I'm looking for the identity of my paternal grandfather.

+3 votes
106 views
Six years ago, at age 69, I learned that the man I'd believed to be my grandfather for some 69 years (and for whom I was named) was actually my step-grandfather. He apparently married my paternal grandmother when my dad was about five years old, and they apparently gave my dad his step-dad's surname when he started school. Since my dad had no birth certificate (not uncommon in rural Tennessee in 1901), the school entrance was his first time to appear in the public record, and the surname applied simply became his legal name. It's obvious that no formal adoption ever took place. I've done Y-DNA testing with FTDNA, and came up with two "exact" matches, both surnamed "Snipes", one in North Carolina, the other in South Carolina, and definitely related. I've been unable to locate anyone in Dickson County, TN, with that surname, so I'm looking at a very real brick wall? I'm wondering if anyone could provide some advice about pursuing my quest? Thank you so much! My dad's mother was Martha Susan Harris Hand, and she was the daughter of Thomas Bennett Harris and Anne Jane Linzy/Linsey. Thomas Bennett was born in Robertson County, TN, in 1848, and died in a logging accident in Davidson County, TN, in 1906. Anne Jane was born in Dickson County, TN, in 1850, and died in Davidson County, TN, in 1916.
in Genealogy Help by Robert Hand G2G Rookie (260 points)
So that would be the partner of https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Harris-16826 ?

Tip: you can add profile names to your question in the first box underneath the question. That way the answers will be linked.
Yes. Thank you!

1 Answer

+1 vote

Hi Robert! Welcome to WikiTree and to the G2G Forum!

I think you will be able to solve this.  I see that you have tested your auDNA as well.  If you have close shared matches that seem to come from your paternal grandfather's side based on not matching your 3 known lines, focus on them, build out their trees, look carefully at their shared matches with you.

Meanwhile, build the trees of the two Snipes men with the Y-DNA.  Find out how far back before their pedigrees converge, and how far back the Snipes name is connected with their Y-DNA (there might be an NPE in their line).  Look for similarities between their trees and your auDNA matches trees.  Based on what you see there, such as one family showing up in a few of the trees, pick an ancestral couple and trace all their descendants.  You will start to see something.  Then ask shared matches to upload to GEDmatch or FTDNA.  The 'What are the Odds' app might help.

If you can't wait to learn how to do all this yourself...the Adoption Angels could help.  See this thread https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1090314/adoption-angels-doesnt-just-help-adoptees?show=1090314#q1090314

Cheers

Shirlea

by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
meanwhile, on the paper trail side of things, i see that you don't have the marriage of your grandmother and your step-grandfather.  It would be very interesting to see what name she married under.  It would also be very interesting to drop in on her at various census times.  

So I'm going to paste some sources that i find into this thread.

Is this your step-granddad?  Having a profile for him would be good, not just to give the complete picture of your grandmother's life, but also to help catch their marriage registration, which might show if she was married before, or what name she used.

Name: Robert Faye Hand
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 25 Jul 1960
Event Place: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 79
Race: White
Race (Original): W
Birth Year (Estimated): 1881
Father's Name: George Hand
Spouse's Name: Martha S Harris Hand
Spouse's Gender: Female

Other information in the record of Robert Faye Hand
Name: Robert Faye Hand
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 25 Jul 1960
Event Place: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 79
Race: White
Race (Original): W
Birth Year (Estimated): 1881
Father's Name: George Hand
Spouse's Name: Martha S Harris Hand
Spouse's Gender: Female

GS Film Number: 001973262
Digital Folder Number: 007552559
Image Number: 01077
Record Number: 6017795
 

Citing this Record
"Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKMS-6P9D : 26 August 2019), Martha S Harris Hand in entry for Robert Faye Hand, 25 Jul 1960; Death, Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Is this Martha in 1920?  your dad is probably an adult by then

Name: Martha S Hand
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1920
Event Place: Civil District 14, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Event Place (Original): Civil District 14, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Gender: Female
Age: 37
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Race (Original): White
Can Read: No
Can Write: No
Birth Year (Estimated): 1883
Birthplace: Tennessee
Father's Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother's Birthplace: Tennessee
Relationship to Head of Household: Wife
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Wife
Sheet Letter: B
Sheet Number: 7

 

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Robert Hand Head M 36 Tennessee
Martha S Hand Wife F 37 Tennessee
Geo Morris Hand Son M 12 Tennessee
Laura M Hand Daughter F 9 Tennessee
Maimie Hand Daughter F 3 Tennessee


District: ED 132
Sheet Number and Letter: 7B
Household ID: 148
Line Number: 97
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: T625
Affiliate Film Number: 1736
GS Film Number: 1821736
Digital Folder Number: 004968788
Image Number: 00538
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: N03109-2
Record Number: 26272
 

Citing this Record
"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNP9-KZY : accessed 20 August 2020), Maimie Hand in household of Robert Hand, Civil District 14, Davidson, Tennessee, United States; citing ED 132, sheet 7B, line 100, family 148, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1736; FHL microfilm 1,821,736.

I see there are lots of online sources for the marriage of Thomas Bennett Harris and his wife, so you don't have to rely on Ancestry records that are behind a paywall.

Name: A J Linzy
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 03 Aug 1869
Event Place: Dickson, Tennessee, United States
Gender: Female
Spouse's Name: T B Harris

 

Citing this Record
"Tennessee State Marriage Index, 1780-2002," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VNZ8-LGS : 4 December 2014), T B Harris and A J Linzy, 03 Aug 1869; from "Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2008); citing p. , Dickson, Tennessee, United States, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.

As you are probably noticing, i don't usually try to discover a particular answer for an ancestor.  I try to accumulate all the data available and see what emerges.

Your dad in 1920 staying as an 18 year old with the family of his mother's next-younger sister Dollie:

Name: Lester B Hand
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1920
Event Place: Civil District 2, Cheatham, Tennessee, United States
Event Place (Original): Civil District 2, Cheatham, Tennessee, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Race (Original): White
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Birth Year (Estimated): 1902
Birthplace: Tennessee
Father's Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother's Birthplace: Tennessee
Relationship to Head of Household: Employee
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Employee
Sheet Letter: B
Sheet Number: 4

 

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Charlie C Parks Head M 37 Indiana
Dollie A Parks Wife F 34 Tennessee
Arthur J Parks Son M 14 Tennessee
Cora R Parks Daughter F 10 Tennessee
Estel L Parks Son M 5 Tennessee
Charlie C Parks Son M 1 Tennessee
Lester B Hand Employee M 18 Tennessee


District: ED 3
Sheet Number and Letter: 4B
Household ID: 80
Line Number: 71
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: T625
Affiliate Film Number: 1731
GS Film Number: 1821731
Digital Folder Number: 004968777
Image Number: 00200
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: N03111-3
Record Number: 9422
 

Citing this Record
"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN5J-CRG : accessed 20 August 2020), Lester B Hand in household of Charlie C Parks, Civil District 2, Cheatham, Tennessee, United States; citing ED 3, sheet 4B, line 71, family 80, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1731; FHL microfilm 1,821,731.

Here is your dad Lester in 1910, with his mom and Robert Hand and younger half brother George, as well as Aunt Clatie.  

Interestingly, the relationship between Lester and the head of the house was first marked as 'son', and then someone scratched in the word 'STEP' in front of 'son'.

Name: Luster Hand
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1910
Event Place: Civil District 10, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Event Place (Original): Civil District 10, , Tennessee
Gender: Male
Age: 8
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Race (Original): White
Birth Year (Estimated): 1902
Birthplace: Tennessee
Father's Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother's Birthplace: Tennessee
Relationship to Head of Household: Stepson
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Stepson
Sheet Letter: A
Sheet Number: 3

 

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Robert F Hand Head M 26 Tennessee
Martha S Hand Wife F 25 Tennessee
Luster Hand Stepson M 8 Tennessee
George M Hand Son M 3 Tennessee
Glady Harris Sister-in-law F 26 Tennessee


District: ED 106
Sheet Number and Letter: 3A
Household ID: 36
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: T624
Affiliate Film Number: 1497
GS Film Number: 1375510
Digital Folder Number: 004985553
Image Number: 00198
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: N03633-7
Record Number: 9282
 

Citing this Record
"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MGX1-5LG : accessed 20 August 2020), Glady Harris in household of Robert F Hand, Civil District 10, Davidson, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 106, sheet 3A, family 36, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1497; FHL microfilm 1,375,510.

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69 views asked Apr 6 in Genealogy Help by Robin Knapp G2G Rookie (250 points)

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