 1832 County Cavan, Ireland and his wife CATHERINE "KATE" HUDSON b 1832 Ireland. They both emigrated from Ireland in about 1860 and ended up in San Francisco, California, where they were married sometime before 1867.  

This appeared to be the oldest photo in the two albums.  I believe it is a photo of JOHN TOHER Jr  and his wife CATHERINE KATE HUDSON, taken around 1865 in San Francisco.

And here is a later photo of CATHERINE KATE HUDSON TOHER, probably taken in the 1870s-1880s. 

JOHN TOHER Jr and CATHERINE KATE HUDSON had three daughters and one son, but I only found photos in the album for MARY ANN TOHER DRYDEN and one sister SUSAN TOHER b 1872 San Francisco, who married BARTHOLOMEW MAHONEY.  Here are two photos of SUSAN TOHER MAHONEY, one with her husband.

SUSAN TOHER & BARTHOLOMEW MAHONEY apparently had only one son, GEORGE HUDSON MAHONEY born 26 April 1902 in San Francisco. He died there in 1974. I was unable to find out whether or not he had a wife or children.

There are at least a hundred more photos in the DRYDEN/TOHER albums, including a couple from Ireland, but sadly there are no clues to help identify them.  

Wishing you safe, healthy &  Happy New Year!


© Betty Tartas  2021

Friday, May 21, 2021

DNA Connections to Descendants of WILLIAM RICKARD 1743-1782 & JOANNA VARLEY of Kenwyn, Cornwall, England

Cordelia Rickard Myers Brown 1829 Cornwall, England-1875 Sacramento, California

Very early on in my genetic genealogy research, I discovered that I have a definite DNA connection to my maternal great great grandmother, CORDELIA RICKARD who married 1st) HENRY WILLIAM F MYERS  on 29 Jan 1850 in Platteville, Grant County, Wisconsin; and 2nd) to my paternal great great grandfather HENRY "NEW HAMPSHIRE" (H.N.H) BROWN on 1 Jun 1857 in Sacramento, California.

CORDELIA RICKARD was baptized 6 Sep 1829 in Chacewater, Cornwall, England; her parents were RICHARD RICKARD b 1778 & CORDELIA HICKS b 1793. Her father RICHARD's occupation on her 1829 baptism record was listed as "Innkeeper", and on his 1835 burial record, occupation was listed as "victualer". His widow CORDELIA was left with nine surviving children, and in 1845, she emigrated to the United States on the ship "Henry Clay",  arriving with her three youngest children: JOSEPH age 21, CORDELIA age 15 and HENRY age 11.  Two older sons, RICHARD age 22 and WILLIAM age 28, came to the United States the following year on the ship "Oxford"-- but WILLIAM did not stay. At least 3  children remained in Cornwall, including the eldest daughter MARY RICKARD (baptized 1818) who married in 1846 JOHN BUNT, also an Innkeeper, of Kenwyn Parish, Cornwall.

By 1850 the widow CORDELIA HICKS RICKARD b 1793 & her son HENRY had settled in the area of Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin, while daughter CORDELIA RICKARD MYERS & son RICHARD RICKARD were living nearby in Platteville, Grant County, Wisconsin.  Both would travel overland to California shortly after 1850.

Son JOSEPH RICKARD married & settled by 1860 in  Michigan. He died in Eagle Harbor, Michigan on 29 Sep 1899.

Over several years of research, I have determined that  the widow CORDELIA HICKS RICKARD b 1793 had many relatives, both by blood and by marriage, who were already living in Wisconsin when she arrived in 1845. Some came later, after 1845. This includes families with the surnames STEPHENS, ENNOR, RICKARD and HICKS. 

Finding these relatives and their descendants  eventually led me to discover that I have a DNA connection to the RICKARD & related families going back several generations in Cornwall!

The majority of my RICKARD DNA matches are descendants of WILLIAM RICKARD b 1743 St Allen Parish, who married 2 Feb 1771 in Kenwyn Parish, JOANNA VARLEY b 1748.  WILLIAM died at age 38 on 30 Jan 1782 in Kenwyn Parish, Cornwall, England.   Some of their descendants migrated to Australia & New Zealand, and I have DNA matches with them as well!

Here is a  chart showing some of my DNA matches to descendants of WILLIAM RICKARD 1743-1782 & JOANNA VARLEY; I have included here only the two sons whose descendants emigrated to the US (or as far as I've found in my research). For the purposes of this blogpost I have not included Australian or New Zealand descendants.

The fact that WILLIAM RICKARD died at age 38 makes me wonder if his death was due to a mining accident.  So far, I have been unable to find any records that would verify his cause of death.

I also have several DNA matches to descendants of other Cornwall families related to the RICKARD family, with surnames: HICKS, GILL, KEAST/KEIST & GILBERT.  

If you are researching ancestors in Cornwall, the Cornwall Online Parish Clerk database (OPC) is an invaluable tool!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

Adventures in Genetic Genealogy: That's a Lot of Fraziers!


In 2011,  I received my first autosomal DNA test results from 23andMe. Since then, I have been carefully compiling my matches with descendants of my paternal  FRAZIER family.  Because this family was Quaker,  reliable Monthly Meeting (MM) records exist and many descendants know exactly how they descend from the "patriarch" THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 Carteret County, North Carolina and MARY PUGH, his wife (click here to read my blog post about why his name is not "GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER"). 

Still, it's mind-boggling  to see exactly how many Frazier DNA matches I now have , ten years later, to descendants of the children & grandchildren of THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 and MARY PUGH!

Here's the latest as of  March 15, 2021:

--201 matches to known descendants of my g x 5 grandfather THOMAS FRAZIER b 1725 & MARY PUGH (no matches so far to any PUGH families)

--1 match to known descendants of my great x 4 grandfather ISAAC FRAZIER ( son of THOMAS), and REBECCA SAFERIGHT (not including matches to SAFERIGHT or to ISAAC's only son HENRY; fewer children survived in this family , so fewer descendants stem from this generation)

--35 matches to known descendants of my ggg grandfather HENRY FRAZER ( son of ISAAC),  and MARY POLLY OTWELL (not including matches to OTWELL, or to HENRY's son ELI)

--48 matches to known descendants of  my gg grandfather ELI BRANSON FRAZIER (son of HENRY) & NANCY VAN ARSDALE (not including matches to VAN ARSDALE) 

TOTAL:  285 matches to known descendants of my male FRAZIER line. 

(By "known descendant" I mean a DNA match whose ancestry I have been able to trace to a MRCA (most recent common ancestor) who is one of the male FRAZIERs listed above, plus who is also matching, in triangulation, with other descendants of the same male FRAZIERs on the same chromosomal locations, with the matches being greater than 7 cM.)

As noted above, I also have  DNA matches to descendants of the families of some of the wives: SAFERIGHT, OTWELL & VAN ARSDALE. But the vast majority of my matches are to the male FRAZIERs.

Here is the list that I have been using to keep track of my FRAZIER matches. It isn't complete, of course, and only lists the children & grandchildren with whom  I have a DNA connection,  but it gives me a great overall picture of how many of descendants  of the male FRAZIER line I am actually connected to by DNA! 

The numbers in red are the total number of DNA matches so far  for each couple, gathered from 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, AncestryDNA & Gedmatch.

Now that's a lot of Fraziers! 

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2021