Supporting Evidence

#DNA #52Ancestors

Do you ever look at a genealogy resource with rose colored glasses? In other words, do you perceive that resource as the one resource that will break thru brick walls? That is how I approached DNA testing.

Unlike many people who are testing their DNA, I already knew a lot about my ancestors. Even though the following chart was recently created with the preview edition of RootsMagic 8, I had most of these ancestors in my file when I started working with DNA over 5 years ago.

So, learning that autosomal DNA goes back 6 to 8 generations or 150-200 years was a disappointment. (information from Mark McDermott’s blog, How Many Generations Does DNA Go Back)

Even though DNA likely won’t help me identify that ‘next’ generation, I am finding that it is providing ‘Supporting Evidence’ for my current research.

For example, my Currey line goes thru several generations of Hiram Curreys to the Hiram Mirick Currey who was the treasurer of the state of Ohio in 1819. Through the years, I’ve worked with other researchers and collected documents that appear to support the lineage. However, I don’t have a deed, will or probate record that ties one generation to the next.

Thanks to Ancestry ThruLines, some of my matches show up as descendants of Hiram Mirick Currey thru his other children.

Not only do I look for descendants thru other children, I also look for descendants thru a different spouse. For example, my 2nd great-grandfather, Richmond Fisk Hammond, remarried after his wife, my 2nd great-grandmother died. He had a daughter thru this second marriage. ThruLines supports this second family.

Another example is my ancestor, James Crawford’s wife, Sarah Smith Duggins. Since she had a previous marriage, I’m hoping to use her ThruLines to learn more about my Smith ancestors.

I’ve found that my Ancestry ThruLines data can also point out spots in my tree that might be incorrect. For example, I have James B McCormick and Sarah Hall as the parents of Nancy Jane McCormick Ralston (1818-1907). When I look at ThruLines, James B. McCormick has 4 matches with two of those being my brothers. That’s not a lot of support for him being the father of Nancy, especially when compared to his wife Sarah Hall who has 30 DNA matches.

I’ve taken advantage of the ability to download my Ancestry DNA and upload my results to other sites, including GedMatch and My Heritage. Because my ancestry is basically colonial, my Ancestry results are providing more connections than My Heritage. Thus, I spend most of my ‘DNA time’ working with Ancestry data.

Not only was I wearing rose colored glasses when doing autosomal DNA testing, but also when having my brother do yDNA testing. I was hoping that this test would identify my Crawford ancestors. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proven to be true to date.

Even though yDNA hasn’t helped identify the parents of James Crawford, it has proven a connection with the other James Crawford families in Garrard County, Kentucky.

As pointed out by several genetic genealogists, tools such as triangulation or segment data are needed to prove a genetic relationship. These tools are not available on Ancestry where the majority of my DNA data resides. With an over-abundance of DNA data, I’m content (for now) with not being able to use my DNA data as scientific proof of a relationship. Instead, I will continue to use it as a tool to evaluate my tree and as a way to connect with cousins who might have additional information.


Photos of my uncle LR Crawford and fellow Thespians at Dodge City Senior High School. I’m not sure of the dates for this play, but LR graduated from high school in 1956.

Brick Wall


This week’s 52 Ancestor’s writing prompt is “Brick Wall.” Since I’ve written a LOT about James Crawford, one of my brick walls, I decided to look at the fan chart for my tree on FamilySearch to see what other ‘potential’ brick walls were in my tree.

Looking at that chart, there are 4 spots areas where I’m missing 7th generation ancestors. Because I haven’t put much effort into researching them, I don’t consider any of them potential brick walls. Curious as to how other genealogists define the term ‘Brick Wall,’ I did a quick Google search for ‘brick wall genealogy.’ What I found was some excellent resources to review for tackling a brick wall.

When asked to identify a ‘brick wall’ in my tree, I almost always think of James Crawford (1772-1854). I consider James a brick wall because I’ve done extensive research of James and his descendants but haven’t been able to identify his parents or any siblings.

My records research seems to hit a road block in Garrard County, Kentucky where James marries Sally Duggins in 1799. Thinking I would find something linking James to parents or siblings in this area of Kentucky prior to 1800, I’ve done a lot of research of the various Crawford families in the area. Much of that work has been chronicled on this blog and can be found by using the search box to look for posts about Crawford.

Getting past this roadblock was one of the primary reasons I had my DNA tested at Ancestry. Unfortunately, this might be too many generations back for autosomal DNA to help identify James’ parents. I’m also struggling with an over-abundance of DNA matches. To help make sense of all of these matches and to hopefully connect with that researcher with the answer, I research the descendants of my ancestors, including James Crawford. Thru this research, I have identified DNA matches to support my Crawford paper research.

This roadblock is also why I asked my brother to have his yDNA tested. His BigY results support a theory suggested by all of my paper research: the James Crawfords of early Garrard County, Kentucky are likely related. Currently, the following ancestors have been placed n the R-Y88686 haplogroup:

  • James Crawford b 1772 VA m1799 KY d 1854 OH (my line)
  • William Nelson Crawford, b 1829 OH and d. 1907 WA
  • James Crawford b 1770 VA M Knight 1793 KY d 1833 IN
  • James Crawford b1758 VA d 1836 IN

To keep these James Crawfords and others separate, I usually identify them by their wife. Thus the three James from the yDNA Crawford project are the following:

  • James Crawford (1772-1854) md Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, KY; owned land in Preble County, Ohio where he died. His son, Nelson, migrated from Preble County, OH to Warren County, IN. (my line)
  • James Crawford (1770-1833) md Martha Knight in 1793 in Lincoln County, KY; owned land in Preble County, Ohio prior to moving to Warren County, IN where he died.
  • James Crawford (1758-1836) md Rebecca Anderson Maxwell. James owned land along Paint Lick Creek in Garrard County KY before migrating to Jefferson County, IN where he died.

Not only is my James Crawford a brick wall, but the other ancestors in the R-Y88686 haplogroup are also brick walls for the researchers of those lines.

Not only is this a ‘genealogy brick wall,’ but Covid-19 has made it a research brick wall. With last year’s shutdown, my research trip to Kentucky was cancelled and genealogy libraries, archives and family history centers were closed. Thus, I’ve taken a break from my Crawford research to work on other lines in my tree.

In hopes that I might be able to resume this research, I need to

  • create a new plan to research the Crawford families of Montgomery and Botetourt Counties in Virginia.
  • identify the Kentucky neighbors who arrived in Kentucky about the same time as the Crawfords for further research.
  • do more research on the Duggins step-children in hopes of learning more about our common ancestor.
  • learn more about Virginia and Virginia records prior to 1800.
  • follow the genealogy news for the opening of libraries, archives and family history centers.
  • plan a genealogy research trip – even if only for a day of research.

Ancestral Homes


Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Identify an ancestral home address ( preferably one with a street address…) for one of your ancestral families (You do know where they lived, don’t you?  If not, consult the 1900 to 1940 US Census records, or City Directories).

2)  Go to Google Maps ( and enter the street address (and city/town if necessary – usually you can pick from a list) for your selected ancestral home.

3)  Look at the street map, the satellite map, and the street view.  Zoom in or out, or manipulate the image as you wish.

With this challenge, I’m going to state my ‘handicaps’ at the start.

  • Many of my ancestral homes were on farms. Thus, they didn’t have street addresses.
  • Several of my ancestral homes have been torn down and replaced.

2314 W. 21st Emporia

2531 P St Lincoln – no photos of house – now a vacant lot

2210 N 5th Dodge City

Glasco – No address

911 Second – Now a parking lot

504 Avenue G –

I haven’t found any photos of house. The location is now a business fronting on Wyatt Earp boulevard. What I learned from this exercise is that my grandparents lived very close to the railroad where my grandfather worked. The tracks are on the south side of Wyatt Earp Boulevard. The depot was a few blocks to the West.

510 Avenue G Dodge City

Google doesn’t recognize 510 Avenue G, but does mark a house at 508 Avenue G. The yellow house to the left of the white house is likely 510 Avenue G. (Note: the house that used to be at 504 Avenue G was likely similar to these houses.)

416 Constitution Emporia

924 Constitution Emporia

645 Lincoln Emporia

1014 Market Emporia

Briles Homestead – Near Crandall, Kansas

I possibly have pictures of other family homesteads in the backgrounds of family photos. It will take some digging to locate those images.

Uncle LR

#52Ancestors – week 12 Loss

Altar Flowers in Memory of LR Crawford

Is there a family event from your childhood that left a mark on your life, but one that happened when you were too young to really remember the impact?

For me, that would be the death of my uncle, Leon Russel Crawford II, or uncle LR. LR was my dad’s brother.

I have very few memories of uncle LR. I remember that his place at my grandparents table was at the end opposite my grandmother. Another memory I have is of his room and his radio equipment. At a young age, my uncle received his ham radio license and had quite the setup in his room off of the kitchen.

Evidently, LR spent a lot of time with myself and my two brothers. My mom commented once that he was a life saver the summer we (as in all three of us) had the measles and then the chicken pox. My dad was away for ‘summer school’ and mom was overwhelmed with three sick kids (ages 7, 5 1/2 and 2) for most of the summer. She told me that LR sat with us on the 4th of July as we watched the fireworks from the living room window.

However, I do remember being awakened from sleep when I was almost 9 to be told that my uncle was very sick. My dad and his parents were leaving that night to go to Wisconsin where he was a graduate student. I remember crying because I wanted to go with them. Later, I vaguely remember my mother telling me that my uncle had died and that dad and my grandparents were on their way home.

I’m not sure whether it was standard procedure at the time, but I and my brothers did not attend his funeral. Instead, we spent the day, along with other kids with parents attending the funeral, in the care of a neighbor. I was allowed to attend the ‘flower’ ceremony where they read off the names of everyone who donated flowers.

My grandmother’s devestation at the death of her son is evident in the picture of her and her siblings on the day of the funeral.

Mary Walters, Myrtle Jones, Earnest Currey, my grandmother Winnie Crawford, and Alma Taylor

Same Name

This week’s #52Ancestors prompt is ‘Name’s the Same’. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you are aware that my research involves a lot of James Crawfords, with most of them being unrelated.

It is a challenge to separate records for people of the same name living in the same community at the same time. That is the issue that has plagued my Crawford research. I have at least two and often more James Crawford families in the same area at the same time. (See: Untangling James Crawfords)

Like my Crawford research, I’ve had to be careful when researching several other families because there’s another family of the same name.

My William Thompson research is one area where I’ve encountered this. In Wapello county, Iowa, there are several William Thompsons in the early census records. My ancestor, William T. Thompson (1820-1898) is buried in the Ottumwa cemetery in Ottumwa, Iowa. Also buried in that cemetery is another William Thompson (1813-1892). This William Thompson was born in Ireland while my ancestor was born in Kentucky.

My Currey / Curry research is another area where I’ve struggled with same name issues. My great grandfather, Hiram M. Currey (1866-1945) was the son of Hiram M. Currey (1835-1901) who I believe was the son of Hiram M. Currey (1787-?) of Peoria, Illinois who may be the son of Hiram Mirick Currey of Ohio fame. Not only am I struggling with 4 generations of men of the same name, but the name Hiram seems to be a name commonly found among descendants of Thomas Currey of Adams county, Ohio.

One of those descendants, Hiram Meyrick Currey (1827-1898), son of William C. Currey and Hannah Adkins, is often confused in family trees with the Hiram Currey of Peoria, Illinois. Although there are not many records for the Hiram Currey of Peoria, there are records identifying his occupation as a lawyer. This piece of information helps separate the two men since Hiram Meyrick Currey (1827-1898) was a doctor. Additional research is needed, but these two men are likely first cousins.

All of this experience with ‘same name’ issues has taught me to question whether I could be encountering that complication when researching a family in a new area. My efforts to locate as many records as possible and to build out the family is what has helped me to separate these families. Keeping the families straight is why I often maintain information about the other family in my genealogy file.

Wedding Photos

Fearless Females – Marriage

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1) Check out Lisa Alzo’s “Fearless Females 2021” blog post prompts and write about one of them.

“Do I have marriage records for my grandparents and great-grandparents?”

Grandparents: Leon Russel Crawford and Winnie Letha Currey were married on Christmas Eve in 1919 at the home of her sister in Dodge City, Kansas.

Grandparents: Edward Osmond Briles and Pauline Edith Mentzer were married on Oct. 29, 1915 in Yates Center, Kansas

Great Grandparents: Judson Foster Crawford married Josie Winifred Hammond on Christmas Eve 1890 in Dodge City, Kansas. (Photo is from their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.)

Great Grandparents: Hiram Miles Currey married Winnie Mae Hutchinson on May 13, 1891 in Jackson County, Missouri. I do not have a wedding picture for them or a picture of them together.

Great Grandparents: Edward Grant Briles married Frances Artlissa Ricketts on Feb. 19 1890 in Woodson County, Kansas. (Not sure when photo was taken, but it may have been for their 50th wedding anniversary.)

Great Grandparents: Charles Oliver Mentzer married Nettie Adell Wells on Oct 18, 1893 in Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas. (Photo taken later in their lives, but am unsure of date.)

Ham Crawford Connection

A few weeks ago, the following comment was posted on my ‘About’ page.

Hello, I’m a descendant of Joseph B. Ham and Dolly Crawford of Madison County KY. Married in 1795. I am at a brick wall trying to find Dolly’s ancestry. All I have is that she listed her mother as Molly on the marriage record. I can’t find any Molly in Madison County KY at this time. Only the Mary that you write of who based on her marriage and timeline seems to be too young. Any help is appreciated.

I do have Dolly Crawford and Joseph Ham in my database. According to the book, Madison County Kentucky Marriage Records Vol. 1 1786-1822 by Bill and Kathy Vockery, they were married in Madison County in 1795.

Since I don’t have any other information on this couple, I decided to see what tax records for Madison County might reveal. Since I’ve already used these records for my CRAWFORD research, I was primarily looking for the HAM surname. However, when I found Joseph Ham, I also located known Crawford family members and associates in that year’s tax record.

Madison County Kentucky
Tax Books, 1787-1874

Tax Books, 1787-1797, 1799-1807
FamilySearch Film 8126 DGS 7834478

Image 15 – ‘H’
Nil Ham

Image 30
Nil Ham

Image 40 – ‘H’
Ham Wm Wm Ham – 0 – 1 – 0 – 6 – 18

Image 55 0 1788

Image 65 – ‘H

Image 73 – 1789

Image 77
Ham William 1-1-? – 11 – left at 10/

Image 82 – ‘H’

Image 90
Mary Crawford
No Ham

Image 99 – 1790

Image 103 – ‘H’
Nil Ham

Image 111 – 1791
Image 115 – ‘H’
Ham, William – 1white- 1 Black > 16- “ – 5 horses – Stud 15
Image 124 – ‘H’
NIL – Ham

Image 129 – 1792
Image 134 – ‘H’
Hamm Drury – 1 – blank – blank – blank – 6 – 6
Image 141 – ‘H’
Image 150 – ‘H’
Ham, William – 2 (or possibly 7) white > 21- dash white above 16 – 3 total blacks – 2 blacks > 16 -7 horses – 30 cattle- – – 100 Acres of Land- 1 stud – 6 rate

Image 157 – 1793
Image 163 – ‘H’
Ham Wm – 1 – dash – 4 – 2 – 8 – 31 – 100

Image 170 – 1794
Image 176 – ‘H – faded
William Ham may be on this page
May be another Ham toward bottom of page – can’t decipher first name
Image 187 – ‘H’ starts
Image 198 – ‘H’

Image 206 – 1795
Image 214 – ‘H’
Nil Ham
Image 227 – H
Ham William Madison County Silver Cr 100 acres
Do do do 150 acres
Do Mason Lee Cr 1400
Image 239 – H
Image 259 – H
Ham William – 1 white over 21 – . – 5 total blacks – 3 blacks under 16 – 5 [H H) Colts & Mulres – 33 Cattle
Ham Drury – 1 white over 21 – . White over 16 under 21 – 1 total blacks – 1 blacks under 16 – 5 [H H] Colts & Mules – 8 Cattle

Image 266 – 1796
Image 271 – Edward Crawford
Image 277 – H
Ham Joseph – 1 male over 21 – 2 horses – 2 cattle (no land listed)
Ham Drury 116 – Paint Lick Madison from Elijah Kritly 1white >21 -. Above 16 under 21 – . Black above 16- 1 total blacks – 5 horses mares – 5 cattle
Image 278
Ham William – 300 acres – Silver C – Madin – G Clay & Hancock -1 white male > 21- . white males > 16 – 2 blacks > 16 – 5 total blacks – 5 horses – 33 cattle
Image 310 – H
Image 333 – Crawfords (James, William and sons) — NO Rebecca or Mary Crawford
Image 334 – Duggins / Dooley
Image 337 – H
Image 340 – Alexander Moore (Mary Crawford’s husband)

Image 353 – 1797
Image 360 – H
Image 382 – H
Image 406
Crawford Edwd
Image 410 – H
Image 412
Ham Drury – 116 acres Paint L Madn C Elijah Kurtley – 1 male > 21 – 1 total black – 6 horses
Ham William – 450 acres – Silver C Madn C – Green C Hancock – 1 male > 21, 1 male 16-21, 1 black > 16, 4 total blacks – 7 horses
Do – 700 acres – Lees Creek – Mason C – Wm Tomlin

Even though tax records do not prove relationship, they can provide some clues.

  • William Ham is the first Ham family member shown on the tax list
  • William Ham owned at least two parcels of land: one on Silver Creek in Madison County and one on Lees Creek in Mason County
  • Drury Ham appeared on the tax list in 1792 with no land suggesting a possible relationship between William Ham and Drury Ham
  • Joseph Ham appeared on the tax list in 1796 in the same assessment district as Drury Ham and William Ham also suggesting a relationship between Joseph Ham and William Ham
  • In 1796, the three Ham households were not in the same assessment district as the Crawford families I’ve been researching suggesting that these two family groups did not live near each other. [My Crawford research involves William Crawford, James Crawford (wife Rebecca Anderson), James Crawford (wife Martha Knight), James Crawford (wife Sally Duggins), Mary Crawford (husband James Sellers), Sally Crawford (husband William Sellers), widow Mary Crawford and widow Rebekah Crawford.]
  • There is an Edward Crawford in the same assessment district as the HAM families. [I don’t know much about this Crawford family.]

So, back to the question. Could Dolly Crawford be the daughter of Mary Crawford? Could Dolly Crawford be a sibling to my James Crawford? Yes, that is possible, but I will have to do more digging to find a connection between the two families.

Could Dolly Crawford be a sibling of the James Crawford who married Martha Knight. This is very doubtful. James and Martha were married in Lincoln County. James’ suspected siblings, Mary and Sally, were also married in Lincoln County.

Could Dolly Crawford be a daughter of James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford. Again this is doubtful. None of my research of this family has any records connecting the Crawford and Ham families.

Could Dolly Crawford be a daughter of William and Elizabeth Crawford. This is possible but doubtful.

Based on the tax records, I would look for a connection between Dolly Crawford and the Edward Crawford on the 1796 tax list.

Curious as to what others have concluded about Dolly Crawford, I looked at trees on Ancestry and FamilySearch. The FamilySearch tree has a Dolly Crawford [LLHZ-852] married to Joseph Ham [M76X-C5Z]. Dolly is shown as the daughter of Alexander Crawford and Molly Burris. However, there are no sources attached to Dolly, Alexander or Molly. Ancestry has over 200 trees for Dolly Crawford and Joseph Ham. I have not looked at all of them, but I looked at several that indicated they had multiple sources attached to Dolly. Those ‘multiple sources’ turned out to be multiple other Ancestry trees.

Thus, more information (documentation) is needed for the Joseph Ham family. To attack this problem, I would

  • Thoroughly research all of their children.
  • Locate land records for William and Drury Ham to see if they provide a clue to family relationships.
  • Identify locations where Joseph Ham resided.
  • Locate land records for Joseph Ham.
  • Search for county histories or family genealogies that have information on the Ham family.
  • Keep an open mind. The trees may all be wrong.

Boot Hill

Dodge City

“Cowboy Capital of the World”

“Queen of the Cowtowns”

For anyone interested in cowboys or the old west cattle drives a trip to the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas is a ‘must see’ destination. Housed in a replica of ‘Front Street’, Boot Hill offers a combination of history and entertainment, complete with gunfights and shows at the Long Branch Saloon.

As a genealogist, Boot Hill has proven to be a source of information about my family. As a child, I remember a photograph or postcard that was on display in the building at the top of the hill. This photo was taken of early Dodge City from the Boot Hill area looking toward downtown. My memory says that the house my grandparents lived in was in that photo. Later, while touring the displays housed in the ‘Front Street’ buildings I discovered a minute book for the Ford County Agricultural Society that just happened to be opened to a page mentioning my great great grandfather, Richmond Fisk Hammond.

On a trip to Dodge to visit my grandmother, she encouraged me to visit Boot Hill to see if they had any photographs. Thinking I might find the photo from my childhood memory, I went. Even though I didn’t locate that photo, I did come away with a marvelous find: the only known photo of my great great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford.

In addition to obtaining his picture, I found a group picture that included my great grandfather, Judson Crawford and another group picture containing Judson’s brother, Nelson Crawford.

If you want to find an unusual source for genealogical information, it would be Boot Hill for me. I never imagined that I would find these photos at Boot Hill. I am thankful that they are preserving the early history of Dodge City.