Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

It’s a new year and a fresh start.

Each year I renew a challenge to myself to continue with documenting the families that makeup who I am. Once again Amy Johnson Crow has thrown out the gauntlet and challenges us to develop the habit of writing/recording our family history discoveries and sharing them as 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I hope you will enjoy these blogs on another 52 Ancestors.

The Holmes line starts in our family when William Henry Francis married Susannah Holmes 20 July 1826 in Zanesville, Ohio. William Henry Francis is my 3x great grandfather on my paternal side. Susannah Homes is the 2nd child of 14 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes 22 November 1806. Now Peter was the son of George and Anne (Hill) Holmes of Fauquier County Virginia. His sister was Sabitha (or Tabitha) who had married Joseph Francis in 1797, and their son William Henry was born in 1798, thus making William and Susannah first cousins and Sabitha is not only Susannah’s aunt she is her mother-in law.

Marriage to a first cousin may seem strange to some of us here in the United States but it is actually not unusual in many other countries. Here in the United States only 19 states actually have restrictions against first cousins marriage, and only 5 have it as a criminal offense. First cousin couples risk for birth defects are around 6% where non-related couples risk of birth defects stand about 3% as reported in the Independent. First cousin marriages are more common in the Middle East and it may be approximatly 10% of marriages worldwide are between first cousins.

So as we do our genealogy we should feel no need to raise an eyebrow over cousins marrying,  after all it may be better for some to marry the cousin they know than a stranger. 

Susannah Holmes was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Francis and Holmes appear both in Fauquier  County Virginia and Muskingum County Ohio. The two families are intertwined for generations in both Virginia and Ohio. So maybe it is not surprising that William Francis and Susannah Holmes are married in 1826 after both families had moved west to Zanesville, in Muskingum County Ohio. I want to explore this further, although they are not direct ancestors I have already noted several siblings that marry either another Holmes or a Francis.








Tis’ the season to look forward to the promise of the future and celebrate the traditions from the past. In reviewing my blogs I see that the most visited blog continues to be Krebble or Grebble..

Krebbles or Grebbles

An old German family recipe that came to our family through my husband’s Volga German line.

They look festive enough for holidays and special occasions. Would love to hear from those who have tried this and liked it as much as my husband and I.

My second most popular post was when I compared Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic.

Roots Magic Screen Shot

With all the changes in both programs I am considering a second look at both programs. If you are really happy with one or the other I would love to hear why you like like either Roots Magic or Family Tree maker. Sometimes it’s just the little things that keep us using a particular program.


FTM Screen shot

Or maybe it was just something the others did not offer at the time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My plans for the future are to keep doing what I love, working, researching and

digging up family relatives.



#9 The Heap Family Line

Each month I am looking at a different Family surname and straightening out my files and seeing what I know or don’t know for each family line. This month the dubious job is surveying the Heap files. It begins with my maternal grandmother (Ada Richmal Heap  b. 18 August 1888, Staten Island, New York, USA) and I have navigated my way back to my 4x great grandfather (Robert Heap b. 1766?, Cheshire England).

Since I have the direct line sorted out to that point I have taken to what we genealogist lovingly call “killing off the relatives”. Some of the siblings are not co-operating and in order to find their death dates I have to muck around in the records sometimes creating more questions for myself. One of those was Edward Heap b. about 1841 to Henry and Mary (Woolley) Heap. Henry had a brother Edward Lees Heap (b. 1809 d. 1845) and when Henry and Mary had their third baby boy christened on 11 April 1841 they named him Edward Lees Heap. Well, now Henry’s son Edward is in the 1841 census for Ashton Under Lyne and noted to be 6 months old. Also there is another Edward Heap 30 years old living in Henry’s household, unfortunately they do not list relationship in the 1841 UK Census, but the age is right for Edward Lees Heap, Henry’s brother. Since the census was to reflect the household on the night of  June 6th 1841  Edward (the younger) was born in either December 1840 or January 1841.

Henry and Mary had their children (Robert, John Woolley and Edward)  baptized at the parish church

Mottram Parish Church from Google Earth

Mottram-in-Logandendale, Cheshire England. In the Census of 1841 the family is shown as living at Rossbottom Street in the town of Staleybridge (Cheshire). When Mary (Woolley) Heap dies in 1843 she is shown as being at Rossbottom Street and when Henry marries Eliza Stokes in 1845 his address is listed as Staleybridge and they marry in Ashton Under Lyne. In the Census of 1851 the family is shown as living at 52 Rossbottom Street in the town of Staleybridge (Cheshire) but no Edward.


So the questions are:

  • where in 1851 is Edward or did he not  survive to his 10th birthday
  • where would I find the death record? Mottram-in- Logandale? Ashton-under Lyne?
  •  looking at the map of the area we can see that Staleybridge is between Mottram-in- Logandendale and Ashton-under Lyne.

Who are the Edward Heaps in the 1851 UK census

  • in Hartshead in the parish of Ashton-under Lyne there’s another Henry Heap family. His wife is listed as Elizabeth. The children in the family are shown as Robert(24 years of age), Ann (22), Edward (21), Martha (18), and Joseph (16). This Edward is too old and this Robert is 4 years older the our Robert would have been. This census does list the relationship of each individual to the head of household
  • in Lancashire there are are only two other Edward Heaps indexed in the 1851 UK census.
    • one in Higher Booths who is only 5
    • one in Cotton who is 11 which would be about the correct age but he is shown as born in Munst.
  • There are none in Cheshire and several in Yorkshire.

So I have sent an inquiry to the Parish church in Mottram-in-Logandendale for a possible burial that is not available on-line. Any other ideas? Would love your input.


#8 The Hall Family

Do you have reoccurring family names that appear not to connect? I have three (3) different Hall family lines. I wonder what the most anyone has, that do not connect in say, 5 generations?

The Hall family in my British line starts with my favorite Richmal Hall (my maternal 2x great grandmother) who married John Woolley Heap on July 23, 1857 (160 years ago). Richmal was born in 1834, making her 23 years of age when she married John Woolley Heap. John was the son of a Publican. A publican runs a pub and may or may not have rooms to rent. Henry, John’s father was also listed as a brewer and an Auctioneer in the various censuses. Richmal’s father was an Iron Moulder. So how did these two get together? Richmal’s father was Samuel Hall. Samuel appears to have married twice and his 2nd wife Sarah Coe he married on 2 January 1820 in Stockport, Cheshire England and Richmal was baptized on 18 February1835 in Ashton under lyne, Lancaster England. I have not been able to connect Samuel to the next generation back. This family lived in the area where they seem to move back and forth from Cheshire to Lancashire several times in their lifetime. There are several Samuel Hall’s recorded in the parish churches in this area about 1798. Since Samuel was an Iron Moulder was his father of a similar trade? If the naming pattern follows, his father may have been John Hall since his first son is  John Hall. So far this is a very incomplete line with a very common name.

Another Hall Line I have been working on starts with Mary Agnes Hall who was the first wife of Joseph Ferguson. This would also be my maternal 2x great grandmother. This Hall was born in upstate New York. I have proved that her maiden name was Hall from two of her sons marriage records that list mothers maiden name. Yet on her death record her mothers name is listed as Ester Hall and her father is simply listed as Lambert. So this line is a quagmire. Was she illegitimate?

My third Hall line is on my paternal 3x great grandmother Betsy Dickey Hall born 26 May 1784 in New Hampshire, wife of Timothy Putnam. Other family trees on line list John Hall and Jane Patten as Betsy’s parents, but I have found no records to confirm this.

After several months I am done with the Hall Line for 12 Family Lines 12 months. Next will be the Heap Line.



DNA and Ethics

I had my DNA done early, March 2013 with 23andMe. It seams like it was a lot earlier than that. I really liked the information I received and found their website relatively easy to navigate. I made a few connections back then, but no block busting discoveries. One of our main brick walls was with my mothers surname line.  So my sister and I decided to ask our eldest cousin (we only have three and they are all on that line) to do a yDNA test on Family Tree DNA. Just to round things out we also asked our brother to have his yDNA tested. Since we bought and paid for them we were the administrators.
Since then I decided to upload my DNA results to gedmatch.com. Once uploaded I had an unknown cousin contact me that helped solve a brick wall that my sister had been working on for at least 20 years. But it was not the brick wall for my mothers surname.

Now my sister has tested with 23andMe. Recently I talked another cousin into testing after I won a Myheritage DNA kit.
With all these different testing companies I thought it would be a good idea to get all of the test results on gedmatch.com.
When I spoke to my cousin that most recently tested I did speak to him about gedmatch.com. I also sent emails out asking my cousin and my brother for permission to put their results on gedmatch.com. My brother did ask for further information on what this was, and I explained, after that No response.
So there’s a dilemma.
How do I handle this?
What are the ethics about managing others DNA?

 Getting permission is the correct thing to do before uploading someone else’s DNA to a third party site. The problem is not with them it was with how my sister and I approached the DNA Testing. We were so excited about using the DNA results to solve our brick walls and gain further knowledge about our genealogy we did not take the appropriate steps in obtaining a well thought out form of consent from the DNA contributors.  So now I have developed a DNA Consent Form to fill out and have signed by myself/or sister and our relative that we will be the administer for. Hoping this will ease the mind of those we administrate for and ourselves. I have included:

  • Who is paying for the testing. In the past we have paid for all the testing and updating.
  • What type of test they are agreeing to take.
  • That as administrators that we will make all contacts and handle all inquires.
  • That they can elect to have their DNA sample stored or not.
  • That they will have access to their results.
  • That their contact information may not be shared accept for surname.
  • That administrator(s) may upload the results to third party sites for  possible further matching.
  • That the test taker wants/or does not want to be informed about any unexpected results.

Did I miss anything? If presented with a form that includes these items would you sign?




The Francis Line comes to our family with my maternal grandmother Etta Jane Francis (b. 1889, California) who was one of two daughters of Gilmore C. (b. 1864, California) and Caroline (Batson) (b. 1866, Ohio) Francis. Gilmore’s parents were George Washington Francis (b. 1832, Ohio) and Clementine Shipp (b. 1848, Louisiana). Gilmore had eight brothers and sisters. George Washington Francis was one of 12 children born to William Henry Francis (b. 1798, Virginia) and Susannah Holmes (b.1806, Virginia). William Henry was the eldest of 9 children born to Joseph Francis (b. 1770, Maryland) and Sabitha (Tabitha) Holmes (b. 1775, Virginia). Joseph had an older brother Thomas and their Father was Andrew Francis (b. abt. 1740, Maryland, d. 1804 in Virginia) their mother is unknown at this time. My sister has done all this research on the Francis line. While much is sited in the Francis Family of Fauquier County Virginia ¹ we knew that some of the information was incorrect, therefore Madeleine has done due diligence in verifying the information.

If you click on the names underlined it will take you to a previous post about that person.

In sorting out my files on the Francis line I tried to see if I could place George Washington in a 1860 US Census. We have him in all the other available census plus the California voter registers from 1866 forward. A historical biographical sketch was given in History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California ² for George W. Francis.

Also about the same time (1859) he removed to a cattle ranch not far from Visalia, where eventually he gained control of four thousand acres and had large herds of cattle grazing on the plains…….At Visalia in 1860 ³, Mr. Francis married Clementine Shipp, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of George Shipp, one of the earliest settlers of the San Joaquin valley. …….. There is one thing that Mr. Francis takes pride in, and that is that he voted for Abraham Lincoln at Venice, Cal, in 1861.

Well  why is he not in the 1860 census in Tulare County? according to the biographic sketch George W. had previously lived in Mariposa County where he had been Mining .

In 1858,  abandoning mining, he went to the Kings River region and settled in Drums Valley, where he and Andrew Drum engaged in the hog business.

So after some in-depth searches I discovered that Drums Valley (Drumms Valley or Drum Valley) is just west of Badger in northern Tulare County.

Tulare County from Google Earth

So this is the beginning of the Francis family in Tulare county where George lives until his death in 1914. Where is Venice California? I had assumed it was in Los Angeles area (Venice or Venice Beach). After looking into the History of “Venice of America”, I discovered that Venice was originally in the Santa Monica area and the tract of land was sold to Abbott Kinney and his partner Francis Ryan in 1891 where they built a pier. It became Ocean Park in 1895 and when Kinney opened his “Venice of America” park in 1905. So that does not fit the 1861 date for Venice, California. So I looked at the townships in Tulare county for the 1860 US census, no Venice. Then I checked the townships in the 1870 US Census and found the township of Venice. Searching maps of Tulare County I finally found it. Today it would be near Ivanhoe, just East of Ivanhoe are two groups of hills, Venice Hills North and Venice Hills South and Venice Cove (click on image to enlarge).

Mystery solved.

Next Month I will be looking at the first of the two different Hall Family ‘s.

¹Francis Family of Fauquier County Virginia, by Albert O. Felchlia 1992 available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (out of print)

²History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California  by Prof. J.M. Guinn, A.M., Chapman Publishing Co. Chicago 1905. Available through the California State Archives, Sacramento, California.

³Clemintine would have been 13 years of age in 1860.


The children of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Brown) Fletcher of Cambridge Massachusetts were Mary Ann, Benjamin, William Alfred, and James or Joseph Fletcher. Last week I told you the saga of Benjamin Jr. in trying to determine the reason that Benjamin F. Fletcher, a 70 year old man and his wife Mary Ann would move clear across the country in 1871. (Click on underlined items to view record)

William Alfred Fletcher was born 10 April 1845 in Cambridge Massachusetts.

  • 1850 US Census for Cambridge listed an Alfred Fletcher 5 years old in Benjamin F. Fletcher’s household.
  • 1855 Mass State census list  William A. 12 years old with the Benjamin F. Fletcher family
  • 1860 US Census for Cambridge we find a A.W. Fletcher 18 years of age and a clerk living at home with the family.
  • 1864 William A. Fletcher marries Julia M. Small in Quincy Massachusetts.
  • 1865 Mass State census shows William and Julia living with his parents in Cambridge. William is listed as a clerk.
  • 1865 Cambridge City Directory list William A. Fletcher, baker,  bds at 99 Norfolk (with his parents).
  • 1870 US census finds William and Julia living with his parents in Lexington Massachusetts. William is listed as a farmer. William and Julia have 3 children shown, Marrietta 5, William F. 3, and Freddie B. 7/12.
  • 1880 US census finds William and Julia living within Lexington Massachusetts. William is listed as a R.R. Clerk. They have  4 children in their household. Mary E. 15, William F. 12, Freddie B. 10, and Alice M. 2.
  • 1900 US census finds William A. and Julia still in Lexington. At home with them are William F. 33, Alice M. 23, and Abby L 12. Williams occupation is listed as a Delivery Clerk B & M.
  • 23 April 1906 William A. Fletcher dies at the age of 64 years and 13 days, cause of death Heart disease, occupation is listed as a Delivery Clerk B & M R.R., parents listed as Benjamin F. Fletcher and Mary A. Brown.

James or Joseph Fletcher is born 14 Feb. 1848 in Cambridge. That would have been the same year that Mary Ann and Joseph Putnam’s daughter Mary Ellen Putnam was born.

  • 1850 US census lists James 3 years old.
  • There is no record of a Joseph or James after 1850
  • No death record has been found either.

Benjamin F. Fletcher (carpenter) and Mary A. had 3 grandchildren in Lexington in 1870 and 8 grandchildren in California.  Since Mary Ann and Benjamin’s only have two children living one in Lexington and the other in California. Did they decide that they would move out west to be there for their daughter who had a house full of children, rather then to stay in Cambridge where they had suffered with the loss of two of their children?

Most parents today do not seem to hesitate to move across country to be closer to their grandchildren but  in 1871 that would not have been an easy move. The only convenience was that the United States Transcontinental Railroad was completed May 10th 1869, making travel less arduous. Did William and his family travel west on the railroad to visit while his folks were still alive? Maybe he got a special rate working for the railroad.

That will close the book for now on the Fletchers as I change gears and start on the Francis Family.


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