Thursday, January 21, 2016

Finding my Great Great Grandfather: Clyde Cole

When I first started out doing genealogy, I started asking my grandparents what they knew about their grandparents. What were their names? When and where were they born? My grandmother could tell me her grandparents names and where they died, making her side of the family easier to research than my grandfather's. My grandfather knew the names of all his grandparents and where they were buried as well. All except one... his paternal grandfather, he only knew his name was Clyde Cole.

My great grandfather's name is Lonnie Cole. He was born 13th of  April, 1917, near Desoto, Dallas, Texas to a Clyde Cole and Laura [Willis] Cole.



Lonnie Cole's Birth Certificate from Dallas County Birth Certificates 

With names, I then went to find Lonnie, Clyde and Laura in the 1920 United States Federal Census. In the 1920 census Lonnie is listed with his parents and two siblings, Arles and Leola. They are living in Justice Precinct 5, Dallas, Texas, next door to Laura's parents, Miles and Lucinda Willis, and down the street is another Cole. Could this be a relative? Clyde Cole, according to the 1920 census is 24 making him roughly born in 1896.

In the Dallas area there were four other Clyde Cole's who were all born in a 6 year period of each other. Which Clyde could be the father of Lonnie and his siblings?

I started to research each of the four Clyde's and their families to learn more about their lives. One Clyde stood out to me as a match to the Clyde in the census and birth certificate. His name is Clyde Howard Cole.  
Clyde Howard Cole: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
This Clyde Cole was born near Desoto, Texas (note: on Leola's birth certificate it has her father's birth place near Desoto.) Another thing that stood out was that he used his wife and 3 children as an exemption from the draft. I then went back to see if the other Clyde's would have had 3 children... during 1917 when the Registration was filled out - they did not. At this time I am starting to come to the conclusion that this Clyde is Lonnie's father.

I took a trip to the Dallas County Central Library, where they have a great genealogy section, looking for Clyde Howard Cole's Obituary. "Cole, Clyde... Survived by wife, Mrs. Lizzie Cole; daughters, Mrs. Mary Ann Rasco, Mrs. Faye Digby, both of Dallas: son J. V. Raburn: brother, John E. Cole: fourteen grandchildren: eight great-grandchildren...Dallas Morning News 01-20-1966 Page 4 Location Dallas." Now I have even more names and even more questions. Who are these three children on this obituary? J.V Raburn was the only child in the obituary that was born at the time when the Draft Record was filled out. After researching many obituaries and other records the three children in Clyde Howard Cole's obituary are all from Lizzie's first marriage to a Rayburn, eliminating these three children as the three children in the draft record.

Last year I tested my grandfather (Lonnie's son) with AncestryDNA to try and help solve this family mystery. When the results came back I started going through the results, I realised that a majority of the results had a connection with the Willis surname due to a collapse pedigree and a couple having a total of 92 great grandchildren in 1922. At this time, I was searching page after page for a Cole. I could find no close relation to a Cole. I then got worried, but decided to keep researching on Clyde Howard Cole's ancestry. I started doing descendancy research on his parents and grandparents, (parents: Thomas Howard Cole and Arminta Dora Parks, grandparents: Nathaniel Leonard Cole and Louise Spence.) I notice that many of Clyde Howard Cole's siblings did not have many descendants which might be a reason why I am not finding many Cole's in my grandfather's DNA results. I then started researching Clyde Howard Cole maternal side of the family. Luckily I have found a strange and uncommon surname, Voorhies. As I continue to build out the tree more I am constantly checking my grandfather's DNA results for a Voorhies name.

A Shared Hint appeared one day, before I even looked at it, I remember saying to myself "It has to be another Willis descendant!"  When I opened to see I immediately saw the name Voorhies and could not believe my eyes!  It was a 3rd cousin 1x removed match! I could not contain myself I immediately sent them a message. Once DNA Circles came out I discovered even more descendants of John P Voorhies and Jane Angeline Gullick!



I had finally found out who my great great grandfather was.

17 comments:

  1. Woohoo! A very intriguing story. Welcome to the geneablogging world :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome to geneablogging Dalton. I am one of the older Australians you met at #Rootstech last year. Co grats on your fab research which identified Clyde.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome to geneablogging Dalton. I am one of the older Australians you met at #Rootstech last year. Co grats on your fab research which identified Clyde.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome to geneablogging. Congratulations on your DNA match to the Voorhies ancestry. ~ Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dalton welcome to geneablogging we met at Rootstech last year. I am from the UK. Unusual surnames can be easier but look out for strange spellings sometimes you need some really creative searching to find them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dalton welcome to geneablogging we met at Rootstech last year. I am from the UK. Unusual surnames can be easier but look out for strange spellings sometimes you need some really creative searching to find them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice new genealogy blog! I hope to hear more about your genealogy journey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welcome to blogging!It has been a fun way for me to tell my ancestor's stories and great cousin bait. Hope it will be for you too! Great to have met you at RootsTech last year. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome to blogging!It has been a fun way for me to tell my ancestor's stories and great cousin bait. Hope it will be for you too! Great to have met you at RootsTech last year. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is an excellent discussion of how to deal with several people with the same name. I particularly like how you took us on the journey with you. All to often we only see the final results. How you got there is very important and lends credibility to your conclusion. Bravo! 😊

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Dalton:
    I learned about your blog via Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.
    Reading it, it struck me that the Voorhies surname sounds very much like another Dutch name viz. Voorhees. Being Dutch myself, I was very much interested. I also have a blog with many genealogical subjects. One of my posts shows a survey of foreign genealogical blogs/sites showing Dutch origin surnames. The URL is http://www.patmcast.blogspot.com/2012/05/dutch-ancestors.html. The idea is to try and establish contacts between people who have an interest in the same surname. There are numerous cases in The Netherlands where people emigrated centuries ago without leaving a trace in Dutch archives. With my blog I try to bring Dutch and foreign (mainly US/CAN) genealogists together.
    Therefore, I like to have your permission to show your site in my a.m. blog.
    I look forward to your reaction!
    Kind regards,
    Peter
    PS A quick check revealed 67 Voorhees hits in the largest Dutch database. All people concerned went to the States in the 18th century!
    PS There is another Voorhees in my a.m. blog. It is shown underneath the Heart of a Southern Woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter, You have my permission you use m blog in your blog.

      I am always interested in finding more people to collaborate studying the same last names.

      I will be looking for the blog in the a.m! Also where can I find this Dutch database?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your permission, your blog is shown in mine now. If there is anything you want me to add or change, please let me know.
      The Dutch database is called WhoWasWho, it is available in English and the URL is https://www.wiewaswie.nl/en/home/.
      I wrote a brief explanation about this site: http://patmcast.blogspot.nl/2014/01/explaining-dutch-genealogical-database.html.
      Most of the data are free. Happy hunting!

      Delete
  12. Welcome to the genealogy blogging community Dalton!

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2016/01/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-january-22.html

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you all for all y'all kind words and encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post, Dalton. I love that you took us on the search with you. Welcome to geneablogging!

    ReplyDelete