A rusty mathematician and retired software engineering program manager and technical writer, William is a direct descendant of Gasper (Casper) Kühner (Keener) (1680–1762), one of the “honored heroes who subdued the foes of husbandry in a wild unsettled region” of the North Carolina Backcountry during the mid-18th century (Alfred Nixon, 1908), His list of sixth great-grandfathers on his paternal side includes a number of other Palatine emigrates and German-speaking "Pennsylvania Dutch" who were early settlers of the Catawba River Valley (Lincoln and Catawba counties) — including Casper's son, Abraham Kühner (Keener) (1717–1795), and Johann Nicholas Warlick (1736–1780), both of whom were Tory captains at the Battle of Ramsour's Mill (which took place on the farm of Christian Reinhardt, William's sixth great grand uncle), as well as Peter Finger (1724 - 1792), Georg Heinrich (Henry) Weidner (Whitener) (1717–1792), and Johann Nicholas Schramm (Shrum) (1724–1793). William's maternal Scots-Irish ancestors first settled in Wilkes county, North Carolina in the late-18th century, but little is known currently about their genealogy or history except for the fact that their original home was Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England. To date the most notorious new relative he has found using WikiTree is David Schenck, a third cousin five times removed.
William is currently taking a community college course on genealogy and local history, reading several decades of editorials written by Walter Ney Keener (his paternal third cousin twice removed), blogging about his genealogy research, trying to find out more about the Africans enslaved by his ancestors (such as Monroe Graham), and investigating his connections to Rev. Horace Ulrich Keener and Bishop John Christian Keener. Sooner or later, he'll get around to updating his published genealogy (Who knows why the geese go barefoot?) and writing another book or two about all of this. Check out William's Newspapers.com profile for clippings related to his genealogical research, and here are a few of his current projects:
- Kühner (Keener) Genealogie in Amerika - pruning the "tangled thicket" of Kühner Amerikans and their notable Keener descendants.
- Freelancing, blogging about his genealogy and local history, and writing opinion columns and secular humanist reflections for local publication.
- Carl Zimmer, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, Dutton; 1st Edition edition (May 29, 2018). See his CSPAN interview or op-ed in the Globe & Mail for more information.
- Alex Rosenberg, How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories, MIT Press (2018).
- Kim Tallbear, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science, University of Minnesota Press (2013).
- Sense About Science on Ancestry DNA Testing.
- Aviva Chomsky, "DNA Tests Make Native Americans Strangers in Their Own Land," The Nation (November 29, 2018).
- American Society of Human Genetics, "ASHG Denounces Attempts to Link Genetics and Racial Supremacy," Elsevier Inc (October 19, 2018).
- Adam Rutherford, "How Accurate Are Online DNA Tests?" Scientific American (October 15, 2018).
- John Edward Terrell, "DNA Tests Quietly Reinforce Terrible and Scientifically Inaccurate Concepts of “Ethnicity," Slate (August 28, 2018).
- Eric Rosenbaum, "5 biggest risks of sharing your DNA with consumer genetic-testing companies," CNBC (June 16, 2018).
- Vivian Chou, "How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Century," Harvard's Science in the News blog (August 17, 2017).
- Meagan Day, "No, you are not part Cherokee. And neither is Elizabeth Warren," Timeline (July 5, 2016).
Written under the pen name of Wilhelm Kühner:
- Kühner Kommentar an Amerika (blog)
- Who knows why the geese go barefoot? (eBook)
- The Christian Flag: Its muddy history and ongoing relevance to us all (eBook)
- William's formal name
- e-mail address
- birth location
- images (3)
- family tree
- father's name
- mother's name
- siblings' names
- autosomal DNA test connections
William is a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer following these tags:
- Looking into Keener family connections to the Cherokee, such as Rev. Ulrich Keener and Corp. Joe Keener.
- My paternal ancestors include members of the Kühner (Keener), Schramm (Shrum), Finger and Weidner (Whitener) families.
- Keener is a anglicized version of the German Kühner, as well as a fairly common English or Irish surname. I'm researching the former.
- Kühner (Knörr, Köener) is a derivative of Kühn, which was derived from the Proto-Indo-European root ǵenə-, ǵnō- (“to know”).
- My ancestors and family have been in the Tar Heel state for at least nine generations.
- My German Palatine Kühner ancestors arrived in Philadelphia in 1738 and 1741.
- My paternal ancestors settled in the Carolina Backcountry by 1752.
- I'm learning a lot about US history by researching my own ancestors. Who knew?
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