Announcements & News

J. Willis Ervin (1923-2014)

in Obituary

It is with great sadness I announce the passing of J. WIllis Ervin.

John Willis Ervin's grandfather was John Gilbert Ervin, son of Elias Ervin and Hulzina "Hulda" Deal. Elias, his great-grandfather, was the son of Thomas Ervin and Sarah Thatcher. Willis worked for many years researching the Ervin family, and passed on to many of us here, the love of genealogy. Our prayers and deepest sympathy go out to his family.

Willis Ervin, 90, passed away on February 23, 2014, in Golden, CO. He is survived by his wife, Georgianna, and children, Bethene, Luanne, and Roger, three grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. Willis worked for the Bureau of Reclamation for 34 years. Services will be on Wednesday, March 5, 10:00, at Applewood Valley United Methodist Church, 2035 Ellis St., Golden, CO 80401. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/denverpost/obituary.aspx?n=j-willis-erv...

J. Willis Ervin was born in Frontier County, Neb., on Sept. 2, 1923, to Elmer and Clara Ervin. He passed away peacefully on Feb. 23, 2014, in Golden. He was 90 years old.
Willis attended a one-room schoolhouse in Frontier County, Neb., and graduated from the State of Nebraska School for Agriculture in Curtis. He went to the University of Nebraska for three semesters before being called to active duty in World War II. After his discharge from the U.S. Army, he returned to the university to complete his education. He graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in agronomy. Afterward, he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation, retiring after 34 years of service. He received the bureau's Distinguished Service Award. After his retirement he enjoyed traveling, especially to see family, working on projects, gardening and genealogy.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Georgianna Ervin of Golden; three children, Bethene Ervin of Odenton, Md., Luanne Todd of Golden, and Roger Ervin of Beaverton, Ore.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Lois Boson and Verda Ervin, and three brothers, Lloyd, Ernest and Carl.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Applewood Valley United Methodist Church, 2035 Ellis St. in Golden.
Published in Canyon Courier from Mar. 5 to Mar. 11, 2014
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/canyoncourier/obituary.aspx?n=j-willis-...

New DNA evidence provides substantial clue to Samuel Ervin's roots.

For those of you descending from Samuel Ervin (b-abt 1777, d-1864), the latest DNA provided by Robert Joseph Arvin, Jr. has given us new evidence pointing at an Irish ancestral origin rather than the Scottish background widely accepted.

Robert's DNA isn't exactly new, however, but because he originally tested with Heritage DNA, there were significant gaps which prevented a direct comparison between DNA participants.

That is until recently when Robert submitted new DNA to FamilyTree DNA for a separate DNA study. From these results we were able to record the missing DNA values and complete his DNA profile.

Robert Jospeh Arvin Jr. is an exact 37-marker match to John Willis Ervin, and a -1 genetic match to Frederick M. Ervin III(my father), Roy Eugene Ervin and James Leroy Ervin --- The four individuals who set the base for our DNA group.

And for those who still question the possibility of a genetic relation with Alexander Brandon Ervin and Robert Ervin, there is a genetic difference of more than -40.

Some of you may remember that in the early 1800's, tax records from Gallia County listed a Samuel Arvin. For many years we believed this to be yet another misspelling of our name...but was it?? We went back and looked at earlier tax records for the area and found two additional tax records listing Samuel Arvin in 1801 and 1802 Washington County, Ohio.

Robert Joseph Arvin spent a substantial amount of time researching his family who settled in Maryland prior to the Revolutionary War, and later migrated to Washington County, Kentucky, then to Pendleton County, Kentucky and on to Indiana. Within his family are names like: Elias, Elisha, Thomas, Henry, etc. Any of those places and names sound familiar? They should.

It may be that Samuel changed his surname from Arvin to Ervin sometime after 1795.

We certainly have much more research to conduct ourselves now that we have a new family connection to look into. As we learn more we will post that information here.

Interested in Robert Joseph Arvins Jr's research? You can find it here: Arvin Family Biographical Sketches.

Happy Reading,
~Amy

A Summary of our Genealogical Research

A recap of the top findings our members have discovered and/or confirmed through our collaborative efforts on research and DNA testing.

Samuel Ervin Jr. (b-1804 PA) IS related to Samuel Ervin (b-1777 PA/MD)

In March of 2008, James Leroy Ervin joined the ClanIrwin DNA Study and when his 37-marker test was compared to the results of Frederick M. Ervin III, they showed a genetic distance of only -2. According to FamilyTreeDNA, this indicates the following:

  • A 95% probability that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) was no longer than 14 generations between them.
  • A 90% probability that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) was no longer than 12 generations between them.
  • A 50% probability that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) was no longer than 6 generations between them.
  • I must note here, however, that I've seen instances where two brothers share a genetic difference of -2, so the possibility also exists that the MRCA between them is more recent than that generally accepted by FTDNA.

    Alexander Brandon Ervin (b-1811 VA) and Samuel Ervin (b-1777 PA/MD) are NOT related

    Circumstantial evidence leaned in favor of a genetic relation between these two individuals. Alexander and Samuel's family resided in the same counties, some even living next door to one another, and they even intermarried into the same families. A DNA test was all it would take to confirm it. In June of 2008, Thomas Edward Ervin of Jackson County, Ohio agreed to join the ClanIrwin DNA Study. In July, his 37-marker test results came back and shocked us all. The genetic distance between Frederick M Ervin III (descendant of Samuel Ervin) and Thomas (descendant of Alexander Brandon Ervin) was -45, eliminating any possibility of a genetic relation.

    Samuel Ervin (b-1777 PA/MD) is the father of John Ervin (b-1805 KY)

    In August of 2008, Roy Eugene Ervin, a descendant of John Ervin, agreed to DNA testing through FamilyTreeDNA. His results showed a genetic difference of -2 compared to those of Frederick M. Ervin III (Samuel's confirmed descendant). This was yet another example of brothers having a genetic distance of -2. A few months later in January of 2009, John's obituary was found in Meigs County, which confirmed Samuel was indeed John's father.

    Samuel Ervin and John Ervin are both buried at Mt. Herman Cemetery in Pomeroy, Ohio

    After DNA validated a genetic relationship between John and Samuel, research efforts were concentrated in Meigs County. A trip to Mt. Herman cemetery was in order, as this was where John was known to have been buried. Much to our surprise, Samuel's broken tombstone was discovered in thick underbrush near the center of the cemetery, even though it was not listed in the US GenWeb Transcription records for the cemetery. It took several hours and different methods in order for Sharon Siens Peery and I to be able to make out the inscription that read "One of the first settlers of Meigs Co. Ohio".

    Samuel Ervin (b-1777 PA/MD) really is the father of Owen Ervin (b-1815 OH)

    In November of 2008, an indenture was found in Meigs County, Ohio that substantiated what we believed but had been unable to prove for years.

    Descendant of Francis Erwin (b-1795 VA) and descendant of James Erwin (b bet 1811-1820 VA) joins ClanIrwin DNA Study

    Hoping to establish a common ancestor between Edward Erwin of Augusta County, VA and Robert and Barbara Nickell Erwin of Mason County, VA, Steve Erwin and Paul Curtis Erwin agreed to 37-marker DNA testing after some persuasion by Laten Bechtel. Unfortunately, however, their results yielded a genetic distance of -9. We are hoping to gain individuals in the future to help Steve and Paul find some family connections.

    Isaac Ervin (1781-1868 Tuscarawas County, OH) is NOT related to Alexander Brandon Ervin (b-1811 VA)

    When comparing DNA results from both Dennis William Ervin, descendant of Alexander Brandon Ervin, and two individuals tested with FamilyTreeDNA that both descend from Isaac Ervin, we discovered that these two lines are also not related. The genetic distance between them is -19, disproving any theory of Isaac being the father of Alexander Brandon Ervin or Robert Ervin (b-1804 VA). To view DNA results for any of our members, please Login. We've even added a handy comparison tool to view DNA results side by side, allowing you to analyze genetic differences on your own.

    Wanted: DNA Study Participants

    Calling all ears - If anyone has any contacts that they've made over the years and those individuals might be willing to come forward and have their DNA tested by FamilyTreeDNA, we need you!

    Descendants from the following individuals would be most helpful:

  • Robert Ervin (b-1822 VA)
  • Andrew Ervin(b-1824), son of James Ervin of Greenbrier Co., VA
  • Leavesonbranches.com will sponsor the tests and have the test kits sent to the individual. All the person would have to do is swab the inside of their cheek and mail the test kit back in.

    Please let us know if you will be attempting to make contact with anyone from the list above and of course if anyone would like to donate for this specific cause, we would appreciate it.

    Amy Ervin-Smithson

    Gary L. Ervin (1943-2013)

    Ervin Gary L. Ervin, age 69, died February 20, 2013. He was born August 22, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Owen and Lezona (Mills) Ervin Sr.

    Gary enjoyed hunting and watching NASCAR and the Cleveland Browns. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He was retired from Anheuser Busch with over 20 years of service and proud past union steward for Teamsters Local 413. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister Sarah F. Mullins. He is survived by his children, Greg Ervin, Jody Ervin, Melissa (Don) Morehart, and Jason (Pam) Ervin; grandchildren, Joey, Nathan, Tyler, Bailey, Dalton A., Macy, Dustin, Mallory, Ashley, Annie, and Dalton; five great-grandchildren; siblings, Owen W. (Jan) Ervin Jr., Blondy (Raybourn) Ratcliff, Eddie (Arlene) Ervin, Maryann (Roger) Johnson, Darrell Ervin, and Karen Ervin; special friends, Robin Pendleton and Mike Jones; and many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

    Visitation will be 2-6 p.m. Sunday, February 24, 2013 at the SCHOEDINGER GROVE CITY CHAPEL, 3920 Broadway, Grove City, where the funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Monday with Pastor Kenny Smith and Pastor Jeff Greenway officiating. Interment Sunset Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Schoedinger Funeral Service to help cover funeral expenses. Visit www.schoedinger.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Gary.

    Published in The Columbus Dispatch on February 22, 2013

    1927 West High School Class Photo

    This has been on my To Do List for a long time. Shortly after my father passed away in 2006, I was going through his belongings and found this 1927 class picture from West High School. The 21 x 17 picture is printed on heavy stock and had been stored in his garage for who knows how many years and was worn and water-damaged.

    What is curious to me is that I don't recognize any of my known relatives in the picture, so I'm not why my father had it, other than to say it may have belonged to my grandfather.

    Even though I have no personal connection to the picture, I wanted to document this image for anyone else out there who may be able to identify an ancestor or two. If you hover your mouse over the individual portraits, you should see the student's name. Please comment if you found this useful and recognize anyone. I'd also love to know where West High School is - I assume it is near the Columbus, Ohio area.

    I would be willing to donate the picture to the right person. If you are interested, please contact me.

    Philip Momburg
    Francis Miller
    Otto Michaelis
    Cecil Whitt
    James Tharp
    Edgar Hiser
    Louis Phelps
    Don Hessler
    Illegible
    Illegible
    John McNamee
    Robin Sharp
    Lucille Hitsch
    Gladys Hoffman
    James Williams - Pres.
    John Feder - V-Pres.
    Margaret Kuhn - Secy.
    Margaret Tucker - Treas.
    Florence O'Harra
    Mildred Smothers
    John Thornton
    Howard Illegible
    Robert McKinley
    Kenneth Kidd
    Ferne Shelton
    Mildred Lusk
    Esther Manson
    Leona Ruder
    Elsie Taylor
    Florence Kelley
    Viva Lightfoot
    Louise Harrison
    Chester Doughty
    Edward Heine
    Eugene McClain
    Warren McLean
    Margaret Scott
    Mabel Adair
    Violet Rieck
    Isabel Lavely
    Thelma Paulus
    Marcella Thompson
    Etoile McMaken
    Marie Rhyan
    Gale Daulton
    Lester Hipple
    Albert Leaman
    Emory Norris
    Maxine Cratty
    Gertrude Schafer
    Susie Scurlock
    Isabel Hughes
    Lucille Elliott
    Helen Cunningham
    Marion Hathaway
    Anna May McDaniel
    Helen Thorne
    William Huffman
    William Kline
    Eugene McCarty
    Frank Schmidt
    Dorothy Debow
    Marigayle Darby
    Christina MacKenzie
    Gertrude Cramer
    Garnet Cramer
    Bernice Brown
    Alice Crouthers
    Elizabeth Dudley
    Paul Friebis
    Ralph Keller
    Russell Drake
    Kenneth Bentz
    Henry Tarbett
    Florence Eberhard
    Julia Harrison
    Mildred Eader
    Irene Skipper
    Virginia Doolittle
    Vivian Edler
    Marguerita Donahue
    Gerald Wilson
    Joe Murphy
    Wm. Montgomery
    Omer Walters
    Louis Schwartz
    Ruth Beckett
    Viola Theis
    Dorothy Hammerstein
    Doris Stewart
    Helen Giffin
    Helen Stewart
    Ruth Butler
    Ruth Frazell
    Joseph Fiori
    William Nice
    Victor Bazler
    Robert Evans
    Paul Gribble
    Ruth Johnson
    Gladys Ziegler
    Virginia Saunders
    Irene Suddick
    Gwendolyn Blair
    Marjorie Worthington
    Geraldine Ginsburg
    Ruth Vorce
    William Pearch
    Elizabeth Stahl
    Lonell Thompson
    Quintella Walker
    Fred Hammond
    Albert Essex
    Myron Riley
    Floyd Cannon
    Paul Hammond
    Thelma Geil
    Lilda Uhl
    Mary Johnston
    Jack Felty
    Jean Scott
    Richard Yeager
    Jesse Wilson
    Ralph Swisher
    Nellie White
    Thelma Theis
    Mildred Ford
    Eva Miller
    Florence Wilkinson
    Edith Gibson
    Alvareen Paulin
    Robert Thomas
    Robert Currier
    Gilbert Bartgis
    Illegible
    Illegible
    John Wagnitz
    Kenneth Bishop
    Fred Brobst
    Frank Calland
    William Dent
    Glen Crosbie
    Stanley Hamilton
    Herbert Cooper
    Paul Casey
    Don Dear

    3rd Party DNA Results can now be Uploaded to FamilyTree DNA with their new Third Party Services

    Family Tree DNA now allows individuals who have tested with 3rd parties such as Ancestry.com, GeneTree, and Sorenson's SMGF, to upload their DNA results to FamilyTree's extensive database for comparison. Visit THIS LINK for more information.

    John D. Schwenker (Dec 18, 1920 - Jul 24, 2011)

    John D. "Jack" Schwenker, 90, of Sarasota, formerly of Columbus, Ohio, passed quietly into the arms of Our Lord on July 24, 2011.

    Born December 18, 1920, to the late Charles and Cora Schwenker, Jack graduated from East High School and received his undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degrees from the Ohio State University. He proudly served our country as a Captain during WWII.

    Jack was devoted to his family and a loyal friend. He was a true gentleman and lived life to the fullest. Predeceased by half siblings Charles V. Schwenker and Mary McGrath. Jack is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Patricia A. (Patti) Schwenker: and children, Suzi (Mike) Widner of Grove City, OH, John (Jaynee) Schwenker Jr. of Hilliard, OH, Ginny White of Sarasota, FL, Dan (Heather) Schwenker of Upper Arlington, OH, and Steve Schwenker of Sarasota; 13 grandchildren; 20 great-grand-children.

    A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, August 6, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Sarasota. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Jack's honor to the National Multiple Sclerosis Association, 706 Haeddonfield Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 or via the internet at http://support.msassociation.org/goto/schwenker.

    Jack has chosen MSAA to recive donations in lieu of flowers because his yougest son Steve, has the advanced stages of MS.

    John Schwenker is my grandfather on my mother's side.

    Happy Birthday Roy Ervin!

    Please join me in wishing Roy Eugene Ervin a very Happy Birthday tomorrow!  Without Roy, our research would not be where it is today. 

    Thanks Roy!  We hope you have a special day!

    Love,
    All your ERVIN cousins

    Robert Donald "Bob" Ervin, Sr. (1942-2010)

    in Obituary

    Robert Donald "Bob" Ervin, Sr.

    Robert Donald “Bob” Ervin, Sr.

    Robert Donald “Bob” Ervin, Sr.

    Robert Donald "Bob" Ervin, Sr., age 68, of Wellston, Ohio, went to be with the Lord on Friday, October 15, 2010, at his residence, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born January 21, 1942 in Portsmouth, Ohio to the late Ansel and Susanna Samuel Ervin. Bob was a 1959 graduate of Wellston High School and was a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served during the Vietnam War. He retired, as a quality control manager, from Buckeye Automatic in McArthur where he was employed for 30 years.

    Bob was a member of the Faith Baptist Church in Rodney, a member of the American Legion Post 371 of Wellston, and a member of A.S.Q.C. for over 40 years. He was an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed listening to bluegrass music.

    Bob is survived by his wife, Debbie Kelly Ervin; four children, JR Ervin of Wellston, Rhonda Duncan of Mechanicsburg, Oh., Stephanie (Russell) Manring of McArthur, and Kelly (Lee) Taylor of Cable, Oh.; two step-children, Kenny (Angie) Kelly of Wellston and Kim (Rick) Kuhn of Wellston; eight grandchildren, Brooke (Brian) Steffy, Ben Ervin, Alyx and Tori Manring, Bobby and Steven Taylor, Michael (Ashley) Patterson, and Paige Patterson; brothers and sisters, Alice (Kenny)Brooks of Columbus, Ruth (Loren) Jolly of Wheelersburg, Louie Ervin of Columbus, and Barbara House of Wellston; sisters-in-law, Lillian Ervin of Circleville and Marjorie Ervin of Jackson, as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

    Besides his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his first wife, Sandra Reed Ervin in 1996 and brothers and sisters, Paul Ervin, Roger Ervin and Joann Cross. Calling hours will be Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston. Funeral services will be Monday at 1 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home with Pastor Jim Lusher officiating. Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery with military honors by the American Legion Post 372 of Wellston.

    James Russell Ervin (1919 - 2010)

    James Russell ERVIN, 91, of Millersport, was called home to the Lord peacefully on Friday, September 24, 2010. 

    Born on January 19, 1919, James was the 12th child born out of 17 children to the late Maurice Alfred ERVIN and Sarah S. SPURBECK of McCuneville, Ohio located in Vinton County. 

    James is survived by his sons, Maurice Ervin of Newark, and Chester (Suzy) Ervin of Millersport; daughter, Linda Ervin of Millersport; grandchildren, Kevin Foster, Kim Cremeans, Monty Ervin, Tracy Ervin, Clint Ervin, Molly Henderson, Chad Ervin, Brian White, and Brett White; 14 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

    James was preceded in death by his wife Lula Mae (Faught) Ervin, his son James M. Ervin, and all of his siblings.

    Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Johnson-Smith Funeral Home, Baltimore with Pastor Doug Lynn officiating. Friends may visit 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Caring Cremation will follow.

    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to FairHoPe Hospice, 282 Sells Rd, Lancaster, OH 43130, in James' memory.

    Sponsors looking for DNA Test Participants

    Two sponsors have stepped forward in hopes of finding willing individuals to participate in the Clan Irwin DNA study.

    Beth Mansfield is looking for a documented descendant of Col. Arthur Erwin (b-1726 Ireland, d-1791 Luzerne, PA) who came to Bucks County, PA in 1768, and founded Erwinna in Pennsylvania, and later the town of Erwin in New York.   She is interested in sponsoring a 67-marker test.  For more information please see this post.

    Bob Ervin is looking for a documented descendant of the late Senator Sam Ervin.  He is willing to sponsor a 37-marker test. 

    To learn more about either of these two opportunites, please contact amy@leavesonbranches.com.

    Betty Jean (Curnutte) ERVIN, 80, went home to the Lord March 31, 2010

    Betty Jean ERVIN, 80, went home to be with her Lord March 31, 2010, surrounded by her loving granddaughters.  Born in Charleston, West Virginia on July 13, 1929 to the late Ed Price and Clara Curnutte, she was a long time resident of Upper Arlington and retired from Riverside Methodist Hospital.  Preceded in death by her husband Frederick M. Ervin, son Frederick M. Ervin III, siblings Mynard Allen Murphy, Carlos Ray (Jo Anne) Murphy, Frederick (Louise) Murphy, and Barbara Allen (Charles) Hackney.  Survived by her brothers Richard J. Murphy (AL), Charles (Phyllis) Murphy (TN), and William (Vicky) Murphy (Columbus), daughter Mary K. Butler (CA), grandchildren Frederick (Tonya) M. Ervin IV,  Laura (Doug) K. Boyce, and Amy (John) L. Smithson, Jaclyn P. (Adam) Baugess, all of Columbus, OH, Marci (Darren) Marin of Sacramento, CA., very dear companion of many years Kenny Nienkirchen of Delaware, 14 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

    Memorial Service will be held Tues., April 6, 2010 at 7:30pm @ the Maeder Quint Tiberi Funeral Home, 1068 S. High St., Columbus, OH. (614)444-1185,  with a private family burial service at Shawnee Cemetery in Perry County, Ohio.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society, 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court, Hilliard, OH 43026.

    Samuel Ervin's Final Resting Place Found

    Mt. Herman Cemetery, Meigs County, Ohio
    Beautiful Meigs County seems to have been the final resting place of Samuel Ervin.

    After DNA tests revealed a relationship between Owen and John, local cemteries were searched, specifically the cemetery where John Ervin is buried. Much to our surprise Samuel's stone was there!

    Although this cemetery had previously been transcribed, Samuel's stone had been overlooked and did not get recorded. The stone had been broken off at the base, and in half, and was laying face down and almost completely buried by overgrowth.

    View Samuel's Tombstone

    DNA Tests Link Francis Erwin (b-1795 VA) of Gallia County to Robert and Alexander Brandon Ervin Family of Jackson County?

    First, a BIG Thank You goes out to Susan Dew and Laten Bechtel for helping to sponsor Steve Erwin’s DNA test. And of course we thank Steve for going through with it!

    The 12-marker tests are in and early indications show that Steve Erwin, descendant of Francis Erwin (b-1795 VA) could match that of Thomas Ervin who descends from Alexander Brandon Ervin(b-1811 VA). These two families occupied different areas of southeastern Ohio. Francis Erwin’s family in Gallia County and Alexander Brandon Ervin’s family in Jackson County, Ohio.

    We expect both the 25-marker and 37-marker test results to arrive sometime within the next week, at which point more details will be available.

    Descendant of Francis Erwin from Gallia Co OH joins DNA Study

    Thanks to Steve Erwin who has agreed to join the FTDNA ClanIrwin Study. More information will be available when the testing is complete in about 6 to 8 weeks!

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