Kit # 4449. Rhoda Strain b. c1804-1808 NC or TN +1 John Rose > Ellen Rose b. 1832 IL, d. 1879 McDonald Co. MO + Wesley Powell Pendergraft > Martha Ann Pendergraft b. 1849 Barry Co. MO + Samuel Watson Morgan 1867 McDonald Co, MO. HVR1 Mutations (Identical for all three participants) 16223T
Kit # 4452. Mary A. Strain b. c.1806 NC + Thomas Barnes > Elender Barnes b. 1836 White Co. TN +1 John Brown > Mary Ann Brown b.1854 White Co. TN + William "Levi" Birdsong > Martha Catherine Birdsong b. 1877 AR, d. 1985 Riverside, CA (died at age 107 yrs). HVR2 Mutations (Identical for all three particpants) 73G
Kit # 23776. Louisa Strein, b. ca. 1817-1820 TN, d. aft. 1880 + Ephriam Perkins 1833 Gasconade Co, MO > Elender "Ellen" Perkins, b. 1836 MO, d. bet. 1880-1891 MO, + Isaac R. Kerr 1854 Lawrence Co, MO > Mary Jane Kerr b. ca. 1856 +1 John Bray > Bertha E. Bray b. ca. 1883 MO + James H. Cunningham.

Copyright © December 2003, Updated 2007
Mary Fern Souder

This study was done in close collaboration with Ruby Earls Norton, and the report is written in the past tense because the original purpose has been accomplished. My goal was to identify the parents of my earliest known ancestor, Rhoda Strain, born ca. 1804, who married John Rose. Because the earliest record that has been found for Rhoda and John was their enumeration on the 1830 Sangamon County, IL, census, it seemed prudent to study the family of James Strain who lived only one household away, headed by an older couple with six children.

Ruby's ancestor, Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., married in Sangamon County in 1831. It had been assumed that this Thomas J. Strain, Sr., was one of the older sons in the household of James Strain on the 1830 census. Ruby had been researching prospective parents for Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., for over 30 years, and our queries led us to each other. We have since enjoyed over a decade of delightful friendship and productive research.

It appeared to us that the configuration of the James Strain family of the 1830 Sangamon County, IL, census closely resembled the family of James Strain on the 1820 White County, TN, census, and that it also closely resembled the seven children mentioned in the 1844 will of one James S. STREIN of Gasconade County, MO. This suspicion was heightened by the fact that of the seven given names listed as children in James S. Strein's will, Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., used all seven of them in naming his eight children, and Rhoda Strain Rose used four of them in naming her eight children (the names of two of her daughters are unknown, and she had only two sons).

The will of James S. STREIN was written 20 December 1844 and proved 2 January 1845. It mentioned his wife, Elenor, and four sons and three daughters: John, William, Thomas, Mary, Rhoda, James, and Louisa. An interesting feature of this will is that the children were not listed in birth order, their places of residence were not mentioned, and the married names of the three daughters were not given, although Louisa had clearly been married to Ephriam Perkins for over eleven years. John Strein, who received the bulk of the estate, was to provide for the care of his mother.

The three youngest children mentioned in the will, Louisa, William, and John, left paper trails. After exhausting all known traditional records, Ruby and I decided to embark on a DNA project that would encompass the entire family! Using mitochondrial DNA testing for the proven daughter and Y-chromosome testing for the two proven sons, we planned to locate appropriate descendents of these three people and compare their mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes to appropriate descendents of the two daughters and two sons we believed were actually the older four children of James S. and Elenor Strein

Although the following persons were dispersed in geographic locality, and despite the difference in spelling of the surname, we believed that the children mentioned in this will are the same as those mentioned below:

  1. Rhoda Strain, b. 1804-1808, who md. 1st John Rose, md. 2nd John C. Carter, aka John Carter, Sr., and md. 3rd Mr. Wetsel / Whetsel. After the 1830 census, Rhoda appears with her husbands in Washington and Benton Counties, AR, and Barry and McDonald Counties, MO. She and John Rose were the parents of eight children.
  2. Mary Strain, b. ca. 1806, who became the 2nd wife of Thomas Barnes, of White County, TN. They were the parents of ten children, a partial list of which appears in "Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds," Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980, p. 12. Mary remained in Tennessee.
  3. Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., born 1808-1809 in Cocke County, TN, who married Lydia Bilyeu on 19 May 1831 in Sangamon County, IL. They lived in Overton County, TN, and Pulaski County, MO, and were the parents of eight chldren. He enlisted in the Civil War and died of smallpox on 10 April 1865 at Camp Douglas, Madison County, IL.
  4. Unidentified son, born 1811-1813, enumerated on 1820 and 1830 censuses, but not mentioned in his father's will. It is speculated that he was deceased by 1844.
  5. James Strain, born 15 January 1815, in TN, who married Anna C. Porter on 24 December 1834, in Sangamon County, IL. They were the parents of five children. James died on 14 March 1849, and is buried in Traughber Cemetery in Christian County, IL. Anna C. Porter Strain died in 1857, leaving four surviving children ages 8 - 11, who then went to live with four different families in that area.
  6. Louisa Strein, b. 1817-1820 in TN, married Ephriam Perkins on 3 June 1833, in Gasconade County, MO. They were the parents of eleven children, and were listed on census records in Benton County, AR, Lawrence County, MO, and Pulaski County, MO. Louisa is found as a widow in St. Clair County, MO, in 1880 and 1900.
  7. William P. H. Strein, b. ca. 1824 in TN, married Mrs. Lavicy (nee Cole) Boles on 21 October 1841 in Gasconade County, MO. They moved to Dade County, MO, then Franklin County, MO, and settled in Bates County, MO, where William was one of the most prominent citizens. William and Lavicy were the parents of three children, including one son, James Lafayette Stein, who left only one son, James "Walter" Strein. James Walter Strein died in 1970, leaving only one daughter, so it will not be possible to obtain a Y-chromosome test for a descendent of William P. H. Strein.
  8. John C. Strein, b. 3 October 1826 in TN, married Abby Jane aka Jane A. McKinney on 1 January 1846 in Gasconade County, MO. They lived in Bates and Vernon Counties, MO, and were the parents of six known children, four of whom were sons. One son died in childhood, and another was a lifelong bachelor, but we were successful in following the other two sons, Thomas and James Strein.

The identical Y-chromosome matches of the descendents of James S. Strein, Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., and James Strain, in conjunction with the identical matches of proven daughter Louisa Strein Perkins with Rhoda Strain Rose and Mary Strain Barnes, leads to the conclusion that Ruby and I have established the identities of the children of James S. and Elenor Strein.

In our study, we were pleased to find a biography in Bates County, MO, for the prominent William P. H. Strein, which stated that he was born in White County, TN. We were also delighted to find John C. Strein's gravestone in the Callaway Cemetery in Vernon County, MO. John died in 1881, having married 2nd Mrs. Mary E. (Godfrey) Logan Hues two years previously. John's administrator was his son, James M. Strein, and James immediately spent $110 for a large marble tombstone for his parents. On the back of the stone was engraved the names of two deceased children, and "Elenor, mother of John C. Strein, Died Nov. 11, 1859."

Mrs. Logan Hughes Strein claimed that James was making unauthorized purchases and wasting the estate, and petitioned the Court to withdraw the letters of administration from James M. Strein. The dispute was resolved when her cousin (and step-son-in-law), Thomas "Benton" Dean, husband Nancy E. L. Strein, was appointed administrator. Although this expenditure was probably considered excessive at the time, we are very happy that it has preserved a part of the history of Elenor, wife of James S. Strein.

The results of the Y-chromosome study of James S. Strein, Thomas Jefferson Strain, Sr., and James Strain may be viewed at the above site: Strain-Strein Family. There is also an official Strain surname study, and the entire database of all male Strains who have tested may be seen at: Strain DNA Project.

The results of the three daughters of Elenor Strein are displayed on the above chart. Fortunately, this mtDNA is Haplogroup W, which is relatively uncommon. There has been one match with the above women in the ftDNA database. Correspondence with this lady's family revealed that the earliest known ancestor was Hattie Belle Montgomery, born between January 1874 and January 1877 in Virginia. She married George D. Williams, and they lived in Front Royal, Warren County, VA. Hattie died in the 1950's. Census records have been searched, but an obvious choice for the parents of Hattie has not been found. The location of her obituary in Front Royal, or her death certificate, would probably provide enough information so that deeper research on this maternal line could be undertaken.

In addition to the collaboration of Ruby Earls Norton, I would like to acknowledge the kind assistance of Edward Porter and Andrew Robertson, who have researched the descendents Anna C. Porter; and W. R. "Bill" Geary, Ted Strain, John Woods, Willard Strain, Marsha Hoffman Rising, and the late Lawrence C. Wood, who have generously shared their research on the Strains of the United States in the 1600's and 1700's.

Matches other than Participants representing Rhoda, Mary A., and Louisa Strain / Strein:

Last Updated on 10/18/2007
By Wallace W. Souder