The Search for Dovey Continues – Reverse Genealogy & DNA to Find Living Relatives

With few results from the search for documents on the possible father of Dovey Alpine Piearcy, DNA offers some hope to try to find family for Dovey.

As you may recall, Dovey, my father’s mother’s mother, my great-grandmother, was born four years before her parents married when both James Wesley (Jim) Piearcy and Bertie Wellington were each 14 years old. Family stories say Dovey was born in 1889-90 in Texas, but no records show where either Bertie or Jim were at that time.

I administer kits for nine family members tested at FTDNA, in addition to my own tests at Ancestry.com, FTDNA and 23andMe.

First, I contacting the four people who looked like a Piearcy match from family trees on Ancestry.com. Two of the four responded, saying they weren’t related to the Piearcys. No luck there.

Next, I did reverse genealogy on Rosa Belle Piearcy, the younger daughter of Jim and Bertie Piearcy. Genealogy typically tracks back to prior generations; with reverse genealogy we search forward to find later generations.  If  living daughters/granddaughters of Rosa’s daughters would agree to DNA testing, both autosomal and mt-DNA tests would be performed. If the autosomal test indicated the women were cousins to my father and his sisters and if the mt-DNA test matched my father, then we could presume Bertie was Dovey’s mother. But only if I had other known Piearcy cousins tested to triangulate the match, proving the DNA really was from the Piearcy/Wellington marriage.

I was able to find Rosa’s Texas death certificate, thanks to Karen Stanbary the leader of Mastering Genealogical Proof study group 18.[1] The death certificate listed Rosa’s parents as J. W. Piearey and Bertie Wellington and was signed by Bertha Davis.[2]  Ancestry.com family trees listed Rosa’s children, including Bertha and named Bertha’s husband, Jess W. Davis. A search of newspaper clippings on Genealogybank.com  located Bertha’s husband’s  obit, listing  two daughters.[3] A further search of Genealogybank.com located obits for those two daughters and listed their daughters. No further names will be listed to protect the living people.

A google search of those two women gave me their addresses and one phone number. I prepared letters to the great grand daughters  of Rosa and included a picture of the Jim and Bertie Piearcy family taken about 1906 along with my phone number. I mailed the letters with great anticipation. By a month later, no envelope with a bad address was returned to me, but I had no phone calls either. A call to the available number indicated it had been disconnected.  A google search located several other phone numbers, all disconnected. 411 information calls yielded no phone numbers. The website, Spokeo had a current phone number and email for one of the husbands, but $1.98 later, both the phone number and email were no longer working. None of the involved names had Facebook or Linked-in accounts. So much for my first efforts use reverse genealogy.

From her death certificate, we know Rosa Piearcy Merritt died at the age of 55 as a widow. Ancestry.com trees show she had five children. Reverse genealogy on Bertha has led to a dead end. Another daughter, Laura, died of appendicitis at 10 years of age. A third daughter has no information on Ancestry.com, but another daughter and son had children. Next steps include identifying living descendants of those children, then if that doesn’t work, identifying living descendants of Rosa’s brothers as the search continues for Dovey’s parents.



[1] Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).

[2] “Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25176-94928-31?cc=1983324&wc=MMTK-3Z9:n1365956281 : accessed 05 Jan 2014), Death certificates > 1950 > Vol 123, certificates 061001-061500, Feb-Oct, Travis-Matagorda counties, includes delay; citing State Registrar Office, Austin.

[3] “Jess W. Davis obit,” The Corpus Christi Caller-Times [TX], 15 Jan 2007, on-line archives, (http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/obituaries/doc/obit/116B5E6559B25A98-116B5E6559B25A98 : accessed 7 Jan 2014).

Copyright © 2014 Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Search for Dovey Alpine Piearcy’s Parents Continues

As you may recall from an earlier blog, Dovey Alpine Piearcy was my great-grandmother. I have good sources for my grandparents and four family lines back to Revolutionary War ancestors, but I’ve moved back to collecting sources for all my great grandparents. Dovey is a problem, since she was born four years before her parents married, when James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington would have each been 14 years old. Dovey is the brick wall research project that I chose for my Mastering Genealogical Proof case study – again see that earlier blog.

Here’s a picture of the James Welsey Piearcy family, probably taken about 1907 based on the age and size of the younger children. Dovey is in the white dress with the dark hair. I’ve obtained the marriage record for Dovey and Andrew Jackson Buckmaster married in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Nation in 1907, six months before statehood. I wonder if Dovey is wearing her wedding dress for this picture, since her outfit is different than the other family members. Though women generally didn’t wear white for their weddings in those day.

Piearcy James Wesley family about 1915
 James Wesley Piearcy family about 1907

 

There is no indication of race on the marriage records for Andrew Jackson Buckmaster and Dovey Piearcy. The Chickasaw Nation was the legal authority in the area at that time, recording marriages of Indians and Whites.

The leader of our MGP study group found Dovey’s sister (or half-sister maybe) Rosa/Rosie’s death certificate in Texas. She also noticed one of the Choctaw citizenship applications (that I had) listed Bertie as Bertie Daisy Deen Piearcy, so that’s a lead that maybe Bertie was perhaps married to a Deen. (By the way, all the Piearcy Choctaw citizenship applications were denied.) So maybe Dovey was a Deen. I’ve also been contacting lots of paternal DNA cousins trying to find a DNA connection to Bertie Wellington/Willington/Worthington (all the different spellings for last name of Bertie’s father – John Wellington), Dovey Alpine Piearcy or James Welsey Piearcy.  No luck there yet, but if you are a cousin in this line who has had DNA testing performed or are interested in having it performed, please contact me. Or if you are a Deen and anything about this family sounds familiar to you, please contact me. . .

 Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group

Since mid-August, I’ve participated in an on-line study group covering Thomas W. Jones’ book Mastering Genealogical Proof.1,2 This new book has the genealogy community excited, with case studies and questions/answers showing us how to apply respected standards to come up with acceptable conclusions.

Angela Packer McGhie, administrator of the ProGen Study Program, in her Adventures in Genealogy Education blog has just announced five more study groups are forming.3 DearMYRTLE has just completed a study group; the YouTube videos are still available.4  I’ve reviewed those chapter 2 videos to help me understand that chapter’s difficult, for me, concepts.

While working on my family history, I want to learn professional techniques so my research can be used by others. One assignment in MGP is to select a brick wall in your own family tree and use the techniques in the book to break through that brick wall.

For my brick wall, I selected my great-grandmother Dovey Alpine Piearcy Buckmaster, with my research question – “Who were her parents?” The answer to that question seemed pretty clear-cut, until I really started gathering sources for her. Dovey wasn’t listed as a great-granddaughter of Tryphena McGinnis Piearcy in her petition for Choctaw citizenship, as were Dovey’s two younger siblings. (See my earlier post for Tryphena’s petition.) Then I pulled out my paper files on Dovey, including the original marriage records for James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington. From the calculation of Dovey’s age from the 1900 census, Dovey was born in 1889/90, four years before her parents married in 1894. Both Jim and Bertie were fourteen years old in 1889/90. It really doesn’t seem likely Jim and Bertie would have a child when they were fourteen, then marry four years later. Possible, but not likely.

In chapter 2 of the study group, one of our assignments is to develop a locality guide with all the possible sources of information, to assure a reasonably exhaustive search for records. So far, I’ve written a locality guide for Ozark County, Missouri, where Bertie’s parents married. I’ve found extensive records on Bertie’s mother, Lucinda Webster, but little on Bertie’s father. Family records say his name was John Wellington and his two children , Daniel and Bertie, have their last name recorded as Wellington. So far, I’ve found John’s last name spelled as Wilington and Worlington; maybe that’s why no one has any records of John’s parents.

My next step is to gather information for a locality guide for Arkansas and while I’m at it, see if I can find any records of John and Lucinda Webster Wellington in Arkansas, using a wild card surname search of W*lington. I want to find out where Bertie was nine months before Dovey was born, so I’d love to find records in the 1888-89 time frame. Unfortunately, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, so that’s not available.

After that comes a locality guide for Texas, particularly Clay County, where James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington married in 1894.

It really may take DNA testing to break down this brick wall, so if you are a Piearcy cousin and are interested in DNA testing please contact me. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on this brick wall and through my study of MGP learn more about foot notes, several of which should have included on the above material. But stay posted, I’ll have more blogs on this family lines, with proper footnotes.

Here’s more about the book from the NGS website – Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students, and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for  proficiently applying the chapter’s concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues. Answers are at the back of the book along with a glossary of technical terms and an extensive resource list.5

Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
  • Chapter 2 – Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
  • Chapter 3 – GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
  • Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
  • Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
    Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
  • Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
  • Chapter 8 – Using the GPS
  • Chapter 9 – Conclusion
  • Appendix A – Pritchett Article
  • Appendix B – McLain Article
  • Glossary
  • Reading and Source List
  • Answers to exercises

MGP can be ordered through the NGS website. If you are a member, log in first, to get the discount.

SOURCES

  1. Thomas W. Jones Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Utah Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.  He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 and is a trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  2. Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
  3. Angela Packer McGhie, “Five Gen Proof Study Groups Open for Registration,” Adventures in Genealogy Education, posted 07 Sept 2013 (http://genealogyeducation.blogspot.com : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
  4. Pat Richley-Erickson, “MGP Study Group – Hangouts on Air,” DearMYRTLE, posted 17 Mar 2013 (http://blog.dearmyrtle.com : accessed 09 Sept 2013). [NOTE: While DearMYRTLE’s MGP Study Group is finished, the YouTube videos are still available, accessed 09 Sept 2013, to watch the videos just click on the video tab in DearMYRTLE’s YouTube.
  5. National Genealogical Society, “Mastering Genealogical Proof,” NGS Special Publications(http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/ : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho