Monday, March 20, 2017

Addressing the Choctaw in Great Crossing Part two

There is not a lot of genealogy in the book Great Crossing that I critiqued but there is some things that deserve correction, clarification, or further explanation.

I addressed John Pitchlynn's father in my critique. This is one of those inaccuracies that won't seem to go away. Isaac Pitchlynn wrote two letters to the government. The originals are available as digital images at the Mississippi Archives in the Territorial Paper collection. Look them up if you have questions. Both of the letters were written after 1800, by this time, John had long been a father.

I do find her description of Pierre Juzan a bit misleading. His speech of 1826 in particular. It is suggested that he had already mastered many subjects and spoke eloquently. He may have been an excellent speaker, however, examples of his writing show a man who wasn't as comfortable with the English language. His grammar and use of language is in the manner of someone of which English is obviously a second language.

We have examples of Greenwood Leflore (similar) and many other's of the same time frame. Thomas Wall and Samuel Foster who we don't know the education of, and James L. McDonald, Robert M. Jones and Peter Pitchlynn whom we know spoke English from childhood. To say Pierre was the brightest in that first class is questionable for me. He would have had the opportunity to have learned at the missionary school at his father's home since 1820, but his youngest sister was far superior in her use of written English than Pierre.

John Riddle's expulsion is detailed in the book. I quite appreciated John Riddle all the more when I learned the reason for his expulsion. However, his family connection was completely omitted. In a letter from the school at Mushulatubbee's the students are named, among them is John Riddle and his brother, William, who were named as nephews of the "King". Lack of response to his expulsion on the part of the Choctaws most likely had more to do with the political struggles his Uncle, Mushulatubbee and his cousin Peter Pitchlynn were undergoing at the time.

A clarification is also necessary in regard to Peter Pitchlynn. Though Mushulatubbee does refer to Peter as his Uncle in the letter in the Peter Pitchlynn Collection, it is Peter's mother who is Mushulatubbee's niece, Peter is his great nephew. John Riddle's mother, Caty was Mushulatubbee's sister and an Aunt to Sophia Folsom. Among the Choctaw however, John and his siblings were most likely to refer to Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn as their half sister. Thus Peter would have been intimately acquainted with the Riddle family in the matriarchal society.

The Trahern's in the book are covered more prominently than I would have expected. There are however a few facts that are not accurate. George Washington Trahern was the youngest son of Wesley Trahern and Delilah Brashears as mentioned in the book. William Trahern, who was also mentioned was his elder brother. They had one other brother, Wesley Brashears Trahern who married Lucy Juzan, did not attend the Academy, and died by 1834.

William Trahern attended the Choctaw Academy much earlier than his brother. The boys father had remarried after the death of Delilah and had another son and daughter. Wesley Trahern died in 1825, at which time his brother, also named William Trahern, became the executor. Another brother, James Trahern was also residing in Jackson at the time, he was the father of James N. Trahern. It is George Washington Trahern, James Trahern, and Joseph Lancaster (a maternal cousin of James) that were sent together in 1831 to the Academy.

William Trahern, the brother of Wesley, moved into the home that Wesley had built, and on the land that Wesley had acquired from the treaty of 1820. It appears that until the death of James Trahern in 1830 he kept the children of both James and Wesley in his home, because in 1830 he has boys the age of James, his brother Jerry and George in his home. However, examining the estate and land records show that William never resolved the estate, registered his brother's land in his name, and was involved in land companies that speculated on land allotments of the Choctaws, including the land of his nieces, nephews, and Peggy Trahern.

The autobiography of William's son, William Eustace Trahern speaks of his father dying in debt and his mother being forced from her home. In all reality, the new executor may have been the one who did so. Sadly, when the estate was finally settled, though some were just a few counties away, none of the heirs of Wesley ever received a penny from the estate of their father.

My point is that it is highly doubtful given the treatment by which Agnes, Wesley's widow, his children and Peggy and her children received, that George Washington Trahern ever had an ounce of privilege. While I know of no evidence that George Washington Trahern stopped briefly in Indian Territory, I do know that he joined his two sisters and their husbands in Texas, where he joined the Texas Rangers and fought in the Mexican War.

In California, he not only raised cattle and became a very wealthy man (a millionaire by today's standards) he raised race horses and is, with the exception of a distant cousin who invented a pump, the Trahern most often mentioned in newspapers. Though he gave biographical information and the interview, he never referred to his heritage.

William Trahern on the other hand was already a young man when he attended the academy. He returned, married a mixed blood Choctaw and lived the rest of his life in Holmes county, Mississippi, but he never obtained his dream of becoming a doctor.

There is a mention of Delilah from the treaty of Dancing Creek in the chapter on the Trahern's. It is not correct though that this Delilah is in anyway connected to the children of Wesley. Land records show the correspondence of Delilah's nephew, Robert M. Jones, and his efforts on the behalf of her children. Her lone son, Joseph Lancaster is mentioned in the book. Joseph Lancaster was a cousin to Robert M. Jones (half) , James L McDonald (half)  and James N Trahern.

It is a delightful notion to attribute the education of James L. McDonald to the efforts of his mother Molly. I say notion, because despite the uniqueness of the woman, and the property for which she was responsible, unusual for a woman of any race, it is not likely that she would have been the driving influence. When James was sent to school, somewhere around 1816 or 1818, children were governed by their maternal Uncle. James lacked a maternal Uncle. But just as the case was  where Mushulatubbee took an interest in Peter, and Robert Cole would have been the one to look out for the Leflore's, a great Uncle would have looked out for James.

We don't know for certain who this was, but we have clues in the benefits Molly received over the years, one square mile of land from the treaty of 1820 which was reaffirmed in 1825, and land for not only her, but her son and grandson in 1830. Molly had influential family ties. Given her land location which was just south east of Jackson and a few miles from Wesley Trahern, we know she was from the Western district. We know she was neighbors to the Vaughn family and likely a relative of not just the Vaughn's but Apuckshunnubbee as well. It is more than likely that James was sent to the Quaker's by Apuckshunnubbee and not his mother.




"Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers and Slaves in the Age of Jackson" a review

Great Crossings:Indians, Settlers and Slaves in the Age of Jackson by Christina Snyder was mentioned to me recently. I bought the book and read it. Some would say I am being hypercritical, and arguably, some of my problems with the book stem from my background in genealogy, most specifically, my background in Choctaw genealogy.

With the knowledge in mind that historians often view genealogy as an unwanted little cousin, and that this is far from the first book that did not reflect complete accuracy from a genealogical perspective, I am going to in this blog address the problems I found with the book. I will address the genealogy though, but to be fair, the author most likely had no knowledge of her errors. The post will follow this one.

There is however, one blatant error that I find unacceptable. John Pitchlynn was not orphaned as a teenager. That someone failed to read the letters written by Isaac Pitchlynn in the Mississippi territorial papers and in Washington after John's appointment as government interpreter and again when his home was burned does not show much research on the subject of John Pitchlynn. A research citation for a family file at the Oklahoma Historical Society is cited, but, given the lack of citations on other genealogical information, I would assume that the author did research on them.

The subject of the book would appear by the title to be that of Great Crossings and the Choctaw Academy. I find it rather confusing then, when the author drifts off that topic into events that occur elsewhere and into people and subjects that are irrelevant to the topic. I suppose the inclusion of the rape of Susannah Lyles was an attempt to set up the reason the Choctaws wanted the Academy, however, that event occurred several years after the Choctaw Academy accepted it's first class, and is an arguable point in history. The pregnancy of Susannah Lyles by her teacher is thought by some researchers to be not about a non-consensual relationship, but instead, may have been made into a ploy to manipulate the missionaries by Greenwood Leflore. 

The time problem is a theme throughout the book. Often each chapter talks of events and goes back in forth in time, which in several cases suggests events occurred in years that they did not. For example, when talking about the 1826 speech by Pierre Juzan, the author mentions that the school was attended by 17 nations of Indians and references Pierre's speech. In 1826, however, the Choctaw Academy did not include students from 17 nations, that occurred later, and if I am not mistaken, it wasn't until 1828 that the first students from another Native nation arrived.

Another example of the time organization is the case of the murder of Silas and Jack Pitchlynn. Not only is the inclusion irrelevant, but the author makes it appear that it occurs after 1831. However, if one were to look at the Armstrong roll of 1831 they would find that Eve Pitchlynn nee Folsom, the widow of Jack Pitchlynn had married John Riddle. The note on the Armstrong roll is confusing as they don't get his name right, but I am quite sure the information was as readily available at the Oklahoma Historical Society as the Pitchlynn family file.

The beginning of the book I found the most objectionable. Primarily because in trying to make history interesting to non-historians, the author's narrative in regard to Richard M. Johnson's relationship with Julia Chinn and his reasons for wanting the academy appear almost romanticized. As I progressed the tone of the narrative did change,  but the authors approach to the subject matter showed a shifting point of view.

Often the tone and implication when she spoke of the Choctaw students reflected the bias of Richard M. Johnson. This predominates the book, however, when she shifts focus to James L. McDonald, Peter Pitchlynn, and later Choctaw schools, an attempt to show the Choctaw point of view is present. It is however, a bit confusing to the reader.

An explanation of the status of the Choctaws as elites and the perceived expectation of a preferential treatment is understandable from Johnson's point of view, however, I do find the tone overall rather unsympathetic to the Choctaw students in regards to slavery issues. While attempting to explain the Choctaw student's behavior because of their status, I found instead a complete lack of understanding into the cultural differences.

Slavery was not a new idea to the Choctaws, however, I do believe that the early attitude the Choctaws had towards slaves was based on a culture that valued the skills of a warrior. In this society, becoming a captive and slave was the worst fate, so the disdain the Choctaws had for those in slavery wasn't necessarily based on the color of their skin. It was based on a disdain for weakness.

It is often overlooked that the Choctaw as a culture viewed themselves as superior. The bravado expressed in stories about Pushmataha isn't restricted to him or his position, but rather was a reflection of how the Choctaw saw themselves. They didn't see themselves as less than the whites, despite the belief and treatment they received from them.  A perception of preferential treatment towards someone they viewed as lesser would be an insult. If the slaves of Great Crossing were treated in such a manner, it was natural for the Choctaws to object.

Many of the objections made by the students at the Academy were similar to  objections about the missionary schools. While Richard Johnson may have considered some of the students spoiled and difficult, the reality is, among the Choctaw their family didn't get them special treatment as children and young men, and as much as heredity played a role in politics, the ability to lead, and the abilities as a warrior was as relevant if not more.

While it is true the elite class of the Choctaw nation had always had privilege, it was not the same privilege as one would perceive belonged to members of the plantation class elsewhere in the country, nor was it akin to anything resembling the gentry of England. Privilege for the Choctaw, with the exception of very few, involved access to trade goods, guns, western clothing and the like. Yes, many of the mixed elites had slaves, but the homes of most of these families was modest compared to the antebellum  south. 

Yes, this would and did change, but during the early years of the Academy, this was not the prevalent attitude.  It wasn't until 1825 that a mixed blood had even been allowed in a key leadership position, not as a speaker, but as a leader. It is often overlooked that Robert Cole who took over upon the death of Apuckshunnubbee was a mixed blood.

The objective to educate their youth, most especially their mixed blood youth, was I believe a calculated maneuver on the part of the last three hereditary chiefs. Despite this, we have from William Ward and George S. Gaines repeated that neither Pushmataha or Apuckshunnubbee believed that a mixed blood should ever lead. What they intended to do with this educated group one only knows, but the result was a political struggle that almost tore the nation apart.

Though mentioned and eluded to briefly, the political struggles between 1828-1830 were undoubtedly reflected at the Choctaw Academy, because the family members of the students were among the players at home. In conventional terms, the Choctaw nation was divided between progressives  who wanted to emigrate and move forward, and conservatives who wanted to remain and have things remain the same.

Very few of the Choctaws were equipped to understand all of the ramifications of the negotiations of this time. Certainly James L. McDonald, Peter Pitchlynn and Robert M. Jones were, they had at that point the best education, and had from childhood, been exposed to whites in a manner that most had not. While the later two were students and their inclusion in the book makes sense, James L McDonald's chapter in the book makes little sense. Yes, he visited the academy, and for 5 years he was among the most influential in the nation, but overall he had little to do with the school and is not part of it's story.

Peter Pitchlynn gets pretty good coverage, but Robert M. Jones, arguably one of the most successful Choctaws within the Choctaw nation, is barely mentioned. George W. Trahern, who is the most successful outside of the Choctaw nation has quite a bit more in the book, the author eludes to his omission of his ancestry in later years, but fails to get his early childhood, family relations and connections right.

In the end, one must ask is this a book about the school, Richard M. Johnson and his black mistress and children, or about the Choctaw. Instead it is a book that tries to cover a vast amount of material, with questionable success. The story of Richard M Johnson and his family is unusual and deserves coverage, perhaps the author thought that alone wasn't a book. And though they overlap in some areas, in many areas, the Choctaw Academy appears to deserve it's own recognition apart from that story.

Ultimately, I was left with the opinion that historically, the book while providing some excellent information on some little known facts about the Choctaw academy, was more akin to Cushman in it's lack of clarity with timeline and misleading if not inaccurate events. I also found at times, the narrative of Richard M Johnson's life with Julia and his family to be more in line with something written by Lincecum.

That may seem somewhat harsh, but as someone pointed out, I am one of few people for whom the errors are glaring and apparent. As a genealogist, I know that many a researcher, amateur and experienced turns to history books for information on the Choctaw. As one of several who strive for accuracy, I know the frustration of trying to stop the perpetuation of inaccuracies we often find as a result of something someone found in a book, on a message board, or from a shaky leaf on a tree. This isn't a problem restricted to genealogist for the Choctaw, it is something that genealogist across the spectrum face.

To see the errors and not comment would be a disservice to those in my community who strive for accuracy, for the researchers of the Leflore, McCurtain, Pitchlynn, King and other families, who feel as passionately as I do about the need for accuracy. Because although it is the unwanted little cousin of historians, in the end, countless researchers spend hundreds of hours in research with a degree for accuracy that equals if not exceeds the research of a historian. And ultimately, because while for the vast amount of history of the United States, ignoring the genealogy is fine. It is irrelevant, but for histories among the Native Americans, it is as important and as a vital part of the history as the treaties themselves.






Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My DNA match won't answer my email

DNA matches for those of us who are trying to use it for genealogy are like gold. There is nothing more frustrating than when you have that match and the person never answers. There is not a lot you can do about their lack of response, but if you know how, you may be able to find out how they match you.

First of all, the match has to have a name, and they have to not have a common name like John Smith for this technique to work. Second, I really feel to be successful, you must have a fairly robust tree, and by that I mean you need to try and fill in the descendants of the siblings of your ancestors. For the best results with DNA matches, you really need to get back as far as you can, at least to the 5th and 6th grandparents, but larger matches will be closer, so you don't have to go all that far. Lastly,  it is really helpful if you have someone that matches in common (shared matches on Ancestry) that you have identified, because then you know exactly what side (maternal or paternal) you need to look for. That's not completely necessary but it is helpful.

Oh, and you probably want to be confident in your internet skills. I have been using the internet to find relatives and their phone numbers for over a decade. Back then, if I had a question I would search and then call, now I reach out to them on Facebook if I find them there. Oddly enough, I have had pretty good success with reaching DNA matches that way too. Oh, and expect it to take some time too. It generally takes me an hour to several hours to find a match.

So say your match Vernon Pumpernickel is matching you at a 3rd cousin level (49 cM). First I would look at the shared matches, and I find that Vernon is matching two people from Granny Smith's side of the family. I search my tree and alas, no Pumpernickel's are in my tree. So then I go to google, and I search "Vernon Pumpernickel". I especially love it if Vernon's listed in an online obituary, but we aren't always that lucky. My next choice is if he's listed on a genealogy message board, but again, that doesn't always happen.

Vernon does show up on those sites that give "background checks" but you don't have to subscribe to them to get information. You click on the link and it lists relatives. Not how they are related but relatives. You find the names Norma Pumpernickel and Barbara Pumpernickel as relatives of the only two Vernon's listed. So try a search for them on Google and on ancestry for the places that Vernon lives.

Ancestry gives you a social security claim index on Norma Pumpernickel with names of John Moses and Grace Adams as parents. You find an obituary for Barbara Pumpernickel and it says she was preceded in death by her parents Norman Rye and Helen Smith. Back to my tree, I would search for the names, and if you have a robust enough tree, you just may find that Helen Smith is listed as the cousin of your Granny Smith, but you never checked further than that. So back to Helen Smith and searching for records for her. Bingo, you find out that Helen Smith married Norman Rye in 1908.

It's not always that easy, and the more in common matches you have, the more certain you can be that you really found the match. The next thing I usually do is send them a message saying I think I found our connection. Oddly enough, you are more likely to get a response from that message, even if you did do a bit of internet stalking to figure it out.

Desperate times call for desperate measures though. And yes, I am a true genealogy addict, and if it's a large enough match, I am desperate enough to research a match just to figure out how it connects. Triangulation on Gedmatch is the ideal way to verify matches, but you know, it's hard to do when people don't want to put their kit on Gedmatch.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shakespeare Family of Henley in Arden

Trying to do a google search for a Shakespeare in Henley in Arden will get you a lot of information on the poet, but little else. So I am working on a project, with the help of another Shakespeare descendant of one of the Henley in Arden Shakespeare's. I am going to try and untangle some of the mess of these folks. Now, that said, I am at a large disadvantage. I don't have access to any of the court records that would help with determining more data.

So to start, here are all the available records for the Henley in Arden village Shakespeare family through 1812 (with a few marriages for those baptized before then).



Parish records of Beudesert and Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire

.Based on the records we have at least four Williams in Henley in Arden.


  1.      William who had a child who died in 1714. Possibly the William with a son Thomas born in 1733 (I can’t find the record now). He is connected somehow to Rowington families. This William may be a father of the John who died in 1713. He would be born sometime before 1693.
  2. William who was married to an Eleanor and had two children 1768-1773 (son Joseph and unreadable) William would be born no later than 1747.
  3. William who was from Claverdon, married to Elizabeth with children between 1773-1778. This William signs with an X  (William, John, and Sarah) William would be born no later than 1752. 
  4.   William who married Mary, he may be the William who married Mary Hilcox from Wootton Wawen who was from Preston Bagot. This William and Mary’s descendants are non conformists. (Joseph, Thomas, Elizabeth, George, Benjamin and Nathan). William would be born no later than 1755. This William signs his name without an e.

Additionally we have the following residents prior to 1758
John Shakespeare who marries Eleanor in nearby  Tanworth in Arden would appear to be the same as John Shakespeare in the baptisms records with wife Eleanor.[i] Based on his marriage date, he was born before 1743. No burial has been found for a John Shakespeare in Warwickshire between the years of 1783-1800.  The Eleanor who died in 1799 can be the daughter of John or Sarah, or his wife.
Sarah Shakespeare the mother of Eleanor and Thomas Shakespeare. She was born no later than 1743. If she is the Sarah who was 83 at her death (there are no other Sarah’s in the records) then she was born in 1728.
Margaret Shakespeare who married Edward Skinner. I can find no baptisms for a Margaret for this time frame nor a marriage of anyone to a Margaret. Based on parish records, they appear to move to Temple Grafton.
Note, the Shakespeares of both parishes are duplicated as residents of Henley in Arden. Due to water damage, the Wootton Wawen register is difficult to read and is missing entries

Beaudesert records
5 May 1667 Mary Shakespeare married Humphrey Lee
1 Mar 1758 Ellinor daughter of Sarah Shakespear baptized
14 Apr 1773 William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Bailenis (he’s from Claverdon, both make a mark)
23 May 1773 William son of William and Elizabeth Shakespear
18 Dec 1775 Eleanor daughter of John and Eleanor Shakespeare
17 Dec 1777 John son of William and Elizabeth Shakespeare
2 Aug 1778 Sarah dtr of William and Elizabeth Shakspear
7 Feb 1779 Elizabeth dtr of John and Eleanor Shakspear
14 December 1780 Joseph son of William and Mary Shakespear (see notes below)
25 August 1782 Thomas son of William and Mary Shakespear
8 Jan 1784 John son of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespear
6 Jan 1784 Leticia dtr of Elizabeth Shakespear
2 Jan 1785 Elizabeth dtr of William and Mary Shakespear
6 Sep 1786 George son of William and Mary Shakespear
16 Oct 1786 Thomas son of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespear
11 Oct 1787 Letitica dtr of Elizabeth Shakespear
31 Aug 1788 Benjamin son of William and Mary Shakespeare
2 Feb 1789 Mary Shakespeare (dee Wooton Wawen entry)
29 June 1793 Nathan son of William and Mary Shakespear
17 Nov 1793 William son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
5 Jul 1795 Elizabeth Shakespeare dtr of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
30 Aug 1795 James son of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
18 Sep 1796 Sarah dtr of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
1 Mar 1798 Charles don of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
9 Jan1799 Mary dtr of Elizabeth Shakespeare
5 Jan 1799 Thomas son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
28 Jan 1800 Hannah dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
28 Sep 1800 Samuel son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
28 May 1801 Samuel son of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
24 Sep 1802 William son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
10 Jul 1803 Elizabeth dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
17 Jun 1804 Eliza dtr of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
23 May 1806 Hannah dtr of William and Charlotte Shakespeare
15 Jan 1806 Henry son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
6 Apr 1806 Sarah dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
31 Jul 1808 John son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
20 Mar 1808 William son of William and Charlotte Shakespeare
16 Oct 1809 John son of Thomas and Sarah Shakespeare
21 Jun 1809 Thomas son of John and Mary Shakespeare
6 May 1810 George son of William and Charlotte Shakespeare
24 Feb 1811 George son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
12 Jun 1811 Joseph son of Joseph and Martha Shakespeare
16 Jun 1811 Buried Sarah Shakespeare age 83
18 Nov 1811 Mary Anne dtr of John and Mary Shakespeare
2 Aug 1812 Thomas son of Thomas and Sarah Shakespeare

Wootton Wawen
19 Apr 1713 John Shakespeare apprentice buried
14 Aug 1739 Margaret Shakespeare married Edward Skinner
1 Mar 1758 Eleanor dtr of Sarah Shakespeare (duplicate)
9 Nov 1766 Thomas son of Sarah Shakespeare
28 Jan 1767 Sarah dtr of John and Eleanor Shakespeare
28 Dec 1768 Joseph son of William and Eleanor Shakespeare
1771 Unreadable  child of William and Eleanor Shakespear (Elizabeth)
May 1773 Unreadable child of William and Elizabeth Shakespeare (duplicate William)
24 Dec 1780 Joseph son of William and Mary Shakespeare (see notes below)
20 May 1783 Thomas Shakespeare and Elizabeth Morrell marriage, witnesses John Shakespeare and Mary Tidmonth
2 Jan 1785 Elizabeth dtr of William and Mary Shakespeare
14 Oct 1787 Letitica dtr of Elizabeth Shakespeare
12 Nov 1787 Elizabeth Shakespeare and William Horton marriage, witness Sarah Hughes make x mark
31 Aug 1788 Benjamin son of William and Mary Shakespeare
2 Feb 1789 Mary dtr of  Thomas Shakespeare (My line)
9 May 1794 Susannah Shakespeare burial
6 Feb 1799 Eleanor Shakespeare burial
Jan 1799 Thomas son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
28 Jan 1800 Hannah dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
28 Sep 1800 Samuel son of Thomas and Jane Shakespeare
10 Jul 1803 Elizabeth dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
29 Jul 1805 Thomas Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barker married
6 Apr 1806 Sarah dtr of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakespeare
18 May 1807 John Shakespeare and Martha Pettyford married
28 Jul 1807 John Shakespeare and Mary Tyler married
28 Oct 1807 Joseph Shakespeare and Martha Clarke
21 Jun 1809 Thomas son of John and Mary Shakespeare
8 Jan 1809 Mary dtr of Joseph and Martha Shakespear
2 Sep 1809 Thomas Shakespeare and Sarah Dyke married
12 Jul 1811 Joseph son of Joseph and Martha Shakespeare
15 Nov 1811 Mary Anne dtr of John and Mary Shakespeare
18 Apr 1814 George Shakespeare and Susan Lewis married
28 Oct 1817 Mary Shakespeare and John Phillips married (my line)

Special Notes  
John Shakespeare married an Eleanor Vine in 1764 in Tanworth in Arden. (no witnesses listed)
William Shakespeare of Preston Bagot married Mary Hancox of Wootton Wawen  27 Nov 1776 witnessed by a Mary Shakespeare, everyone witnesses and participants sign
Eleanor Shakespeare married Edward Watson in 1791 in Kenilworth. Signs name
A Benjamin Shakespeare was buried in Tanworth in Arden in 1687 and 1726
14 April 1712 Mary the daughter of William Shakespeare of Beaudesert was buried in Rowington parish.



[i] John Shakespeare who signs his name on the marriage record of Thomas Shakespeare as a witness is likely an Uncle of Thomas. There are no baptisms for a John or a Sarah of this time frame in Tanworth in Arden. There are records of a family who signs without the e in Corley (Keresely) Parish, who descend from a Thomas and have children John and Sarah.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Family and Food, lifelong tradition

You are what you eat. I know that the meaning of that is based on health and nutrition, and yes, I know this is a blog on genealogy, but I believe that some of the most lingering family traditions are set around a table.

There are smells, tastes and foods that take us back to our youth. Everyone has something their grandmother, yaya, or mother made that brings back memories. Some of our most memorable moments are spent together in large family gatherings, celebrating holidays, birthdays, and each other.

Genealogy is so much more than just a list of names of so and so begot so and so. It is history, it is pictures, and it is the living, breathing memories of traditions long held in our families.

So what got me on this topic today? My new enamel cast iron pans. Trying to think what I would cook in them, I chose a food that my great grandmother used to make, sauerbraten. A German dish, I believe she actually learned from my great Aunt who lived there after World War 2.

I am not German, well, my German ancestors are so far back that they arrived long before the American Revolution. Yet when I mentioned what I was planning on cooking, my mom's cousin was like, wow, I haven't had that in years.

Some of the favorite times I have spent with my own daughter, is in the kitchen, teaching her the recipes that my Grandmother made, and seeing her enjoy them just as much as I do. Whether it's the traditional treats at Christmas or a meal made for special occasions, these memories of mine, will travel forward another generation.

After all, isn't that part of what genealogy is about? Carrying forward the traditions, and memories of our families.

Choctaw rumors The Brashears, Mushulatubbee, and Ann V. Llewellyn

So I was checking my Ancestry DNA matches with hints, and ran across a tree so wrog that the hint was in no way correct. It sure feels like this question has been around for 17 years, because well it has.

Ann V. Llewellyn and her mother, Susanna Graham were widows who received a reservation under the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Ann went on to marry Joseph R. Plummer and had one son, Joseph R. Plummer Jr, who testified on behalf of his cousin, a daughter of his mother's sister. Both Joseph and his cousin were raised by their maternal grandmother, Susanna. It is rather  important to note, that Joseph states he was an only child in this testimony. You can find it here on Fold3 (MCR case 1556.

Susannah is found in 1840 on the Carroll County, Mississippi census, with a man age 30-39 and a boy age 5-9, (most likely her grandson Joseph R. Plummer). The man is most likely her son, John Stewart. Susanna left a will in Hinds County, Mississippi. In it she names her two daughters, and one grandson, Joseph R. Plummer. She names her nephew William Trahern her executor. The name under which the will is filed is Susannah Graham.

So who are Ann and her mother, and who are they not? Well, Susannah Graham was born Susanna Brashears, she was a daughter of Zadoc Brashears and his wife, Susanna Vaughn. Susanna married John Stewart in Feliciana Parish in 1805. She had four children with John Stewart before he died. She had no other children. Ancestry has a copy of her marriage contract in images for hints for Susanna. She was likely born 1785-1790. She was listed as age 50-59 in Carroll County, Mississippi in the census.

After the death of her  husband, Susannah married David Graham, and was widowed again by the time of the Armstrong Roll in 1831. She never remarried. Her daughters Mary Stewart Crump, and Susan P. Stewart Loyd survived their mother, her daughter Ann Stewart Plummer and son John B. Stewart died prior to her death in 1850.

Susanna Vaughn, the mother of Susannah Brashears,  was a mixed blood daughter of Winifred who was married to Thomas Vaughn an Englishman. She was no more than 1/2 Choctaw, and since she married Zadoc Brashears, a white man, her children were not more than 1/4 Choctaw. The Vaughns are prominent in records prior to 1810 in the territory records, and they receive benefits from the treaty of 1820, which would appear that they were relatives of some sort to Franchiamastubbee  (most likely) or Apuckshunnubbee (less likely).

Winifred was probably a sister, niece, or less likely, a daughter of Franchiamastubbee.  The Vaughns all lived in the area just southeast of current Jackson, this area was part of what was succeeded in the treaty of 1820. It is also the area that was predominately the Western district prior to the 1820 treaty. Winifred would have been born 1750-1765 making her the same age bracket as Pushmataha and his sister, and somewhat younger than Apuckshunnubbee, who was estimated to be at least 10-20 years older than Pushmataha. The earliest documentation I have on the area is 1784, and the most prominent chief for the Western district is Franchiamastubbee and his second Tobacca. The references to the Vaughn's suggest that they were of an elite family in 1800-1805 when we find them mentioned the most in letters between the Mississippi Governor and the Choctaw Indian Agent.

Susanna and Zadoc's children and relationships are well documented on paper, and most of the information was written about by Charles Brashears back in the early 2000 time period. That isn't to say there wasn't mention of some rumors, but the information was a compilation of what was presented to him. I know for a fact, that he never suggested in any way that Susanna or her daughter were in any way connected to Mushulatubbee.  Her daughter, Ann Stewart married in 1828 Samuel Llewellyn and he had died by the Armstrong Rolls in 1831. She then married Joseph R. Plummer, a brother to one of the men involved in a lot of the Choctaw land deals. Ann died sometime between 1835 and 1840, as her husband is living alone, and her son is with her mother.

Aside from being a wife to Mushulatubbee, or a daughter of Homomastubbee, the most prominent rumor is that Ann Llewellyn is the mother of a Sarah "Sally" Holladay. Sarah Holladay, who was married to William Taylor was born in 1788 in Georgia according to the census, which makes her the same age as Susannah Brashears, the mother of Ann Llewellyn. It doesn't take much to realize that is an impossibility.

I have no idea on where the source for this rumor got started. I haven't found it in a MCR file, and quite honestly, you couldn't have picked a more well documented family to connect to. Sarah "Sally" Taylor is listed in Simpson in 1850 as age 62 born in Georgia, and the tree I saw had her age 86 in Simpson in 1860. Though Simpson and Carroll county are close to each other, it seems as if a rather large assumption was made, and with the speed of Ancestry, it has spread like wildfire.

We know that Homomastubbe had 2 daughters, Caty, who was married to William Riddle, and Rebecca ( I think that's her name) who was the mother of Sophia Folsom and also the wife of John Kincade. We know that he had at least two sons, Atobah and Mushulatubbee. It is possible he had more children, quite possible, but the language and fluidity of Choctaw relationships as testified to in the 1830's leaves a lot to be desired. A sister isn't always a sister, and since all we have is a few references to some names in the Peter Pitchlynn collection, well, we have no idea who many siblings or nieces and nephews Mushulatubbee had.

 We do know that if you believe the testimonies of his son and his granddaughter, that a lot of the descendants of Mushulatubbee are not true as well. He had only two daughters, one of which died in a fire in the 1820's. His sons are less in dispute, except for the Hiram issue, of which I concur that the evidence suggests the one in Mississippi is not the son of Mushulatubbee.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

It is an Awesome Day for DNA testers

Until I saw a blog yesterday, I was unable to upload my v4 23andme kits, or my V2 AncestryDNA kits to familytree DNA, but that has all changed. FamilytreeDNA now not only accepts all those kits, it has lowered the upgrade fee from $39 to $19.

Why is this so great, I mean we have Gedmatch. Well because so many people don't use Gedmatch, the FTDNA database is arguably as large as the other two companies, and you have the ability to view the areas of your matches easily with the Chromosome Browser (only available if you upgrade).

I would encourage anyone who wants to see more matches to take advantage of this free transfer. With the free transfer you can see your top 20 matches, though you are not able to use their other tools, such as the Chromosome Browser, Ancient Origins or My Origins (their version of Admixture for ancestry).

So how do you do it?

If you are on AncestryDNA you download your raw data through the settings option under your results. On the right is the option to download. You click on that and it will send you an email with a link valid for 24 hours. When you use the email link you will be taken to a page where the download starts.

If you are on 23andme, the download raw data is an option you find from a link under browse your raw data in tools.

Always make sure you remember where you download your file. Don't unzip the file for upload to either Gedmatch or Familytreedna.

To upload to Familytreedna, you want to go to here. On the drop down menu, DNAtests, select Autosomal transfer. Enter your name, email and sex and click the join. This will take you to the upload screen where you select your file. I did have to repeat the upload on a few kits because it said they were unable to open it (I think server maybe was busy). When it completes it will bring up a congratulations screen. There is a link there to click for the permissions you have to sign.

You will get an email with the kit number and a password. I would go to settings and change the password before logging out. It can take up to 24 hours (after 6 I had mine) to get results for the DNA matches and admixture results.

To upgrade, click on the option for Chromosome browser and it will tell you you need to upgrade, the link on the upper right will take you to the cart with the 19 dollar fee.

You can upload or manually enter family tree's. It has changed, you can now click and drag a match to their name to place them in your tree. Which is convenient, but one of the things I don't like about FTDNA is that the tree function takes a while to load and seems a bit buggy to me.

I also noticed you get smaller matches that most genetic genealogist feel are unreliable in chromosome browser. You can change the size of what you browse in the browser, where you have up to 5 people you can compare at a time.

Another caveat, it is easy to download the names for the matches and the actual match files for FTDNA to use in Genomemate Pro. Of course this function is not much value if you don't upgrade.

While you are at it, why don't you head over to www.gedmatch.com and create a free account and upload your data there.

Oh, and have fun.