Where do I even begin? I’ve started 3 different posts, and each become too long, even by my standards! Let’s try a *brief* history. 2 James William Buchanan + 2 Howard Pink/ney Buchanan (aka HP) in the same area. What are the odds?
For almost 3 years, doing research in a small community for one of my ggf’s, finding another person 30 years younger, with the same name, has tormented me with Ancestry’s search engines. This ‘other’ HP was constantly coming up, although the glaring difference was the age, 30 years, almost on the nose. I learned to ignore this other imposter (laughing, I’m KIDDING) to the point, I even ignored when my cousin Diane first told me who his parents were, and I said “no, there’s at least 2 in the area, neither are mine and you must be searching for one of these.” I will admit it here, she was right, and I was wrong! I did my DNA and viola! Well, I still ignored this younger HP…. until 9 mos ago when I ran across a tree that had him in it, but what made me pay attention was LS” profile and I were related via DNA! G A M E C H A N G E R! I contacted him, and even found other trees of this line, who’s patriarch was James William “Bill” Buchanan. In addition to LS’s tree, the secondary tree was TB. This profile TOO was related to me via DNA. There was a connection. I just could n-o-t see it. I pestered LS (ask, he’ll confirm) but neither of us could see the connection. Until one day, I was transcribing a DC for cousin Diane’s ggm, my HP’s sister, who died in TX, and something rang a bell. WAIT … TX…. Ellis County… that means something. Where did I see that before?, I said to myself as I went rifling through TB/LS’s trees. A-ha! I found the connection. I went back to the trees and started digging some more. But I s t i l l couldn’t find the connection, until the name Bill and his DOB 1855 smacked me in the face. That was it! He was hiding in plain sight!
James William ‘Bill” was my Howard Pinkey’s brother, and this secondary Howard Pink was my ggf’s namesake. My HP also returned the honor and named his first son for his brother, James William ‘Jim’. Well, they were both named for their father James b 1829 (md to Zana Long), and then his father, William b 1805. But still. I did it. Now the problem was, how was I going to convince LS/TB of my findings? I wasn’t sure myself, but I knew a few things, the 10+ Buchanan cousins I manage on Ancestry, then several on other sites, I had the data on my side, because we all matched each other perfectly. Then I went outside the Buchanans and checked known ‘sole Long’ cousin’s who had no relation to Buchanans. Did these people match anyone in their lines? Perfect. That cinched the deal. I had to prove HP’s mother’s line was in their DNA without a Buchanan connection, and I did. Those were a bit more difficult since the MRCA for their mother, Zana, is actually her parents, John R + Catharine Long for sole Long cousins. For those of us who descend from them, or her sister Tyrena and her husband Wm (b 1835) who is James’ b 1829 brother, will connect to then in varying cm’s, depending on the connection and if it’s Zana’s line or Tyrena’s, the common ancester is usually either Tyrena/Zana and their respective husbands. Anyway, I’m digressing again into the weeds.
So now I’ve convinced myself my work would stand up in court (a joke about the standard I hold myself to, and when I say it can hold up in court, it actually would- or as in a past adoption, held up to a Y-dna test we did to ensure there were no questions.) I have zero doubts Bill is HP’s brother, son of James and Zana Buchanan. But now was the time for me to present my case to these 2 people whose trees I’ve stalked for 8 months, and whose DNA matches I’ve scoured for some pattern. When I started adding the new brother to my FTM offline, I went descendant by descendant, to really try to learn the new line. Every daughter who married gave me more standout descendants in our DNA matches, because when you’re looking in a sea of 100k matches for “Buchanan” in tree hits, the list is long with results. The new surnames were the last nail. I went through my older cousins (who have stronger DNA matches as they’re closer to HP than I am by 1-2 gens) and started searching for the married names, both by existing surname as well as in their tree. Hit after hit. Multiple names. I had done it! Finally! I couldn’t contain my excitement and away I wrote ‘the’ email. And nervously awaited a reply from one, but hoping both. The jury’s out on whether they’ll accept my findings, and I know it will take time.. But for now…
So how does this family look now?
Patriarch of this entire Buchanan clan: William Buchanan b 1805 TN md Malissa b 1802 TN: Their issue: James b 1829 TN, Lucinda b 1833 AL (all here on b AL), Jacin b 1834 William b 1835, John b 1838, Mary b 1841, Martha b 1843.
Patriarch of the Long family: John R Long b 1800 SC md Catharine b 1802 SC. Their issue: Daughter 1820, Zana Elizabeth b 1828, Mary Ann b 1833, Tyrena b 1835, James W b 1839 (see a post back on his DOB), Martha b 1841, Marcena Silmon (aka MS, Silmon) b 1843, Joseph LMG b 1845. John does remarry after Catharine’s death (btwn 1853-60) to Sarah Ann Gibson b Irene V b 1864, son/toddler, Theodocia b 1867, Bethire B b1869. Why do you care about the Longs? Just wait…
First: James b 1829 md Zana in 1849, and their issue were: Malissa Catharine (usually went by Catharine) b Jan 1850 (not 53), John b 1852, James William ‘Bill‘ b 1855, Howard Pinkney b 1861.
Second: William b 1835 md Tyrena in 1853 (not 55), and their issue were: Sarah Catharine b 1855 and William b 1857.
From here, those whose these lines matter to, will know how to fill in the blanks. I have spent 20+ years chasing HP, his multiple marriages, many children, and have slowly put the family back together, one descendant at a time. I have spent the last 3 years immersed in learning DNA, and perfecting my ‘trifecta’ (Buchanan/Long/Carroll = a descendant of HP’s first wife!), which I have not yet been wrong on (although, now there’s the Buchanan/Long with a different Carroll ancestor, or a different combo, but the ones I narrow down to truly that mix, I’ve been able to literally determine which line they come from most of the time, without seeing a tree. HAHA It’s a scary gift, I only use for good. I promise!) Since October, when I had a Long (amazing cousin Jim!) and a Buchanan (prefers not to be named) take Y-DNA kits for me, I started going from each of these 2 patriarchs, and each of their descendants, and scoured records, census, Find A Grave, anything I could find. The problem lies with the county these 2 veins of my family reside: Franklin County, Alabama.
Back in December 1890 (not that I’ve read the actual news clippings from the time, talking about the ‘accident’) the courthouse in Franklin burned down. E V E R Y single record, let me repeat that, E V E R Y single record (except ONE land book, saved by a clerk taking their work home!) was torched! The building too. (sorry, I’m still miffed about the records). Well, if you have family who resides in Franklin say, from 1840 to at least 1900, you are hard pressed to find much on their lives. IF they had a headstone, and IF someone has taken a photo, it’s on Find A Grave. Lucky you. IF you can find the full county censuses for Franklin, which Ancestry does NOT have (or doesn’t share), then, Lucky You. Why do I say the ‘full county’. Because Franklin’s ‘districts/divisions/whatever you want to call them are actually based on the BLM ‘Township Range’ they use for property sales. How do I know there’s 18? Because I spent 3 hours, taking screen shots of each ‘TR’, cropping the black background to get just that section, then cutting and taping each section together, and then hanging it on my wall behind my chair in my office. YES. Extreme. But, I can’t tell you how much help that has been. My next project will be to map out censuses by family, deaths/burials, etc and see where everyone was and what I’m missing. I have already gone through every census from 1840-1900 (some 1910) for Franklin and Itawamba (Ms) counties, and printed every single Buchanan Long and Carroll (the 3rd of my veins in Franklin I’ve next to work), and then expanded to some known areas a few of the relatives went, such as Colbert (which wasn’t created until 1867, abolished, the re-created 1870). As I found daughters who married, with their husband’s new names, I went back through the censuses, and found many of them within a stone’s throw of their parents, especially John R. That is one tight knit family, I tell you!
I have many things in my new records after the months of reading census records line by line (the 1 and only full Franklin county census I have found (not on Ancestry btw) was 500 pages. I read EVERY line, 50 per page, 500 pages, that’s 25k lines in JUST that census. Now imagine at minimum, 50 censuses, if not over 100, some at 300+ pages! I did some quick math, estimating conservatively, how many lines I’ve read and it’s over 300k. (Personally, I honestly believe it’s at a minimum, double that). I created pages starting with each patriarch, and then created one for each child and started what I now call Birth to Grave, where I go through every single document I can find. I take the known accurate ones, and then analyze every tick mark. I then analyze the next, and then compare it to the last, or others I’ve written out. If there’s a difference, it’s noted. I get to the end and keep going. I do their descendants. Then I take each person and add them, and each document, to my FTM. When I add a document, I first make a screen shot, save it, then I transcribe it into a citation. I add the screen shot/media and then add it to each and every fact it mentions, including the name. If others are mentioned, their record has the data included as a fact, then it’s cited. It’s painstakingly time-consuming. But this is why I can say, with (laughing) some authority, if I challenge (or offer a correction) someone’s record, that I have in fact, compiled source documents that would most literally stand up in court, and my DNA work to the gold standard of tests, a Y-DNA, then you can rest assured, I’ll show you my work, and it will hold true. (PS the one we did was a y-111 for the adoption. One step shy of a BigY, 700 markers, the Granddaddy of them all!) Take a look at the two Birth to Graves I’ve done before this post. James W Long was ‘fairly’ easy, in that most of the documents, until a certain point in his life, were consistent. When I was able to look at his military records cousin Jim sent me, his dated medical record coincided with the dates starting to differ. The project I haven’t posted is the day I spent working on his 4 wives, matching his 21 kids to the right ones, and in the 4 states he lived in! Then working his kids + spouses and descendants. Wahooo. I’m pretty sure no one has that info! Now, the second BTG, Thos Riley Sartin. Holy Moly! That one, took days to look at and write up. That was a man that lied about his age from the beginning. (I’m still working on Thos Albert Sartain, well, he’s in the cue!)
So, for those of you cousins who are new to this side of the Buchanans, whether from Bill or HP’s side,
Welcome to the Buchanan/Long Clan
From Stonz~, cousin Jim, cousin Diane, and all the others who hide in the background and let me be the spokesperson. Truly, welcome.