Sunday, October 9, 2016

DNA Verified Ancestor Update

Ive had quite a few DNA matches in the last few weeks and several who have verified branches of my tree. As you can see from the chart above I have had much more success with my mothers side than my fathers, and I put this down to having had my mother and several of her cousins tests done as well.
I have now verified all my grandparents, 7 out of 8 of my Great Grandparents , and 9 out of 16  of my GG Grandparents which I think is remarkable given DNA testing is quite new in New Zealand.
I am almost certain seeing that I have confirmed Samuel Middlebrook as my GG Grandfather that would also mean that I am descended from his wife Mary Jane Rea, but as yet havent had a confirmed DNA match to the Rea family to prove it completely.

A second cousin on my Dads side has just tested and another 2nd cousin on that side has also promised to test so that could help confirm more branches on my fathers side.
I hope that in a few more months, and as DNA testing becomes more popular both here and in the UK I will see more matches either confirming or disproving my research.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Boyt-Mathias Branch - Deciphering the DNA

Todays post is a visual account of the research I have done on the various DNA connections my family have to the Boyt family tree. - All names of living people  have been replaced with initials for public viewing but I have a version with full names for family to view privately.

The various DNA connections relating to my 3xG Grandmother Jane Boyt and her parents William Boyt and Mary Mathias are one of the best examples I have of how important it is to test as many people in your family as possible, and how valuable each and every test is in determining the validity of the researched relationships.
My paper research had formed the basis  of my family tree with a confirmed birth  certificate for my Great Grandfather Phillip Goodwin whose parents were James Goodwin and Mary Ann Gleeson. James birth was slightly more difficult to prove as there was no registered birth in the correct time frame for  James Goodwin, and his marriage certificate was from a year before the time when parents names must be provided. Family lore said James father was William Henry Goodwin who had been a soldier in the 58th Regiment. There was in fact a gravestone in Ngaruawahia for W.H. Goodwin ex the 58th regiment along with his wife Jane. Before long it was established that W.H Goodwin was infact Henry Goodrum and had married Jane Boyt, the eldest daughter of William Boyt (who was a Fencible living in Onehunga) and his wife Mary Mathias.  I did in fact then easily find the birth for their son James who was registered as James Goodrum.
The first DNA proof I was on the right track was a match to R.G who was a Grandaughter of James’ younger brother Samuel Henry Goodrum/Goodwin. She matches me with 46cM . This is a low result for our relationship of 2nd Cousins 2x removed, where the average match is more than double at 84cM. My mother matches her with 63cM, again around half of what you would expect for the relationship. However JG and LG match her with 188cM and 183cM respectively - quite a bit higher than the average.  The matches between RG and the rest of us confirmed  a common ancestor - and the most recent would be W.H Goodwin and/or his wife Jane Boyt. The next Boyt family match came soon after - V.M. is a Great Granddaughter of Susannah Boyt, Jane’s younger sister. Both JG and LG match VM, but RG, my mother and I do not appear to have any match at all.  Without JG and LG’s tests we would not be able to confirm the link which took the DNA proof of relationship back one generation to Janes parents William Boyt and Mary Mathias. Subsequently 3 more matches appeared, to J.F, a GG Granddaughter of Jane’s youngest brother Henry. JF matches all 5 descendants of Jane at varying amounts from  7.1cM with myself to 38.7cM with LG.  Next came a match to a JVP- GG Grandson of Henry Boyt. He matches with only LG, JG and RG but not with my mother nor I . Then most recently a match with CH and his daughter MH, who matches with RG, JG and LG but again not with my mother and me.
Combining the results of all the tests proves beyond any reasonable doubt that we all descend from either of William Boyt and Mary Mathias or both of them - the parents of all 3 of the Boyt Children.

My Mother is first cousin to both JG and LG who are sisters. She matches LG at 1023cM and JG at 866cM which confirms their relationship as 1st cousins and I match my mother as expected as with a parent child relationship.
It is clear to me that the Boyt portion of DNA that was passed down to J.G and LG was recombined differently with my mother who did not inherit nearly as much, and therefore I received very little.  My children may have no DNA connection tto the Boyts at all which is why its so important to me to reasearch my tree using tools of genetic genealogy as well as traditional paper research now.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Secombe Brothers

Todays post continues with the research on the newly confirmed branch of my tree. That of the Secombe family. You will remember from previous posts, based on DNA connections we have finally confirmed that my 2x G Grandfather William McClellan was in fact William McClellan Secombe. He came from a family rich with Coastguard and Navy history.
Thomas Seacombe lived a life firmly based around the Sea. He was from a very young man, employed by the CoastGuard, and before that the Maritime Revenue Service.  There are many with the name Secombe to be found in the records of the Coastguard and the Navy, including Thomas’ own grandfather Mark who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar on the HMS Tonnant.  Thomas clearly loved the life, and passed the love onto his sons who each appear to have a history of  seafaring adventures.
In a letter of application for the youngest son Lewis, Thomas’ wife Isabella states that she wishes nothing but a life for Lewis on the sea as it was the life of his father and all his brothers. While I have yet to find records for all the sons, most indeed appear to have spent a good part of their life with the British Coastguard or Navy.

William McClelland Secombe
William appears to be the first child of Thomas and Isabella and was born on the Isle of Whithorn on 17 March 1833 and was baptised a month later. His first maritime record appears to be entering Naval Service when he signed up for 10 years service, on the 1st November 1860. He was posted to the HMS Ajax. Little more is known of the next 10 years except that he was involved in a disasterous storm which took place in Kingstown harbour during which the Captain of the Ajax drowned. Later records find him as crew on coastal traders in Australia, one of which was the Fairy Queen, which in 1873 wrecked in Timaru harbour. It is at this time it appears William gave up his life on the sea and it was probably at this point he changed his name to William McClellan. He settled first in Pleasant
 Point,and later in Woodville and married Elizabeth Brodie and had one son, William McClellan.

Alexander Secombe
There has been no record of Alexanders birth, His parentage and place of birth comes from his later records. Alexander states he was born in 1840 on the Isle of Whithorn Scotland, like his elder brother William. The first we officially know of him is in Australia. His arrival date and method of arrival in Austrlia is unknown but members of the family suspect he jumped ship from a Naval vessel. By 1860 though, aged just 20 he is the proprieter of the Miners Arms Hotel in Georgetown, Queensland Australia, so it can be certain he didnt complete his naval service if he did in fact sign up. In 1864 Alexander married Melvina Rachel Vincent and they had 9 children . He died not long after the birth of his last daughter Georgeana, the cause of which was apparently suicide aged only 45.

Mark Secombe
The Naval records of Mark Secombe are more complete than those of his older brothers .Also born on the Isle of Whithorn, he signed on as a boy, 1st Class on 15 Dec 1859 when he joined the Ajax. Initially volunteering for a term of 10 years he re engaged in 1870 in order to serve long enough to obtain a pension. He served on many ships including the HMS Ajax, HMS Edgar, HMS Blenheim and Excellent, HMS Pearl and Duke of Wellington and HMS Penelope, which appears to be his last posting before retiring from the Navy. Mark married Elizabeth Mulholland in 1875 and they went on to have 11 children in the next 14 years, before Mark died in 1889, the same year his youngest daugther was born. In 1881 Mark is listed as a Naval Pensioner and hsi wife Lizzie as a GreenGrocer. They are living in Walton Suffolk. Mark died aged only 47 in Aug 1889.

Andrew Secombe
The records for Andrew Secombe state he was born in Portaferry, County Down, Ireland. This ties in with his fathers posting to Ireland after he joined the Coastguard.  Andrew volunteered as a Boy 2nd Class in June 1861 for a period of 10 years ( from the age of 18)and then like is elder brother Mark, he also extended for a further 10 years from October 1874.
Like William and Mark, Andrew started his service on the HMS Ajax and also served on the HMS Defense, Excellent, Victory,HMS Terrible, Duke of Wellington, Euphrates, Lord Warden and HMS Favourite.
Andrew married Emma Chaston in Duffus Scotland in 1875 and they had 2 children, Edgar and Daisy .
In the 1881 Scotland census he is living in Aberdour, Aberdeenshire and is listed as a Coastguard and he dies in Suffolk in 1884 aged just 38.

Lewis Secombe
Lewis Secombe was the youngest child of Thomas and Isabella. He was only a child when his father died in 1864 and Isabella was instrumental in his life on the sea. In support of his application as a Boy 2nd Class ( aged just 15) Isabella wrote “ Newtonwards, Ireland, 9th October 1867. I am writing, Sir, that my son is joining the Navy, as it is the only life I wish for him. His father and all his brothers were in the same too, and as I am alone, Sir, I trust the Lord will teach him his way and make him a good boy. Your humbled servant, Isabella Seacombe. Lewis was born in Ballywater County Down, Ireland and served on many ships including HMS Scout, Chameleon, Pembroke, Fox and Royal Adelaide .The last record for him I have confirmed is as an inmate in HMS Wakefield Prison where he is serving 7 days hard labour for drunkenness and states he has also been in Bodman prison. It is not know if he married.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thomas Secombe: A Man of the Sea.

Having now confirmed with DNA that my 2x Great Grandfather, William McClellan was in fact William McClelland Secombe, I felt it appropriate to start to do some serious research on his ancestors.
His father, My 3xG Grandfather was Thomas Secombe.
Much research has been done already on the Secombe family, and I would like to acknowledge the work of Maureen Gates and Peter Symms. Maureen sent me a lot of information, much of it sent to her by Peter Symms from the UK, and I have also downloaded a large number of records of the British Coastguard from the Royal Archives today to learn as much about Thomas as I can.

I find it useful to create a timeline for my ancestors as a starting point to further research and so here is one for Thomas Secombe.

1809: BIRTH: Polruan, Cornwall 3 March 1809. ( Year varies on records)
1825: ENLISTMENT: Signs up with Royal Navy .
1831: CREW: Is crew on HMS Diligence, a RevenueCutter 18th Oct 1831
1832: CHOLERA: 26 July 1832 on shore at Cholera Hospital
1832: MARRIAGE : 9th Nov 1832 to Isabella McClelland at Stranraer, Wigtown, Scotland
1833: BIRTH: of Son WILLIAM MCCLELLAND SECOMBE 9th Nov 1833 at Isle of Whithorn, Wightownshire, Scotland
1838:DISCHARGED: From HMS Diligence due to nomination to join Coastguard.
1838: JOINED :Coastguard at Bangor Station, Ireland
1840: BIRTH: of son ALEXANDER SECOMBE at Isle of Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland.(No record found but date from later records of Alexander)
1841: BIRTH: of son MARK SECOMBE 9th Nov 1841 at Isle of Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland
1842:APPOINTED:  To Coastguard station Tara, Strangford, Ireland, position Boatman 10 Aug 1842
1843: BIRTH of daughter ELIZABETH SECOMBE location unknown but possibly Ireland.
1846: BIRTH of son  ANDREW SECOMBE 6 Oct 1846 at Portaferry Northern Ireland
1850:PROMOTION:27 Sept 1850 promoted to Revenue Man and transferred to Rodden Stn, Donghadee, Ireland
1851:BIRTH of son JOHN SECOMBE, Donghadee, Ireland
1852:BIRTH of son LEWIS SECOMBE 13 Oct 1852, Donghadee, Ireland
1854:RECALLED to Royal Navy due to Crimean War. Posted to HMS Calcutta and sailed to the Baltics
1855:DISCHARGED: From HMS Calcutta,and transferred to HMS Pembroke
1856:PAY 1s6d per day RANK Commissioned Boatman
1856:TRANSFERRED to HMS St Albans
1856: DISCHARGED St Albans to rejoin shore based position at Rodden Station Donaghadee, Ireland July 1856
1859:GOOD CONDUCT BADGE: Received  1 Mar 1859
1861:GOOD CONDUCT BADGE: Received 1 Jan 1861
1862: DEATH: of Daughter ELIZABETH SECOMBE, Age 19 at Greyabbey, Newtownards, Ireland
Buried at Church of Ireland, Balligan, Ireland.
1862:DEATH: THOMAS SECOMBE died 24 Mar 1862 at Rodden Stn, Donaghadee, Ireland, Buried at Church of Ireland, Balligan, Ireland with his daughter Elizabeth.

Monday, September 19, 2016

SOLVED: The Mystery of William McClellan aka William McCelland Secombe

Todays post is another DNA success story.

William McClellan, my GG Grandfather was a bit of a mystery man.  Family Lore had him arrving in New Zealand by way of a Shipwreck- The “Fairy Queen” which came ashore in a large store in Timaru in 1873. He went on to marry Elizabeth Lennie nee Brodie, my GG Grandmother, who had very recently become widowed  when her husband John Lennie died, and she was left with a young family to raise. It was thought that William had been living with the family since the shipwreck.   
We knew where Wiliam was born and this was a reseachers godsend . The Isle of Whithorn, in southern Scotland is not a large town, however there were a couple of William McClellans or McClellands born around the same time as our William. Frustratingly though, all those could be traced well after the time that our William was married and living in New Zealand.
William had become a member of the Salvation Army during his time in New Zealand and in his attestation he had noted that he had been a “Man-0’-War’s Man” in other words he had been in the Navy.
The first major clue came in a search at the British Archives  for William McClellan from the Isle of Whithorn bought up only one result. That was for William McClelland SECOMBE, who was the right age, and had signed on and been posted for a period of 10 years being assigned to the CoastGuard vessel Ajax.
The signature of William Secombe was very similar in style to that of our William McClellan.
While we were researching the origins of our William, in Australia descendants of Alexander Secombe were looking for a missing brother- they had been looking for years for the sons of Thomas Secombe and Isabella McClelland. They had found most of the children :
William McClellan (d) Secombe b. 1833 Isle of Whithorn;
Alexander Secombe no date approx 1835 Wigtown, Wigtownshire;
Mark Secombe b. 1842, Isle of Whithorn;C/G
Elizabeth Hannah b.abt 1844, Portaferry Co.Down. Died 1862 Grey Abbey the same year as her father.  Both buried from the Balligan Church.
Andrew b. 1847, Portaferry Portaferry Died 1884 Suffolk C/G
Louisa Straines b. 1849, Taro Portaferry
John b. 1851 Ballywalter;
Louis (Lewis) b. 1852 Ballywalter. 
Most of the children had ben traced however the fate of William had been a real mystery to them.
t seemed that we might be on the right track but there was no proof our our theory. The records pertaining to the “Fairy Queen” which might have the crew list had been burned in a fire at Archives in Wellington in the 1950s. There were apparently no outgoing records for the voyage fron Newcastle Australia where it originated. Frustration began to set in. Then out of the blue came another clue . It seemed I was not the first in my family to be tracing the origins of William McClellan. His son, named after him, put an advertisement in the Lloyds London Newspaper’s Missing Persons column. In it he states : From New Zealand- The brothers of WILLIAM McCLELLAN OR McCLELLAND,     who left the Isle of Whithorn when very young and was “one of the crew saved from the lifeboat accident when Captain Boyd was drowned in Kingston Harbour” are sought by W. McClellan,
This was the key piece of evidence. Captain Boyd was in fact the Captain of the Ajax. The coastguard vessel that William Secombe had been posted to .  Later that month I found in Australian shipping records William Secombe of Whithorn Scotland on a coastal trader out of the Melbourne area in the very early 1870s .
With circumstantial evidence building combined with the great likeness between the photo of Mark Secombe to the single photo we had of who was likely to be his brother William it was frustrating to have no paper evidence, however science was to be the final definitifve proof.
That came with a small DNA match between my mother and the descendant of one Loveday Secombe.
As shown in the chart to the right Loveday Secombe was the Great Great Aunt of William McCelland Secombe, and her descendant who matches my mother is a GGG Grandson of Loveday Secombe.  Their common ancestor is John Secombe born abt 1732 in Mawgan in Meneage, Cornwall, England who would be my 6x Great Grandfather making the match my 5th cousin 2x removed.
Though the circumstantial evidence abounded, it is almost a relief to finally have some scientific proof that the research I have done over the years has proven to be true. We are in fact related to the famous singer and comedian Harry Secombe and descend from a family who’s history is entrenched in the history of the Royal Coastguard, and now I have a whole new family history to discover.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

DNA Match Update

I thought it was about time I updated my DNA chart showing the ancestors I have confirmed.
As you can see Ive confirmed all 4 of my grandparents and 7 out of 8 great grandparents so Im feeling like I am getting somewhere with confirming the paper trail I have been working on so long.
I have confirmed 9 out of 16 GG Grandparents ( Sadly I have yet to make progress on my Brick Wall GG Grandmother Mary Ann Gleeson who is the reason I originally decided to take the DNA Test .
9 out of 32 GGG Grandparents are confirmed along with 14 4x G Grandparents .
What I find most interesting is that a great proportion of those ancestors I have managed to confirm are of a scottish background. I wonder if Scottish DNA is more "sticky" than other nationalities!!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Children of Henry Goodrum and Jane Boyt

Today's post is a non photo post which I created to help the confusion around the children of my 3x Great Grandparents William Henry and Jane Goodwin.
There are many issues in trying to trace their children, as William changed his name during the course of his life from Henry Goodrum, and some of the children are registered as Goodrum and some Goodwin and some arent registered at all. All of the children marry as Goodwin, though some I have failed to find proof of.

Journalling reads:

Tracing the children of Henry and Jane Goodrum/Goodwin, has not proven to be easy at all.  In fact not all of the children were registered and those who were registered are split with some registered as the child of Jane and Henry Goodrum, Jane and Henry Goodwin, and Jane and William Henry Goodwin. It doesnt help that there was another Auckland with the name William Henry and Jane Goodwin.     The death certificates of both Jane and Henry state they had 7 living children at the time of their deaths. We know at least one child had predeceased them , which means they had at least 8 children.    I am not sure I have them all represented on this page  however these are the ones I have researched .

Mary Jane 8 Dec 1852-4 Nov 1940
Mary Jane’s birth does not appear in the official NZ birth records, however her baptism with the surname Goodrum, is mentioned in a book about St Peters Church in Onehunga. In 1883 she is married in Wellington to William John Crichton, though why she was there is a mystery. She and William had 7 children between 1870 and 1886, and after William’s death she married  George Teakel, in Auckland in 1906. Her obituary mentions her father was WH. Goodwin of the 58th Regiment.
William Charles 1854 ? - ?
 There is no birth record, nor a confirmed death record for William Charles, however we know he existed and was still living in 1912 as he is the executor and a beneficiary of his fathers will. We know at the time of the writing of the will he was living in Waimai. There are 2 trees on the internet which place his birth at 1854, however I have been unable to confirm this. The electoral roll entries have no wife listed as living at the same address so I am unable to ascertain if he was married at any time.
Sarah Ann 1858 -20 March1927
Sarah Ann’s birth is registered as Sarah Goodrum (parents Henry and Jane) in 1858. She married Edward John Moffitt who was a neighbour of her parents near Ngaruawahia, in 1878 and had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls John Henry who died aged 17, Edward John Jr, Elinor and Eliza Annie.  Sarah lived most of her life in Ngaruawahia and died at her daughters house in Te Aroha aged  67.
George Peace 1859 -1922
George’s birth does not appear to have been registered. We can ascertain his birth from his marriage certificate . He married Mary Kogan on Sept 5th 1883 and his age is listed as 24. His birth place is listed as Auckland but he was living in Thames at the time of his wedding. His parents are listed as Henry Goodwin and Jane formally Boyd (instead of Boyt). His name is listed as George, but on the birth record for his son his middle name is listed as Peace. (His son is named the same name George Peace Goodwin. George and Mary had at least 10 children but George is charged with wife desertion in 1898 so it appears he wasnt always the best provider for his family.
The youngest child, Leslie John was born after this date in 1904 however no birth record for him can be found so I am unsure if he was the son of George.
James 3 Sept 1860 - 14 Sept 1898
James was born in Newton, Auckland, according to his birth record. His parents were listed as Henry Goodrum and Jane nee Boyt.  James married Mary Ann Gleeson in Hamilton in 1880. James worked for the Railways and was involved in building the main trunk line south, including the bridge over the Waikato river. James and Mary Ann had 10 children including one who died in infancy of measles. When the railway reached Te Awamutu, James felt he could no longer keep moving his family so he left and took up farming and sharemilking in Newstead, Hamilton. Sadly though, not long after that, in September 1898 James died of Acute double Pneumonia, aged only 38 years old.
Henry 1863 - 1930
Henry was born in 1863 and his surname was Goodrum - Parents Henry and Jane.  He was married (as Henry Goodwin) on 7th May 1894 to Marjorie Mahon. On his marriage certificate he names his parents as William Henry Goodwin and Jane Goodwin formerly Boyd. They had 4 children, Zela Theodora Gertrude, Walter Casper, Milton Watford Gorange, and James Henry Mahon before Marjorie sued for divorce in 1913.  I have not found any evidence of Henry remarrying after his divorce . He died in 1930 aged 67.

Samuel Henry 27 Mar1866 - 15 Sept1926
Samuel was born with the surname Goodrum, parents Jane and Henry in 1866. He  and his eventual wife Letitia Meekin have a son Francis Henry in Auckland in 1898 a full 7 years before Samuel and Letitia eventually marry (like his siblings before him marries with the surname Goodwin) in 1905. They went on to have a further 6 children The electoral rolls indicate Samuel was a labourer, and lived primarily in Ngaruawahia  until his death in 1926 aged 60
Joseph 1868 - 1955
Joseph was born in 1868 with the surname Goodwin,  parents William Henry and Jane.  He marries Sarah Miller in Drury in   1900 and they raised an adopted daughter. The marriage however is an unhappy one and Sarah leaves Joseph on multiple occasions and becomes pregnant with another mans child, and is also arrested for prostitution on more than one occasion.  Joseph divorces Sarah in 1917.   He did not remarry. Upon his death, his estate was claimed by a Cecilia Sutcliffe who claimed to be his daughter. One would assume she must have been  the child that had been adopted before Joseph and Sarah’s divorce.
Unknown or Unnamed 1871-1871
I have no details of this child, which was not registered, except for an entry at NZ Archives of a letter from the Hamilton coroner regarding the Stillborn infant of William Henry Goowin. The letter is dated 16th October 1871.

On the death certificate of Jane in 1913 there is listed the ages of the surviving children as Males 60, 55, 46, 43, 40 and Females 61 and 51. I have tried to tally those ages with the children I have researched.
61 - Mary Jane ; 60 William Charles ( this might indicate he was born a year earlier than we think)
55 - could be George ; 51 -Must be Sarah Ann even though she was actually 55; 46 ( this could be Samuel, but is probably Henry even though the age is 4 years out- Henry would have been 50) 43 - Is the wrong age again for Samuel as he would have been 47; 40 - Joseph was actually 45 at the time of his fathers death.
Due to the confusion it is entirely possible there is another child I have yet to find

As a side note to this layout, I am descended from James and I have a DNA match to a descendant of Samuel Henry. There is also a DNA match to descendants of a sister of Jane Goodrum/Goodwin nee Boyt, confirming her as my 3x G Grandmother.  I hope over time more matches can be found to confirm my Goodwin family tree .