Friday, July 27, 2018

Our Scotland Trip


Traveling – two words come to mind:  exhilaration and exhaustion! 
     After more than 25 hours of travel, Bruce and I arrived for the start of our Scotland travel on the evening of June 27. This is a trip that Bruce and his sister, Leslie, had been planning for months. Leslie and her partner, Nancy, joined us on June 30 in Glasgow for the rest of our 2 ½ week trip. We rented a car, arranged rooms at B&Bs around the country and saw much of Scotland. We made stops in Edinburgh, Pitlochry, St. Andrews, Inverness, Isle of Skye, traveled a scenic route around the north and down the west coast to Oban (to check out where the ancient McDougalls lived and see the castle), we had made stops earlier in Ayrshire and Berwickshire where our more recent McDougall (George) came from before arriving in Michigan (with the Muir family) in 1828. Then it was back to Glasgow to catch the flight home arriving July 13, tired but happy. My big disappointment is that Nessie didn’t show for me at Loch Ness. So – I settled for the t-shirt.
    I wrote in May about our upcoming trip to Scotland, Bruce’s YDNA project and my efforts to research the Buchanans and Laidlaws (his direct line) in Glasgow, Lockerbie and other areas of Scotland. As a reminder, the earliest couple we are seeking is: James Buchanan (1780- Bef. 1865) and Helen Laidlaw (1790-Bef. 1865) of Drysfesdale, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire. Helen was born in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire. We found them and connected them with 9 other children – but not our Robert. He was the youngest and, well, probably got lost in the shuffle.
     We are quite sure that this couple is the parents of Bruce’s 2x-great-grandfather, Robert Buchanan, born about 1823-4. Robert lists a couple by the above names as his parents on his second marriage record and says on the 1851 and 1861 censuses that he was born in Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire (a Shire is like a County in the U.S.).
     A researcher in the that area, Erica, did some additional research for us and found more on the Laidlaws, but not really anything to help us document that James and Helen were Robert’s parents.
     The first day, before Leslie and Nancy arrived, Bruce and I met with Erica. She was delightful and we discussed our James Buchanan “brick wall.” Erica was able to find Helen’s baptism and identify her father and possibly even her grandfather Laidlaw. Erica showed us why James Bell, who we thought was the twin of the second Benjamin Bell born in 1822, was not his twin or even connected. We can certainly do more research on the Laidlaws in the future, but for now there is nothing further we can learn on the Buchanans. Erica is going to continue with some research for us and see if she can follow any of the other children of James and Helen, maybe something can be gleaned from those findings.
    We then did some driving around in the Dumfriesshire and Glasgow areas, finding the addresses we had noted from various censuses for the Buchanans. We probably didn’t see the original dwellings they had lived in – but got a sense of the areas. We also found the church (The Cathedral) that Bruce’s grandmother, Annie Mackie McAlister, probably lived near, possibly attended and certainly mentioned often. This is a Church of Scotland, or Presbyterian denomination.
    An exciting event on Saturday, after Leslie and Nancy arrived, was meeting two of Bruce and Leslie’s second cousins, Elaine (who came over from England for the day) and Elizabeth (Beth). We had a great dinner with them and got to know more about our Scottish family. On Sunday, we visited Bruce’s father’s only surviving first cousin, Margaret – 95 years young, sharp as a tack and such a delight. We spent a couple of hours talking to her and enjoying her memories of the family. (I think she could have easily talked for another couple of hours). Beth also gave Bruce and Leslie a small Bible given to their grandfather, David, in 1904, which ended up staying in Scotland all these years. What a treasure!
     On a current note about the YDNA project for Bruce, it is looking more and more as though Bruce and the other “outliers” mentioned previously, may have been among a group of the Scots who hundreds of years ago immigrated to the Ulster Plantation area of Ireland. Maybe James or his father (or grandfather) were from Ireland because of that, and eventually returned to Scotland but with a lot more “Irish” in their genes, as Bruce’s DNA is showing.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Search for Buchanans

Bruce and I are planning a trip to Scotland in late June. We will be traveling the countryside by car (praying we stay on the right – NO, left, side of the road), staying at B&Bs and small hotels. We will see as much of Scotland as we can. We both have ancestors from Scotland – but the names probably give that away.
    On the McDougall side, a young George McDougall accompanied the Andrew Muir family to the U.S. in 1827 and they were instrumental in the settling of Augusta Township in Washtenaw County, Michigan. It was said of the Andrew Muir farm, Shieldhall: “his chimney was the first that smoked” in Augusta Township. He and his wife, Mary Donaldson, had nine children (eight living when they emigrated as son, Gabriel, died as a young man in Scotland). They brought three with them (Mary, Sarah and Andrew, Jr.) and eventually three married daughters (Anna, Margaret and Jane) and their families joined them. We believe a son, William, and a daughter, Jean, stayed in Scotland. Many of the Michigan descendants (Campbell/Gardner/Rambo/Pearson and McLouth) are still in the Washtenaw County area.
    George McDougall, born in Moncton, Ayrshire, Scotland, married a Muir daughter, Mary, probably in New York, on their way to Michigan and settled in the same area. George eventually ran a flour mill in Ypsilanti. Several years ago, a distant cousin took George’s family back another four generations and the Muirs one generation in Scotland. They all came from Ayrshire, the same area where Robert Burns, the poet, had lived during his lifetime.
    The Buchanan line had not been researched until I did some initial work about 12-13 years ago with help from Bruce’s father, Stanley Mackie Buchanan. I was smart enough to ask Stan’s mother Annie Mackie (McAlister) Buchanan questions before she died.
    Bruce’s father was born in Scotland. His parents, David Buchanan (1887-1953) and Annie Mackie McAlister (1889-1986) were the first (and possibly the only ones from their family) to come to the U.S. David arrived about 1913. He served in the Army for a few months during WWI, before a heart murmur was detected. Because of his service, he was eligible to become a citizen. Due to the war, Annie had to wait until it ended in 1919 before joining him. They got married soon after she arrived. When she became pregnant and her time got closer, she went back to Scotland and Stan was born in Glasgow on 16 Dec 1921. When Annie and Stan returned about a year later, they remained in the Boston area where she and David had initially settled.
    Bruce is in a Buchanan Name Project with his YDNA, and has had additional testing done to determine his clan. For those who don’t know – YDNA follows only the direct line male ancestors while mtDNA follows only the direct line female ancestors. The Autosomal DNA test is for all relatives in between. Apparently, Bruce and five other men are outliers. They don’t fit into the ancestral groups or known clans within the project as of now and lots of investigation and research is going on.
    Following is a summary of my research to date:
James Buchanan   - died bef 1865  (hand loom weaver)
  +Helen Laidlaw     - died bef 1865    

         2   Robert Buchanan   ca 1823/24–1870 
              +(M1) Elizabeth Allan     1825-1864
               3      Helen Buchanan      1849-bef 1858
               3      Elizabeth Buchanan  1852 -
               3      James Buchanan  ca 1855-1865
               3      Margaret Buchanan 1856-1906
                       +John Benwood
               3      Helen Buchanan      1858 -
               3      Robert Buchanan    1860-1914
                       +Mary Anderson     1861-1913
                     4    Janet "Jennie" Buchanan  1883-1967
                           5    Hugh Buchanan  1910-1952                                   

                     4    Robert Buchanan    1885-1922
                     4    David Buchanan    1887-1953
                          +Annie M. McAlister 1889–1986           
                     4    Elizabeth Buchanan 1892-1968
                     4    Allan Buchanan     1894-1937
                            +(M1) Catherine Clark
                            +(M2) Clara Stewart 
                             5    Allan Buchanan  
                     4    George Buchanan    1897-1942
                              +Elizabeth Murray 1895-1924
                             5    Irene Buchanan    1924- 004
                                 +William Lauder    - 1974
                             5     Pearl Buchanan   1924-1983
                                  + Adam O'Neil

                      4    James Buchanan  1900- 1970
                             + Margaret Truman    - 1976
                            5     Living Truman Buchanan
                                   + Henry "Harry" Lynn   - 2008

                            5     Stanley A. Buchanan 1925-1974
                            5     Hilda Walker Buchanan  1929-2001
                            5     Living Buchanan               

                    +(M2) Helen Deans  1829 – Aft. 1910
             3     George Buchanan  1867 -
             3     Charles Campbell Buchanan 1869 -

     The first Robert listed above (#2), is Bruce’s 2xgreat-grandfather and was identified by birth/death and marriage records. His second marriage record and death certificate say his parents are James Buchanan and Helen Laidlaw. They were both deceased when he married a second time to Helen Deans, in 1865. Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire is where Robert says he was born on the 1851 and 1861 censuses. As noted above, I have identified a James and Helen (Laidlaw) Buchanan in the Dumfriesshire area. They had several children, but so far – no record of a son, Robert. I NEED a connection!

    On various websites and with the help of friends, I have found the following:
Buchanan – Dumfries  (Dryfesdale), probably Lockerbie
1806, Jun 15 (bp) – Archibald, son of James Buhannan, Dryfesdale
1808, Jan 17 – William, son of James and Nelly (Laidlaw) Buchannan
1810, Jan 14 (bp) – Agness, dau of James Buhannan, Dryfesdale, Dumfries
1812, Feb 01 – Archibald, son of James Buhannan, Dryfesdale
1813, Feb – James, son of James Buhannan, Dryfesdale
1815, Aug 13 – George born, son of James and N.__ (Ladlaw) Buhannan
1817, May 4 – Alexander Marti(ne?) and Benjamine Bell, sons of James Buchanan (Dryfesdale)
1818, May 17 – Archbald Buhannan, son of James and N. __ (Ladlaw) Buchannan
1822, Jun 14 – Benjamine Bell, son of James and Hellen (Laidle) Buchannan (Dryfesdale)
1822, Jun 14 – James Bell, son of James and Hellen (Saidle) Buchannan
(obviously these two are another set of twins).

1823-24 – (no record) Robert Buchanan, son of James and Helen (Laidlaw) Buchanan 

    So, are these all children of the same couple? I believe yes. Why wasn’t Robert registered like the others? One assumes the first two Archibalds and the first Benjamin Bell died since the name is repeated. Where did the name Bell come from? Maybe Helen’s mother or James’ mother was a Bell? The search goes on! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

WOW



(this was written on 2/15):
   I am heading for my writers group this morning. I went for my almost daily walk and wondered what I could contribute this month, or more likely, next month. What will I write about? I decided to talk about the writers group! I nearly ran the rest of the way home because I was so excited about it. Won’t they just love it!
   Yes, I am in a writers group, or a writers/editing/lunch group. Sometimes it is more writing and sometimes more lunch, well, if truth be told, it is always about lunch and some editing of the writing done that month by some or all of our members. We are a small group and think that works best for us. We are six strong women and we call ourselves WOW – Women on Wheels! More about that later.
   I met Susan about eight years ago after moving to Phoenix from San Antonio, Texas. I joined a local genealogy group and she was a member. We started a friendship. She eventually asked me if I wanted to join a writers group as they had just lost a couple of their members. I told her (of which she reminds me of quite frequently) that I didn’t have anything to write about. That possibility did NOT stop Susan. So, I said I would visit the group and decide then. Obviously, I enjoyed the ladies and joined – thinking that I was going to have to make up stories to write about – and fake the writing.
   As it turned out, I did have family stories to write about. I have certainly done more writing in these past seven years than I thought I had in me. I have published a few articles and started a blog for my family history and stories. I don’t get the writing done that I did in the early days of the blog, but still have many stories to go. And, I am writing my life story to share with my children someday.
   Each month we try to bring something we have written to be edited. We make a copy for each person and we take turns reading that person’s writing. We all have our strengths, weaknesses and areas of interest. I am probably the most fervent “genealogist” of the group and stick to family stories and the history of my family.
   Susan likes genealogy, but in reality she likes the genealogy because it gets her to the story she really wants to write. And find them she does. How many of us have two murders in our family history and a former Supreme Court Judge (Earl Warren) connected to one of them! She has published many of her family stories in a local Phoenix publication and one in northern California where her family settled for several generations. She self-published a book about ‘Horrifa the Witch’ for children, which was well-received. She authored a book about a young Arizona girl and her family from the late 1800s. This book won an award from the State. Denise is a former teacher for the blind and that is what she writes about, great stories about the lives she has changed.
   Ruth is a writer of wonderful stories about her family and always with a great sense of humor. She writes about chickens too. She has several books in her head, and we are working at getting her to put them on paper. Pris is another genealogist and is concentrating on writing about her family. She was left with information, stories and artifacts from her family which she is expanding upon. Her goal is a book for her children and grandchildren about their heritage. She also has published a few of her stories.
   Mary has inherited stories, diaries and information about her family too, especially from the early days of Arizona. She has written three ebooks of historical fiction about both the early days of the State and the LDS church. Her mother joined the church and Mary was brought up in that religion. She no longer practices the teachings of the church, but she has written about some of its history and beginnings in these books, with a fourth in the works. She is working on her life story too.
   We all wrote our own obituaries one month except one person, she was a little superstitious about doing it. We all have different editing strengths to bring to the table, even Denise who “listens” because of her blindness. It is amazing what she can catch that we don’t. Somehow it all works.
   We meet every month and have gotten to know each other quite well. We have been through a lot together. In those years, we have lost parents, husbands and, sadly, even children. We have celebrated, too - a wedding and the birth of great-grandchildren. We come from varied backgrounds but more similar than not. We are married, divorced and widowed. Some of us have children, some do not. We do a lot of laughing and have done our share of crying. Four are former teachers, one is a historian by education and worked for the State in that capacity. Me? I worked until my late 30s when children came along. I was fortunate to stay home with them and, as they left home, I pursued my genealogy. That still keeps me very busy.
    Why do we call ourselves WOW? We are Women on Wheels because we try to take at least one road trip a year - sometimes two. We have been to Tucson, Flagstaff, Coronado Island and Breckenridge, Colorado. There were many trips before and will hopefully be many more to come. We are ready for another getaway, so planning is on the agenda.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Projects in the Summer of 2017



FOCUS – the word for today! With several projects started – it is a difficult task. I am working on several items:
1) I am writing an article about John Chapman of New Marlborough, Berkshire, Massachusetts. After several years of research, I recently learned John’s second wife’s maiden name. This new information, and much more needs to be incorporated into the article.
As part of this project, I joined the Chapman Family Association www.chapmanfamilies.org. They have an ongoing Y-DNA Chapman Project. Y-DNA is the male lineage - father to father to father, etc. I can’t help with contributing my DNA so I am trying to bring some of the male children of John Chapman “down” to find living male descendants who would be willing to help. This has proven difficult as although John appears to have had five sons who lived to adulthood, of his thirteen children from two wives, only two of the sons can be followed with any certainty. Another two sons, John and Jonathan, disappear after about 1817 and there is not much information on his youngest son, Ira. I know he had at least one daughter, Ellen, but can’t be sure of sons, at this point. That leaves Ashbel (whose mother is John’s first wife, Rachel) and Asher (his mother is the second wife, Dorcas). Ashbel spent a few years in New York and then settled in Ohio. He had 13 children, including seven sons. I am working on his descendants and have identified a possible nine males currently living. Asher and his wife also eventually resettled in Ohio and they had nine children, with five sons. I will add more information to my website on their descendants (not living), as I find it. Eventually, I will try to get in touch with these male descendants and see if they are willing to contribute some spit!  This will help to prove John is connected to the Chapmans in the Sharon, Litchfield, Connecticut area, where I am certain he was born. That would make his ancestor, William Chapman (1633-1699). William was born in England and came to the colonies as a young man. He married Sarah (unk) and had seven children, all born in New London, Connecticut. My John Chapman is not, as of now, in the Chapman Family Association list of ancestors. I will be adding a tree in the near future.
2) I was recently contacted by a Hazelton 4th cousin through my website and blog. He is descended from Nancy ‘Jane’ Hazelton, Brooks Bowman’s sister. Brooks is one of my great-great-grandfathers. Jane had one daughter out of wedlock in 1850. Lelia Luella Hazelton, was born on February 24, 1850, married Oscar Ware and had eight children (one son). I wrote about Lelia in a blog post titled: Peter and Sarah/Salley (Pierce) Hazelton, on Sept 12, 2015. Parts II and III on Oct. 5th and Oct. 11th, were a continuation of the descendants of Peter and Salley. This cousin had his Y-DNA done through the same company I used. He is in the process of comparing our matches. I was looking at my matches again recently and found a woman from CA listed as a good match. She is a descendant of Pierce R. Hazelton, the second of Peter and Sarah’s children and brother to my ancestor, Brooks. With DNA and the family information shared with others – maybe someday we can find out not only Sarah Pierce’s parentage, but Lelia’s biological father.
3) The next of many projects I want to complete, is the Lineage Societies I am “collecting.” I have written about some of these in past posts, but the latest project is through the National Society Colonial Dames XVII (17th) Century, which I have been a member of for several years. Through this society I can acquire Coats of Arms (CoAs) connected to various family names. If an ancestor was a “gateway” ancestor – the first in the colonies during the 1600’s – there is a good chance there is probably a Coat of Arms attached to that family name. This is the case with the FitzRandolphs.  Garth Beckington, my mother’s father, was the son of Mark Beckington and Anna FitzRandolph. She was descended from Edward FitzRandolph and his wife, Elizabeth Blossom. Edward was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England. Elizabeth’s family was from England, but her parents, Thomas and Ann (Heilson) Blossom, were in Leyden in The Netherlands when their five children were born. Edward and Elizabeth were married in Scituate, Massachusetts in 1637. Their 12 children were born while they were in Barnstable, Massachusetts (Cape Cod area), and both Edward and Elizabeth died in Piscataway, New Jersey. The FitzRandolphs and the Blossoms have CoAs for their families and I have the certificates. I have pictures of the Crests from a book and could get prints of them, if I wanted. The FitzRandolphs go back to Charlemagne, the King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor! I have the paperwork for that CoAs done. They are also descended from William the Conqueror, all sorts of Lords, Counts and even Louis, The Pious, Emperor of The West, and Louthair I, King of Italy, Emperor of the Romans!  Don’t you love these titles? Maybe a grandchild’s name someday?  I could get CoAs for them all, but I just want to do one – 39 generations back to Charlemagne. He was born in 742 in Germany and died in 813/14 in Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). His third wife (my ancestor) was Hildegarde of Swabia of Gerold I, Count of Vinzgau (don’t ask!!). Why wouldn’t you want to be able to say they are your great (39x) grandfather and grandmother. Now I want to tackle the Society of Descendants of Lady Godiva.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: I just heard that my fifth and sixth supplementals for NSDAR were approved: Benjamin Wilson and Robert Clarkson, both of NJ. These are both from the FitzRandolph branch of the family.
4) This isn’t “last but not least” for item #4, since it is equally important and probably more “time sensitive.” We are planning a trip to Scotland next June. Bruce’s father, Stanley, was born there, although his parents had already immigrated to America. He still has family in the Glasgow area we are hoping to meet them. This will be our opportunity to do some continuing research to take the Buchanans back beyond the early 1800s, to help with the Y-DNA Buchanan Project that Bruce is involved in. Of course, my McDougalls are from Scotland as well and we want to make sure we visit those areas as well.
These projects alone should keep me busy for many months – if ONLY I would work on them!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lineage Societies – Part II




    The last time I wrote about this topic, I had been accepted by NS DAR (National Society of Daughters of Revolutionary War), USD 1812 NS Daughters of War of 1812), and NS Colonial Dames XVII Century. I am now a member of DCH (Daughters of Code of Honor), NSDAC (NS Daughters of American Colonists), ADEAW (Association of Daughters of Early American Witches). The NSDAC website says – “NSDAC members are descendants of a man or woman who rendered patriotic or civil service to the American Colonies prior to 4 July 1776.”  One of my Revolutionary War Soldiers – Robert FitzRandolph is the great-grandson of Edward FitzRandolph, who was born in England and died in Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ. He was married to Elizabeth Blossom. Edward “In 1636, built the thirty-eighth house in Scituate, Massachusetts” which qualified me for NSDAC.
   Then I became a member of the NS NEW (National Society of New England Women), through another Edward FitzRandolph (love these FitzRandolphs). This Edward is the father of my DAR soldier, Robert mentioned above. Edward was born in Barnstable, Barnstable County, (Cape Cod area), MA – one of many ancestors “born in New England before 1789 or in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, Long Island, New York before 1700.”
   The latest Society I applied for was really the easiest for me – Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW). It helped that I only had to go back four generations to my great-great-grandfather, instead of my 8th great-grandfather, Edward FitzRandolph mentioned above. I submitted for William Wallace Court, my great-great grandfather. William (1842-1925) was born in Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, New York, but the family spent most of their lives in nearby Oswego County. William served in the 147th Regiment, 1st Infantry, Co. K, as a Sgt. He served for almost three years and in many of the major battles. He missed Gettysburg and Robert E. Lee’s famous surrender at Appomattox in Virginia with the rest of his unit because of illness. William received a pension later in his life from what we would probably call rheumatoid arthritis aggregated by living in the cold/wet conditions on the battlefields. He eventually went blind and had dementia and spent his last years in Pontiac State Hospital. Ironically, his son, William Wallace, Jr. (1873-1929) spent most of his adult life at Pontiac State Hospital. We will probably never know what his diagnosis was as records from most of the State Mental Hospitals have been “destroyed.”  William, Sr. married Esther Mary Corcoran (1846-1919) in Canada. They spent their lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and had eight children, six survived to adulthood.
   At the same time, I submitted for my great-grandfather, John A. McDougall (1843-1920), Sgt., E Co., 17th Regiment Infantry for Michigan (Ypsilanti). John only served about five months when he was shot in the shoulder – apparently he could never raise that arm above his shoulder after that. He got a pension, and it was continued by his widow, Delphine Fowler (1851-1941) until her death. John and Delphine had 11 children, 10 living to adulthood.
   There are other Lineage Societies that I am interested in joining – mostly, just to say I can. But this does all take time – and money.  Maybe next month…..
   The only supplementals I am interested in are DAR. I am slowly trying to wade through the process of re-proving my great-grandmother’s (Mary Ella Hazelton Childs) DAR supplementals. Because it has been many years and the standards have really tightened up, it is a slow process. Roswell Lane (NY) was approved two years ago. I currently have two more awaiting approval and am in the process of submitting another – keep you posted.
   Now, if only I could join the Royal Bastards….