Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spelling and Genetics

Anyone who really knows me knows that I really can't spell. Well, that is not to say my spelling is as bad as my father's - -  that man can't spell at all. And so it does not surprise me in the least bit that this tale of variant spelling stems from his side of the tree.

Many years ago, more than a decade I'm sure, I got a copy of my third great-grandmother's death certificate. Mary Henry, born about 1857, died in Woodhaven, Queens, New York in January of 1907. Her son August Henry (1879-1960) is listed as the informant. On the death certificate was scrawled a note that stated that August could  not recall his mother's maiden name but the maiden name is listed as Carrian.

At about that same point in time I observed August's marriage certificate from 1906. There too his mother's maiden name is listed as Carrion. His best man was Harry Carillion. Carrion. Carillion. Hmm. I thought those two names were pretty similar and thus I began researching Harry Carillion with the sense that this might have been a cousin. I could never find a family connection between the Mary Henry and Harry Carillion.

Years have passed.

Now I have taken a DNA test, as has my father and sister. Recently I was looking at some matches on my dad's side and I came across a woman who matched all three of us. I looked at her tree and initially I saw some old Long Island family names and thought for sure this must be a connection through my paternal grandfather's side. But then I saw it!

Down on her mother's side of the tree was the name John Carillion (born1863) and it all came flooding back to me. Harry Carillion's father was John Carillion. 

I wouldn't genetically match to an ancestor of some random childhood neighbor friend of great-great uncle August. Those Carillion's were cousins and more-so I suspect John Carillion was my Mary Henry's brother.

I contacted the man who administered the DNA test for this person we matched. He shared with me an article from The Brooklyn Eagle written on Wednesday, February 6, 1907 but I can't follow who's mother they are talking about in the article; August's or John's. I think it is John Carillion who wanted his nephew, August Henry, to pay support for John's mother & thus August's grandmother, but you tell me...



I ordered John Carillion's death certificate; his dates would be (1863-1940). It lists his parents as Nicholas Carillion and Caroline Laplage both born in France.

Some more poking around on Ancestry.com I have been able to find 3 census records:

1880 - Caroline Carrilion widow age 55 (born about 1855), John Carrilon age 16 (born about1864).
1875 - Nickolas Karron age 67 (born about 1808), Carline Karron age 55 (born about 1850), Louisa Karron age 18 (born about 1957) , John Karron age 11 (born about 1864).
1855 - Nicholas Carellon age 42 (born about 1813), Caroline Carellon age 28 (born about 1827).

And a search of the NYC death index revealed a death certificate for a Nicholas Carrion who died on March 10, 1876 at the age of 64 (born about 1812) in Brooklyn...which I have ordered.

Still no mention of Mary but that Louisa Karron would have been born the same year as my Mary Carrian-Henry. I think that is her. I think that Louisa Karron is my Mary Carrian-Henry.

Don't ask me the spelling of her maiden name though. I've no idea. Apparently, spelling was never a skill in this family.

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