Saturday, July 31, 2010

Immanuel Lutheran "The Mother" Church - Established 1857

Through this blog, I recently connected with a distant cousin on my Miller side (his gr-great grandfather and my gr-gr-great grandfather are brothers). He and my mother were chatting at the Miller Family Reunion a couple weeks ago and she happened to bring up some of my non-Miller research. Soon enough, they made the connection that both of our Norwegian ancestors, on our Hanson sides, settled in the neighboring Richwood and Akan Township areas in Richland County, Wisconsin.  (We have not been able to prove a relationship on this Hanson side, as there were several Hanson families living in this Norwegian settlement.)

One of the reasons I am so happy that they made this connection is that our Hanson ancestors are buried in the same cemetery: Immanuel Luther Cemetery. I have previously blogged about this cemetery and even made reference to the fact that I thought the small foundation on the sight might have once supported the mother church itself.  It turns out, my suspicions were correct.  My cousin recently sent me a package of information (Thanks again, Eddie!) that contained a history of the area, his Hanson family, and information on the Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Not only did he send me what documents he had, but he put together a nice write about of all the information he had on the church.


The following is taken directly from his notes: "In the spring of 1857, the neighbors got together, and financed the building of their first church - to be constructed of logs.  This church was located on a ridge in the S.E. quarter of Section 3 of Richwood Township in Richland County.  The church land and cemetery lots were donated by Nels Hanson.  The church was completed and read for use that first fall of 1857."


My cousin's notes say that "there came a time in 1885 when it was either to repair the old log structure or erect a new building.  The old log building was beginning to rot and the squirrels had damaged logs along the foundation and around the eaves. at a congregational meeting in March of 1885, they agreed to build a new church. Negotiations were made with Nils Hanson [my Miller cousin's great-grandfather] to buy a site on his property.  The plot was purchased.  Construction of this building began in the spring of 1887.  All work was done by members of the congregations who donated the lumber which was sawed and finished at private mills.  The building was finished by November so that it could be heated for winter use.  The church was dedicated in November 1887, with Pastor J.O. Naess conducting the dedication rites."  A steeple was later added to the church (date unknown).


"Additional Norwegian immigrants settled to the North, in Akan Township and the people from that area decided to build another Lutheran Church in 1897. The location selected was where five roads joined, in a settlement called Five Points."  The Immanuel Church was often referred to as the South Church, after the Five Points Church was built. Ministers served both churches for several years.  The numbers at the South, or Mother Church, dwindled as the numbers at the newer Five Points Church swelled.  This led to the the closing of the Immanuel Lutheran (Mother) Church in the 1940's and it was eventually torn down int he 1950's.  The bell from the Mother Church is now mounted as a memorial by the entrance of the Five Points Church.

I am still a bit in shock that he has all this information on the Mother Church.  It seems that every time I am in Wisconsin, I end up taking another relative on a journey to visit our recently found Norwegian ancestors.  These journey's always left me trying to imagine what the Mother Church looked like and now I have an answer.

Always, Sara Beth 

*Text shown in quotes is taken directly from a document my cousin Eddie sent me.
 © Sara B. Davis - 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Maybe Emma A. (Dean) Tyler isn't missing after all!

Maybe the location of Emma A. (Dean) Tyler isn't such a mystery after all?  I recently came across the following message board post on Ancestry:

Looking for info on Emma A. or Emma Udelia Dean. Born 1836 Warren Co. Ohio. Died 1889 Platteville, Wisconsin. Married Dr. Abel Royce Tyler.

This information almost exactly matches up with our Emma A. (Dean) Tyler!   The major difference being that the 1870 United States Federal Census lists our Emma as being born in New York.  As any genealogist would tell you, these birth locations are often listed wrong for a variety of reasons and should not be a deterrent until verified.  Additionally, she is listed to the only Abel Royce Tyler I have come across and her 1889 death in Platteville places her near her remaining family after Abel's death in 1879.

I emailed the person who posted the request and she said that she got that information from her grandmother's notes.  The notes also state that Emma was French, but that was all.  The lady is going to see if she can find anything else through family.  I spent some time searching the online cemetery indexes for Grant County and came up empty handed.  Anyone in Wisconsin want to make a road trip to look up records in Lancaster?


Sara Beth 

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ancestral DNA: 25 Marker - Exact Match

We have another match in our second, more detailed, set of Y-chromosome results.  However, this time we only had one exact match out of everyone in the database, but at least he has the Miller surname!  As we test more markers, the chances of finding an exact match decreases.

This exact match at the 25 Marker set makes it a 61.17% probability that we share a common ancestor within the last 4 generations (ie: Ernest, Charley, Marion, & John).  With this recent test, our chance of sharing a common ancestor withing the last 20 generations has increased to 99.12%!  As we test more markers and find matches, the likelihood of an actual common ancestor increases.

Please remember that the Y-chromosome test only tracks the genetic material that is passed along from father to son along our direct paternal line, the Miller's. Our results on G-Ma's maternal lines are still pending.

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ancestral DNA: Y-chromosome Haplotree


Our Y-chromosome Haplotree test results for our direct Miller line shows that our Haplotree group is R1b1b2.

The Y-chromosome is only passed from father to son, and because of this my Uncle, who agreed to provide his DNA for testing, and his son are the last two living people in my maternal family to have this chromosome.

From the diagram shown at left, you can see the R1b sector starts in Eurasia and migrates west across Europe. You can click on the image to get a better view of the migration, indicated in brown with the R1b tags. Please note that our haplogroup is R1b and is the southern of the two brown migration paths. If you wish to learn more about the R1b1b2 Haplogroup you can read more here and here.

All of my research (and Sheri's too) traces our family to this section of the world, so this is a great confirmation of our work. In addition, several of the exact matches have been able to trace their lineage to Ireland, Germany, England, and Italy. The above chart shows that there is a 45.43% frequency of this Rb1 group in Europe, making it the most common haplogroup in European populations.

Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment on the blog.  That way, we can all know what each other is thinking.

I am waiting on pins and needles for the rest of the results to come in, especially the mtDNA results. Two months is a long time to wait.

Sara Beth

Data and charts shown are from Family Tree DNA.
© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Janamalia Hanson


Janamalia Hanson
Daughter of Hans J. and Antonette (Hoff) Hanson
Born January 6, 1882 in Wisconsin, USA
Died January 12, 1883 in Wisconsin, USA
Laid to rest in the Immanuel Luther Cemetery, Richwood, Richland, Wisconsin, USA

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ancestral DNA: Y-chromosome 12 Marker Matches

We received our first batch of results!  Our first set that came in are Y-chromosome results, which means that this is testing the genetic material passed along from father to son along our direct paternal line.  In our family this follows our Miller line, including Charley, Marion, and John Miller.

These first Y-chromosome results were 12 Marker, which is one of the more common genetic DNA tests.  With these results we had 75 exact matches.  These results average that there is a 33.57% chance that we share a common ancestor withing the last 4 generations. As you can guess, the more generations we go back, the more likely we are related to them (24 generations back is a 91.41% chance).

Of these 75 matches, only 3 of them had the Miller surname. To better understand how this can be, I would suggest checking out the "Understanding Matches" page over at Family Tree DNA, as they explain it better than I can. Most of our exact matches provide an email address to contact them and all three of our Miller surname matches have them, so I will be contacting them shortly to see if we can match up our family trees.

We also had a 12 Marker - Genetic Distance -1 match to a man with the surname of Moore.  This means that we were identical in all markers, but in one marker we were off by one point.  This result gives us a 7.22% chance of sharing a common ancestor within 4 generations, and a 69.20% chance of sharing a common ancestor within 24 generations. Again, for those of you who wish to understand more, please the visit "Understanding Genetic Distance" page over at Family Tree DNA.

These matches will help us connect with cousins and are essential to expanding our family history research.  Connecting with these distant cousins will make a genetic connection that some of the most extensive paper trails cannot. We are still waiting for the results of the 25 Marker, 37 Marker and 67 Marker tests among others.

I will keep you posted as more results roll in. I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July!

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Ancestral DNA: The Process

After several discussions, my several of my maternal relatives and I decided that we wanted to explore our ancestral DNA. I have one uncle who is the oldest living male in my maternal line and asked if he would be willing to take the test as his DNA could be used for both the maternal (mtDNA) and paternal (Y-chromosome) tests.  He was excited to help and we were ready to decided on a test. Everyone pitched in and the next thing we knew, we had ordered the SuperDNA test Family Tree DNA

I will be blogging our results as they come in, so stay tuned!

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Website Update

Looking around you will notice quite a few changes to this website.  In an effort to declutter the visual layout of the website, I felt it was necessary to explore a new format in order to make it user friendly.  You will notice the new layout that is easier on the eyes and has less clutter along the sides. The new design also makes it easier to view and write comments. I greatly appreciate those of you who are return visitors and love reading your comments. Keep 'em coming! :)

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010