Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Clingerman-Foor connection? Or, Susanna Foor Clingerman, not Susanna Buck Clingerman?

I recently had my father DNA tested at Ancestry.com.

I am not new to this arena.  I run 8 tests at 23andme, and 6 accounts at FTDNA.  And I had previously had my grandmother (my father's mother) and myself on Ancestry.

The main point of interest that resulted from my father's test is that Ancestry has a "Leonard Foor" as a predicted "New Ancestry Discovery" (NAD).  If you're not familiar with this term, it means that you match a high number of descendants from this particular person and it's likely you are related (though not necessarily descended from) the person noted.

Ancestry states that generally speaking, the person noted is your ancestor 50% of the time.  30% of the time you share multiple ancestors with the descendants of the NAD, and finally 20% of the time the person noted is not directly related to you but rather you are related to that person's descendants through other common relatives.  My grandmother has a NAD that falls in this last category.

Getting back to Leonard Foor, he lived from 1779-1849, to John Foor (1744-1819) and Catherine UNKNOWN (1754-1818) (possibly Miller based on online trees).  Based on which tree you look at, his wife was a Margaret, possibly Harbridge (often listed as UNKNOWN though).  Leonard's tree is as follows,

1. Leonard Foor (1779-1849) m. Margaret (Harbridge?)
  2. John Foor (1744-1819) m. Catherine (Miller?) (1754-1818)
   3. Johan Leonhart Fuhr (1714-1766) m. Maria Catharina Kuntz (1704-?)

The New Ancestry Discovery stated my father matched 3 of 11 tested descendants of Leonard Foor.  After digging around in his matches, I found a further 2 more descendants, bringing him to a total of 5 of 13.

As best I can tell, the connection to the Foor family is through my father's Clingerman line.  Both families lived within a couple doors of each other in 1800 in Providence Twp, Bedford Co, PA.

My father's known Clingerman line is as follows,

1. Elizabeth Clingerman (1830-1897) m. Adam Shuss (1829-1897)
  2. Philip Clingerman (1800-1881) m. Susannah Buck (1798-1861)
   3. John Frederick Clingerman (1755-1835) m. Catherine UNKNOWN (1760-?)
     4. Christopher Klingaman (1730-?) m. Barbara UNKNOWN (1730-?)
      5. George Klingamann (1705-?) m. Theodora Schuhmann

George and Theodora were from Neckarbischofsheim, Baden, Germany, immigrating in about 1732.  Meanwhile, Johan Leonart Fuhr and his wife Maria Catharina were from Herschweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and arrived around 1744.  It seems unlikely there is any connection pre-USA, since the two towns are roughly 100 miles apart.

Shared Matches: This is another point I wanted to discuss.  Ancestry has recently implemented a new feature called "Shared Matches" which allows you to see any matches you have in common with another person on your list (provided the Shared Match is no further than a predicted 4th-6th cousin from you).

With my father's highest Foor match (a predicted 4th-6th cousin, sharing 25.6 cM over 2 segments), they have 3 shared matches.  One is a definite Leonard Foor descendant, one is a "Clingman" descendant, and the final is an UNKNOWN.

The Clingman match descends from an Adam Clingman from Kentucky born in 1811.  It appears his father was a Henry Clingman born about 1784 in PA (from the 1850 census).  If this Clingman match is not coincidental, the closest common ancestor between my line and their's is Christopher Klingaman born in 1730 which would rule out John Frederick Clingerman's wife Catherine as the potential Foor relation.

This would leave only 5 possibilities:
(1) Christopher Klingaman's wife Barbara was a Foor
(2) Leonard Foor's wife was not Margaret Harbridge but perhaps Margaret Clingerman
(3) Leonard Foor's mother was not Catherine Miller but perhaps Catherine Clingerman
(4) John Frederick Clingerman's wife was possibly a Harbridge or otherwise related to Leonard's wife Margaret
(5) The Clingman match is a coincidence and the connection is through another line of my father's tree

Last Possibility: I should mention, I've seen a few sites that link a Mary Cashman (b. 1782, d. 1869) as marrying a John Foor in 1800.  They supposedly had a daughter Susannah Foor in 1803, who subsequently died in 1855 in Maryland.  She is supposed to have married a John Stewart in 1825.

I should note, Philip Clingerman's wife Susannah "Buck" is denoted as such due to a large amount of circumstantial evidence as well as an MTDNA test I conducted using a direct maternal descendant of Susannah's and of her potential sister, Elizabeth,daughter of David Buck and Catherine Cashman.  The two had an exact MTDNA match, which although not conclusive that the two were sisters, it was conclusive that they had been maternally related.

If the Mary Cashman who married John Foor was the sister of the Catherine Cashman who married David Buck however, she would also have the same MTDNA, and Philip Clingerman could have married Susannah Foor and not Buck.

I'm currently inclined to believe this final possibility is unlikely (due to some records I found linking Philip Clingerman with Elizabeth Buck Garlick's family) as well as the research linking Susannah Foor to another husband, but without researching myself, I cannot prove that those records are correct.

Conclusion: Based on the data I have at hand, and primarily on the presumption that the Clingman match is NOT coincidental, I can only conclude that possibilities (2) and (3) are the most plausible explanations.  And based on the apparent proximity between the families pre-Bedford County, PA, I think option (2) seems most likely.

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