Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Interesting Phenomena in Our Family Trees—Coincidence? Serendipity? Six Degrees of Separation? Reincarnation–traveling through time with our tribe? Two more families in the neighborhood.


Aerial view of cul-de-sac with neighbors who are related from Google Earth

Aerial view of cul-de-sac with neighbors who are related from Google Earth

Due to privacy concerns, I will not name two of my neighbors whom we love and are involved with, and with whom I’ve found that I am kin to or were neighbors of as much as 400 years ago!

Founders of New Jersey by Evelyn Hunt Ogden
I wrote a blog post about my 7th great-grandfather, Hartman Vreeland (read it here) who was one of the Founders of the state of New Jersey in the USA. I found a marvelous book by Evelyn Hunt Ogden who listed the founders of NJ and included brief biographies of all the founders. Besides our 7th great-grandfather, I have discovered kinship or connections in present times with ten of this community who were alive and well in New Jersey in the mid and late 1600s!
One of my neighbors used to be a police officer in this area of North Carolina where we now live. In my research, I find his own 10th great- grandfather was the sheriff of the community in New Jersey where my Hartman Vreeland lived! How is that possible? They both purchased land from the Native Americans as well! What an incredible find, and what an amazing ancestral history to discover you share with your neighbor. His grandfather kept my grandfather safe in 1665, and now my neighbor helps keep us safe!

Jamestown Society symbol
Also living on our street is a family where the father used to teach in the same school with my husband, before my husband retired. They are a loving, young family whose child is friends with our grandchild. They moved into our neighborhood after we did, and were not known to us before then. Now I find through my dna, and a paper trail, that I am kin to both the husband and the wife! It looks like our ancestors were together in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, 400 years ago!

Castlerock Street view from google earth
We live on a cul-de-sac with 12 houses; I can now draw kinship or connections to at least five of my neighbors from 300-400 years ago! Five out of twelve is 41.6% , almost 42% of those twelve, and I haven’t investigated the rest! In my next post, I’ll disclose a discovered kinship to a neighbor in our same subdivision, but on a different street, with whom I can prove a relationship from the 1300’s–over 600 years ago! To me this is a miracle, awesome, and such an amazing adventure in research, dna, and genealogy!

Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

14 thoughts on “Interesting Phenomena in Our Family Trees—Coincidence? Serendipity? Six Degrees of Separation? Reincarnation–traveling through time with our tribe? Two more families in the neighborhood.

  1. All I can say is that it is a small world. Makes me think about the people you pass by in everyday life and if the are related.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Charles,one of those “Founders of New Jersey” in the book by Evelyn Ogden, is a Samuel Moore, 1630- 1688. “Samuel Moore was born c. 1630 at Malden, County Essex, England; died at Woodbridge, New
    Jersey on 27 May 1688. He married first, 3 May 1653 at Newbury, Massachusetts, Hannah Plummer,
    daughter of Francis Plummer. She died 8 December 1654. He married second, 12 December 1656 at
    Newbury, Mary Ilsley, daughter of William and Barbara (Stevens) Ilsley of Newbury who died after 3
    June 1678 at Woodbridge. He married third, 23 December 1678 Anne Jaques, widow of Henry
    Jaques, Jr., of Woodbridge.
    Samuel Moore was a resident of Newbury, Massachusetts, before 1653. About 1666 he removed to
    Woodbridge, New Jersey, where he filed in Piscataway Township surveys for a number of tracts of
    land. He was assigned a patent for 70 acres on 27 December 1667 and about 1670 received a patent
    for 356 acres.
    Moore served as Town Clerk for 19 years, was sent as Deputy to the General Assembly and
    returned to that office five times. In 1668 he was chosen a delegate to the first Legislature held in
    the Province of New Jersey at Elizabeth Town; in 1669 was an aide to the Surveyor General and was
    also appointed Constable. Between 1670 and 1687 Moore was overseer of the highways, rate-maker
    and gatherer and assistant justice of the Township Court; President of the Township Court in 1672
    and 1674; Marshall of the Province of East Jersey under Governor Carteret 1672-3 and was also
    Treasurer of the Province. In 1683 he was appointed the first High Sheriff of Middlesex County, at
    that time a position of great dignity and responsibility.
    The inventory of 7 June 1688 gave Samuel Moore’s personal estate as £132.16.11 and included 1
    negro boy of 15 and two negro girls. Thomas Gordon, administrator, leased to Richard Dole and
    Samuel Moore, Jr., on 22 April 1690, one grist mill, mill house and bakery in Woodbridge belonging
    to Samuel Moore, deceased.
    Barbara Carver Smith #C3
    Woodbridge and Vicinity, by Rev. Joseph W. Dally
    Township of Woodbridge, N.J. 1669-1781 by John M. Kreger
    Americana, Vol. XXXIII, 1939
    History of Elizabeth, NJ by Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield
    New Jersey Archives, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Vol. XXI
    New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. CXXII” Kin to you?

    Thanks for your continued support Charles!


  3. Helen I’m going to move on your street so you can finish researching my family. This is just so interesting and unbelievable! I keep saying it – it needs to be documented in a book or a TV show, it’s truly just!!!!! I have no words…. Maybe you should have a seance with a medium – in your neighborhood – that would truly be so interesting, but I’d tell her nothing just that all the neighbors wanted to be there. Then if she said something – i think I’d move. LOL Not really. Let me know when the seance is and I’ll be there. I’ve always wanted to go to one.


  4. Oh Jeanne! I started to play twilight zone music in the background! I have even checked my dna matches for former neighbors, but no dice! No matches! It’s only here! Come on down!


  5. Hi Helen:
    I learned about your blog via Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog.
    Reading it, it struck me that surnames such as Voorhees, Van Swol, Spier and Vreeland sound very Dutch. Being Dutch myself, I was very much interested. I also have a blog with many genealogical subjects. One of my posts shows a survey of foreign genealogical blogs/sites showing Dutch origin surnames. The URL is http://www.patmcast.blogspot.com/2012/05/dutch-ancestors.html. The idea is to try and establish contacts between people who have an interest in the same surname. There are numerous cases in The Netherlands where people emigrated centuries ago without leaving a trace in Dutch archives. With my blog I try to bring Dutch and foreign (mainly US/CAN) genealogists together.
    Therefore, I like to have your permission to show your site in my a.m. blog.
    I look forward to your reaction!
    Kind regards,
    PS A quick check revealed 67 Voorhees hits in the Dutch National Archives. Also the other surnames are mentioned in my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Peter, how interesting! I enjoyed perusing your blog and am looking forward to being included in your listing. I noticed Van Winkle written about also, one of my surnames. Through your lists, i now have several other blogs to follow I noticed Van Meter also and am familiar with a blogger from Luxembourg who writes about Van Meder– i think, need to check it again. Let me know if you are interested. Thanks for including my blog in yours! Helen

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok, you are in now! If you want me to add or change anything, please let me know. I have taken the liberty of including your twitter address as well. This Luxemburg blogger sounds familiar to me but I am unable to locate him at this time. Happy hunting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think this is pretty amazing. Maybe if I moved to an ancestral area in Lowndes County, AL or Athens, Tennessee, I would find some matching DNA neighbors. Or even Detroit!


  9. Hi Kristin, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Perhaps what you say is true, however, remember, coming to this neighborhood seemed like pure happenstance. I knew no one, I wasn’t from here, it was just as I got to know people and then worked on my own genealogy…its just …well..I don’t know what it is! LOL a miracle it seems!


  10. I found this so interesting. Through NA I connected with a gentleman that is a 4th and a 6th cousin. We connect on my Daddy’s side and also on my Mama’s side through different ancestors. It is definitely a small world.


  11. Thanks for sharing your experience Word Spinner! It is amazing isn’t it!helen


  12. It sure is!


  13. Almost half of your cul-de-sac of 12 — amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Lisa, it is amazing! and unless you are related to Chris Lind who traces back to Lindberg, itis interesting that you found your way here, because i just helped him with his tree and found I was related to him and the Lindbergs! If you’d like, you can write to me to follow up at helenholshouser@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

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