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mtDNA Update

Recently I received notification from project administrators that my mitochondrial DNA results had been updated to a new branch under the haplogroup W3a1c. The new branch is defined by two mutations and is now listed by W and N2 DNA Project administrators as W3a1c + G7853A + T9716C.  The general designation remains W or W3 by Family TreeDNA.

The differences between the new branch and the standard haplogroup were explained in this way:

  • W is defined by T195C! T204C G207A T1243C A3505G G5460A G8251A G8994A A11914G G15884c C16292T.
  • W3 is defined by C194T & T1406C.
  • W3a is defined by T15784C.
  • W3a1 is defined by A13263G.
  • W3a1c is defined by T199C & G7269A.
  • W3a1c+G7853A is defined by G7853A.
  • W3a1c+G7853A+T9716C is defined by T9716C.

W3a1 has a huge spread from Ireland to Laos, indicating that it has an ancient origin, maybe as far back as Stone Age.

W3a1c has members with matrilineal ancestry from US, Canda, UK, Germany and Sweden, while W3a1c+G7853A only has members from US, Canada & UK. Most kits under W3a1c+G7853A have additional mutations, so the branch may be several thousand years old. W3a1c+G7853A+T9716C is so far only found in US kits.

This new designation is not yet recognized by the wider genome research community, but only within the privately administered haplogroup project. Among the project admins are scientists and medical people who also share mtDNA W with me and are busily interpreting the results ahead of the larger genome research community. W is otherwise not in the forefront of most research since we are so few.

So far only one other person so far in the U.S. who has taken the test shares this branch with me. He and I have communicated before and learned that both of our ancestresses came from the same county in Indiana, yet we do not know precisely how they were related (he was adopted, by the way).

I will post as I learn more (but don’t hold your breath since it goes really slow).

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10 Years Later

It is hard to believe that I started “The Magellan Project” at least 10 years ago–probably more like 15 years ago! As yet I had never heard of WordPress or blogs, and I was trying my hand then at some feeble excuse of a web site. My original pages had cute little back buttons at the top of every page that said ‘Home, James’ instead of simply ‘Home’. Also included was a page entitled “Back to the Garden” where I had attempted to connect the longest continuous line in my family back to the Garden of Eden with only a few hundred years missed, give or take. Naturally, I had to fill in a lot of stuff for the missing years!

Then in 2002 when I should have been working on a master’s thesis, I ended up writing what I thought would be the beginning of a book on the Fisher-Bolding line. I had only one chapter then, but it was really packed! I finished it the same year my thesis got printed. However, other affairs of life prevented the Fisher-Bolding line from becoming an actual book, and I donated the small work to four different institutions to keep the information from having to be reassembled from scratch by some other pool soul. (One library was good enough to bind it as an actual book and give it a call number.)

The woman who carried the Brockett research into the mid-20th century had hundreds of notes that formed the background of the voluminous book she produced and they were all tossed out by her son when she died! Even now historical records are falling into the hands of an intellectually undisciplined generation that largely neither knows nor cares where it came from and unhesitatingly judges past generations with no context outside itself. As any genealogical sleuth can tell you, there are moments when micro-history exposes the uneven framework of accepted historical opinion.

Genealogists are greatly under-appreciated in most of academia, save for a few souls who begin as another kind of historian and run into a particular need to delve into a subject’s family background. I have seen extensive family histories included in the literature concerning the noted English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning as well as that of the musical Bassano family of Renaissance England. But this is rare.

However, my research into family matters has never paid me a dime. I’ve always had to carry on at other jobs for my living. Unless I was content to study the lives of others in my spare time and come to the end of my life without having lived myself, I had to give up genealogy (mostly) and be content that I had done my share. One of the genealogists I came across worked on her computer morning, noon and night while her husband died and later as her adolescent son lay dying also. Perhaps it took her mind off of things. Or perhaps because she was a Mormon, she felt a higher purpose in her work. In any case, it sometimes crossed my own mind that had I actually known some of my own ancestors, perhaps I would have taken an instant dislike to them. Maybe I would have even disavowed knowing them!

I ran across cases in my queries where families seemed to bear the scars of sufferings, real or imagined, that had passed down for generations. In one of my more recent lines there had been a family split that was so alienating that I never even met some of my closest relatives who lived mere blocks from me. By happenstance I met second and third cousins from the same line who turned out to be wonderful people with good attitudes, eager to trace down the family tree. We contacted a couple of other cousins from that line who were cordial enough initially but suddenly pulled back. The little information I dragged out of one of them intimated that we were suspected carriers of some family contagion.

I ran into this with other lines, too. I began to suspect that all family lines include descendants who hate being included. Even among living people who grew up with one another, I found siblings who distrusted siblings, cousins who distrusted cousins–because they were one of “them,” and “them” was something to avoid. They were all angry, all ashamed of whatever they had come from, whatever that meant to them. Some of them were in therapy, I’m sure. Others congratulated themselves on having escaped the family orbit, and with this group the unspoken message was always the same: “All those other people are of that family, and only I have escaped.”

In fact, I found that almost none of them had escaped. The magnitude of this hit home when an older cousin who never knew me well once hit me with a slur from out of the blue saying that she should have guessed I would do such-and-such. After all, she said, X-family always did behave like such-and-such. Never mind that both our mothers were siblings from the same X-family. She was sure that I carried the family disease and that she did not.  (“I alone have escaped and lived to tell the story–” sound familiar?) I rarely take such commentary seriously any more except in those instances where the family “problem” is truly so monstrous as to warrant intervention.

As someone mentioned recently, no one chooses their mother or father. The door swings both ways, though. Mothers and fathers do not choose their children either.  Every baby born into this world has a wealth of potential, but inherently we are all of us little savages at birth who must be civilized. We already know how to find the wrong paths by ourselves–thank you very much–Mom and Dad! The lesson, I hope, is that the soul who counts his siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., as the Other while excusing himself is incredibly myopic, hypocritical or both. We have none of us escaped anything until we accept that our families did not choose us either and that we alone are responsible for the accumulation of choices we make throughout life. To think otherwise is unfair and unjust.

Having gotten that out of the way, I’m happy that so many are genuinely interested in knowing where they have come from, apart from whether their natural family is “good” or “bad” in their estimation. Many today seem to think the entire world sprang from a vacuum one day. They are destined to reinvent the wheel, repeat history over and over, because they refuse to learn about the past in order to understand the present. But you, my friends, are not of this sort or you would not be here.

I have read many of your comments to one another, and the level of discourse has been so positive.  I’m especially happy and proud of the fact that there has not been one incident (to my knowledge) of in-fighting on this site. So many of you have helped one another, and that is the highest I could ever hope for a site that started as a random collection of my notes. I wish this were a completely private site and could guarantee that the bots wouldn’t gather your shared email addresses and things like that. I can’t. But on the other hand, it’s a specialty site where trolls are not so likely to lurk. You might also consider sharing email addresses with spaces in them that can be removed when actually typing them into an address field. This will slow down bot collection of random email addresses.

Now to explain some changes I’ve made. I’ve privatized the pages of a couple of family lines that came from hasty working notes. Even though I have a disclaimer on the page “My Mad Methods,” not everyone will see it. I also have notes on which lines I’ve verified and which have been verified by others. The Bolling line has been verified by what seems like a multitude. The Woodliff line has been verified by a very serious genealogist who happens to be a truly selfless public servant. The Brockett line was verified in something like the 19th century, I believe, and re-verified by a later descendant. The Bassano line has been verified by musicologists and historians, but a multitude of others have connected the line to more recent generations. I myself have gone round and round the verifiable details of that family’s deeper (and sometimes confused) history with other researchers. I have removed two of the more minor and unverified lines that were part of my working notes.

Also, because I manage numerous WordPress sites and because I’m writing under a pseudonym for a couple of them, the change is reflected in sites I didn’t intend to use that name with Unfortunately it appears that there is no longer an option for posting under one name on a site and changing the name on another. This template currently in use for The Magellan Project is one that automatically posts the pseudonym with each post. I was not able to change it back without messing up my other sites. You are reading the words of “Kathryn Brogdon” or “K.L. Brogdon” even though the author line may be different.

As yet, I have not found a way to start a special group on Facebook without creating an unneeded workload for myself (and not everyone wants to be on Facebook). In the meantime, I would suggest that you continue responding to one another on this site. If there is a truly pressing issue that needs to be addressed (such as trouble on the site with someone), then please email me at seapearlmedia @ outlook.com (remove spaces). I will get the email even if I do not look at the site that often. And please remember that usually I cannot answer direct genealogy questions.

Thank you all for being such super readers of a site that never (or rarely) get updated! Good luck to all of you.






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Hello, All

Clearly it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve posted anything on here. I’m really amazed at how many people visit this site. It really became a “safe deposit box” for a lot of random notes on my family. I’m truly sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to some of you in a more timely manner, but I am involved in other projects these days. Nevertheless, I’m so pleased that a few of you are finding clues you need and reaching out to help one another in ways that I can’t.

At this stage of my life, I’m really not sure what to do with this site. It seems important enough to so many that it would be a shame to utterly abandon it. I’ve wondered about the possibility of changing the format a bit, whether I should appoint a person or a group to co-administer it, etc. I would really welcome suggestions on how to offer better service, make the site more navigable, relevant, etc.

I’m primarily concerned about the security of those who want to connect with one another. Some of you want to contact each other privately, but there is no other way to do so without leaving personal information in your comments online. Might there some better way to facilitate that?

My second (and certainly not extremely serious) concern is that I sometimes feel I might as well eliminate all other family lines except that of Gen. Winfield Scott! It just happens to be one of the important tributaries that crossed my path (though I am a student of history, to be sure). But I sometimes feel as if I might as well devote a site to nothing but lines that intersect his. Or should I create a special space for lines that intersect with the Scotts? (How ironic that li’l ol’ me should have such a popular page on this site!) Or should a specialized page be administered by someone who has a particular interest in all things pertaining to the Scotts?

There is already a site at patch.net wherein you will find all sorts of lines connecting to the Scott family. Those ladies do a tremendous job over there. Should I connect in a grander way where that’s more accessible?

So, please, drop a commentary here if you have any brainstorms. I am all ears.

Thanks very, very much! You are all valued.

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I should have mentioned this earlier in case people were interested. My uncle, Harry R. Morse Jr., had his Y-DNA analyzed and he turned out to be R1b. We believe, from his matches, that he is probably descended from Samuel Morse of Dedham, Massachusetts. He matches this group more closely than any other. Still, we may never know for certain. I mentioned the haplogroup, but it isn’t the haplogroup we are interested in for the matches, but the markers themselves.

I would love to have my brothers’ Y-DNA done next. Our second cousin, Bill Brogdon, had his Y-DNA tested and is an I1a. This should be what my brothers would test since they all descend male-to-male from a common ancestor.

I had my own mtDNA tested and it turns out to be Haplogroup W. This goes back through the women in the family — so there will be various last names involved in tracing the line. My earliest documented ancestress who carried this pattern was Lucy B. Tooley who married Ansel R. Brockett. She is my next brick wall.

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Those family crests that these companies are always trying to sell us — They do look awfully pretty and sometimes they even have good historical information (though not always). But there are several reasons you probably shouldn’t send off for the crest and the historical paper ready-for-framing.

  • Many crests have little-to-no purported historical background. In fact, many were designed purely for prestige, i.e., bought and sold.
  • Because of the above fact, many crests are not genuine and quite often are in poor heraldic taste. Would you really want to sport something that makes you look like the bumpkin you are?
  • The crest the companies want to sell you probably isn’t one that your family branch is entitled to, anyway. Often they were designed with a certain person or family branch in mind and only one person is entitled to display them.
  • Many times the information is completely wrong on the historical account. For instance, I have a family spelling that could be English or German. Well, it so happens it’s German, and what good would it do a German line to buy information on an English crest?

Have you ever noticed that every family documented by a family crest site is said to have been “seated” somewhere since Medieval or Renaissance times? What does that mean, anyway? Sounds like they were all presiding over something — like a county seat. I think it means they hoveled together at a certain geographical location. Or if they weren’t “seated,” they are said to have been a “respected” family. They can’t all be respected, can they? How respected were they? They mostly fled to America on our side — that ought to tell us something.

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Frankish Kings

From Pearl Ghormley, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; a Genealogy of the Foreman, Hays, Ghormley, Williams and Brockett Families.[San Antonio] Printed by Naylor Co. [1966] and various encyclopedia works. I have questions about some of the dates and exact hookups as we get further back than 800 A.D.

1Clovis {The Riparian}, King of Cologne, living in 420
    2Childebert, King of Cologne
       3Siegbert I {The Lame}, King of Cologne, d. 509
           4Cloderic {The Parricide}, the King of Cologne
               5Munderic, b. 500, d. 581
                   6Bodegisel I, m. Palatina
                       7Bodegisel {Dux}, d. 588, m. Oda
                           8St. Anoul {De Heristral} Metz, b. 13 Aug 582, d. 16 Aug 640; m. Dode de Heristral, b. 586, d. 611
                               9Ansigise, Mayor Austrasia, b. 602, d. 685
                                   10Pepin, Mayor Austrasia, b. 635 Heristal, Liege, Belgium, d. 16 Dec 714 Junille, Meuse, France
                                       11Charles ‘Martel,’ Mayor Austrasia, b. 676, Of Heristal, Liege, Belgium, d. 22 Oct 741 Quierzy, Aisne, France; m. Suanhilde; had concubine Alpaide, b. 654
                                           12Pepin {The Short}, King of the Franks, b. 714, d. 24 Sept 768
                                               13Charlemagne {Charles the Great}, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of the Franks, b. 2 Apr 742, Ingelheim, Rheinhessen, Hesse-Darmstadt, d. 28 Jan 814, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. He m/1 Luitgard; he m/2 Bertrada, Countess of Laon
                                                   14Louis I, {the Pious}, Holy Roman Empire, m. Judith, princess
                                                       15Charles II {The Bald}, Holy Roman Empire, King of Franks, b. 15 May 823, m. Ermentrude, b. 825
                                                           16Louis II {The Stammerer}, King of  Franks, b. 1 Nov 846, d. 10 Apr 879; m. Adelaide, b. 850, d. 10 Nov 901
                                                               17Charles III {The Simple} of the Franks
                                                                   18Giselle, princess of the Franks, m. Rollo, first Duke of Normandy 

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George Herbert Walker Bush–U.S. President (Bolling line-distant)

William Jefferson Clinton–U.S. President (Bolling line-distant)

Rev. Jonathan Edwards (md. Pierpont-uncle by marriage)

Jackie Kennedy Onassis (Edwards-Pierpont line-distant)

Aaron Burr (Edwards-Pierpont line-distant)

Gen. Winfield Scott–U.S. military general (Scott line–maternal uncle to line)

Aemilia Bassano Lanyer–niece of Giovanni Bassano, friend of William Shakespeare, first women to publish under her own name in the English language (see Brogdon site-first cousin to line)

Giovanni Bassano–Renaissance musician, composer, chorale master at St. Mark’s in Venice (see Brogdon site-paternal uncle to line)

Sidney Lanier–“Poet laureate of the South” (see Brogdon site-distant)

Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams–playwright (see Brogdon site-distant)

J.P. Morgan–financier (Pierpont line-distant)

Rev. John Davenport–Puritan Reformer (Brockett Line-direct)

Rev. Thomas Hooker–Puritan Reformer (Brockett Line-direct)

William, Duke of Normandy (direct)

Jimmy Doolittle–WWII Fighter Pilot (Doolittle line–distant)

Roger de Mortimer–English insurrectionist (direct)
Charlemagne–1st Emperor of Holy Roman Empire (direct)

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Not a perfect history, but it is the true Magellan experience. All my life I've wanted to find out how I trace back to Adam and Eve. This is as close to The Garden as it gets. A few angles, some twists and turns, but as genuine as I know how to be. Numbered in consecutive order by generations with a few skips here and there of about two thousand years at a time.

From them to me (with love).

A Elohim— God the father of Adam

1. Adam and Eve, created
2. Seth
3. Enos
4. Cainan
5. Mahalaleel
6. Jared
7. Enoch
8. Methusaleh
9. Lamech
10. Noah

The Flood-1626 A.C. (After the Creation)

11. Japheth
12. Sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech,Tiras
13. Sons of a: Gomer—Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah
Sons of b: Javan—Elisha and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim

Continental Divide: Peleg named because the earth split apart

The Lost years: According to my calculations, the Amerindians would have walked to North America before or slightly after the drifting began. My theory is that the half-life of radioactive carbons was affected by the cataclysm and all our calculations are off. Either the Dinosaurs existed longer than we think and finished dying off about here, or the projectiles found in their fossilized remains pre-date the race of humans now existing from a time when the earth was populated by pre-Adamic life.

Crossing the Caucasus Mountains

By my calculations, the Caucasians came from Japhethites. The Celts and the Teutonic types came to the interior of the continent at different times. I believe the Celts and Iron Age peoples probably came from the same original bunch and got separated for a time. They would have been the Old Caucasians. They moved across Europe from the South. By the time the New Caucasians came over, the Celts were already in place and didn't look much like them anymore. No one knew from whence beyond the Caucasus mountains the New Caucasians had come. They simply showed up one day with no invitation and without a proper introduction. The New Caucasians couldn't get into the Roman Empire so moved around it, learned its customs, traded with it, and finally attacked and sacked. It was the most fun they ever had. Then they mixed to a greater or lesser degree with the Celts, becoming today's Modern Caucasians. (We'll find out for sure when God rolls the tapes back.)

14. Meroveus (Merovech), chief of the Salian Franks who ruled from 448 to 458
15. Childeric I, ca. 436-481, King of the Salian Franks
15. Clovis, King of the Salian and Ripuarian Franks, (ca. 466-511)
16. Childebert I, King of Cologne
17. Siegbert I {The Lame}, King of Cologne, d. 509
18. Cloderic {The Parricide}, King of Cologne
19. Munderic, b. 500, d. 581
20. Bodegisel I
21. Bodegisel II , d. 588
22. Pepin I of Landen, Mayor of the Palace, Austrasia, d. ca. 639
23. Ansigisal, Mayor of the Palace, b. 602, d. 685 m. Begga, daughter of Pepin of Landen
24. Pepin II of Heristal (635-714), Mayor of the Palace and 1st King of the Franks
25. Charles Martel (688?-741), Mayor of the Palace
26. Pepin III {The Short}, Mayor of the Palace, King of the Franks, (714-768)
27. Charlemagne {Carolus Magnus}, (742?-814). King of the Franks 768-814; Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, 800-814
28. Louis I {the Pious}, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of the Franks m/2 Judith of Bavaria
29. Charles I {The Bald} (823-877) Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of France
30. Louis II {The Stammerer}, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of France
31. Charles III {The Simple} (879-929), King of France
32. Giselle, princess of France m. Rollo the Dane
33. Guillaume I, {Long Sword} b. abt. 893
34. Richard I {The Fearless}, b. abt. 933
35. Richard II {The Good}, b. abt. 958
36. Robert I {The Magnificent}, b. abt.999
37. William I of England, b. abt. 1028, d. 9 September 1087 m. Matilda of Flanders
38. Gundred m. William de Warren
39. William de Warren, second Earl of Warren and Surrey
40. Lady Isabel Warren m. Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk
41. Hugh Bigod, third Earl of Norfolk, d. 1225
42. Ralph Bigod, third son, m. Lady Berta Furnival
43. Lady Isabel Bigod m/2 John Fitz-Piers Fitz-Goeffrey, Lord of Berkhampstead; Justice of Ireland, 1246
44. John Fitz-John, Chief Justice of Ireland 1258
45. Lady Maud Fitz-John, m/2 William, sixth Baron Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick
46. Guy, second Earl of Warwick
47. Thomas, third Earl of Warwick,
48. Thomas, fourth Earl of Warwick
49. Richard, fifth Earl of Warwick, and Earl of Albemarle, etc.
50. Lady Margaret Beauchamp m. Sir William Cavendish
51. Sir William Cavendish, Knt., of Chadsworth, Gentleman Usher to Cardinal Wolsey, and the King's Privy Councillor and Treasurer, d. 153-
52. William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire
53. Lady Frances Cavendish m. Sir Henry Pierrepont
54. William Pierrepont
55. James Pierrepont of Ipswich, Massashusetts
56. Robert Pierrepont who m. at Charlestown, Massachusetts
57. John Pierrepont/Pierpont of Roxbury, Massachusetts, d. 1682
58. Rev. James Pierpont, b. 4 Jan 1659, d. 22 Nov 1714.
59. James Pierpont of New Haven, b. 1699, d. 1776
60. Joseph Pierpont
61. Hannah Pierpont, b. 12 Nov 1736, d. 16 Apr 1816; m. Abel Brockett
62. Chauncey Brockett, b. 22 Jan 1777
63. Ansell R. Brockett, b. 29 Jul 1813
64. Nancy Jane Brockett, b. 30 Oct 1837, m. John Dillivan Dayton
65. Lucy Violet Dayton, b. 21 Aug 1873, m. Oscar Woodliff
66. Rosey Lee Woodliff, b. 18 Nov 1900, m. Harry Raymond Morse Sr.
67. Betty Rose Morse, b. 9 Nov 1930; m. Ernest Sommer Brogdon
68. ME!!!!!!!!
69. My children

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