Sallie C. Allen Confederate pension application

In 1902 my 3rd great grandmother Sallie C. Allen applied for a Confederate pension. Her husband James Thomas Allen was a member of the 18th Texas Cavalry, Company "B" of the Confederate Army, also known as Darnell's Regiment. She was denied. I requested a copy of the pension application from the state of Texas.

Maude Allen

 I was looking for information about my Allen line from Texas and saw a "Maude Allen" listed on the Wise County headstone page:

 I noticed at the bottom of the stone it said " Killed by Jene White" I have never seen this type of information on a headstone and figured there had to be a story behind this.

So I queried the list to see if anyone had more information about this mystery. 
Sure enough a kind soul, Jean was able to provide a newspaper clipping with more details

I guess you should be ready for surprises when you start digging around. Rest in peace Maude, we wont forget you.

Terry's Texas Rangers

I was doing a little research and noticed that George R. Allen 1841 – 1924 (my 3rd great grand uncle) Son of Jeremiah Allen 1806 – 1883 my 4th great grandfather was a member of Terry's Texas Rangers.
"The unit earned a reputation that ranked it among the most effective mounted regiments in the Western Theater of the American Civil War."

He attended the 1902 reunion in Dallas and is probably in this picture.Too bad we don't know which one he is. Ill have to keep researching.
More about this group:

Update:  I have a larger version of the picture above.

Henry Clay Allen and Edna Eliza Timmons

My second great grandfather paternally was Henry Clay Allen. I knew the name, but it took me lots of time and research to connect this Henry with the Henry I knew I was looking for. Many people had suspected Henry Clay Allen was my great, great grandfather:

A reference for Henry as the Father of William Louis Allen:

More links referring to Edna and Henry.

I decided to see if these two were living closely when the 1880 federal census was taken. They were listed six pages apart. Henry's family is on page 40.  Edna and her 8 month old son William is listed living with her parents the Timmons on page 45.

William and Mildred Miller

  While researching my third great grandfather James T. Allen with Google books, I stumbled upon a book titled  "Pioneer History of Wise County" by Cliff Cates. As happens sometimes in this situation, I found little in this book about James Allen except for one page that mentioned that he had married my third great grandmother Sallie Miller. I was a little disappointed but also happy to see on that same page was a biography of  Sallie's parents William Alfred Miller and Mildred B. Hughes. So I immediately had a full biography with pictures of my fourth great grandparents. This was pretty amazing. Below is the article on the Miller family:

  In later years the truly original and picturesque subject of this sketch became generally known as Uncle Billy Miller, one of the jolliest, most generous, and optimistic old men that stepped down from the pioneer days to the rustling, bustling present ; a present that was strange to him, yet one which he enjoyed with all the heartiness of his ebullient nature.

  Wm. Alfred Miller was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky, in 1817.  Before he left that state for Texas he married Mildred B. Hughes, who was a faithful helpmeet to him through all his days. Mr. Miller came to Burleson County, Texas, in the fall of 1853. After three years he returned to Williamson County, Illinois, thence back to Burleson County in 1857. Mr. Miller then came on a mule to prospect in Wise County, which resulted in his location here in 1859. Mr. Miller first settled the Lockard place South of Decatur; finally he moved to his Sweetwater place, where he lived at the time of his death in August, 1900. Mrs. Miller died two months later, October, 1900.
   Born to the union was a large family of children, as follows: Sallie, married James Allen of Wise County, both being now dead; Frank; Kittie, who married Chas. More, a prominent business man, miller, and respected citizen of Wise County for many years, both being now dead; C. H. Miller, born January 13, 1849, Hopkins County, Kentucky, married Sarah E. Stacks, of Ellis County, July 7, 1870. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Miller, as follows: Teola, married W. T. Tull, now deceased; Charlie M., married, lives in Ft. Worth, Texas; Jake, Dallas, Texas: Albert, Ft. Worth, Texas; Robert H. and Lizzie May, children, at home. Mr. Miller has served faithfully and efficiently as a barber in Decatur for many years; is also a successful inventor and an upright and respected citizen.
  Jim F. Miller lives in Clay County; Eliza, born in Burleson County, Texas, married S. W. Telghman, a prominent builder and contractor, and substantial citizen of Decatur; to the latter union have been born Minnie, married and living in Omaha, Nebraska; Bob, married and living at Decatur; Dan and Will. The next daughter of Wm. A. Miller, Viola, is now Mrs. J. H. Smith, living in California.

Loyd Miller a distant cousin of mine submits this story about the father and son barbers.

William Alfred started barbering with his son Charles Hector (Heck) who took over after William's death. Story passed from his son, Robert Hershell Sr., to his sons, Charles Houston & Robert H. Jr., on down to me & now to my son, Charles T.(C. T.)...No year was given....several riders dismounted in front of the Miller Barber Shop (not far from where the town square is now). After two of the riders had their shave, etc. the youngest man asked if he could leave the two horses they rode in on at the shop. 
They wanted Heck to see that they got back to their owner (name forgotten), a local resident & to tell him Jesse James kept his word that they would be returned. The two men joined waiting riders & road double off towards the Denton direction. When Heck contacted owner he found out that the riders had "taken/stole" the horses (without owner knowing) and left the note that they would be returned.  As to the "truth" of the story date and who the riders said they were would have to be compaired to reports of seeing the "James and Younger" boys passing through Wise Co., if any.

The Millers made their own barber trade tokens as well. Here is a picture of one from "Trade Token Tales" by Jerry Adams. I would like to find one of these if any still exist.

Roger Tanner Ancestry

This posting is for my Uncle Roger Tanner. We recently tested his DNA at 23andMe. I will be sending this link to family and friends interested in the results of his test. I will also send this link to people that are looking for Native American ancestry to show what you can do with your data when the more conservative projects fail to show this.I will update this page in the future as I get more information from my research.

Roger's family on both sides is very Colonial and for the last few hundred years, very Southern. The family is from Georgia and Florida most recently but we have family from Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennesee. So any family connections in the Southeast are possible. The paternal Tanner side of the family is mostly from Washington County Ga. and surnames of interest are Tanner, Tompkins, Scott, and Sheppard. Roger's maternal side of the family is more of a mystery and we are working on that documentation now. Surnames of interest are Brady, Phillips, Bryant, Bryan, Dove, Smith, Mansell, and Mathis.

What have we done with Roger's DNA?

We have sent his data to Dr. Doug McDonald and David Wesolowski who runs the Eurogenes Genetic Ancestry Project We have submitted his Y-Chromosome information to Adriano Squecco and David F Reynolds' Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison project . Roger is also in Leon Kull's HIR Search.

If you have any questions or match him at HIR Search or 23andMe, feel free to email me with any questions. You can find my email in the "about me" link on the right side of this page.

Here is some Ancestral information for my Uncle Roger Tanner.

23andMe Global Similarity

23andMe Ancestry Painting

Here is a high level "painting" of Roger's chromosomes.

23andMe Ancestry Finder

23andMe decribes the tool by saying "Let the 23andMe Community help you discover what countries your ancestors might have lived in. This lab is fueled by your responses to the "Where Are You From?" ancestry survey."

So above are the results from 23andMe. 23andme tends to be rather conservative so I submitted his DNA to a few cutting edge projects.

Dr. Doug McDonald

Dr. McDonald had just gotten his V3 program working but was able to provide these comments:

"He has a 25 mb segment of Native American on Chromosome 18 and a 5 mb one on
chromosome 14. More to follow. There is also a teensy bit of African. Rest Euro. -Doug"
So we can see that with a higher resolution tool Dr. Mcdonald was able to find more Amerindian than 23andMe reported.

David Wesolowski

Next I sent his data to the Eurogenes Project for analysis. David replied with this:

  "Your uncle (US184) does show some Native American, with small, tight hits on chromosomes 4 and 6, and larger but sparser hits on chromosomes 11 and 18. I assume it's one of the larger Amerindian hits that got picked up at 23andMe as "Asian". The chromosome 11 and 18 SNPs that weren't flagged in this analysis, that sit in-between those that were, do pull your uncle some way towards my North Amerindian samples.
   However, he also shows very clear signals of Sub-Saharan African ancestry on chromosomes 2 and 4. They're quite unmistakable, and I have a hunch that they come from the same ancestor as the Amerindian hits, but that's just speculation." -David

Roberta Estes has written extensively on Native American and Melungeon ancestry. Here are a few links to a few of her articles for further reading.

23andMe V3 Chip Ancestry

23andMe provides many ways to figure out your ancestry. Here are a few of the tools they provide using my results as an example. This data is from the new V3 chip.

Global Similarity

Here is my "Global Similarity" provided by 23andMe.  I'm closet to English, French, German, and Norwegian. I've included screen shots of each level of detail. I'm the red bar and then I'm the green dot as it gets more detailed.

Ancestry Painting

Here is a high level "painting" of my chromosomes. They only use three populations in this tool and it's pretty conservative. My results were 100% Europe.

Ancestry Finder

Ancestry Finder allows you to see where some of the people that match your chromosomes are from. Of course you have to complete the survey to have your data included, and many have not done this or any of the surveys. Since 23andMe have a large user base in the United States, many of my matches are here. Next highest are Ireland then the United Kingdom. This isn't surprising to me considering my known genealogy.

23andMe decribes the tool by saying "Let the 23andMe Community help you discover what countries your ancestors might have lived in. This lab is fueled by your responses to the "Where Are You From?" ancestry survey."

Digging Deeper
I also sent my data to Dr. Doug McDonald who analyzed my Family Finder data last year. Dr. McDonald uses a higher resolution process so you can find things that the 23andMe tool might miss. I have a little American Indian, some African, and some South Asian. These could all just be ancestral pieces of DNA that exsist in the general population.

Dr. McDonald : The "spot on the map" is in France, near Charleville-Mezieres

So even if you are adopted or know very little about your ancestry, these new tools can give you a lot of insight into who you are genetically.  I posted last year about my Family Finder results from FTDNA here: FTDNA Biogeographical Ancestry

Elizabeth Claire Eaves

This post is for 23andMe matches for my wife Elizabeth Claire Eaves. Her mother was born in Germany and her maternal side is German. Her father was born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky and is very Colonial. My name is William B Allen and I manage her account. My email address is . I am very interested in genealogy and DNA and am quite active on the various DNA mail lists/blogs. Feel free to email me any time.

From 23andme we have the following reports for Elizabeth:

Elizabeth's Global Similarity

Her Ancestry Finder so far

What we know of her father's genealogy

What we know of her mother's genealogy

Results from Dr McDonald

Dr. McDonald uses a higher resolution process that seems to find things that the 23andMe tool might miss.

"You test 90% Orcadian, the rest somewhere in the Mideast. The spot on the map
is in Belgium. Since there is no sign of significant recent mixing, all western Europe, but not all northern Britain, is most likely. - Doug McDonald"

Spot on the map

One more letter from Grace

Here is one more letter from Grace Tanner to her brother, my grandfather Roger Tanner.

Letter to Roger Tanner from sister Grace

My grandfather Roger Tanner was a WWII vet and typical of many of his peers liked to drink Beer and smoke cigars. Here is a letter from his sister Grace asking him to go to church and find Jesus. You can tell from the letter that she loved Roger very much.  If you click on each picture it will enlarge to original size.

Grocery list from Juanita Tanner

I had scanned numerous letters to and from the Tanner family last year.  On the back of a letter from Grace there is a grocery list that I believe Juanita scribbled. I enjoy seeing these little time capsules from my ancestors.

Juanita Melviney Tanner

     My maternal grandmother Juanita Melviney Tanner (maiden name Brady or Phillips or another name depending on the day of the week) died on September 18, 2003. I spent quite a bit of time with Grandma Tanner as a young boy and as an adult. When I was little I would spend the night at Grandma's house and she would make me greasy hamburgers on plain white bread (no bun) with a glass of orange Kool-Aid in a huge Tupperware cup. I swear she put a half cup of sugar in each glass and I loved it! My grandparents lived in an old house with very little insulation so at night it would get very cold. She would tuck me into the bed in the guest room and stack five blankets on top of me.

   When I was a teenager I would visit Grandma Juanita and she would tell me stories about the family while we watched Bonanza or Sanford and Son. Juanita was a fun person to talk to and often laughed. She was also very religious and very superstitious. When Grandma Juanita passed away she had been sick for some time so it wasn't a surprise to the family. She was 83 and had lived a full life. I was called from work by my mom the day she was dying and went to her house. She was surrounded by her family when she died the way it should be.

     A few days later we had the viewing at Blount & Curry Funeral Home in Tampa, Florida. My wife Beth is a florist and is very talented. She offered to make the casket spray since these can cost many hundreds of dollars. The family pitched in and gave her money for the flowers. Beth went to the floral wholesaler and picked out several types of flowers such as beautiful white lilies, yellow roses, and dark purple lisianthus that looked like purple velvet.

     Later that day Beth was in our house making the flowers for Grandma's casket, when she looked out the window and saw a hummingbird hovering around, looking in at her. Beth excitedly told me about this when I got home. She said " she felt like the hummingbird was Grandma letting us know that she was free from pain, flying up to Heaven." This was the first time she had ever seen a hummingbird and we didn't have a bird feeder outside at this house.

     Later that night we took the flowers to the funeral home and all of the family was there for the viewing. We were shocked to see that the flowers that Beth had picked out matched Grandma Juanita's dress perfectly even though she had no idea Grandma would be wearing purple and the room she was in was.... The Hummingbird Room! The room was full of pictures of hummingbirds... So was the hummingbird at the window Grandma Juanita from the grave?