#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Water

The prompt for week 14 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is “water.” I thought about my dad’s career in the U.S. Navy and my maternal grandfather’s love of fishing, but then I had another idea.

The family name Rainey. You know, rain. Water.

The thing is, my husband and I both have versions of the name in our family trees.

My husband’s grandfather John Crittenden Raney.

His mother’s maiden name is Raney. I’ve tracked her family back to John A. Raney (b. 1834 in Virginia or North Carolina, d. 1890 in Kentucky). I have good reasons to believe his father is William Rainey (b. 1795 in North Carolina). I have no confidence in William’s parentage as presented on FamilySearch or elsewhere.

My mother’s great-great-great grandmother was Ann Parrisade Rainey (1812-1845, a lifelong resident of Georgia, who married Henry Leonidas Allison in 1827).

FamilySearch shows her father’s line as follows:

Reuben Morgan Rainey (1777 Virginia-1841 Georgia)
Frederick Rainey (1752 Virginia -1803 Virginia)
Francis Buckner Rainey (1698 Virginia -1747 Virginia)
William Rainey (1666 ?? -1722 Virginia)

The documentation for the first couple of generations seems sound. After that, it gets shakier. And then downright questionable.

But somewhere back there, we all have a common Rainey/Raney ancestor.

Did I mention that my mother and my mother-in-law are DNA cousins? Yep, I married my cousin. A very distant cousin, I hasten to add. Even if the first Rainey in my family tree was our most recent common ancestor, we’d still be fifth cousins, and the connection definitely goes back farther than that. And Tim and I don’t have enough DNA in common to come up as matches on any of the services.

This is really the most likely line for the connection between our two families. It’s just a matter of finding the right records to establish an accurate family tree.

What I need to sort this out are some DNA cousins with really well-researched trees and some good documents like wills and/or birth records that can prove parentage beyond a reasonable doubt.

Until then, I will keep swimming up the Rainey/Raney rivers looking for the headwaters.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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2 Responses to #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Water

  1. I find these DNA links fascinating. My grandmother and grandfather both link back through convoluted ways to the same Salem witch in Colonial times.

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