Wednesday, August 27, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #34 An Ice Bucket for Dana Allee

My cousin Dana Allee was diagnosed with the horrible disease of ALS before her fiftieth birthday.

As the ice bucket challenge sweeps the world, I've made my donation in lieu of the dousing. I challenge all our Allee relatives to take the challenge or just pick up your checkbook or credit card and make a donation to the ALS Association as they work toward finding a cure. You can also donate with Paypal or Amazon.

Dana Allee was survived by her husband, parents, children, grandchildren, sister, nephew, niece and many cousins. For the sake of their privacy, I'm not sharing her married name or other identifying details. Her sister wrote a touching tribute for Dana's memorial folder and graciously agreed to share it, along with some of these beautiful photos.

All elements from ClubScrap's Lotus Pond digital kit

Dana’s highly distinctive, loving and artistic style can be seen in her magical garden home, and her enormous talent is further revealed with floral and landscaping designs that benefited so many local charities.  She participated in the “Martha Stewart Entertaining” Garden Tour and the “[area] Holiday Home Tours”.  Dana was selected one of the top floral designers in [the area] by the [newspaper].  She was an extraordinary and amazing person, gifted, and giving, truly an Angel on earth.  May her spirit live on!

Dana bravely concluded her graceful and spirited fight with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and peacefully closed her eyes on Christmas Eve in her fairy tale home surrounded by those dearest.  Her ashes will be scattered at the family ranch in her beloved Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, Dana requested that donations be directed to the family and shall be distributed to the Aids Orphans that captured her heart.
Dana's request that donations be sent to Africa shows that her loving and selfless spirit endured to the end of her life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #33 How Wid Maddix Got His Name

The story of how Wid Maddix got his name begins two generations before William Aaron Maddix. We'll start with his grandparents.

Aaron Lake of Meredosia, Illinois, married Sarah Elizabeth Bosseck in Cass County in 1857. Sarah and Aaron raised a family full of girls, with only one son. We're interested in the two oldest: Jeannette Gabrielle "Nellie" Lake and Elizabeth Estella "Lizzie" Lake, born in 1859 and 1861, respectively.

Just a few miles south, east of Exeter, lived the family of William Maddox and Nancy Jane Webb. The Maddox family was all boys. We're interested in the two youngest: George Maddox and Joseph Allen "Al" Maddox, born in 1852 and 1857, respectively.

Nellie Lake and George Maddox were married in 1875. Lizzie Lake and Al Maddox copied their older siblings and married in 1876. The young couples were very close, often sharing a home. While the men were busy farming and mining, Nellie and Lizzie were squabbling over the proper spelling of the Maddox name. Nellie believed it should be Maddux and Lizzie believed it should be Maddox.

Their first children were born within a month of each other. Nellie and George had a son, born on January 15, 1878. He was named William Aaron Maddux, after his two grandfathers, His birth year is listed as 1877 on many records, but the birth was officially recorded as 1878 in Morgan County, Illinois. The 1880 census of Wilson County, Kansas, stated that he was two years old.

Lizzie and Al had a daughter, my great-grandmother, Daisy Myrtle Maddox, born February 16, 1878. Little Daisy and William grew up together, more like siblings than cousins. As a young child, Daisy could not say Will. She called her cousin "Wid" and the name stuck.

The children were asked to weigh in on the ongoing argument over the spelling of the name. Wid eventually announced that he would not take sides. He also did not like being called "mad ox" or "mad ducks" by schoolyard bullies. He took the spelling Maddix and his younger brothers followed suit. Ironically, the Maddux spelling started and ended with Nellie.

Wid enlisted in the Navy for the Spanish-American war. The 1900 census finds him serving as a Seaman on the U.S.S. Culgoa in the Philippines. At the end of his tour of duty, he returned to his parents' home in Kingman County, Kansas. He followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a painter and wallpaper hanger.

Quick drop page from Legacy of Love by Kristin Cronin-Barrow for Digital Scrapper

William Aaron Maddix married (Mrs.) Mable Anna Hill Simon on June 03, 1903, in Wichita, Kansas. They had four children: Edna Lucile in 1905, Harold Ellis in 1907, Ralph Thomas in 1908 and Grace Evelyn in 1911.

The Great Depression was not kind to Wid. In the 1930 census he was working as a farmer in Barber County. By 1940 he was living in Wichita with no occupation. He died in Wichita on August 12, 1949, after a very long illness and hospitalization.

Wid was buried in a family plot in Old Mission Cemetery in Wichita. His wife and three children are buried beside him. Only Ralph is missing, buried in the Riverside National Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #32 Martha Elizabeth Grant Allee

Martha Elizabeth Grant was born about 1846 in Alabama. Her parents, Thomas Jahue Grant and Nancy Jane Allee were married in Lawrence County, Alabama, on June 30, 1844. Martha was the eldest of the seven children that have been discovered so far. The family moved about 1856 from Alabama to Hot Spring County, Arkansas. Just across the county line to the east lived another branch of the Allee family, that of Andrew Lafayette "Fate" Allee.

Fate and Martha would have grown up knowing each other and spending time together at family events. After the end of the Civil War, they married in Saline County, Arkansas, on May 06, 1866. By 1870 they were living in Denton County, Texas. The couple had three children:
  • Josiah Thomas Merrill Allee, born February 11, 1867, in Arkansas
  • Mary Jane Allee, born September 25, 1871, in Texas
  • Abraham Frank Allee, born December 28, 1872, in Texas

Martha Elizabeth Grant Allee died between Frank's birth in 1872 and Fate's second marriage in 1876 in Collin County, Texas. There is information on the web that she died in Plainview; however, that is probably a misunderstanding of oral history. It is much more likely that Martha died in Plano, as did others of the extended Allee family.

I don't have a photo of Martha and her gravesite is unknown; however, a picture of her parents has been shared with me. Thomas Jahue Grant is holding a sword that he must have carried in the War.

Template from Milestones, elements from Generations, all from ClubScrap

Friday, August 8, 2014

Autosomal DNA Matching 102, Class Two

In a previous post, I wrote about watching out for randomness in DNA matches. A new cousin match has helped me find a simple example of how just one match can be misleading. It's so important to find multiple matches to validate a conclusion.

This randomness in matching is called Identical by State or IBS. Matches due to family relationships are Identical by Descent or IBD. There are other complications in matching, but this is intended as a simple explanation of IBS.

This new match is from my father's Fry/Derrick family. On GedMatch, I've run a one-to-one match against our new cousin, "Helen", with each of the kits I manage. The blue shows the small area of chromosome 3 where we each match Helen.

Notice the tiny red edges that I added on the second and third lines. Those bits are where there is a random match, IBS, that is not a relationship match or IBD. How did I know that?

Let's explore the numbers. You don't need math, just logic.

On top is my Dad, who is a fourth cousin once removed to Helen. For now I'll assume that his entire match is Identical by Descent or IBD.

For me, any matching fragments lower than 22134900 are not part of the Fry/Derrick match, as those fragments did not come from my Dad. They came from Mom. Any match fragments higher than 29810802 are also not valid, as they came from Mom, too.

The same logic applies to my daughter's match and my granddaughter's match. I can only pass on what I have -- I can't add Fry/Derrick DNA and pass that on.

My matching fragments end too high and my daughter's matching fragments start too low. So my red area on line two is just a random fragment at the high end. My daughter's red area on line three is a random fragment at the low end. Those little bits are Identical by State to Helen, not Identical by Descent.

We need other people who are not members of my direct family to confirm the numbers and help weed out any other IBS randomness in this match.

You might think that I'm selling DNA tests! Honestly, I'm not. I am sharing the little lessons that I'm learning from administering multiple kits. I'm advocating for testing as much as we can and for using every tool at our disposal. I'm anxious to add my brother's kit to the mix, as I expect there will be many more lessons to learn.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #31 Bettie Allen Allee, The Old-Maid Schoolteacher

Joe Allee hated his new stepmother. He'd rather drive cattle to market than live with a schoolmarm. The family legend says he ran off at age 12 to join a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas.

When I look at the face of my great-great-grandmother, I see a very forbidding woman. Anna Elizabeth "Bettie" Allen was a 31-year-old schoolteacher when she married Andrew Lafayette "Fate" Allee and became a stepmother to three children under the age of 10.

Quick drop page from Expressions, ClubScrap

Bettie Allen was the eldest child born to Thomas Allen and Majincy Davis of Beaufort County, North Carolina. The couple are believed to have lived near the community now known as Leechville. However, they were on the move away from the coast and toward the west. Bettie claimed to have been born near Fayetteville on May 19, 1844. The 1850 census finds the family in South Surry (Yadkin) County, not far from the town of Lewisville, North Carolina.

By 1860, the Allen family had moved to Barry County, Missouri, and into northwestern Arkansas by 1870. The couple valued education, raising two schoolteachers and a newspaper editor. Bettie was teaching school in the area north of Dallas, Texas, by 1876. Was that how she met the widowed Fate Allee?

Bettie Allen married Fate Allee in Collin County, Texas, on January 30, 1876. They soon moved to the area of Mineral Wells in Palo Pinto County, Texas, where they farmed and added four children to their family.

Bettie was widowed in 1895. She spent the rest of her life alternately living in Mineral Wells and spending time with her children and their families. She never remarried and was able to claim a pension for Fate's Civil War service to the Confederacy.

Bettie died on March 25, 1932, while visiting her oldest son, Thomas Allee, in Pueblo County, Colorado. She was buried in Brookside Cemetery in Rye, Pueblo County.