Monday, September 27, 2010

Motivation Monday

Just a quick blog post to say no, I haven't been hiding.  I've been reading reading and more reading for class class and more class.  I got a little bit stressed out last week, but I nipped it in the butt when I knocked out a bunch of reading on Friday night and I was able to pop in on Miriam's Scanfest on Sunday!


I've been fighting with RootsMagic4. It's not as nice as everyone made it out to be. At least not for me. When I imported it from Family Tree Maker 2009, all of the sources disconnect from the person's names. A nice person from the RootsMagic user group mailing list took my database and put it back together again and reattached the sources.  Of course now I can't run my narrative reports because the footnotes that are created from all of the sources that are attached to each name is crashing the software. Sigh. Strike 2. However, I am liking the correspondence and repository list and reporting system that RM4 has to offer. Has this been implemented in Family Tree Maker yet?

Godwin DNA Project....

I joined the Goodwin/Godwin family Surname DNA project as a co-coordinator last month and am slowly getting my feet wet and working my way around the reporting system.  We have a LOT of DNA participants. I am trying to get everyone in order and pedigrees posted and arranged before I start another big recruiting process. Last year I recruited 4 or 5 people and that was enough to send me into shock with trying to analyze and compare paper trails and results and figure out mutations and all that jazz. I juggled with the idea of attending the ftDNA conference in Houston at the end of October, however registration has already closed. It would have been an expensive trip anyways. Instead, I decided to go to the Family History Expo in Atlanta in November.

Genealogical Society...

I'm still pulling teeth with my local genealogical society. They have agreed to let me put up a facebook page, however I have not had time to do so.  We have secured Colleen Fitzpatrick as a speaker at next month's meeting. I'm really looking forward to hearing her speak and meeting her! I'm debating whether or not to run for office. They really have a lot of stuff to do to get back into the swing of things, although I'm still proud of what they have been able to accomplish so far this year.


I haven't blogged much at all. I've got the blogger blues because it seems like no matter what I do - participate in memes, comment on other people's blogs, and follow their blogs, I still feel like no one is reading my blog posts. Although I am at least getting a couple of comments a week, which is great. Finally. I couldn't even get that before! It's not an egotistical thing going on, I assure you. Sometimes I simply like to have input. Sometimes I wonder if the information I'm posting is completely wrong. Like the DNA stuff. I discuss it with experts beforehand, but I still lack confidence that what I'm posting is 100% true. It's nice to have others to bounce ideas off of. Oh well, I'll get off my soapbox now. I'm gonna go back to blogging for me now.  So I'm in this Public History class - by the way - it reminds me that Public History is what I really want to be studying - and not necessarily Library studies, although LS can certainly be a key aspect of the field.... Anyways, my Professor secured a grant to build this interactive website, a kind of blog, in which there is text and clickable links and photos and videos and oral histories and such, that is linked to other university archives. I am very excited to be working on this project because it is what I like to do with my own blog. I have toyed with the idea of learning flash and learning how to jazz up my blog a bit. I was surprised, however, that out of the 30 or so undergraduate and graduate students in my class, only one person blogged and used Twitter, besides the Teacher and that person was me! I couldn't believe it! So it looks like I will get to stand out somehow after all at least in my class as a person who already knows how to blog!

Ok, well speaking of class, I need to get back to it. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

DNA Results for Wilson Ulysses Godwin

In an earlier post, Godwin DNA - Two New Participants, I mentioned that a descendant of Wilson Ulysses Godwin was interested in participating in the Goodwin/Godwin DNA surname project. He submitted his 33-marker test and his results were uploaded to the DNA database on March 6, 2009. His results were listed at the top of my own 37-marker DNA match results, so they were easy to find. My own DNA was tested by ftDNA and I manually uploaded my results to's database. Here's a screenshot from

My 37 Marker DNA Results (2011) - Names are redacted for privacy

You can see that the results from my 37-marker test are in the color gray across the top. The results for Wilson Godwin's DNA are listed right below mine. If our marker values matched, a check mark was inserted in the box. Wilson Godwin's DNA test only included 32 markers, to my 37 that were tested with ftDNA, so there are 5 empty boxes beside Wilson's name. did not test 5 of the markers that were tested with my ftDNA test – CDYa, CDYb, DYS570, DYS576, and DYS607.  

Even though Wilson’s descendant was tested with and there were some discrepancy between markers being tested, we were still able to include his results in the Goodwin/Godwin DNA Surname Project at that is hosted by ftDNA.  Wilson Godwin’s results were included in the Group 2 Godwins which matched up to 11 other Godwin lines at the time of this post (Updated 9/7/2010).

DNA Results posted to the Godwin Surname Project at (2009)

Again you see the 5 missing markers from Wilson’s results. We cannot assume that these markers would have been identical. However, we tested many Godwins from the VA/NC area and have not seen any results that differed at these markers (Except Alexander Godwin). In all, if we count all of the same markers that were tested between the two testing companies - 32 total - Wilson Ulysses Godwin was a 32/32 or 100% match to the modal of Group 2 Godwins.
According to results, there is a 50% probability that our families were related within 2 generations or 50 years. We can decrease this window if we tested more markers. The more markers you test, the more precise the prediction is.

Now the good stuff.
The descendants of Wilson Ulysses Godwin have been trying to connect to the family of Elijah Godwin for several years now. Elijah Godwin was born c. 1801 and Wilson was born c. 1820, both in Randolph Co., NC. Both families were found in southern IL and northeast AR at the same time*. These DNA results provide evidence that a close relationship definitely existed between the two men. It is predicted that they were brothers and both were sons of Nathan and Sarah (Latham) Godwin. The DNA results correspond with the paper trails we have composed.
* Be careful not to assume that just because two men were in the same place at the same time that they were necessarily related as I gave an example of how this was not true in my post about the DNA Results of Wilkerson Godwin

Cornelius Godwin was also thought to have been a son of Nathan and Sarah (Latham) Godwin. He was living in Perry County, Illionois when Nathan and Sarah were living there in 1830s and 40s. This would be another great addition to our DNA project. Goal: Find a descendant of Cornelius Godwin to participate in the DNA surname project.


Wilson Godwin's descendant took another 67-marker DNA test with ftDNA in 2011. His results have been posted to the Group 2 Godwin DNA Surname project and compared to the rest of the Group 2 Godwins. He matches to my Grandfather in that they both display a mutation on marker 444. To date, no other Godwins have this mutation, therefore, this indicates that my Wilson's line and my Grandfather's line (Ancestor Elijah Godwin) are very closely related, and supports my hypothesis that they were brothers. There is, however, another mutation between Wilson's descendant and my Grandfather on marker CDYa which is a fast-mutating marker. It is not uncommon to have mutations occur between lines of brothers, especially when there is such a big difference in ages. My Elijah Godwin was born in 1801. Wilson, a presumed brother of Elijah Godwin, was born in 1820. It is also possible Wilson was a son of Elijah, however Elijah was not married until 1826 and Wilson fits more in line as a son of Elijah's father, Nathan, than as a son of an unmarried or previously married Elijah Godwin.

Here is an updated pictorial of the Group 2 Godwin DNA results:

You can view these results online at the Goodwin-Godwin DNA Surname Project here:

Monday, September 6, 2010

DNA Test Results of Wilkerson Godwin

Ancestor of the Hot Springs, Arkansas Godwins

Wilkerson/Wilkinson Godwin was born 15 May 1786 and died 24 Jan 1837 in Union Co., IL. He married Nancy Beggs (b. 12 Mar 1790) on 11 Apr 1809 in Logan Co., KY.  He was one of the first settlers of Union Co., IL in the early 1800s. Here is a copy of a transcribed census page of the 1818 State Census of Union Co., IL showing “Wilkson Godwin” on line 6: 
There was one free white male over the age of 21 and 5 other white inhabitants living in the household in 1818 according to this census.
The children of Wilkinson and Nancy Godwin were:
1. Alexander Godwin, b. 26 Mar 1810, KY, md Jemima Echols, 15 Aug 1832 in Union Co., IL; He died about 1858. Their sons Benjamin and Finley Thompson Godwin moved from IL to AR (Hot Springs)
2. Josiah Godwin, b: 8 Aug 1813 in Illinois, md. Louisa Jane Blocker, 29 Jun 1837, Randolph Co., AR; 10 Children. 1st child, William Riley Godwin born 8 Jan 1838 in Union Co., IL. 2nd child Martha M. Godwin, b. Aug 1842 in Stoddard Co., MO; Other 8 children born bet 1846-1862 in Arkansas, with one child born in Texas in 1856.
3. George Godwin, b: 16 AUG 1815
4. Willis Godwin, b: 17 Jul 1817 in IL; Lived in Cape Girardeau Co., MO 1860-1880; Married Dorcas Hill, 25 Feb 1841. 1 child listed: Hezekiah Godwin, b. 9 Mar 1851, MO.
5. John Godwin, b: 20 AUG 1819
6. Sally Godwin, b: 20 DEC 1820
7. Henry Godwin, b: 29 OCT 1821
8. Lucindy Godwin, b: 20 JUN 1822
9. Nelly Godwin, b: 9 APR 1830
10. Nancy Godwin, b: 19 FEB 1833 
I had been corresponding with a descendant of Wilkerson Godwin for a few years.  We thought he might have been tied into my ancestor, Elijah Godwin’s line because they were both living in Illinois in the 1830s and 40s.  Wilkerson’s sons and Elijah Godwin both settled in Arkansas. 

The mystery was finally solved when a descendant of Wilkerson Godwin took a DNA test.  His results came back and were not close to my Godwin results at all, therefore our two lines were not connected, at least not within any significant genealogical timeframe. You can see from the screenshot on the left here that we differed on many markers (I put an aqua box around them).
Wilkerson’s family was not without hope, however because his descendant’s DNA did match up with two other Godwin families – descendants of John Godwin and possibly Thomas Godwin of England! It will be up to them to compare paper trails in order to determine who their common ancestor was. 
I’m glad we did the DNA test because otherwise we would have continued with the incorrect assumption that the family of Wilkerson Godwin and Elijah Godwin were connected simply because they were both in Illinois about the same time.

This is an excellent example of how you can’t assume two people are related just because they show up in the same place at the same time. DNA doesn’t lie!

Related Posts:

Our Godwin DNA Test Results

This is a repost from February 2009 highlighting the beginning of my journey through the DNA process.

My grandfather submitted his DNA to the Goodwin/Godwin DNA Surname Project back in November of 2008. I sent an email to all of the researchers of his Godwin family to let them know that all of the descendants of Elijah Godwin are now represented by my Grandfather's DNA test. They do NOT have to submit their own tests because if they are a Godwin male descended from Elijah Godwin, then they should have the same exact y-chromosomal DNA as my Grandfather does! Y-chromosomal DNA is what is passed from father to son each generation. Each family has its own set of mutations that occur that also get passed from generation to generation – these mutations are tested and recorded by companies like family tree DNA and they distinguish between family lines.

My grandfather's 37-marker DNA test was a 100% match to the DNA of the 2nd group of Godwins in the results table

Our ID number is G-43
Group 2
G-4 Descendant of David Godwin b. c1740 of Bladen Co., NC
G-29 Descendant of Samuel Godwin b. c1742 of Johnston Co., NC
G-30 Descendant of Thomas Godwin b. c1745 of Johnston Co., NC
G-32 Descendant of Thomas Godwin b. c1745 of Johnston Co., NC
G-34, 48, and 49 Descendants of Nathan Godwin b. c1807 NC (possible grandson of Nathan b.c1760 of Sampson Co., NC thru his son Jonathan, b. 1820)
G-8 Descendant of Alexander Godwin b. c1795 NC d. 1881 St. Clair, AL
G-43 Descendant of Elijah Godwin b. 1805 NC d. 1884 Lawrence Co., AR

For a 37 marker test match, there is a 90% probability that the descendants of Elijah Godwin share a common ancestor in the last 5 generations with the other lines above.  Elijah is the last known ancestor we can prove to be descended from. It is my belief that Elijah was the son of Nathan Godwin who was the son of Jonathan Godwin and Rachel Bullard, however this is widely disbelieved by some Godwin researchers. 
So now all we have to do is try to find paper trails of familial connections with these other Godwin lines of NC in group 2 in order to determine who our common ancestors were.

And what about those elusive Godwins I've come across in my research out in the Midwest who have been trying to connect to my line? Can we get them to test for DNA as well? Will their results come back to having a common ancestor with my Grandfather? If so, how do we determine who the common ancestor was?

We are still looking for descendants of Wilkinson, Dred, and Wilson Ulysses Godwin to participate in the surname project to see if we can connect them to our line. 
Related Posts:

Funeral Card Friday: Louise Benson Lasiter

Funeral Card of Louise Lasiter, Fort Smith, AR - Privately held by Ginger R. Smith, September 2009.

This is the Funeral Card of my Great-Grandmother Louise Benson Lasiter.  The card reads as follows:

In Memory of
Louise Lasiter

January 1, 1912
Avant, Oklahoma

Departed this life
December 27, 1996
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fentress Mortuary Chapel
Tuesday, December 31, 1996
10:00 A.M.

The Reverend Andy Allen

Forest Park Cemetery
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fentress Mortuary
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Louise was buried beside her husband, James Putman "Put" Lasiter in Forest Park Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  He had died about 22 years earlier in 1974 and had a double headstone placed on the plot he purchased for he and his wife.  Here is a picture of their headstone that I highlighted in a Tombstone Tuesday post.  James' Putman family was also buried in this cemetery, however James and Louise were not buried with them, probably because the family plot had already been filled. Check out this huge stone marker his Putman family had placed at the site of their family plot. James and Louise weren't buried too far away from his family plot though. Click here and here to see photos of James' Grandparents, Thomas A Putman and Martha Ward Putman's, grave markers that I highlighted in previous Tombstone Tuesday posts.

As you can see, my Great-Grandmother, Louise Lasiter, died shortly after Christmas.  I wasn’t able to visit with the family that Christmas, but my Mother had made the trip.  I do not remember if Louise had been hospitalized during the Christmas holiday or not, but I believe so.  My Mother got to spend some time with her before she passed, which was good because they were close. Unfortunately, Louise passed away as my Mother was making the 15 hour drive back home to Atlanta.  Needless to say, she had to turn around and go back.  This time I think she flew.  I didn’t go to the funeral either.  I had never been to a funeral and I still wasn’t ready to go to one either.  The last visit I had with Louise was about 5 years earlier in 1992. 

I’ve written about my Great-Grandparents in previous posts.  Here is a post from Wordless Wednesday with pictures of them shortly after they were married and about 40 years later.  And my favorite is a 5-generation picture taken when I was born of me, my Mother, my Grandmother, Great-Grandmother Louise, and her Mother, Grandma Benson (Eva Dennis Benson).

This post is part of a Monthly First Friday blogging theme called Funeral Card Friday suggested by Dee Akard Welborn. Dee encourages geneabloggers to highlight our funeral card collections on the first Friday of each month. You can join the fun on Facebook here as well!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Follow Friday

I came across Michael's Daily Genealogy Transcription blog after I re-subscribed to the Transitional Genealogists Forum mailing list and he posted a link to his blog.  He posts various examples of handwriting signatures and asks that his readers write a comment with a best guess of what the name says. His site is very popular with 159 followers and anywhere from 5 to 10 comments a day! Check it out!