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Letter from America (DNA related)

Discussion in 'USA' started by Bob Spiers, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Well OK an email, but a little special in that it all sprang from a DNA Thru Lines follow-up from my daughter taking an Ancestry DNA test (my present for her birthday and she is in her 50's). I am managing her Tree of course. I was interested in following a line springing from her maternal grandfather, and via him to a Great Aunt. Back a generation or two I eventually settled on a 4th great uncle (GC) who had emigrated to America in 1865 - the only one of several children to do so (the others never moved far from the Northamptonshire village in which they were born).

    Cutting to the chase I messaged a public Tree owner about GC who turned out to be his grandfather. From modest two way messaging, I asked for more detail about GC and his family, and (having swapped emails) this bore fruit in the email reply shown below. I have reverted to initials which takes nothing from the import of the communication. It is, I believe, a good example of information that is grist to the mill for family. My daughter is most pleased to learn about her Utah relatives, and - as you will see from the last line of the email - wishes to learn about the village in which his Grandfather was born. I lived there myself when first married and my son still does, so I will respond in kind.

    Here is the message as received, doctored as I say, only to using initials, but otherwise as received.

    "GC was my grandfather yes he married CA and had a family . He owned several pieces of land in Morgan Utah. His children were SM (Adopted) 1887, GA1891, NM 1894, JA 1896, JW(my father) 1899, CR1902, DA 1906 (died at birth), AA 1907, SL1911.

    GC came to America when he was 19 Yrs of age . He crossed the plains with a family called D. He did chase Indians who had stolen their cattle one night. He arrived safely. His wife C came to America before, and was born in Morgan in 1865 they fed the Indians so they would be safe. One day CA (who was a baby) was in her carriage by the door to get sunshine. An Indian came to ask for food . while she went to get him some food he stole the baby C. C’s mother ran to get her husband and they found the Indian with their baby and got her back . The Indian said his child had died and he was just getting another. They never had to much trouble with the Indians, all they wanted was food. There was a warm spring in Morgan and they liked the warm water. GC could not remember the Indians, they had left Morgan by that time never to return. George planted hay, apples and many vegetables. They raised cows and chickens, no cattle. They kept the potatoes and vegs. in a dirt cellar to keep them during the winter. My father J and his brother supplied the family with Deer meat and Fish. My father’ s brother kept the farm, only one by then. My father as I have told you built his house next to his brother. There are two direct family members still living in Morgan. His brother’s two daughters, R who is in her 90's and C in her 70's who is still living in the house G built. I live about 45 minutes away but go often to visit. I spent my childhood playing in the mountains . Believe it or not there were sea shells up there which I would collect and paint. I did fish on my uncle’s farm, and play in the irrigation ditches. Since my ancestors help settle Morgan City I will always remember them and growing up there what good memories. I love to hear from you. Tell me about my Grandfather’s village D in the UK."

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2019
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  2. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    What a fascinating story, and thanks for sharing. I have had correspondence with several American cousins discovered through DNA, but certainly none with such interesting stories to tell!
  3. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    That sounds wonderful to have found a link like that!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Reading Peter's newsletter and the Mormon article I find it tallies closely to the progress of GC after he arrived in America. I learn (from a source related to the 'D' family with whom GC travelled) that they went out accompanied by Mormon Missionaries. Both 'C' & 'D' family members were from the same area, and indeed a stones throw from the ones related in the newsletter i.e. south Northamptonshire/ north Buckinghamshire.

    Apparently it was Mormon practice to 'get on with American Indians as their faith (of the time) believed them to be remnants of the lost tribes of Israel. I believe the party were first headed for Nauvoo, Illinois (known among Mormons as Zion) but - for whatever reasons - this did not materialise so they settled in Utah, and were early settlers (as the story relates) of Morgan City.

    This also explains there being so much information in 'Family Search' one of my favourite sites as it happens.
  5. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    I have identified around 200 cousins descended from two lines among my ancestors. They were Welsh, who were among the earliest and most enthusiastic emigrants looking for a a new home in the US promised by fiery preachers who toured the chapels of Monmouthshire and Glamorgan. At first it seemed it would be an impossible task to track them as, this being Wales, they were called Evans and Jones. But the scrupulous approach of the Mormons to their history and early records made it a doddle. Not only are births, marriages and deaths recorded back to the early 19th century but locals have compiled stories of the trecks made across the continent by early settlers, published on their excellent Familysearch site. They also tend to list all members of a family buried in each cemetary.
    I have yet to find any DNA matches, perhaps because they don't get involved with that kind of stuff. I have made a few contacts via Ancestry and Familysearch, but like so many connections over the years I get no response or they fizzle out after a few replies. The same goes for a vast family of descendants in Pennsylvania - another favourite landing place for the Welsh who were drawn to the coalfields. Ironically, I was able to put one Scranton cousin in touch with her second cousin in Salt Lake City. I often wonder whether that brought together lost families but, again, all communication stopped after a few months.
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I would consider 'a few months' of communication to be excellent, indeed my own Mormon communication experience, perhaps now around 3 weeks of two-way communication, (the latest my responding to a request to describe the village of her ancestors), I really do not expect it to extend beyond another week or so but have exchanged emails should I recall or find out something that might be of interest.

    I note your disappointment when contact 'fizzles out' after a few replies and can only say that is indeed par for the course when messaging, and only improved slightly when emailing and infinitely better than getting no response at all. What exactly are you expecting when messaging or emailing contacts?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    I expect nothing more than a continuation of the enthusiasm I receive in the first few posts rather than a sudden halt. I accept refusal to reply or a figurative shrug of uninterest but when people jump up and down, ask for details and pictures, promise their details and pictures then - nothing - I become irritated. Imagine meeting someone at a party and hearing them babble about a common hobby or place of origin and then they suddenly turn and walk away as you are talking.
  8. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I agree, this is key. I have re-connected with a number of 'old' contacts when one of us discovers something new.

    For example, two years ago I exchanged emails over several weeks with a Lost Cousins member related to me by marriage. In addition to the known marriage link, we both had ancestors with the same surname (in roughly the same geographical area) but couldn't find a connection so had to leave it there.

    We still haven't found any link for that surname, but another interesting link recently came to light. When looking at the Ancestry tree of one of my DNA cousins, as well as finding the connection to me, I also spotted a link to my LC contact on another branch. My DNA cousin was related to me on his mother's side and to my LC contact on his father's side. So I was pleased to be able to pass on this information and rekindle our conversation. Not only that, but this DNA cousin was a close relative of someone I'd conversed with years ago via genes reunited, and recently reconnected via Lost Cousins, so I was able to rekindle that connection too.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's difficult to stay in regular contact with all of the cousins we find, and bearing in mind that we share only 1/16th of our tree with a 4th cousin, and they share only 1/16th of their tree with us, the chances that we're both focused on our shared ancestral lines at a given time in less than 1 in 250.
  10. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Yes that sums it up nicely, and no doubt within those odds (after communication had dried up for several months), my UK based contact emailed to tell me her mother in Italy (a second cousin aged 87 ) was ill in hospital and had asked for me to be informed. That sparked a 'Whats App' exchange which is still ongoing.

    You cannot imagine the relief I felt when I learn not only that she was out of hospital, but was also provided with a photo of her convalescing at home.
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    That reminds of me expanding on this or that ancestor at a family gathering -responding to a question I might add - only to have my wife, or daughter, intervene with...(perhaps seeing the look of dismay on faces)... "come on Bob/Dad stop boring people with in depth analyses of your ancestral roots..." I tend to do this less often as I learn that what I take for initial enthusiasm "tell me about my great granddad" is just polite good manners knowing it is a subject of great interest to me, but all they really want to know are bare rudiments.

    I think the same principles apply to online contacts and enthusiasm quickly fades when things are taken to a level that go beyond their interest. Mind you the joy is great when I find a matching enthusiasm until roles are reversed, and my own interest wanes. This occurs more often than not where to me a subject is a 'marriage' connection but to them a direct ancestor. Horses for courses I think applies.

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