Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is This My Line?

Could the eldest daughter of Jeremiah and Deborah (LANHAM) REEVES [“Unknown d Reeves 1813-” just above] be my granddad Cash Adams' paternal grandmother Patsey? I don’t have any proof, but her age and location in Madison County, Kentucky, certainly make her a candidate. Jeremiah is the dark shaded person next to the far right in the third row above.  The unnamed daughter is the second from the left in the bottom row.

I just got an autosomal DNA match from a man who is associated with this family. That match is reported to be “Possible range: 4th - 6th cousins” with a “Confidence: 96%”. My match is a descendant of Harvey REEVES the middle child in the bottom row above. There is no assurance that the REEVES line is where we share a common ancestor. However, my DNA match and I would be 4th cousins if Harvey and Patsey were siblings. That is within the range projected by the lab (DNAAncestry).

I wish Ancestry provided us with a little more access to the details of our own information. It would help me evaluate the strength of the above match. Perhaps that is all coming as the autosomal service moves out of beta. 23andMe, in its "Relative Finder" tab, gives us a percentage of match and its "Family Inheritance" tab allows us to see the location(s) of any significant matching segments. FTDNA's "Family Finder" tells us the total amount of match, the number of significant segments, and allows us to overlay our results with those of matches to see if multiple matches may be sharing the same segments. Both of the other services allow us to download our own raw data for further comparisons. Ancestry earlier this month on the company blog announced that this latter feature would be coming in 2013. It was reassuring for a testing lab to acknowledge: 

AncestryDNA believes that our customers have the right to their own genetic data. It is your DNA, after all.
Patsey's husband,Isaac N. ADAMS, my third great-grandfather (about 1813 to after 1870), appeared in official records in the 1840 US Census for the Eastern District of Madison County, Kentucky. Patsey was named only in the 1850 and 1860 censuses. Isaac's last appearance was in the 1870 Census for Peno Township, Pike County, Missouri. At that time he was a widower living in the household of his youngest son John Speed ADAMS. Coincidentally 1870 was the year of birth of my grandfather, Cash ADAMS. 

Does this prove that my Missouri ADAMS line descends from the above REEVES family? Not quite. However it is the best working hypothesis that I have found. I’ll be exploring it further when I spend a research week in Salt Lake City later this month. 


  1. Great work, Dave. My DNA matches keep me working on the tails in my tree.

    1. Thank you CeCe and Jody for your encouraging words.
      Some genealogists do not list the unnamed daughter on whom I am focusing. Two daughters Elizabeth and Rittie are consistently listed; but Rittie is listed as dying before the age of 5 so she could not be either of the two teenaged females listed as living in the household in the 1830 Census. Elizabeth could fit the age for the one between 10 and 15. My Patsey would be the right age for the one between 15 and 20.

  2. I haven't been able to locate a marriage record yet, but I'm still pretty well convinced. Did you notice that the next neighbor of Isaac N. Adams in the 1840 Madison County census was Harvey (listed as Henry) Reeves?


  3. BINGO! Thanks Beverly. The plot begins to thicken; or should I say the relationship begins to solidify. I had not yet noticed how close geographically Isaac (and supposedly Patsey) lived to Harvey REEVES. I appreciate your opinion given your vast knowledge of this family.

    It is amazing how often we have important information in our hands but are diverted from noticing it because we are too busy searching for new information sources.

    It also demonstrates the usefulness of having a second pair of eyes look over our documentation. While it would be great to find a "smoking gun" like the marriage record you mention, the circumstantial evidence is mounting up until there are too many coincidences to ignore.

    Thanks again Beverly!

  4. Hi Dave -

    Great post - was this a Virtual Research Week Challenge? Just wanted to make sure!

  5. Absolutely Elizabeth! Now I'm getting greedy. I just arrived in Salt Lake City today to see if I can build on my virtual finds. If that doesn't pay off, I may visit the courthouse in Madison County when my wife and I spend a night at The Farm, a bed and breakfast near Danville, Kentucky on October 30th.

  6. Dr. D, I am intrigued by your ancestry search. I've always wanted to learn more about my heritage. I am the great great grand daughter of Cash Adams of Breckenridge, Missouri. My great grand father was Frank Adams. My grand mother, Frank's daughter, was Lois K. (Adams) Howell. My Dad is Robert Howell, son of Lois. I spent much of my childhood with my grand mother and with grandpa Adams. I'd love to know where we originate from. I'd love to learn more about our family. Thank You for all the great information on your blog. Take care. God Bless You. Christine M. Howell

  7. ChrisD, Thank you very much. We are 1st cousins--twice removed. You may also be interested in these two posts about our ancestors:
    Please contact me directly: InfoDoc AT