Building on the efforts of my parents and others in the family, I have been actively working on ancestry for nearly 8 years now.  The 5-generation pedigree chart shown here is the culmination of that work – or at least we can say that it displays that portion of our progress that covers the last 200 years or so.  As can be seen, my grandparents, great-grandparents, and second great-grandparents (2GG) have all been identified.

The 16 surnames involved in the chart are Jonnes/Jones, Lukemire, Bonn/Bøn, Vermilyea, McMullin, Blalock, Aaberge/Åbyrge, King, Smith, Matthews, Homan, Kennelly, Dalum, Lad, Whitney, and Miller.

Steve Jonnes Family Tree

Going past the chart, we have additionally identified 30 of 32 3GGs and 40 of 64 4GGs.  My 3GGs add the following 15 surnames:  Corken, Beckwith, Tabele, Brown, McIntosh, Wood, Chapman, Mork, Aalborg, Vikheim, Venjum, Mead, Price, Green, and Whaley.  The only 3GG whose surname is missing is the mother of Wesley Blalock (1825-1895); we do not know her identity.

We have photographs of 10 of my 16 2GGs, seven of my 3GGs, and even one of my 4GGs from the early 1840s (Robert Corken late in life).

Ethnically, I am mostly British in one form or another, from all parts of England and lower Scotland, along with a surprising amount of Scots-Irish and Irish, plus one-fourth Norwegian, less German, some French Huguenot, as well as a sprinkling of Alsatian and Welsh.  That’s based on my genealogical chart, not my DNA.  I’ll expand on DNA findings later, but my Y-DNA haplogroup is R1b-L21, a signature Gaelic haplogroup especially common in Wales (I am a “Jones” after all!), while my mtDNA haplogroup is H7b4, a relatively rare type found in continental Europe – possibly centered on the northern and western edge of the Alps (Alsace, Baden, Switzerland).

As of today, my full tree currently includes 3,512 people and 722 direct ancestors – 395 on my father’s side and 327 on my mother’s.  (However, to be fair, we cannot completely discount the possibility of a non-paternity event or other genealogical errors that would reduce these numbers, especially the farther back one goes in time.)  I manage and maintain my tree on Family Tree Maker 2017 where it is synced from research on Ancestry.com (Jonnes Family Tree).  Like many genealogists, I also rely on FamilySearch.org a lot for research.

My American roots run quite deep.  Other than my Norwegian ancestors, who came to America in the 1870s and 1880s, a German line that arrived in 1840s, and an Alsatian line that arrived in 1820s, all my known ancestors came to America before 1800.  A significant percentage came before 1700.  We have numerous ancestors who arrived in the New World in the 1630s and 1640s as part of the Great Migration, including one couple in the 1620s.  My father’s American roots go back in colonial times primarily to New Jersey and Connecticut; my mother’s go back primarily to New York and Massachusetts.

When speaking about my colonial ancestors, it’s strange but I am almost completely Northern.  They all started in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and moved west pretty much along the same latitude.  There is only one line that appears to be Southern in origin.  It’s on my father’s side.  Although he ended up in Ohio, Wesley Blalock was born in Kentucky and his father probably came from North or South Carolina.  Other than that, I am pure Yankee.  And yet … I’m living in Virginia!  Go figure.