Saturday, November 29, 2008

Common Family Names--DNA can help

As I explained in the first post, although I'm interested in genealogy, the family stories are what really interest me. Several times, the family stories have helped me with the genealogy. And, sometimes they lead me down the wrong path.

My family names are among the worst to try and trace: Dad's great-great grandfather Thomas Long (about 40 in Virginia in the 1700's), Mom's great grandparents James and Mary Williams (several dozen in Kentucky in mid 1800's), Dad's great grandfather William Reed (hundreds in England in mid-1800's).

One of the ways we have approached this problem is with DNA. My brother graciously contributed his DNA to be analyzed to help with the Thomas Long problem. We corresponded with 6-8 people we matched. This helped us all pool our information. Although we haven't found where we are all related, we did discover that we were each independently looking at one family line---the Bromfield Longs (That's not the progenitor, but that's a name common to our family for 7 generations). We match some of the Longs on 67 markers meaning our ancestors were probably brothers in the late 1700's (we can't find a sooner match). We are R1B1 (red on the map above)which is our haplo-type (like our tribal designation). See below for distribution---very heavy in Britain.

Williams cousins also had DNA traced and we learned that we aren't related to any other Williams family that has had their DNA traced. So, hopefully, when someone else pops up in the data base, we can find out more information. Our haplotype is J2 (green on the top map) which is very puzzling for a Welsh name---it's a Mediterranean "tribe". One source suggested:
"J2 Haplotype #18
This haplotype has a wide range, with high frequency matches in Italy, Iran, Hungary, Macedonia, Egypt and Spain.
It appears to be strongly oriented around the Mediterranean, and very likely came to Britain with Roman settlers or troops." See below---heavy in Iran and Turkey with a little darkness in Wales.

So, I was sitting around thinking, "I wonder if I could locate one of the Reed cousins and convince him (has to be a him) to have a DNA test." I'm so glad that I never did that because I got an e-mail which in part encouraged me to create this blog.

So, how is it the DNA for Reed wouldn't have worked and the DNA for Williams doesn't match anyone else? Y DNA is a paternal tracing which works out well because our family names are paternal, too. If the DNA doesn't match the family name, there are several possibilities: adoption, illegitimacy, "confused" paternity, identity theft, name change. We aren't sure on the Williams line, but we think it was probably before family names were assigned---family names were a very late practice in Wales (often the family name wasn't established until the family left Wales) We do, now, know that William Reed changed his name when he emigrated from England. More on that later.

If anyone is interested in getting their DNA tested is the place to go. If you are a Long or a Williams, it's already been done---yours would not be significantly different from ours UNLESS you don't know that you're related. First, you want to see if there is a Surname Project for your surname. You want to apply through them because it's often cheaper.

Finally, for genealogical purposes, only males should apply---the markers needed are on the Y chromosome (women only have 2 X). So, if you're a female, you'll need to find a brother, father, uncle, cousin with the surname you want traced. I did all of the application and most of the payment process, my brother scraped his cheek several times a day---we mailed it off and received results every several weeks for abut 3 months---but we had a pretty comprehensive study with 67 markers on the X and we had the Y chromosome also studied. More on that later, too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

G.D. Morgan's Memories of 1929 Trip West and Back to WV

Don't worry, Dave re-typed this so you can double click on the photo below, or read what Grover wrote further down the page.



In 1928, Harry (H.B.) Morgan, while Gen. Supt. of BY PRODUCTS POCAHONTAS COAL CO. at Big Four, WV, was offered the position of GEN. SUPT. of a new coal mine to be built near Bartley, WV in McDowell County. The mine (with employee living quarters to be built as a new coal camp would be called “HARMOR”), and would be a deep “shaft” mine as was the present mine at Bartley a mile or so distant. Harry Morgan was familiar with the dangerous “gassy” conditions of the Bartley mine and was also aware of the physical dangers of “shaft” mines since the only egress from such mines in case of an explosion was up to the earth’s surface via the shaft. This condition as opposed to a “drift” mine in which the entrance and exit could be traversed at any time by just walking in or out. H. B. wanted no part of a “gassy” shaft mine and turned down the offer, which then passed to the then-Supt. of the Bartley mine, Raymond Salvati, and the coal camp was subsequently named “RAYSAL.” Tragically, the Bartley mine “blew up” a few months later killing at least 65 miners.

The mine explosion coupled with the long pent up desire of H. B. to get out of the coal business and buy a small farm and raise chickens led to a plan to go west and “settle” near Chandler, AZ. So, after purchasing a “tent trailer” (Gilkey), he quit his job at Big Four in August 1929, and with the trailer behind the 1927 seven passenger Packard sedan the entire family left WV to seek whatever fortune awaited them in Arizona. Fortunately or unfortunately the plans to buy a chicken ranch did not come to fruition, and after six weeks of looking and visiting the C. E. Smith family (Mrs. H. B.’s brother Charlie) in Riverside, CA. The family returned to WV around Oct. 1, 1929 to Princeton, WV. Just why H. B. picked Princeton was never explained to anyone of the family.

Anyway, with very limited funds remaining H. B. was able to rent a house in Princeton and obtain enough “used” furniture to enable his family to get along while he went back to the coal field to find a job doing the only thing he knew he was good at. Within two days he was hired as General Superintendent of a coal mine located at Thacker Mines, WV (Mingo county), and the family was moved there within a few days of his getting the position.

Sometime during 1930 H. B. (thru Princeton Bank & Trust Co.) purchased the “defunct”Crotty dairy farm (52 acres on the Eastern outskirts of Princeton) and later named the spread “Five Oaks” because of five large oak trees which surrounded the springs which furnished water for the farm needs.

Various members of the Morgan family lived and worked at the “farm” until H. B. and Ellice could no longer take care of the place by themselves during 1952. The entire farm was sold via auction and H. B. and Ellice moved to North Miami, FL.


[H. B. Morgan below 1932, Thacker Mine West Virginia.]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Louise's Cornbread Dressing Recipe

I loved the note at the top---read recipe or transcription below
"Jackies sage" is below with a fuzzy second side. I never realized my sage was a secret ingredient. I thought I'd better show it to you or you'd think the secret ingredient was some controlled substance I grow in my back yard.
Corn Bread Dressing
This will fit 13 X9 pan for more double or so.

Make cornbread a day ahead or (longer & freeze)

1 cup capped [chopped] onion
1 " celery chopped
Sautee in 1/2 stick of butter in micro [obviously this recipe has been updated]

Crumble Corn Bread & 3 or 4 slices of stale white or 1/2 pkg of Pepperidge dressing-(add Jackie's) sage
Pepper salt to taste
a can of chicken broth bring to boil pour over. let sit to absorb

Add 2 eggs
1/2 of cooked sausage crumbled is [if] more moisture is needed add milk

Pour in 13 X 9 greased (sprayed) pan. Drizzle drippings from turkey

Bake about 40 min. until lightly brown

Hey, you didnt' expect me to make it already---maybe later today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

H.B. Morgan on Coal Industry, 1935

Prenter Mine, 1938, H.B. Morgan is second from the right.

H.B. Morgan left an autobiographical fragment on his life with the coal industry written around 1935. It is re-produced below and transcribed below.

Prenter Mine, 1938( below) H.B. Morgan is on the far right.

-Autobiographical Fragment H.B. Morgan about 1935
Chapter One

This book is intended to show actual conditions in and around the coal mines of a part of two major coal producing states and is written by a man who began coal mining at the age of twelve, continuing for a period of thirty eight years. Securing employment at a mine in the now famous Pocahontas coal field in 1898, at the fabulous price of fifty cents per day, (hours were usually ten and twelve for the fifty cents)

This work was not as trapper boy as some may think, but was actual labor loading coal as back hand. (with the advent of the Union this practice has been discontinued) This job did not last long, or rather I did not last long, as that mine only ceased operation in 1934.

Believing myself a full fledged miner I began to look for something better, as was the custom in those days for men to go from one mine to another believing that there was surely something better or at least conditions might be better at some other mine. In some instances some changes were for the better but such cases were rare, as it was always customary to offer the new man a good place to induce him to establish himself at the new location, but in a great many instances by the time he had moved his meager belongings from his former location, the good place he had been promised had already been occupied by some favorite, this of course was the original intention, and the new man was compelled to accept a place that he would not agree to accept when he first made his appearance at the new location. His funds most always exhausted up on his arrival, he then had no choice but to take what was offered. After a period of seven years I began work in a Kentucky mine as a day laborer, mule driving and any kind of work that happened to require the services of a strong man, I had grown into manhood by this time and was capable of keeping up with the best of them, and as I was a willing worker I was called out to do many hard and odd jobs, this however proved profitable as I gained a general knowledge of what was required of labor to operate a coal mine, and produce coal at a minimum cost per ton.

Chapter Two
As has been said " A man is without honor only in his own country" so is a workman without promotion in his own country, while I am a native of West Virginia my first promotion came while in Kentucky. While employed by one of the largest coal producers in Kentucky I was promoted to the exalted position of Night Boss, as I was thoroughly familiar with this particular mine, I was successful from the start, while at this occupation I began to realize what was required of foremen to get the best results from labor. While it was never my policy to ask a man to do something I would not do myself, there was however much work done that I would have refused to do. This often happens because men were compelled to do work that was disagreeable or their families and themselves would often go hungry. Most mine (sic) have wet or dangerous places, and rather than be deprived of a days work some men would accept the wet places, while the dangerous places would be made safe by the miner rather than wait to have them prepared by the day laborers some time during the day. There are leaders of men and drivers of men I have always tried to lead the men rather than drive them, and by so doing I have never been fearful of meeting a man that could say I had not given him a square deal. This applies to my younger days as well as the years that followed the beginning of this story.

At the beginning of the world war [I] I accepted a position as foreman at another mine in Kentucky, it was there that I was compelled to do many things that was unethical labor shortage was becoming acute and in a few instances I was compelled to place a group of miners on certain entries with a guard at the trap door, this guard however was unarmed, but was instructed that if any of the new men came from their working places, that he was to in some manner prevent them from coming out before quitting time, or prior to clening (sic) up their assigned places, these men had been brought to the job by a transportation agent, who had invariably misrepresented the conditions to get these men to leave their former emplyer, and always they were dissatisfied with their new conditions.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rebecca Morgan to LeRoy Long

For Le Roy's 75th birthday, various relatives wrote him letters. This one is from his eldest granddaughter Rebecca Morgan Lewis.

(Ok, this was Louise's birthday, but Becky's friends were there--Leah, Louise, Shelley, Rachel, Kate, Becky and Jaris)

I wasn't sure this was Becky until I saw the polka-dot bathing suit.

(Becky, LeRoy with cycling medal, Leah, Louise, Rachel at Senior Olympics)

Friday, November 21, 2008

H.B. Morgan letter April 30, 1945

That's a skid behind the tractor---it had no wheels. This is just a photo-op since Dave can't recall ever driving the tractor much less at 3 years old (4-14-1946).

When H.B. says "Mason is up home this week. . .", we think H.B. is writing from Prenter, WV, where the mine was. Mason, was probably in Princeton, WV working on the farm

I asked Dave what he could tell me about this photo. "the beaters are stainless steel; the baskets probably had apples in them. That's dad [Grover] or Mason working on something on the bench." 8/26/1944

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jim's Letter: Long Times, August 1993

[Double click on the letter below to make it bigger, then use the back arrow to come back to this page]

Louise Wicker Long, James Long and LeRoy Long in boat at Lake Sherwood, MO.
James Long and LeRoy at Lake Sherwood, MO

Sorry, I don't think I have any photos of the car or the blue spruce. But the car was a combination of the two cars below (1958 Chevy):

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ellice Smith Morgan letter, Garner P.S. April 25, 1945

[Letter from Ellice Morgan to Eloise and Grover Morgan and family, in Louisiana, April 25, 1945. Short (typed) P.S. at end from Garner Morgan, requesting a roll of new film. Scrapbook page with notes from Grover Morgan is about Landville, W. VA. which is mentioned in the letter]

[Double click if you want to make the photos larger---use back arrow to come back to this page]

Wednesday April 25 / 45

Dearest Gang,

How's every little thing? Most all fine here. I hope the water has gone down there to stay down there. If there is anything I don't like less than a lot of water it's more water. I haven't forgotten that time at Landville when we had the cloudburst on one side and the river out of banks on the other. It was sure scary. I guess you don't remember do you? We had rain here last nite.

My potatoes are coming up nicely. Got your letter today. I am so glad you are coming home soon. Yess I have plenty ham & applesauce, chicken too. Looks like poor little Paul won't be home soon. Got a letter from him yesterday. Said he ought to hear something about it next month.

I hear by the radio that the boys sort of worked on Hitler's hideout. Just hope he was there don't you?

Honey I don't know of anything the boys could catch. Mason's kids are about over the whooping cough.

Well you tell Davis there is a big spank coming to him if he doesn't know me when he comes for I told him not to forget me and he said he wouldn't.

Well I'll be looking for you . Have a good trip. Well it's 15 after eleven, I better go. So long.

My love to all,
Mother and Boys

[An extra bit for the wee ones]


Dear Grover,

Do you suppose you could find a few rolls of 616 film? I wanted to take some pictures of people and places at school before graduation. Senior day is May 11, I would like to have a roll then.

I suppose the boys are all excited about coming to the farm. Or have you told them yet?

Have you taken any pictures of the flood?

The above is another Landville memory of Grover's---his grandfather Ballard Smith died there and his coffin was from the upstairs of a furniture store.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mary Long Wassmund letter to LeRoy Long, 1993

This letter was written to LeRoy Long on his 75th birthday by his sister Mary Long Wassmund. This photo was with the letter, so I assume it is my aunt in her bicycle competition. Yeah, Mary, Dad tried to make us competitive cyclists, too, but. . . .

He and his cousin Andrew Baum (Mamie Reed's son) were the family cyclists! Here's Dad with some of his medals from the Senior Olympics.

Pictured below are Mary and Bill Wassmund with their medals from the Golden Games.

Mary Long Wassmund and LeRoy Long at Lake Sherwood where they lived next-door to each other.

Monday, November 17, 2008

H.B. Morgan Letter April 24, 1945

Double click on the letters to read them more clearly, then use the back arrow to come back to this page.

I'm guessing the children with "Whooping Cough" were Carol and Noel in the photos taken a few months after this was written.