Sunday, November 9, 2014

DNA confirms a Suspected 4th Great-Grandmother!

On October 5, 2013, I received an email notification from 23andme stating that a message was sent to my inbox. The message was from a man named Robert the son of one of my grandmother's close matches whom we'll call "L.W".

"My Name is Robert I'm going through my mother's 23andme and I see that you fall under 1st - 3rd cousin. My family currently lives in Portland Oregon. My grandparents, great-aunt, and uncles are from TX, NC, LA. We are currently working on our family tree any help you can provide would be appreciated. You can contact my mother on here or email me at"

My grandmother matches L.W. and her son Robert while my mother and I only match [L.W.]. She and my grandmother are Predicted 3rd Cousins which would mean they likely share common 2nd Great-grandparent(s).
DNA Comparison 

I decided to take a look at L.W.'s family tree to see where in Texas her family migrated from. She listed Cameron, Milam County, Texas and Midland County, Texas; but I wasn't aware of any family members connected to those areas. While looking for her family in various records I found a marriage listing for her grandparents Elijah Calloway and Rosa Cofield in Robertson County, Texas [Which neighbors Milam County]. Additionally, I was able to locate Elijah's death certificate which revealed the names of his parents: Sam Calloway and Hutcherson (mother's 1st name not listed) and his place of birth as Navasota, Texas.

Elijah's father, Samuel "Sam" Calloway lived in Grimes County in 1900 and by 1910 he and his family are living in Robertson County, Texas. Sam passed away on April 6, 1922 in Calvert, Robertson County, Texas. Tax records also show Sam living in Grimes county during the 1870's, 1880's, and 1890's.

Sarah Franklin Johnson (1878-1928)
Navasota is a city in Grimes County, Texas. My grandmother's paternal-grandmother, Sarah Franklin was born in Grimes County, Texas to Edward & Captoria Franklin. Therefore my connection to L.W. was most likely through this branch of my family.

On October 8, 2013, I sent L.W. a message on 23andme with the information I found on her Calloway's and mentioned that our connection is likely through a common ancestor from Grimes County, Texas. She sent me the following message, "Thank you so much for that information about my grandfather. I've only been able to go as far as my great-grandmother Ida Coffield Davis nothing on the Calloways so please let me know where the connection is."

Around October - December of 2013, I took a brief hiatus and set aside my research during that time. I resumed my research earlier this year, but was following leads on my father's side of the family. It wasn't until a few days ago as I was going through my inbox on 23andme that I ran across my message to cousin L.W. (sent about a year ago).

In reviewing the information that I had previously sent to her, I remembered that on the 1880 Census, Ed and Cap Franklin lived next door to a woman named Rebecca Calloway (b.1830). I had long suspected Rebecca was Ed's mother as she reported she was born in Virginia, which is the birthplace reported for Grandpa Ed's parents. At the time I was unable to find any sufficient proof so I dismissed it...that is until now. The evidence suggests that cousin L.W.'s great-grandfather Sam and my ancestor Ed are likely half-siblings and the children of Rebecca.

Marriage records show that Rebecca lives next door to another child, Lucy Calloway Ward.
Samuel, Ed, Rebecca, Lou, nor Lucy could be found in 1870 in Grimes County or any of the surrounding counties.

1880 U.S. Census
LocalityPrecinct 3, Grimes County, Texas
ED, SheetEnumeration District 68, Sheet 194A &194B
Enum Date16 June 1880
Birth Place
205205Franklin, EdBM23HeadFarmerTXVAVA

----------, CapBF22WifeKeep HouseTXVAVA
----------, SarahBF2Daughter
Makey, MarthaBF50Moth.-In-Law
206206Calloway, RebeccaBF50Head

Deadman, LouBF30Daughter

------------, SallieBF15Granddaughter
207207Ward, GeorgeBM38HeadFarmerVAVAVA

-------, LucyBF35WifeKeep HouseTXVAVA

-------, JosephineBF11Daughter

-------, LynchBM15Son

-------, WhitBM10Son

-------, JohnieBM8Son

-------, GeorgeBM7Son

-------, RebeccaBF5Daughter

-------, JamesBM6Son

-------, HattieBF4Daughter

-------, William BM3Son (twin)

-------, HenryBMSon (twin)

-------, EdwardBM4 mo.Son

Lewis, CharlieBM13Son
208208Ward, Davis BM24HeadFarmerVAVAVA

By 1900, Rebecca Calloway is living in the household of her son named William Bell (b. 1853). Rebecca stated that she was the mother of five (5) children with two (2) of those children still living. Grandpa Edward Franklin, Lucy Ward, and Lou Deadmon (Dedmon) passed away sometime before 1900. Samuel Calloway and William Bell were the only two children still living.

Rebecca's five children:
  1. Samuel Calloway (b.1844, Texas) m. Eula Hutchison (Appears to have had outside children with Ann Hutchison & Ida Wallace)
  2. Lucy Calloway Ward (b.1846, Texas) m. George Ward
  3. Lou Calloway Dedmon Ward (b.1850, Texas) m. David or Davis Ward
  4. William Henry Bell (b. 1853, Texas) m. Mary Jane Floyd (1st) and Mariah Neblett (2nd)
  5. Edward Franklin (b.1857, Texas) m. Captoria Franklin

The use of naming patterns was also common among Rebecca's descendants:
  • Samuel Calloway, Lucy Ward, and William Henry Bell all had daughters named Rebecca. 
  • Lucy had sons named William & Henry (who appear to be twins) and a child named Edward.

23andme's 3rd cousin prediction between my grandmother and L.W. is correct. Rebecca Calloway is their 2nd Great-grandmother. This would make Rebecca my 4th great-grandmother.

Terrence A. Garnett
[November 9, 2014]

 Source Citations

  1. Photo of Sarah Franklin Johnson (taken in the 1920's in Montgomery County, Texas) from the collection of her late son, Edward L. Johnson (1908-1990). The original photo is now in the possession of E.J. Clark (daughter of Edward L. Johnson). 
  2. Texas Marriage Index, 1837-1973, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Elijah Calloway and Rosa Cofield, 21 Jan 1917; citing Robertson Co., Texas, Lic. No. 5730, reference ; FHL microfilm 1477496.
  3. John Leffler, "NAVASOTA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 09, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  4. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Ed Franklin (Age: 23), Precinct 3, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 194A, NARA microfilm publication T9, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1255308.
  5. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Rebecca Calloway (Age: 50), Precinct 3, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 194B, NARA microfilm publication T9, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1255308.
  6. 1900 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Rebecca Caloway in household of William Bell, Justice Precinct 1, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 7B, family 123, NARA microfilm publication T623, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1241640.

No comments:

Post a Comment