Mar 29

DNA, Another Step in the Search

If you haven’t read about my search for my great-grandfather’s surname, you can find out more here, here, and here. After I found my grandfather’s family, I was thrilled, and did quite a few happy dances, visited the cemetery, got his will and every record available about him and his family in his hometown of Howell, Michigan. Then the struggle began. 1870 census? Nothing close. Passenger lists? Nothing. I have searched passenger lists and Castle Garden records every way imaginable. I have a list of possible surname spellings that covers two pages, all carefully recorded from soundex and “sounds like” searches of various sources. I have visited the locations where he lived, read the newspaper microfilms, copied his real estate transactions, obtained death records for him and his family, searched for birth records and other records. But I still have a dead end. Boo!

When I realized I was pretty much at a dead end on that branch of the family, I did what my brain and experience told me to do. I searched more, expanding into neighboring counties and my grandfather’s siblings. I found a divorced Baptist minister, and a descendant of the divorced wife’s second husband. I wrote letters to 26 gentleman who were listed in the phone book and have a name which may be connected with another branch, carefully outlining the relationship and asking specific questions. I included a self-addressed stamped envelope in each letter, and my phone number, along with e-mail and postal addresses. I received only replies that were negative, not one from the person I was seeking. Still nothing useful or helpful in identifying the family’s actual origin, or the original spelling of their name. Boo-hoo.

Now, the new “Family Finder” DNA test has become available, and I am taking the plunge. A close male relative of mine is also taking the family finder test, and a YDNA test. It will be interesting to see what the results are, and if it will help me in my search. I have no illusions here, I know this is not a magic bullet. Today I will list the reasons why I have considered the test, and why I am taking it, and in later parts of this series, I will keep you abreast with the process as it unfolds. If my experience helps someone, then I will have a good result, even if it does not help me.

  1. The YDNA test that my relative is taking will provide me with a tool to find other members of my great-grandfather’s family. Since research is stalled at the point where my ancestor arrived in Howell, Michigan, with only a few clues to his origin and no substantial real evidence, I am hoping that there really may be a magic bullet. The best possible result would tell me his actual origin, Germany, or elsewhere, and what the “more German” spelling of his name was. What I am hoping for, a lucky match to a family who is also actively researching, which may point me to the correct location in Germany, or elsewhere.
  2. The Herrington mystery is another reason. My mother was raised in foster care. Her paternal line originates with a man named “Herrington” who lived near an area where members of the better documented Harrington family lived; however, he does not seem to be closely connected to that family. Since that ancestor came from a large family, I am hoping that some other researchers also take the “Family Finder” test and I may become aware of them and their research.
  3. The Orlando Palmer adoption mystery. My mother’s maternal grandfather was the adopted son of Platt B. Palmer and Angeline Carpenter. His original name was Askey, or Ascha, or similar. The evidence I have found fits the story, but the details are lost in history. Maybe I will connect with a descendant of the family. I have found some, among them a super researcher who is generous and caring. I just want one more…

Since much of this is a shot-in-the dark kind of thing, I thought my readers might be interested in the results. Fishing trips can be fun and challenging, but so are roller coaster rides. Ride along with me as I explore DNA testing, what to expect, and how the process works. Better still, watch me sweat and sit on the edge of my chair while wait to for the results. Best of all, see if the results help me in any way.

Mar 27

Surname Saturday, Herrington/Harrington

How this one is spelled among my ancestors depends on the person, the time and the place.

You can see posts in which I mention this line by clicking this link. My mother searched for many years and never found out why her mother had left, or where her mother had gone, and I still do not have the entire story. Mom would have been happy to know that her mother had a nice burial place in a National cemetery with her husband. I just wish I had found this information a few years sooner.

So, without further delay, my known Herrington ancestors are:

Martin L. Herrington, born May 1853, New York. Married about 1881, Kate Knapp, the family lived in Easton and Greenwich, and probably sometimes in Vermont where at least one daughter was born. Ten or 11 children, I do not know all the names.

David Henry Herrington b. 21 Mar 1891, Easton, NY, married ca 1924, Helen Lois Palmer, d. 13 Mar 1931, Bennington, Bennington, VT.

Marjorie Helen Herrington, my mother, b. 20 Nov 1926, Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, and d. 6 June 2007, Rochester Hills, Oakland, Michigan.

Mar 25

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 139 page 479

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

Date: 16 January 1947
Liber: 139
Page: 479
Location: Wexford Co., MI
Grantor: Mrs. Belle Tinker, widow of Colfax, Wexford, MI
Grantee: Frank Fellows and Lila Fellows his wife of Colfax, Wexford, MI
Witnesses: Gerald Bostick, William Paulson
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 21 January 1947
Clerk/registrar: Thomas Brown
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $1
Notes:
Description: E 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Sec 9 T23N R10W

As far as I know, this is the last of the property owned by Belle in Wexford County. She deeded it to her youngest child and only surviving son, Frank A. Fellows with this instrument. Here it is, marked on a segment of the old 1914 atlas.1

139-479

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 24

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 139 page 509

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Date: 7 May 1945
Liber: 139
Page: 509
Location: Wexford Co., MI
Grantor: Charles E. Tinker AKA Charles Tinker and Belle Tinker his wife
Grantee: Earl T. Colbert & Marie Colbert husband & wife of Manton, Wexford, MI
Witnesses: Jno A. Muche, Harriet Muche
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 29 June 1947
Clerk/registrar: Brown
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $800.00
Notes: Belle signed with an X, although she has signed her name on previous deeds.
Description: NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 and the N 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 and the NE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 all in Section 16, T23N R10W

Under this deed, Belle and Charlie disposed of their remaining land in Section 16. I am not clear on where Belle and Charlie lived after they sold this land. Charlie died on 5 January 1946, and Belle on 27 Aug 1948. Unlike the deed I described yesterday, this one was filed in a more timely fashion. Here is the location of the land in Section 16 of Colfax township, using a page the old 1914 atlas 1 to illustrate.

139-509

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 23

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 139 page 507

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Date: 7 May 1945
Liber: 139
Page: 507
Location: Wexford Co., MI
Grantor: Charles Tinker & Belle Tinker his wife
Grantee: Earl T. Colbert & Marie Colbert Husband and Wife
Witnesses: Jno A. Muche, Harriet Muche
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 24 Jan 1947
Clerk/registrar: Brown
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $1,000
Notes: Belle signed with an X, although She could write and had signed previous deeds.
Description: The W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 9 T23N R10W except a piece of land in the NW corner 10 rods N-S by 12 rods E-W and also a piece starting 12 rods E of the corner of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 and running east 24 rods, south 10 rods, west 24 rods and north 10 rods to the point of beginning.

Charlie Tinker died on 5 January 1946, less than a year after the this deed was executed. I cannot explain why Mr. & Mrs. Colbert did not file this deed until 24 January 1947, but since Charlie died on 5 January, maybe that prompted them to act. I have again used a portion of the Colfax Township map from the 19141 Atlas to show the location of the property.

139-507

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 22

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 128 page 451

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

Date: 16 June 1936
Liber: 128
Page: 451
Location: Wexford County, MI
Grantor: Charles Tinker & Belle Tinker his wife of Colfax, Wexford, MI
Grantee: I. Fay Horton, C. Howard Horton
Witnesses: Warranty
Type of deed: 16 June 1936
Rec’d and recording: 6 June 1936
Clerk/registrar: Johnson
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $75.00
Notes:
Description: Start 12 rods east of the corner of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 9, T23N R10W, then east 24 rods, south 10 rods, west 24 rods, then north 10 rods to the start.

On this deed, Charlie and Belle sold a lot of about 1.5 acres to Clayton L. Babcock. I used the Colfax map from the 1914 atlas1 to show the position of the lot descried in this deed.

128-451

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 20

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 97 page 114

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Date: 31 December 1919
Liber: 97
Page: 114
Location: Wexford County, MI
Grantor: Harmon Longstreet & Susie Longstreet his wife of Colfax, Wexford, MI
Grantee: Charlie Tinker & Belle Tinker of the same place
Witnesses: Stephen Dassance, Ross Fenton
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 5 Feb 1920
Clerk/registrar: Slack
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $225.00
Notes: Ross Fenton was Susie’s son, and Belle’s son-in-law.
Description: NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 Sect 17 T23N R10W

More in Section 16. Papa’s families populated this area for much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the names which appear in today’s atlas are cousins, or descendents of other landowners of that time.

Here is the location of the land, which I plotted on a portion of a page from an old 1914 Atlas1 of Wexford County, here is a visual of the land in question.

97-114

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 19

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 97 page 98

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Date: 13 December 1919
Liber: 97
Page: 98
Location: Wexford County, MI
Grantor: Ross Fenton & Edna Fenton his wife of Colfax, Wexford, MI
Grantee: Charles E. inker & Belle Tinker of the same place
Witnesses: N.A. Reynolds & Linda K. Reynolds
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 19 Dec 1919
Clerk/registrar: Slack
Location of land: Colfax
Consideration: $225.00
Notes: N.A. Reynolds was a 1st cousin once removed of Ross Fenton [1C1R]
Description: NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 Sect 17 T23N R10W

This is another little piece of the section 16 puzzle I am working my way through. When I started going through these deeds, I supposed that dividing they by family made the most sense. Now I see that the land was passed around between families. I should probably have divided it my location of land, ordered by the dates of the transactions.

I am going to keep plodding away, and one day it will all make sense. Why? Because I am making a new spreadsheet which I will be able to sort by section, description, grantor, grantee, or whatever else I think of between now and then. When that is done I will have the whole ball of was. [Do not hold your breath.] I also have a group of transactions for which I am going to clarify information when I make a trip up to Wexford County soon. All of this will hopefully provide a more complete picture of the land transactions and relationships of Papa’s Wexford County ancestors in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In the meantime, from the Colfax township page of the old 1914 Atlas1 of Wexford County, here is a visual of the land in question.

97-98

 

 

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

Mar 17

Progress

It is a little too early to post quarterly progress on my Genealogy Goals, or a little too late to post monthly progress for January and February. So, I will consider this an irregular report to myself.

I have been troubled by side trips, which makes marching straight toward a goal difficult. Some of you know what I mean, this is how it goes for me:

  1. Enter a marriage record for an individual
  2. Realize that there are probably birth and perhaps death records which will be easy to locate on-line
  3. Locate several new records for individual, including 4 census records, death, another marriage, photo of grave on Find-A-Grave.
  4. Correspond with several other researchers of the same name.
  5. Share information by e-mail
  6. End up with 20 new items to enter, for the individual, his family and so on.

So focus is an issue. A big issue.

My Goals:

DWTD (deal with the data)

Looking back, in January when I set my goals, I had 102 folders, 5474 files and 5.17 gb of data in my dumping ground/new information folder on my computer. The tally this morning is 1 folder with 827 files. How did this happen? I did do a little typing, but I also reorganized much of my data.

  • A lot of the information had already been entered into my database, and the images attached. I was just so disorganized that I didn’t know that.
    • To address this, I created a set of archive folders which follow the alphabet, and contain some folders for my major surnames. I put my older archived files into the file set, then I moved all the “already entered” data into that file set. Stats on my archive files: 187 folders, 5087 files, 4.796 GB. The best part is that they are organized to match my physical file system.
    • Next, I created a folder called research notes. The contents are mostly spreadsheets of data I have collected, but also included are some “fishing trip” data. An example is a census record for a surname that is interesting to me due to it’s similarity to my great-grandfather’s surname. There are 198 items in that folder, and I hope to turn those into “to do” times and file them also.
    • The folder of images currently attached to my database contains 2,828 flies, 1.37 gb.

I think I will give myself a “adequate” on progress here. A lot left, but much accomplished.

And my two other goals:

  • Find the surname used by my Yearnd/Yournd/Ewen/Euens ancestors before their arrival in Howell, Michigan from outer space, (or Germany, or wherever they came from).
    • I get a failing mark here, but I have done some investigation.
  • Find my cousins, descendants of my Mother’s half brother, Donald William Hill. Donald was born 17 March 1919 in Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer County, New York to George Gardner Hill (1896-1962) and Helen Lois Palmer (1891-1966). He was first called George Gardner Hill, Jr., on the 1920 census, but later known as Donald William. Donald died 4 April 1985 in Lake Elsinore, Riverside County, California, and is buried in the National Cemetery in Riverside California. An genealogical angel and volunteer in Lake Elsinore has provided me some leads which may help me find Donald’s children.
    • I admit I have done nothing on this.

Not a total wash, but not as much as I had hoped to accomplish before good weather arrives.

I am also preparing for a research trip to New York. I am going in May, and hope to find new information about my mother’s Herrington/Harrington ancestors in Washington County. I will also research her Winn line in Columbia County, visit some cousins in Hoosick Falls, and check out various locations in Massachusetts for information. It is a big trip for me, and one I have put off too long.

In the summer, I am busy with my yard and garden, and I want to visit my grandchildren, too. The next months should be challenging, but fun.

Mar 13

Fellows Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 87 page 383

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to Papa’s Fellows ancestors who resided in Wexford County, Michigan.

 

Date: 15 July 1914
Liber: 87
Page: 383
Location: 383
Grantor: Lester E. Stone and Sarah E. Stone of Manton, MI
Grantee: Charles E. Tinker & Belle Tinker of Manton, MI
Witnesses: Addie Campbell, Guy W. Slack
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 15 July 1914
Clerk/registrar: Slack
Location of land: Colfax, Wexford, MI
Consideration: $1,800
Notes:
Description: N1/2 of SE1/4 of NW1/4 and NE1/4 of NW1/4 Sec 16 T23N R10W abt 60 ac

Belle and Charlie lived on this piece of of land when M-in-L was a child. This deed shows why I believe it is important to leave no STONE unturned while researching your family. If you look back at the post I wrote about Charlie Tinker, you can see that Charlie and Belle married on 15 July 1914. Interesting this deed was recorded the same day Charlie and Belle married, apparently in a judge’s chambers at the courthouse. A closer look shows that Lester and Sarah Stone were the witnesses. Oh. Although Charlie Tinker’s obituary gave an earlier year for their marriage, I am convinced that the actual date was 15 July 1914.

One little postcard shows how valuable various fragments of evidence can become. In the collection from Belle’s box, I wrote about a postcard from Mrs. Stone, which was postmarked 31 July 1914. Looks like Belle and Charlie got a dog with the house and property!

The location is marked in red from the 1914 atlas of Wexford County1 which is online on a University of Michigan site. The blue outlined property was owned at various times by people associated with Belle. The northern most property was owned by Alfred Fenton, a brother-in-law of Belle’s daughter, Edna. Edna’s mother-in-law, Susie M. Burdick Fenton Longstreet and her husband Harmon H. Longstreet owned the remaining property outlined in blue.

87-383

 

  1. Standard Map Company., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan : containing complete maps of all townships, names of property owners, maps of the county, city of Cadillac, United States and State of Michigan., Standard Map Company., Cadillac Evening News (Firm) (Cadillac, Mich.: Cadillac Evening News, c1914), page 20, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928167.0001.001 : accessed 2 November 2009.

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