Martha Marston Christ Church Parish Middlesex Virginia


I still don’t know how Henry Evans and Darling Drewry, both of Northampton County, NC knew each other.  There must be a family connection though, because Nancy Evans, Sarah Evans, and Darling Drewry’s sister Mary “Polly” Drewry all had the same exact and uncommon mitochondrial DNA sequence. For now, I’m skipping over Henry Evans just because I’m curious about the new match.

I copied the newest mitochondrial match’s FTDNA family tree to Ancestry without knowing said match had a larger tree there already.  We’ll call the match W.  Having only the generations that W’s tree included on FTDNA, I ended the maternal line with a woman named Martha Marston b.1702 d.1788 who married Joshua Lewis 7 October 1725 Christ Church Parish, Middlesex, Virginia.

While I was searching for Martha Marston (sometimes Martha Marsden on other trees), I noticed a tree run by J.  J’s picture caught my eye because it looked familiar.

J Family Tree
Martha Marston 1702-1788 in J’s Ancestry family tree. I recognized J’s profile photo even though he is not an Ancestry DNA match to my mother or maternal uncle.


Turns out J is listed as a Family Finder match to my grandmother Dolores Romero at Family Tree DNA.  He is shown as a possible 3rd cousin match, but just by looking at the match in chromosome browser you can see it is definitely more distant. Still, he was one of those distant matches that I had no idea how we were related to him.

JD Dolores Romero match

J Dolores Romero Chromosome Browser
J is a distant cousin to my grandmother Dolores Romero at Family Tree DNA. I didn’t know how he might be related but putting the mitochondrial DNA match to one of his foremothers, Martha Marston, may have answered the question.


Anyway, I continued searching for Martha Marston’s parents when I came across W’s family tree, which was extended beyond what is shown at Family Tree DNA.  So far no one knows much about Martha’s mother, Ann, wife of John Marston 1676-1729.

Dolores Romero mtDNA match WGT

Aus Ancestry Tree WGT


Nancy Evans and Elijah Gumbs Boon of What County, North Carolina?

In my last post, I described our recent mitochondrial DNA breakthrough and described some of the information I’ve found online, including the book History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri 1886 in which Harriet (Boon) Bills speaks of her parents, Nancy Evans and Elijah Gumbs Boon of Northampton County, NC.  There is no mention of Nancy’s or Elijah’s parents.

I ordered Nancy and Elijah’s record of marriage on October 29 hoping it might shed some light on their parents, but while I’m waiting, I’ve looked around online. Many online genealogies conclude that Nancy’s parents were William Evans and Sarah Hayes of Wake County, North Carolina although I haven’t seen the exact evidence that ties them all together.  I feel like I can’t establish that Nancy and Elijah are in Northampton County until I see the microfilm myself.  The book I mentioned earlier says that Elijah Gumbs Boon was born in Northampton County.  Nancy’s parents were supposed to be from Wake County, North Carolina.  I’m not putting them together just yet.  Is there some sort of land record I don’t know about?  A sale of land in Wake County? A purchase of land in Northampton County?  Are they close to each other? What are the histories of these two counties?

A quick Wikipedia search says Northampton County, NC was formed in 1741 from Bertie County, so it was definitely a county when Elijah Gumbs Boon was born in 1796 and when he married Nancy Evans in 1814.  Wikipedia also says Wake County was formed later, in 1771 from Cumberland, Johnston, and Orange Counties.  I don’t have any evidence yet that the majority of these researchers are wrong, but something doesn’t feel right.  It seems like a large jump from Wake County where William Evans died in 1823 and Northampton County where his alleged daughter married Elijah Gumbs Boon in 1814.  Plus, I’ve only seen the children of William Evans and Sarah Hayes of Wake County NC as 3 sons, Henderson, Daniel, and Enoch.

The counties also don’t border each other as you can see at this website, which corroborates the Wikipedia entries for the most part.  Yes, I could be wrong but something doesn’t add up for me yet.  I hope the microfilm from Family Search comes soon and can help me figure this out.




Celebrations, Genealogy

Dia de los Muertos

Happy Autumn celebrations to you and your loved ones!

Our 2015 Dia de los Muertos altar.  Our son decorated the sugar skull.
Our 2015 Dia de los Muertos altar. Our son decorated the sugar skull.



New DNA Project: Mothers of Missouri

I started a new mitochondrial DNA project at Family Tree DNA, Mothers of Missouri.  The only qualification necessary is that someone on your direct maternal line (this ancestor can only be a woman) started a family in Missouri at some point.  That’s it.  Boom.  Join me.  Open to men and women.

I submitted a new project proposal a while back.  The website said I would hear from FTDNA within 7 business days.  The self-doubter that I am, I thought maybe my project was so outlandish that they didn’t bother getting back to me.  I decided to go another route and hire a professional genealogist instead.  I was surprised to get an email on Wednesday September 30th, “My apologies for the delay in reviewing your project application, we have been a bit backlogged lately. We have approved your application for the Mothers of Missouri Project.”  !!!

This project is open to anyone (male and female) who can trace their maternal line to Missouri.

The goal of this project is to identify the maternal lineages of the people of Missouri past and present.  Participants are encouraged to share names, information, and pictures (if possible) of their Missouri maternal ancestors to aid our collaboration.  Posts to the group, photos, and comments are only available to members of this project.

Maternal line ancestry can be so difficult to research, particularly because of changing family names every generation.  Pairing knowledge of our ancestors’geographical locations along with genetic evidence gives us an edge in identifying families and clusters of related individuals.  With that in mind, I started this project to hopefully one day provide Missouri researchers a catalog of Missouri maternal lineages.

Join my project! Please share!
Join my project! Please share!

Word to your mother (and her mother, and her mother)

If you are into genealogy and thinking about genetic testing, please consider taking a mitochondrial DNA test.  It’s overlooked by genealogists as a tool to trace their maternal ancestry.  It is also a great way to help others!  I Someone might be desperately researching their maternal line and need a hand.  The regular price for the mtDNA Plus kit is $69.  I am considering buying one for someone who can show me they are also descended from Sarah Evans (married to William Brummet) through a direct female line.  

This awesome new blog by a Family Tree DNA employee tells it well:

“Also technically speaking, mtDNA is the black sheep of genetic genealogy. It’s sort of like that friend you had when you were a kid that you didn’t really like but kept around because their parents had a lot of money. mtDNA is important, but not necessarily fun.

Now here’s the part where I advocate for mtDNA testing after such a supportive prologue. In all honesty, it’s sometimes necessary. Do you want to confirm your deep, direct maternal line Native American ancestry? Autosomal DNA can’t help, as it only deals with recent ancestry (we’ll get into autosomal testing soon). mtDNA testing is the only test that can possibly help in this quest if, say, your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother was Native American and inherited that from her mother. Do you want to confirm a relationship with another individual with whom you share direct maternal ancestry, and the other individual doesn’t have autosomal DNA results? mtDNA is the way to go. Would you like a rough idea of likely recent maternal countries of origin? mtDNA is your test! Are you a masochist that thrives off of pain, sweat, and sleeplessness derived from genealogical brick walls and want a test as anger fuel? mtDNA is the only way to go.” Jeremy Balkin, Breaking Genetics

Also, if you are a customer with 23andMe, please respond to messages!  Even if you don’t know what the person is talking about, just tell the inquirer so.

I actually sent a message to the last V7 match two years ago, I just also sent him a more recent message 6 months ago. None of these matches have responded.
I actually sent a message to the last V7 match two years ago, I just also sent him a more recent message 6 months ago. None of these matches have responded.

The Mystery of Sarah Jane Taylor: 1860 Census, Shelby Missouri and a Round Up

Ben sent me the 1860 census for Salt River Township, Shelby County, Missouri.  Thank you Ben!

James Taylor's family 1860
James Taylor’s family 1860

We see James (J.W.) is a carpenter,  is already married to Geraldine Dennisson, and only Isaiah and Jane are listed from his marriage to Mary A. Bromett.  The History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas mention a third child who was deceased at the time the book was written (as was Isaiah, Sarah Jane Taylor being the only child of Mary A. Bromett who was alive) so I assume the child was likely already deceased.  James and Geraldine have a two year old Samuel and have James’ brother Wesley Taylor living with them.  They appear to also have a relative of Geraldine’s, Dillard Dennisson living with them as well.  The whole family is living with May Thomas, Walter? W. Simon, a lumber dealer, and William Walker, a carpenter.  Interestingly, only James is listed as having real estate, valued at $3000.

Ben also found a record of marriage for James Taylor and Geraldine Dennisson:

James Taylor and Geraldine Dennisson (2nd wife) were married July 16, 1857 also in Livingston County Missouri. This is the same county James and Mary A. Bromett were married.
James Taylor and Geraldine Dennisson (2nd wife) were married July 16, 1857 also in Livingston County Missouri. This is the same county James and Mary A. Bromett were married.

Why didn’t we know about Isaiah Taylor?  There are hints that he may have had descendants.

Why was our Sarah Jane only known as Jane?  Is this why she chose to go by the name Juanita in New Mexico?

How did Mary A. Bromett and their third child die?  When did it happen?  Where are they buried?

How did James Taylor and family eventually come to reside in Kansas?

Did Mary A. Bromett have sisters born of the same mother?  Who was her mother? When I started this search it was because I would like to trace my maternal line as far back as possible in hopes of identifying a living maternal line descendant who might agree to a mitochondrial DNA test.  I would love to find a match to confirm our line.

This is my timeline for James Taylor so far:

1830-Born in Montgomery County, Missouri

1850-Married Mary A. Bromett in Livingston County, Missouri

1852-Son Isaiah Taylor born to Mary A. Bromett

1855-Daughter Sarah Jane Taylor born to Mary A. Bromett

1857-Married to Geraldine M. Dennisson

1858-Son Samuel G. Taylor born to Geraldine M. Dennisson

1860-Living in Salt River Township, Shelby County, Missouri with family


James W. Taylor married Mary Ann Bromett Livingston County Missouri 1850

Trying to post this before tonight’s Finding Your Roots episode.

I noticed the 1850 census showing James and Mary living next to the of the rest of the Taylor family said they were married that year.

“State of Missouri
Livingston County
I, Jarred M Abnett (? could be wrong), a Justice of the Peace of the County of Livingston and State of Missouri do hereby certify that James W. Taylor and Mary A. Bromett were married by me on the tenth day of February A.D. 1850″

This is James Taylor’s first wife, the second being Jeraldine M. Dennison of Canon City, Colorado, the third Margaret “Maggie” Shuey of Iola, Allen County, Kansas.