German ancestors on my mom’s side

Abraham Hildebrand (1748-1833), my 4th great grandfather on my grandfather Clifford’s mother’s side.

Abraham Hildebrand, born about 1748 in Pennsylvania, married Anna Schantz. She was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Schantz, who were active in the (Swiss-German) Mennonite Church. The Hildebrands, were active in a sect of the Church of the Brethren known as Dunkards (Old German Baptists). It is guessed that Judge Abraham understood German and could read and write English by the later deeds he signed and by his capacity as judge:

The 1777 non-associators record meant Judge Hildebrand was not in the Revolutionary War and chose to be non-associated due to his religious beliefs as a Dunkard – a Peace church.
It is believed that Johannas Hildebrand may have been the father of Abraham Hildebrand. Johan, before the age of sixteen, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 24 1734 on the ship St. Andrew. He was discovered as a stowaway passenger. He had apparently run away from home to follow his older brothers to the Americas, which is why he was listed on the Ship’s manifest as cargo. After being discovered he was forced to work on the ship as an indentured passenger to pay for his fare and was released with his brothers upon arriving in Philadelphia

John Dewatt Weimer (1740-1831) My 5th great-grandfather, my 4th great grandfather on my grandfather Clifford’s mother’s side.

John and his brothers Martin and Frederick immigrated to America from Germany in the 1760’s.
He served as a corporal in Captain John Riley’s Co., Third Pennsylvania Continental Line in 1778-79 which was at Valley Forge with George Washington. He was twice listed as having “Insufficient clothing” at Valley Forge. His name is sometimes recorded as Wimmer, Wymer or Wemmer..
After the Revolution, John, his wife Susanna Ackerman, and their family settled in Somerset County where he was granted 336 acres of bounty land in Milford Township. He received title to his land on Feb. 26, 1788 and named it “Prospect Hill.”

Hackler & Delp, (Hechler & Delph) On my grandma Clifford’s paternal side.
Johann Georg Hechler (1743-1821) arrived at age 11 with his parents, Hans Georg Hechler (originally from Alsace) and Susanna Müller, in Pennsylvania in 1754. They lived in Manchester Township in York County, Pennsylvania and were members of Quickel’s Lutheran Reformed Church. He married Elizabeth Peter in 1770 and moved to Elk Creek, Grayson County, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, sometime in the early 1780’s.
His son Peter Hackler was married to Mackalana “Molly” Delp, daughter of Peter Delp and Eveline Reichbacher. Peter Delp’s parents were Hans Georg Delp and Barbara Moyer. Hans Georg Delp (1708-1773) immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738 and settled in Montgomery County. Although many genealogies list Peter Hackler as being born in Grayson County, Virginia, it is unlikely since his parents stayed in Pennsylvania.
Not much else is known about these families, except that they were very prolific. I have confirmed my mom having 396 DNA matches with Delp shared ancestors and 213 matches with Hackler shared ancestors. The Delps are second only to the Cornetts. Some matches are descended from Cornetts, Hacklers AND Delps, with some who also descend from Russells and Stampers, too! …Many descend from both due to siblings of one family marrying siblings of the other family.

The Baughers– Johannius Georgius Bager (1725-1791), my 6th great grandfather, on my grandma Clifford’s maternal side.
It appears that most, if not all, Baughers in the United States are descendants of Johannius Georgius Bager and Anna Elizabeth Schwab. They were married in Giessen, Darmstadt, Germany in 1748 and sailed to America on a ship called the “Rawley” in 1752. The “u” and “h” were added to the Bager name upon arrival in North America (Many various pronunciations of Baugher are found among descendants.) Johannius Georgius Bager was educated at the University of Halle (This is the same university that my famous ancestor Barthold Heinrich Brockes on my dad’s side went almost 50 years earlier.) Bager was ordained and installed at Simmern, Germany, in the month of December 1749. He was sent to be a pastor of the Lutherans in Pennsylvania, December 16th, 1752. Shortly after arriving to America with his wife and son, he became the pastor of St. Michael’s, an old log church along the Carlisle Pike, near Hanover, PA. He made many ministry tours helping to establish more than one hundred churches in Baltimore, Maryland, and several Pennsylvania Counties.

Dana’s chromosome segments likely inherited from ancestral couples

By identifying the DNA segments that you share with relatives with known shared ancestors, you can identify segments that you likely inherited from those shared ancestral couples, using the online DNA tool, DNA Painter.

(In some cases, my known relatives were descendants from other marriages of an ancestor, so instead of an ancestral couple, just the one ancestor is shown as contributing that segment.)

Here is what I have been able to determine on my dad’s side:

Here is what I have been able to determine on my mom’s side. (There are several anomalies, which are likely due to multiple relationships. The most glaring one is on chromosome 18 which has overlaps of relatives on both my grandfather’s Verbryck/Holt side and my grandmother’s Cornett/Pennington/Stamper sides. I believe that perhaps that the Holt and Pennington sides might be related somehow. They both have roots in Virginia…There are a lot of double+ relationships with DNA matches on my grandmother’s Cornett side of the family back in early Virginia and North Carolina! )

The rest of the key that wouldn’t fit in the original photo…

Likely Y-DNA Haplogroups for Surnames in my Tree

I am still waiting to be able to afford to upgrade my nephew’s y-DNA to Big Y. Meanwhile I thought it might be interesting to look at other surnames in my tree and try to find likely relatives in other surname projects at ftDNA. There are also a few basic Y-DNA haplogroups for some of my matches at 23 and Me.

To recap what I have determined or postulate on my dad’s Kelley/Kelly side:

  • Kelly (Irish): FtDNA gave my nephew a basic haplogroup of R-M629. Prediction software used on my brother’s and nephews’ raw ancestryDNA came up with R-Z2534. One of my nephew’s matches tested to R-BY23454 (All his matches seem to descend from David O’Kellia, and early immigrant to Massachusetts.)  A DNA match on my Kelley side at 23 and Me, whose father was adopted, but may descend from a male cousin of my dad’s tested to R-Y4010.  Both are downstream of R-Z2534 but slightly different branches. All are in the Irish Type III group on the L21 Descendant Tree, some members of which are thought to have descended from Brian Boru.
The Full R1b-L21 chart

I couldn’t find any surname groups for any of my dad’s German ancestors except for the common name Hansen which is such a wide and variable group. I could not identify any likely relatives.

On my Grandpa Clifford’s side:

  • Clifford (Norman English- Herefordshire-) also likely belongs to the basic haplogroup R-M269. It is the most common European haplogroup, most frequent in western Europe. It is thought to have arisen in Western Asia or Europe about 4,000- 10,000 years ago near the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution. New research questions the idea that it spread with expansion of agriculture. Current distribution may have been the result of major population movements occurring after the Neolithic agricultural transition. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)
  • Irwin (Scotch-Irish) likely belonged to haplogroup R-FGC34569 which is also in R-M269. It is downstream of L555 which is clearly identified with the “Border Irwins” on the L21 Descendent Tree.
  • Decker (Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein) likely belonged to haplogroup R-DF98. This is also in R-M269, but in the U106 branch that is more frequent in Friesland. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)

  • Holt (Germany) likely belonged to J-M172(J2)/J-PF5456. Although I have not traced this tree back, I have DNA matches who descend from a Hans Michael Holt (b. 30 Dec 1696 in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, d. Orange, North Carolina, USA) It gets difficult to tease apart Virginia and North Carolina matches from Grandma’s Cornett side, but I thought this might be a likely ancestor…J-M172 is thought to have originated between the Caucasus Mountains. It is most common in Western Asia. “The PF5456 subclade is barely 2500 years old and would have emerged and propagated after the founding of Rome. Outside Italy, it is now found in such varied places as Portugal, Spain, France, Britain, Belgium, southern Germany [Baden-Württemberg is in southern Germany], Austria, Bulgaria, Tunisia or Lebanon, all regions colonized by the Romans.” Many Ashkenazi Jews also appear to belong to this subclade.

On Grandma Clifford’s Cornett side:

  • Cornett/Cornutt (Southhampton?, England) likely belonged to I-FGC21683. Cornett family lore claims descent from the Danish King Cnut, King of Denmark, England and Norway– the North Sea Empire. Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 after centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. Yet after the deaths of his heirs within a decade of his own, his legacy was largely lost. Since he had no legitimate living heirs, claim of descent from him is called into question. However, this haplogroup, mostly found in Norway does suggest descent from Vikings.

  • Stamper (Cumberland, England) likely belonged to R-BY152352. This is downstream from R-M269/U106 which suggests descent from Germanic Frisians like the Deckers above. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)
  • Baugher/Bager belonged to R1b-BY250 > Y15982 > BY20244 which is considered Northern Germanic. (This haplogroup lies somewhere in the gold oval in the R1b Descendent Tree below.) Our first Bager in the U.S. was born in Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany which is on the western border of Germany between Luxembourg and Alsace. Johannus Georgius Bager studied theology at University of Halle. He came from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1752 and helped to to establish many Lutheran churches in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
  • Higginbotham likely belonged to R-L2. It is also in the R-M269 group but is in the R-U152 group that appears mostly in SE Germany. “According to some family traditions, the family went from Germany to England at an early date and settled at Hayfield or Glossop, in Derbyshire.” “Early in the seventeenth century the cousins Otwell and John Higgenbotham settled in the Barbados, in the West Indies. The will of Otwell, dated 1649 and proved at London about 1651, mentions his cousin, Captain John Higginbotham, in the Barbados, and his children…”
Kelly & Irwin are L21, My husband’s Bressette is DF27, Higginbotham is U152, and Decker & Stamper are U106.
This shows a likely expansion of the R1b group M269

Occupations of Dana’s Ancestors

Occupations of Dana’s Ancestors

Womens’ occupations were usually listed as “None,” “at home” or “Keeping House” on census records. I include them only if another occupation is known for them other than homemaking —Homemaking usually included child-rearing, housework, food production & preservation, etc.—still important occupations!

For the men and some of the women, I will list their primary occupation(s) first and then other jobs they may have had.


Dean Darrell Kelley (working from 1945-1986) 

  • Pharmaceutical Representative. (A.H. Robins District Manager & Ciba)
  • Merchandising/Marketing Manager (Swinson Food Products & Gregg Foods.)

Marketing Gold-n-Soft Margerine






  • Order filler for Safeway Creamery/Cheese Department.
  • Assembly line worker for Delco Battery.
  • Skip Tracer for Pacific Finance Co.
  • Worked for Square D, an electric component manufacturing company.
  • “Oiler” for the Department of Navy.
  • Worked for Royal Heaters, Inc.
  • Sergeant Dean Kelley

    Army (promoted to Sergeant Major) in the Korean War.

  • Worked for the Hoover Company.
  • Worked for Avery Adhesive Label, Arrowhead Rubber Co., Electroweld Steel Corp.
  • Worked for Swift & Company packing house & lard refinery.
  • Worked for the Commodore Hotel.
  • Worked for ALCOA.
  • Worked for Zellerbach Paper Co., Drapery Hardware Co., United States Marine Commission.
  • Worked for Universal Mfg. Co. rebuilding Ford Engines, Drove a Pepsi-Cola Truck.
  • Merchant Marines “Utility”- Cook.

    In the Merchant Marines.

Doretta Rose Clifford Kelley (working from 1952-1980’s)

  • Secretary (Education Dept. St. Joseph’s Hospital, Pacific Wood Treating Co., Monsanto and Mobay Chemical Cos., Merle J. Grindle (Private Investigator of missing heirs).
  • Stenographer.

City Directories



William Walter Kelley (working from 1907-1950’s)

  • Oil Station attendant/ Auto Mechanic. 

    Oil Station Attendant at Hermecke’s Station
  • Helped manage boarding (rooming), apartment houses, motel, & cafe.
  • Drayman/Truck Driver.

Drayman: the driver of a dray, a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled generally by horses or mules that were used for transport of all kinds of goods




  • Worked for Drapery Hardware Co.
  • Hired Farm Hand.
  • Singer and Salesman in Dr. Linden’s Medicine Show.

Marie Reimers Kelley  (working from 1910-1945) 

  • Managed boarding (rooming), apartment houses, motel, & cafe.

Motel Staff in Carroll, Iowa

Boarding House in Omaha, Nebraska






  • Cook & Head Cook in restaurants & cafes.
  • Waitress.

Walter Lemon Clifford (working from 1911-1965+)

  • Woodworker/Cabinet Maker. Hallack & Howard Planing Mill, Angelus Furniture & Self-employed. (Learned his trade at Uhrich Revolving Door Factory.)

  • Foreman, Morris Furniture Manufacturing.
  • Manufacture of radio cabinets for California Coast & Hoffmann & Sears.
  • Restaurant owner.
  • Woodworker/woodshop manager for Alexander Aircraft Company.

Alexander Eagle Rock & Bullet Airplanes





  • Machinist.
  • Co-owner,” Pig Stand” Restaurant.
  • Worked for Empire Gas Co.
  • Street Car Conductor.
  • Work building sugar beet refinery & in the sugar beet fields.
  • Worked for Petroleum Products.

Alice Christina Cornett Clifford (working from 1922-1975)

  • Precinct Officer, Inspector. Enchantment Precinct. (Volunteer)
  • Worked at Mrs. Russell’s Candy Factory.
  • Cooked at “Pig Stand” Restaurant.
  • Telephone Operator, SW Bell Tel. Co.

  • Mother’s Helper for Rose McKnight.


Andrew Alfred Kelley (working from 1870-1910+) 

  • Eilert Auen hires his son-in-law to build his house. 17 Apr 1896, Carroll, Iowa


  • Teacher.
  • Laborer (Lamb’s Mill & lumberyards?).
  • Poet.

Excerpt from T.A.T., Poem by Andrew Alfred Kelley

Claus Johann Reimers (working from bef. 1883-1930)

  • Bar Keeper, Lodging House & Lunch Room Proprietor.
  • Farmer.
  • Miller.
  • Carpenter.



Marie Brocksen Reimers (only listed occupation in 1910)

  • Manager, Lodging House.

Charles Lemon Clifford (working from 1880-1930)

  • The Chanute Daily Tribune – 17 Aug 1907


  • Laborer in Casting, Cement Factory.

    1910 Independence, Kansas



  • Travelling Suit Salesman.

Sarah Jane Verbryck Clifford (work listed in 1910 & 1920)

  • Housekeeper or Servant for private families.

John M. Cornett (working from bef. 1900- 1940)

  • Farmer/Farm Laborer (Tenant).
  • Laborer, linseed oil mill, oil supply company.
  • Helper.


Michael Britt Kelley (working from bef. 1847-1885)

  • Teacher/(Visiting) Tutor

Eilert Janssen Auen (working from bef. 1860-1900)

  • Farmer

  • Landlord
  • Sailor

Hans Hinrich Reimers

  • Dienstknecht – Servant (Farm laborer) (1857)
  • Arbeitsmannes – Workman (1858)

Peter Thomas Brocksen

  • Landmann- Farmer 
  • Dienstknecht – Servant (Farm laborer) (1859)
  • Arbeiter – Worker (1890)

William Clifford (working bef. 1832-1877)

  • Farmer—(Inherited 50 acres from his father, later sold & moved to Indiana then to Kansas.)
  • Captain in Pennsylvania militia

Mary Ann Irwin Clifford

  • Farmer Laborer (1880)

Richard S. Verbryck (working bef. 1860-1880+)

  • Farmer

The Weekly Star and Kansan – 27 Jul 1883

The Weekly Star and Kansan – 29 May 1885

  • Private in Indiana Infantry (1863 -12 days) Civil War

Hezekiah Russell Cornett (working bef. 1860-1891)

  • Farmer
  • Private in Virginia Infantry (1863-25 days, deserted)

The Eureka Herald and Greenwood County Republican – 29 Mar 1906–sold 7 years after his death.

Elvira Matilda Stamper Cornett

  • Housekeeper (1905)

James Woodrum

  • Farmer (1870)

James Woodrum purchased 160 acres less than 2 months prior to his death.



Andrew Kelly

  • Probably a farmer—He leased and sublet land. (1829 & 1853)
  • Victualler-usually the keeper of a restaurant or tavern (If Death Certificate is our Andrew Kelly). (1866)

Jan Hinderks Auen

  • Day Laborer/ Worker


Meine Gerds DeBuhr

  • Schiffzimmermann, Shipwright or Ships Carpenter. (1840 & 1860)

Claus Hansen Reimers

  • Arbeitsmann (Workman) (1832)

Johann Jacob Arps

  • Gesell (Journeyman) (1805)

Johann Peter Brockes

  • Farmer

Eggert Sammann

  • Workman


Thomas Clifford

  • Farmer—He had a cabin, still house & stable in 1798.
  • He bequeathed about 100 acres of his farm in his will divided variously to his children, 1842

Robert Irwin

  • Shoemaker (occupation listed on his death certificate, 1858).

William Verbryck

  • Farmer

James Hildebrand

  • Farmer, son of a Mennonite, received a land grant in Shelby County, Indiana from President Andrew Jackson, 1834.

Alfred Alexander Cornutt

  • Farmer (1850-1900)
  • Private in the Virginia infantry, Civil War 1863

Ephriam William Stamper

  • Farmer /Farm Laborer (1850-1870)

Archibald Woodrum

  • Farmer (1850)

Sarah Johnston Woodrum

  • Domestic (1860)

John Baugher

  • Farmer (1850-1860) Purchased public lands, in Illinois 1838 & 1839), signed by President Martin VanBuren.






Ed’s Family Ethnicities

We get 50% of our nuclear DNA from each of our parents. But because of how chromosomes recombine and divide during meiosis, the contribution that we get from our grandparents can vary, even though the PROBABILITY is 25%. Therefore, each generation of more distant ancestors may contribute varying amounts to our genome.

What we know about Ed’s ancestry:

Edmund Bressette, Sr:

Tracing back his tree, Ed Sr. is all French Canadian.  I have only found one German amongst all the French. I have not been able to verify the family lore of any Iroquois, or other Native American in either the tree or the DNA analysis.—

This is also confirmed with his, and Ed Jr’s inclusion in the French Settlers Along the St. Lawrence Genetic Community:

Overview: “Many French settlers of the St. Lawrence Valley came to present-day Québec, Canada, to work in the fur trade. They lived in a harsh climate surrounded by dangerous wilderness and hostile native tribes. Life became even more challenging after the French and Indian War when the British assumed control and classified French Canadians as second-class citizens. While some left for New England and industrialized cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit, those who remained created a strong community centered around Catholicism and their French heritage.”

Here is the new ethnicity estimate for Ed Sr.:

It is pretty much as would be expected. It is likely that many of his ancestors were from Normandy which could account for the 10% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe.

Pam Scott Bressette:

Pam’s mother, Malvina Schumacher Scott, is mostly all ethnic German. Her ancestors settled in North & South Dakota after living a couple of generations in “Little Russia” or the Odessa region in the Ukraine. Most were originally from Alsace, some from other parts of Germany.

This is also confirmed with Pam and Ed Jr’s inclusion in the Germans from Alsace-Lorraine in North Dakota Genetic Community:

Overview: “German-speaking immigrants first came to America for familiar reasons: land, economic opportunity, and religious freedom. Ongoing revolutions in Germany prompted many more to follow. In America they were known as excellent farmers whose hard work and unique culture transformed the American Midwest, which even today has the highest proportion of German ancestry in America. However, despite their contributions, they faced prejudice and discrimination during World War I and World War II.”

The biggest puzzle has been Pam’s father’s, Oren Scott’s ancestry. Since he was adopted, It has taken a lot of research to determine his ancestry.

I have confirmed that his biological mother was Mildred Kathleen Bearns (1905-?). She was born in South Africa, the daughter of a prospector originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her ancestry appears to be mostly English & Irish.

I have also determined that the man, Mildred Bearns married was not the father of her baby. (Oren was born less than 5 months after she married.) I am now pretty sure his biological father was a Canadian trucker by the name of Carlton Lundy, the only son of Alice Rand (1904-?). Pam has a lot of DNA cousin matches with the Rand family. The Rand family originated in New England, mostly Maine & Rhode Island. The Lundy family traces back through Manitoba & Ontario, back to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, & Connecticut with some French & Scottish lines. Pam has some distant cousin matches related to this line—I am waiting to get some closer matches before I am absolutely certain of this relationship.

Both of these lines on her father’s side are likely where Pam gets her connection to the Settlers of Colonial New England Genetic Community:

Overview: “Long a haven for English colonists, the rocky coast of New England welcomed newcomers from the Palatinate region of Germany and Scots-Irish from northern Ireland in the 1700s. After the French and Indian War, the British increased taxes on the colonists and tensions began to rise. Boston became the center of the revolutionary spirit until the American colonies won their independence. Eventually mills and manufacturing overshadowed farming, and Boston and New York became crucial international ports and centers of American literature, culture, and the arts.”

Here is Pam’s new ethnicity estimate:

I would have expected more German than what is predicted here. It should be closer to 50%, but the Northwestern Europe category appears to include Alsace, barely, and some of Germany. It is likely that some or most of the Scandinavian is from her mother’s side, too.

I expected at least 14% Ireland & Scotland from her dad’s side, with most of the rest (~32-36%) being English. So it appears that Pam may have received 1/2 of  her England, Wales & Northwestern Europe from each of her parents.

Here is Ed Jr’s New Ethnicity Estimate:

Comparing Ed Jr’s actual estimate with his (predicted) estimate using his parents’ estimates I get the following:

  • France 45% (45%)
  • England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 34% (37)
  • Ireland & Scotland 10% (9%)
  • Germanic Europe 6% (5%)
  • Sweden 3% (2.5%)
  • Norway 1 % (1.5%)

So it is pretty close, except from whence did the 1% Sardinia come? I would guess mostly from his dad’s side, but in order for it to show up in Ed Jr. and not in Ed Sr., he might have got some from his mom’s side, too!

Here is Edmund Jr.’s results compared with his son, Sky’s:

If I compare what Sky’s actual results are with what would be (expected) from averaging his dad’s and mine, I get the following:

  • England, Wales & Northwest Europe: 79% (45%)
  • Germanic Europe: 7% (16%)
  • Sweden: 6% (1.5%)
  • France: 4% (22.5%)
  • Ireland & Scotland: 3% (10.5%)
  • Norway: 1% (4%)
  • Sardinia: 0% (0.5%)

He appears to have inherited much more of the English than any of the other ethnicities. He didn’t get much of the French, German or Irish! Looking at the following chart, it looks like he got about 7.5% more DNA from his Grandma B than his Grandpa B.

Here is a comparison of DNA shared amongst the Bressettes and the Scotts: (Percentages on the bottom left half of the matrix and the actual centimorgans shared across/# of segments on the top right.)

The biggest anomaly here is that Amy Farrigan, (Ed’s Sr’s niece and Ed Jr’s cousin appear to share half the DNA than would be expected. (Lisa shared Brad’s results with me, but I don’t have Karstin & Kelsey’s, so I can’t compare them to each other. It also takes a manager to update to new ethnicity estimates, Brad and his girls haven’t done so— I can’t compare apples to apples!)

Old Analyses:

DNA Ethnicity comparisons of Ed’s family

These percentages from DNA results are only estimates, median values of a range of possibilities. The width of the range depends on how heterogeneous or homogeneous that ethnic group is.

It is important to note how they come up with these estimates. They compare our DNA to a sample group of individuals from each region. It sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish distinct ethnic groups, depending on how much interbreeding occurred between groups. Those living close to trade routes or coastlines subject to invasion are likely to be genetically diverse than those who were more isolated.

Since Ed Sr. came up with a lot of Great Britain and no Europe West, it seems likely that much of his French were Norman.

A tribute to my Irish Ancestors

According to my Ethnicity Estimate on my DNA test, I am about 25% Irish. We know my Great-Grandfather, Andrew Kelley, and his father Michael Kelly, immigrated from Ireland around 1867.  What is surprising, however, is that my mom showed up as 35% Irish.

Danas ethnicity estimate2

On my mom’s side we know for sure my 3rd great-grandmother, Catherine Lawson Clifford was born in Donegal, Ireland. (She would account for about 6 1/4% of mom’s Irish.)

Her father, James Lawson, also born in Donegal, Ireland, was thought to have been the Captain of a merchant ship (Grace) which is said to have figured prominently in numerous sea battles during the American Revolution. “The ship Grace was later purchased by the Fleming family (relationship to [his wife] Sarah Fleming Lawson unknown.)”

James Lawson ship Grace

He brought his wife and 11 children to the United States sometime around 1795, and settled in Fairfield Township, in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania. His daughter Catherine, was married to Thomas Clifford.

One source states:” James Barbour Lawson, came to America about 1775 from County Donegal, Ireland. The family name apparently was originally McLaren, but family tradition has always said the Lawsons were not originally from Ireland or Scotland, but from the Isle of Man…”

My 4th Great-grandfather, Edward Irwin, might also have come from Ireland. (That would account for another 3 1/8 % of mom’s Irish).


My Dad’s Grandfather, Andrew Alfred Kelley, was born in Kinnitty, Kings County (now Offaly), Ireland. He probably mostly grew up in Beigh/Beagh in Limerick, County. He was a poet and often wrote reminiscing about his native Ireland:

My Native Village


Michael KellyHis father, Michael Britt Kelly, was born in Bruff, Limerick County, Ireland. He was a schoolteacher and sometimes worked as a “Visiting Tutor.” He was knowledgeable in Latin and Greek, as is evident from writings in his bible. He also was aware of his Kelly heritage. There is a hand drawn sketch of a tower with the Kelly motto below: “Turris fortis mihi deus,” “God is my Tower of Strength.”

Kelly Coat of Arms

Here is the Parochial schoolhouse where he taught in Beigh, Limerick County in 1847:

From Google Street view.
From Google Street view.



Saint Brice & Saint Martin
Saint Brice & Saint Martin


From “North American form of French Bresset, from a pet form of the personal name Brès, a variant of Brice,” in other words ‘Little Brice.’ Maybe from the 5th Century French Bishop of Tours, Saint Brice.

The Bressettes were early settlers in French Canada. The earliest ancestor I have found was Jean Baptiste Brissett (1793-?). Generations of the family moved back and forth between Quebec and New York State.  Most worked in textile mills.

The name has been found variously spelled. In fact, my father-in-law said he had to legally correct his original birth certificate because of a misspelling. I have found the name spelled (or transcribed in indexes) the following ways: Bressette, Bresette, Bresett, Brissette, Brisset, Besset & Briessette


I find several different variations for the meaning of Woodrum. lists it as a variant of English Wooderham, a place named in Old English as ‘the dwelling of the woodman’.

House of names lists it as a variant of Woodruff, from the white-flowered plant whose leaves bear a sweet scent, such that the bearer lived in a place where the plant was common.

Garry Bryant writes “The early history of the Woodram/Woodrom/Woodrum family is clouded at this time. Author Sarah Ann Woodrome Hill, in her book titled The Woodrome Family Tree, published in 1965, tells a family tradition that the family originally lived in the area of Alsace-Lorraine, in France. Supposedly the surname was Waldrum, “wald” meaning forest and “rum” means dark or black. So it would appear that the family lived near the “Black Forest.” The French Waldrum’s left France and went to Wales where the surname was corrupted into Woodrome. But the surname of Woodram/Woodrum also appears in Scotland and England. “

Wandering the woodsAfter looking up “-rum” in both an English & Germany dictionary, I believe I have come up with a better meaning. In the English Dictionary “rum” can mean odd or queer-British slang from Rom, a Gypsy. In the German dictionary, rum- is a shortened form of the prefiix “herum: ” meaning around. I see no evidence that “rum” means dark or black.

I believe that Woodrum most likely means an odd or strange person of the wood or one who roams “around” the wood. Or more simply a Wood Gypsy.


  • John Woodrum (1702-), possibly the son of John Woodrum, an indentured servant from Yorkshire, brought to Virginia in 1697, appears to be our ancestor.
  • John,(Jr?’s) grandson, William Woodrum Jr. (1759-1841) moved to Kentucky sometime in the 1790’s.
  • William Jr.’s son Archibald (1797-1854) moved to Indiana, and then to Illinois.
  • Archibald’s son, James Woodrum (1839-1872), my Great-great grandfather, moved to Greenwood County, Kansas around 1867. He died just after the birth of my Great grandmother Emily Jane Woodrum (1872-1914).



Cornett/ Cornutt/Canute

Cornett crest

Family lore claims that our Cornetts, Cornutts, and Canutes, descend from King Cnut, a Danish Viking prince who won the throne of England in 1016.  Cnut ascended to the Danish throne in 1018 and claimed the crown of Norway and part of Sweden in 1028.  His mother was daughter of the first Polish King.  His only legitimate son was Harthacnut by Emma of Normandy; After his death, Harthacnut’s throne reverted to his half-brother, Emma’s son, Edmund the Confessor.  After the death of Cnut’s heirs and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his achievements were largely lost to history.  The lack of known living progeny brings the claim of descent from Cnut into question.

Cornett is usually thought to be an occupational name for a hornblower or someone who works with horns, derived from the Latin, Cornu, or Middle English or old French, Corn, meaning horn (or antler).

Cornett, Cornutt, Canute Ancestors:

  • Erin Cornett was born in 1676 in Northumberland, England; he raised sheep.
  • His son, Earl, was born in Southampton, England in 1696; he was a farmer.  Earl had seven sons: John, Roger, George, Francis, Frank, Jesse, and James. John Cornett.   In 1740, the brothers sailed to the Colonies. They worked as indentured servants on an English lord’s farm near Philadelphia, PA.
  • Our line appears to be descended from either John or James, but there are conflicting pedigrees showing different lines of descent and I haven’t puzzled out which is likely to be most accurate.
  • Our Cornetts/Cornutts settled in Elk Creek, Climes Branch, Grayson County Virginia; they were very prolific.
  • Hezekiah Cornutt, my Great, Great-grandfather,  enlisted in Company C, 63rd Infantry 63 Virginia (McMahon’s Regiment.) on 6 May 1863.  He deserted on 1 Jul 1863 at Saltville, VA.  (For more information see Ancestors in the Civil War.) Hezekiah moved his family to Bates County, Missouri, where his son, John was born.  They were supposed to have travelled to Greenwood County, Kansas by covered wagon.

The name has been found variously spelled (or transcribed in indexes): Cornett, Cornutt, Canute, Cornette, Carnett, Carnut, Connett, Comette, Bornett.


Ithaca, New York Oct 1991

The meaning of the name Verbryck (Dutch) is unclear, but is likely to be From ver, far or distant, and beek or beck, brook: The “Far Brook.”

Verbryck ancestors were early settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) in the 1600’s.

  • The earliest known Verbryck was Samuel Gerritson Verbryck (1671-1763).  He apparently adopted the surname Verbryck (in addition to his patronymic “Gerritsen”) as required for legal transactions such as for deeds.
  • His son, Barnardus (1719-1733) adopted this surname as well and moved to New Jersey.  Other sons of Samuel Gerritsen adopted the surname, Garretson.
  • Barnardus’ son & grandson, William (1737-1824) & William Jr. (1786-1860) moved to Mercer County, Kentucky sometime around the turn of the century.
  • William Jr’s son, my Great Great Grandfather, Richard Verbryck (1837-1899), moved to Johnson County, Indiana sometime in the late 1850’s, then to Montgomery County Kansas in the 1870’s.

Being an unusual name, it was variously spelled on many documents or (transcribed in indexes):  Ver Bryck, Verbryke, Verbrick, Verbrack, Verbicke, Vertryck, Perbryck and Verbnycol.

Because of its relatively recent invention, all Verbrycks are likely related and should ultimately be able to trace their tree back to Samuel Gerritson and Barnardus Verbryck.

My mom & I have 7 DNA matches with distant (4th-5th) cousins that share William & William Jr. Verbryck as ancestors. At least four more matches also likely trace their tree back to the founding Verbrycks in New Amsterdam & New Jersey.