Serendipitous Synchronicity – Michael Stills

Serendipitous Synchronicity. Well Serendipity is something I beleive in. When I saw the Title of Michaels post to the WikiTree Members Group Facebook page, I had to share it with y’all, so here it is:

Shaking Brick Walls

SO in the month of my 54th birthday, DNA has decided to shake my biggest brick walls. But only to tease me.

Watt? What?

My Mom, also born this month, has the surname of Culp, but my 2nd Great Grandfather in her line got his surname from his mother Nancy Jane Culp. We do not know his father. But tantalizing info suggests a James Watt. This month I found a DNA connection that has one of my two suspected James Watt in her tree and this Watt family intertangles with the Culp family. But Also, DNA withholds a confirming connection, 3rd Cousin, one removed.

Ricker, Make it so…

My Dad, during the month of Father’s day, is not a true Stills. My 2nd Great Grandfather, in his direct line, was raised by William Henry Stills and Nancy Jane Tarlton. Y-DNA testing with a Stills cousin, confirms that my Dad is not a Stills, which we knew. My grandmother says that my 2GG Smith A Stills parents were killed in a wagon accident but did not say who his parents were. Lots of circumstantial evidence suggests he is a Ricker. While I am still searching for a Ricker to test with, auDNA says that my tested Stills cousin is a Second cousin, and that Nancy Tarlton is possibly the mother, but alas DNA once again with holds confirmation as there are just too many Ricker, Lamb, Stills, Tarlton intermingling’s and dalliances that need sorting.

Should I sort this all out, I will have changed the surname of both my parents and found my remaining 2nd Great Grandparents.

Identity Crisis or not?

So, am I Michael Ricker son of Maynard Ricker and Martha Watt?

Good Bye June 2017, you raised my hopes with DNA and excited my heart only to leave me yearning for better chromosomes.

Michael Lee Stills (Ricker)

It’s always incredible to me to see someone, anyone, making great strides in their Genealogy. Genealogy is now a dynamic, sometimes fast moving enterprise. Certainly not the Genealogy Hobby of our Grandparents.

Use Triangulation Michael you don’t HAVE to have that third cousin connections to confirm this.

Thanks Michael!

 

OGS Conference 2017 – My Experience

The OGS (Ontario Genealogical Society) Conference 2017 happened over this last weekend here in Ottawa. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have the conference in my home city (not my hometown, there’s a difference). Of course there is a story to tell…

Social Media Team, #OGSConf2017

It all started a couple, three, four…it all started when I volunteered for the OGS Conference 2017 Social Media Team. I know some of you might be absolutely tired of me adding #OGSConf2017 to all my tweets and posts but I felt I needed to get the hastag out there in general. So, long before the thing actually started I was tweetin’ away (excuse me).

Once things started rollin’ and attendees started registering, the social media team were in action. We posted and tweeted every event, standing at the back discreetly taking photo’s and sharing the presentations, workhops and events. From excursions on thursday through to Ancestry Day, we did our appointed tasks quite well! What a great team to work with.
OGS 2017 Social Media Team Logo

CBC Radio One “All In A Day” with Alan Neal 

Thursday Night I tweeded a picture of Krsty Gray (@TheKirstyGray) having a pre-intereview interview with the CBC. Little did I know Kirsty was on the phone telling them they wanted to interview a local Genealogist, “Talk to Mags Gaulden”. Thank you very much Kirsty!

I did the interview Friday morning and it aired Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, because I was walking around with my Grandma’s Genes Kit on all weekend, I got stopped by more than a few people to say they heard the interview and had a question. Thanks Kirsty.

I had recieved a request for a bid proposal for a project (can’t tell you what yet) earlier in the week, which I had been thinking over. Hadn’t even responded to them. On Tuesday this week – post conference – I got a call from the company asking for the bid. They had heard the interview and they really want me to get the bid notes together for them. Thanks Kirsty (curtsying or is it kirstsying).

Me In My kit

Someone asked if I was going to have a venders table for the Conference. “No, I am a walking billboard”. Basically my kit is a shirt with Grandma’s Genes Logo emblazened upon the pocket, my Bag with a Grandma’s Genes Bumper Sticker across the front, my business cards on a lanyard, a Grandma’s Genes Sticker on my Conference credentials and Grandma’s Genes on every bit of electronics I brought (this is for security as well).

Grandma's Genes Conference Kit

Of Course WikiTree Was At The Conference As Well

WikiTree didn’t have a Venders table either. They had a walking billboard as well. Moi. I bounced around the conference in Orange too.

WikiTree LiveCasts

Saturday we did the WikiTree LiveCast Live From the conference. I had spread the word and posted a Casting Call for the LiveCast and boy did I get responses! Yes, real, live WikiTreer’s here in Ottawa answered the call. Thanks to Blaine Bettinger (my dinner date for Saturday night too), Kirsty Gray, Annette Cormier and Leanne Cooper for sitting in along with Romaine Honey, Librarian with the Ottawa Public Library and Emma McBeth for moderating from the West Coast. Thank you also to all the orange shirted people who randomly appear on camera through-out the LiveCast.

I also presented “DNA and the Global Family Tree” in a fast trax presentation on Sunday which Grandma’s Genes LiveCasted as well.

At one point, I changed my shirt in the elevator (I should have have a telephone booth). Blaine said I should sew the two shirts together. He is awfully clever.

Networking

There was a lot of that giong on as well.

Living DNA and I discussed some of their recent changes which might facilitate some integration with WikiTree. Early days yet, so patience is the key here.

Kirsty Gray and I decided to do a LiveCast about going to conferences, What to take? What to do? How to get into trouble? Stayed tuned for this one for sure!

Blaine Bettinger and I discussed WikiTree’s DNA Project and genetic genealogy and family and food and his books being contraband at the border, what? What is in those books!?!? Just words and hard work!

I got to Volunteer for the Program Committee for next years Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2018. The real work of the Committee starts the same week I will be traveling to speak at a Family Reunion in North Carolina, he he. 

BlueBerry Pie

Why yes there was blueberry Pie. The Social Media Team plus a few extra’s spent Sunday Dinner together (when a group goes through something together they don’t want to be separated) and were treated to Blueberry pie of course courtesy of Grandma’s Genes. Thanks Bowman’s!

Can’t wait til next year.

Blaine Bettinger and the Shared cM Project Update

Blaine Bettinger
Blaine Bettinger

From Blaine Bettinger, The Shared cM Project and a shout out for more crowd-souring DNA Statistics – May 26 at 10:20am

You might be familiar with the Shared cM Project, which produced this chart. The Project relies on submissions from genealogists just like you! I will soon be working on an annual update to the Shared cM Project, and I would greatly appreciate tons of new submissions!

I am accepting all submissions, and I am especially looking for relationships more distant than 2C (as well as all half relationships). Because I have limited time, I can ONLY accept submissions through the submission Portal:https://goo.gl/PxATDG.

THANK YOU to everyone! (If you’d like to share this post, copy & paste rather than clicking “share” so it can reach more people).

Blaine

P.S. – I can’t do look-ups, but if you submitted before and now only submit data from testing you’ve done since June 2016, you should be safe.

Sutton Hoo Who?

Sutton Hoo is the site of an East Anglian, AD 600 burial. When discovered this burial revealed large quantities of lavish grave goods belonging to a person of high status. But other than the assumption the person is most likely male, and given the large mustache in the design of the helmet, there is little evidence about who this person really was – no DNA.

East Anglian Chief or King?

Based on the grave goods and the size of the ship, could this burial have been for an East Anglian Chief or King and could someone be related to him?

This question came up in the WikiTree G2G Forum today, Sutton Hoo Connections. The poster ran down a quick pedigree…”descent from King Alfred of England. By a little digging round, I found that he descends from AEthelwulf of Wessex, Ecgbert III of Wessex, his mother, an unnamed Anglian princess and daughter of AEthelbert II of Kent, son of Wihtred of Kent, son of Egbert I of Kent, son of Sexburga of East-Anglia (princess), daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia , who was son of Eni of East Anglia, brother of Redwald, King of East Anglia, who was almost certainly the gentleman buried at Sutton Hoo!!!!!!”

I answered honestly albeit a bit tongue in cheek, “I can supposedly go back to Harold. The fella who lost to William and lay the land open for the Normans. I am waiting for John Smeeckle (one of our great WikiTree Researchers) to find the break in my lines and disprove it.

My suggestion? Get male line descendants to do YDNA tests and try to get information on any DNA work/studies being done on the Pre-Norman Royal Chiefs/Kings. Be a real bummer to do all the DNA testing only to find that the burial belonged to a Woman, a Chieftess or Queen (we can ignore the big mustache on the helmet).”

The Female Break

My suggestion to do male line DNA tests is an honest suggestion. There is, however, a slight problem with the pedigree given, “his mother, an unnamed Anglian princess and daughter of AEthelbert II of Kent…” If there is a female in this line of descent no amount of Y-DNA testing will confirm a connection. If this pedigree is correct we can’t do a Y-DNA line directly back to Redwald.

Are there Anglo Saxon Chief/Chieftess DNA studies going on right now?

Yes. According to Dr Stephan Schiffels, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridgeshire and the Max Plank Institute in Germany, “38% of the ancestors of the English were Anglo-Saxons. This information was derived “By sequencing the DNA from ten skeletons from the late Iron Age and the Anglo-Saxon period, we obtained the first complete ancient genomes from Great Britain…”PhysOrg 

Other information on this:
BBC – English DNA ‘one-third’ Anglo-Saxon

The Charlotte Observer – Sutton Hoo? Home of buried ancient treasure, “

Q. But no DNA?

A. No. That’s a problem at Sutton Hoo.”

There is also a great forum discussion on Eupedia. This discussion breaks out some of the finer points of the DNA (it is a forum, read with a mind to that).

Finding DNA at Sutton Hoo would have been the nail in the …er ship? But no DNA at this time.

Anglo Saxon DNA Study

Of course someone over at FTDNA has an Anglo Saxon DNA Study on the go!

“The project was created to find a common ancestor among  those who have surnames of an Anglo Saxon origin or those who live or have ancestry in the lands once occupied by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians andFranks.” and “will accept only those people that have tested with a SNP  associated with Germanic origins.”

Interesting.

I still say grab a few of your Male cousins and jump in to the Gene pool on this one.

Lydia Gaulden Shout Out – Come on Social Media, Connect Me!

This is a Lydia Gaulden Shout out. When I discovered Raven Symoné’s mothers surname is Gaulden my curiosity was piqued.

Who is Raven Symoné?

The adorable kid on Cosby, “American actress, singer, songwriter, television personality, and producer”, WikiPedia the former outspoken co-host of the View.

My interest is not so much in Raven, it’s her Gaulden’s I want to know about!

Could we have a Gaulden Cannection?

A part of my Sumter, South Carolina Gaulden Family headed west. Martha Gaulden married Francis Richardson and migrated to Mississippi . They lived in Woodville, MS which is close enough to New Orleans that my ggg Dempsey Gaulden spent time there.

“Dempsey Gaulden was born in Sumter County, South Carolina in about 1767. He may have migrated with his brother William or sister Martha (Patsy) to Mississippi about five years after the revolutionary war.[1]As a young man Dempsey raced horses in New Orleans.

According to Laura Gaulden Bailey he married ‘(wife’s name unknown) and left at least two sons: John Sidney and _________, father of Sam Gaulden of Windsor County, Mississppi. This information is furnished by John Sidney Gaulden.’ If she got this information first hand from John Sidney Gaulden and he was indeed a son of Dempsey this adds two new , and older sons, for Dempsey than I have in any information about him.” WikiTree

Dempsey sows his wild oats and is back in SC in 1830 working on my part of his family with no sign of Sidney, etc.

Raven Symoné has origins in the south, possibly Louisiana, so I hear. Though it doesn’t matter where, since she is a Gaulden, I want to know how, and who and where in the gene pool we connect. I would like to learn about her family lines and hopefully find some common genetic cousins to connect the story.

I am looking for someone, somewhere, somehow to put me in contact with Raven’s momma Lydia Gaulden Pearman, so I can cure my curiosity.

Come On Social Media Connect your Grandma! Let’s go Viral! 

Share, Share, Share, Spread, Spread, Spread. Please and Thank you!

Visits with Grandma

Had a busy couple of weeks which have included many visits with your Grandma! Besides the hugs and profound elder knowledge, you also got your very own serving of hot blueberry pie, straight from the oven. You missed the pie? The pie was there, I promise.

WikiTree LiveCasts

Grandma’s Genes had a great WikiTree LiveCast on Saturday covering Getting Started with DNA on WikiTree. We had our biggest live audience so far for this livecast and the recorded version views are growing.

This weeks WikiTree LiveCast  will be with Doug Lockwood who leads the One Name Studies Project. One Name Studies are something I use a good bit to help me break down brickwalls. If you have some time, drop by and learn about One Name Studies and the One Name Study Project on WikiTree. The LiveCast will be at 3:00 PM EDT on this coming Saturday. Here is the link: WikiTree LiveCast, Doug Lockwood and the One Name Study Project

Forensic Genealogy and Adoption – Tracking Down Your Living Limbs.

The Ottawa Public Library let your grandma into the Carlingwood Branch to present “Forensic Genealogy and Adoption, Tracking Down Your Living Limbs.” Once the massive crowd (millions I tell ya) settled into their seats they were introduced to the concepts and strategies behind Forensic Genealogy and how those strategies can help with adoption searches.

Since I tend towards the Genetic side of things we delved deeply into my Cousin Betty Jean’s adoption search and the use of Genetic Genealogy. After all Betty Jean’s Genes helped us find one of her birth parents so far (and possibly the other – soon…the test is in processing).

It Takes Time

This was one of the biggest points of the presentation – It takes time. I know. You and everyone else in the world has watched these shows where one instance they are sitting at a table with a Genealogist in Philadelphia and the next they magically appear in Paris talking to their newly found 3rd cousin. It’s TV folks and slow just don’t sell the sponsors DNA test kits.

Be Prepared

Adoption searches can be a roller coaster emotionally. Bolster your support group with more than just friends and family. Get involved in a local support group and even get some professional help.

Be Respectful

This was another big point and a big talking point for questions during the presentation. As someone who is researching to find the birth family of an adoptee or the adoptee for a birth family, you do not have the right to willy nilly spread someone else’s story all over the internet. If you know your surname? Post the surname, but don’t go about saying that Jane Smith had a baby in 1955. Especially if it hasn’t been proven in the least yet. Be respectful and only tell the parts of the story that you have permission to tell.

Telling the tale with caution

Whatever avenue you use to put yourself “out there”, whether it be a Facebook page about your adoption, an adopted and a birth family tree on WikiTree, an instagram feed of photographs of yourself and likenesses between you and people you have proven to be your kin, do so with caution.

I myself, personally, don’t know anyone who has been the target of Genealogical Identity theft, but be vigilant with your own personal information.

I am very much so “out there”. Being “out there” is a part of my business model, so I hope I am ahead of the game and in charge of my own narrative. You? You have to decide how much or how little you want to make public. Take care of yourself.

Judy G. Russell, the Legal Genealogist, covers some of the privacy issues in a posting online in her December of 2016 Blog, The opt-in default

Your Grandma is working away making afghans for all of you. You know, the ones with the big holes that never really keep you warm? The ones you throw over the back of the sofa just when your Grandma comes to visit? They will arrive with blueberry pie stains all over them too. It is, after all, hard to crochet and eat blueberry pie at the same time.

How long is my DNA sample viable for further testing?

At the BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) meeting on Saturday this grandma showed up with DNA test kits for anyone to take home and with answers to common DNA test specific questions. One of the many questions asked has prompted me to post about it. “How long is my DNA sample viable for further testing at FTDNA (Family Tree DNA)?”

The Short Answer

Until they run out of sample to use. “…we will not need to request additional samples. This is only necessary if we have exhausted the samples that you have already provided. If additional samples are needed, we will send a new collection kit to the primary address on the account.The Test Process, FTDNA

The Long Answer

The question was from a Gentleman who had submitted his original DNA sample about ten years ago to FTDNA and it was about upgrading his results to the newest version of the DNA test.

The 10 Year Old DNA Sample

This original sample would have been for a YDNA or mtDNA test. The original test was made with the existing test apparatus at the time, YDNA and mtDNA testing performed by FTDNA does not use chips or chip sets. Bead chips (BeadArray Microarray technology) are used for autosomal and X chromosome testing by AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTree DNA’s Family Finder.

The original sample can be used to do an auDNa test as well, using the latest and greatest chip set on FTDNA.

As stated above, you could use the original ten year old sample until there was nothing left of the sample to test. When you run out, FTDNA will send you a new test kit to submit a new sample.

Other Testing Companies

This question as it relates to AncestryDNA, was covered by Roberta Estes in May 2016 in her blog, DNA Explained, Ancestry Modifies Their Autosomal DNA Chip. Ancestry does no store your sample after the sample has been used once. She states, “If you retest today, you’ll have to handle both tests separately in your account.  There is currently no way to merge tests, so you’ll have an old one and a new one.  There is no “best of both worlds.”  There is no way to preserve stars or notes or anything you may have done to one account and transfer to a different account.  About the only thing you could do is, in time, to compare to see if you continue to have the same matches on both chips as more people test on the new chip.  and 23andme do not store your sample so to get your test redone using the latest chip set for them you would have to submit a new sample for testing.”

23andme does not keep your sample for further testing.

My Heritage? My Heritage is a repackaging of FamilyTree DNA’s Family Finder test, so this auDNA test sample would be kept on file at FamilyTree DNA, though I don’t know how many hoops you’d have to jump through to get an upgrade via FamilyTree DNA using a sample sent in from My Heritage. This is from an industry insider – still no reply from My Heritage.

Not complaining about the wait. I have also been trying to call FTNDA on and off today to ask another client related kit question and can’t get through. I am sure it’s all the crazy advertising that was done over the holidays slamming all testing company’s phone lines. If you need me, I will be perpetually on hold with the knowledge that more and more people are getting out and testing!

Thanks to Peter Roberts, my good friend and hero (his other title is Associate Professor and Archivist at Georgia State University it really should be something closer to Genetic Genealogy Geek) for input on this blog post.

For more information and an explanation of Chips in Genetics see DNA Chip – Genetic Testing of the Future, Lisa Althoff, 1999.

Grandma’s Genes Year End Review – Networking

Grandma’s Genes is winding down 2016 with a mind towards the things that most influenced our work. Aside from the blueberry pies, presentations, research, Swab-A-Thons, field trips, conferences, phone calls, blog posts etc., there is one major take-away.

Networking.

Networks connect us all. We drive to our jobs on a network of roads. We communicate with each other over a network of airwaves or wires or through the vast web of the internet. We have a network of support – friends, family and the baker down the street. Even our neighbor next door is a thread in the Network of our Lives.

How we connect to our networks is just the facility of that connection. What matters is the content.
WikiTree

If I hadn’t joined WikiTree in December 2013, the mother load of genealogy networking and collaboration, and turned this many, many year passion into a mystery solving venture that pays for my blueberry pies? I would still be just answering family queries and would never have learned the joy of genealogical collaboration. Collaboration on such a stratospheric level. I posted once about how WikiTree has given me an education beyond my university degree in WikiTree’s G2G Forum. That was a year ago – I must be working toward my WikiTree doctorate now.

23andMe

As such, I have been able to solve a 90 year old mystery, fairly quickly (8 months to find her father), because I was able to use a Network to make a connection. 23 and me connected me with Jane and her family who in turn helped connect Betty Jean to half of her birth family.

Facebook

A woman posted in Gauldings page on Face Book about a common Ancestor. She found an obituary stating our common ancestor was a Captain in the revolution under Francis Marion. In all the research anyone has ever done on this man, he was not a soldier in the revolution. He served as a Petit Juror. He also might have been providing supplies to the troops – no one knows for sure. She used Facebook to find me and my very underwhelming answer to her question, “was John Gaulding a Captain under Francis Marion?” “No…”

A man who believed a long held family story that his gggrandfather was adopted into a family of African Canadian’s has been able to find interest in the real story. This story told mainly by his DNA and supported by the network of other distant cousins who had heard and believed or not believed the story. These distant cousins are all testing their DNA now and finding that they too have a connection to a very rich African ancestry. These distant cousins have also created their own network, on Facebook, so that others who are not in the know can find the truth and their heritage through them.

Mother Nature

If mother natures network of weather hadn’t dumped 20 + cm of snow on Ottawa in a matter of a few short hours last year, the idea that became Grandma’s Genes would not have formed into what it is today. Marc, my fellow shoveler on that day, has moved on to work in his day-job field full time. During the year, though, he helped an adoptee find his fathers family. Marc helped so many with Indigenous roots find the right identity for themselves and possibly take the true meaning of being connected to an indigenous ancestor with them into their new found knowledge of self. Marc also made long sought connections within his own genealogy through research and networking with others who have connections to his indigenous lines – to his Quaker lines – to his southern lines.

Moving Forward Through Networking

For me? I found a path which has been made stronger, straighter and more focused than I would have ever thought imaginable. Only with the help of my network of family, friends, partners, genealogists, geneticists, clients and all those ancestors long passed, has Grandma’s Genes grown into what it is today. What it will become tomorrow.

Thank you, every – single – point on our network – one of you.

 

Betty Jean’s Adoption Search – “I’ve got a secret”

Betty Jean’s Adoption search is moving right along. It’s an interesting thing, this kind of search because someone has to have a secret. A secret that they told no one, ever, if you are the father. If you are the mother? It’s a secret you probably had to tell someone at some point. I can imagine the fear of the disapproval and anger that might be foisted upon on unwed mother or father of the 1920’s deep south.

Betty X’s Abandonement

Betty Jean was left somewhere in or near Asheville, North Carolina. When her foster parents picked-her up, it was from, according to them, a Catholic hospital. When the Sister gave Betty Jean to them, she described Betty Jean’s mother as having blue eyes and black hair. Whoever left her, father, mother, grandparent, uncle, or aunt, didn’t leave any information with the Sister(s). All of her adoption files were empty. Blank. Nothing in them, period.

The Living Cousin

We found a living cousin, Jane and I, using Traditional Genealogy, Genetic Genealogy and a bit of Forensic Genealogy – from Dick Eastman’s Blog: “The word ‘forensic’ means ‘relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence.” In this case, forensic would mean to use science or technology in addition to traditional records. In short, Forensic Genealogy is the use of something OTHER THAN standard records to add to your family history’.”

We had hoped that she might be Betty Jean’s real, live sister but she wasn’t. She was a real, live first cousin instead. A first cousin who had gotten me in touch with her real, live first cousin, Ike. As soon as her test came back as a cousin and not a sister I called Ike immediately. He was the possible clue to Betty Jean’s Adoption. I told him the test for his cousin was just that, a DNA test result showing her to be the first cousin of Betty Jean as well.

The Next DNA Test

Ike was more than happy, almost excited, to find the answer to this mystery. I ordered his test from FTDNA and we waited again for five or so weeks. Weeks of waiting to solve this 90 year adoption mystery. To reveal this secret.

The Secret Revealed? Well, Partially

We checked for the results nearly daily when four weeks had past. We checked so much that we knew the results were in before FTDNA had a chance to send the notification. At this early stage the results weren’t complete but still filtering through FTDNA’s system. Nail biting and grinding of teeth ensued. Finally they were complete and…

Glenn Cashion is Betty Jean’s Father

Glenn Cashion. He lived in Asheville in 1926/7 and his son Ike matches Betty Jean as a half sibling. Betty Jean looks like her father in so many ways it’s almost uncanny. Would they have recognized each other if they had met on the street? Would Glenn have acknowledged his resemblance in a strangers face?

Glenn Cashion PhotoHow did it happen? How did Betty Jean come about? We have no idea. It was a secret he kept to his death.

When Glenn married and started a family of his own, he named his first Child Betty. Betty Glenn Cashion was named for his grandmother, Emily Elizabeth “Betty” Asbury. Looking at this while we were searching, I always though it interesting that Glenn had named his first daughter Betty, when he might have been our Betty Jean’s father as well. I thought that this was a clue to the fact that he might be Betty X’s father. Instinct vs. fact is sometimes very interesting.

Glenn is…

“My Dad is a winner. He was the gem of the family. Glenn was giving and worked hard for Shriner’s charities, helped family with money when they needed it, even when they didn’t ask. He took care of family – he was a nice man.” – Ike Cashion

Ike didn’t say this to make the secret of Betty Jean right. It was not said in defense of whatever actions his father took in 1926/7, it was said just as a matter of fact. Glenn Cashion was a good guy.

Onward to work and research deeper and to find Betty Jean’s Mother…

Jane's Desk
Genealogical Researcher Jane’s desk.

Save

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Betty Jean’s Adoption Search – Connecting the Cousin Dots

Betty Jean’s birth family is slowly revealing itself through her DNA cousins. All I have to do now, with Jane’s help, is connect the numbers and the names and the cousins to each other and to Betty. I have to connect the Cousin Dots to end Betty Jean’s adoption search.

Pat, Betty Jean’s Adopted First Cousin Once Removed

We knew Pat’s (Betty Jean’s first cousin once removed) birth father. We also knew from the DNA numbers that Pat and Betty Jean most probably shared a MCRA (Most Common Recent Ancestor) at 2.7 generations from the estimates on GEDmatch.

This is a list of Betty Jean’s top matches, Betty Jean’s DNA Cousins:
Pat @ 342.8cM with a MCRA 2.7 generations from Betty Jean – Surname connection toBrotherton
B. @ 213.8cM – Surname connection to Howard
C. @ 147.6cM – Surname connection to Brotherton
J. @ 213.8cM – Surname connection to Brotherton
T. @ 111.3cM – Surname connection to Brotherton
J.  @ 93.7cM – Surname connection to Brotherton
T. @ 87.3cM – Surname connection to Brotherton
S. @ 85.5cM – Somehow connected to Howard/Brotherton
D. @ 77.2cM – Surname connection to Howard
C. @ 65.1cM – Surname connection to Howard
J. @ 65cM – Unknown Connection
S. @ 63.5cM – Surname connection to McConnell (Howard)
T. @ 57.9cM – Surname connection to Brotherton

Pat’s father was Phillip Alexander Brotherton, b. May 23, 1923 in Catawba County, North Carolina. Phillip Alexander’s Father was Seba Ivey Brotherton, b. August 11, 1880 who was married to Annie Cashion Brotherton.

The Connection

I had already worked through the Howard’s and Brotherton’s and had added Annie Cashion to her Brotherton husband on WikiTree, but I/we didn’t have a DNA match to the last name Cashion. Jane immediately contacted a Cashion cousin and friend and got her to test. Another Bingo moment…

J. @ 274.6cM with a MCRA 2.9 generations from Betty Jean – Surname connection to Cashion

I worked J.’s connection back to Annie Cashion and worked Annie’s family, filling in WikiTree and my huge DNA/Pedigree Chart down to J. The Common Connection? The Family of James Henry Cashion and Frances Little

Annie Cashion Brotherton’s brother, Charles Cleveland Cashion, b. 1884, from Catawba Springs, NC., was J.’s grandfather.

G. @32.7cM with a MCRA 4.4 generations from Betty Jean – Surname connection to Little & McConnell

Seems this family might be VERY connected to Betty Jean and the clue to her adoption.

The James Henry and Frances Little Cashion Family

James and Frances had 9 children. All these children in one way or another had connections back to the Howard’s or Brotherton’s. AND their mother, Frances Little had connections back to the Howard’s through her sister, Obedience who married a Barkley who’s mother married a Howard and… there were many, many overlapping connections.

William, b. abt. 1867 m. Julia Signora Brotherton
Junius, b. abt 1868 m. Carrie Salone McCall
Samuel, b. abt. 1871 m. Mary Lee Kelly
Nannie, b. abt. 1875 m. Sidney Allen Brotherton
Minnie, b. abt 1877 m. Jesse H. White
Annie, b. abt 1881 m. Seba Ivey Brotherton
Nora, b. abt 1882 m. Johnson Howard
Charles Cleveland, b. abt 1884 m. Lula Howard m. Lettie Maretta Little m. Julia Pippen
James Hua, b. abt 1885 m.

And who is it in this family who looks like they might have a few more connections than the others? Charles Cleveland Cashion, J.’s Grandfather and Pat’s Great Uncle.

Back to the Adoption in Asheville, North Carolina

We know that Betty Jean’s adoption took place Asheville, NC in 1928. We have been working on the assumption that she was born in Asheville or surroundings in 1927. Who in Charles Cleveland Cashion’s family might have been in Asheville NC in 1926 or 1927?

Charles Cleveland Cashion’s Children who were old enough to have had children in 1927:
James Harold, b. 1904
William Ray, b. 1905
Glenn Cashion, b. 1907
Annie Margie, b. 1909

Charles Cleveland Cashion’s Children who were in Asheville NC in 1926 or 1927?
James Harold, b. 1904
William Ray, b. 1905
Glenn Cashion, b. 1907

James Harold, the oldest was a delivery man. He was in Asheville, but not living there. Harold and Glenn are listed in City directories as living in Chatanooga, TN in 1927. William Ray and Glenn are listed as living in Asheville, NC in 1927 as well.

More DNA tests

The first descendant of these three brothers we found, who met our criteria (living) for further testing, was a daughter of William Ray. I called and talked with her and told her Betty Jean’s story and that I wanted her to take a DNA test. The conversations about the test and what it would entail was spread over two or three phone calls. She agreed and was very interested to find the answer to this adoption mystery. She also told me about a first cousin, one of Glenn’s children, that we might want to contact – Ike.

I ordered her test and had it shipped to her. The DNA company let me know it had been shipped and I waited. And waited some more. While I waited I contacted her cousin, Ike. He too was interested in doing a test, solving the adoption mystery. Since his cousins test was already ready to be sent in, I told him we would wait until we got the first test back to see if we needed to test him.

Nearly as soon as I hung-up with Ike I found out I had travel to William Ray’s daughter’s corner of the world. Once there I called her to ask if I could swing by to say hello. It’s always fun to put a face, a person to the work. Her answer? She was glad I called because she hadn’t done the test yet and had some concerns. OH NO!

DNA Tests and Privacy Concerns

When she had received the DNA test kit and looked through the paperwork she saw a slip of paper where she needed to sign a release allowing her DNA to be shared. I explained to her that sharing was a huge part of DNA testing because if she didn’t share her results then I wouldn’t be able to find matches in her results – the most important one being Betty Jean. I then explained to her how we could make her test information anonymous. She looked incredibly relieved, signed the papers and did her swab. I mailed the kit off the next day. I also took a couple pictures of her for later use if her DNA came back as a close match to Betty Jean.

The Results

The test came back 5 weeks later and…she was a very good match to Betty Jean. A solid first cousin. Even before the results had finished loading I was on the phone to Ike.