Don’t Just Copy – Give Credit

I’ve been doing genealogy for some time and have been willing to share my info — even publicly on the web. Unfortunately, when I find my work posted by someone else without giving me credit or even contacting me, I get perturbed.

Today, I ran across my work saved as a story for Mary Thurston.


I realize that this info isn’t all that unique and could come from many other researchers. However, the citations point to my work. A long time ago, I started using the Dollarhide numbering system. Thus, when I see “Wells.MI.023”, I recognize my work.

Knowing that this came from my site, I decided to try and prove it. I went to the Wayback Machine and searched for my domain, Using that URL, I was able to find a 2016 copy of my site. On that version of the site was my info for Mary Thurston.


Not only was this info copied from my page, it was shared by several other researchers.


This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered my work shared by others. Not only have people copied the stories from my old site but they have also copied and shared the photographs.

Unfortunately, the person who originally copied the information did not include a citation or any attribution to the original author. The lack of a citation prevents other users from connecting with me. Thus, I am prevented from working with them to add to the family story.

When you find an online genealogy, please give credit to the poster of the genealogy so that others can connect with the author.




With the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower approaching, there is renewed interest in identifying the descendants of the Mayflower passengers. Even though my family does not have a story about being descended from the Mayflower passengers, I’ve often wondered if it was possible. Of my 16 great-great grandparents, five lines go back to colonial New England: Hammond, Hutchinson, Harding, Wells and Crandall. With the addition of the female ancestors on these lines, it is possible that a link to a Mayflower passenger would pop up.

Thus, when the We’re Related app indicated that my common ancestor with Abraham Lincoln was Jonathan Brewster, I thought I might have found the link to a Mayflower Ancestor. A quick Google search revealed that Jonathan Brewster was not a passenger on the Mayflower. However his father, William Brewster was on the Mayflower.


If I could prove that the We’re Related app was correct, then I would have my link to a Mayflower passenger. A quick glance at the app showed my link to Jonathan Brewster going thru Abigail White’s line. Abigail was the wife of Green Wells and mother of Ozias Wells, my 3rd great grandfather.

My research on my White line is based on family papers I received from Michigan. At this time, I have not done a thorough search for records to support these papers. However, these papers do support the lineage given in the We’re Related app back to Deacon Nathaniel White.


According to the app, Deacon Nathaniel White’s mother, Elizabeth is the daughter of Jonathan Brewster. According to Wikipedia and the Family Search tree, Jonathan Brewster did have a daughter named Elizabeth. However, the Family Search tree indicates that Elizabeth Brewster was not married to Captain Nathaniel White. According to the Family Search tree, Nathaniel White‘s wife was Elizabeth Bunce. Without a lot of further research, I will not be able to prove/disprove the We’re Related app lineage. However, it appears that my Elizabeth White is not descended from a Brewster.

I haven’t given up on having a Mayflower ancestor, but I don’t believe I’ve found a valid connection.

Cleo Byron Peake – Lost at Sea

While going thru Ancestry Hints for my Wells line, I found an intriguing military record for a distant cousin, Byron Peake (Cleo Byron Peake). The records said he was reported missing in action on 28 April 1944. (“World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas.” Database. : 2018.)


Cleo Peake has two Find a Grave memorials – one in England and one in Kansas. His Kansas memorial states that he died in the English Channel. (Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave ( : viewed online April 2018), memorial for PFC Byron Peake (1914-1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. #56877325.)


Since I was unsure how to record a “missing in action” for a death event or two different memorials, I turned to the RootsMagic Users Group on Facebook for help.


From Facebook, it was suggested that I put in the missing date as an ‘abt’ date for the death and then cite the “missing in action” source. I also learned a new term, cenotaph.

Based on the definition of cenotaph, Cleo Peake likely has two cenotaphs and no actual burial.

Facebook also suggested checking Fold3 to see if Cleo Peake was ever declared dead. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find more specific information about Cleo Peake on Fold3.

Since I was driving thru Topeka, Kansas and had time, I stopped at the Kansas State Historical Society to use their Kansas newspaper collection. I hit ‘pay dirt’ on roll Y37 of the Yates Center News.

Thursday, May 18, 1944
page 1
PFC Byron Peak Reported Missing
Chas J. Peake received a telegram from the War Department May 11, reporting that his son Pfc Cleo Byron Peake was reported missing in action since April 28.
“Byron” as he was known to all his friends, was with the 3206 Q.M. Service Co. Special Supply Troops. It was the duty of his company to take supplies of food and ammunition to the forces at the fighting front. It is believed that it was on one of these amphibious missions, possibly to Italy, that they met with misfortune.
Relatives have made contact with some of the families of Byron’s close buddies to find out that these buddies have also been reported missing since April 28. Most of these friend believe that the boys are prisoner of war.



Thursday Jun 15, 1944
page 1
Missing in Action over Italy
PFC Cleo Byron Peake who is reported missing in action over Italy since April 28. He was connected with the 3206 QM Service Co., special Supply troop






Thursday August 17, 1944
page 1
Confirms death of PFC Byron Peake
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peake have a letter this week from the War Department confirming the death of their son, PVC. Cleo Byron Peak, reported missing in April:
The letter states:
“It is with profound regret that I confirm the recent telegram informing you of the death of your son, Private First Class Cleo Byron Peak of the Quartermaster Corps, who was previously reported missing in action April 28 1844, in the English Channel.
“An official message has now been received which states that he was killed in action on the date he was previously reported missing in action.
“I realize the burden of anxiety that has been yours since he was first reported missing in action and deeply regret the sorrow this later report brings you. May the knowledge that he made the supreme sacrifice for his home and country be a source of sustaining comfort.
J. A. Ulio, Major General, The Adjutant General.”


August 31, 1944
page 2
Cleo Byron Peake
Cleo Byron Peake, only son of Charles J and Mary E Peake, was born March 10, 1914, near Yates Center, Kans. He gave his life for his country in the early dawn of April 28, 1944 somewhere off the southwestern coast of England, where his company had gone for pre-invasion rehearsal. German E boats darted in and sank the two LST crafts loaded with troops of his company. The crafts sank at once. It is thought that the bodies of 312 soldiers, first reported as missing, were still in the crafts when they went down.
Byron’s mother died when he was five years of age. His father took him and his sister to the home of their grandparents, where he lived until he was inducted into the army.
Byron received his grade school education in the Finney rural school where he always stood at the head of his class. He attended the Yates Center high school four years, where he made an outstanding record as a student making the highest grade of any boy in his class for the entire four years. He was also elected as a member of the national Honor Society, selection being based on scholarship, character school spirit and activities. He graduated with the class of 1932.
Byron accepted Christ at the age of 14 years and always lived an upright Christian life. He was a member of the Christian church. He loved music and all things good and beautiful, He was by nature very studious , a great reader and a deep thinker. He had truly a brilliant mind. Byron was inducted into he Army; February 5, 1943. He received his basic training and rifle practice at Camp Young. He was also trained for a while at Camp Haen. He received warehouse training and Camp Ono, spent five weeks and Donley , in the heart of the desert, for rail head training. All of these camps being in California.
Byron received his Amphibious training at Fort Pierce, Fla. he was then sent to Camp Pickett, Va., for more rifle training and three moths intensive training in other lines, including physical condition. He belonged to the 3206 quartermaster’s Service Co, special Supply troops. He knew the grave danger his training would cause him to face yet he never faltered, answering the call of duty just as he had been doing all his life. He went overseas in January and was stationed in England.
Byron is survived by his father, stepmother, sister Mrs. Vernona Volland, brother-in-law, Virgil Volland, a niece, little Barbara Sue. Alsy by his aunt Susie Peake, of the home, who was a mother to him,an aunt Mrs. Dolla Beavers of Malta, Mont. He is also survived by the following uncles, A. L. Peake of the home, John R. Peake, Chester, Nebr. Jess and Frank Wells of Lawrence, Kans, a number of cousins, one step-sister and three brothers and other relatives and legions of friends.
Memorial services were held Sunday afternoon, August 27 at the Christian church, conducted by the pastor Rev. Miles M. Cook, and the American Legion.

As stated in the various newspaper accounts, Cleo Byron Peake was a member of the 3206 Quartermasters’ Service Company. During April of 1944, this Company was participating in ‘Exercise Tiger‘ which was a rehearsal for the D-Day invasion. During the operation, German E-Boats stumbled upon the ships and fired upon them. Of the 251 members of the 3206 Quartermasters’ Service Company, 201 were killed or wounded during the German attack. According to the Exercise Tiger Memorial website, Cleo Peake was aboard LST 531 which sank within 6 minutes of being hit by a torpedo. The LST 531 had 424 Army and Navy personnel aboard when it sank. (List of honored dead) (Exercise Tiger – Wikipedia)

Cleo B. Peake was awarded the Purple Heart.

Ancestry DNA – Compiled Family Trees

Michael John Neil had posted a photo on Facebook about the new DNA circle feature that he calls ‘compiled trees’. When I first read Michael’s post, I was reminded of Ancestry’s One World Tree project. Fortunately, there is a major difference between these two projects: DNA.  So, I decided to investigate and see what I could learn about these compiled trees and my research.

When I clicked on my Ozias Wells circle, there was a button to learn more about Ozias Wells.


Clicking on that button took me to what appeared to be a profile page for Ozias Wells. However, this profile page was not from my tree but compiled from 99 family trees.


Clicking on the ? reveals more information about the compiling of this tree data.


Unfortunately, the only link to further information that worked was the one, “How can I  use a compiled view to enhance my research?” Not being able to find out how the compiled view was created is particularly troubling to me since my Ozias Wells circle only has 6 family groups and 99 trees were compiled to create the compiled view. This brings back memories from 2004 and the One World Tree project. As I remember it, that project was an attempt to merge family trees into one big tree using the power of computers.

I was hoping that DNA matches would prevent the merging of people with the same name for these compiled views. Since 99 trees were compiled for Ozias Wells and I only have 6 family groups in my DNA circle, I am going to be very cautious when looking at these views.

After looking at a few of my circles and the associated compiled tree, I have to say, this feature has some merit. When I switch to the FACTS view of the compiled view, there is a button to toggle on/off comparison with my tree.


With comparison turned on, the compiled view will place a check mark next to sources I already have associated with the person in my tree. There is a green plus sign next to sources others have attached to this person.


On the surface, I like this feature! However, I will have to be cautious when using these suggested sources to make sure they are about this particular individual and not some other person of the same name.

Besides the uncertainty as to how this information was compiled, I have another issue with these views: a child can appear multiple times.


I have Thurston Kennedy Wells as the son of Ozias Wells. Others must agree since the compiled tree shows him as a son — but there are several of him. I found this duplication of the children to be true on several different compiled views. However, I did not click thru to the trees to try and determine any differences.

At this time, I think these compiled views have potential — particularly if the DNA data is a primary factor in the process.

However, I wish there were additional features to go with these compiled trees: a chromosome browser and the ability to message all of the members of a DNA circle as a group.


Where’s My Irish?

Today is March 17th – St. Patrick’s day. In honor of the day, I was curious about whether I have Irish ancestry. Since my research hasn’t taken me beyond the borders of North America, I really don’t have any Irish lines identified. According to my Ancestry DNA results, my ethnicity % for Ireland is 3%.

DNA Ethnicityscreenshot from

Out of curiosity, I decided to do some simple research on my family names using Ancestry’s tool to discover the meaning of a surname. Below are the surnames from my 5 generation pedigree with their probable origins. (chart printed with Family Tree Maker 2014)

surnames 5 gen

Crawford — Scottish, English and Northern IRISH

Foster — English

Hammond – English

Ralston – Scottish

Currey — Scottish or IRISH

Burke — IRISH, English, Norway,or German

Hutchinson – Northern English

Harding – English

Briles – German

Thompson – English

Ricketts – English

Christy – Scottish / Northern IRISH

Mentzer – German

Minnick – IRISH

Wells – English

Crandall – Scottish

According to Forebears, my Crawford line originated in Scotland: “Local. First assumed by the proprietor of the lands and barony of Crawford, in Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

Even though my Ancestry DNA ethnicity is only 3% IRISH, five of the lines from my 5 generation pedigree could be IRISH. Interestingly, I also have 5 Scottish lines but Scottish isn’t listed as an ethnicity.

A little searching of Ancestry forums revealed why my report doesn’t include my Scottish origins:


So, I’ll find some GREEN to wear today and celebrate my IRISH origins!

Found at Last!

In trying to help a fellow researcher with their Wells family, I’ve been going back thru my Wells line to make sure that I have the census records on the descendants of Ozias Wells from 1850 to about 1900. In the process, I have finally found Thurston Kennedy Wells in 1860 — AND — he is in Kansas! This supports family legend but I hadn’t been able to prove it before.

Tonight, I did a search for William Wells born in 1857 and lo and behold there is a William Wells born in 1857 and a Franklin Wells born in 1854 and a K T Wells born about 1830 living in KANSAS TERRITORY! They are living in a household with James Londers age 60 who was born in Pennsylvania and his daughters, Martha age 15 and Sarah age 17. Also in the household is Benj. M. White age 42 who was born in Indiana. My initial reaction is that James Londers and Benj White are not relatives but I will have to do more digging to verify that.

The census verifies that William Wells, age 3, was born in Kansas. It also indicates that Franklin was born in Michigan. Since many other members of the Wells family migrated to Michigan from New York, it makes sense that this family also was in Michigan.

1860 US Census Lykins Kansas Territory showing K T Wells and Franklin and William

Wells Residency 1775-1785

A fellow researcher is looking for proof of residency for Nathaniel Wells who was married to Alinda Swain to complete an application to DAR.  The son of  Nathaniel and Mary Thurston Wells, the family was living in Saratoga County, New York in 1790. George, a brother to Nathaniel, married Eunice White in 1784 in Hadley Massachusetts.

Reference to military service from American Ancestors

nathanielwells military

DAR Patriot Index Information for Nathaniel and Polly (Thurston) Wells

nathaniel wells dar