Powells of Tennessee/Illinois/Nebraska

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Surname/tag: PowellTINProject
Profile manager: Marci Abraham private message [send private message]
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The goal of this project is to sort out the connections between our Powell ancestors, specifically, the descendants of...

Jesse Powell (abt.1787-1821)

Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Marci Abraham. Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!


  • Add family members to WikiTree and link from this project.
  • Which Jesse Powell is the son of this Jesse Powell? (see below)
  • Who is the Dempsey Powell(s?) in this picture?
  • Looking for more Powell family photographs.


List of Powell DNA test connections

Which Jesse?

I have two Jesse Powells with similar birth dates, both born in Tennessee and both with parents born in North Carolina.

One of them married Hixie Martin and moved to Georgia. The other married Elizabeth Babbitt and moved to Illinois. (Reverse that: moved to Illinois, then married Elizabeth Babbitt. She and her family were already there.)

I am inclined to think that the Illinois family is related to "my" Jesse Powell family, since another son (of Jesse Sr.), my 3GGF Dempsey William Powell (1812-1889), also moved to Illinois (and later to Nebraska). However, I have absolutely nothing to prove or disprove that.

The DNA story I have not unraveled yet. This is actually where the mystery started. I wasn't interested in "which Jesse" until I discovered DNA matches through two DIFFERENT Jesse Powells with close birth years, either of which could be the brother to my 4GGF. And since there are clearly two different ones, what is the relationship of the "other" one?

On Ancestry.com, I have two different Jesse Powells indicated in my ThruLines. There are people who are a DNA match for me who trace their roots to Jesse from Georgia and other DNA matches who trace their roots to Jesse from Illinois. Both of them have eventually concluded that my 4GGF Dempsey is the brother of their Jesse.

DNA Matches: Jesse Powell of Georgia (m. Martin)
DNA Matches: Jesse Powell of Illinois (m. Babbitt)

Both lines are documented, but they both get "stuck" at the point of Jesse Sr. All of the researchers think that my Jesse is their Jesse, but this cannot be true. Or should I say there is nothing to indicate that Jesse Sr. had more than one son named Jesse. And it would make even less sense to name two living sons Jesse when their birth years are so close in time. (Unless we get into guesses about illicit offspring...)

Based on the (questionable) paper trail, my Illinois DNA cousins are as follows:

  1. 4th Cousin 1x Removed, 11cM on 2 segments
  2. 4th Cousin 1x Removed, 9 cM on 1 segment

My Georgia DNA cousins are as follows:

  1. 5th cousin 1x removed, 15 cM on 1 segment
  2. 5th cousin 1x removed, 9 cM on 1 segment
  3. 5th cousin, 23 cM on 1 segment

For the sake of comparison, I have another DNA cousin descended from a confirmed sibling of Dempsey Wiliam Powell, where our DNA match is as follows:

  1. 5th cousin, 9 cM on 2 segments

All of these are "within the expected range" so I'm not really sure if I can learn anything. With my lack of understanding, it seems as if the Illinois connection is stronger but maybe I'm just making that up.

Hopefully, someone with more DNA knowledge will help out with this aspect of it.

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