I don’t know. Am I?
Ancestry.com’s New Ancestor Discovery “is a suggestion that points you to a potential new ancestor or relative—someone that may not be in your family tree previously. This beta launch is our first step toward an entirely new way to make discoveries, and a way to expand how we do family history.”
Ancestry’s bio of this NAD (it’s based on a compilation of 143 user family trees, and so may be way inaccurate): Stephen Nathaniel Grant was born on November 27, 1820, in Natchitoches, Louisiana, to Stephen Grant and Marie Louise Saidec. He married Marie Celine Armand on February 6, 1840, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. On September 4, 1862, he married Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Armand in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He lived in Natchitoches, Louisiana, from 1850 to 1865 and moved to Calcasieu, Louisiana, sometime between 1865 and 1870. Stephen died on June 3, 1878, in Vernon County, Louisiana, at the age of 57, and was buried in Leesville, Louisiana.
At first glance, I’m puzzled. Natchitoches? All my roots lie north of South Carolina and east of the Appalachians. “Grant,” though. That stirs an antenna.
My great-grandmother Bessie Henderson‘s putative father was Joseph Buckner Martin (1868-1928). Buck’s parents were Lewis H. Martin (1836-1912) and Mary “Polly” Ann Price (1836-1902). Lewis H. Martin was the son of Waitman G. Martin (1810-1866) and Eliza Lewis (1813-??). Waitman G. Martin was the son of Lewis Martin (1779-1820?) and Charity Grant (1788-1864?).
Charity Grant was my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. Is Ancestry picking up a connection this distant? It has matched me to collateral Price and Lewis descendants. Maybe Grant then.
I know very little about Charity Grant. Unsourced internet information asserts that she was born 7 October 1788 in Wayne County to Ephraim Grant (1765-1864) and Nancy Kinchen. The date of her marriage to Lewis Martin is unknown; their other children were Lavinia G. Martin (1812-1899), Abraham George Martin (1815-1862) and Henderson Napoleon Martin (1821-1877). (Henderson Martin married Bethany Lewis, daughter of Urban and Susan Casey Lewis, and sister of Waitman’s wife Eliza Lewis.) Charity allegedly died in 1864 in Onslow County. There’s a lot about this I don’t trust though. I consulted Marty Grant’s website, http://www.martygrant.com, which contains the most detailed accounting of the evidence regarding early Wayne County Grants available. He lists a daughter Charity for Ephraim and Nancy, but notes that she was born in 1824 and married Martin Johnston. The only other early reference that I have for Charity is Michael Grant’s 1818 Wayne County estate record, which mentions Charity Martin as the purchaser of “7 bus. & 3 Pecks corn” at his estate sale. (It also lists Elisha, John and Stephen Grant among Michael’s creditors.) Michael Grant was a close neighbor of William and Elisha Grant in the 1790 Wayne County census. Marty Grant conjectures the three as brothers and Charity as William’s daughter.
I dug a little deeper on Stephen Nathaniel Grant. (Meaning, I tried to make sense of the mish-mash of information in the trees of his descendants on Ancestry.) With no attribution, all seem to agree that Stephen’s father was also named Stephen Grant, born 1770 in Tolland, Connecticut, died 1821 in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. Stephen Sr.’s father is also uniformly listed as Ephraim Grant, born 1726 in Tolland, Connecticut.
These Stephens and Ephraims stretching from New England through North Carolina to Louisiana are intriguing, but what’s my link?
Ancestry.com assigned Stephen N. Grant to me as a New Ancestor Discovery on the basis of a DNA Circle. “Using DNA evidence and family trees, we’ve created a DNA Circle of probable descendants of Stephen Nathaniel Grant. You match 2 of 5 members. … Because of this, there is a good chance (up to 70%) you could be either a descendant or relative of Stephen Nathaniel Grant.” (There’s a lot of wiggle room there, notice.)
Here are the five people in Stephen Grant’s DNA Circle by Ancestry user name:
- M.G. — a “very high confidence” DNA match — 20-30 centiMorgans, meh — estimated in the 4th to 6th cousin range; descends from Stephen via daughter Louisa O. Grant Simmons.
- D.E. — not a DNA match; also descends from Stephen via daughter Louisa.
- kehokk — not a DNA match; also descends via daughter Louisa.
- J.F. — an “extremely high confidence” DNA match — more than 30 cM — estimated in the 4th to 6th cousin range; descends from Stephen via daughter Elizabeth Grant Bolton. J.F.’s cousin administers this account and knows little about this line.
- AnthonyQuinn1987 — not a DNA match; also descends via daughter Elizabeth Grant Bolton; J.F. and AnthonyQuinn1987 also share (1) Wiley Hunt (1798, Georgia-1880, Louisiana) and Susan Alford Hunt (1812, North Carolina-1880, Louisiana); (2) John Alexander Brown (1819, South Carolina-1881, Louisiana) and Anny Harris Brown (1828, Georgia-1911, Louisiana); and (3) John F. Bolton (1815, Tennessee-1883, Louisiana) and Mary Ann Goodman Bolton (1818, Alabama-1897, Louisiana) as common ancestors.
For now, I have no idea how I relate to M.G. or J.F. (especially at the predicted closeness), or if Stephen Grant was closely related to Charity Grant, or if Grant is a red herring and some other common ancestor ties me to these two.