Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Friday, August 18, 2017

DNA Validates Family Connection

William A. Purvis, b. abt 1826, is my 2nd Great Grandfather. He married  Sarah Jane Graves of Chesterfield County on 10 June 1852. They had one child, William James Purvis, b. 25 September 1863.

I have known the above information about my 2nd Great Grandfather, excepting their marriage date, for the past 41 years.

Both he and his wife Sarah Jane have been one my “Brick Walls” for all of those years.

I also knew that a Land Deed in Anson County, dated 23 September 1899 suggested that William’s wife had died and that he had re-married. However, even though this land deed says Elizabeth Purvis is the wife of William A. Purvis I have found no marriage record of this event.

Purvis, DB 33, Pg 370

So with the advent of DNA I jumped at the chance to participate. Several things I wanted to know.
  • Who were the parents of William A. Purvis
  • Who were the parents of Sarah Jane Graves
  • Was Elizabeth married to William A. Purvis
  • Who is the father of Elizabeth’s children; Mary Jane and Ella Frances
William and His wives

When I discovered what I thought was a second family of William A. Purvis, I contacted my surviving Aunts, Uncles and great Aunts and Uncles living and they claimed no knowledge of a second family. Personally I believe that family secrets were still being kept. You see my Great Grandfather William James outlived my grandfather and died in 1941.

Back in the mid to late 1990’s, I contacted descendants of Mary Jane and Ella Frances trying to gather information on my 2nd Great Grandfather and have maintained that contact even today. 
For some time I have tried to get someone from this second family to do a DNA test to either confirm or put to bed my insistences that there was a family connection.

On Monday, the results of that test confirmed my research over the past years. The test results shown below are from a descendant of each of this two lines.

William A. Purvis and Sarah Jane Graves (My Line)
William A. Purvis and Elizabeth Previtte (Second Family)

Wm APurvis Family

In addition to confirming a distinct connection between these two families  I have also learned from DNA that the Purvis line is connected to Gilbert and  James F. Purvis lineage.

So far this looks like a clear case of Marriage after the death of a spouse but such is not the case. There are many unanswered questions about William A. and Elizabeth Purvis.

First, Sarah Jane Graves, the 1st wife, died of cancer on 31 Dec 1893. So for a marriage to take place it should have occurred between 31 Dec 1893 and 23 September 1899. No record has been found; just a Land Deed.

Second, Mary Jane and Ella Frances were both born before 1890. In fact, in the 1880 Census, Elizabeth and her daughter Mary Jane are enumerated in the same household as William and Sarah Purvis.

1880-William A. Purvis

This census snapshot rather than answering questions leads to more unanswered questions.
  • Who was Betsy Purvis?
    • Her daughters SS-5 shows her to be Betsy Prevett
  • What is her relationship to William and Sarah Purvis.
  • Who was her husband?
  • Where is her husband?
  • Is it possible William A. Purvis had a brother?
We know that in September 1899, Elizabeth “Betsy” Purvis is portraying herself to be the wife of William A. Purvis.

In the 1900 Census, Betsy is enumerated with her daughter Ella Frances Purvis and listed as a widow. So, William A. Purvis has passed away between 23 Sept. 1899 and 28 June 1900. We also see that Betsy had conceived another daughter, Ella Frances, born December 1886.  At the time of Ella Frances’ birth William was still married and caring for his sick wife.

It’s a known fact that I am just a novice at understanding DNA; but, If the DNA of  Betsy’s descendants matches  the children of his 1st wife’s family it seems to suggest that William A. is the father or a possible brother. 

Anyone with any comments or thoughts, jump in here, I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chesterfield County Genealogical Society: Evidentia Presentation with Ed Thompson

Used w/permission.
On Sunday, August 13, 2017, The Chesterfield County Genealogical Society was honored with the presence of Ed Thompson, creator of  Evidentia software.

Evidentia was created by Ed to make it easy:
  • to collect genealogical data/information
  • analyze the evidence collected
  • Draw your attention to missed connections
  • reach a valid Logical Conclusion
  • Share the data afterward
Ed provided a 30-45 minutes slide presentation covering all aspects of the software from
  • Collecting the data
  • Identifying the Source and creation of the source citation
    • Types of Sources
    • Original
    • Derivative
    • Authored
  • Cataloging the information
    • Primary
    • Secondary
    • Undetermined
  • Analyzing the Evidence
    • Direct
    • Indirect
    • Negative
Ed went through the steps for entry of the Source Title and Citation creation calling it taking care of the “broccoli” before partaking of the “Ice Cream” (my paraphrase).

Ed presented examples of the “Genealogical Proof Report” generated by the software during the evidence analysis section of the software.  The steps necessary to export “genealogical proof report” to and incorporate it into you genealogy software was also well covered during the presentation. 

We had a lively discussion during the presentation and it was clear to me that Evidentia 3.1.4 interface was much easily to grasp then earlier versions of the software. 

Thank you Ed for an outstanding presentation of your Evidentia software. I thoroughly enjoyed  the  presentation.

Evidentia software can be viewed and accessed at:

QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Map can be accessed at: