Friday, 19 March 2010

19th: More RUNCIMANs

With the DNA project showing that the William of Crail line is a good match to my Earlston/Wanton Walls RUNCIMAN line, I'm beginning to check up on some of the NZ branches of the former.
One web search brought up this from the Presbyterian archives:
Photographs 1861-1870:
Green Island Parish, Dunedin
First Office-Bearers, Green Island.
Montage Of First Office-Bearers Of Green Island Presbyterian Church, Elected In 1862; Incl ;
- Richard Runciman; James Runciman; James Neill; John Johnson; David Howden; David Andrew; William Martin; John Blair.
c.1870 Ref: P-S11-22
Which I'm sure I've seen before, when I was researching the HOWDENs who married into my HENDERSON tree!
Richard is father of James RUNCIMAN, and the grandson of William of Crail.
David HOWDEN is the father of the James who married Isabella HENDERSON.
Think this comes into small world territory.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

18th: Michigan RUNCIMANs

A descendant of the other branch of Michigan RUNCIMANs has popped out of the woodwork, so there have been some updates published on the chart for James and Isabella (CARTER) RUNCIMAN - more to come.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Back in 1994 I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Nichol Forest in Cumberland, where my TURNBULL ancestors (great grandmother Ellen TURNBULL and her parents) came from, and to research them in the Carlisle Record Office.
While there I noted any likely looking information that may at some stage connect, even if I didn't know exactly how, where or when at the time.
One such was the 1842 will of Walter of Megsmire (which place I visited, or at least where I decided it probably was from census data). It was a very detailed will, and sexist (but of its time), dividing his moss up into sixths, with each of five sons getting one sixth but three daughters sharing the remaining sixth.
Walter survived to appear in the 1841 census as a 75 year old, but that didn't lead me to match him up to the known Nichol Forest families.
Yesterday however George, a descendant, provided me with a copy of Walter's 1842 death cert, which gave his age as 80, and an added impetus to try again, given that between then and now much more research on TURNBULL baptisms had occurred.
I now believe Walter to be the son of James TURNBULL & Betty BELL, and baptised in 1762 (at Canonbie). This makes George and I 7th cousins, which has taken us at least 9 years of (very) intermittent correspondence trying to prove our relationship via the TURNBULLs.

With both yesterday's news re Lester LESLIE aka Jack WALSH, and this TURNBULL reshuffle, my webpages have been updated, and the next batch of changes included in my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson (Walter has been shifted from LornaPotential, which has also had an update, as has the data I contribute to OneGreatFamily, which can include other families unrelated to me, but of relevance to the FAIRBAIRN and RUNCIMAN DNA projects and One Name Studies - FAIRBAIRN, RUNCIMAN).

I even had a rush of blood to my head and also gave the much less often updated Rootsweb pages a refresh. They don't contain as much supplementary information as my main pages, but will hopefully still exist long after I've ceased paying for my own domain name.

16th: The power of mtDNA

For all my work on Surname dna projects, which by their very nature concentrate on the Y chromosome and direct male lineages, mtDNA has really paid off in the extended DAWE family.
Back in Feb 2009, Anne, the wife one of my (many) DAWE relations, contacted me as I she had been contacted by Tim Lycett of the Fromelles project asking about a Leslie LEISTER aka Jack W(alsh) WHITEMAN.
(the link probably still shows Leslie as the son of his adopted parents, his uncle and aunt Robert Watson Donald LEISTER and Elizabeth WAY)

Tim believed, after extensive research, that his Fromelles database mystery Jack WALSH was probably Leslie LEISTER, the son of Sarah Jane Way born after her husband Robert Henry Whiteman had died and shortly before she married John Young in 1894.

The Fromelles project needed mtDNA candidates that should prove a match to Leslie aka Jack, of which we had at least one genealogist in the family immediately identified (who agreed).
In the time between then and now Leslie aka Jack's short life (he died aged 22 in 1916) has been further researched, and closer relatives tracked down, with Anne keeping us all posted on progress.

Today, emails have been flying with notification that despite the great odds against any of the bodies in the mass grave at Fromelles being able to ever be identified, Leslie's has (one of 75 identified so far).
We have a mtDNA match with direct female line descendants of Sarah DAWE (daughter of William Smith DAWE and Mary WAY).
Quoting Tim in an email to us all:
"I have to say that finding out Leslie (aka Jack) has been identified has provided me with the greatest sense of satisfaction of all.

Virtually everyone in 'officialdom' had given up hope due to the fact that he was adopted and given a new name but we were determined to do our best. It took months of hard slog and lateral thinking to sort it out and with the wonderful assistance from yourselves, we have finally been able to give him back his identity."

Leslie LEISTER aka Jack Walsh WHITEMAN, (13 Aug 1894 - 20 Jul 1916) R.I.P.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Can resist everything but tempatation (and wine and chocolate and..)

Couldn't resist also updating the front end to my RUNCIMAN families as a result of yesterday's findings.
William of Crail has been included as well as a descendant chart of some of his family (by no means complete).

Friday, 12 March 2010

12th: An interesting day

Life is still interfering far too much and stopping me from indulging in my genealogy obsession, but today I couldn't resist any longer.
A full set of new RUNCIMAN DNA results were available, with a 12/12 match to the next set due - which was fully expected, given the paper trails, but always a relief to have confirmed, with no blips down the generations.
However, the real excitement of this was that this family line has vindicated the effort I put into helping a group of researchers from the line of William of Crail, even though I didn't really think there was any connection to my lot (the weavers of Earlston, and farmers of Wanton Walls).
They have turned out to be an excellent match - so farmers and fisher folk DO sometimes mix and match after all, despite my quite long held theory over several family lines and many generations.
The icing on this particular cake will be to finally find a willing representative amongst the descendants of Thomas and Alison(GRIEVE) RUNCIMAN to (dis)prove my current theory that William of Crail is Thomas' brother. Any takers? There must be some out there somewhere willing to help.
And then to cap all of that, I also noticed that partial results were in for the confirmed representative for the line of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN, and again, thankfully, it looks like there have been no blips down the generations AND they are showing a good match so far as expected, to Lineage 1 "clump 1".

Friday, 5 March 2010

5th: In the absence of substantial research

Been too busy with real life of late but felt I had to pass on this interestingly odd snippet from one of our esteemed newspapers.

We have an Arts Festival on at the moment, one of the Fringe items is based on a family book of Scottish songs c 1800s, with the artist reported as having a connection with Scotland because her great grandparents were cotton farmers there.
My idea of the Scottish climate has just altered dramatically!!