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My name is Wm. David Carpenter. My family is from Virginia, North Carolina, and Mississippi. My names are:

Carpenter, Oakes, Minyard, Stone, Mortimer, Johns, Kennedy and King.
The other side is: Trainor, McCaleb, Bradford, Kent, Carrigan and Woodside.

My email is ,

Hi, all.

I'm pretty new to Genealogy, although I have shadowed my dad in the past as he worked on it (he was heavy into it and worked on it for 10+ years). I love finding out about our past and really have a passion to find out more of our history, both on my dad's side as well as my mom's.  I don't have a paid membership to any of the sites as of yet (financially embarrassed at the moment), but I've been using a combination of sites such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, WikiTree, MyHeritage, as well as joined Genealogy groups on Facebook. The surnames I am looking for are mainly Hayes, Tennyson/Tennison, Savelle, Spence (my mom's side) and Sapp (that one I found a lot on, just need some blanks filled in and history), Creamer, Webb and McCuller/McCullough (although we're mainly focused on Webb).

I have done some research on my mom's side. Found out we are related to Alfred Lord Tennyson on her dad's side (which is really cool). On my dad's side, it hasn't been that hard finding info on his mom's dad's side. That goes way, way back in some areas. However, we have been unable to get past his great-grandfather on his dad's side. We have the 1870 census from where it lists his wife and family, among them is my dad's grandfather. 

My dad said he had taken what he got from Ancestry, newspapers, birth & death certificates, et al, and taken them to someone who is (or was?) a professional Genealogist a few years back. The gentleman told my dad that he could find anyone. Turns out, he was wrong. The one side of my dad's family that seems virtually untraceable at the moment. We are stumped. 

I plan on making a trip to our library after the holidays when I have more time to get out and research, as well as visit our local LDS center. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday season!

One thing you can try to do is seek out probate records where you are stumped. If the man died intestate (without a will) but owned property, a probate was likely held. Oftentimes, the list of children (even grown and married ones) will be listed under the probate. Good luck! And Merry Christmas!

Hello All,

My name is Molly, and I would like to think that I know what I'm doing; but in reality I really have very little idea. I started doing some infrequent research several years ago as a hobby, I was able to uncover a few little known facts about my father's people and felt very proud of myself, and so started looking at my mother's illusive Pandora's Box of information. That little venture has me banging my head on a wall, I should have known better given her circumstances. My mother it seems was a 1943 'Black Market Baby' obtained by a well placed $50 with the Sisters of Charity. My mother passed away 20 years ago at the age of 54 she never stopped looking, going through records, petitioning courts (I am from the State of Texas and her records are sealed) So with bits and pieces of our scattered, strange information I forge onward. I tested with 23andme about a month ago and was assigned the Haplogroup of H, I thought that was so generic (again I am not very learned in this area) so I took it upon myself to do research on my own concerning a topic that I struggle to comprehend. At any rate I ended up on and followed the instructions to save my fasta file to my computer and uploaded the data. I received HVR1 HVR2 and CR mutations with no perfect match. So today I mailed in my Ancestry DNA kit. It seems that with every step I take I walk deeper into darkness, very frustrating.  Any insight would be so greatly appreciated.


Hi Molly--Never give up--I too was adopted but different circumstances--do you know what the current laws are in Texas now for opening the records--and have you been able to see a copy of her non identifying info--send me a email at my other  thanks patricia

Hi Molly,

Have you uploaded your raw data to and Gedmatch.Genesis? That should help you find any relatives who have tested DNA with any of the various companies and uploaded their data. The family trees connected with matching DNA kits can help you connect the dots. See the information below about Facebook groups that can help with this.

Texas has a Central Adoption Registry program, but it unfortunately does not accept requests from children of adoptees. a href="" target="_blank">>;

There is a Texas Adoption Registry where you can search for potential adoptees/birth parents who have registered and perhaps you can add your mother to the database too. a href="" target="_blank">>;

There is another Texas adoption registry at
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This information may be useful to you:
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If you know her DOB and the city she was born in, I would be tempted to search FamilySearch for those elements and see how many hits you get. It might be interesting to then weed through those, eliminating the birth certificates of the females who you can find via Google later in life (school records, newspapers, etc).

There are also groups on Facebook that help adoptees and adoptee's family members use DNA results to find relatives. See SEARCH SQUAD and DNA DETECTIVES.

Good luck!


Hi. I have been working on my family tree since around 1997. Listen. If you have living family members who love to tell stories of the old days, about family members, etc., pay attention. I didn't care about that stuff much until it was too late. It seems that usually there may be only one or two people in the family who care and when they pass, if you haven't collected the stories, they are lost. But, they also make for good digging. So, on to two or three of my family stories I am stuck on. First is that a specific person or persons in my grandmother's line on my dad's side was supposed to have been Native American. Having researched those lines extensively, I have found absolutely nothing to indicate there were Native Americans anywhere near the line. The only one left to possibly be the right person is a step-mother I can find very little information about. The problem is that the rest of the family who are interested in this insist the story is true and there is no persuading them otherwise. And they insist it is the person originally thought to be Native. That person is Letitia Smoot Clements. They even went so far as to believe that Smoot was the name of the Native American tribe rather than a historical surname from Europe, originally Smute. Then they have her as my grandmother's grandmother in their story even though she is actually her great grandmother. Reason for the story is that my grandmother insisted until she died that her mother was half Native and that her mother was full Native, Letitia, and that she was seen in full Native dress, and that there were Native artifacts left that my father took to school for show and tell and promptly lost. But Letitia was not the mother, she was the grandmother. Okay, I've confused everyone. Long story short, Letitia Smoot Clements, mother of Martha E. Clements, and grandmother to America Clements Rutledge. Unless you want truly confused, do not, I repeat, do not go into the Clements genealogy because they were addicted to the names Augustus Gustavus and Gustavus Adolphus, and Gustavus Augustus. It gets really tricky. The second story is that my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Poling Kelly and the woman who married my great-great grandfather Edward Kelly (Catharine Polan Sheets) were sisters. Being thus far unable to find the parentage of either woman, I have never been able to confirm or disprove this story. It is somewhat important for the descendants of both because if they were truly sisters, it would make their offspring first cousins. This would make my great grandmother and great grandfather first cousins. It would also grant the children of Catharine Sheets to the cousin status instead of just step-siblings. Parentage for both women would likely have been Fairfield County, Ohio. However, Catharine was married prior to the 1850 census which is the first one to tell the names of spouses and children. So finding Elizabeth and Catharine in a census record together by name is impossible. Finally, a mystery just discovered this week, is how can one child, born to the same mother, and having the correct surname of Pratt, have two totally different birth records, with two different fathers, in two different states, at the same time? Same birth date. Mother's maiden name is correct on both. Marriage certificate for the Ohio birth certificate is correct with the Ohio birth record, but not with the Indiana birth record. The father's names are not close enough to have been mistaken. On the Ohio birth record and the marriage certificate, the father is William W. Pratt. On the Indiana record, the father is Joseph Wilbur Pratt. The child Leonard L. lived less than a year. To compound the mystery, said child's brother George L. Pratt who was my grandfather, and his wife, Gladys Marie Rutledge (America's daughter from the Native American story above), were found in a later Ohio census record with the aforementioned Joseph W. Pratt as head of household. I have not found this Joseph W. Pratt anywhere else in any records yet. All this in Mercer County, Auglaize County, OH. Of course I could go further into the mysteries I have questions about, but we all have those. I came here for the chat room. I am hopeful to be able to meet some of you all there.

Welcome aboard, Cindy Pirani. My goodness, but do you ever have your work cut out for you! I would go with the Ohio record you found as it sounds more viable — especially since it is entirely possible for two different people, unrelated, to have the very same name. Also, if your ancestor owned property but died intestate, check the Probate Court Records! Oftentimes, the names of the children are listed, dead or alive. This was key in my own research. I've applied to the D.A.R. most recently, but before I could send off the formal application and my records, I had to connect my third great-grandmother to her father.

Since she was born in 1822, and census records didn't record the names of the household until 1850, proving she was her father's daughter was problematic. She also married in 1837. What cinched the deal (with the much-needed help of the local chapter registrar) was finding the microfiche number for the correct county and state probate court case. From there I was able to find a Probate Court Case Number. I still had to call the County Clerk to get the information, but, not only were the pages quite clear, although she couldn't read them, she printed off any pages that appeared to have names on them. 21 in all. I was not obligated to pay for them, but I did anyway. The whole deal cost me less than $8.00 to have them shipped to me! Suffice it to say, I got an early Christmas present. My third great-grandmother was listed including her married name!

Once I received the copy of my paternal grandfather's death certificate, I was ready to sign the formal application. It's in D.C. at the National D.A.R. headquarters. I've gone through the first two steps: scanning and recording and am now in step 3: Pending. It should be about 2 2 1/2 months before I hear back.

I would suggest, you're not the only family in the weeds when it comes to oft-repeated names! I thought my Dad's surname was crazy-insane. My great-grandfather left England in his teens because he managed to disgrace his family. He shot a rabbit, of all things. I won't go into the absurdity of England's pouching laws, but, he named his six sons after his father, himself and his brothers. My second-cousin, once removed, is a granddaughter of a Frank Dewdney, as I am. However, her Frank is the brother of my great-grandfather! My Frank, also named his six sons after his father and brothers. Dad decided he would 'break that trend'.

This only prepared me for further back in time. I view it now as a sort of 'training ground'. I daresay, don't even attempt to research the Sevier family. I extrapolated my main tree SIDEWAYS just to keep all the repeated names straight. I've yet to take a tally on just how many John Seviers, Valentines, Abrahams and Josephs, Charles, Elizabeths, Sarahs, and others there are.

Just know that you AREN'T alone in your woes.

Loved your post, and wanted to say that I can relate a bit to the Native American part of your story. I grew up hearing that my mom was part Native American, and that was actually what got me started in genealogy 13 years ago. However, my mom was a SMITH, born in AR, and her father was born in rural AR in 1890 (terrible year!). HIS father died before the next census, so those SMITHS have become a brick wall before I've hardly gotten started on them!
Anyway, much luck with your searching!

I'll start by saying I'm Trishette Martin were do we start I have so much to say type?

First off, I would only suggest if your response is to be a long one, mine often are, that you put a space between paragraphs. That will make it easier to read, rather than a wall of words. Welcome aboard, Trishette Martin. I like your name.



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