|Dr. James M. Owston (#47059231)|
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Prompted by an eighth grade assignment to construct a family tree, Jim Owston has been interested in collecting genealogical and historical data for over 40 years. |
As part of this assignment, the discovery of a yellowed newspaper clipping detailing the 1929 death of his great-great grandmother, Sarah Ann Merriman, prompted an initial visit to her grave site at the McKeesport-Versailles Cemetery in 1968. He was pleased to add this grave to Find A Grave as a new contributor in 2008.
He has traced all the lines of his family back at least four generations. His direct ancestors include the following:
Four Civil War veterans (John Merriman, Thomas W. Day, John C. Brakeall, & George W. Staley).
A decorated Royal Navy warrant officer that served in the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars: William Owston.
At least two Revolutionary War veterans (William Gardner & David Gardner).
A soldier in Captain Beer's company in King Philip's War — John Gustin, who was born as Augustine Jean de le Tocq in the Bailiwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands.
The Plantagenet royal house of England and Anjou via 3 Gardner lines that merge. This lineage includes 60 European kings and 8 canonized saints.
Members of the Waldensian sect that escaped religious persecution in southern France by traversing the Alps into Germany - the Maneval/Manewal family. His great-grandmother, Marie Katherine Manewal Schad was his most recent relative born with the Maneval surname.
Among the Quakers who traveled with William Penn to the colonies was his ancestor Thomas French who settled in Burlington, NJ.
His ancestors came from England, Germany (Würtemberg & Hesse), Scotland, France, Ireland, Wales, the Island of Jersey, and perhaps Switzerland. Family tradition holds that one or several of his New England lines were Mayflower descendants. Another tradition signifies that one of his German ancestors served as a Hessian soldier (on the side of the British) during the American Revolution. Neither of these traditions have yet to be satisfactorily proven.
Beyond record keeping, Y-Chromosome DNA Testing has determined that Owston's paternal line was among the haplogroup I1. This group originated in Scandinavia and his ancestors may have been Danish Viking invaders that attacked and settled the north of England in the 9th Century A.D. The modern spelling of his surname Owston indicates Norse influence over the original Saxon spelling Æston which became Easton elsewhere.
As far as his maternal ancestry, mitochondrial DNA testing places his ancestry in common with 47% of all Europeans in the the H haplogroup. This DNA grouping has been nicknamed Clan Helena - one of the theoretical seven European foremothers. Apparently, the H haplogroup was the most successful of the migrations into the European continent.
In addition to his genealogical studies, he is currently researching the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves with Chris Rasmussen. Three blood relatives (although not direct ancestors) served in this unit which was formed in Western Pennsylvania in 1861. His relatives in the unit included Captain Charles W. Owston, Daniel Merriman, and Charles Champlin Townsend.
Owston holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) and educational specialist (Ed.S.) in Leadership Studies from Marshall University in addition to masters' degrees from Marshall and WVU, and bachelors' degrees from Kentucky Christian University and Mountain State University.
His Master's of Arts in Humanities from Marshall included a concentration in history. Owston's internationally recognized doctoral dissertation on institutional rebranding utilized historical research as one of the multiple research methods that he employed. The dissertation is available online at http://www.newriver.net. This work was the winner of two outstanding dissertation awards.
Other historical works under his belt include being the designer & caretaker of the Virtual Nixon Era Center at Mountain State University. This project was actively worked from 2001-2003. While currently operational, updates have been added on an infrequent basis since 2003.
Two historical papers are available online: Heterodyning in the Hills - The WOBU Story and The Early History of Transylvania University: An Archetype of Restoration Movement Institutions of Higher Education and has contributed to several WikiPedia articles including most of the article on his hometown of North Versailles Township, PA.
Owston, a former dean at Mountain State University, lives in Beckley, WV with his wife and two daughters.
|Messages left for Dr. James M. Ow... (444)||[Leave Message]|
|Jim Priestaf||Hugh Ferguson FG 46543163|
Regarding Hugh, do you have any further information on him? The plot location is 'removed' which I assume means he was reburied elsewhere. I have a guess as to who he was. Feel free to contact me via my email address.
|Michael Evans||Find A Grave Memorial# 33317264|
Thank you for creating Find A Grave Memorial# 33317264! Sara is my 2nd great grandmother. I was curious to see where you got the death date of Jun. 10, 1917 as I did not see it on the photo that Jill uploaded.
Sorry. I forgot to include the memorial numbers. the numbers are 33407408,33407409,33407410,33407411,33407412.
Added by Snake on Nov 29, 2013 8:51 PM
Could you please transfer the following memorials to me. They are all from the same family and are ancestor of mine.
Added by Snake on Nov 29, 2013 8:48 PM
|MGKester||2 Memorial Transfers|
Hi Dr. Owston,
I'm Mary Barr-Kester the 3rd Great G-daughter of Albert WERNER #35526909 & Mary Augusta WERNER #36173030. I would luv 2 manage their memorials & add more info. If u could transfer them to me that would be AWSOME, if u prefer 2 manage them I would b glad 2 share added info. :) My profile #47650113. Thankx 4 all u have done on Find A Grave! Hope u & yours have a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! MK :)
Added by MGKester on Nov 27, 2013 11:39 AM
|Aunt T||Transfer of Memorial|
Hello Dr. Owston,
I was hoping to have my great-grandparents memorials transferred to me.
Mona Dean Bass Hull: 34536281
Alfred M. Hull: 34536279
My profile # is 48286700
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Added by Aunt T on Nov 26, 2013 5:13 PM
|All In The Family-Poetj||James A. Miller|
Greetings Dr. J.M. Owston,
I am the great nephew of Mr. Miller. I'm requesting to have his memorial transfered to me, so that I can add biography and pictures. I appreciate finding him on your page and never knew where he was buried. Thankyou for your consideration.
|William Dietz||Joseph Regis Deitz (Dietz)|
Dear Dr. Owston,
I found the infant, Joseph Regis Deitz (actual spelling is Dietz) on Find a Grave. I was directed there from Ancestry.com. Jospeph Regis Dietz would have been my uncle. I discovered him recently quite by accident when I visited the Mckeesport Versailles Cemetery looking for my Grandmother's family plot (Schmiedl). The helpful lady at the office pulled out an old index card that mentioned JRD was buried in an unmarked spot in the Schmiedl plot. His father, my grandfather, was also named Joseph Regis Dietz. Both my grandmother and grandfather are buried in a different cemetery and I wondered how you discovered Joseph Regis Dietz (infant)since there is not a marker and I discovered it completely by accident and was quite surprised by it. I never knew about him. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
|G. Charles Ogline Lantay||33183686|
Hello Again: ENOCK Hardy s/o David & Jane
Also WILLIAM Hardy 33183690 s/o David & Jane Hardy
Also MARION Hardy 34601440 d/o David & Jane MAINS Hardy
Also DAVID Hardy Jr, #33317355 s/o David & Jane
Also JOHN Hardy died 7/01/1944 s/o David & Jane Hardy - should be buried in Versailles Cem\Thank you.
|G. Charles Ogline Lantay||33183684|
Hello & Thank you for adding David Hardy to the Find A Grave Memorial Website. David was born Circa 1839 and was md to Jane MAINS Hardy FAGMemorial #34601439. David & Jane were the parents of many children, one of which Emma Annie Hardy md my great grandmother Jacob Lape in 1899.///////////////// Our family can be contacted via email at TNT1505@ Cox.net should you require additional information or clarification...................The couples other children were William Hardy, John Hardy, Daniel Hardy, Marion Hardy, Enock Hardy and Jennie Hardy. //////////////Jane Hardy's mother was Watson Mains b.1812 & Elizabeth Mains b.1810
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