DNA: John Davis and Mary

DNA match iconThis is my first DNA success story from my brother’s kit on AncestryDNA. I am very pleased about this one as it gives extra assurance that my paper trail is valid for the very common surname Davis. It clearly shows the benefits of testing siblings, as this match did not appear for my own kit.

It also demonstrates how families spread around the world can find their common roots through the versatility of DNA analysis. I was born in Northumberland, England and now live in Norway. The two kits that matched belong to people in Italy and Australia. The probable common ancestors lived in Shropshire, England.

If you would like to know more about our DNA and paper trail links to John Davis and his wife Mary take a look at the article: “MRCA: John Davis and/or Mary ??” on my page DNA plus paper.

Davis Decisions

Snip Morrell lodgerSince Davis is such a common name I got off to a slow start in pinning down my Davis line, but they were kind enough to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for me. Fortunately, they took in other family members in need of a place to live. I have several census records where an additional member of the household has helped me to verify that I have the correct family:

  • In 1881 Charles Morrall (transcribed Morrell) is a lodger with my great great grandfather George Davis and his two daughters in Choppington, Northumberland. Charles turned out to be George’s nephew.
  • In 1861 John Davis (transcribed Davies) is a boarder with Mary Morrall (mother of Charles) at Dudley in Worcestershire. John is brother to Mary Morrall and to my great great grandfather George Davis.
  • In 1841 my 3rd great grandparents John Davis and Mary are living in Madeley, Shropshire with their 4 children: Sarah Ann, George, Mary and John.
  • In 1871 John Davis senior is living with his daughter Sarah Edge in Ironbridge, Shropshire.

This all gives an extra degree of assurance that the George Davis, with parents John and Mary, in the 1841 census really belongs to me.

Medical discharge record

This army medic certainly didn’t mince his words. I found this rather blunt statement in the 1918 records of a 21 year old 2nd cousin twice removed who was discharged as physically unfit for service in the 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers:

Discharge record

Elsewhere in the record it states that the reason the poor chap was unfit was that he had suffered from rickets since childhood. It also states that he was unable to lift a rifle, but that his condition had not prevented him from working as a miner. I suppose he had no choice. However difficult it may have been for him, work in the pit was probably the best option when he was young, despite his disabilities.

I have not posted his name here out of consideration for his living family. He lived in Jarrow. If you think he belongs to you and would like to know more about the full record (several pages), then drop me a line.

Barrington Colliery

In the latter half of the 1700s my Cracket / Crackett relatives were agricultural labourers in the Lowick, Kyloe, Shoreswood and Norham area of North Northumberland. With the opening of pits around that area many of them moved into the mines. It is interesting to see that as old pits closed and new pits opened they migrated south en masse to the Chevington, Barrington, Bedlington and Choppington collieries. My granda George Crackett (1890-1978) grew up in the hamlet of Choppington Colliery. 12042782_1664016537218452_3407140090025408738_n

This undated photo is of Barrington Colliery. I do not have a full overview of which of my Cracketts may have worked there, but one who most likely did is my granda’s uncle George, born 1833 at Cornhill-on-Tweed. In the 1871 census this George Crackett is living in the hamlet of Barrington Colliery and has the occupation coal miner. (Thanks to Geoff on the facebook group: Sixtownships History Group for allowing me to borrow his photo.)

New DNA results

DNA match iconMy attempts to write a daily blog post have fallen a little by the wayside tonight. This is because I am so excited at having two new sets of DNA results to play with. Where do I start? My own third set of results came in from 23andme yesterday. I tested with FTDNA in 2011 and with AncestryDNA in my Easter holidays, then with 23andme in my summer holidays. Match list rolled in yesterday.

When I woke up this morning my brother’s DNA results from AncestryDNA were available.

I have been busy looking at both of these this sets of results this evening and have some very interesting findings, but I need to structure my thoughts before I post more so you will have to bear with me till tomorrow.

Possible 7th great grandparents

James Rutherford and Jane NixonI believe this couple may be my 7th great grandparents. I am currently looking for additional proof that I have identified the correct people. James Rutherford and Jane Nixon married at Simonburn in Northumberland on 23rd May 1738. Vicar clearly had a problem writing in a straight line. The whole page slopes downhill and gets progressively worse as you get nearer the bottom.