Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wicker Roots, Part Two

Fast forward to recently. . .the internet and DNA have helped genealogy tremendously. A cousin, Ricky, referred me to his cousin's wife Leigh who was interested in genealogy. She had written R. Fenton Wicker (author of the Wicker Book and the one who had told me we were Newberry Wickers) to find out if we were related. She was not aware of the amount of research I had already done on the family. I became frustrated just hearing about it again, and then recalled a letter R. Fenton had written me indicating there was a possibility we were related. Ambrose Wicker (whom I'd always thought we were related to) had a son named Hugh Mack (my ancestor Hugh M. was my "brick wall") and R. Fenton gave me the name of one of Ambrose's descendents---G. E. Wicker.I wrote G. E. a letter; we traded e-mail addresses and photos. Seeing his photo made me more interested in finding out the truth, and I knew that was DNA. Ricky contacted his cousin Kevin (Leigh's husband) and I contacted G. E. (it needed to be someone with the surname WICKER). They agreed to scrape their cheeks. The results after 25 markers is that we are related. But, can't you tell by the photos below that Ricky and G. E. share some genes?
Thanks to Ricky, Kevin, Leigh and G. E., we now know a little bit more about our heritage. First, we are North Carolina Wickers. Also, we are Il (that's not I1) Look below at the population densities of those who are Il. If you double click on the photo to make it larger, we are M253 positive.
Basically, this tells us that our WICKER ancestors were probably Vikings originating in Denmark, Sweden or Norway. 22% of the British are Il or Wodan (the name assigned by Bryan Sykes in his book Saxon, Vikings, Celts); 64% of the British are R1 (Sykes' name for that is Oisin) like my LONG family.
If we are indeed of Viking DNA, this chart indicates it was probably in the 11th century and involved settlement not just raids. Our family was from the yellow area in England; green are Viking raiders; burgundy 8th century settlement; red 9th century settlement; orange 10th century settlement.

Although we still aren't in the Wicker book, I think I can make that dotted line on my chart solid. And, the R. Fenton Wicker book? Well, it went from $27.95 to around $80.00 on the secondary book market.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Colyton, England

Although I didn't know for sure that my Wicker family was from Colyton, England, I decided to visit the village with my husband and children in 1987.
According to R.Fenton Wicker's book Thomas Whicker came to America in 1685 as an indentured servant sending his son Benjamin back to Southleigh, England where he was living in 1704. I did the charts and notes in the 1980's before I had a computer program.
If you look at the map above Southleigh is to the left and above Seaton. I believe we visited Southleigh and there wasn't anything there really. So, we went on to Colyton which was the "city" for the parish.
In fact, that is where the progenitor (Richard Whicker) was from.
We, first, went to the church but didn't find any tombstones for Wickers.
But, it is still very moving to go to the churches and walk down the streets where you think your ancestors lived.
I do recall that the family had some problems during the English Civil War. But, since I didn't buy R. Fenton Wicker's book, I don't recall which side they were on Royalists or Cromwell, but I do remember hearing about the Civil War while we were visiting the church.

Note that the document above mentions Southleigh as being still a part of the Colyton parish.
Here's a little history about Colyton. Keep in mind that Thomas Wicker left in 1685 which is the same year as the Monmouth (or Pitchfork) Rebellion. Click here to find out more about this Rebellion. According to Wikipedia:

"Colyton first appeared as an ancient village around 700 AD and features in the Domesday Book as 'Culitone'. . .

It was called the "most rebellious town in Devon" due to the number of its inhabitants who joined the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685."

On the map above (a replica) dating from 1610, the town is seen as Cullyton. If you're intested in historical fiction, the following books according to Wikipedia deal with the Monmouth Rebellion:

The Monmouth Rebellion plays a key role in Peter S. Beagle's novel Tamsin, about a 300-year-old ghost who is befriended by the protagonist.

Arthur Conan Doyle's historical novel Micah Clarke deals directly with Monmouth's landing in England, the raising of his army, its defeat at Sedgemoor, and the reprisals which followed.[22]

Several characters in Neal Stephenson's trilogy The Baroque Cycle, particularly Quicksilver and The Confusion, play a role in the Monmouth Rebellion and its aftermath.

Dr. Peter Blood, main hero of Rafael Sabatini's novel Captain Blood, was sentenced by Judge Jeffreys for aiding wounded Monmouth rebels. Transported to the Caribbean, he started his career as a pirate there.

R. D. Blackmore's historical novel Lorna Doone is set in the South West of England during the time of Monmouth's rebellion.

John Masefield's 1910 novel Martin Hyde: The Duke’s Messenger tells the story of a boy who plays a central part in the Monmouth Rebellion, from the meeting with Argyll in Holland to the failed rebellion itself.[23]

The Royal Changeling, by John Whitbourn, describes the rebellion with some fantasy elements added, from the viewpoint of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe.

Aphra Behn's Oroonoko can be read as an allegory for the rebellion, with the titular slave playing Monmouth's role.

That last one is very interesting---Aphra Behn was my topic (assigned to me---I'd never heard of her) for a graduate class in research.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Searching for Wicker Roots, Part One

Wes Wicker and Vennie Watson Wicker, 1920's
My mother grew up with two young parents who didn't know much about their family history. Vennie's father died when she was very young and Wes's died before he was born---both from horse-back riding accidents. So, my bicentennial birthday gift for my mother Louise Wicker Long was some information about her family.

First, I wrote letters to family members to try to get some information (double click to read Peck's notes, then use the back arrow to return).

Then, we took our young daughter Rebecca to Mom's house for a few days, told her we were going on our "second honeymoon" but didn't really tell Mom where we were going---to Hornersville, Mo, Obion County, Tennessee and Hickman County, Kentucky to find her roots.

In Hornersville, we interviewed Peck Wicker (of Bar-B-Q Fame, above)and then headed to the courthouse in Obion County. Peck had told us his father was one of three brothers: Con (Hugh Cornelius), Johnny B.(John Bedford), and Walker (Marion Walker) Wicker who were born in Missouri. I later found out they had a sister, too. Click here for more photos and information about them.

Hugh Cornelius, Marion Walker, Francis, Jasper and John Bedford were all the children of John W. Wicker and Virginia Sampson. Click here for a blog and photos. Obion County, Tennessee had two Wicker families: John and Naomi Wicker who didn't live too far from Hugh M. and Sarah Wicker. The hard part was their children often had the same or similar names. (Two with the names John W., Sarah, William, Mary) The two deeds above are for J.W.Wicker. I'm sure the second one is our family because it mentions his siblings and their spouses' names, but I don't know about the first one. Below shows the marriages of the Wicker children in Obion County. As you can tell by the page numbers, they were all within about 20 years.
I spent hours trying to figure out who was who. I finally concluded with the help of the census that we belonged to Hugh and Sarah Wicker's family. After Hugh Wicker's death all of his children moved to Missouri and that helped me separate the two families. Click here for the blog about this. So, I had the Wicker family traced back to Hugh M. Wicker, but there I was stuck. The 1860 Census was the source of a lot of confusion. The census taker had poor handwriting and only used initials. My notes indicate that he was born in NORTH Carolina. But, the 1850 census is the one which has caused the most headaches. In that Lincoln County Tennessee census, the census taker wrote that Hugh M. Wicker was born in SOUTH Carolina which in Wicker World is a big deal. I felt pretty sure the two Wicker families in Lincoln County and Obion County Tennessee were brothers because the names of their children were so similar and they lived close to each other, but I couldn't prove it.
This began 10 years of letter writing to Wickers everywhere. I learned that there were two Wicker families---some from North Carolina and some from South Carolina.
I learned that a book was being written about the Wickers but R. Fenton Wicker believed we were Newberry Wickers because of that ONE census. I bought a "rough draft" of the book for $10, tried to convince Fenton that we belonged there, but with no real proof. .. . When he didn't include us in the final copy, I didn't buy the book.
Note on the family tree above, I have a dotted line for Hugh where I thought he should be. Also, note the name Ambrose. I was so convinced that we belonged there that when we went to England in 1987, we visited where the North Carolina Wicker's ancestors were from.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Morgan Letters: 27,28 Aug. 1945

Grover, Harry, Davis Morgan: Louisiana, Summer 1945
H.B. Morgan writes to Grover's family in Louisiana about him and Mason working on the garage, the block machine, the winding down of World War II.

Harry and Davis Morgan: 1944 West Viriginia, processed sugar cane in the background

Ellice Morgan writes about the crops, the winding down of World War II and the scarcity of sugar.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Morgan Letters: Aug. 21, 22, 1945

H. B. Morgan writes on Aug. 20, 1945 to Grover Morgan's family stationed in Louisiana. First, he still seems concerned about "the Jap die hards" and Grover possibly shipping out. But, then he talks about his grandson Garrett G. Morgan pictured above with his parents---Ethel and Clifford Morgan (circa 1942).
Then, he writes about the green car (100,750 miles), Paul, the progress on the garage and the closing of a plant which should get him some miners.

Ellice Smith Morgan and Addie Bohan threshing wheat and buckwheat in August 1943.
(I don't know who the boy is on the back fence, either---possibly a Bohan grandchild)

Ellice's letter August 21, 1945, also mentions the war and "as Popeye would say, I don't trusk them Japs." She also talks about a trip to Logan County to visit her brother Harry Smith and the car trouble they had on the way.

As in previous letters, she expresses her concerns that Garner may be drafted, Grover and Paul aren't "home".

Threshing wheat and buckwheat Aug. 1943: Addie Bohan, Ellice Morgan, H.B. Morgan in the back

Friday, May 22, 2009

Morgan Letters: Aug. 13 & 15, 1945

Grover Morgan's barracks ready for inspection at Esler Field, Louisiana
The Aug. 13 letter to Grover Morgan from H. B. Morgan discusses Emma Smith (Patrick Smith's widow) visiting and that the war should be over soon.

Grover Morgan (on the right turned away from the camera sitting with the WACs on the day they arrived 11/14/43. "Air Corp WAC Publicity Campaign, Esler Field"

This letter to Grover Morgan's family was Aug. 15, 1945 from Ellice Smith Morgan. The war is over, but she still has concerns that Grover won't get to come home right away. It looks like Garner will get to stay in school, after all. Ellice and Garner just built hog pens while Lowell is with his father for the week. She anticipates that Paul will be home soon.

Grover Morgan sitting with the WACS 12-12-43.