Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Free "HAM" Book Giveaway Contest

Free "HAM" Book Giveaway Contest

April, 2008



This month, we are
going to have a Free HAM Book Giveaway Contest at the HAM Country blog based on the Jerome HAM Poll questions.


The Contest is to win a free three volume set of our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC."


The person who gives the best answers to the Jerome HAM Blog Poll wins.

Here's how you can enter. You can enter by either:

- Commenting to the HAM Country blog under the Jerome HAM Poll (or Free Book Giveaway Contest).

- OR, you can enter by posting a video (to You Tube, etc).


I have decided NOT to accept email entries, except under special circumstances. That's because the Blog and You Tube are public, and it would just not be fair to accept non public entries. (I will post any special circumstance entries to the blog.)


I'll take either of those two - comments or video.

If two people tie for the best answers, and one has a video on You Tube and the other has a comment on the HAM Country blog, then I will give more points for the You Tube video. That's because it takes a little bit more effort to do a video, and the HAM Country Blog answer will be public.

However, I WILL be checking to make sure that people aren't making videos from a blog, or blogging from a video. But, if both belong to you, then that's fine.

The answers don't need to be anything too technical, nothing too fancy. You just have to give the best answers to the Jerome HAM Poll questions. You might want to remember that "real" genealogists will cite their sources.

Just convince me that your answers are the best.


There are four questions in that Poll. The questions are:

- When was Jerome HAM born?
- Jerome HAM married Sibella. What was Sibella's maiden name?
- How many children did Jerome HAM have by wife Sibella?
- Were Jerome HAM of Bristol and the Jerome HAM of York County, VA the same man?

This contest is going to run until the Jerome HAM Poll is over. It closes April 30th, 2008 at 11:59 PM. After that, there will be no more responses accepted.

I'll take a few days and read them all, or watch the videos and figure out which one I think is the best, and that person will be the winner. I will need to be able to identify who you are, so that I can announce the winner and send the you the book.

This is a nice set of books, about 10 years in the making. It's a good book to have in your library.

The winner gets all three volumes. It's got research in England, France, Virginia, and North Carolina. It's got Mordecai HAM Bible records, Revolutionary War records. It's got Amelia County, Caroline County, Orange County, and a lot of other early HAM information by County.


If you're a HAM genealogist, it's a handy reference for your library.

So, go ahead and enter the contest. Just make sure that you have the best answer. Oh, there is one trick question on the Poll. If you know your stuff, then you just might be able to figure that out and get some bonus points. I will also give bonus points for primary source records on a You Tube video.

You've got a little over two weeks to enter.
Have a good time, and while you're at it, vote on the Jerome HAM Poll questions.



To post comments, click on the title and scroll to the bottom.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

POLL: Jerome HAM, April 2008




Jerome HAM Poll

April 6, 2008

One of the most enduring names for HAM genealogists of Virginia is that of Jerome HAM. High Sheriff and Burgess of York County, Virginia, he left an intriguing paper trail for us.


Jamestown Church in ruins

For well over a decade, I have received numerous emails and inquiries regarding Jerome HAM. Some claim that he was born in Bristol, England, and died in York County, Virginia. Some claim that he was born in Germany. Some say that he was born in 1577. Some say 1580. Others say he was born in 1650. Many believe that he was the single immigrant ancestor to all of the HAM lines in Virginia.

Nearly all of the inquiries that I get do not have him listed correctly. Why not? What's going on here?


Part of the problem is that Jamestown was destroyed by fire in 1699. Church records have been destroyed. Only York County records remain, and those records have never been made widely available to the public. Jamestown is now an archaeological dig. Most people will never see the extant records unless they make a research trip to Richmond.








Jamestown Church plaque








The Survey
I did a quick survey of Family Tree entries for Jerome HAM on several internet web sites. The one with the most trees was the pay service, Ancestry.com with well over 600 Jerome HAM Family Trees. Another was the Rootsweb WorldConnect web site. A third search was done at FamilySearch.org.

Here are the results:

The search from Ancestry.com returned over 600 Family Trees for Jerome HAM.

Here are some examples:


- The ALLEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The ALLEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.
- The BANNISTER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The BAUGH Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.
- The BRYANT Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The CALHOUN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The COLLINS Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The COOK Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The ELDER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The FRY Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The GOLDEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The HART Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The HESTER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.

Some say that Jerome HAM was born in 1577, other say 1650.

The search at Rootsweb WorldConnect returned 33 trees





WorldConnect search

Some say that Jerome HAM was born in 1577, other say 1580.

The FamilySearch web site returned 100 Family Trees for Jerome HAM. This one I had to do in two searches, one for England and one for Virginia:




search at FamilySearch.org

These have Jerome HAM being married in 1648, and most have him buried in 1659. Probably the best, but not quite right either.

That’s about 708 Family trees counted from internet sources, and 96.5% had bad information about Jerome HAM.
Can you find the accurate ones?

One of the emails that I received about internet sources told me that the file on the internet that had the "most downloads" must be the correct one for her ancestor. I would have to say that "real" genealogists would never use the number of downloads as a gauge of accuracy. Genealogists prefer documentation, preferably from primary source material. (For more information on genealogy standards, see the "code of ethics" web pages for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the Association of Professional Genealogists.)

So, today I am launching a poll at the HAM Country blog for the HAM researchers. The questions are:



- When was Jerome HAM born?

- Jerome HAM married Sibella. What was Sibella's maiden name?

- How many children did Jerome HAM have by wife Sibella?

- Were Jerome HAM of Bristol and the Jerome HAM of York County, VA the same man?



You will find the poll at the HAM Country blog.
The poll questions close on April 30th at 11:59 PM.













Jamestown church interior






HAM DNA Project 2007






The HAM DNA Project began with Family Tree DNA in the summer of 2005. I am the current Administrator of the HAM DNA Project.

DNA is a relatively new tool for genealogists. This Project is the first time DNA has been used in an organized study for the HAM Surname. It was the first time that a DNA Y-Search had b
een performed to predict the ancestral homeland. This was the first time that a DNA study had been performed to study the HAM immigrants from England to Virginia. The Y-Search study had been performed on my own line in an effort to determine the immigrant homeland. Until the presentation, genealogy rumors an myths were running rampant, including the relatively widespread story of German origins. The prevailing myth being that all HAM lines in Virginia descended from one man, Jerome HAM.

The problem with traditional genealogy research in Virginia is that many genealogical records have been destroyed.


The HAM DNA Project presentation was given in Jefferson, North Carolina on April 21, 2007.
At that time, we had not yet obtained a matching kit for any HAM DNA group from anybody in Europe. I had performed a Y-Search study of my DNA group (HAM DNA Group #1), and had located matching DNA samples from England. Three locations bubbled to the top of the list - Yorkshire, London, and Crewkerne.



Up to that time, many years of traditional genealogy work had been performed, culminating in our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC," using tradition genealogical methods. Original source material was sought out, with visits to the Archives in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Professional genealogists were hired in Virginia, the UK, and France. However, I could not positively identify my immigrant ancestor, using traditional research. I was thrilled to see matching DNA samples in England. The theory of German origins was beginning to become debunked.

The HAM DNA Project had been underway for some two years by 2007. This was the first time that DNA had been used to aid our traditional genealogy research. This was the first time a Y-Search study had been published (on January 14, 2007) for our HAM DNA Group. Using limited DNA data, this was the first time any genealogist had attempted to determine what the Y-DNA may have looked like some 700 years ago. The Y-Search report returned a most likely immigrant homeland in three areas in England, Yorkshire, London, and Crewkerne (see map).




Using only the DNA data, I was able to construct a phylogenetic chart of the ancient DNA using Dean McGee's Y-DNA Utility and the PHYLIP software package:



At the time of the HAM DNA Presentation in North Carolina, the tiny HAM DNA Project (for all groups) graphed out like this:



By November, 2007 the Y-Search report had been confirmed. New participant Tony Ham was a relative recent immigrant to America, with immigrant ancestors from the area of South Brent, County Somerset in England. Tony was a good match for my DNA Group, and South Brent is about 25 miles away from Crewkerne. The Y-Search study had been a spectacular success!



The National Genographic Project had identified my Y-DNA Haplotype group as "I1a," which is of Viking origins. Family Tree DNA has identified the "I1a" haplotype group in England and northern France. In northern France, we find Normandy. The Vikings had settled in Normandy circa 800 AD, and was known to protect the coast for France. At that time, the Danes had also invaded Yorkshire. In 1066, we had the famous invasion of England by the Normans, in particular by William the Conqueror. The difference between the Danes of 800 AD in Yorkshire and the Norman Conquest is that whereas the Danes were confined to the area of Yorkshire, the distribution of Normans was more complete with the conquest of England. That is, you would expect to find the Normans in County Somerset, protecting the border area from Wales but you not expect to see the same for the Danes.

This presentation was given April 21, 2007 as part of the Ashe County Family History Weekend in Jefferson, North Carolina.


The HAM DNA Project 2007
You Tube video






To post comments, click on the title and scroll to the bottom.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The HAM Book Trailer


"A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC"

Having studied the HAM surname in Virginia for nearly a decade, our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC" was finally published in 2003. I compiled and published the book, and the research was very much a team effort. The book was co-authored with Geneva S. Greer and Susan Bullock. There were numerous contributors to the book. Professional genealogists were hired out for work in Virginia, England (Bristol and PCC Wills), as well as in France (Amiens).

This was the first time that a book had been written in an attempt to study the HAM immigrants to Virginia from England. At the time of publication, I had no evidence that my line would have immigrated from England, but I focused upon England because I at least knew my HAM line was from Virginia. Virginia was an English colony, so the probabilities favored immigration from England.

The pictures in the video were often taken on location during my research trips, or from research hired out in France. I had taken many research trips to all of the libraries featured in the video, and the pictures of Jamestown were taken on site, and are from my personal collection. I have some home video of William Kelso (of APVA) performing an archaeological dig at Jamestown, and more pictures of the ruins in Jamestown, but could not fit them into this video.

Captain John Smith, Jamestown

Those years of research were focused upon our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC," using tradition genealogical methods. We searched for original source material, with visits to the Archives in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Professional genealogists were hired in Virginia, the UK, and France.



Odon IV and coat of arms

Original source records were sought in all cases. When secondary sources were found, every effort was made to double check for accuracy. Owners of the book are pleased to find the clarification on Jerome HAM, for example. The reader is able to use the citations in the book to find the original source of the current myths behind Jerome HAM. The (inaccurate) Jerome HAM myths now having a life span of over 40 years, mostly spread through commercial genealogy sites, such as Ancestry.com.

The music was created by Ilya Gordon, Gregorian Sense, and Steve Massey (included by permission).


I hope that you enjoy the HAM Book video Trailer.







Click on the title to post comments.