Two fathers are often on my mind as I work on my genealogy. They are ancestors for whom I have no known fathers.
I just received two Y-DNA test kits in the mail, one for each side of my family, which I hope will provide new clues about those missing men. I haven’t talked to the potential testees yet. I have a couple of potentials on my mom’s side – her first cousin and her brother. On the other side, I have my dad’s last remaining brother. My dad also has a cousin who might test, but he’s not in the area, so it’s not as convenient.
This post is inspired by a prompt in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project. The prompt, of course, was inspired by the Father’s Day holiday. I thought it would be a good time to express what I hope to learn from these two DNA tests.
My father, William D. Hahn, is the son of Charles Theodore Hahn, who is the son of Rev. Theodore Hahn, who is the son of William Fredrich Hahn. And that is where my knowledge ends. According to William F. Hahn’s obituary, published in the Pensacola newspaper, he was a native of Berlin. His tombstone says he was born in 1846 and that jives with ages given to the U.S. Census, as well as the information he provided on a naturalization document. Nothing I’ve found gives a specific birthdate. No other document I’ve found gives a location for his birth, other than Germany. No document I’ve found gives any indication of his parents’ names.
William F. Hahn had five children: Hattie Emmon (or Ellen); Frances Louisa; William Bernard or Bernhardt; George Herman; and Theodore.
I have found a couple of birth records for boys born William Fredrich (or similar) in Berlin in 1846. In one case, the mother’s name was Louisa. In another case, the baby was illegitimate. Right now, I have no way of knowing if either or neither record are for my great-great-grandfather.
A Y-DNA test could confirm that we are Hahns dating back centuries, or that there’s another surname to research.
My mother’s father, Dewey Hoyt Cook, is the son of Arthur Thomas Cook, who is the son of John Cook, who is the son of his mother’s lover. Family lore is that Frances Cook had a longtime love affair with one man who fathered all her children. Frances lived in Marion County, Georgia, which is close to the Alabama line, so if the story is true, based on the birth years of her children, the father would have lived in Western Georgia or Eastern Alabama between 1856 and 1874.
A surname was suggested by an older relative my cousin Pat Lowe interviewed years ago. I’ve looked for DNA connections to that family, and I have found a few cousins descended from a daughter in that family. Her father’s dates of life don’t add up, and I would expect to find descendants from other children in that family if that’s the right one. I hope that a Y-DNA test will give me some other surnames to research.