25 December 2008

Cats, Genealogy and mtDNA Haplogroup group U* and H

The year 2008 will soon be over, and 2009 is rapidly approaching, and I want to get one more blog entry in before 2009. Teaching, as always, is wonderful yet totally exhausting, both emotionally and mentally. During the school year, I’m consumed with my job and my students. Luckily for the 2008-2009 school year, I am blessed, again, with a wonderful group of students. It is winter break, and time to update my poor neglected blog.

Cats at Casa de Dulce y López

"Donut Head" wearing a cone after surgery.

The world of cats at Casa de Dulce y López has been blessed with the addition of Laguna. She has managed to charm every human and cat in the house as well as being a spark that keeps life at the Casa interesting. We had expected Pojoaque to be a small cat like his brother Nambe, but he is a huge cat. We also expected Laguna to be the large cat, and at eight months, she is still very small. Unexpected outcomes can be so delightful. After years of having a Casa full of elderly cats, it is so enjoyable to lay in bed at night and hear rapid paw steps of kitties chasing each other back and forth in their favorite game of chase.


The world of the feral cats at Casa de Dulce y López hasn’t been as blessed. Ildy and Clara would disappear for over a week every once in a while, and finally, they never came back. I knew that loving feral cats would have its share of broken hearts, but I didn’t expect them so soon. We still have Sophie, Nambe and Juan, plus an exact mini version of Nambe and Juan has joined the group. We’ve wondered if he was their father, yet compared to Juan, Nambe and even our Pojoaque, our new gray guy is so small. Sophie is very close to letting Jim get near her, but someone in the past broke our Sophie’s heart. Brokenhearted kitties have a hard time trusting humans again.

Genealogy Updates

In the past six months I have updated and added hundreds of new people to my genealogy web pages. In earlier posts I mentioned all the great sources I’ve used to research medieval British genealogy, but I forgot a few important ones.

Kidwelly Castle

Some Notes on Medieval English Genealogy not only has some great resources itself, but also has links and leads to others. I’ve found their Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage very helpful when working with Cokayne’s Complete Peerage.

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and Charles Cawley’s Medieval Lands: Charles Cawley has very carefully checked his sources for his work, and his work is very impressive. His entries are mainly noble or royal folk.

Warwick Castle

GEN-MEDIEVAL/soc.genealogy.medieval and their archives: There have been times that the good folks who post on soc.genealogy.medieval have helped me out of deep fogs of confusion. Also, they make me question my own work, which I find always is very helpful.


I had both my nephew’s and my mtDNA tested recently with the Family Tree DNA group. My nephew’s, or my Lopez male’s mtDNA happens to be U*, and my or my mother’s mtDNA is H. It seems that the U mtDNA is the oldest in Europe and people with mtDNA U were in Europe at the same time Neanderthals were there. The MtDNA H is one of the youngest mtDNAs in Europe. I’m not totally sure what all this means, but there has been an interesting outcome to my adding my results to the Family Tree DNA mtDNA matching database. I’ve found a lot of Hispanic New Mexicans with the mtDNA of H. We can find shared New Mexican ancestors, but these ancestors are via my father and not my mother, who has the mtDNA H, and whose female ancestors are likely from England.

My “mother line” is incomplete, as is my “father line.” I can find New Mexican ancestors who can be traced back to Native Americans in New México and the Valley of México, as well as to Spain, Portugal, Greece and even Belgium, but my oldest Lopez ancestor was living in Villa de Alburquerque in 1750 and married there in 1726. My oldest mother was born in Medville, Crawford, Pennsylvania about 1803. Like my father’s genealogy, I can trace other ancestors back to England, and even to the Norman conquest of England, but both mother and father lines stop the present day U.S.

Alburquerque, New México

My father line:
Carlos López (NM), Ramón López (NM), Celso López(NM), Ramon López (NM), Vicente Antonio López (NM), Diego López (NM), and possibly Miguel López (?)

My mother line:
Nancy López (NM), Eleanor Blair (NE), Mabel Cecilia Atwood(NE), Stella Ann Cole (PA), Celia Walker (PA), and Sarah Ann Ross (PA)

More information:







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19 July 2008

le Norreys Addendum

Just a note about my previous post about the le Norreys family. After reading the Victoria County History: History of Lancaster, Vol. 3's entry on Speke, I had to say I needed to point out that the VCH: History of Lancaster, Vol. 3 agrees with Steve Norris.

18 July 2008

Laguna, Family le Norreys, and Monsoon Season BUT in the Reverse Order

Monsoon Season

The single clouds are beginning to consolidate in the sky making them one very dark cloud. First, they gather around the mountains. In the morning, they start as a few fluffy white clouds hanging right above the Sandia, Jemez, Ortiz and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The sky can be blue as far as you can see. That is until your eyes move to those mountains where the clouds are sitting like a magnetic force pulling all the moisture toward them. For much of the summer, this means there will be an afternoon shower in the mountains.

Usually, late in the summer, the clouds are more numerous, and might build up more and more each afternoon, until it finally rains. This is the monsoon season in the high desert. Growing up in Santa Fe, we would have rain in the afternoon, but Santa Fe lies at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains almost always make their own weather, and rain in the afternoon is very typical.

Sandia Mountains

I’ve lived my adult life in Albuquerque, and unlike Santa Fe, the afternoon showers or floods don’t come in calmly. In Albuquerque, afternoon rains, showers, floods or maybe no rain at all, has a very different personality. It means winds that slam your doors shut, and knock weak branches off of tree. It means loud rumbling thunder and giant bolts of lighting. Sometimes you can feel the electricity in the air. Sometime the air is so humid I feel oppressed by all the moisture that just won’t quite form into rain. I’ve seen some spectacular lighting storms while living in Albuquerque, and as much as I love the dry New Mexico climate, I enjoy monsoon season even more.

Now the question is, is it or is it not going to rain? Outside, everything in the sky will look like it is the perfect conditions to rain, and yet, within a short time, they sky is clear again, and no rain. There have been times when we in one part of the valley get no rain at all, while another part is flooding. I’ve had rain in the front yard, while isn’t a drop in the back. My favorite is a storm while the sun is shinning. The rain is ever so clear, almost sparkling, when the sun sits in the bright western sky and the heavy clouds above can’t hold a single drop more and they burst.

Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, in sometime about 1920


Laguna is the “youngins” of the Pueblo’s here in New Mexico. They created their pueblo in 1699. People from Santo Domingo moved away from the Río Grandé Valley after the Spanish first moved into New México. The Coronado Expedition & Oñate Spanish settlement had given the Pueblo People plenty of reason to fear contact with the Spanish.

I’ve always found the people of Santo Domingo to be very attractive people. I also have known some extremely attractive Laguna people, both in body and spirit. I’ve often pondered whether some of the folks from Santa Domingo decided to take their beautiful daughters out of the reach of the lusty Spanish, especially since many of them were Spanish soldiers without wives.

Laguna, NM, possibly in the 1920s

Laguna is also the name I’ve given to my newest kitten. Laguna is so pretty. She walks across the room with such poise and presence. She must have an old soul. At the ripe age of eight weeks old, she is so calm and centered she seems almost constantly in a meditative state, even when Pokie is smothering her while wrestling with her or one of us people pick her up while she would much rather be down on the ground. Plus she has the fluffiest tail and fluff coming out of her ears and those white socks on her back feet! All our other Pueblo cats have been named after the Northern New Mexican Pueblos my husband and I grew up near, but Laguna is one of those beautiful girls that are being hidden in Western New Mexico.

Laguna could be the poster girl for pound kitties. All my other cats found me and basically moved in. I saw Laguna on the lost and adoptable web site for the Albuquerque Animal Shelters, whoppps, they call it the Animal Care Center these days. Laguna was a pound kitten, and they held her and gave her love until I adopted her. I have to give the people of the ABQ Animal Care Center kudos for how they cared for my kitty before she was my kitty.

poster girl for pound kitties
Poster Girl for Pound Kitties

Laguna and Pojaoque immediately became best friends. I’ll catch them sleeping in the same position one next to the other, and Pojaoque’s will have his paw resting on her back. If one is in any given place, I know the other will be right behind. Pojaoque is the gawky teen-age brother, with the poised little sister. It is great to have young cats in the house again to spark up the three oldsters, one being feline, in our house.

Le Norreys

I’ve taken a break from genealogy to ponder a short single line connected with someone who connects with someone else until they find their way into the Bulkeley/Grosvenor line, the Norreys line. I was so pleased to find, on Google Books, a 1850 article written by George Ormerod titled, “Le Noreis or Norres and its Speke Branch in Particular” in the series 1, vol. II issue of Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. My luck, the Norreys I am researching just happen to be from Speke.

I followed Ormerod’s version, but then I ran into Steve Norris’s web page on the John Le Norreys of Speke, Lancashire. He had two additional generations, and one of the generations is different. I wrote Steve asking him why his line didn’t agree with Ormerod’s line? He wrote back telling me he had copies of deeds and documents that prove his version of the line to be true. He assured me he has been working on this information for 25 years. Nothing that he said to me has me convinced, not even the missing generation. Rather, it is his conviction that has me reconsidering Ormrod’s version. I’m also tempted to take him up on the offer of copying all his copies, at my expense, out of curiosity. That has me pondering as well. I mean . . . if I were trying to prove that my great great great grandfather was indeed my great great great grandfather so I would be accepted into the DAR, maybe. Ponder, ponder, ponder! I think I’ll put both versions on my site so others can have the same fun of pondering mixed with confusion!

Speke Hall,

Which May Not Have Anything To Do With le Norreys of Speke

Oh, btw, I do have the proof that my great great great great grandfathers were my great great great great grandfathers and that I could be accepted in the DAR, but I’m really not the “joiner” type of person. Plus there are just so many associations I could join, but just, which is always a big question. I joined the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, and the only reason I’ve remained a member is they make it very easy to remain a member. I used to belong to the New Mexico Genealogy Society and the NM Hispanic Genealogical Research Center, but I can’t seem to rejoin as easily as the NEHGS. I love all three, especially the New Mexican ones.

If you are interested in la Familia le Norreys, visit Steve’s site The Family of "le Norreys." He has a tremendous amount of information on his site, but sadly no references. I have a dream of him scanning all his documents and putting them up on his site to share with the world. And don’t forget to read Ormerod’s article,
Le Noreis or Norres and its Speke Branch in Particular.

And I’m still waiting for the rain . . .

17 July 2008

Medieval British Genealogy, Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, and the “DEroyalfication” of Constant Southworth

I’ve spent my summer, as I’ve done in the past few years, traveling back in history, searching for ancestors. I had, on a lark, about six years ago, used the information I found on the web to trace my maternal grandmother’s Southworth line. While I was researching my New Mexican ancestors, and later my New England ancestors, I had learned a lot about researching, and started to really care about having sources for my information. I knew I really needed to go back and clean up the mess that I knew my Southworth line was on my web page.

Now I find out that folks who have revised Weis’s Ancestral Roots have decided the evidence presented by the author of The Southworth’s Genealogy isn’t up to snuff. Constant Southworth, early Puritan settler of Massachusetts, and ancestor to thousands up thousands of people in the United States are no longer connected to Thomas Southworth according to the authors of the 8th Edition of Weis’s Ancestral Roots. When I read A Genealogy of the Southworths by Samuel Webber, I felt that the author had clearly made the connection. Weis must have agreed since he not only had it in the original 1950 edition of his Ancestral Roots, but he also has the pedigree in his 1959 edition of The Standish of Standish Parish. Anyway, while I was researching my New England ancestors, I found a connection with the Bulkeley and Grosvenor line. Since the Bulkeleys and Grosvenor lines connects to many of the same lines the Southworth line connects too, I decided to refer to Weis’ 7th Edition of Ancestral Roots instead of the revised 8th Edition for my Southworth research. Anyway, considering there weren’t a lot of people living during those early medieval days, adding into the consideration the horrid “right of the first knight,” anyone who has English ancestry is likely to be connected somehow with everyone else who has English ancestry. At this point, it isn’t the person being researched as much as the joy of researching.

Now it isn’t that I really want royal ancestors. Some of my most exciting finds have been my Native American and mulatto libere ancestors from my New Mexican roots. I’d much rather be known as the descendent of Pascuala Bernal, an Aztec woman; or Isabel, a Northern Tewa woman; or Juana Candelaria, whose great grand mother was Anna de Sandoval y Manzanares, daughter of Mateo, who is recorded as mulatto libere than, say, evil, ignominious, John Lackland, King of England. John is one of those hideous skeletons in ones genetic closet that I can only hope the genetics of Pascual Bernal voids out. Plus, he was a really terrible King. The only good that I can find that came from John is the fact that he was so bad that the barons insisted on the creation of the Magna Chart and the “rule of law.” No, I think that the reason I can’t let go of the Southworth connection in the 7th edition of has to do more with my love of my mother.

My mother’s name was Eleanor, and she died way too young when I was only eighteen. I am at this moment one year older than she was when she died. I’ve missed and loved her my entire life. She told me her mother, Mabel Atwood Blair, had a genealogist trace her ancestry, and that it revealed a connection between the Atwoods with King John’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady Godiva. She told me my grandmother named her Eleanor after Eleanor of Aquitaine. At the time I had no conception of how we were connected, I’ve just always connected Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady Godiva with my beloved mother. (How I came about finding this genealogy at a much, much later date is explained on my Grandmother’s Genealogy Web Page on my site.)

Back to my messy genealogy web pages. I’m in the process of updating a few
hundred pages at a time. I invested in many new books on Genealogy, and a couple of essential CDs for my research. One of the CDs is the complete three volumes of George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, and the other is the complete 13 volume CD of Cokaney’s Complete Peerage. I’ve linked them for anyone interested in purchasing them. I also have a dozen other books I’ve added to my genealogy library, but I’ve found myself relying on both these discs more than any other sources. This is especially true for the book by Ormerod. I find that many of the people I’ve been researching were from either Lancaster or Chester in England, and Ormerod has been invaluable in my quest for knowledge. Every time I find information on one person, I end up adding a dozen more people to my database because of this wonderful three-volume collection.

There are times when Ormerod totally confuses me, but I’ve come to believe that he was confused at the time when he was juggling primary sources and other prior genealogist’s work for his own work. In one entry he mentions finding over seventy different spellings for the same surname. He also explains that he finds different names for the same people. Other times, his work is clear and easily understood. He always cites primary sources, and he always supplies discrepancies. I have come to respect the work of the man, and the price of the CD was well worth it in the long run. (Now the CD wouldn’t be costly, but the exchange rate with Europe at this time is the costly part. Thanks to the policies of the Bush/Chenney government, our dollar is worthless today. Hum, I bet both Bush and Chenney share John Lackland as an ancestor, and they didn’t have a Pascula Bernal or an Anna de Sandoval y Manzanares to balance out their John genetics thus making them such John Lacklandish, incompetent & mean spirited rulers.)

In my search for sources, I’m finding that Google Books has some amazing resources. There are digital copies of such treasures as the Annals of the Lords of Warrington in two volumes, Collins’s Peerage of England, The Coucher Book, Or Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, the Pipe Rolls of Cumberland and Westmorland, The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey of the Premonstratensian Order, many issues of the Collections of the History of Staffordshire, The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal (or as they call it The Yorkshire Archælogical Journal), Records from the British Records Society, issues of Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester (a personal favorite), plus many, many, and again many, many more. If anyone out there is interested in these sources, I have lots of them on my sources web page and on My Library at Google Books. I have tried to make a sensible organization of the books sitting in MY LIBRARY, but I keep finding books faster than I can categorize them.

Back to research and Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester.

P.S. I forgot to mention another great source of information - British History On-line.

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08 July 2008

Sophie’s Pride

As I mentioned, my cat Pojaoque was given to us by a stray, feral cat who was living in the neighborhood. My husband had been watching the family dynamics of this cat and her two daughters and son for a while. When two new kittens showed up, he began to think we needed to do something before the neighborhood was over run by the kittens of this female cat and her two daughters. Of the kittens, we were only able to adopt the black cat, who is our beloved Pojaoque. We weren’t able to adopt his gray brother unfortunately, but that was basically the mama cat's choice.

Clara hiding in the grass.

My husband had already been feeding the mama, her two girls and son. He had gotten them use to all going into a very large cat carrier we have. We asked out Vet about options for feral cats, and found out there is a group in Albuquerque that holds a clinic once a month on the second Sunday just for the purpose of spay and neutering feral cats. It was perfect. We didn’t want the neighborhood over run with feral cats, yet we couldn’t imagine the possibilities that might happen if the animal shelter picked them up. All we had to do was catch them all, and kept them from eating or drinking through the night before surgery.

It took my husband three tries. He had all the cats in the carrier the first time, but while he was transferring them to the other carriers he lost all but one. Our hungry strays came back nonetheless, and this time, we used a clipboard to transfer one at a time to other carriers using the clipboard as a restrain for the others to keep them inside the carrier. We had them all trapped and ready to spend the night in our living room.

Sopie and Ildy
Sophie and a Tortie Girl, The vets clipped their ears to let animal control know they were "fixed" and being watched over.

Early the next morning, a colder than usual Sunday in January, we were lined up outside the Humane Society which lends their facilities to the Spay and Neuter group. Many of us there were planning on taking back the feral cats and committing to watching over and providing for them. For the next three nights, our living room was our feral cat’s recovery room. I almost hated to let them go, except that we desperately needed to clean the carriers out, not to forget what the carriers were beginning to smell like after three days of feral cat pooping and peeing.

We’ve been taking care of them since. They hang out in our yard, sleep on our front porch, and greet us when we come home after work. They trust us as far as feral cats will trust anyone. There are times that we will be outside sitting on our porch, and the ferals will come out of hiding to join us. They won’t let us too near to them, but they know we will give them food and fresh water. I talk to them all the time, and sometimes Clara or Idly will meow back at me. Oh yes, they all have names.

Nambe, Pojaoque’s brother

We named our black kitten Pojaoque in honor of one of our cats that had recently died named Tesuque. Tesuque had been one of the all time great cats, and Pojaoque was a pretty amazing kitten. Pojaoque is the sister Pueblo of Tesuque. These Pueblos are the Native People living north of Santa Fe, New Mexico long before the Spanish arrived. I carry some of the ancestry of the Northern and Southern Pueblos, and I grew up near these two Pueblos.

We decided we needed to give the feral cats related to our Pojaoque names of other northern New Mexico Pueblos. So Pojaoque’s brother, the gray kitten, became Nambe. His older gray brother, who really more closely resembles Pojaoque, became Juan after San Jan Pueblo. Their two Tortie sisters are Ildy, after San Ildefonso Pueblo, and Clara after Santa Clara Pueblo. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we named the mama cat Sophie because she seemed to make a choice of giving us Pojaoque, while she refused to let us have Nambe. Of course Sophie came from the movie titled Sophie’s Choice.

In the last six months we’ve watched the family dynamics change greatly. At first they were a very tight-knit group. Something happened just recently to change this. The two Tortie sisters, Ildy and Clara, disappeared for eleven days. The night before they disappeared, I heard cats fighting so I went out to make sure they were alright, but there were no cats in sight.


Shortly after the Tortie girls were back, I heard another cat fight and went out to check again. This time I saw Sophie run out of the bushes and across the street. The two Torties are almost always together. Usually Juan and Nambe are together, and Sophie is often alone. While the Tortie girls were gone, Sophie was always with Nambe and Juan. There are time, like before, when they all gather around the food eating together as a family, but now it seems like they have an understanding that they will take turns.

Something was unsettled in the feral kitty world, but I think in time it will all settle. They may no longer be Sophie’s pride, but we have promised to feed, care for and shelter all of them for the rest of their or our lives.

07 July 2008

Quatro and Pojaoque, Our Kitty Boys

The last time I wrote here, my Dulce had died. Months passed, and the sadness of her loss was ever present. One Sunday in November, I was filled with a deep emptiness and I was missing her sweet presence. She had been in my life for such a long time, and now there was emptiness.

The next day I came home from work much earlier than usual, and just as I drove up, there he was, the smallest, sweetest little black kitty. I picked him up and that minute I became his mother. I knew where my black kitten had come from, his mother was a stray in the neighborhood. She is a lovely Siamese street-wise feral cat, obviously someone had left her in the neighborhood.

I knew she had a gray kitten. I had seen it, but she would’t let me near it. I had no idea there was a black one was well. It almost seemed like she was giving me her black kitten because she was near by watching. I put the little black kitten down, and he followed me rather than running to her. She sat there watching. She watched as I fed him. She watched as I cuddled him. I put him back down, and she didn’t move one inch to retrieve him. He just kept following me. It was almost like she had made a choice to give up one of her kittens because two were just to much. We call her Sophie because giving us her little black kitten was "Sophie's choice."

My husband would be home soon, and I wanted him to fall in love with the little black kitten, so I went inside. Pojaoque, (Po-wha-kay) the name we later gave him, was at the screen door crying for me. Again, mama cat sat at the end of the walkway and watched, not moving an inch closer. Finally Jim was home. He was so exhausted from work he missed seeing the little black kitten, so I made him go back outside. Within a flash, Jim was in love too.

Little Black Kitty

Pojaoque’s nickname if Pokie. He really helped to take away the emptiness left by Dulce’s death. I still think about her, cry for her and miss her, but it is amazing what one little stray black kitten can do to bring joy into our lives. He brought new life in to our old cats and us old people. He slowly won everyone over, including Quatro and Cassie. I have more on Pokie’s story on my Web Page plus lots of photos.

Cassie and Pokie
Pojaoque & Cassie

That was November. Pokie brought life and kitten excitement back into my home. Spring came, and my Quatro hadn’t been feeling well. He did things he never would have done before, like start sitting in Jim’s and my lap. For over fifteen or sixteen years, Quatro had let everyone know he wasn’t to be touched or messed with. He was a cat that someone had tossed aside, and he lived as a feral cat for long enough to know he didn’t like to be touched and he didn’t trust. He always had a bit of wildness in him, but he became down right affectionate to Jim and I. Maybe it was he needed comfort in his old age. Maybe it was the addition of Pojaoque in the household. He had become a grandfather-like figure in Pokie’s life and Pokie followed him everywhere. Pokie would cuddle with Cassie and learned to be a patient man from Quatro.

Quatro’s last weekend with us was a perfect Quatro weekend. It had finally warmed up outside and Jim was outside watering. One of Quatro’s many unique attributes was his love of water. If I had the humidifier on, he’d be right in front of it. He’d sit on the side of the bathtub when I took a bath and when we took showers, Quatro would hop in the tub with either Jim or I. We’d let him out in the front yard whenever Jim had the sprinkler on to water the lawn so Quatro could run in and out of the sprinkler like a kid on a hot summer day. He loved it. At the end of the weekend, he made a long moaning sound and laid down semi-conscious. I held him, but he wanted to be back in the bathroom near the bathtub.


I don’t now how I would have ever made it through the death of yet another one of my cats if I did have Pokie and thankfully Cassy is still with us. Four of the pride of five cats made up of Jim’s two pampered girls and the three cats that adopted me died one right after another, every six months or so. It has been devastating.

Jim and I hadn’t expected to feel Quatro’s loss as deeply as we did. He had always been distant, like the semi-feral cat that just didn’t trust anyone enough to get close, but in a very subtle way, we had gotten closer to Quatro than we realized. My last memory of Quatro will always be looking out at the back yard through the glass door and seeing my two men, Jim and Quatro, side by side. They stood there like buddies on a street corner as they watched the sprinkler watering the bushes and compost pile in the backyard, both in deep Zen meditation, the water as their koan.

More about Pojaoque, his feral outdoor relatives we care for and my newest little sweet girl, Luguna tomorrow.

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