Saturday, September 12, 2015

Surprising Connection Between My Husband's and My Tree

My husband I do not share any direct ancestors. However, my father's DNA test led to a surprising discovery of an 1873 marriage between the granddaughter of my 4x great grandparents and the son of my husband's 4x great grandparents. Here's how I made the discovery...

Ancestry's hint showing my dad's potential DNA
match with Hardin Davis Trammell

I was looking at my father's DNA matches on Ancestry under "New Ancestor Discoveries."  Ancestry says these are "potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in your family tree." My dad's DNA showed 5 of these "potential" matches. So, what was strange? I recognized 3 of the people. But, not because they are related to me and my father. I recognized 3 of the people because they are related to my husband!

One of these 3 potential matches was for Hardin Davis Trammell (1844-1915). That's a fairly unusual name, right? Well, Hardin Trammell is my husband's 3rd great grand uncle. In other words, he's a son of my husband's 4x great grandparents. I didn't have much information on him, but I did have 25 'shaky leaf' hints. One of those hints was a story by another researcher which says that his second wife's name was Eliza L. Bookout.

Bookout? That's another unusual name! And, it's another name I recognize. My 4th great grandparents were John & Sarah "Sally" (Vaughan) Bookout! And, they had a daughter named Eliza whose family I hadn't yet found.

My next step was to find out more about Hardin D Trammell and Eliza L Bookout.


Hardin Davis Trammell, the son of my husband's 4x great grandparents, first married in 1866 after fighting in the Civil War. He married Sarah (Ragsdale) Cook in 1866 and had 4 children over the next few years. Sadly, Sarah evidently died in childbirth when their youngest son was born on February 27th, 1873. Hardin was left with four young children aged 5, 3, 1, and the newborn.

Hardin & Eliza (Bookout) Trammell in front of their Oklahoma home circa 1910
Photo on Ancestry by mossbuster; used with permission

Not surprisingly for the time, Hardin quickly remarried to provide a mother for his young family. At the age of 30, he married 18-year-old Eliza Bookout on May 29th, 1873. The couple had 10 more children together, so together they raised a total of 14 kids. They remained together until Hardin's death in 1915 at the age of 71.

My husband, a descendant of Jarrett Trammell, and I, a descendant of James & Ellender Bookout, share
DNA with the descendants of Hardin D & Eliza (Bookout) Trammell


Because the descendants of the 10 children of Hardin D and Eliza (Bookout) Trammell share DNA with both my husband's family and my own, Ancestry discovered our "potential match." Although my husband and I don't share DNA or common ancestors, we are both related to the descendants of Hardin D Trammell and Eliza E Bookout!


  1. Wow! This is an amazing discovery and a great story, Dana. You'll have to find this branch of the family and see if you can join in on a family gathering!

    1. Lisa, That would be really interesting, wouldn't it? :)

  2. DNA WOW! definitely need to learn more. Congratulations on the find.


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