Thursday, February 28, 2013

My WDYTYA Progress

The black marks represent the shows I've seen. I've managed to see a number so far.
A goal of mine is trying to watch as many of the WDYTYA UK episodes as I can. It's a challenge in the US since I can't watch them at the BBC site. I check Youtube frequently for any I still haven't seen. The quality of the UK shows is generally excellent.
Happy to hear that it looks like TLC picked up the US version of WDYTYA !
I think I've now caught up on The Generations Project episodes.
When nothing else is going on I've been watching Yale University Courses at Youtube.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sadistic Sunday

I have spent many an hour pondering naming patterns in families (I think some of these families might get sadistic pleasure watching us beat our heads against the wall looking for naming patterns LOL). Figuring out who belongs with who can be challenging when you have many individuals carrying the same first and last names. For instance I counted about 3 men named Andrew Forgey living not far from one another in Tennessee at the same time. All descended from a common Scots-Irish family, and tended to name their children from a selection of a few common first names. After separating the individuals based on ages and land purchases, spouses etc. I was then able to differentiate between them. Like I said in my previous posts I came to rely on naming patterns to help confirm I was tracing the family back correctly. I had not dealt that much with families in the latter part of the 19th century because my family was well documented in that time period, and I never encountered a brickwall until the time period before 1850. Working on someone elses brickwall at that point in time caused me to shift my usual techniques as far as looking at naming patterns.
It interesting to see my early Forgey male ancestors were named after their grandfathers so they alternated the names every generation between Hugh and Andrew. So for 4 generations my ancestors were Hugh, Andrew, Hugh, Andrew (see above).
When I collaborate with another researcher on these early lines figuring out which James or Andrew Forgey they are referring to can be challenging. If someone approaches me with very little information other than a name it can take us a while to figure who this individual is. Many men carried these names and they were located in many different states.
Unusual first names have been so helpful in researching my family. The use of  Lockey, Villourous and Vandover in the Wray family have caused that family to stick out in the crowd. I was wondering if the name Vashti was a peculiar family name because I just ran across that name recently (when I see a peculiar name I wonder if they made it up LOL). I was watching an episode of last years Generations Project and that name was brought up. Apparently it is a biblical name. So it's not a name invented by a particular family. I believe another name, Pulcherry, was a named invented by one of my ancestral families but I am not sure?
According to My Heritage  John , James and Mary are the most common names on my family tree. Mary and it's variations were often used in my family because many lines were Catholic. I had many Marie, Marias in Quebec and Austria. We still have a lot of males named James in the family. To the right is a list of names used in my family and there popularity in my family according to My Heritige . The larger the print the more frequently it was used.
I've always enjoyed studying and sometimes laughing at the first names I've run across doing my research. Names like Missy Moffat make research entertaining.

Here are a few of the James Forgeys from Carla Rotmans' site

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nobody is helping with names!

First names are quite helpful in tracing families in early America. I have noticed that the immigrant generations to America generally used traditional family names when it came to naming their children. After about 3 generations they no longer followed the traditional patterns of naming. It did vary according to ethnicity and the inclinations of individual families. I was a little skeptical that James Forgety might be the son of Bartholomew and Virginia because none of his children carried these names. When I looked at his likely siblings none of them used their parents names either. I then remembered that around the turn of the twentieth century none of my families used names previously used by the family either. They began using names popular at the time. Below are 4 generations in my family. The images can be enlarged by clicking on them. In the early 19th Century it was popular to name children after famous figures in military and political life. It was also popular to name children after the parents themselves, and their grandparents. By the end of the 19th Century none of the early names were carried on in my family.
My Forgey grandparents used popular names such a Edna, and they decided to name all the boys names beginning with a C. So we have Cecil Clair, Charles Lynn (my grandfather), and Claude Applewhite. Later my Aunt Diane Kapple decided to name all her children names beginning with J. We have James, Judy. Jerry, and John. So these naming practices no longer aid in placing individuals in families. If I don't find similar names to previous generations I am no longer skeptical.

Here we see some traditional Scots-Irish first names used by an immigrant family.

Here we see Hugh and Catherine using the names of their parents i.e. Archibald and Andrew.

Here we see Andrew and Anna passing along several family names. Hugh the oldest is named after his grandfather. Jacob Roller Forgey is named after his grandfather whose surname was Roller and First name Jacob. George, Eleanor, Elias were siblings of Anna Roller/Forgey. 

This is my great-grandfather an his family in 1910 Jackson County, Indian. None of these names come from previous generations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Inference to the best explanation

In philosophical reasoning inference to the best explanation means that your conclusion may or may not be correct. At this point placing James Forgety with the Pulaski, VA family seems like the most logical placement. This may turn out to be true of false? I laid out other possible parents earlier. A DNA test would rule out the Forgey family if one of the Forgetys would take the time to test. A $39 12 marker Y DNA test would be enough.
This is what we definitely know about James Forgety.

  1. He married in Hawkins County, TN on 18 March 1879. That is the earliest date we can find him there.
  2. In 1880 he is in Bristol, Washington County, VA. His likely brother Samuel was also in Washington County, VA in 1880. His likely brother John was in Bristol, Washington County, VA in 1900.
  3. In 1900 he is back in Hawkins County, TN living not far from Ellen Forgarty likely sister.
  4. We know he was not James Reynolds Forgey as he was previously identified as being. The above grave markers attest to the fact that James Forgety died in 1921 in Jefferson County, TN and James Reynolds Forgey died in neighboring Hamblen County, TN in 1936.
We still have the discrepancy regarding the fact that James Forgety always states his father was born in Tennessee. Another discrepancy is the fact that Ellen Fogarty of Hawkins County, TN is enumerated with a Sallie Fogarty in 1880 which I can't place.  It's possible this is actually Virginia? It's also possible Batholomew Forgaty remarried, and married someone named Sallie between 1870-1880? Below are the 1880 Census snippets for Sallie and Ellen 1880, Ellen 1900, Ellen 1910. Sallie disappears after 1880.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Evidentia Sifts Through Data

I've been trying to place Jame Forgety with his correct family. For years he was placed in the James Forgey and Rachel Miller family which turned out to be wrong. The Forgety family seemed to appear out of nowhere in 1880. Since they had to come from somewhere every piece of info on them had be analyzed for clues.
I was just recently introduced to the Evidentia program through some of DearMyrtle's webinars on the subject. The program allows you to enter claims made by documents. Every document collected for an ancestor can contain numerous claims about that person from birth to parentage and many others.
A wonderful feature of the programs allows you to float the claims box over each document so you can easily capture every claim on that document (see above). This process can bring out facts that you had not noticed. I hadn't noticed that James Forgety signed his marriage document with an X. It sounds like he could not spell his name so that is likely why so many different spellings were used. I decided to catalog all the spellings I found of the surname. When I did this I noticed that the name was unlikely ever spelled Forgey. The spelling was most often Forgaty or Forgety. This is also the spelling used for the Pulaski County, VA family. The Pulaski County family  surname was sometimes spelled Forgarty, Fogarty, and one time Forgatine. So phonetically it was generally For with optional endings. I generated the report below from Evidentia.
Now I am taking  a closer look at the Pulaski County, VA family of Bartholomew and Virginia Forgaty. They did have a son James. His spouse's name and whereabouts after 1870 are unknown?
The man we know to be our James Forgety states his occupation as farm laborer in 1880. The James Fogarty we find in the 1870 Pulaski County, VA Census with his parents Bartholomew and Virginia was also listed as a farm laborer. So we have a match there.
I found Samuel Forgety possible brother of James living in Washington County, VA in 1880 and Russell County, VA in 1900. I found possible brother John living in Washington County, VA 1900. Samuel's parents were generally stated as being born in Virginia. John stated that his mother was born in Virginia and father in Ireland. Their likely sister Ellen always stated both parents were born in Virginia. James' parents were generally stated as being from  Tennessee. He does allude to Virginia origins a couple of times, and actually did live in Virginia in 1880. So why don't nearly all of Bartholomew Forgaty's descendants admit he was born in Ireland? Maybe he wasn't and the two Censuses he appears on are wrong? It's also likely there may have been some discrimination against Irish Catholics in this Southern area? I don't know anything about how the Irish were treated in Virginia and Tennessee at the turn of the twentieth century?
Doing this kind of microscopic analysis of each docment has helped me to come to a preliminary conclusion which is that the most likely parents of James Forgety are Bartholomew Forgety and Virginia Bateman of Pulaski County, VA.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Would the real parents of James Forgety please step forward

A misidentification occurred when someone mixed up a James Forgety with the correct son of James R. Forgey Sr. and Rachel Miller, i.e. James R. Forgey Jr.. Both of these married women named Louise. James Forgety married Lulu Walker and James R. Forgey married Lulu Taylor. These, however, are two different men confirmed by the both marriage info and then names of their children.
There is a family tradition in the Forgety family that there was a family feud which resulted in the name being changed from Forgey to Forgety. One of James Forgey's daughters maiden name was misspelled Forgety on her marriage record. I am not finding a perfect fit for this James Forgety in the Forgey family. If they are indeed related to the Forgey family it could be the result of illegitamacy or maybe a feud resulted in the lack of recognition by the family of a son? DNA may prove or disprove the link to the Forgey family.
I've seen James Forgety's named spelled as Forgarty, Fogarty, and the spelling that became the standard spelling Forgety. I've never seem it spelled Forgey.
Jame Forgety and Wife Sally Manuel 1880 Washington County, VA ( Zack Clark may be a clue to more)

1900 Census Hawkins County, Tennessee James Forgarty family NOT SON OF JAMES FORGEY AND RACHEL MILLER 
The First Marriage of James Forgety was to Sarah Manuel in 1879  NOT CORRECT SON OF JAMES FORGEY AND RACHEL MILLER


Our first candidate

1) Now that we've reviewed everything we know about James Forgety we need to find the best match for his parents. I believe John Forgey and Jane Weeks would be the best match if the family tradition about the name change is true. James stated both parents were born in Tennessee so this would be a good match.
John Forgey McMinn, Tennessee (James Forgety lived in Hawkins County, TN which was the original area of settlement for this Forgey family of McMinn, TN)

Our second candidate

2) Bart. and Virginia Fogerty of Pulaski, Virginia. I found an Ellen Forgarty on the 1900 Census for Hawkins County, TN. She states she was born in Virginia in 1862. She also states she is single. It's possible that she married and divorced and changed her name back to her maiden name because I found a marriage for her also. It looks like I found her family (Bart. and Virginia) in Virginia and she did have a brother James. He was 14 in 1870. I have seen James year of birth as anywhere from 1847 to 1863? The problem with this is the fact that James Forgety most often said he was born in Tennessee other than the on the 1880 Census when Virginia was listed. He always stated his parents were born in Tennessee, never Ireland as Virginia and Bart said they were. said they were from. Also we don't have a similar naming pattern.

Ellen Forgarty 1900 Census Hawkins County, TN

We see Ellen had a brother James who would have been about the correct age for our James Forgety (1870 Census Pulaski, Virginia)

Our third Candidates

3) Another possible match would be James Fogarty and Susan. In 1880 James Forgety was living in Washington County, VA. This family also had connections to this area.Most of their children were born in Tennessee as James said he was. I have not found a Census for them in the time period when James would have been in their household. In 1880 James is listed as being born in Virginia. The problem here is they may have already had a son named James David which would have been a different person. At least his marriage record states his name was Jas. David which I am assuming is James? He is generally referred to as David in Census records.Another problem is James Forgey Sr. was born in Ireland which was never listed as James Forgety's father's birthplace.
James Fogarty family 1900 Census Sullivan County, TN (near Hawkins County, TN)

Our Fourth Candidates

4) Another possibility would be that the family is related through slavery. Meaning this family might have a Mulatto ancestor descended from James Forgey's line. The elder James Forgey did own slaves. It appears that his former slaves did adopt the name Forgey. It's interesting that a Mulatto named Lizzie Forgey also married into the Manuel family i.e. Lizzie Forgey to William Manuel. This marriage occurred around the same time as that of Sally Manuel to James Forgety. 

Mulatto Forgey Family 1880 Hawkins County, TN William Forgey and Lizzie Manuel

Our fifth Candidates

5) I found this family all the way in the western most part of Tennessee which would have been quite far away from Jame Forgety in far eastern Tennessee. I did think it was interesting that William Fogarty was born in Tennessee in 1798. There is a James Fogarty listed with him born about 1852 Tennessee. William and Frank were also names sons of our James Forgety.
William Fogarty was said to have been born in Tennessee in 1798 according to the 1870 Census

Missing records in Tennessee and Virginia is making the proper identification difficult. I think DNA is the onl way to go?