Everyone has a story

Updated: 14 Jul 2018

Hello and thanks for stopping by. Due to health issues I’ve had to take some breaks on and off from this blog. For the time being I am having to take it slow and sometimes am not able to put as much time and effort into it as I’d like. I am still here and doing what I can, when I can.  Please know that I still would love to hear from you, it just might take a little longer for me to reply. I hope to get back on track with my goal soon. I do apologize if I missed one of your comments, messages, notes, emails, etc. As I can, I’ll try to reach out to you. 

For my family:
I hope that you enjoy this blog and the stories of our ancestors. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way. If you have an interest in trying to do genealogy and would like some help, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help. I will someday need someone to take over and continue all of this and my big research tree. I’d love it to be with someone that I’ve worked with and that I know will keep it going with a certain level of research, dedication, and love. If you’d like to help in another way, I could use some help in putting together some of these biographies of our ancestors. You don’t realize how much work goes into these until you write one. 

For fellow researchers and DNA matches:
I manage multiple DNA kits on multiple sites. It’s getting a little hard to keep up with all the different sites, DNA kits and all their matches, and maintaining family trees on/for all of them and still find time to do actual research. I’ve decided to simplify by keeping the kits on each site, deleting all but one public tree, and referring all DNA matches to my blog for all of that information. It allows me time to focus on my actual research and keep everything updated easily.

SHEPHERD – If you are a DNA Match to myself and/or any of the kits that I manage and can’t find any shared connections, DNA has proven that there was a NPE (Not Parent Expected) in my paternal line. My 2nd great-grandfather, as DNA is proving, was a descendant of Jonathan Shepherd and Elizabeth Richmond. We have many and strong matches to descendants of both of their sons, David Henderson Shepherd and Jacob Shepherd, along with families that they and their descendants married into. I have not yet been able to work out who exactly is my 2nd great-grandfather, but I’m beginning to believe that both brothers may be my direct line through endogamy. I haven’t yet added them to this blog or my public tree, but I am very actively researching them trying to find my connection. Any help is greatly appreciated.

 When making contact be sure to include which site you found the DNA match and the matching kit#’s/names on all kits involved so that I can also find the match and we can start to find our connection.

My testers did me a huge favor by agreeing to take the Autosomal DNA test and allowing me to use that DNA for genetic genealogy research. I promised each of them that I would protect their privacy and any and all contact would be through me. I have done all that I can to protect their identities. I will not share information on living people without their explicit permission and I would never ask that of you either. The goal is to find our ancestors, not to invade the privacy of the living. Sadly, due to conversations that I’ve seen, I feel that this has to be said.

In recent years I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of making my big research tree public, that I would instead put up a *small pedigree tree (direct lines only with bare bones information) to help others find their connection to myself and my family members who have graciously taken the Autosomal DNA test for me. I am happy to use my research tree to help find our connection, but it will be kept private. I have several reasons for this and have decided that I would rather make sure that sources are out there and easy to find… and free if I can help it. I want you to put together your own tree. To me, that’s what genealogy is about. If you need a little help just ask and if I can, I will help. If you would like to collaborate on our shared lines, I would love to do so. That’s what this is all about, working together to find our common ancestors.

*This small pedigree tree is available on Ancestry. You can access it with a free account although due to changes at Ancestry, you may need me to send you an invite. Just let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.

I started by creating a post for every generation of my grandparents that I have found. With these posts I added a family group sheet using the MRIN format. I’m now in the process of going back to those posts and am now putting all of my data and research into telling their stories. I’m trying to make sure that I include what sources I used and where to find them. I’m also trying to be diligent in sending edits on Find A Grave memorials to connect families together. This is also allowing me to ‘clean up’ my tree and make sure that it is properly sourced. It’s a long process and a lot of work, so bear with me as I try to stay focused on one branch at a time.

Currently I’m focusing on:
MRIN-19 The family of Robert Gore Ball and Susan Jane Brock
MRIN-4 The families of Harry Lee Chaffins Sr. and Emma Jean Willoughby

In researching our family history I have discovered that we have a rich heritage in every branch of our family tree. I take great pride in knowing that while our ancestors were not famous and notable people in history, they were the backbone of the country. The pioneer settlers, the farmers, the ranchers, the coal miners, the soldiers, the teachers, the carpenters, the law officers, the factory workers, …. the everyday people who made this country what it is today. They were people who will never have novels, movies or songs written about them. They were simple, hard working people who deserve to be remembered by the people whose lives they’ve shaped. I hope to give a humble attempt at trying to tell at least a small part of their story.

I link to sources on the web. Most of these sources are on free websites, but do require a log in/password to view the information I link to. 

000001 Private Private
000002 Private Private
000003 Harry Lee Chaffins Jr. Carolyn Rose Ball
000004 Harry Lee Chaffins Sr. Updating Emma Jean Willoughby   Updating
000005 Jasper “Bird” Chaffins Judith Hunter
000006 Samuel “Nelson” Chaffins Nancy Jane Sutton
000007 Nicholas Smith Elizabeth Chaffins
000008 Richard Smith Elitia Combs
000009 Gabriel Smith Sarah Lambert
000010 Solomon Wyatt Mary Alice Smith
000011 Ellis A. Wyatt Mary Pennington
000012 John Wyatt Elizabeth Raines
000013 Perry E. Ball Martha M. Summers
000014 Andrew C. Smith Elizabeth White
000015 Adonijah Lambert Sr. Barbara Bennett
000016 William Tracy Ball Nettie Taylor
000017 Albert C. Summers Clara Bell Seamans
000018 Grafton Olson Willoughby Mary Jane Bracken
000019 Robert Gore Ball Updated Susan Jane Brock Updated
000020 John James Taylor
Virginia A. McDaniel
000021 Joseph Ball Ingaboo McDaniel 
000022 William B. Bracken Sarah Ann Morris
000023 John W. Wyatt Ruth Doralee James
000024 Edmund Wyatt Mary Collett
000025 Isaac Patrick Willoughby Sally Ann Embry
000026 Jefferson Willoughby Elizabeth Dockery
000027 James Bracken Lucy Benbrook
000028 Wiley Embry Elizabeth Loise Bolton
000029 Elijah Bennett Barbara Bible
000030 John (3) Lambert Susanna Cassle
000031 John Pennington Winnie Thompson
000032 James Raines Frances Thompson
000033 Charles Smith Hannah Carr
000034 Robert Hunter Elizabeth Sizemore
000035 John Sutton Seattie Hays
000036 Martin Seamans Elizabeth XXXXX
000037 Clayton Martin Seamans Narcissa Chalista Dow
000038 William Summers Melvina Davis
000039 Sherwood Brock Nancy Hand
000040 John Wyatt Jane Stairns (unverified)
000041 Thomas Collett Sr. Margaret Bartlett
000042 Braxton Morris Ursula Shaw
000043 Holland Morris Sr. Sarah English
000044 George Golden Hawk Sizemore Alethia Richardson
000045 George Of All Sizemore Aggie Shepherd
000046 Valentine (1) Cassle Mary Margaretha Wilfong
000047 Valentine (2) Cassle Phoebe Bennett
000048 William McDaniel Nancy Goar
000049 Ceburn Davis Virginia Young
000050 Peter Cassle Catherine Elizabeth XXXXX
000051 Jacob (2) Cassle Mary Shane
000052 Moses Summers Celia Gillstrap
000053 James H. Bracken Addie Greathouse
000054 William Shaw Sarah Bozworth/Bozarth
000055 John Brock Patsy Harbard
000056 Henry Penninger Barbara Waggoner
000057 Isaac Willoughby Elizabeth Willoughby
000058 William Smith Elizabeth Eunice Richie
000059 Nicholas Combs Nancy E. Grigsby
000060 George Bible Ann Elizabeth Penninger
000061 Joseph (2) Bennett Hannah Starnes or Sleason
000062 John (2) Lambert Nancy Pack
000063 John (1) Lambert Elizabeth XXXXX
000064 Obadiah (2) Richardson Sarah Goodman
000065 Lewis Parker Davis (uncle) Mary Crist and Mary Crabtree
000066 George Callahan Hand Barbara Ann Crose
000067 XXXXX Barlet Mary Conrad
000068 Jacob Conrad Svana Lauck
000069 Andrew Collett XXXXX XXXXX
000070 Christian Peters Hannah Ball
000071 Joseph Ball Kesiah XXXXX
000072 Johannes Cassell Mary XXXXX
000073 George A. Taylor Maranda Washburn
000074 Uriah Simpson Washburn Mahala Hedrick
000075 Hans Peter Kassel XXXXX XXXXX
000076 Absalom Davis Allie Fair Guffey
000077 Robert Davis Avarilla/Ararilla Wood
000078 Ephriam (3) Guffey Sarah Sally Denny
000079 Samuel Denny XXXXX XXXXX
000080 Henry Wood Judith XXXXX
000081 John Davis Jemima Jefferson
000082 Nicholas Harris James Celia Pearl Bailey
000083 Andrew Frank James Mary Alice Harris
000084 Lemuel Hiter James Mary Ann Redmond
000085 Able James  XXXXX XXXXX
000086 Hector Harris Catherine Adams Alexander
000087 William Harris Theodocia Thorpe
000088 James Harris XXXXX XXXXX
000089 Francis Thorpe XXXXX XXXXX
000090 Joseph G. (2) Bailey Sarah/Samantha XXXXX
000091 Joseph (1) Bailey XXXXX Stockwell
000092 James William Stockwell Elizabeth XXXXX
000093 XXXXX Chaffins  XXXXX XXXXX
000094 John Hays Elizabeth Anderson
000095 John Richardson Susannah Fuqua
000096 XXXXX Richardson XXXXX XXXXX
000097 XXXXX Willoughby XXXX XXXXX
000098 William Bracken Penelope Searcy
000099 James Bracken Rozanna XXXXX
000100 Reuben Searcy Elizabeth Jett
000101 Thomas B. Morris Mary Polly Talbott
000102 Benham Shaw Polly Elliot
000103 Jonathan Bozarth Mary Hargis
000104 Jesse Hand Nellie XXXXX
000105 Philip Crose XXXXX XXXXX
000106 Jonathan Washburn XXXXX XXXXX
000108 Jacob Curet  Susanna Leysi
000109 Bartholomew Churet Barbara Ryff
000110 Richard Pennington Mary Ellen “Polly” Bennett
000111 John Bennett Catherine Strader
000112 Joseph (1) Bennett Abigail Collins
000113 John Smith XXXXX XXXXX
000114 Jonathan Smith Jane Currance
000115 William Currance XXXXX XXXXX
000116 Thomas S. “Allegheny” White Mary Raines
000117 Thomas (1) White XXXXX XXXXX
000118 George S. Lambert XXXXX XXXXX
000119 Mathias Lambert Ana Rosina Reese
000120 George Michael Wilfong XXXXX XXXXX
000121 Jacob (1) Cassel Sowege XXXXX
000122 Benjamin Redmond Nancy James
000123 John Carr Abigail Elizabeth Orrahood
000124 Edward “Old Ned” Sizemore XXXXX XXXXX
000125 Thomas Alexander Elizabeth Innes
000126 Harry Innes Elizabeth Callaway
000127 James Callaway Sarah Tate
000128 Henry Tate Elizabeth Netherland
000129 William Callaway Elizabeth Tilley
000130 Samuel McDaniel Rebecca A. XXXXX
000131 Ephriam (2) Guffey Nancy XXXXX
000132 Ephriam (1) Guffey XXXXX XXXXX
000133 Yelles Julius Cassell XXXXX XXXXX



  2. Hey Jeff,
    That’s fantastic. I’d love any and all info you’d like to share. Wow 80% tells me that you are most likely related to me on my paternal side since that’s over 2/3 of the ancestors I have listed. Of those listed here, who is the closest relative of yours?

    • I’m not sure why I came up as Anonymous, but that was me responding to you, Jeff.

      • Hi Beth . I lost you on email a long time ago . I am still at Jerry38@msn.com. although it is through Comcast. I don’t hear from any body that are connected to Knott County any more . I make me lonely

        • Hi Jerry, so sorry for the late reply. It’s nice to hear from you again. It’s been along time. I think all of our Knott County groups have moved on to Facebook if you’re on there. I’m just starting to find some of them myself. I had been researching other lines and just recently started to look into the Knott and Floyd County families again

        • Hi! I’m originally from Knott County- Rock Fork area. My parents were Janon & Patty Coburn.
          My father’s mother – my grandmother was Thelma Chaffins, her father was William
          Jefferson Chaffins.
          My father’s dad was Bee Coburn
          and I know basically nothing about this side of my family.
          Any info you have & can share would be appreciated.

  3. Hi Beth,
    I also share a large % of your ancestors, i am in the line of John and Jemima Davis, Robert and Arvilla , Absalom and Alliefair, Ceburn and Virginia, Absalom “Jake” and Maryjane, Lee and Helen and William and Lillian then “ME” I would love to exchange information with you.
    Catherine Davis

  4. Hi Beth,
    I was reading your post about George Bennet. Tragic. George Bennet was the brother-in-law of my 5th great grandmother, Margaret Cassell. I have a picture of Margaret. Would love to share info with you also.
    Linda Bogner

  5. Hi Beth,

    I came across your blog searching for information on a John Davis that was born and raised (as far as I know…) in Kentucky. I was wondering if you might have an idea if he could possibly be a relative. He may have gone by Johnny, and his full name is believed to be John or Johnny Earl Davis, he would have traveled to the West Coast or been living there during 1956-1957. He was likely born around 1920-1925. My interest is in learning more about my biological grandfather so I can share that information with my biological father. Do you recognize any of these identifying markers?

    • Hi Davisgirl, I looked in my tree and I have three men with the name John Davis. They were all born in the 1700-1800’s. Obviously not the on you are looking for. Sorry I couldn’t be of help to you. I hope you find him.

  6. my grandfather grafton Willoughby did not run away or leave he lived in Livermore ky. as did my father ed Willoughby where my father is buried .my grandfather is buried in the co. grave yard back where asa and Jessie is buried my father and grandmother mary jane put him on a train after he died I remember my grandmother mary jane of whom I am named after and have visit her grave in cleaton ky. she died when I was five and so did my father I remember aunt emma and uncle jake aunt alta, dicky and benny lee, cookie and Lonnie I remember when they left here to go west my name is becky Willoughby Thomas if you have any questions BeckyJ.Thomas@ky.gov

    • Hi Becky, did you see on here where it said that Grafton ran away or disappeared? That was the information shared with me when I first started researching the Willoughby’s, but in my own research I found that not to be true. I thought that I had removed all of that from here. If there is still any of that on here I definitely want to remove it.

  7. Hi Beth! Reverend Richard Smith and Elitia (Combs) Smith is my 4th great-grandparents! So that would make us fifth cousins once removed! I love genealogy too! I’ve got a lot of people in my tree. I can go back at least 10 generations! I’m related to Daniel Boone and John Milton (British poet who wrote Paradise Lost)!

    • That’s pretty awesome, Elsie. Thanks for sharing. It’s always nice to meet a new cousin

  8. Martha Melvina Summers Ball was my grandmother and Perry Ball my grandfather . My mom was Annetta Bell Ball .

    • Hi Bernard,
      Nice to meet you. Your mom and I exchanged a few letters before she passed away. She was a nice lady and I’m glad that I got to at least have that communication with her while I could.

    • Thanks! My nieces Kimberly Tolley and Destry Juanita Tolley Leatherwood , strongly resemble Anna and Martha Summers. They look so much alike, it almost makes one believe in reincarnation. Destry looks like you also. They are on FaceBook.

      • That’s so neat. I LOVE to see pictures of our ancestors see how much our family resembles them. It’s really cool to see where we get our features from

  9. Loved your Blog. I was reading it to your uncle Ric he remembered some of the names

    • Well Hi there, Aunt Sue! Hope you guys are doing well

      • Beth wanted to let you know that your uncle Ric passed away last July 19,2015, from pneumonia complication from COPD

        • Thank you for letting me know and I am so very sorry for your loss.

          • Thank you

  10. I have a picture of Reuben Martin’s grave, my fifth great grandfather who fought in the Revolutionary War. I noticed on your Family Trails On-Line landing page for Peak Cemetery that Reuben Martin did not have a link to a picture. If you would like for me to send you an electronic copy to upload I would be happy to do so.


    • Hi Deborah, Wow that’s a page I forgot about. I don’t even know if I could log into it anymore.Thank you for the offer though. I uploaded everything to find a grave. The picture I have isn’t great, it was before we had a digital camera, but there is room to add pictures to his memorial. Here’s the link. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GScid=42632&GRid=9503697&

  11. I’m a relation to George “ALL” Sizemore. Please anyone who is related to me feel free to reach out to me through email as I would love to hear from family and learn more about our background history!

    • Hi Justin, if you haven’t already and are on Facebook, join the group for the Whitetop Tribe. We are all descendants of George “All” Sizemore and are a very helpful and friendly group who I believe can help you the most. Here’s a link to the group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1563406537207765/ Once your request to join has been approved tell them who you are and as much info as you can about your line. There is an appointed genealogist for the tribe who has many of the direct lines in a tree. She may be able to help you put together some pieces as well as other members who may share your line. Look forward to seeing you there.

  12. Beth, three hours ago I found your “Everyone Has A Story aka Beth’s Blog”. Your comment that you had an “..obsession that is my family history (Collett / Wyatt Family)” paralleled my feelings. My ggg-grandmother was MARY ALLEEN (WYATT) THOMPSON, daughter of EDMUND & MARY (COLLETT) WYATT. History shows MARY ALLEEN was an outstanding person, from her youth to her later years; as an educator, wife, mother, mid-wife, contributor to the community; and care taker of children, hers and others. I am sure all descendants of the WYATT / COLLETT women live to the same high standards. My obsession resulted in a decade of study, of THOMPSON family history. I put my findings into a book with two chapters centered on our WYATT / COLLETT connection. If you have any desire to receive a copy (a signed copy, no less), send me an USPS mailing address to macdonnall@aol.com and I will gladly forward that copy to you. I SINCERELY hope and pray that you find good health as the days go forward. Most sincerely, DONALD “Donnie” THOMPSON

    • Hi Donnie,
      I would love to read what you have written about your line of our common ancestors. You know us addicts…can’t get enough. I’ll email you my mailing address. Thanks so my much for the offer. I’m having surgery Thursday, so I apologize in advance if it takes a while to respond back.

  13. Hi Beth,

    My name is Dawn Tennar. I am actually from your husband’s side of the family, the Bradleys/Bakers/Ramey etc… I have lost contact with Chuck abt 11 years back and I would like to go to the annual Bradley reunion in Delaware, Ohio but have not had any contact for awhile. My dad has passed away a little over a year ago and he use to get the fliers on the reunion but none for quite some time. I had a laptop that crashed a few years back and lost contact for aunt Gert’s one daughter. I have had contact with some of our Bradley’s back in Maces Springs area and I would like to attend one of the reunions. I can be emailed at dawnwas60s@yahoo.com The last I spoke with Chuck I had been in possession of some old slides of my aunt’s that were of the Bradley family reunion back in the 50’s and I believe one from 1964. I have a slide of Chuck’s dad with some horses and the reunions. All of my dad’s sister and brothers have passed and their spouses and my mom’s the only one in the family that remembers those of the original Bradley reunions when the sisters and brothers were still alive. Please contact me if you can, would really appreciate it.

    • Hi Dawn, I’ll make sure Chuck sees this. I’ll email you the FB page set up for reunion info and for the upcoming reunion since it’s so close I want to make sure you get it ASAp

  14. Hi Beth I lost contact with you. This is your cousin Pat Forman I am on facebook request to be my friend or e-mail me at pftiger306@yahoo.com Please update info Sarah and Dayton Summerfield are both buried at Odd Fellows in Elkins. Hope all is well. I am at the same address and have the same phone number. Hope to talk to you soon

  15. Hi Beth!
    I stumbled across your blog by chance when looking at my DNA matches. I am fairly certain we are related by way of the Lamberts. My paternal 6th grandmother (I hope I’m saying that right) is Phoebe Lambert. I was hoping we could discuss our trees to see if indeed this is correct. If you are interested please contact me at ajmomma27@gmail.com. I would love to talk!
    Thanks and take care.

  16. Hello Beth (again ha!)
    I made a mistake with my previous comment. Phoebe in on my Maternal side not paternal. Also I just found that Nancy Lambert ( Phoebes older sister) married to Isaiah Murphey is in my tree. It gets a little confusing from there but again I’d love to talk! Thanks!!

  17. Hello Beth! My name is Anita Moore . My grandmother was , Thelma Chaffins. Her
    Father was William Jefferson Chaffins & mother was Emaline Hicks. I would love
    any information on our ancestors &
    family tree.

    • Hi Anita,
      First off let me ask if you have or have seen the book written by Irland “Pivot” Conley called “The descendants of Samuel Nelson Chaffins and Nancy Jane Sutton (his wife)” Irland was a grandson of Jefferson and knew him well. He did decades of really great research and his book is very accurate and has a fantastic section of pictures that were shared with him by many branches of the family. All of my own research verifies his book. That book is always my go-to on this family. Sadly, Irland passed a few years ago, so the only way to get the book is to find someone who has a copy.

      • We knew Iraland well. He was my grandmother – Thelma Chaffins, nephew & she helped raise him.
        He gave my father – Janon Coburn, a copy
        Of his book but he let someone borrow it
        & they never returned it .
        I’m interested in where we came from –
        Ireland,England,Scotland? Who where the
        First Chaffins of our family in the United
        States & why did they choose to come
        I know nothing about the Coburn side
        of my family. My grandmother Thelma
        Chaffins got pregnant by Bee Coburn &
        they married – had my father Janon &
        divorced when he was a baby.
        Any info is appreciated greatly

        • Unfortunately I can’t help beyond where Irland had left off in his book. Samuel Nelson Chaffins’ mother is my brick wall. All I have is her name given as Betty Hays on his death certificate. Info given by his grandson whl likely never knew her. We know that Samuel was born out of wedlock and was given his mother’s maiden name. We know his father was Nicholas Smith and can take that line back a couple of more generations. I was researching a Chaffin (no “s”) family in a neighborhing county who included men who had the same first names that Samuel gave some of his sons. I haven’t found anything to connect them at this point. The Coburn’s are not my lineage so I never researched them. I did a DNA test on myself, my parents, and some of my siblings hoping the ethnicity results would help point me in the right direction, but that just proved that my 2nd great-grandfather (Jasper “Bird” Chaffins son of Samuel) was not the biological father of my great-grandfather. I’ve pretty much shifted my research to the biological family. I wish I could be of more help.

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