In the middle of reviewing my Stockford article before publishing it, I realized I goofed. At one point, I lamented that we had no DNA connections to the Stockford line, but I was wrong. I made a rookie mistake.
Before ThruLinesTM, even before AncestryDNA®, I got into the habit of keeping separate little trees. My main Rhoades tree was getting awfully big and cluttered, but I was afraid to seek out and purge irrelevant people – they could hold clues, you know? My answer was to break up my trees into family groups of interest. I kept my Stockford research tree separate from my Rhoades’, Gage’s, DeJean’s, etc. You see, my online tree is my “research tree,” where I run down hypotheses or try to figure out how a mysterious person in proximity is connected to my research subjects. My offline tree is my final tree, where I record only close relations to the Ancestors and organize my facts and sources.
Along comes ThruLinesTM, and it relies on linking your DNA donor’s test to a person in your online tree. And Ancestry won’t let you link the DNA results to multiple trees, so I was only receiving data on DNA matches to the Rhoades tree. Boooooo.
So, in the middle of my Stockford research, I stopped, and I merged AALLLL my little trees into one massive, jumbling mess of people. It wasn’t easy either, Ancestry online trees are clunkier than trees you keep in offline software. Sure, they’re pretty and fun, but oh so clunky. But I made it happen, and then I waited for the new ThruLinesTM results to cycle and refresh. And the results revealed another spin on middle. Read on.
Guess what? We have Stockford DNA matches!!!!!! Woot woot!
Guess what else??? We match to Stockford descendants that didn’t leave Oxfordshire (at least for a few generations)!!!! AND who went to Canada!!!! Double woot woot!
Yes, I am excited. Can’t you tell?
So, how do we match to our English and Canadian cousins? Let’s start with the motherland, England.
First. I entered the Stockford line as far back as I thought it was accurate based on the paper trail research. I made a timeline using an excel spreadsheet and every Stockford event in Oxfordshire as far back as 1668 (looking at possible misspellings as well). This painted a near-clean picture of the Stockford family branches, showing how they are all potentially connected, and what their migration patterns looked like. A lot are inferences based on similar names of people in the right age groups and locations. I was able to hypothetically connect Joseph Stockford as far as Thomas Stockford, who died 1787 in Steeple Barton, Oxfordshire.
Next, I waited until ThruLinesTM updated. Waited…waited…waited.
Second. I checked to see what matches come up for Thomas Stockford, who died in 1787, and there were two matches! I have been comparing their research against what I have found independently on the Stockfords and have not seen anything that I could dispute except one. This dispute does not affect the ultimate outcome of confirming the origins of our Stockford ancestors. It does pose a bit of a mystery, though.
- This DNA match has placed her ancestor, John Stockford, as a brother to our Joseph Stockford, who moved to Ohio. This is an incorrect placement as William Stockford (the second), and Mary Bicester’s son named John moved to the United States with his parents and brother in 1844.
- This John, ancestor of our DNA match, never left Oxfordshire. His birth year matches Stoke Lyne baptismal records that place him as the son of William Stockford (the third) and Elizabeth Wright, making his relationship to Joseph as a nephew, not a brother.
- Here’s the mystery, his line is matched as half-cousins. Suggesting that our DNA ancestor-in-common had children by a different spouse. With my correction inserted, our DNA ancestor in common is William and Joseph’s father, William (the second).
As I have written before, William Stockford of Stoke Lyne and Mary Bicester of Charlbury were married in Charlbury, Oxfordshire (on 3 November 1813 by Banns). Before returning to Stoke Lyne, they record a baptismal on 2 February 1814 for a son named William (the third). Given the short gap in time between the November 1813 marriage and February 1814 baptismal, it is plausible that William’s (the third) biological mother died and William (the second) married Mary Bicester quickly to help care for infant William.
Despite the mystery, this DNA connection also confirms that the William baptized in Charlbury by William and Mary is the same man who appears in 1833 marriage records with Elizabeth Wright in Stoke Lyne, and Stoke Lyne baptismal records (also with Elizabeth) for John and William (the fourth). He died in 1838, the same year his second son, William (the fourth) was born. William (the second), Mary, and their remaining children left for the United States in 1844. This DNA match also confirms our Stockford origins as Stoke Lyne, Oxfordshire, England.
The second DNA match through Thomas Stockford confirms William’s (the first) connections to Thomas Stockford in Steeple Barton. Their DNA match is through a sibling of William (the first). I will write more about Stockfords in later posts.
Onwards. I next looked at Mary Bicester. She is as far as I could get with traditional records (available digitally). We had two DNA matches through Mary as well. You would think they would have been the same as William’s (the second). I did look at his, but he had the same DNA matches as Thomas. Mary had two DIFFERENT DNA matches.
The first is no surprise. Through Mary, we have a DNA match to a half second-cousin who descends through Nellie Pohlman. Remember, Emmett Cobe’s wife, Mary Stockford, had children from her first marriage? Nellie Pohlman was her daughter from that marriage. I had long ago confirmed my hypothesis that our Mary Stockford Cobe was the same Mary Stockford who married Charles Pohlman. So this added nothing new to our research.
The second DNA match was more interesting. I had (on several occasions) attempted to locate Joseph Stockford’s parents and siblings in the United States, but could never find them. Well, the DNA thing paid off. I kept finding indications that his siblings moved to Canada. But I could never find substantial evidence to support that the Stockfords I kept coming across in Canada were Joseph’s siblings. Through DNA, we have a match with a family surnamed Blinco. A woman named Elizabeth Stockford from England married a man named George Blinco on 10 October 1844 in Ontario, Canada. Among Joseph’s siblings who immigrated with him in 1844 was sister, Elizabeth. Sister Elizabeth and Elizabeth Blinco are the same age as eachother. Cha-ching.
Aside from confirming a connection between Joseph Stockford of Ohio to Elizabeth (Stockford) Blinco of Canada, her lineage is reasonably easy to trace to her living descendent (our DNA match). I have no doubt that the Elizabeth Blinco in the records is the ancestor of our DNA match. And the DNA brings us to a common ancestor, Mary Bicester. But…wait, wait…
Elizabeth’s descendent is also a HALF cousin. Dunt dunt dunnnnn….
Sooooo…this is a little more touchy than William’s son from a previous relationship. Our common DNA ancestor is Mary Bicester, which makes Elizabeth a half-sibling to our Joseph Stockford – and no relation to William (the third). Elizabeth was born in 1822, nine years after Mary Bicester married William. Elizabeth was not their last child. They had at least three more children after Elizabeth. Who would Elizabeth’s father be, if not William? We’ll never know.
To be fair, William (the second) may have been either desperate or less than ethical. Back in England, the Stockfords found themselves on the wrong side of the law on several occasions. I can’t confidently sort which Stockford’s were in jail for which offenses/times since there were several family branches that used the same christian names. There was a William Stockford of the right age, who did one year in Oxford prison for larceny – in 1814. Right after William’s (the third) baptism. William (the second) and Mary Bicester don’t appear in Stoke Lyne until 1816 for their second child’s baptism, leaving a compelling two year gap in children between 1814 and 1816. Did Joseph’s father do time? I don’t really know. The incarceration records don’t give much detail, just age, and offense. So, was William away from home – perhaps in prison again or looking for work elsewhere, and Mary had an affair? Maybe mean ‘ole Aunt Hattie Stockford’s penchant for chasing her sister’s husbands in Ohio was a hereditary trait?
Why do I question Williams potential motives (desperate or unethical)? Because laws in England were more strict than we are accustomed to today. William’s theft (whoever this William was) could have been an act of desparation. An infant child in his care, unable to work, and perhaps estranged from his family and he needed to eat. OR, he was lazy and didn’t want to work. Social class played a big role in people’s motivations in the 18th and 19th centuries, and English criminal law didn’t really care about the hardships of the poor working class at that time. For example, another Stockford did time in the Oxford prison, a woman (a cousin to Joseph) was imprisoned for having a child out of wedlock in the mid-19th century. Perhaps this social disparity was what drove William and Mary to emmigrate. In Ohio, Joseph appears to live a very fine and upstanding life. I find no evidence of unethical or immoral issues. Or maybe the son was just caught in the middle of bad parents and an opportunity to break away. Afterall, he went to Ohio when the rest went to Canada.
And this leaves Joseph “in the middle” of a mysteriously blended family.