Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nothing but Good News to end the Year with!

It's been a really good year for genealogy :)! I've had several major breakthroughs. I received the final DNA test results for my Uncle Charles Forgey. At 37 markers he mismatched Roger Forgey by only one marker. That is described by FT DNA as a "Tight Match". They say very few people achieve that close a match. My family and Roger share a common ancestor back in 1732 when our shared ancestor Andrew Forgey was born. I only had circumstantial evidence of this before. Now the DNA backs this up. Really very satisfying! I had no idea they would match that close considering two other testers confirmed to share a common ancestor in the 1720's mismatched by 4 markers at 37 markers. If that had happened in our case it would have led to second thoughts about our relationship. 
The one mismatch with Roger was a mutation occurring in our line. It was not shared by our other testers either. The single mutation made a big difference as far as the number of matches my Uncle got versus Roger. My Uncle got sixteen matches and he got 30 matches. That one mutation cut the matches by half.

These are our results to date.

I made a happy discovery in my ancestry messages. I don't check that message box very often. I didn't notice a message had been there since September about a Joshua Hicks book. It's available at Lulu and Amazon . I purchased the digital copy a few day ago. It's really excellent. I was thrilled to find a picture of a many times great grandmother Nancy Melvin-Hicks. I have been researching her family extensively, so seeing a picture was a wonderful treat!  I believe she is the earliest ancestor I have a picture of. She was born in 1806. I do plan on doing more research on her in the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Canvas a Boring, Expensive Family History Book?

I have been trying out the My Canvas family history book creator at You can view my own project here View Annette's project.
You can use any family tree you have uploaded to Ancestry to create your book. You can also use any documents and photos you have stored there too. Using their book designer is a little tricky. Creating a book is very time consuming. You can only add 4 generations initially. You can then continue adding new pages with more generations.
It definitely could be more user friendly. For instance you have the option to upload 3 or 4 generations at a time. There should be an option for fewer, because you may end up with many more pages than you actually want. You may end up with to many time lines especially. I think I would only want a time line for key people. I can't imagine wanting a time line for every individual. So you have to go in and delete the pages you don't want. Very time consuming. More options for adding pages, and deleting several at a time would be helpful.
Adding text is a pain too. This is designed to be more of a picture book than a real Family History.
I've uploaded a few examples of the pages I created here. The family group sheet is above. The first two below are examples of individual time lines. Too bad you can't insert more events and years. You are stuck with their default events. There isn't a military confederate background either. Don't know if confederates would want Lincoln on their time line?
If you are creative and have time on your hands you can get a very nice final product. Otherwise the basic book is not worth the expense.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Software Generated Family History

I've been comparing software generated modified descendant registers for creating a Family History. You can generate a book using this report. Once you've produced your report you can upload it to Internet Archive and share it with family.
I started out by using my own Rootsmagic program. I used the modified register report and added more photos for family members. It produced a nice layout, with lots of detail included in the family group layout. It also produced an index which is so helpful.

Rootsmagic Modified Descendant Register

I also downloaded a free trial of The Family Historian software. I created another modified register here. It produced a slightly different layout. I believe that company is based in the UK where they have a different protocol for the arrangement of the data. Rootsmagic provided more details for individuals at the family group level, whereas, Family Historian only gave date ranges, and no spouse info at this level. I could not manipulate the pictures in the Rootsmagic program, but could with Family Historian. I was able to make the pictures small, medium and large. I could also move them. I later found out I could change the size of the pictures at Rootsmagic by going into settings then options, and resizing them. I don't think you can move them in Rootsmagic?
Family Historian.

I like the uncluttered, neater, layout Family Historian produced. It's easier for family members to read. Here is the copy I contributed to Internet Archive: . Genealogists would probably prefer a more detail oriented layout like Rootsmagic.
I also tried Ancestral Quest's Modified Register which produced this layout:
Ancestral Quest
This report did not include spouses at the family group level. It's interesting that it did give info about sex. It's not as attractive as the other reports but readable. The default picture size is small.

Ancestral Quest  Index
Ancestral Quest like Rootsmagic generates an index. The index is even more detailed than Rootsmagic giving the ID number of each individual in addition to the page number and dates.
Legacy seems to generate a report similar to Ancestral Quest. It does have a more attractive layout with a larger default picture size.

It appears that the Legacy modified register doesn't have an index either.
Here is a sample of the same sort of report produced by The Master Genealogist:
The Master Genealogist Descendant Narrative

This report provides a substantial amount of info about individuals. It reads more like a word processor style document; the layout is basic no frills. 
I like the Rootsmagic and Family Historian layouts the best. I think the Rootsmagic version is excellent. The Family Historian layout is good to give to family members not that familiar with genealogy. They can quickly scan the info which is very simply layed out. Too much info, too cluttered may put off those not familiar with genealogy. 
I found out that I could add biographical info using comments. Without the biographical info these reports can be about as interesting as reading a phone book. I also found it may be necessary to remove some of the facts and events you may have in your database. These can result in very odd sentences. You may also get a sentence that reads "undefined sentence." That means you need to remove a bit of information connected to that person. It's best to use notes/comments to give info about Military Service etc. Sources may come out jumbled also. It's probably best not to activate sources for reports for those not familiar with genealogy. You can include some important sources in notes.
It is good to print and read a narrative report like this. I found many mistakes on my gedcom. It's difficult to spot mistakes unless you create a narrative. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa and my Grandfather had the same Handwriting

In 1936 my mother received this dictionary from Santa Claus :D with the inscription "From Santa Claus Dec. 25- 1936

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Forgey Slept with Abraham Lincoln's....

Cousin! Or so the story goes? It all hinges on a 15 year old WIDOW who married a 50 year old man, and an Indian Prince?  I found this juicy family story at findagrave. This is what it says: "Mary Ann Hanks was the daughter of John & Elizabeth Hanks. She was born October 05, 1827 in McMinn County, Tennessee. Family legends has it that Mary Ann was married for a brief time to and Indian prince by the name of Forgey? but that has never been confirmed and they had no children. Mary Ann was then married to William T. McCallie of Chattanooga,Tennessee on September 18, 1842, This was a strange union because William T. 50 at the time and Mary Ann was only 15." I immediately performed a logic, credibility test on this interesting yarn. It didn't seem to pass the test :). I know the Forgeys of McMinn, TN were not Native American. John Forgey's, progenitor of this McMinn Clan, descendant Roger has been DNA tested and is of Scots-Irish heritage. His wife, Nancy Armstrong, was born in Prince Edward County, VA and her family wasn't Native American either. I have not run across a fifteen year old widow in my family research either? A connection was also made between Mary Ann Hanks and Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks. All of this smacked of someone trying to establish a connection to Abraham Lincoln's family, and hence all these unlikely facts.
Well I may have given up the research there, if not for fellow genealogy researcher Karen De Groote. She was able to find more about the Hanks family which adds credibility to this incredible story. She found a reference to John Hanks Will, which did mention a daughter Mary. He also mentioned a wife Elizabeth in the will. John Hanks does says he was born in North Carolina on the 1860 US Census. I was able to find the supposed to connection in this family and Abraham Lincoln in this tree at Rootsweb
So my personal connection to the Hanks family would be that my ancestor Hugh Forgey would have been the Uncle of  the Forgey male who married Mary Ann Hanks. Mary Ann would have been a several  times great-grand daughter of  William Hanks born 1654, and the several times great-granddaughter of Nancy Hanks-Lincoln. So the cousin relationship would not be very close between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Ann, being that they shared a common ancestor in 1654, in North Farnham, Richmond Co., VA.  
My connection is tenuous at best, lol, to the Hanks Family and Abraham Lincoln.. I will take any possible connection to Lincoln, however. I have not been able to find a marriage so far between a Mary Hanks and a Forgey so far. John Forgey and Nancy Armstrong do have some unidentified sons, per the 1820 and 1830 Census's. So can I add Abraham Lincoln to our family tree. NOT Yet lol.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More DNA results plus Serendipity

Both Roger and Darren have now tested positive for Isles Scottish Clade I2b1a1 M284 L126.  M284 probably originated in the British Isles around 2000 years ago. The L126 SNP is most frequent in South West Scotland and probably originated there over one thousand years ago.
These tests also confirm the Forgey/ Forgys were originally Ferguson. The name Ferguson in Gaelic, and not Norman, so I had always figured the family was not Norman.
My uncles, Charles Linn Forgey's, 25 markers have also come back. I was thrilled yesterday to find out that he matched Roger with no mismatches. Exact match so far!
Serendipity It was seven years ago this month ( December 23, 2004 to be exact) when Roger Forgey first contacted me by email.  This is what he wrote:
"Annette, I am beginning the search to figure out my Forgey line and go back as far as I can. My name is Roger Forgey ..... There are several of our family members in Cleveland, Tennessee and Harrison Tennessee. These are about 70 south of Knoxville Tennessee. My father's name was John Milburn Forgey and grandfather's name was John Melborne Forgey and his father was Dave Forgey. I don't have a lot of information but am trying to start. I would appreciate all the advice you might give me...
I am so glad he decided to contact me :)! That was a stroke of good luck for me. I was not able to answer his question right away, and it actually took me several years to figure out which line he belonged to. I worked out which line he belonged to in 2010. I was going through Carla Rotmans's pedigrees online and noticed John Milburn Forgey, and the fact the family lived in McMinn, TN  (apparently Lucille Wallace had them as descendants of James Forgey and Fidelia Alderson, which can be disproven using the 1850 Census.). So I began doing some research on the Forgeys of McMinn, TN. I found a Nancy Forgey, daughter of an Armstrong, in some online McMinn County, TN records. There were references to Hawkins County, TN. Apparently her father died there and she was from there. 
So bingo; we now had a connection to the Forgey family of Hawkins County, TN. From there I took a brief detour, and put the family in the wrong line. I found an Andrew Forgey listed on some of the 1829+ taxlists. I also found a John listed later. So I thought Andrew son of Margaret Reynolds migrated there with his son John. Later I discovered my error when I found out Andrew died in Hawkins County, TN and John was still in Hawkins County, TN in 1840. So I eliminated that possibility.  
From "Tennessee Cousins" Book

I went back to the drawing board. I could not figure out the connection immediately. I did remember something about Nancy Forgey I photo copied years before. I could never place her with a particular Forgey male, and all the marriage records had been lost for that time period. By 2010 I had been able to find the wives of all the Forgey males in eastern TN except John Forgey (uncle of the John I mentioned previously). So he became my focus. I believed John Forgey, or Forga as listed on the 1820 Census for Maury County, TN, was the same man I was looking for. He did not appear on any Census's after 1820. Apparently he died after the 1820 Census. I did later find Nancy Forgey with her children living near Armstrong siblings in McMinn, TN. When I compared the number of children in John and Nancy's households they seemed to match very well. With that plus the fact that the name John was used in the family for generations I felt I was on the right track. I then remembered a letter that Hugh Crawford had written in the 1830's about John Forgey's son Andrew dying; this clinched the likelihood I had the right person. An Andrew Forgey was on  taxlists in 1829+ in McMinn, TN and did not appear after 1834 when Hugh Crawford said he had died. I feel the circumstantial case is very good. Now we also have DNA on that line backing up our assumptions.
By collaborating we have been able to further all our lines, and become acquainted with some new cousins. It's been a very rewarding in so many ways :)!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Timeline Helps Clarify Alexander and Andrew lines

What I've learned from the timeline Going over everything yet again I found still more facts I missed before. In the process of verifying dates I discovered my error regarding James Forgey's year of birth. I was thinking it was 1766, but it was 1764. This bolsters my belief that he was the one who purchased the land warrant in 1788, for the 500 acres on Flat Creek in Knox County, TN. I had some misgivings about such a young man making such a large purchase. Now that I know he was a couple years older I feel more confident.
James Forgey's father Andrew Forgey also owned land on Flat Creek, Knox County, TN. His brother, Hugh, did also. His sister Margaret Roberts lived on Flat Creek too. James was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and may have donated land for Washington Pike Church.
Another thing that came to light was the fact that Alexander Forgey sold his 250 acre share of the 500 acre grant one month after purchasing it. That was in January of 1803. In 1807 he bought it back. He then sold it once and for all in 1815 but continued to live in Knox County until the 1830's.
If my transcription of the 1806 Tax list for Knox County, TN is correct then Alexander and Andrew Forgey were sharing a 321 acre tract on Flat Creek? They were both taxed for the same tract.
It still looks like most of the Forgeys in East Tennessee, early on, were descendants of Andrew Forgey and Margaret Reynolds, with Andrew and Alexander set apart with an unknown relationship to the others.
This should be a good cheat sheet because I could never remember exactly what happened when.
Below you can see my Timeline. You can click on each one to enlarge. Andrew Forgey husband of Margaret Reynolds is 1. Andrew. Andrew Forgey of Maury County is 2. Andrew. 1. Alexander is the older one of Washington County, VA. 2. Alexander is the one who settled in Tippecanoe, IN.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Was their father James, John or Alexander?

Children of Andrew and Alexander Forgey
As I stated in my previous post we have not proven who Andrew and Alexander Forgey's father was? Both men show up out of the blue in Knox County, TN records in 1802; with Alexander making his first appearance in March of 1802 when he serves on a Jury. Andrew makes his first appearance in the records in December 1802 with his land purchase. Several of Andrew's children are thought to have been born in Knox County. One child as early as 1795. So if that is true we know Andrew arrived there before we find him in any records.
The ages of Alexander and Andrew are important to keep in mind when looking at the records I cite below. Alexander's year of birth is given as 1779 in a family bible. Andrew's year of birth can only be estimated. In 1820 he was said to be over 45, according to the census of that year. Taking in to consideration the fact his oldest child was born about 1795, this would put his year of birth somewhere between 1770 and 1774.
I've reexamined the deeds regarding the 500 acre land grant. The authors of the Sawyers Harris family history found this land grant for James Forgey and assumed that since he was older he was the father of the younger men found in the local records. James later sells the land to Andrew and Alexander, in 1802. The way it's divided 50/50 sounds like a possibility of father deeding to sons. The problems that tend to lead a person in another direction is the statement James Forgey of Hawkins County grants to Andrew and Alexander of Knox County, TN. There is also no hint as to what the relationship the seller is to the buyers. Alexander pays $100 dollars for 250 acres which would be equivalent to about $1700 today. That would be quite a bit of money to pay your father for land which you would likely inherit after his death? I read Andrew's deed over again also. His is more puzzling, and does not give a dollar amount just says for "valuable consideration".
We have a father to son deed for Andrew of Hawkins County to his son Andrew Forgey Jr.. I've copied that one and Alexander's deed below to show the stark difference in tone.

They are a little difficult to read, but basically state Andrew received the land from his father for "love and parental affection." Whereas the deeds given to Alexander and Andrew do not contain that kind of wording? Another blow to the case for father deeding to sons.
1794 Taxlist Washington County, Va, 3 men in household
Who else is confirmed to be in the area at the time, in the age range, to be their father? My feeling has been that Alexander Forgey of Washington County, VA would be the best candidate. Alexander said he was born in Virginia and his name being Alexander means he could have been a Junior? This would make Alexander and Andrew first cousins of the other Forgeys in the area. Of course there are always discrepancies. We do not find either Alexander or Andrew on any of the tax lists for Washington County. VA? From the time Alexander, the older, purchases his property, until the time it was sold we only see young men in the household twice. Alexander sells his property and leaves the area in 1796. So Alexander would be too young to be included in the tax lists to 1796. But Andrew should appear if he lived in the area at that point, because I believe he would have been old enough? An explanation for this would be that Andrew Forgey left home and the area at a very young age? Can't locate a Will for Alexander Forgey, the older. Another fact which might point away from this possible connection is the fact Andrew did not have a son named Alexander. Although he may have a one and he died as a young child?
Another possible candidate would be a John Forgey who died in the early 1790's either in Hawkins County, or Knox County, TN. James Forgey filed a probate for him in Hawkins County in 1793. He also sued a Joseph Beard on behalf of the estate in Knox County, TN in 1793. The fact he brought suit against someone in Knox County leads me to believe John may have lived there at some point? So could John have been a son of Alexander Forgey, the older and father to Andrew and Alexander?  We know he is not Andrew Forgey and Margaret Reynolds's son because they had a son who lived at least until the 1820s. We do not find a John Forgey with Andrew and Alexander in their early years in this country. So we are left to assume this could be a son of Alexander who came of age at a later date. We do not find him on the 1774 Taxlist for Cumberland County, PA like we find Andrew and the older Alexander. So we assume he was too young in that year. We do not find John on taxlists for Washington County, VA either in the 1780's which we might expect. He could have been in Tennessee by that point? We do not find him purchasing land in Tennessee, or in any of the records until he is listed as deceased. Not having any further info regarding him it's hard to say whether he is their father or brother? He looks more like a possible brother however.
Arguments can be made for and against all of these men as fathers for Andrew and Alexander. It could be that they came to this Country without their parents at all? More research needs to be done. Going over everything again I noticed that both Alexander and Hugh Forgey sued Absalom Hankins. Hugh was involved in a suit with him in Knox County in January of 1801, and Alexander sued him in April 1802. Anyone interested in these lines may want to get more info on Alexander's lawsuits in Knox County. I have not looked at all of the sales deeds for Alexander Forgey, they might be useful too? More research in Maury County may be helpful too.
Andrew and wife Elen witnessed deed in Knox County, TN 1806

Friday, December 9, 2011

Alexander G. Forgey, Do We Have the Best Sources?

Is this proven I've written about Alexander G. Forgey in this blog before. I said I believed that he and Andrew Forgey of Maury County were likely brothers and could be sons of Alexander Forgey of Virginia. The Sawyers Harris Family history purports to document his family history. It was written in 1913 by Madison Monroe Harris and William Randolph Carter (I've embedded a copy below) .
I've been going through the info in this book regarding his early history. According to the book he is the son of a James Forgey who entered 500 acres on Flat Creek, in Knox County, TN and lived on that land from 1792. It is odd that I have not been able to find a James Forgey in Knox County, TN court records if he lived there from this early date? This is very unusual since every male at some point served on a Jury.
I immediately find more holes in this family history. As you can read above, James was said to have had four sons. Alexander, Hugh, Andrew and James. We know for a fact that Alexander and Andrew are closely associated. We find them witnessing documents, buying land next to each other on Flat Creek. There is never a James involved with any of them other than one described as living in Hawkins County, TN. There is never any evidence of a James Forgey living in Knox County, TN.  The authors conclusion that Alexander had a brother James came from the fact that a James Forgy family had also settled in Northern Indiana, like Alexander G. later did. There was no basis in fact for this. As it turns out this James Forgey family did not come from Tennessee at all. It was just a coincidence they settled in the same area. Lucille Wallace also came to the conclusion that the James mentioned by the Sawyers Harris author, as the son of James brother to Alexander, was not.
Another misidentification occurred regarding Hugh Forgey. Hugh Forgey was not Alexander G.'s brother at all. The Hugh Forgey living on Flat Creek was the son of Andrew Forgey and Margaret Reynolds. Hugh Crawford, grandson of Andrew and Margaret and born 1806 Knox County, TN, wrote in his Journal that his Uncle Hugh Forgey lived in Knox County, TN. 
At the face of it you would think the authors had a good sources for the family history. They tell us that James Forgey migrated early from Virginia to the Flat Creek area. Sounds like they knew what they were talking about? Actually since Alexander was said to have been born in Virginia this was likely the basis for that statement . It was just another assumption.
In 1802 James Forgey sold two equal portions of his 500 acre grant to Alexander G. and Andrew. This deed does not say anything about relationships. The land was sold to these men not given away to them. The price could not be called hugely discounted either. These deeds damage the circumstantial case that James was likely their father. The deed portion I copied above states that James Forgey of Hawkins County, TN is selling to Alexander Forgey of Knox County, TN. Well James Forgey of Hawkins County, TN brings to mind only one person that is James son of Andrew and Margaret. Not Alexander G.'s father at all. James was known to have purchased large land grants which he did not live on. He appears to have bought them for speculation. James being in Alexander G.'s age range seems to point to a cousin relationship.
The only source for the James Forgey as Alexander's father appears to be the Sawyers Harris book which Lucille Wallace later quotes. I have seen nothing else. The only source mentioned in the Sawyers Harris Family History is the 500 acre land grant on Flat Creek. More than this is definitely needed.
I can see where a circumstantial case might be built around the land grant, but this is not supported by the sales deeds. A family history is not a good source since they can be notoriously wrong when it comes to  early generations. Building a good foundation for a family history requires several primary sources. One deed just isn't enough. We need some proof that there were two James Forgeys living in the Eastern Tennessee area at the same time, and nothing points to this so far. However we do know that James Forgey of Hawkins County, TN uncle Alexander Forgey sold his property in Washington County, VA in 1796 and disappears? So does Alexander Forgey relocate to Knox County with two sons?
So has anyone proven who Alexander G.'s father is? No. Should we continue to search? Yes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Forgey Autograph Collection and A Forgey is DNA Testing with

New Test Location Brandon Forgey is testing with His father is testing with Family Tree DNA . This is the Maury County, TN Forgey family. It should be interesting to compare their results. None of the Forgeys have tested with Ancestry so far. We'll see what kind of matches they come up with. I believe the Maury County, TN Forgeys are closely related to Alexander Forgey of Tippecanoe, Indiana.
I am always excited to find examples of the handwriting of our early family members. As you can see below everyone had a very distinctive signature. I can always spot Hugh's signature because of the way he forms his H, a very unusual style. I tried to copy his H and it took me a few tries. Everyone had their own distinctive tail loops on the g and y in Forgey, I am not used to writing a cursive F. The F is kind of a tricky and everyone forms it a little differently. When I analyze whether one of the  Forgeys actually signed something I check previous confirmed signatures paying attention to the loop tail and the form of the F. James Forgey's signature is always difficult to read, so his name may sometimes indexed wrong?
My Grandfather Charles Forgey b. 1898

My Great Uncle Cecil Clair Forgey

Archibald Forgey b. abt 1790 of Scott County, Virginia likely son of Hugh

Andrew Forgey Sr. b. 1732 would likely be my several times Great-Grandfather
James Forgey son of Andrew Senior

Hugh Forgey my several times great grandfather son of Andrew Forgey Senior

John Forgey of Hawkins and Shelby Counties, TN
 son of Andrew Jr. (nephew of John of McMinn)