My Nicholson Ancestors in Liverpool

I was recently looking up information on my mother’s grandmother Annie Nicholson and found a baptismal record for her and her sister Agnes from Liverpool. In that record, her father was listed as a saw maker. This was too much of a coincidence not to be true.

Nicholson Genealogy

Here is what I have at my Nicholson Web Page:

Ann is child 3 and Agnes is child for. This information is now probably wrong as I have them both being born in Sheffield. I had just assumed that they were born there as the Nicholson family history went back quite a ways in Sheffield. My assumption was that they emmigrated from Sheffield to Philiadelphia.

From Sheffield to Liverpool

The time that the Nicholson family was in Liverpool was not caught on the Census as the family was in Sheffield in 1861:


Parkwood Springs was part of Brightside:

It looks like Brightside is actually to the West of where I circled. At this time, William and Martha had a daughter who was 9 months old.

Not too long after the 1861 Census which was taken on April 7, the family moved to Liverpool. Sarah Ann was baptized there on January 19, 1862. I can’t make out William Nicholson’s profession other than he was a saw maker:

[Based on my research below, this says Fontenoy Street where the family lived in Liverpool before they moved to Bootle. ] This record is taken from the Bishop’s Transcript. That means that it was copied from another record. Sarah Ann’s sister Emma was baptized on the same day:

Here is a drawing of the downtown Liverpool St Peter’s Church from 1800:


My assumption is that Sarah Ann was born in Sheffield and Emma was born in Liverpool.

Ann Eliza and Agnes D

Ann Eliza was my great grandmother. Here is her baptismal record from St. Peter from 1865:

Ann Eliza was born in March and baptized in August. Also of interest is that the family lived in “Bootle”. Or Booth. But it looks like Bootle to me. Maybe the Beatles lived there. Bootle. Beatle. Here is Bootle to the North of Liverpool:

Bootle appears to be a little less than a mile from downtown Liverpool. My guess is that Ann Eliza and Agnes were born in Bootle.

Here is the baptismal record for Agnes:

This took place also at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool on March 9, 1869.

From Bootle to Philadelphia

There was a tight time-frame for the family getting from Sheffield to Bootle. Now there was another tight time-frame for the Nicholson family moving to Philiadelphia. Here is the ship record for Martha and her children when they arrived in New York City:

William was likely already in Philadelphia at this time. Also it is interesting that Ann went by Eliza at this time. This record tells a story. Martha here traveling without her husband and her four girls from Liverpool to Queensland to New York City. From there they must have gone to Ellis Island and then made their way to Philadelphia where William must have prepared a place for them. My guess is that William missed the US Census that was held on June 1, 1870. However, according to the 1900 Census, William immigrated in 1868:

Let’s see what the 1910 Census says:

This shows he immigrated in 1870, and that he is naturalized. His wife also has an immigration date which doesn’t make sense as she is shown as being born in Pennsylvania.

Some More Parish Records from St Peter’s in Liverpool

My research friend in England reminded me that the Lancashire Online Parish Registers covers LIverpool. So I took a look there. Here is a confusing entry:

This looks like William and Martha were living in Liverpool in 1860 when Maria Baxter Nicholson was baptized. Here is a photo from 1901 of Fontenoy Street:

Here is an 1860 map showing Fontenoy Street:

Here is a modern map including the Beatles Statue:

However, the 1861 Census shows that my ancestors were living in Sheffield. William and Martha were married in 1856, so that would have given them time to have a daughter born in 1858. I can’t think that there were too many saw makers named William Nicholson who were married to a Martha who baptized their children in the same Church (St Peter, Liverpool).

Here is Maria in the 1861 Census in Liverpool The Baxters and others were living at 25 Fontenoy Street:

I might as well get more confused. Here Maria is a boarder or lodger at the house of William Baxter who is also a saw maker. Living in the house was Ann Ellis widow aged 66. So did William move back to Sheffield and say, “William take care of my daughter who I named after you”? And who is Ann Ellis? Martha’s mother was Nancy Roebuck born in 1795, so this could be the same person. That means that Ann Baxter must be Ann Ellis born about 1822:

This could also explain the Sheffield/Liverpool connection.

I see I left an important detail from the Baxter 1861 Census. That is where everyone was born:

Everyone in that Census was born in Sheffield except for Ann Ellis who was born in Thorne.  I have that my ancestor Nancy Ellis was born in Thorne, so this makes sense. That is what I like about the Census. It shows a lot of family relationships and gives a lot of information in a little space.

William Baxter and Ann Ellis

I feel I have enough information to go on to make a case that William Baxter’s wife Ann was actually Ann Ellis. Here is the family in 1851 in Nether Hallam to the West of Sheffield:

William was listed as a saw smith.

More On Ann Roebuck Ellis

Here is Ann in 1871 back in Sheffield:

Ann is listed as a lodger with Elizabeth Roebuck. As Elizabeth is listed as widowed, she could be a sister-in-law. Elizabeth is listed as born in Sheffield and Ann in Thorne.

What I Have Learned So Far

Perhaps a chronology would help

  • April 1858 Maria Baxter born to William Nicholson and Martha Ellis in Sheffield
  • June 1860 Sarah Ann born to William Nicholson and Martha Ellis in Sheffield
  • August 1860 Maria Baxter Nicholson Baptized, Liverpool
  • 1861 Census William, Martha and Sarah Ann living in Sheffield
  • 1861 Maria Baxter Nicholson living with Uncle William Baxter, Aunt Ann Ellis Baxter and grandmother Ann (Nancy) Roebuck Ellis
  • So it is not clear whether William and Martha Nicholson were present at the baptism of their daughter Maria Baxter. I had assumed that they were.
  • Dec 1861 – Emma Nicholson born, probably in Liverpool.
  • Jan 19, 1862 – Emma Nicholson baptized at St Peter’s in Liverpool.
  • Jan 19, 1862 – Sarah Ann Nicholson baptized at St Peter’s  in Liverpool. Emma’s and Sarah’s address is given as Fontenoy Street, Liverpool.
  • March 1865 – Birth of Ann Eliza Nicholson presumed in Boote, Lancashire.
  • August 1865 – Baptism of Ann Eliza at St Peter’s, Liverpool
  • Feb 1869 – Birth of Agnes D Nicholson in Bootle
  • March 1869 – Baptism of Agnes D at St. Peter’s, Liverpool
  • Nov 1870 – Martha Nicholson travels from Liverpool to New York City with her four daughters: Sarah Ann, Emma, Eliza and Agnes. The girls are between the ages of  and 11.
  • 1871 – Martha’s mother Ann Roebuck Ellis now 76 years old is living with Elizabeth Roebuck in North Sheffield.

That seems to summarize about 13 eventful years for the Nicholson family.

A Few Loose Ends

I haven’t found William Nicholson’s shipping record or naturalization records. This may be Maria’s death record from 1866:

Though the family should have been in Bootle by then.

I found out some things about Ann Ellis. I could fill more blanks in with her or her siblings. Here are her siblings:

Summary and Conclusions

  • While I was filling in my brother’s maternal side ancestry for DNA testing, I came upon a few interesting records that indicated my Nicholson ancestors may have lived in Liverpool before moving from Sheffield to Philadelphia
  • I checked the records and they did live there. In fact, my great grandmother Ann Eliza and four of her sisters were baptized in Liverpool.
  • I also found my third great grandmother living in Liverpool with William and Ann Baxter in 1861. This Ann was probably Ann Ellis, Martha Ellis Nicholson’s older sister. For some reason Willliam and Martha Nicholson’s youngest daughter was living in the Baxter house also in 1861 while William and Martha were in Sheffield with their infant second daughter.
  • I left with some follow up work to fill in some of the blanks.
  • I didn’ know last week that I had something in common with the Beatles. Now I know that I do.



Figuring Out a Frazer Photo From Ballindoon, County Sligo

Recently I posted a photo at the Frazers of Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim Facebook Page. Joanna who started the Page asked me if I could identify the people in the photo. That is a fair question, so I thought that I would give it a shot in the Blog. Also other may chime in. Here is the photo:

I got this photo when I visited Eileen McMaster Frazer in Ballindoon in County Sligo. She generously loaned it to me so I could make a copy.  It looks like the photo has been folded in the past and that someone scribbled on the face of George Frazer, the father. Here is what I have at my web page:

For some reason, these children are out of order.

The Two Girls in the Photo

I show above that there were only two daughters in this family and the rest were boys. That means that it should be easier to start with the girls. My assumption is that as the family had two girls and that there are two girls in the photo that these two girls are:

  • Violet Frances born 1872 and
  • Susan Jane born 1887

That tells us that Violet was about 15 years older than Susan. First, I need to get the Frazer children in chronological order.

Fixing My Frazer Ancestry Tree

Fixing trees is always good:

This is better, but I have no date for George Frazer. I suspect that George Russell Frazer died in 1875:

Perhaps George Russell was named after his uncle:

George William’s older sister Sidney or Sydney married John George Russell in 1869.

Here is a better list:

I’m just missing death dates for William and Susan. So far, this tells, me that out of the six children in the photo, I know that George Russell Frazer had passed away and that my great-grandfather was in the US. He arrived in the US in 1887.

Back to Violet Frances and Susan Jane Frazer

This is my top choice for Susan:

Joanna’s tree has Susan born 27 Oct 1886.  How old is Susan here? If I guess 12, then Violet would be 27. That would also date the photo at about 1899. But then there is a younger person with George and Margaret. I have that Susan was the youngest. If she is the youngest, then is that a grandchild with George and Margaret?

This appears to be a boy to me.

Violet Frances Frazer 1872-1934

I was told by a relative that this is Violet on her wedding day:

Violet married on 7 Jan 1901. That would mean that Violet was 28 in the above photo.

In the other photo, the person who I assume to be Violet is on the crease:

So I’ve gotten myself into a pickle.

Where Were the Frazer Children in 1899?

One guess is that the photo I’m looking at was taken in 1899. Where were all the children around that time? There was a Census in the US in 1900 and one in Ireland in 1901, so that might help. I know that my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer was in the US at the time. Here is James in the 1899 Boston Directory:

William Frazer

William Frazer married Amanda Skoog in Boston in 1910:

He must have been living with my great-grandfather James then as James had a house at 35 Alaska Street in Boston. It looks like William and Richard made their way to Boston in 1896:

They planned to stay with their brother in Boston:

So that makes me think that neither William nor Richard were in the photo in Ballindoon.

Frazers in Ireland

So that leaves these potential children in the photo:

We know that Violet was in Ireland as she married there in January 1901. Next is Hubert.

Hubert Frazer 1878-1954

Hubert made his way to Boston in 1901. So he could be in the photo. It looks like William and Richard went to Ireland to bring him to Boston:

Both these ships left from Queenstown which is current Cobh, Ireland:

Which One is Hubert?

That leaves me with these two choices for Hubert:

Then that leads me to this photo:

I’m not sure who labelled this photo, but if they were right, it would appear that Hubert is in the upper right. Here is my version of the same photo:


My vote for Hubert is on the left in the photo of this Blog:

Because Hubert and George were close in age, I guess the the brother on the right was George:

If the photo was in 1899, then George would have been 20 and Hubert would have been 21. That seems possible to me.

John Edward Frazer 1882-1870

Here is where I run into a problem. If the next boy was John Edward and the photo was taken in 1899, then John Edward would have to be 17 years old. The boy on the left doesn’t look 17 to me.

According to the 1911 Census:

Edward is 21 so he would have been born about 1890. The 1911 Census further indicates that Edward is younger than Susan:

This is consistent with the 1901 Census:

That means that I need to adjust the birth date for John Edward. The website agrees with a later birth date:

That gives me a revised birth order:

My Current Guess

I have tried to identify these six children previously. This time I went into a little more depth in identifying them.

Hopefully, I came up with the same answer last time.

More on the Dating: 1897?

Now that I have identified John Edward, I would like to date the photo on him. My original guess for the photo was 1899 on how old I thought Susan Jane might be. Here is a chart using 1897 as a possibility:

John Edward looks fairly young. He seems sort of clingy. I’m not sure a 10 year old would be that way. That would put Susan at 10. She looks fairly tall, though girls can can tend to grow faster than boys. David is looking to me like a young 13. George and Hubert at 18 and 19 doesn’t look wrong. Violet at 25 could be right also. One temptation would be to say that everyone was dressed up for Violet’s wedding. However, that doesn’t seem to make sense given the look of  the age of the children.

More on David Frazer 1884-1953

Violet Frazer married James Fairbanks in January 1901. That means that David would have been about four months short of being 17 years old:

Also David is wearing the same style of boots tucked into his pants as in the earlier photo. According to this ship record, David made his way to Boston in November 1912. David is the second person on the list.

This record shows that David had previously been in Boston in July of that year.

A Frazer Chronology

With all that was going on with this family, it would be interesting to do a chronology. This may tell an interesting story. It appears that George moved to Ballindoon in 1866:

Charles Sproule was living in Lot 5a. His name is crossed out on the sheet and George Frazer’s name is added. In the right column titled Observations is 66 which I take to mean 1866. This was probably right around the time he married Margaret McMaster who was from the area and before my great-grandfather James Frazer was born. I was told that the previous person occupying the house could not afford to live there. The Immediate Lessor is listed as John Gethen.

George Frazer 1879-1960

For some reason I am having trouble finding some records for George Frazer in the Irish Census and for his marriage.  However, Frazer researcher Joanna has these records in her tree:

George helped out his Aunt Isabella Frazer at the Derrycashel farm:

George took over the Derrycashel farm in 1917. He had five children that were presumably born at that location.

David Frazer 1884-1953

I seem to be missing some information on David Frazer also. We have two photos of David. The second was taken around the time of the 1901 Census:

According to this record, David married in 1915 in Norwood:

Here is David’s petition for naturalization:

Here he says he arrived in the US in 1908. David’s petition was signed by his brother James and Robert McMaster:

I’m curious as to who this Robert McMaster is. Here is a Robert McMaster who is a Chef in Boston on 1910:

Here is Robert on one of my web pages:

Here is Dereentunny in Roscommon near the County Sligo border:

Ballindoon is to the NE of Lough Arrow. Another interesting thing about Robert is that he stated his intentions to be a citizen in the State of Michigan:

This next record shows that Robert went back to Ireland and traveled with some of his Johnston relatives in 1912:

Robert lists a John McMaster in Ireland that he visited. This was probably his brother John James McMaster born 1858.

Back to David Frazer After a McMaster Detour

David had a daughter named Eleanor Maude Frazer. One reference has her mother as Annie Gray which doesn’t seem right:

I believe that David death certificate also has Annie Gray as David’s mother, so there is some confusion. Eleanor’s mother should be Eleanor Taylor Frazer:

David is shown on the previous page of the 1920 Census. Here is a definitive record:

More on John Edward Frazer 1889-1970

John Edward was the little boy in the photo. He married Margaret Lillie McMaster in 1917 and had a daughter Lily Margaret Frazer in 1918 in Ballindoon. That same year, John Edward’s wife died. John Edward married Waitie Covell in New Hampshire in 1931. John Edward who usually wend by Edward died in Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1970.

Here is Edward in 1940:

Edward was a cook at a private school in 1940. I’m curiouis who Walter Stanley was. In 1935, he was living in Ballindoon. This was actually Walter Stanley Frazer, son of William Frazer and Amanda Skoog. According to the 1940 Census, Edward was naturalized.

At 5 foot 11 inches, Edward is no longer the little boy standing between his parents. Edward is living at 38 Batavia Street. That sounds familiar. I’m guessing this was Edward in the 1923 Directory:

Unfortunately, I can’t find Dover or Batavia in a current Google search. Here in 1926, Edward was in Roxbury:

There was also another Edward Frazer who was a fireman in East Boston at the time.

Apparently Batavia Street is now Symphony Road:

Apparently Dover Street is now East Berkeley Street:

However, there was an Edward Frazer who was a cook at Dover Street in the 1920 Directory. Edward’s petition says he showed up in the US in 1922. Here is the other cook Edward Frazer who was born in Rhode Island shown in the 1920 Census:

Forest Street in Roxbury would have been near where my great-grandfather James lived:

Here is more Naturalization information:

Edward is listed as a chef living at 26 Montrose Street, Boston in 1928. The affidavits were signed by Edward’s brother, my great-grandfather and Edward’s nephew George Frazer:

James’ son George Frazer was born in 1896, so he was actually a little less than three years older than his Uncle Edward. This shows that Edward had a close relationship with my great-grandfather’s family.

In fact, James lived at 26 Montrose Street in 1927, so Edward must have been living with him at the time.

I believe that was this house that I have a photo of:

This looks to be the same house today:

In the older photo there was a porch over the entranceway. Here is another view:

When Edward arrived in New York City from Ireland, he was 33 years old. Edward gives this for his nearest relative in Ireland:

He also knew that he was headed for Roxbury in Boston.

Edward appears to have a lot more money than the average traveler if the handwritten amount is right The story I heard was that my great-grandfather was sending money back to help get his brothers to the US. Interesting to note also that Edward intended to stay in the US for 10 years.

The Chronology

Here is what I have up to 1900:



The last entry was meant to be 1975. I have something in every decade except for the 1850’s. This would have been during the height of the potato famine. Margaret McMaster had these siblings born around that time:

Summary and Conclusions

  • They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I have proved that to be true in this blog two times over.
  • I feel as though I have been able to identify each person in the photo.
  • This lead me to identify David Frazer in the Frances Violet Frazer wedding photo.
  • I also updated some information on each of the children of George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster
  • I came up with a timeline of what was going on in Ireland and in the US.

Here is a color-coded timeline:

Addendum – William Goes Back to Ireland

This was an important event. On the 8th of February 1919, William and his family arrived in Liverpool on their way to Ballindoon with his wife Amanda and three children after sailing from Portland, Maine:

This brings up another point. I don’t have Elsie in my tree. She was born 30 Jun 1914 in Mansfield, Massachusetts:

The William Frazer story is quite compelling. William moved to the Boston area in 1896. After living in the US for 18 years, he decides to go back to Ireland with his now American family. In a sense, he went against the trend and against those staying in the US for economic improvement. He left his new friends and family in the US for his parents and family in Ireland and a simpler but more difficult economic situation.

Addendum #2 – Telling the Stories

  • George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster – They remained on the farm in Ballindoon. In 1901, they have David, Susan and John Edward at 16, 14 and 12 helping out on the farm. In 1911, George William is listed as 75 and Susan and Edward are with them listed as 23 and 21. Susan and Edward each married in 1918. Edward has a daughter born May 1918 but Edward’s wife dies less than a month after the birth of their daughter. In February 1919, George and Margaret’s second oldest son William returns to the farm in Ballindoon with his wife and young family. Edward’s infant daughter Lilly dies within days of the return of William Frazer and family. Edward leaves Ireland for Boston in 1922 two months after the death of his mother. George Frazer the father lives to an old age until 1928.
  • Violet Frances (1872) She married James Fairbanks in 1901. After marriage, she went to live on James’ mother’s farm in Drumvoney, County Sligo. I have that she had four children and died in County Sligo in 1934. Violet’s husband James died in 1912.
  • Hubert (1878) – He came to the US in 1901 shortly after his sister Violet married. He married Annie McKinnon in 1917. He had three boys and two girls and became a store owner in Squantum, Quincy, Massachusetts.
  • George (1879) – He moved in with his Aunt Isabella and worked his grandfather’s farm in Derrycashel, County Roscommon. He married Annie Craig in 1915 and had one girl and three boys and died in 1960.
  • David (1884) – He arrived in the US in 1908. He married Eleanor (Elsie) Taylor in 1915 and had a daughter born in 1919 in Boston. David’s wife died in 1927. He married Annie Gray in 1931 in Milton, MA and died in Milton in 1953. David was a cook in 1920 and also have that he was a grocery clerk, but I am missing some information about him.
  • Susan Jane (1887) – She married Edward Crawford in 1918. He was likely the son of Joshua and Kate Crawford from Derreenasoo, County Roscommon.  Edward was present at the death of his mother there in 1931. My notes say that they moved to Northern Ireland. Edward, also known as Stuart Edward died in Linaskea, Fermanaugh in 1963. Susan died there at the age of 85 in 1972.
  • John Edward (1889) – I mentioned some of Edward’s earlier life surrounded by tragedy above. After moving to the Boston area, Edward married Waitie Covell in 1931. Edward was a chef. He died in Marlborough, MA in 1970. I don’t have any record of surviving children of Susan Jane or John Edward.
  • I don’t mention the three older Frazer brothers directly as they are not in the photo. However, I have already mentioned James and William Frazer. The other brother Richard has a son who marries David’s daughter.

Where Did My William Bradford Ancestors Live?

As I have mentioned in a previous Blog, the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth will soon be upon us. As I update this Blog it is now upon us. As a result, I’m struck that I’ve had ancestors living in Plymouth County where I live for the last 400 years. I have written a few Blogs on where my Bradford ancestors lived. My previous one was on Hannah T Bradford born 1838.

William Bradford Born Before December 1686

This William Bradford was the last William Bradford in my line leading down from Governor Bradford. His line of descent is from his great-grandfather Governor William Bradford to his grandfather Major William Bradford to his father William who married Rebecca Bartlett.


Here is William going back from Hannah Bradford:

Hannah was my 2nd great-grandmother. That makes William my 6th great-grandfather. I assume that William owned land and it is possible that I may be able to trace that land to a current location. According to my Mayflower Families book, William was probably born in Plymouth. He married in Plymouth and he died in Kingston. As William had three more William’s in a row to get back to Governor Bradford, the genealogy can be a little confusing.

One other way to identify these William’s is by their spouses. Unfortunately, I cut off the last wife who was Elizabeth Finney. I also cut off the wife of the William Bradford who was born in 1654. This was Rebecca Bartlett.

William’s Father Dies When William Is Young

Here is more of the story:

William was one of three children and he was the only boy. His father William died when William was only 1 or 2. None of the dates for the children are sure. Alice’s birth is from another book. William was born before December 1686 and Sarah’s birth year is based on her death record. The elder William died in a cart accident.

William Bradford: From Plymouth to Kingston

Here is William’s wife and children:

The first five children were born in Plymouth. That is up to my ancestor Josiah born in 1724. The last three children were born in 1726 or after. That would put William’s move to Kingston at about 1725. Or did the boundaries change? I note that Kingston was incorporated in 1726.

William First Mentioned in a Deed Dated 1687

When William was still a toddler, he was mentioned in a deed by his grandfather William Bradford (born 1624). According to the Mayflower Families Book:

On 23 April 1697 William Bradford in consideration of the natural love he bore for his grandchild William Bradford, only son of his son William Bradford deceased, gives to his grandson one parcel of upland on which his son had built his house “Given unto me from my father William Bradford Esqr”

So it seems this deed mentions four generations of William Bradford’s. This also indirectly mentions where William’s father built his house.

William’s Grandfather Major William Bradford Born 1624

It is usually best to go from the more recent to the less recent in genealogical research. However, in this case, Major William Bradford and his father Governor William Bradford are so famous, that a lot is known about them. For example, Major Bradford’s house is still around, so that will give us a foothold. I have this representation on my web site:

Here is a location on a current map:

Whose house is it?

I may have been wrong. As I look at the website, it appears that the house belonged to Major John Bradford son of Major William Bradford.

Looks like I have it wrong on my web site, so I’ll have to fix that. So it pays to look into these things. Major John Bradford was the brother of the William Bradford who died in a cart accident.

Looking for Where Governor Bradford Born 1589 Lived

I’ll start at the beginning. Here is where Governor Bradford lived in Plymouth:

Hey, someone put a furniture store on Governor Bradford’s property:

I have this rendition on my web site:

I’m not sure how accurate this rendition is, but it does appear to show the church next door. Records say that Bradford held Town meetings at his house. Here is another angle:

Burial hill is to the left in this photo. Governor Bradford lived where the brick building is. However, he also had farm land in present day Kingston. His wife was Alice (Carpenter) Southworth.

In a History of Kingston Massachusetts By Rev. Josiah Peckham, 1867:

For a time Gov. Bradford had his residence in Stoney Brook, near the dwelling of the late Francis Drew. The cellar of his house is still visible. His son, Deputy Gov. Bradford, lived, and died upon the same spot. A “High-Top Sweeting,” the last tree of the orchard, set out by the son, is still standing by the lane leading to Dea. Foster’s. Mr. Henry Colman speaks of it as “planted in 1669, and as bearing in 1838, thirty bushels of good fruit.” If this account of its age is true, it bids fair soon to enter upon its third century. Joseph Bradford, another son of the Governor, settled a little south-east of the Landing. 

Here is an old map of Kingston:

There is a Bradford shown to the North of Stony Brook. There is another S Bradford shown and highlighted to the South or SouthEast of Stony Brook. Today’s Stony Brook looks to be Halls Brook:

According to the Will of Governor Bradford dated 1657:

I have Desposed to John and Willam alreddy their  proportions of land which they are possesssed of;

Major William Bradford Born 1624

Here is an excerpt from an 1850 article on the Bradford Family:

This account appears to differ with the account above concerning where Deputy General William Bradford lived. Or perhaps he lived both places at different times. Here is a portion of the 1820-1830 map of Kingston South of the Jones River showing three Bradford locations:

Another Kingston Clue  in the Willett House

According to the Kingston Historical Commission:

Willett House update, 27 Wapping Road. Jack provided a historical overview, noting the house was likely built in the 1630s, perhaps in 1638, and describes it as having the best provenance of any house in town. Willett, who sold it to Governor William Bradford in the 1650s, came over on the second Mayflower voyage in 1629.

Based on further Commission notes, this house is in private ownership. This excerpt is from the Massachusetts Historical Commission:

The ownership history has been thoroughly researched and indicates the (house and?) land was sold to Governor William Bradford in 1653. It remained in the Bradford family when it was willed to his son, Major William Bradford, who built the “Bradford House” on Landing Road, and then to Samuel and Gershom Bradford. In 1747, the land was sold to Reverend William Rand and later to John Faunce, in whose family it remained for quite some time. From December 1936 to July 1937, a Historic American Buildings Survey team recorded the site and listed the owner as George Higgins. Shortly thereafter, a Mrs. Peabody owned the property and it was under her ownership that the house underwent a restoration by Strickland & Strickland in 1946. The current owner has not significantly altered the appearance of the house since she bought it and it appears very much as it did following the 1946 restoration.

Here is 27 Wapping Road, Kingston:

This is to the South of Jones River. I’m not sure if the previous reference to Stony Brook is accurate or not.

Here is a photo of the house:

The original house from the 1600’s is the one in the back and the ‘newer’ part is on the front dating from the 1700’s. Here is some more information from the Massachusetts Historical Commission:

The main block of the Willett House, in its current configuration, is a typical early 18th century saltbox. Town records indicating a land grant to Capt. Thomas Willett in 1639, including forty acres of “upland and meadow” and seven acres “on which to build his house,” have served as the basis for dating the rear ell. In The Story of the Thomas Willett House, Gordon Massingham of the Kingston Historical Commission assumed that the ell was built around 1640 and it apparently served as a model for a precise, although somewhat larger replica built at Plymoth Plantation in 1994. HABS field notes suggested a slightly later 1653 date, apparently based on town histories published in 1884 and 1920. Abbott Lowell Cummings visited the house in 1996 and, according to the owner, stated that the rear ell did show evidence of 17th century construction (based in part on sheathing exposed at the time) and that the saltbox was probably built around 1700.

It helps to have famous ancestors who have been well-researched. On the 1820-1830 Kingston Map, the house appears to be labelled as belonging to the Widow Faunce:

Chronology for the Williett House

Governor Bradford buys the Williett house in 1653. It is not clear to me if he lives in it or not. The Massachusetts HIstorical Commission [MHC] says it was willed to his son Major William Bradford. However, Governor Bradford died in 1657. His Will says he already gave land to his two sons prior to the Will. My guess is that if the Governor ever lived in the house it was for a very brief time or only to visit his son. According to the MHC, “It remained in the Bradford family when it was willed to his son, Major William Bradford, who built the “Bradford House” on Landing Road, and then to Samuel and Gershom Bradford. In 1747, the land was sold to Reverend William Rand…” That means tha the Willett house was a Bradford house between 1653 and 1747. 

The Samuel mentioned above, born about 1667, was the son of Major Bradford. Gershom, born 1691 was Samuel’s son. This Gershom was probably the same Gershom who in 1741 was appointed guardian of my ancestor Josiah Bradford (born about 1724) after Josiah’s father William Bradford died in a carting accident. That means that Josiah possibly lived at this location also when he was young.

The Bradford House on Landing Road

Am I going in circles? Above it says that the Willett House was willed to Major William Bradford who built the Bradford House on Landing Road. Wasn’t this the house that was listed as the Major John Bradford Homestead above? Major William Bradford died in 1687. The John Bradford house was built when?

According to Wikipedia:

The Bradford House, also known as the Major John Bradford Homestead, is a historic house at 50 Landing Road in Kingston, Massachusetts. The Jones River Village Historical Society owns the house, and operates it as a historic house museum. The oldest portion of this 2-1/2 story wood frame house was built c. 1714; this was the western portion of the house, including what is now the central chimney. Documentary evidence suggests the building was expanded to its present width c. 1750.

Apparently there is some confusion. So if Major William Bradford died in 1687, he couldn’t have built a house in 1714, unless there was a different house in this area that he built. According to a Major John Bradford Biography at the Jones River Village Historical Society web site:

Maj. Bradford’s home in Kingston, built in 1675, is still standing and open to the public today. According to tradition, the Indians attempted to burn John’s house during King Philip’s War. The Major discovered the fire. He spied an Indian on Abrams Hill waving a blanket and shouting to his fellows, and shot him. But on approach, he could not find the body. After the war, the Indian met Bradford and showed him the scars of his wound.

Based on this earlier date of construction, the house would have been built when John Bradford was 22 years old.

Here is another reference from a 1920 Biography on Governor William Bradford by Albert Hale Plumb that further confuses the issue:

Based on what I have learned so far, I am a little skeptical of the above Biography.

Some History of Kingston

According to Wikipedia:

Originally part of Plymouth, Kingston was first settled by Europeans shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It was settled once more in 1635.[2] During 1675, several bloody battles during King Philip’s War are believed to have occurred within Kingston’s borders and the residence of Governor Bradford, which is now part of Kingston, was raided by Wampanoag warriors.

In 1685, the area was placed within the boundaries of Plymouth County and for a brief time, between 1686 and 1689, the borders of Kingston were within the Dominion of New England.

Kingston was first established as Plymouth’s northern precinct in 1717 upon the creation of First Parish Kingston, now a Unitarian Universalist church in the town’s center.[2] Kingston was incorporated as a distinct town on June 16, 1726, following a tax dispute between the residents of north and south Plymouth, when the parish was known as the upper class portion of Plymouth.

I would question that the residence of Governor Bradford was raided in 1675 as Governor Bradford died in 1657. If this is referring to Lieutenant Governor William Bradford, this would make more sense.

William Bradford Born Before 1654

According to the Mayflower Families he was probably born in Plymouth. But recall the boundaries were different then. This was the William who married Rebecca Bartlett and died when a cart he was driving overturned and killed him. I am hoping there will be some information on him that will clear things up. Here is a representation of my four William Bradford’s who lived in Plymouth as it is easy to get these William’s mixed up:

As the result of William’s untimely death in 1687, there are some records.

John Bradford was the administrator of William’s estate. I assume that this was the Major John Bradford who had the house I showed earlier in the Blog.

John’s job was to see what assets William had and pay off outstanding debts. Then he would see if anything was left over.

If I could read the above, it might give a clue to the kind of work William did. My assumption is that William had some sort of carting business as he died in a carting accident.

Here are the people that William owed:

According to to the book, “William Bradford of the Mayflower”:

On 23 April 1687 William Bradford in consideration of the natural love he bore for his grandchild William Bradford, only son of his son William Bradford deceased, gives to his grandson one parcel of upland on which his son had built his house “Given unto me from my father William Bradford Esqr.” Before acknowledging the deed on 4 Sept 1696, William added a paragraph saying that when his grandson William reached the age of 21, he “shall enjoy the lands without Interruption.” On 29 Oct. 1709 John Bradford, Samuel Bradford, Israel Bradford, Ephraim Bradford, David Bradford, and Hezekiah Bradford all of Plymouth County gave their right in a cedar swamp to their kinsman William Bradford, son of their brother William Bradford deceased. This deed was not acknowledged until 26 Marcy 1747.

What I gather from the above is that the carting William lived in a house that he built on land of his father Major William Bradford. This land was given to the Major by Governor Bradford. My guess is that the Major intended the carting William’s son William to be able to continue to live in the house that his father built. However, it does not seem that the younger William would own the land that the house was on.

From the book, “The Descendants of Elder William Brewster”:

The children of William and Rebecca (Bartlett) Bradford were remembered in the will of [William’s uncle] John Richards of Boston dated 1 April 1694 and proved on 10 May 1694 that mentioned that “the children of William Bradford Fr. of Plymouth were to receive the share fo their grandfather Major William Bradford, which was to be equally divided between them.” The children’s names were not mentioned.

The three children of William Bradford Jr., late of Plymouth, deceased, namely, William, Alice, and Sarah, made choice of their “uncle” Mr. Joseph Bartlett and Mr. Nathaniel Warren to be their guardians on 18 December 1700. Each child would have been over 14 years of age to be allowed to choose their guardian. A bond in the amount of 100 pounds was posted by the guardians “to ye orphaned Children.”

I wonder who Joseph Bartlett and Nathaniel Warren are? Rebecca Bartlett Bradford had an Uncle Joseph Bartlett (1639-1711). This Joseph also had a son Joseph (1665-1703). Nathaniel Warren seems even more obscure. Rebecca’s great-grandfather was Richard Warren. The titles Mr. are important. At the time, Mr. would have indicated a person of status and wealth.

Here is a helpful article from from the Plymouth Colony Archive Project:

D. Guardianship

Guardian agreements are another type of agreement that I will only briefly mention here. The Court Records demonstrate that by 1660 guardian agreements were more common in the records than service and apprentice agreements. No recorded laws governed these agreements. Guardian agreements were written in a contract form similar to that of a servant’s indenture. Often a child would “pick” one or two adults to serve as their guardian until they were adults. A typical guardian agreement reads as follow: “Att this Court, Hannah Hull made choise of Joseph Holley and Nathaniel Fitsrandall to be her guardians, which was approved by the Court” (PCR 5: 52). In this case it is uncertain as to whether or not this childððs parents are deceased. However, other agreements specifically mention that the child’s father or parents were dead (PCR 5: 124). In some instances guardian agreements explicitly stated what goods the chosen guardian was to provide for the child while others asked that the guardians manage the estates inherited by their new wards (PCR 4:39).

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a guardian as “one who has or is by law entitled to the custody of the person or property (or both) of an infant, idiot, or other person legally incapable of managing his own affairs” (Electronic Text Center: UVA). The Plymouth Court Records indicate that this was how Plymouth residents defined guardians. Guardian agreements thus became a type of social welfare for orphaned children or children who can from dysfunctional parents. We may never know the manner in which guardians dealt with their wards. Did the guardian treat them like their own children, or did they treat their wards like servants? Most likely, the treatment of wards was highly varied. One record from 1659 involved a complaint made against John Williams, of Scittuate, for the “hard vsage of a daughter of John Barker, deceased” (PCR 3:160). The child was removed from William’s house and given to Thomas Bird until the next Court session could look into the case further. In the meantime, Williams was required to pay a fine. The final sentence of the record was particularly intriguing as it revealed a kin relationship between Williams and the daughter of the deceased John Barker. The record stated that “the said Thomas Bird is to appeer att the next Court to giue in what testimony hee can produce to cleare vp the case betwixt the said John Williams and his kinswoman, the said gerle” (ibid.). Here we see that Williams was probably the guardian of Barker’s daughter, and yet he had mistreated her and used her like a servant.

This record concerning the treatment of a ward is on the one extreme. In other cases a ward may have been treated like the guardian’s child. A future project might entail looking at the wills of men whom we know were chosen as guardians. Are the children they were assigned to look after listed in their wills? Are they listed as servants? These are just a few questions which might help us to understand the social roles of both the guardian and the child.

Apprentice, servant, and ward all entered into a common law contract with a master or guardian. These indenture agreements were viewed as unbreakable contracts and were enforced by the Plymouth Court. Any changes in indenture agreements — from the trade of a servant and the withholding of food or clothing to the misdemeanors of a servant — were brought before the Court. The next several sections will explore the manner with which change and divergence in indenture agreements was dealt.

It appears that the children would live with the guardians and would be treated along the range between servant to child. This doesn’t surprise me, as I believe that natural children were aslo treated along the same spectrum between child and servant.

From “William Bradford of the Mayflower”:

John Richards of Boston, merchant, in his will dated 1 April, proved 10 May 1694, named, among others, the children of his late sister Alice the wife of Major William Bradford of Plymouth; Thomas Bradford of Connecticut; Mercy the wife of mr. Steel of Hartford, [Conn.]; Alice the wife of Major James Fritch of Norwich, [Conn.]; Hannah the wife of Joshua Ribpley of Norwich; Melatiah the wife of John Steel of Norwich; the children of Willima Bradford Fr. of Plymouth to receive the share of the grandfather Major William Bradford to be equally divided among the; John Bradford; Samuel Bradford; Mary the wife of William Hunt of Wymouth; Sarah the wife of Mr. Baker of Duxbury; and Elizabethe Adams the daughter of Alice the wife of the late Rev. William Adams of Dedham.

John Richards was Major William Bradford’s brother-in-law.

Two Generations of Bradford Guardianship

The last William Bradford in my line born before 18 December 1686 chose, along with his two sisters to be under the guardianship of “their uncle Mr. Joseph Bartlett and Mr. Nathaniel Warren”. This William died 9 March 1729/30. According to “William Bradford of the Mayflower”,  “On 29 Nov 1736 George Partridge of Duxborough was appointed guardian of Sarah and Jerusha Bradford, over 14, and of Mercy and Josiah, under 14. On 21 May 1741 Gershom Bradford was appointed guardian of Josiah”. Josiah who was my ancestor was born possibly 1724.

Who Was George Partridge?

My assumption is that Josiah went to live with George Partridge in what I assume would be today’s Duxbury between 1736 and 1741. According to a 1915 Partridge genealogy:

Perhaps Josiah didn’t care for being restrained and was able to choose Gershom Bradford as his guardian as of 1741.

Summary and Conclusions

  • For the most part, I did not get very specific with the location of various Bradford ancestors
  • A specific location is known where Governor Bradford’s first dwelling house was in Downtown Plymouth.
  • I also guessed as to where Josiah Bradford lived when he was under the guardianship of Gershom Bradford in Duxbury.
  • In general, for the time period that I looked at, my Bradford ancestors lived to the North of Plmouth mostly in what is now Kingston.
  • The study of where ancestors lived and the lands they owned goes beyond the basic birth, marriage and death records and can be complicated. On the other hand these land records are sometimes better recorded than other records. When people moved, it was often for a reason and adds interest to the family history.






Lillian’s Family History

I met Lillian at the assisted living facility where my mom is. Lillian was curious about her husband’s family and I was curious about Lillian’s so I said that I would look into both.

Lillian’s Husband – Willis Leslie Thomas (1931-2008)

I found this photo of Willis on-line:

Here is Willis in the 1940 Census living in Somerville with a large family:

The family was living at 104 Broadway:

I believe that Lillian said that Willis was one of 13. There were eight at the time of the 1940 Census. According to Willis’ obituary there were his surviving siblings as of 2008:

4 sisters, Amy Mulligan of Somerville, Eva Goss of Malden, Hazel Salvato of Somerville and Gale Ludy of MO; 2 brothers, Harvey Thomas of Hillsdale, MI and Frank Thomas of SC

That means that there could have been 6 siblings that had passed away as of 2008. Here are the family members that I could find:

Here is some more information from Willis’ obituary:

ONSET — Willis L. Thomas, 76, of Onset, died June 21, 2008, at home. He was the husband of Lillian B. (Kempton) Thomas. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 25, 2008. He was the son of the late Elmer and Cora (Farra) Thomas.

He was born in Somerville and lived in Dracut before moving to Onset in 1977.

Mr. Thomas was the former owner of Cape Cod Charlie’s, one of the most popular bait and tackle shops in the Upper Cape.

He was an Arts & Crafts Teacher at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club and Assistant Director at Camp Mitten in Brewster.

Mr. Thomas was a skilled artist of painting, carving and drawing. He was a highly skilled veteran of fishing and hunting. He will be greatly missed by all those who participated in his life.

Elmer Smith Thomas (1896-1967)

Willis’ parents were Elmer and Cora May Farrar. Elmer was born in Boston at Island Street:

Elmer’s father was a foreman from Maine his mother was from Boston. In 1900, the family was living at 6 Reading Street:

Reading Street was just around the corner from Island Street. Here is Elmer in 1917:

Elmer was a leather belt maker living at 19 Leonard Street in Dorchester. Elmer had blue eyes and light hair:

Elmer’s dad died in 1906 at the age of 81. However, he was 71 when his son Elmer was born. In 1940, Elmer was listed as a shoe salesman.

Willis’ Grandfather William B Thomas (1825-1906)

Here is William’s death record:

Here is the record of William’s third marriage:

His wife was thirty years younger than he was. Here is Elmer with his sister Margaret and mother Annie in the 1920 Census:

Elmer and Margaret were probably supporting their mother Annie. Annie’s father was born in Scotland and her mother was born in Massachusetts

Willis’ Mother – Cora May Farrar (1903-1989)

Willis’ mother Cora was born in Townsend, MA:

According to her birth record, Cora’s father James was from Troy, NH and worked in a livery stable. Cora’s mother Mary was from Townsend. Here is Cora living in Townsend in 1910:

Cora’s mother was listed as the proprietor of a hotel. The boarders are shown above. Cora’s mother Mary is shown as married, but I don’t know where her father was at the time of the Census. He does show up in the 1920 Census as a hotel keeper.

Willis’ Great-Grandfather Benjamin

Willis’ great-grandfather is shown below living in Belmont, Maine as a farmer in 1850:

Willis’ grandfather William had moved to Boston by this time. Belmont is near Belfast, Maine.

Here is Benjamin’s grave marker:

He was listed as a Deacon:

Willis’ grandfather William was missed on the website above. Here are some more of the ancestors of Deacon Benjamin Thomas:

If I have my connections right, Willis’ Thomas line goes back to David Thomas born 1620 in Wales. David made his way to Salem where he married, then he moved to Middleborough.

Lillian Father Frank Kempton – A Man of Mystery

Lillian’s father Frank Kempton was from Canada. In 1940, Frank was at Tewksbury Hospital:

Frank was listed as 74. He likely died that same year. Here are Frank’s daughters living with Franks wife Catherine in 1940:

They were Catherine or Kathryn, Ida and Lillian.

Ida Jane and Lillian Bess were born in Ayer, so I assume that Frank lived in Ayer at that time also.

Getting the Right Frank Kempton

There was more than one Frank Kempton in the Boston area, so it is important to get the right one. I don’t think this is the right Frank living in Roxbury:

This Frank was married in 1920 and the proprietor of a furniture company, but was also born in Canada about 1865.

This is more likely Lillian’s Frank in 1920:

This Frank was a single machinist living in Boston. His birthplace said unknown, but then someone wrote in NS for Nova Scotia. Here is a transcription of the 1925 Boston Directory:

Here the machinist Frank is Frank E Kempton. The 1916 Boston Directory only shows Frank E Kempton:

Here is Frank E in 1937 still in Boston:

That means that either Lillian’s father was living away from the family in Boston or that there were three Frank Kempton’s. I could find out more about Frank, but that would entail a trip to Boston to look up records. So until we find out more about Frank Kempton, he shall remain a man of mystery. Lillian did say that he served in the military.

Lillian’s Mother Catherine or Kate Bess

I’ll switch to Lillian’s mother Catherine. She was born in Ishpeming, Michigan in 1897. Here is Ishpeming:

Kate Bess was born in 1897. Here is Kate’s birth record showing her parents:

Kate’s father was a miner.

In 1910, Kate was at the Homme’s Orphanage in Wittenburg, Wisconsin:

Kate’s father had died and Kate was at the orphanage with two of her brothers. Here is what it looked like:

This orphanage was built by the Reverend Homme who was originally from Norway like Kate’s mother Ida:

Kate’s Trip from Montreal to England to Boston

Mary Smith and Kate Bess travelled from Montreal and arrived in Liverpool on 7 December 1932:

They were the only two aliens listed on the ship. This is because they were from the USA. Here is the destination they had listed:

Kate showed up in the Boston area in 1932 still travelling with Mary Smith:

This ship sailed from Liverpool. Perhaps Kate’s US address was listed as the same as Mary Smith’s, so perhaps Kate worked for or with Mary? The address is 28 Russell Street, Atlantic. There is a 28 Russell Street in Charlestown, but this would be a guess.

Kate’s daughter Ida Jane Kempton was born in 1934, so a good guess for Kate’s marriage would be 1933. Here is a listing for Kathryn about 1954:

Kate died in 1975 in Pinehurst, MA.

Kate or Kathryn’s Father William Bess 1863-1898

Kate likely never remembered her father as she was born in 1897 and her father died in 1898. William was only 35 when he died of typhoid fever.

According to this record, William was born in England as were his parents Richard Bess and Elizabeth Paul. William married on 12 September 1891 in Marquette:

William’s wife was listed as Ida Holsen but was probably Ida Olsen or Olson.

Kate’s Mom – Ida Olson from Norway

Here is a short timeline for Ida:

This shows her birth, marriage, the birth of her three sons and a daughter and then the death of her husband when Ida was only 27.

Here is the last mention of Ida Bess in the Ishpeming Directory of 1899:

On 16 December 1900, about two years after William died, Ida remarried another miner – James Moyle:


I’ve been able to get Lillian’s ancestry back a few years. On her husband Willis’ side I got back to the 1600’s in Wales. On the other sides, not so far. Willis is balanced off by Lilian’s dad Frank Kempton who I have very little information on. Lillian’s mom Kate had some travel in her life that Lillian didn’t know about. Kate sailed from Montreal to Liverpool and the next year to Massachusetts where she settled. Kate’s family benefited by the generosity of a man named Reverend Hommes who built an orphanage and helped out not only orphans but many others.




Walking Back My Clusters: Part 2

Part 1 of Walking Back My Clusters was long and rambling. I learned a few things, looked at a few family trees and reached out to a few DNA matches at AncestryDNA.  While writing my previous Blog, I came up with a better way of presenting the results of walking back my clusters. I realize that this may sound obscure if you are not already into genetic genealogy and clusters, but hopefully the readers understand the basics of DNA and clustering.

The New Cluster Results Format

Here it is:

I have my four grandparents in four colors. The thought is that even if I am lost as to what a cluster represents, I should know under which grandparent the cluster belongs. At the top, I show the cM cutoff for the clusters. I have a small column for the cluster number that the program produces. This is a relative number and changes for each analysis. To the right of the cluster number, I have the name of the closest surname that cluster represents and the date that ancestor was born. If I don’t know this, I may give a geographical hint. As far as which ancestor to use, it is somewhat subjective. On the top row I have Hartley going to Pilling 1802 and Snell 1866. It may have made more sense to use an earlier Hartley instead of Pilling, but I suspected that one of the people in that particular cluster went back to Pilling. Under Lentz 1900, that went to the two parents who were Lentz 1866 and Nicholson 1865. This new representation, so far, keeps everything close together where I can keep track of where the clusters are going.

Cluster 13 on the 30 cM Limit

This is where I left off on the chart above. There are only three in this Cluster. I have a note on one of the match’s that they have a Northern Ireland background. I’m going to peek forward to 25 cM to see if I get any more hints. This adds one more match and tree. This tree in addition to the match with the largest tree has Canadian ancestors. I’ll take a look at the largest tree in Cluster 13:

This particular match had Ontario ancestors. The parents had connections to Owen Sound, Ontario. That sounds familiar from one of my distant Frazer relatives. My hunch is that the connection is not on the McRae side as they are listed as being originally from Scotland and Presbyterian. I’m not aware of Presbyterian ancestry on my Frazer side.

Here is my best guess:

Jane or Jennie in the bottom right of the tree is from Inniskillen. I assume this to be a variant of Enniskillen, where a lot of my DNA match leads take me:

All that to make a guess at Cluster 13.

Cluster 16 on the 30 cM Limit

I’m a bit stuck on this one. I think it is on my maternal grandfather’s side. Here is what I have so far:

I know that at 20 cM, I have 50 Clusters, so I have a way to go.

25 cM Clusters

Here I have 27 clusters, but some may be compound clusters.

Clusters 1 and 2

These split out the previous Cluster 15 which I had assigned to Fanny McMaster born 1829. Let’s take a second look:

Whitney in Cluster 1 matches everyone in Cluster 2. That is because he is a closer relative to me than I am to others in that Cluster:

What is also confusing is that Margaret McMaster had two McMaster parents.  I had the previous Cluster 15 correct on Fanny McMaster. However, it would be easier for me to think of this now as having the old Cluster 15 on Margaret McMaster 1846. Then I could assign Fanny to BV and mt and James McMaster to Whitney. Here is how I’m related to Whitney:

I am Whitney’s third cousin once removed. Here is one case where I changed an earlier analysis based on a later one:

After going through some more clusters, I came up with this:

I mentioned that I Had 27 clusters at 25 cM and 50 clusters at 20 cM, so I gave up doing this for now. I think I have an easier way to go about this which I will explore in my next Blog.

One interesting thing above is that the orange Rathfelder line jumps from 1921 to 1819 in the above cluster summary. My explanation is that there were not many DNA matches for that line at Ancestry. That line represents my mother’s father who was from Latvia. He jumped ship and came to the US in 1916. I have has one Rathfelder 2nd cousin once removed who tested at Ancestry, but one person is not enough to form a cluster at that level.

Going All the Way to 6 cM with Shared Clusters

The creator of the Shared Cluster Program commented on my previous Blog and recommended I take the clusters down to 6 cM. John Brecher tells me I won’t get any more clusters but more matches associated with those clusters. At first I thought that I had to leave the “Lowest centimorgans in shared matches” as 20, but that gave me the same results as my last run using 20 for both values in that row. So now I have both values set to 6 cM:

This kicked up my spreadsheet from 912 rows to 2453 rows. I suspect that this is where the Shared Cluster Program really shines.

Filtering the 6 cM Results

Excel has a filter button. I would like to filter my results on Common Ancestors:

When I choose Filter, an arrow appears in each column’s heading. I click on the arrow under “Common Ancestors” and unclick the ‘Blanks’ option which is at the bottom of the list:

That will give me each row that has a common ancestor:

I couldn’t get all my results in one screen shot, so the top is cut off.  Cluster 7 appears to have many of my 2nd cousins, so it shows other more distant clusters that they are related to. The 13 is highlighted in the Correlated Clusters column because it gives a clue to Cluster 13 with common ancestors Snell and Luther that I didn’t have before for Cluster 13. The same is true for associated Cluster 19 with common ancestors of James McMaster and Fanny McMaster. If I add up all the clusters plus associated clusters that have Common Ancestors, that adds up to about 20. Those will be a good clues to identifying my 50 clusters.

I highlighted Nigel because he is an interesting case. He has a fairly high DNA match with me. He’s my 5th cousin, once removed:

I don’t recall Nigel being in a cluster before due to the distant of his relationship to me. So it is good to see him in Cluster 40 now.

On to the Next Blog

Part of the difficult part of comparing these Clusters is cross checking between say, a 25 cM analysis and a 20 cM analysis. For example, Charlie was in Cluster 35 at 20 cM. What Cluster was he in at 25 cM? I hope to figure out a way to make that a little easier in my next Blog using MS Access. There may be other ways. It makes sense to me also to walk the Clusters Forward instead of back. That is because the older clusters have more people in them. As noted above they also have about 20 identified Common Ancestors.



Walking My Clusters Back – Jim Bartlett Method

I recently read two interesting articles by Jim Bartlett on the use of Shared Clustering. Jim’s most recent article discussed walking the clusters back. Shared Clustering is a free program developed by Jonathan Brecher.

Shared Clustering

Last Night while the New England Patriots were playing football, I downloaded Jonathan’s program and used that program to download my AncestryDNA matches and Shared Matches.


I used the first two radio buttons above. The first button downloads your matches up to the fourth cousin level. That is a match of 20 cM or more. As I recall, this was about 978 matches. I may be off, because I just checked AncestryDNA and I have 908 matches of 4th cousin or closer. The second button gets your matches and Shared Matches down to a level of 6 cM. It took overnight to gets all these downloaded. However, once I have those, I don’t have to connect ot AncestryDNA again – unless I need an update. The download is in the form of a text file and not overly useful in that form. It is sort of a dump of my AncestryDNA match data.


Next, I chose the recommended button for clustering under the cluster tab:

This outputs to an Excel spreadsheet file. If I shrink my spreadsheet to the minimum 10%, I can see half of the clusters:

This gets me to about Cluster 18 out of 50 clusters. So, though this is theoretically, my 4th cousins, it must go out further than that. 4th cousins would represent my 3rd great-grandparents. I have 32 great-grandparents and 50 clusters. 18 or more of those clusters must go beyond the level of the 3rd great-grandparents.

Here is the bottom half of most of my clusters down to Cluster 50 in the lower right of the screen:

Walking My Clusters Back

Jim Bartlett recommends walking back your clusters from your 4 grandparents further back a generation at a time. My first Blog on clustering was about a year ago using the Auto Cluster program. Here was my first Auto Cluster:

In this simple analysis, I had 5 clusters. However, as far as I could tell, none of these represented my maternal grandfather:

  1. Paternal grandfather – orange
  2. Paternal grandmother – green, purple and brown
  3. Maternal grandmother – red

My paternal grandfather was a German from Latvia who came to this country in the early 20th Century. So, not many relatives had tested. Not really a problem, but something to be aware of.

Shared Clustering 90 cM or Greater

Next, I tried the Shared Cluster 90 cM or Greater. It looks like this should give me 3rd cousins or greater. Somewhat surprisingly, this only gave me two clusters:

A few notes:

  • The Shared Cluster program does not appear to have an upper limit for matching. Because of that my immediate family is included. They show up as a a horizontal bar in the middle of the image.
  • The first two people are in a cluster of sorts, but Shared Cluster only includes clusters of three or more by default. They fit in on my paternal grandmother’s side.
  • The third person (the first person in Cluster 1) is actually on my maternal grandfather’s side. This was a new person who tested since last year. She is in Cluster 1 because she matches with my mother, my maternal first cousin and her two daughters.
  • Cluster 2 is all my paternal side. The matches go back further than that but the Cluster is holding together due to my close family being included in the Cluster.

Tweaking the Shared Cluster Program

Under advanced options on the Cluster Tab, I don’t see any option for screening out close relatives:

So I’ll try to ratchet down the lowest centimorgans to cluster to try to break open these clusters. I’ll try 50 cM for the lowest:

Above, I picked up one more Cluster. Cluster 1 is now my paternal grandmother’s cluster. This was the one that wasn’t a cluster previously, but I picked up one more person to make it a cluster:

  1. Paternal grandmother
  2. Maternal
  3. Paternal grandfather

The first person in the previous Cluster 1, Donna, is now the last person in the new equivalent Cluster 2. So far, I have not split a cluster but added to a previous non-cluster. This is fun to play with.

I Need to Get to About 8 Clusters Next

Trying 40 cM still resulted in 3 Clusters, so I’ll try 30 cM. I know that the three represent four grandparents as they are, but I only have one tested person for my maternal grandfather’s side tested at Ancestry. I know that at 20 cM, I have 50 clusters, so I need a match number that will get me about eight clusters. I think I see an issue. On the advanced tab, there is a maximum shared match number. When I ran 50 cM, I had a maximum shared match of 90 cM. I need to change that to 50 cM:

This flipped the clusters around:

  1. Paternal grandfather
  2. Maternal
  3. Paternal grandmother – now up to a cluster of 6 people who match me and each other by DNA

I think I’m getting the hang of this.

A 40 cM Cluster Gives Me 6 Clusters

This may be about what I want. Again, I set my shared match limit to 40 cM:

There are two-person clusters where I have the arrows. There is also a one-person cluster at the lower right of the image above. The Clusters are:

  1. Lentz
  2. Nicholson – the first two clusters look like one. I believe that that is because Cluster 1 is Lentz/Nicholson and Cluster 2 is Nicholson without the Lentz.
  3. McMaster/Frazer (Ireland) – These families intermarried more than once in my ancestry
  4. Unidentified, but believed to be Spratt (Ireland)
  5. Most likely Clarke (Ireland)
  6. Hartley – Paternal grandfather, but not further split out

Here are those Clusters on my family tree:

  • I know least about the Clarke line, yet this seems split out to the two parents of Clarke and Spratt
  • Cluster 6 is stuck probably because Hartley and Snell had 13 children and I have a lot of 2nd cousin matches at AncestryDNA
  • Cluster 2 appears to be split between three great-grandparents on my maternal side. I’m not sure why. I have some other Rathfelder cousins, but they tested at MyHeritage and FTDNA.

Some Walk Back Analysis

This shows what happened between matches of 50 to 40 cM when my clusters went from three to six.

  • My mother’s Rathfelder Cluster split into her maternal grandparents of Lentz and Nicholson
  • My paternal grandfather’s Cluster got stuck and was not further divided
  • My paternal grandmother’s Cluster seemed to skip a generation and form two clusters further out.

As my Clarke and Spratt Lines are brick walls, I would like to look at them. I am quite sure of Cluster 5. My common ancestors with two of the people in this Cluster are Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt. That being the case, I could have put the Cluster 5 up a generation at Ancestor #11.

The four matches in Cluster 4 are all just above 40 cM, so they didn’t appear in the 50 cM analysis.

Here are Clusters 4 and 5. There are a few connections between these two Clusters. I interpreted that to mean that Cluster 4 is the ancestor of Cluster 5. Here is my modified summary:

A 35 cM Threshold Results in 10 Clusters

It’s a free program, so I can play around with it:

10 is still pretty close to 8, so let’s see what we have for Clusters:

  1. Nicholson
  2. Lentz
  3. Frazer
  4. Clarke/Spratt
  5. Snell or Colonial MA?
  6. Snell/Bradford – this was a larger cluster in my previous run
  7. Parker Nantucket?
  8. McMaster Ireland?
  9. Hartley English?
  10. Snell or Colonial MA?

I’m not sure that this is any clearer than the previous Cluster of 6. Some of my matches that were previously in clusters fell out in this analysis.

35 cM Cluster Analysis

For the 10 35 cM Clusters, it would be nice if I were able to trace where they came from. I had a question on Cluster 5. However, it is still as good as it can be right now. There are only three in this cluster. They have no usable trees and they are shown matching Hartley’s in my 2nd cousin large Cluster.

On Cluster #7, I don’t agree with the way the program drew up the Cluster, so I would rather ignore that Cluster. Half of the Cluster seems to match Cluster 6 (Massachusetts Colonial) and half seems to match Cluster 8 (Irish ancestors). Cluster 9 is difficult as there are only three in the Cluster. One tree has English ancestors, but not all are English.

A 30 cM Match LImit Gives Me 16 Clusters

So by accident, I have come upon 16 clusters. In a perfect World, this would represent my 16 2nd great-grandparents. I have already shown that theoretical perfect numbers are not showing up in my case, so I don’t see a lot of purpose in getting a perfect 4, 8 and 16 clusters.

Here I have pointed out my maternal side. They only match with the first two Clusters. That means that the following 14 Clusters appear to be paternal.  The largest Cluster is #6. That is the one with a lot of my second cousins.

Here are my guesses for these 16 Clusters:

Had this previously as possibly Hartley English due to someone with a Heaton in their ancestry. Heaton is a name that was in the area where my Hartley ancestors came from. I had that one of my Hartley ancestors possibly married a Heaton. However, I had this wife of dying before they had children. Based on others in the group I would go back to saying that this is probably a Colonial Massachusetts Cluster

Cluster 2

I would interesting in knowing about Cluster 2. One of the matches in this Cluster was part of a New Ancestor Discovery at Ancestry that I never figured out. One match has a tree, so I could try building that out. My guess is that this Cluster is along the lines of my Irish ancestors.

I don’t have a lot of hope in figuring out this line, but I’ll give it a shot:

John McLean goes back to Ireland, so that is where I was trying to get. Going out further, I get this:

The trees are going back to Scotland on many lines. I tend to put some of these lines on the Clarke/Spratt as I don’t know much about those lines except that they were from Ireland.

Back to the guesses:

  1. Snell and before Massachusetts Colonial
  2. Clarke or Spratt Ireland
  3. English Hartley ancestors?
  4. One match correlates to Cluster 7 (Hartley 2nd cousins) but one match maps to Frazer by Visual Phasing, so say Frazer side
  5. Possibly Spratt
  6. Hartley side by shared matches
  7. Snell/Bradford based on one match with common ancestor
  8. Isaac Parker/Prudence Hatch (1778)
  9. Correlated with Cluster 11;

A Cluster 9 Tree

One of the Cluster 9 matches has a tree:

I have come up with many of these names before, but the name of Reed sounds familiar. Here is the detail on Alexander Reed:

Here is Hastings:

Here is the Reid I have:

Apparently William Wynn Fraser marries a Rachel Reid. My guess was that Reid was her married name. However, this family lived in Kenilsworth, Ontario:

I’m not sure if the Reid and Reed families are the same or whether there is any connection with my family. A search for Alexander Reid/Reed shows that there were many by that name living in Ontario.

Cluster 14

I joined the Shared Cluster Facebook Group. It looks like this Cluster is actually more than one Cluster.

Because my Mom, her niece and two grand-nieces are in this Cluster, it formed a super Cluster. I’ll call them 14a, 14b and 14c.

  • 14a Nicholson
  • 14b Rathfelder
  • 14c Lentz

Rather than look at each Cluster in detail, here is a summary:

I skipped a few Clusters. This exercise reinforces my thought that getting the exact 16 clusters for 16 2nd great-grandparents is not important. I had 16 Clusters but only 2 were maternal. That means that 14 were paternal and far in excess of the 8 paternal great-grandparents expected. Cluster 16 was maternal and most likely my maternal grandfather’s side. I haven’t placed this group yet. They seem to go back to a German Colony in Russia which was a long way from my grandfather’s family’s German Colony in Latvia. There was some connection to the two colonies, but I haven’t made the connection genealogically with my family.

25 cM Cutoff – 27 Clusters

This is 5 cM above the cutoff that Ancestry uses for 4th cousin. This is equivalent to a 4th great-grandparent common ancestor. I expect that a 25 cM cutoff should be equivalent to 4th cousin.

Here is the general look of the clusters:

I am in a vertical and horizontal group that splits the chart about equally in two. My mother and her close relatives form a lop-sided plus sign in the lower right side of the chart.

Clusters 1 and 2

These two clusters hold a lot of potential. These were previously Cluster 15 and I had assigned them to my ancestor Fanny McMaster. Now that Cluster 15 has broken into two, it appears that each cluster could represent one of Fanny’s Parents who were William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. I have recently learned a lot about this family through researching their move to Ontario from Ireland. Two of the people in the new Cluster 2 share my common ancestors William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. If I could identify Cluster 1, it should help to identify Cluster 2. I know that on of the matches in Cluster 1 has an unidentified Jane Frazer or Frazier in her tree. That means that Cluster 1 could be Frazer and Cluster 2 McMaster. This is important as I have at least three Frazers in my ancestry and at least two McMasters.

To accommodate this, I have lengthened my ancestor chart down to the 4th great-grandparent level:

This would be a theory to follow up on based on the fact that a match in Cluster 1 has a Frazer ancestor but no known McMaster ancestry.

Cluster 3

There are only three people in Cluster 3. Based on correspondence from someone with a private tree, our common ancestors are Simon Hathaway born 1711 and Hannah Clifton. That is two generations back from the extension I made on my cluster summary chart, so I’ll just add Cluster three to my Hathaway 4th great-grandparent.

Cluster 4

Cluster 4 brings into question my previous Parker Cluster. I had a match with at least one person in this cluster with a common ancestor going back our shared Parker ancestor in Nantucket. However, now there are two others in this clusters. One has an ancestor in County Roscommon where I had ancestors. Another person is from Australia. Now my match with the Parker ancestor also has an Irish ancestor. Perhaps this is the real match I should be looking at?

Cluster 5 – Spratt

In my 30 cM analysis Cluster 5 was also Spratt coincidentally. However, this new Cluster 5 goes back another generation and has split off the Clarke from the Spratt:

The new cluster 5 at the 25 cM threshold has moved from my 2nd great-grandparent level (Jane Spratt born  to my 3rd great-grandparent level. This is important as Spratt is my most severe brick wall.

Triangulating Spratt Trees in Cluster 5

My thought is that if I can find common ancestors in some of the trees represented by Cluster 5, I may find my common ancestors. First in order to not duplicate effort, I checked to see if I had an existing Spratt Tree. I did:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember who Ed, Deb and Helena are. I do note with interest a George Spratt who married a Jane McGuire. Could they be the parents of my Jane Spratt thought to be born about 1830? William and Christopher are also potential candidates.

My first match in Cluster 5 is Craig. I’ll add him to the tree:

Craig matches me with a healthy 33.9 cM of DNA. One question would be whether Christopher was married previous to marrying Margaret McKay.

Next in Cluster 5 is Deb. She is already on my chart and matches me with 34.1 cM of DNA. The last person in my Cluster 5 with a tree is Helena who again is already on my tree. She matches me at 25.2 cM.

This leads me to two theories:

  • I descend from Christopher Spratt and a first wife, or:
  • I descend from William Spratt born 1775 and then from one of his sons

In now see Ed and match him by 44.8 cM.

Here is another Cluster 5 Tree:

I’ll call this person Shar. She must be on the Margery Spratt Line:

The tree is now shaping up with DNA matches. Shar’s tree ended with Jane, but I assumed it was the same Jane Hayes that was in Helena’s tree. The good news is that I have the start of a good Spratt DNA project. The bad news is, I’m not much closer to knowing where Jane came from. It’s interesting how clearly this Cluster points to this genealogy, yet I don’t have the specifics. I’m slowly getting closer to the answer.

Clusters 6-9 – Irish, But Which Families?

I’ll start with Cluster 9 as Gladys is in that Cluster. I manage her DNA:

From what I can tell, James at the top married his cousin Violet Frazer. I could safely assign this Cluster to George W Frazer as Gladys has no known McMaster ancestry. I would like to go back at least another generation, but at this time, I can’t match up the genealogy of my other matches in this Cluster.

I don’t have a good guess for the other clusters other than possibly on the Clarke side.

Cluster 11 – Schwechheimer

Through hard work and diligence, I came up with a common ancestor for one of my three matches in Cluster 11:

However, this gets confusing. Rosine Schwechheim, my ancestor married a Gangnus. Also Rosine’s mother was a Gangnus. Technically, the common ancestor would be further out, but it is safe to say that the line on my side went through Rosine Schwechheimer.

Cluster 13 – Clarke

I know that I have a Clarke/Spratt common ancestor with two matches in this Cluster. I see another match with a person in this cluster but Patricia has a private tree. She has uploaded to Gedmatch:

Cluster 14 – Snell?

There are only three in this Cluster. One match has a tree that goes to Hannah Snell. She is probably the granddaughter of my ancestor Samuel Snell born 1708. I’ll stick this Cluster with a later Snell ancestor because I don’t want to extend my list too far:

This Anthony is Samuel’s grandson, so technically, I should have gone back another generation.

Cluster 15 Hartley English Side

This is a side I am interested in if it is Hartley English. There are three in the Cluster. I have looked at one tree with no luck. Perhaps looking at a second tree will help. The matchup seemed like it should be on Mark’s maternal side:

Here is the tree from the other person in Cluster 15:

Cluster 16 has only three also. The one person in Cluster 15 without a tree had a connection to Cluster 16.

Clusters 17 and 18

Cluster 17 is picking up in size which may mean my Snell side which has the Massachusetts background. I can’t find many good trees in this Cluster. Cluster 18 is large. Despite the size, I couldn’t find common ancestors and Ancestry didn’t suggest any.

Cluster 19

This is the Cluster I am in as well as my siblings, close relatives and second cousins. Two matches in the group have the common ancestors Snell and Bradford. One match has Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet. That means that this Cluster should be two Clusters.

These show in the same Cluster due to all my close relatives in this Cluster. I would split Cluster 19 like this:

The grey horizontally highlighted row is the Greenwood Hartley match. This is an important distinction for me as one side represents my English Hartley side and the other side represents my Colonial Massachusetts Snell side.

Clusters 20-27

  • 20 – probably MA Colonial
  • 21 – probably Irish
  • 22 – probably maternal grandfather
  • 23 – maternal grandfather. Some match my maternal cousin but not my mother, so that seems odd.
  • 24 – more maternal grandfather
  • 25 – The is a compound cluster. 25a is Lentz. 25b is Rathfelder. This was previously 14a, b, and c so the Nicholson cluster broke off this below
  • 26 – Nicholson
  • 27 – probably Irish

Summary of the 25 cM Clusters

Some splitting out of known clusters are interesting as they suggest descent from a specific older ancestor. This was the case with my ancestor Fanny McMaster where I was able to split out matches between her parents William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Where I didn’t know the previous cluster, when these were split out it just split out to other clusters that I didn’t know.

The Parker Cluster was confusing. I had a common ancestor for two of the matches, but two other matches seemed to indicate that they didn’t have the same common matches. This could be the case where they match each other on a different line.

When I put the clusters into my summary chart, I am putting them in vertically. However, it is important to check vertically also to make sure the clusters are being picked up. I also looked into some genealogy. I filled out a share DNA Spratt tree. I don’t know where I fit in this tree, but I am all the more certain that I do fit into this particular tree, so that narrows down where I should be looking for genealogical clues.

It seems I need a better way of presenting the results of the clusters. Right now the results are very spread out do to the increasing numbers of ancestors. It would be possible to collapse these results to include only the ancestors with clusters, but that would omit all the ancestors that I don’t have clusters for.

20 cM – 50 Clusters

At the risk of making this a marathon Blog, I’ll look at my 50 Clusters down to 20 cM. This is the matching limit for AncestryDNA. Apparently this program can take the level lower, but the shared matching limit will still be at 20 cM. I expect some more of the same of what I found out above.

I see a problem already with Cluster 1. All the levels are below 25 cM. That makes it difficult to place this Cluster. One person in the Cluster has a tree of 5:

It may be possible to build this out, but it would be a low priority for me to do this right now. I don’t see this person on my mother’s match list, so I suspect this is a paternal match.

Cluster 2 has only four in it. Two are between 25 and 30 cM, but they did not form a Cluster under my 25 cM analysis.

Cluster 3 matches are all under 25 cM, but match my mother.

Clusters 6 and 7

The program split 6 and 7 strangely. Two of my sisters are in #6 and one in #7. My son is in Cluster 6 and my daughter in Cluster 7. What is more important is the splitting of Cluster 7:

This splitting is important to me as I am trying to find English Hartley ancestors who don’t have Snell ancestry. The larger part of Cluster 7 has Snell ancestry (outlined in green).

More Detail on Cluster 7b

There are 8 people in Cluster 7b. It also looks like 7b forms two clusters. My guess is that this represents Hartley and Emmet:

The first match in the Cluster is Kristen. I think we have been in touch, but I can’t find any Ancestry messages. Here is the connection:

The second on the list is Mark. I’ve been building out the part of his tree where I think there is a possibility we might match up. That is his maternal grandfather’s side:

Lucy Priestly died in Hull, but was born in Halifax which is a bit closer to where my ancestors lived.

Lucy’s mother Sarah Ann Wilson was the one born in the Halifax area. Here is Sarah Ann’s baptismal record from 1825:

My guess is that her mother could have been Susannah? Her father was a bookbinder. I didn’t make a genealogical connection between myself and Mark yet, but I will likely come back to his tree.

The next match is Arlene. She doesn’t have a tree, but I sent her a message.

The next match with Howard appears to be important:

Even though Howard doesn’t have a tree, It appears that he may descend from my Pilling ancestor:

I guess I hadn’t realized that two separate Wilkinson lines descended from Pilling. At any rate, my guess is that Howard descends from one of these two lines. I believe that on the right, next to Richard should be a Paul also. I don’t match Paul but some of my relatives do. As far as I know, the David Watson above isn’t closely related to William Wilkinson.

Another question I have for the above Cluster is whether Bessey should be included in the Cluster. I would guess not, because I have that Bessey’s ancestors are Snell and Bradford. Also Bessey is linked to Clusters 12 and 15.

A further point to consider is that Arlene and Howard appear to be in both sub-clusters above. Assuming that Howard is a Pilling match, that may mean that both sub-clusters are Pilling clusters. That could mean that one sub-cluster is more for Mary Pilling’s mother and the other for Mary’s father. However, that is just a guess. Mary’s parents were Greenwood Pilling and Nancy Shackleton:

Dave, Bruce, Mark and Michael

Dave and Michael have trees. I’ve been working on these trees, but haven’t found the connection yet. However, I see connections in the Greenwood surname. I haven’t found a Greenwood surname in my ancestry, but it may be there. Mary Pilling’s father was Greenwood Pilling. Mary’s son was Greenwood Pilling. Many of these genealogies seem to have West Riding connections but not to bordering Lancashire where my ancestors lived.

Summary and Conclusions

This could be a good place to stop. I want to continue this Blog as I have come up with a better way to present my results.

  • Walking the clusters back is a good way to look at your clusters.
  • This is a way of organizing your cluster, making sure you have contacted the important matches and making sure the clusters are placed in the right area of your genealogy.
  • I started my clusters with a 50 cM limit. From there I went to a 40 cM limit and went down by 5 cM increments until I got to 20 cM.
  • The clusters did a good job at identifying my most recent brick wall, Jane Spratt born about 1830 in Ireland. From there I was able to place Jane in the correct Spratt tree, though I could not tell for sure which branch she was from. This could further direct genealogical research.
  • I tried to connect other genealogies from other clusters with limited success.
  • I came to the realization through this analysis that I have DNA matches with two separate Wilkinson lines descending from my ancestor Mary Pilling.
  • As I walked these clusters back, some split cleanly into two parental clusters, some didn’t. Some unknown clusters split into further unknown cluster as might be expected.

To be continued….

Where DId My Bradford Ancestors Live in Massachusetts? Part 1 Hannah Born 1838

As we come upon the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims, it strikes me that I’ve had ancestors living in Massachusetts all that time. I started working on where some of my Bradford ancestors lived here. This Blog will start to fill in some of the blanks.

Starting from My Most Recent Bradford Ancestor – Hannah T Bradford (1838-1889)

I don’t have a good photo of Hannah. She married Isaiah T Snell who is pictured here smoking a pipe:

Isaiah married Hannah Bradford in 1839 and Alice Besse in 1891. Depending on the date of this photo would depend if this is Hannah or not. I believe that this photo was taken from the Southern part of Snipatuit Road. Here is a map from 1879 showing where Isaiah and Hannah lived:

Isaiah’s father Otis sold him his house and Otis moved a little further North. Hannah and Isaiah probably moved to this house around 1868. Hannah died in 1889. At the time Hannah married in 1859, she was living in Wareham. Hannah was also born in Wareham to Harvey Bradford and Wealthy Hathaway.

Hannah in 1840

There will be some overlap here. Here is Hannah’s father Harvey Bradford, transcribed as Harry Brasford in the 1840 Wareham Census:

My thinking is that Harvey worked at an iron or nail factory in Wareham. Here is a transcription from FamilySearch:

For some reason, I would really like to know where the Bradford family lived in 1840. The assumption is that people who were enumerated near each other lived near each other. This should be the case more than not.

The key here seems to be that Harvey Bradford lived near Thomas Pierce. In 1850, there was a Thomas Pierce in the Census:

Thomas was 54 and was living near a Weghtinton and a Whitterman.

Here is Thomas in 1855 which is near the time of the 1857 Plymouth County Map:

He was a laborer, but these were the occupations of the people around him: farmer, miller and nailor. I can’t make out one of the occupations – probably an iron worker. Here is where I think that was in 1857:

On the left at the house of R. Hathaway is where Harvey’s wife Wealthy Hathaway grew up in Rochester. There were many iron works in the area. T Pierce on the map is probably Thomas PIerce and R Wrightington is probably the Richard Wrightington of the 1855 Census or Weghtington of the 1850 Census. Richard was a miller – likely at the nearby Grist Mill. Harvey may have worked the place marked as “Nail Mfy. & Grist M.” on what is now Paper MIll Road.

Here is  the 1840 Census summary:

This shows one person worked in agriculture and one in manufacture and trade. Wealthy had two small children at the time. Did she work in manufacture or did Harvey? I think that Wealthy’s father was a farmer, so perhaps she worked a farm and had the kids with her, or was it the other way around? Henry C Bradford was listed as a nailor in 1850 at age 17, so perhaps he followed in his father’s footsteps.

Papermill Road

Pierce and Wrightington are shown on what is today Papermill Road in Wareham.

This puts Harvey Bradford and family somewhere in the vicinity of the intersection of Papermill Road and Main Street.

A Wrightington/Taber Connection?

In 1850, there was a Cyrus Taber living in the house of Richard Wightington, the miller. This Cyrus was a sailor:

As opposed to two others in the household who were nailors. This Cyrus was apparently born about 1824. I note this because Henry C Bradford, the brother of Hannah Bradford married Rhoda Ann Taber believed to be born in Fairhaven in 1838. She was also believed to be the daughter of Cyrus Taber and Patience Votar.

Travel down the railroad tracks a few stops to Fairhaven in 1850:

Here is a household headed up by Samuel Taber. Henry Bradford’s future wife Rhoda is living there along with two other Cyruses. Also two of the Tabers are Mariners. Patience Taber is listed as having a nervous derangement. Are we confused yet? The 1850 Census didn’t give family relationships.

Adelaide Taber

Adelaide from Robert the Miller or ironworker’s (or sailor in 1860) house. She ends up marrying a 62 year old carpenter in 1877:

Her mother is given as Ruhamah D Taber:

Further down on the same page of marriage records:

Rhoda Bradford (originally Taber) marries William. This is his second marriage also. So Adelaide was Ruhamah’s daughter. Ruhamah then apparently marries Richard Wrightington:

I think I’m getting into some complicated stuff. Adelaide says she was born in Wareham.

Cyrus Taber Born About 1824

Cyrus dies single in Wareham in 1885:

However, his mother is ‘Rheuhama’ Hathaway. So now I need to amend my story. Ruhama Hathaway must have married Cyrus Taber and had at least two children. She then marries Richard the Miller. So not as wild as it originally looked.

Cyrus Taber the Elder

There are some court records of Cyrus:

There is no date on this, but it is listed between an 1820 and 1822 case.

I assume that Cyrus the elder was around at least until 1839 when daughter Adalaide was born.

Ruhama Hathaway Born 1801

Turns out I already have her in my family tree:

Ruhama had Hathaway’s on both sides. I descend from Simon Hathaway who was also a son of Arthur Hathaway.

The Fairhaven Tabers

Samuel Taber Born About 1787

I’m hoping I can tie the Wareham and Fairhaven families together somehow. Fortunately Samuel remarries:

We learn his father’s name at least. These two families are not coming together that easily.

Cyrus Taber, Mariner, Born About 1810

I found 10 trees at Ancestry for Cyrus and they all give Samuel as his father. Samuel’s parents were Amos Taber and Deborah Hammonds. It looks like I am unable to make an easy connection between the Taber’s of Wareham and the Taber’s of Fairhaven even though there is a Cyrus Taber in each of the two families.

The Wrightington/Hathaway Connection

It looks like there was more of a Wrightington/Hathaway connection. In fact, there could be a story here. Ruhamah Hathaway born 1801 was originally the wife of Cyrus Taber the blacksmith from Wareham and Middleborough. He apparently dies and Ruhamah marries Richard Wrightington probably sometime in the 1840’s. Harvey Bradford is living next to or near Richard Wrightington in 1840. Perhaps he worked with Richard or for him at that time and/or prior to this time.Harvey marries Wealthy Hathaway who is a second cousin to Ruhamah.

Summary of Hannah T Bradford Snell’s Living Places

I have that Hannah was born in Rochester in 1838. This is based on her death record. A court case from 1835 names Hannah’s parents Harvey and Wealthy Bradford as being of Rochester.

Apparently, the family moved back and forth. I believe that Harvey worked in the nail or iron business in Wareham. Wealthy’s father Joseph Hathaway had died in 1815, so it may be that they lived for a time with Wealthy’s mothder at the Hathaway house. Or it is possible that Harvey helped work the Hathaway farm at this time.

In 1840, the Census has the family in Wareham. Based on my look above, they could have lived in the area of Paper Mill Road and Main Street. Wareham. They possibly lived near Richard Wrightington who at different times was listed as a miller, an iron worker or a mariner.

Harvey’s death was listed as being in Rochester, but this was based on his burial at Sherman Cemetery.

G.R. 7 is the Sherman Cemetery. Another possibility is that Harvey could have been buried elsewhere but a monument erected at this cemetery later. Hannah would have only been about 2 at the time of her father’s death if I have her birth correct.

In 1850, when Hannah was 11, she was living in Rochester. This was probably the High Street Hathaway House:

Hannah was living with her brother, mother, single Aunt Priscilla and grandmother Experience Cowing Hathaway. Here is says that Hannah was born in Wareham, so this is different than what I said above.

Hannah’s grandmother Experience died in March 1855. At the time of the 1855 Massachusetts Census taken on 20 September 1855, Hannah and her mother Wealthy were living with Mercy Snow.

In 1850, Mercy Snow was living at the house of Nicholas Snow, so this is likely the same house. Nicholas was likely her brother. Mercy was the single daughter of Nicholas Snow and Hannah Dexter.

In 1859, 20 year old Hannah marries. She and her mother are with Isaiah Snell in 1860:

The Census was taken on July 7, 1860. On July 15th, Otis Harvey Snell is born. Isaiah is listed between Gammons and Rounseville, so if the enumeration was taken in order, the family should have been living on Rounseville Road:

Isaiah appears to be listed as a shoe maker.

In 1865, Hannah may have been living in the same place. My records seem to indicate that Isaiah bought his father’s house in 1868, but I may be off. It appears that Hannah and Isaiah moved out of the house they were in because I still see Lydia Pierce and John King between Rounseville and Gammons. I’ve taken the 1865 Census and put the number of enumeration next to the house when I could identify it. I assumed, based on the numbering that Otis Snell was still living at Snipatuit Road:

One interesting thing was that I saw Henry Bradford, Hannah’s brother enumerated between family 16 and 18. That would put them possibly in the house listed as J.L. Braley. I listed Blackmer wrong as 34. That should be 35. That could mean that Hannah and Isaiah were living in the Bolles house or in the area. However, I didn’t identify families 37-41 on the map. These were:

  • Roxana Ashley (B Ashley on the map?)
  • Samuel B Staples, Wheelwright
  • Paul Ricketson, Farmer
  • William F Sherman, Mariner
  • Abraham Spooner, Laborer

By 1870, the family was definitely in the house that Otis Snell used to own. Ironically, Otis bought the Snow house where Hannah was living in 1855:

The above is from an 1879 map. E.M. Bumpas, blacksmith is enumerated next to the Isaiah Snell family in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses. Hannah died in 1889. I assume at the above location.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It is a little difficult to figure out where ancestors lived, but it can be rewarding
  • If an ancestor owned their land, that land may be traced through the Registry of Deeds. If not, there is some more guessing involved. The use of the census plus maps helps in that case.
  • Finding where an ancestor lived is helpful for the genealogy. It also adds color to the life and may bring about connections or lead to more information.
  • While looking for where Hannah Bradford lived, I found a clue to where her brother Henry Bradford may have lived.
  • After moving about in her early life quite a bit perhaps due to her father’s early death, Hannah settled down to the South part of Snipatuit Road once she married.




My Father’s Cousins’ Ancestry Thru-Lines: Part 2 – Bradford

I would like to look at my father’s cousin Joyce’s Bradford Thrulines. Our most recent Bradford ancestor was Hannah T Snell:

Hannah was born in Wareham in 1838 and married Isaiah Snell. This family lived in Rochester, MA where I grew up. The DNA that Joyce shares with these people is half Snell and half Bradford.

Harvey Bradford ThruLines

Harvey was born about 1808 in Plymouth, MA:

Harvey only had two children. Patricia is my second cousin on another line. These relationships are fairly close, so no evealuation is needed.

Samuel Bradford 1755

By the third set of Bradford ThruLines, we are already back to 1755. Harvey was the youngest son of Samuel. Samuel is important as the link between him and Harvey is weak. There is no known birth record for Harvey. Harvey is linked to Samuel through land records.

Robert and Joyce have a 9 cM match. In the expanded view, Ancestry is suggesting I evaluate Robert’s mother and grandfather:

The link between Barbara and her son would be a little difficult to prove. I assume he knew who his mother was. He and his brother are mentioned in an obituary. Barbara is listed as 11 months old in the 1920 Worcester, MA Census:

That is a little at odds with her posted birth of 1917. Here is her birth record:

This also shows that her father was born in Boston:

Oscar Bradford

Someone helped me out by saving this record:

This shows Oscar’s father as Alexander O Bradford. Here is the family on Washington Street, Boston in 1900:

I like how someone did a great job researching this family:

Here is Alexander the father in 1870 in Cambridge:

Too bad all my research isn’t this easy:

Now we have a middle initial and are getting back to Stephen Bradford and Hannah as parents to Alexander.

Here is Alexander W in 1850 in Duxbury:

Stephen Bradford was a cooper. I believe that Stephen’s father Samuel took over his father-in-law Stephen Churchill’s cooper business. So then he likely passed it down to his son Stephen. Here is a record I transcribed:

So easy with all the research others have done. As I mentioned above, Stephen is very important as being the brother of my ancestor Harvey Bradford. Here is some information I already had for Stephen on my own tree:

That confirms the ThruLInes between Joyce and Robert. The genealogy holds together. The DNA adds evidence that nothing got messed up along the way.

I should note that my cousin has a competing ThruLine that traces the lineage up through Harvey Stetson Bradford. I will probably look at that at some time.

Heading Up a Level to Josiah Bradford Born 1724

This is interesting:

Joyce shows 2 DNA matches through William Bradford and 10 DNA matches through an additional Samuel Bradford. That sounds confusing. That implies to me that 10 people got their genealogy wrong or that Joyce matches 10 people that descend from a different Samuel and Ancestry connected the trees in the wrong way (or perhaps a combination of the two).

Starting with William Bradford Born 1749

This looks like the easy part:

This shows that Liz is and Michael are 2nd cousins to each other and that they both match Joyce. Liz and Michael share a common ancestor of Josiah Bradford with Joyce. Ancestry would like me to evaluate these two lines. I’ll start with Liz and create my own tree for her:

Above is the family in Colleton, South Carolina. I’ve got to get them back to Bradford in Massachusetts. Richard’s mom above is supposed to be a Bradford. Here they are in 1880:

According to this Census, both of Amanda’s parents were born in South Carolina. That’s OK, it is still a while to get back to 1724. Here Richard is transcribed as Harven. I suppose for his middle initial.

Amanda’s death certificate is important as it gets us back to Bradford and Plymouth, MA:

That means that the 1880 Census was probably not correct.

Here is the 1850 Census – still in Colleton, S.C.:

So apparently Jesse was the one making the jump from Massachusetts to South Carolina. I wonder where that put the children during the Civil War?

Here is a flowery obituary for Jesse:

Jesse Bradford Born 1790 and Maria

The tree that Liz created has Maria as a Thornton. An Ancestry suggestion has her as Lovell:

I think that I would tend to go with this record, but it doesn’t really matter as I’m trying to find out more about Jesse.

Here is where I have Jesse on my Ancestry Tree:

This is the information for William Bradford born 1749 in Plymouth. William was the brother of Samuel Bradford, my ancestor. The bad news is that there is not a lot of information out there about Jesse. The good news is that the DNA matches give supporting evidence for the trees that we do have.

Michael’s ThruLines

Michael’s tree is not as extensive as Liz’s tree:

The 1910 Census joins Frampton with the Liz’s Wichman family above:

Now, the Other Samuel Descendants on the ThruLines

It turns out that the other descendants, I already know about. They descend either from my great-grandmother Annie Snell Hartley or one generation back. The Mayflower Families, which is one of the best resources for Bradford genealogy, has no birth date for Samuel Bradford. So differences in his birth date would be expected. In either case, he is still the son of Josiah Bradford and Hannah Rider.

ThruLines to William Bradford Born 1686

Now this is going out a ways. But let’s try it:

This shows as two matches for Joyce, but really amounts to one. CH is related more closely through Hannah Bradford. It is just spelled differently in his tree. I’ll try PK’s tree. PK’s tree goes up to Mary Bradford:

I’m not sure if the DNA test goes with the daughter or granddaughter of Prescott. From the ThruLines, it looks like the daughter. This Thru-Line would also support that my line goes up through Harvey to Samuel to Josiah to William Bradford. The ThruLines shows PK as a half 6th cousin. Ancestry doesn’t always get the half relations right, so I’ll check that out also.

I get a bit stuck before 1860 with my own tree:

Here is Charles and his mother in Boston. The father is presumed dead by this time. One tree had this reference:

That same tree has reference to an Averill Family Genealogy Book:

Here is more from the same book:

Here is some more on Daniel Averill from that book:

The section on Daniel mentions no Mary Gardner and no Charles Averill born in Boston. In fact all these children of Daniel are born in New Hampshire. PK’s tree has Charles born in 1845 to a Daniel who was born 1762. That would make Daniel quite old at Charles’ birth. 83? I’ll pull the plug on this ThruLine. There may be a connection, but I don’t see it right now. Another way to look at it is from the top down. William Bradford born 1686 had a son William born 1726, but he died the same year according to the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations.

My Father’s Cousin’s Harvey Stetson Bradford ThruLines

I had mentioned above that my second cousin shows different ThruLines for the same ancestors. I would like to look at this. There are only two Harvey Bradford’s that could be our ancestors. I have one and she has the other. I think mine is right, so I would like to disprove hers.

Here Holly has her line going up through her father Maury to Harvey to Charles Bradford. In the ThruLines I looked at earlier in the Blog, I had this:

That means that they can’t both be right.

My guess in the match between Maury and David is that David’s tree may be right but Holly’s may be wrong. Here is David’s tree in more detail:

For some reason, both trees go through Harvey S Bradford. David’s actual tree stops at Anna Maria Bradford:

Ancestry put the rest together.

A Tale of Two Harvey Bradford’s has this information for Harvey Stetson Bradford:

Here is some more on Harvey Stetson Bradford:

Another cousin took this photo:

This is from the Sherman Cemetery in Rochester, MA:

It appears that both these Harvey Bradford’s were born in 1809. Hence the confusion. However, one was buried in Illinois and the other in Rochester, MA.

So I have proven that Harvey Stetson Bradford was not my ancestor. I still don’t know if David above descends from either Harvey. However, as my ancestor only had two children (Henry Clay and Hannah Thomas), I would say that David did not descend from my ancestor Harvey Bradford:

Summary and Conclusions

  • The most important ThruLine I looked at was between Joyce and Robert. They show a DNA match and a common ancestor with Samuel Bradford (born about 1755) who was the father of Stephen on Robert’s side and Harvey on Joyce’s side.
  • It was easy to show the connection from Robert up to Stephen and Samuel based on research that had already been done.
  • I tried to connect Joyce to PK who showed a potential common ancestor in William Bradford born 1686. However, I found too many problems with PK’s tree to make that connection.
  • Finally I looked at Thrulines connecting another of my father’s cousins Maury to David. This showed ancestry to Harvey Stetson Bradford. But I showed that that Harvey Stetson Bradford was not my anctestor. There were two Harvey’s born in 1809. Harvey Stetson Bradford was born in Maine and died in Illinois. My ancestor Harvey (not Stetson) Bradford was Born in Wareham, MA and buried in Rochester, MA.












My Father’s Cousin Joyce’s Hartley Ancestry Thru-Lines: Part 1 – A Baldwin Leads to a Shackleton

I have been looking recently at Ancestry’s Thru-Lines. These include ancestral connections suggested by family trees and DNA matches. My father’s cousin is Joyce and she matches me on her maternal side:

So that is the side I am most interested in right now. Then I am more interested in Joyce’s maternal grandfather James Hartley’s side as that side is less defined than the Snell side.

Here are the ancestors of James Hartley born 1862 in Bacup, Lancashire, England:

Joyce’s Thru-Line suggestions start at her fourth great-grandparent level which is represented by the last column on the right above. However, I am not convinced of all the people that are already in that column – especially John Hartley, Anne Bracewell, Nathaniel Baldwin and Margreatt Baldwin. Part of the reason I’m not convinced of them is that I’m not totally convinced I have their children right: James Hartley and Betty Baldwin. They were just my best guesses.

James Hartley 1763 Thru-Lines

Ancestry shows the Thru-Lines for James Hartley incorrectly:

Joyce does match Ruth by DNA but John Pilling was likely not the father of John Pilling. John’s father was Mary Pilling who later married Robert Hartley. That would make Joyce and Ruth 1/2 3rd cousins once removed. The Thru-Lines for Mary Pilling is half right:

Richard is shown as a half relative which is right, but Ruth is shown as a full relative which is wrong.

Baldwin Thru-Lines

It would be interesting to look at the Baldwin Thru-Lines as Betty  Baldwin was a best guess that I made years ago for an ancestor. If I have the right ancestor, she was born in Bradley:

This appears the same Betty Baldwin that I picked to be Robert Hartley’s mother. She was born in Bradley. Here is Bradley at the orange circle below. Turns out that Nelson which didn’t used to exist grew up around it:

My thinking is, that if we can show a DNA match to the right Baldwin family, that would lend credence to my guess that I descend from Betty Baldwin.

Here are the Nathaniel Baldwin ThruLines:

My 2nd cousin Holly should be in the first column with Joyce. Let’s look at the two DNA matches on the right. It will be important to evaluate them:

Marilyn and Steve both match Joyce. Let’s look to see if their genealogy matches with what I think mine could be. When I click on the child of Nathaniel Baldwin, it goes to a site that has many trees managed by Helen. The first tree has over 50,000 people in it. I’ll look at that one. Here is part of her big tree:

Unfortunately, her daughter of Nathaniel is listed as private. Nathaniel’s wife is Margaret, so that matches with the birth record I had for my Betty Baldwin. Next, I have to look for a marriage for James Farrar. Here is one:

Here we have some competition for Betty. If this was the same Betty born in 1771, then she would have been 21 at the time of her wedding to James Farrar.  How do we reconcile that marriage with this one?

This is 9 years later, so if this was the same Betty Baldwin, she would be 30. There seems to be a few possibilities:

  • This Betty married twice, but wouldn’t she then be a widow rather than a spinster the second time?
  • These were two different Betty’s

My guess was that this could have been James and Betty living in a section of Trawden called Hole in 1841:

Now, I don’t know if this James and Betty are the parents of my Robert, or if they are another James and Betty. Dates for the 1841 were rounded up to the nearest 5 years. So if this is the same couple that got married in 1801, they would have been at the oldest 39 and 29. If this was a 70 year old Betty Baldwin in Hole in 1841, then that could fit in with her birth in 1771. That would mean that James Hartley would be between 76 and 80 at the time of the 1841 Census and would hae been born between about 1761 and 1765.

There were about four James Hartley’s baptized in the Parish of Colne between 1761 and 1765:

Ollin Hall is interesting because the family did live in the Hollin Hall area of Trawden. However, this was an Inghamite baptism. As far as I know, my Hartley ancestors were baptized at the Church of England.

A Few Maps

Here is a map showing Hole (near the bottom of the map), where a James and Betty Hartley lived in 1841:

In 1837, it appears that Mary Pilling (now Hartley) was living in Slack Booth:


If I read Mary’s baptismal record correctly, her Pilling parents were from Seghole:

The James Hartley from the 18441 Census is probably this James:

That would have this James born around 1863, which would most likely be the son of John and Anne Hartley born 1863. Here is a more original version of the burial record:

This is Little Lathe, which I take to be also Laith. Here is Little Laith:

Here is a confusing burial from 1840, a year before the 1841 Census:

This has Betty Hartley from a Hole House dying in that year. If she died in 1840, how is it that she appears to be living in 1841? Perhaps after she died, another Hartley relative named Betty came to live at the house to help out? At any rate, this Betty Hartley, if this was correct age, would have been born about 1775.

Next, I check out Little Laithe in 1841. It turns out that there was a different James Hartley living there:

Hartley’s, Hartley’s everywhere. This James was a little younger than the one at Hole.

Back to the ThruLines

I tried going from the top of the tree down – which is usually a bad idea. I’ll try the other way. I’ll try building a tree for Marilyn and Nellie Farrer. Nellie’s dad was Ernest. When he came to Ellis Island, the ship record listed his home as Accrington. Here he is in Accrington in 1901 at age 16:

Of interest here, Ernest’s mother was born in Colne.

She was a Foulds which I recognize as a Colne name. Here is the marriage record from Accrington:

I’m already back to the 1840’s:

Here is Alice in 1851 in what looks like Call in Great Marsden:

Alice’s mother was Alice Kippax:

One tree at Ancestry suggests that Alice’s grandmother was a Shackleton:

That is a name that is in my ancestry:

Henry Farrer Born 1847

The 1901 Census had Henry born in Brierfield. It turns out that this is not too far from Colne:

This appears to be Henry in 1861:

His widowed mother Christiana is heading the household. Henry is shown born in Marsden. His older brother is a railway porter. In 1901 Henry worked on the railway. In 1871, Henry was a railway engine fireman living in Colne:

Now I am starting to get stuck, because the tree suggestions for Henry give his mother as Sarah Greenwood – not Christiana:

If Sarah was the mother of Henry, she would have been about 51 when he was born. Here is some more information:

This clearly gives Henry’s father as Joseph. This must be Joseph’s marriage record:

This branch does not appear to bring me to Colne right now. Here is Deane and Over Hulton in relationship to Manchester:

This is likely Richard Farrar’s marriage record:

So my tree seems to go against the suggested trees at Ancestry. Here is Marilyn’s maternal side:

My guess so far, is that Joyce could be related to Marilyn on the Foulds branch. Hopefully the connection is not non Marilyn’s paternal side or on her maternal grandmother Bentley’s side.

Back to James Foulds

One of the trees above had John Foulds and Mary Shackleton for James’ parents:

Here we even have a Hartley as a witness. Here is the entry for James:

James was born in August of 1796 and baptized 22 January 1897. This is possibly Mary Shackleton:

Notice that there was a death of a Mary Shackleton less than a year before this baptism. Here is what I have so far:

Here is my tree for comparison:

There is a potential that Mary Shackelton born 1764 could be the sister of Nancy Shackleton born 1781. It looks like my tree could use some work:

I have Elizabeth born after both her parents died, so that can’t be right.

I also have that she was born in Hey Thorn. I don’t know where that is, but Hey is likely in Foulridge:

Bsaed on this exercise, I’ll take Elizabeth Shackelton out of my tree.

Also there was more than one John and Mary Shackleton, so that was confusing. On my Shackleton web site I have:

Very little is known about this family other than the father was a weaver. This family is not to be confused with the John and Mary Shackleton of Pasture. This John was a gentleman. He had 2 daughters that died fairly young with no children. According to Dennis Cairns, “Pasture House which is situated between Barrowford and the village of Roughlee. Our Shackletons lived at Pasture Meadow which is to the South of Trawden and Southweast of Hollin Hall.

Here is Pasture House:

Barrowford is to the West of Colne. Here is Pasture Springs:

I have that my John Shackleton died at Stone Edge, but that appears to be near Barrowford, so I may have the wrong person. Here is Pasture House in relation to Stone Edge:

Here is the 7 September 1788 will for this Gentleman John:

Will of John Shackleton of Pasture House, gent. — messuages called Stone Edge, Upper Lands or Burnt House and New House, and cottages called New Houses, all in Barrowford, with other specified properties there, to Trustees for daughter Jennet. To daughter Mary messuage called Fidling Clough in Thornton, co.York; also £1000. Pasture House, Whitticroft and other specifeid properties in Barrowford and Colne, to trustees for wife Mary for life, then to daughter Jennet, subject to annuity to mother-in-law Margaret Cowgill. To wife messuage in Thornton called Windle Field, and messuage in Kildwick, co. York, for life, then to daughter Mary. Etc. (Copy-)

Here is Jennet:

This must be daughter Mary:

Here is an excerpt from a book, Man’s Estate: Landed Gentry Masculinities, 1660-1900:

This book mentions John’s father and second wife, but not his two daughters. Here is John, son of Christopher:

All this shows, that the John I have in my tree is wrong:


Perhaps this marriage has a hint:

I don’t know if this helps or makes things more confusing. I had that Richard Farrar was the father of Joseph Farrar above, but that was on a different line. This could be the John of Pasture House:

The John may be the John of the marriage above, but that would make him only about 19 at the time of marriage.

This appears to represent three different branches of Shackelton:

Here is Park Hill:

I have noted Salter Syke above. Wicoller is part of Trawden, so more likely related to my branch of Shackleton. Also note the spelling is a bit different.

Just to confuse things further, a John Shackleton from Heptonstall married someone from Great Marsden. Let’s hope he moved back to Heptonstall:

Summary So Far

First, I showed that my connection to Marilyn’s ThruLines was not through my supposed Baldwin ancestor. Instead, it could be that the connection could be on my Shackleton side. Along the way, I ruled out the birth and death of my ancestor John Shackelton as that pair of birth and death dates belonged to another John Shackelton. That means that means that Christopher should also not be on my tree:

So that makes it interesting that Nicholas and Joyce show a ThruLine based in Christopher Shackelton:

Here is Nicholas’ tree:

Again, Ancestry wants me to evaluate Nicholas’ tree. Nicholas has his ancestor from Kirkby, Malham near Skipton, Yorkshire:

I think I’ll skip Nicholas for now as I don’t think my Christopher is right.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I went through an exhausting review of Marilyn’s tree to see if her supposed Baldwin line matched with my supposed Baldwin Line
  • I was unable to get Marilyn back to Baldwin
  • I was able to find a Shackleton in Marilyn’s line who lived in the area where my Shackleton ancestor lived.
  • I also was able to refine my Shackleton Line. Through additional research, I was able to separate a different more famous Shackleton Line from mine.
  • I found an additional ThruLine for Joyce with an erroneous Shackleton ancestor I had in my tree and decided not to follow that up.
  • ThruLines were helpful in correcting errors in my tree in this case.
  • There may still be a connection between Marilyn and Joyce on the Shackleton Line.







Hartley R-A11132 YDNA and Genealogy

I was contacted recently by the wife of a distant Hartley relative. There are many different tribes of Hartley’s as identified by their YDNA types. This Hartley is from my tribe. My previous update on Hartley YDNA is here. She was interested in my Hartley genealogy and I in hers. My thought was to look at the Hartley’s that are in our particular group as tested by YDNA and check out their genealogy. Then I can compare the genealogy to see where the oldest group of Hartleys in our YDNA group came from.

My Hartley YDNA – R-A11132

I have tested my YDNA using the BIg Y test which is now a bit outdated. The old test I took is now called the Big Y-500 and the new test is the Big Y-700. My testing in conjunction with one other Big Y Hartley tester has put my branch at R-A111132.

Most Hartley’s are R1b:

However, that only gets us to about 25,000 years ago, so not as helpful as you might think. In the past 25,000 years, there has been a lot of branching of the family tree. From R1b, I can trace the highlights down to A11132.


R-M269 is the next big group to look at. According to Wikipedia:

Haplogroup R-M269, also known as R1b1a1a2, is a sub-clade of human Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b. It is of particular interest for the genetic history of Western Europe. It is defined by the presence of SNP marker M269. R-M269 has been the subject of intensive research; it was previously also known as R1b1a2 (2003 to 2005), R1b1c (2005 to 2008), and R1b1b2 (2008 to 2011)[3]

R-M269 is the most common European haplogroup, greatly increasing in frequency on an east to west gradient (its prevalence in Poland estimated at 22.7%, compared to Wales at 92.3%). It is carried by approximately 110 million European men (2010 estimate).[4] The age of the mutation M269 is estimated at roughly 4,000 to 10,000 years ago, and its sub-clades can be used to trace the Neolithic expansion into Europe as well founder-effects within European populations due to later (Bronze Age and Iron Age) migrations.[4]


L21 is the next step down on  my Hartley YDNQ tree. I like to associate L21 with the Celtic Regions of Ireland, Scotland and Britain. It really includes more than that, but a lot of the people in these regions are L21. Here is how things proceeded from R-M269. R-P312 is the next main juncture, then the three main choices after that include R-L21:


After L21, the next main group in my Hartley family is in is L513. This is also a group project at FTDNA. Here is a chart from about a year and a half ago:

My Hartley group is in the middle:

So far, I have found that this Hartley branch is quite old. From the Chart above, you can also see that some family branches have gone a lot further with their testing. The further down in the Chart you go, the more recent the connections. In order to get Hartley unstuck from the middle ages, we need more Big Y testers to refine more Hartley YDNA branches.

In the above chart, it looks like Hartley descends from Smith. However, that is not right. The block tree at FTDNA is more accurate:

In the above chart, Hartley is on the left and Smith is on the right.

A11132 Testing

So far as I know, three Hartley’s have tested positive for A11132. One other Hartley and I took the Big Y test. The person I will be calling Hartley 4.11 did not do the Big Y test, but did test positive for A11132. There is a problem in identifying these three people while maintaining privacy. Here is the Hartley YDNA Project at FTDNA:

I’ll identify the Hartley testers by number. So the first person in Group 4.0 will be Hartley 4.01. The last person on the entire list will be 4.15. The Hartley administrator has put 12 Hartley’s into a green A11132 Group. The first 7 are suspected A11132. The next five Hartley’s in Group 4.1 appear to have tested positive for A11132, but only two show that they have tested for A11132. My test (4.12) has Robert Hartley for an ancestor. The other Big Y tested A11132 (4.15) has the ancestor of Samuel Edward Hartley from 1666. Hartley 4.11 has the ancestor Richard Hartley. He tested for the single SNP A11132, but because the testing was not with FTDNA, the results do not show up on the Chart above.

Genealogical Triangulation

Assuming that the 4.0 and 4.1 Groups above are all A11132, it should be possible to look at their genealogy and triangulate a likely Hartley place of origin. My Hartley genealogy goes back to Trawden, Lancashire, England around 1803 and then gets stuck. This is due to too many Hartley’s in the area with the same names and I can on;ly guess which one is my ancestor based on location and occupation if that information is even available.

My Genealogy Back to Trawden

I can get back to Trawden, Lancashire. This was a little village that didn’t even have it’s own Anglican Church outside of Colne.

After my family moved out of Trawden, they moved to Bacup which was to the lower right of Newchurch on the map above. From there, they moved to Massachusetts.

The earliest Hartley I can trace for sure is Robert Hartley. He was a weaver in Trawden. His son, my ancestor, Greenwood was born in 1831:

Unfortunately, Robert was a common name and there were many Robert’s from the time when my ancestor Robert would have been born. Also a weaver was a common profession. Weavers were not tied to the land, so they may have moved around.

When Robert married Mary, he was already a widower:

When Mary married, she was already a single mother and had a son named John Pilling. To further complicate matters, Robert died, probably in 1835:

Hartley 4.05 – Congregational Ancestry

I looked at the genealogy of this Hartley in a previous Blog:

He is the one highlighted with William Shepherd as an ancestor. I’m calling him 4.05 because he is the fifth Hartley in group 4.0.  Through non-conformist Congregational records, I was able to get him further back to Wray near Hornby on the map below around 1750 or before:

Hartley 4.07 – Over the Yorkshire Line

This is the Hartley with the Thomas Hartley ancestor:

He is also mentioned in my 2017 Blog as he is the other Hartley who tested to 111 STRs. I have that his ancestors were in Thornton near Bradford as per the red marker in the image above. Going by the 111 STR markers, it appeared that Hartley 4.05 and 4.07 were more closely related to each other than to me (Hartley 4.12).

Hartley 4.15 – Quaker Ancestry

This match is interesting to me for a few reasons. One is that he is the only other A11132 Hartley to have taken the Big Y test. Secondly, by the less accurate STRs, he seems to be more closely related to me than all of the other Hartley’s except Sanchez:

Assuming I got lucky and was right with my tree above, our Quaker Hartley would have the most important genealogy to me other than Sanchez’s genealogy right now.

4.15 sent me this tree:

This goes back beyond his 1666 Samuel Edward Hartley ancestor, based on FamilySearch apparently. However, I need to get from 4.15 back to Samuel Edward. That could take a bit:

I found a Quaker record for Thomas C Hartley that made me think I was on the right track:

I’m not sure why the heading is for North Carolina Marriage Records if this was for an Ohio Quaker meeting.

Now I’m back to Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s:

At this point, five Ancestry Trees that have a parent or two for Roger, have Roger’s father as Samuel and four have Edward.

Geni has this information:

WikiTree matches what Hartley 4.15 has:

Here is a 1577 map of a portion of Lancashire:

Marshden Chap: must be the general area of Marsden. Trawden is NE of Marshden on the map. Pendle Hill is famous among Quakers. According to

Historians mark 1652 as the beginning of the Quaker movement. One day George Fox climbed up desolate Pendle Hill (believed to be a haunt of demons) and saw “a people in white raiment, coming to the Lord.” The vision signified that proclaiming Christ’s power over sin would gather people to the kingdom. And it did. By 1660, there were 50,000 followers. Zealous young men and women (“the valiant sixty”) joined Fox in preaching at fairs, marketplaces, in the fields, in the jails, in the courts, and through the printing press.

What I Gather from My A11132 Hartley Relative with Quaker Ancestry

Based just on my genealogy and the above Quaker genealogy, I take it that I am looking for my Hartley ancestors in the right general area. I would not be able to say if our common ancestor was in Marsden and my branch moved to Trawden or that our common ancestor was in the Trawden area and the Quaker Branch moved to Marsden. These two places border each other. However, the fact that the DNA points to an early common ancestor from around 1500 or so, makes finding that common ancestor difficult. The other aspect of my Quaker connection is that Samuel (or Edward or Samuel Edward) Hartley who was born in 1666 left for Pennsylvania. I don’t know if Samuel Edward left any children in Lancashire, England. According to WikiTree, Samuel’s father was Rodger John Hartley born 1628 in Little Marsden, Lancashire. The point is, that by genealogy and geography, he would be the latest possible common ancestor between myself and Hartley 4.15.

Hartley 4.04 Genealogy

This Hartley shows as Sanchez on the STR Tree that I drew and showed as my closest DNA match. If my analysis is right, then 4.04’s genealogy will be the closest and most important for my Hartley Branch.  4,04’s genealogy should also give a locational triangulation between my ancestors and Hartley 4.15’s ancestors. Here is the paternal side of 4.04’s Tree at Ancestry:

This tree begins with 4.04’s grandfather. When 4.04 originally contacted me, he did not know who his grandfather was, but apparently he has figured it out since then. 4.04 has his genealogy ending up in Todmorden, Yorkshire or Lancashire (I assume the County boundaries changed):

Here is part of a Wikipedia entry on Todmorden:

The historic boundary between Yorkshire and Lancashire is the River Calder and its tributary, the Walsden Water, which run through the town. The administrative border was altered by the Local Government Act 1888 placing the whole of the town within the West Riding.

So the answer is that Todmorden was historically in both Yorkshire and Lancashire, but since 1888, it has been in Yorkshire. I assume that I will end up in Todmorden also when I create my tree for Hartley 4.04. John Edward Hartley was the immigrant, so it would be nice to find Naturalization papers for him. John Hartley was a common name, so it would be good to double check the genealogy.

I did find a Naturalization for John’s daughter in law Agnes Hartley. Here we have some tight timeframes:

I was suspicious of this record as William and Agnes are shown marrying in 25 May 1940. However, when I check the 1940 Census for Harrison, NJ, it shows that William was single. That is because the Census was taken 25 April 1940.

I think I found John Hartley in the 1915 New Jersey Census:

He is living, widowed, at 617 John Street, Kearney, NJ. He is a Color mixer which fits in with his 1940 occupation as a color chemist at DuPont.

A Curious Marriage

This is a critical record for John Hartley:

The question is why John from Newark, NJ would have married in Boston, MA in 1913. Also Sarah’s address is given as the SS Laconia. It seems to tie together strangely when we see that John arrived in Boston on 13 May 1913 on the SS Laconia:

So the story holds together. The marriage record is important as it gives the names of John’s parents:

The ship record confirms Thomas as John’s father:

Unfortunately, I can’t figure out where 28 Union St, Castleton is. Google Maps wants to send me to Cartaret, NJ. [See later in the Blog for the answer.]

John’s Draft Registration Cards link hin to Todmorden:

The above card is from 1917.

Here is Todmorden:

I drew in where Marsden used to be. I included a one mile scale.

Here are a few more geographical tidbits:

My ancestors moved from Trawden to Bacup to find work in the textile mills around 1851 or before.  Joseph Edward Hartley married in Heptonstall in 1693.

Here is John Edward’s baptismal record from 1883:

Here is the family in 1891 in Rochdale:

Searching for Thomas and Mary

This Thomas was born about 1858 and Mary should have been born about 1857. This must be the marriage in Burnley in 1882:

That means that Thomas would have been single in 1881:

Note that the birthplace is given as Lancashire, Todmorden. This appears to be a transcription of Thomas’ birth record:

Walsden is the village South of Todmorden. Here is Thomas’ death record. I mention Castleton above:

Edward and Hannah Hartley

That gets us back to Thomas’ parents. Here is the family in 1841 in Walsden:

Here is where a map comes in handy:

I couldn’t read Knowl Wood on the Census, but it is plain on the map above (highlighted).

Of further interest in the 1841 Census above, is that David the father was not born in the same County and his wife was not born in the same Country.

David and Betty Hartley

From another record, I see that David was from Stansfield. Here is the Stansfield section of Todmorden:

I get this Ancestry suggestion for a baptism at Holmfirth Wesleyan for David:

This is supposed to give his Township and Parish, but I am having trouble making them out. This could explain why there were not many Church of England records for this family. Concerning the date, that would make David only 16 when he married in 1817, assuming his birth was near his baptism. The 1841 Census says that he was 40, but those ages were rounded down, so he may have been as old as 44 at the time. Based on the 1841 Census, David was not born in Lancashire, so a Holmfirth, Yorkshire baptism would agree with that Census.

Abraham or Thomas Hartley?

Other trees have David’s father as Thomas Hartley:

This would make sense as it would have been a tradition for David to name his first son Thomas (which he did) after his father. One problem is that David was born in 1797 in the above tree and this tree has Thomas Hartley and Betty Barker marrying in 1801.

A11132 Hartley Places

Here is my summary, so far:

Now I just need all these places on a map.

Here I circled three, because based on YDNA STRs, it seemed that these three were more closely related to each other and the other top two blue markers seemed to be related to each other. I also added in Holmfirth as a possible birthplace for David Hartley mentioned above. This map could represent several hundred years of time in which Hartley descendants moved around the area.

Here I added the Hartley names and dates:

The genealogy of Samuel Edward Hartley is important as it is the earliest. My guess based on previous STR analysis is that Samuel is more closely related to Robert and David Hartley though 150 years separate their genealogies. I suspect that Samuel, Christopher and Thomas also descend from an earlier Hartley and that Christopher and Thomas are more closely related to each other than to Samuel, Robert and David. However, further Big Y testing my support or refute that theory.

Due to the age of Samuel Edward’s genealogy and the founder’s effect, I would place the origin for all these Hartley’s in the area to the South of Colne. The founder’s effect says that you will see a lot of Hartley’s, for example, in the area where they originally started out. The area of Colne has had the largest concentration of Hartley’s in the World that I know of.

Summary and Conclusions

  • YDNA testing for STRs and SNPs have shown that there is one certain group of Hartley’s presently identified by the SNP A11132 that separates themselves from all other Hartley’s.
  • According to the Hartley YDNA Project, there are 12 Hartley’s who have tested that appear to be in this A11132 group
  • Many of the 12 in the group have listed the oldest Hartley ancestor that they can find.
  • By further testing of Big Y, we should be able to get more YDNA branching of SNPs. This will refine which Hartleys within A11132 are related more closely to each other and suggest where each branch lived and when. This will further help in directing where to research for these ancestors.
  • I have looked at the genealogy of 5 of the 12 in this group. It would be a good idea to continue on with this work at some time.
  • I never did look at the genealogy of the husband of the woman who got in touch with me. His genealogy goes back to Virginia. He would benefit by a Big Y test in that could tell him which Hartley Branch is DNA is aligning with. This would also point to an English place of origin for his Branch of Hartley’s. However, even withouth that testing, it seems like all roads for A11132 Hartley’s lead to the Parish of Colne.