I cannot make it to my mother’s family reunion. When I am there, I like to present new findings for the cousins, aunts, uncles, and great-aunts and uncles. Some of the highlights from the past include the tombstone of Rebecca McClung Billingsley Cuddy, and the year I announced we were all related to President Barack Obama (and to Dick Cheney) through our ancestor Richard Cheney of Maryland.
The blog gives me the opportunity to share new information to a greater audience, as well as present information to the family, even if I cannot be there in person.
Last year, Uncle “Ike” (Morris Billingsley) and Aunt Barb (Barbara Billingsley Taylor) took DNA tests through AncestryDNA. They are part of the eldest generation of our family. Seven people in the next generation have tested at AncestryDNA (with some results transferred to FamilytreeDNA), and four cousins in my generation have tested. Our results have provided confirmation of ancestry, and answered a few questions on the family tree.
BILLINGSLEY SIDE–DNA Highlights!
Below is a pedigree chart for Clarence Arthur Billingsley–father of the 12 Billingsley children whose families are reuniting Sunday.
Look at Grandma Rachel Brown Billingsley on the bottom half of the chart. Follow up to her father, Jackson Lamb Brown, and to his mother, Nancy Lamb. DNA Matches with specific individuals have verified that Nancy Lamb Brown’s parents were John Lamb and Elizabeth Kiplinger. John died in 1840 in Harrison County, Ohio, and his will mentions a daughter, Nancy. Elizabeth’s father, Phillip Kiplinger or Kublinger, is a DAR Revolutionary War ancestor.
Now look at Grandma Rachel Brown Billingsley’s mother, Nancy Grewell. Follow up to her father, John Grewell. On this chart I have listed that his wife is Nancy Farsons. That is the information I received in 1988 from the research of Clayton Brown of Fulton County, Illinois. Many genealogies say John’s wife was Jane F. Hill. There is a marriage for John Grewell and Nancy Farsons on 18 November, 1819, in Harrison County, so it seems probable. BUT…Nancy Grewell Brown was born in 1831, her brother Christopher in 1833, brother John in 1835, and Isaac in 1837. John Grewell probably married Jane F. Hill about 1829 or 30. The 1850 and 1860 censuses of Ipava, Fulton County, list John and JANE. In 1870, John is listed by himself, and later that year in September 1870, he married Barbara Taggert. He has an obituary that states he was married three times. Here is how DNA is helping out: Uncle Ike–No Farsons matches. Aunt Barb–No Farsons matches. If we were indeed descended from a Farsons, it would show up.
Joseph and Sarah Warfield Billingsley, were the first Billingsleys in Schuyler County.
Joseph and Sarah were both born in 1807 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Their first two children were born near Elk Ridge Landing, Maryland. Then they moved to Warren County, Ohio, were five more children were born. Their children were James Harvey Billingsley (d. Logan Co, IL), Mary Ann Billingsley (m. Benj. F. Phillips of Schuyler County), William Pruitt Billingsley, Henrietta (m. Abraham Strausbaugh), Robert Joseph Billingsley, Samuel McClung Billingsley, and Benjamin Warfield Billingsley. We have confirmed matches from descendants of Mary Ann, William P., Henrietta, and Robert Joe. Samuel McClung Billingsley’s only child, a daughter Beatrice, died at age 4. We do not have any matches, yet, to James H. Billingsley or (the other) Benjamin Warfield Billingsley. We do have matches with descendants of Joseph’s Billingsley’s brother, Robert, from Warren County, Ohio.
Joseph Billingsley’s grandfather, Walter Billingsley, was in the Revolutionary War. So, we are all eligible for membership in Daughters of the American Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution. The DAR website has an Ancestor Search where one may look for names. Walter Billingsley, born about 1744 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, is listed. Unfortunately, all the members who have joined through our ancestor, James Billingsley, have the erroneous marriage to Rebecca Stabler. This mistake comes from the Billingsley Family in America by H.A. Davis, 1936. James was actually married to Rebecca McClung, and his son, Samuel was married to Sarah Stabler–Davis accidentally flipped the surnames of the two women. Notwithstanding, Walter was still a Patriot. Sarah Warfield Billingsley’s grandfather, John Warfield, born about 1740, married to Mary Chaney, was also listed at the DAR site.
Morris side–DNA Highlights
Below is a pedigree chart for Gladys C. Morris Billingsley, the mother of the 12 Billingsley children whose families are reuniting.
Two years ago, I published an article with Denise Hardnack of New Jersey, revealing the name of the father of Edward Page Morris, Sr.–Endless Morris! It was confirmed by divorce records from the state of Delaware in 1832. Endless was a bad man. He was cruel and abusive to his wife, Sarah Wolfe Morris. Many online trees show Joshua Morris as the father of Edward Page Morris–this is what we thought ten years ago. The data didn’t quite fit, but we kept trying to make Joshua match. It was wrong, and we have absolute proof of that. Hopefully, all of us have the correct information–and I am slowly trying to get others to update and change their erroneous pedigrees.
We have several matches with the Morris family. Some are close cousins who share our Aten blood, too. Some are farther back–descendants of the sister of Edward P. Morris of Schuyler County, and even some who are descendants of the brother of Edward P. Morris, Sr. of Philadelphia. But what was a real surprise last year, as the results of Uncle Ike and Aunt Barb’s tests came in, were the matches with KOCHERSPERGER!
Edward Page Morris, Sr. was married to Christianne Clymer, the granddaughter of John and Maria Kochersperger Clymer. Maria is the daughter of Martin Kochersperger and Rosina Seyfried. There was quite a bit of research on the family about 10 years ago, just after DNA genealogy took off. The Kocherspergers were genetically the same as the Guggisbergs. In fact, Kochersperger was a misunderstanding of a French or German priest hearing the Swiss accent of Guggisberg.
On another line of Gladys’ family tree, you’ll see Artemecia Ackman. “Mecia” Ackman married first to James Fletcher Walker, and second to his first cousin, Richard Day. We have many DNA matches with the Ackmans, Walkers, and Days. It is hoped we will have some English matches that will help further our tree on the Walker, Fletcher and Tilly lines.
William Ackman married Elizabeth Wynn in 1801 in Harrison County, Kentucky. A James Winn signed the bond for the marriage. I have assumed this was her father, but it could be a brother. However, there is an older James Winn in the census records of Harrison County. Recently, a DNA match with the Winn family traced the participant to James Winn of Harrison County. There will be a little more old-fashioned, paper research to support this, but it looks like we’ll be adding James Winn to the top our family tree!
There are many good sites to search for our ancestors. Findagrave.com often shows the final resting place with a tombstone–if there is one. Our Allison family can be researched at Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck. Of course one may search Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, and many other sites dedicated to genealogy. Be wary of possible mistakes on these trees–and always feel free to e-mail and ask me if the information is true, possible, or plain hogwash.
If you want to search a dastardly fellow, I mean, a notorious ruffian, then look for our infamous ancestor, Hugh Pugh! (My son, Paschal thinks that is a funny name!) On Grandma Gladys’ chart above, you’ll see her great-great-grandmother, Lena Pugh. (A lot of online trees call her Elizabeth D. Pugh, but this is not correct. Her marriage record and the 1850 Mortality schedule of Hancock County, Virginia (now West Virginia) show her name as Lena or Linia. Nancy Lynnia Aten got her middle name from this grandmother.) Lena’s grandfather was named Hugh Pugh, and he was born in 1746 in Walpack, New Jersey. His parents were Hugh Pugh and Helena Brink. This other Hugh Pugh was the son of yet another HUGH PUGH, and he died on 9 May, 1718–executed by hanging for murder. This link will take you to the words of the original petition. Special thanks goes to Nan Rowe, a Pugh cousin, who matched Ike and Barb on AncestryDNA. She contacted me, and has provided records and confirmation of our Pugh line.
The tests that we have used are called autosomal DNA kits. These tests match us to cousins on all lines of our ancestry. With these kinds of tests, it is important to test your eldest family members. DNA recombines each generation, and doing so thins out the DNA of earlier ancestors. Testing your eldest family members first will help to obtain the most traceable DNA from the earliest generations.
A very appreciative thank you to Uncle Ike and Aunt Barb for supplying their DNA for the project. Big thanks to those who have purchased DNA kits for family members to participate. Thank you to Marcia, Ryan, Quentin, Connie, Lou-Ann, Mike, Diann, Gina, Dana, and Robbie who have all tested with AncestryDNA.