Friday, June 17, 2016

Update to Mission Impossible

You can read the original post HERE. A very kind soul send me the names and addresses of every Grantham in St. Tammany Parish. Thank you, Katherine! I will be snail-mailing all of them. I know that one of these will be who I am looking for. As soon as I know, I will let you know.

 

Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mission impossible?

I need some DNA.  I need some very specific DNA. I need DNA from a direct descendant of Almo Grantham and his wife Martha Thomas of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find me a direct descendant to test. Here is what I have done thus far…

  • Contacted the St. Tammany Genealogical Society
  • Posted on the the St. Tammany Genealogical Society’s Facebook page
  • Contacted the St. Tammany Farmer (newspaper) but their advertising rates were cost prohibitive.  They wouldn’t print a letter to the editor for me. I will keep this one in mind though
  • Sent a message to the St. Tammany Rootsweb mailing list
  • Posted on the DNA Detectives Facebook page
  • Posted on the Genealogy Chit-Chat page
  • Posted on the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Facebook page
  • Obits for the family will be in the St. Tammany Farmer which is on microfilm.  I don’t have ready access to these. The microfilm is at the St. Tammany Parish Library
  • I searched the gedcoms that have been uploaded to Gedmatch in hopes of finding a relative (any relative) that has tested and has their gedcom uploaded
  • I contacted the person that manages all of the Find a Grave memorials for this family

Almo Grantham was born on 30 October 1879 in St. Tammany Parish and died there 29 Oct 1943.  He is buried in the Thomas Cemetery.  He married Martha Wilmuth Thomas on 12 March 1901 in St. Tammany.  Almo’s real name is Armand but he went by Almo his entire life.  He is the son of Keziah Grantham, father unknown.  He had one full brother named Rougier (he went by Rusha) who was murdered in 1916.  I have the DNA I need from Rusha’s descendants. Here are Almo and Martha’s children:

Mary died as an infant, 1904
Lena who married William G. Purvis, died 1986
Mae who married a Seals, died after 01 May 1974
Yvonne who married Edward Crawford, died 1959
Georgia who married James Gaines, died 1994
Elbert, died without issue, 1974
Louise who married a Uell Holmes, died 1994
Alma who married Michael Alsobrooks, died 1993


Okay bloodhounds, off you go!


Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Monday, June 6, 2016

A few more than I expected

I was curious to see how many DNA matches I have actually have.  This is for my DNA only (I manage quite a few kits).  Also, I don’t have that many matches on my mother’s side because my mother and I are first generation immigrants.  Even so, I have a lot of matches.

Here are the big three:

  • 23andMe – 799
  • FTDNA – 1300
  • Ancestry.com – 7700 (how is that even possible?)

Wow. I am going to check again in about a month because there were a lot of kits sold when they were on sale and those results are just now starting to come in.

 

Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Fan Charts are your friend

When you are doing autosomal DNA research the further back you have all of your direct lines the better. If you have every line back at least 8 generations you are in very good shape but it helps if everyone else has their lines back that far too. Once you are at 8 generations you are close to the upper limit of autosomal DNA (6th cousins) though when you add the “removeds”  your chart should go out to 9-10 generations. I have never met anyone that has managed to do that (sourced).

Creating a fan chart is the best way to find the gaps in your research.  Filling those gaps should be your priority. I have my fan chart complete to 6 generations.

Ancestor Fan of Michele Lynn Simmons

 

When I go to 8 generations look what happens.

Ancestor Fan of Michele Lynn Simmons 2

 

Since almost all of the DNA research is on my dad’s side, and I have my dad’s brother’s DNA, I will use my dad as the anchor for the chart at 8 generations.  This will cut out my mother’s side completely but it will add a generation to the chart since my dad/uncle is one generation ahead of me.

Ancestor Fan of Thomas Calvin Simmons

You see that I still have quite a few unknown lines. Some of these lines are brick walls but some I am sure I could fill in with some additional research.

Go ahead and create an 8 generation fan chart using the person that DNA tested as the anchor person and you might see the reason why you can’t figure out how your DNA matches relate to you. Researching these gaps will make your DNA research more fruitful.  DNA and paper genealogy go hand in hand. Of course DNA can help you fill in some of these gaps if the other person has their direct lines filled out this far, however, they are counting on you for the same thing.

Charts created using Legacy 8.

 

Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis