I use the life and descendants of John “Bulls-eye” Wilson in this story to illustrate – but this works for all relatives – all families. And has applications all over the world!
I can’t help it, that he was an Orangeman and apparently he carried the torch. This is where folks, today, are at impasses about racism, sexism and so on and what is acceptable today. I honor Senator John McCain; he brought people TO the table and didn’t shame them off the table and out of the room. He embraced people – he gave people a chance. Thank G-d for that, I grew up in Bombingham and am about 50 percent bigot ancestry and 50 percent bleeding heart liberal ancestry. So at 66 I am still learning and hope to come back in my next life as a – something not quite so close to the edge of total insanity.
I can guarantee, in my own mind, it must be easier to live just as an ass-hole, tunnel visioned, dumb-ass and just get along with the flow – do what the rest of the jerks say. But I also bet to myself those jerks are not easy to get along with anyway – they are the ‘teach-you-a-lesson-bunch’.
But in ancestry you are all kinds and in genealogy you meet all kinds. I held my breath when I finally looked at my ancestors in the American Civil War – hoping they would have fought or stood with the Union and in the end I had one of each and the one switched and I had several families who were not in the United States until after the war. Part of me is concerned with other wars also and on both sides of several wars.
It is also true in genealogy group after genealogy group: The administrators and moderators work round the clock to stop political talk on the groups and slow the fights – the fights which increased by leaps and bounds over the last few years.
But genealogy is filled with politics and some people/ancestors you like and some who you wish had made better choices – and this is a 300-year-dead dude that I want to say I never knew but in fact – I was him. I was that Virginia preacher who left babies behind and had to pay for it in court. He also died young and I am not sure how he died but I am not surprised he did not live long.
He would have had to have been a slave holder – oh, oh, no. (Hey, I am plain spoken about this – this is what so many are agonizing over — how to talk, and should I talk, and why talk or not?) The very Revd John Prince.
But this story is about the DNA of John Bulls-eye Wilson. I told cousin Mary, who is a good Irish Catholic girl and when I said John was from Ireland and she asked, I told her he was an Orangeman and she crossed herself. she was not joking – she was and is serious and no I cannot speak for the past.
Irish Canadian John Wilson lived from 1811 – 1870 and he had two sons who fought in the American Civil War. John got heatedly involved in the Arthur Rankin scandal of the Neutrality Act between Canada and the USA. John Jr was born 1840 in Toronto and, according to the records of the Louisiana 14th , he had red hair and blue eyes – I bet he did. His brother William Knox Wilson joined the US Navy and fought on the USS Genesee. So we see in the life of Bulls-eye his facing of at least two of the other worlds in the world he lived in.
But Bulls-eye pulled a family together and reunited a family long lost and clearly would have been much beloved. This research brought my Dai back in touch with family who had lived in different countries and even on different continents, but they all gathered again like they had never been apart. Everybody had a piece of the story about Bulls-eye but through BMDs and every other record we began the Bulls-eye search.
All thought our male Wilson cousin was the last and there were few relatives – but then I discovered that after the death of John’s first wife, Elizabeth Knox Wilson (1812 – 1856), John had married again to Mary Susan Hill and had another family. We went from 8 children including 6 who lived to adults (only one son had sons to survive) to another 6 children and with a son who had a son who had…
And as we who search genealogy know, the internet age gave the world the platform and vehicle to find relatives and then DNA came along to prove it.
The cousins come in all types – from every country – There are Whigs and Tories, there are NDPs and those others, there are bleeding heart liberals like me and there are folks who like other sides. But they all come in numbers of cousins and cousins come in in cMs – centiMorgans. There is nothing like researching, making contact and verifying years of research and suddenly making good friends – via satellite linked internet but then to test DNA and have the match come up is beyond wonderful.
My husband and his Wilson cousin both tested with Family Tree DNA and the ggg granddaughter of Bulls-eye’s 2nd family’s son had tested with 23andme. I also had a cousin who had his autosomal at 23andme and so the first time a sale cropped up I jumped for us both and could not wait for the results.
Later everyone got together on ftDNA and the descendant of family 2 shares 64 cMs (longest block 14 cMs) with one cousin and she shares 89 cMs (longest block 38 cMs) with the other cousins. But the magic and fun is also in seeing the matches in common. Since these cousins are from different wives and they only share Bulls-eye as a common ancestor then the DNA matches “in common” must carry the genes of Bulls-eye himself.
John McCain had room at his table for all ancestors and all descendants – he gave me hope. Yes, I am an Obama person, besides him being my 8th cousin once removed – but if it had not been Obama running I could certainly have voted for Senator McCain. Through all the years I would hear in the news that he had brought people to the table or something happened and he stepped in – then I knew all would be well.
Cousin Mary crosses herself and says a prayer over the Orangeman, some people might condemn me for remembering him, but John McCain would have agreed with me especially since Bulls-eye pulled so many of us together and united descendant families in genealogy and in DNA. Maybe our remembering will bring about the lesson we hope we have come to 150 years later. Bulls-eye’s grandson said on hearing the news of a family wedding, “So your’re marrying a papist.” He was never anything but loving and wonderful and gracious to that papist and he valiantly walked into the new world of the 20th century.
Today he would be stuck with me who is a self described G-ddess honoring Buddhist Quaker. But I know I would have adored Pop – he needs a page also and then Aunt Ruth and her tree – oh my so many stories.
Talking about politics in family history is a death sentence for some relationships – but then again – with others it is like we are cut from the same cloth – even as in-laws.
My thanks and thoughts to all the cousins, no matter what they believe, or how long it takes any to see the light and come to the table – they are all welcome, in all stages.
findagrave.com is still one of the best sites to create a public tree for ancestors and share photos and stories and make sure all family are linked or remembered.
John Bulls-eye Wilson’s memorial with stories and links
So many people get their DNA tested, then read the admixture and that is all – but the magic is learning how people are related.
In the features of several of the companies – you can see how two people are related and also see other people with whom they are related in-common.
So if you have identified a person in your matches who is from your mother’s side and then you see all the people that you and that maternal relative are both related to – then you identify ancestry – an ancestral line of relatives.
Two first cousins –one in red and one in blue — show up on the chart of their common half 2nd cousin once removed.
Over the course of these 15 years we have found descendants of all of John Wilson’s children who lived. The three babies died, but for all the rest there has been found at least one descendant who we have connected with and had and have e-reunions!
A thrilling story of distant DNA curiosities is the y-DNA of our Wilsons. Besides testing the autosomal DNA and seeing how two cousins are related or grandparents or aunts and uncles, the distant DNA matches offer maddening questions that may be wild goose chases or they might be the path to Bob’s your uncle, Charlie’s your aunt and was Wilson Clindinning related to John Wilson and his probable brother James Wilson.
James Wilson possible brother relative of John
In our DNA work for the family we see these two first cousins sharing 741 cMs and the Wilson cousin is one of the prolific R1b y-DNA haplogroup, specifically R-Z326.
But the excitement is that in his male-line Wilson distant relatives in y-DNA, Bull’s-eye matches 17 males with variations of the surname Clindinning Clenenden Clenendin Clinendenon Clinendenin Clendinning Clindenning Clendenning Clindinning Clendenin
Searching about our Wilson Clindinning, he might be Robert Wilson Clindinning 1813 – 1898, son of David Clindinning and Mary Clark.
And our very own Mrs Thomas D Wilson — Rebecca Jane Jennie Mason Wilson’s aunt Margaret Mason — married a Clendenen descendant.
DNA for genealogy brought wonderful questions and fabulous answers and cousins!
Just in ftDNA alone there are 128 matches ‘in common’ in autosomal DNA for these cousins – maybe I can share this story with all of them!
For the Wilson family we used every source that we came across and if any new ones turn up we will use those also. I also for all ancestors – re-check the databases for updates. Ancestry.com, familysearch.org and we have y-dna and multiple autosomal DNA family for identifying genetic relatives. Everyone who reads me knows I offer example after example of using newspapers for people and places in their times.
For Canada there are Cangenweb, automatedgenealogy and ancestry.com World subscription has lots of excellent Canadian records.
For searching in the British Isles: Scotland’s people, FreeBMD, GRO UK, Genuki, Rootschat, Irish Family History Foundation
And of course Cyndi’s List has links to everything and so well organized – if she will add me as a source then she will be more complete – and then we can see about an Alien DNA category expansion also.
More Canadians are open to testing their DNA!