How Far Can DNA Take You?

Can DNA break down my long-standing brick wall? Good question, and one of the reasons I started doing DNA testing. Last night I found new information that may yet hammer down another wall and it was uncovered due to DNA.

I have been on the hunt for information on a maternal great, great, grandmother for ages. Here is a brief summary of what I know –

  • Name: Anna Eliza Stickle
  • Born: 1814 in USA
  • Married: 1835ish to Lewis Harrop
  • Lived: Pennsylvania, New York and Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. She had children in all these locations.

I have census records, land, and death records but as this is the main details I will not list all the information here. I don’t know a lot when you think about how long I have been researching this family. Maybe DNA will help me to find some of the missing information.

Ancestry DNA Tools

The tools that Ancestry offers are the most useful I have found in comparison to other testing companies. Why? The trees! Many people have connected their trees to their DNA results which is the key to unlocking many puzzles. Couple that with the search feature and discoveries are within reach.

If you haven’t used the search feature on Ancestry here is a quick walk-through. On your DNA page click on View All DNA Matches.

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The following page, you want to click on Search Matches.

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I entered the Stickle surname and left the birth location blank.

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I received 5 matches to people and each person has a tree that I am able to access! screen_shot_2017-02-23_at_9_37_36_am

The matches were not close matches (5th-8th cousin) so instead of getting in touch with them I wanted to investigate their trees to see what I could glean from them. I proceeded to look at each tree, my Anna did not show up in any of them, but there were clues.

Locations

What the trees offered were locations which I did not have before. Most of the Stickle matches have the location of Rhineland, Dutchess County, New York. This information is not conclusive but it contains clues to where I can look for information on Anna.

Try doing a surname search and see if you can find clues to follow. I also recommend connecting your DNA results to a tree so you and your DNA matches can do what I have done. If you would rather keep your tree private create a DNA tree, this is what I have done, it will help you to get the most out of your matches. If you haven’t yet taken a DNA test, what are you waiting for?

And to answer the question how far can DNA take you? I think pretty far and farther all the time.

William Lewis Harrop

I wanted to do a post in celebration of my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop’s birthday. William was the fifth and last child born to parents Lewis Harrop and Anna Eliza Stickle onSeptember 25, 1854, in Etobicoke, Ontario. The Harrop family had moved from New York sometime between 1843-1849, where their first three children were born.

In Etobicoke, the Harrop’s were farmers on land they rented. The father Lewis died in 1860 and was buried at St.-George’s-on-the-Hill Cemetery which is now located in the city of Toronto.

Anna Eliza along with her youngest children, William, Robert, Elizabeth and Mary relocated to Orangeville. Her oldest child Benjamin was married in 1856, moved to Chinguacousy, Peel Co., Ontario where he farmed.

In 1871, according to the Canadian census, my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop is living with the McKim family and working as a butcher’s apprentice. With land opening up in the west William makes a move to the Qu’ Appelle District of Assiniboine which later becomes the province of Saskatchewan.

About 1895 he took out an ad with a matrimonial agency and he struck up a correspondence with his future wife Isabella (Sherrill) Cornelius a widow from North Carolina. They were married about 1896 and Isabella moved with her daughter Flora Bell to rural Saskatchewan. The marriage was not long-lasting, William was widowed by 1904 and Isabelle’s daughter Flora went back to North Carolina, leaving her mother behind in the Indian Head Cemetery.

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The Harrop home in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. c1915

William may have used the same agency to find his second wife Rachel Hodgins who was from Huntley, Carleton Co., Ontario. They were married in Balcarres, Saskatchewan in 1907 and settled into life on William’s already well-established farm located on Sec 1 – 21-12-W2 in Balcarres. Three children were born to them over the next five years and the farm continued to prosper.

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Rachel Hodgins & William Harrop c1907

 

The start of the depression hit the farm hard ,coupled with the death of William in 1932, they Harrop family lost the farm that William had worked so hard to get established. Rachel his wife moved to Binscarth, Mantiboa where she died in 1950. Their children all moved to different locations, son Walter to Whitewood in Saskatchewan, Dorothy also to Binscarth and Wilma moved to Alberta.

 

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The Harrop family with unknown people. Back row ?, Walter & William Harrop. Front row Dorothy, ?, Wilma & Rachel c. 1920 probably taken at Balcarres, Saskatchewan.

 

 

 

Create Family History Videos

One of the things I learned while attending the OCG 2016 Conference in Toronto was to continue to work on using video to share family stories. Thanks to a session given by Lisa Louise Cooke on How to Create and Leverage Your Own You Tube Channel for Genealogy and her suggestion of Animoto as user-friendly I took the time to play with it. The video took about 20 minutes to create with most of my time spent gathering the photographs and adding the text. Animoto is quite easy to use, they do put a watermark on the video unless you upgrade, which costs $13 a month. This is not a bad a bad price but if I subscribe I would have some projects already prepared in folders and do more than one at a time.

Once on the Animoto site and create an account you can pick a theme from the choices offered. Next up is adding the photographs, drag and drop style. There are also text boxes that you can use to proceed the photographs, caption each one or both. Animoto even adds the music for you! I am sure there are more options but these are a few I used in my creation. I was then able to download my video which I uploaded to my You Tube channel. It was very seamless!

Animoto does put a watermark on the video unless you upgrade which has different options but runs $13 for a month. Although not a bad price I think if I subscribe I will have some projects gathered in folders ready to go and create more than one at a time. My reasoning for a month at a time is I seem to go in waves as far as what I am working on and what my time allows. All in all it was an easy experience and I can see where I can improve and expand my video.  Let me know if you give it a try!

Rachel (Hodgins) Harrop a Fearless Female

Rachel Margaret Hodgins was born on Dec. 3, 1870 in Huntley, Carleton Co., Ontario to parents Rachel Mordy and William W. Hodgins. On the 1871 census Rachel was enumerated at the age of 4 months and was surrounded by Hodgins families. Rachel’s grandparents and many of her father’s siblings are listed next door on the census. Living close by, and appearing below them on the census is William’s brother Henry Hodgins.

The Hodgins family is quite an old family to the Huntley area. They were one of the first settlers to arrive after the war of 1812. Thomas Hodgins, Rachel’s great grandfather was said to have been a soldier in 1812 (another research project for another day). Thomas had 4 children with his first wife and then married again and had 11 more children. There are Hodgins relatives everywhere! But back to the story of Rachel.

Rachel welcomed a sister and then a brother before her mother died in childbed when she was 9 years old.

HODGINS, Rachel M. death 1879

Rachel (Mordy) Hodgins death record

As many widows with young children, Rachel’s father looked to remarry and quickly, as his youngest child William was only 2. Less than a year after his wife’s death William married Caroline Jordan who was 30 years his junior and they lived in Torbolton, Ontario. Similar to his grandfather William went on to have 9 more children with his second wife. It’s funny how I do not know many stories about this family, but one that I did hear was that the children of the first marriage did not stay long in the home and they moved and became house maids or labourers to neighbors in the area. An indication of this is in the 1881 census as none of Rachel’s older siblings are living in the house. Rachel is not living in her father’s home in the 1891 census and in 1901 I can find Rachel Hodgins living in Ottawa and a servant to William Parris who was a brewer. I do not know if this is my Rachel as she has a different birth date according to the census.

Rachel was married to William Harrop Feb. 7, 1907 when she was 37 years old and he was 16 years her senior.

Rachel Hodgins & William Harrop c.1907

Rachel Hodgins & William Harrop c.1907

Rachel worked very hard on the family farm located in Balcarres, Saskatchewan and she welcomed three children into the world. Their farm was large and William proved to be a good provider.

The  Harrop home in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. c1915

The Harrop home in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. c1915

In 1932, William passed away and the Great Depression hit the Harrop farm hard. The farm was taken away from the family shortly after his death and Rachel lived with her daughter Dorothy until her passing in 1950 in Binscarth, Manitoba.

Rachel (Hodgins) Harrop is my great grandmother and one of my fearless female.

52 Ancestors: #9 Elizabeth (Harrop) Young

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Elizabeth was the daughter of Anna Eliza Stickle and Lewis Harrop. She was born on February 20th, 1840 in New York, later moving with her parents to Islington, York Co., Ontario and then to Orangeville, Ontario. She married William Young in 1877 in England, the son of Robert and Mary Young. His first wife Isabella had died leaving William with 4 young children.
1) Isabella b. 1866 in England married John Henry Bradshaw in Orangeville, Ontario in 1887.
2) John William Young b. 1869
3) Robert Young b. 1871 said to have died as a young man.
4) Mary A. Young b. 1875 married Herbert Winnett in 1905 in Vancouver. Mary died in 1954 in Oakville, Ontario.
William and Elizabeth had 3 children –
1) Elizabeth b. 1880 m. Michael Redmond
2) William Lewis b. 1882 m. Elizabeth Mays and lived in Edmonton, AB.
3) Sarah Jane b. 1887 m. Wesley Spafford and lived in B.C.

The 1881 census for Orangeville, Ontario shows the Young family along with Elizabeth’s mom Anna all living in the same house. William’s death in 1888 was recorded in the Orangeville Sun

A Respected Citizen Gone
Death Robbed Orangeville of one of its most respected citizens last week in the person of Mr. Wm. Young, gardner, who passed away at his residence on Bythia street on Friday after a brief illness. Deceased was 44 years of age and leaves a widow and seven children. The funeral took place to the town cemetery on Sunday, and was largely attended.

I have often wondered what Elizabeth did to support herself and her children, the 1891 census does not list Elizabeth as having an occupation, but in the 1901 census she is listed as 61 and a gardner. Maybe there was a family business – something to investigate!

Elizabeth buried her mother Anna in 1907, they had never been apart.

In 1921 Elizabeth is now living with her daughter Elizabeth who had married Michael Redmond and was living in Weston, ON. They had a full household with 3 adults and and 6 children.

Elizabeth passed away on September 4, 1907 at the age of 80 years. She is buried in Riverside Cemetery.

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52 Ancestors – #8 Anna Eliza (Stickle) Harrop

Anna is my 2x great grandmother and passed away at the age of 93 in 1907 in Ontario, Canada. I don’t know much about her life, but I will share what I do know with the hopes of uncovering more information. Census records list Anna as being born in the United States in 1814, and she could possibly be Pennsylvania-Dutch but without parent’s names I can only speculate.
Her husband Lewis Harrop is said to have left England with a brother and his first stop was also said to be Pennsylvania.
The first fact I can find on this family is the 1852 Canadian census where they are living on Con. 1 Lot 13 in Etobicoke, York Co. in Ontario. Lewis is listed as 51 along with his wife who is 38, they have 4 children Benjamin, Elizabeth, Robert and Mary Ann. The first 3 kids along with their mother, have the United States as their place of birth. Further census records will reveal that the 3 children were born in New York. Mary Ann and my great grandfather William Lewis were both born in Ontario.
The Harrop family is in the same location for the 1861 census but they lose the breadwinner July of that year. I found the father, Lewis after some searching, he was buried in St. George’s-on-the-Hill, on the outskirts of what is now Toronto in an unmarked grave.
The family relocated after Lewis’ death and settled in Orangeville, Dufferin Co. Benjamin the oldest had by this time married Mary Jane Russell and they had moved to Esquesing, Halton Co.
Elizabeth married William Young a widow with 4 young children. William was a gardner from England who died suddenly in 1888, leaving Elizabeth with 3 children of their own to raise. Elizabeth did not remarry but lived with her mother Eliza Anne.
Robert married Sarah Jackson and was a photographer, he later ran a newspaper in Chesterville, and his last occupation was for the railway.
Mary Ann married Michael Renahan and lived in Weston, Ontario where they raised their 3 children.
And my great grandfather William who lost his father when he was 5 was a butcher’s apprentice at 16, living with the butcher’s family. Later moved to Saskatchewan and married a girl from North Dakota who was a widow. He brought her and her daughter Fora Bell to his farm but lost his wife after 2 short years. William remarried in 1907 to Rachel Hodgins and they lived in Balcarres, Saskatchewan.
Anna Eliza or Eliza Anne (I have seen it written both ways) spent the remainder of her years living with her daughter Elizabeth Young. She did not remarry after losing Lewis and I do not know anything more about her life.

If you are connected to this family or know of the Stickle family in Pennsylvania/New York we should talk!! Get in touch with me by commenting or send me an e-mail cpgreber at telusplanet.net! Look forward to hearing from you!