Saturday, January 3, 2015

Update - Possible Chenoweth Connection?

I've been perusing my grandmother's results at Ancestry lately, since they have the highest number of attached trees by far.  Through this and some appreciated help by several 23andme members, I realized my grandmother's rate of Chenoweth matches was higher than average.  Most people saw roughly 1 for every 10 pages of matches.  My grandmother on the other hand has 6 matches over just 17 pages.  Or roughly 5 times as many as could be expected by random association.

Three of these however are very closely related (a parent and two children).  If you take two of them out of consideration, that lowers it to 4 over 17 pages, still a rate higher than anticipated.

As luck or chance would have it, all of these are descended from the original Chenoweth settler, John Chenoweth.  Interestingly, each is descended through a different child.  Even more intriguing, John Chenoweth is only two doors down from William Parrish Sr. in the 1737 tax records in Back River Upper Hundred, Baltimore, MD.  They also had some interaction as is evidenced by a will record they were witnesses for.

With this I think there are only a few possible explanations,

(1) It is random.  The family immigrated to the midwestern states where they married into predominantly German families (guess).  This could explain my grandmother's higher match rate if she is instead related through the German lines (she is about 81% German/Alsace-French-German herself).

(2) This is a real connection, but it's through John Chenoweth's wife who was possibly a Parrish.  Their family lore could preclude this possibility (she's referred to as Mary Calvert) but from what I've seen so far there is no historical proof.

(3) Joshua is himself descended from John Chenoweth.  Possibly through John's daughter Mary Watson (untraceable).  Potentially, Mary could be his grandmother, or another one of John's granddaughter's could be Joshua's mother.

(4) Joshua is not a Chenoweth descendant himself, but rather descends from John Chenoweth's wife's family.  

I will say the majority of the Chenoweth's moved to Frederick Co, VA in the mid 1740s, precluding most of the family from being a potential mother.  Additionally among the known family there has been no Parrish mentioned to date in Baltimore as related to the Chenoweth's.  Also, no Chenoweth's ever moved to Huntingdon/Bedford/Cambria/Indiana Counties of PA.  Several Watson's were in the area, however given how common the name is, it cannot be said for certain whether there is any relation to Mary Chenoweth Watson.

Any and all theories and comments are welcome.