January 28, 2012

Melungeon Revisited

Since last I thought about any of my family possibly being of Melungeon descent, much work has been done on the definition of Melungeon. Results have been reported on the Wikipedia site and are well worth reading.

In summary, Melungeons were descendants of mixed-race peoples during and after early colonization of the eastern United States. Mulattos were children of native American (Indian) and European parents, while mustees were children of native American (Indian) and African parents. Melungeons are, by extension, descendants of ancestors from all three ethnic groups.

Stressful times, like the overrunning of another country by people not born there, have surely resulted in the mixing and mingling of gene pools.

Thank goodness! Can you imagine how boring the world would be if there was only one highly limited set of genes for humanity instead of the wonderful variety and diversity of populations that we now know exist?

July 29, 2011

Progress on Samples Genealogy

I have been in communication lately with my fourth cousin Steve Samples.  Recently retired, Steve has taken up his passion for family history and is making great strides in pushing the envelope!

Steve and I have been talking about the earliest Samples or Semple family members. We've been working backward from Samuel Alexander Samples b. 1774, and together we are sorting out information that may take us back another 3 or 4 generations.

Most significant is the revelation that the two brothers, Samuel and John, who were with Cornwallis when he surrendered to Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War, and who spent a winter living in a hollow tree in the Dismal Swamp, then separated and never saw each other again, did not come from Ireland.

Instead, the family had a well-established presence in the new world dating from well before the Revolutionary War and tracing backward from Kentucky to Virginia all the way to Pittsburgh. We now believe that the family descended from the Scottish Semple clan, and may have been in the New World as early as the beginning of the 18th century.

How exciting! And what fun it is to be in contact with another serious researcher who has time on his hands to pursue our common interest in our shared ancestry. As for me, I'm far too busy with my quilting to be able to contribute much beyond what I had already compiled earlier, some of which was erroneous.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available! In the meantime, check out my somewhat outdated database at Rootsweb and watch what happens when it changes!

Genealogical history of the family Semple from 1214 to 1888

July 11, 2009

Brannon Family Update

I just updated my Brannon family information on my Rootsweb WorldConnect site. At long last, we are gaining some ground on whence came William Wrighter Brannon. DNA documentation supplied by Gina K. proved that our line is not descended from Caron Branan. Until any new information appears, I'm linking the family to Thomas Branen of Maryland.

Stay tuned, though - there's some very exciting stuff in the works. A distant relative has recently contacted me with pretty substantial documentation about Native American ancestry in the family. I'll report on that as soon as I feel it is appropriate.

In the meantime, I would appreciate it if all you Brannon researchers would have a look at my family tree and let me know if you find any errors. I expect there will be some, but I do not have time at the moment to labor through the whole thing.

Happy exploring!

April 13, 2008

Brannon Update

I have just updated my Brannon family information on Rootsweb's WorldConnect Project. I have taken the drastic step of eliminating all information prior to the life and times of William "Wrighter" Brannon - that is, anything that would link the descendants of William Wrighter, father of Nancy, Mary, William A. "Squire," Thomas P., Elizabeth Jean (?), Catherine, Lorenzo Dow or Lourenza K., Susannah or Susanna, Dianna and Jacob Brannon (Brannan) of West Virginia.
As Gina Kuhl has reported DNA tests from the West Virginia line of the family which show that our ancestors were not related to Caron Branan (Brannan, Brannon, Branham or whatever), I think it's time we place more emphasis on the discovery of our legitimate (or illegitimate ?) ancestors. I intend to do this by separating the family away from the group who are clearly descended from Caron. My hope is that this will provide fresh perspective and incentive to dig deeper.
The information contained in my database is not very tidy, and in most cases not terribly well documented. The older generations, from Oliver back through Thomas P. to William "Wrighter" should all be considered to be lightly documented and in need of greater factual substantiation.
If you are working on this line of inquiry, the Brannons of West Virginia, back to the Old World, I would love to hear from you - especially if you have any new information to share!

August 05, 2007

New Lead on Thomas P. Brannon

Been silent for a while due to other pressing commitments. However,
I have recently found an interesting lead for my family.
The connection between my direct ancestor Thomas P. Brannon, married
to Lydia Wilson, and his 'father' William Wrighter or Wrighter
William or whatever, was never well-established. In the 1860 Calhoun
County, WV, Census, it is clearly stated that Thomas P. was born in
Westmoreland County, PA! I had never seen that fact before!
However, what it means is what I have long suspected: most probably,
my line of Brannons may well indeed NOT descend from Caron Branan.
I hope to find time to research PA records online today, so will
inform you of anything interesting I find there.

June 07, 2007

Family Genealogy



Hope everything is well with you and your family. I suppose I should introduce myself to you. My name is Richard Scott Pack, my mother is Regenia Embry.


Mom’s dad was Robert Jackson Embry, son of Henry and Zaney Embry. I found your genealogy line through some research and was wondering if you could provide me more details. I downloaded your Gedcom file but It didn’t list the names for me like Uncle Shelby Embry or any of the other living children of papaw Henry.


I also own and operate an online family genealogy website, and you are welcome to check it out. If you like I might even be able to open an area or tree for your stuff. Right now the site is brand new, and I am busy organizing data my wife’s side of the family provided to me. After that I will upload that and also begin working on my family stuff.


The website URL is: www.relativelines.com


Please feel free to visit it and signup.


Thanks for any further help.




Richard (Scott) Pack

Brandenburg, Kentucky