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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Comedic Connections

It is my passion to find these crossroads, of people I study, through some type of cosmic connection through time.

I have always had a love of great comedians.  As a child it started very young with watching Red Skelton with my grandparents.  It continued with Danny Kaye and ended tragically with Robin Williams.  I have yet to recover from the loss of Robin Wiliams, so I have no one to admire for their comedic greatness.  Shortly after Robin's death, colleague Chris Child, genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society did a short genealogy article on Robin's southern roots.


I did my own preliminary research on Robin a while ago and was surprised to discover his genealogy, both lines, are deeply southern.  His father was born in Evansville, IN (with this lineage going through KY, NC, and then VA) where I spent much time as a youth growing up (about 30 miles away), and attending my undergrad at the University of Evansville.  I was born in Kentucky.  His mother's family was from Jackson, MS.  I also spent two years living in Hattiesburg, MS while pursuing a doctorate in music, spending much time in New Orleans, playing in an Orchestra in Meridian, MS and touring with the faculty of USM's brass quintet all over the south.

Robin6 Williams (Robert Fitzgerald5, Robert Ross4, Haywood Ross3, James Claridy2, Tobias1) born 21 Jul 1951 in Chicago, Cook County, IL. 

Robin's 3rd great grandfather, Tobias, who served in the Revolution and died in (believe it or not!) the town of Difficult, Smith County, TN.  Below is a link to his grave site.  Tobias served in North Carolina, but was born in VA.  Later in his life he moved to Defeated Creek, TN.  Yikes!  Not a very positive place to end up!

This is only his father's line.  Personally, I find researching the female side more intriguing as you discover new surnames and open new families this way.  I will delve more deeply into his mothers line in a future post!

One of my Rev War patriots was from NJ, served in PA, received a land grant in NC, moved there with his extended family only to find NC too "occupied" with little resources, sold his land, and moved to Hendersonville, TN where he died.

Next up, Red Skelton!  Red was born and raised in Vincennes, IN where my 5th great grandfather was the land registrar for the entire Indiana Territory starting in 1804 after our country acquired the Louisiana Purchase.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Royal Families Americans of Royal and Noble Ancestry

One of the many great things I was able to be involved with at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, when I worked there as a researcher, was helping the eccentric Gary Boyd Roberts on a few of his projects.  One that I received mention in was Marston Watson's Second Edition of his Royal Families Volume One Governor Thomas Dudley and Descendants through Five Generations.  

I do miss the scholarly atmosphere that only NEHGS can supply in the genealogical field.  I haven't made a trip back there for several years.  I'm long over due!

Selected pages can be viewed at the link below:

You can search the entire book with an membership.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Zen and the art of cemetery walking

Dividing my careers between genealogy and music allows me to travel and indulge in both fields.  While performing concerts in Marblehead this past weekend I was able to go to the Old Burial Hill Cemetery to be at peace.  Yes, I feel most alive and peaceful in a cemetery.  Especially, an old beautiful one that has graves that are as old and well maintained as this one.  Granted many of the stones aren't readable, especially the limestone ones from the 1800's.

One of my favorite patriots buried here is Brigadier General John Glover born in Salem, MA 1732 and died in Marblehead in 1797.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wicocomino Native Lineage

William Taptico3 and Elizabeth??  My 7th great grandparents (paternal)
and last werowance of the Wicocomino Tribe of Virginia Chesapeake Bay area. William died in 1719 and the tribe was considered extinct on this date.

Thanks to extensive research by many, particularly early Virginia archeologist Helen C. Roundtree, then a DNA test by a male direct line of my Wiley Doke Tapp7 (Vincent6, William5, William4, William3 William2, Machywap1), the Taptico family is now in history books and proven Amer American/Native which ever term you view.  
This William3 was the son of another named William2, the first named Wicocomino werowance/king (Americanized "chief").  My paternal gr gr grandmother was Sarah Frances Tapp8 born 13 Feb 1859 in Henderson, Henderson County, KY.  Her father was Wiley Doke Tapp7 born 28 Apr 1835 in Henderson, Henderson County, KY.  His father was Vincent Tapp6 then dating back through the male line of 4 William’s.

I’ve been obsessed with Native history and rituals since early childhood.  I only met my biological father as an adult, about 12 years ago.  Needless to say, I knew nothing of his genealogy until I began my journey to know my ancestors about that same time.

DNA is really opening up so much.  One of the most important for me will be finding how much of native genealogy has been suppressed.  This Taptico family integrated with British settlers, marrying British women, adapting British attire, and surviving by suppressing their heritage.  Unfortunately, this included the ownership of slaves in Virginia. 

William2 is believed to be the son of Machywap1 (documented in Helen C. Roundtree’s scholarly researched book “Pocahontas’s People:  The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries”, page 123.)  Machywap was the weroance of the Sekakowon (Chiskacone) tribe which the English pressured to merge with the Wicocomino tribe with Machywap being the ruler of this merger.  The Wicocomino’s didn’t take kindly to this and Machywap and his families lives were in danger.  It is believed that Machwap’s son, William, was raised with the British at this time.  This is speculative as no primary documentation at this time can prove this emphatically, but this conclusion can explain why William2 Taptico, King of the Wicocomico’s, was so wealthy and dressed in British attire. HelenRountree did not make this link in her book referenced above, published in 1990.

History's suppression of this integration between white and natives may be why no native oral history exists for this lineage.  This is why DNA is so important to open up this long suppression of heritage and the truth.