New Editions to the Blog

There are now pages (in the top bar) for Links, one on getting started in Genetic Genealogy, and an easy Contact form, to make this site easier to use!





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 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.

Cool Videos

Sorry I haven’t been writing more-we are down to one computer and I so dislike trying to think and type on an iPad. Plus we’re trying to finish bathroom reno, painting a bedroom and Spring is definitely calling us in 17 different directions, so computer time is limited.

Not only am I a genealogy geek, but I LOVE languages too-and accents…And I thought this was really fun, considering how much of my ancestry I now know is from the British Isles. By the way, I refuse to call it the UK. To me it will always be Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales (and a few other wee bits) and to me, conglomerating it all together is a culture killer, just like the EU.

So here’s the video. Enjoy!


And here’s one more.
When we go to do genealogy research we have to remember things weren’t then like they are now. Heck, even in my lifetime, the map that used to show the U.S.S.R. doesn’t even exist anymore. Now we have all these smaller countries, and they have their identities back! (Add USSR to the yucky list with UK and EU.)

So here’s a video to show you just how much the place where your ancestors came from has changed.


Recently, I uploaded my DNA info into another ancestry/genealogy site, one that gives pretty simple raw data, connections and names/email addresses.
So I contacted the person who was highest on my list. We SHOULD BE third cousins, which means that our great-grandparents were siblings-in other words, we SHARE a great-great grandparent.

We exchanged surnames back to the GG stage (which is 16 names). I am lacking no names but am sketchy on details on a few people. This other person is missing a last name for one person, and, well,

I thought it would be so easy since this would be my closest kin so far, but….nothing.
Yes, our families have been in the same states…but…

How can it be that we can’t recognize a common name in 16 people…
And then I got to thinking about some of my ancestors. Yes, I have one line of lovely royal blood, my great-grandmother with the strong royal-looking face who probably didn’t even know she’s from princess blood… but a lot of my family is…”skitchy”.

We have two who are on the rolls for being tried and convicted of adultery. (No sentence). One murdered for running liquor, Several who could not read or write, many tradesman, many who were always on the move, and I’m guessing we have more than a few cases of “who’s your daddy?” happening in my tree.

So now I’m making myself crazy, going over and over the information that I got from the other person, trying out their ancestor’s name with my names on Google, checking through my 16 great-grands to see where I might be missing something, where someone could be lying about parentage, where someone could have been adopted or ravished by a stranger in the night….

And I’m making myself nuts!

I am curious what other genealogy researchers do in this case…Again I wonder, does this change who I am? What if I found that someone in my recent ancestry is not my ancestor?…Am I NOT a descendent of Kings? Not descended from the Cherokee’s?

I’ve connected with people in my Keeney, and Whitecotton lines, so I know at least those two…but…one small lie, or mis-representation one hundred years ago, could be a HUGE deal…

Crazy making….

The Myth of the Cherokee Princess, or Family History Revised

I’m going to throw this out there, because while I’m sure a million of you have heard this story, I am sure some have not, and if I can save someone the embarrassment of telling this story in public and having someone else cry “BS”, then it’s worth it.

The stories always go something like this:
You have an ancestor (vague connection) who was Cherokee, and not just any Cherokee, she was a Chief’s daughter, a Princess! She died on the Trail of Tears, and there’s a memorial to her….somewhere.
The family tales tend to be always women, and always women of some notable, story-worth tale. And yes, I have had unknowing people tell me stories like this at least twice. In my family she wasn’t a princess but here father lived off the Nation and her mother on it so at a young age, she would ride a horse to visit between her parents. One day a wolf chased on her horse, and she found an abandoned houses to shelter her and her horse until of the wolf ran away. It was inferred that she was riding between Oklahoma and Southeastern Missouri!
Most likely the truth of the story is that her mother was not living on a reservation (she remarried twice and all three men were white) and if this young girl did visit others it was likely it was no more than one county distant. As for the wolf, I don’t know. But after listening and learning,it’s very common that these family stories are like fish stories-they get bigger with age.
It is likely that many, many of the stories of Cherokee princesses were really Choctaw, Seminole, or even, as in the case of the “Melungeon” people, of African ancestry.
Stories in many cases changed because to be “Indian” was dangerous, but to be “Portuguese” was exotic and acceptable. It is also common that’s while great great grandpa may have played down his native blood, consecutive generations play it up. Not out of meanness and not out of trying to get enrolled, but honestly, at least in my family, out of a sense of pride. But the stories really do get bigger with time.

Recently I had a friend mention that he just found out that a deceased grandparent was Cherokee. I cut straight to the point and said, don’t listen to the family stories, go straight to her closest relative and ask if she was enrolled on the Dawes Rolls, and if not, chalk it up to family tales. And in fact, this friend did just that, and found his grandmother was indeed enrolled, and so now he has an established fact to build his thoughts and perceptions, and family tales on. The documentation gives credibility to the stories. Without documentation, family stories cannot be verified, and should always be taken with a large grain of salt.

In my family history, that young lady that supposedly fled the wolves was my great great grandfather’s sister. My father was lucky enough to inherit two large photo portraits of my great great grandfather, John Willis Goddard, and his 2nd wife, Hannah Parilee Gibson, my great great grandmother.
These portraits hung on the wall of my parents bedroom growing up, and sometimes I would just stare at the old man (he’s under 40 in the portrait!) and wonder about him. He has very piercing eyes, and he does look “native”. He has very dark hair, high cheekbones, darkish skin, and the assumption was that he was Cherokee. But was he?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
When I was about 12, I was still in “Camp Fire Girls” and we made a simple buckskin looking dress for ourselves out of poplin. Just for fun one Saturday, I put darker makeup on my face and braided my long brown hair. I had a choker and two beaded hair ornaments that I had made, so I put all of this on, and ran into my dad coming out of the bathroom. He looked stunned. I can’t remember what he said, but he wanted to take my photograph, and I remember him being proud. Of his ancestry, maybe, of his look-alike daughter, maybe, but I know it was a special moment to him. It became a special moment to me too, and because those “Cherokee” stories were some of the rare few anyone in my family ever told, those stories became special to me. Part of my perceived identity. But that does not make them true?
Even a few years ago, there was no real or common way for anyone to refute the stories a family would tell. Even now, you can say you are anything you want, and really know one will know, no one will force you to tell the truth, but now, with the common DNA test getting less expensive, there is a whole new world, not only of genealogy but ancestry in general. Now instead of going to a library to do research, you go on line, or learn about autosomal and mitochondrial DNA, and you can match numbers and DNA strands with total strangers. And DNA doesn’t lie.
Or does it? I don’t even know for sure what the DNA tests are really covering. In one place I read that it’s only a certain generation back-like eight generations. So how do they know whom my fourth cousins are? I realized today that I need a “DNA for Dummies” class or something because all of the genetics information is really over my head.
But I’m hooked, and I think this “sure science” is what really sucks us in. If we can just find that one ancestor, that one bloodline, we will know who we are! I would love to find out anything about my maternal grandmother’s family because I know literally nothing about who they are, what their traditions were or where they came from. To me it feels like I am missing part of my maternal spiritual inheritance. And what of someone who feels good about who they are only to open up their email one morning to find that they have a new match, and this person is sure to be their father-when they thought they knew their biological father.
Even small amounts of new information, like being .1% Cherokee instead of 12%, or being “Middle Eastern” (which is a very large and vague can of worms), what does that switch do to your identity? What do you do if in one night you go from attending pow-wows to feeling like you should check out a synagogue or a mosque?
It seems like in this computer-data age we are playing-no juggling with emotionally double-edged swords. Yes, genetics can tell you the biological truth and widen your horizons, but what about a woman who’s sibling isn’t really related, or a father who died never knowing his son…?
I think that there should be more of a warning on ancestral DNA-type tests. People don’t really realize how subtly or how drastically it can change your entire sense of who you are. But it doesn’t have to.
Ultimately, the people who raised you, those that loved you, and the culture you grew up in ARE who you really are, and they are never a lie, no matter what a DNA test says. This is very much like finding out you are adopted. Does the mom that raised you suddenly stop being your mom? No, but having a second mom or second family can broaden your idea of who you are.
It can be a really painful process, even to learn something small that you did not know.
Ultimately we each have to find that place in ourselves where no piece of information or lack thereof can change who we really are. When we know that part of ourselves, we can have fun with the journey, but for those who are seeking to be validated or shaped by others, even dead ancestors, it may be a painful journey.

Fun with Welsh

Soon, I will get around to mapping out my genealogy, but for now, let’s just suffice to say, I have some Welsh. Good bit actually, and some royal Welsh lines, going back to something like 1100 AD!

I love languages, and for several years after starting research on the Cherokee ancestors I studied the Cherokee language. I love the different “Letters” and the Syllabary, and it was fun, but I really didn’t have anyone to converse with, so it’s hard to go very far.

Now I’m enamored of Welsh. It looks fun and has lots of strange sounds we don’t make in English, so I’m poking around a bit, learning some sounds, and practicing the dreaded “LL”.

Apparently the most fun you can have with a word in Welsh is a little town called “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”.

It means  “The Church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of  St. Tysilio’s by the red cave” and can be found on Anglsey, in Northern Wales, near Bangor.

If you break it down, it’s  “Llan-fair   pwllgwyngyll   gogerych   wyrndrobwll  llan-tysilio  gogogoch”

Need some help with that? Here’s a fun video that will have you singing along in no time!