Sunday, February 26, 2017

Third Cousin Identified at AncestryDNA

A new DNA match appeared for me at  I am no fan of's DNA services because there is no chromosome browser.  This is most unfortunate because is well-poised to excel in its DNA services with its family tree matching and flagged records.

This person is my third cousin, once removed- if he is who I think he is.

Let's ignore the "Confidence: Very High" description.

This person shares 53 centimorgans over three segments.  Ancestry asks: "What does this mean?"  Nobody knows because Ancestry lacks a chromosome browser.

This match has not linked himself to a family tree.  The work-around is clicking on his name to reach his profile page where he lists a family tree.

This sparse tree contains four people: the DNA cousin, his father, and his paternal grandparents.  No mother.  No records are linked to any of these people.  The surname is the same for all, including the paternal grandmother, and is one of the most common surnames in the United States.  My only clue is the years of birth and death provided for the father.

A search for the father of the DNA tester produced a Find A Grave entry.  (I left virtual flowers on his memorial page in 2015.)

Here is's advantage:  the record is flagged as already saved to my father's family tree, quickly leading to the connection.  The DNA tester's father was married to a great granddaughter of Stephen C Duryea (1814-1887) and Mary Evenshirer (1842-1916) - my father's great great grandparents.  She is the link, yet the tester omitted her from his tree.  And I still figured it out.

The DNA tester and my father are third cousins.  This is pending the person coming forward and confirming his mother's name.

That was easy.  Why doesn't offer a chromosome browser like its competitors so we can gather the rest of the cousins who share these segments?

Family Tip via Find A Grave

Family tree help came in the form of a request through Find A Grave.  Someone asked me to link Alfred Eyre (1819-1874) as the husband of Henrietta Funtman (1815-1887) and the father of Alfred DeCiplet Eyre (1848-1912).

The Find A Grave memorial page for Alfred Eyre showed a Civil War gravestone with a date of death as September 11, 1874.  The problem was that this Alfred Eyre was buried in Maine.  The Alfred Eyre in my family tree lived in England, then New York and New Jersey.  I needed to investigate.

Alfred DeCiplet Eyre, the son of Henrietta Funtman and Alfred Eyre, first married Letty Duryea (1848-1889) in 1868 in New York City.  Letty died in Jersey City in 1889 after bearing at least thirteen children.  In 1890, Alfred remarried to Letty's sister, Mary Evenshirer (1842-1916).  My line descends from Mary's first marriage to Stephen C Duryea (1814-1887).

Henrietta died in 1887 in Jersey City.  She is buried in Hoboken Cemetery in North Bergen, Hudson County, New Jersey in the plot of Jacob Duryea (1850-1928).  Jacob was a brother of Letty and Mary, the daughters-in-law of Henrietta.  This plot was maybe meant for Eyres because Letty was originally buried there.  Letty was re-interred in Fairview Cemetery in Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey.  Alfred and Mary were buried with Letty.

Henrietta Funtman Eyre, died 1887, is not listed as buried in this plot, even though she has a stone.

Henrietta was elusive in records.  I found her with her husband and children in New York City in 1850 federal census and 1855 state census.  Her next definitive appearance is in 1887 when she died in Jersey City.  I lost track of her husband, Alfred.

I found an obituary for Jeannette Eyre, daughter of Alfred Eyre and Henrietta Funtman.  She was born around 1846 and died in 1856.  This is a great death notice because the grandfather, J M DeCiplet, is named.

So why would Alfred Eyre be buried in Maine?

Alfred Eyre was buried at Togus National Cemetery in 1874, indicating military service. has a database of occupants of National Homes for Disabled Soldiers.  Mrs Henrietta Eyre of Newark, New Jersey was the next of kin of Alfred Eyre, admitted to the Eastern Branch Home in Togus, Maine for a sciatic nerve injury.  Included was the date of death, September 11, 1874, regiment, and the location of the burial plot.

A civil war muster role provided the same regiment as the gravestone and the Home register:  New York 5th [Independent] Battery.

Glove cleaner was one of the occupations of Alfred Eyre's son, Alfred DeCiplet Eyre.
Alfred enlisted September 11, 1862.  Exactly 12 years later he died at a Soldier's Home.

The National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Togus, Maine, was the first established residential medical center for veterans and served the northeastern part of the United States.  Alfred Eyre ended up there because there was no such service available in New York or New Jersey.  I wonder if any of his family was able to visit him after his admittance.

Thank you to the Find A Grave contributor who requested this linking of family members, thereby completing some missing information in my family tree.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

More DNA from Dunn and Dunlop Ancestors, Plus More?

Family Tree DNA notifies you when a "close" relative is found.  Based on whose account also received this email, I knew that the common ancestors would be in my father's Winterton/Dunn branch.

Family Tree DNA allows you to see the shared segments of DNA with anyone in your Family Finder results.  This person, who displayed his name, shares 13 segments of DNA totaling 323 centimorgans with my paternal grandfather's first cousin, D.W.  A check of the family tree showed the actual relationship between D.W. and this newly tested person as second cousins, once removed.  Their most recent common ancestors were Ezra Dunn (1821-1898) and Hermoin Dunlop (1827-1900) of New Jersey.  My line descends from their daughter, Catherine (1865-1944); the second cousin descends from another daughter, Violet (1873-1931).

Based on this view of the shared DNA, I can identify the mystery cousin from a year ago at 23andMe as a daughter or niece of this new match at Family Tree DNA.

Here are the problems:
1- This is a lot of DNA for second cousins to share.
2- The shared segment on chromosome 7 is shared by a fourth cousin from a different branch- Walling/Dey.

23andMe chromosome browser
Three segments of DNA shared by these fourth cousins, once removed.

Transcribed will of William Walling of Middleton, Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1823.
My line descends from the son William (1803-1870).
The fourth cousin whose DNA is featured above descends from the son Amos.

As I discussed back in 2015 when this Walling/Dey fourth cousin appeared, we need to triangulate these segments of DNA with other matches before we can decide if this is likely Walling/Dey DNA.  We cannot do this with this newly tested cousin because they are spread across companies.  The Walling/Dey cousin is on 23andMe and (no chromosome browser), while this closer Dunn/Dunlop cousin is at Family Tree DNA.  If they both uploaded to GedMatch (for free!) we could see if they match each other on chromosome 7.  The next-generation cousin at 23andMe has not accepted my request to "share," so we cannot see the matching segments or compare to others.

The excessive DNA is caused by being related to this close Dunn/Dunlop cousin in one or more additional ways.  Possible explanations:

1-  One of his other ancestors not in the straight line of descent from Violet Dunn may be descended from our Walling/Dey branch.

2-  Ezra Dunn or Hermoin Dunlop may themselves have ancestors in common with William Walling and Rebecca Dey.  My inclination to locate this overlap (my first pedigree collapse!) would be in the ancestors of Margaret Combs (1795-1870), the mother of Hermoin Dunlop, because they were living in Monmouth County near Walling and Dey.  Hermoin's father, Joseph Dunlop (1797-1852), was possibly from Pennsylvania, while Ezra Dunn was in Trenton, New Jersey.  Go with a geographical match when trying to figure out these DNA connections.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Another Death by Train, 1937

My maternal grandmother told me many stories of deaths caused by trains.

I found documentation for another one.

Frank Haas died June 6, 1937 after he fell from a train in New Brunswick (Middlesex County, New Jersey).  It took him 36 hours to die.  He was a policeman in Bayonne (Hudson County, New Jersey).  He was the fifth child, born around 1898 in Bayonne, of Samuel Haas (1867-1945) and Mary Zolder (1870-1948).

Injuries included multiple fractured ribs, collapsed right lung, lacerations, fractured skull, and broken spine.  His survival chances were slim.  Regaining consciousness could indicate that Frank was not medicated well for pain.

1930 United States Federal Census
23 West 48th Street, Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey
Frank Haas with wife, Violet (Eckert),
and her children from a prior marriage,
Edith, Florence, and Frank Hoffman