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The Dead Files

Recently, I was hired to do some time sensitive research for the Travel Channel program "The Dead Files".  While I can't discu...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My Cousin Elvis

So, my 7th cousin, Elvis is not a Presley!  WHAT???

It turns out that Elvis may have two Native American lines in his genealogy.  One is also my Tapp/Taptico line from the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia, see my previous post on this line:  DNA detective work and Advantages of knowing your past

Here's why Elvis is not really a Presley, but a Wallace!

Elvis Aaron Presley born 8 Jan 1935 and died 16 Aug 1977 in Tupelo, Lee County, MS.
Father:  Vernon Elvis Presley born 10 Apr 1916 and died 26 Jun 1979 in Fulton, MS.
Grandfather:  Jessie D. McDowell Presley born 9 Apr 1896 and died 19 Apr 1973.

Here's where the family tree diverges **Great Grandfather:  John Henry Wallace born about Aug 1853 and died about Nov 1935 in Itawamba County, MS, had several children with Rosella Elizabeth Presley born 16 Feb 1861 and died 30 Jul 1924 in Fulton County, MS.  The details of why these children took on the name of their mother is unclear and can be left for another bit of detail work later.

John Henry Wallace's mother, Elvis' great, great grandmother was Lydia Gideon.  The marriage of Lydia Gideon and Hugh Henry Berry Wallace was 6 Oct 1852 in Itawamba, MS.

Lydia's mother was Elizabeth Tapp Gideon, Elvis' 3rd great grandmother (married John Gideon) born about 1794 and died about 1850.  *This connection will involve more research on my part to find definitive proof, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.

Elizabeth Tapp Gideon was the daughter of Moses Tapp, Elvis' 4th great grandfather, born about 1758 in Culpepper, VA and died about 1825 in Spartanburg, SC.

Moses Tapp was the son of Vincent Tapp (part of the DNA tested direct Taptico line), Elvis' 5th great grandfather, and Mary "Molly" Jett.

Vincent Tapp, the brother of my 5th great grandfather William Tapp IV, was the son of William Tapp III, Elvis and my 6th great grandfather!

William Tapp III was the son of the last Wicocomico Tribal chief, William Taptico II, named changed to Tapp on his will (well documented and now in history books, see previous post connections above).

This line is through my father's lineage.  "Thank you!  Thank you very much!"

Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween Serendipity

It's Halloween time!  I've been seeing references to one of my all time favorite actors and human beings, Vincent Price!  I grew up, albeit, with a not so normal obsession with old horror movies and Edgar Allan Poe. Specifically anything Vincent Price did. He also had a love for Poe. So, like I always do, I decided to look up Mr. Price's family tree.

Vincent Leonard Price, Jr is the direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse of Salem, one of the women accused of witchcraft who lost her life to the hysteria of the time.  Rebecca Towne Nurse was Vincent's 7th great grandmother!  I wonder if he actually knew that!  This is through his grandfather Vincent Clarence Price, who was the inventor of Dr. Price's Baking Powder, wife's line, Harriet Elizabeth White.

Here's the line:  Vincent Leonard Price, Jr., Vincent Leonard Price, Sr., Vincent Clarence Price who married Harriet Elizabeth White
Harriet Elizabeth White, daughter of Russell Jesse White, Aaron White, Jr. who married Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow, daughter of Thomas Bigelow, Jedidiah Bigelow who married Thomasine Nurse
Thomasine Nurse, daughter of Benjamin Nurse, Jr., Benjamin Nurse, Sr. who's father Francis Nurse married Rebecca Towne (Rebecca Nurse accused Salem witch, 71 years of age, hanged on July 19, 1692).  Rebecca was a central character in Arthur Miller's Crucible.

I have to believe Vincent Price didn't know of this, but of course, I can't be sure.  Oh, how serendipitous!

"The Sheriff brought the witch up the broad aisle, her chains clanking as she stepped." illustration of Rebecca Nurse by Freeland A. Carter published in "The Witch of Salem, or Credulity Run Mad" by John R. Musick circa 1893.
“The Sheriff brought the witch up the broad aisle, her chains clanking as she stepped.” illustration of Rebecca Nurse by Freeland A. Carter published in “The Witch of Salem, or Credulity Run Mad” by John R. Musick circa 1893.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

19th Annual Conference



Very excited to be attending next weekend's annual conference by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

http://glc.yale.edu/events/conferences/19th-annual-conference

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DNA Heritage Mapping


While I immerse myself in the DNA genealogy study, serendipity strikes really hard.  I've been delving into heritage percentages and have found surprising results in a few areas, not surprising in others.  Once and only once, for a week, I traveled to Spain.  To this day I haven't left, in my mind and spirit.  That sounds weird, I know.  But, two strange things have happened in my life to scar me and touch my soul deeply.  They came very unexpectedly.

First, was my trip to Spain in 1996, I believe.  Dates, in my own life, sometimes evade me.  Dead people, no problem!  Spain moved me in ways that I still am trying to understand.  It was easy to write the experience off to an American leaving their country for the first time.  That should have explained a lot.  But...it was much deeper I would find.

My time in Spain and Portugal was spent exploring.  I have visited Santiago de Compostela and Fatima, two of the major holy places in the world.  While these holy places were great, my experiences in both Spain and Portugal hold spiritual experiences I'm still trying to understand.
We'll stick to the ones in Spain, for now.

Spain did something to me.  What, I still don't quite understand, but I believe DNA may be a large part of that.  I could not explain why I, who could not speak a word of Spanish, besides perfunctory greetings, could communicate so well non-verbally with Spanish people.  Not just that, but people were drawn to me for some odd reason.  A feeling of these people being my relatives surged through my veins.  It was odd!!  Part of me was very freaked out, the other part was amazingly calm.  If you know me, calm is not a place I visit often, so it's a big deal.

Fast forward to DNA testing.  Once I became a better student of DNA findings I delved deeply into where all of my heritage could be broken down.  Yep....a large swath, from far back, was all over Spain.  All practically equally divided between Cataluna, Castilla y Leon, and Galicia.  Galicia was were I visited and felt like I should have never left.  Weird...huh?

The hard part is finding out who in my tree this comes from, even if that will be possible.  Some surprises, some not.  Here's my surprises:  1. Orkney Islands, off of Northern Scotland
2. Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish

The rest makes sense, I know where my French comes from, my Irish, my west Scottish, my German, Austrian, English, even the Native American.

I would suspect my Spain connection is through my early Virginia Chesapeake tribe that was documented as being different in complexion and culture than other natives encountered in other regions by the English.

The other experience is one I don't share because it's so text book "spiritual sighting", like seeing Jesus in my potato chip.  In Lisbon, Portugal I was fortunate enough to take a monastery bus tour.  This was stunning beyond words to be in cathedrals build in the 13th through 16th centuries, the tombs of Kings and Queens everywhere.

There was one, I believe it was the very famous Jeronimos Monastery and church, in Belem, yet pictures on-line do not reveal my memory.  It could have been the church in the Alcobaca Monastery, I just cannot be sure.  In this cathedral, after viewing famous tombs with the tour guide, I decided to go off on my own.  I approached the area close to the altar and was drawn to my right.  It was a bit dark, but I looked up and there was a huge statue in between others of a woman that must have been Mary.  I looked into her big dark eyes and felt a serge through my body of massive grief like I have never felt before or after.  I saw tears in her eyes and I sensed a deep sorrow for humanity.  Time seemed to stand still and I had to force myself to look away or my heart would explode.  I literally ran to the people on the tour with me and said, "Please, can you come with me and look at something?".  She was a dead statue with different eyes and "nothing" when I returned.  "Do you see anything?" I asked.  "Like what?" is what I heard and they walked away.  I must have lost my mind, I thought.  To this day I look at every picture I can find on-line of that cathedral and find no pictures of this massive statue.  There was also an eye above the altar in the ceiling.  I can't find that either.  Was it Jeronimos or another monastery?

This area of Lisbon dates back to the "Discoveries".  The time was exploratory travels to other worlds.  The picture above is the monument to the discoveries in Lisbon.  I went to the top and looked down on this map, which was quite extraordinary.  Many of the landings in Native "America" are what blended Spanish, Portuguese, and even Dutch into the blood of the Native population all along the sea coast from Canada to the tip of South America and the Islands.  Is this a purely spiritual connection or does this course through my DNA?

All of this, for me, just proves how deep my feelings of emotional connection.  I've not always been comfortable with my extreme sensitivity and have lamented on being somehow cursed.  It's scary and uncomfortable, or at least, was more so in the past.  I'm starting to let it be a part of me and not hide it or be embarrassed by it.  It's not easy!  I like things in a neat, explainable box, but these were not the cards I was dealt.
This journey has been a fascinating roller coaster that I am beginning to love more and more.

How about you?  What fears keep you from sharing your experiences?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

You can run, but you can't hide!

With the attack at Charlottesville recently, it's interesting to see news about white supremacist looking to DNA testing to prove their "whiteness".  You will, no doubt, in the near future hear these very same people denounce the findings of DNA because it doesn't serve their agenda.  Good!
  white-supremacists-have-stumbled-into-a-huge-issue-in-genetic-ancestry-testing/

Happily, for us all, DNA testing will only prove what we should all accept, we are an amalgam of everything and everyone.  We are all brothers and sisters.  The sooner we celebrate this the sooner our lives will be happier and content.  So, even though I desperately seek every ancestor and every place those ancestors lived and died, I use this information to uncover history in it's truest form, with question marks.  The truth is never easy, never black and white, never done by just a few heroes.  Genealogy can help us work with historians to uncover the many layers of truth and mistakes.

As spiderman says, "with great power, there must also comes great responsibility"😎

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Dead Files

Recently, I was hired to do some time sensitive research for the Travel Channel program "The Dead Files".  While I can't discuss the details until after the program airs, sometime in December or January, it was a thrilling chase!  Unfortunately, I was slated to appear on the show with Steve Dischiavi, but the research segment they had chosen to film got scrapped.  It happens....

Before this I had never seen an episode of this show, so I did a cram viewing session.  As you can see by my other posts on serendipity I have a leaning toward paranormal belief.  The show is quite thorough at background genealogy and history research whether you are a believer or skeptic.

The one indisputable thing that I found eerie is how each house has proven unusual deaths, usually many over generations. For me, I felt a sense of these souls needing their stories to be told.  This is what happens to me so very often.  It was surprising to find I didn't feel uncomfortable at all with this research on unusual deaths, quite the contrary, my detective radar is still working on more findings.

The Dead Files