The Broket DNA Project — North American participants
The ancestry of Wendell Richard Brockett 1910-83
This page provides:
Wendell’s career included mining, auto parts salesman, automotive machinist, aerospace machinist, and realtor. He and his family moved a great deal throughout his life and lived in multiple places in Idaho, Arizona, Michigan, California, and Washington states.
1920 1 Jan: The census recorded Wendell R in the family home in Creighton, Maricopa, AZ, aged 9.
1925 3 Feb: Mother Abbie died in Chandler, Maricopa Co, AZ, of Pellagra, aged 51, b 5 Oct 1873 Sacramanto IL, father Mike MILLSPAUGH.3 There was a period of family instability after Wendell’s mother died, especially for the younger children. Wendell apparently dropped out of high school and lived for a period of time in Crown King Arizona where he worked as a miner. His slightly older sister Mabel moved away and disappeared.
1930 1 Apr: The census recorded Wendell R Brockett at 24 Southern Ave, Heard, Maricopa Co, AZ, aged 19 [i.e. b c 1911], b ID, Single, Salesman Auto parts, father and mother b IL; living with brother Raymond W, 30, Salesman Auto parts, and his wife Alice M, 30, and daughter Margaret E, 2.4
1938 21 May: Married Edna LOVATT:5
Edna was Canadian (i.e. British), born 20 Feb 1910 and raised on her parents’ farm in Glenwood, Manitoba.6 She was a Registered Nurse visiting Phoenix with a patient when she met Wendell. Living in Phoenix in 1941 with Wendell she petitioned to become a naturalized US citizen,7 see the top half of her petition here
and the certificate here.
1940 1 Apr: The census recorded Wendell Brockett at 742 E Moreland S, Maricopa Co, AZ, head, aged 30 [i.e. b c 1910], b ID, completed the 2nd year of high school, Salesman in auto retail store; with wife Edna, 30, b Canada; and son, aged 3 months, b AZ.8
1941-4: Moved to San Diego, CA, Mt Clemens, MI, Twin Falls, ID, and then back to Phoenix, AZ.
1952-3: Moved to Northern Idaho, then Yakima Washington, then the Seattle area.
Wendell’s INS card and signature:
Wendell Richard was the son of:
Most of Jonah’s life was spent in and around agriculture—as a farmer in Illinois and as a citrus grove worker/manager in Arizona.
1880 1 Jun: The census recorded Jonah in the family farm in Enfield, IL, aged 7, 5th of 8 children.
1890: The census records were mostly destroyed by fire in 1921. The areas covered by the few schedules that survived are listed by the US Census Bureau.10 They contain 6,160 names but no records of Brocketts are known to be among them.
1897 24 Nov: Jonah Brockett married Abby MILLSPAUGH in White Co, IL.11
1900 1 Jun: The census recorded Jonah Brockett, head, aged 27, b Feb 1873 IL, Farmer of rented farm, father b IL, mother Ohio; with wife Abbie, 25, b IL, married 2 years, 1 child born, 1 living: son Raymond, 7 months, b IL.12
Jonah, Abby, Ray and Mabel Brockett in 1908:13
1910 15 Apr: The census recorded Jonah Brockett in Twin Falls Co, ID, head, aged 37 [i.e. b c 1873], b IL, Stage driver, Freehold owner of home, father and mother b IL; with wife Abbie, 37, b IL, married 12 years, 4 children born, 3 living: son Raymond, 10, b IL; daughter Mabel, 3, b MO; and son Wendell, 4 months, b ID.14
1918: WWI draft registration at Scottsdale Stage, Phoenix, AZ.15 Jonah’s signature from the registration card:
1920 1 Jan: The census recorded Jonah N Brockett in Creighton, Maricopa Co, AZ, head, aged 46 [i.e. b c 1874], b IL, a wage-earning Farmer on Citrus Farm, father and mother b IL; with wife Abbie L, 46, b IL; 2 children: daughter Mabel B, 12, b MO; and son Wendell R, 9, b ID.16
1925 Abby died Phoenix, AZ.
1930 1 Apr: The census recorded Jonah Brockett at 32nd St, Madison, AZ, head, living on his own, aged 55, Widower, b IL, Manager of citrus grove, rented home $10/mo, father b IL, mother Ohio.17
Jonah Brockett in the 1930s:18
1931: Jonah moved to Enfield, IL.
1940 1 Apr: The census recorded “… Backett Farmer on rented land ($5) School 1 yr high school No others listed”.
1941 5 Sep: Married Lavada MALONE in Cape Girardeau, MO, both of Enfield IL.19
1951: Jonah died Enfield, IL. An obituary:20
1967: Lavada died.
Jonah Martin was the son of:
There are records of Michael, Michael S and Michael B. Were they different people? Yes and no! Michael ‘B’ was a mistranscription for Michael S, but records of 3 other Michaels alive within the lifespan of Jonah’s father have also been found. It isn’t difficult to see that none was the same person as Michael born 1840:
• Michael Brocket was a private in the Black Hawk War of 1831 against the native American Indians, in Regiment SP, Brigade 3 of W EWING’s Company, enrolled in Fayette Co.22
2. Michael Brocket immigrated to the USA 1918, arriving Ellis Island from Liverpool on the ship Adriatic. His age was given as 50, i.e. born c 1868, and country of origin Ireland.25
3. Mike E Brockett recorded in the 1920 census in precinct 7, Denton, Texas, aged 22, i.e. born c 1898, in Kentucky, General Farmer renting home, working on own account, father and mother born Tennessee; with wife Mabel, aged 20, b Texas, father born Kentucky, mother Texas; son Clifton M, 2, b Texas; daughter Bernice, 1, b Texas.
Parentage: Since no other Michaels of a similar age have been found in any contemporary US records, the census records for Michael listed below in this 3rd generation sub-section—in particular the 1860 and 1870 pair, either side of Michael leaving the parental home—would have been of the same person. It’s unlikely that evidence to the contrary will appear. Furthermore, the 1850 and 60 censuses name his parents as William and Irene. This is therefore the proof statement that Michael S Brockett, father of Jonah Martin, was son of William and Irene.
Birth date: There is slight confusion about this. The 1900 census, the first to record year and month of birth, recorded his as Mar 1840. In the 3 censuses of 1850, 60 and 80—all taken on 1 June—his age was recorded as 11, 21 and 41, making his year of birth 1839, however these ages appear to have been an over-calculation, or perhaps as the age-next-birthday. Michael was buried in Enfield cemetery and his older gravestone says he was born 7 Mar 1840 and died 23 Dec 1921.26 However there is also a newer gravestone which gives his date of birth as 7 Mar 1839, and the transcribed details on the findagrave website are different: 3 Jul 1846 and 23 Dec 1924.27 This is all of little consequence, since as seen above no other Michael has been recorded in the USA with a birth date within 28 years.
1840 1 Jun: [This census only provided the name of the head of household followed by the number of other males and females there.] A William Brockett Junior was recorded aged 20-30, with 1 female aged 20-30 [presumably his wife] and 3 males [presumably sons], two under 5 and one 5-10 [i.e. b 1835-40]. [For more details see the separate page about Capt William. Michael S Brockett could well have been the younger of these; he was born in March that year.]
1850 1 Jun: The census recorded Michiel, aged 11 [i.e. b c 1839], as the 3rd of 7 children in the house of Farmer William and Irena Brocket [see below].
1860 1 Jun: The census recorded Michael, aged 21 [i.e. b c 1839], Farmer, as the 1st of 8 children in the house of Farmer Wm and Irene Brockett, see below.28 [This was clearly the same household as in the 1850 census. The first 2 children from 1850 were no longer there and 3 more had been born.]
Age 22, Height 6ft ½in, Hair dark, eyes dark, complexion dark, marital status single, occupation farmer, nativity IL.
Joined 7 nov 1861, White Co, IL, by cpt Slinger for 3 yrs. Mustered in 27 feb 1862 in Shawneetown, IL. Transferred to Co F 7 Nov 1862
2. Michael Brockett Rank Sgt, Company F, Unit 56 IL US INF, Residence Enfield White Co IL.
Age 22, Height 6ft ½in, Hair Black, Eyes Black, Complexion dark, marital status single, occupation farmer, nativity IL.
Joined 15 Nov 1861, Mcclanesboro, IL, by cpt Hall for 3 yrs. Mustered in 27 feb 1862 in Shawneetown, IL
Mustered out 27 Feb 1865 in Springfield, IL by cpt Hall.
1865 3 Apr: Michael S Brocket had a narrow escape. He was one of up to only 29 survivors out of 550 on board the transport steamer Gen. Lyon, which caught fire off Cape Hatteras and was totally destroyed. The passengers consisted of discharged and paroled soldiers, escaped prisoners and refugees. See the dramatic account in The New York Times.30
1865 22 Oct: Michael Brockett married Elizabeth E DRAPER, White Co IL.31
1870 1 Jun: The census recorded Michael Brockett in Enfield, White Co, IL, head, aged 30 [i.e. b c 1840], Farmer, born in Illinois, real estate valued at $2000, personal estate at $350, with Elizabeth, 24, Keeping House, b Ohio, and three daughters, all born Illinois: Lola May, 3; Laura, 2; and Stella, 9 months, born Sep 1869.32 [Parents William and Irene were also in Enfield, see below.]
1880 1 Jun: The census recorded M S Brockett in Enfield, White Co, IL, head, aged 41 [i.e. b c 1839], b IL, Farmer, father b IL, mother b OH (?); with wife Elizabeth E, 35, Keeping house, b OH; 8 children: Loly M, 14; Laura E, 12; Stella, 10; Lizzie A, 8; Jonah M, 7 [i.e. b c 1873]; Willard M, 5; Mary L, 2; Minnie, 9 months, all born Illinois.33 [The eldest 3 daughters had the same names as the 3 in 1870, so this is the same family.]
1881 11 Dec: Michael’s 1st wife Elizabeth Brockett died in Enfield, White Co, aged 36.34
1890: The census records were mostly destroyed by fire and no records of Brocketts survived.
1891 1 Oct: Michael S Brockett married Mrs Cynthia A ROBINSON, White Co IL.35
1900 1 Jun: The census recorded Michael S Brockette in Enfield Township, White Co, IL, aged 60, born March 1840 in Illinois, head, Farmer, owner of farm, father recorded as born in Louisiana and mother in Virginia; with wife of 9 years Cynthia A, 53, b Nov 1876 or 7 in Illinois, who had given birth to 2 children, both still living; daughter Mary, Single, 23, born May 1877; Walter A, step son, single, 17, born in Indiana, mother born in Illinois; son Willard, 25, born Jan 1885 (error for 75), married; Blanch, daughter-in-law, married (presumably to Willard), 19, born Jan 1881.36 [This was the first confirmation of month and year of Michael’s birth. Son Willard and daughter Mary correspond with the 1880 census where he was given as 5 years old and she as 2. Walter A was presumably Cynthia’s son by a previous marriage, who adopted the surname Brockette.]
Michael S Brockett in the Corunna Journal 1908:37
1910 15 Apr: The census recorded Michel S Brocket in Enfield Township, White Co, IL, aged 70, born in Illinois, was recorded as retired, head, owner of his house, married to Cintha E, aged 61, 2nd marriage for both, with son Willard L, 32, widower, Farmer. [Willard corresponds with the 1880 and 1900 censuses, so this must be the same Michael. The census recorded Michael’s father as born in Louisiana and mother in Tennessee. Databases recorded his name as Michel B rather than S, but this is a mistranscription, the original is an ‘S’ with a small confusing stroke to its left, but it’s nothing like the enumerator’s ‘B’. There are similar differences from the earlier censuses with the second initial of Cintha and son Willard.]38
Michael S Brockett and probably Cynthia:39
1920 1 Jan: The census recorded Mike S Brockett in Enfield Township, White Co, IL, aged 79, owner of his house, married to Cynthia A, aged 70. [The only other person in the house was] a 68-year-old Boarder and Farm Laborer, Philip Holder. [This was clearly the same Michael. The census recorded Michael’s father as born in Louisiana and mother in Virginia, as in 1900.]40
1921 Michael died.
1940 1 Apr: The census recorded Cynthia Brockett in Enfield Township, White Co, IL, aged 90, head, widow, owner of her house worth 600, and with a private income, with 52 year-old housekeeper Flora SMITH.41
1943 16 May: Cynthia A Brockett died In Enfield, White Co. 42
Birth states of parents
From 1880 onwards the censuses recorded birth states of parents. This is how Michael recorded his:
1900: LA for father, VA for mother
1910: LA for father, TN for mother
1920: LA for father, VA for mother.
Several other factors mentioned above make it clear that Michael’s parents were William and Irene, and for the 1850, 60 and 70 censuses they both consistently gave TN as their own birth state. So these divergences are not significant enough to cast doubt on Michael’s parents. But why he should have provided erroneous birthplaces for them is speculation. For the 1880 one the birthplaces are those of himself and his wife Elizabeth, but for the last 3 censuses there is some consistency in the errors.
We can be certain, therefore, that Michael S Brockett, born 1840, was the son of William and Irene Brocket. But which William was that?
Comparing 37 markers, Wendell’s results are currently the most divergent within Genetic Group 3 in the FTDNA database, and there is no match with others at a Genetic Distance of 0, 1 or 2. However, FTDNA still places matches of 34/37 markers “within the range of most well-established surname lineages in Western Europe”.43 Moreover, Wendell’s differences could have occurred together, effectively reducing his Genetic Distance. Although the earliest link of his descent from Capt William isn’t known precisely, it’s clear from the documentary evidence of Wendell’s ancestry outlined above that he belonged to Capt William’s clan, and this is supported by the following DNA evidence.
Genetic Distance 3
34 of Wendell’s 37 markers match those of:
William Leroy BROCKETT 1925-2008.
Cornelius BROCKETT b c 1897.
Harry Doyel BROCKETT 1928-2005.
The differences are on markers: DYS459, DYS464 and CDY.
Note: Technicalities are unavoidable here. Hopefully, the Overview above provides a simpler summary.
1. All three of Wendell’s differences from the other 4 particpants are twin allelic patterns, i.e. a copy of a marker adopting the value of the other: 9-9, 15-15, 41-41. His difference from the other 4 of 8 or 9 steps in CDYa is the most conspicuous, but is it as large a difference as it seems? CDY (DYS724) is a multi-copy marker, like DYS464a-b-c-d, and DYS459a-b, hence there are CDYa and CDYb values. There was an instructive, technical Q&A about the twin allelic pattern phenomenon on a FTDNA forum in Jul 2014:44Read more
A: All markers are potentially susceptible to multistep mutations (multiple steps in one mutation), especially CDY a and b. A single mutation could have made that big a difference in the single marker of the 4th cousins. Furthermore, the multi-copy markers are located on the palindromic arms of the y chromosome. Because of the configuration of these arms, the markers on them are subject to what’s called ‘recombinational loss of heterozygosity’ (RecLOH). You can read about RecLOH at Wikipedia,45 where the relevant quote is: “… DYS459, DYS464 and DYS724 (CDY) are located on the same palindrome P1. A high proportion of 9-9, 15-15-17-17, 36-36 combinations and similar twin allelic patterns will be found… So a 9-10, 15-16-17-17, 36-38 haplotype can change in one recombination event to the one just mentioned, because all three markers (DYS459, DYS464 and DYS724) are affected by one and the same recLOH event.”
This Q&A suggests that a recombination event was responsible not just for Wendell’s 8 step difference in CDYa but also perhaps—during the same event—for the differences in DYS459a-b and DYS464a-b.
2. When might this have occurred? Of the 9 sets of results in this Genetic Group 3, 5 are members of Capt William’s clan and the other 4 trace descent from earlier branches from John of New Haven. Yet the differences between the other 4 are far fewer than those between the 5 of Capt William’s clan. 3 of the other 4 are identical, Genetic Distance of 0, and the 4th has only one difference. By contrast none of the 5 of Capt William’s clan match exactly; they mostly have a Genetic Distance of 1. Moreover three of them also have a Genetic Distance of only 1 with one or more of the 4 not in Capt William’s clan. This means that all but one of the mutations in this Genetic Group 3 occurred among Capt William’s descendants, whether in his sons, grandsons, or even later. Wendell’s line was most probably from a different son of Capt William than the others, so his mutations would have occurred since the late 18th C.
Of the 5 participants from Capt William’s clan CDY shows the most mutation—only 2 of the 5 match. Its values vary between 32-40, 32-41, 33-41 and 41-41. The other differences between these 5 participants are spread across different markers. The values of CDY for the 4 participants not in Capt William’s clan are consistently 32-41, and since two trace their descent from different sons of John Brockett of New Haven, it looks as though 32-41 were the original CDY values of John Brockett of New Haven. William H descended from a different son of Capt William’s son Elisha than Harry D and Marlin L, so the mutation in the latter two must have occurred independently of both Harold H and Wendell. CDY mutated on four different occasions within Capt William’s clan.
3. Only one of Wendell’s 4 matches at Genetic Distance 3 listed above belonged to his own clan, Capt William’s: Harry D. One descended from one generation earlier, and the other two trace their descent from several generations earlier. Wendell’s results therefore correspond more with distant cousins than close ones. John of New Haven was born 1610-20, Capt William was born c 1748, Wendell was born 1910. More genetic mutations have occurred within 160 years or 5-6 generations of Capt William’s clan than within about 270 years or 8-9 generations in other branches from John Brockett of New Haven.
Page Last Updated: April 7, 2020