Plunk YDNA – Any Matches – Part Two

After chasing several apparent false leads up and down the Keen lines, I figured the only way I was going to get anywhere was to go fishing in another pond.  I transferred the Plunk Y DNA to, ordered another kit to upgrade from 35 markers to 37 markers, and still have no idea who the biological parents of David Brazille Plunk are.

Family Tree DNA is probably the largest DNA for genealogical databases there are, followed by 23 and me, and ancestry.  Here’s what I found out.

Confirmation that David Brazille Plunk is of German descent and an exact match 37 markers to 37 markers to a descendant of a J.M. Boatwright, 1857 – 1904 married to a Mahala Johnson.

Problem.  This descendant does not match any other Boatwrights in this project indicating he is not a Boatwright.  I have been working with a relative of the nonBoatwright tester.  J. M. Boatwright and Mahala Johnson had several children.  The nonBoatwright descends through their son Thomas Lee Boatwright.  She found a descendant of one of their other sons, Lawrence Boatwright, who agreed to test.

The Thomas Lee Boatwright descendant matches my Plunk descendants.  The Lawrence Boatwright descendant matches the other Boatwright descendants in the project.  At the present, it appears that Thomas Lee Boatwright is the non parental event (officially or unofficially adopted).  In order to prove that he’s the one though, I have to find another direct male descendant of Thomas Lee Boatwright that is willing to do the test.  Or do I?

Remember, I said the parents of Thomas Lee Boatwright are believed to be J.M. Boatwright and Mahala Johnson.  The parents of J.M. Boatwright are Thomas Boatwright and Lucinda Coker.  It is believed that Lucinda Coker was first married to Henry Nipps because of the writings of S.C. Turnbo (Turnbo Manuscripts).

On the 1850 Marion County, AR census, Lucinda Nepp is living with her father, Charles Coker, along with 3 children: She is NOT listed as a widow and no one appears to know when Henry Nipps died. The 3 children are: Henry Nepp (blind) age 5 Jackson Nepp age 4 Charles Nepp age 1.

In 1860 Marion County, AR census Lucinda Boatwright is listed as the wife of Thomas Boatwright, the oldest Nepp child is no longer listed, and along with the other two Nepp children, there are some Boatwright children.

The thing you have to remember is that the Turnbo Manuscripts are a transcription of his diaries, or rather his memories of them.  It’s my understanding the originals burned in a fire.  These manuscripts are recollections of a community of people as he remembered they were told to him.  Gossip if you will, but because of courthouses being burned, Mr. Turnbo appears to be the closest thing to a record of that area we can come to.

Another thing to remember is that from these manuscripts another manuscript was written by S.C. Turnbo titled The White Water Chronicles.  I mention this because in the Turnbo Manuscripts he states that Mahala Coker (a sister to Lucinda) married Dock Boatwright, but in The White Water Chronicles it is reported that Mahala Coker married Dick Boatwright.  Obviously a typo in one or the other transcriptions!

Remember as well, the U.S. Federal Census records I’m looking at are all handwritten.  Misspellings and errors abound!  This is why it’s important to not just take the Census or writings of others as an absolute fact.  A guide, yes, fact, no.  However, sometimes that may be all the proof you have, especially as you start traveling back to the founding of our country.  I think the main thing is to always keep an open mind for other possibilities.

I did some checking, and taking Turnbo at his word that Lucinda Coker was first married to Henry Nipps, it appears that the surname Nipps is of German descent, probably originally Knopf.  Another variation would be Knipp.

I put the word out to the Nipps family and was contacted by a lady who said her nephew was a direct descendant of Aaron Nipps, the brother of the Henry purportedly married to Lucinda Coker.  He agreed to do the test and I am awaiting those results.


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