Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve 2016: Some Historical Highlights

As we get ready to celebrate the dawning of a New Year; a glimpse back in time...

December 31- New Year's Eve- On This Date In History

Some Famous Births on New Year’s Eve:

British General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis- 1738
George Meade, American Civil War General- 1815
Elizabeth Arden, Canadian cosmetics businesswoman- 1878
Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh Actor
John Denver, Singer-Songwriter- 1943
Sir Ben Kingsley, English Actor- 1943
Val Kilmer, American actor- 1959

Famous Deaths: Historical figures and celebrities who died on New Year’s Eve:

Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, died in Essex, England , 1297
Frederick III, Duke or Lorraine, 1302
Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, England, 1424
Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, England, 1460
Gustave Courbet, French Painter, 1877
Alexander Popov, Russian Physicist, 1905
Malcom Campbell, English race car driver, 1948
Ricky Nelson, American Musician and Actor, 1985
Michael Kennedy, American politician, 1997

Some Marriages, Births, and Deaths In My Family Tree On New Year's Eve:

William Samuel Thompson, born 31 December 1691 at Blair Manor in Ayrshire, Scotland.  (He was my maternal 6x great-grandfather)

William Jasper Harrison marriage to Annie Elizabeth Mosher; 31 December 1871 in Maries County, Missouri. (He was my paternal great-uncle)

Charlie Jackson Clark, died 27 Dec and was buried on 31 December 1965 in Henry County, Tennessee. (He was my maternal 2nd great-uncle)

Claude Eugene Harris marriage to Ruby Helen Baker, 31 December 1937 in Phelps County, Missouri. (He was my paternal 3rd cousin, 1x removed)

Harriett Jane Tucker, died 31 December 1955 in Calloway County, Kentucky. (She was my maternal 1st cousin 2x removed)

William Lester Clark, died 31 December 1967 in Graves County, Kentucky. (He was my maternal 1st cousin, 2x removed)


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29th: On This Date In History

On This Day In History:  December 29th

 Famous Births:

A few notable people who were born on this date include:

Empress Elizabeth of Russia, born 29 Dec 1709
Andrew Johnson, 17th U.S. President; born 29 Dec 1808
Mary Tyler Moore, American Actress; born 29 Dec 1936
Jon Voight, American Actor; born 29 Dec 1938

Historical Events:

A few things that happened in history on this date are:

29 Dec 1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury was assassinated in England.
29 Dec 1778 – British soldiers captured Savannah, Georgia during the American Revolutionary War
29 Dec 1813 - British soldiers burned Buffalo, New York, War of 1812
29 Dec 1851 - First American YMCA opened in Boston, Massachusetts
29 Dec 1966- The Beatles began recording Penny Lane at Abbey Road Studio

Family Births In My Tree:

Some of the ancestors in my tree who were born on December 29th include:

Henry St. George Tucker , born 29 Dec 1780, Williamsburg, Virginia (my paternal 2nd cousin, 6x removed)

Henry Harding, born 29 Dec 1723, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (my paternal 5x-great-uncle)

Mary Lavinia Crider, born 29 Dec 1835, Caldwell County, Kentucky (my maternal 2nd cousin, 3x removed)

Tyre Newton Harrison, born 29 Dec 1875, Marion County, Missouri (my paternal 2nd cousin, 2x removed)

Daniel Luten Baldridge, born 29 Dec 1872, Fulton County, Kentucky (my maternal 1st cousin , 3x removed)

Margaret Lunsford, born 29 Dec 1596, Sussex, England (my paternal 10x-great-aunt)

Family Marriages In My Tree:
Some of the ancestors in my tree who married on the 29th of December include:

Wyatt Wallace to Elizabeth “Bettie” Crider, 29 Dec 1823, Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  (She was my maternal 1st cousin, 4x removed)

Thomas A Hudspeth to Martha “Patsy” Brooks, 29 Dec 1831, Maury County, Tennessee.  (He was my maternal 3x-great-uncle)

George G. Thornton to Nancy Isaacs, 29 Dec 1831, Washington County, Kentucky.  (He was my maternal 3x-great-uncle)

William Cecil Kelly to Lucretia “Creasy” Fore, 29 Dec 1885, Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri.  (She was my paternal 2x-great-aunt)

Raymond Huskey to Cyntha Brown, 29 Dec 1924, Phelps County, Missouri.
 (He was my paternal 2nd cousin, 1x removed)

George Thomas Berger to Augusta M. Adkins, 29 Dec 1935, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. (He was my 5th cousin, 1x removed)

Family Deaths In My Tree:

Some of the ancestors in my tree who passed away on December 29th include:

William L. Crider, died 29 Dec 1941, McLennan County, Texas. (He was my maternal 1st cousin, 3x removed)

Minnie May Huskey Black, died 29 Dec 1971, Phelps County, Missouri. (She was my paternal 2nd cousin, 2x removed)

Anna Groff Kreider, died 29 Dec 1784, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (She was the wife of my maternal 6th great-uncle)

William Calthorpe, died 20 Dec 1420, Norfolk, England. (He was my paternal 25th great-grandfather)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Crazy Cat Lady: My Cats

As I update this Blog in preparation for the passing of another year, and a New Year dawning soon: mention of my two new family additions seems appropriate.   Oscar and Ernie joined our household in October 2015.  They are both rescues from the local Humane Society. Oscar was about 4 months old when I adopted him, and Ernie was about 6 months old.   They are typical active, happy, playful kittens who keep me entertaind and sleep-deprived (they love to wake up in the middle of the night and chase each other through the house). 



Earlier that same month, October 2015, I lost my dearest beloved little cat-buddy of 15 years, Shadow Kitty (below).   He too had been a rescue from the humane society. I adopted him when he was about 6 months old.  He was a faithful and loyal friend for 15 years.   He traveled across the United States with me many times by plane and car; on both pleasure and work-related trips, and became my experienced and confident road warrior companion. He was healthy right up to his final few weeks, when his kidneys began to fail as part of the aging process.  He stopped eating and drinking, and then the end came quickly.  He passed peacefully over to the Rainbow Bridge at home, warm and snug in his own bed,  with me gently petting and consoling him.    I will miss him forever. 

Shadow Kitty

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Blog Caroling 2015: O Come All Ye Faithful

To quote one of my Geneblogger and Facebook Genealogy friends Bill West:  "It's become a Geneablogger tradition to join our friend FootnoteMaven in the annual Blog Caroling Event,when geneabloggers post their favorite Christmas carols. "

So, in the spirit of the holiday season and reminiscing of Christmas times past (it is also Throwback Thursday, after all), this prompts my own fond memories of years spent in school choirs while growing up.  My favorite time of year for choir rehearsals and performances was always the Christmas season. From the time I was in elementary school through high school, the weeks preceding Christmas were always spent rehearsing carols for the Big Christmas Show.    One year, in 3rd grade, I did an unintentional solo when every single member of our 3rd grade choir except myself failed to utter a sound when they opened their mouths to sing for our parents.   All of them got stage fright, except for me.   I did not even realize that I was the only one actually singing until afterwards, when our choir director (who as also my teacher) asked the audience to applaud "our soloist" and pointed at me.  I did not know whether to be mortified or proud, but am sure I turned at least 3 shades of red.  

Meantime, fast forward to the high school years.   I attended what was then considered a really big school of about 3,000 students in Orange County, California. I won't state the years here, except to say it was a long time ago.   I still have fond memories of our big Christmas programs every year though.  I began in 9th grade in our multi-grade Girls Glee choir, which was a very large choir.  We sounded great because we had so many voices.   Each year I progressed into a more advanced and smaller choir group, eventually into a mixed choir, and every year looked forward to the Christmas show rehearsals and performances.  We practiced the songs for weeks, and it always got us into the spirit of the season.  I'm not sure I had one favorite carol; I generally enjoyed them all. 

One of my all time favorite carols, for listening and performing, has always been: 

 O Come All Ye Faithful .

O come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him born the King of angels;
Oh come let us adore Him,
Oh come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
God of God light of light
Lo, He not the virgin's womb;
Very God begotten not created:
Oh come let us adore Him,
Oh come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ The Lord.
Sing choirs of angels sing in exultation
Sing all ye citizens of heaven above;
Glory to God in the highest:
Oh come let us adore Him,
Oh come let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ The Lord
See how the shepherds summoned to his cradle,
leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear
we too will thither hend our joyful footsteps;
Oh come let us adore Him,
Oh come let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Halford, Robert / Ramirez, Roger / Wade, John Francis
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS


Autosomal DNA Testing and Results- My Ancient And Recent Ancestral Origins

Harrison - Crider Ancestry
Fan Chart
My Direct Ancestors
6 Generations
Above Is My Simplified Compiled Family Tree Chart Based On My Own Research
(Chart Completed Using a Familysearch Tool)

In 2014 and 2015, I completed Autosomal DNA testing with two companies, Ancestry DNA and 23AndMe.  These tests reflect what my Autosomal DNA says about my geographic and ethnic ancestral origins on both the maternal and paternal sides of my tree. I will share a few screen shots from these reports, below.  This blog posts pertains only to those Autosomal DNA testing reports.

(Note: I had previously completed MtDNA testing for maternal ancestry only with Family Tree DNA.  A female can only be tested for MtDNA and Autosomal DNA. As for my paternal ancestry origins; a 4th cousin from my same paternal surname line who is a proven descendant of our common ancestor also provided his YDNA test results through Family Tree DNA and the Harrison Patriarchs Project, which is not the subject of this blog post and will be covered in another post). 

Ethnicity Estimates and Origins Map
Ancestry DNA
(based on my own Autosomal DNA sample and report)

The above map shows the overall ancient ancestral origins of my direct ancestors on both the maternal and paternal sides of my tree, based on my Autosomal DNA testing report completed using Ancestry DNA. The report and map retrieved in my results package online in 2015 indicates that my ancestral roots are 59% Western European, 29% from Ireland, and 5% from Great Britian; with 7% indicated as "Trace Regions". 

British Ancestry- England, Scotland, Wales 

The above map is a subsection of the first map, and reflects my own ancestral roots in England, Scotland and Wales based on my Autosomal DNA report with Ancestry DNA. The report states: "Results map shows 5% for my overall ancient British ancestral roots (England, Scotland, Wales), however this overlaps with the the Ireland ancestral roots map showing 29% overall roots (depending on the generation/ time period, some of that may fall under England, Scotland, or Wales). Primarily located in: England, Scotland, Wales. Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy. "

The above map is a subsection of the first map, and reflects my Irish ancestry.  Ireland= 29% overall of my ancestral roots . Primarily located in: Ireland, Wales, Scotland Also found in: France, England.

The above map is a sub-section of the first map and relfects my overal Western European ancient ancestry, based on my Autosomal DNA test and report completed with Ancestry DNA.  Western European ancestry (ancient through more recent ancestry) = 59% of my overall ancestry. The report states "Countries include Scandanavia, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium. Population History: Prehistoric Western Europe- Due to its location and geography, Western Europe has seen many successive waves of immigrants throughout its history. Both peaceful intermingling and violent invasions of newcomers have resulted in a greater diversity in the genetics of the population, compared with neighboring regions. The first major migration into Western Europe is arguably the Neolithic expansion of farmers who came from the Middle East. From about 8,000 to 6,000 years ago these farmers filtered in through Turkey and brought with them wheat, cows and pigs. It is possible, too, that these people could have been the megalithic cultures who erected enormous stone monuments like the famous menhirs of Stonehenge. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of monuments scattered throughout prehistoric Europe, some serving as tombs, others possibly having astronomical significance. Photograph of Stonehenge taken in July 1877 by Philip Rupert Acott. Owned by Tamsin Titcomb. Celtic and Germanic tribes: Although “Celtic” is often associated with the people of Ireland and Scotland, the Celts emerged as a unique culture in central Europe more than 2,500 years ago. From an epicenter in what is now Austria, they spread and settled in the areas of today’s western Germany and eastern France, generally near the Rhine and Danube Rivers. By 450 B.C., their influence and Celtic languages had spread across most of western Europe, including the areas that are now France, the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles. The Celts either conquered or assimilated the previous inhabitants of the area, and almost all languages and cultural and religious customs were replaced. The only exception, most scholars believe, is the Basque language, which managed to persist in the Pyrenees of southern France and northern Spain. In the early 4th century B.C., Celtic tribes in northern Italy invaded and sacked Rome, setting the stage for centuries of conflict. In the 5th century B.C., Germanic peoples began moving south, from Sweden, Denmark and northern Germany, displacing the Celts as they went. It is unclear what prompted their movement, but it may have been climate related, as they sought warmer weather and more fertile farmland. The Germanic tribes’ expansion was checked by the generals, Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar, as they approached the Roman provinces around 100 B.C. This map shows the expansion of Celtic tribes by 275 A.D. (in light green) from their presumed origin, the Bronze Age Hallstatt culture (in yellow). Dark green areas show regions where Celtic languages are still spoken today. The Romans: After Rome defeated Carthage in the Punic Wars, the Republic had extended its borders to include the entire Italian Peninsula, Carthage’s territories in North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, Greece and parts of Anatolia. It began turning its attention northwest toward the Celtic-dominated region known as Gaul, which more or less covered the area of modern-day France. Part of Rome’s motivation was to secure its frontier, as conflict with the Celts was a chronic problem. Julius Caesar led the campaign to conquer Gaul. A Celtic chieftain, Vercingetorix, assembled a confederation of tribes and mounted a resistance, but was defeated at the Battle of Alesia in 52 B.C. The battle effectively ended Celtic resistance. The Gauls were absorbed into the Roman Republic and became thoroughly assimilated into Roman culture, adopting the language, customs, governance and religion of the Empire. Many generals and even emperors were born in Gaul or came from Gallic families. Vercingetorix Throws Down His Arms at the Feet of Julius Caesar by Lionel Royer. For the most part, by 400 A.D., Western Europe was split between the Roman Empire and the restless Germanic tribes to the northeast. Celtic culture and influence still held sway in parts of the British Isles, and the Basque language continued to survive in the Pyrenees. It is interesting to note that the Basque share genetic similarities to the Celts of Ireland and Scotland, despite being culturally and linguistically dissimilar and geographically separated. While the exact relationship of the groups is difficult to determine, this does highlight the interesting interplay between genetic origin and ethno-linguistic identity. The Migration Period: By 400 A.D., the Roman Empire had been split into pieces. Rome was no longer the heart of the Empire, as the seat of power had been moved to Byzantium in the east. The Romans had begun to adopt Greek customs and language as well as Christianity, which had become the official state religion. Control of the provinces in the west had waned, and Rome itself was militarily weakened. About this time, there was a period of intensified human migration throughout Europe, called the Migration Period, or the V√∂lkerwanderung (“migration of peoples” in German). Many of the groups involved were Germanic tribes, whose expansion had previously been held in check by the Romans. To some degree, the earlier Germanic tribes of the Migration Period, notably the Goths and Vandals, were being pushed west and south by invasions from the Middle East and Central Asia. The Huns swept across eastern Europe, followed by the Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Alans. These successive attacks may have been a factor in several waves of population displacement and resettlement. Seven large German-speaking tribes—the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Burgundians, Lombards, Saxons and Franks—began pressing aggressively west into the Roman provinces and, in 410, the Visigoths attacked and sacked Rome. The western part of the Roman Empire was rapidly overrun as the invaders swept in, eventually dividing the remainder of the Roman provinces into new, Germanic kingdoms. An anachronistic 15th-century miniature depicting the sack of 410. The Frankish Kingdom- The Franks conquered northern Gaul in 486 A.D. and established an empire under the Merovingian kings, subjugating many of the other Germanic tribes. Over the course of almost four centuries, a succession of Frankish kings, including Clovis, Clothar, Pepin and Charlemagne, led campaigns that greatly expanded Frankish control over Western Europe. Charlemagne's kingdom covered almost all of France, most of today's Germany, Austria and northern Italy. On Christmas Day, 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans.” This upset the Byzantine emperor, who saw himself as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, but by 812, he was forced to accept Charlemagne as co-emperor. In 843, Charlemagne's grandsons divided the Frankish empire into three parts—one for each of them. Charles the Bald received the western portion, which later became France. Lothair received the central portion of the empire, called Middle Francia, which stretched from the North Sea to northern Italy. It included parts of eastern France, western Germany and the Low Countries. Louis the German received the eastern portion, which eventually became the high medieval Kingdom of Germany, the largest component of the Holy Roman Empire. Statue of Charlemagne, by Agostino Cornacchini (1725). Located at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican. Division of the Frankish Empire Among Charlemagne's Grandsons, 843 A.D. Charles the Bald Lothair Louis the German- Additional cultures of note: In addition to the Basque in the area of the Pyrenees in southern France, there are a number of other cultures with unique ethnic or linguistic identities in Western Europe. Among them are the Normans of northern France. Descended from Viking settlers who arrived sometime during the rule of the Frankish kings, the Normans controlled a powerful region known as Normandy. Their territories were subject to the French crown, which countenanced them in exchange for protecting the northern coast against other Viking raids. Just to the west of Normandy was Brittany, named after the Celtic Britons who arrived there from the British Isles in the 5th century. Some scholars believe that the migration may have been due to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Brittany resisted the Frankish kings and remained independent until 1532. It is one of the few places where Celtic languages are still spoken."

The above chart is from the Autosomal DNA Testing Report that I obtained on myself through the 23AndMe testing service.   While it breaks the results down a little differently than the Ancestry DNA report, the overall results are about the same as far as ancestral origins and regions/ percentages. I'm primarily Northwestern European in origin. 

The above map is from my 23AndMe report on my ancestral origins based on my Autosomal DNA sample provided in 2014, indicating that my ancestral roots are concentrated primarily in the blue and green sections on the above globe of the world (European ancestry). 

The above chart is the Chromosome View of my Ancestral Composition based on the report I obtained through the 23AndMe DNA testing service in 2014. 

All of the above information based on my actual DNA testing is very consistent with the results of my own "old school" research in tracing my family tree.   I have discovered that I have a significant amount of Scottish ancestry, some Irish ancestry, and deep roots in the rest of Northwestern Europe. I am aware from my research that I have lots of German and Swiss ancestry on the maternal side of my tree, as well as some French.   My paternal ancestors were mostly English, Scottish, and Irish with a sprinkling of French.