Throwback Thursdays #tbt – Christian Fredson and family

Christian Alfred Fredson (aka Chris) was one of my relatives on my Danish side, related to me through my maternal grandmother’s father.  In fact, my great-grandpa Charlie Holst was a first cousin of Chris.

In this photo, on the front porch of their home in Geyserville, Sonoma County, California — I do not know if the house is still standing — Chris is the young man on the left.  He was born in 1891, a few years after my great-grandfather, and is probably in his late 20’s in this photo.

His mother, Sophie (Thomsen) Fredson is to Chris’ left.  Sophie was my great-grandfather Charlie’s maternal aunt, a younger sister of Caroline (Thomsen) Holst.  Sophie was born in 1860 in the Danish duchy of Slesvig, just a few years before Bismarck invaded, and that land became part of what is now Germany.  (Sophie died in 1924; therefore this photo was taken no later than that year.)

Fredson2400dpi

Seated on the steps is Chris’ wife Geneva (Eagle)Fredson (1891-1973).  Next to Geneva is their first-born son, Leonard, who was born in 1914, and looks to be about 2 years old (so the photo was likely taken around 1916.)

Behind Geneva and Leonard are 3 older adults.  I am presuming that the man with white whiskers and the woman are Geneva’s parents, but cannot confirm that.  The man wearing suspenders and seated in what might be a rocking chair is Israel Fredson.  He was Chris’s dad, born in Sweden (somewhere!) in 1850.

Chris Fredson had an older sister, Hilda, who never married, and an older brother Charles, who had one daughter.  Chris and Geneva had 3 children: the aforementioned Leonard, a daughter Anna (1918-1925), and a son Donald (1919-2007).

NodeXL Clustering for Mom’s Ancestry matches

I posted my dad’s NodeXL clustering results a few weeks back (here).  As promised, now I am posting my mom’s NodeXL clustering results, focusing on just a few of the most intriguing (puzzling?) aspects.  (You can read a step-by-step how-to on using NodeXL to cluster your Ancestry matches here, at Shelley Crawford’s blog.)

Mom’s matches for this clustering exercise were limited to those with 15 cM or greater shared; it simply gets too cluttered if I include everybody down to 6 cM.

Also in the photo below I have turned off the display for all clusters with less than 4 people.  (NodeXL’s algorithms will cluster in groups of two, while other algorithms like Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool use three as a minimum.)  

mom_clustering_mostgroups

Let’s look first at “Group 13”, the cluster at the bottom in navy blue that looks like 2 separate clusters to me.  (I don’t fully understand how the algorithm works.)  Below is group 13, zoomed in and with inter-group links turned off so you can look at the cluster itself more closely.  Clearly, only one match links to both halves of this group.  So, they’re not related as closely as one might think.  

mom_clustering_grp13

The additional photos below bear out that theory.  On the left, “Cousin X” is highlighted; you can see that “X” shares a match with only 2 people (in addition to my mom).  On the right, “Cousin B” is highlighted.  “Cousin B” only matches others in the one subcluster, and nobody in the other subcluster.

Another group that looks intriguing is one to my mom’s cousin “Sally Sue” (alias) who is fairly closely related to Mom.  (You can tell she is more closely related to my mom by the size of the blue square.  These matches look like a hub and spokes.  “Sally Sue” is in the middle with the largest square; the others are more distantly related to my mother.  (As an aside, the option to size the squares or dots by the shared cM amount is available in the NodeXL tool, but is not automatic.)

“Sally Sue’s” group, shown below with the outside links removed, is one in which she matches every single person in her cluster, but each of them only matches her (or, not shown, at least one person in a different cluster.)  

mom_clustering_hub and spokes

The last cluster that is intriguing is shown below.  This cousin, let’s call her Jane, appears to be in the “wrong” cluster.  While she does have matches in her own cluster, she has many more matches in a different cluster. 

mom_clustering_1cousin_whyingrp7

One reason this might happen is that Jane and Mom could share DNA on, say, chromosome 1 (possibly with others in her group); the cousins in the other cluster could share DNA with mom on, say, chromosome 9, and then share DNA with Jane on chromosome 4.  We don’t know for sure, since we don’t have segment info.

However, since clustering my mother’s matches in NodeXL and starting the draft of this post, I used Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool, which groups “Jane” with the cluster where she has most of her matches. 

On the face of it, that makes more sense.  However, seeing “Jane” in a separate group (as below) could be useful for realizing that she may be connected on a different ancestral to my mother than the bulk of her matches.  This suggests I need to be careful in analyzing Jane’s tree and ancestral surnames, vis-a-vis the matches in the other cluster.  

In fact, I am finding that it is useful to cluster your shared DNA matches with more than one tool, as each uses different algorithms.  (More on other clustering methods in a later post.)

William Wright Estate Settlement — Monroe County, Indiana

Some of my Wright collateral kin lived in Monroe County, Indiana in the early 19th century, but I haven’t yet figured out how all of them tie to my own direct line.  A case in point is the William Wright whose estate was settled in the early 1850s, administered by Pleasant Fossett.

I worked a bit on this problem late this past summer (Aug/Sep 2018) but had to put it aside as I was taking the online BU Certificate for Genealogical Research course.  There is a Philbert/Filbart Wright living in Monroe County in 1820, who would have been born ca 1751.  It is possible — but pure speculation at this point! — he is the father of William and William’s siblings named in William’s estate.  It is also possible — but again, there is nothing definitive — that the Filbart/Philbert born ca. 1751 was a son of Peter  Wright (1717 – bef. 1767) and uncle of Richard Wright (c 1726 – c 1784).

Philbert is not a name used everyday, even in this era (1720 – 1820) and it was used a lot in this particular Wright family.  Hence, the idea that these folks are related collaterally to my line (descending through Richard Wright 1726-1784).

Here is the document of the final settlement, retrieved from FamilySearch

wright william_monroe_in_fhl1295695_probateorderbookf p 473-74

Here is my transcription, and all my own comments and notes to it are in red.  Names of the deceased’s kin are in blue:

February Term M Probate Court 1852     6th day                                                    p 473-474

William Wrights Est.

Pleasant Fossett, Admn.

Of William Wrights Est.

Vs.                                                                      Petition to sell real estate to pay debts

William Wrights heirs

To the hour F. L. Butter Judge of the Probate Court of Monroe County in the State of Indiana

The Memorial of Pleasant Fossett Administrator of the Estate of William Wright deceased who died intestate, Respectfully showeth that the personal estate of the said intestate which has come into his hands accounts to the sum of $2.10 that the whole thereof is now remaining in the hands of your petitioner, and that the same is insufficient for the payment of the expenses of Administration and taxes, that have been accrued on the real estate of said intestate as appears by the account herewith produced & that the said intestate at the time of his death was the owner of Certain real estate, situate in the County of Monroe in the State of Indiana and known as the North East quarter of the South East quarter of Section Twenty Nine, in Township Seven North of Range Two West, containing forty acres be the same more or less, which land of the said intestate held by certificate from the land office held at Vincennes & in the state of Indiana.  The probable amount of said real estate is ($125) dollars.

[This land of William’s is in the same section as land purchased in 1827 by Peter Wright (b 1795) who is in the 1860 census living with Pleasant Fossett’s family.  Sec 29 of T7N R2W is also where Pleasant and his father John Smith Fossett bought land.  Not only is Mary Ann (Crum) Fossett Peter’s niece, but their property is adjacent.]

There was no debts due or owing by the decedent at the time of his death as far as your petitioner can ascertain but the costs of Administration and Taxes on said real estate as far as your petitioner can ascertain at this time are as follows to wit.

1st clerks fees including all of them up to this time         $3.00

2nd printers fees for advertising, taking out letters for administration & sale of

Personal property                                                                  $2.00

3rd Administrator’s fees including taxes on said real estate &

Other expenses necessarily incurred                                  $8.00

Making together                                                                       13.00

Amount of personal estate as per sale bill now on file is                                                                                                                                                                     2.10

Leaving a deficit to be paid out of the real estate of                                                                                                                                                                           10.90

That the said William Wright deceased left as his heirs and legal representatives,

Rachel Right and Peter Wright his sister or brother adult persons and both of the County of Monroe and State of Indiana [this Peter Wright is born ca 1795 in NC and is at Indian Creek, Monroe in 1850/1860/1870.  Rachel, born ca 1777 in NC, is in Peter’s household in 1850.  He bought land in Sec 29, above.]

And also Elijah Wright, Jacob Crum, John H Crum, Mary Ann Fossett and David Crum adult persons, and all of whom are brothers and sisters children of the said deceased, all of the before named heirs are of Monroe County and State of Indiana. [probably children of Sally Wright and John Crum.  Mary Ann Fossett is married to Pleasant Fossett, the Administrator.  Elijah may be a brother of William, b 1800 NC, living in Monroe Co.]  

Also Anna Rawley a sister of the said deceased an adult person who has a legal guardian to wit John Rawley

[Anna Wright married Evans Rawley.  She was living with son John Rawley in Lafayette Twp, Owen County, IN in 1850.]

& probably Andrew Fry, and Rawley Wright William Crum Mary Greenwood, Nancy Fry, Elizabeth Christ or Christy [Criss], and Sarah Clark Adult persons all of whom are brothers and sisters children, and all of them probably living in the County of Owen and State of Indiana.

[These are mostly siblings – William Crum may be a cousin – of a brother of William, name unknown.]

Also Philbert Wright and Peter Wright adult persons who are brothers children of the deceased and are living in the county of Green and State of Indiana

[These 2 men are in Greene County in 1850.  Philbert born ca 1802, Peter born ca 1811.  The document reads as though they are the children of one of the decedent’s brothers.  Peter married Elizabeth Fossett in 1832 in Monroe County (?)]

 Eliza Cooper [nee Crum, apparently daughter of John and Sally (Wright) Crum] an adult persons whom are a sisters child of the deceased and are probaby living in the County of Wayne.

And Sarah Sinks Christena Sares, Mary Inyard, Nicy Fine, Lavina Flood, Rachel Starr, and Matilda her husband’s name not known, all adult persons who are sisters children of the deceased whom are probably living in the State of Illinois the county not known.

[all siblings, likely children of unknown Sears and wife Mary Wright]

The foregoing named persons as your petitioner believes are all the heirs and legal representatives of said decedent.  Your memorialist therefore prays your honor to grant him an order of the aforesaid real estate, or so much thereof as will be sufficient to discharge the said taxes that have accrued on said real estate and the expense of Administration, and other legal demands that may be made against said real estate, and such expenses as may hereafter accrue, Also your memorialist prays your honor to appoint suitable men to appraise the foregoing real estate.

June the 2nd day 1851.                                                 Pleasant Fossett, Admnr.

Order of Appraisement

State of Indiana                February Term 1852

Monroe County, SS

On the application of Pleasant Fossett administrator of the estate of William Wright deceased late of the county aforesaid.  It is ordered that Joseph Pennington & William Ragain be appointed appraisers to appraise the N.E. qr of the S.E. qr of Section 29 T7 R2 West with its improvements lying in the County aforesaid, it being the real estate of said decedent, and make report of such appraisement to this court at this term.

And said appraisers being duly sworn returned into Court the following appraisement to wit.

We the undersigned appointed by the within order to appraise the premises therein described having been sworn according to law, do report that on our Consideration of the premises we are of opinion that the said land with its improvements is worth One hundred and twenty five dollars, and do appraise the same accordingly.

Joseph Pennington                                                                                                                                 William Ragain

Allowed one dollar each $200 for both

 

Transcribed by Cathy Dempsey on 9/22/18; all comments in red are mine. – cd

Monroe County, Indiana, Circuit Court, Probate Order Book Volume F:473-474, William Wright estate settlement; digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/007663444?cat=213753 : accessed 17 September 2018), image 646.

Charles Holst: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #3

  My great-granddad Charles Holst was one of 3 great-grandparents who were alive when I was born, and one of 2 I can actually remember, although the memory is fuzzy.  Grandpa Charlie (so-called by my aunt and uncles to differentiate him from the other grandparents) was born in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California, on 18 October 1884, to Peter Holst, who was 37, and Caroline (Thomsen) Holst, who was 41.

Charlie had an older sister, Annie, born in 1875, an older sister Mary born in 1881.  Another son, named Peter, was stillborn a year before Charlie was born.  Reportedly, there was another brother, George, who was born in 1885, but I have found no records backing up his existence.

CharlieWithSpirit

Grandpa Charlie Holst with his horse named Spirit

The Holsts did not live in town, but instead on a ranch on Dry Creek Road, about 4 miles from Healdsburg proper, back in the hills.   Charlie’s father had a vineyard and a winery; the winery remained in production until Prohibition.

GrandpaCharlieandChasMoisan

Charlie Holst (left) with Charles Moisan, his wife’s brother-in-law

Grandpa Charlie’s parents were ethnically Danish, having both been born in the Duchy of Slesvig near Flensburg – an area which is now in Germany, and, in fact, became part of Bismarck’s Prussian Empire before they immigrated to the United States.

There is little I know about my great-grandfather.  I don’t know if he spoke Danish in addition to English.  I don’t know where he went to school, if he went to school at all – presumably there was a local school in the Healdsburg area.  I don’t know how he met the woman he would marry, Hazel Hannah Englehart, but possibly it was through her father, who reportedly built (or painted?) the Holst farm house, as he was a painter and carpenter. 

In any case, I had always been told that Charlie and Hazel married in January 1908, in Marin County, just south of Petaluma.  But when I ordered a copy of their marriage record, I discovered they married on 28 January 1909.  Their firstborn, a son named Charles (Junior) and called “Sonny”, was born just 6 months later on 2 August 1909. 

Their next child was my grandmother, Elizabeth, born in June 1914.  Another son, William, was born in 1921, and then a stillborn baby girl in 1928.

With Prohibition arriving in 1920, Charlie and his father ripped out all the vineyards they were cultivating, and starting growing plum trees.  Charlie’s father, a viticulturist, died before the repeal of Prohibition, as did his mother.  Charlie remained on the land, and made a living off the land until he died in 1968.

His children grew up and moved away, one serving in World War II and another having a family in Sonoma County, then divorcing his wife, and later moving to Oregon with his second wife.

HolstFamily1961

The Holsts in 1961.  L to R: Hazel (Englehart) Holst, Grace (Proden) Holst, Bill Holst (with dog), Charlie Holst, Charlie Holst Jr. (aka “Sonny”)

Their land off Dry Creek Road was where we visited when I was a four year old.  I remember the pink house they lived in, the sunshine, the hills which seemed to hug the house they were so close.  I remember going outside, and seeing my great-grandpa in the vegetable garden they had alongside the house, wearing denim overalls.   Although my mom tells me both my great-grandparents saw me as a baby, before we moved to Florida, that is my only memory of my great-granddad.  He died 2 years later in April 1968, and is buried in Oak Mound Cemetery in Healdsburg.

Jacob Copple and Margaret (Blalock) Copple… Data Viz of their DNA-tested descendants

My Copple line was one of my “brick wall” lines, meaning I did not know the identities of  my great-great grandmother Libbie (Copple) Englehart’s parents, not to mention the fact I did not know for certain Libbie Englehart was even a Copple!  Thanks to DNA testing, it appears that the family oral history that Libbie was in fact a Copple appears to be true.

Below is a chart which shows Libby’s likely paternal grandparents Jacob and Margaret (Blalock) Copple, her father Ben and some of his siblings who have living descendants who have DNA-tested AND who match my mom.

I say “likely” paternal grandparents, meaning they are the best possible candidates for her grandparent

This particular data visualization is called the “McGuire Method” after Lauren McGuire, who developed it; her explanation of the chart can be found here.

McGuireMethod_Visual_CoppleFamily

What does this chart tell us?  It gives us an straightforward visualization of how the various descendants of Jacob and Margaret, my 4th great grandparents, relate to my mother and to me.

Jacob and Margaret are listed at the top, and are shown as the parents of Ben F Copple, Sarilda Copple, Jacob W Copple, and Sanford H Copple.  (Jacob and Margaret had 5 other children who reached adulthood, but those children either don’t have any descendants alive today, or don’t have descendants who have tested AND match my mom.)  Matching my mom is critical, if we are to use the DNA matches to validate the “paper trail” of documentation for the ancestors back to Jacob and Margaret.

Ben Franklin Copple is my 3rd great-grandfather, and the eldest son of Jacob and Margaret.  He was married twice — first to Phoebe Harvey, the mother of his 4 (possibly 5) daughters, and then to Susie, the mother of his 3 sons.  Libbie, my great-great grandma, and her sister Mary have descendants alive today who have gotten their DNA tested and match my mother and me.  In addition, a descendant of Ben’s son Nathan has tested and matches my mom.

Ben’s sister Sarilda has a descendant who has tested (called “M” on the chart), as does Ben’s brother Jacob Washington Copple.  Ben’s brother Sanford Howard Copple has numerous DNA-tested descendants, not all of whom are shown here.  Tested matches include descendants of Sanford’s daughter Margaret and Sanford’s son William. 

The two lines at the bottom of the chart are the key to the “McGuire Method” of visualization.  The first line shows the amount of DNA (in total centiMorgans) that my mom “A” shares with the tested cousin(s).   What is a centiMorgan?  The most simplistic explanation is that it’s a logical — not physical — unit of length of an unbroken sequence of the bases (adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G)). 

Your longest unbroken string of base sequences for each of your chromosomes would be shared with your mom and your dad — that is, from one end of each chromosome to the other.  More distant relatives, like 3rd cousins, may share only one or two segments of DNA — or none at all.   (For more detail on centiMorgans, see here, here and here.)

Amounts of shared DNA highlighted in yellow on this chart are based on the AncestryDNA test; amounts highlighted in purple are based on FamilyTreeDNA’s test.  Below the centiMorgan (cM) amounts is the relationship (e.g., “4C” = 4th cousin, “2C1R” = 2nd cousin one generation removed).

Below my mother’s shared DNA amounts is my own shared amounts with those same cousins.  With certain matches, I inherited less than half of mom’s shared DNA; in other cases, I inherited essentially all of it.

Since I first created this chart, a descendant of another of Ben Copple’s sons — brother to Nathan shown on the chart — has had their DNA tested and shares DNA with my mom.  In addition, at least one descendant of a third child of Ben’s brother Sanford has tested, and they, too, are a match.   As additional descendants test — and match — my mother, this strengthens the case I am making (based on the paper trail) that this is Libbie (Copple) Englehart’s family — her dad, her paternal aunts and uncles, and her paternal grandparents.  And hence my mother’s family and my own as well.

 

James Diamantini: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #2

My granddad was the youngest of 3 sons, born to Giuseppe Diamantini and Maria (Bolognesi) Diamantini in Sonoma County, California, on 16 October 1914.   My mother — his daughter – always said he was born in Calistoga, which is in Napa County, or in Mark West Springs, which is in Sonoma County.   The California Birth Index lists the county as Sonoma; I still (!) need to order the actual certificate, so I guess we’ll see.   

The U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936 – 2007, database online at Ancestry.com lists Grandpa’s birth place as Santa Rosa South, and his name as James Diamantine.  He made his application in 1942, and at this time, he and his brothers were Anglicizing their name from Diamantini to Diamantine.

I knew my grandfather’s name to be James Eugene, but I do not know the name he was born with.   According to the California Birth Index, a first name for my grandfather is not listed on the birth certificate.  However, on the 1920 census, his name is given as Trenton (which doesn’t sound very Italian to me, nor is it a family name that I know of.) 

1920 census, Sonoma County, California (click to zoom in)

My granddad’s two older brothers were Gaspare Antonio (aka “Gilbert”), born in 1904, in Italy, and Francis Angelo (known as Frank), born in January 1909, in Healdsburg, Sonoma, California.   Although the State of California required registering births as of July 1, 1905, there is no certificate for Frank.  My great-grandparents,  just recently in the U.S. – they arrived in 1908 – likely did not know “the routine”.     However, I do have a copy of Frank’s Social Security Application, on which he states his date and place of birth.

 I have not been able to find the family on the 1930 census (yet), but presumably they were living near Healdsburg, as my grandfather attended Healdsburg High as a member of the Class of 1934.   

While in high school, my granddad played football, and also met my grandmother, Elizabeth.

my grandparents

James and Elizabeth married on 22 November 1934, in Healdsburg, and then went to live in Tracy, California, where they worked at the service station owned by James’ older brother Gil.  My mother was born within two years of their marriage, and life was good, until Elizabeth died in 1940, after giving birth to a stillborn daughter.

my grandparents’ marriage certificate

After my grandmother’s death, my grandfather came back to the Hayward area, where his parents were living.  They fixed him up with an Italian woman his age who lived down the street from them, and the two were married in May 1941.  James and Jean (“Nonna”) had 6 children in the next 10 years.  

Grandpa worked in the shipping yards during World War II, and later worked with his brothers, who owned a lumberyard.   He was also a beekeeper, and, in the early 1970s, he and Nonna moved out to Manteca, California, where they had a ranch, and where he cultivated a vineyard.

But Grandpa began to suffer from Parkinson’s during the late 1970s, and so he and Jean decided to sell the Manteca property, and move back to Hayward.  I only saw my granddad a few times when I was growing up, and didn’t go out to California to see my mom’s relatives at all for a period from about the age of 10 to the age of 25.  

Grandpa’s Parkinson’s got worse over the years, to where he could barely walk and talk.   He died in May 1995, at the age of 80, in Hayward, and is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, near his parents and his brothers.

Sources:

Social Security Administration, “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database,
Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60901 : accessed 11 January 2016), entry
for James Diamantine, 1995, SS no. 567-24-6586.

Social Security Administration, “U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014,” database, Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693 : accessed 11 January 2016), entry for James Diamantine, 1995, SS no. 567-24-6586.

1920 U.S. census, Sonoma County, California, population schedule, Enumeration District 152, Santa Rosa, sheet 4, page 12B, dwelling 83, family 84, Joe Diamantini household; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6742 : accessed 20 December 2018); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm publication T625, roll 151.

“California Birth Index, 1905-1995,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGQF-SHV : accessed 7 July 2016), Diamantini, 16 Oct 1914; citing Sonoma, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.

Mapping your DNA segments to your ancestors

Chr2_Wright

What is this picture telling us?  It is from a tool called DNA Painter (https://dnapainter.com/)  I am focusing on a specific set of segments on chromosome 2 on my mother’s side (hence the wide bar for chromosome 2 and the pink color for the chromosomes shown.)

Before using this tool, I had already gotten my DNA tested, as had both my parents, 2 of my siblings, and numerous known 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins.  (Second cousins share a pair of great-grandparents; third cousins share a pair of great-great grandparents.)  In addition, I’ve already worked on determining who is the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) between my DNA match and me, using census records, vital records (marriage, birth, death), land deeds, and so on.

Based on my “paper” research and my DNA matches, each cousin (represented by a single color bar, except for cousin K in purple who has two bars) matches me, matches my mom, and matches each other.  This is known as triangulation (if A = B and B = C, then A = C) and is indicative of a shared ancestor (or ancestors) at some point back in time.  The paper research points to Richard Wright and his wife Ann (maiden name unknown) being the MRCA for all of us.

For some of the cousins above, the MRCA couple for them and me is Anna Patsy Wright and her husband Philip Copple (key = turquoise).  For other cousins, the MRCA couple is Richard Wright and his wife Ann (maiden name unknown) (key = orange).  Anna is the granddaughter of Richard and Ann, so in actuality, the segments assigned to her are segments she inherited from Richard or Ann.  (Thus, all the turquoise segments could in fact be colored orange.)

The point of using both turquoise and orange is to show that some of the people who match me are also descendants of Anna Wright, and other cousins (whose MRCA with me is Richard and Ann, rather than Anna and Philip) are descendants of someone other than Anna – specifically, from one of her paternal uncles or aunts.  (If they had descended from one of Anna’s own siblings, then the MRCA would not have been Anna’s grandfather but instead her father Amos Wright.)

Cousin K is being highlighted in purple to emphasize K’s two segments shared with me.  (If I were keeping to the color coding, one segment of K’s would be chartreuse, and one would be turquoise.)

Notice how the segments seem to be staggered; their starting ends line up.  These represent crossover points, here indicated by the vertical dark lines.  Since I inherited the entire segment from my maternal grandmother, it’s more likely these crossovers occurred sometime in the past, and represent segments inherited by her from different ancestors on the Wright line.

Chr2_CrossoverMarkings

The teal segments, representing matches who have a Wright ancestor from Buncombe County, North Carolina, are unexpected matches.  Meaning, my maternal Wright line has no (apparent) tie to Buncombe County, NC –that’s too far west of where “my” Wright line lived.  That being said, because they match me and match the other cousins who are known to be Patsy Wright’s descendants and/or Richard Wright descendants, they must be relatives.  Our common ancestor likely goes back further than Richard – the fact that the segments are shorter than the others would seem to confirm that assumption.  (That being said, due to the randomness of DNA inheritance, there is not always a correlation between length of segment and distance of relationship.)

Chr2_SegmentAssignment

The as-yet-unknown ancestor segment is in chartreuse, and represents the segment of chromosome 2 from the first crossover (vertical line) to the second crossover.  I’ve labeled it “Waymire or Wright” in the legend, as it likely relates to my Wright line, and cousins who share this segment have Waymire/Wehmeyer ancestors in their tree.  And that matters because the Waymire and Wright families lived right next door to each other in Randolph County, NC circa 1770’s.  It’s the tiniest of clues to go on, and may not be accurate; more research, and more cousins tested, is needed to solve the puzzle.

The red arrow points to the “Richard Wright and Ann” segment.  What’s important to mention here is that I call it the “Richard Wright and Ann” segment because that’s as far back as I can determine.  Therefore, it’s a convenient label.  However, it may not actually have been inherited through the Wright line.  If the segment was passed down through Richard, but he inherited it from his mother, then it would technically be a “Becraft” segment, as Richard’s mother was Esther Becraft.  If the segment was passed down through Richard’s wife Ann, it wouldn’t be a Wright segment at all – but we don’t have a surname for Ann, so it’s easier to label this segment on chromosome 2 as a “Wright” segment.

The fun of mapping segments, though, is that it assists you in quickly figuring out how your DNA match may be related to you.  If I get a new match tomorrow, say, on MyHeritage, and they match me maternally on one of the segments shown above, I know they are related to me through my Wright line, and how far back is really the only question.  I don’t need to consider any of my other maternal ancestors.

Mapping can be done at a much closer level – assigning your 4 grandparents to segments of each of your chromosomes (1 – 22, and the X). You’ll need your siblings to test with you.   I will cover that in a later post.

 

 

Elizabeth Holst Diamantini: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #1

This is what I know about my maternal grandmother — nearly nothing.

Elizabeth died young – 2 months past her 26th birthday –likely from deep vein thrombosis, as she she had been in the hospital lying in bed for 8 days after delivering a stillborn baby girl in Tracy, California, in August 1940.

My mother was only 4 at the time, and her only real memory of her mother was the day she came home from the hospital.   Her memories, as she’s told them to me, are like snapshots: My grandmother was helping my mother wash up for bed when she slumped over; the next thing my mother remembers is her own grandmother, Hazel, yelling to her, “Go get your father!”  And, finally, she remembers her father bringing her into the bedroom, where Elizabeth’s body was laid out on the bed, and was told to kiss her mother good-bye.  She didn’t want to – her mother was so still, with her skin growing cool.  It was scary.

And in the years afterward, no one talked about it.  No one.  Not her dad.  Not her grandmother Hazel, who buried her only daughter.  Not her granddad Charlie.  Not her uncle Bill, or uncle Sonny, who survived their sister.  That’s life, we can’t change the past, let’s move on.  You didn’t know her, how can you mourn?

The mystery of my grandmother’s existence – what was she like?  Who were her people?  — was really what drove me to genealogy.

Elizabeth May Holst was the middle child and only daughter of Charles and Hazel (Englehart) Holst, born on 25 June 1914, in Healdsburg, Sonoma, California.   Her brother Charles Junior (aka “Sonny”) was 5 years older, and her brother William (“Bill”) was 9 years younger.    There was a fourth child – a girl – stillborn in 1928.

Elizabeth’s parents referred to her as “Honey”; in her later years, her brothers-in-law would call her “Betty”.   (“Betty” is how I think of her, too, since I knew my grandfather’s brothers, and never knew her as a grandmother.)

Elizabeth_6thgradeClass - Copy

The girl circled in yellow is my grandmother, in the 6th grade.

Betty attended Healdsburg High, graduating in 1932.  I know she took Home Economics, as my mom has a bound set of handwritten notes and recipes Betty wrote down from class.

Eliz_Classmates_Nov1930

She may have taken music classes; in the above photo, taken in November 1930, she is playing the mandolin (third from right).

Grandma Mandolin

Grandma’s mandolin

Above is Betty’s mandolin, currently in my mom’s possession, on a rocking chair which belonged to Betty, and resting on a quilt Betty made.

Here is Elizabeth at 17, her senior picture:

Eliz age 17 - Copy

And below, is a photo from her high school graduation day.  She is at the ranch off Dry Creek Road, near Healdsburg.

Elizabeth_HSGraduation - Copy

It was in high school that Betty met James Diamantini, a first-generation American, whose parents were Italian Catholic immigrants from the Marche province of Italy.

Eliz and James - Copy

James and Elizabeth got married on 22 November 1934 in Healdsburg.  Elizabeth converted to Roman Catholicism prior to their marriage, and took the confirmation name of Catherine.  The strong Protestant heritage of my grandmother was something new I learned in my research and may explain why my great-grandmother did not attend her daughter’s wedding.

MyGrandparents_WeddingDay - Copy

My grandparents on their wedding day.

After the wedding, my grandparents moved down to Tracy, California, in San Joaquin County,  where they ran a gas station.

Elizabeth at Gas Station

It was in Tracy where my mother was born about 16 months after my grandparents were married.

MomandherMother

Mom, as a baby, with her mother.

My grandmother got pregnant a second time in 1940; unfortunately, the baby girl was stillborn in August 1940 in Tracy.  Sadly, my grandmother passed away a week after the stillbirth, the day she came home from the hospital.  She was only 26 years old; my mother was just 4.

ElizDiamantini_Obit

Elizabeth is buried in Oak Mound Cemetery, in Healdsburg.