Sunday, October 26, 2008

Glastonbury Ties?

Glastonbury Ties?

Tying shoestrings together in Glastonbury

County Somerset

Have you looked at a map of England for Butleigh?

I find it is a healthy exercise to try to paint a picture of a time line and locations of HAM families from our book, "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC." It's an exercise that might be of interest to folks who want to know more about origins or immigrants.

I started splitting out the entries for Somerset, and found the HAM name spilled over into County Devon in the area of Taunton. There is a corridor in this area that our book paints for us. Basically, it paints a swath of land going north from Tiverton to Taunton to Bridgewater, extending east from Honiton, Crewkerne, to Glastonbury. I was taking note of the towns, dates, and HAM names in our book.

Then I noticed something.

While looking up towns and making notes, I looked up the to
wn of Butleigh in vol #1 our book for the dates. There are HAM ties to the GIBBS surname in Butleigh.

In vol #2, we have Richard HAM in 1736 marrying Diana GIBBS in Middlesex County, VA.
In vol #3, we have the will of Richard HAM, who mentions his wife Dina.

What bugs me is that these entries are all inferences to the direct line of the folks from Franklin County, NC. The names that point directly to the line are not specifically mentioned. However, if you add in the facts for the GIBBS surname in Butleigh, County Somerset, then it gets interesting.

That's because Tony tested out his DNA (kit #N54540), which provides a match for Group #1 in County Somerset, England.
And, the Y-Search on our HAM DNA Group tested out for ties to the area of Crewkerne.
(Tony's ancestral land is just south of Weston-Super-Mare and north of Wedmore). Putting together the DNA, the maps, and the information from our book shows that our HAM DNA Group #1 has ties to the area in Somerset surrounding Glastonbury. And, again, not too far from Crewkerne.

You might notice (on this map) the towns of Wedmore and Curry Rivel from the 1861 Census of England.

And finally, not to forget, Ham Hill is also not far from Crewkerne. Glastonbury puts our Viking line within spitting distance from Ham Hill and Montacute, which contains an old Norman motte and bailey, and was owned by Robert, Count of Mortain.

I think that the GIBBS name points to possible ties for HAM DNA Group #1 to the general area of Crewkerne. This would support the DNA evidence thus far.

It will be good when we get additional DNA participants in the HAM DNA Project from England.
Due to the proximity to our HAM DNA Group #2 (Y-Search points to Worcestershire), I should expect to have the need to sort out the "I" and "R1b" haplotypes between the current residents named "HAM" in the area of Somerset today.

Below is a portion of the map that contains the areas covered in our book, with a number of the towns found in our book, dating from 1200 to 1800:


My notes from "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC":
(Notice the GIBBES name in Butleigh, County Somerset in 1594.)

vol #1, pgs 51-52:

1589 John HAMME buys 6 acres located in Baltonsborough (Wooton in Budleigh), Somerset.
1594 William HAM and John HAM are mentioned in the will of Julyan GIBBES of Butleigh, County Somerset, England.

Also tied in with the HAM lines of Middlesex County, Virginia in 1736 when Richard HAM marries Diana GIBBS.
vol #2, pgs 46-48:

1711 Richard GIBBS marries at Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia.
1712 Eliza GIBBS is born at Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia.
1714 Diana GIBBS is baptized at Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia.

1736 Richard HAM marries Diana GIBBS at Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia.

Current research suggests this Richard HAM migrated to Franklin County, North Carolina.
vol #3, pg 53, 54:

1794 Richard HAM files will in Franklin County, NC.
Mentions wife Dina HAM, oldest son Elisha HAM and daughters Agnes & Sarah HAM.

The HAM DNA Project suggests Franklin County, NC descendants are related to ancestors near Crewkerne, England.

For reference to Tony's ancestral land (kit #N54540), it should be here:

Here's the description for the South Brent/East Brent in Somerset:
"SOUTH BRENT, a parish in the hundred of Brent-cum-Wrington, in the county of Somerset, 6 miles to the S.W. of Axbridge. Weston-super-Mare is its post town. It lies near the coast of the Bristol Channel, on the Bristol and Exeter railway, and contains the hamlet of Week, or Wick. Brent Knoll [see East Brent] rises to the N. of the village. The manor was formerly held by the Abbot of Glastonbury...."

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

Maps are available from map sites, such as Mapquest, Yellow Pages, or Google Earth.

Inferences are both from the HAM DNA Project and from our book, "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC."

Wikipedia's link on the Abbot of Glastonbury

A Brief history of Glastonbury Abbey

More on Glastonbury Abbey You might want to view the History or Photo Gallery.

History of the Norman Conquest by Freeman (1876) - 30 MB PDF file
It would appear (page 389) that AEthelnoth of Glastonbury was William the Conqueror's companion on his first voyage to Normandy circa 1078. This account says that Thurston was appointed Abbot in 1082 (see also the footnote in Latin at the bottom of page 390. Here, Oderic would have been a viking). Thurston's dastardly deeds are described on page 391.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How To Read HAM DNA Phylograms

How To Read
HAM DNA Phylograms
Oct 7, 2008

The HAM Country Poll for October has so far returned (from 100 % of the people voting) that they do not know "How To" interpret the HAM DNA Project phylogenetic charts. That was a surprise to me.
I have been posting these charts to HAM Country for years now, trying to keep them up to date with the new data as it arrives. I have received almost no requests to explain how to interpret these charts. I thought most of the folks would know how to read these charts.

Let me take the opportunity to try to remedy that. I have posted a 7 minute video to You Tube in order to explain "How To" read the HAM DNA Phylograms. And, I will go over the basics here.

Once you are familiar with phylograms, it should be easy to read. The charts are intended to tell you what the Y-DNA data tells you, pretty much at a glance.

I can remember some years back when I asked Dean McGee to add his TMRCA data in PHYLIP format. He has graciously provided that.
I'd hate to think that HAM genealogists still do not know how to use the data that he has so generously provided for us.

The main points to remember about a phylogenetic chart are:

- The software is only solely on the DNA data. The only input to the chart is the DNA data.
- The software will automatically try to organize the data into "groups."
- The chart is created from the TMRCA
data, which means a mutation rate has been applied. That means we have a timeline.
- In order to get an idea of how related two individuals may be, simply follow the
timeline back to the vertical line that connects the two.
- The software should automatically sort by Haplotype Group.

The graphs in use at HAM Country are always created with a few basic tools:

1) Dean McGee's Y-DNA Comparison Utility.
2) The PHYLIP software program called "kitsch."
3) and MEGA tree viewing software

There are other software packages that could be used to create charts, but the results may vary. I have selected these programs for their ease of use, ease of interpretation, and best of all, they are free for use by the general public. I have seen and used software that is much more difficult to use, and also software that is much more difficult to interpret. And the results from these particular packages are reasonably accurate when used properly.

Geneticists have used similar charts many time in the past in order to describe their data at a glance. The term "Phylo" means "name," and the basic concept is to create a chart based upon the kit number or name of the individual and also based upon some time driven mechanism.

The objective of the charts is to create a time driven chart, based upon the kit number (or name of the individual), using only the DNA data as input.

The first thing to remember is that since the graphs are based upon the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (or TMRCA),
In order to get an idea of how related two individuals may be, simply follow the timeline back to the vertical line that connects the two.

Here's an example of how related Conrad (kit # 112972) is to the other participants:

Following the line traced in purple back to the vertical line (that he has in common with the others) tells you that in order to connect to Conrad, the kits need to go back in time some 16,825 years.

The graph will also try to group similar kits into "Groups." The following picture shows HAM DNA Group #2 hi-lited in cyan:

Because the connecting (vertical) lines are not far from the present, the chart indicates that you do not have to go very far back in time to connect. So, you should find the HAM DNA Groups next to each other on the chart.

And finally, you should notice that the Haplotype Group is automatically sorted such that those in the same Haplotype Group will be next to each other on the chart.

That's about all there is to reading the HAM DNA Phylogenetic charts. The charts try to display all of the data for the HAM DNA Project together on on a picture that should be easy to understand.

Feel free to rate or comment on the
You Tube video that I have posted to explain "How To" read the HAM DNA Phylograms.

see also:

Instructions for creating a Phylogenetic Chart
Dean McGee's Y-DNA Comparison Utility
PHYLIP software package
MEGA tree viewing software
HAM DNA Project Phylogenetic charts

Saturday, October 4, 2008

John HAM, 1821 Grayson County Land Grant

John HAM
1821 Grayson County Land Grant

When doing research for our book, you could find Lands Grants for Virginia on an index card at the Archives, then look up the land grant on microfilm. And not all land grants were listed on the index card, nor were other names indexed (that would have been mentioned in the land grant).
I made an entry in our volume #2 for every index card they had at the time, but it was not a complete list at the time of my research.
Thanks to the internet, things are easier today. You can search the Library of Virginia for grants by name ( ).
From the main menu, select "Search Catalogs."
For example, in our Volume #2, there is a land grant listed for John HAM of Grayson County on Sep 1, 1821. (Volumes #2, Virginia, page 206) It is listed as it was on that index card at the Archives. The Library of Virginia has an image of it on line. 


- "Words Anywhere"
- then type in "John HAM Grayson County"
- then click "search"
An entry in the catalog should come up that looks like this:
Author Title Year Format Location/Items
(owned/checked out)

Ham, John. 1821 Archives

Then, just check the box, and click on "GO."
It is interesting to read, because of the details mentioned. It is also interesting because it happens at the time just before the HAM lines migrated to Ashe County, NC in 1826.
The details:
John HAM Land Grant for 300 acres in Grayson County, Virginia dated Sep 1, 1821.
(The last line mentions the date.) It also mentions a Survey done on Feb 11, 1816. Finally, it mentions the date of the Land Office Treasury Warrant #9100, issued Nov 22, 1781(?).
I have the year of the Treasury Warrant with a question mark here because it is hard to read, due to the overlapping letters and ink smear. It could be 1791, but the “9" listed elsewhere on the page does not have a “loop” at the bottom. The Treasury Warrant number (#9100) has no loop at the bottom of the “9,” so I don’t think the year would be 1791.

The year of the Warrant could be 1787, but upon magnification, I think not.
In any event, John HAM of Grayson County was born in 1780, so he should have been less than 10 years old when the Treasury Warrant was issued. When the survey was done in 1816, John would have been 36 years old. When the Land Grant was obtained in 1821, John would have been 41 years old. That tells us that the 1781(?) Treasury Warrant was probably first issued to William HAM, Sr. (John was the oldest son that we know of.).
At any rate, the Land Grant was for 300 acres, bounded by the lines of Paul BUNCH and Patience PERRY. The PERRY surname ties in with Geneva’s Ashe County HAM lines, and the BUNCH surname in Grayson County is mentioned in our book (vol #2 Virginia on page 205). David BUNCH and John BUNCH were witness to the purchase of 100 acres by William HAM (Junior) in 1820, on Brush Creek in Grayson County.
Geneva is very familiar with the area, and she has taken me to Brush Creek, among other places. She knows that part of the mountain country well, has surveyed cemeteries there, interviewed residents, and has taken me to several cemeteries of interest in the area.
In 1820, William HAM, Sr. No longer appears on the Grayson County Census records or Tax Lists, so we know that he is gone by that time. It is John HAM and William HAM who appear in the 1820 Census records for Grayson County, VA. It is son Thomas HAM who is first to migrate to Ashe County, North Carolina, and William HAM, Jr. sells this 100 acres on Brush Creek to Joseph LYNCH (or LINCH) in 1826 in order to follow Thomas HAM to Ashe County.

Further information regarding this item could be found by looking up the Survey, or Treasury Warrant.
More information about other Land Grants, deeds, and Court records, and so on are listed in our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC."

A transcript follows below.

John HAM
300 acres

Thomas M. Randolph Esqr. Govenor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. To all to whom these
presents shall come greeting:
Know ye that in Conformity with a Survey made on the Eleventh day of February 1816,
by virtue of a Land Office treasury warrant Number 9100 iSsued the 22nd November 1781;
there is granted by the said Commonwealth, unto John HAM A Certain tract or parcel of
Land, Containing Three hundred Acres Situate in the County of Grayson on the waters of
New River and bounded as followeth to wit: Beginning at three white Oaks, thence North
twelve degrees East sixty poles to a Chestnut tree and two hickories East eighty two
poles to a red Oak and white Oak in Paul BUNCH's line, North thirty five degrees
East sixty poles to a red Oak sapling by a path North seventy seven degrees East
ninety eight poles CroSsing a branch to a double white Oak, South sixty degrees
East sixty eight poles to a red Oak, South fifty five degrees West forty four poles to a
white Oak near a branch, South thirty degrees West sixteen poles CroSsing a branch
to two white Oaks, Corner to Patience PERRY's line, and with her line South seventy degrees
West One hundred and forty poles to a white Oak and leaving her line, South fifteen
degrees East one hundred and twenty four poles CroSsing a branch to a white Oak near a
large rock, South twenty five degrees West seventy four poles to a white Oak
and buckeye on the bank of a branch, West One hundred and Six poles CroSsing a branch
to a white Oak on a ridge. North fifty five degrees West One hundred poles CroSsing a
branch to a Stake and thence North twenty Six degrees East One hundred and thirty poles
to the Beginning. To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of Land with its
Appurtenances, to the said John HAM and his heirs forever. In witneSs whereof
teh said Thomas M. Randolph Esqr. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto
set his hand, and Caused the leSser(?) Seal of the said Commonwealth to be
affixed at Richmond, on the first day of September in the year of Our Lord
One thousand eight hundred and twenty One and of the Commonwealth the forty sixth.

Thos. M. Randolph

citation: pg 347 Virginia State Land Office. Grants Reel 136. Sep 1, 1821 Other Format Available on microfilm. Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-. link:

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POLL: Areas of Interest

I have a few items on my "ToDo" list, but I usually want to work on the items that I thought are among the most interesting discoveries from our book or from the HAM DNA Project.

For example, during our book presentation in Ashe County, Geneva made a joke about the origins of the name. A couple of people chuckled, but it was quickly apparent that many in the audience did not know anything about the origins of the HAM surname. I have posted a quick page to HAM Country on it, but I've thought it would be a good topic for a video as well. Maybe a good topic for the Blog Poll, I don't know. However, it is obvious that among the folks who are not on the internet, many still do not know the story behind the name.

I am currently working on video scripts for topics like the origins of the HAM surname, first HAM immigrants to America, "How To" read a phylogenetic chart, as well as how the myth of Jerome HAM got started and evolved over time. It is clear to me that the Jerome HAM myth story would take a DVD length video in order to explain that problem completely, which means it may be hard to put together for a You Tube video.

So, this month I will take a Poll on the topics of interest. The Poll may not address the needs of folks overseas, but at least I can try to get an idea of the interests of the current HAM Country visitors.

I am about out of the space that Earthlink allocates to personal web pages, so I won't be asking about additions to the HAM Country web pages.

This month, I will post Poll questions related to the topics that you might want to see on the Blog, Poll or on video.

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Moved to Ohio

I have been on a short hiatus in order to move to Ohio.

Never thought it would take so long just to move back to my home state, but one event followed another. First, I had a health problem to deal with, then my car's transmission went out the day before the move, then my car's window fell into the car door the day of the move. Leaving the window wide open (no protection from the rain). Just after the move, there was the remnants of Hurricane Ike to deal with here in Ohio. One tree fell on the power lines to the house, and another tree fell on the high voltage lines, then caught fire. No electric for nearly a week.

Also, there were the bureaucratic items to tend to, like state license plates, state driver's license, insurance, etc.

Some distractions there, and I'm not done with the paperwork for the state to state move.

I have a few video scripts in progress, but none are ready to post to You Tube. I'd like to continue working on the videos, it's fun. Perhaps I can get some shorter videos up first.
(Dial up access to the internet really puts a cramp on the longer videos, so I have to consider making videos for DVD access only.)

Not to mention that the order forms for our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC" had to be changed on the HAM Country web page to reflect the move.

Anyways, I hope to get back to the HAM DNA Project and put up more posts to the HAM Country Blog.

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