Author Topic: Any descendents of Massey C. Medearis who have had their DNA tested?  (Read 193 times)

Offline Nick93

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Any descendents of Massey C. Medearis who have had their DNA tested?
« on: Thursday 28 May 20 05:12 BST (UK) »
Hi everyone, still fleshing out my great aunt and uncle's family tree. Lately I've been doing some research on the Medearis family of Essex County, Virginia. This tree goes back to John Medearis (born 1704) and his wife Rachel Davis.

John and Rachel had 6 children, all of whom except their firstborn son seem to have had families of their own. These are: Abraham, John, Sarah, Charles, Rice, Massey C., and Oliver.

According to his Revolutionary War pension application, Massey C. states that he believes himself to have been 77 years old at the time of the document (born around 1752), but he was informed that the family record of his birth had been destroyed.

According to this site, without source, it mentions in passing that John and Rachel adopted Massey.

There is some contention about what the C. in Massey C. Medearis stands for. The only time it was ever properly spelled out was in 1790, in an Orange county North Carolina will for John Jenkins where Massey is a witness, and it calls him "Massey Christmas Medearis." Most sources I've seen online say Christmas was a phonetic mistake, and his middle name was actually "Chisman" as Rachel Davis' grandmother was possibly a woman named Jane Chisman.

Having said that, I had been given access by a second cousin to his father's ancestry DNA results, and looking up surnames, both Medearis, and Christmas, in Virginia, I found that the only Medearis descendants he connected to at higher than 12 cM (which I understand is considered the baseline for assuming shared ancestry within the last few centuries) were descendants of Massey C. Medearis. There is one descendant of Captain John Medearis, Massey's brother, at 15cM, but all the other descendants I've found of Medearis family were in the 7-9 cM range.

Meanwhile, I looked up connections to people with Christmas ancestors in Virginia, and found seven people; one in the 26 cM across one segment range, one in the 20 cM range over 2 segments, one in the 18 cM range across one segment, one in the 17 cM range, one in the 16 cM range, and in the 13 cM range, and one in the 12 cM range over one segment, all descended from a Thomas Cross Christmas and his children, who, looking him up, lived from 1690-1769 in Hanover county, Virginia.

It looks like he had 6, possibly 7 children (a potential son, Richard, according to this family page, who pre-deceased him, but seems to have reached adulthood and married an Elizabeth), and one of the sons, John, lived in Orange county North Carolina, the same place Massey C. was apparently living when he bore witness to John Jenkins' will.

I don't know what source the Medearis website was referencing when they said Massey was adopted, but I'm curious perhaps if he was a son of one of Thomas Christmas' children? Would DNA show that far back for a common ancestor from 1690-1760-odd?

I know middle names weren't astronomically rare, but I've heard they weren't particularly common prior to the revolutionary war. None of the other children of John and Rachel have middle names, only Massey. As for the name Massey, there is no known family relationship there, but according to a legal paper, John Madearis had a neighbor by name of John Massey, and there was also a Massey family living in Hanover county where Thomas Christmas and his family lived. Other than that I can see no connection between the Madearis and Christmas families for them to give that middle name to their son, unless Massey was a child of a Massey and a Christmas and adopted by the Madearis family due to a closeness with neighbor John Massey. Maybe I'm just confused, and the middle name really was Chisman all along, though I find Chisman corrupting to Christmas a bit of a stretch. I know it's a long shot, but is anyone on here a descendant of Massey C. Medearis? If so, have you had your DNA tested and come by any similar result?