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Boneyards and Bonfires - Genealogy research

Halfway through another coma inducing week and I realized, I haven't blogged recently. Which partially explains the sludge pooling behind my retinas - nothing like a backed up brain to make a chick ornery.
And so here I am considering the complexities of life as I know it - wondering why higher consciousness is tauted as the next best thing to opposing digits? Wouldn't it be simpler if all my desires were to be scratched behind one furry ear and slid a bowl of kibble once daily - rather than this madness to BE something more than the sum parts of my ample parts prone to decay?
You see, I've had this pet project curdling in my cranium now for several years, but haven't expressed the whey from the solids due to inumerable issues like the concept of only 24 hours in a day and technology that leaves me seizing on the floor and retching into my shoes if it requires more than the simple "plug and play." On a whim I recently plugged in my scanner and viola...it surged to life without so much as one tiny error message...and the thoughts commenced to bubblin.
So I started down the rodent hole on a day trip called "Family Geneology" I thought it would be entertaining to fill out a family tree and amalgamate the multiple "family histories" I have in various stages of completion in drawers, and desks - and build something beautiful, perhaps for my spawn - all on line of course. So I joined a few "search" sites - mostly free ones but also Archives (which is very reasonable) and I set out on my epic discovery. (Besides, I need a diversion from my own wretched egofeeding TLBoehm fiasco) I dug out the Strand History circa 1970 something - the Hughes notes from a dear Auntie - and the dog earred collection of family data for the Pearce descendents - and proceded to set up a free site. Quite by accident I also found a beautifully written account of part of the Boehm Family. (I read parts of it and actually cried. it was impressive and eloquently penned) So I put up the parental units and started working backwards. And then I hit it - the proverbial wall constructed to deter grave robbers like me. Her name is Barb...she's my mom. It was a simple request, really. "Hey Mom, hows it goin' can ya tell me why Grandpa Lindquist s parent's aren't listed anywhere and who is the Southwell family and why is there a McNiel mother - with the Southwells, but Grandpa is an L and there's no parents for McNiel? OOPS....Apparently, Nellie Southwell, Grandpa's dear mother - maiden name McNiel and a brother produced Grandpa...and that's why mom was born with birth defects. and who am I to do harm to my mom by bringing this up? OK. The entire family is deceased - Grandpa, Grandma - mom's sister - all gone except for two adult cousins, Mom and me. WHO IS GOING TO CARE?
And so I called my mom again today - encouraging her that she has a story to tell about who she is, how she's overcome her "disabilities" to live this rich life....and no one else will tell her story if she doesn't. There's no one left. She tells me she will send dates and names of family. My mom is a creative type. She at times embellishes in areas where I beleive the simple truth is much more relevent. That being said, I know I will want to confirm the validity of her information.
Which brings me to this. I did find the Southwells on the 1930 census - so I know they existed. But here's the real rub - good, bad, whoremonger, or indifferent - I ache at the thought that a life has been reduced to a line of handwriting on a yellowed paper....what a waste. I want to know this woman who loved to lock her granddaughter in the outhouse, who shacked up with an amish blacksmith, who managed to garner a surname for a first son....there's a story there too....and I am a writer...right?
That's just one side of the family. I have pictures and anecdotal material to start on...once I get it fleshed out - I'll go to the families and see if they will share....and then open the thing up...Its actually fun...I'm addictive enough that I MUST reveal Nellie - she is my obsession of the moment.
Peace. If you're interested in geneology, I've stumbled upon some great sites. I may blog about it at some point....right now - its a break from traditional writing...

Cousin Di (aka Diana Spencer)

Yup. I'll take Diana Spencer for the win. I mapped out the connection a few weeks ago. Some peeps chit chat over a Mcsomething. I scrounge familial entrails for digestable leavin's.

So Princess Diana is a cousin. My tenth cousin once removed via my paternal Hughes/Secord line. Yes, its a distant tie but still an interesting rabbit hole. Unfortunately, rather than do a happy dance on my desk I feel a bit sad about it all. There are those odd moments whilst sifting through dry archival data that I am suddenly reminded of the life that churned up the dust through which I shuffle. In Diana Spencer's specific case, it brought memories of High School spilling from my cortex like so much floodwater breaching the levy. For a moment I was 16 again, fixated by the fairy tale fluff of a royal wedding. The next moment I was 32, baby on my lap, mourning with the world at the passing of a princess. So often in the harsh moments we are reminded that we are adult and mortal. It makes me ache a bit.

Perhaps its the hardwiring of my specific feminine gender that causes me to make the jump from lamenting over the sad cessation of a famous distant cousin to the lesser celebrated but equally relevant relatives closer to the trunk of my sprawling tree. Perhaps I am not alone in my occassional starstruck moments because in these moments we garner at least a perfunctory nod from those family and friends who usually relegate our genealogical diversions to the same pile as bright blue eye shadow and bellbottom jeans. (she's cataloguing the deceased now, but it will pass. Eventually she'll run out of bodies) Yet amongst the rulers and ruffians there are real stories of real people who lived and breathed and dreamed in anonymity. I find these souls just as satisfying to "rediscover" as I do a more recognisable name. And if I am afforded a glimpse into his or her life - the ache is just as palpable as I felt that day in 1997 when I watched Princess Di's funeral on TV. We all have a story.....

Peace.


2 comment(s), latest 4 years, 5 months ago

Genetic Ethnicity DNA Results

So after flunking my first Ancestry Dot Com DNA test, I got the results of the second one yesterday. Yes, I'm geekin' out about it. What else do I have to do?

And the survey SAID!

British Isles: 69%
Scandinavia: 17%
Finnish-Volga/Ural 7%
Turkish/Persian/Caucasus 7%

What does it mean? YOU tell ME.

Most of you know, I have "daddy issues" as my mom told me when I was 27 or so that the man who raised me was not my dad, and my dad was a High School sweetheart she was divorcing the man I thought was daddy for. The man who raised me passed away in 2009. Both of his parents are gone and of the surviving brothers, the brothers aren't sure if they are full or half brothers - and they live in different states which makes DNA testing difficult. You'd think perhaps a DNA test from Ancestry would calm my little girl brain. But it doesn't. You see, while I know a lot about some of my family - depending on which dad is dad, I know nothing about some of my family so the above test is pretty much "Inconclusive" in proving whether I am truly a Hughes or a Davis. Reason being: On the Davis side - I am missing all information on George's mother. And on my mom's side I am missing all information on my mom's grandfather - who could be Swede but may be Irish/Scot. My dad who raised me was Norwegian/English - but there was a great great great grandparent who was presumably Native American. That didn't show up in this test - but say George's mom was Greek - well - its possible that the test would have proven my Hughes ancestry? See my conundrum?
Anyway. The test is 98% accurate over 700,000 genomes in evidencing genetic ancestry for up to a 1000 years back. So that means my peeps probably originated in the area of Persia/Turkey/The Caucasus - moved up into the Ural Mountains and Finland (did you know Finns are not considered Scandinavians? I did not know that) then over into Scandinavia and down into the British Islands. So far - I see on all sides of my family that the bulk of my peeps came from Norway down to either the British Isles or Normandy then over to the states settling on the east coast or around the Great Lakes area and the Dakotas. I do have a great great Grandpa born in Denmark who was supposedly Finn - but he is a dead end. My Norwegian paternal family dead ends in the 1700's in Norway. The Britons go way back (I'm working in the 1100 to 900's with multiple family lines) but the Persian/Turkish connection....don't see it yet in the paper work.
So my expected 25% Norwegian can be explained by a couple of things. First would be a few point variance in the %s and the second is explained as "Genetic Shuffling" - in other words - just because the Orakers and Axness clans were in Nord Aurdal in the 1700's - doesn't mean that they were true Viking - and just like red hair - a marker for "scandinavian" may have been trumped in the sequencing by some bog jumping, kilted ruffian with bad teeth and a serious brogue.
What I found amazing is - the lack of Southern European DNA.. Apparently the Persian/Turkish/Caucasus didn't migrate across the continent and up into the British Isles - but they hugged the Ural mountains and areas of Russia. Also - any evidence of Roman influence in the British DNA (because you know the Romans were Toads and invaded everyone) is not evident.
It also goes to show that no matter how you slice me - I'm pretty darn paste-y. I'm a veritable glow stick. Except for that Persian part which may go to explain my taste for lentils and that chin hair I deal with (and I thought it was hormones)
None of it really matters in the scheme of things I suppose - unless you're inclined to be interested in human migrations. I find some validation in it. It makes me curious to learn more.
And that's my ramble for the day.
Peace.

I May Be A Lizard Genealogy Archive 09/2010

I've been working on my family's geneology for a couple of months now, searching amongst the bandwidth for snippets of random verification of my lineage. My spawn calls it "cataloguing the dead'. The TPB's (testosterone producing bipeds) in my home have little to no interest in the 1700+ names I've thus far accumulated. For me, I find it fascinating - this commonality in individuality I see - how connected we really are, how resilient we were just a few generations back, and every once in awhile theres a quantum quirk in the matrix - a moment of clarity pierces the veil and I see something amazing in the mundane. Or perhaps I just get a bit silly staring at the PC for hours. Who knows?
It happened yesterday after a dear soul with an Ancestry.com account flooded my aol inbox with five different censuses plotting out the Hughes branch of my family tree. There it was: a couple of sequential names ("Lorenzo") and an affiliation to the freemasons. BOOYAH. And she's off.....Perhaps my affinity to our former pet iguana goes beyond mere stewardship of God's creatures. You see, I may be a Lizard. It would explain so much in my family to accept the fact that we are connected to those Martian reptilian immigrants who are responsible for the murder of JFK and who killed Princess Diana as a sacrifice. And it would also go far in explaining the wattled neck I've sprouted in the past few years. Now if I could just manifest a whip like tail and serrated teeth.
And that's how my brain processes information!
A few years ago I read portions of a book by David Icke detailing how we are in fact controlled by shapeshifting lizards from Mars. The house of Windsor, most high ranking government officials including several former presidents, and the freemasons: all reptilian. The sheer volume of data this man has amassed is compelling - its absurdity notwithstanding - he's done significant research on mythologies and the mindsets of us plebeans. Truthfully though, I can't be a lizard. I'm not in any position of influencing or controlling others -so while my family has tantalizing connections - I'm just a food source like the rest of you.
Seriously, I did find the fact that "Lorenzo" was a shared name, and that both bearers also were freemasons - but my wattle is simply evidence of my aging human skin and nothing more. I do suggest - if you're fascinated by conspiracy theories (or if you just want to shake your head in disbelief) check out David Icke. He has a website www.davidicke.com
As for my family - our greatest claim to fame thus far - besides my husband's marital connection to Frank Tussy Russell (the manager of the first female to survive going over Niagra Falls in a barrel) has been in the form of land purchases and homesteading information. One of the Lorenzo's is a Lorenzo Secord. Easily googled, btw.
So my daydreams of jewel toned scaly skin and formidable claws must concede to the ordinary dirt and sweat that eventually produced me (and the bulk of humanity) for the moment I'm content. I'm going to rest on the comment of a friend who told me to take the mundane and turn it to gold...and that is what I will attempt to do. ( wish I could find that original comment so I could thank the commentor appropriately...the comment meant so much and I don't remember who said it....sigh)
Peace.

I May Be Native American - Research 07/10/10

Mahala Bowman Keeley
Quite by accident I stumbled across this amazing geneology buff named Jeannie who responded to a query I had posted the Hughes message board at rootsweb.com. Over the past two days the inundation of information has made my head spin. Now it is more than a possibility that the woman in the picture is my great great great grandmother. I'm still waiting for subsequent information although the census data is strongly supportive of the connection. My paternal Great Grandpa Tracy Hughes married Florence Keeley, daughter of John Keeley. Johns parents were quite possibly Francis and Mahala (my grandfather was William Francis - and my son is Eric Francis so Francis may be more of a Family name than I thought)
Apparently Mahala Bowman Keeley was part of the Sandusky OH Senecas. I never would have imagined that I possibly had Native American bloodlines - I guess it makes me 1/32nd Seneca. (smirk) Pretty crazy, huh. I'm not totally for sure for sure yet, but it is a possibility. I am hoping to connect with a party on ancestry who has more extensive information on Francis Keeley and Mahala Bowman. We'll see what happens.
footnote 08/13/12 - Mahala is in fact my 3rd great grandmother.


I'm THOR!


looking for HUGHES - KEELEY - SECORD families in Chicago and MI

My name is Tammy Boehm and I am currently researching my great great grandfather - George Hughes. He married Mary Secord - possibly in Chicago. I am also looking for his son - Tracy Lorenzo Hughes (my great grandfather) who married Florence Keeley. Florence's parents were Elizabeth Edge and John Keeley. I cannot seem to find any information on any of these people other than their names.

UPDATE: since this posting - I've found the Hughes and Secord lines - the Hughes line goes back to the 800's. I am more than happy to share this information with any one interested. (12/01/2011)
peace.

Tammy Boehm (Hughes)

Maggots in the Woodpile

As many of you are painfully and bored-ly -is that even a word? - aware, the Tamster has been on a genealogy bent for a couple of years now, pretty much forsaking any creative endeavors in lieu of following happy green leaves down the rabbit hole.

So far, I've found whalers, Quakers, village idiots, suspected murderers/kidnappers, plundering vikings, puppet royals, cousins marrying, a Tory, and a witch. (The Tory and the Salem Witch are steps, mind you.) But yesterday I found something I never expected. I've taken a bit of a break on the Davis side (my second father's clan) and moved over to the Hudspeth/Watson clan. That being the family into which my dad on birth certificate married into. Pat, my step mom has four children. All of them are Hudspeths. She is a Watson. (Yes, I keep this all in my head. Its why I can't remember if I wore this outfit already this week or not) Anyway. The Watson/Hudspeth clans hail from south of the Mason Dixon line. That should tell you where I am going.

Genealogy is much like fishing. You can sit for hours, bobber idle on the pond and suddenly 'SMACK' you're being pulled into the deep by MOBY. This week I "discovered" that The Watsons are connected by marriage to the Boones which means - one of her aunts married one of my uncles. (nice) and secondly the Watsons married into a family called Van Cleave which married into the Vanderbilts. Again. The Hughes family ties into the Vanderbilts. So. my step mom and my dad are distant cousins. (giggle giggle!) But that's not the kicker.

Yesterday I was adding Hudspeths to the happy tree, going back to England in the 1700's and as I was adding brothers and sisters to the branches I came across a set of records from Alabama...One of the Hudspeth's was a slave owner. He owned a male, 75 years old and a 14 year old female. It makes me ache. I'm not sure why I had such a strong reaction to it - but it was disturbing to me on a gut level. I find it amusing when I find evidence of Grandma and Grandpa being brother and sister but evidence of humans owning other humans - wow. I actually don't know how to present this to my step mom and her kids. Its not their "fault" and it doesn't make them terrible people because of something a great great uncle did that they don't even know about - but to me it is deeply disturbing and I don't know how to tell them without doing harm. Even seeing the document made me ache.

Anyway. I should have prepared myself better for that type of truth surfacing when researching a family with generational presence in the deep south. Perhaps I am too naive. Not all of us are cornish tin miners and displaced Quakers....
Peace.