A Family for David #7 of 52 Ancestors

In the 1800’s an unmarried, pregnant woman could be summoned into Court with a warrant and questioned as to the paternity of her unborn child. If she refused to name the father she could go to jail. When she did name the father, a warrant was issued for him to appear in Court. Thus, paternity was determined, a bastardy bond was issued, and the father had responsibilities toward that child.

Today, an unmarried pregnant woman names the father of her unborn child and the first thing he does is request a paternity test. A DNA sample is taken from the child and a sample is taken from the named father. If the results come back 0%, he is not the father. If the results are 99.9% or higher, he is named as the father and ordered to pay child support to the mother.

And now DNA has entered into the field of genealogy, sometimes changing what we thought we knew of our ancestors, or helping adoptees find their genetic ancestors, or, as in my case, finding not only the surname, but the family of an ancestor with an assumed name. I can’t test my great grandfather, David Brazille Plunk, deceased 1955, nor can I test his father to prove paternity. However, I believe that I can be 99% sure that I have found his ancestral family. I would appreciate anyone’s thoughts on the following information, either pointing out errors I may have made, or whether or not you agree with my analysis.

David had twelve children, six boys and six girls. I began with YDNA to start my search using samples from two of his great grandsons. They are second cousins descended from two different sons of David. Their DNA samples were first submitted to ancestry.com. They match each other exactly 37/37 markers giving us David’s YDNA. But as far as matching other men in the ancestry.com Y database, the results were dismal in that the two men they matched with the same surname (not Plunk) were estimated to share a common ancestor with them within 15 and 34 generations. Ouch.

After a few years of desperate searching up and down an ancestral tree that was leading me nowhere, I transferred the YDNA to familytreedna.com. In that database, they matched a descendant of J.M. Boatwright, 1857 – 1907, exactly 37/37 markers. But, David’s grandsons and J.M. Boatwright’s descendant are of German descent (according to their DNA) and the Boatwrights of the boatwrightgenealogy.com DNA project are of English descent. Plus, J.M. Boatwright’s descendant doesn’t match any of the other Boatwrights in the project. In fact, his only DNA match were David’s great grandsons.

I reached out to the person that submitted the YDNA test for J.M. Boatwright and found that her tester descended through J.M.’s son, Thomas Lee Boatwright, 1878-1918. The Boatwright researcher reached out to her family and found another descendent through J.M.’s son, Lawrence Boatwright, who was willing to submit his YDNA sample. The Lawrence descendant matched the other Boatwrights and is of English descent. So, apparently, J.M. Boatwright is a Boatwright, but his son Thomas Lee Boatwright isn’t a Boatwright. Now what?

J.M. Boatwright was the son of Thomas Boatwright and Lucinda Coker. Lucinda married Henry Nepp/Nipp and had three sons, Henry Nipp abt 1845, Andrew Jackson Nipp abt 1846 and Charles E. Nipp abt 1848. I don’t know what happened to her husband Henry, nor her son Henry, but in 1860, she’s married to Thomas Boatwright and has more children, William Boatwright abt 1852, Joseph Calvin Boatwright 1854 – 1923, J.M. Boatwright 1857-1907, Luticia Boatwright abt 1859.

Some research into the Nipp name revealed its variations of Nipp/Nepp/Neff/Knepp/Knipp/Knipe and apparently originated as the German surname Knopp. A clue!

There was a website, genetree.com, where you could manually enter the YDNA markers and search for matches in that database. I did so, and David’s great grandsons matched, 37/37 markers, a man who claimed descendency from Verner/Varner Knipp, through his son Daniel. Unfortunately, there was no email available for that tester and genetree has shut down their website.
Ysearch.org didn’t yield anything when I entered the markers there, but at smgf.org David’s testers matched a Knep descendant. Again, no email but this person did include an ancestry chart that I’m researching.

I posted a request for a tester on the Facebook site, Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness (RAOGK) and found another lovely woman in the Knipp family researching her ancestor Edmund Knipp, 1804-1867). I also started my own Facebook research group, Nipp/Knapp-KIN and allied Families. A descendant of Edmund Knipp submitted his YDNA and he matches the descendants of David Brazille Plunk and the descendant of Thomas Lee Boatwright exactly 37/37 markers.

At this point, I’m sure that the ancestral surname of David Brazille Plunk is Nipp/Knipp, but which family does he belong to?

One of my matches from my atDNA test (autosomal) is a man descended from Leann Knipp and John Adam Bible. Leann is the daughter of Daniel Knipp and Regina Bowers. Daniel is the son of Varner/Verner Knipp and wife Christeener. This fits with the YDNA results of my cousins.

Imagine my surprise recently when I saw a man with the surname of Boatwright listed as one of my atDNA matches! Correspondence with this match reveals that he is descended from Joseph Calvin Boatwright and Emma Dean Carter. Joseph Calvin Boatwright is the son of Thomas Boatwright and Lucinda Coker Nipp Boatwright. Yes! He is the brother of J.M. Boatwright that raised the Thomas Lee Boatwright whose descendant matches the YDNA of my Plunk testers. The way I see it is that my atDNA Boatwright match is related to me through Lucinda Coker Nipp Boatwright. He descending through her marriage to Thomas Boatwright and myself descending through her marriage to Henry Nipps.

So now the question is which of her three Nipps sons is the father David Brazille Plunk. And who was his mother?