Sunday, January 13, 2013

Handy And Curd Family Connection

It's said that good things comes to those who wait. This may be true in DNA Genealogy as I have stumbled upon another discovery that was made on the Handy side of my family. This discovery was, not surprisingly, confirmed via DNA Genealogy. The difference being in this case, the new DNA Genealogical services of lent a helping hand. Recently, have entered the DNA Genealogical arms race with their new product - AncestryDNA. Let's take a look!!!!!

It appears that the Handys have Scottish ancestry.
Recently I took an interest in uncovering some of my surname ancestry. My last name is Handy. It was known that the Handy lineage, for which I am descended from, hail out of Nashville Tennessee. The earliest male Handy that was known was William Henry Handy (1881-1947). Shown in the picture toward your right are my uncles, father, and grandfather - William Ernest Handy Sr (1921-1994) shown far right. William Sr's brother, Clarence Handy (1922-1992), is shown in center with tie. William Henry Handy was the father of both Clarence and William Sr.

William Henry Handy (1881-1947)
Shown toward your left is William Henry Handy (1881-1947). Not to much was known about Henry Handy. Henry was born in Nashville Tennessee. Henry eventually migrated to Chicago, Illinois and worked for Chicago Steel Mills. Early in life, Henry Handy met and married Alberta Woodard in 1918. Other than that, not to much was known about Henry Handy. I was determined to gather information about Henry Handy's past. Therefore I turned to his SSN application.

SSN Application of William Henry Handy
The eFOIA act is a wonderful law. Called the Freedom Of Information Act - it ensures public access to government records. When a person becomes deceased, their respective SSN is released into the public. You can then order the deceased SSN application. The reason for this is to get the parents of the deceased. Toward the right, is the SSN application of William Henry Handy. If you notice, Henry Handy gave the identities of his parents - Owen Handy (1862-1916) and Emma (1865 - ?). 

Notice that Henry Handy didn't give the last name of his mother. This is likely due to the fact that Emma's last name wasn't known at the time. It's actually Emma, and her ancestry, is what this blog article is about. Let's take a look!!!!

DC of Owen Handy (1862-1916)
The original goal was to uncover the strict paternal Handy ancestry. In other words, I was trying to discover the earliest known Handy male ancestor in my surname lineage. This has changed because currently, I don't have any information on Owen Handy's parents. That's okay because valuable information was learned in the process.  Shown toward your left is the DC of Owen Handy, The informant was his daughter - Hannah Handy-Hudgkins. Henry Handy apparently had siblings. There was Hannah (1892-1945), Ira (1896-1910), and Jim (1902-1944). 

Marriage Cert of Owen Handy and Emma Lanius.
Determined to gather history on Owen Handy, I did a search on Owen Handy on What I found out was that there was only a single marriage certificate associated to Owen Handy. Owen Handy married a woman named Emma Lanius. 

If you remember - on Henry Handy's SSN Application, Henry Handy apparently could not recall the last name of his mother Emma. I then came to the conclusion that the Emma mentioned in the SSN application and the Emma mentioned the above marriage certificate, were the same woman. (As a side note, on both Ira and Jim Handy's DCs - Emma's last name of Lanius is fully stated). As we are going to see, the DNA evidence is going to help confirm Emma Lanius as an ancestor. Now let's look at Emma Lanius and her ancestry.

Emma Lanius aged 16 and Family
Shown toward the left is Emma Lanius, her siblings, and her parents. This was shown in the 1880 Census. Emma was 16 years old. The snapshot photo was taken from The actual photo is information on Emma Lanius's mother - Jane Curd. More on that in a second. Not much is known on Emma Lanius outside of her marriage to Owen Handy in 1882 and the children she bore by Owen Handy. One interesting fact is that Emma Lanius's younger sister, Mary Lavinia Lanius, did meet and marry a man named William Bridge. They both migrated to Texas where their descendants reside today.  

Emma's parents were Matthew Lanius and Jane Curd. The maiden name of Curd is confirmed by the 1865 marriage certificate of Mattew Lanius and Jane Curd in the Tennessee Wilson County Area. (I will post it on the bottom of the blog)

Notice two things before we move on. First - Jane Curd-Lanius was designated as being mulatto. In the old days back in the south, the term "mulatto" loosely meant that your father was European and mother was Negro. Second - Jane Curd's father was born in Tennessee. We will see why that's important shortly. As a side note, Matthew Lanius's mother - Sallie Lanius (aged 50) is shown as well. 

Curd Relatives and Neighbors 

Before the DNA evidence came along, a valuable trick commonly used is to view and investigate the neighbors that lived near known ancestors and relatives. In the old days, many relatives near next door to each. In the 1880 census photo shown toward the right, there is a James A. Curd (1809-1876) and his family living one door from Jane Curd-Lanius. This same James A. Curd is present in the 1870 Census, living a few doors from Jane Curd. 

It turns out that James A Curd was a known slave owner in the Wilson area at that time. In fact, his brother Price Curd (1808-1883), was an even bigger slave owner. I was coming to the conclusion that Price Curd was the father of Jane Curd. James A. Curd could be ruled out because he was born in Virginia, whereas Price Curd was born in Tennessee. In addition, James Curd only has a record of owning two male slaves in the 1840 Census. (At one point - Price Curd owned over 19 slaves in one year)

If you remember from above that Jane Curd's father was noted as being born in Tennessee. Both James and Price Curd had siblings. Their sisters can easily be ruled out as a parent to Jane Curd. The younger brothers of James and Price Curd were either deceased before Jane Curd's birth in 1845 or much too young (1833) to be a parent. This leaves Price Curd as the likely parent of Jane Curd. In fact, let's take a look at the DNA evidence which confirms the connection between the Curd and Handy families.

DNA Evidence linking Curd and Handy Families
AncestryDNA is newest autosomal DNA testing service that's currently on the market. It's owned by I submitted a sample of my DNA. AncestryDNA provides matches who are essentially cousins. One of my matches is woman who goes by the username of MidgeEstes. Shown on the left is the DNA match. One of the nicest features with AncestryDNA is that you can link your DNA account to a pedigree tree. 

As you can see, one of the shared common surnames is Curd.

 One of MidgeEstes ancestors was Elizabeth "Betsy" Curd (1738-1821). Elizabeth Curd was the great-grand aunt of Price Curd. Price Curd's great-grand father, John Curd, and Elizabeth Curd, were siblings. This means that their father - Edward Curd (Bet 1650-1670) is the common ancestor to MidgeEstes and myself. 

Pedigree Of Edward Curd 
It appears that Edward Curd was born around 1650 in Scotland. He died in Henrico, Virginia in 1742. The amazing thing about this is the area of autosomal DNA that these DNA tests look at - generally isn't expectant to retain DNA from a 400 year period!!! Each generation you go back, you lose a percentage of DNA due to a natural biological process called - recombination

For MidgeEstes and myself to possess these type of autosomal DNA segments from an ancestor that lived over a 400 year period is amazing.

1860 Slave Census Record of Price Curd
Shown below and toward the right are slave census records of my presumed ancestor - Price Curd (1808-1883). It appears that Price Curd owned many slaves. In the Wilson District Area of Tennessee between the years of 1840-1880s, there were many recorded African-American Curds - whom he and his brother James A Curd are likely the fathers.

In this photo shown toward the right, Price Curd owned 19 slaves alone.

1840 Slave Census Record of Price Curd
Shown toward the left is the 1840 Slave Census record of Price Curd. In this record is likely the mother of Jane Curd (1840 - ?). In this photo, there are two African-American females are at or near age of 23. 

As a side note - Price Curd's In-Laws were the Eatherlys. Price Curd's daughter - Emily Curd, married a James J Eartherly. On the 1882 marriage certificate of Owen Handy and Emma Lanius, there is a John Eatherly whom married and signed the certificate. It's very likely both James and John Eartherly were related.  

As always - it has been a pleasure. Please leave all comments below. 

Marriage Certificate Of Matthew Lanius and Jane Curd

Thanks - Steve Handy


  1. Hi Steve,
    Excellent article and as a CURD I am very pleased that you seem to have uncovered a solution.

    Have you seen the CURD family DNA project and One Name Study (

    As a UK CURD with confirmed history back to about 1750 I have secured DNA connections with several US family members and since managed to trace paper/record connections with those.

    My research to find the suspected, original US settler - Edward Curd (Scotland) - have failed so far as getting back that far is proving very difficult.

    I would be interested to see if we can compare markeres between the Ancestry system and the version though.

    Best Regards
    Brian Curd - (brian "at"

  2. Hello Brian - How are you? It's a pleasure to meet you. My apologizes for not responding earlier. I have tested at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA. Because AncestryDNA doesn't give you access to your DNA data file, you can only look at matches in their system.

    On the other hand, both 23andMe and FTDNA make your DNA data information available as you can download it from their respective sites.

    Because of this - I have uploaded my DNA data files from both 23andMe and FTDNA to My kit numbers are F200507 and M045725.

    My dads kit number is F208196 and his paternal first cousin - F245254. Since you are related on my day's side, you should match to him and his cousin - Laurie Handy.

    If you have tested at either FTDNA or 23andMe, I would suggest you upload your DNA data files to to see if we both match.


  3. Hi Steve thanks for the reply, I have taken a look at and for the life of me can't see how to get my info into a format they can parse.

    I'm obviously missing something here but there doesn't seem to be a way to upload Y-DNA information?

    Do you know something I don't ;) ?

    1. Hi Brian. Basically you need to download your DNA data file from either FTDNA and/or 23andMe. You want to keep the file in zip or gz format. Then upload it to Gedmatch. Here are the URL

      FTDNA -

      23andMe -

      Let me know if you have any questions. I can do it for you if you want. Just send me your DNA data files


  4. Hi - loved your story. Just received our DNA matches within the past month. With the information I already had about our family - both oral and documented, I wrote a book utilizing the WPA format to allow our ancestor to speak for himself. The DNA matches proved my book, A Mulatto Slave, the Events in the Life of Peter Hunt, 1844-1915. You can view it and his picture at my website on page 2. Thanks again!

    1. DNAMatchesMarch 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM
      Good Day Denise - How are you? I assume you are Curd descendant as well. Where did you DNA test at? I have tested at FTDNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA.

      What is your website URL?


  5. Good Day Denise - How are you? I assume you are Curd descendant as well. Where did you DNA test at? I have tested at FTDNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA.

    What is your website URL?


  6. Fascinating read. Shows how deep a person has to dig some times. So the most recent common ancestors between you and MidgeEstes were born in 1650? Do you know how many cM the largest segment was? I've seen some segments as large as 25 cM that must go back to the 1600s.

  7. Hiya Steve my name is stacey and I'm trying to trace some of my mum's side of the family, they are curds and go back to 1500 which I think are related to you? Could you please have a look for me as it wud be fantastic to find out more, thank you 💓

    1. 13th of July 2016 would be totally grateful for any information you have, thanks stacey Didcote, my mother's name is maureen curd n her date of birth is 17January not sure what year she's now 74years old.

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