Family research, so far, spans four generations of researchers began in the 1950s with my grandmother Flora Schlundt Shinabarger, continued with years of letter writing, library research, and cemetery stomping by my mother Vera Shinabarger Bunyard, and my efforts to compile this information into the book they had always hoped would result. A fourth generation, one of my Shinabarger first cousins, Kipp, is continuing the research. Ask anyone who has searched family roots, and as any lover of history knows, one cannot stand at the door of knowledge and not hope for more discovery.
The links below will take you through the generations of my maternal Shinabarger and paternal Bunyard ancestors. Along the way are hundreds of allied families including several of the families referred to by my mother and fellow researchers as the “Dozen Ss,” with various spellings of the surname. Links below are to abbreviated summaries.
For in-depth summaries, go directly to
The role of DNA has been vital in a search for John Shinabarger 1764’s parents. Not only have DNA results confirmed descendants and ancestors, it has taken us further back to our roots, be those Shinabarger or Bunyard.
I experienced many Aha moments. As I compiled, I learned. I was excited to discover an old history on the Heller family, only to find a copy of my mother’s letter ordering the same book in November of 1962. What I found every direction I turned was “she’s been there and she’s done that.” I am left with tremendous respect for the work her research represents. I did not have to re-create the wheel.
What to do with the volumes and files of family research, some of which may represent decades of work? My mother’s work was almost lost because no one was interested at the time of her death. While I eventually organized boxes of files into a Family History Book, probably just as much ended in the fire barrel. So, what to do with one’s research? In today’s age, digital files are the answer.
These genealogy web pages represent my efforts to archive family research, including my DNA findings. Summary reports and histories are available to read and/or download. Also, my extensive files in the genealogy program Reunion are available for search. It doesn’t work at 100% but in most cases one can search for individuals and read information and notes gathered over the years.
A second resource is Ancestry.com. There are endless records and documents available on sites like Ancestry and Family Search, within county library and state archives, immigration records, Bibles and historical biographies – some more accurate and documented than others. However, Ancestry seems to bring a lot of this together in one place.
A willingness to share is important. Consider the possibilities of DNA testing. Explore these web pages using the links below, utilize the Surname and Index references to over 44,000 Reunion Family Cards, or create an account (free or paid) with Ancestry in order to explore my family tree.
My own Ancestry Shinabarger Family Tree (Patricia Bunyard) is over 36,000 names and growing. It includes both Shinabarger and Bunyard families. While some people may show no known relationship to me personally, names have been added in an effort to generate hints and find mystery ancestors. Use the links below but if they do not take you to the trees, then follow the instructions for creating or using an Ancestry account to do a search:
You may need to CREATE AN ACCOUNT within Ancestry, either free or paid. Once that is done, from any page CLICK SEARCH and select PUBLIC MEMBER TREES. Enter a name you are researching or just search for JOHN SHINABARGER born 1764. From the Search results of all trees containing that person, at the top right click VIEW ALL. You will see many trees. Look for the specific names of our trees.
When it comes to family trees on Ancestry, over 243, many are only copies of others without any effort to confirm documentation. Many trees started based upon my mother’s book and have self-perpetuated any mistake that may have originally been made decades ago. I will just say that NO Mehetable is NOT the mother of John’s children and I have yet to see a shred of evidence as to who she was. Just follow documentation, or LACK OF, and the DNA.
FAMILY TREE DNA (FTDNA) FAMILY PROJECTS
FTDNA online accounts are free. You can test DNA on FTDNA or transfer your autosomal results from Ancestry into a free account there. This will help expand your database of DNA matches. Also, FTDNA is the only service offering testing for Y-DNA (tracing father’s male ancestry) and mtDNA (tracing mother’s ancestry). Their Group Projects are designed by researchers to follow the DNA. You many join any Group Project that applies to your DNA results. Some of the research being done by members is amazing. I still don’t know how a man in Bulgaria is related to me but I have become close friends with this cousin and others through our ancient shared DNA ancestor.
I have developed a Shinabarger Family DNA Project and a Bunyard Family DNA Project. I also participate in several surname (Schoenberg, Shamberger, Vojinovic) and geographic (Germany, East Prussia, Europe East, Croatia, England), and Haplogroup (R and E) projects which deepen an understanding of Shinabarger and Bunyard ancient origins. Note: the Bunyard project includes both MY line and those I have tested representing the line of James Beal Bunyard. These projects are meant to delve into the deep, ancient ancestry though the use of Y-DNA. (I have done mtDNA but have yet to find it helpful.)
Most of my DNA information is probably best reviewing within the summary reports that are found on the pages of DNA RESEARCH. However, if a Shinabarger or Bunyard tests Y-DNA, I invite you to join these Group Projects on FTDNA:
SHINABARGER FAMILY HISTORY BOOK
I no longer print this book. Keeping it current, once Ancestry, Reunion, and DNA were being utilized, became a massive challenge. Therefore, I have included a link below that you can use to access the book and download it if you would like. The last update was 2018.
Also, a link to a compilation of The Dozen S’s Newsletter is below. If nothing else, you might see what your grandmother was researching in 1970.
A final resource is the “Bunyard Family Research” compiled by Mary Cole, Sharon Cox and Eileen O’Neil published in 1995. The book follows the history of James Beal Bunyard and allied families (Alley, Fitzwater, Foster, etc.). The pdf file can be found and downloaded from the Lauderdale County Department of Archives & History, Inc. A link is added below.