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Dr. James M. Owston (#47059231)
 member for 6 years, 7 months, 16 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo 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 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.
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Craig Merriman, Curtis D. Craig, Michael Millike..., P.R.V.C. Histor..., Pam Owston, R. Pinkerton, Suzanne Damien, Todd Walker, Tracy Francis
Messages left for Dr. James M. Ow... (622)[Leave Message]
Francis D. W. Lukens

I noticed you didn't have a birth year for Dr Francis Dring Wetherill Lukens. He was born in 1899. Sorry I don't have the exact day. Dr Lukens was a member of S. Clement's Church in Philadelphia--having served on the Vestry as Secretary and later as Rector's Warden.

Dr Lukens was married. I think she was the former Marian Martyn but not sure of that.

Hope this info. is useful.

Steven Haws
Added by Anonymous on May 19, 2015 1:24 PM
Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the memorials of my husband's family members and to say I appreciate all the updates you have made for me. Regards, Diane Kuznik
Added by DMWK on May 18, 2015 11:14 AM
Darlene Algeo Jones
Henry Lytle
Thank you very much. New bio to write. He was an interesting character.
Added by Darlene Algeo Jones on May 12, 2015 8:34 AM
Darlene Algeo Jones
RE: Lytle family
I don't think so. 1840,50,60 census records, they were married. She had about 8 children, only 3 sons survived. She married Henry about 1823(father's probate record). Henry was a brother to the Thomas Lytle, who also had a wife named Margaret. Whats really confusing is: a Robert Lytle is buried in same section owned by William Algeo, brother of Margaret and its Thomas Lytle's son. These two brother's named their children the same name.

I'd like to have the transfer of Henry Lytle at least. I have gleaned lots of info on him from Pittsburgh Newspapers. He was on the 1850's Special City Council and Tax Collector for Ward (forgot).

I've matched the Cemetery Section numbers with her sister and brother. Mary Hunter and William Algeo. Mary Hunter was mother of Gen'l Rowley. This family seemed to be somewhat political.

Its got me bumfuzzled to say the least. Did you get your records from Allegheny Cem or a published book?

darlene algeo jones
Added by Darlene Algeo Jones on May 11, 2015 6:22 PM
Darlene Algeo Jones
Lytle family
Help, Margaret is lost. Thomas Lytle buried at Sec 9, Lot 174 had a wife Margaret(unknown maiden name) buried same section.

Thomas had a brother Henry Lytle, he's buried Sec 30, Lot 50, his wife was also, a Margaret Algeo Lytle. I can't find Henry's Margaret, it is not listed in Allegheny Cemetery nor on Find A Grave. What could have happened? Was she just missed or what?
Added by Darlene Algeo Jones on May 11, 2015 7:05 AM
H W Long
Schultheis Family
You have posted information on many members of the Schultheis/Schultise family buried in the Allegheny Cem (Pittsburgh). My wife's father was Roy Edward Schultise and I have researched that family for a number of years. If you are interested in sharing the family history, contact me at hlong "at"
Added by H W Long on May 06, 2015 8:49 AM
Yvonne Scholz
Frank and Schumacher
Thank you for updating the Frank and Schumacher Families. My friend from Germany is related to the Schumacher side. Thanks again for the very fast update.
Added by Yvonne Scholz on May 04, 2015 6:37 PM
John and Myra Houlette Scott
Many thanks for the edits to John and Myra Houlette Scott.

Added by jeffrey on May 01, 2015 5:56 AM
Pat Arndt
Margaret Johnson #35526392
Margaret Johnson was my g-grandmother's sister. She was born 11 Jan 1864 in Norway; died 8 May 1911, buried 9 May 1911 (PA certificate of death 45012).
Thank you for making information available to those of us who cannot physically visit the cemetery. It is greatly appreciated.
Added by Pat Arndt on Apr 28, 2015 12:41 PM
Thomas Leaver
Thanks for the quick update.
Added by Deb on Apr 25, 2015 7:42 PM
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