Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sharpening the Saw

As anyone knows who follows this blog, I try to integrate the results from various types of DNA testing with traditional Vick genealogical research to trace our Vick family history. This weekend I will be attending the 6th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators in Houston, Texas. The focus of the conference is on how to use autosomal DNA in tracing ancestry. FTDNA has several very interesting presentations on the agenda that should increase my knowledge of how to use autosomal DNA in my research. I cannot wait to see what I learn and how I can apply it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Joseph Vick Family of America 2011 Reunion

The Joseph Vick Family of America 2011 Reunion will be in Virginia from June 24 – 26. I look forward to finding out the exact location and the planned activities.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Next Step in Using DNA in My Search for Vick Family History

Those who follow this blog will know that I am incorporating DNA in my search for Vick family history. This weekend I moved much closer to having my entire genome sequenced. The Personal Genome Project notified me that I am now enrolled in their project. I applied back in April 2009, so it has been a long wait just to get to this point. Now I have to wait for testing.

I look forward to seeing what new information my genome reveals.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vick Claims to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes

I mentioned in an earlier blog that an upcoming issue of the Vick Family Newsletter would cover claims made by 29 descendants of Stephen5 (Jacob4, Isaac3, William2, Joseph1) to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes (Dawes Commission). Pam (Strickland) Vick’s article appears in the July 2010 issue. She details both the descendants’ claim that Stephen5’s father was a full blooded Choctaw, and the history of the commission. One of the problems we know now with the descendants’ claim was that they incorrectly identified who Stephen5’s father was. While the commission did not recognize this error, it still rejected the claims. Since we have four descendants (three females and one male) of Stephen5’s father (Jacob4) who have tested as part of our Vick and Allied Families DNA Project at 23andMe, we took a look at the DNA results to see if they would have supported the claimants’ position that Stephen’s father was a full blooded Choctaw.

One of the tools 23andMe provides is the Native American Ancestry Finder. 23andMe uses “either two or three lines of evidence in assessing a person's likelihood of Native American ancestry (depending on whether a person is male or female).” Men have their Y-DNA tested to look for Native American ancestry in their patrilineal line (father’s father’s father’s…line). Since women do not have a Y-chromosome, they cannot be Y-DNA tested. Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is passed from a mother to both her sons and her daughters (although only women can pass mtDNA to the next generation). 23andMe uses mtDNA to check the matrilineal line (mother’s mother’s mother’s…line). Finally, both men and women have autosomal DNA, and 23andMe checks autosomal DNA. We inherit autosomal DNA from both of our parents, who inherited it from their parents, who inherited in from their parents…. 23andMe’s assessment of the possibility of a Native American in the patrilineal line of the one male descendant of Jacob4 was that the results were “…inconsistent with Native American ancestry along the paternal (father's father's father's ...) line.” So, we can rule out patrilineal Native American ancestry.

Mary [ ] is not in the matrilineal line of any of our project members, so mtDNA results will not help us evaluate her ancestry. However, autosomal DNA is helpful in evaluating both Mary’s and Jacob’s paternal and maternal ancestry. We have one 2nd great granddaughter, one 4th great granddaughter, one 4th great grandson, and one 5th great granddaughter of Jacob and Mary in our project. The 2nd great granddaughter’s results are the most informative since she is the closest to this couple. This descendant is just four generations removed from Jacob4 and Mary. 23andMe said this descendant “did not have any genetically Native American ancestors in the past five generations.” The results from the other three descendants did not contradict the results from the 2nd great granddaughter.

So, if Stephen5’s descendants had been DNA tested, it is highly likely the DNA evidence would have supported the commission’s conclusions that these descendants did not have Choctaw blood from their VICK line.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vicks in Sports

Who are (or were) the greatest Vicks in sports? Americans are easy to find but I have fallen short on Vick athletes from other countries. Here are a few of the more notable Vicks in sports I have found. Surely there must be great Vick cricket, rugby, and football players around the world.

Samuel “Sammy” Bruce Vick was born April 12 1895, in Batesville, Mississippi. He was the only man to ever pinch hit (really substitute) at bat for Babe Ruth.

Ernie Vick was born July 2, 1900, in Toledo, Ohio, U.S. He played catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals between 1922 and 1926.

• On October 6, 2007, Michael T. Vick ran the St. George Marathon in 2:22:53 finishing eighth.

Michael Vick, at one time the highest paid professional football player in the United States, was born June 26, 1980.

• On May 17, 2008, Robert Vick became the tenth person to bench press 900 pounds. He did so at the Nationals in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, U.S. His lift was a World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters National and World Record.

• Sarah Vick of Great Britain placed 692nd in the W18 age group at the 2009 Flora London Marathon. Her time was 3:46:56.

• Don L. Vick is a National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American & Southwest Conference champion 1 & 3 meter springboards as well as a seven time world high diving champion.

• In 1988, Glynn Vick and in 2006, Cecil Vick (brothers) were inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame for their rodeo accomplishments.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sister Mary Ruth - A Vick Catholic Nun

I wrote the article below for the January 2009 Vick Family Newsletter.

Prior to reading about Sister Mary Ruth I had no idea that any of the Vicks in my father’s family were anything but Methodists. My father’s brother, Robert Edward Vick, Sr., of Greenville, KY, gave me a copy of an unpublished document titled "Mercer Family That Affects the Vick Family," written by George Del Vick. In the document George Del Vick said Mary Ruth was a Catholic nun who had lived at Mount Saint Joseph in Maple Mount, KY. Around the summer of 1994 I went to the convent and Sister Emma Cecilia Busam, Order of St. Ursula (O.S.U.), gave me copies of the following documents (that I have transcribed here) proving that we did, in fact, have a Catholic nun in our family.

SISTER MARY RUTH VICK 08-27-1882 - 08-05-1951
Parents: Sebastian and Nancy Whangar Vick
Born: Greenville, Kentucky
Baptized: Blanche October 15, 1904
Entered: April 27, 1914
Received habit: December 30, 1914 No. 109
Final Vows: July 16, 1923

About Sister Mary Ruth we have very little information in the Archives, and very little can be learned from those who remember her, except for the fact that she was a cripple. It is believed that she was not close to her relatives, or that she was a sort of orphan when she came here. She did not enter until she was 31, so much is unknown to us who would like to know why she was a "different" person from the ordinary run of us. There was a lady in Owensboro who was interested in her; she may have been a friend or a relative. Sister Patrice had shown an interest in Sister Mary Ruth, and after Sister's death this lady sent gifts to the Mount and to Sister Patrice to show her appreciation. For example, she paid for the floor tiling on Lourdes II; she sent a film projector for the sick so that they could see novies (sic); she sent a sizeable electric fan and a recliner to Sister Patrice, and she used that recliner to the last of her days, in 1983.

During her 37 years as an Ursuline Sister Mary Ruth was on a mission other than Mt. St. Joseph at St. Joseph, Owensboro, for 16 months; all the remainder of her years were spent at the Mount. She helped take care of the sick on the third floor of St. Angela's building where the tuberculosis patients were cared for. She cooked for them, and made many trips up and down those flights of steps. Later she was in charge of the 'little girls.' She did not spare the hair brush; nor did she spoil the child. She spent a lot of her time piecing quilts on the machine. She lived on the top floor of the Novitiate building (now St. Ursula) on the south side. She had a basket on a rope that she would lower with a note in it for whatever she wanted; she would then 'haul' the basket up.

Sister Amanda Rose wrote this essay “The Beads Whisper From the Sick Room” when she was a postulant in 1950 and had been assigned the job of working in the infirmary with Sister Mary Ruth and others. It seems the essay was especially about Sister Mary Ruth's beads.

I'm a pair of beads and I have a little story to tell you. I'm not just an ordinary rosary. For one thing, I have blessings galore bestowed upon me.

I know, for my owner always mentions that to everyone she meets and then what makes me different from other beads, and what I love most of all is the very comfortable and permanent home I have in a pair of soft wrinkled old hands. They are hands that belong to a Shepherdess of “sheep.” That's nothere (sic) name for a Spouse of Christ. But now she has retired from the field where she personally watched over the flock of Christ's “sheep,” and with me to help her, she's still watching and guarding over them from a distance. I must say she certainly keeps me busy. Perhaps you've guessed we live behind convent walls in a small room equipped with a bed, table or two, and chair. On the wall are several holy pictures and her prized possession, a crucifix. Sometimes she gazes on it quite a long time and almost forgets to keep me jingling.

Now my mistress rises rather early and her first joy is assisting at Mass if she is able; if not, well, the King always manages to come and see her.

After all these years they're pretty good friends by now. After Mass, she settles down and looks forward to the coming day, which is a full one. We two have quite a time together. Don't ask me how, but she can dust, mend and even write letters without making me leave my comfortable home. Yes, I repeat I'm not an ordinary pair of beads. Now in the afternoon we usually go visiting the other shepherdesses, who have tiny rooms just like my mistress. Many of them just come and stay a little while; and after the excellent and loving care of two shepherdess doctors, (who could heal the devil if they ever got hold of him) they go back to the field to continue their watch over the King's “sheep.” Oh, what fun and joy these shepherdesses have when they get together and talk about their years spent in the open field. What things they have seen and they could talk forever about their wonderful experiences. In fact, I guess the day is just about over now. But there will be another day just like this one and another and another until finally one day, my shepherdess will slip off to be forever with the King over Whose flock she watched so faithfully, and will I jingle with joy that day!

Sister Mary Ruth slipped off forever on August 5, 1951. Rev. Gilbert Henniger was chaplain at the time, and he probably said the Mass for her funeral. Sister's grave is in Row 2 No. 13"

Another sheet says the following:

SISTER MARY RUTH VICK August 27, 1882 - August 5, 1951 Sister Mary Ruth was born in Greenville, Ky., the daughter of Sebastian Vick and Nancy Whanger-Vick. She was baptized October 15, 1904, and given the name Blanche. She entered the novitiate April 27, 1914, and received the habit December 30, 1914. She pronounced vows July 16, 1917, 1918, 1920 and 1923.

Her two missions: St. Joseph, Owensboro, Ky. 16 months; Mt. St. Joseph 1921 until her death August 5, 1951. At the Mount she was in charge of the little girls in grade school. (See Sister Amanda Rose Mahoney's poetie (sic) writing on “The Beads of Whisper From the Sick Room” that gives you a small glance into the life of Sister Mary Ruth, and her devotion to the Rosary.

There is also the following information on below the above:

Name Sister Mary Ruth Vick
Entered Novitiate Year 1914 Mar 26, Age 31
Received Habit Dec 30, 1914
Profession July 16 1917
Left Novitiate for First Mission 1919 - 1921
First Mission Place St Josephs School Owensboro, Time Sixteen Months Final Vows July 16 1923
Place Time
Mt St. Joseph Motherhouse 1921 1943 -51

The following appeared in The Owensboro Messenger on August 7, 1951, in the obituary section under the title “Sister Mary Ruth Vick”:

Sister Mary Ruth Vick, 68, Maple Mount, died at 12:30 a.m. Sunday after an illness of several months. She was born in Muhlenberg County on Aug. 7, 1882, and is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a. m. today at the Chapel at Maple Mount, conducted by the Msgr. Gilbert Henninger. Burial will be in Maple Mount cemetery.

Do you have an unusual Vicks in your family tree? If so, please tell me their story.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vicks Who Served in the Armed Forces

My uncle Robert Edward Vick, Sr. won the Silver Star while serving in the U.S. Army in the Philippines during World War II. I wonder who the most distinguished Vicks were who served in their countries’ armed forces. I have noted in my Vick one-name study some instances of Vicks who served.
Men & Armour for Gloucestershire in 1608, by John Smith (Republished by Alan Sutton; 1980; ISBN/ISSN: 0904387496) lists on page 308 under Oxlinge (Oxlinch) James Bycke, mason one pike.
• John Veke is listed on page 182 of Gloucestershire Military Survey 1522, (The Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society; Record Series Volume 6; R. W. Hoyle; 1993; ISBN 0 900197 36 3). He is listed under Whitstone Hundred, Standish, with a worth of £3-6s-8d. This John could provide a sword. (Source Hudson John Powell)
• Private Mathew Vick served in Captain Arthur Applewhite’s Company from September to December 1794 in the expedition against the insurgents in Pennsylvania during the Frontier Wars.
• Private Walter Vick enlists in Company K, First Regiment Kentucky Infantry, Kentucky Volunteers, Confederate States Army on June 17, 1861, in Keysburg, Kentucky.
• Wesley Vick, born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, about 1825, enlisted at Vicksburg on November 10, 1863, in the 3rd U.S. Colored Cavalry.
• Sir Godfrey Russell Vick KC was born December 24, 1892 served in World War I.
• Private T. Vick of the 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment died of disease in the South African War (1899-1902).
• Lance Corporal Bernard Charles Vick of Chichester, England was killed in action on October 14, 1914, in World War I at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in France.
• A photograph of Lt. D.B. Vick, Royal Field Artillery, taken August 12, 1916, appears in The Sphere Magazine.
• Private James Frank Vick, U.S. Army, 138th Field Artillery Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, died October 20, 1918. He is buried in the Brookwood American Cemetery in England.
• Private Paul B. Vick, of Texas died in Japanese captivity on May 27, 1942, in the Philippines.
• Sergeant James Albert Vick, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, died on June 3, 1944, in the crash of a Halifax LL307 (NF-J), 138 Squadron, at Tholen, Holland.
• Private First Class Gordon R. Vick, of Edgecombe County, North Carolina died on August 19, 1950, in South Korea.
• Specialist Fourth Class Roscoe L. Vick, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina died on March 4, 1966, near Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam.
• Brigadier General James L. Vick, United States Air Force (no known relation), was born July 27, 1943, in Sturgis, Michigan. He flew 276 combat missions during the Vietnam War piloting F-4D’s and B-52D’s.
• On April 26, 1971, flying the SR-71 “Blackbird,” Lieutenant Colonel Thomas B. Estes and Lieutenant Colonel Dewain C. Vick set the long range aviation endurance record. The feat won them the Mackay trophy and the Harmon trophy.
• From 1976 until January 11, 1979, Commander J.C. Vick was the commander of the Blue Crew of the USS Ethan Allen (SSBN 608).
• Staff Sergeant Eric R. Vick of Spring Hope, North Carolina died on April 1, 2007, in Bagdad, Iraq.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Vick Family Newsletter, Volumes I through XXI, Is Now Available on CD

Thanks to Pam Strickland Vick the Vick Family Newsletter, volumes I through XXI, is now available on CD. The order form is below.

The Vick Family Newsletters, Vol. I through XXI, on CD Order Form

Please send CD to:

Name: _______________________________________________


City: _________________________ State __________ Zip ________________

Email (for confirmation of shipment):___________________________

_____ Vick Family Newsletter on CD @ $10 for JVFOA members $_______

_____ Vick Family Newsletter on CD @ $20 for non-members $_______

Total amount enclosed $________

Please make checks payable to: Joseph Vick Family of America, Inc.

Mail your order form and check to:

Laura Wikey
Treasurer, JVFOA
874 Lakeknoll Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Example of the Genealogical Information in a Testimony to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes

In my last blog I mentioned that documents to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes contain a lot of genealogical information. Below is an example.

Department of the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muskogee, I. T., July 7th, 1902,


In the matter of the application of Turner Vick for the identification of himself and his three minor children, Jessie A., Josh, and Gertrude Vick, as Mississippi Choctaws.

No attorney.

Turner Vick, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

Examination by the Commission,
Q. What is your name? A. Turner Vick.
Q. How old are you Mr. Vick? A. I was born September 8th, 1850.
Q. How much Choctaw blood have you? A. Well it’s supposed to be one-eighth.
Q. What is your post office address? A. Lynch, Texas.
Q. How long have you lived in Texas? A. Lived there ever since I was five years old, only what time I spent traveling about; I lived some in Arkansas and worked some in the Choctaw Nation three or four times for about two months at a time.
Q. Where were you born? A. Muhlenberg county, Kentucky.
Q. Is your father living? A. No sir.
Q. What was his name? A. Name was Henry Monroe; H. M. was his initials.
Q. Is your mother living? A. No sir.
Q. What was her name? Her name was Hulda Ann Young before she was married.
Q. Through which one of your parents do you get your Choctaw blood?
A. Father.
Q. How old would he be if he was living now? A. Why he died--- I can’t tell you exactly; I think he was born somewhere in 1812 or 1813; I aimed to bring the family record but forgot it. He was seventy-seven years old when he died and he died this coming October is five years ago; he was born March 16th; I remember that.
Q. Where was he born? A. I think in Hopkins county, Kentucky.
Q. Lived there in Kentucky all his life? A. Yes sir, Kentucky, and I think he made that his home until he moved when I was going on five years old; it was in ’55, the first day of January; we came to Texas the first day of January in ’55.
Q. He never lived in Mississippi? A. No sir, not that I know of.
Q. Through which of his parents did he get his Choctaw blood?
A. Through his Vick parents.


Q. What was his name? A. His name was Steven Vick; that was my grandfather.
Q. Do you know the year in which he was born? A. No sir.
Q. Did you ever see him? A. No sir; if I did I was too small; I can remember my grandmother when I was four years old.
Q. Do you know where Steven lived during his life-time?
A. My father taught me he came from Mississippi.
Q. Do you know what part? A. Not far from Vicksburg.
Q. Your father was never recognized in any manner or enrolled as a member of the Choctaw tribe of Indians in Indian Territory, was he? A. Not that I know of.
Q. Where your father and mother lawfully married? A. Yes sir.
Q. Have you any evidence of that fact with you? A. No sire; all the evidence I have they lived together for a long period of years; we have family records that shows when they was married and by who they was married.
Q. How many children were born to them? A. Seven; four boys and three girls.
Q. Well did they live together until your mother’s death? A. Yes sir.
It will be necessary that the Commission be furnished with proper evidence of the marriage of your mother. This evidence should be furnished within a period of ten days from to-day (sic) if possible.

By the applicant:

Now I want to say I couldn’t furnish testimony in that time for I have to go back to Kentucky for it, and it will require twenty-five or thirty days.

By the Commission:

Well if You (sic) cant (sic) get it here in ten days just send it as soon as you can. It may be that your case wont (sic) be decided.

Q. You are married are you Mr. Vick? A. Yes sir.
Q. Is your wife living? A. No sir, she’s dead.
Q. What was her name? Martha Jane Brown was her maiden name.
Q. Did she have any Choctaw blood? A. No sir.
Q. Were you married more than once? A. No sir.
Q. Was she? A. No sir.
Q. Have you any children living? A. Yes sir.
Q. How many? A. Two boys and seven girls; nine children.
Q. Are any of them of age? A. Yes sir.
Q. How many are of age? A. Lutitia, Willie, Henry, Dora, Clarissa, and Cora; they are all married except Clarissa; she’s twenty-one years old.
Q. How many have you at home with you now under age? I have three, yes sir.
Q. What are their names? A. Jessie A., girl.
Q. How old? A. She’s sixteen years old.
Q. Next one? A. Josh, boy.
Q. How old is Josh? A. He’s thirteen years old.


Q. Next? A. Gertrude, girl.
Q. How old? A. Eleven.
Q. These three children are living with you at this time are they?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Now give us the married names of your children who are married – your daughters who are married? A. First is Annie Lutitia Irons.
Q. Next one? A. Willie Frances Proctor is her full name.
Q. Next one? A. Next one is Dora Ella Proctor.
Q. Next one? A. Cora Lee Petty.
Q. Next one? A. The next one is a boy—George Henry Vick.
Q. Next one? A. There’s no more married ones.
Q. Clarissa is single? A. Rest of them is single; Clarissa is twenty-one years old and single.
Q. These married children are also the children of yourself and Martha Jane Vick? A. Yes sir.
Q. Where you married to Martha Jane Vick under a license? A. No sir, married in the state of Arkansas. Should I state when?
Q. Yes? (sic) A. Married in the state of Arkansas the third day of September, 1871, in Millcreek township, by Reverend Henry Carr, Baptist minister. I wrote to the County Clerk for the marriage certificate and he wrote back to me that it would cost sixty cents. I have sent that but I haven’t heard from it yet. I can get proof however that we was married, by having time to get that.
Q. Well, we give you a period of ten days from this date in which to offer proper evidence of the marriage of yourself and Martha Jane Vick; of course your marriage certificate would be the best evidence. This application is for yourself and three minor children; is that correct? A. Yes sir.
Q. Is your name or the name of any of these children to be found on any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory? A. We never did enroll.
Q. Did you not make application to the Choctaw tribal authorities in Indian Territory, for yourself or any one of these children, to be admitted or enrolled as members of that tribe? A. None until the present time.
Q. We are not the tribal authorities; we are the United States authorities. (sic) Well, I never did make application.
Q. Did you in the year 1896 make application to this Commission for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation under the act of Congress approved June 10, 1896? A. 1896? No sir.
Q. Then neither you nor your children for whom you make application have ever been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by the Choctaw tribal authorities, the Commission is the Five Civilized Tribes or the United States Court for the Indian Territory, have you? A. No sir.
Q. Have you ever made any application of any description before today for yourself or these children, for the purpose of establishing your rights as Choctaw Indians? A. No sir.
Q. Do you appear before the Commission at this time for the purpose of claiming rights in the Choctaw lands in Indian Territory, for yourself and these minor children, under article fourteen of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, do you? A. Yes sir.


This treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into in the state of Mississippi on September 27, 1830, between the government of the United States and the Choctaw tribe of Indians. At the time this treaty was made the Choctaw lived in Mississippi and along the western edge of the state of Alabama. The object of the treaty was to secure the removal of these Indians from the country occupied by them in Mississippi and Alabama to a new country west of the Mississippi river, part of which is now occupied by the greater portion of the Choctaw tribe of Indians and the Chickasaws and is commonly known as the Choctaw-Chickasaw country in Indian Territory. At the time this treaty was made some of these Indians were unwilling to leave the old Nation and move out west, and for the benefit of those who preferred to remain there what is known as the fourteenth article was put into the treaty. That fourteenth article provided that upon certain conditions a Choctaw who preferred to remain in Mississippi and not move out to the new Nation might receive land back there from the government. It is as follows:

“Each Choctaw head of a family being desirous to remain and become a citizen of the states shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intentionto (sic) the Agent within six months from the ratification of this treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land, to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner shall be entitled to one half that quantity for each unmarried child which is living with him over ten years of age; and a quarter section to such child as may be under ten years of age, to adjoin the location of the parent. If they reside upon said lands intending to become citizens of the states for five years after the ratification of this treaty, in that case, a grant in fee simple shall issue; said reservation shall include the present improvement of the head of the family or a portion of it. Persons who claim under this article shall not lose the privilege of a Choctaw citizen but if they ever remove are entitled to any portion of the Choctaw annuity.”

Q. You understand that fourteenth article Mr. Vick? A. Why, I believe I do Judge.
Q. Did any of your ancestors live in the old Nation in Mississippi and Alabama in the year 1830 when this treaty was made?
A. That’s what I have been taught by my father.
Q. Well now your father was born in about 1815 you think?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Well now he must have been fifteen years old when this treaty was made, according to that? A. Yes sir.
Q. Well he never lived in Mississippi that you ever hear of?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Well he lived with his father until he was grown did he?
A. Why I suppose he did. I cant (sic) answer that question.
Q. Well now you don’t think it probable that your father or his father either were living in Mississippi in 1830 do you?
A. Don’t know that they was. His grandfather lived in Mississippi


At that time; that’s what he has always taught me.
Q. Was your father’s grandfather living at the time of the birth of your father? A. I don’t know; I cant (sic) answer that question. He told me but I have forgotten it.
Q. Do you know whether any of your Choctaw ancestors within six months after this treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was ratified, let the Agent of the government in Mississippi for the Choctaws know that they wanted to stay in Mississippi and become citizens of the states and take land? A. Well sir, I have been told that they did. We propose to introduce testimony if we have time to that effect before the Commission.
Q. How did you get your information on that point? A. We got it by a man writing to us.
Q. Who was he? A. He said he would furnish testimony to connect us.
Q. Who is he Mr. Vick? A. His name is Gardner.
Q. Where does he live? A. I couldn’t tell you.
Q. How did you happen to get in communication with him? A. My cousin met him.
Q. Where? A. Somewhere in the Territory.
Q. Do you know what this man’s occupation is? A. No sir.
Q. What did he tell you? A. He told us in making our application that we could furnish testimony—written testimony; to make it on that ground and furnish written evidence to identify us with the Choctaw tribe.
Q. Did you make any agreement with him to pay him? A. If he furnishes testimony.
Q. What were the terms of that agreement? A. He agreed to furnish it for one hundred dollars.
Q. Did he tell you how he expected to get that testimony?
A. He said it was a matter of record.
Q. You never heard of this man before your cousin met him? A. No sir.
Q. Which one of your cousins do you refer to? A. Luther F. Vick. I will tell you of the thing that caused me to have some faith; my grandfather’s father died in Mississippi in 1819; it is a matter of history because I wrote to exgovernor (sic) Lowery and he informed me to that effect; and I found a man by the name of Simmons that was born in Mississippi; well I want to say he was born there but he was there in an early day, and he told me that his recollection served him that the Vicks and Laflores were related; that one of the Vicks in an early day married one of the Laflores. This man Gardner states that he can connect us with the Laflores; that’s how it comes; of course if we don’t make proof it will be our fault.
Q. Now Mr. Vick do you know whether any of your people did in fact let this Agent for the government there in Mississippi in 1831 know that they wanted to stay there and take advantage of the provisions of the fourteenth article? A. Don’t know only just what was wrote to us.
Q. What Gardner wrote to you? A. Wrote to my cousin.
Q. Did he say he could prove that? A. Yes sir.
Q. What one of your ancestors did he say he could prove did so let


the Agent of the government know that he wanted to stay in Mississippi and become a citizen of the states and take land?
A. Silas Vick, a relative of ours in Mississippi.
Q. What relation? A. He didn’t say what relation.
Q. To you? A. No sir.
Q. Did you ever hear of Silas Vick before this man mentioned him?
A. Not that I recollect it.
Q. You don’t know as a matter of fact that he is any relation to you? A. No sir, I don’t know that he is. I have written back there for a statement but don’t know whether I will get it or not.
Q. Do you know whether any of your people ever claimed or received any land there in Mississippi under this article?
A. I don’t know whether they did or not. I just have this letter from Exgovernor (sic) Lowry that my great-grandfather owned land there when he died in 1819.
Q. You don’t know whether any of your people in fact complied with the provisions of the fourteenth article do you? A. Not personally I don’t. I have been told so.
Q. The only source of information on that point is this man Gardner? A. Yes sir.
Q. You don’t know what authority he has for making that statement?
A. He said he had it from the United States government record.
Q. Do you know what record he referred to? A. No sir.

In accordance with the provisions of this fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the government of the United States directed an Agent in the state of Mississippi to register the names of such Choctaws as might desire to remain there and become citizens of the states and take land. The records of the government show that this Agent failed to register and report to the government the names of many Choctaws who did in fact let him know that they wanted to stay there and become citizens of the states and take land, and on this account the government at its public land sales in Mississippi in many instances sold land upon which Choctaws lived and had improvements and which they supposed they would receive under the fourteenth article of the treaty. This caused a great deal of complaint among the Indians and the matter was finally brought to the attention of Congress and Congress passed certain acts between the years 1837 and 1842 providing for the appointment of Commissioners whose duty it should be to go down to Mississippi and hear the cases of Choctaws who claimed that they had complied in all respects with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek but that their land had been sold by the government. These Commissioners were duly appointed by the President of the United States and they went down to Mississippi between the years 1837 and 1845 and heard a great many of those Choctaw cases.

Q. Did any of your ancestors appear before any of these Commissioners and attempt to establish their rights under the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek? A. Only from what that man states is all.
Q. Did he make that statement to you? A. Yes sir.


Q. What one of your ancestors did he say appeared before these Commissioners? A. He said---well, I don’t remember---he said that his Silas was one of them; told several names.
Q. Did Silas Vick have a Choctaw name? A. I don’t know sir whether he did or not.
Q. You know nothing whatever about this man? A. Not personally.

An act of Congress approved August 23, 1842, provided that in case it should be finally decided that a Choctaw had compliedin (sic) all respects with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek but his land had been taken by the government and sold, he should be entitled to select in the place of the land so sold by the government, land some place else in Mississippi; or in Alabama, Louisiana or Arkansas, from vacant government land, and that a certificate should be given him to that effect. These certificates were called scrip.

Q. Did any of your ancestors ever get any of this scrip from the government under this act of Congress? A. Not that I know of personally.
Q. Do you know whether any of your people ever received any benefits whatever under his fourteenth article? A. Not that I know of personally. I have no personal knowledge of it.
Q. Do you know whether any of your people were recognized members of the tribe in 1830, do you? A. Not personally.
Q. All you know is what this man Gardner has told you about it?
A. That and what others have stated that seemed to know something about the history. I am just speaking now of what I know myself.
Q. Do you know of any written evidence of any kind which would prove or tend to prove that any of your ancestors ever did comply or attempt to comply with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek or ever received any benefits thereunder (sic)? A. This man Gardner proposes to furnish it.
Q. You don’t know of your own knowledge of any such evidence?
A. He told me to make application for time in which to establish that fact and he would furnish testimony.
Q. Is he a lawyer? A. I don’t know sir.
Q. You have no written evidence to offer at this time? A. No sir.
Q. Or any witnesses? A. No sir.

You will be allowed a period of ten days in which to submit proper written evidence in this case, or in which to introduce witnesses to testify in your behalf.

By the applicant:

I would like to have as much time as you could grant me. I have a son and daughter that’s not here, but they want to come and enroll.

By the Commission
They can come as soon as they desire; they should


come at the earliest date possible.

Q. Are there any further statements you want to make? A. No sir.
Q. You don’t speak or understand the Choctaw language? A. No sir.
Q. Have you any brothers living? A. Brothers living? No sir.
Q. Sisters? A. Got two sisters living.
Q. What are their names? A. One her given name is Margaret A. M. Morris.
Q. Next one? A. Susan Kelly.
Q. Have they been before the Commission? A. No sir, one of them is here to-day (sic).
Q. Which one? A. Susan.
Q. Have you any brothers dead who left children? A. Yes sir.
Q. How many? A. I have one.
Q. What was your brother’s name? A. Name was Young L. Vick.
Q. How many of his children are living? A. I don’t know whether any of them is living or not; lost trace of them.
Q. Do you know their names? A. Yes sir, I can give their names.
Q. Give them to us? A. One of them is named---the oldest one is named Nettie.
Q. Next one? A. Fannie.
Q. Next one? A. Frank, boy.
Q. That all? A. Jim, Robert, and Maud.
Q. Next? A Stella, that’s all.
Q. Have any of them been before the Commission? A. Not that I know of sir.
Q. Now have you any sisters dead who left children? A. Yes sir.
Q. How many? A. One.
Q. What was her name? A. Hulda Ann Manning.
Q. How many of her children are living now? A. She had three.
Q. What are their names? A. Col, he’s a boy.
Q. Next one? A. Mary.
Q. Next one? A. Dora.
Q. Have they been before the Commission? A. No sir.

Special reference is hereby made to M C R 5879, Luther F. Vick, the applicants in this case and the applicants in that case being the descendants of the same common Choctaw ancestor.
The records in the possession of the Commission containing the names of persons who complied or attempted to comply with the previsions of that fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, or received any benefits thereunder (sic), have been carefully examined and the names of none of the ancestors of this applicant are found thereon.
This applicant has the appearance of being a white man; shows no indications of being possessed of Indian blood; his hair is rather inclined to be dark; has brown eyes; dark complexion; he doesn’t speak or understand the Choctaw language and has no knowledge of the compliance on the part of any of his ancestors with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.


Albert G. McMillan, being first duly sworn, states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes he reported the proceedings had in the above entitled cause on the 7th day of July, 1902, and that the above and foregoing is a full, true and correct transcription of his stenographic notes taken in said cause on said date.
Albert G. McMillan

Subscribed and sworn before me this 21st day of July, 1902.
Guy L. V. Emerson
Notary Public

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Documents from the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes Reveal a Lot of Vick Family History Information

Documents from the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes (authorized under a rider to an Indian Office appropriation bill, March 3, 1893) contain a great deal of family history information. A member of the Joseph Vick Family of America provided many copies of documents from The National Archives to JVFOA about her family’s claims of Choctaw Indian ancestry and their entitlement to land under the 1830 treaty know as the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Among other documents in the Commission’s file are summaries of the sworn testimony of family members. The following were some of the questions asked:

What is your name?
How old are you?
How much Choctaw blood do you claim?
What is your post office address?
How long have you lived there
Is your father living?
What was his name?
Is your mother living?
What was her name?
Through which one of your parents do you claim your Choctaw blood?

Then the questions drilled down through each generation until arriving at the ancestor believed to have been a Choctaw. The person testifying was asked where the ancestor was born and when, and if the ancestor was living in 1830. There were further questions about whether the person filing the claim was married (and if so how many times), to whom, and how many children they had from each marriage. Additional questions dealt with whether a spouse had any Choctaw blood.

In an upcoming issue of the Vick Family Newsletter we are going to cover these claims, the lineage of the William6 (Stephen5, Jacob4, Isaac3, William2, Joseph1), and what we learned from testing descendants of Jacob4 at 23andMe about the probability of Jacob4 (or his wife) having Choctaw Indian ancestry as claimed in the testimony.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inventorying the Materials of the Late Di Ann Vick

After traveling for a couple of weeks I have started preparing an inventory of the materials Di Ann Vick designated go to the Joseph Vick Family of America. It is like preparing an inventory of a giant treasure chest. The process will take weeks. As I look at the materials I want to read everything, but I also know that would turn the inventory process into one lasting many months.

The inventory will be included in parts in upcoming issues of the Vick Family Newsletter. Hopefully, the inventory will both give those who sent Di Ann material some reassurance that what they sent has not been lost and spark some interest among Vick researchers. While I have only looked at a small portion of the materials I have found items relating not only to the Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia line but also to English, Canadian, and German Vick lines.

As I work on the inventory I realize that eventually the material that is not copyrighted should be scanned and placed on the Joseph Vick Family of America website so that all researchers can have access to it. I also realize that all of the material I collect on behalf of the association should be placed in a location accessible to all researchers. I suspect many family associations have lost a lot of material when their newsletter editors have not passed on what they have collected to succeeding editors or other representatives of their associations.

After inventorying the materials I intend to create a database of the information so that it will be easy to search by name or place. That process could take a year or more. This database will include the indexes already prepared for past issues of the Vick Family Newsletter and any additional information I collect.

Friday, April 2, 2010

3rd Annual Genealogy Fair at Nova Southeastern University

On April 10, 2010, I will be representing the Guild of One-Name Studies at the 3rd Annual Genealogy Fair at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I look forward to talking with people about one-name studies and the Guild. I also look forward to seeing again the people I met at the first two fairs. The Nova Fair is a very enjoyable experience. There are many knowledgeable people at the fair who represent a wide array of genealogy and family history organizations.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Vick Genetics Project in 1827 – Vick’s 100 Cotton Seed

As I was indexing volume XIII of the Vick Family Newsletter tonight I came across a story about Henry William Vick. It turns out Colonel Henry may have organized our family’s first genetics project. The newsletter article was based upon information in Nitta Yuma King Cotton. The article says the following on page 15:

‘it was in the year 1827 or 8…my brother Gray Vick and myself then planting
together at the prairie near Manchester (Yazoo City) on the Yazoo River, known
among the Choctaw Indians as Nitta Yuma…procured from Thomas Vaughn of Petit
Gulf Hills some of his ‘Little Brown’ Mexican cotton seed, which were considered
at least equal to or superior to any of that celebrated

On establishing myself, in 1831,…on [land] on which my brother Willie B. Vick
had for many years resided and planted previous to his death (1817 to 18300 I
ordered from Thomas Vaughn 100 bushels of seed for which I paid him seventy-five
dollars, and continued the order for the same quantity, at the same price, for
five years.’

(The third year, Mr. Vaughn supplied Henry William with 100 bushels of what he
considered his best yield. The seed he supplied the two following years
was not comparable, so H.W. decided to improve the seed he had.)
‘…it was not until the month of March of this present year, 1844, that I made discovery of the fact that my former method, the one usually practiced by planters in the Petit Gulf Hills of selecting from the bank of seed those of a certain color,
coat and size, would not and could not carry the improvement of any considerable
degree of perfection.

The discovery I allude to was made this way. In the month of
September and October last year, having no answer, and being perpetually with
the hands while picking, I was in the habit of looking, examining ahead for the
best stalks, bolls and cotton, and upon meeting with a very superior stalk, of
picking the cotton and keeping it to self, and upon returning to the house
putting the separate parcels in paper to themselves. In the month of
March, preparatory to planting, I picked with my own hands the various lots…and
was surprised to find…they exhibited 2 find distinct varieties of seed and
consequently of cotton…

On the 4th of April, I planted the various lots of seed picked by me by hand,
and the wagon having passed frequently unknown to the driver over my favorite
lot – which in consequence of the 10 or 12 locks having furnished precisely 100
seed – I call my strain the 100 seed variety.’

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Digging Deep into My Roots

23andMe’s Relative Finder predicts Yvonne STEWART is my “Distant Cousin.” That means she would be greater than a 10th cousin. Up to “Distant Cousin” Relative Finder assigns a range around its prediction. For example the prediction might be 4th cousin with a range of 3rd to 6th cousin. Yvonne and I have one matching segment of DNA on one chromosome comprising just .07 percent of our total DNA. That is the only segment we both have from our shared ancestor that is at least five centimorgan’s long (the minimum threshold for Relative Finder to call a match).

When Yvonne and I first looked to see if we could find a shared ancestor in our pedigrees, I couldn’t find one. She later pointed out to me that I was mistakenly looking in my mother’s line when our match was in my father’s line (Yvonne did not match my mother). If Yvonne and I were 11th cousins we would have to share a 10th great grandparent. If I didn’t have the same person in more than one of my lines, I would have 4,096 10th great grandparents. I know I don’t have 4,096 unique 10th great grandparents, because my parents are 4th cousins, one time removed. I expect my parents' lines merge at other places in our family tree also. Nonetheless, there are a lot of possibilities at the 10th great grandparent level, and I do not know the names of many of my 10th great grandparents. In fact, my pedigree chart has many blank boxes after my 2nd great grandparents, so I doubt I will be able to find a shared ancestor with many “Distant Cousins.” Any shared ancestor with an 11th cousin I do find may not be the ancestor from whom I have inherited the segment. However, I expect to have a lot of fun looking (and I also expect to learn a lot in the process).

A couple of weeks ago I contacted another of my Relative Finder matches. In that case Relative Finder predicted we were 5th cousins (with a range of 3rd to 10th). I sent her a link to my pedigree, and she recognized the WYATT surname as being one in her pedigree. She told me Mary Ann WYATT, born in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1839, was her ancestor. I went to and found a family tree that showed her Mary Ann’s WYATT line was Noah (1805-1871), Thomas (1773-1846), John (1743-1815), John (1714-1776), John (1679-1738). This last John married Rachel CALLOWAY (1675-1719) on November 17, 1696, in Albemarle Precinct, Perquimans County, North Carolina. John and Rachel are my 7th great grandparents, so the lady I matched is my 8th cousin. If the shared segment passed down both lines it came from either John or Rachel. I chart all my matches. I will be watching for another person who shares that segment with me. Perhaps I can then figure out whether the segment came through the WYATT line or the CALLOWAY line.

I mention this WYATT/CALLOWAY line because Yvonne and I then found we share a WYATT ancestor, the Reverend Haute WYATT (1594-1638). He was the brother of Sir Francis WYATT. Francis WYATT was the first colonial governor of Virginia. Fortunately, both are well-documented. As it turns out, the Reverend WYATT is my 10th great grandfather, and he is also Yvonne’s 10th great grandfather. So, Yvonne and I are 11th cousins. She is descended from Reverend WYATT’s first wife, and I am descended from his second wife. That means if we did inherit our shared DNA from this line, it had to be from Reverend WYATT.

If nothing else, Relative Finder is causing me to get to know my WYATT line a lot better. It is also causing me to extend every line I can in my pedigree to try to find why I match the people I do at 23andMe. I am learning a lot about my family history as I extend those lines (and I am having a lot of fun while doing it). I am also meeting some very nice new cousins.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Progress in Indexing Place Names in the "Vick Family Newsletter"

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I have been indexing the place names in the Vick Family Newsletter. All of the volumes (except one) have name indexes of the people, so a place name index would allow us to cross-reference people to places (or places to people). Eventually I hope to put all of the index references (people and places, newsletters and book) in Microsoft Access to make the cross-referencing much more efficient.

So far I have indexed the first ten volumes. Having one index of all the volumes would be ideal, but I am going to have to do it in two parts if I am also going to start publishing the index in the newsletter this year. Part I will be an index through volume XV. As it turns out the Joseph Vick Family of America sold soft copies of volumes I through XV bound in two parts. So, an index of those volumes would be particularly handy for anyone who has the bound copies. Part II will then complete the newsletter volumes. After I finish part II, I will merge the two parts into one index which can then be placed on a CD with all of the newsletters. Pam Vick and her sister have scanned all of the newsletters, and she believes they will be searchable. The index will provide another layer of search because it will contain the city, county, and state for places that can be associated with them. The index, therefore, will allow you to find all of the places in a county, for example, that are mentioned in any of the newsletters even if the county name isn’t included in the article’s text (provided the newsletter had enough detail to identify the county or that the location was in a county).

Well, I had better get to indexing. I am holding up the newsletter.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We Are All Cousins

In our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project at 23andMe we are looking for people who match more than one of our project members. The hope is that some of these people will lead us to discover some of the missing names in our collective family tree. I have also noticed that my wife and I have some of the same predicted cousins at 23andMe. One lady matches two other members of our project in addition to me. I noticed she also matches my wife. Seeing that my wife and I match the same person (we actually have more than one shared match) caused me to start thinking about where my pedigree would first join my wife’s pedigree. Years ago when I was researching my father’s pedigree I found that my mother and my dad were 4th cousins, one time removed (their shared ancestors were Shadrach MERCER and his wife Rhoda PRICE).

At some point all of our pedigrees begin to merge, so it is just a question of how far back we have to go in each line to find that point. Yesterday I was researching the pedigree of the lady who matches the other two descendants of Joseph Vick, my wife, and me. Relative Finder predicted this lady was my “Distant Cousin.” Relative Finder also predicted she was my wife’s distant cousin. I found that the lady and I are 11th cousins. Our shared ancestor was Rev. Haute WYATT (born June 4, 1594, in Maidstone, Kent, England). Rev. WYATT was the brother of Francis WYATT, the first English colonial governor of Virginia. The lady I matched is a descendant of Rev. WYATT’s first wife and I am a descendant of his second wife.

After finding how the lady and I are related, I started looking for how she is related to my wife. Both had the surname MOORE in their pedigrees, so their MOORE lines seemed like a good place to start the search. As I looked at my wife’s pedigree I realized that the MOORE was a mistake. I had her as one of my wife’s 4th great grandmothers. Other trees showed that the correct name of this 4th great grandmother was Mary CLEMENS (actually CLEMMONS as it turned out). Mary’s father and mother were Samuel Thompson CLEMMONS (born March 15, 1751) and Martha COGGINS (born in 1756). When I looked back at my pedigree I realized these were my 5th great grandparents (in my father’s line), so my wife and I are 6th cousins.

My wife also matches three people that my mother matches. Maybe as I am researching all of their lines I will find a common ancestor of my wife and my mother.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We Have a Chance to Grow Our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project and Save Money

We have a chance to save some money while growing our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project. 23andMe is offering the Ancestry Edition test for $199, and if you want the Full Edition you can get the $200 discount off that price also. The details on the Ancestry Edition are here. To get the $200 off the Full Edition Stewart Ellis at 23andMe said “click ‘Continue Shopping’ at the top of the store page, then add a Complete Edition to your cart. At that point, if you only want the Complete Edition, you can remove the Ancestry kit and you're left with just the Complete Edition with the discount applied. Remember, you have to click the ‘order now’ button on the Faces of America Landing page to get the discount - that is the button that applies the promotion to the store.” The offer expires on March 31, 2010.

The celebrities featured on the PBS series Faces of America, were tested by 23andMe. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the host of the series, said “we knew we wanted to go beyond paper records. 23andMe's invaluable genetic ancestry tools allowed us to pick up where the paper trails left off, providing valuable insights into the genealogy and ancestry of each of our guests.”

We have one brother of a project member who just joined our project, and he already has a match with another project member that his brother didn’t have. I can see from my children’s match list that because they each didn’t inherit the same 50 percent of my DNA they have some different matches in my line. Having additional family members test increases the chance of finding something significant for our Vick family history.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vick Ancestors in Scotland?

Today a lady who 23andMe’s Relative Finder predicts is my 5th cousin (with a range of 3rd to 9th cousin) accepted my contact request. Since Relative Finder predicted we are 5th cousins, we would be expected to share 4th great grandparents. My 4th great grandparents lived in the 1700s. Finding the shared ancestors will be a challenge, but if we were able to link our pedigrees it would be very satisfying.

The lady I match was born in Glasgow, Scotland. It is highly likely that our match is through my father’s line since my mother has been tested and she doesn’t match the lady. I looked to see if I have found any links to Scotland in my father’s line. Unfortunately, I haven’t done enough research to be able to connect our pedigrees.

In the time before surnames have been used I may have had at least one patrilineal ancestor who lived in Shetland or Orkney. I base that on an analysis of my Y-DNA done by Professor Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University. He said the few markers he used in his analysis have been found in a small number of men there with ancestry to Norway.

I have asked the lady to look at the surnames in my father’s pedigree and to see if any appears to be Scottish. If she finds one, I will try to extend the pedigree for that surname. The lady doesn’t appear to have done any genealogical research, so she is an example of how finding someone who wouldn’t be likely to order a genetic genealogy test can be very useful. The 23andMe database is loaded with people like her. When a member of our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project sends me a screenshot of a match, I enter into a spreadsheet the matches’ name, the chromosome, and the start and stop positions of the shared segment. Maybe another member of our project will match this lady. Maybe we will get really lucky and we will all share the same segment. Yesterday I noticed a case where a man who matches my mother probably matches another man my mother matches. The second man’s matching segment is contained within the segment my mother shares with the first man. Already we have several cases like this in our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project. So, it isn’t impossible that we will find another match with the lady from Scotland, even though it is a very long shot. Wouldn’t another match be very interesting especially if the match has an extensive pedigree?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another DNA Tool To Consider for Our Vick Family History Research

Over 50 men and women have tested or are in the process of testing at 23andMe as part of our VICK and Allied Families DNA Project. Two more Vick descendants told me they were ordering the Full Edition 23andMe test today.

Family Tree DNA has announced it is going to provide a competitive product to 23andMe’s Relative Finder. FTDNA has named its tool Family Finder. Because almost all of our VICK Y-DNA Surname Project members tested at FTDNA, and we have had a great experience with FTDNA, we definitely have to pay attention to what FTDNA is doing. To get an idea of how Family Finder compares to Relative Finder, I ordered a Family Finder test. I am looking forward to using the tools Family Finder includes for managing projects. Hopefully 23andMe will offer similar tools since we don’t have any way to share our project results today except by transferring information from e-mailed screenshots to a spreadsheet and then sharing the spreadsheet. Just getting the screenshots is difficult. Not surprisingly, many project members don’t know how to make a screenshot or don’t have the time or interest to take them.

From the discounts 23andMe gave genetic genealogists last September 23andMe has a great head start on building an ancestry database, but with FTDNA’s very large surname project structure and all those unpaid project administrators extolling the virtues of FTDNA (and thereby steering project members to test at FTDNA), it may not take long for FTDNA to catch up in an important metric to genetic genealogists – a large database of customers anxious to compare pedigrees. If FTDNA was to follow deCODEme’s model of allowing 23andMe customers to transfer results for free, FTDNA might leapfrog 23andMe’s ancestry business.

While short of a full project management capability I have often wondered why 23andMe didn’t do something very simple like indicate on Relative Finder that there is more than one person in the 23andMe database who shares the same segment. 23andMe could then have a second level of contact request where each of the matching people could opt in to group sharing of results. It would seem like that little change could increase the chance that two of the people would have pedigrees they could use to solve the puzzle for the whole group. Solving the puzzle for the whole group might generate more enthusiasm about Relative Finder. It would be a far cry from a project management tool, but it would be at least a start.

I suspect the outcome of the Relative Finder versus Family Finder competition will make a good Harvard Business School case study. Hopefully, the outcome of the competition between the two companies will lead to the best product for genetic genealogists.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gatewaying the Vick Rootsweb Board to the Vick Rootsweb E-mail List

Di Ann Vick was the administrator of the Vick e-mail list on Rootsweb. When she passed away, I adopted the list. At one time there was quite a bit of activity on the list, but recently it has been pretty quiet. There is also a Vick board on Rootsweb. The board also seems to be pretty inactive. As I looked at the board and thought about the e-mails I have received from the e-mail list it seemed to me that the subscribers to the e-mail list didn’t use the board and vice versa. My next thought was that there might be an opportunity to generate more discussion about Vick family history by bringing the two groups and mediums together. Rootsweb has a technique called gatewaying that at least links the board to the e-mail list.

To gateway a board to an e-mail list requires the approval of both administrators. I had not noticed any mention of the administrator on the board. When I clicked on the icon to send the board administrator an e-mail suggesting gatewaying the board, there seemed to be a problem. When I checked, it turned out that the Vick Rootsweb board didn’t have an administrator. So, to gateway the board, I also adopted it.

After gatewaying the board to the e-mail list I sent an e-mail to the members of the mail list explaining what I had done and how they could recognize a gateway e-mail from the board. I also explained to them that if a person who wasn’t a member of the e-mail list posted a query on the board the poster wouldn’t see e-mail responses. Fortunately, Rootsweb makes it easy for e-mail list subscribers to reply on the board. The e-mails from the gateway have a link to the board so all the e-mail subscriber has to do is click on the link and then post the reply on the board. I hope this process won’t be too confusing. It will be interesting to see if gatewaying the board to the e-mail list does foster more communication about Vick family history. Perhaps I had better prime the pump.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Leaving a Legacy of Vick Research

When Di Ann Vick passed away she left instructions to her executrix to distribute her over 1,000 books to a university library. She also instructed that her Vick research materials go to the Joseph Vick Family of America (JVFOA). Last Thursday, Gailen Vick (1st Vice President of the JVFOA) and I met with her executrix and received almost 200 pounds of paper material (mostly letters she had received, research notes, drafts of family histories, and copies of The Vick Family Newsletter). Over the coming weeks JVFOA will be cataloguing the materials and developing a plan to use them to further JVFOA’s goal of sharing research about Joseph Vick and his descendants. Unfortunately, almost all of her electronic notes were lost when her computer hard drive failed last year and the hard drive was discarded.

JVFOA is very fortunate to have had such a dedicated researcher in our association. We were especially fortunate that she made provisions to ensure the material she collected was passed on so that others could benefit from her research. Di Ann will be missed and remembered.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Corrections to Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants

Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants is the definitive work on the first five generations of the Joseph Vick family. John D. Beatty and Di Ann Vick did a wonderful job researching Joseph Vick and his descendants and translating their research into a well-documented family history. Unfortunately, even with the most careful research some errors are bound to happen. When discussing Patience3 (Joseph2, Joseph1) on page 25 the book says “Patience predeceased her father. Her husband, Moses, left no probate record and no heirs are mentioned in the Guardianship bonds which suggests they died without issue.” Joseph2 died in Southampton County, VA, before 14 Jun 1770, according to page 21.

Harold Joyner, a descendant of Patience3 pointed out to me that Patience appears in several sources after her father died. Wake County, North Carolina County Court Minutes 1787 thru 1792 Book II, (Weynette Parks Haun, Durham, NC: The Author, 1979) says on page 13 “Patience Joyner administratrix (sic) of Moses Joyner decd. came into Court and exhibited account against the orphans of said Moses towit, (sic) Fereby Mary, Nancy, Amy, & Amos JOINER amounting to L24 each, which the Court allow her provided the several accounts does not exceed the profits of their respective Estates, ordered that said account be Recorded.”1 Harold sent me a transcription of the “Account of the Sales of the Estate of Moses Joiner, decd. Septr. 25th 1783.”

Harold also told me Moses and Patience had the following children: 1. Drewery (Drury), b. 1765; 2. Amy; 3. Benjamin; 4. Fereby; 5. Jeminia; 6. Mary, m. Joseph McGee 11 May 1790 in Wake Co., NC; 7. Nancy, m. Jesse Lawrence 22 Mar 1800 in Wake Co., NC.; 8. Nathaniel; 9. Amos C. 1777-1859, m. Easter Jent/Gent 1 Jan 1802 in Wake Co., NC.

Harold is also a member of our Vick and Allied Families DNA project. He shares matching DNA segments with other Joseph Vick descendants in the project.

We are publishing corrections to the book in The Vick Family Newsletter. If anyone else has a correction, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Who Were James J. Vick’s Parents?

One of the things I like to do each day is check queries about Vick ancestry. It is nice to help people trace their Vick line, and I usually learn something new in the process. A couple of days ago a lady contacted me and ask if I knew the names of her grandmother Selma Vick’s parents. The lady told me Selma’s husband was Zadock Cox. I was able to find in the North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004, that Selma was born on 29 Apr 1904, in NC, and she died on 12 Oct 1982, in Tarboro, Edgecombe Co., NC.

With the death record information I was then able to find Selma and her parent’s, Augustus R. and Mollie [ ] Vick (one source said Mollie’s maiden name was Price), in census records. From there I found Selma’s Vick grandparents’ names (James J. and Mary Landing Vick). I have yet to find James J. Vick’s parents’ names.

If a person is a descendant of Joseph Vick of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and knows his or her Vick ancestor’s name and a few details like date and place of birth or death, I can usually figure out the Vick line. Many times there is a family tree on, an article in The Vick Family Newsletter, or information on a website that has enough information to get the line to the point where I can tie it into Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants. The book will then get the line all the way back to Joseph the immigrant.

Unfortunately, I am stuck for the moment with James J. Does anyone know James J. Vick’s parents’ names? James J. can be found on the 1850 U.S. Census of Edgecombe Co., NC, living near Reddin Vick’s widow and children and near Burton C. Vick.

Reddin’s line was Reddin6, ?Robert5, Robert4, ?Isaac3, William2, Joseph1. Burton’s line was Burton7, ?Frederick6, ?Robert5, Robert4, ?Isaac3, William2, Joseph1. Perhaps James J. was the son of Reddin6 or Frederick6 given the proximity to probable descendants of Robert5 at the time of the 1850 census. A Y-DNA test of a patrilineal male Vick descendant of James J. could help sort this question out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who Was My Sixth Great Grandmother Vick?

As I said in my blog “Is There Any Hope I Might Find the Missing Names of My Female Ancestors in My Vick Line?” I know my sixth great grandfather Vick was William, and he was the son of Joseph the immigrant. From page 26 of Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, I know William’s wife was “Elizabeth.”

What I don’t know is Elizabeth’s maiden surname. The book says “Some time before 1730, William married ELIZABETH [ ]. Col. Arthur {in his book Vick} commented that the belief among her descendants that she was a Newitt was based largely on that name’s use as a given name in succeeding generations. He speculated that she may have been a sister or, more likely, a niece of the William Newitt who left a will in Isle of Wight County in 1713.”

Two descendants of William2 who have been tested as part of our Vick and Allied Families DNA project at 23andMe match Katherine Hope Borges. A third descendant of William2 matches Katherine’s uncle. Katherine said she has no Vick’s in her pedigree but she does have four surnames that go back to Isle of Wight Co., VA. Those surnames are Avent, Fuller, Littleton, and Spivey.

Looking at the index to the Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, there are references to Avant/Avent and Spivey, but they aren’t in the right line or timeframe to have a direct connection to Elizabeth. If Elizabeth was a niece of William Newitt, perhaps I can find a connection with one of the surnames Katherine has in her pedigree.

I don’t seem to be running out of things to research. Maybe we will get lucky and find other matches in common with Katherine that might shed some more light on Elizabeth’s ancestry.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Was My Fifth Great Grandmother Mary Coleman?

In my blog yesterday (“Is There Any Hope I Might Find the Missing Names of My Female Ancestors in My Vick Line?”), I said that I would discuss some of the clues I am finding using 23andMe’s Relative Finder to help identify the missing names of females in my pedigree. My fifth great grandmother in my Vick line is one of those elusive females. As I mentioned yesterday, page 90 of Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, says she may have been Mary Coleman of Anson County, North Carolina. Mary [ ] Vick witnessed property records involving Colemans in the 1770’s in Anson Co.

Interestingly, my second highest match in Relative Finder is a man whose surname is Coleman. This match may be unrelated to my missing fifth great grandmother, but it may also be a significant clue. The match seems worth pursuing. He didn’t find any of my surnames in his pedigree.

My match’s Coleman ancestor came to America from Ireland in the 1880s. I don’t know when the Anson Co., NC, Colemans’ ancestor came to America, but it had to be before the 1772. I also don’t even know if the ancestor of the Anson Co. Colemans was Irish.

We would both have to extend our research to see if we have a shared Coleman ancestor in Ireland. I know nothing about Irish records, and I doubt I could even trace the Anson Co. Coleman’s back far enough to make a connection (if there is one). I do know that my match has paternal haplogroup R1b1b2a1a2f . There are Colemans in that project who have paternal haplogroup R1b1b2a1a. They may need a little more testing to see if they are R1b1b2a1a2f (my matching Coleman’s haplogroup). Since this is such a common haplogroup, it looks like my match would need the traditional Y-DNA genealogical test to learn much more from the Y-DNA project members’ results.

Maybe I will get lucky and have other matches with Coleman descendants. I will also try to find out if any of the other Vicks who have been tested at 23andMe and who share this line have matches with Coleman descendants. This reminds me of fishing. I have a lot of lines in the water, and I must wait patiently for the big tug. Maybe another researcher has a theory about who this Mary was.

Tomorrow, I will discuss another clue from Relative Finder about yet another female Vick line ancestor whose name I don’t know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is There Any Hope I Might Find the Missing Names of My Female Ancestors in My Vick Line?

In my first blog I mentioned how through our VICK Y-DNA Surname Project I was able to figure out which Jacob4 was my ancestor. The VICK Y-DNA Surname Project focuses like a laser on the patrilineal VICK line, and the findings have been very helpful to those of us who are trying to reconstruct Vick family trees. I also mentioned in my blog “Fill in Your Family Tree” that 23andMe’s Relative Finder looks at the DNA we inherited from all of our ancestors. Unlike the laser beam focus of the traditional genetic genealogy Y-DNA test, 23andMe casts a wide net in the search for ancestors.

While I have identified all of my Vick male ancestors through the immigrant Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight Co., VA, I have not been so fortunate with the females in my line. I have identified my female ancestors in my Vick line through my third great grandmother Susannah MERCER. However, while I solved the mystery of who my fourth great grandfather, Jacob4, was, I only know my fourth great grandmother’s first name was “probably” Mary. In Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, John D. Beatty and Di Ann Vick said on page 242, “Jacob probably married MARY [ ] not long after completing his militia service.”

While I know my fourth great grandfather Jacob4’s father was Isaac3, again, I don’t know the name of my fifth great grandmother. Turning to the book on page 90 it says “Nothing is known of Isaac’s wife or wives. He may have married [?Mary Coleman] of Anson County.”

One again, I know my sixth great grandfather was William2, but I only know his wife was “Elizabeth” (see page 26 of the book). The pattern repeats itself with my seventh great grandfather Joseph1. There is much speculation and no proof as to who he married.

Fortunately, some clues are beginning to emerge on my 23andMe Relative Finder match list. Tomorrow I will discuss some of those clues.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Work on the January 2010 The Vick Family Newsletter

Pam Vick (assistant editor) and I have started putting together the January 2010 The Vick Family Newsletter. Beyond the normal columns (e.g. Footnotes, In Memoriam, New Members, etc.) we will have at least four feature articles. Of course, the first one will be about the late Di Ann Vick, co-author of Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, and past editor of The Vick Family Newsletter. I was surprised at how little I found about Di Ann in past issues of the newsletter. Hopefully, we can find a photo of Di Ann to put in the article.

The second feature article will be a lineage of John Stephen McArthur6 (Stephen5, Jacob4, Isaac3, William2, Joseph1). A lineage of his brother, Sebastian C. “Captain Bass” was in the April 2009 newsletter.

While we have a regular column on The Vick Y-DNA Project, the third feature article will expand that column to include information about our new Vick and Allied Families DNA project at 23andMe. Our new project allows us to include female and non-patrilineal male Vick descendants’ DNA test results in our efforts to reconstruct Vick family trees.

The final feature article will be a place name index to the first two volumes of the newsletter (1985 and 1986). Last year we published a place name index to the book, and this year we will publish a place name index for many of the early volumes of the newsletter. We hope to help researchers identify the locations where they can find information on Joseph1’s descendants.

Since it is already past mid January, we have our work cut out for us.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Recording Our Research Work in a Blog

A couple of months ago I gave a presentation to the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (GSPBC) about one-name studies. Of course, I used my own Vick one-name study as an example. After the presentation I was talking with one of the attendees about ideas for future GSPBC presentations (I am the 1st Vice President and my primary responsibility is arranging programs for the general meetings). As we talked it occurred to me that a program on blogs might be something of interest to our GSPBC members. As we talked I also realized that many people have collected and are collecting a great deal of family history information that they would like to publish, but for many reasons they may never getting around to publishing.

The thought I came away with (which I am sure isn’t new) is that perhaps blogging might be a great way for people to record their research findings in small, manageable entries. Their research would be preserved on the internet, and anyone could access and comment on it. Their blogs might even lead to valuable contacts.

One of my other genealogical interests is The Vick Family Newsletter. I am the editor. To put more meat into this blog I am going to start including more information in my blog about the articles I am writing for the newsletter. Perhaps the blog will also encourage people with additional information to contact me about the articles I am writing. It would be good to catch any mistakes or to find additional information before an article is published. Maybe people who would like to contribute material to the newsletter, but don’t want to write an article, would want to be contributors.

I look forward to seeing how this all turns out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

“Fill In Your Family Tree”

Until recently we had just two avenues to trace our ancestry using DNA. Men could use DNA to trace their patrilineal line (father’s, father’s, father’s…), or men and women could use DNA to trace their deep matrilineal line (mother’s, mother’s, mother’s).

23andMe has a new tool to “fill in your family tree.” Instead of looking at just the patrilineal and matrilineal lines, Relative Finder looks at the DNA you inherited from all of your ancestors. You and the people you match can then compare pedigrees and try to find your shared ancestor.

On Saturday, February 13, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., I will give a presentation to the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County on how I have used Relative Finder (and other 23andMe tools) to fill in my family tree. The presentation will be at the Main Library of Palm Beach County (3650 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Making Vick Family History Queries

Researchers have several places to post queries about VICK family history. There are free forums such as the Vick Family History & Message Board on Rootsweb, the Vick Family Genealogy Forum at, and the Surname Letter V forum of Ancestry Aid (primarily used for UK ancestry searches).

If you prefer an e-mail based search you can subscribe to the Vick Rootsweb e-mail list (it is also free). To subscribe, send an email to with the word “subscribe” without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message.

There are at least two MyFamily sites where you can also place queries (although you will need to join them – which is free): Vick Family Web Site and Mayfield, Vick, Gooch, Wilkins & Woody Families Site.

You can even use social networking sites like Facebook and one on Genealogywise which have the Joseph Vick Family of America groups.

Finally, if you are a member of the Joseph Vick Family of America, you can place a query in “The Vick Family” newsletter by sending the query to the newsletter editor. If you are looking for cousins to share research with, you have many possible venues.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Many VICK Lines Are There In Muhlenberg County, Kentucky?

In 2000, Muhlenberg Co., KY, had a population of almost 32,000 people according to the U.S. Census. Within that population were many descendants of Robert and William VICK two of the five sons of Joseph VICK of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight Co., VA. William’s great grandsons Isaiah and Stephen VICK were the first VICKs to settle in Muhlenberg Co. They were from Dobbs Co., NC., but they had stayed for awhile in Madison Co., KY, prior to moving on to Muhlenberg Co. Stephen last shows up in the Madison Co., KY tax list for 1814, and he first shows up in the Muhlenberg Co. tax list for 1816. Isaiah didn’t leave any descendants in Muhlenberg Co. (he wasn’t there very long), but Stephen still has many descendants there.

William Robert VICK, a second great grandson of Joseph’s son Robert was in Muhlenberg Co. by the time of the 1880 U.S. census. He also still has many descendants living in Muhlenberg Co.

Until last August I assumed that all of the VICKs in Muhlenberg Co. were descendants of either Stephen or William Robert. I had done quite a bit of research on Stephen and his descendants. When I encountered a record of a VICK in Muhlenberg Co. who I knew wasn’t one of Stephen’s descendants I assumed that person was one of William Robert’s descendants. That assumption changed with the realization that the 1910 U.S. census of Muhlenberg Co. listed a Joe VICK who did not appear to be a descendant of either Stephen or William Robert.

With help from the wife of a descendant of Joe, I reached the conclusion that he was Joseph Sire Jackson VICK, born about May 1874. The question then became what was his line? The 1910 census lists his wife as Sarah (she was Sarah B. WILLIAMS). A daughter “Ether” (age 10), and two sons, Herbert (age 8) and Conway (age 6), were in the household. Joe was on the 1900 U.S. Census of Todd Co., KY, along with his wife Eliza J. (DUKES) and their daughter Eather P. (age 1). Eather is the link between the two census records. Eliza J. was Joseph Sire Jackson’s first wife, and Sarah B. was his second wife. Unfortunately, there is no surviving U.S. census record for 1890, but Joe appears to be the one listed in the household of B.B. VICK in Trigg Co., KY, in 1880.

B.B. VICK is Benjamin B. VICK, born about 1830 in TN according to the 1880 census. He married Amanda (?Amelia) GEORGE on 17 Dec 1857 in Stewart Co., TN. According to page 388 of Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants, Benjamin’s line was Benjamin6, William5, Robert4, Nathan3, Robert2, Joseph1. In Vick, Robert Son of the Immigrant Joseph Vick: An Account of Some of His Descendants, Dr. James A. VICK placed Benjamin as the son of Josiah S.6 (William5, Robert4, Nathan3, Robert2, Joseph1).

While Dr. VICK believed Benjamin was Josiah S. VICK’s son, John BEATTY and Di Ann VICK concluded Benjamin was Josiah S.’s brother. John and Di Ann used the fact that Benjamin was in Clarissa (PAGE) VICK’s household at the time of the 1850 U.S. census of Stewart Co., TN, to conclude she was his mother. Clarissa was the wife of William5 (who had died before the 1850 census).

Perhaps Dr. VICK believed Benjamin was Josiah S.’s brother because Benjamin was born about 1836 and Josiah S. was born in 1814. Census records seem to point to Benjamin being born around 1830 which would make it unlikely Benjamin was Josiah S.’s son. Perhaps another researcher has records which can confirm who Benjamin’s father was.

Either way, I know now that there was at least one VICK line in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, that I had not identified as being there. Given the mobility of today’s population, perhaps there is even another VICK line there that I haven’t found.