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Thread: Evan Stephens, Fayette Co., PA, and Ancestry.com

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    Question Evan Stephens, Fayette Co., PA, and Ancestry.com

    Back in early August one of my closest 67-marker Stevens matches went to 107/111, making him one of two at that distance, both of whom are my closest matches at 111 markers. The other 107/111 match spells the surname with a ph: Stephens. The brand new (at that time) Stevens match traces his mdka (most distant known ancestor) to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, with a birth year of 1787.

    Since that time, I have acquired another fairly close Stevens match, at 106/111, and this one, too, with an mdka born in Fayette County, PA, this time in 1801. My own mdka was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, only 45 or 50 miles west of Fayette County.

    Rummaging through Ancestry.com's stuff for Fayette County, PA, I found that several of the sons of Welsh immigrant Evan Stephens (Evan ap Stephen, b. abt 1692 in Llanbister, Radnorshire, Wales) moved from Bucks County, PA, to Fayette County in the 1700's. I scrambled to find a bonafide paper trail descendant of Evan Stephens to test for y-dna. I wasn't able to find anyone with a really solid claim, but I did find one man who believes he is descended from Evan Stephens but is not absolutely sure. He had already been y-dna tested by Ancestry, was R1b, but was not a match, even at 12 markers. Strike one. Then I found a woman who claims descent from Evan Stephens. She volunteered an elderly male relative for testing. I paid for his 12-marker y-dna test. He not only did not match me, but he did not match the first man either and was predicted by FTDNA to be I-M253. He told me his family had always told him his ancestry was German. Strike two.

    I have my doubts about the claims of both of these people. At least one of them is wrong, anyway, because they do not match each other. So, I still think descent from Evan Stephens is a possibility, although it may not be something I am ever able to prove without doing some nocturnal grave robbing up in Fayette County.

    Today I ran a photo of Levi Stephens, Jr., a great grandson of Evan Stephens, and a photo of my second great grandfather, James Holmes Stevens, through the facial resemblance program at PicTriev. The two of them scored a 75% facial resemblance, which seems high to me, perhaps too high to be mere coincidence. The photo on the left below of the seated man with a cane is Levi Stephens, Jr. The photo on the right of the bearded man is my second great grandfather, James.

    Levi Stevens pic 2.jpg James Holmes Stevens.jpg

    What do you think?

    I hate to pin my hopes on such slim pickings or to continue to fan the embers of a fire that should be allowed to burn out, but I wonder. Ancestry.com is rife with bogus claims and shaky family trees.

    Wish I could find a way to settle this issue once and for all.
    Last edited by rms2; 12-14-2014 at 10:44 PM.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     Adrian Stevenson (12-15-2014),  dp (12-15-2014),  GoldenHind (12-16-2014),  Gray Fox (12-14-2014),  Táltos (12-16-2014)

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    Regarding the nocturnal grave robbing, that thought has crossed my mind many times!
     
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    I think there is a strong likeness, especially the nose.

    Cheers, Ade.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Adrian Stevenson For This Useful Post:

     rms2 (12-16-2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    I think there is a strong likeness, especially the nose.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Thanks, Ade.

    I think so, too, but I wonder if that is just one of those Identity By State (IBS) things, in other words, coincidence, or an IBD (Identity By Descent) thing.

    Wish I could find an honest-to-goodness y-dna line descendant of Evan Stephens to test.

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    I grew up on the old family home place in Fayette county and currently own the cemetery where John, Evan's son, is buried along with my other ancestors at the Little Redstone Methodist Church near Fayette City PA. Any information that you could provide about my family would be most appreciated.

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     rms2 (06-30-2016)

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    Quote Originally Posted by S Stephens View Post
    I grew up on the old family home place in Fayette county and currently own the cemetery where John, Evan's son, is buried along with my other ancestors at the Little Redstone Methodist Church near Fayette City PA. Any information that you could provide about my family would be most appreciated.
    I'll be sending you a private message.

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