Monday, February 17, 2014

Related by Marriage

On a wonderfully relaxed, federal holiday, I took a break from family history work to do a bit more reading in my Kirtland Mormonite book. Bothered by Newel K. Whitney's middle name of "Kimball" and knowing that the Kimball/Whitney Families later intermarried and share a family cemetery, I looked on the internet and could not find much information on Bishop Whitney's mother, Susannah Kimball. I spoke with my in-laws to see if there was an earlier Kimball-Whitney connection, but it has not yet been established.

At some point in my family history, my wife and I have to connect other than in our marriage. We are both human and have ancestors. As they say, we're all related somehow and it's usually only a few generations, no more than a few centuries, to have people with fairly common backgrounds to connect genealogically.

(1)Whitney. (2) Pychard. (3) Clamvow. 
(4) Russell.
(5) Parrey. (6) Wye. (7)Vaughan.
(8) Lucy.
At least four of those are Welsh names.
Radnorshire Armorial
with Llewellyn's golden lion.
The motto is Cymraeg for
"Go Higher" (Life elevated?)
Newel K. Whitney, an early LDS Bishop, has direct ancestry back to the Whitneys of Whitney, Herefordshire. "Whitney" is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "white water" with likely reference to the sometimes turbulent Wye River on which it sits (and has occasionally been flooded by). The name appears in Domesday Book, so it's at least a thousand years old pre-dating the Normans - but not, of course, the neighboring Welsh as Whitney also lies right up against the ancient Cambrian Mountains of Radnorshire.

And this may be where my wife and I genetically connect! It may be a thousand years back, or take a thousand years to figure out, but Whitney is right in the middle of where all my surname Vaughans originated. If Kimballs are connected to Whitneys, Vaughans have to be connected to Whitneys being from the same tiny villages with their few dozens of people likely all inter-related. People tend to do that if they're hanging around the same place for a few centuries. There is a Vaughan on that Whitney armorial. It's not the boy with the snake but each male with a knight's errand had his own.

My wife might like those hounds of the Vaughans better anyway. And we are cousins to the Baskervilles.

The Wye River Valley as it crosses the Welsh border into Herefordshire, England. The black dotted line is the current border.
Radnorshire was north of the Wye in Wales and Breconshire, south, including Hay (the Town of Books, and Vaughans!).

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