My Good Fortune
The prompt this week, Fortune, has led me to discover a major error in my research. I had planned to write about an ancestress who seemingly married away from the family fortune. However, as I began collecting the sources for this ancestress, I found strong contradictory evidence against her being my ancestress. What good fortune this prompt came along! It has led me to find this misinformation and correct the record. I hope others who used the same poor sources I did find this post and consider revising their family trees.
John Rogers was a 3x great-grandson, and namesake, of John Rogers, the Martyr, 1506-1555. The Rogers were a family with strong, Protestant, religious views and certainly anti-royalist, anti-Catholic and probably anti-Church of England. Mary Byrd was the daughter of William Byrd, 1652-1704, of Westover, VA. A well known, wealthy planter in Colonial Virginia. He, and his wife, were also royalists and some of their descendants were Tories during the American Revolution. I could not understand what would cause Mary Byrd to marry into a family that seemed antithetical to her own. This is why I thought she made a good subject for this week’s prompt.
I had accepted Mary Byrd into my family tree through statements on old applications to the Sons of the American Revolution organization. These applications do not include primary sources. There are also lineage books that include statements connecting Mary Byrd to John Rogers. But, again, they do not include primary source records.
I have now discovered lineage books that specifically refute the claim of a marriage between the wealthy Byrd family and the religious Rogers family. The evidence is compelling, and makes more sense. These new sources indicate Mary Byrd married a man named Duke, not Rogers. This marriage is well documented in contemporary accounts of the Byrd family. [4, 5]
It is possible the misinformation came about because John Rogers’ mother-in-law was named Mary Bird. Mary Bird, 1673-1756, married a man named George Eastham, 1663-1748, and their daughter Rachel, 1695-1765, married John Rogers in 1716.
Additionally, this resolves another question I had regarding the children of John Rogers. None were namesakes of the Byrd family. There was one son named Bird/Byrd, otherwise no one carried the names found among the Byrds: William, Evelyn, Ursula, Warham. Instead, they were names found in the Rogers and Bird families: John, Giles, George, Lucy, Mildred, Rachel. [6, 7]
I do feel fortunate to have found this contradictory evidence for the marriage of John Rogers to Mary Byrd. It felt out of place for these two families to form an alliance. Too much like the plot of a fictional romance story.
In recent weeks I have found another error in my research. Fortunately, it was a family I had not previously written about. It is all a lesson to continue looking at sources.
I previously wrote about the Byrd family for the 2019 prompt, “I’d Like to Meet.” This new discovery means I am no longer related to the person I’d like to meet. (The explorer Adm. Richard Byrd) Do I need to remove my post? No, I will write a new introductory paragraph to correct the record. The good news is, I now have a new surname to research: Bird, and a new explorer: George Rogers Clark.
- Blog post, Family Finds: 12; https://barblafara.com/john-rogers-12/
- Blog post, Family Finds: I’d Like to Meet; https://barblafara.com/admiral-byrd-id-like-to-meet/
- Profile of John Rogers, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12582838940/facts
- “The London Diary, 1717-1721, and Other Writings,” by William Byrd II (1674-1744), Edited by Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, New York: Oxford University Press, 1958. page 7; Access Online: https://archive.org/details/londondiary171710000byrd
- Online memorial for Mary Byrd Duke, Find a Grave; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/203171995/mary-duke
- “Donald Robertson and his wife, Rachel Rogers, of King and Queen County, Virginia, their ancestry and posterity” by William Kyle Anderson, pub: Winn and Hammond, Detroit, MI, 1900, pages 209-212; Accessed Online: https://archive.org/details/donaldrobertsonh00ande/page/211/mode/1up
- “Hoskins of Virginia and related families : Hundley, Ware, Roy, Garnett, Waring, Bird, Buckner, Dunbar, Trible, Booker, Aylett, Carter, Upshaw” by Warner, Charles Willard Hoskins; Tappahannock, Va.: Pub: unknown, 1971. pages 294-323
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.