Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Census Research Results To Date

My Brick Wall is Samuel C. Weeks B: 1805 in Maryland. I've been trying to find his parents for the past six years. It was suggested that I go back to the census for early Maryland and check out all the Weeks in those early years. My goal was to take a look at all Weeks Adults in the 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820 and 1830 Maryland census. I assumed that Samuel's parents were living in Maryland when he was born. And I ended with the 1830 census since that is the first time Samuel showed up as a head of household.

The research results are in a PDF file. Since I can't attach a PDF to this blog you'll need to go to another website to retrieve the results. So please go to http://weeksresearch.weebly.com/ and select the download for maryland_spread_sheet_current_version_5_27_2011.pdf

I'm not sure what all this information means and I'd be grateful for inputs from others regarding these results.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I've had my YDNA tested twice. Once with ancestry.com (a 41 marker test) and again with Family Tree DNA (a 37 marker test). The test results were virtually the same (duh). The results were off slightly on two markers.

One test would have been enough but I went with ancestry.com first and then decided I wanted to be part of the Family Tree DNA Weeks Surname Group and to be part of the group you have to have your YDNA processed by FTD.

Here are my results: (click on image to enlarge)

YDNA - Please get yours tested!

What is YDNA?  For complete information on YDNA I suggest you go to http://www.familytreedna.com/ or just search on YDNA.

Simple put your YDNA is past down from father to son thus it's a great tool for finding direct male ancestors. There are huge databases of YDNA results from all over the world. That's the good news. Unfortunately, even though the Weeks surname is fairly common there are only a hand full of Weeks men who have taken and posted their YDNA results. The smaller the database the harder it is to get good result.

If you are a Weeks male please have your YDNA tested. The larger the Weeks sampling the better the odds are you will be successful using this technology to find your male Weeks ancestors.

There are few sites that have a YDNA Weeks Surname Group. They are:

http://www.familytreedna.com/ The Family Tree DNA Weeks surname group is managed by a gentleman that has a wealth of information on early Weeks families.

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation aka SMGF

If you decide to get your YDNA processed, I encourage you to test for as many makers as you can afford. I'd recommend a min. of 37 markers but more better.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One of the first Weeks Families in Amercia

This is a long post but I think it's worth it if you have any interest in one of the first Weeks in America. This information comes from a book titled;

The Ancestors and descendants of Charles E. Smith and Nora Arminda (McPherren) Smith with Ancestor Families of:
Smith, Griffin, McPherren, and Weeks”

By Lynnette Roberts

The book can be read on line at the LDS Family History Archives

I think the author does a great job describing the origin of the Weeks name and early Weeks family American history.

Weeks Name Origin:
Most researches of the Weeks surname in America attribute the name to that of English origin.  Though other Weeks lineages, with various spellings, can be traced to other countries on the European continent, our line of Weeks ancestors near certainly came from England. Early in the 1600's the English started settling the eastern areas of the United States, and most particularly the area of modern day eastern Virginia. Our earliest confirmed Weeks ancestor, Joseph Weeks, is thought to have been born about 1670 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The wife of Joseph Weeks was born in England.

It is believed the name Weeks first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066.  However the name Weeks derives from the Old English Saxon word wic, which means dwelling place, or someone who lives in an outlying settlement. ' Generally it is thought that most of the early Weeks settlers in colonial America came from the southern areas of England, notably Cornwall, Devonshire and Sussex.

The spelling of the name Weeks can vary to up to sixty different ways! Lack of education in medieval times was one reason for the various spellings, plus the fact that the English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. Obviously personal preference also attributed to each family of Weeks settling on a way to spell the name. Even when the Weeks name appeared in America, personal preference and lack of education played a part in how the name was spelled. Some of the more common spellings for Weeks found researching this book are: Weekes, Wykes, Wyck, Wicks, Weykes.

The Many Early Weeks Families in America:

Researching the Weeks names in 1600 and 1700 America can be a daunting undertaking, given the xtremely common name and numerous spellings variations. Add to the fact that in genealogy, researchers well know that first names are routinely repeated through generations and extended descendants thereof. It is not uncommon for one sibling to name his/her children the same names as his/her sibling did. Thus cousins have similar first names. Also common is the reality that many related family members tended to settle in the same areas. So, for example, it was found that there were about five inter-related men, of the about the same age, named Benjamin Weeks all from one general area. Another complexity to the mix is that in most eastern states, there are very sketchy records.

Most records were lost in either in the Revolutionary War or the Civil War. Other records were lost to fires common in the times. Such being said, this author has done much personal research and has also taken the liberty of carefully studying years of work by other seasoned Weeks genealogical researchers. It has been thus concluded that putting much additional effort into tracing our particular line of Weeks beyond that of Joseph Weeks (born about 1670) is near futile at this time, even though there is speculation about his further lineage. Also, even though this author concedes a possible few minor errors in trying to decided "which Weeks are ours" from the few records still available, the over all analysis does give a clear picture of just where our Weeks lineage came from and many factual details about the generations of the family.

Generally, most Weeks researchers believe that about seven different Weeks lineages first came from England in the early 1600's, of which some may have been related. The three main areas Weeks people settled were: Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia. In Virginia, here again Weeks researchers find much confusion in that there were many related and unrelated Weeks lineages. Since  House of Names.com. and Genealogical Outline of the Cram. Walker, and Weeks Families. Boston: 1934.

Our Weeks Ancestors in America:

As stated, our first known Weeks ancestor has been documented back to Joseph Weeks who was born about 1670 in Westmoreland County, VA. Various documents indicate that our lineage stayed in the Westmoreland Co. VA area until about 1751-52, when further descendants then spread a bit to the northwest, to the neighboring counties of King George, Fauquier and Culpeper. Just before 1800 we can trace our Weeks folks south to Burke Co., GA. Eventually our Weeks linage continued migrating west, as the modern day map below shows. (Keep in mind there were no states or state boundarie in the 1600's and early 1700's, only boundaries for the 13 original colonies. Virginia and North Carolina, for example, stretched to the Mississippi River: Also, modern West Virginia was part of Virginia until 1863.)

Migration of our Weeks Family - From about 1670 to 1870
1 - Westmoreland Co. (Northern Neck area) VA
2 - Culpeper County, VA
3 - Burke and Jefferson County areas, GA
4 - Franklin County, TN
5 - Choctaw County, MS
6 - Copiah County, MS

With a better understanding of the origins of our Weeks family and where they migrated throughout the south, it is now time to continue on to the Statistical information on our Weeks lineage. After reviewing the actual names and dates of the various Weeks through the generations, a biography of each major ancestors of each generation is presented. Here in these biographies will be found details of each direct relative who migrated to the areas shown in the preceding map. Keep in mind that our final descendant of the Weeks lineage, Arminda Frances Weeks, married Jesse Workman McPherren. Their daughter was Nora McPherren/Smith one of the main subjects of this book.  Discovering our Weeks lineage will reveal people of prominence and poverty, but always patriotism.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Brick Wall

With help from family records and interviews family member I've been able to track my direct decedents all the way back to 1805. But I've been stuck at 1805 for the past few years. For now my journey ends with the birth of Samuel C. Weeks born in 1805 in Maryland. I just can not find any information about his parents. Who were they and where did they come from?

I know that Samuel was born in Maryland in 1805. That information has been confirmed from family records, US Census and a obituary written about him in 1870 in Ohio.

I also have a picture of his son Issac’s home in the late 1800's. In this pictures are other children of Samuel's along with pictures of some of his grandchildren.

A couple of years ago I had my YDNA taken hoping that would help break down that brick wall. So far no help. Not because of any fault of YNDA. It's just that the data base of men who have posted their YDNA and have the Weeks surname is just too small. As more Weeks men get their YDNA and post their results the more useful YDNA will become in helping to find male ancestors.

The following posts in this section of this blog details some of the actions I've taken to try to find the parents of Samuel C. Weeks.

I'm always looking for advice on this topic.

Weeks Family Research

My name is Bob Weeks and I’ve been actively researching my Weeks family tree since 2003. This Weeks Family Research blog is a collection of information regarding early Weeks families in the USA.

Over the past few years I’ve been searching for the parents of my Third Great Grandfather who I believe was born in 1805 in Maryland. I’ve spent countless hours trying to discover his parents and along the way I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with others researching their Weeks roots.

In 2009 and then again in 2011 I had my YDNA tested hoping that those results would help me find my Weeks ancestors. And again many hours of research resulted in many dead ends.

However, through all this time, money and research I have accumulated a lot of Weeks Family information that I would like to share with others. So the purpose of this blog is to act as a clearing house of information on the Weeks families in the early 1800′s and beyond.

This blogs only purpose is to share my findings with other researchers and hopefully in return I might gain advise and help from others.

First Weeks Settlers

About the Weeks name http://www.houseofnames.com/weeks-family-cresthttp://www.houseofnames.com/weeks-family-crest

From message board..

The first Weeks settlers in the U.S. was George Weekes of Dorchester, Ma.and most probably came over here in late 1636/7. He was married to Jane Clap (or Clapp) and came from Salcombe Regis, Devon…associated with the manor of North Wyke in Devon.

Also a William Weeks and perhaps a brother named John Wicks came to Falmouth, Ma. (Cape Cod, close to Plymouth) John was a Quaker and was chased out of Ma.; went North to New Hampshire; came back briefly to Ma. and then went to Rhode Island. He was killed by the Indians.

William Sr. supposedly had children William; John; Abigail and Eliza (or Elizabeth).  William could have been married 3 times and had 11 children.He lived in Edgartown Ma. (On Martha’s Vineyard Island) for some time but then conveyed that land to his first child Samuel and William moved back to Falmouth.

John was also in Falmouth, but had a farm on one of the Elizabeth Islands. He was my line and I can trace him to my dad. Supposedly Johns’ brother William took over the farm on the Island.  Their father had a boat which was used for delivering material to various ports and as far away as New York.

At one point, during a storm his boat was blown ashore and stranded on Pasque Island, one of the Elizabeth lands. The Indians broke aboard and stole whatever they could. William and John jr. fought the Indians but didn’t have enough manpower to retrieve the materials being taken.  Many of the descendants of William Sr. have not been traced at the time thie genealogy books were written.

The Earliest Weeks/Weekes/Wickes/Wicks in the Colonies

(This information was provided by Walter Weeks)

1. Francis Weeks b. prior to ca.1607, whose inventory was taken around Jamestown in 1627 would seem to be the first on American soil besides some Weeks sailors who were documented as early as 1622. Who this Francis was and where he came from, prob. Eng., is not known for certain or if he left any descendants.

2. Francis Weeks 1618-1689, who probably came from Devon(shire) in England and lived in MA, RI and finally Oyster Bay, New York is well documented. At least one researcher that I am aware of has some doubts about this Francis being from the Devon Weeks' because Francis apparently was not literate. I can't confirm or deny this statement, but it could be a consideration.

3. William Weeks of MA ca. 1615-1689 was prob. the son of Robert Weeks of Staines Parish, Middlesex England who left a will in 1638 naming 4 sons, John, Thomas, William and Robert. This William Weeks was in the Barnstable area of MA. When he migrated is uncertain, but it was before 1638.

4. John Weeks of MA/RI 1609-1666 arrived in prob. Plymouth, MA aboard the Hopewell, Nov. 1635 with his wife Mary,b. 1607 and dau. Ann, 1 yr. old. I believe he was listed as a Tanner. He is probably the s/o Robert of Middlesex England as he is mentioned in his Father's Will as living in New England in an add on to the will. If true, William and John are brothers.

5. George Weeks of Dorchester MA, ca. 1600-1659 is from Devon, England but not related to others who claim to be from Devon.

6. Joseph Weeks 1620-1692 is first found in 1647 in IoW, VA and he then migrated to Kent Island, MD in 1650,where he lived his well doumented life as a Justice among other things. He is prob. from the Bristol area of England.

7. Walter Weeks 1615-1666 was first found on Kent Island, MD in 1642 and by 1650 he was in Northumberland, VA where he d. There is evidence that he was literate and a tutor.

8. Abraham Weeks 1630-1692,is first found in Lower Norfolk, VA in the late 1640's near Joseph Weeks who migrated to MD. Abraham was in Lancaster, VA and finally a very well known person in Middlesex Co., VA which was formed from Lancaster.  No known surviving male heirs for Abraham.