Tuesday 13 February 2024

My Swedish Immigrant Family

My Swedish genes took a meandering route to Canada. The central figure in this journey is Israel Andersson, my maternal great great grandfather. He was born in Laxarby, Älvsborg, Sweden on 26 April 1829 to Anders Svensson and Anna-Maria Andersdtr. Israel was the second oldest of 8 children. Being the second son, he knew he would be expected to find his own way when he grew up; Israel proved that he was more than up to the task.

Israel in his later years

The first record of Israel migrating to another country is to be found in the Swedish Household Examination Record for his family in the period 1851-1855. These records were essentially annual censuses taken by the church and included birth, death, and marriage information as well as reporting when a person moved into or out of the parish. The far right column shows Israel leaving for Norway in 1854. 

Household Examination Record for family of Anders Svensson - Israel left for Norway in 1854

As in Sweden, Norway's Lutheran Church was tasked with keeping vital statistics, including in-migrations (innflyttede) to the parish. Sure enough, Israel appears in the Lier, Buskerud, Norway church book as having moved into the parish in 1854. Although the record is difficult to read and to translate, I believe it indicates he actually moved in November of 1854 and officially declared that intention on 9 December. Apparently he was living on the Opsal farm. 

Top entry is for Israel Anderson, age 25 when he moved into Lier Parish, Buskerud, Norway

Within the year, Israel had made a life for himself there, marrying the Opsal farmer's daughter Johanna Gundersdatter Opsal and fathering a young son Anders (my great grandfather). In 1856 the young family left for "Amerika", once again documented only by the church record of departures from the parish that year. No passenger lists can be found for this time period. 

Lier Norway Church Record "Uttflytted" for 1856, with enlarged segment for Israel, Johanna and Anders shown below. 

Fortunately, the Lutheran Church continued its practice of maintaining records of births, baptisms, marriages, confirmations and deaths in America. From those records, we find that the family first lived in Rock Prairie, Wisconsin and moved a few years later to Kenseth, Iowa. By the time Israel's wife Johanna died in 1900, they were living in Hoople, Walsh County, North Dakota. 

Hearing of opportunities for land in Canada, several family members made the move to Alberta to take up homesteads in the first decade of the 20th century. My grandfather, Ingwald Anderson was included in that migration but he and his brother chose land in Saskatchewan quite distant from the older generation, perhaps wanting to assert their independence.

1914 Canadian Naturalization of my grandfather Ingwald Anderson 

By 1903, widower Israel had settled near some of his sons near the small village of Bawlf in the Camrose area of Alberta. His homestead application form indicates that he had become a naturalized Canadian citizen 28 June 1906 and that he had made considerable improvements to his land.

Homestead application of Israel Anderson in Bawlf area of Alberta, Canada 

Sadly, Israel did not live quite long enough to "prove up" his homestead grant, dying 7 March 1910 just short of his 81st birthday. He is buried in the local Lutheran cemetery. 

But my story does not end with immigrant Israel, nor with his son Anders/Andrew who came as a baby from Norway with his parents and remained in the United States for the rest of his life, nor with Andrew's son Ingwald who went homesteading in Saskatchewan and also became a naturalized Canadian citizen. All three generations of my grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather were immigrants to one or more of Norway, the United States or Canada. But I was to discover there was yet another generation of Swedish immigrants in my tree! 

Israel's parents Anders Svensson and Anna-Maria Andersdtr had been left behind in Sweden when Israel moved to Norway and then to America. The Swedish family must have received positive reports of life in the new land. In 1868 parents Andrew and Anna and two of their other grown children followed Israel across the Atlantic. Passenger lists available for this time period brought this new information to light. 

Anders Svenson and son Gustaf Anderson on the "City of London" arrived in New |York 25 May 1868

Information about  and an image of the ship that they arrived on can be found through this link: "City of London".  Ann Andersdotter and daughter Eva are listed on another page for the same voyage. All joined Israel and his family who were living in Iowa at the time.

A combination of ship's passenger lists, church records, Naturalization documents and land records show the meandering migration path of  4 generations of  Swedish ancestors whose Swedish genes now reside contentedly with my family in Canada.

Thursday 16 February 2023

Finding the Birth Father for Charles Edwards



My great grandfather Charles Francis Edwards was born in Keokuk, Iowa on 22 February 1869. There are no birth records available for this time in Iowa, but this is the information he consistently used during his lifetime. Although he liked to claim he was orphaned at a young age and his version of his parents’ names varied, in his Montana marriage license when he married Mary Jane Wescott in 1896 he indicated that his parents were Louis Edwards and Martha Hoover.

Investigations undertaken on my behalf by Alice Veen of Prairie Roots Genealogy in Iowa led to the establishment of his mother and her ancestry. She was Barbara (not Martha) Hoover (c.1832-1890), eldest daughter of Christian Hoover and Mary Green. Barbara married three times (as Charles had said), first in 1855 to a Hoover cousin named William. After William’s untimely death in 1858, she married Louis Edwards in Illinois in 1861. Louis soon left to take part in the American Civil War, became very ill and came home to die in Illinois on 18 February 1866, a full 3 years before the birth of Barbara’s son Charles. Barbara married her third husband, George Payton, in What Cheer, Keokuk, Iowa in 1873. Clearly, Charles was born between marriages for his mother.

Who then was Charles’s father?

Traditional genealogical records have proven useless for determining this well-guarded family secret. Recent developments in genetic genealogy should provide some useful clues for a father for Charles since his living descendants would contain valuable information in their genetic makeup.


The Y chromosome is passed down virtually unchanged from father to son down the line, with only infrequent mutations, enabling determination of male inheritance quite clearly. This usually means following the family surname back up the male line, only broken by “non-parental events” where the supposed father was not the actual biological father of the son.  Charles Edwards certainly did NOT inherit the Edwards Y chromosome. His Y chromosome would have come from his unknown father who somehow met up with Barbara in the spring of 1868 when she became pregnant with Charles.  Of course, both Charles and his unknown father (“UF”) have long since passed away so traditional paternity testing is out of the question.

The next best thing is to have a male child of Charles submit a DNA sample for determining his Y chromosome haplogroup and locating any close living matches who have also tested and share similar Y chromosome DNA.  The two sons of Charles are also deceased, but both had sons who would have inherited that same Y chromosome from UF.  One of them graciously agreed to be tested through FamilytreeDNA at the 67 marker level. (To protect his privacy, I am going to call him “YEdwards”.)

When YEdwards’ results came back with Haplogroup R-M269, not surprisingly there were no matches with the Edwards surname. There were just 2 matches (here called “LS” and “RN”, again to protect their privacy) leading to 2 surnames: Saum(s) and Nagle/Nagell.

Match Name

Genetic distance

Most distant male ancestor


Final SNP








Hans Nagell b1615 Germany

R-FGC8158 (he has done a more advanced test leading to greater differentiation)


When the results were first posted, LS had a couple generations of his tree online. From LS’s parents’ names, I was able to construct his family tree going back an additional four generations to Adam Saum (1785-1855) and his wife Margaret Miller (1792-1856) who had a family of some 14 children including no fewer than 11 sons! Later, I determined two additional generations to Nicholas Saum, German immigrant to Saumsville, Virginia, in the 1700s. Nicholas had numerous children by 3 wives. This was not going to be simple.

RN did not post a tree, but he did list his most distant known male ancestor as Hans Nagell of Germany.

The Genetic Distance is indicative of how much mutation has occurred in the Y chromosome; the lower the number, the closer the relationship. FamilytreeDNA gives tips for the likelihood that two men share a common male ancestor within a certain number of generations.

Comparing RN to YEdwards, with a Genetic Distance of 7, the likelihood of a shared male ancestor looks like this for Nagle:

Within 4 generations


Within 8 generations


Within 12 generations


Within 16 generations


Within 20 generations


Within 24 generations


 Comparing LS to YEdwards, with a Genetic Distance of 3, the table looks like this for Saum:

Within 4 generations


Within 8 generations


Within 12 generations


Within 16 generations


Within 20 generations


Clearly, it is more likely that UF for Charles Edwards will be found more recently in the Saum family tree of LS.

Next step was to build the Saum family tree from that determined for LS, starting with the most distant male ancestor found for him, namely Nicholas Saum. 6 generations separate LS from Nicholas Saum. This could be a promising lead and well worth the time and effort to build out the extended family tree of Nicholas Saum and his descendants.

The Y chromosome test has given us a possible surname for the UF for Charles Edwards, but on its own cannot give us the name of a specific man.


The autosomal (family finder) test is another genetic test that can determine ancestry based on the other 22 (non-sex-determining) sets of chromosomes.

We all inherit 50% of our DNA from our mothers and 50% from our fathers (one chromosome from each parent of each of the 22 chromosomes in the nucleii of all our cells), about 25% from each grandparent, 12.5% from great grandparents, etc. The exact amount varies because of recombination of the chromosomes. As you go back more and more generations, the amount diminishes and some ancestors are not represented at all in a person’s genetic makeup. Only identical twins have the exact same DNA. The more family members who have their autosomal DNA tested, the more of the family’s overall genetic background becomes apparent.

My mother Elinor had her autosomal DNA tested in her later years. She is one generation closer to the UF for Charles Edwards than I am. Charles was my mother’s grandfather so UF would be her great grandfather and we might expect that about 12.5% of her DNA came from him (although that could vary). Similarly, YEdwards is of the same generation and would also expect about 12.5% of his autosomal DNA (as well as 100% of his Y chromosome) to have come from UF.  Since I have access to the DNA results for both YEdwards and Elinor, these are the best results for me to use to analyze matches for them who come from within the Saum tree that I have built. (I have recently obtained access to the Ancestry DNA results of another of Elinor and YEdwards’ first cousins (LM) and will discuss LM’s results later.)

Because comparisons can be made only to DNA matches who have tested at the same company, I took advantage of every opportunity, when granted permission by the original test taker, to upload raw DNA data from the testing companies to other sites such as GEDMATCH and My Heritage. I have also done additional tests myself with Ancestry DNA and 23&Me and have uploaded my own raw DNA results to Living DNA.  Every site has yielded more Saum connections.

Finally, some patterns began to emerge that gave me an additional clue. I had a lot of matches that were to the Henderson family, which was otherwise unknown to me. (I had a well built-out tree on all known branches of my tree other than the mystery line for UF.) Frequently, the Hendersons also fit into the Saum tree through descendants of a marriage between George Adam Saum and Susannah Henderson. Sometimes matches were just to Saums and sometimes just to Hendersons, leading me to investigate this family further since we could be matching our DNA matches through either the Saum or Henderson line. But, for our family, it seemed we had to be descending from both, most likely from a marriage of the two. I did exhaustive research to ensure there were no other Saum-Henderson marriages that could also be the source of my family having inherited DNA from both those families. There was one, but it was for a male Henderson to a female Saum, which would not have given the Y chromosome results obtained for YEdwards.

The one marriage between a male Saum and female Henderson is the one of George Adam Saum and Susannah Henderson whose children were all born within a few years of Barbara (c. 1832).

George Adam Saum (b. Saumsville, VA 1797, d. Highland, OH 1836) married in 1819 to Susannah Henderson (b. 1805, d. 1855) – 7 children, including 3 daughters and 4 sons:

1.     Charles Frederick Saum (b. 1821, Ohio, d. 1886 Lawrence, Douglas, KS)

2.    Jacob Saum (b. 1822, d. 1861 (after being shot by neighbours for being an abolitionist and Lincoln supporter – several years before Charles was conceived so he can be eliminated)

3.     George Thompson Saum (1824-d. 1912 Kellogg, Jasper, Iowa)

4.     Stephen Adam Saum (1834-d. 1927 in FL but had farmed most of his life Kellogg, Jasper, Iowa)

Conducting thorough research on the three possibilities from this family for UF first led me to focus on the third and fourth sons since both spent most of their lives in Iowa, which is likely where Barbara was living when she conceived Charles. A map shows that the distance between Kellogg and What Cheer where Barbara’s parents were living was about 50 miles, not exactly next door but certainly closer than the 280 miles to Lawrence, Kansas where oldest brother Charles lived. No documentary evidence has been located connecting any of the three with Barbara for any reason. These families were often on the move and it is certainly possible that Barbara and one of the Saum brothers met somewhere in their travels in the spring of 1868. It may have been simply a chance encounter and the man may never have known that he had fathered Charles.


Google Earth image of Iowa and Kansas showing locations of Barbara’s parents and the Saum brothers


 1.      Charles Frederick Saum (1821-1888)

Charles Frederick Saum was born in Dodsonville, Highland, Ohio in 1821. He had one daughter born in 1844 to his first wife Mary Elizabeth Shawver before her death in 1846. His next marriage was in 1847 to Mary Bardell; the couple had nine children born between 1849 and 1869.

Threatened along with his next-younger brother Jacob N. Saum in a poster in 1861 for being an abolitionist supporter of Abraham Lincoln, he survived when Jacob was subsequently shot that year by neighbours. This no doubt provided the impetus for Charles to make a hasty departure from Ohio. Charles came to Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas with Lane’s army in 1861 and lived in the area until 1878 when he moved to Mt. Ayr, Osborne, Kansas. He had been a farmer, carpenter, and notary public. He wrote several articles for the newspapers about farming and about his journey to Mt. Ayr. He was interested in politics and was quoted as having said that “the democratic party has been dead and buried hundreds of times but the whisky in it gets to fermenting and causes it to rise again.” (Abraham Lincoln’s party was Republican and he obviously continued his support. He served as a delegate in 1880.)

 His home formed the first location for the Christian or Disciples Church. An obituary for his daughter Emma in 1910 contains much information about him. Although not verified by other sources, it indicates that Charles had been an abolitionist Methodist preacher who had “stumped” all over Illinois an Indiana. On the morning of 20 August 1863, he was sick in bed with stomach troubles when the Confederate Quantrill’s raiders arrived at his door. Although some 150 men and boys were massacred in the Unionist town of Lawrence that day, the raiders let Saum live saying there were plenty of healthy men to kill. More details about this raid can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Massacre.

Of the three brothers, Charles Frederick Saum lived the farthest distance from where widowed Barbara Hoover Edwards was living in the spring of 1868 when she became pregnant (somewhere in Iowa, possibly at What Cheer with her parents which is where she was living at the time of the next census in 1870).  Still, the similarity in his name to Charles Francis Edwards (and the ambiguous DNA match results to be discussed later) keep him in contention as a potential father.

 2.      George Thompson Saum (1824-1912)

Born in Dodsonville, Highland, Ohio 4 January 1824, George married first wife Sarah Roush in 1847 and, after her death, Marieta Boatright in 1855; she died in 1867. He purchased land and moved to Buena Vista Twp., Jasper County, Iowa about 1854-55. He married his third wife Ella Wilson 2 March 1869. He had a total of 9 children (2 each from first and third marriages and five from the second).

His land in Buena Vista Township, Jasper County Iowa was located at section 1, Twp. 79 Rge. 18 W5M, and he had nearby land in sections 5 and 6 of Twp. 79, Rge. 17 W5M in Richland Township. The History of Jasper County gives his landholdings as 1000 acres. This land was just south of Kellogg, Iowa which was also his postal address at the time. Kellogg was a new town in 1865, being laid out in anticipation of the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad being built through the area. The population never exceeded 800 people.

The next township north of Buena Vista is Kellogg Township, which just happened to be the home of Barbara Hoover’s sister Susan Anna Hoover Bleakney. The Bleakney land was located just north of the town of Kellogg at section 14, Twp. 80 Rge. 18 W5M. When Barbara gave birth to her twin daughters Minnie and Grace in 1865 or 1866, she did so at the Bleakney home. One can assume Barbara could have been a regular visitor or perhaps was living at the Bleakney home at the time she became pregnant in the spring of 1868. She would have been very near the home of the widowed George Thompson Saum at the time, making this geographically quite possible. The distance is only about 3 ½ miles. The two would almost definitely have known each other in this small rural community. However, if George was aware of her pregnancy and the birth of a son Charles at her parents’ home at What Cheer, Iowa, on 22 February 1869, it would seem a real slap in Barbara’s face for him to have married Ella Wilson only about a week later!

Google Earth map showing locations of George Thompson Saum property, Saums cemetery and the Clark and Susan Anna Bleakney home near Kellogg, Iowa about 3 to 4 miles away

George Thompson Saum died 19 September 1912 when his car was hit by a train while he was driving from Waukee to Des Moines. (His stone is in the Saums Cemetery located on his original section of land as shown above.) 

His obituary indicates that “Mr. Saum was not a church man nor a member of any secret order however he was a man of very pronounced opinions even in politics and the democratic party to which he belonged. He was a careful business man and regarded his word as his best asset and was the kind of a man whose word was as good as his bond.”

3.      Stephen Adam Saum (1834-1927)

Like the other brothers, he was born in Dodsonville, Highland, Ohio. In 1853 he was living in Knox, Illinois where he married Rachel Ellis 21 December 1856. By 1860 he had joined his older brother George Thompson Saum in Jasper County, Iowa. Like George, Stephen had land in the vicinity of Kellogg and would have been neighbours to Barbara’s sister Susan Anna and her husband Clark Bleakney.

Stephen joined the Union army 3 August 1862 where he served as a Private in Company K of the Iowa 28th Infantry. By 1864 he had been promoted to full 6th corporal. He mustered out 31 July 1865. By the 1870 census he was living in Buena Vista Township, Jasper County, putting him equally well situated as brother George to have had a relationship with Barbara Hoover Edwards in the spring of 1868.

Stephen was a manufacturer of pumps and a businessman in Kellogg Township, often acting as a travelling salesman (presumably on behalf of his company Saum, David & Co.) He died in Florida in 1927.

Stephen and Ella had three children, two of whom did not survive childhood. Stephen’s medical records indicate that he contracted mumps in 1863 during his Civil War service, leading to atrophy of his left testicle. He did not father any additional children with his wife after the Civil War, making him the least likely of the three brothers to have fathered Charles Edwards.



Several family members have had DNA tests done with a variety of the popular testing companies: Familytree DNA, My Heritage, Ancestry DNA, 23& Me and Living DNA. Some of these results have also been uploaded to GEDMATCH. I have tried to take advantage of every clue leading to the family that Charles Edwards’ father came from. The tools on the various sites vary significantly in terms of the information provided and what can be done with that information to narrow down matches.

Except for Ancestry DNA, the testing sites provide chromosome information for where a test taker and a match share DNA on a particular chromosome and the amount of such match expressed in centimorgans (cM). This enabled me to make a spreadsheet for overlap areas on chromosomes where the same DNA was shared by one or more matches, meaning that it was likely inherited from the same ancestor some distance up all their trees.

Portion of Spreadsheet for Elinor’s DNA matches by Chromosome - portion C6

test co.





start position

end position





















































John Joseph







Scott (5)










































The above section of my spreadsheet shows a portion of my mother’s chromosome #6 and shows several matches in the area from 88.5 to 125.7 (these numbers have been truncated for ease of use.) These people would all relate through the Saum family tree. The amount of shared DNA is not large but this is just for one segment of one chromosome, varying from a low of 11.2 for the match called Elizabeth to a high of 28.8 for a match named John Joseph. Not everyone posts a family tree on their DNA sites, but fortunately John Joseph had an extensive tree that enabled me to see that he was indeed a part of the Saum/Henderson family as a descendant of oldest brother Charles Frederick Saum.

The Shared cM Tool is a well-researched and generally accepted tool developed by Blaine Bettinger and accessible on the DNA Painter website. It is used for ascertaining the potential relationships that two test takers could have based on the number of cM of DNA that they share. Using the total 45 cM shared by Elinor and John Joseph over all their chromosomes gives this result:

Blaine T. Bettinger


CC 4.0 Attribution License

YEdwards also matched John Joseph on FTDNA and shared 52 cM with him. Relationship possibilities according to this amount are shown in this chart:


Blaine T. Bettinger


CC 4.0 Attribution License


John Joseph (a descendant of Charles Frederick Saum), Elinor and YEdwards would be either half second cousins once removed (Half 2C1R) (if Charles Frederick Saum is UF) or third cousins (3C) (if one of the other two brothers is UF). In any case, the shared cM makes it quite possible that any of the three brothers is the UF for Charles Edwards.

The foregoing analysis is just an example of the methods that can be used. Using all the early tools available enabled me to find dozens of Saum/Henderson matches for various of my family members and to add all these “new” family members to my own tree so that I could determine potential relationships. Consistently, the Shared cM tool indicated that these matches could arise if any of the three Saum brothers was indeed Charles Edwards’ UF.

Over the years the various DNA testing sites have added interesting new tools to their sites. A couple of the more useful ones have been those added by My Heritage and Ancestry DNA, both of which involve programs they have developed for suggesting how a tester and a match might share ancestors. For this to work, the tester must have a genealogy family tree associated with their DNA results. Adding a hypothetical UF where you think he might belong in your tree is a necessity. For my trees, I had added Charles Frederick Saum as the hypothetical father for Charles Edwards. (Other family members have suggested a different Saum brother to try out with their results.)

Having uploaded my mother Elinor’s family tree along with her raw DNA data from FamilytreeDNA to My Heritage enabled me to view their tools called “Theory of Family Relativity” and “Smart Matches”. One of her Saum/Henderson matches found this way on My Heritage was L.P., a descendant of Charles Frederick Saum. L.P. would be either a half 2nd Cousin once removed or a Third Cousin of Elinor’s depending on which of the brothers is the UF of Charles Edwards.  (It might not immediately be obvious, but a half 2nd cousin and a 3rd cousin are equivalent.) Once again, the Shared cM Tool indicates these are quite probable relationships for this amount of shared DNA (40.6cM).  (There are many other DNA matches on My Heritage for Elinor to members of the extended Saum/Henderson family, most often through the two older brothers.)

Turning now to the tools at Ancestry, their “ThruLines” tool is one of the most useful in that it sets out possible trees showing exactly how all the DNA tested cousins fit into the extended family tree descending from an ancestor. Ancestry does not allow uploads of raw data from other sites so I have been unable to have Elinor’s DNA on that site to take advantage of the ThruLines tool.

However, I do have access on Ancestry to DNA results for three family members of my own generation plus one for a younger generation and was able to see dozens of Saum/Henderson DNA matches with exactly how we might relate.  But testing an older generation is even better as the relationship to UF is one generation closer and therefore more of UF’s DNA is likely still in evidence. Fortunately, another first cousin of my mother’s, L.M., has granted me access to his DNA on Ancestry. L.M.’s ThruLines to the Saum/Henderson families have proven very useful. To give you an idea of the number of matches that show up for L.M.’s DNA and how certain this makes me that I have found the right family for UF:

·        Of the 8 great grandparents of L.M., hypothetical Charles Frederick Saum has the most DNA matches for L.M. (excluding descendants of Charles Edwards himself) – 87 compared to just 3 for Barbara Hoover who we know to have been Charles Edwards’ mother!

·        Of the sixteen 2nd great grandparents of L.M., the parental couple for the three brothers (George Adam Saum and Susannah Henderson) again have significantly more than the other 2nd great grandparents. This Saum/Henderson couple have a total of 102 DNA matches to L.M. compared to just 16 for Barbara Hoover’s parents (again excluding those of us who descend from Charles Edwards himself).

·        The pattern continues back for the next couple of generations with significant DNA matches for all branches going back from the Saum/Henderson families.

L.M.’s closest matches have shared DNA with him in amounts up to 112 cM that he shares with “Linda”, a descendant of Charles Frederick Saum. She would be either a half second cousin twice removed (half 2C2R) or a third cousin once removed (3C1R) to L.M., again falling well within the range of possible relationships according to Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Tool:

Blaine T. Bettinger


CC 4.0 Attribution License

from the DNA Painter Website


"What are the Odds?" Tool

A tool developed by Jonny Perl available on his DNA Painter Website is called “What are the Odds?” (WATO) located at https://dnapainter.com/tools/probability. This tool allows you to upload your family tree and include DNA matches in that tree along with the amount of shared cM. A question is asked, in my case “Who is the father of Charles Edwards?”, the test taker’s name is added and then hypotheses are posed or suggested by the website. If the odds come back as “0”, the hypothesis is an impossibility. Anything from “1” up is possible, with the highest number being deemed the most likely. Even Jonny Perl will admit that just because one hypothesis is deemed most likely does not necessarily make it the right answer.

So, what happens when I pose various hypotheses for UF based on different test takers’ DNA matches? I will use only the oldest generation of testers available to me – namely Elinor, YEdwards and L.M.

1.      YEdwards as the Tester

-        Charles Frederick Saum most likely

-        George Thompson Saum second most likely

-        Abraham Henderson third (but can be eliminated as not fitting with Y chromosome Saum result)

-        Asa Henderson (a descendant of the other Saum/Henderson marriage mentioned earlier, but also can be eliminated as not fitting with the Y chromosome Saum result)

-        Stephen Adam Saum possible, score of 1, remains a possibility

2.      LM as the Tester

-        George Thompson Saum most likely

-        Charles Frederick Saum second most likely

-        Stephen Adam Saum a possibility again with a score of just 1

3.      Elinor as the Tester

-        Charles Frederick Saum most likely

-        George Thompson Saum second most likely

-        Stephen Adam Saum third most likely

The foregoing results are therefore inconclusive but it does seem that both Charles Frederick and George Thompson Saum are the likeliest candidates as father for Charles Edwards but Stephen Adam Saum remains a possibility.



In my opinion, the least likely father for Charles is youngest brother Stephen Adam Saum because of his damaged testicle after suffering from mumps during the Civil War. As between the two older brothers, I believe the most likely candidate for UF is George Thompson Saum for these reasons:

  • ·       Geographic proximity to Barbara’s sister’s Bleakney family – land within 3 ½ miles of each other, very near the small town of Kellogg, Jasper County, Iowa whereas older brother Charles was in the next State of Kansas (always remembering that Charles might have come to Kellogg to visit his brothers in the spring of 1868!)
  • ·        Unmarried (widower) at the time of the conception of Charles

Caveat: The most useful piece of information from which I have constructed this entire theory is the one Saum Y chromosome test match for YEdwards. In an ideal world we would find more Saum men from other lines in the extended tree who might be willing to have their Y chromosome DNA tested. I have approached a couple of potential candidates, but have not yet had a single response. Basing an entire theory on one result might be dangerous if there happened to be a “non-paternal event” in his tree such that he himself is not a Saum! However, based on the dozens of matches our family has to Saums and Hendersons in their extended family tree, this is probably an unlikely source of concern.

Although the autosomal DNA results and analysis are inconclusive, it consistently shows the 3 brothers as being possible fathers for Charles Edwards. We may never be able to identify the father with certainty. However, it is certain that the Saum family is our family; we are related to these people.

I welcome any additional information that may come to light working to either prove or disprove my theory. I remain hopeful that as testing increases and additional tools become available, one or other of the brothers may be claimed with certainty.


Reference DNA Sites:

Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.com

DNA Painter website: https://dnapainter.com

My Heritage: https://www.myheritage.com/

Familytree DNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/

GEDMATCH: https://www.gedmatch.com/

(Sources for genealogical data provided for family members can be obtained through the author.)