Recently, I was contacted by a DNA match who descends from the same Chatham County, North Carolina Marks family as me. We share a total of 57 centimorgans (cM) of DNA broken out across three chromosomes, 1, 2, and 5. We share the largest chunk of DNA on chromosome 5, at 33 cM. The chart below interprets what that DNA looks like.
This match also shares DNA with my maternal uncle whose grandmother
is a Marks; about 47 cM. It is interesting to see that this match
and my maternal uncle share that same chunk of DNA on chromosome 2 and 5 as me.
This means my uncle shared this DNA with his sister, my mother. They inherited
it from their mother, who in turn inherited it from her mother, and in turn, I
inherited it from my mother. My uncle, my mother, my grandmother, my great
grandmother, and me are identical on those chromosomes at that start and end
location. The most amazing thing is that our ancestor also shared this chunk of DNA on chromosomes 2 and 5 in the same place as us.
DNA can tell matches that they are related and can even provide a range of relationships on how two people might be related based on the amount of DNA that is shared. I can go to a webpage called the cM project to make a comparison. I plug in the total amount of shared DNA and the webpage returns the possible relationships.
family tree works out the relationship with this match to be 5th cousins 1 times
removed (5C1R). You can see from the above chart that there is an 18% chance
that the match and me are 5C1R. It is surprising that we share any DNA at all
being so far removed from one another. Our most recent common ancestor couple is
either William and Temperance Wright Marks or Isham and Ester Pilkington Gunter,
both couples are my 5th great grandparents. I have not been able to
narrow it down any closer than that yet.
DNA match descends from James Marks and Catherine (Caty) Gunter from Chatham County,
North Carolina. James Marks is the son of William and Temperance Wright Marks
from Warren County, North Carolina. Catherine (Caty) Gunter is the daughter of Isham and
Ester Pilkington Gunter. I descend from John Marks, the brother of James, and
Mary Gunter, the sister of Catherine Gunter. So, we have a set of Marks
brothers who married a set of Gunter sisters.
James and Caty Gunter Marks migrated to Montgomery (now Stanly) County, North Carolina between 1820-1825 where they settled on the west side of the Yadkin / Pee Dee River around what is now Clodfelter Road in the area of Morrow Mountain State Park. Family lore says that James and Caty are buried on land that is now called Gravestone Christmas Tree Farm and there were Marks graves documented by the historical society many years ago, though the gravestones have since vanished.
They are found on the 1820 Chatham Census but their oldest daughter, Tabitha, married in Montgomery (now Stanly) County around 1825 so we know they were in the area by 1825. James died before 1830 as his wife, Catherine (Caty) is found on the 1830 Montgomery Census as head of household - she is widowed.
James and Caty are the parents of Elias Marks, born about 1808 in Chatham County, North Carolina. He married Judith Allen in Stanly County, North Carolina about 1835. I wrote about Elias and Judith in the blog “The Marks of Stanly County.” Elias and Judith are the parents of James A. Marks born, according to a family Bible record that a Marks family member has posted to Ancestry, 4 July 1838 in Stanly County.
|Ancestry family tree|
James is found in the home of his parents, Elias, and Judith, in 1850, in Stanly
County, North Carolina.
James A. Marks went to Chatham County to find his bride. He married Nancy Jane Riggsbee, daughter of Mark and Rebecca Riggsbee of Chatham County on 16 May 1861 in Stanly County, North Carolina.
Shortly after marriage, James A. Marks enlisted at Rigsbee’s Store (probably in Chatham County) to fight in the Civil War. He never returned home. James died 28 Feb 1863 at a hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina, probably of disease.
and Nancy's ancestry can be a bit confusing due to James dying young and Nancy
moving back and forth between Chatham and Stanly counties, and she remarried to
Edwin Johnson around 1878 and had moved to Durham by 1900.
William Henry Marks is the son and only child of James A. Marks and Nancy Riggsbee. He was born 28 Sep 1862 in Stanly County, North Carolina. After his father died, his mother took him back to Chatham County where he was raised. He married first Ella Bennett in 1886 in Chatham County, North Carolina. She is the daughter of James Griffin Bennett and Elizabeth Riggsbee, making James and Ella distant cousins. Ella’s great grandfather was John Riggsbee, the brother of Mark Riggsbee, Nancy’s father.
James and Ella had at least 2 children, James, and Paul. The family were living in Goldsboro in 1900 and working with Standard Oil Company.
William and Ella must have divorced somewhere along the way, although I cannot find a record of it. She was living with her son in 1920 and was listed as widowed.
Ella Bennett (using her maiden name) remarried to James Charles Johnson in Nov 1920. Her son, Paul Marks, applied for the marriage license for his mother.
Ella Bennett (Marks) Johnson died 28 Oct 1943 and is buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham beside her husband, James Charles Johnson, who died in 1926, just 6 years into their marriage. Her gravestone does not list her death date. I found it on her death certificate.
|Find a Grave|
William Henry Marks remarried to Emma Fodrie Springle in Carteret County, North Carolina on 14 Feb 1907. Emma is the daughter of Absalom and Mary Lewis Fodrie. Emma was first married to Richard Springle who looks to have died in 1905. William and Emma had three children, William Jr, Lillie, and Woodrow.
|Find a Grave|