Update and Direction

As I said in a previous post when I started this blog it was to have a public way to share some common ancestors, family stories and photos with new cousins I’ve found. Since then my work with genealogy and genetic genealogy has blossomed and grown in several directions.
I find myself helping people within certain groups or forums, and I love spending part of my time showing others what I’ve learned.  I work less now on my own tree because I’m left after 11 years with only the mysteries that will not reveal themselves, not even with DNA. It infuriates me that I can’t get any further, but I’m hoping eventually the right cousin will test and one of the great mysteries will be solved. (Elias Goddard and Mystery Elizabeth #1 and #2 I’m talking to you!!).

As I also said in that previous post, this journey of learning who my ancestors were has  become more and more a spiritual one. And that continues to deepen for me.  Even more so now I believe that the more we know and understand our ancestors, the more we know ourselves.
And I’ve found kindred spirits in that thinking.  Daniel Foor, PhD has written a book called Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing a book that takes learning about yourself and your ancestors to a deeper level.  No this is not some “woo-woo” new-agey stuff, this is real and practical. Foor is a doctor of psychology and licensed marriage and family therapist, who has studied with several different cultures that still have active ancestor practices. Dr. Foor has gone on to train others in these practices, and they are now teaching and working with people on line and in person all over the country. And his online course has been a deep dive into this work that I find invaluable to my own journey.
So I will be continuing the work I started with him. It’s definitely a beautiful way to connect with Ancestors.

As I learn and grow as an amateur genealogist/genetic genealogist and help others, I’ve started to have a lot of people tell me I should teach.  I’m not sure I’m ready (or terribly qualified) to teach to the general public, but especially for those doing “Ancestral Medicine” work, I might just do that.  I’m in the process of creating a course (although it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought) that speaks to the basics for people who are doing that sort of work.

One other direction that I hope to take this blog and my course in, is to help, or at least shine light where I can, on the “white-washing” and downright racism within genealogy. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The more I realize which of my ancestors were not classified as “white” the more I see how much some people and even paperwork totally denies anything but whiteness and privilege in American genealogy.
More and more we need to face some hard facts about Americans and their DNA and paper trails. Many, if not most of us in the US are mixed ethnically. If you can’t handle that, you are either in deep denial or very, very white, which is very, very RARE in America. If all 64 of your 4th great grandparents have stellar genealogy records dating back to the 1400’s then congratulations, you’re white as hell. But most of you won’t be.

DNA shows things what people would rather hide and I’ve already run into a multitude of ridiculous excuses why the DNA is wrong.  And paperwork can be tweaked, certain facts excluded to deny the ethnicity of people. After a while you begin to see patterns in genealogy work. And yes, there  are those out there trying to destroy those indications of non-whiteness. They lie, they change facts and they may even do this for profit-because they are selling books. It happens.
So anywhere that I can attempt to learn about People of Color and the obstacles they face in trying to research their ancestors, or help with ethnicity reports that really do show our ancestors ethnicities, I will be doing as much as I can to point out that People of Color really do exist historically and their descendants have as much right to know their true histories as anyone else.
For full disclosure, no, I don’t know all of the variety of historical experiences of other cultures/peoples. Yes, I am identified by others as “white”, and yes, that comes with privilege. I believe that just as being much more aware of anything that falls outside of rich, wealthy and white is the focus of our future in politics, it will also inform the way we think about history, genealogy and ourselves. To put it bluntly, when someone who identifies as white finds out they’re not so much, it changes the way they see and treat others. And I’m very passionate about helping with that where I can. This is part of how we get rid of racism.

Yes, ultimately I may find a few naysayers on my new directions, and you may find this blog is not for you. If that’s the case, no problem. To me taking my journey to these other levels and in these new directions has been a gift-a way to reconnect with the people who make up my blood and bone. A way to heal the injustices of history and to move forward, knowing the truth of our history and who we are.



I just learned about a big conference in Salt Lake City UT called Rootstech, and while I’d love to go, giant rooms full of people are not my thing, SO you can attend from home!

Here are a couple of links on how to watch some of the content including Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s keynote.

Family History Fanatics “RootsTech Streaming Schedule and How to Plan Ahead” and Family Search’s blogpost on “How to Participate Virtually”.

And if you really want to get in the flow and chat with others during the livestream, use #NotAtRootsTech on Twitter.   See you in cyberspace!

Naming Conventions

Sometimes in doing genealogy research it helps to know what you’re looking for in a family line. Names, and the patterns in naming for one.
In some societies there were rather strict rules as to how one named one’s children.
Some of these were drastically different than what you find in America today.
Knowing about these can be a great help in identifying who matches who, but can also be confusing, like when siblings name their children after each other. If you have 8 children having 8 children, that’s 9 people in one three-generation family with the same name!
I’ve gathered together some links from other places on different groups and their naming conventions. Click the links for more details.

Mostly today in the US you find First name, Middle Name (maybe two) and Surname-meaning the last name of your father. Sometimes a Mother’s surname hyphenated with a father’s. 

But in days gone by, things were different in different places.

In Germany, there would be sometimes 3-4 middle names, many times the first name for all of the sons would be the same and they would call them by one of their middle names. 
 18th Century PA German Naming Customs
18th Century PA German Nicknames

In Mexico, frequently people went by both the mother’s and father’s surnames, but it’s complicated. While most present-day names are taken from the parents’ surnames, historically the surnames might have been those of a more notable family member, or even grandparents. See this link for more details.

The UK

The Scottish, especially those in America, would use the wife’s maiden name, or her mother’s maiden name as a child’s middle name, which can be a great help if you can recognize it.
Traditional Irish Naming Patterns

Naming conventions in Ethiopia and Eritrea

 Naming Patterns
Another link to Norwegian Naming info

Scandinavian in general

Icelandic names

The Laws of Jewish Names

Chinese naming conventions

Russian Naming (PDF)

Eastern Europe
Eastern Slavic Naming Customs
Hungarian Personal Names

Native American Tribes
Please bear in mind “Native American” is not one thing, not one tribe or culture, but MANY. So each tribe may have specific naming traditions.
General Info
Northern Plains
Navajo & Sioux

If I didn’t cover it here, you can pretty much just Google _____ naming conventions




Simple Gedmatch Ethnicity Estimate/Admixture (Heritage) Instructions

by Isabel Crabtree, Amateur Genetic Genealogist

A word about Ethnicity estimates in general.
Being an amateur genetic genealogist I have learned a lot from other helpful people and so must pass on their words here. I have been told to take all of these estimates with a large grain of salt. Some people do not think they are very good, partly because the science is new, or the samples used to compare to may not be what’s really required (like with Native American DNA) or some may just not like what the estimates show. 
Native DNA is still problematic in that the tribes people in the US generally want to know about have not tested or have not made tests public, and many tribal people today are a great mixture of Native and other DNA and so may not show as much Native as they think. Also tribes that have tested tend to have been chosen for their remoteness and in North America, there are no remote tribes left. So the DNA samples that are most often used are South American, Siberian etc. Frequently some people of some tribes in North America are showing up with East Asian DNA. This can be a sign of Native ancestry as can Siberian, especially if you have no other Asian ancestry. So again, all of these are reasons to take these with a grain of salt. 
On the other hand I have found them to be extremely accurate and very helpful in making solid connections where I have already had some paper trail. So please take this into consideration.

A word about Ethnicity Estimates and specific Projects:

Please note as far as I understand it, some of these tests were made specifically to look at people in a specific area of the world-for example MDLP is for people in Lithuania and HarappaWorld is for people in South Asia. You CAN use these tests to look at your own results, especially if you know you have some DNA from those areas. 
For example a mostly white person with a small amount of African DNA can use Ethiohelix (K10 + French) to look more closely at their African bits, while disregarding all of the white DNA as “French” in that test…Specific tests within the projects can help look at things like Asian, Japanese, African, and Ashkenazi. But please remember, this is like looking at the same scene (your DNA) through different colored glasses. The result is still the same but the interpretation “language” may differ.


You must already have your raw DNA input into Gedmatch and have received a kit number. Frequently it will let you have a number and do simple comparisons immediately after upload, but may take several days to “batch process” so you can run “One to Many” comparisons.
To see how to download raw data from Ancestry and into Gedmatch check
here: https://stonefamilytree.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/how-to-upload-your-ancestry-dna-test-results-to-gedmatch/

or for a video tutorial, click here:
You can also Google how to do this from 23andMe, FTDNA etc.


To run an Ethnicity Estimate:

  1. Log into Gedmatch.
  2. From the homepage click on the “Admixture (heritage)”  link in the “Analyze Your Data” section of the middle right (blue) column.
  3. This will take you to a page with the heading “Admixture Utilities”.screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-11-21-41-pm
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose the project you would like to use to analyze your data. A simple one to begin with is Eurogenes because most people have some European DNA and this uses simple categories for ethnicity.
  5. To start with you want to leave the default button on  “Admixture Proportions”. This will give you the classic “Pie Chart”.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Enter your kit number in the first box. Leave the default at Eurogenes K13.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. It should take just a moment or two for your Pie Chart to come up.
    That will be a general estimate of your ethnic breakdown. 
(Note: The Oracle buttons and spreadsheet button are another discussion for another day.)



A little more about Eurogenes K13 designations:
If you would like to understand a little more deeply what Eurogenes K13 designations mean there is a spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Oz6P5-SVEJciPX1TciGe-zoqA5JtOGIMG7nh-rCOj0c/edit#gid=804264822

As close as I can come to explaining is this:
Say for example you’d like to know what one of these categories “really” means-who did they test? This spreadsheet lists all of the populations tested in alphabetical order. But to change the order to see for example what the Baltic population really is, try this:


  1. Go to the letter above the Baltic column and to the right of the C click the drop-down arrow.
  2. Sort from Z – A.




What you will see is now the entire list, ordered by which population occurs most in the Baltic category.





NOTE: This does not mean that your ancestor is Motala12 or Lithuanian. They MAY BE something lower down on the chart but all this chart is saying is that TODAY the highest concentration of the DNA that you show that they can identify as “Baltic” is found in Motala12, KO1 and Lithuania. The highest percentage is the most likely to be what your DNA is. It can vary drastically because no one stays in one place anymore and haven’t for hundreds if not thousands of years.

A final note about percentages
What if say, you have a Native American ancestor but do NOT show any Amerindian on the Pie Chart? 
First, everyone tells new folks to read this: http://www.rootsandrecombinantdna.com/2015/03/native-american-dna-is-just-not-that.html
The short answer is any DNA is yours by random chance and a particular line can totally wash out within a very few generations…

If you want to look more closely to see if you have ANY of a particular DNA, you can also  go back to the Admixture Utilities page and do the following:

  1. Click the button that says “Admixture Proportions by Chromosome”.  Use Eurogenes again.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Enter your kit number, leave it on Eurogenes K13
  4. Click Continue.


This will take a little longer but what you will end up with is a chromosome by  chromosome breakdown of what DNA you have. Something may be so small in totality that it did not show up on the pie chart, but you may still see it on individual chromosomes.

On the examples given (same kit number), notice South Asian does not appear on the pie chart, but appears on several chromosomes in the detailed breakdown.
This can help you to track down ancestors with particular ancestry, using Chromosome painting and Matching Segment Search. (Future posts for another day).

These are but a few things you can accomplish on Gedmatch. You can’t hurt this website, so once you get your kit number, play around, click every link and see what happens…That’s exactly how I learned.

And, by the way, Gedmatch is run by awesome people who do a lot of work for little to no money and there’s no advertising and no big annual fees. So please scroll to the bottom of the home page and send them a donation or sign up for a monthly one. $10 a month with get you use of Tier 1 tools.

Happy Hunting!

The 1831 Voters and Can They Be Identified

This has been copied from two other webpages word for word, in an effort to make it more accessible. No infringement is intended.

based on an original transcription by Renee’ Gore
I think it would be an interesting project to identify these men and learn more about them. As I find notes or remember records, I will add notes here. If you want to contribute please send your email to mflp@aol.com and identify them by  1831vote – (their number) .   All notes are by Donna unless otherwise specified.

Harnage, Ambrose
List of White men with Indian wives  Harnage, Ambrose lived Long Swamp
Prescribed Oath List  wife 5 children
1830 Gwinnett p. 374
It is interesting that the election was to be held at Ambrose Harnage’s house but he didn’t vote. Tate, Pickens County, GA was originally called Harnageville, after Ambrose Harnage, in whose house the early court was held.

1 . ? , Nathaniel G. (possibly Nathaniel G. Henderson)   LINK

2 . ? , William (will we ever know?)

3 . ALLISON, David
Prescribed Oath List  md 9 children

Continue reading

Eleanor Allen Schrepel-From Ireland to the Mormon Promised Land

Eleanor Allen Schrepel

I am so excited that I found a photo of this woman!  This is Eleanor Allen, who married John Frederick Schrepel in 1865.  Their daughter Louisa Schrepel married John J. Downer their son John Albert Sr. is my Grandfather.
She was a Mormon Pioneer and part of the Martin Handcart company that walked 1200 miles from Iowa to Salt Lake City Utah and nearly didn’t survive! Continue reading

The Long life, three wives, and fake death of Elias Goddard

See PDF link below for timeline. DNA has proven the link between descendants of his first family and descendants of his 2nd family.
I have had this theory for several years now, due to the little overlap in where Elias was in Indian Territory and his slightly younger 2nd self in GA.  I guess the promise of a 14 year old wife at age 38 was enough to make him leave his first family behind.

Elias Goddards TIMELINE Condensed2016

Elias’ son, John Willis Goddard, b. 1837.

Many Layers of the Journey

When I started this blog, I simply wanted to leave a legacy of stories for my family, with photos and any reminiscences neatly wrapped up in one package.  What I did not expect is something more closely resembling a spiritual journey-one that has helped me to uncover parts of myself, and my own deep connections to the families and stories I wanted to preserve.
I’ve been a fan of “Who Do You Think You Are?” for a long time, and I think every single person who’s been on that show by the end of it finds some deep connection to the people and stories they uncover.  Everyone takes a journey when they seek out their ancestors and I don’t think anyone expects what they find.
When you have just a name or a date or a photograph, you have something flat and two dimensional, but when you find details, stories, loves and heartaches, blessings and tragedies, these people become real-and all the more real because they are your relatives.
I think it’s natural that we see ourselves in them, and now we know that through “epigenetics” and DNA they really are within us-we carry their passions, their talents, and sometimes their bad traits too. It’s rather amazing when it unfolds.
This journey into finding my ancestors is vast-it gets exponentially bigger with each generation. The story fans out across the globe and through DNA, even my mostly European self touches almost every continent on the planet.
This has been a really fascinating journey for me-and one that’s become by obsessive and beloved hobby.  I am learning more and more about DNA, genetics, genealogy, ancestors, history, migration patterns, and how family stories change  over time.
Now I understand why many cultures have “ancestor worship”-better described as “reverence for the ancestors”…It’s a way of connecting on a very deep level with who we are-as a single person, as a family, as a culture, tribe, race, and human species.
And it is terribly evident in much of American culture today, that the lack of connection we modern folks have, is not good.
We need those connections. We need to remember these people and their stories and we need to share these stories with others. What we lose if we don’t tell the story is our soul. If we don’t share the memories, and share the bad things and the good, if we don’t tell the stories and tales about all of our own relatives and their adventures and sorrows, we lose our soul.

So this has become something much bigger for me than just family remembrances to share with future generations. It has become a path home-one I hope I can share with others. A path that I hope I can write down in some sort of cohesive outline and share with others in hopes that others can walk this same pattern-although it will be their own personal path, and reconnect with themselves.
I truly believe that in some way, our ancestors are still living, still with us, still able to guide us, and we owe them gratitude.
Something good is going to come out of this, I think. I’m just on a different path than I thought I was when I started! Stay tuned.