Monday, October 19, 2015 marked a transition point in my research. I finished the major portion of my Spence research–something I started September 6, 2014! It took a little over a year to complete it. That doesn’t mean I will never write about the Spences again. From time to time I will do an article about them. But the major block of my Spence research is finished. Monday morning, I gathered up all the Spence research notebooks stacked beside my living room chair and carted them downstairs to my research bookcase. At least they are all together in one place so I can easily find them again.
It took me a while to decide what to do next. I have a number of family lines waiting on the sidelines, so I had to really think about the line to pursue next. The Spence family comprised my mother’s main family line. It seemed only fair to look at my father’s main Inman line, only I decided to arrange it differently this time. Instead of starting with the earliest Inman in the line, about whom I am still debating, I plan to start it with the present and move back into the past. While pondering my decision, I received a notice from Ancestry.com regarding a possible ancestor match. From time to time, I receive notices about possible ancestor matches from Ancestry based upon DNA comparisons and in the past, those suggestions proved fruitful. This one left me puzzled.
The man’s name was Darius Brown. According to the Ancestry descriptor:
Darius Brown was born on November 27, 1808. He married his first wife on April 6, 1834. On August 17, 1862, he married his second wife. He died on June 3, 1871, at the age of 62(1).
My reaction? Who? Never heard of him! Yet four people who descended from Darius Brown and his wife, Leah Johnson, had my DNA!
I have a few Browns in my tree and checked those first. I could not find a connection. However, given the fact that Ancestry discovered a possible link as well as the fact that four people had the same DNA as mine linking us to this person–there had to be a connection somewhere. So I began looking into Darius Brown’s family history.
His parents were George P. Brown (1768-1843) and Sarah Kidder (1780-1875), and his wives were Leah Johnson (1814-1859) and Susannah Potter (1817-1867). Darius was born in Yates, New York. He married Leah Johnson in Benton, Yates, New York and by 1860, they resided in Homer, Calhoun, Michigan, where he died in 1871. Darius had nineteen children. Yet after reading all of this, I still could not find a connection. Some of my ancestors settled in Michigan; not many. However, New York provided some possibilities. So I began following the Brown ancestors on Darius Brown’s line via his pedigree chart. When I arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, I thought Hey! Dad’s Inman ancestors started there! That’s when I really became serious about the whole thing. And that’s when I found the connection: a common ancestor by the name of Jeremiah Brown!
I won’t discuss Jeremiah here until I arrive at his section. That is a long way out on the tree, so it will be some time before I complete the story about him. And by waiting until the right time, I avoid having to return here to update something. I tell this portion of the story now as an introduction because it helped me focus on my Dad’s Inman line for my next research project.
As for Darius Brown–there was a connection. He turned out to be my fourth cousin four times removed. He and his wife Leah resulted in another Ancestry DNA Circle.
(1) Ancestry DNA Evidence about Darius Brown. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 21 Oct. 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com