John Thomas Horne: Examining a Murder Legend

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Legend.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


A legend is a traditional story regarded as historical but is unauthenticated. I have a family legend I’d love to prove — the supposed murder of my great-grandfather John Thomas Horne by his step-father William Silas Johnston.

Continue reading John Thomas Horne: Examining a Murder Legend

Elisha Thomas Horn: Primitive Baptist at Worship

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is At Worship.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


My family has a strong Baptist heritage dating back many generations and almost 200 years. On my paternal line, this heritage begins with my earliest known Horne ancestor, my 3x-great-grandfather Elisha Thomas — “Preacher Tommy” — Horn.

Elisha Thomas Horn, c. 1880

Photograph of Elisha Thomas Horn, ca. 1880, digital image, privately held by Thomas Ayres, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Texas. Thomas obtained the photo from Raymond L. Horne of Mississippi who found it among the items of Emmett Horne’s estate.

Continue reading Elisha Thomas Horn: Primitive Baptist at Worship

Joshua Lawrence Horn: Out of Place Events Reveal a Well-Traveled Life

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Out of Place.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


When I think of my ancestors who lived before convenient modes of transportation, I often assume they lived in small geographic areas. With only wagons to navigate primitive dirt roads and boats or barges to cross rivers, who would stray too far from home?

My 2x-great-grandfather Joshua Lawrence Horn breaks all my assumptions. Several events in his life occur “out of place” from the expected, providing evidence Joshua traveled between Mississippi and Texas several times. Some of his travels were voluntary; others were not.


I’ve written about Joshua previously — a blog post commemorating his birthday back in 2016 — so I won’t recount all the details of his life again. Instead, I’d like to discuss the “out of place” records I’ve found for him, along with two new discoveries that confirm family oral tradition about this outlaw ancestor and some of the places he lived.

Continue reading Joshua Lawrence Horn: Out of Place Events Reveal a Well-Traveled Life

Analyzing DNA Auto-Clusters with Pedigree Collapse: Paternal Super Cluster B

This post is my second about Genetic Affairs’ auto-cluster tool and using it to analyze my paternal matches at AncestryDNA. (You can read part 1 here.) As you might recall, my father’s parents were likely first cousins, once removed (1C1R), meaning he has a high degree of pedigree collapse.

I previously identified four “super clusters” when running the auto-cluster tool on my father’s test at a range of 50 – 250 cM.

Paternal “Super Clusters” as interpreted from results of Genetic Affairs Auto-Cluster Tool, run date of 3 Jan 2019

My first post examined Super Cluster A, which I determined to be Johnston/McCauley descendants. Today we will examine the next super cluster.

Continue reading Analyzing DNA Auto-Clusters with Pedigree Collapse: Paternal Super Cluster B