Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"We're Related" - Part 4

Today I would like to talk about some of the additional interesting people that I have found that we are related to. Walt Disney is a 10th Cousin.  Wish it would get me into Disney World...but not likely. He is related to us through my Mother's Reynolds lineage. This connection allowed me to identify my Mother's 7th Great Grandparents; Richard Wright and Margaret Adams. What is interesting about this is when I did our Smith Family DNA back in 2010.  Some of these surnames were listed as matches 7 to 10 generations back.

Leah Smith=> Addie Densmore=> Charles S Densmore=> Sarah Reynolds=> George Reynolds=> William Reynolds=> Rebecca Mann (1699-1779)=> Rebecca Burnham (1656-1731)=> Anna Wright (1622-1703)=> Richard Wright (1598-1644)

Walt Disney (1901-1966)=> Flora Call (1868-1938)=> Charles Call(1822-1890) => Eber Call (1791-1864)=> Fanny Johnson (1764-1801)=> Mercy Fox (1741-1795)=> Mercy Lawrence (1706-1794)=> Elizabeth Welch (1688-1730)=> Mercy Sabin (1666-1728)=>Samuel Sabin (1640-1699)=> Mary Wright (1618-1660)=> Richard Wright (1598-1660)

The next is John Kerry. He is our 7th cousin 2X removed. Our common ancestor is Micah Mudge (1650-1758) who would be my 7th Great Grandfather on my Mother's side of the family.

Leah Smith => Addie Densmore => Charles S Densmore => Sarah Reynolds => George Reynolds => Elizabeth Mudge (1750-1810) => Micah Mudge (1718-1813)  => Ebenezer Mudge (1683-1758) => Micah Mudge (1683-1758)

John Kerry =>  Rose Mary Isabel Forbes (1913-2002) => James Grant Forbes (1879-1955) => Isabel Clark (1846-1931) => William Mather Clark (1805-1878) => Roxanna Phelps (1764-1837) => William Phelps (1702-1776) => Abigail Mudge (1683-1705) => Micah Mudge (1683-1758

Next is Winston Churchill. He is our 9th cousin 2X removed.  Our common ancestor is John Adams(1555-1604). Our lineage for him is almost exactly the same as the Walt Disney lineage except it branches off to Margaret Adams, wife of Richard Wright, and her Father John Adams our 9X Great Grandfather.

Leah Smith => Addie Densmore =>Charles S Densmore =>Sarah Reynolds =>George Reynolds =>William Reynolds =>Rebecca Mann (1699-1779) => Rebecca Burnham (1656-1731) => Anna Wright (1622-1703) => Margaret Adams (1599-1678) => John Adams (1555-1604)

Winston Churchill(1874-1965) => Jeanette Jerome(1854-1921) => Leonard Walter Jerome(1817-1891) =>Aurora Murray(1785-1867) => Reuben Murray(1743-1810) => Jehiel Murray(1708-1798) => Anne Bradley(1669-1749) =>Hester Griswold(1648-1695) => Ann Adams(1624 -1682) =>Jeremy Adams(1604-1683) =>John Adams(1555-1604)

The last one for this blog is the author, Stephen King.  He is our 9th cousin .  Our common ancestor is John Reynolds.  He is our 7th Great Grandfather through the Reynolds Lineage of Mom's family.

Leah Smith=> Addie Densmore=> Charles S Densmore=> Sarah Reynolds=> George Reynolds=> William Reynolds=> John Reynolds (1700-1789)=> John Reynolds (1675-1750)=> John Reynolds (1638-1701)

Stephen King =>Nellie Ruth Pillsbury (1913-1973) => Nellie Weston Fogg (1877-1963) => Susan Ann Carter (1846-1880) => Daniel Carter (1811-1876) => Richard Carter => 1780-1860) => Richard Carter (1755-1828) => Sarah Reynolds (1731-1785) => John Reynolds (1700-1747) => Jonathan Reynolds (1682-1709 => John Reynolds (1638-1701)

As you can see all of these people relate to us through this very well researched Reynolds Lineage thru my Mother's Family.  Sure wish I could tell her. She would be amazed.

Happy Hunting,

Jan Smith

Tombstone Tuesday - John Charles Daly - January 31, 2017

John Charles was the son of John J Daly, Jr and Mary Holland McIntosh Daly. He was born on September 27,1902 near Clio in Vienna Township, Genesee County, Michigan. In the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census, John is living with his parents.  By the 1930 Federal Census, John is a boarder in Montrose, Michigan and works as a Farm Laborer. In the 1940 Federal Census, his occupation is still listed as a Farm Laborer. He is living with a brother and they are both not married. He lived in the Clio area his whole life. According to an Obit on Findagrave.com, he went to work for Clio Foundry, Inc in 1940 after the Census was recorded. He remained employed there for twenty five years. He retired in 1965.

John died on January 31, 1968. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Clio, Michigan.

Rest in peace, John!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday – January 24, 2017 - Phoebe Elizabeth Bly

Phoebe Elizabeth Bly was the daughter of William Bly and Mary Elizabeth Blauser. She was born on June 10, 1857. She died of Diphtheria on January 24, 1863 at the tender age of 6. I can not find a stone for her. I can't help but wonder if she is listed on William's stone. I will need to check the next time I am there.

I have so little to say about this young child, it saddens me. This is classically why I write my Tombstone Tuesday's. Everyone, young and old, deserves to be memorialized. Phoebe, had she been born in 1861, just pasted the 1860 census, and died 6 years later in say 1867, her existence would have gone almost totally unnoticed. There could be no public records of her. Someone would have had to obtain this information from a family Bible.  Most counties officially began statewide registration of births and deaths between 1880 and 1920. Occasionally a county started before 1880. There might be a baptism record in a church. Death records and burial records would be the only other record that might be available through a church.  Church records were not as well preserved in America as in other countries.

So I believe that these are my most important posts. Bless you child for the six short years you had on earth. I am certain that you were the sweetest child and your parents were blessed to have had the six years with you that they had. Know that you are remembered, Phoebe. 

Rest in Peace,


Monday, January 23, 2017

"We're Related" App - Part 2

Oh, what an interesting week this has been. Since I loaded the “We're Related” app a week or so ago I have received so much information. I am astonished! Every few days, I get a message for the App indicating that it has found another possible relative. Since my first 5 people that I talked about last week, the App has notified me of 10 more, all of whom have provided me with so much interesting information as well as a couple hundred new people to my family tree.

This week I'll talk about two more and in the weeks to come I'll talk about the rest.  I have not had so much new genealogy information to share with you ever!  Brick walls are being broken down!

The first was Kurt Cobain who is a 9th Cousin. He was the troubled America musician who was born in 1967 and died in 1994. He is related to us through the first Isaac Van Valkenburg. This connection did not provide us with additional sets of Grandparents but did fill information on Isaac's daughter's family, Jannetja Van Valkenburg. There is still a bit of information to sort out here but it all seems to be accurate though a bit confusing. We descend from Isaac's son, Isaac and Kurt descends from Isaac's daughter Jannetja. This family connection comes from Canada and New York about 100 years before the Revolutionary War.
Our Family: Me=>Leah Anderson=>Addie Densmore=>Mary Morgan Hayner=>Robert Wesley Hayner=> Henry Hainer=>Catherine Vollick=> Isaac Vollick (Van Valkenburg III) => Isaac Van Valkenburg II => Isaac Van Valkenburg I.

Kurt's Family: Kurt=>Donald Leland Cobain=> Leland Elmer Cobain=>John James Arthur Cobain=>Anna Minerva Van Alstyne=> Abraham Nathaniel Van Alstyne=> Abraham Van Alstyne=>James Van Alstyne=> Lydia Larroway=>Jannetja Van Valkenburg=> Isaac Van Valkenburg I

The next match was Elon Musk, a 10th Cousin. Who is Elon Musk, you ask?   I thought the same thing. He is a South African born Canadian-American businessman magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor. Well, that is a mouthful, isn't it? He is the founder of SpaceX. The private company who now launches satellites into orbit since NASA no longer does and plans in the future to be able to shuttle people into space. He is a product architect for Tesla Motors, co-founder of Solar City; Co-Chairman of OpenL; Co-Founder of Zip2 and Founder of X.com.  Isn't that an impressive list of companies.
This particular connection is mind boggling to me. Our common ancestor is Gerard Spencer. This connection comes through my Mother's line through the well researched Reynolds, Mudge and Spencer Families. At first glance it provided me with three additional Spencer Grandparents which made Gerard Spencer my mothers 7X Great Grandparent from Stotfold England. This is the first evidence that I have that my mother has English ancestors. As I always do with a new match, I set out to prove the connection. Little did I know what I would find.

Our Family: Me=> Leah Anderson=>Addie Densmore=> Charles Densmore=> Sarah Reynolds=>George Reynolds=>Elizabeth Mudge=>Lucy Spencer=>John Spencer=>Nathaniel Spencer=> Gerard Spencer

Elon's Family: Elon=>Elon's Mother=>Joshua Norman Haldeman=>John Elon Haldeman=>Rowena C Powers=>Mary Coats=>Polly Spencer=>John Spencer=>Ebenezer Spencer=>John Spencer=>Samuel Spencer=>Gerard Spencer

Look through the Spencer's on Ancestry.com, brought me to a Netherlands Genealogy database. This Database took me on a journey through the Spencer's of England (does the name ring a bell?) which dates back to Robert le DeSpencer born in 1018. This family is English Nobility. Who else keeps track of family information more carefully than nobility. I can not help but wonder if eventually the app will find Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales. (This would make my sister extremely happy.) The app continues to compare data and is chugging along. This piece of data, allows me to identify my Mother's 32X Great Grandparents in England. Did you hear that..that is 32 generations ago. To say the least, this is mind boggling. I have not entered all this data. I need the time that I can commit to it.

For the next few weeks I will blog and tell you more about the results that this app is finding. Some of the data I have to work very hard at to confirm and other finds dump the data at you like a bucket of water.

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday – January 17, 2017- Lorenzo Howell

Lorenzo Howell is the son of Nathan Howell and Miriam Best. He was born on June 15, 1850 in Elgin, Ontario. Nathan and Miriam had seven children; Elisah(1849), Lorenzo(1850), Margaret (1851), John(1853), Lewis(1855), Alvin(1857), Alice(1859).

Lorenzo is found living with his parents in Elgin, Ontario in the 1851 and 1861 Canadian Censuses. In the 1891 Census, Lorenzo and Mary Jane Staples have married (sometime around 1880) and they have three children; Hester, Jessie and Melbourn. I do not see a reference to Hester after the 1891 census.  I do not find the family again until the 1901 Census and the 1911 Census. They had 6 children; Hester (1882), Jessie (1885), Melbourn(1887), Florence (1893), Nora (1900), William (1905). By the 1921 Canadian Census, Nora is the only remaining child living with Lorenzo and Mary Jane. Lorenzo was a Postal carrier and Postmaster. 

Mary Jane Staples, Jessie, Florence, Melbourne and Lorenzo Howell

 This photo based on the children's ages was probably taken around 1895. I am estimating that Florence is 3 or 4 years old, Melbourne 10 years old and Jessie is 12. 
He died on January 17, 1929 and is buried in Townline Cemetery, McMurrich, Parry Sound District, Ontario. His death certificate names the cemetery as Chalmers Church Cemetery, McMurrich. His sister Margaret was the person listed as the informant when Lorenzo died. Her name is Mrs Margaret Johnson. 

Rest in Peace, Lorenzo.

Jan Smith

Friday, January 13, 2017

We're Related App

It's winter and that means that I can spend time doing family history research. So this week I was check out some of the various blogs that I like to read. My mother's side of our family comes from Canada and I have found a number of Canadian cousins. Lorine McGinnis Schulze is one of my cousin's and she has a blog called http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/. She had an interesting tidbit this week on an app for your phone. The app is called “We're Related “. So I decided to download it.

You need to have a Family Tree file loaded on Ancestry.com. My Tree file on the website is not the most updated version but I have one out there that will work for testing the app. So you download the free app and it installs on your phone. You open the app and tell the app which Family Tree to look at and select "you" from within your Tree File. That was where the difficulty arose. For all the “living” people in my tree I have their names privatized...they show up as Living Smith or Living Anderson. Well there is quite a number of us, thankfully, so the first Living Smith I selected was not me... The first Living Smith was a Smith down the Ashley Smith Line...which is related to us but not what I was looking for.

It was still interesting because that line of our Smith's is related to Brad Pitt, Brad Paisley, and another bunch of remarkable people who have now slipped my mind. Once the app sends you information about who you are related to, you select the person and look at the connection. As I looked at the people listed as related, it became obvious that they were related to the Ashley line thru his maternal family. So once that was identified, I knew I had the wrong Smith.
So all week I have been playing with this app try to find out which Living Smith I was in my tree. I was looking for the correct birth order...4 female Smiths and two males Smith's but Ancestry doesn't seem to present them in that way. It is also alphabetized based on first name not last...So all the Living people (privatized) are listed under L and alphabetized from there! Needless to say it took me a few days sort it out.

Last evening, I figured it out. ( So right here, I have to tell you something..this is not meant to be a political post. It is meant to be an observation.) Well, to my surprise the first person who came up was Donald Trump. I was shocked. “Really Donald Trump, how could that be? “ I thought “there must be a mistake! Not Donald Trump”. The app states clearly that he could be a 9th cousin 2X removed.

As I scrolled down the very next person in the list is Barack Obama. “What? …. how could that be?” “Now I know there must be something wrong here. “ The app states that he is likely a 9th cousin 2X removed.

The next one to come up was Miley Cyrus! “WHO? I am not related to Miley?” I thought...” "Oh, I can not believe this.” The app states that Miley is likely a 9th cousin 2X removed.

Next to come up was Marilyn Monroe...”What, the Blonde Bombshell, Marliyn?” The app says that she is also a 9th cousin 2X removed.

And last but not least, Meghan Trainor. She is a 9th cousin 1X removed.

So I selected Donald Trump to see how this could possibly be. The App says that we share a common relative, named Hans Kuhn (1623-1693)...Hummm, really. This is not a familiar name from my tree. It states that for my line it goes 11 generations back. First it showed me, then my Mother, Leah Smith => Addie Densmore=>Mary Morgan Hainer=>Robert Wesley Hainer=>Henry Hainer=>Catherine Vollick=>Anna Maria Warner=>Maria Barbara Bellinger=>Marcus Bellinger=>Anna Kuhn=>Hans Kuhn

The last four people listed here are new to me. I have positively identified my mother line of the Hainer family to Anna Maria Warner. I will have to further investigate these new people but what it tells me is that in other trees in Ancestry.com these people are listed as a connection to Anna Maria. So I guess I have my work cut out for me.

SO lets look at Donald.. Donald Trump =>Fredrick Christ Trump=>Fredrick Trump=>Katherine Kober=>Elizabeth Peter=>Maria Elisabetha Barbara Euler=>Johann Georg Euler=>Anna Catherine Pobb=>Johann Sameul Pobb=>Catherine Kuhn=>Hans Kuhn

Well, I'll be darn...that is crazy....So Anna Kuhn and Catherine Kuhn were sisters...I will have to investigate this to see if I can verify it.

OK so now Barack Obama.  When I open up Barack Obama it states that our connection is thru Thomas Burnham(1617-1688). This is not a familiar name to me either. It states that for my line it goes back 9 generations and for Barack it goes back 11 generations. So I selected and once again this looks like it is through Mom's line of the family. First I see Living Smith =>Leah Mae=>Addie Densmore=>Charles Densmore=>Sarah L Reynolds=>George Reynolds=>William Reynolds=>Rebecca Mann=> Rebecca Burnham=>Thomas Burnham. In this list all but the last three generations I have positively identified as correct.

So now lets look at Barack and see. Barack=>Stanley Ann Dunham=>Stanley Armour Dunham=>Ruth Lucille Armour=>Gabriella Clark=>Christopher Columbus Clark=>Thomas Clark=>Benjamin Clark=>Thomas Clark=>Thomas Clark=>Thomas Clark=>Mary Burnham=>Thomas Burnham

In this case it looks like Mary Burnham and Rebecca Burnham are sisters....Well I'll be darned. This is the craziest discover I have had in a while. It will definitely give me things to research this winter.

All of the matched thus far come through my mother's side of the family. The match with Miley Cyrus is Mary Pratt (1643-1704) 10 generation back for me and 11 generations for Miley. It is once again through the Reynolds side of my Mother's line that we match. 

With Marilyn Monroe, our common ancestor is John Alexander (1603-1677)11 generations back for me and 9 generations for Marilyn. It is once again thru the Reynolds line of our family. We have a George Alexender in our family and he is the brother of Elizabeth Alexander in Marilyn's family.

Meghan Trainor is more closely related to us than all the others and we are once again connected through the Reynolds side of the family through Thomas Burnham(1617-1688). We are from the Rebecca Burnham line and Meghan is from the Samuel Burnham line. So now we know that there is atleast three children in the Thomas Burnham family; Mary,  Samuel and Rebecca are brother and sisters. That would make Barack related to Meghan Trainor as well.

SO the app will keep sorting through the Family Trees on Ancestry and send me alerts if it finds anything else. It is interesting but not verified data. Not every tree on Ancestry is totally correct so it is up to the researcher to go back and verify the new data. I am hoping that it might help me with the road block that I have on my Smith line but so far not luck. It is not totally surprising that all of my results so far come from Mom's side of the family. Our Hainer line which is where we connect with Donald Trump is a well researched line in Canada. The Reynold's line is well researched also. So I have some interesting research to verify this winter and if anything else shows up, I'll keep you posted!

For anyone interested in the App, it is easy to set up. Any questions, I could help you if you want.

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday – January 10, 2017 - Mary L Anthony Swayze

Mary L. Anthony Swayze

Mary Anthony was born on June 11, 1866 in New Jersey. She was the daughter of Nathan Anthony and Annie Swackhammer. She had two brothers; George(1842-1861), James (1847). In the 1880 Federal Census, Nathan Anthony and his family are in Washington township, Morris County, New Jersey. Nathan is a farmer and his daughter Mary is attending school. She is thirteen years old. 

Mary Anthony married John Swayze on September 29, 1886 in German Valley, Morris County, New Jersey. In the 1900 Federal Census, Mary and John Swayze have a daughter who was born in 1887 and they have several relatives living with them; Nathan Anthony, Mary's Father who is 79 years old widower and an Uncle, Isiah Swackhammer who is listed as a servant and he is 71 years old and a widower. In the 1910 Federal Census, John and Mary are living in the same location and they have a three year old daughter, Francis M. Swayze(1907). Annie is no longer listed at home. By the 1920 Census, John and Mary are in the same location. Francis is now 13. John is a Dairy Farmer. In the 1940 Federal Census, John and Mary are living alone and they are in their seventies but their daughter Francis has married a William Tester and they are living next door to John and Mary.
Mary L Swayze died on January 10, 1961 at the age of 95 years old. She is buried in German Valley Rural Cemetery in Morris County, New Jersey. 

Anthony Family Plot

German Rural Cemetery, Morris County, New Jersey

Rest in Peace, Mary

Jan Smith


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday - January 3, 2017 - Joseph Steve Daly

Joseph S. Daly was the son of John Daly and Elizabeth Hanna Green born on November 3, 1885. He was the seventh of eleven Children born to John and Elizabeth Daly; John(1866), William(1868), Charles A.(1874), Marion E. (1876), May(1876), Robert(1879), Adrain (1881), George B.(1884), Joseph S.(1885),Henry D. (1890), Goldie A. (1894), Effie E.(1896) They lived in Vienna Township, Genesee County, Michigan. In the 1900 Federal Census, Joseph is 14 years old and living with his parents four of his youngest sibling that are still at home.

John Daly Family

L-R Standing: Charles,William, Robert, Adrian, Joseph, John, May, George, Henry, Marion, Seated L-R: John Sr.,  Goldie, Effie, Elizabeth Hannah.  This photo is thanks to an Ancestry.com member who shared it.

Joseph married Grace Young on April 2, 1908 in Flint Michigan. The 1910 Federal Census show Joseph and Grace living with Elizabeth Hanna Daly in Vienna Township. His occupation was listed as laborer. Joseph and Grace divorced on October 4, 1916 in Genesee County. Joseph married Francis Jobinsk in Flint, Michigan on November 15, 1919. In the 1930 Census, Joseph and Francis are living in Flint . Joseph is a cook in a restaurant. They have a two year old son, Joseph and a new born, Robert. Joseph and Francis Daly are living in Montrose, Genesee County, Michigan in the 1940 Federal Census. They have two sons ; Joseph(1928) and Robert(1829).

Joseph S. Daly died  on January 3, 1944. He is buried with his wife Francis in the Montrose Cemetery. 

Rest in Peace, Joseph.

Jan Smith