How Were They Related? You Say….

Abraham Lincoln to Michael Prewitt

— 1st Generation —

1. Abraham1 Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, was born on 12 Feb 1809 in Hardin County, KY.

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, daughter of Robert S. Todd and Eliza Parker, on 04 Nov 1842.

Abraham Lincoln died Ford’s theater, Washington, District of Columbia, DC. Assignation.

— 2nd Generation —

3. Nancy2 Hanks.

Nancy Hanks, daughter of James Hanks and Lucy Shipley, was born circa 1784 in Bedford County, VA.

Nancy Hanks married Thomas Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln and Bathsheba Herring, on 12 Jun 1806 in Washington County, KY.

Nancy Hanks died on 05 Oct 1818.

— 3rd Generation —

7. Lucy3 Shipley.

Lucy Shipley, daughter of Robert Shipley Jr. and Rachael Prewitt, was born circa 1765 in Bedford County, VA.

Lucy Shipley married Henry Sparrow on 30 Apr 1790.

Lucy Shipley married James Hanks, son of Joseph Hanks and Nancy Unknown.

Lucy Shipley died circa 1825 in Hardin County, KY.

— 4th Generation —

15. Rachael4 Prewitt.

Rachael Prewitt married Robert Shipley Jr., son of Robert Shipley Sr.

Rachael Prewitt, daughter of Michael Prewitt and Elizabeth Simpkins, was born circa 1743 in Campbell County, VA.

Rachael Prewitt died before 1798 in VA.

— 5th Generation —

30. Michael5 Prewitt.

Michael Prewitt, son of Andrew Prewitt and Agnes Unknown, was born in 1722 in Lunenburg County, VA.

Michael Prewitt married Elizabeth Simpkins, daughter of John Simpkins and Elizabeth Adam Rench.

Michael Prewitt died.


Hiram “Joshua” Edde to Michael Prewitt

(Joshua was my father’s 2nd great grandfather)
Joshua was my only Union Civil War ancestor

— 5th Generation —

20. Hiram Joshua5 “Joshua” Eady.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady, son of Hiram Eddy and Candace Johnson Holt, was born in 1837 in Bedford County, TN.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady married Carry Muse, daughter of Samuel B. Muse and Nancy Sutton, assumedly in Bedford County, TN. Bedford County, TN did not start recording marriages until Jan 1861.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady died before 1870 in Bedford County, TN. Carry is the head of household on the 1870 census.

— 6th Generation —

40. Hiram6 Eddy.

Hiram Eddy, son of James Edde and Patience Prewitt, was born on 07 May 1807 in TN. It is possible that Hiram was born in Shelby County, KY or somewhere between there and Bedford County. Since the first deed we find for James isn’t until 1810, the family probably did not live there until that time period making it unlikely that Hiram was born in Bedford County, TN.  The 1810 census is not extant.

Hiram Eddy married Candace Johnson Holt, daughter of Joshua Holt and Elanor Cain Burrow most likely in Bedford County, TN. Bedford County, TN did not start keeping marriage records until Jan 1861.

Hiram Eddy married Harriet Richards circa 1853.

Hiram Eddy died.

— 7th Generation —

81. Patience7 Prewitt.

Patience Prewitt, daughter of Michael Prewitt Jr. and Elizabeth “Betty” Hurt, was born in 1786 in Campbell County, VA.

Patience Prewitt married James Edde, son of John Edde and Francis Stringer, on 05 May 1806 in Shelby County, KY.

Patience Prewitt died between 17 May 1817 and 1820. I think Patience died in childbirth or soon thereafter, since James sold his 212 acres of land at a huge loss. Perhaps he needed the money to help raise his family. This will require a lot more research.

By 1821, James Lockhart is selling land to Moses H. Prewitt. Hiram Edde, Moses Edde, Malvina Edde, and Patience Edde are named as heirs of Michael Prewitt. If their mother was still alive, they would not have been mentioned. 

— 8th Generation —

162. Michael8 Prewitt Jr.

Michael Prewitt Jr., son of Michael Prewitt and Elizabeth Simpkins, was born in 1756.

Michael Prewitt Jr. married Elizabeth “Betty” Hurt, daughter of Moza Hurt and Mary Unknown.

Michael Prewitt Jr. died in 1812.

— 9th Generation —

324. Michael9 Prewitt.

Michael Prewitt, son of Andrew Prewitt and Agnes Unknown, was born in 1722 in Lunenburg County, VA.

Michael Prewitt married Elizabeth Simpkins, daughter of John Simpkins and Elizabeth Adam Rench.

Michael Prewitt died.


Note:  Most of the information on Lincoln’s family and the connection between the Prewitts and Abraham Lincoln are taken from Dr. Charles Raymond Dillon PsD., Pruitt-Prewitt Ancestors Genealogical Research Associates, 1960

Other source information available by request.

Posted in 52 Ancestors, Edde, James-Patience Prewitt, Genealogy | Leave a comment

150 years ago, my dad lost a distant cousin….

James-Lincoln comparison           Lincoln


Today is the 150th anniversary of the passing of Abraham Lincoln from a gun shot wound to the back of the head while watching a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D. C.  Lincoln, was the 16th President of the United States, and my dad’s 3rd cousin, 4 times removed.

I have always thought there was a family resemblance around the mouth and chin area and of course the long forehead.  Dad always combed his hair forward and then over, to hide the fact that he had the same receding hairline.  I have often wondered, could I be looking into the face of my Prewitt ancestors when I look at these two men?

Like most of the American Public, I have been fascinated by this man who led our country during one of her most trying and horrific times.  But when I discovered that he and my dad share a common ancestor, I became even more curious about him. 

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Commemorating 150 years….


One Hundred and Fifty years ago today, the Civil War began to come to a close in the United States with surrender at Appomattox, VA.  For four long years, north and south had battled each other. Nearly 1, 100, 000 men had lost their lives or were mortally wounded.  For my ancestors in the great state of Tennessee life would never be the same again.

When the war started in 1861, Tennessee was a Union state, but soon rumblings would begin among the people of Tennessee. She believed in the ability of states to make their own laws and finally on 08 Jun 1861, Tennessee became the last southern state to succeed from the Union.  With her, 6 of my 7 Civil War ancestors went off to join the Confederacy.  One ancestor fought for the Union and one ancestor may have fought for both sides.  One ancestor was the right age, but has too common a name to prove service.

The war wasn’t easy on the state of Tennessee. Many of the major battles, Murfreesboro, Shiloh, Chattanooga, Fort Donelson were fought on her soil.  Her men went off to fight in the north, leaving women, children and even slaves at home unprotected.  When the war moved south into Tennessee, her men were fighting in Virginia and places north and their homes and crops were devastated.

But now the war was ending , and as her men returned home, they returned home proud of what they had tried to do, even if they were defeated.  My family, like thousands of others were never the same.  Neither would my husband’s family from KY, which was a border state.  Here are their stories:

John Abner Carlton:  John A was 25 when he enlisted at Fort Pillow on 08 Mar 1862.  He had been married for 6 years and had four children. His fourth child was born a month after he enlisted.  He would join the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Unit.  He would see action at Vicksburg defending the area.  Fortunately he would miss the battle of Vicksburg, because both he and his brother Benajah would get sick and be sent to a hospital at Mississippi Springs.  When he got his furlough from hospital, John A. apparently thought he was done with the war, because he deserted on 12 Dec 1862.  He had been promoted by this time to 2nd Corporal.  After the war, John A. Carlton would move back to Rutherford County, where his father’s family lived. He would become a circuit riding minister and marry 3 times. He would serve on the Pension Board for the State of Tennessee as well.  By his three wives, he would have twenty-one children and one step daughter. All twenty-two children would live to adulthood.  John A and his wives were prominent members in their community, as were their descendants. John A. Carlton died in 1911 and is buried next to his three wives.

Joseph Houston Hubbard:  Joe was 18 when he enlisted 27 Apr 1861.  He joined Company E, 1st Tennessee (Turney’s) and fought at battles like Seven Pines, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, 1st Manassas. Joe claims he was injured at Fredericksburg. Though his compiled service records don’t mention any time injured or in the hospital, Joe’s unit was part of the Tennessee Brigade, and he was certainly in the right place several times during the Battle of Fredericksburg to have been injured. He claims he was captured and spent twelve months at Camp Chase, Ohio.  His compiled service records show that he deserted on 17 Jun 1863. His unit was moving from Fredericksburg to Winchester on that night and if he ran off, it is possible that he was later captured by a Federal Unit. If he was, no proof of that has been found yet.  After the war, Joe returned to Lincoln County, TN where he found an old horse and nursed it back to health. It was an US Calvary horse and someone accused him of horse theft.  You can read his story here. Grand Theft Equine  Joe married his wife after the war and had eight children.  He died in 1924 of cancer.  He did talk about his time in the war and his granddaughter Mary Morgan Hickerson recorded some of her memories of Joe in a tape she did for the family in the early 1980s.

Burnett Vickrey: Burnett joined J. C. Jackson’s 24th Tennessee Infantry on 24 Apr 1861.  In Feb 1862, Burnett is listed as present, but he has lost two Enfield rifles.  He returns the rifles and reenlists in Murfreesboro in Jun 1862. I am not sure why he was in Murfreesboro, when his unit muster roll for that month was from Baldwin Mississippi. He is listed as absent without leave, so my guess is he took a little bit too long coming back from furlough. Though he is still listed as AWOL in Jul and Aug of 1862, he has returned the two rifles. He marries his wife in Sep 1862 in Williamson County, TN and his unit is engaged in the Battle of Murfreesboro shortly after that. Sometime between Jan and Feb 1863, he is dropped from the roll by General Order.  Now this is where it gets tricky for Burnett. In 1870, he and his wife Mary are enumerated in the 10th District of Bedford County, where both their families were from. In 1880, there is a family identical to Burnett’s living in the 10th District of Rutherford County, but the family surname is Curtis. And we find that a Burnett Curtis joined a Union unit shortly after Burnett Victory was dropped from the rolls of his Confederate Unit. Were these the same men?  Not sure yet, but no record has been found of both men at the same time leading me to believe Burnett may have joined the Union forces after leaving the Confederacy. Burnett Curtis wasn’t any better a soldier than Burnett Victory and spent most his tenure in Prison.   At any rate, Mary Vickrey is enumerated with a son and two grand daughters (listed as nieces) on the 1900 Federal Population Census, so we assume that Burnett died before that point. Tennessee did not start having statewide death certificates until 1914 and Burnett is buried in an unmarked grave some place in Murfreesboro, TN.

Thomas Dixon Morgan:  Thomas D. Morgan was a wagon master under V. K. Stevenson.  He states he joined after the Battle of Nashville. He has no compiled service records, but his wagon master certificate was part of his Pension Application.  He claims he was captured by the Federals and held in a private home until the end of the war.  Because he has no compiled service records, we can not prove this at this time. After the war, Thomas and his wife Elmira had 11 children.  his military pension was denied, most likely because he did not sustain any injuries during the war.

Jacob Ray: Jacob joined the 2oth Tennessee Regiment on 08 June 1861, when he was 33 years old.  He was discharged on 16 Nov 1861, because of a disability. His wife Polly applied for a widow’s pension, but it was denied. She stated that he joined the McClemore’s 4th Tennessee Calvary.  No compiled service record in that unit was found for Jacob and I find it odd that a man who was discharged because of a disability would have then joined a Calvary unit.  Although I guess if his wound allowed him to shoot, but not easily walk, it could be the case. Her pension in 1911 was denied.  My guess is because she could not prove the later service and he was dead and she could not prove the disability. It was a shame because by this time Polly Ray was legally blind.  They had eleven children. Jacob Ray died 19 Jun 1896.

Joseph Lannom: Joseph Lannom was 39 years old and had seven children when he joined Company G, 7th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry on 21 May 1861.  His unit fought at First Manassas and Seven Pines.  He would serve with his unit one year and would be discharged at Orange Courthouse based on seniority on 20 Aug 1862.  Good thing for him he was discharged because his unit was next at Fredericksburg in Dec 1862.  He traveled home after discharge, most likely by train from Orange Courthouse.  He was in a fight with a man named Richard “Cedar Dick” Mount. No one knows what the fight was about. Mount’s family state that Lannom attacked Mount with a large tree and Mount stabbed him with a Bowie knife.  Joseph Lannom died from his wounds on 08 Nov 1862.  His son Jeff Davis Lannom was born 12 Jun 1863. 

Hiram Joshua Edde “Joshua”: Joshua Edde joined Company C. (Galbraith’s) 1st Regiment, 5th Tennessee Calvary on 04 Sep 1862 in Nashville, TN. His unit spent most it’s time fighting skirmishes in and around Shelbyville, TN where he was from.  His unit were known for being disorderly and causes problems around town by being disrespectful to women. One officer wrote:

When I took command of the defenses of this road, in June, 1864, the 5th Tennessee Cavalry was stationed at this Post. I found it camped outside the picket line of the post, men and officers boarding at private houses, inside and outside the lines. I found that officers and men were absent at home and elsewhere without authority. In fact, I found the regiment utterly void of order and discipline. I at once made it a specialty *** to try and reduce the regiment to some sort of discipline, and worked faithfully, but without any perceptible benefit. I have tried every means known to me to bring about order and efficiency in the regiment, but have not been rewarded with any success, even unto this day. In fact, the regiment is as far from being an efficient organization as it was in June. The field officers seem to have no conception of their obligations and duties; have no control over their subordinates or men. Officers and men absent themselves without authority whenever they take a notion to visit their homes. The regiment is about 800 strong, and the largest number that can be paraded in camp at any time will not exceed 200. Most of the 600 absentees are unaccounted for. I have been informed that Colonel Stokes was able to keep the men together, and did hold them under reasonable discipline. I therefore suggest that Colonel Stokes be ordered back to his regiment, because, without him, the regiment is a rabble and entirely worthless to the service. I further suggest that even if Colonel Stokes is ordered back to his regiment, it be sent beyond the state of Tennessee clear beyond the reach of their homes-as a sure means of making them of service to the Government. Many of the officers and men live within one or two days’ ride of this place, and so long as they are so situated they will be worthless as soldiers. I respectfully request that this regiment be ordered away from my command, and that a regiment of cavalry from some other state be sent in its stead.”

Joshua Edde was apparently a good soldier, as he was always present despite the fact that he managed to get home impregnate his wife twice during the Civil War.  My guess is he spent most of his nights at home.  He is not enumerated on the 1870 census with his wife Carry.  Carry remarried in 1874 and lived to 1922.  Joshua was my only Union ancestor.

My husband’s family were from KY.  They did not fair much better, though most of his ancestors were too young or two old to serve.

Thomas Decatur Barrett:  My husband’s only Civil War ancestor.  He joined Company F, 56th Virginia Regiment on 25 Jul 1861 in Virginia.   He contracted measles while in the Civil War and was promoted to Corporal. On  25 Nov 1862, he was sent to General Hospital No. 8 for phosphatic diathecis (disease of the kidney).   On 10 Dec 1862, the doctor recommended that he was unfit for field service and that he be given less active duty. He was detailed to the Boxley Lead Mines very near his home in Lousia County, VA.   He was discharged on 26 Jan 1863 and signed his oath of allegiance on 24 Apr 1865. He and his wife had 8 children after the war and he died 23 Oct 1915.

Edward Briant:  Though he was born in 1818 and was too old for service when the Civil War broke out, I feel I must mention Edward Briant.  My husband’s 3rd great grandfather was the only casualty of the war of our direct ancestors.  Though he did not serve, I feel it would do his family disservice to not mention it. Edward was shot by the Harper Gang while out working in his field.  His young son Ben S. Briant had to go and get his father’s body in the family wagon and bring it home for burial.    You can read about Ellis Harper here: Harper Gang.  Edward left behind a wife and thirteen children, the youngest who was born after her father’s death. 

So I am sure on this date 150 years ago, my ancestors were very happy to see the war end. Reconstruction would be hard on TN and it would take her people many years to recover.  But finally war was ending and that is always a good thing!

Posted in 52 Ancestors, Genealogy | Tagged , | 3 Comments

What I Remember….

Forty-One Years ago today, a super cell tornado system hit the Deep South. In those days, my family lived outside Nashville, TN, in a tiny suburb called Antioch. That day, our family farm was devastated by one of those tornadoes, leaving only my grandparents house standing at the end of the night.

Here is what I don’t remember from that day….

If you asked me to pick my third grade teacher from a line up of pictures of teachers from that era, I most likely would not be able to pick her out. I spent everyday for nine months with her and adored her, yet I doubt forty-one years later I would remember what she looked like.  I don’t remember if she was young, or old, married, had kids….

If you asked me what I had for lunch that day, or what we were working on in class, I just don’t remember.  I am sure the lunch was good, and the subjects interesting, but alas, I have long forgotten them.

If you asked me what bus number I rode home from school on, or if we had homework, I could not tell you.

But here are the details I do remember…..

We got out of school early that day and as usual me and my cousin Jeff rode the bus home to our regular stop. As we began to walk the 1/8 mile to his house, it began to hail. We ran the rest of the way. When we got to his house, his sister told us we were under Tornado Warnings. We only knew what that meant, because on Monday, April 1 of that week, a series of tornadoes had hit the Nashville area and so we’d had an assembly on Tuesday to tell us what to do if a tornado was coming.  We’d discussed at home that night that if we were home alone we were to go to my bedroom and get into the closet.  Most of the adults on the farm had outside jobs and we kids came home and took care of cooking dinner, and chores before they got home. We were often home alone under the supervision of older cousins.

Shortly after we got to my cousins, my parents came home from work. My mother had paid to have two posters she had bought for me framed. A dog and a cat. They were going to hang in my bedroom.  The hail was so large by this time, that Momma put the posters in the window of my Dad’s truck, to protect us if the hail broke the glass on the windshield. Hail was probably golf ball sized or larger by now.

We arrived at home and Mom began to prepare supper: Tomato Soup.  That I remember. We never ate it.

Dad and I argued over which TV to use to listen to the weather. I was nine and had gotten a small TV for my room that Christmas.  I was worried that lightening would run in the wires and blow it up. Dad was worried about the family TV set and finally parental will won out, I went down the hall to get the TV.

The hail by this time was larger than baseballs, and Dad told Momma that he was going to go get some to put into the freezer because the guys at work would not believe that it was that big.

As he stepped onto the porch, my aunt’s house, a little over 1/4 mile away, was hit. It exploded.  Dad screamed, “Oh my God, here it comes!”  Mom came out of the kitchen saying, “Here what comes.”  The lights went off.  Dad told her to take us to the garage, he put a mattress from one of the beds over us and no sooner had he sat down than it hit our house.

The first hit wasn’t bad. The house shook.  Windows rattled. And it was over.  We’d survived, with most likely only a few missing shingles.

Dad told us to stay put.  Seconds later the second one hit. 

What I describe next, took possibly 8 seconds to complete:

First the garage doors were ripped off their hinges. The little door from the house to the garage opened. My shoe was sucked from my foot.  Things from the house were pulled through the rancher and into the garage where we sat.  Knives, lamps, clothes, dishes, you name it, hit the mattress we were covered it.  The rafters over our heads were twisted and splintered, making the most awful noise I have ever heard.  The back wall of our house caved in.  Everything we owned was destroyed.

Here are the things I do remember from that night:

The smell of our dog, who had been in a disagreement with a skunk earlier in the day and had lost.

Walking on the wet road to my grandparent’s house, without one shoe.

Power lines dancing on the wet road in front of us, sending huge sparks dancing across our pathway.

The arms of a Civil Defense worker who came and picked up me and the smelly dog and carried us safely to my grandparent’s house.

The smell in the air both before it hit, and moments after it had ended.  I will never forget that smell and on April 26, 2011, I predicted there’d be tornados in our area, based on that smell. We had 5 hit that next day.

Hearing the “we’re okay” from each home as we passed them by on our way down the 1/2 mile road.

The lady from our church who showed up with a Coleman stove, and canned soup. I don’t remember if I ate any of it, but I remember her coming.

The Civil Defense workers announcing another tornado was coming, scaring us kids half to death, but it was just to get looters to leave and stop stealing what little we had left.

Going to my Great Aunt Rose’s house to spend the night, me, my brother, my Dad and Mom all in one huge bed with a smelly dog at the foot of it. Perfectly safe.  And having another storm take down several large, one hundred year old trees in her yard that night.

The sound of my Dad crying…

The stories of looters stealing us blind.  Personally, I believe looters should be shot first, no need to answer questions later. If you are going to steal from someone who has lost everything, God have mercy on your soul.

My Mother is 73. She lived through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam… She raised a child who was severely mentally and physically handicapped.  She has buried a child, a husband, both parents, both in-laws and all but one sibling.  She is the one who handles it all with determination and a stiff upper lip.

Yesterday, we had to go back to Nashville for her to see a new doctor. Naturally, talk turned to that day forty-one years ago.

Tears bubbled up in her eyes, her voice became shaky, she looked out the car window because tears to her are a sign of weakness and describing the moment she walked out of the garage, and saw the devastation and destruction all around us said simply, “I thought we were the only people left alive.”  Huge tears ran down her face and she just looked out the window as we both drove in silence.

The next day, the printing company my Dad worked for sent men and boxes over to our house to pack up what was able to be salvaged.  They took shovels and dug through the roof of our house, through a pile of brick rubble, and through a wall, to get the clothes out of the closet in my bedroom. The clothes that were hanging there were crushed under the weight of several hundred pounds of brick, timber, and debris.  That was the closet we’d preplanned to go to in the event of a tornado. Thankfully in his panic, my Dad had saved all our lives by sending us to the laundry room in the garage and by putting a mattress over our heads. Had he sent us to that closet, we would most likely have been killed that day.  My little TV set that I had so valiantly tried to protect from the storm was destroyed as were the dog and cat posters my mother had so lovingly paid to have framed for my bedroom.  Our home, or clothes, even our car was destroyed. But on our family farm, no one was killed. Two people went the hospital for minor injuries and were later released.  Five brick homes and about ten mobile homes on the 1/2 mile stretch of our road were destroyed that day.

It’s been forty-one years. I haven’t forgotten what happened from the moment I got off that school bus around 2:45 pm and midnight that night. Every second is embedded in my memory. I still am terrified of storms. I still have nightmares. I can’t go into areas of destruction after a storm to sightsee, and find it difficult to go in to help victims.  I wish I could forget, but I just can’t seem to do so.

Posted in Genealogy | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Yup, I Am That Girl….


Growing up I was terrified of storms.  Not  your usual child who is scare of thunder scared, no I was terrified.  And so were my cousins.  We had earned the right.  For when I was nine years old, a super tornado system hit our family farm, destroying almost everything in it’s path. Teachers knew we were afraid of storms and that we did best to be together.  But as you get older, people expect you to out grow child hood fears.

Except, I never did.  And then four years ago, our community was hit once again by a super storm.  We were fortunate. The only damage at our house was a tree that had to be taken down.  We were without power for 8 days. And we were the lucky ones.

Yup, I am that girl:  The one who survived….



Yup, both of them. And I admit, I am still terrified of storms. As we enter tornado season here in the Deed South, I am respectful of the weather.  I don’t watch the local weather guys who think every storm has to be hyped up for ratings. I can tell when a tornado is coming within 24 hours by the way the air smells.  I predicted the April 27 tornado the day before.  So I just go with my gut and my nose. And pray I never smell that smell again.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Why I Haven’t Jumped on the DNA Bandwagon….

Most genealogist today are getting excited about having their DNA done.  I haven’t yet joined the bandwagon and today I thought I’d share my reasons:

Not Sure I’d Learn All That Much New:  I saw this chart the other day on DNA:

Autosomal % chart

So okay let’s use this chart, which they go on to explain isn’t exact, but rather I could get 25% of my DNA from my maternal grandmother and not any from the other three grandparents. Since I am a weird combination of my maternal great grandmother and my paternal great grandmother, I know I would see DNA from both those branches, but let’s just stick with the set percentages as a case of argument.

The main reason a person does DNA is to find out their ethnicity.  Am I Native American, English, Irish, Scottish, French, Jewish…?

Well, now let’s look at my research:

My parents were both born and raised in TN. So 100% of the DNA I got from them would be white American. 

Now my grandparents were all four born and raised in TN.  They each give me 25% of their white American blood.

Now my great grandparents.  All eight were born and raised once again in TN.  They each give me 12.5% of their DNA, which is once again, white American blood. 

Now to my 2nd great grandparents.  Finally some diversity.  One was born in GA, one in VA and the other 14, yup,  you guessed it! TN born and raised.  So each of them give me 6.25% of my DNA.  Perhaps that one ancestor from GA had some native American blood (not according to family legend, but when your blood is as white eccentric as mine is, a girl can hope. :) )

So now let’s go to my 3rd great grandparents. They each contribute around 3.12% of my DNA.  A percentage so small, that most companies call it trace DNA.  One was born in VA, one GA, 2 SC, 5 NC, one I haven’t found yet, and 19 were born in TN.  Even my trace DNA was born in the Southern United States.

So if I understand what I have been reading about DNA, the likelihood of my DNA test pointing to anything beyond European DNA is highly unlikely.  I know I have some 7 and 8th great grandparents who were French Huguenots.  So maybe if they have really strong DNA, I’d show up with some French blood?  I know I have one branch that is from Germany.  In fact, my 7th  great grandfather was born there in  1697.  Perhaps my German blood would withstand the test of time.  My daughter is certainly loving her German II class.

Now I do have one 5th great grandmother who was said to be full blooded Native American. You think her Native American blood would be strong enough to counteract all my English, French and German blood to show up on a DNA test?

I Have No Desire to Give my Tree to Ancestry or Any Other DNA Testing Site:  Yes, I know. I have shared family information with people who have put bits and pieces on there on my behalf. I just have no desire to do it myself, nor pay for the privilege.  It’s really not my thing.  And what good is a DNA match if there is no tree to find out how the match occurred.

I Have No Desire to Add 400 More Descendants to an Already Crowded Tree:  No, I am not a genealogy snob.  I love my cousins and interact with 2nd, 3rd, even one 8th cousin on a daily basis on FB.  But the reason to do DNA is to meet another cousin that is researching your line and HOPE that he or she has information that you don’t already have.  So far, I have managed to research my family tree fairly easily with conventional methods and met those cousins without DNA.  I realize that few people’s families are as concentrated on one place on the globe as mine have been, nor do most places have as good records as Tennessee has for genealogist, and I am blessed by the work of many genealogist before me in a way that people who chose to do DNA are not blessed.  One needs to keep in mind, I went to school with a majority of my 2nd cousins.  I know all of them by name and we grew up very close.

I am 100% Convinced That It Isn’t Just a Fad:  I see so many people say, “I just got new results from X and they are different than before. Where did my Jewish genealogy go?”  Maybe the tests are getting more accurate. Maybe less.  I can’t say, but I can say this: Twenty years ago, all my genealogy friends communicated on a minute by minute basis via Rootsweb.  Today, most of that communication has moved to Facebook.  Is DNA just another genealogist fad?  I am not sure.  But I am sure that I am willing to wait a bit to see.

Now, What I Am Not:  I have heard many times from people who say if  you know that much family history, you are selfish to not do your DNA and share.  I am not a selfish genealogist. Around 15 hours of my week, each and every week is committed to helping other people, especially newbies with genealogy research. I am a Rootsweb mailing list volunteer (even if all the list gets these days is spam). I run a cemetery blog for the county my family is from and have a county Facebook page for the county as well.  I blog about my family and if a cousin needs help with research, I gladly share what I have, even when I know they have nothing to give back in return.  I share documents I find on my Facebook page on a regular basis and tag the correct family member who I know are into genealogy so they can have copies (with source citations).  This also includes research information as well as family photos.

I Am Not Paranoid:   I realized that identity theft is about stealing my credit card number and pin, not about knowing who my third great grandparents were.  So I do protect my credit card and pin number.  I have blogged about my third great grandparents on a regular basis.  I also don’t have a problem with telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That is why one blog told about an ancestor who died after an abortion, one was a horse thief and another a Revolutionary Soldier.  There is a saint and a sinner in all of us.

I Am Not Closed Minded:  I realize that for many people DNA does hold the answers they need to solve genealogical problems. A few months ago, I was contacted by a young woman who I believe is a first cousin.  She asked some questions about her parent, and I told her what I knew. She was vague about why she was asking and I tried to answer in a way that let her know I knew the truth.  If she were to tell me the real reason she asks, I would suggest to her a DNA test.  Personally, I’ve seen her Facebook photo, she really doesn’t need the DNA test. 

So for now, if you ask, I’ll tell you, I am first a Tennessean, second an American, thirdly like most people in the Deep South, I am European.  For now, that’s good enough for me.

Posted in DNA, Genealogy | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Faithful Father….

Last week I wrote a post about my mother, so it seems only appropriate that I share my father’s story as well.  My parents could not have been two more different people.  My dad was soft spoken, quiet, often moody. My mother is boisterous, loud, incredibly outgoing. As a child, they managed to complement each other so much I never realized the differences between them until I had two children of my own. #1 is like his grandfather; dark hair, moody, a bit of a clean freak.  #2 is like her grandmother; light hair, never meets a stranger, loves the lived in look.  But like their grandparents, they are the perfect compliment to each other.

For many people being so different might have been the reason they would have went their own ways, but for my parents, they each knew their strengths and weaknesses and they took care of each other. The one trait they both had in common is their work ethic. Both of my parents were incredibly hard workers their entire lives.

When my brother was born, there was no such thing as Supplement Security Income, or Disability.  Parents of children with handicaps just had to pay the bills for hospitals however they could.  And for my parents, that meant Dad worked two, sometimes three jobs while I was growing up. If my brother had to spend 5 days in the hospital with the mumps like he did at age twelve, Dad was going to have to pay the hospital.  And so he worked hard.

But Dad still managed to be there for his family. Growing up, I don’t ever remember a Sunday that my Dad was not at church.  As a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher, making sure we were at church was important.  My Dad was an incredible man and his family (Mom, Bubba, Me and the Siblings as I call Mom’s youngest three brother and sisters) were incredibly important to him. Despite the fact that he worked long hours he still found time to take us camping every weekend when I was a small kid.  Mom, Dad, me and my brother,  the three younger siblings, all their kids,  a few neighbor kids, two campers, two tents, two station wagons and off we’d go to Old Stone Fort to camp every weekend.  Those were the best memories of my childhood. Our entire family camping, swimming, cooking out. 

One weekend we got to the Fort and set up camp. We had a special campground we always tried to get because it was in the crook of three trees, so we could basically all camp together as three campgrounds formed into one.  That weekend it stormed terribly and our tents were knocked down. We had to move to a covered picnic area for the night because we didn’t have enough places to sleep. Mom and Dad were in our camper with my brother and all six of the smaller kids when the Camp Ranger came by to tell us we had to move. You couldn’t camp under the picnic area.  Dad opened the camper door just a little so as not to wake the children, but when he heard what the man had to say, he opened the door. Kids were sleeping on the floor, on the pull out cabinets, in the bed… The man looked at mom and dad and simply said, “Be gone by the time I do my morning rounds…” Dad never said a word.  That was just how he was.  Soft spoken, often quiet.  He just let you come to the right conclusions all on your own.

My Dad never lost his temper with us as kids (at least not very often). It was Mom’s job to be the disciplinarian. I realize now that wasn’t exactly all that fair to her. He got to be the hero, and she was always the bad cop.

A few months before I was born, my dad ran his finger into a printing press, making his middle finger slightly crooked.  When I was a kid, if I was misbehaving, he would point that middle finger at me. I knew the translation was simply “if you don’t behave, I am going to beat you to death.”  Which was funny, since the only time my dad ever spanked me in my entire life was because of something I didn’t do and I took the punishment for my two younger cousins.  But as a kid, I knew that finger meant I had crossed his line and if I didn’t calm down, Momma was going to spank me. Remember she was the bad cop.

I only heard my Dad cry one time in my entire life and to this day the sound terrifies me.  When I was nine, our house was destroyed by a tornado.  When the storm was over, Daddy told us to stay under the mattress we had survived the storm under and he went out to survey the storm damage. We lived on a family farm and all our neighbors were family.  When Dad went outside the forest that surrounded our house was destroyed.  Dad was convinced we were the only people left alive. He began to cry.  Mom went to him. She said as soon as she saw what he did, she thought we were the only people alive as well.  My Dad had always been the pillar of strength and hearing him cry shook my world as a child. 

My parents were the most charitable people I ever met. Many times when they helped someone, only the person and my parents knew about the help. Dad was a member of the Kiwanis and he and mom were very active in helping families with children with Cerebral Palsy in any way they could.  I remember one Christmas we were going to visit the home of a man whose son was severely handicapped with CP. He had a younger daughter. I don’t know what had happened to the man’s wife, but he was raising the two children all by himself and he had let my dad know that there wasn’t going to be any Christmas at their house that year, so Dad and Mom had collected gifts and we were on our way to visit the family. I loved going there to play because the little girl was about my age, and I was looking forward to taking gifts to her. 

We arrived at the house and off to the bedroom she and I went to play.  When we got to her room, she asked me if I had heard about Santa?  Then she proceeded to tell me that Santa had had a bad sleigh wreck and he had been killed and wouldn’t be able to bring gifts that year. I ran to Daddy quite upset, because I still very much believed in Santa.  When I told Daddy the story, he quickly realized what was happening and he quickly recovered. He picked me up and put me on his knee and pulled the little girl over and told us that yes, Santa had had a wreck. But the elves were reporting that he had merely hurt himself and that he had entrusted Daddy with the gifts for this family and that he would be more than ready to make his ride on Christmas Eve for all the other kids.  We passed out the gifts to the family and left.  I don’t remember ever seeing the family again after that night. I am sure we did from time to time.  But that night, my Dad was a hero not only to me and the little girl, but to her father as well. I often wonder if things ever got better for that family.

When my father died, I was totally unprepared for his funeral. Well, not really the funeral. Dad had planned the entire thing and all Mom and I had to do was buy flowers for the casket and show up.  What I was unprepared for was the crowd! For hours, people came by to tell me and my husband how Dad had touched their lives and had been instrumental in their Salvation.  Over the years, my soft spoken quiet father had witnessed to thousands of people from all walks of life.  Even working in a printing company where the machines are loud and little talking is ever done, Dad had found a way to share the love of Christ with his coworkers.

If my Mom was fearless, it was because my Dad was always faithful. Faithful to the very end….

Posted in Genealogy, Saturday's Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment