October 2017

Comments, News & Site Updates – New Research:

We do not have a real understanding of the early family. The flood of new information has enabled us to take a new look at the first four or five generations in preparing the ground work for the 1850 study. VanAlstyne has some problems. DNA studies rely on the soundness of the underlying supporting genealogies. We hope to support these studies with an accurate picture of the earliest generations.

What we are trying to accomplish with the new 1850 based analysis is to connect all the Heads in that census year to the immigrant ancestor. After 1850 documentation multiplies by ten or 100 fold and genealogies are quite easy to construct. The brick walls start appearing with the heads in the 1850 census.

Bryan’s latest contribution is John Knickerbocker and Lydia Jackson. This is a 50 page examination of Bryan’s direct ancestors and also examines the often confusing family connections in Salisbury, CT that were further scrambled when the westward migrations started about 1800. Bryan feels this is his best yet and it is a huge original contribution to the Knickerbocker literature. Link

Bryan’s second input is a 21 page expansion of his trial family migration study. It is entitled Migrations of the Early Knickerbockers – Chapters 1 and 2 (of 4). Link

We have put up a data base of all the Knicks in the 1790 – 1840 censuses. There are many early confused spellings of the family name. Let us know if you find more. Link

Observation of the month – Millions of people are purchasing DNA kits from the many merchants of that technology. Most of the purchasers believe that this testing will give them research free genealogical connections to the thousands of potential cousins identified as matches.

Beware that genealogical connections can only be proven be conventional research done the old fashioned way. To identify a match with a 3rd cousin you and your possible match must have identified and proven all your 16 GG Grandparents. You can then identify your MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor).

In the case of a 4th cousin all 32 GGG Grandparents need to be identified and proven by both parties to make the match. DNA testing can provide indicators but really are useless for 99% of the people purchasing these tests. After you have done all the conventional research and a brick wall remains, then DNA testing might be useful.

Dick Eastman in his blog this week speculated that 90% of the genealogies he sees are faulty. I concur. The DNA results augmented by conventional research are only as good as the accuracy of that research. From the 1850 census:

Hiram Knick of Pine Plains was b. 1811 w/ Betsey as wife. Link
Hiram Knick of Tompkins was b. 1811 w/ Betsy as wife. Link
Hiram Knick of Bergen, Genesee county b. 1816 w/ Polly as wife. Link
Hiram Knick of Elba, Genesee county b. 1813 w/ Ana as wife. Link

Do you think every novice genealogist has untangled this and the other thousands of confusing records? There are many more Hirams.


·         John Knickerbocker & Lydia Jackson Link

·         Migrations of the Early Knickerbockers  Link

·         Many Benjamin Knickerbockers  Link

·         Hugh Knickerbocker and Rachel Schram  Link

·         The Father of Solomon Knickerbocker (1812-92) Identified  Link