Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DNA: Howard Line Connections

When you combine my autosomal DNA matches at 23&Me and FTDNA and throw in my mother’s FTDNA results, I have over 1600 cousins to identify. Of the ones that I’ve figured out to date, six belong to Mom’s Howard line.

Nothing much is known about Thomas Howard. I’m not even completely sure he was the father of my 3rd great-grandfather, John Howard, but Frances Yeager Dunham makes the case that he was in her book Howards in Southeastern Kentucky.

According to Dunham, several of Thomas Howard’s children came to southeastern Kentucky in the very early 1800s (maybe from Georgia by way of Russell County, Virginia) with Thomas’ brother, James. She identifies Thomas, James, John, Benjamin, Julida, Elizabeth, William and Celia Howard as the children of Thomas Howard and includes Moses as a possibility with the notation that he may be the son of the younger Thomas.

John Covey Howard, son of John & Mary
If my autosomal DNA results are any indication, John, James and Benjamin were brothers (or at least close relatives). I match a descendant of Benjamin and one of James at 23&Me. My mother and I both match another of Benjamin’s descendants at FTDNA.

Dunham’s book is also my main source for the children of Thomas’ son, John Howard, and his wife, Mary Risner — Larkin, Elizabeth, John Covey (my 2nd great-grandfather), Michael, William R. Mary, Sarah, Catherine, Phoebe and Robert.

DNA results are solidifying some of those relationships, too. Mom and I match a descendant of Larkin and Mom matches two descendants of William R. We have several other matches showing Howard as a surname and I expect some of those will turn out to belong in this line as well.

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