News & Research
I am continuously researching my family tree. However, there are times where it might be helpful, particularly for other researchers to see what has been added to my tree over time. I won't put every update, but I will put significant updates and highlights to the genealogy depicted on this website. Note that since this page was launched in November 2016, news items before then will be more generalized. Also check out how to get started on your own research.
- June 2017: Pursuing my Johnson ancestry. Updated the page Fun - Genealogies from Fiction with additions of videos. Researched and updated Bittmann/Pitman Ancestry and Snapp/Schnepp Ancestry.
- May 2017: Researched Sub-Saharan West African ancestry. Researched Cranford Ancestry with Anita Sue Gates. Launched Testimonials page. Further researched my Eye and Propst Ancestries as well as my Crummett Ancestry upon exploring Walter Eye's books: A History of the Descendants of Christopher Crummett of Pendleton County, VA, (W.VA.) and A History of the Descendants of Christopher S. Eye of Pendleton County, Va. (W. Va.) and A History of the Descendants of John Michael Propst of Pendleton County, Va. (W. Va.). Improved navigation at mobile resolution for the List of Last Names on the home page. Discovered a DNA connection to an 8th cousin, which verified another generation of my Luther ancestry, including the surname Kelp. Discovered a DNA connection to a 5th cousin whose research opened up more information on my Bittmann Ancestry and resulted in the addition of my Schworm Ancestry. Continued research of my Hicks/Hix Ancestry.
- April 2017: Continuing to pursue my Johnson ancestry. Adding and centralizing more sources on pages where applicable (e.g., Births PENDLETON CO. WV (Partial) from USGenWeb Archives on Eckard ancestry and Simmons ancestry). Improved navigation on and added beautiful ancestral portraits to the Generations page. Thanks to Dalles Schneider's work at the Schneider Family Site - Family Tree at MyHeritage.com, discovered my Wagner ancestor Apollonia Wagner Lautenschlager. Did some additional research around John Culpeper and Sarah Mayo Culpeper from Maggs-Mayo-Henley Families from Lyford Hale, July 2009. Began adding thumbnail images to ancestry of Louise Mae Johnson. With the help of Patty LaPlante, discovered my Hicks/Hix Ancestry and we researched this ancestry. Added this new section regarding how to get started on your own genealogy research:
- March 2017: Added thumbnail images to the following pages: The Family of William H. and Carolyn Fisher Johnson, Descendants of Otto Woodrow Fisher and Hazel Jane (Eckard) Fisher, Ancestry of Hazel Jane Eckard Fisher, Fisher/Nash Ancestry, Charles Florence Fisher Ancestry, Stover/Supinger/Pifer/Funkhouser Ancestry, Waggy/Kiser/DeFrain Ancestry, William H. Johnson Ancestry - Bisher/Morris/Johnson/Kearns, Kearns (Keerans) and Ivey (Ivy) Ancestry, Hill/Cranford/Surratt/Kearns Ancestry and The Early Johnsons. Modified the interface on the home page to not show legendary and unverified names by default in the ancestral surnames listing. Through exploring my mother's DNA, I found that my 0.1% "Unassigned" DNA is from my mother's DNA having 0.6% Sub-Saharan/West African (as my father's DNA is 100% European and mother's is 99.4% European and mine 99.9% European). Continuing research Smith Ancestry with Karl Kiser. Added a page featuring the children of John Smith (d. 1838) at Karl's suggestion to help other Smith researchers. In the research, confirmed that my maternal Smith ancestors were Germanic originally with the surname Schmidt. Clarifying sources on various pages and adding those listed on the home page to respective pages where applicable. Researched Bowman ancestry, discovering Christian Bowman of Germanic descent as my ancestor who lived near Strasburg, VA. Reviewed Walter L. Eye's books on Eckards and Simmons to clean up those pages with help from their corresponding books. Revisited the alleged early De Skene ancestry as I read through Memorials of Family of Skene of Skene, from the family papers, with other illustrative documents by William Forbes Skene. Found and read the Probate Document for Rev. Micajah Hill, Jr., which reveals that Rev. Micajah Hill, Jr., and his wife Sarah are the parents of Jesse B. Hill! Set up Jamie's Toolbox under the home page's helpful links. By researching with Susan Ford, a distant cousin through the Funkhousers, I found more information about Abraham Funkhouser, Sr., as well as his sister-in-law Barabara (Layman/Lehman) Funkhouser, including her Baughman ancestry.
- February 2017: Being more intentional at listing sources on pages. The research last month for Jesse B. Hill's parents was inconclusive. I continued work on the Luther ancestry in view of last month's research. Updated Generations as a result. I explored further details about my Surratt ancestry via the book Some Surratt/Sarratt Families in the United States 1715-1980 (by Laura and Norman H. Sarratt) and via correspondence with Hal Surratt, who is doubly related to me through the Johnsons via his great-grandmother Vatura Getrude (Johnson) Surratt who was sister to my grandfather H. Edwin Johnson, and via Surratt, which I was able to determine: I am likely fifth cousin to Hal through the Surratt line as he is son of (Harold) Allen Surratt II, son of Harold Allen Surratt I, son of (Franklin) Gurney Surratt, son of Samuel Lewis Surratt, son of James L. Surratt, son of Beverly and "Laney" Surratt. I continue to dig for the origins of my ancestor Abraham Johnson to open up more information regarding my patrilineal ancestry, including looking into these documents involving Abraham's son John Johnson: (North Carolina Civil Marriages, 1763-1868, North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979 here and here and here, and North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979). Confirmed my Cranford ancestry via a DNA match to Jason Cranford. With Karl Kiser, researching the Smith ancestry and ancestries thereof. Verified the parents of J. Michael Kiser who married Mary as pointed out by Karl Kiser who shared the information from p. 17 of Valentin and Michael Kayser: Pennsylvania Pioneers and their Descendants in Virginia by James "Jim" Van Lieu Kiser (2002).
- January 2017: I researched the possibility that Charles and Mary Ann (Lewallen) Luther are parents of my great-great-great grandmother Mary Ann (Luther) Hill as I have a DNA match to Sammy Miller, the great-great-great grandson of Nancy Jane Luther, granddaughter of Solomon Luther, brother of the aforementioned Charles Luther. Further, Charles lived in Randolph Co., NC, and the 1840 census mentions 3 daughters under age 10 -- Elizabeth (b. 1831) and Sara (b. 1835) and one unmentioned. FamilySearch suggested that Mary Ann Luther Hill's parents were not Charles and Mary Ann (Lewallen) Luther. Rather, it was found that the Charles who married Mary Ann Lewallen is a distant cousin to my Mary Ann Luther Hill. In correspondence with Sammy Miller, it was found that his 6 times great grandfather George Luther is a brother to Mary Ann Luther Hill's great grandfather John (Johan) Michael Luther, Sr. This puts our common ancestor back 9 generations to a common 7th great grandfather Christian Luther, making us 8th cousins. More details: Luther ancestry. Meanwhile, with help from Tiffany Parker, I am researching the possibility that Daniel and Abigail (McCracken) Hill are parents of my ancestor Jesse B. Hill. Particularly, I am looking into these resources: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncrandol/1850N.html, http://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/daniel-hill_123260796 and http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/HILL/1999-02/0919168985 as well as a DNA match suggesting a possible McCracken ancestor within a generation or two before Jesse. Yet, FamilySearch offers different scenarios for the ancestries of Jesse B. Hill and it may be worth serious consideration after the aforementioned Luther discovery. Thanks to the research of Tiffany Parker, I have corrected my ancestor's to John Milton Hill (was listed as James in error) on my Hill ancestry, which I am now researching further. I have verified Hearne ancestry in the Skeen ancestry via exploration of the web version of William T. Hearne's Brief History and Genealogy of the Hearne Family as I research my Skeen ancestry where I have verified a couple generations of the Skeen/Skene line via exploration of the book Clan Skeen by A.T. (Tom) Skeen. Researching Quaker roots in the following of my ancestries: Culpeper, Morris, Newby and Pritchard.
- December 2016: Researching Culpeper ancestry after being provided with extensive research from Lew Griffin of Culpepper Connections in view of DNA findings. Per Culpeper ancestral reasearch, the following ancestries remain unproven: the Malet, Poyntz, Beaumont, Vermandois, Anjou, Kievan ancestry, Byzantine ancestry, Viking ancestry, de Braiose, La Zouche, ancestry to kings of Leinster, legendary Irish ancestry and ancestry to the kings of Wales and Mercia and all the ancestries thereof. Researching wills at Abstract of North Carolina Wills compliled by J. Bryan Grimes, 1910. Posted the Will of Thomas Symons. Working on verification of Skeen ancestry as many ancestral surnames remain unverified. Further researched my Quaker ancestries: Newby, Albertson, Nicholson and Charles ancestries, mostly via this source: The History of the Hunt Family by Roger D. Hunt (2011). Found that part of my Charles ancestry is in question. As a result, the following are also uncertain ancestries: Quarles, Billingsley, Danvers (d'Anvers), de Brancester, Talemasche, de Wallingford and de Warwick ancestries, de Bruley, de Cocton (de Coughton), de Foliot ancestries and Knyvet (Knevet) ancestry. As a result, I halted any further research on those ancestries. Linked the December 8, 2016, BBC article Reconstructed face of Robert the Bruce is unveiled on my Royal Scottish Ancestry page where one finds my ancestor Robert "The Bruce."
- November 2016: Uncovered my Charles ancestry, which includes Quarles, Billingsley, Danvers (d'Anvers), de Brancester, Talemasche, de Wallingford and de Warwick ancestries, de Bruley, de Cocton (de Coughton), de Foliot ancestries and Knyvet (Knevet) ancestry. In reading The History of the Hunt Family by Roger D. Hunt (2011), I revamped my Quaker ancestries -- my Newby, Albertson, Nicholson and Charles ancestries and Morris ancestry, particularly around the Symons ancestry. Corresponded with Gwen Gransberg and Amy Hedrick regarding my Symons ancestry. Discussed with Philip Shaddock the split of Quakers over slavery where some went north and some went south. Launched this News page (yes, the one you are reading!).
- October 2016: Held further discussions on Geni.com regarding my Shattuck ancestry, namely Damaris Shattuck, the Widow of Salem. Seeking to clarify my maternal Smith ancestry by encouraging Smith males to take Autosomal DNA tests and through meeting a distant Smith cousin, gained further details about my maternal Smith ancestry.
- September 2016: Redoubled efforts trying to get past the roadblock to find the ancestry in my Johnson line.
- August 2016: Made the home page mobile-friendly and added a
background collage. Continued to try to pursue my Campbell ancestry. Added the page You Be the Judge to show family members and ancestors who look similarly.
- July 2016: Found significant information regarding my Stauffer ancestry from the book The Stauffer Families of Switzerland, Germany, and America (including Stover and Stauffer). Created the mobile-friendly Generations page to assist with finding the MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) with DNA matches. Also by Richard Warren Davis. Also reached out to try to trace my Campbell ancestries (plural as I have Campbell ancestors on both my paternal - possibly in two places - and maternal sides). Held discussions on Geni.com to clarify and solidify my Ivey ancestry. Researched Funk Pioneers of Frederick County, Virginia, expanding information on my ancestors Jacob Stover (Stauffer) and Christian Crabill. Went further back on my Surratt and Cranford lines, though the latter needs to be verified.
- June 2016: Revamped the sub-site for the marriage of James "Jamie" Arthur Johnson (me) to Louise Mae Shifflet. Uncovered my Skeen ancestry (some of it needing to be verified), which includes royal Scottish ancestry including Stewarts and Robert the Bruce, expanded Viking ancestries, expanded Welsh ancestries, and Hamilton ancestry (which includes my shared ancestor with Alexander Hamilton, 1st Secretary of the United States Treasury: Sir David fitz Walter (FitzWalter) Hamilton). Found my connection to the Shaw surname in the mother of my ancestor Cora Rebecca (Webb) Kearns.
- April-May 2016: Significant discussions with Erica Isabel Howton, curator at Geni.com, and Philip Shaddock of Shattocke Family History regarding his and my shared Shattuck ancestry. Had discussions with Susan Pasquet and Daniel Bly regarding our shared Snapp/Schnepp/Schneppff Ancestry where we found a distant relationship to a U.S. President. Also had discussions with Susan regarding our shared Fisher ancestry.
- March 2016: Got results back from FamilyTreeDNA.
- January 2016: Y-DNA proves that the American Nance men, from which I am descended, were not related to the Cornish Nance men, the latter of which connected to the Arundell line. Therefore, I am not knowingly descended from the Arundell line and thus it has been removed from my tree.
- Summer 2015: Discovered various royal lines from which I am possibly descended.
- March 2015: Further traced back my Lassiter ancestry. Added will documents for Silas K. Kearns confirming his marriage to Annie Nance.
- January 2015: With the help of Daniel Bly, further expanded details of my Snapp/Schnepp/Schneppff Ancestry.
- 2014 highlights: Joined 23andMe.com. Launched a part of the site about my late father's (William H. Johnson) days in the U.S. Navy.
- May 2009: Began redesign of the family tree to use This Format|
over the use of
| | +-----------------+---------------------+ | old ASCII charactered design | | from the late 1990s, early 2000s. | +----------------------------------------+
- October 2008: The beacondeacon.com domain is purchased and the family tree site is migrated to its new home at http://family.beacondeacon.com.
- January 1996: The original Family Tree of James Arthur Johnson site launched at http://home.aol.com/jamejohnso/family/, later http://members.aol.com/jamejohnso/family/.
- July 1986: James "Jamie" Arthur Johnson begins researching his genealogy.