Albert Bohannan's Family History Discussion Board

This is a page where family members can discuss the materials I have posted on my family history website, offer suggestions and submit additional documents not already posted on the Albert Bohannan research site:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Evidence of French Roots?

I know of two sources that claim the Behunin's have a French ancestry.

(1) Shirley Schiess lived for many years in Lincoln Nebraska and was in close contact with my great Aunt Violet Behunin who also researched the Behunin line.  Shirley wrote a history of Albert Bohannon that indicates "the name Bohannon is of Scot and/or Irish derivation. However, it is probable it is an Anglicized version of the French name; therefore much easier to pronounce after the family migrated to New York." The complete history can be viewed at the following website:

(2) Many years ago, I also became acquainted with a pedigree that extended the Behunin line back 8 generations beyond Albert Bohannon.  The oldest generation is Perre Andre Behunin, born in 1502 in Nice Franch.  He was married to Marie St. Claire. I discovered that the source of the pedigree was El Dean Behunin, a cousin of my father.  When I visited El Dean at his home in San Diego, he said he was a free mason and that our ancestors were all free masons back to Nice France.  He said he obtained the names of our ancestors by visiting the cathedrals that be built in Canada and Scotland by our free mason ancestors and that the catherdrals contained records of our family history.  Although he would not provide me with any original source documents, he suggest I could gather the information myself by visiting the same cathedrals in Canada and Scotland, as he had done.  I got the impress that he really did not have the source documentation for the pedigree and that he was sending me on a wild goose chase.  I really doubt there were any cathedrals in Canada or Nova Scotia before 1750 that would have been built by our free mason ancestors.  Furthermore, I've found no evidence of any individuals with these names, dates of birth and place of birth.  My guess is that El Dean, for some reason only known to him, fabricated the pedigree.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Possible Link to another Bohanon Line

A DNA test links our Behunin line with that of a Bohanon family. While the evidence does not suggest a link that is not likely more than ten generations back, it does give us some direction for our searching. The DNA test shows that I have a matching sequence on all but two genetic markers on the Y chromosome with Herbert Charles Bohanon. The following is the email message I received from Herbert describing his ancestry:


Feb 7 7:42 PM GMT

Great Grandad Hiram Coffin Bohanon Born Maine 1827 moved to Minnesota 1852 died Minn 1908.Ananiah Bohanon Jr Born Maine 1788 died Minnesota 1880. Ananiah Bohanon Born Maine 1766 Died 1790John Bohanan Born New Hampshire 1740 died Maine 1821 Andrew Bohonon Born Scotland 1709 Impressed as a boy for sea duty, in Ireland ran when ship hit Boston Died New Hamshire 1803. note different spelling to last name. Hopethis can be of some help to you.


Feb 9 6:19 PM GMT

Andrew was born Glascow, Scotland. He married Tabitha Flanders. They had 4 boys Andrew, John, Jacob and Ananiah. Except John they all stayed in area. They lived first in Boscawen N.H. and later moved to Salisbury N.H. where he died. John married Mary Rolfe in 1865 in Maine. They had children before that. Mary Rolfe was his first cousin. Her mother was the sister of Tabitha. John was born in Boscawen and died in Calais, Maine. You can send me Email at

I think we need to have another male decendant of Isaac Behunin take DNA test. We can get a better idea as to how we connect with various bohanon lines if we have a distant cousin of mine do the test. The DNA sequences change so infrequently, that it serves as a useful tool for establishing family links. However, if there was a change in one of the DNA markers since Isaac, then the test may not be giving us as accurate information as we would like to see.

So I am looking for someone who is descended from one of Isaac's other sons besides Stephen Mosiah who would be willing to take the test. If you qualify and would like to take the test, email me at, or go to one of the family history websites that provide the service, such as


HERE is a link to Herbert Bohanon's line to which we may find a connection.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DNA Evidence Suggests Behunin's were Scottish

I had the DNA test done by Relative Genetics to determine the Halotype of the Behunin Family LIne. The test is useful because it traces back common paternal ancestors using genes that are passed from father to son. Many of those with the most common genetic markets, though none are identical, seem to have a Scottish background. This lends support for the theory that Albert and his father were Scotchmen.

One of the most closely related people in the DNA database is Herbert Charles Bohanon. I've made contact with him and am trying to see whether we can make a link to his family line.

For a report of the DNA results, review the following document:

For a list of those with similar DNA, review this document:

I believe this information suggests that the family is not French, as some have supposed. Please review the DNA reports and tell me if you think otherwise.

James Behunin

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Albert's Earliest Known Residence - Rome New York

We found a reference in the local Oswego County History that indicates Albert Bohannan came from Rome, New York. That information is supported by the 1800 census that lists Albert as a resident of Rome New York. His coming out of Rome seems to fit the typical migration pattern of many that came to the region from the east, mainly New England states. Previously, I believe Albert, like other early settlers of Richland, New York, must have come from Canada with English speaking loyalists who fled the states after the revolutionary war. Now it appears that Albert came from the east.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

One Theory of Albert's Lineage

Our oldest known ancestor on the Behunin line is Albert Behunin. According to his son Isaac, his father was born in 1758 and his mother's name was Nancy Lords. Albert was the first settler of a place in was was then the frontier in upstate New York which later became named Richland. An early census record indicates that Albert or Nancy was not a US citizen.

Here is my theory regarding the origins of this family: There have been stories of Albert being a soldier in the revolutionary war. If this is true and if he were born in 1758, Albert would have been 18 in 1776 when the revolutionary war began. While some have suggested that Albert was a member of George Washington's revolutionary army. I believe that he was, instead, a member of the British army and a member of the Royal Highlander Brigade. He would have enlisted with other Scottish young men in 1775 and would have gone to America as a young soldier. This is consistent with the family tradition that the Behunin's were Scottish and that Isaac was red headed.

Another reason to believe Albert was a member of the Royal Highlander Brigade is that during the revolutionary war, the Royal Highlander Brigade was for a time at Fort Oswego which is near Richland New York where the Behunin's settled. My theory is that Albert was a member of the Brigade while it was stationed in Fort Oswego, and then decided to return to the area with his family in 1803. After the war, many former British soldiers and many of those who were Loyal to the crown were forced to flee to Canada. This would account for Albert being a non-citizen during the early census. During the years soon after the revolutionary war, the region of upstate New York were not established as territory of the United States. It was not until the war of 1812 that the region in and around Oswego and Richland were established as U.S. Territory. It doesn't seem unreasonable for a former revolutionary war soldier to go to a place he became familiar with during the war and to take his young american wife to that location.

I believe the focus of our family history work should be to identify the names of those individuals who served in the Royal Highlander Brigade during the revolutionary war. The war records for the revolutionary army are kept in Londan England at the National Archives at Kew Gardens. I'd like to examine the elistment records for british soldiers during the revolutionary war to see if we cannot find an Albert Behunin or someone with a similar name.