DNA Surprises


I like to periodically review my DNA matches on my Ancestry account. Most of my matches in the early days of DNA tests showed all of my cousins that I’d grown up with or at least knew of them and could point to someone on my tree and know how they were related.  However, I came across a name that I couldn’t match with any line and she was listed as a second cousin. After tons of messages, I realized she must be a descendant of an Archuleta cousins and I’m pretty sure I was correct. She came to a family reunion and she met an Aunt and Uncle, and it was so great to get to know her.

I also ran a DNA test on my daughter Hailey. I found a surprise on her Bennett line. A relative that had been adopted was a DNA match and we found that Paul’s aunt shared a father with Paul’s grandfather. Confusing, right? Jerry Springer would have loved that story.

Now, I have a DNA match that is fun and surprising, especially for my Jacques/Archuleta cousins.

Mom and her sisters
Virginia, Ruby and Kathleen Hardin
Escaping the Dust Bowl, Charles, Virginia, Ruby (center) Kathleen and Flora

When my mother arrived in California, her father, Charles Hardin, had driven them from the Texas and New Mexico area, looking for work. Mother had a lot of cousins in Alabama and Missouri, as that is where her parents had been born. The Dust Bowl travelers arrived in 1935 California and headed to a place where Charles had family, in the Corning area. Charles’ mother, Lula Young Hardin, had a sister by the name of Eugenia Adderine Young Trapp. Eugenia had married Henry Trapp and their son was Jack Trapp. Jack married Etta Thomas Trapp. These people were family, friends, just about the Hardin’s entire world.

The Trapp family began in Tennessee and South Carolina. The 1930’s arrived and along with the Great Depression, the teenage Etta was living in Texas. Her stepfather had died, leaving her mother Mary with seven children and 160 acres of land to be farmed. Etta and Jack were married about this time, hoping for a better life. Dropping prices for cotton forced farmers to search for other employment but in Texas, there was no other employment.

trapp couple
Jack and Etta

The Trapps had their first two children, Dorothy Fay in 1928 and Doris Jean in 1930. Dorothy remembered, “My sister and I would be outside playing and a big sand storm would suddenly come up. The sand would blow against our bare legs and sting so bad. They would run to the house as fast as they could, screaming, “Mama, Mama.” After the storm, the sand would pile up in big drifts like snow.

jack trapp and kids
Jack Trapp with the children

Etta and Jack were forced to walk away from 160 acres in Texas and Jack became a wandering wage earner, taking any job he could find. They traveled to New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and back to Texas.

Etta’s sister Cora and her family had moved to Corning, CA where her husband Carl and her father in law found work picking olives, peaches and prunes. Knowing that times in Texas were bad, she urged Jack and Etta to come to California. Etta had four children: Dorothy- 5, Doris- 4, Bill- 2 and Bobby, a new born baby. They were living with Etta’s mother and her own 5 children. Jack traveled to California, alone with no money and no transportation. He hitched rides along Highway 66, and jumped trains to California. When he reached Corning, he worked picking fruit until he had enough money to send a train ticket to his wife and four small children. One train ticket. The children were allowed to ride for free.

Etta packed all she could carry into a few boxes and started to board the train with her belongings and her four children. The conductor wasn’t happy and said if the train was fully occupied, she could only take up one seat. He told her he couldn’t promise she would make the connecting train in Barstow. Bill had a leg infection and couldn’t walk and with an infant, she relied on her 4 and 5 year old girls to carry their belongings. She had no money for a second ticket.

Dorothy could recall being a small girl and being carried by some CCC boys (Civilian Conservation Corp) who worked at the station. Etta was grateful to reach her final destination of Vina, California but the train pulled into the only public building. There was no one to meet her. She watched the train pull away, still clutching her meager belongings and her babies.  She had been afraid she’d gotten off at the wrong stop. Not too long after that, her husband Jack and sister Cora came running up for a joyous reunion.

Image (2)
Henry Trapp (father of Jack), 1-5-1857 to 12-1957…100 years old
Etta, Jack Trapp and Charles Hardin in the front yard of Shafer Drive, Santa Clara

My grandparents, Charles and his wife Flora had three daughters: Kathleen, Jeanie and Ruby. Jack and Etta had five children, Dorothy Fay, Doris Jean, Bill, Bob and Harley. Etta’s sister Cora also moved to the same area. She was married to Carl Smithers. The Smithers had four children, Onera, Jeremy, Imogene and Joyce. My mother used to call Cora Smithers “Aunt Cora” and she considered her children to also be her cousins, although they weren’t. But the little Hardin family was so relative poor, they clung to these family members. Whenever my mother would tell a story about them, I’d always ask, are these the real cousins or the fake ones? Mama would laugh.

Smithers and Hardins
Cora and Carl Smithers, Flora and Charles Hardin
Onera Smithers, Jeremy Smithers, Jubie Hardin (top row, L to R), seated Imogene and Joyce Smithers
Doris and Dorothy
Doris and Dorothy
Bobby and Bill
Bob and Bill

I visited with Bill Trapp and his wife Margaret not too long ago. I just love them and  I have known them all my life.

bill and margaret and me

So, last week, I was tooling through the DNA matches on my tree and I came across this one. “MCasados70”. It showed that we had ancestors in common – with both have a direct line to G.W. Young and Mary E. Duncan. I knew Uncle Bryan called her Grandma Young, and then I stopped on the button that shows what the ethnicity is, how it compares to my own and what we have in common.

                                                                         Me                                           MCasados70

England                                                          47%                                              58%

Indigenous Americas—Mexico           18%                                              14%

Ireland                                                          14%                                              8%

Spain                                                             10%                                            4%

Odd, I thought, he has almost as much Native American as I, that is kinda funny. So I pull up our matches…

2nd Cousin

Doran Archuleta

Gregory Quintana

Jennifer Kosich

I thought, how is that possible? Our matches are Jennifer Kosich (my cousin’s daughter on my mom’s side) and Greg Quintana and Doran Archuleta from my dad’s side…What the heck?? Hahaha so, a relative of my father’s married a relative of my mother’s and yes, my parents would have loved knowing that. Mother’s cousin Doris, was born the same year as my mother. She had three daughters, Virginia, Gladys and Patricia. Patricia married Rudy Casados and their sons were Manuel and David.

In the 1980’s, my mother had a family reunion of sorts at our home in Stockton. The whole Trapp crew arrived to a backyard bbq with stories, songs and love.

Mother would have said it was “old home week”. These were the people she had grown up with, who’d known her mother and father and had so many shared experiences.

When I went to their home, Bill and Margaret Trapp had shared the Trapp family book with me. It was written by Dorothy Trapp’s daughter, Abbie Ehorn. She very graciously allowed me to share the Trapp family story and their pictures.

Trapps and Hardin
Charles Hardin, Carl Trapp, Henry Trapp, Minnie Trapp and Minnie’s daughter Roxie

Casados Family Line:

So, I have not solved this connection as yet. I can see (because I am obsessed with family lines that are not my own lol) that the Casados line starts in the Los Angeles area with a Rudolph Casados born about 1925. He was born in Abuelo in Mora County, New Mexico. His parents were Benjamin and Francisquita Casados. Mora County is very close to Santa Fe, NM. A lot of our relatives came from Santa Fe. Benjamin’s mother may be Valdez although I haven’t confirmed that.

So, to the Jacques/Archuleta family, and the rest of you, I will continue researching. I love making a connection.

At the end of the Trapp Family Book, Abbie writes that she’d inherited all the old photos and albums and that her mother had started an album with stories and some names and dates. On the last page of her mom’s album, she’d placed a note that said, “Would it be worthwhile, or fun to get together some sort of remembrance or book? Please think about it”. I appreciate Abbie sharing the Trapp family story, photos,  and her mother’s words. Her mother was correct.

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