"Will the Real Father of John B. Please Step Up?"

+3 votes
So I got my spotlight, chair, and a dark room, and one at a time I sit them down in the chair with the light inches from their swollen eyes... Rough them up a bit more and scream-


"Where were you in the winter 1875-76!?! Did YOU know Martha!?!"


But these dead peeps are pretty tight lipped! No amount of torture seems to phase them!


So, now I guess it's time to try a different tactic...


For the last 3 weeks, I've been pretty thoroughly engrossed in this Family Mystery in Y-DNA. For years I've heard rumors about who gg-grandpa John's Father was, but this month we finally got results back from his MT, AU, & 64-Y tests. After hours on end and sleepless nights of combing through Census data and cryptic dna comparisons, I feel I'm not a whole lot closer to the answer than I was when I started.

So I reach out to the genealogical community, with a quivering ink-stained hand, do you know my gggg-grandpa? Any DNA buffs, Bowman historians, or library dust covered gurus out there with any guidance, input, feedback, assistance, or harsh criticism to offer this sleep-deprived gum-shoe???

Her name was Martha Ann Burnett. It was a cold winter night in the Patrick County, VA Mountains, in 1876. She looked across the dim fire-lit cabin to see ______? (That's all I got... anybody?)


[[Rich-1922|- P Rich]]
asked in Genealogy Help by Phillip Rich G2G6 Mach 4 (41.8k points)

Elisha Burnett, Jr

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Birth:  Apr. 9, 1839
Death:  Jul. 17, 1898
American Civil War Soldiers
Name: Elisha Burnett ,
Enlistment Date: 25 Jul 1861
Enlistment Place: Carroll, Virginia
Side Served: Confederacy
State Served: Virginia
Birth Date: 9 Apr 1839
Death Date: 17 Jul 1898
Service Record: Enlisted as a Private on 25 July 1861.
Enlisted in Company C, 29th Infantry Regiment Virginia on 25 Jul 1861.

Elisha Burnett married Martha Alley Dec. 24, 1896 in Carroll Co., Va.

Family links: 
  Elisha Burnett (1799 - 1881)
  Martha Jane Alley Burnett (1847 - 1910)*
  Henry Thomas Burnette (1868 - 1948)*
  Nancy Jane Burnett Bryant (1870 - 1953)*
  Marion Burnett (1873 - 1941)*
  Minnie Luvina Burnett Coulson (1876 - 1932)*
  Anderson Peyton Burnette (1880 - 1952)*
  Sirena Burnett Waller (1881 - 1967)*
  Elisha Harold Burnett (1885 - 1961)*
  Samuel Burnett (1888 - 1919)*
  Kennie Burnett (1891 - 1911)*
  Terry Washington Burnett (1827 - 1909)*
  Absalom Columbus Burnett (1833 - 1916)*
  Thomas Burnett (1837 - 1912)*
  David Crockett Burnett (1838 - 1914)*
  Elisha Burnett (1839 - 1898)
  Jabez Burnett (1845 - ____)*
  Meredith W. Burnett (1850 - 1931)*
*Calculated relationship
Burnett-Oak Grove Community Cemetery
Carroll County
Virginia, USA
Maintained by: Barbara C. New Lagasse
Originally Created by: Beth Robinette
Record added: Nov 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61080013
Hey Betty,

I really do appreciate your input, and your efforts, but I'm having a little trouble understanding where Elisha Burnett and Martha Alley of Carroll County ties in with Martha Ann Burnett daughter of Henry Burnett and her 4+ illegitimate children. Her identity has been well established, and I've interviewed several elderly friends and family members who remember knowing her personally. What I'm looking for now is the identity of the Bowman Y carrier that "knew" her and thus sired John Burnette circa 1876.


Are you seeing something I missed? Or was my initial question too heavy on the drama and light on substance? I sometimes wonder if I am boring people to tears or leaving them wondering what the heck I'm rambling on about. Never quite sure where the happy medium lies.


-P Rich

2 Answers

+4 votes

Elisha Burnett

 in the Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958

Record Image View

    Name: Elisha Burnett
    Application Date: 15 May 1903
    Application Place: Carroll, Virginia
    Spouse: Mrs Martha Burnett
    Marriage Place: Carroll County, Virginia
    Death Date: 17 Jul 1898
    Death Place: Carrol County, Virginia
    Application Type: Widow
    answered by Betty Fox G2G6 Pilot (120k points)
    0 votes
    {| border = "1"
    |Chr || Start Location || End Location || Centimorgans (cM) || SNPs
    |12 || 32965070 || 38203663 || 1.27 || 500
    |12 || 33401350 || 38671385 || 1.26 || 500
    |12 || 20668638 || 21368250 || 2.53 || 500
    |12 || 20668638 || 21882887 || 3.61 || 700
    |12 || 20875620 || 21525661 || 2.46 || 500
    |12 || 32611195 || 37595981 || 1.1 || 500
    |12 || 20668638 || 21525661 || 3 || 600
    |12 || 32965070 || 38203663 || 1.27 || 500

    So, I was seeing a lot of matches with Bowman's and Beasley's in the genome comparison tools at FTDNA. Bowman is of course expected, since Arlie's Y-DNA Matches most closely to Bowmans of Patrick County, Virginia... but as far as is currently known, I can find no connection to Beasley's. Then I see that [[Bowman-6239|Joseph Bowman’s]] mother [[Chandler-5161|Lucinda Chandler]] is thought to be the illegitimate daughter of a Thomas Beasley. So I look a little closer. I'm seeing the same segments of the 12th chromosome repeated over and over as shared between Bowmans, Beasleys, and Arlie's Autosomnal tests. I know this is a VERY small segment, but we're talking a 5-G-Grandmother to 6-G-Grandfather potential relationship... That's pushing the bounds for what an AU test will show at all.

    So, am I chasing shadows here? Or may this actually be a breakthrough of significance? Thoughts?
    answered by Phillip Rich G2G6 Mach 4 (41.8k points)
    OK, so Tables and WikiTags don't show in G2G (dangit), but you should be able to see what I'm getting at anyway. For a clearer picture, go to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Martha_Burnett_-_1870_Census_-_Eligible_Bowman_Fathers_of_John_Burnette#FTDNA.com and look at the 12th chromosome in the tables, then scroll up the "Current Suspects" section for more info on Joseph and his connections to Martha A Burnett.

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