Education, Maternal Kin, Photographs, Virginia

Dorothy Whirley, Class of ’48.

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1948 yearbook, Frederick Douglass Senior High School, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Senior Dorothy L. Whirley listed “no discrimination” as the characteristic of a true democracy, “stocking runs” as her pet peeve, and “to become successful” as her plan after  graduation. Dorothy, the daughter of Matilda Whirley and McKinley Steward, was born in Charles City County, Virginia, in December 1929. Her grandmother was Emma Allen Whirley (1879-after 1930), daughter of Graham and Mary Brown Allen.

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Maternal Kin

Signature Saturday, no. 8: the McNeelys.

My great-great-grandfather Henry W. McNeely taught for a few years after Freedom and surely could read and write. His wife Martha, despite her transparent assertions otherwise, could not. Their children received educations that they had been denied, and when Henry’s brother Julius died without direct heirs about 1913, all signed off on the distribution of his estate. (All except Addie McNeely Weaver, who had recently passed.)

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Several of Henry’s grandsons’ signatures appear on World War II draft registration forms, including Luther’s son Robert H.; Edward’s son Quincy; and Addie’s son James.

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Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

Kiners, depicted.

More photographs of my Kiner cousins courtesy of their Kiner cousin, Peggy King Jorde. As set forth here, my cousin Edna Reeves (1885-1969), daughter of Fletcher and Angeline McConnaughey Reeves of Charlotte, North Carolina, married William H. Kiner and settled with him in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their children were Addison F. Kiner (1906-1990), Carroll M. Kiner (1907), and Evelyn C. Kiner ().

William Kiner & sons Addison & Carroll

William Kiner and sons Carroll and Addison, circa 1912.

Young Evelyn Kiner Marthas Vineyard

Evelyn Kiner, Martha’s Vineyard, circa 1915.

Evelyn Kiner on pony

Evelyn Kiner on a pony, circa 1917.

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One of these women is Edna Reeves Kiner, and the photo appears to date from the 1930s. This is said to be in New York City’s Central Park, but I have not been able to identify the monument.

Carroll Kiner

Carroll Kiner, perhaps the 1940s.

Carroll Kiner at Marthas Vineyard

Carroll Kiner, at right, Martha’s Vineyard, perhaps 1940s?

Evelyn Kiner at work

Evelyn C. Kiner at work, New York City, circa late 1960s.

And then there are these two photos:

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Believed to be “Daddy” Reeves.

Daddy Reeves

“Daddy” Reeves succumbs to pneumonia. Undated, and no page 5 story attached.

Who was “Daddy” Reeves? Certainly not Edna’s father Fletcher Reeves, who died in 1910. Nor her brother John, who died in 1915. Older brother Frank Reeves, perhaps?

All photos courtesy of Peggy King Jorde Archive.

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Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs, Virginia

My people.

Going back six generations, I have 126 direct ancestors. I have images of only a sixth of them. Twenty, to be exact.

Here they are:

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From top left across each row to bottom right:

One (of 64) great-great-great-great-grandparent — William M. Harrison (1817-1865); two (of 32) great-great-great-grandparents — Margaret Balkcum Henderson (1836-1915) and Mary Eliza Balkcum Aldridge (1829-1924); five (of 16) great-great-grandparents — Louvicey Artis Aldridge (1865-1927), Martha Miller McNeely (1855-1934), Harriet Nicholson Tomlin Hart (1861-1926), Edward C. Harrison (1847-1908) and Mary Brown Allen (1849-1917); six (of eight) great-grandparents — Bessie L. Henderson (1891-1911), J. Thomas Aldridge (1886-1968), Lon W. Colvert (1875-1930), Caroline McNeely Colvert Taylor (1883-1957), John C. Allen Sr. (1906-1948) and Mary Agnes Holmes Allen (1877-1961); all four grandparents — Margaret Colvert Allen (1908-2010), John C. Allen Jr. (1906-1948), Hattie Henderson Ricks (1910-2001) and Roderick Taylor (1883-1947); and my parents.

Hat tip to A. Kearns for the inspiration.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Photographs

Rest in peace, Melroy Houser Sr.

My grandmother’s mother’s family often sought the warmth of other suns, and by 1940 all of her aunts and uncles had left North Carolina. In consequence, I did not grow up knowing my McNeely kin, but I often heard wonderful stories of them. My grandmother treasured all her aunts, but had a special regard for Emma McNeely Houser, who migrated to Bayonne, New Jersey, around the time my grandmother was born. All three of Emma’s children have long passed away, and she had only a handful of grandchildren. Just over a year ago, I traveled to Augusta, Georgia, to meet her son Henry‘s middle son Melroy Houser. I wrote here of my visit, which was filled with reminiscing and easy laughter.

I received word from one of his sons that Cousin Melroy passed this morning. I wish that I had gotten to know him better, but will always cherish those hours on a warm May afternoon. My deepest condolences to his children, who, like me, carry a legacy as McNeely great-grandchildren.

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Maternal Kin, Military

Cousin Charles joins up.

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My cousin P.J. recently shared this photo of her father Charles Worth James, Jr. (1917-2002), who was the son of Charles and Mattie Colvert James (and thus my grandmother’s nephew). Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Great Lakes Naval Training Center:

“On 7 December 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan and around 6,000 sailors were training at Great Lakes. This grew to 68,000 in six months and by September 1942 over 100,000 sailors were training at Great Lakes. The base grew to 1,600 acres in the next 10 months. By mid-1943 there were over 700 instructors at the Class A service schools.

“The Navy selected Great Lakes to be the site of the first African American trainees. On 5 June 1942, Doreston Luke Carmen of Galveston, Texas was the first recruit to enter the segregated training facility at Camp Robert Smalls. In September 1942, segregated “Negro Service Schools” were opened. The policy of segregation led to small service school classes with only four or five students in a class. By 1944 Great Lakes began to integrate training and all training was integrated by mid-1945. The Golden Thirteen were commissioned in March 1944 after training at Great Lakes.”

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DNA, Maternal Kin

DNAnigma, no. 20: a Colvert-McNeely?

The tests I had two maternal second cousins (first cousins to each other) take may be bearing fruit.

My maternal grandmother, Margaret Colvert Allen, had two full sisters, Louise Colvert Renwick and Launie Mae Colvert Jones. K.J. and G.W. are Aunt Launie’s grandchildren by a son and daughter. Per Gedmatch, K.J. and I match 394.4 cMs (46.2 on the X), which is a whopping match for second cousins. G.W. and I match 151.5 (45.6 on the X), which is on the low side of the second cousin range.

Here is matrix showing the matches between K.J. and G.W. and my grandmother’s descendants, me (L.Y.H.), my mother B.A.H., my uncle C.C.A., and my sister K.H.J.

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I have ZERO identified matches to my grandmother’s African-American lines. I was startled then to get a new match last week that matched me at 40 cM (per Ancestry, which lowballs estimates), K.J. at 91 and G.W. at 137.  It didn’t take long to get a response from him that identified him as E.J., the great-grandson of my Aunt Louise. In other words, a second cousin-once removed to me, K.J. and G.W. My cM total with E.J. is lower than might be expected, but K.J.’s and G.W.’s are right in line with the estimated range. (I’m hoping he’ll upload to Gedmatch so we can get better cM estimates and wider comparisons.) So, finally, descendants of all three Colvert-McNeely sisters have done DNA testing and all match appropriately.

Several months ago, K.J., G.W. and I had a match to an unknown person who hit us all in the estimated 3rd-4th range. I have communicated with his sister, who indicated that three of their four grandparents were Caribbean-born, making her maternal grandfather the most likely connection. Unfortunately, A.P. knows very little about her grandfather. Comparing A.P.’s brother A.R. to me, K.J., G.W. and E.J. yields cM totals of 99, 98, 111 and 27.7. That’s in the half-second cousin or second cousin once removed range for me, K.J. and G.W. and half-third/third once-removed for E.J., indicating that we likely share at least one great-grandparent/great-great-grandparent.

Let’s work with that assumption. Though it’s possible that Caroline McNeely Colvert had a child other than my grandmother and her sisters, presumably older, I’m doubtful. She would not have been the first McNeely sister to bear a child out of wedlock, and there’s no reason to think she would have given up such a child. (Especially to anyone outside her large immediate family.) So, of the two, the more likely shared ancestor is Lon W. Colvert. Another possibility is Lon’s son, John Walker Colvert II. He had only one known child, a son who died in childhood in a car accident, but there could have been others and the cM numbers could work in that scenario. Right now, we just don’t have enough information, but Lon and Walker are the starting point of my working hypothesis.

[Update: 4/4/2017 — Mystery solved. As suspected, Lon W. Colvert is our most recent common ancestor.]

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