After investigating the small amount of Native American and African American genes in my SImpson DNA, it most certainly comes from great-mother Emma Hethcot's family. The Hethcot name had evolved from the name Hathcock or Haithcock, a clan which migrated west from North Carolina.
The Hathcocks had situated themselves along the Virginia and North Carolina border well before the Revolution. They were very clannish and lived in the same communities, and on the same lands owned by their ancestors, for several generations. They were reputedly related to the Saponi, a tribe identified with the Cherokee and the Eno Chicora and other small tribes in the Carolinas.
The Hathcocks were referred to as "Portugese" because of their darker complexions. However, they were more likely "Melungeons", a group of people that were really a racial mix of Europeans, Native Americans, and free African Americans, There are newspaper articles of slave owners suspecting the Hathcocks of sheltering runaway slaves.
While most of the Hathcocks still live in the southern U.S., 4th great grandfather Mark Hathcock moved west from North Carolina to Indiana in about 1805. His grandson, Nathan Wilson Hethcot, moved from Indiana to Iowa and then to Nebraska, where his daughter married Thomas Nelson Simpson.
If you're a child of Julia Daku (Debreceni) or one of her daughters then your mitochondrial haplotype is HV6a. We inherited this DNA from our mothers, who inherited it from their mother. It's passed on 100%, unchanged, down the female line, so it's an excellent tool in determining our deep ancestry.
The HV haplotype is very rare everywhere but relatively more common in Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, and Iraq. It's actually very rare in present-day Hungary. However, since our Hungarian ancestors mostly came from the Szabolcs region of Hungary, in north-east Hungary, near present-day Ukraine, perhaps this matrilineal line comes from further east.
I thought my mother's DNA would be very straightforward: all Hungarian DNA. However, it's turned out to be far more multifaceted than I suspected. The Bekevar Hungarians came from the Austria-Hungarian Empire, a very multi-ethnic state, even within the borders of Hungary, where over a million ethnic Germans lived. Although, I can't be certain until my mother is tested, I suspect my mother's ancestors originate from Germany, Italy, Croatia, and Ukraine as well as Hungary.
When Russell Elmer (or Elliot) Tenure was born on October 24, 1893, in Nyack, Rockland County, New York, his father, William Tenure, and his mother, Marietta Charters, were both 22. He had one brother, Percy, who was 2 years older.
On July 4, 1902, when Russell was 8, he badly injured himself experimenting with fireworks. Refusing to learn from that experience, Russell experimented with dynamite the following year, badly injured both his hands and blew a 2 inch hole in his leg.
Tragically, Marietta died in 1905 [Update: Etta left the family but didn't die], when Russell was 12 and William moved his family to New Jersey. Uprooted from his home and friends, his mother gone, his father working long days, Russell tried to build relationships with the boys on his baseball team by buying them new equipment and treats. Unfortunately, the Tenure family was not wealthy and Russell obtained the funds for this generosity through a late night burglary. Alas, Russell was not a gifted thief and the police quickly arrested him.
Raising the two boys was too much for William Tenure and he sent Percy to live with his wife`s family back in Nyack. After paying his dues with the New Jersey legal system, Russell left New Jersey and his family and moved to Corry, Pennsylvania, where, after lying about his age, he found employment as a paperboy and boarded with Nellie Durham and Hannah Canning, 2 elderly widows.
Russell moved to Manhattan, New York City sometime between 1910 and 1912 to live with his brother Percy, who worked as a chauffeur, at 845 Columbus Avenue, 2 blocks west of Central Park. On December 18, 1912, Russell enlisted in the New York National Guard. Russell worked for a while as a clerk but eventually followed his brother and found work as a chauffeur. He worked for a wealthy New York playboy, sometimes finding dates for his employer.
In 1915, Russell met Mildred Tabor, the daughter of William Tabor and Sadie Simons. Mildred's father had died when she was 8 and her mother worked as a dressmaker. He married Mildred on August 21, 1915. He later described this as a forced marriage and since their first child, Ethel Elizabeth Tenure, my wife's grandmother, was born March 6, a little over 7 months after their marriage, its possible that their union was the result of the pregnancy.
Over two years later, on October 15, 1918, Russell and Mildred had a second child, Franklin, named after Mildred's brother. On February 23, 1921, their family was complete with the birth of Edith.
Soon after Ethel was born, Russell was called up into National Guard service. Angry at American involvement during the Mexican Revolution, Mexican units had raided across the United States border and attacked a military base. The United States responded to this attack with an invasion of Mexico in mid-March of 1916. President William Taft was also worried about further Mexican raids on U.S. soil so ordered the mobilization of National Guard units across the country, including New York. On June 28, Russell was mustered in the New York 12th Regiment. After only a few weeks, the war was over and Russell returned to civilian life.
September 28, 1929 he then married Rose Ethel Blausten in Long Island City, New York. However, he was still married to Mildred, was convicted of bigamy, and served a 5 year sentence in Sing Sing State Prison. After he was released, he married Augusta Galmabertz. He died on April 25, 1954 in Rosendale, New York, at the age of 61, and was buried in Tillson, New York.
For over a year, I've believed that Clement Simpson and Arminta “Minty” Dutton were the parents of Nelson Simpson, the grandparents of Thomas Simpson, the great grandparents of Lowell Simpson, the 2nd great grandparents of Wayne, Bill, and Terry Simpson, and my 3rd great grandparents. I felt that I had compelling evidence to support my belief but I was unhappy that I did not have any firm documentary proof.
My 2nd great grandfather, Nelson, was born in Ohio in 1826, which was the right time and place to be the youngest son of Clement and Minty. In what I suspect was not a coincidence, Nelson later named his oldest son James Clement and two of his other sons Emery and Thomas, which happened to also be the names of Clement and Minty’s two other sons. This is strong circumstantial evidence but I still kept an asterisk next to their connection.
Genetic testing has now proved this relationship. Samuel Smith from Yakima, Washington, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year at the age of 65, shared 1% of my DNA in 3 different chromosomes. His cousin, Virginia Smith of California, shares 0.6% of my DNA, also in 3 chromosomes. This connection may sound tenuous but when you do the math, it is consistent with 3rd or 4th cousins.
I share an average of 12.5% of my DNA with my 1st cousins. However, my son, Joseph, only shares an average of 3% of his DNA with their children. When our children have children, they will only share an average of 0.78% of their DNA. In practice, they may share more or less than this amount, depending on which of their grandparent's genes they shuffled down to the next generation. So a match of 1% meant that Sam, Virginia and I may have the same 2nd or 3rd great grandfather.
Fortunately, Virginia has a neice who is an enthusiastic genealogist and she provided a detailed family tree. It did not take much time for me to determine that we were all the 3rd great grandchildren of Clement Simpson and Arminta Dutton. They were descended from Emory Dutton Simpson, the 2nd son of Arminta and the 4th son of Clement.
Happily, this discovery validated my research and uncovered some distant cousins. Unfortunately, while I have other strong genetic matches out there, if those matches do not also have a detailed, accurate family tree then it’s hard to determine how we are related. Getting further confirmations or breakthroughs is going to take quite a bit more work.