Updates during 2019

October 20, 2019 (updated Oct. 29, 2019): I have spent that past several weeks reviewing my medieval ancestors, using the revisions in Genealogics and two relatively new sources: Charles Cawley’s Medieval Lands project, Wikipedia and Find A Grave. The information on Find A Grave is not as accurate and Genealogics and Wikipedia have their disagreements. However, comparing these sources helps to build a picture of the more reasonable facts. This has also helped me correct some early links that I had made between parents and children, based on less well-documented sources. Two other recommended sites that I have been usuing lately are: Miroslav Marek’s Genealogy.EU and Etienne Pattou’s Racines et HIstoire. Asll of these websites are free.

September 22, 2019:  I have amended the entry on Nathaniel DICKINSON to remove the erroneous information about the DICKINSON family ancestry that appears on his Find A Grave memorial page and that I had previously copied.

September 16, 2019:  In working through my “gateway” ancestors using Genealogics, I made an important discovery on the ancestry of my 9th great grandfather, Nathaniel DICKINSON (1601-1676), an immigrant to Wethersfield CT ca 1637 and the founder of Hadley, MA in 1659. This led me to investigate the available information on Nathaniel more deeply and leads me to reiterate my warning: Don’t trust family trees on Ancestry.com or information on Find A Grave that is not supported by good research and documentation. In the case of Nathaniel, apparently more than a century had gone into creating many centuries of false ancestry for him back to early England. More recent work published in the NEHGS Register (in 1998 and 2016) provide a new, much more credible (and less “glorius”) ancestry back to mid 1500 England. If you have A New England DICKINSON family in your own history, you will want to check out my remarks regarding Nathaniel DICKINSON (1601-1676).

September 6, 2019:  Work has continued on ancestors that are in the very useful Genealogics database. I have added more than 200 direct ancestors and lots of good information on nearly 1,000 others. See earlier notes for more on Genealogics, as well as my list of recommendations for useful sources for genealogical research and writing.

August 25, 2019:  I have rediscovered the wealth of information on the Genealogics website. Originally compiled by the late Leo van de Pas, this genealogical compendium has been taken over since his death and continues to be updated by Ian Fettes (with the support of many other leading genealogists). This is an important guide for those with UK family lines. It has a wealth of information on 19th century and earlier families of the British Isles, with key links to royal lines across Europe. It is not a primary source, but assembles information from many important secondary sources (all cited, for those wanting to do further research). I have added many generations to my main family lines and continue to mine the riches at Genealogics.

August 7, 2019:  I continue to benefit from the enormous amount of information available on the "Early Colonial Settlers..." website. I urge any researcher with early VA and MD family lines to investigate it.

August 1, 2019:  Ancestry's ThruLines DNA matches have alerted me to my DOGGETT family connection. It seems that Ancestry has identifed 55 matches of my DNA to descendants of a George DOGGETT. Now I am researching this family and the related CHATTIN family lines - mostly of Lancaster Co., VA. I have found two websites that have proven particularly useful in this research:

July 26, 2019:  I continue to slog away adding distant cousins identified through DNA matches using Ancestry's ThruLines. This utility continues to improve it what it offers and its accuracy. I urge you to try it if you haven't so far.

May 19, 2019: [My apologies for a recent spate of typos. I broke my arm back at the end of March and have been typing mostly one-handed.] I completed the addition of all of the DNA matches to me shown on Ancestry’s ThruLines to the 4th cousin level. Several of these turned out to be false – as best as I was able to reconstruct the lineages, but most proved correct. Now I have started the same process for matches to my wife, Ellen Downing (MEEK) VAUT.

April 23, 2019: It seems that Ancestry continues to develop its ThruLines DNA matching tool. I continue to explore the DNA matches for my sample and to update my database to add these individuals when I am able to satisfactorily establish our family ties. This is leading to frequent updates to my database and to this web site.

March 15, 2019: Over the past two weeks I have been building into my database the lineages of the people that Ancestry has identified as matching mine and through their ThruLines tool have indicated that the relationship behind the match is a share descedancy between us from Elijah Josiah ROBERTS and his two wives. So far, I have managed to link  20 individuals with positive DNA matches to Elijah (and thus to myself). Update March 18, 2019: I completed adding all of the DNA matches that Ancestry identified as being linked to Elijah Josiah ROBERTS and am now working on tthe DNA matches to people with linkages to Elizabeth Ann BROACH, the mother of Elijah's wife, Luticia France HIGGINBOTHAM.

March 6, 2019: Thanks to Ancestry.com’s new ThruLines DNA matching tool, I have now roughtly 30 DNA matches that confirm the parents of my great grandfather John Henry ROBERTS to have been Elijah Josiah and Luticia France (HIGGINBOTHAM) ROBERTS. Working with the husband of a cousin, we had been able to identify this couple as possible parents, given the dates and location, but could find no documentary evidence. The large number of DNA matches with known descendants of the families of both Elijah and Luticia seems to confirm our speculation. I have added a note on this to the page for John Henry Roberts. (Updated March 8) An important caveat: In attempting to identify an ancestor in the ROBERT tree (Amanda J. ROBERTS, dau. of Elijah Josiah) and to build the relationships that Ancestry ThruLines had identified, I discovered that there were two Amandas of the same age, both born in TX at the same time. Furthmore, it turned out that their fathers were 1st cousins. Thus, the DNA matches that Ancestry reported for me with descendants of Amanda, may be correct, but the proposed linkages established by ThruLines may be wrong.

February 24, 2019:  I have completed my refview of the two important books by Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis: 1. [1989] Tidewater Virginia Families: and 2. [1998] Tidewater Virginia Families: Generations Beyond, (searchable versions are available at Ancestry.com). It is rare that a researcher spends years researching a group of families and then ten years later published major revisions and updates of that research. The two books need to be used simultaneously. Davis [1989] is the basic work; Davis [1998] provides addition or corrections to the work presented in the 1989 book. For me, these books helped me update my CHILES, CHEADLE, HARRIS and TERRELL families, as well as a number of collateral lines.

February 22, 2019:  Based on the research of Davis, I have delete the mariage of Walter Charles Jr. to Mary/Margaret Littlepage.

February 17, 2019:  Probably the most important change I have recently made has been to the line of Walter CHILES Sr.of Jamestown, VA. Based on research that I only recently dicovered, presented in Tidewater Virginia Families: Generations Beyond, by Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis (searchable versions are available at Ancestry.com), I learned that research in England has disproved the lineage that I had earlier accepted, starting with the parents of Walter. I have made the most critical surgery (deleted the old, mistaken ancestors and adding the new, but I am awaiting a copy of the original research so that I can see what led to Ms. Davis's conclusions, Further updates will follow when I have that.

January 22, 2019:  I just recently discovered the two volumes Tidewater Virginia Families and Tidewater Virginia Families: Generations Beyond, by Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis (searchable versions are available at Ancestry.com).  Research presented in these two volumes have helped me flesh out three of my early families: CHEADLE, CHILES and TERRELL. Davis has updated research on the origins of  the 17th century CHILES family which I will be reviewing over the next several weeks and which may result in some major changes to my ancestry for that family.

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