Things to watch out for with DNA testing

I was very excited to learn that a fellow Godwin researcher might have found a relative to submit DNA to test against other conflicting or proposed lines.  She is descended from a family that often gets mixed up with my own family, or at least the family I am trying to prove relation to.
 
Our two Nathan Godwins were born in the mid to late 1700s and resided in Sampson Co., NC prior to the turn of the century.  My colleague’s Nathan Godwin is reported to be the son of Jonathan and Rachel (Bullard) Godwin, also of Sampson Co., NC.  He wrote a will in 1821 and died in Sampson Co., NC in 1823. He was the older Nathan. I believe, however that it is actually MY Nathan Godwin who was the son of Rachel and Jonathan and I have a deed to back it up. My Nathan Godwin removed to Randolph Co., NC about 1800, following the death of Jonathan in 1791 and the sale of his lands by his widow Rachel, and Nathan and Dred Godwin in 1795.

DNA analysis would help us to determine which of the two Nathan Godwins was the real son of Jonathan and Rachel Godwin. First we would need to find a definite descendant of Jonathan and Rachel who has a paper trail, to compare our DNA to.  Then we would need two additional samples – one from my colleague’s line and one from my own line. My family’s DNA has already been submitted and has matched up with 6 other NC Godwin lines. How exactly they are related is yet to be determined. I got my colleague to agree to submit her family’s DNA.

However, then I remembered something:  Her ancestor was reported to be descended from the older Nathan Godwin who left a will in 1821. In the will, he mentioned her ancestor’s name – Handy Godwin – a grandson, son of Nathan’s daughter, Tressie Godwin. I found court documents against this Tressie Godwin for 4 children she had out of wedlock.  In 3 of the 4 cases, the fathers were named, however, the children were not named. One of those men named did happen to be a Godwin, but we are not sure if he sired my colleague’s ancestor or not.

When finding family members to participate in DNA studies you must make sure that they are a true descendant of that surname. In this case, meaning their father must have been a Godwin. It is not enough that my colleague’s ancestor, Handy was a Godwin. He had been given his mother’s surname.  We don’t know who his father was. Of course, if my colleague were interested in finding out who Handy’s father was, she could go ahead and get the DNA submitted and compare it against possible surnames (perhaps against the two other men mentioned in the court cases).

So now I need to locate another heir of the older Nathan Godwin’s line to compare my family’s DNA against in order to prove or disprove relation to him and/or to Jonathan and Rachel Bullard Godwin.

Our Godwin DNA Test Results

This is a letter I sent out to all of the descendants of Elijah Godwin (1801-1884):

Update on my grandfather’s Godwin DNA test (to the descendants of Elijah Godwin):
As you know back in Nov my grandfather, Larry Godwin, submitted his DNA to the Goodwin/Godwin DNA Surname Project. I just wanted to remind everyone that all of the descendants of Elijah Godwin are represented by his DNA test. You do NOT have to submit your own test because if you are a Godwin male, then you will have the same exact y-chromosomal DNA as he does! Y-chromosomal DNA is what is passed from father to son each generation. Each family has its own set of mutations that occur that also get passed from generation to generation – these mutations are tested and recorded by companies like family tree DNA and they distinguish between family lines.
My grandfather’s 25-marker DNA test was a 100% match to the DNA of the FIRST group of Godwins in the results table http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/goodwin/results. Our ID number is G-43

Group 1
G-4   Descendant of David Godwin b. c1740 of Bladen Co., NC
G-29 Descendant of Samuel Godwin b. c1742 of Johnston Co., NC
G-30 Descendant of Thomas Godwin b. c1745 of Johnston Co., NC
G-32 Descendant of Thomas Godwin b. c1745 of Johnston Co., NC
G-34 Descendant of Nathan Godwin b. c1807 NC (possible grandson of Nathan b.
c1760 of Sampson Co., NC thru his son Jonathan)
G-8   Descendant of Alexander Godwin b. c1795 NC d. 1881 St. Clair, AL
G-43 Descendant of Elijah Godwin b. 1805 NC d. 1884 Lawrence Co., AR

For a 25 marker test match, there is a 90% probability that the descendants of Elijah Godwin share a common ancestor in the last 10 generations with the other 5 lines above.

Elijah is the last known ancestor we can prove to be descended from. It is my belief that Elijah was the son of Nathan Godwin who was the son of Jonathan Godwin, b. 1740, md. Rachel Bullard, however this is widely disbelieved by other Godwin researchers.

So now all we have to do is try to find paper trails of familial connections with these other 5 Godwin lines of NC.

There is one other Godwin who submitted a 37-marker test to this project. My grandfather can upgrade his test to a 37 marker test and compare against the other Godwin to tighten the window of relationship. If the two 37-marker tests come back with a 100% match, then there is a 95% chance we share a common ancestor in the last 7 generations, 90% chance it is within the last 5 generations and 50% that it is within the last 2-3 generations.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

We are still looking for descendants of Wilkinson, Dred, and Wilson Ulysses Godwin to participate in the surname project to see if we can connect them to our line.

A Peek into the NC State Archives: Loose Documents of Estate Records

In a previous post, I outlined how to search for wills that are housed at the NC State Archives. In this post, I’d like to talk about another collection that is part of the NC State Archives: “The Series of Original Loose Documents of Estate Records.” This collection contains a serious of documents pertaining to the estates of deceased persons in NC. This collection is sorted by county, then alphabetical by last name.

Documents contained in these files include administrator bonds, affidavits, inventory and estate sales receipts, legal proceedings, division of assets to legatees, etc. These files can be reviewed out by filling out a call slip. The call numbers start with a 3-digit prefix assigned to the county of interest. Randolph County’s 3-digit prefix is 081. Then the next 3-digits are assigned to document type. For estates, that number is always 508. The last number of the call number is the box number that contains your ancestor’s file. This last number is left blank on the call slip. You will put your surname on the call slip instead. They will bring you the box that contains the surname for the county of interest. For example, I might find the loose documents of the estate of Abiah Godwin in Randolph County using the following call number: 081.508.5. Box 5 containing the surname Godwin.

Below is an example of documents contained in the file of Abiah Godwin, Randolph Co., NC (In order of appearance in the file):

Receipt of money brought forward from the sale of estate of Abiah Godwin

Receipt of money brought forward from the sale of estate of Abiah Godwin

Page 1 illustrates how much money the administrator of the estate brought before the judge, probably from the sale of items in the estate. The administrator brought in 79 pounds, 3 shillings, and 11 pence. 39 pounds, 6 shillings, and 8 pence were awarded to the administrator for his duties as administrator leaving 39 pounds, 16 shilling, and 3 pence to be divided between Abiah Godwin’s 7 legatees…5 pounds, 13 shilling, 7 pence awarded per legatee.

Settlement of the Estate of Abiah Godwin, Deceased

Settlement of the Estate of Abiah Godwin, Deceased

Page 2 is a scan of what was on the back of the first page. It reads “A settlement of the estate Abiah Godwin, Deceased.”

Receipt of monies owed administrator

Receipt of monies owed administrator

Page 3 is a receipt of monies owed to Samuel Godwin from the estate for his duties of administrator.

Inventory of estate of Abiah Godwin, page 1

Inventory of estate of Abiah Godwin, page 1

Inventory of estate of Abiah Godwin, page 2

Inventory of estate of Abiah Godwin, page 2

Pages 4 and 5 contain an inventory of the estate of Abiah Godwin taken on 4 Feb 1796, consisting of furniture, pots, farm stock, kitchen goods, etc.

Affadavit of Administrator, Samuel Godwin

Affadavit of Administrator, Samuel Godwin

Page 6 contains the affidavit of Samuel Godwin who presented the inventory to the courts.

Related Posts:

NC State Archives: Original Wills

Looking for Wills at the NC State Archives

This post has been updated due to changes in the North Carolina State Archives website. Please read my updated post here.

 

I consider Mitchell’s “Will Index” to be my #1 resource material to researching NC families. It is a two volume set that sits out on the main counter at the NC State Archives. It can be searched online using the NS State Archives MARS search Engine. This is how I went about finding the last will and testament for Henry Williams:

Go to NC State Archives webpage

Click on the MARS Catalog link on the left side and a new window will open. It may take a couple of minutes to completely load. You will see the main search page. I have included a screen shot below:

Main MARS search page

Main MARS search page

Next I type in “Henry Williams” in the search box and I put a check mark beside the Mitchell Will Index listing. Then I click on the search button.

The database loads the Mitchell Will Index and reports back that there are 7 hits in the County Records Part 1 section and 9 hits in the County Records Part 2 section. This index is alphabetized by county name. Counties starting with a letter in the first half of the alphabet are in County Records Part 1 and those in the second half of the alphabet are in County Records Part 2. The actual published copy of the index is alphabetized by last name.

If I wanted to look for a will for Henry Williams in Caswell County, NC only, then I could type in “Henry Williams Caswell” into the search box and it would bring up 1 hit in County Records Part 1.

Search of Henry Williams in Caswell Co., NC

Search of Henry Williams in Caswell Co., NC

Hits

Hits

Click on the County Records Part 1 link and I get a display of 1 record for Henry Williams.

Information Results Display

Click on the blue “I” icon in the first line

Will Record of Henry Williams, Caswell Co., 1796

Will Record of Henry Williams, Caswell Co., 1786

The record depicts information for this Henry Williams. The will was recorded 1786 in Caswell Co., NC. The call number and MARS Id number are not important.

Once you find the will date, person’s name and county, you can go to the Archives and look through the will boxes. They are organized by county first, then alphabetized by last name. Before you can look through the records you have to fill out a call slip. The call numbers start with a 3-digit prefix assigned to the county of interest. Caswell County’s 3-digit prefix is 020. Then the next 3-digits are assigned to document type. For wills, that number is always 801. The last number of the call number is the box number that contains your ancestor’s file. This last number is left blank on the call slip. You will put your surname on the call slip instead. They will bring you the box that contains the surname for the county of interest. For example, I might find the will of Henry Williams, 1786, Caswell County, using the following call number: 020.801.25. Box 25 containing the surname Williams.

The archivist will give you the whole box and you can only take out 1 file folder at a time. You must keep all documents inside the folder in order at all times. You can request copies be made by filling out a copy request form. Copies are $0.10 a page.

Related Posts:

NC State Archives: Loose Estate Papers

The Will of Daniel Williams, Granville Co., NC (1759)

Here is the will of Daniel Williams of Granville Co., NC. Daniel Williams was married to Ursula Henderson. They were the parents of my Henry Williams of Caswell Co., NC. I found two other Williams wills in Granville Co but I am not sure how they connect if at all to my Daniel Williams family. They are William Williams and Thomas Williams.

Williams, Daniel–wills to wife 3 negroes loaned to her for her lifetime, 12 cattle, one horse, feather bed and furniture, household goods, which I do not give away herafter, and at her death to be equally divided between my seven children: Merya Goodman, Henry Williams, John Williams, James Williams, Joseph Williams, Mary Mitchell, Daniel Williams; to my son-in-law Benjamin Goodman, 200 acres of landing being the land whereon he now lives at Capt. Mitchells line; to son John Williams, 350 acres which I purchased of Richard Bullock; to sons James and Joseph Williams, 800 acres of land in Halifax county, Virginia to be equally divided between them; to son Daniel Williams, 400 acres being land and plantation whereon I now live; to daughter Marya Goodman, for her lfietime, 3 negroes and, at her death, to go to her children; to son Henry Williams, 2 negroes and the use of a mullatto fellow to serve to age 21 years; to son John, 3 n3groes; to son James, 3 negroes; to daughter Mary Mitchell, 4 negroes; to son Daniel, 4 negroes; to my wife Ursula William, I lend for her lifetime 6 sheep, 12 hogs and, at her death, to be divided to my seven children; to my youngest children, James, Joseph, Mary Mitchell, and Daniel Williams, all rest of cattle, sheep, and hogs to divide between them; to son James, a horse and a feather bed and furniture; to son Joseph, a stallion, a feather bed and furniture; to daughter Mary Mitchell, a horse; to son Daniel Williams a horse and a mare, a feather bed and furniture; to son James Williams, land on Anderson swamp containing 400 acres; to son Joseph, land on Hico road and branches of Island creek—400 acres; my executors are to sell my crop of tobacco and pay my debts and to get 8000 ten penny nails and 8000 eight penny nails and give them to James and Joseph Williams and whereas Henry Williams and Marya Goodman have had pewter bought for them, it is my desire that John, James, Joseph, Mary Mitchell, and Daniel are to have pewter bought for them in equal amount by my executors and if any surplus from these sale, to be divided in eight parts for my wife and children; after wife’s death, all that is left to be divided to them.Exrs: my wife, Ursula Williams, John and James Williams

Wts: Luke Waldrup, William Sims

Source: Abstracts Of Granville County, NC, Unrecorded wills, 1746-1771, by Zae Gwynn
Page 64–Nov. 15, 1759–proved Dec. court 1759

The Will of William Williams, Granville Co., NC (1763)

Williams, William–wills to son Charles Williams 250 acres of land on south side of Tarr river, also my part of the wagon and the two horses belonging to the wagon, a feather bed and furniture; to son Stephen Williams, plantation whereon I now live containing the 143 acres on north side of Tarr river and a feather bed and furniture, a horse and my saddle; to daughter Lucy Pitman, wife of Samuel Pitman, 5 shillings; my wife Elizabeth to have use of plantation and dwelling house whereon I now live for as long as she is my widow or for life and at her death, the land to go to the aforesaid Stephen Williams; the movable property divided between Charles and Stephen Williams.

Exrs: my son Charles Williams and friend Francis Fowler

Wts: John Williams, John Morris

 
Source: Abstracts Of Granville County, NC, Unrecorded wills, 1746-1771, by Zae Gwynn
Page 66-April 3, 1763–proved Feb. 1765
 
 

Related posts:
Will of Daniel Williams, Granville Co., NC (1759)
Will of Thomas Williams, Granville Co., NC (1761)

The Will of Thomas Williams, Granville Co., NC (1761)

The Will of Thomas Williams, Granville Co., NC:

Wills to my wife and son Roger Williams, all estate with wife having use of same for the term of her widowhood or lifetime; to son Roger, a negro slave; to son Thomas, a negro slave and my mill and plantation ; to son William, a negro slave and upper part of my land divided between sons Thomas and William; to son Samuel, 2 negroes; I leave to wife and son Roger 100 pds. Virginia money to purchase 2 more negroes for her use during her widowhood and then, at her death, one of them to son Thomas and the other to son Roger Williams; to wife and son Roger all stock, household goods, etc., but if she remarry, then divided to my four children.

Exrs: my wife and my son Roger Williams

Wts: William Burrow, John Burch, Saml. Lancaster

 Source: Abstracts Of Granville County, NC, Unrecorded wills, 1746-1771, by Zae Gwynn
Page 65-Feb. 12, 1761–proved Aug. court 1761
 
 

Related posts:

Will of Daniel Williams, Granville Co., NC (1759)

Will of William Williams, Granville Co., NC (1763)

Granville Co., NC Land Grants – WILLIAMS

Granville Co., NC Land grants from the State of NC, card catalog:

Daniel Williams
File no. 1036, 420 acres, Entry no. –, entered -; Grant no. 27, issued 4 Nov 1757; Book 14, p. 96; Located on Andrew’s Swamp.

File no. 1037, 292 acres, Entry no. -, entered -; Grant no. 26, issued 4 Nov 1757; Book 14, p. 97; Located on the East side of Andrew’s swamp.

John Williams, entered 1753
Nimrod Williams, entered 1760
Miles Williams, entered 1761
Samuel Williams, entered 1752
William Williams, entered 1762

Elizabeth Williams Estate Files 1814

I collected wills and estate records of the Caswell County, North Carolina WILLIAMS family members. The call number of the file box that had loose papers of estate records was:
C.R. 020.508.102.

The first folder I pulled was labelled: “Elizabeth Williams, 1814.”

I believe this folder contains estate records of two separate Elizabeths, one who died in 1813 and one who died in 1816. The following information is a summary of the pages enclosed in the folder.

(1) Elizabeth Williams, 1814:

Administrators bond, Nathan WILLIAMS 10 January 1814:
Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, and Quintonn ANDERSON are bound onto Solomon GRAVES, chairman of the county court of Caswell in the sum of four hundred pounds to be paid to said chairman Solomon GRAVES, sealed this 10th day of January 1814.

Nathan WILLIAMS has been appointed administrator of all the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d, do make and cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of the deceased which have or shall come to the hands or possession of the said Nathan WILLIAMS…promises to make a true account and administer according to law…signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, Q. ANDERSON; test A. MURPHEY Clk.

———–

An inventory of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd, returned to January court 1814, on oath by the administrator, Nathan WILLIAMS, and ordered to be recorded in book F, folio 395 by A. E. MURPHEY, clk:

An inventory of property Elizabeth WILLIAMS Decd leased and purchased of the 15th October 1813:

Two Negro men Viz: Sampson and Jacob
one bed and furniture
two cows and calf
two yewes and lambs
one pewter dish
two pewter basons
1/2 dozen pewter plates
one earthen dish
two earthen pans
two earthen mugs
one black walnut chest
one woman’s saddle
one iron pott and one iron skillet
fifty pounds that was willed but not received
returned by me Nathan WILLIAMS, admr.
———-

A list of a sale of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS decd on the 24th day of January 1814, (Ordered to be recorded in book F folio 418, Test A. E. MURPHEY, Clk, April court 1814):

To Elizabeth WILLIAMS:
iron pot, $1.61
iron scillett, $0.71
earthan dish, $0.33 1/3
earthan pan, $0.11
mug, $0.41
walnut chest, $6.00
2 ewes? of lambs, $3.60
cow and calf, $13.30
Negro man Sampson, $101.53
$127.60 1/3

To Charles BROOKS: (Elizabeth WILLIAMS’ son in law)
1 earthen pan, $0.15
1 pewter bason, $2.00
1 pewter bason, $1.00
1 womans saddle, $2.00
1 bed and furniture, $29.00
$34.15

To James GRAVES:
1 small mug, $0.10
1 countepin? $4.00
Cow and calf, $10.25
$14.35

To Zachariah NEAL: (Married Rebecca RICE, dau of Susannah WILLIAMS Brooks and Wm H. RICE)
1 bed quilt, $6.75
$6.75

To Nathaniel L. RICE:
1 pewter dish, $1.10
Sheat?, $2.50
$3.60

To Hosea MCNEILL:
1/2 dozen pewter plates, $3.40
$3.40

To John HENSLEE:
1 Negro boy Jacob, $513.10
$513.10

Total: $702.95 1/3 by Nathan WILLIAMS, Administrator
——————
The following documents were included in the same file, but probably from another Elizabeth WILLIAMS, possibly the same Elizabeth who purchased items from the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS in 1814. This woman died between Jan 1814 and Jan 1816.

(2) Elizabeth Williams, 1816:

Administrators Bond, 8 January 1816, Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, and William LEA, bound unto Solomon GRAVES, chairman in the sum of five thousand pounds, in the county of Caswell, this 8th day of January 1816…Nathan WILLIAMS is appointed administrator of the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, William LEA; A. E. MURPHEY, clk.

Sales estate 12 Jan 1816, (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court, 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 179: Buyers were Henry WILLIAMS, Nathan WILLIAMS, etc., 12 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

Sales estate 29 Jan 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 180, Sales to: George Brooks, William H Rice, Nathaniel L Rice, Sally Brooks, Samuel Fielder, James Shepherd, John Penix, Williamson Rice, Devreu Hightower, Christopher Brookes, etc… 29 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11-12).

Inventory of Property, 7 Apr 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd by N. WILLIAMS adm. returned to April court 1816, and recorded in Book G, p. 168: A memo on Nathan WILLIAMS; bonds on George Brooks, Susannah Rice, Henry WILLIAMS, Benjamin Spencer (this bond is doubtful). 7 Apr 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

An inventory of account of bonds and cash (Jan Court 1817) found in possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d at her death, by Nathan WILLIAMS, adm., returned to court on oath by the administrator and ordered to be recorded, Test Azariah GRAVES, Clk, January Court, 1817. Recorded in book G p. 354, Test A. GRAVES, clk:

Cash on hand: $55.72
one bond on Henry WILLIAMS due 21 Nov 1807, $7.75
one bond on Nathan WILLIAMS due 25 Dec 1815, $89.75
one bond on George BROOKS and Nathan WILLIAMS due Mar 1810 for $200.00
one bond on Susannah RICE due 25 Dec 1815 for $60.00
one account on Benjamin CANTRAL for $2.50
One account on Nathan WILLIAMS for $164.84 & 1/4; total of $580.56 & 1/4;

One note on Benjamin SPENCER due on demand dated 26 Dec 1794 for the sum of 26 pounds, 3 sh., 10 3/4 pence; considered of no value in consequence of insolvency and non residence;

One note on Daniel WILLIAMS due on demand dated 17 Dec 1787 for the sum of 7 pounds considered of no value in consequence of being ______ long since;

The above statement I hereby certify contains all cash bonds and account which I found in the possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Sworn to Nathan WILLIAMS, adm.

——————–

WILLIAMS family, Granville Co., NC

Today I combed through the Granville Co., NC usgenweb files looking for information on the Williams family. My ancestor, Henry Williams, was not from Granville Co.; he was from Caswell Co., NC. However, his father, Daniel Williams lived in Granville Co., NC along with many of Henry’s siblings.

Here is what I found:

  • Marriage record of Charles Williams to Hannah Clewall, 23 Feb 1797; This Charles Williams was probably a son of William Williams and is mentioned in his will.
  • Revolutionary War Pension files for Samuel F. Williams, son of William Williams, and Solomon Williams.
  • History of Granville Co., NC including Judge Henderson and John Williams. This Williams – Henderson connection intrigued me because Daniel Williams married Ursula Henderson.
  • Orphan accounts of Granville Co., NC: Elinor Armsby to Daniel and Ursula Williams to learn housewifery, 22 Mar 1759; Samuel Wheeler to James Williams to learn carpentry, 21 Mar 1758.

All of this information was copied and saved to my “Daniel Williams.doc” file.

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