Friday, February 17, 2017

New Ancestor Discoveries (AncestryDNA)

I hadn’t looked closely at the “New Ancestor Discoveries” after reading some negative posts about them but today I decided to take a look. I have three married couples that are listed. The first is John Wilson Pepper and wife Martha Taylor Yates. Here is what I see when I click their names:

When John Wilson Pepper was born on March 27, 1845, in Pike, Georgia, his father, William, was 23 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 21. He was married five times and had 11 sons and nine daughters. He died on February 10, 1930, in Rusk, Texas, at the age of 84, and was buried in Henderson, Texas. 

When Martha Taylor Yates was born on March 27, 1847, in Colorado, her father, James, was 28, and her mother, Tarissa, was 29. She married John Wilson Pepper and they had 19 children together. She also had one son from another relationship. She died on May 12, 1890, in Rusk, Texas, at the age of 43, and was buried in Henderson, Texas.

I don’t have any Peppers in my file but I do have family in Pike County, Georgia so the link is more likely with Mr. Pepper than it is with wife Martha as I have no connections to Colorado at all. There are five circles that include Mr. Pepper. I have a DNA match to someone in four of those circles. Each circle has a confidence level of “strong.”

The second match is Jesse Wilburn Collier and his wife Sarah Jane Mathews:

When Jesse Wilburn Collier was born on May 28, 1828, in Moore, North Carolina, his father, Thomas, was 30 and his mother, Sarah, was 26. He married Sarah Jane Mathews on July 23, 1857, in Carroll, Georgia. They had ten children in 17 years. He died on January 18, 1915, in Marshall, Alabama, having lived a long life of 86 years, and was buried in Boaz, Alabama.

When Sarah Jane Mathews was born on August 9, 1834, in South Carolina, her father, Abel, was 42, and her mother, Nancy, was 36. She had six sons and six daughters. She died on July 2, 1912, in Marshall, Alabama, having lived a long life of 77 years, and was buried in Boaz, Alabama.

I have strong connections to Marshall County and to Boaz specifically. I connect to three Collier circles and three Mathews circles. They are the same circles.  The confidence level is strong.

The third match, Charles Thomas Pitchard and wife Permelia C. Hensley, is interesting because I can’t even see a remote connection so no starting point for me to research. Here are the descriptions:

When Charles Thomas Pritchard was born in 1821 in Wayne, Tennessee, his father, Henry, was 31 and his mother, Rachel, was 18. He had six sons and seven daughters. He died in 1863 in Searcy, Arkansas, at the age of 42, and was buried there.

When Permelia C Hensley was born in June 1832 in Tennessee, her father, Lemuel, was 47, and her mother, Mary, was 21. She married Charles Thomas Pritchard and they had 12 children together. She also had one daughter from another relationship. She then married Thomas Weeks in 1865 in Searcy, Arkansas. She died on November 20, 1908, in Sanger, Texas, having lived a long life of 76 years, and was buried there.

I don’t have either surname in my file and these locations don’t mean much to me. I match four Pritchard circles and four Hensley circles, the same fours circles, confidence level is high. This couple would be the last one I tried to investigate because I don’t have a clear starting point.

Yesterday I deleted my tree off of Ancestry and uploaded a more complete tree so I am still waiting for the “shaky leaves” to populate on my DNA page. I am going to look at the people I actually match in these circles and see if I can find some commonality. Initial impression – worth investigating.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Vulnus sclopetarium

Vulnus sclopetarium—I found this very interesting term on a soldier’s compiled service record and I had absolutely no idea what it meant. It was listed in a “disease” field.  It was actually abbreviated to Vul Sclopet. I found the answer in an article on Fold3. It means that my soldier had a gunshot wound.  Seriously?  Could they not of just said that? 

Mystery solved

For the background, read My Current Project and a Little Dilemma

Sometimes I can be dumb. I trusted a cemetery transcription and a not so good photo of a marker. John A. Cappell is really John A. Carrell and he is related to several people in the cemetery. That’s what happens when you get in a hurry. All I had to do was go to the cemetery and actually look at the marker.

Copyright © 2017 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My current project and a little dilemma

I am a member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Harlem, Georgia.  The church has been here since the Civil War. We have a cemetery and my project is to put together a reference book for the church with all of the burials with some basic genealogy information about each person, especially how everyone is related to each other. We have quite a few unmarked graves but I have been able to identify several of them through obituaries.  The Augusta Chronicle has been in publication since before the Revolutionary War and it is online making it pretty simple for anyone buried after about 1920ish.  Anything before that is iffy because obituaries weren’t that common. So far this has been a really fun project.

Now my dilemma.  There is a CSA marker in our cemetery:

John A. Cappell
Co. A
63 GA INF.
C. S. A.

I can’t find a compiled service record for John but that isn’t all that unusual. Not all of the compiled service records survived.  I can’t find a pension record for him either. The state of Georgia started granting pensions in 1870 to CSA veterans who had lost a limb in the war.  In 1879 they expanded it to all disabled veterans and their widows. In 1894 they started including veterans in their old age and those in poverty. John might not have qualified for the early pensions and/or died before the later ones.  I do have a compiled service records for a John A. Chappell (with an H).  More on him in a bit.

While researching John I found another burial of interest in the Hendricks Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Upson County, Georgia.

John A. Cappell
Sept. 5, 1843 - Feb. 18, 1912

The dates are consistent with someone that served in the CSA but he should have had a pension by 1912. It is not all that uncommon to have markers in more than one cemetery.  Someone could have erected a memorial marker in one or the other cemetery not knowing exactly where he was buried. John is the only Cappell buried in either cemetery.

I found John’s burial in an old cemetery survey. The cemetery itself is on Find a Grave but this burial is not. I added John to Find a Grave with a note explaining where I found the information and why I am requesting confirmation/photograph. I want to see if this marker happens to be a CSA marker.

Now about John A. Chappell (with an H). This man served in Company G of the 55th Georgia Infantry Regiment. I also have a John Chappell (spelled Chappell and Chappel) that received a pension in Rabun County, Georgia which shows that he served in a South Carolina unit first, was discharged in North Carolina and then later joined Company K of the 3rd Georgia Infantry Regiment. He was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina in 1820. Neither of these men seem to match.

Georgia didn’t start issuing death certificates until 1914 so that won’t help me. I wasn’t able to find a marriage record for John in Georgia. Almost all of Georgia marriage books are online with images. I can’t find John in the 1860 census even using fairly loose search parameters. There is a John Cappell of the right age in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana but a migration from Louisiana to Georgia would have been unusual during this time period; however, I can’t find this John in Louisiana in 1870 so I can’t totally rule him out. I can’t find John in Upson County in 1910 which would have only been 2 years before his death. I then did a search of Ancestry trees for the John Cappell that was born in 1843 and died in 1912.  Not one hit. I tried the search again at FamilySearch and found nothing there either.

So John A. Cappell is my mystery man of the day. I don’t have time to work on him any further right now. I need to get the rest of the cemetery inputted.  I will revisit John later.

What am I using to keep track of everything? Legacy of course! (shameless plug). I created a new database file for just this project. There are two other genealogists working on this project and they both use Legacy making it very easy to share data.

Copyright © 2017 Michèle Simmons Lewis