After spending some time reviewing the family trees associated with the matches a common surname stood out – Westfall. Based on the data available in the Ancestry.com trees Julie's DNA matches are descendants of Henry Westfall and his wife Ellen.
Who is Henry Westfall?
Henry Westfall was born about 1825. Some source list his state of birth as Pennsylvania and others list his state of birth as New York. The first confirmed reference to Henry Westfall is the 1860 United States Federal Census. He is enumerated with his wife Ellen in Limestone, Warren County, Pennsylvania. The household also included the couple's four oldest children.
From preliminary searches Ellen’s surname has been been verified. She is sometimes recorded several ways as Ellen McGee and in other records she is recorded as Ellen Dias. All of these records are based on secondary sources - which could be a contributing factor to why her surname is recorded in two different ways. Ellen was born about 1833 in Pennsylvania.
The 1870 United States Federal Census documents the family living in Limestone, Warren County, Pennsylvania. The 1880 United States Federal Census documents the family living in Watson, Warren County, Pennsylvania. Henry is recorded as a farmer in the 1860 through 1880 census records.
Ellen was recorded as a widow in the 1900 United States Federal Census living in Watson, Warren County, Pennsylvania. The census indicates that Henry and Ellen had 11 children, 10 who were living in 1900. All of the children were born in Pennsylvania:
- Henry B. Westfall – born about 1851
- Ellen Barbara Westfall – born about 1853
- Adeline Westfall – born about 1857
- Thomas M. Westfall – born about 1861
- Elizabeth A. Westfall – born about 1863. She may also have gone by “Lizzie”
- Lucy Westfall – born about 1865
- George Richard Westfall – born between 1867-1868
- Etta Minnie Westfall – born about 1871
- Herman Westfall – born about 1873
- Mary Westfall – born about 1876
- Unknown Westfall – died prior to the 1900 United States Federal Census.
Julie currently has four DNA matches that descend from three children of Henry Westfall and Ellen:
- Two DNA matches linked to descendants of Ellen Barbara Westfall initially estimated to be 3rd cousin and a 4th cousin
- One DNA match linked to a descendant of George Richard Westfall initially estimated to be a 3rd cousin.
- One DNA match linked to a descendant of Etta Minnie initially estimated to be a 4th cousin.
The chart below shows the matches in the Westfall cluster and their relationships to Julie:
|The Henry Westfall DNA Cluster|
The chart shows the link between Julie and the known Westfalls contains several gaps. One positive note is the matches that Julie shares are in the 3rd to 4th cousin range. As a result it is plausible to conclude that Henry Westfall and Ellen are a set of Julie’s distant grandparents and her family descends from one of their eleven children.
Additional Matches to the Westfall Cluster
In addition to the matches highlighted above Julie has several other DNA matches that are linked to both her and the matches shown in the cluster. Hopefully in time the connection to those other matches will be understood – allowing additional branches of the family to be crossed off.
- 1860 United States Federal Census. Year: 1860; Census Place: Limestone, Warren, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1190; Page: 913; Image: 269; Family History Library Film: 805190
- 1870 United States Federal Census. Year: 1870; Census Place: Limestone, Warren, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1461; Page: 215B; Image: 287600; Family History Library Film: 552960
- 1880 United States Federal CensusYear: 1880; Census Place: Watson, Warren, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1200; Family History Film: 1255200; Page: 308B; Enumeration District: 278
- 1900 United States Federal CensusYear: 1900; Census Place: Watson, Warren, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1492; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0141; FHL microfilm: 1241492