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.