Urbex: The Ongoing Story of the Eccentric Pastor Lee House

*** check back often, this is a living blog and will be updated regularly with new info ***

It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted … I’ve been embroiled in a landlord/tenant matter, wherein I repossessed my home from crappy tenants and have spent the better part of the last 6 weeks renovating it – they left it in such a shambles (ugh) … I’ll post on that separately, they completely ruined the house.   

However, while I’m in here, in Dauphin, Manitoba renovating the house, getting it ready to sell, I wanted to pick up the story of the Lee’s.  If you haven’t read the blog on the oddity of the Pastor Lee House in Haldimand County, Ontario or watched the YouTube video click here (blog) and here (video), for some background of relatedness.  It’s such an interesting story, they were such an eccentric family or maybe Gordon more-so. 

While exploring their abandoned house, my urbex partner, Thomas randomly found a photo of Gordon in Dauphin, as a child.   I took it to be a sign that I needed to continue researching this family.  I mean what are the odds that in an abandoned house with tons of stuff strewn all over the place, thousands of photos and slides messed about the 2 story home, that had been abandoned for years, that he would come across a photo taken in Dauphin and take a snapshot of it?  He wasn’t aware that I had lived in Dauphin from 2015 to 2017, nor that I was heading back to town to repossess my home.  Honestly, I didn’t even know he had found the photo until he sent me his shots and videos from the explore to create the content!  Ironic?  Serendipitous?   Coincidence?  I’ll let you decide … 

Here’s what we know so far …

From visiting their home and our previous research, we know that Esther obtained her diploma from the Moody Blue Institute in Chicago. Arthur was in the military and then became a Pastor. They purchased the house in Haldimand County, Ontario, which is now abandoned.  They had 3 children.  And, at one point in/about 1943 they were either living in or visiting Dauphin, Manitoba … but why?  

That’s what I’m going to try and find out while I’m here.

Here’s what I was able to newly locate … 

This information should get us started in figuring out why the Lee’s were in Dauphin, of all places.  

In or about 1925 Esther departed for Africa as part of a missionary group, I have a newspaper lead that they were doing missionary work in Nigeria – unfortunately, the article is too small to be legible. However, I was able to confirm this by locating the Caronia‘s ship manifest, which confirms the 32 year old was a missionary, heading to Minna, Nigeria.

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I was unable to locate Arthur on the ship’s manifest or any other manifest as of yet.

Apparently Arthur and Esther married there in 1927 (I have been unable to confirm this for myself).

At some point they returned to North America.   I have yet to determine when exactly, but according to the newspaper articles below, they were at least back in the U.S. by 7 Aug 1930.

I was also able to locate on Ancestry.ca information that Arthur and Esther in fact had another son, Walter who passed away in 1938 at the age of 5 of spinal meningitis (18 Nov 1932 – 19 Apr 1938). It’s said that he passed away in Africa, this part I am unable to confirm for myself.

I understand from another blogger that throughout the 1960’s Rev. Lee worked as a Teacher in Slave Lake, Alberta and retired in 1965. However, we have it confirmed that in 1948 the Lee’s had purchased their home in Haldimand County, Ontario.  So, how does all of this fit together? I have no confirmation that he taught in Slave Lake as of yet.

I also read a blog that said that Rev. Lee was a Pastor of Baptist churches in both Manitoba and Ontario.

We also have this to go on … the  photo that Thomas found during our explore of the Pastor Lee house.  

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Before we delve into this further  … Dauphin facts:

  • Dauphin has a population of 8,457 as of the 2016 Canadian Census, with an additional 2,388 living in the surrounding Rural Municipality of Dauphin, for a total of 10,845 in the RM and City combined. Dauphin is Manitoba’s 9th largest community and serves as a hub to the province’s Parkland Region.
  • You can get anywhere in town in about 5-7 minutes, unless the train comes through. 
  • It is actually situated on the 100th meridian, for anyone who finds that as fascinating as I do.
  • It’s known as the “City of Sunshine”
  • Norwex’s Canadian Head Office is located here.
  • It’s home to Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival and Dauphin’s Countryfest, Canada’s longest-running country music festival.
  • It lies along the Vermilion River just west of Dauphin Lake, and is 323 kms northwest of Winnipeg. 
  • Dauphin is near Duck Mountain Provincial Park and Riding Mountain National Park, just west of Lake Manitoba and Dauphin Lake and south of Lake Winnipegosis.
  • The French trader and explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye named the nearby lake, Dauphin, in 1741 in honour of the heir to the French throne, the Dauphin of France (Prince of Wales)
  • The province was founded on parts of the traditional territories of the Assiniboine, Dakota, Cree, Dene, Anishinaabeg and Oji-Cree peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. 
  • As of the 2016 census, Manitoba had 1,278,365 residents, making it the fifth most populous province or territory in Canada (I came here from Toronto, the GTA alone has 6,254,571).
  • Dauphin was incorporated as a city in 1998.

Ok, so now that you have some tidbits of info on the “city” itself, you get that it’s small and it would have been much smaller in 1943 when the photo was taken. I was unable to locate the population of Dauphin back in the 1940’s but Manitoba’s entire population was only 921,686 in 1961.

The search for the house in the photo …. 

The handwriting at the back of the photo says this … “Donald Lee in centre with girls at Mrs Chase’s (not in view) house on first street north of railroad, across street from station. Dauphin, Manitoba about 1943. Looking west towards Vermillion River”

Ok, so let’s look at this map I created … 

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Locate the relevant points that she mentions:

  • The train station (on map as Dauphin Rail Museum) 
  • Vermillion River (on map as Vermillion Park & Campground and Vermillion River)
  • 1st Street – she doesn’t specify NW, but it’s implied by her saying “north of railroad, across street from (train) station” and also by her saying “looking west towards Vermillion River”.  Plus, it’s the only 1st St., the other is 1st Ave. 
  • Based on that information, I feel the house has to be located near the star I put near the Watson Art Centre.

I live only 3 blocks from where the photo was apparently taken.  Literally …. just down 2nd Ave SW (follow arrow on map) til I hit 1st Ave SW and turn right to get to the train station, the 1st right directly in front of the train station is 1st St NW.  Vermillion Park is directly at the end of 2nd Ave SW.  So, that’s where I’m going to start my search, I’m going to try and track down this particular house.  I’m going to check out the houses in the block of 1st Ave SW and 1st Ave NW AND 2nd Ave SW and 2nd St NW (looking Westward toward the River).  I know the area well,  I feel it’s doubtful that the house still exists or perhaps it’s been modified to look differently than it did back then.   

Ok, so here are some photos I took for point of view and real life perspective.

This is the Dauphin Train Station, it was built in 1912, and was standing while the Lee’s were here in 1943.  

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Immediately in front of the train station – 1st Ave SW and 1st St NW

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Below you can see The Watson Art Centre which is directly in front of the train station, it was established in 1905 and was the old fire hall, so that building existed when the Lee’s would have been here. Photo was taken standing in front of the train station looking westward toward Vermillion River.

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I looked at the houses to see if they resembled the house in the photo OR if there was any possibility that the house could have been updated or added onto.  I paid particular attention to  the east side of 1st St NW because the photo says that the children were looking westward toward Vermillion River. However, upon further reflection it’s not immediately clear if the children or the photographer is looking west.   

This house has the most resemblance.  I initially took the photo as if the children were looking westward toward Vermillion River.

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Then I took the photo from the east side as if the photographer was looking westward toward Vermillion River.

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After side by side comparison – it does not appear to be the house in the 1943 photo even accounting for upgrades and improvements.  The window placements are off.

Now, it wouldn’t have been uncommon for prairie houses to be similar and side by side, especially if family owned – so I thought “what if it had a next door twin at some point?”  With that, I went back to double check and BINGO there’s a vacant lot where a house would have once stood immediately beside that house!  Could the house we’re looking for have stood there at one point?

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Immediately across the street from the train station is a white building which is definitely not the house in the in picture. Maybe the house was situated there prior?

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It is not stated how far down the street the house it, just that it’s north of the tracks, across the street from the station, so I was assuming relatively close to the station … however, just to be certain  I went down to the end, until I hit River Rd. and only found 1 possibility but I don’t think it’s it, it was further down than I expected it to be and it doesn’t seem to match.   

There were also 2-3 vacant plots and a new building where Ashcroft Vision Care is now and the newer built Baptist church (from the 1 that was on Main St) which was built on 1st St SW and 3rd Ave NW in 1960 (below 1st photo).

Maybe the house was on 1 of these lands?  So, that’s a dead end folks … for now.  I’ll keep digging.

The (re)search goes on and on and on …

Ok, I’m back to doing more research …. using my ancestry.ca account and doing some general Google searches to see what I can come up with.  

I was able to locate an account that has some interesting information linked to Esther herself, but encapsulates both she and Rev. Lee (the reason being is that the person who was doing the research was investigating Esther’s time at Moody Bible College).  

 I found a few newspaper clippings to be of interest: 

7 Aug 7 1930 – Albany, Misouri 

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20 Dec 1934Albany, Missouri

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20 Dec 1934 – Albany, Missouri

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Note: Albany is a city and county seat of Gentry County, Missouri, USA. The population was 1,730 at the 2010 census.  Esther was born in Gentry, Missouri. I’m guessing that Albany was her hometown, the reason being is that they consistently refer to her as “formerly Miss Esther Gladstone”, likely so those reading the newspaper would recognize her by her maiden name and come out to hear them speak.

Trying to fill in the gap …

Those newspaper clippings were still a full 9 years before the photo in Dauphin was taken … what did they do in those 9 years?  Did they return to Africa for another mission as one of the clippings  would suggest?

I decided to check to see if Dauphin had a Baptist Church back in 1943 and run on the basis that the other blogger’s notation was fact … that Rev. Lee preached in Manitoba.  I’m running into a bunch of dead ends so, no harm in trying.   I know there’s a church now on 3rd Ave NW but did one exist then?  The answer is yes it did, but it was in a different location, on Main Street.  Dauphin has had a Baptist church for that last 120 years.  

Maybe I can contact the church to see if they have a list of all the Pastors?  

Mrs. Chase, who and where are you? …

I decided to try and see if I could track down the Mrs. Chase as was documented and not in view on the back of the photo.  All I knew was that her name was Mrs. Chase.  I knew she was married because if the Mrs. and that her last name was Chase and nothing else.  I was able to find 2 male Chases with wives in the 1940 Canada Voters list for Dauphin … a Mrs. Earle Chase and a Mrs. Darwin Chase, but no addresses.   

Maybe I can hit up the land registry office?

Does anyone know anything? …. 

I have a neighbour, Amy, she’s been around town for many years – maybe she know something about Pastor Lee, Esther or of a Mrs. Chase?  Let’s ask Amy and see.  Stay tuned!

Ok, so, as of today (31 Jul 2021) that’s what I’ve been able to dig up on the Lees.  As I mentioned above, this is going to be an ongoing updated blog, so be sure to check back often.

HELP — Also, I’m open to help, if anyone knows how I can dig further into this or has any clues or tips — comment below.  

I find the story of the Lees fascinating for some reason, and I feel compelled to know more about them.

On Genealogy: MY Relation to Ezra CORNELL – Founder of Cornell University

I haven’t blogged in a long while, and while I’m at a dead end in another line of my tree, I decided to do more research on the Cornells. I wondered if it was the same “Cornell” that is synonymous with the Ivy League American University – Cornell.

My fifth cousin 6 times removed OR 7th great uncle’s second cousin twice removed whichever way you look at it, is Ezra Cornell (January 11, 1807 – December 9, 1874). He was an American businessman and education administrator. He was a founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University. He also served as President of the New York Agriculture Society and as a State Senator.

My relation to Ezra is two fold – direct blood line and in-law relationship as shown below:

Ezra was born in Westchester County, New York, the son of a potter, Elijah Cornell, and was raised near DeRuyter, New York. He was a first cousin, five times removed of Benjamin Franklin on his maternal grandmother’s side. He was also a cousin of Paul Cornell, the founder of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Having traveled extensively as a carpenter in New York State, Ezra, upon first setting eyes on Cayuga Lake and Ithaca, decided Ithaca would be his future home.

After settling in at Ithaca, NY, Ezra quickly went to work proving himself as a Carpenter. Colonel Beebe took notice of the industrious young man and made him the manager of his mill at Fall Creek.

Ezra Cornell was a birthright Quaker, but was later disowned by the Society of Friends for marrying outside of the faith to a world’s woman, a Methodist by the name of Mary Ann Wood. Ezra and Mary Ann were married March 19, 1831, in Dryden, New York.

On February 24, 1832, Ezra Cornell wrote the following response to his expulsion from The Society of Friends due to his marriage to Mary Ann Wood:

“I have always considered that choosing a companion for life was a very important affair and that my happiness or misery in this life depended on the choice”.

The young and growing family needed more income than could be earned as Manager of Beebe’s Mills. Having purchased rights in a patent for a new type of plow, Ezra began what would be decades of travelling away from Ithaca. His territories for sales of the plow were the states of Maine and Georgia. His plan was to sell in Maine in the summer and the milder Georgia in the winter. With limited means, what transported Ezra between the two states were his own two feet.

Connection to Morse Code & Western Union

Happening into the offices of the Maine Farmer in 1842, Cornell saw an acquaintance of his, one F.O.J. Smith, bent over some plans for a “scraper” as Smith called it. For services rendered, Smith had been granted a one-quarter share of the telegraph patent held by Samuel F.B. Morse, and was attempting to devise a way of burying the telegraph lines in the ground in lead pipe. Ezra’s knowledge of plows was put to the test and Ezra devised a special kind of plow that would dig a 2 feet 6 inches ditch, lay the pipe and telegraph wire in the ditch and cover it back up as it went. Later it was found that condensation in the pipes and poor insulation of the wires impeded the electrical current on the wires and so hanging the wire from telegraph poles became the accepted method. 

Cornell made his fortune in the telegraph business as an associate of Samuel Morse, having gained his trust by constructing and stringing the poles for the Baltimore–Washington telegraph line, the first telegraph line of substance, in the U.S. to address the problem of telegraph lines shorting out to the ground, Cornell invented the idea of using glass insulators at the point where telegraph lines are connected to supporting poles. After joining with Morse, Cornell supervised the erection of many telegraph lines, including a portion of the New York, Albany & Buffalo line in 1846 and the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company connecting Buffalo to Milwaukee with partners John James Speed and Francis Ormand Jonathan Smith. Cornell, Speed and Smith also built the New York and Erie line competing with and paralleling to the south the New York, Albany and Buffalo line in which Morse had a major share. The line was completed in 1849 and Cornell was made president of the company.

Cornell’s sister, Phoebe, married Martin B. Wood and moved to Albion, Michigan, in 1848. Cornell gave Wood a job constructing new lines and made Phoebe his telegraph operator, the first woman operator in the United States.

Cornell earned a substantial fortune when the Erie and Michigan was consolidated with Hiram Sibley and his New York and Mississippi Company to form the Western Union company. Cornell received two million in Western Union stock.

Ezra made his fortune in the telegraph business as an associate of Samuel Morse (yes, that Morse as in Morse Code – Samuel F.B. Morse who developed an electric telegraph and then invented, with his friend Alfred Vail, the Morse Code  in 1838) , having gained his trust by constructing and stringing the telegraph poles between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, as the first ever telegraph line of substance in the U.S. To address the problem of telegraph lines shorting out to the ground, Cornell invented the idea of using glass insulators at the point where telegraph lines are connected to supporting poles. After joining with Morse, Cornell supervised the erection of many telegraph lines, including the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company connecting Buffalo to Milwaukee. He earned a substantial fortune as a founder of the Western Union company.

Member of Republic Party

Cornell was a Republican member of the New York State Assembly (Tompkins Co.) in 1862 and 1863; and of the New York State Senate from 1864 to 1867, sitting in the 87th, 88th, 89th and 90th New York State Legislatures.

Cornell University and Free Library

Cornell retired from Western Union and turned his attention to philanthropy. He endowed the Cornell Library, a public library for the citizens of Ithaca. A lifelong enthusiast of science and agriculture, he saw great opportunity in the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to found a university that would teach practical subjects on an equal basis with the classics favored by more traditional institutions. Andrew Dickson White helped secure the new institution’s status as New York’s land grant university, and Cornell University was granted a charter through their efforts in 1865.

This bronze statue of Ezra Cornell by Hermon Atkins MacNeil was erected on the university’s Arts Quad in 1919.

Cornell University derived far greater revenues than earlier land grant colleges, largely from real estate transactions directed by Ezra Cornell. Under the land-grant program, the Federal government issued the colleges scrip, documents granting the right to select a parcel of land. These colleges generally promptly sold their scrip. Ezra Cornell, on the other hand held most of the scrip, anticipating it would increase in price.He also redeemed some scrip for promising land or for rights in timber, most notably pine forest in Wisconsin. While the first land-grant colleges received around half a dollar per acre, Cornell netted an average of over five dollars per acre in 1905. 

Later Life

Ezra Cornell entered the railroad business, but fared poorly due to the Panic of 1873. He began construction of a palatial Ithaca mansion, Llenroc (Cornell spelled in reverse) to replace his farmhouse, Forest Home, but died before it was completed. Llenroc was maintained by Cornell’s heirs for several decades until being sold to the local chapter of the Delta Phi fraternity, which occupies it to this day; Forest Home was sold to the Delta Tau Delta chapter and later demolished. Cornell is interred in Sage Chapel on Cornell’s campus, along with Daniel Willard Fiske and Jennie McGraw.

Llenroc, home of Ezra Cornell

A prolific letter writer, Ezra corresponded with a great many people and would write dozens of letters each week. This was due partly to his wide travelling, and also to the many business associates he maintained during his years as an entrepreneur and later as a politician and university founder. Cornell University has made the approximately 30,000 letters in the Cornell Correspondence available online.

His eldest son, Alonzo B. Cornell, was later governor of New York. Since its founding, the University’s charter specified that the eldest lineal descendent of Cornell is granted a life seat on Cornell University’s Board of Trustees. Since Ezra Cornell IV took the post on November 17, 1969, the law was amended from specifying the “eldest male lineal descendent.”

In 1990, G. David Low, graduate of Cornell University and Space Shuttle astronaut, took with him into outer space a pair of tan silk socks worn by Ezra Cornell on his wedding day in 1831.

Honestly, I can’t even get over how a commoner like myself has so much history in her blood, her roots. If you haven’t had the chance, take a look at my other ancestral connections – too many to name. I’m again floored that his ONE LINE in my tree to America has yielded so many amazing finds.

Genealogy is my passion, I can’t wait to see who else I’m connected to. Stay tuned and follow for more …..

Rh- Alien Blood,Royal Blue Bloods and My Linage to King John I

Before getting into the meat of this post, it’s important to understand blood typing. Interestingly, 85% of the world’s population are Rh+ and only 15% are Rh-. Most of us don’t know our blood type (if you don’t, I strongly encourage you to find out, it’s so important, especially if you require a blood transfusion). I’ve known for many years, as it affected my pregnancies, I’m O-, I’ll explain why this is important a few paragraphs down.  

In 1937, Karl Landsteiner and Alexander Weiner discovered the Rh factor. Rh or rhesus protein is named for the rhesus monkey, which also carries the gene, and is a protein that lives on the surface of red blood cells. Their discovery thus changed the blood types from the four we knew A, B, AB, and O, to the eight we know today. They discovered the Rh protein while researching solutions for a medical mystery that killed dozens of babies each day. Their discovery led to the development of the RhoGAM® injection in 1968, which is used to prevent an immune response in mothers who are Rh-. If a pregnant woman who is Rh- does not receive RhoGAM, and is carrying an Rh-positive baby (which I was), she risks the health of future pregnancies because she has been exposed to the positive blood from her current unborn baby.  When a woman receives the RhoGAM shot, it protects her immune system from the exposure to the current baby’s Rh+ blood. If she does not receive the injection, her body will develop antibodies that could attack the positive red blood cells of babies in subsequent pregnancies.

Many months ago, I saw some posts come across my timeline proposing a theory that people with Rh- blood possess “alien DNA” since studies found that Rh- blood types do not have the key evolutionary gene from rhesus monkeys that most other humans do. This begs the question: if we evolved from monkeys, why would some people not have the rhesus monkey gene?

Looking back about 35,000 years, scientists believe that the blood type is linked to specific tribes/groups in France and northern Spain, mainly the Basque Region of France, who have the greatest incidents of this blood type at 35%.

The other day I was watching Kendall Rae’s YouTube channel (I’m addicted) and in came an episode about Rh Negative Blood Being Alien. She and her boyfriend, Josh, explained that most of the US Presidents possess Rh- blood and that it’s also a characteristic of the British Royal Family.  What’s interesting here is that all are distant cousins can be traced back a common ancestor, same for the US Presidents (except for one) – they’re all related to King John I.  As soon as I heard the name Plantagenet, I stopped the video and went back to my family tree on ancestry.ca. I had heard that name before, and then I found it in my relation to Louis VIII of France, click here to read that blog, I had just written a blog about him not too long ago.

Back in 2012 a 12 year old girl named BridgeAnne d’Avignon discovered that all U.S. presidents but for Martin van Buren are blood related. They are descendants of the same English king, John Lackland Plantagenet who is perhaps best known as Robin Hood’s enemy, and was the King who signed the Magna Carta in 1215.  Now if you’re not familiar with the Plantagenet’s, they are a dynasty that ruled England from 1154 to 1485. The dynasty was founded by Geoffrey Plantagenet (d: 1151), Count of Anjou. Approximately 190 seventeenth-century North American colonists were from the Plantagenet dynasty.  

I find this all wildly fascinating!  First the whole theory on Rh- blood, although far fetched, is quite intriguing. Then the fact that all, except for 1 US President is a descendent of King John I.  More so the whole fascination that truly boggles my mind is that I am Rh- and that I also have lineage going back to King John I (he’s my 25th great-grand uncle), which means in some way, shape or form, I’m related to the majority of the US Presidents (I’d already discovered that I am the 6th cousin 5x removed of President Abraham Lincoln).

What I find even more astounding is the connection between the Rh- factor and the lineage to this royal line (which to some degree, even if by lineage seems to be still in power).  Scientists cannot determine the root of the Rh- blood type, citing a random genetic mutation (which is possible). I do query (even in the Gaia scope) if some of humanity (myself included) are the product of an ancient and advanced alien civilization. I mean, if the theory of evolution is valid in that each and every one of us is descended from ancient primates, shouldn’t we all be Rh+?

Some speculation surrounding alien DNA is that the Sumerians believed in an ancient extra terrestrial race, the Anunnaki, who genetically engineered humans who were here at that time.  Over 6,000 years ago, the world’s first civilization was recording stories of strange celestial Gods whom they believed came from the heavens to create mankind. 

The Sumerians were highly intelligent, amongst other things, they essentially “invented” time by dividing day and night into 12-hour periods, hours into 60 minutes, and minutes into 60 seconds. If they were responsible for many of the most important innovations, inventions, and concepts of present day, why would they imagine or invent stories surrounding the Anunnaki?

Most historians leave this to mythology, the same way they do the Greek Gods. Some researchers believe the Anunnaki may have been actual beings. So it’s possible that Rh- people are direct relatives of the Anunnaki.

Do these Royals and the rest of us Rh- blood possess alien blood? Genetic mutation or alien connection?

Hmmmm ….

On Genealogy: MY ROYAL CONNECTION to King Louis VIII of France

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I always thought I was special, a Princess you might say, and now I have a little weight behind me to back it up, my 24th great grand-father was King Louis VIII of France. And this discovery, has just set my whole genealogical dig in a whole new wild direction; an astronomical connection all the way back the the Plantagenets (The House of the Plantagenets), the royal dynasty that ruled England for over 300 years.

I came across this discovery as I followed a line on my father’s, paternal side down the Rancourts (see below for exact linage), I was following back my great gramma Angelina Mullen’s line – I don’t even recall how I ended up at Louis VIII, bypassing all of the previous royals.

In all honesty, I knew very little about my 24x GGF. From what I’ve researched Louis VIII the Lion (aka Louis VIII le Lion) (5 September 1187 – 8 November 1226) was King of France from 1223 to 1226 (only a short 3 years). Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois at Palais Royal, Paris, France.

As I mentioned above, Louis VIII was the son and heir to the great King Philip II, a man who was able to, with the help of his frail yet competent son, to substantially extend royal influence within France.  

In summer 1195, a marriage between Louis and Eleanor of Brittany, niece of Richard I of England, was suggested for an alliance between Philip II and Richard, but it failed. It is said that the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI opposed the marriage, and that its failure was a sign that Richard would name his brother John as heir to the English throne instead of Eleanor’s younger brother Arthur of Brittany, whom Richard had designated earlier as heir presumptive.

On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12, Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the sister of King Richard I and King John I of England. The marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanche’s uncle John.

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Born to wealth, Blanche of Castile (1188-1252) took the reins of leadership early in life as the wife of Louis VIII and later as co-regent during her son, Louis IX’s, minority — Blanche proved to be a good, strong willed leader, keenly adept at dealing with her male counterparts.

Blanche was born on March 4, 1188 in Palencia, Castile, an area that is now part of central and northern Spain. She was the daughter of King Alphonso VIII of Castile and Princess Eleanor Plantagenet of England. Her grandfather was Henry II of England, her grandmother was Eleanor of Aquitaine and her uncle was John I of England. This rich lineage prepared her well for a place on the throne of France.

Louis VIII succeeded his father on 14 July 1223; his coronation took place on 6 August of the same year in the cathedral at Reims.

Meanwhile in 1215, King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta stating that the King was not above the law of the land and protecting the rights of the people. Today, the Magna Carta is considered one of the most important documents in the history of democracy. After King John had been forced to sign the Magna Carta, the nobility was still mistrustful of their King, thinking he would appeal to Pope Innocent III for aid in regaining what he had lost. Having failed to control John, the barons took an unprecedented step and decided to overthrow him. The English barons rebelled against the unpopular King John in the First Barons’ War. England needed a King, but who?

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The barons needed a strong, experienced man and of royal blood; they looked across the English channel and found one in Louis VIII.  He was after all the son of the French King Philip Augustus (II), AND he was also a direct descendant of William the Conqueror (OMG, another exciting find and one that I need to research!) and married to King John’s niece, both of which gave him a passable blood claim to the English throne. But more than this, he had the resources to mount a campaign, the men to run it and the skills to win it. He was renowned as a brilliant warrior and was known to be honest, just, moral and a man of his word – all the things that John wasn’t.

On 14 June 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom. But just when it seemed that England was his, King John’s death in October 1216 of dysentery, caused many of the rebellious barons to desert Louis in favour of John’s nine-year-old son, Henry III.

With the Earl of Pembroke acting as regent, a call for the English “to defend our land” against the French led to a reversal of fortunes on the battlefield. After his army was beaten at the Battle of Lincoln on 20 May 1217 and his naval forces were defeated at the Battle of Sandwich on 24 August 1217, Louis was forced to make peace on English terms. In 1216 and 1217, Prince Louis also tried to conquer Dover Castle, but without success. The principal provisions of the Treaty of Lambeth were an amnesty for English rebels, a pledge from Louis not to attack England again, and 10,000 marks to be given to Louis. In return for this payment, Louis agreed he had never been the legitimate king of England.

He returned to France, where he dedicated a majority of the rest of his life to crusading for the Catholic cause. Teaming with the Englishman Simon de Montfort, Louis battled against Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, and then his son, Raymond VII, and their religious sect, the Cathars. After nearly ten years of sporadic battles, and huge victories and losses on both sides, Louis arose victorious and extended royal power further into southern France. His biggest accomplishment during his short reign was the conquest of the county of Poitou, which had long been under English control. One could not have expected more as a general and leader than what was received by Prince, and then King, Louis. 

While returning to Paris, King Louis VIII became ill with dysentry and died on 8 November 1226 at Château de Montpensier in Auvergne.

The Saint Denis Basilica, just to the north of Paris, houses the tomb of Louis VIII. His son, Louis IX (1226–70), succeeded him on the throne. Queen Blanche concluded the crusade in the south in 1229.

My Lineage:

LOUIS VIII – KING OF FRANCE 1187-1226

24th great-grandfather

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Robert I (Count of Artois)

Son of LOUIS VIII – KING OF FRANCE

(Robert I 25 September 1216 – 8 February 1250, called the Good, was the first Count of Artois, a Prince of France, and the fifth (and second surviving) son of Louis VIII, King of France and Blanche of Castile. On 14 June 1237 Robert married Matilda, daughter of Henry II of Brabant and Marie of Hohenstaufen. They had two children: Blanche (1248–1302)[ Robert II (1250–1302), who succeeded to Artois).

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Robert II (Count of Artois)

Son of Robert I de France (Count of Artois)

(Robert II September 1250 – 11 July 1302, was the Count of Artois, the posthumous son and heir of Robert I and Matilda of Brabant. He was a nephew of Louis IX of France. He died at the Battle of the Golden Spurs.

In 1262 in Paris Robert married Amicie de Courtenay (1250–1275), daughter of Pierre de Courtenay, Seigneur de Conches, a great-grandson of Louis VI, and Perronelle de Joigny. They had three children:Mahaut (1268–1329), Philip (1269–1298), Robert (born 1271, died young).

After Amicie’s death, Robert married twice more: first, in 1277, to Agnes of Dampierre (1237–1288), heiress of Bourbon, and then, on 18 October 1298 to Margaret (died 1342),daughter of John II, Count of Hainaut. After Robert’s death, his daughter Mahaut inherited Artois, but his grandson Robert III unsuccessfully tried to claim it.

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Pilippe I, (Count of Artois)

Son of Robert II (Count of Artois)

(Philip of Artois 1269 – 11 September 1298 was the son of Robert II of ArtoisCount of Artois, and Amicie de Courtenay.  He was the Lord of ConchesNonancourt, and Domfront. He married Blanche of Brittany, daughter of John II, Duke of Brittany, and had the following children:Margaret (1285–1311), who married in 1301 Louis, Count of Évreux, Robert III of Artois (1287–1342), Isabelle (1288–1344), a nun at Poissy, Joan of Artois (1289 – aft. 1350), married Gaston ICount of Foix, in Senlis in 1301, Othon (died 2 November 1291), Marie of Artois (1291 – 22 January 1365, Wijnendaele), Lady of Merode, married in 1309 in Paris to John I, Marquis of Namur, Catherine (1296–1368, Normandy), married John II of Ponthieu, Count of Aumale.

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Marie of Artois

Daughter of Pilippe I, Count of Artois

(Marie of Artois – born in 1291, was the fourth daughter of Philip of Artois and Blanche of Brittany. John’s second wife was Marie of Artois (later to become Lady of Merode). They were married in Paris on 6 March 1310, confirmed Poissy, January 1313. John granted her as dower the castle of Wijnendale in Flanders, ratified by the Count of Flanders (his half-brother, Robert III) in 1313.

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Marie of Namur
Gräfin von Vianden
Dame de Pierrepont
1322 –
before 29 October 1357
Married firstly, in 1335/36, to Henry II, Graf of Vianden, son of Philip II, Graf of Vianden and his first wife Lucia von der Neuerburg. Her first husband was murdered at Famagusta in September 1337.

Married secondly (1340, dispensation 9 September 1342) to her father’s second cousin, Theobald of Bar, Seigneur de Pierrepont, son of Erard of Bar, Seigneur de Pierrepont et d’Ancerville (himself son of Theobald II of Bar), and his wife Isabelle of Lorraine (daughter of Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine).

Marie gave birth to two daughters, Yolande and Elisabeth. When Theobald, died (between 2 August 1353 and 6 July 1354) he had no legitimate male heir, thus his daughter Elisabeth became the heiress of Bar-Pierrepont.

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Yolande de Bar

Daughter of Marie of Namur

(Yolande de Bar (b. c. 1343 – d. c. 1410)  married before 1360 with Eudes VII, Sire de Grancey, Louvois, Pierrepont. Yolande de Bar, dame de Pierrepont, and Eudes VII de Grancey, chevalier, councilor and chamberlain of the king of France, probably married between 1350 and 1355

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Jeanne de Grancey -1422

Daughter of Yolande de Bar

(Jeanne de Grancey, dame of Louvois and of Pierrepont, and Jean II de Châteauvillain,
seigneur of Thil, Châteauvillain, and Marigny, married about 1372

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Marie (Dame de Louvais) de Chateauvillain 1380-1423

Daughter of Jeanne de Grancey

( Marie de Châteauvillain, dame of Louvois, and Amé de Sarrebruche, seigneur of Commercy and of Venisy, married 27 September 1396)

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Robert I de Sarrebruche

Son of Marie (Dame de Louvais) de Chateauvillain

(Robert I de Sarrebruche, lord of Commercy, and Jeanne, countess of Roucy and of Braine. Jeanne de Saarbrücken (born de PIERREPONT) (she is a descendant of Henry III, king of England), married around 1414-1417 at Braine)

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Jeanne de Sarrebruche 1436-1492

(Jeanne de Sarrebruche and Christophe de Barbançon, seigneur of Canny-sur-Matz,
married about 1463)

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Francois Seigneur De Barbancon De La Ferte

Son of Jeanne de Sarrebruche

(François de Barbançon, seigneur of La Ferté, and Françoise de Villers, dame of Montgobert, probably married between 1490 and before 26 May 1507 (and not on 20 October 1511 as reported in several publications)

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Maguerite (Dame de Montgobert) de Barbancon 1490-

Daughter of Francois Seigneur De Barbancon De La Ferte

(Marguerite de Barbançon, dame of Montgobert, and Robert de Joyeuse, count of Grandpré, married 15 July 1519)

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Francois De Joyeuse 1507-1597

Son of Maguerite (Dame de Montgobert) de Barbancon

(François de Joyeuse, seigneur of Champigneulle, and Nicole Françoise de Beauvais,
probably married between 1530 and 1540)

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Jean (seigneur de Champigneulle) De Joyeuse 1540-

Son of Francois De Joyeuse

(Jean de Joyeuse, seigneur of Champigneulle, and Nicole des Ancherins, dame of Cierges and Bantheville in part, heiress of Sivry, marriage contract 31 December 1561, married January 1563)

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Louise De Joyeuse 1562-1616

Daughter of Jean (seigneur de Champigneulle) De Joyeuse

(Louise de Joyeuse, dame of Sivry, and Charles de Longeuval, sieur of Ormes, seigneur of part of Sivry and of Walicourt, married about 1581)

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Antoinette De Longuevale 1581-1639

Daughter of Louise De Joyeuse

(Antoinette de Longueval and Guillaume Couvent, married before 1601, probably at or near Épieds). The Couvent’s were non-armigerous (i.e. did not bear heraldic arms, did not have a coat of arms)

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Anne Couvent 1601-1675

Daughter of Antoinette De Longuevale

(Anne Couvent and Philippe Amiot, married about 1625, probably at or near Épieds (Aisne) Picardy). The Amiot’s were non-armigerous (i.e. did not bear heraldic arms, did not have a coat of arms)

Anne Couvent came to New France from Picardy with her husband Philippe Amiot / Hameau and two sons, Jean and Mathieu, in 1636. A third child, Charles, was born in New France. In addition, her nephew, Toussaint Ledran, the son of Louis Ledran and Charlotte Couvent, also settled in New France. Many Canadians and Americans descend from one of the Couvent sisters and thus from royalty.

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Mathieu Amiot 1628-1688

Son of Anne Couvent

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Catherine Ursule Amiot 1664-1715

Daughter of Mathieu Amiot

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Marie-Françoise Duquet dit Desrochers 1699-1743

Daughter of Catherine Ursule Amiot

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Charles Alexandre Rancourt 1729-1774

Son of Marie-Françoise Duquet dit Desrochers

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Louis Rancourt 1807-1847

Son of Charles Alexandre Rancourt

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Olive Rancourt 1847-1895

Daughter of Louis Rancourt

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Bridget Angelina Mullen 1887-1976

Daughter of Olive Rancourt

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Benjamin George Richards 1916-1977

Son of Bridget Angelina Mullen

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Patrick James Richards 1954-2014

Son of Benjamin George Richards

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Tina Rose Richards

You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards

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So it seems my royal lineage stopped with the marriage of Antoinette de Longueval and Guillaume Couvent. She came from the family of Louise de Joyeuse, dame of Sivry, and Charles de Longeuval, sieur of Ormes, seigneur of part of Sivry and of Walicourt. Guillaume had no coat of arms. Why would have Antoinette marry outside of royalty, was it for love? The end of her familial dynasty? More research to be done …. I will be writing a whole different blog on Anne Couvent and her famous lineage – stay tuned!

Also interesting that I am related to Louis VIII in another way via my dad’s line via Olive Moore’s line as follows:

Louis VIII le Lion, roi de France is Patrick James Richards’ 25th great grandfather, therefore my 26x GGF through this line.

Patrick James Richards
 

Benjamin George Richards
his father

Ambrose Richards
his father

George Howard Richards
his father

Olive Moore
his mother

Roger Moore
her father

Dudley Moore, Sr.
his father

Jedediah Moore
his father

Jonathan Moore
his father

Sarah Moore
his mother

Sarah Pinney
her mother

Edward Griswold, of Killingworth
her father

George Griswold, of Kenilworth
his father

Roger Griswold
his father

William Griswold
his father

Roger Griswold
his father

Joan Griswold (Stockley)
his mother

Joane Stockley
her mother

Thomas Wells
her father

John Welles
his father

Thomas Welles
his father

Eleanor Alianore de Mowbray, Baroness Welles
his mother

John de Mowbray, 4th Baron of Mowbray
her father

Joan of Lancaster, Baroness de Mowbray
his mother

Henry of Lancaster
her father

Blanche of Artois
his mother

Robert I the Good, count of Artois
her father

Louis VIII le Lion, roi de France
his father

I also find it insanely interesting that my family lineage forms part of the world’s most renowned plays! To think that William Shakespeare’s play The Life and Death of King John, has my actual 24x and 25x great grand fathers.

I think it may be safe to say that The Life and Death of King John which dramatizes the reign of John, King of England, his son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England

My Family Tree of Characters in King John are Blanche of Castile – John’s niece, King Philip II  King of France and Louis who is called Louis the Dauphin — ironically, I lived in Dauphin, Manitoba for 2 years.

Synopsis:

King John receives an ambassador from France who demands with a threat of war that he renounce his throne in favour of his nephew, Arthur, whom the French King Philip believes to be the rightful heir to the throne.

John adjudicates an inheritance dispute between Robert Faulconbridge and his older brother Philip the Bastard, during which it becomes apparent that Philip is the illegitimate son of King Richard I. Queen Eleanor, mother to both Richard and John, recognizes the family resemblance and suggests that he renounce his claim to the Faulconbridge land in exchange for a knighthood. John knights Philip the Bastard under the name Richard.

In France, King Philip and his forces besiege the English-ruled town of Angers, threatening attack unless its citizens support Arthur. Philip is supported by Austria, who many characters believe to have killed King Richard. The English contingent arrives; and then Eleanor trades insults with Constance, Arthur’s mother. Kings Philip and John stake their claims in front of Angers’ citizens, but to no avail: their representative says that they will support the rightful king, whoever that turns out to be.

The French and English armies clash, but no clear victor emerges. Each army dispatches a herald claiming victory, but Angers’ citizens continue to refuse to recognize either claimant because neither army has proven victorious.

The Bastard proposes that England and France unite to punish the rebellious citizens of Angers, at which point the citizens propose an alternative: Philip’s son, Louis the Dauphin, should marry John’s niece Blanche (a scheme that gives John a stronger claim to the throne) while Louis gains territory for France. Though a furious Constance accuses Philip of abandoning Arthur, Louis and Blanche are married.

Cardinal Pandolf arrives from Rome bearing a formal accusation that John has disobeyed the Pope and appointed an archbishop contrary to his desires. John refuses to recant, whereupon he is excommunicated. Pandolf pledges his support for Louis, though Philip is hesitant, having just established family ties with John. Pandolf brings him round by pointing out that his links to the church are older and firmer.

War breaks out; Austria is beheaded by the Bastard in revenge for his father’s death; and both Angers and Arthur are captured by the English. Eleanor is left in charge of English possessions in France, while the Bastard is sent to collect funds from English monasteries. John orders Hubert to kill Arthur. Pandolf suggests to Louis that he now has as strong a claim to the English throne as Arthur (and indeed John), and Louis agrees to invade England.

Hubert finds himself unable to kill Arthur. John’s nobles urge Arthur’s release. John agrees, but is wrong-footed[ by Hubert’s announcement that Arthur is dead. The nobles, believing he was murdered, defect to Louis’ side. Equally upsetting, and more heartbreaking to John, is the news of his mother’s death, along with that of Lady Constance. The Bastard reports that the monasteries are unhappy about John’s attempt to seize their gold. Hubert has a furious argument with John, during which he reveals that Arthur is still alive. John, delighted, sends him to report the news to the nobles.

Arthur dies jumping from a castle wall. (It is open to interpretation whether he deliberately kills himself or just makes a risky escape attempt.) The nobles believe he was murdered by John, and refuse to believe Hubert’s entreaties. John attempts to make a deal with Pandolf, swearing allegiance to the Pope in exchange for Pandolf’s negotiating with the French on his behalf. John orders the Bastard, one of his few remaining loyal subjects, to lead the English army against France.

While John’s former noblemen swear allegiance to Louis, Pandolf explains John’s scheme, but Louis refuses to be taken in by it. The Bastard arrives with the English army and threatens Louis, but to no avail. War breaks out with substantial losses on each side, including Louis’ reinforcements, who are drowned during the sea crossing. Many English nobles return to John’s side after a dying French nobleman, Melun, warns them that Louis plans to kill them after his victory.

John is poisoned by a disgruntled monk. His nobles gather around him as he dies. The Bastard plans the final assault on Louis’ forces, until he is told that Pandolf has arrived with a peace treaty. The English nobles swear allegiance to John’s son Prince Henry, and the Bastard reflects that this episode has taught that internal bickering could be as perilous to England’s fortunes as foreign invasion.

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My mind is blown!  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to trace my heritage back to a King, more less a whole line of significantly historic Royals on both sides of the channel – the French and the English – my family is steeped in so much rich history. 

I cannot wait to get exploring more — King Phillip, King Louis XI and Blanche’s family, King Alphonso VIII of Castile and Princess Eleanor Plantagenet of England. Her grandfather was Henry II of England, her grandmother was Eleanor of Aquitaine and her uncle was John I of England.

(photo header: King John of England in battle with the Francs (left), Prince Louis VIII of France on the march (right). (British Library, Royal 16 G VI f. 385)

On Genealogy: Updated DNA Ethnicity Estimate

As you know, I’m a genealogy nut, or more like nerd. I love working on my family tree, although in the past 6-8 months I’ve barely looked at it more or less worked on it. I can’t even remember the last genealogy blog I posted (hang on let me check — other than a quick update on my Lee side of the family, it was on my relation to Willis Carrier King of the A/C – I posted that one in July in the midst of a sweltering heat wave – in the hotter months I’m sure most people REALLY LOVE my 9th cousin 2x removed.

I did my DNA test back in 2017 – I was super excited to get my results, and to see if they matched what I already knew about my tree.

Ethnicity updates are regularly provided on Ancestry.ca to reflect the most recent AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate.

My passion was reignited because I’ve been binge watching seasons 9 and 10 of Who Do You Think You Are? I  LOVE this show!  I’m not a celebrity but I’d LOVE if someone could collect all the little nuggets that I can’t get my hands on.

Check out my On Genealogy: series in my blog posts to read ALL my historic familial connections to a King of France, filles du roi, Honest Abe Lincoln, John Ritter, Amelia Earhart, founding members of the American Colonies, a connection to the Salem Witch Trials, my family from England, Ireland and France, an Explorer, the first documented marriage between a native and a white man and soooooo much more!

I have SOOOOO MUCH history and so much more to discover. I  have some trees I can date back to the 1500’s and others that stop in 1900 and I can’t trace them back any further – I’m stuck on an Irish line and a Scot line and I can’t find anything more on the 1st Ambrose Richards – where’s he from? Why can’t I find out anything on Joseph Edward Lee’s military records, but I was able to locate all of his brother George’s?  

As I decided to dip into my tree today, I noted some updates to my DNA Story and estimate. Since AncestryDNA first launched, they’ve continued to add new regions and improve the precision of results. DNA research is a fast-paced, cutting-edge field, and we can expect them to make more advancements as DNA science evolves.  DNA is crazy!  Each person gets 50% of their DNA from Mom and 50% from Dad. But that means 50% of each parents DNA also gets left behind. Also, what gets passed down and what gets left behind is completely random. 

This Ancestry.ca update features:

  • 16,000 reference samples
  • 500+ possible regions

What might change?

Percentages for a region could change. Some new regions could appear. Some old regions, especially low-percentage regions, could disappear. Or you might not see much change at all.

Ok, so let’s see what’s changed this time around.

(previous estimate on the left and up to date estimate on the right)

 

When AncestryDNA launched in 2012, they compared DNA against 22 possible regions. They now have more than 380.

Not only have new data and new methods enabled AncestryDNA to identify new regions, they have also improved the ability to determine how likely it is that we belong to a region. These improvements mean that our percentages for a region could go up or down.

So, I have some minor changes – mainly the elimination of low confidence regions and more clearly defining France (47%), Ireland/Scotland (27%) and England (26%) – which is congruent with my family tree research.  The percentages have also changed to a certain degree – but the findings remain what I know to be true.  The only thing I really don’t see anywhere in this is my first nations heritage – I have roots that I can trace back and I have my Algonquin card.  

How does AncestryDNA predict the migrations in my DNA story?

Migrations are based on Genetic Communities Genetic Communities are groups of AncestryDNA members who are most likely connected because they share fairly recent ancestors who came from the same region or culture.

Once they identify a Genetic Community, they look for patterns in ethnicity and data from family trees linked to AncestryDNA, including ancestral birth locations, to see where their ancestors lived and moved to.

Historical researchers use that time and place data to look for the overarching story that binds the members of a Genetic Community together. While migrations may not tell your ancestor’s story exactly, your DNA suggests that you are connected to this historical journey.

Below is my family’s migration history from Europe from the 1700’s to 1900’s.

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.14.02 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.21 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.38 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.48 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.19.00 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.19.11 PM

This is absolutely fascinating!  

The site has also introduced ThruLines which illustrates how you may be related to your DNA matches through a common ancestor.  This is excellent as it may lead me to common ancestors who can hopefully provide me with some information on the blanks in my tree – like the Lee Tree – and information on George Edward Lee’s military history and death – I’m at a complete stand still on this 😦

For those of you have Ancetry.ca what do you think of the improvements?  If you don’t have Ancestry, which site do you use?

Namaste 

T xo

On Genealogy: John Ritter is my 9th Cousin, 2x removed!

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.01.52 PM

Rev. Obadiah Holmes definitely has some Famous kin.  I’ve covered President Lincoln & Amelia Earhart and now I’m covering my connection to comedic legend,  John Ritter, best known as Jack Tripper.

Another descendant of Rev. Holmes, is Willis Carrier,  the inventor of air conditioning (I really love this guy on hot, sticky, humid days!) – Carrier is his 8th great grandson.

My Connection to John Ritter:

Johnathan “John” Southworth Ritter 1948-2003
9th cousin 2x removed
Dorothy Fay Southworth 1915-2003
Mother of Johnathan “John” Southworth Ritter
Dr. Harry Thomas Southworth 1876-1933
Father of Dorothy Fay Southworth
Thomas Southworth
Father of Dr. Harry Thomas Southworth
Altha W. Aldrich
Mother of Thomas Southworth
Chad Aldrich
Father of Altha W. Aldrich
Stephen Aldrich
Father of Chad Aldrich
Penelope Pray
Mother of Stephen Aldrich
Sarah Brown
Mother of Penelope Pray
Mary Holmes 1628-1690
Mother of Sarah Brown
Rev. Obadiah Holmes 1610-1682
Father of Mary Holmes
Martha Holmes 1640-1711
Daughter of Rev. Obadiah Holmes
Hannah Audley 1643-1685
Daughter of Martha Holmes
Abigail Devol 1695-1719
Daughter of Hannah Audley
Job Milk II 1725-1804
Son of Abigail Devol
Sarah Milk 1749-1830
Daughter of Job Milk II
Roger Moore 1775-1860
Son of Sarah Milk
Olive Moore 1821-1871
Daughter of Roger Moore
Ambrose Richards 1885-1957
Son of George Howard Richards
Benjamin George Richards 1916-1977
Son of Ambrose Richards
Patrick James Richards 1954-2014
Son of Benjamin George Richards
Tina Rose Richards
You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards

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I find the relation to John Ritter especially interesting because of his manner of death.  He passed away of an aortic dissection – the EXACT same thing that my brother, who would also be his 9th cousin, 2x removed, almost died of!  Aortic dissections are relatively uncommon. Weakened aorta walls can be congenital – refer to my previous blog entitled “Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do” – I wonder if they run in all lines of this family?

John Ritter, is probably best know for the lovably goofy closet heterosexual Jack Tripper in the television comedy series ‘‘Three’s Company,” a smash hit in the 1970’s.   Jack’s character is of the lucky man who shares an apartment with two beautiful women, Chrissy, played by Suzanne Somers, and Janet, played by Joyce DeWitt. I used to love watching Jack, Janet and Chrissy and still love watching the reruns to this day! 

Early Life

Johnathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.41.00 PM.pngJohn was destined to follow in his parents footsteps. He was enrolled at Hollywood High School where he was student body president. After graduation from high school, he attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Psychology and minored in Architecture. His first appearance on TV was in 1966 as a contestant on The Dating Game (1965) where he won a vacation to Lake Havasu, Arizona. After making his very first cameo appearance, he was induced to join an acting class taught by Nina Foch. He changed his major to Theatre Arts, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama. He also studied acting with Stella Adler at the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop. Between 1968 and 1969, he appeared in a series of stage plays in England, Scotland, Holland and in Germany.

Filmography

His TV debut came playing a campus revolutionary on Dan August (1970) which starred Burt Reynolds and Norman Fell, who later starred with him on Three’s Company . Then he appeared as “Reverend Matthew Fordwick” on The Waltons (1971). He continued making more guest appearances on Medical Center (1969), M*A*S*H (1972), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Kojak (1973), Rhoda (1974) and Mary Tyler Moore (1970).

The following year, in late 1975, ABC picked up the rights for a new series based on a British sitcom, Man About the House (1973). Ritter beat out 50 people, including a young Billy Crystal, to get a major role. The first pilot was trashed, and in order for it to be improved, Joyce DeWitt, an unknown actress, played the role of “Janet Wood”, along with Suze Lanier-Bramlett as the dumb blonde, “Chrissy Snow”. It did better than the first pilot, but the producers still needed a change and Suzanne Somers came to the show at the very last minute to play “Chrissy”. Thus the series, Three’s Company, was born. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.38.01 PMIn 1980, when Three’s Company was sold into syndication, the show became a ratings phenomenon. At the height of Ritter’s popularity, he won a Golden Globe in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actor after being nominated twice for Best TV Actor in a Musical-Comedy Series and, one year later, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy Series after being nominated twice. By its eighth season, the show began to drop in the ratings and was canceled in 1984. After cancellation, he starred in its spin-off, called Three’s a Crowd (1984), also starring Mary Cadorette, but it lasted for only one season.

His first animated movie was that of a man turning into a dragon, whose job was to defeat “Ommendon” in The Flight of Dragons (1982). The following year, he came back to series television as “Detective Harry Hooperman” in the comedy/drama, Hooperman (1987) for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1988 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He also won a People’s Choice Award for this role. He continued doing more box-office films such as Skin Deep (1989), in which he played a womanizing, alcoholic writer whose life seemed to be falling apart at the seams. In the movies, Problem Child (1990), and Problem Child 2 (1991), he played the surrogate father of a rebellious little boy who wrought havoc on the family. He also worked on Noises Off... (1992) and Stay Tuned (1992) before returning to another TV sitcom called Hearts Afire (1992) that also starred Billy Bob Thornton. The show had well-written scripts but failed to reach a massive audience which led to its cancellation in 1995. While he was working on Hearts Afire, he played “Ward Nelson” on North (1994). Then, he had the opportunity to work with Billy Bob Thornton, in the movie Sling Blade (1996), in which Ritter played the gay manager of a department store. He also provided the voice of “Clifford” in Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000). He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award 4 times in a row, totalling seven Emmy nominations in his 35-year career. In 1999, he was also nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series playing the role of “George Madison” on an episode of Ally McBeal (1997).

Soon afterwards, he landed his last television role in 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002), based on the popular book. On this sitcom he played “Paul Hennessey”, a loving, rational dad, who laid down the ground rules for his three children and dealt with such topics as curfews, sex, drugs, getting arrested, etc. The show was a ratings winner in its first season and won a People’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy and also won for Favourite Comedy Series by the Family Awards.

Death

On September 11, 2003, Ritter fell ill while rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules. He began sweating profusely and vomiting, and complained of having chest pains. He was taken to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, by coincidence the same hospital where he was born. Physicians misdiagnosed Ritter and treated him for a heart attack (this is very common as the symptoms often mimic those of a heat attack).  However, his condition worsened. Physicians later diagnosed Ritter with an aortic dissection. Ritter died during surgery to repair the dissection, six days before his 55th birthday. This is were I’m in awe.  I heard of John Ritter and Alan Thicke dying in surgery for aortic dissections and yet my brother lived during the same surgery – was he ever blessed and he had an amazing thoracic cardiac surgeon in Dr. Ash.  

A private funeral was held on September 15 in Los Angeles, after which Ritter was interred at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. He died on his daughter Stella’s birthday.

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He left behind four children: Jason Ritter, (born on Sunday, February 17, 1980), Carly Ritter, (born on Monday, March 1, 1982), Tyler Ritter, (born on Thursday, January 31, 1985) and Stella Ritter, (born on Friday, September 11, 1998).

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.56.34 PM.pngJohn Ritter’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is next to his father’s 

I’m excited to see what connection I make next and from which line!

On Genealogy: Say What? I’m Connected To Amelia Earhart!

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My lineage just gets better and better!  To date I have discovered a relation to a King of France, a US President, one of the Filles du Roi, an explorer,  a colleague of Samuel de Champlain, a great Uncle who died in WWI in Flanders … these are just some of my finds … and NOW …. a relation to the great aviatrix Amelia Earhart!

It’s one of the greatest unsolved mysteries!  It’s been 80 years and no resolution. I have long been fascinated by the story of Amelia Earhart.  I have watched numerous documentaries about her disappearance on History, Nat Geo, CNN etc.  The story fascinated me long before I discovered our distant relation.  Amelia is my 9th cousin, 2 x removed via the Obadiah Holmes line – the same lineage that my relation to Honest Abe comes from.  So RICHARDS family, this one is also for you!

Background

Amelia was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, USA, to Amelia Otis, age 28, and Edwin Stanton Earhart, age 26.

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As you may well know, Amelia Earhart was an Aviation Pioneer. Her flying career began in Los Angeles in 1921 when, at age 24, she took flying lessons from Neta Snook and bought her first airplane, a Kinner Airstar. Due to family problems, she sold her airplane in 1924 and moved back East, where she took employment as a Social Worker.

Four years later, she returned to aviation bought an Avro Avian airplane and became the first woman to make a solo-return transcontinental flight. From then on, she continued to set and break her own speed and distance records, in competitive events, as well as personal stunts promoted by her husband George Palmer Putnam.

Marriage to George Putnam

Amelia married George Palmer Putnam in Noank, Connecticut, USA, on February 7, 1931, when she was 33 years old.

A little about George:  In July 1927 he was responsible for the blockbuster publication of “We”, Charles Lindbergh‘s autobiographical account of his early life and Orteig Prize winning non-stop transatlantic solo flight from New York to Paris made in May of that year. The book proved to be one of the most successful non-fiction titles of all time selling more than 650,000 copies in less than a year and earning its author over $250,000, which is the 2017 equivalent of $3,410,056.50.

A significant event in Putnam’s personal and business life occurred in 1928, before the merger. Because of his reputation for working with Lindbergh, he was contacted by Amy Guest, a wealthy American living in London who wanted to sponsor the first-ever flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean.

Guest asked Putnam to find a suitable candidate and he eventually came up with the then-unknown aviatrix, Amelia Earhart.As it turned out, they shared many common interests: hiking, swimming, camping, riding, tennis and golf. When Putnam first met Earhart, he was still married to Binney. After she successfully completed her flight across the Atlantic, Putnam offered to help Earhart write a book about her flight, following the formula he had established with Charles Lindbergh in the writing of “WE”. The resulting Earhart book was 20 Hrs., 40 Min. (1928).

When they began writing, Putnam invited Earhart to live in his home because he felt like it would make the process easier. Shortly after, Binney left for South America which was followed by the divorce of George and Dorothy Putnam in 1929. Putnam had undertaken to heavily promote Earhart in a campaign that included a series of lecture tours and using pictures of her image in mass market endorsements for products including luggage, Lucky Strike cigarettes (this caused image problems for her, with McCall’s magazine retracting an offer) and other products.

In 1930, the various Putnam heirs voted to merge the family’s publishing firm with Minton, Balch & Co., which became the majority stockholders. George P. Putnam resigned from his position as secretary of G. P. Putnam’s Sons and joined New York publishers Brewer & Warren as vice president.

Putnam and Earhart made their relationship official shortly after his divorce was finalized, but they didn’t marry until 1931.

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Photo: Amelia & George, circa 1935

Accomplishments

She became a household name in 1932 when she became the first woman, and second person, to fly solo across the Atlantic, on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s feat, flying a Lockheed Vega from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Ireland. That year, she received the Distinguished Flying Cross from the Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Hoover.

In January 1935 she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland, California. Later that year she soloed from Los Angeles to Mexico City and back to Newark, N.J.

In July 1936 she took delivery of a Lockheed 10E “Electra,” financed by Purdue University, and started planning her round-the-world flight. Her flight would not be the first to circle the globe, but it would be the longest, 29,000 miles, following an equatorial route – the longest in history.

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On March 17, 1937 she flew the first leg in her state of the art, twin-engine Lockheed 10 Electra from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. As the flight resumed three days later, a tire blew on takeoff and she ground-looped the plane. Severely damaged, the aircraft had to be shipped back to California for repairs, and the flight was called off.

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Photo: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Her Greatest Journey – Around the World Circumnavigation

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.08.24 PM.pngThe second attempt would begin on May 20 1937 heading East; Fred Noonan, a former Pan Am pilot, would be her navigator and sole companion in flight for the entire trip. Their last known refuelling stop was in Southeast Asia, when they arrived at Lae, New Guinea on July 2 1937. About 22,000 miles of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7,000 miles would all be over the Pacific Ocean. Their intended destination was Howland Island (their next refuelling stop), a tiny piece of land a few miles long, 20 feet high, and 2,556 miles away. Their last positive position report and sighting were over the Nukumanu Islands, about 800 miles into the flight. Earhart and Noonan are never seen alive again.

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The United States Coast Guard cutter Itasca was on station near Howland, assigned on short notice to communicate with her plane and guide her to the island once she arrived in the vicinity. But it soon became evident that she and Noonan had little practical knowledge of the use of radio navigation. The frequencies she was using were not well suited to direction finding (in fact, she had left behind the lower-frequency reception and transmission equipment which might have enabled Itasca to locate her), and the reception quality of her transmissions was poor. After six hours of frustrating attempts at two-way communications, contact was lost. A coordinated search by the Navy and Coast Guard was organized and no physical evidence of the flyers or their plane was ever found. Their fate has been the subject of many rumors and allegations which were never substantiated. Modern analysis indicates that after passing the Nukumanu Islands, she began to vector off course, unwittingly heading for a point about 100 miles NNW of Howland. A few hours before their estimated arrival time Noonan calculated a “sun line,” but without a successful, radio-frequency range calculation, a precise “fix” on the plane’s location could not be established.

According to the crash and sink theory, Earhart’s plane ran out of gas while she searched for Howland Island, and she crashed into the open ocean somewhere in the vicinity of the island.

Several expeditions over the past 15 years have attempted to locate the plane’s wreckage on the sea floor near Howland. High-tech sonar and deep-sea robots have failed to yield clues about the Electra’s crash site.

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Theories About Their Disappearance

There are numerous conspiracy theories about Earhart’s disappearance.

1)The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) postulates that Earhart and Noonan veered off-course from Howland Island and landed instead some 350 miles to the Southwest on Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, in the Republic of Kiribati. The island was uninhabited at the time.

A week after Earhart’s disappeared, Navy planes flew over the island. They noted recent signs of habitation but found no evidence of an airplane.  TIGHAR believes that Earhart—and perhaps Noonan—may have survived for days or even weeks on the island as castaways before dying there. Since 1988, several TIGHAR expeditions to the island have turned up artifacts and anecdotal evidence in support of this hypothesis.

Some of the artifacts include a piece of Plexiglas that may have come from the Electra’s window, a woman’s shoe dating back to the 1930s, improvised tools, a woman’s cosmetics jar from the 1930s and bones that appeared to be part of a human finger.

In June 2017, a TIGHAR-led expedition arrived on Nikumaroro with four forensically trained bone-sniffing border collies to search the island for any skeletal remains of Earhart or Noonan.

2) Another theory posits that Earhart and Noonan were captured and executed by the Japanese, and were captured as POWs.

3) Another theory claims that the pair served as spies for the Roosevelt administration and assumed new identities upon returning to the United States.

4) The final theory, and likely most realistic is that they ran out of fuel, having not been able to locate Howland Island and crashed into the sea.

What do you think happened?

My Lineage 

Amelia Earhart 1897-1937
9th cousin 2x removed
Amelia Otis 1869-1962
Mother of Amelia Earhart
Alfred Gideon Otis
Father of Amelia Otis
Isaac Otis
Father of Alfred Gideon Otis
Dr. Harris Otis
Father of Isaac Otis
Sarah Harris
Mother of Dr. Harris Otis
Martha Jenckes
Mother of Sarah Harris
Nathaniel Jenckes
Father of Martha Jenckes
Martha Brown
Mother of Nathaniel Jenckes
Mary Holmes 1628-1690
Mother of Martha Brown
Rev. Obadiah Holmes 1610-1682
Father of Mary Holmes
Martha Holmes 1640-1711
Daughter of Rev. Obadiah Holmes
Hannah Audley 1643-1685
Daughter of Martha Holmes
Abigail Devol 1695-1719
Daughter of Hannah Audley
Job Milk II 1725-1804
Son of Abigail Devol
Sarah Milk 1749-1830
Daughter of Job Milk II
Roger Moore 1775-1860
Son of Sarah Milk
Olive Moore 1821-1871
Daughter of Roger Moore
Ambrose Richards 1885-1957
Son of George Howard Richards
Benjamin George Richards 1916-1977
Son of Ambrose Richards
Patrick James Richards 1954-2014
Son of Benjamin George Richards
Tina Rose Richards
You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards
————————–

Such awesomeness,

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On Genealogy: My Connection to President Lincoln

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This was the MOST EXCITING ancestral find to date!  The connection, albeit distant – with the most impressive US Presidents of all time – Honest Abe is my 6th cousin 5x removed.

I posted yesterday on my connection to Obadiah Holmes – the important member of the Baptist church who was whipped for his beliefs – this amazing man was the 5th great grand-father of another revolutionary man who needs no introduction or biography, the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln!

My Lineage

President Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865
6th cousin 5x removed
|
Thomas Lincoln 1780-1851
Father of President Abraham Lincoln
|
Capt. Abraham Lincoln 1744-1786
Father of Thomas Lincoln
|
John Lincoln 1716-1788
Father of Capt. Abraham Lincoln
|
Hannah Salter
Mother of John Lincoln
|
Sarah Bowne 1669-1717
Mother of Hannah Salter
|
Lydia Holmes 1637-1693
Mother of Sarah Bowne
|
Rev. Obadiah Holmes 1610-1682
Father of Lydia Holmes
|
Martha Holmes 1640-1711
Daughter of Rev. Obadiah Holmes
|
Hannah Audley 1643-1685
Daughter of Martha Holmes
|
Abigail Devol 1695-1719
Daughter of Hannah Audley
|
Job Milk II 1725-1804
Son of Abigail Devol
|
Sarah Milk 1749-1830
Daughter of Job Milk II
|
Roger Moore 1775-1860
Son of Sarah Milk
Olive Moore 1821-1871
Daughter of Roger Moore
|
|
Ambrose Richards 1885-1957
Son of George Howard Richards
|
Benjamin George Richards 1916-1977
Son of Ambrose Richards
|
Patrick James Richards 1954-2014
Son of Benjamin George Richards
|
Tina Rose Richards
You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards
_______

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.52.36 PM.pnguntil his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way for the abolition of slavery.

In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd, who was from a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky. They met in Springfield, Illinois, in December 1839 and were engaged the following December. A wedding set for January 1, 1841, was canceled when the two broke off their engagement.  They later met again at a party and married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary’s married sister.

The couple had four children. Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843 and Edward Baker Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.53.40 PM.pngLincoln (Eddie) in 1846. Edward died on February 1, 1850, in Springfield, probably of tuberculosis. “Willie” Lincoln was born on December 21, 1850, and died of a fever on February 20, 1862. The Lincolns’ fourth son, Thomas “Tad” Lincoln, was born on April 4, 1853, and died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16, 1871. Robert was the only child to live to adulthood and have children.

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell. He was the first president from the Republican Party.

On June 19, 1862, endorsed by Lincoln, Congress passed an act banning slavery on all federal territory.  Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. In it, he stated that “as a fit and necessary military measure, on January 1, 1863, all persons held as slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free”.  The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863.

As we know, President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.  Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m. on April 15.

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In surveys of U.S. scholars ranking presidents conducted since the 1940s, Lincoln is consistently ranked in the top three, often as number one.

Pretty INTERESTING FIND to see that I have some connection to a US President – as I’ve previously said coming from Canada this line is FULL of amazing discoveries. Only this ONE line goes back to the States, let alone all of the way back to the foundation – it’s also very exciting that in Canada I am also related to a Filles du Roi and Filles a Marrier – which is Canada’s equivalent of coming over on the Mayflower.

Tune in for the next blog to see what else I discover …


On Genealogy: Whipped for Baptist Beliefs – My Connection to Rev. Obadiah Holmes

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Ok, it’s safe to say we all know that I’m a genealogy NUT, I won’t even try to deny it.  I love learning and I love history, especially when it comes to MY OWN.  They say to know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you’ve been.  I believe in knowing the trials, tribulations and successes my family has gone through, endured, surmounted and overcome, I can better understand a part of myself – and mainly teach this to my own children and to my family.  I believe I’m the first in my family to have undertaken such an in depth look at ALL lines of our family.  Sometimes I get so excited with where each branch goes, I don’t know where to go next after I’ve followed one to something exciting.

Yesterday I wrote about my familial connection to the Salem Witch Trials and I could have and likely should have stayed with that line as original settlers to the new colony, but something else piqued my interest in another line and off I went …

In going through my photo and story hints in my Ancestry.ca site, I came across a photo that someone had posted about a distant relative by the name of Obadiah Holmes.  Being Canadian, I’m astounded to see such American roots and the importance that some of my ancestors/colonial descendants have.  I had NO IDEA who Obediah Holmes was before starting this research and this blog.  A quick check online and up came a litany of information,  videos, articles and movies/documentaries on HIM.  In all honesty, I was going to write this blog about one of Obadiah’s famous descendants, but as I researched him and his significance to American history and the Baptist church, I felt it was worth writing about.

I’ll add the link to” The American family of Rev. Obadiah Holmes”  here for you to take a look at, but, I’ll provide a brief synopsis of his ancestry:

Arrival to the New Colony:

The decade of the 1630’s so disheartened England’s Puritans that they left their homeland in shipload after shipload to create a newer and purer England far away. These were the years of the Great Puritan Migration and Obadiah Holmes also “adventured the danger of the seas to come to New England.” Holmes and his wife probably sailed from Preston (just north of Liverpool), down the River Ribble, across the Irish Sea, and into the open Atlantic. They had an extremely stormy voyage that prevented them from entering Boston harbor until six weeks had passed. Soon after landing at Boston, most likely in the summer or early fall of 1638, they made their way up the coast and settled at Salem, Massachusetts.  Later removed to Rehoboth in Plymouth Colony.

Obadiah is said to have brought the first pendulum clock to America. This timepiece, one of the first of the kind ever constructed, is still doing duty in the cabinet of the Long Island and Historical Society, Brooklyn, having been presented to them by John Holmes Baker, Esq., a descendant.

Born Obadiah was born/baptized March 18, 1610 in Didsbury Chapel, County of Lancashire, England.  His father, Robert, was 31 and his mother, Katherine, was 26.
Died 15 October 1682 at Newport, Rhode island
Resting place Holmes Cemetery, Middletown, Rhode Island
Education It is said that he attended Oxford in England, but it is not certain if he graduated.
Occupation

The young Salem settlement encouraged Obadiah and his co-workers in the development of what may have been the first glass factory in North America. They made the common window glass.

Obadiah performed other duties befitting a good citizen; he surveyed and set boundaries for the land of another citizen.

In February, 1643; he accepted an appointment by the town in September 1644 to cut and gather firewood for the church elders.

He often served on juries during his years of residence at Salem.

He succeeded Dr. John Clarke & became the minister of the First Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death.

Spouse Married Katherine Hyde (1608 – 1682) at the age of 21.  They were married in Manchester’s Collegiate College Church on November 20, 1630.
Children John, Jonathan, Mary, Martha, Samuel, Obadiah, Lydia, John, Hopestill
Parents Robert Hulmes / Holmes (1578 – 1649)  and Katherine Johnson (1584 – 1630)
Religious Affiliations

Obadiah soon found himself disliking the rigidity of the established church. Then came the horror (for the Puritans) known as Anabaptism. The Baptist zeal in Rhode Island was immeasurably heightened by a direct infusion of English Baptists from abroad. They were convinced that immersion or “dipping” was the only proper form of baptism. This innovation brought conflict and irritation to the Puritans, but brought peace and serenity, at last, to Obadiah Holmes.

He was Baptized with the “new baptism” along with 8 others and became out and out Baptists, with Obadiah becoming their leader and pastor. Obadiah took the irrevocable step toward separation from New England’s official way. It took three years for the membership of the Rehoboth church to become divided on doctrinal and legal lines and become aligned behind the minister and Obadiah as the respective leaders. Obadiah’s conversion to the distinctive views of the Baptists was developed here. He became the leader of the Schismatists (he formal separation of a church into two churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal and other differences).

Rev. Obadiah Holmes was a Baptist minister at a time when Baptists were barred from worshipping in the colony of Massachusetts.

A grand jury — included William Bradford, John Alden and Miles Standish — indicted Obadiah Holmes for heresy. He and his family left Plymouth for Newport, R.I., in 1650.

Fateful Trip to Lynn, Massachusetts

On July 16, 1651, Dr. John Clarke (pastor of the Baptist church in Newport, Rhode Island), John Crandall and Obadiah Holmes walked 80 miles from Newport, RI to Massachusetts.  The purpose of the visit was to bring spiritual comfort and communion to William Witter, a blind and aged Baptist who had invited the three to come to his house. The broader purpose was, of course, an evangelical one: to tell of the new baptism and its importance. The word was proclaimed, converts were baptized, the elements of the Lord’s Supper were served all of this done privately in William Witter’s home.  I

On Sunday, July 20, they were holding church services to a small congregation. While Dr. Clarke was reading passages of scripture, two constables, with a warrant for the 3 visitors, broke in on the scene. The offence charged against them was conducting religious services in non-conformity with the statutes. The 3 Rhode Islanders were placed under arrest and taken to the local Anchor Tavern, to be fed and to await their scheduled appearance before the General Court, early the next morning. 

In the morning, after a brief appearance before Robert Bridges in Lynn, Mass, the evangelists were sent to Boston for trial. The authorities denied the defendants the opportunity to offer a defence, they simply read the charges and imposed the fines. The court order for commitment to prison, indicated essentially four complaints against the “strangers”. They had offended by (a) conducting a private worship service at the same time as the town’s public worship; (b) “offensively disturbing” the public meeting in Lynn; (c) more seriously, “seducing and drawing aside others after their erroneous judgment and practices”; and (d) “neglecting or refusing to give in sufficient security for their appearance” at the next meeting of the county court.  

The same charges were levied against all three men, all of whom fell under the proscription of the 1645 law against Anabaptists. Clarke, was fined £20; Crandall, as a tag-along and largely silent companion, was fined only £5. Obadiah Holmes, already under the cloud of excommunication from the church in Rehoboth, received the largest fine of £30. Should they not wish to pay the set fines, they had an alternative: the culprit was to be “well whipped”. 

Holmes refused to accept the offer of friends to pay his fine, believing it would be an admission of guilt, making it a matter of his conscience and scruples. He remained in prison from July till September.  

The Whipping

On September 5, 1651, Obadiah was taken from the jail, outside to the market place, where Magistrate Increase Nowell told the “executioner” to strip Obadiah naked down to the waist after he refused to disrobe himself, saying “that for all Boston I would not give my bodie into their hands to be bruised upon another account, yet upon this I would not give the hundredth part of a Wampon Peaque to free it out of their hands, and that I made as much conscience of unbuttoning one button, as I did of paying the £30 in reference thereunto.” He was then tied to the post and publicly flogged at Devonshire & State Streets in Boston, just because he was a Baptist.  

There were thirty strokes (which was 10 lashings short of a death sentence), with a three-cord whip, Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 4.21.20 PMheld by the executioner – one lash for each pound he owed. Holmes proclaimed, “I bless God I am counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus.” Though he received 30 lashes, to his bare back, Obadiah is said to not have let out a groan or scream – after the whipping he uttered the words “You have struck me as with roses.”  

After the flogging and out from the crowd came forward to offer their sympathy and shake Obadiah’s hand.  John Spur and John Hazel were promptly arrested and jailed.  Obadiah’s testimony deeply affected Harvard’s President, Henry Dunster.  For weeks and weeks after the flogging had to sleep on knees and elbows. 

Life After Religious Persecution

Obadiah returned to Newport and in 1652 succeeded Dr. John Clarke. He became the minister of the First Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death. In 1656 he was made a Freeman (in U.S. colonial times, a person not under legal restraint). He served as a Commissioner from 1656-58.

Obadiah died October 15, 1682 in Newport and was buried in his own field, where a tomb was erected to his memory (in what is now the town of Middletown). His wife did not long survive him.  He had nine children and 42 grandchildren when he died.

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Thank God for men who put principles and compassion for fellow believers above their personal safety.

Last Will & Testament

These are to signify that I, Obadiah Holmes of Newport on Rhode Island, being at present through the goodness and mercy of my God of sound memory; and, being by daily intimations put in mind of the frailty and uncertainty of this present life, do therefore – for settling my estate in this world which it has pleased the Lord to bestow upon me – make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner following, committing my spirit unto the Lord that gave it to me and my body to the earth from whence it was taken, in hope and expectation that it shall thence be raised at the resurrection of the just.Imprimis, I will that all my just debts which I owe unto any person be paid by my Executor, hereafter named, in convenient time after my decease.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mary Brown, five pounds in money or equivalent to money.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Martha Odlin, ten pounds in the like pay.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Lydia Bowne, ten pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my two grandchildren, the children of my daughter, Hopestill Taylor, five pounds each; and if either of them decease, the survivor to have ten pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, John Holmes, ten pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, Obadiah Holmes, ten pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchildren, the children of my son Samuel Holmes, ten pounds to be paid unto them in equal portions.
All these portions by me bequeathed, my will is, shall be paid by my Executor in money or equivalent to money.
Item. I give and bequeath unto all my grandchildren now living ten pounds; and ten shillings in the like pay to be laid out to each of them – a bible.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchild, Martha Brown, ten pounds in the like pay.
All [of] which aforesaid legacies are to be paid by my Executor, hereafter named in manner here expressed: that is to say, the first payment to [be] paid within one year after the decease of my wife, Catherine {sic} Holmes, and twenty pounds a year until all the legacies be paid, and each to be paid according to the degree of age.
My will is and I do hereby appoint my son Jonathan Holmes my sole Executor, unto whom I have sold my land, housing, and stock for the performance of the same legacies above. And my will is that my Executor shall pay unto his mother, Catherine Holmes, if she survives and lives, the sum of twenty pounds in money or money pay for her to dispose of as she shall see cause.
Lastly, I do desire my loving friends, Mr. James Barker, Sr., Mr. Joseph Clarke, and Mr. Philip Smith, all of Newport, to be my overseers to see this my will truly performed. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this ninth day of April, 1681.
Obadiah Hullme [Holmes][Seal]
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
Edward Thurston
Weston Clarke
(Edward Thurston, Sr., and Weston Clark appeared before the Council [of Newport], December 4, 1682, and did upon their engagements [pledges] declare and own that they saw Obadiah Holmes, deceased, sign seal and deliver the above written will as his act and deed; and, at the time of his sealing hereof, he was in his perfect memory, according to the best of our understandings. Taken before the Council, as attested. Weston Clarke, Town Clerk.)

My Lineage 

Rev. Obadiah Holmes 1610-1682
10th great-grandfather
Martha Holmes 1640-1711
Daughter of Rev. Obadiah Holmes
Hannah Audley 1643-1685
Daughter of Martha Holmes
Abigail Devol 1695-1719
Daughter of Hannah Audley
Job Milk II 1725-1804
Son of Abigail Devol
Sarah Milk 1749-1830
Daughter of Job Milk II
Roger Moore 1775-1860
Son of Sarah Milk
Olive Moore 1821-1871
Daughter of Roger Moore
Ambrose Richards 1885-1957
Son of George Howard Richards
Benjamin George Richards 1916-1977
Son of Ambrose Richards
Patrick James Richards 1954-2014
Son of Benjamin George Richards
Tina Rose Richards
You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards

Conclusion

This was an interesting person to research, I had no idea that I was connected to such a significant man/family.  It’s warming to see how revered he is in the Baptist community.

Stay tuned for the original reason I was going to write about Obadiah – his most famous descendant …. any guesses on who it is?


 

On Genealogy: My Genetic Ancestry DNA Results Are In!

maxresdefaultI know I already posted a blog today.  But, as I was walking out the door, I got an email from Ancestry that my DNA results were in and I had to check them stat!

If you’ve been a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll likely know that I’ve been working hard on my family tree and tracing my roots.  I’ve come across some interesting finds along the way, some of which I have posted, others whose blogs I continue to work on and others which I continue to dig into the past to verify facts.

About DNA Testing:

genealogical DNA test is a DNA-based test which looks at specific locations of a person’s genome in order to determine ancestral ethnicity and genealogical relationships.  AncestryDNA utilizes some of the latest autosomal testing technology to revolutionize the way you discover your family history. This service utilizes advanced DNA science to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections. It maps ethnicity going back multiple generations and provides insight

I chose to use AncestryDNA since I already use their services for my family tree.  The AncestryDNA test analyzes your entire genome—all 23 pairs of chromosomes—as opposed to only looking at the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA (which makes other types of tests gender specific). Your autosomal chromosomes carry genetic information from both your parents that’s passed down through the generations.

Genealogical DNA tests do not give information about medical conditions or diseases.

The Process:

Taking a genealogical DNA test requires the submission of a DNA sample. The process of DNA testing is fairly simple and relatively inexpensive, I paid $129.00.  The DNA kit was sent to me via Ancestry, at which time I did a spit test (accumulated my saliva into a tube, to the fill line).  Once that was completed, I put everything back into the self-addressed stamped box and mailed it to Ireland for processing.

On May 10 2017, they acknowledged receiving my sample, and that they were sent to the processing lab on June 13 2017.

Today, I was finally notified that my results are in … I have been waiting a little over two months for this!   I haven’t looked at the results on my Ancestry.ca account yet.  I have a pretty good idea of what to expect because of all of the work I’ve been doing on my family tree lately, but, I’m going to take a gander here and see how close I am when I read the results.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.18.29 AM

My Presumptions:

British and French: I know that we have roots dating back the to the 1500/1600’s coming from France and Britain, so I am expecting to see some of those genes appear in the results.

I also know that we have some Scot, Irish and perhaps Nordic blood.  The Norman DNA may show up as Scandinavian of some sort.  I am assuming this because the line I am tracing at the moment indicates that there was some land purchases made by one of my ancestors from William the Conquerors half brother, and Nord, British mixing was common at the time.

I also know that we are Native American because I have posted on that already.

The percentages and other lines however, that I am unsure – so I am very curious about this.

The Results:

Ok, let’s see how close I was.  And, the results are …. Drum Roll PLEASE …..

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.32.58 AM.png

My ethnicity estimate shows where my ancestors came from hundreds to thousands of years ago.  Ancestry.ca calculates it by comparing my DNA to the DNA of a reference panel of people with deep roots to specific places around the world.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.24.08 AM

Genetic Communities show where my family probably lived in the past few hundred years. Ancestry created these by identifying groups of AncestryDNA members who are genetically connected to each other.

Overall Thoughts: 

On ethnicity estimate:  Very surprised that it did not pick up an First Nations, since I have lineage to prove it and I have my Algonquin status 🤷🏻‍♀️

Also, surprised that I am as much Irish and Scandinavian as I am, but at least that tells me I’m on the right path as I’m doing my research.  I did see reference of a few of my family members immigrating from Ireland including my great grandfather – so maybe there are a few more?

I’ve found no traces of Italian, Greek, Spanish or Portuguese in my tree as of yet.  I’m shocked by the only 9% French, as I have been able to trace my tree to Quebec and then back to France.

On genetic communities:  It was bang on!  The French settlement in Beauce and Montmorency are accurate with the ‘very likely’ as is the English in Yorkshire – that’s where my Gramma Sally was born before moving to Canada as a WWII War Bride in 1946.  My whole on the LEE side is from Yorkshire.

Well this was an interesting little genome experience that I am sure will help on the further discovery of my roots.

Namaste

T xo