Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your 16 Great-Grands

Randy Seaver says, “It’s almost Saturday Night – time for some Genealogy Fun!”

Here is your SNGF assignment for the evening (if you choose to accept it – this is not stump the genealogist or even Mission Impossible):

  1. List your 16 great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.
  2. Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.
  3. Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 – 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).
  4. If you don’t know all 16 of your great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.
  5. Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

I have too many holes to use 16 great-grandparents, so I had to go with 8 great-grandparents. They are:

  1. Charles Yournd/Yearnd born 22 Feb 1884 in Mecklenberg, Germany; died 20 July 1911 Howell, Livingston, Michigan GERMAN
  2. Lena Detman born 22 September 1853 in Germany; died 11 March 1917, Lansing, Ingham, Michigan GERMAN
  3. William Kaiser, born 30 June 1862 Ontario, Canada; died 3 December 1940 Detroit, Wayne, Michigan GERMAN
  4. Jane Johnston b 1867, Huron, Ontario, Canada; died 29 January 1888 Cadillac, Wexford, Michigan SCOTCH
  5. Martin L. Herrington born May 1853 New York; died 7 January 1926 Argyle, Washington, New York, SCOTCH
  6. Catherine H. “Kate” Knapp, born 1863 New York; died 23 December 1936, Troy, Rensselaer, New York ENGLISH
  7. Orlando William Palmer, born 2 November 1846 Vermont died 25 March 1930 Petersburg, Rensselaer, New York, ENGLISH
  8. Elizabeth “Libbie” Winn, born 4 April 1855 Kinderhook, Columbia, New York; died 19 May 1921 Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer, New York DUTCH

So, 25% German, 16.6% Scotch, 16.6% English, and 8.33% Dutch. The percentages pretty much reflect the composition of an average American pound puppy. Interestingly, there are a couple of thoughts that occurred to me as I worked through this little gem.

The first is that I identify strongly with being German, or of German heritage. But, it seems that overall, I’m much more something else, and much less German! It took me only a moment to arrive at the reason for that. Until about 5 years ago, I had never met anyone from my mother’s family other than her. You can see that her ancestors, numbers 5 through 8, are the largest part of my non-German ancestry. However, I never knew them, or even of them until I was well into adulthood. I have no stories, no sayings, nothing which connects me to my mother’s family in any way. On the other hand, German phrases and sayings, and talk about being German flood my childhood memories. We knew we were German, and we had the big noses to prove it.

The other thing that occurred to me is the large extent that adoption colors my heritage. My mother, though never adopted, did not live with her family after she was four, when her father died. She was raised in a series of foster homes, and carried many scars and hurt feelings of those experiences throughout her life.

Likewise, I found as I research that her grandfather, O.W. Palmer, was adopted. Solid proof eludes me, but a note found by one of his granddaughters says that his parents were James Askey and Mary E. Ackert, and that he taken in by the Palmers when his parents divorced. And, thirteen year old Orlando appears in the Palmer household in 1860, but is not present in 1850. I continue to rummage for solid information linking Orlando to either the Palmers or the Askey/Ackert household.

Some mysteries may never be solved, by I hope I have more of the 16 ancestors in the previous generation identified before the next time Saturday Night Fun signals the need!


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    • Apple on August 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I don’t ever expect to solve the adoption mystery in my tree. If my grandparents, who were cousins, hadn’t married I might never have known there was an adoption.

    Good luck with Orlando and the rest of your 16.
    .-= Apple´s last blog ..Etola Robinson, Aug 14, 1900 =-.

  1. Thanks, Apple. Luck is a large element. But maybe we make our own luck. Maybe.

  2. Hi Pam ~
    I see we share some very similar “ethnicity” – I have quite a bit of German and Scottish heritage as well. I haven’t yet tracked down where in Mecklenberg my gr-gr-grandfather was born….but someday! Good luck with the adoption search. I haven’t found any in my tree yet – but have several “husbands abandoning family” scenerios. Hard to find info there as well. So, good luck to all of us 🙂
    .-= Diana Ritchie´s last blog ..Saturday Night Fun ~ Genealogy Style =-.

  3. Thanks, Diana. I enjoyed your post as well. Funny how some of those husbands/fathers just floated through, isn’t it?
    .-= Granny Pam´s last blog ..Busy, Busy, Busy =-.

    • M. Stone on August 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Granny Pam! Our paths mysteriously cross again! We are half-cousins, and corresponded briefly in 2000, remember? Mary E. Ackert was my g-g-grandmother, via her second husband, Ward N. Stone. I am currently going back to re-explore that family branch and just found this on your family:

    “James W. Ascha from White Creek, N. Y., married Mary E. Ackert, and located in Bennington, Vt., rearing three children, William H., Elvia A., and Charles G. Charles G. was married to Anna Chapman, of Pittsfield, Mass., September 3, 1870, and has four children, Hattie E., Mabel, Ada L., and Bessie F. He is now residing in this town. Charles G. Ascha’s grandfather, John Van Bogit, served in the Revolutionary war, and was at the battle of Bennington. He was also aid-de-camp of Gen. Washington.”

    This is from page 178, under the section “Town of Hinsdale” in the “Gazetteer of Berkshire County, Mass. 1725-1885” by Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY, Jan. 1885. You can see and download the whole thing on GoogleBooks!

    That should give you a few clues to follow up, including a new surname, Ascha! It also confirms the children with Mary (Charles, born in Vermont, and Elva A.) living with Ward in Peru, Mass. on the 1860 census. Could “John Van Bogit” have been Mary Ackert’s father?

    Please keep in touch–I’d appreciate hearing whatever else you find out.

  4. OMG. Of course I remember you. I mysteriously received an e-mail reply from you (about the ancestors we have in common) when I was near your home (for work, not genealogy). I remember you said you wondered if the ghost of Mary Ackert was afoot and helping us. I have all the copies in my “leads to work on folder”. I also remember your kindness in giving me copies of Stone family records you had worked so hard to research.

    This looks like an even bigger breakthrough that you have shared with me. William H. would be my “Orlando William”, with the only difference being the spelling of the father’s last name.

    If anyone asks me, one more time, “Why should I blog about my genealogical research?” I will send them directly to this post. Sooner or later, we all find someone or something we can share with others. What a joy.

    Thanks again!

    • M. Stone on August 12, 2009 at 6:12 am

    My pleasure. I’ll pass on anything else I come across. I have all the material you sent me, too. My contact info is the same, but new email.

    Have fun searching! It looks like “Ascha” may be a German surname, giving you yet more German ancestry.

    How weird you were blogging about the Askeys and Mary Ackert and I just went back to researching her again, after 9 years. She just won’t let it lie! She keeps bringing us together.

    Have fun!

  5. Granny Pam, I responded in comments to your comment on my post regarding David Lavering because I can’t seem to locate an email address for you ;-(

    Your David is a brother of Daniel Lavering my 2nd great grandfather… I have some info on David and his parents.

  6. Thanks, Becky. I sent you an e-mail today. I appreciate your response!

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