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Dr. James M. Owston (#47059231)
 member for 5 years, 11 months, 8 days
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Bio Photo Prompted by an eighth grade assignment to construct a family tree, Jim Owston has been interested in collecting genealogical and historical data for over 40 years.

As part of this assignment, the discovery of a yellowed newspaper clipping detailing the 1929 death of his great-great grandmother, Sarah Ann Merriman, prompted an initial visit to her grave site at the McKeesport-Versailles Cemetery in 1968. He was pleased to add this grave to Find A Grave as a new contributor in 2008.

He has traced all the lines of his family back at least four generations. His direct ancestors include the following:

Four Civil War veterans (John Merriman, Thomas W. Day, John C. Brakeall, & George W. Staley).

A decorated Royal Navy warrant officer that served in the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars: William Owston.

At least two Revolutionary War veterans (William Gardner & David Gardner).

A soldier in Captain Beer's company in King Philip's War — John Gustin, who was born as Augustine Jean de le Tocq in the Bailiwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands.

The Plantagenet royal house of England and Anjou via 3 Gardner lines that merge. This lineage includes 60 European kings and 8 canonized saints.

Members of the Waldensian sect that escaped religious persecution in southern France by traversing the Alps into Germany - the Maneval/Manewal family. His great-grandmother, Marie Katherine Manewal Schad was his most recent relative born with the Maneval surname.

Among the Quakers who traveled with William Penn to the colonies was his ancestor Thomas French who settled in Burlington, NJ.

His ancestors came from England, Germany (Würtemberg & Hesse), Scotland, France, Ireland, Wales, the Island of Jersey, and perhaps Switzerland. Family tradition holds that one or several of his New England lines were Mayflower descendants. Another tradition signifies that one of his German ancestors served as a Hessian soldier (on the side of the British) during the American Revolution. Neither of these traditions have yet to be satisfactorily proven.

Beyond record keeping, Y-Chromosome DNA Testing has determined that Owston's paternal line was among the haplogroup I1. This group originated in Scandinavia and his ancestors may have been Danish Viking invaders that attacked and settled the north of England in the 9th Century A.D. The modern spelling of his surname Owston indicates Norse influence over the original Saxon spelling Æston which became Easton elsewhere.

As far as his maternal ancestry, mitochondrial DNA testing places his ancestry in common with 47% of all Europeans in the the H haplogroup. This DNA grouping has been nicknamed Clan Helena - one of the theoretical seven European foremothers. Apparently, the H haplogroup was the most successful of the migrations into the European continent.

In addition to his genealogical studies, he is currently researching the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves with Chris Rasmussen. Three blood relatives (although not direct ancestors) served in this unit which was formed in Western Pennsylvania in 1861. His relatives in the unit included Captain Charles W. Owston, Daniel Merriman, and Charles Champlin Townsend.

Owston holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) and educational specialist (Ed.S.) in Leadership Studies from Marshall University in addition to masters' degrees from Marshall and WVU, and bachelors' degrees from Kentucky Christian University and Mountain State University.

His Master's of Arts in Humanities from Marshall included a concentration in history. Owston's internationally recognized doctoral dissertation on institutional rebranding utilized historical research as one of the multiple research methods that he employed. The dissertation is available online at This work was the winner of two outstanding dissertation awards.

Other historical works under his belt include being the designer & caretaker of the Virtual Nixon Era Center at Mountain State University. This project was actively worked from 2001-2003. While currently operational, updates have been added on an infrequent basis since 2003.

Two historical papers are available online: Heterodyning in the Hills - The WOBU Story and The Early History of Transylvania University: An Archetype of Restoration Movement Institutions of Higher Education and has contributed to several WikiPedia articles including most of the article on his hometown of North Versailles Township, PA.

Owston, a former dean at Mountain State University, lives in Beckley, WV with his wife and two daughters.
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Messages left for Dr. James M. Ow... (545)[Leave Message]
David Reese
RE: Moses Corey
Thank you!
Added by David Reese on Sep 14, 2014 8:34 PM
David Reese
Moses Corey
I've submitted some edits for your review. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like clarification.
Added by David Reese on Sep 14, 2014 8:27 PM
RE: Kate Williams FG #33408263
Thank you for all your help on Kate Williams. Her new Find A Grave Memorial# is 135505826. Mary
Added by Marlep13 on Sep 06, 2014 11:58 AM
re: Soles edits
Thanks for the edits to the Dunn/Soles family.

Added by jeffrey on Sep 01, 2014 8:17 PM
G. Charles Ogline Lantay (aka Gregory P. Lantay)
36646435 - Samuel B. Lape
Hello once again: Could I ask that ya kindly link Samuel with his wife Mary Wintermyer Lape Find A Grave M# 93512420 - Thank you very much
Added by G. Charles Ogline Lantay ... on Sep 01, 2014 10:40 AM
Bishop family at Allegheny
thanks for making the edits and links so quickly and reuniting this Bishop family!
Added by genieresearcher on Sep 01, 2014 6:41 AM
G. Charles Ogline Lantay (aka Gregory P. Lantay)
36817366 - Marie Wolfarth
Born Marie LAPE d/o Alfred W. & Della M Lape December 13, 1904 in Hydnman, Bedford County, PA she had married first Frederick Frohnhafer January 11, 1922 in Westmoreland County, PA. Frederick died March 22, 1935. Widow Marie Frohnhafer married 2nd Divorcee George J. Walfarth in Allegheny County, PA Added by G. Charles Ogline Lantay ... on Aug 31, 2014 8:19 PM
Linda Lew
memorial #46817211
This memorial appears to be duplicate of memorial #78259272. Per direct knowledge of family member, correct internment is All Saints Braddock Catholic Cemetery (78259272). If memorial 46817211 is same person, this memorial should be deleted.
Added by Linda Lew on Aug 31, 2014 12:12 AM
Jack Novicki
Winfield S(cott) Tipton
Hi Dr. Owston:

I have been doing research on Winfield Scott Tipton who was born in Adams Co., PA and his mother is/was my wife's g-g-grandmother. You posted on his Find-A-Grave memorial (#33633823) that he was born in 1887. His Pittsburgh City Death Certificate has his age as 41. He died on 27 May 1897 and that would make his birth year about 1856/57.

No other Winfield Scott Tipton is listed in the Allegheny Cemetery. No other death certificate has been issued for a Winfield Scott Tipton for any year.

Could you check your records and see why we have this discrepancy. If you would like an email copy of his death certificate please email me at the following address -

Regards, Jack Novicki
Added by Jack Novicki on Aug 26, 2014 3:32 AM
Kelly M
RE: Susan Bayard Ekin Memorial
Thank you so much.
Added by Kelly M on Aug 22, 2014 12:58 AM
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