Sunday, July 31, 2011

Comstock DNA Project News

The  Comstock DNA Project is proceeding slowly.  There is one new test in progress at FamilyTree DNA - the gentleman in question also descends from Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island so is expected to match the two tests that have been done.

Since no other Comstocks are in the Project at FamilyTree, I entered the results of one of the men already tested at GeneTree.  You can register and do this manually at that site, even if you have been tested by another company.  Although the markers tested are not all the same, enough of them are to get indications of matches.  Another Comstock did reveal to be a match - 26 markers out of 28 - which is not a bad match at all considering this new individual goes back to the son Daniel of the immigrant William Comstock and William would be the nearest possible common ancestor.  The person at GeneTree did not wish to be contacted and did not provide an email address, but he did include a GEDCOM file showing his descent from Daniel, which can also be found in John A. Comstock's book,  A History and Genealogy of the Comstock Family in America, 1949.  The two descendants are at least 11 generations from William.   This is a very good indicator that both Daniel and Samuel are from the same family of Comstocks - Y-DNA is not precise enough to tell us the exact relationship.

Daniel Comstock (1630-1683) is a proved son of the immigrant William Comstock who died in New London, CT about the same year that Daniel died in the same place.  

The American Genealogist, 1933, Vol. 10, p.169
New London CT Probate Records:
Comstock,Daniel, of New London. File #1392. Inventory taken 13 Nov 1683 by Daniel Witherell and Charles Hill, Townsmen. Proved and administration granted his widow Paltiel, she to improve the whole estate for the bringing up of the children.

Quoted in E. B. Comstock's, The Comstock Family in America, 1938
William had sons John & Daniel as shown by deed of 4 Dec 1694 in which grandsons William Comstock of Lyme [son of John] and Daniel Comstock of New London [son of Daniel] conveyed land at Nyantik which said land was given to our grandfather William Comstock, deceased, by the town of New London, 20 acres. This is the 20 acres granted 21 Jun 1647:
12 Jun 1647. William Comstock was granted a lot at Pequot [later New London] by the town, also 10 acres of upland, 10 acres on East side of River Thames

It has been assumed by most researchers, that Samuel Comstock (1628-1657) was also a son of William because of his close association with Daniel, but the proof was circumstantial.  Now that a descendant of Daniel has matching DNA to descendants of Samuel, the relationship is further substantiated.

A third son of William was John Comstock, proved by the same deed above.   There is a fourth possible son - a Christopher Comstock who lived at Norwalk in Fairfield Co. CT.  There has been some dispute based on research abroad that no one since has been able to duplicate, that Christopher might have a different lineage.  That he might have been of German heritage.  Subsequent researchers, including the author John A. Comstock, did not agree.

The naming of sons in Daniel and Christopher's family is somewhat notable.  Daniel had sons named for himself and for Samuel; he had a grandson named Christopher.  Christopher Comstock had among his sons, a Samuel and a Daniel; he also had a grandson named Christopher.

Y-DNA testing of a direct descendant of Christopher Comstock, who still carries the Comstock surname, is important to shed further light regarding his family connection.  Testing by a descendant of John would also be helpful and important to the project.  The more men that consent to the test, the better the predictions can be.

If you are unfamiliar with Y-DNA testing - the 37-marker test is recommended for reasonable genealogy purposes.  It is a simple and painless cheek swab.  The test is non-medical.  It has no resemblance to DNA testing for law enforcement purposes and does not reveal any health conditions, nor paternity.  There is no "chain of custody" with DNA testing by the companies testing genealogy DNA - there is no way for anyone to track or access your results and use them for any other purpose.  The tests are as private as you want them to be.  Sharing your email address does allow communication with your matches, but you do not have to do so.

To join the Comstock DNA project, simply follow the link at the beginning of this Blog, where you can find more information.  There is a "Join Project" tab.  Feel free to email me for more information:
My Email Address

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Own DNA

I have just received the results of my own FamilyFinder DNA test at FamilyTree DNA.  I had quite a few matches and several of them have already led to the discovery of new cousins, particularly among the Gabbard-Baker-Smith-Bowman families that lived in several Kentucky coutines - Madison, Clay, Owsley, Jackson, etc.  Some of new cousins are related in two or more ways.

Then there are those intriguing matches which don't seem to match - some of these are at the 3rd cousin level which suggests we share great, great grandparents ....but we can't find any surnames at all in common, much less great, great grandparents.  One really starts to wonder what some of our ancestors were up to!

At any rate, I've been busy all day, comparing notes and discovering new information and new friends.  The above families in Kentucky were all quite far back and I've not included them on my webpage in the past, but after today, I will be doing just that.

I don't pretend to understand all the ramifications of the results of the test, but I do know this:  my DNA is "out there" for comparison.  I have also ordered a mtDNA test because I can only go back five generations on my direct female line to a lady named Mary Rowena Hoskins.  She seemingly had no family, but I'd really like to find one for her.

I wish I had a crystal ball and could see what the future holds regarding DNA studies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Comstock DNA Project - Sale at FamilyTree DNA

This post is for any male Comstock descendant who still carries the Comstock surname. 

There is a one-week sale at FamilyTree DNA. The 37 marker Y-DNA test is the cheapest it has ever been and this is the test most often recommended for genealogy purposes. If you have considered having your DNA tested to help prove the lineage of the four proposed sons now would be the time to do so. So far only two descendants of Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island have been tested.

The sale is from today, Friday, July 15th, 2011, through Thursday, July 21st, at 11:59 PM CST. The “regular pricing” shown below is already a project group price and is less than ordering directly from the FamilyTree DNA homepage

• Y-DNA37 for $119 (Regular price would be $149)

• Y-DNA67 for $199 (Regular price would be $239)

• Family Finder for $199 (Regular price would be $289)

• Family Finder + Y-DNA37 for $318 (Regular price would be $438)

• Family Finder + mtDNAPlus for $318 (Regular Price would be $438)

• mtDNA Full Sequence for $219 (Regular Price would be $299)

• SuperDNA for $418 (Regular Price would be $518, includes Y-DNA67 and mtFullSequence)

• Comprehensive Genome for $617 (Regular Price would be $797, includes Y-DNA67, mtFullSequence and Family Finder)

In addition, existing Family Tree DNA customers may order the Family Finder add-on for $199

Unfortunately these are also the dates of my vacation, and much of the time I will not have computer access to answer any questions.  However, ordering a test is easy to do.  The test should be ordered through the Comstock project for you to be a part and have your DNA compared there with other Comstock descendants.  Results are posted by a Kit number, not by name - privacy is respected.  Here is the Comstock DNA Project home page

At the top of the page is a “Join” tab, which leads to a page with the option to “Purchase a Test to Join This Project”. Follow the instructions.

Any questions about the test – what it consists of, etc – can be answered by going to the FamilyTree DNA homepage and checking the FAQs found there.

This is the first time prices have been this low since last summer and the opportunity to puchase tests at these prices may be come again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adamson Obituaries

Today is a genealogy Happy Dance day.  I recently discovered the obituary of a grandaunt, Blanche Adamson - now I have access to the obituaries of her parents, my great grandparents, Enoch Reuben and Mary Elizabeth (Harmon) Adamson. 

This is the situation.  My mother divorced my birth father - she left him before I was age two.  At age six, I was adopted by my stepfather and legally given his name.  My birth family, the Adamsons, were effectively erased from my life - to be rediscovered when I began family research.  I have had no traditions, no family stories, to further this research or give it depth.  On the other side of the coin, each tidbit of information about the Adamsons is always fresh and new.

Enoch was a Union Army Civil War Pensioner, so I had a copy of his very large file, which included a date and place of death, but no particulars.  He had not died at home in Benton County, Arkansas, but curiousily, in Oklahoma.  I knew that after his death, Mary was counted twice in the 1910 census - once in Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas, and also in Chester, Crawford County, Arkansas, some fifty or so miles and two counties away.  I had no more records about Mary after about 1912, so assumed she had also passed away.  I knew that Blanche had died as a young woman because I found her listed in USGenWeb in the Rogers Cemetery, but knew absolutely nothing else about her.

The following obituaries are some of the richest in detail that I have seen - Enoch's even offers the explanation of why Mary was counted twice in the 1910 census.  The obituaries can also be found on, Rogers Cemetery, Benton County, Arkansas.  The contributor has given me permission to use them in this Blog.  The Rogers Democrat was the local newspaper.

Rogers Democrat
Rogers, AR
March 08, 1905
ADAMSON, Blanche – A telegram was received yesterday announcing the death that morning of Miss Blanche Adamson of Cherry Lynn, 8 miles from Denver. The body will be brought to Rogers for burial and while no word has yet been received from Mr. and Mrs. Adamson regarding the funeral arrangements it is thought they will reach here tomorrow night or Friday morning. Miss Adamson's death was the result of consumption and her condition had been such since Christmas that her death had been almost daily expected. It will be two years in April since Miss Adamson went to Colorado with the hope that the change of climate would cure her and it was thought at times she was on the road to recovery. It was too deep seated and death alone could give her relief. None of the young ladies of Rogers of recent years have been more deservedly popular than Miss Adamson and she had a wide acquaintance in this part of the state. Born in Kansas she came with her parents, E.R. Adamson and wife, to Rogers 16 years ago and resided here until she went to Colorado. She had always been prominent in local social circles, her pleasant manners and lovable traits of character making her a general favorite. During the years that her father had the control of the Commercial Hotel here the active management of the same was handled by Miss Blanche and she made a most capable landlady. The Democrat joins with the many Rogers friends in extending sympathy to the bereaved family.

Rogers Democrat
Rogers, AR
March 15, 1905
Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Adamson, accompanying the body of their daughter, Miss Blanche, who died a week ago near Denver, arrived in Rogers Friday noon. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Congregational church at two o'clock and were conducted by Rev. J.G. Bailey, assisted by Rev. Alling. The church was crowded with friends of the deceased and of the family and many were unable to gain admission; an eloquent tribute to the popularity of Miss Blanche. Interment was in the local cemetery. All of the funeral arrangements were carried out in accordance with the wishes of Miss Adamson, who planned them a short time before her death.

Rogers Democrat
Rogers, AR
January 13, 1910
ADAMSON, E.R. - E.R. Adamson died Friday, January 7th in the hospital at McAlester, Okla. the result of pneumonia and complications. The body was brought to Rogers and funeral services were held Monday afternoon at two o'clock at the Presbyterian church and were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Arnett. Interment was in the Rogers cemetery. Mr. Adamson had been in charge of a Rock Island bridge gang the past three months with headquarters at Haileyville, Okla. Christmas Day he was sent to Shawnee to assist in clearing away the wrecked machine shops where a number of men were killed by the explosion of a locomotive boiler. He caught a severe cold and was ordered to the hospital January 1st. He rapidly grew worse and died before any of the family could reach him. "Col" Adamson, as he was familiarly known, was born February 19, 1854 at Kokomo, Howard county, Indiana. He grew to manhood there served four years in the Civil War in an Indiana regiment. After the war he went to Missouri and October 12, 1870 was married to Miss Mary E. Harmon of Oregon, Mo. To them were born seven children, four of whom with their mother survive him. They are Mrs. E.E. Musselman of Rogers and Lee, Ray, and Clarie, who have been the past year at Quanah Texas. Two children died at Peirce City, Mo. and Miss Blanche died here several years ago. Mr. Adamson had been a Frisco employee for twenty-seven years, commencing about the time the Frisco company began work on the line south from Monett. He had always been in the bridge and carpenter department and in charge of a regular crew. The family moved to Rogers from Peirce City in 1890. In 1897 Mr. Adamson took charge of the Commercial Hotel of Rogers and owned it for about three years, although he was himself in charge and off the road for only one year. He was elected mayor of Rogers that spring and served with credit to himself and the town. For a number of years Mr. Adamson had owned a large fruit farm near Chester and a little over two years ago they moved down there to give it their personal supervision. Mrs. Adamson and the boys will retain the farm this year at least. Mr. Adamson was one of the most popular men that ever lived in Rogers and his list of friends was only limited by the number of his acquaintances. Big, jolly and with a hearty welcome for everyone, he was known from one end of the division to the other and the news of his sudden death will be learned with much regret by all. Mrs. Adamson and children request us to thank the friends who so kindly assisted her in preparing and conducting the funeral and for other kindnesses shown.

Rogers Democrat
Rogers, AR
September 19, 1912
ADAMSON, Mary Elizabeth HARMON - Mrs. E.R. Adamson died Saturday morning [September 13th - the 19th was a Thursday in 1912] at Dr. Love's sanitarium after a prolonged and painful illness. There had been but little hope for her recovery for several months and death came as a welcome relief from her sufferings. Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church Sunday afternoon at three o'clock and were conducted by the officers of the Eastern Star, under the direction of District Deputy Worthy Matron Addie L. Bartlett. A large number of friends gathered at the church and cemetery to pay their last sad tribute to the memory of the deceased. Mary Elizabeth Harmon was born in Indiana July 14th, 1850 and was married to Enoch R. Adamson on October 19, 1868. They moved from Indiana to Bremer county, Iowa in 1869 and lived also in Kansas and Missouri before coming to Rogers twenty years ago from Pierce City, Mo. Mr. Adamson died Jan. 7, 1910 and Mrs. Adamson is survived by four children, Mrs. E.E. Muesselman, Lee H. Adamson, and Ray and Clair Adamson, all of this city. A daughter, Miss Blanche, died a number of years ago. The deceased also leaves two brothers and a sister. Mrs. Adamson had been a member of the Presbyterian church of Rogers for twenty years and was always one of its most conscientious and faithful workers. She was one of the best beloved Christian women of the city and none stood higher in the esteem of our people. She was a member of the Woman's Study Club and took an active interest in all matters that pertained to the welfare of her town and her neighbors. Her death is a loss not only to her own immediate family but to the entire community.

There is one very interesting fact from the above obituary - Mary seemed to always maintain she was born in July of 1850 - also indicated in the obit.  However, in the 1850 census, she was listed with her parents as being 11/12.  The census enumerator was there on 19 Sep 1850.  Perhaps he intended to list her as 1/12.  In 1860, the informant declared Mary to be age 12 - so that didn't help solve the problem.  Other dates related by Mary or by Enoch, such as in the various pension applications and forms, have been quite accurate.  I can only conclude that she certainly understood her birth year to have been 1850.

I was curious, too, about Love's Sanitarium.  Ah, the Internet is truly a wonderful place.  It was a small private hospital run by Dr. George M. Love in Rogers, Arkansas. There is even a picture!

Love's Sanitarium

Happy Dance!