Sunday, August 26, 2012

SNGF: Ancestor Roulette!

Randy Seaver's bolg post for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is called Ancestor Name Roulette. (find it at: )  Now doesn't that sound cool?! Sign me up!

Here's part of Randy's SNGF post for Ancestor Name Roulette:
1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born? Divide this number by 50 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

OK, so here we go:) First step: pick a GGF. I picked my paternal GGF, Gustav Zeller born in Frostburg, Maryland in 1858. 1858 divided by 50 is 37, and that's my roulette number.

Second step: Using my Family Tree Maker software I ran an Ahnentafel report and checked out number 37. It's Delilah Porter! Delilah Porter was born 1812 in the general area of Eckhart, Maryland and died 1881 in that same place. She married Jacob Eckhart, born 1812 who died 1836, also in Eckhart.

Now, Delilah Porter has been a brick wall for Mom and I. Mom has investigated every nook and cranny containing records in Western Maryland, gone to every repository looking for her. Believe me, Mom knows this territory... and all the people at the front desk:) She came up empty for poor Delilah.

What we did know is pretty skimpy: birth and death year. Luckily she married a prominent resident of the area who left a pretty good paper trail and a dandy probate record. In it Josiah Porter was named the guardian of Jacob Eckhart and Delilah's children. This Josiah Porter was a thin thread linking Delilah to her family but it was just about all we had to go on.

So here are three facts about Delilah Porter of which we are sure:
1. Her husband was Jacob Eckhart (1812 - 1836, son of John Eckhart (1768 - 1835) and grandson of George Adam Eckhart (1729 - 1806).
2. Delilah Porter Eckhart and Jacob Eckhart had two children, a son John Eckhart (1831 - 1917) from which I'm descended, and a daughter Rachael Eckhart Anderson (1829 - 1895).
3. After Delilah's husband Jacob died she married for a second time to James Anderson (1818 - 1860). They had an additional 8 children.

For extra credit and to win the trivia prize (in my head), Delilah's presumed father Gabriel MacKenzie Porter (1776- 1842) married a second time to Sarah Anderson... and that's a whole bunch of Andersons right there, if you ask me!

Below you'll find a previous blog post about how Mom and I narrowed down possible family connections for Delilah using information contained in the book, "A genealogy of the Porter family of Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan," by Samuel Doak Porter. We each worked on our own and came to the exact same conclusion. Now as a relative newbie, I don't trust my results but I  sure trust Moms, not just because she's Mom but because she's been doing this since the early 1970s:)

In a nutshell, we think that Josiah Porter named in the will was her brother. And if so that gives us a whole other window into the Porter clan and more family connections.

Thanks, Randy! That was fun:)

The Old Porter Cemetery.

A view from the Rose Hill, the Porter Property of old.
The site of old house (pictured below) sits to the right of this view.
"Independance (Squire Jack Porter)"
a painting by Frank Blackwell Mayer,
Now in the Smithsonian.
Squire Jack at home in Rose Hill.
Squire Jack was Gabriel's brother.
Gabriel is our most likely candidate for Delilah's father.

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