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Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

Latest News in our personal DNA Research,
Breaking Down Those Brick Walls

Documented in several columns in Armchair Genealogy is the process and progress of your author's attempts to break through the five most troubling brick walls in our primary Family Tree. The five areas of research are as follows:

1) William "P. R." Joslin: Primary Maternal Line.

    DNA confirms genetic kinship back to this man and to ancestors existent in prior ages. The issue here is the lack of a complete paper trail to document his birth, complete with the names of his parents. Thus, we are left with the question of his generational relationship to your author: (from a prior column)
    'The DNA proves this line extends to either his father or grandfather being Col. William of Deerfield, William Joslin (1701-1771) and, thus, to the Immigrant Ancestor, Thomas Josselyn and wife Rachel Marlow (or Jude, depending upon your choice of “proofs”) born 1591 Bollinghatch, Roxwell, Essex, England and died 3 November 1660 in Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Colonial America. This prestigious line leads all the way back to Charlemagne whose antecedents are widely published back into the mists of time.'

2) Earl Allen Carroll: Primary Paternal Line.

    No update here, but for family researchers who may seek this column to aid their own research, the status from our prior column, he was born in 1863, and ... :
    'The loss of the documents in the courthouse fire in October of 1863 seemingly destroyed all evidence of Great-Grandfather Carroll’s mommy and daddy. Family records (scant as they were) indicate his father was one Stephen Carroll, alternately recorded as having been a native of Ireland or born in New York. The mother was listed on the death certificate for Great-Grandmother Laura Isabel Anderson Carroll as being Elizabeth Lewis, born in Tennessee. Records have been painstakingly researched for marriages or Census records reflecting a Stephen and Elizabeth Carroll in any state from New York to Missouri, with a focus on Tennessee. No luck as the only possible union proved to have no connection to our family. There are records of possible Civil War deaths which might ultimately relate to our Stephen.'

3) James Sylvester Anderson: Paternal Line, my father's great grandfather. Wed to Nancy Gilstrap, most of the information we have for this ancestor comes from the extensive records found for her lineage:

    'As you can see, extensive research has been invested in the Gilstrap – Anderson lineage. In spite of all this research, no record exists to identify a date of death or location of the burial of James Sylvester Anderson. It is presumed he lost his life in the final days of the Civil War in 1864 preceding the birth of his last child, great-grandmother Laura Isabel on 8 April 1865.
    'Adding to this quandary is the fact we have no parental lineage identified for James Sylvester Anderson. His father was reputed to be Keene, or Kean, or Quinn or possibly even Quincy Anderson who wed a Native American woman named Nancy Shorlin. The Quincy name as a distinct possibility bears up since Nancy Jane Gilstrap Anderson named her youngest son Alphius Quincy Anderson. The name Quincy was carried through the Carroll line to Edward Quincy Carroll, my father’s cousin.'

4) Mother of ex-husband (the father of my two children), Johnny Raymond Bradshaw:

    Most of your author's most recent exploration of our family has been directly related to the DNA matches to my daughter (where a number of half-siblings have now been identified, and resulted in fulfilling and ongoing contact) and cross-referenced to DNA matches to not only those half-siblings but also to my son's son as well.
    Although it seems we have identified the Mystery Bio-Mom, work continues to explore the exhaustive process of adding each DNA Match to the tree established for my daughter. This requires painstakingly adding the Match and the line of ancestors of that Match to the tree. Each addition demands we pursue documentation of vital records classically accepted; i.e., Birth Records, Death certificates, Census records that denote names, ages, and relationships of household members, and (among others) family Bible records. Additionally, the relationship of the DNA Match must be checked for logical proof. Did they live in the right era and locale? Were they of the right age?
    Once this seemingly unending process is complete, the identity should meet the requirements of logic, proximity, and that the additional DNA Matches fit the range of potential relationships such as 2nd Cousin, or Great Uncle, and so forth. When we feel assured these proofs have been met, we shall announce Mystery Bio Mom's identity.

5) Father of Roxanne Marie LeTourneau Bradshaw, my son's first wife and mother of both his stepson and first child.

    Again, research continues into DNA Matches to my grandson's DNA test with the same exhaustive process noted above. Here, again, we have some very excellent DNA Matches that point to the LINT family.
    Once we have completed this process and feel comfortable our assumptions as to his identity are correct, this column will be the outlet for that announcement.

In the meantime, continue to pursue your own Armchair Genealogy.

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