Documenting my family's past for future generations. My family tree includes the Smith/Mansell families of Alabama and Oklahoma, the Castle/Day families of Kentucky and Oklahoma, the Wheat/Ming families of Texas and Oklahoma, and the Bell/Roberts families of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Friday, March 27, 2015

DNA Circles: Thomas N. Ming and Susannah Stephenson

The Ancestors

According to his headstone, Thomas N. Ming, my 3rd great-grandfather, was born 14 February 1796 and died 20 June 1887. He was born in North Carolina and is buried in Burnet County, Texas. I can’t find Thomas Ming on the 1880 census, but more than likely, at the age of 84, he was living with one of his children. In fact, I believe that he probably was living in Burnet County with his son, Alexander Columbus Ming, when he died in 1887. According to, there is only one other Ming buried in Fairland Cemetery in Marble Falls where Thomas Ming is buried, and that is Sarah F. Ming, the 6-year-old daughter of A.C. Ming, who died there in 1883. (In 1880 Alexander Columbus Ming and family were living in Hamilton Co., TX, so they must have moved to Burnet Co. between 1880 and 1883.)

There are two entries for Thomas Ming in the 1870 census, and they are a little confusing. They would make perfect sense if the dates were reversed, but as they are, they create a little puzzle. On 30 September 1870 T.N. Ming (age 66, born in Alabama) and his wife Susanna are enumerated in Grayson County, TX, living with their son William F. Ming. A different enumerator found Thomas (age 70, born in N.C.) on 1 September 1870, living with daughter Emily J. (Ming) Herst/Hurst, also in Grayson County. If the dates were just reversed, we would have a possible death date and place for Susanna, but as it stands, all we have is the question of where she was on 1 September 1870.

On the 1850 census the occupation of Thomas Ming is listed as “house carpenter”; both the 1860 census and the 1870 census (the one in which he is living with the Hersts) list his occupation as “carpenter.” A widely distributed likeness of Thomas Ming shows him holding a hammer and a carpenter’s square, the tools of his trade.

Thomas Ming married Susannah Stephenson around 1823, based on the date of birth of their first child, William Frederick Ming. Susannah was the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Whitley) Stephenson and the granddaughter of Col. William C. Whitley, and his wife Esther Gill Fullen. Susannah was born about 1802 in Limestone County, Alabama, and probably died around 1880 in Grayson Co., Texas.

Thanks to my cousin Paul Ming, a long-time Ming researcher, I also have a likeness of Susanna Stephenson. The origin for my photograph was a display at the Whitley House, but the original was donated to the house by Paul, who is a careful recorder of his sources. He got his copy from a Ming cousin who got it from her grandmother who was a daughter of William F. Ming.

Paul also gave me some background on the above-mentioned picture of Thomas Ming. He got it originally from a cousin who was a great-granddaughter of Thomas through his son, Alexander Columbus. This photograph is probably the origin of the middle name that many researchers have shown for Thomas because the back of the photograph is inscribed “Thomas Norton Ming.”

Children of Thomas N. and Susannah (Stephenson) Ming

Known children of Thomas and Susanna Ming were:

William Frederick Ming, known as Fred, was born in 1824 in Alabama. By 1829 Thomas and Susana had moved to Callaway County, Missouri, and William grew up there with his five younger brothers and sisters. (See my post, “The Ming Dynasty.”) In 1848 Fred joined the Peters Colony and moved to northeastern Texas. The 1850 census shows him married to Frances J. They had a daughter, Helen Ann, born about 1853/54, before Frances died, perhaps in childbirth. Fred took his daughter and moved to Grayson County, Texas, where his aunt Cynthia (his mother’s sister) and his uncle Samuel Wheat were living. There Fred married his first cousin, Susana, daughter of Samuel and Cynthia Wheat. They had their first child, Thomas Samuel Ming, in 1857, followed by Cynthia Frances (1859), Jefferson Davis (1862), George Alexander (1863), William Olive (1867), John (1869), James (1872), Martha (1879), and Josephine (1880). Two other children, Edney and Mary, died as infants.

(Thanks to my cousin Paul Ming for generously sharing his research into the lives of our Ming ancestors. He and I both descend from the William F. Ming family, Paul through son George Alexander, and myself through daughter Cynthia Frances. After many years of seeing each other’s names in Ming message boards, Paul contacted me just a few months ago. We have carried on a frequent email and snail mail correspondence and hope to finally meet each other this spring.)

The second son of Thomas and Susanna Ming was Whitley F. Ming, born about 1830 in Missouri. On the 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses Whitley is found in Grayson Co. with wife Margaret and children: George J., Alice E., William W., Carrie L., Cora, and E.M. (Eugene.)

Frances Ming was born in 1835 in Missouri. Her story is told in my blog post, “Serendipity.” She is the grandmother of one of my largest DNA matches, Herbert Archie Miller.

Emily Jane Ming was born 14 November 1838, consistently giving Missouri as her place of birth on several censuses. At the time of the 1850 census she was living with her parents and siblings, Frances, Alexander, and Margaret, in Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas. She married Bradford C. Hurst, and their first child, Thomas Jefferson, was born about 1855 in Texas, although by the 1860 census the Hursts were living in Otoe, Kansas Territory. Four more children were born to the Hursts: Mary Frances, Franklin Pierce, Margaret E., and Bradford Lee. Emily’s husband died in 1870, and in 1871 she remarried to Rev. James Bedford, a Primitive Baptist preacher who was 30 years her senior. Remarkably, they had a child, Cynthia Ellen, who was born in 1876 in Parker County, Texas, when her father was 66 years old. Rev. Bedford died in 1892 at the age of 82. Emily went on to marry one more time to William Harvey Martin on 18 April 1895. Emily died in 1905 and is buried in Hood County, Texas. The economical headstone in the Martin Cemetery in Hood Co. includes the names of Wm. H. Martin who died in 1925, his first wife Sallie who died in 1893, and his second wife, Emily J. (Ming Hurst Bedford Martin.)

Alexander (sometimes spelled Elexander) Columbus Ming was born 18 November 1841, according to his death certificate, probably in Callaway County, Missouri. He married Margaret Lucinda Ferguson on 29 May 1865 in Grayson County, Texas, according to her application for Civil War widow’s benefits. Their children were William Alfred, Susie Catherine, Nancy Elizabeth, Margaret Emily, Sarah F., and Jane Irene. Alexander C. Ming died on 29 February 1928 in Bertram, Burnet Co., TX. According to his death certificate, he was a blacksmith and died of influenza with the contributing factor of old age. His parents are listed as Tom and Susan Ming.

Margaret Metilda Ming was born 22 Nov 1844 in Callaway County, MO. While documentation is sketchy, it appears that she married first to a Frank Baskett about 1860/61 and had two children with him: Frances Mary (Fannie) and Charles Columbus. She then married Oliver Peyton/Paten Mallow about 1872; it was a second marriage for both. They appear on the 1880 census in Collin County, Texas, with four children from his first marriage, her children by Frank Baskett, and their children, which include: W.O., born 1874; George F., born 1875; Wesley P., born 1876; Franklin Pierce, born 1879; and Grace, born 1884. Margaret Metilda died 14 July 1930 and is buried at the Orenduff Cemetery in Collin Co.

Descendants of Thomas N. Ming and Susannah Stephenson in DNA Circles

Counting myself, there are 4 members of the Thomas Ming DNA Circle. The Susannah Stephenson DNA Circle has the same 4 members. I am a DNA match to all of the other circle members. Two of the members are descended from Alexander Columbus Ming through his daughter, Susie Catherine. One member is descended from William Frederick Ming through his son Thomas Samuel; I am descended through William’s daughter, Cynthia Frances.

In the absence of a Chromosome Browser, I can’t tell if my DNA matches are on the Ming or the Stephenson side, or both. I’m not sure if Ancestry DNA differentiates its results in that way.

1 comment:

  1. My name is scott burlock, I am a decendant of tom n. Ming. That was my grandfather's great grandfather was James Bedford ming, son of Thomas Samuel Ming. I love ancestry where we come from of the family. Take care.