the mystery ‘Denisovan’ people


Well, DNA is unravelling some odd information.

I know some DNA tests indicate a small percentage of Neanderthal in modern people. What? Neanderthal? Are you kidding? Maybe that’s why I refuse to be vegetarian…I just love meat! ha ha! That’s what I said in an email to my sister, who asked about this.

So, I got together with people that know more than me and asked around. There are two basic answers that I got from experts. First of all, that Neanderthal DNA is claimed from one company, and not all companies or DNA experts agree. So take it with a grain of salt. It may mean nothing. Some call it just a theory. (In other words, they don’t know.) But anthropologists argue we DO have Neanderthal in us. At least, some of us do. So, it is true that modern humans and Neanderthal mated many years ago.

Well, even if it is true…OK, here was my question…If we get 50% of our DNA from each parent, and 25% from each grandparent, and 12.5% from each great grandparent…you get the idea. In just a handful of generations, we get less than 1% from an ancestor and that’s just within the last 150 years or so. That’s the way autosomal DNA works.

Then why would Neanderthal show up with 1% when that goes back literally thousands of years? I mean, the math just doesn’t work out! I’m down to around 1% from each 4th great grandparent. An “average generation” is considered to be around 25 years, so 4th great grandparent goes back only 125-150 years. Neanderthal goes back thousands of years. The math really just doesn’t work out! Wouldn’t Neanderthal DNA be approaching zero, or even be completely washed out by now?

We modern humans are Homo Sapiens. Neanderthals were completely different. OK, we know they probably got together and interbred. In fact, anthropologists confirm this for us with science. But why would any of their DNA be in us today, thousands of years later?

It was explained to me that Neanderthal DNA and great great grandparent DNA (autosomal DNA) do not work the same. For some reason, the Neanderthal DNA from many thousands of years ago got really mixed up with our DNA, and has been passed down for thousands of years. It actually changed our DNA and stuck around. It is, what you might say…permanent. Why this happened, no one knows.

Furthermore, DNA is tricky. Some DNA, like autosomal DNA, does literally get mixed up like a deck of cards. So that’s why the percentages work out like 50, 25, 12.5 percent, etc. for autosomal DNA.

But there are other forms of DNA. Y-DNA for example, which only males have, is passed on from father to son, virtually unchanged, for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years. Mitochondrial DNA is similar, but passed down from mother to daughter, also virtually unchanged for thousands of generations. (Mitochondrial DNA is actually passed down from a mother to all of her children, but only the daughters pass it on to their children, the sons do not pass down mitochondrial DNA to any of their children.)  So, the theory goes, if we do actually have Neanderthal DNA in us, it worked more like Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA, instead of like autosomal DNA. And so a small percentage got passed down to us, and still shows up many thousands of years later, virtually unchanged.

That’s what a few experts told me at a genealogy conference.

But then, I read stories like this on the internet news.  The headline is, our ancestors mated with the mystery ‘Denisovan’ people — twice. And furthermore, the Denisovans were unknown until 2010.

Well, suffice it to say, scientists are still making discoveries. In other words, we don’t know everything.

Photos on Dead Fred

Dead Fred is a photo website for genealogy. Photos can be posted, saved, searched. It’s especially good for the “Mystery” photo section. You can post a photo as a Mystery if you do not know who it is, and if someone can identify the person in the photo, you get an email!

A cousin has scanned photos from three photo albums that belonged to my 2nd great grandmother Ida Seirer Cross. Ida was born in Good Hope, Cumberland, Pennsylvania in 1859. When she was a teen, the entire family moved to Kansas. A few years later, she met and married Allen B. Cross and had six children. She died in 1915, and the photo album was passed down to her daughter, Helen Cross Lawson. Someone else in the family purchased the photo album at an estate sale, and his sister scanned all the photos from the photo album and shared them with me. I am very grateful I have digital copies of these photos.

Some photos have a caption that identifies the person or persons in the photo. Family members are in photos, and I had no previous photo for them, including Ida Seirer Cross as a little girl.

There are also a lot of photos with a caption that names a person I have never heard of.

However, a great number of photos have no caption whatsoever. The photo and person in the photo are completely unidentified.

So, I just posted nearly 90 photos on Dead Fred. I am hopeful that someone can identify the people in these photos and let me know who they are. Also, someone that recognizes a photo may wish to have the photo for their own family tree, which is fine by me. I’ve got some photos to share! I just have no idea who to share them with…so I posted them on Dead Fred.

Stanislaus Rosemarynoski immigration

Stanislaus Rosemarynoski is my great grandfather. He was born in Poland. Now, Poland did not exist as a country when he came to America. Germany had invaded from one side and Russia invaded from the other. So various papers list his home country as Russia, with him speaking Polish. Basically, he was Polish in Russian occupied Poland. After WW I, Poland became a country again when the map was redrawn after the war.  Various online sources provide a brief or lengthy history of Poland.

Different sources give different information on his date of birth. Marriage records and passenger lists indicate a birthday of 7 January 1897. The 1920 US Federal Census suggests 1889, while the 1930 US Federal Census suggests 1890 (this discrepancy is common with Census records). His WW II draft registration card and his death certificate indicate 7 January 1890. And his Naturalization records indicate 7 January 1891. When a date is given, 7 January is consistent.  But the actual year various from 1897-1891.Stanislaus Rosemarynoski

He arrived at Ellis Island in New York in 1909.








The passenger list for arrival in New York is below in two images.

Stanislaw Rosmarinowski passenger list 1909 New York arrival Astanislaw Rosmarinowski passenger list 1909 New York arrival B.png New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.  Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C. accessed 5 Mar 2018.

Stanislaw Rosemarynoski is on line 2 of the passenger list. He sailed on the SS President Grant, departing from Hamburg on 8 May 1909 and arriving in New York on 20 May 1909. His age is 21 years, placing his date of birth about 1888. His father is listed as Wojceck Rosmaryinowski, and his final US destination is Norwich, Connecticut to visit a friend named Jan (?) Karnocki.

His Marriage Record is in a post about his wife, my great grandmother, here.

His immigration papers are below, in three images as three pages.

Stanislaw Rozmarynowski US Naturalization Papers page 1

Stanislaw Rozmarynowski US Naturalization page 2.png

Stanislaw Rozmarynowski US Naturalization page 3.png

United States of America, Stanislaw Rozmarynowski Naturalization File, Declaration of Intention (Superior Court of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 24 April 1937), US Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services Genealogy Program 1200 First Street NE Washington, D.C. 20529-2206, File No. 4359, obtained by sending hardcopy request. Declaration of Intention to become a US Citizen.

The blank areas are “redactions” from the Federal Government. Their opinion is to provide privacy for anyone such as children who may still be living. I disagree with this position, as the document is used for genealogy, so any time someone redacts genealogical information, it can be rather frustrating.

From this document, we can see he waited a while before he filled out Naturalization papers. His Declaration of Intention to become a US Citizen didn’t happen until 1937. His petition for Naturalization to become a US Citizen didn’t happen until 7 Sept 1939. Why is this date important? World War II started on 1 Sept 1939, just a few days earlier, when Germany invaded Poland. Germany had invaded Poland years earlier, and at the end of WW I the map of Europe was redrawn, and Poland was “taken” from Germany and became the country of Poland again. How did WW II start? Germany wanted Poland back, and invaded with blitzkrieg tactics. There were certainly other considerations, but Poland was invaded by Germany on 1 Sept 1939. Within a week, Stanislaus filed to become a US Citizen. Perhaps he was afraid he would be shipped back to Poland, away from his wife and family, to a country that was now embroiled in war, and that he hadn’t lived in for over 30 years. He actually becomes a US Citizen a few weeks later, in December 1939.

Later in WW II, more men were required to register for the draft, even if they never served. There was something called the “old man’s draft” for men born between 1877 and 1897. In 1942, this would have been for men aged about 45-65. They never were drafted, but they registered nonetheless. Below is the draft registration card for Stanislaus, with two images.

Stanislaw Rosmarinoski WWII draft registration A.png

Stanislaw Rosmarinoski WWII draft registration B, U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Lehi, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010),, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Massachusetts; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2090.

This document gives us some more information, including name of wife and date of birth. This confirmed we have the right person.

The second page, or back side of the card, indicates he had red hair. This was information very important for my mother! Her father had jet black hair, but she had some aunts with bright red hair! Now she knows the red hair did not come in a bottle, but was inherited from their father Stanislaus.

Finding such documents is part of the fun of genealogy!


Grandma’s Holiday Recipes

This week, Roots Tech is happening in Salt Lake City. Roots Tech started out, I believe, as primarily a technology convention all about genealogy and research. It has expanded and now does non-technology things also. I am not able to attend this year, but they have live streaming video sessions online. A woman spoke about preserving her grandmother’s memory with a recipe for banana cookies. That recipe has been shared online with countless other people. She encouraged others to share recipes also.

So I thought I’d share my grandma’s recipes.

Thelma Reed 2

Thelma Reed was born on 17 Dec 1925 in Wauneta, Chautauqua County, Kansas. All her life, many people gave her one gift and said it was for her birthday and for Christmas. She said she felt cheated as a little girl, and sometimes as an adult, too.  She married my grandfather, Chester Charles Rosemarynoski, on 8 June 1943.

Thelma Reed Rosemarynoski died just before her birthday, on 14 Dec 1998, in Topeka, Kansas. Her funeral was on 17 Dec, actually on her birthday.

My mom and her sisters printed up several different recipes for the holidays to share them with everyone who attended the funeral. I share a sheet of recipes here now. I remember both fondly, I think they’re terrific recipes for holiday sweet treats! Try one and let me know what you think. 

Thelma Holiday RecipesI know as I post this in March, it is not the holiday season now. That doesn’t matter. These sweets can be enjoyed any time of year!

The father of Mary Elliot, search in Eureka, Kansas records: search for delayed Birth Certificate

This is an update to a previous post. I searched the online records for Vital Records for Eureka, in fact all of Greenwood County, Kansas. Birth Registrations and Marriage Records are in a ledger style book that was microfilmed and now digitized.

Mary Elizabeth Elliott was reportedly born in 1909 in Eureka, Kansas. I searched all records for 1906-1911. I searched for birth records for Mary Elizabeth Elliott, and any record of other Elliott children born, or any child born to a Cora. No record was found.

The closest similar record found was a baby girl Elliott, born on Oct 13, 1906, a legitimate child, born to Mary Ford and H.D. Elliott. At this time, I have no idea who H.D. Elliot was. He may or may not be a relative of the J.D. Elliott that is reportedly the father of Mary Elizabeth Elliott. But this baby girl Elliott is not likely the Mary Elizabeth Elliott I am looking for.

I also searched for a marriage record for the reported parents of Mary Elizabeth Elliott. That should be Cora Jane Jones and Joseph D. Elliott. I searched all marriage records from 1906-1911, with no record found, and no similar record found.

We now have a conundrum. The reported birth places for Mary include Inka, Kansas (interpreted to mean Iuka, Kansas in Pratt County as no Inka has been found to exist) and also Eureka, Kansas in Greenwood County. No birth record for Mary has been found in either location, and no marriage record for parents has been found in either location.

The possibilities include the record did not survive, the record may have not been located, or the birthplace and/or marriage place is in yet another location.

My next step is to contact the State of Kansas for a Birth Certificate search. Mary was born in 1909, and the State of Kansas began recording Birth Certificates in 1911. At first glance, there would be no reason to conduct a search.

However, some people did file what was called a “delayed Birth Certificate” with their state. This would be a Birth Certificate filed later, perhaps years later, than the actual birth. This would require a sworn affidavit from someone present at the birth, such as the mother or the doctor or other witness. While this is possible, I don’t know if Mary ever filed for a delayed Birth Certificate. She did file for a Social Security Number in 1939, and some form of ID or proof of birth was likely required, so a filed delayed Birth Certificate may have been submitted as proof of birth date to the Social Security Administration. If so, the State of Kansas MAY have a delayed certificate on file. You never know until you request the search!

So, a search application for a delayed Birth Certificate for Mary Elizabeth Elliott in Kansas has been filed. I’ll update you when I hear from them. The results will be either no record found, or a copy of a delayed Birth Certificate will be sent to me.

The father of Mary Elliott

My great grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Elliott. A research goal is to discover and identify her father.

She was born in 1909, and the State of Kansas did not require Birth Certificates until 1911. So I look at other documents for clues and piece them together.

Mary Elizabeth Elliott was married to Howard Wilcox Reed on 5 March 1925 in Chautauqua County, Kansas.

Marriage license for Mary Elliot and Howard Reed is below.

Howard Reed marriage license LDS film 2404387 page 490

Chautauqua, Kansas, Marriage Affidavit and License Record, Book L, p. 490; LDS, FHL; Marriage licenses, and other marriage records, Chatauqua County, Kansas, 1870-1913., Family History Library, 35 NW Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Marriage License of Howard W. Reed and Mary E. Elliott, LDS microfilm 2404387.

Their first child was my grandmother, Thelma Reed, also born in Chautauqua County, Kansas. Mary and Howard later divorced, after a few more children. The divorce record has not yet been located. The marriage license does not state her location of birth for either bride or groom. The marriage license does name the mother, as the bride was 16 years of age at the time of the wedding. The father is not named.

After the divorce from Howard Reed, Mary  remarried a J. H. Boyd, called Jim Boyd in other documents, in New Mexico, on 17 July 1936. That document does state the place of birth for bride and groom. The bride was born in Inka, Kansas in 1909. This date of birth is consistent with other documents. There is no Inka, Kansas, but there is a town called Iuka in Pratt County. This document was typed, so a county clerk of some sort may have mistyped. I have been going on the idea of Iuka, Kansas for a long time, but finding no records.

The Boyd-Mary Reed marriage license is below.


New Mexico, Union, Marriage Certificate, Union County Clerk, New Mexico, PO Box 430 Clayton NM 88415, Marriage License
# 4511, J. H. Boyd and Mary E. Reed, County of Union, New Mexico.

Jim Boyd died in January 1939. Mary later remarried, this time to a Howard Clark, in August 1939, in Colorado. Marriage license for Mary and Howard Clark below.


Prowers County, Colorado; Prowers County Clerk, 301 S. Main St., Ste. 210, Lamar, CO 81052., Prowers County Clerk, 301 S. Main St., Ste. 210, Lamar, CO 81052, Marriage License of Howard Clark and Mary Boyd, Book 5, p. 256.

This marriage license does not name the parents of either bride or groom, and does not name the birth place either.

Joseph Elliot does exist in the 1910 US Census with his family in Baca, Colorado., 1910 United States Federal Census ( Operations Inc),, Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 2, Baca, Colorado; Roll: T624_112; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0201; FHL microfilm: 1374125.

I have done several searches for the father, Joseph Elliott, and cannot locate him with surety. Iuka, Kansas does have a local historical society, and they have done a search for me, and found nothing. Iuka does not have a Birth Register than I can find. Birth Certificates were not filed in Kansas until 1911, two years after Mary’s birth. I have a couple of records to indicate the father of Mary Elizabeth Elliott was Joseph D. Elliott, but I cannot locate him alone in other documents.

My next step was to locate the Social Security Application for Mary, which was filed in 1939. This application was completed in Del Norte, Colorado, the place of death for her second husband Jim Boyd. It was completed in July 1939, and Jim Boyd died in January of that year. This would have been after her second husband died and before she married her third husband, and was likely looking for work to support her children.

Social Security record below.


She still lists her father as Joseph D. Elliott, and her mother as Cora Jane Jones, and states her birth date as 2 Feb 1909, which is consistent with other records. However, the new information on this document is important; she states her birthplace as Eureka, Kansas. While Iuka and Eureka may sound similar, they are completely different towns. Iuka is in Pratt County, west of Wichita, and Eureka is in Greenwood County, east of Wichita.

Greenwood County does have a Birth Register online; this is like a large ledger book that lists the births of children, with the date and the names of the parents.

With a precursory quick look at the Register, I found no birth record for Mary Elizabeth Elliott, or a listing for either of her parents in the birth or marriage registers. I next need to do a longer, deeper search that takes more time, and looking at other dates both before and after the reported birth date.

I have a new location to continue the search! When something is found, I will post news here.


Gettysburg ancestor Allen B. Cross

My 2nd great grandfather, Allen B. Cross, was born in Pennsylvania and served in the Civil War. He was in Company D of the 148th Infantry of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

On the internet, I connected with a distant cousin. Allen’s father was Andrew Cross, and I am descended from Allen B. and my cousin is descended from one of Allen’s brothers. His last name is also Cross, and he lives in Pennsylvania.

He sent me photos of some bronze memorial plaques at Gettysburg with the name Allen B. Cross on it. This proves Allen B. Cross fought with his company at Gettysburg. Look at Company D for his name, two photos follow.



I knew that 148th Co. D had been at Gettysburg. When I spoke with a military history expert, I asked if there was a way for me to prove that my ancestor had been present at a particular battle. He said no, not unless there is some proof elsewhere. It was common in the Civil War for soldiers to take a leave of absence, basically AWOL, to sneak home and visit family for a few says to a few weeks. If the Army did not take a roll call while they were gone, it may look like the soldier was present between roll calls, which may or may not have happened. Meaning proof that he was present during a battle is difficult to prove. This does not mean every soldier went AWOL unnoticed. It does mean proving a soldier was present at a particular battle means more research than just saying his company or regiment was present. But if there was some mention of his name, such as a letter or plague, that would definitely place him at that location on that day, then you could prove he fought in that battle.

I’d say this plaque at the Gettysburg National Military Park proves he was there!

There is a photo of this memorial online at Wikipedia also. List of Monuments at Gettysburg includes the Pennsylvania State Memorial for men serving from that state, and if you scroll down to the 148th Regiment you’ll see this same photo.

Allen B. Cross, my 2nd great grandfather, fought with his company at the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War.