Friday, 5 August 2016

Who's Harry?

I believe I now know the answer to this one, and an exciting journey it was too - well to those of us who are Genie and DNA addicts anyway, and of course those interested in our ANDREWS of Martock (Somerset, England) ancestry - which is rather giving the game away at the beginning.

March 2016 - cue an excellent set of DNA matches, reasonably close, between a newly loaded kit on, and several descendants of Simon and Jane (GIBSON) ANDREWS.
So why?

Correspondence with the match determined that her family tree did have an ANDREWS, deceased by 1958, father possibly Harry born about 1865. No place information provided. Was this a clue?
As yet, no indication that the DNA was definitely from her ANDREWS line, but definitely an indication from our side, thanks to all the matches to descendants of Simon and Jane.

Apr 2016 a kit from ancestry (another descendant of Simon and Jane) also uploaded to GEDMatch, and yet more matches

July 2016 sees yet another descendant of Simon and Jane tested, and yes, more matches.

Interest on where the match might fit has obviously grown. Time to explore the tree more.
What can we find out about Harry?

Harry proves remarkably record shy to date, even once we knew he lived in Michigan.Yes, there are census records which show him as born Canada - and his parents as born England (mostly, one says Canada) - so far so good. The records also show he was born abt 1861 or Jun 1862.
Then his death cert. threw a 1 Jan 1866 birth date into the works, with the very unhelpful information that his parents were unknown, as were their birth places, but that Harry himself was born "Goodrick, Ontario".

Were there any ANDREWS families with a son Harry born around 1861-1866, living in Goderich?

A William and Eliza/Elizabeth ANDREWS did indeed show up in the 1871 census of Ontario: born England, son Henry aged 12, so born about 1859 - but not with the family in the 1861 census!
What is it about Henry/Harry that causes so much age confusion?
Did any of the trees online have anything about Henry son of William and Eliza after the 1871 census?
But the family did indeed look promising, particularly when one of the trees not only showed William and Eliza as both born in Somerset, but also that they married in Martock.

This just had to be the right family.
But can we prove that William is a relation of Simon's and that their Henry is indeed Harry?
It was looking increasingly likely, particularly given that Simon has a brother William of the right age that we didn't have any sight of beyond the 1841 census.
Census information for William and Eliza in Ontario showed they emigrated about 1844/5 so were easily missed when searching English records, and as yet no death cert. can be found to provide a link back to his parents, just a headstone with his dates.

The first step was easy enough, although it took time - why oh why does England not have electronic BDM certficates? Postage is so S L O W, particularly now that our postal service is down to every second day delivery.

William and Eliz's marriage cert. did indeed show his father was a John ANDREWS, weaver, and threw in a pair of witnesses that belonged to the family, William and Simon's brother Abraham and his wife Mary Ann (nee CHANT), to clinch the identification.

How was this missed when previous researchers had combed the Martock parish registers?
Easy really, they were married at the Ebenezer Chapel in Bower Hinton, not the established church.
It's still exists.

So far so good.
But can we prove the link from Henry born about 1859, or possibly 1861/2 ish, or even 1866, in Goderich, to Harry in Harbor Beach, Michigan by 1910?

If anyone can find Harry's marriage cert. to Barbara SWACKHAMER, or where he was in either the 1880 US census or the 1881 Canadian one, or anything/anywhere after the Canadian 1871 census and prior to the 1900 Michigan census, please do share!

In the meantime, ancestry trees came up trumps yet again.
One in particular had little notes that indicated family information, as opposed to straight research, might be available.
The tree however showed Henry, fate unknown.
But what's more important, the poster actually replied to a message.
Although Bill said he didn't think he could help with my quest, he did enclose his grandmother's notes on the family.
His grandmother was the granddaughter of William and Eliza via their son Walter, and had written up notes on the assorted children of William and Eliza, along with their children.
The notes started with the information that William was from a family of weavers, and that two of his older siblings had left England, one to New Zealand (that has to be Simon) and one to Australia (bit puzzled by that one, but this is currently assumed to actually be Eliza's sister and her husband who emigrated to Australia - which I only happen to know via one of those little coincidences of genie life in that the sister's husband's brother is the ancestor of a friend of mine - and we've only just figured this out thanks to this investigation!).
Reading on, the following jumped out at me:
"Harry had a family in Harbor Beach. He is dead"

I'm convinced. 
Are you?

Thank you newfound cousin Bill.

My ANDREWS page will be undergoing an update, and DNASurnames now also includes an ANDREWS DNA section to show some of the predicted atDNA relationships compared to the actual distance from John and Rebecca ANDREWS along with the utter variability of who actually shows up as matches.

Enjoy, this journey has been fun. Now to explore the rest of the Canadian and Michigan branches of the ANDREWS/WINES family.

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