Friday, May 25, 2012

Hardeman Family Origin: Turner Connection

Good Day Everyone,

   My name is Steve Handy. This is my first blog post. I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my personal experiences and discoveries in DNA Genealogy. I use the services of company called Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). FTDNA is considered by popular opinion the leader in Genetic Genealogy. What follows is a major discovery I recently uncovered. Let's begin. 

My paternal grandmother - Juliette Turner
My paternal grandmother is Juliette Turner. Growing up, I had the luxury of knowing all four of my grandparents. My grandmother - Juliette Turner never knew her grandparents nor did she really have any information on them. Well that's has changed - thanks to the advances in DNA and Internet technology. 

My grandmother does know her 1st half cousin - Martin Hardeman. Dr Martin Hardeman and Juliette Turner both share the same grandfather - Vines Hardeman. Being half cousins, they only share one ancestor. When I first begin DNA Genealogy over a year ago, I initially tested myself, then my father, and eventually tested my grandmother. To date, most of my matches on my father's side, have fallen on Juliette Turner's side. I know this because many of them have matched to my father's mother Juliette Turner and her 1st half cousin Martin Hardeman.

Dr. Martin Hardeman
Dr Martin Hardeman is a professor at Eastern Illinois University. I was interested in DNA testing Dr. Hardeman. Martin Hardeman took both the Family Finder and Y-DNA test. Of course both Martin and Juliette matched in the Family Finder test. They both share 410cM of DNA. Full cousins share in the range of 800cMs - 1000cMs of DNA. The shared 410cMs of DNA is low due to their half relationship. Depending on this case, common matches shared between Martin and Juliette, automatically place them at the door of their common ancestor - Vines Hardeman (1856-1929). 

Family Of Daniel Hardeman Sr and Eliza Franklin 
My real interest was in my 2nd great-grandfather - Vines Hardeman. Vines had many children by different women. For some reason - I was intrigued by his history. The best way to study Vines, next to his documented history, was via the Y-chromosome. This was accomplished via having Martin Hardeman take the Y-DNA test. Martin's father was Rilious "Unc" Hardeman. Rilious's father was Vines Hardeman. And last - Vines's father was Daniel Hardeman Sr (1815). The Hardeman Clan originated in Jasper County with the birth of Daniel Hardeman Sr (shown as David Hardeman in 1870 Census). Therefore - when Dr. Martin Hardeman took the Y-DNA test, it provided the perfect insight into the Hardeman lineage. Let's took a look at that lineage. 

FTDNA Y-DNA matches to Dr. Martin Hardeman
The Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) is passed down from father to son to grandson in a straightforward fashion. The Y-chromosome that Dr. Martin Hardeman has was passed down intact from his first known Hardeman male ancestor - Daniel Hardeman Sr (1815). Similarly - your surname is passed down in the same fashion. Although some people get their last name from their mother, many of us simply inherit our last name from our father. 

Because of the two similar inheritance patterns, a Y-DNA test can be used to determine if a group of men with the same last name are related. It was expected that Dr. Martin Hardeman's Y-chromosome would match to men with last name of Hardeman. However there was a bit of a surprise. Martin Hardeman's Y-chromosome matched to men with the surname of Turner!!! (It should be noted that this line of Turner's is in no apparent relation to Juliette Turner's paternal line. Juliette Turner's mother was Addie Ruth Hardeman (1892-1930) who was one of Vines's oldest known daughters).

Y-DNA matchings of Dr. Martin Hardeman to the Group 10 - Light Blue Turners
In Genetic Genealogy, the term NPE (Non Paternity Event) refers to a break in the link between the Y-DNA and a surname. The explanation for a NPE can be an adoption, illegitimacy, rape, or surname change.  Martin Hardeman's Y-DNA, at 37 markers, matched to around 15 men with the surname of Turner. The male Turners that Martin Hardeman matched to are descendants of a group of male Turners whose ancestry originated in Virginia. They are called the Group 10 - Light Blue Turners. These men were founded by three brothers: Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego Turner in the 1700's. Meshach Sr's children moved to Georgia. Martin Hardeman's Y-DNA is closest to that of Meshach's male line. 

It's clear that the explanation for the NPE in this case is a name change. Whatever the case, the evidence clearly indicates that Daniel Hardeman Sr's (1815) male parent or male paternal grandparent must have been a male Turner. That's the only way for Dr. Martin Hardeman to posses a Turner Y-DNA. The identity of Daniel Hardeman's paternal ancestry apparently has been revealed thru two gentlemen: Dr Benjamin Bernstein and Mr Ralph Lloyd Duggar. Let's take a look.

Match 1: Dr. Benjamin Bernstein
Juliette Turner and Martin Hardeman both matched to Dr. Benjamin Bernstein. This match happened in the Family Finder test which is an autosomal DNA test. The shared DNA amounts are 34.96 cM and 31.72cM respectively. Essentially Dr Benjamin Bernstein is a distant cousin to both Juliette Turner and Martin Hardeman. All three share a common ancestral gene pool. When I examined records and documents, I discovered that Meshach Turner Jr (1768-1810) married Sally Farmer (1765-1805) and had several had children. Sally Farmer is a relative of Dr. Benjamin Bernstein. Sally Farmer's father was James Farmer. James Farmer (1726-1809) is the 4th great grandfather of Benjamin Bernstein.

With the connection found, this then opened up other discoveries. Meshach Jr and Sally Farmer produced two sons in Wilkes, Georgia - Meshach Turner III (1790-1860) and James Francis Turner (1787-1860). Meshach Turner III moved to Jasper County, Georgia. Meshach III married his 2nd wife - Sarah Hickman Tucker in 1818 in Jasper County. The evidence at this point strongly points to Meshach Turner III as being the father of Daniel Hardeman Sr who was born in 1815 in Jasper County Georgia. On the other hand, James Francis Turner could have been the parent as well. Both brothers would of had the same Y-DNA to pass on to Daniel Hardeman Sr. It's even possible another unknown son of Meshach Jr and Sally Farmer - may have fathered Daniel Hardeman Sr.  

What is a fact is that Meshach Jr and Sally Farmer are the clear paternal grandparents of Daniel Hardeman Sr. That's the only way that both Juliette Turner and Martin Hardeman can be tied to Benjamin Bernstein. There is DNA evidence (autosomal DNA and Y-DNA) and documented historical evidence that definitively establishes this. Both Meshach Jr and Sally Farmer died before Daniel Hardeman Sr was born. Therefore one of Meshach Jr's sons fathered Daniel Hardeman Sr. That's the only way a Turner Y-DNA could have entered the Hardeman paternal lineage and simultaneously have a connection to Dr Benjamin Bernstein.  

A bigger question is which son, Meshack Turner III or James Francis Turner, is the actual father of Daniel Hardeman Sr. 

Let's look at the line of supporting evidence from Mr. Ralph Lloyd Duggar.

DNA connection to Ralph Lloyd Dugger

Match 2: Ralph Lloyd Dugger
Juliette Turner and Benjamin Bernstein both DNA matched to Mr. Ralph Lloyd Duggar. This took place in the Family Finder test. The amounts shared are 22.62cM and 43.84cM. Meshach Turner III and Sarah Tucker eventually moved to Washington, Indiana in the 1820's. They both had 9 children. One of those children was Sarah Ann Turner (1829-1896). Sarah Ann Turner is the great-grandmother of Ralph Lloyd Dugger. 

This 2nd line of evidence from Mr Ralph Dugger then reconfirms Meshack Turner Jr and Sally Farmer as the paternal ancestors of Daniel Hardeman Sr. In addition, this confirms that Ralph Dugger, Juliette Turner, Benjamin Bernstein, and Martin Hardeman share James Farmer as their common ancestor. 

Summary of Common Ancestors 
Here is a summary of the discovered common ancestors
  • James Farmer (1726 - 1809) - Shared by all parties involved, Benjamin Bernstein, Juliette Turner, Ralph Lloyd Dugger, and Martin Hardeman.
  • Meshach Turner Jr (1786 - 1810) and Sally Farmer (1765 - 1805) - Shared by Juliette Turner, Ralph Lloyd Dugger, and Martin Hardeman.

Summary of Relationships
Here are the new confirmed relationships:
  • Juliette Turner and Benjamin Bernstein -> 5th Cousins
  • Martin Hardeman and Benjamin Bernstein -> 5th Cousins
  • Ralph Lloyd Dugger and Benjamin Bernstein -> 5th Cousins

  1. The first question is who is the mother of Daniel Hardeman Sr. It's clear she was African-American. It's safe to assume that Daniel Hardeman's mother was born into slavery in the Jasper County area of Georgia. It's was there where Meshach III (assuming Meshach III is Daniel Hardeman's father) must have met her - likely on a plantation. It's also possible - she was property of Meshach Turner III or James Francis Turner. Apparently, Meshach Jr left his family property which included slaves. Attached below is his will.
  2. The 2nd question is which son of Meshack Turner Jr is the father of Daniel Hardeman Sr. Since Meshack Turner Jr died before Daniel Hardeman Sr was born in 1815, Meshack Turner Jr's Y-chromosome was passed to Daniel Hardeman Sr through one of his sons. That's the only way the Turner Y-DNA was transmitted to the Hardeman paternal line. Either James Francis Turner, Meshack Turner III, or another brother was the father of Daniel Hardeman Sr. Since Daniel Hardeman Sr was born in Jasper County, Georgia, the most likely father would be Meshack Turner III due to his known presence in that part of Georgia around the time period of 1815.
Last will of Meshack Turner Jr (1768-1810)
Well that's it. I want to thank everyone involved - mainly Dr. Benjamin Bernstein, for his research which helped solve this puzzle.

Steve Handy


  1. Great detective work! I look forward to reading more of your findings

  2. Fascinating story Steve! I'm so happy to see you blogging! I am definitely going to subscribe to your posts. What an excellent example f how triangulation can really help solve lineage questions. :-)

    Now, I do have a question for you, so I am going to FB you.

  3. Interesting. My male first cousin on my Thompson line submitted DNA to Family Tree and we had some fairly close matches. We also had a NPE incident too. The lady from NC got in touch with about her Stuivant line and wanted to share genealogy. I said I don't have that line in my tree....She replied, "...but we have the same DNA". What a surprise when I told her my Thompson line was proven back for generations. What a surprise I had when she told me that her family was African Americans who had never been slaves.

  4. Love your Blog Steve, Keep up the good work.

  5. Using PCR technology, DNA analysis is widely applied to determine genetic family relationships such as paternity, maternity, siblingship and other kinships.During conception, the father’s sperm cell and the mother’s egg cell, each containing half the amount of DNA found in other body cells, meet and fuse to form a fertilized egg, called a zygote.Court Ordered Paternity Test

  6. Great story and explanation Steve. I really enjoyed it and was inspired.


  7. Whoa Cuz, it's Tre', that's some great work you did!!!! Who would have EVER known! It's great to see where we came from!!!!! Keep up the good work!

  8. Fascinating story (would love to know more of the nuts and bolts of how you decided to pursue those matches in particular as I'm sure you had many to choose from).

    1. Hi Karla - I was attracted to it via my ancestor - Vines Hardeman. He fathered many children by different women. Also the town of Covington, GA - where Vines resided much of time - has many current Hardeman residents that I am currently related via him. The town is small - 13,000 people - and my genealogical research is showing my relationship to them.

    2. does vines hardeman have any siblings?

    3. Hi Herman!!!!!!!!!!! Yes Vines had six other siblings - Lemuel, Lucretia, Esther, Benjamin, Daniel Jr, and Mary.

    4. Kool...thanks for the info...i see our family tree is bigger than i thought, i better quit while im

  9. Great work, Steve !! Is your shingle hanging yet ? Some of us might really need your help at figuring out who to test next, and/or interpreting what we have so far found. You make things sound so much simpler. Keep up the good work.

  10. Thank you My Name is Hardeman and I have been looking for answers , so this was a lot of helpful info. For me and MY LOST Family

  11. Thank you My Name is Hardeman and I have been looking for answers , so this was a lot of helpful info. For me and MY LOST Family

  12. Good detective work!!

    Since DNA, I have learned that three of my 3rd great grandparents were children of the following slave owners: John Walker Burney of Jasper County, Ga, Robert Griggs of Putnam County, Ga, and William Darden of Monroe County, Ga.

  13. Hello my Name is Pamela Hardeman i know the slave owners was Thomas Hardeman of Hardeman county Tennnesse. I did my DNA on ancestry and was really surprised at what i found out