Tangled Threads in Families’ Tapestries

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Genealogy is all about uncovering the past. Occasionally, in our quest to discover those who preceded us, we discover common ancestors interwoven throughout the lines. Here are some of our family’s more recent overlapping ancestries:


My great-grandmother, Leona Lucinda (1896-1993), was a Thomas by birth. Her parents were John Luther and Ella V. (Long) Thomas. Although they may not have realized it, John and Ella shared a common lineage through Hans Michael Thomas:

Hans Michael Thomas (1719 – 1784)
, John’s 2nd great-grandfather and my 6th great-grandfather (through John)
Jacob Thomas (1747 – 1811), son of Hans Michael Jr.
George Thomas (1793 – 1857), son of Jacob
Solomon S. Thomas (1831 – 1910), son of George
John Luther Thomas (1857 – 1927), son of Solomon S.

Hans Michael Thomas (1719 – 1784), Ella’s 3rd great-grandfather and my 7th great-grandfather (through Ella)
Peter Thomas (1757 – 1804), son of Hans Michael Jr.
Michael Thomas (1782 – 1861), son of Peter
Joseph Thomas (1815 – 1901), son of Michael
Lucinda Thomas (1841 – 1913), daughter of Joseph
Ellen “Ella” V. Long (1859 – 1922), daughter of Lucinda

So, John’s great-grandfather was the brother of Ella’s 2nd great-grandfather, making John and Ella third cousins, once removed.

And if that isn’t enough of a “kindred connection”, John Luther Thomas and Ella V. Long were actually third cousins TWICE over. The second connection was through George Painter, their mutual great-great-grandfather.

George Painter, my 6th great-grandfather through John Luther Thomas and John Luther’s great-great grandfather
Elizabeth Painter (1783 – 1850), daughter of George
Sarah Schlosser (1804 – 1882), daughter of Elizabeth
Solomon S. Thomas (1831 – 1910), son of Sarah
John Luther Thomas (1857 – 1927), son of Solomon S.

George Painter, my 6th great-grandfather through Ella V. Long and Ella’s great-great grandfather
Mary Painter (1773 – 1853), daughter of George
Joseph Thomas (1815 – 1901), son of Mary
Lucinda Thomas (1841 – 1913), daughter of Joseph
Ellen “Ella” V. Long (1859 – 1922), daughter of Lucinda


My great-grandfather, Carl Victor Taylor (1894 – 1957), was the son of Allen Seymour and Martha Ellen (Trone) Taylor. It appears that his parents might have also been related to one another, through a common Taylor ancestor.

In Allen Seymour Taylor’s lineage, the earliest know Taylor is William H. Taylor (1811 – 1893); then William Ferguson Taylor (1830 – 1906), son of William H.; then Allen Seymour Taylor (1868 – 1932), son of William Ferguson and my 2nd great-grandfather.

In Martha Ellen Trone’s lineage, the earliest known Taylor is George H. Taylor (1821 – 1893); then Margaret Jane Taylor (1842 – 1918), daughter of George H.; then Martha Ellen Trone (1870 – 1932), daughter of Margaret Jane and my 2nd great-grandmother.

The question is, “How are William H. and George H. Taylor related?” Considering that they are only ten years apart in age; that they have the same middle initial; that they both died in Washington County, Maryland; and that they are both buried in the same cemetery, it stands to reason that these two men might be related, possibly even brothers or first cousins. And if William H. and George H. were brothers, that would make their grandchildren, Allen and Martha, second cousins. Hmm….


In my mother’s paternal line, William Thornton (1620-1708) and Elizabeth Rowland (1627- ) are both my 9th and my 10th great-grandparents. Through the Stark line, I am descended from their son, Rowland Thornton (1654-1701), who is my 8th great-grandfather. In the Watts line, I descend from their other son, Francis Thornton (1651-1726), who is my 9th great-grandfather.


On my husband’s side, his paternal grandmother was Reba Gwendola Spangler (1919-2005). Her parents were Walter Lee and Willie Alice (Kenney) Spangler. Walter and Willie shared a common Spangler lineage.

Her father’s Spangler lineage was:

Jacob Spangler (1805 – ), Reba’s great-grandfather through her father
George J. Spangler (1847 – 1928), son of Jacob
Walter Lee Spangler (1883 – 1954), son of George J.

Her mother’s Spangler lineage was:

Jacob Spangler (1805 – ), Reba’s 2nd great-grandfather through her mother
Charles David Spangler (1837 – ), son of Jacob
Anna “Annie” L. Spangler (1863 – 1932), daughter of Charles David
Willie Alice Kenney (1887 – 1958), daughter of Anna “Annie” L.

So, that means that Walter’s grandfather, George J., was the brother of Willie’s great-grandfather, Charles David (or 1st cousins once removed). That makes Jacob Spangler both my husband’s 3rd and 4th great-grandfather.

Confused yet? (Me too!)

#ancestry     #familytree     #genealogy

Categories: Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Tangled Threads in Families’ Tapestries

  1. Amber

    Reba is his one and only paternal grandmother, not one of his great-grandmothers…unless you’re leaping ahead and speaking for your kids. 🙂


    • Thanks, Amber, for catching that typo. I have made the correction. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


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