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Elin Galtung Lihaug

Durek David Verrett – norske aner på morssiden?

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Neil Harris

We have now traced the lineage of his great-grandmother "Mamal" who he mentions in his book as being a "powerful medicine women from Ghana who went to Haiti."  If you look at the tree with documented government records going back to Mamal's grandparents, Eugenie "Mamal" Morel was actually born in New Orleans.  Her parents were both born in New Orleans too.  And her maternal grandparents were mulatto (mix race) free citizens of France who were immigrants to New Orleans in the mid-1800s.  So, the claims Durek makes about his great-grandmother being from Africa and Haiti are false.  Also, we can see in the Federal Census documents that Mamal's mulatto grandparents from France had much more assets than most mulatto citizens.  They declared a land value of $300,000 USD adjusted for inflation today plus $30,000 in other assets.  That would have made them elite among the colored population.  Government documents also show Mamal listed as having been educated the time she was a teenager, she could read and write and speak English, although in Durek's aunt's book (Shirley Verrett) she says the family at that time still spoke French as a first language.  This level of education of a non-white girl (Mamal) indicates a rare and elite situation.  The family was strictly Catholic according to Shirley Verrett and all other records, and they were apparently in a high social level of colored society, so there is no way that Mamal was a "trained Haitian shaman" as Durek describes.  Also, Durek claims that his father "was an apprentice to Mamal" but in fact Mamal died before Durek's father was born.   --  Interesting to note that the French mulatto ancestors who went from France to New Orleans later moved to Mexico City.  They apparently took their assets with them, because within a couple of generations later the Census records show that Durek's family in New Orleans including Mamal were laborers, laundresses, and maids in New Orleans, although they remained literate.

Edited by Neil Harris

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Elin Galtung Lihaug

Yes, Neil, these are some of the many inaccuracies and errors from Durek Verrett in his published material, i.e. on his website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, probably also in his book, and even in official judicial documents - i.e. his petition for change of name (see #20 and #28).

 

From the Norwegian angle, we can pinpoint several mistakes also - the foremost being that he said he was half Norwegian, when in fact he is one eighth Norwegian.

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Neil Harris

Yes, the falsehoods we've confirmed are mostly from what he says about his lineage in his book.  The book is badly written and filled with errors/inaccuracies/falsehoods.  He even describes his mother as "white" but as you can see from the photo on the Ancestry tree (which we found on his own FB feed) she is definitely not white.  His book seems to be more of a work of fiction (a fairytale) and not reality. 

 

As for the Norwegian angle, we feel that he is not part Norwegian at all.  If we follow the paper trail of US government and naming, etc, it appears that his mother's father was Oscar Eugene Farmer.  Not the Brinn-Urquhart fellow.  That means Durek's mother Sheilah isn't part Norwegian at all.  Also, we see her brother is named after their father too (her brother is named Eugene Oscar Farmer).  Why would their mother name her children after a man who isn't their father?   American birth certificates require the name of the biological father.  That would be Mr. Farmer, who records show was black (both his mother and father are listed in all records as black with origins in Maryland). 

 

We see that the man named Edward Brinn (later adopted by the Urquhart family) was half Norwegian based on his government paper trail.  But he seems to have only been a boyfriend of Durek's grandmother (Vera Farmer), and no record of a marriage between them exists.  Therefore, it appears Vera had a relationship with Mr. Urquhart after her children (Sheilah Farmer and Eugene Farmer) were born.  This is evident on the Ancestry.com tree that I posted here earlier.   We are looking into other records now, such as Sheilah's marriage license that might show her birth father identified on it.  In the meantime, our tentative conclusion:  Durek is not part Norwegian at all.

 

Edited by Neil Harris

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Neil Harris

To be clear, it seems Durek's grandmother's boyfriend (Mr. Urquhart) was half-Norwegian based on paper records.  And it's possible he became like a "father figure" to Durek's mother.  We also suppose it could even be possible he became Durek's mother's step-father -- which would have made him Durek's step-grandfather -- although no marriage records exist to support that idea, and Vera Farmer never legally took the name Urquhart.  It's odd that Durek doesn't mention that man in his book or anywhere else, even though that half-Norwegian "relative" lived until 1995 when Durek was 21 years old.  Also we find it curious -- why would Durek not mention that man at all, if his so-called Norwegian ancestry is so important to him?   He states in his book that he comes from "a long line of Norwegian oracles."  But we find that Mr. Urquhart's mother (who went to the States from Norway with her mother) worked as a telephone operator in New York City, and her mother was a janitor in an apartment building in New York City.  In any case, it appears the man named Urquhart isn't part of Durek's ancestral family tree, and Durek perhaps used him to create a story about his (non-existent) connection with Norway.  

Edited by Neil Harris

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Elin Galtung Lihaug
11 timer siden, Neil Harris skrev:

If we follow the paper trail of US government and naming, etc, it appears that his mother's father was Oscar Eugene Farmer.  Not the Brinn-Urquhart fellow.  That means Durek's mother Sheilah isn't part Norwegian at all.

 

Yes, the previous posts #33, 34, 35 and 144 reveal (by Soundex F656 and T250) that Sheilah's birth parents' last names were Farmer and Tyson.

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Per.H.Skaug

According to #171, ancestor #6 was Edward Brinn-Urquhrt. If this is incorrect, and #6 instead should be Oscar Eugene Farmer, there is no Norwegian ancestry and that part of the family tree should be replaced.

 

If the grand-father is Oscar Eugene Farmer, doesn't much of the premise for this discussion disappear? And if so, are not the articles that have been published about the Norwegian ancestry incorrect?

 

So in order for the Norwegian ancestry to be correct, it must be proven that it is Edward Brinn and not Oscar Farmer that is Sheilah Farmer/Veruschka Urquhart's father. Has this been proven anywhere, or is it correct as Neil Harris states in  #204 that the correct father is Oscar Farmer?

Edited by Per.H.Skaug

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Elin Galtung Lihaug

Yes, you are right, Per, if ...

 

There is a major if here, so we will have to dig deeper into the matter and hopefully come up with additional, reliable sources for Sheilah's father. The lineage without Edward Brinn Urquhart and his ancestors will be posted later on.

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Neil Harris

One more piece of supporting evidence that Oscar Eugene Farmer is the father of Sheila and her brother is the birth records of NYC.  Attached to the Ancestry tree file for Oscar Eugene Farmer, Jr. (Sheila's brother) the birth record shows he was named for their father, who had the identical name.  To avoid confusion (having the same name in the household) it appears her brother was called by his middle name, Eugene while their father was Oscar.  At this point, there are no paper records found anywhere to support the idea that anyone other than Oscar Eugene Farmer was the father of Sheila Farmer (Durek's mother).   Still looking. 

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Per.H.Skaug

When is Oscar Eugene Farmer, Jr born? From #34 it is stated that Sheila Farmer is born on July 1st, 1943, with a source from ancestry. It may well be that this source also includes her fathers name. If so, this should prove who her father is (at least from a documentation perspective).

 

In any case, if Oscar Eugene Farmer, Jr (who is clearly the son of Oscar Eugene Farmer, Sr - at least according to the birth certificate) is born later than his sister Sheila, it seems unlikely that Sheila Farmer would be the daughter of Edward Brinn-Urquhart.

 

It would appear that unless we can identify any documents stating that Sheila Farmer is the daughter of Edward Brinn-Urquhart, the more likely relationship would be that she is the daughter of Oscar Eugene Farmer (Sr), and therefore has no Norwegian ancestry, at least from what is currently known.

 

The birth certifcate listed in #34 is probably the only source that can prove this one way or the other, unless there are indications that the legal father is not the biological father. This is obviously possible, but would probably require a DNA test to solve.

Edited by Per.H.Skaug

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Neil Harris

Oscar Jr. was born March 30, 1941 in the same Manhattan borough of NYC as his sister was born in 1943.  Both of their birth records show their family name as Farmer.  In those days (1940s) it would be extremely unlikely (impossible?) that a baby is born and recorded with a family name that isn't the father's name, unless the father is gone.     And we can see the father was present and living in Manhattan in NYC until July 29, 1944 when he enlisted in the US Army.   That would have been when Sheila had just turned 1 year old.  So based on the paper records, it seems 100% likely that Mr. Farmer is the true father of Sheila Farmer, and grandfather of Durek.  At this point, there exists 0% paper records that show any different information.  Continuing to search, but so far that's the reality.  

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Anton Hagelee
3 hours ago, Per.H.Skaug said:

When is Oscar Eugene Farmer, Jr born? From #34 it is stated that Sheila Farmer is born on July 1st, 1943, with a source from ancestry. It may well be that this source also includes her fathers name. If so, this should prove who her father is (at least from a documentation perspective).

 

In any case, if Oscar Eugene Farmer, Jr (who is clearly the son of Oscar Eugene Farmer, Sr - at least according to the birth certificate) is born later than his sister Sheila, it seems unlikely that Sheila Farmer would be the daughter of Edward Brinn-Urquhart.

 

It would appear that unless we can identify any documents stating that Sheila Farmer is the daughter of Edward Brinn-Urquhart, the more likely relationship would be that she is the daughter of Oscar Eugene Farmer (Sr), and therefore has no Norwegian ancestry, at least from what is currently known.

 

The birth certifcate listed in #34 is probably the only source that can prove this one way or the other, unless there are indications that the legal father is not the biological father. This is obviously possible, but would probably require a DNA test to solve.

 

The birth record from "All New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965 Results" on Ancestry.com does not contain the name of the father. Only this as transcribed.

 

Sheila Farmer

 in the New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965

Name:Sheila Farmer 

Birth Date:1 Jul 1943

Birth Place:Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

 

Taken from this original record.

 

Screen-Shot-2020-02-11-at-3-01-49-PM.png

Edited by Anton Hagelee

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Elin Galtung Lihaug
4 minutter siden, Anton Hagelee skrev:

The birth record from "All New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965 Results" on Ancestry.com does not contain the name of the father. Only this as transcribed.

 

See #33, 34, 35, 144 and 205.

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Neil Harris

Right, but the baby's last name is recorded as Farmer.  It is a requirement in the US for the mother to identify who she believes is the child's father, unless she doesn't know.  And in the 1940s, the baby's last name had to be the father's last name, unless he was gone/dead/divorced/out of the picture.  So the fact that the baby has the name Farmer upon birth means the mother said that is the name of the father. 

Edited by Neil Harris

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Anton Hagelee

Oh, I would have to agree that it is very likely that Oscar Eugene Farmer is the father of Sheila Farmer, I was only responding to the what I felt was a question by Per H Skaug as to whether there was a birth record with the name of the father on it. The post was to say that the record from Ancestry.com does not contain the fathers name. 

 

I come rather late to this thread but find it very interesting. Fortunately Elin Galtung Lihaug saved me from having to wade through the full nine pages to see if there is a post that gives a birth record for Shelia Farmer with the full name of the father. In the five posts she referred me to, I did not see such a record. 

 

Neil, one thing I might mention is that for readers of your posts even those that have a Ancestry subscription it is not possible to see much past your page for 

 

Oscar Eugene Farmer Sr.

1914–1984

BIRTH 19 APR 1914 • Maryland, USA

DEATH 11 AUG 1984 • Indian Head, Charles, Maryland, USA

 

What I see on that page is the reference to 

 

Oscar Eugene Farmer Jr.

1941–2008

 

But the reference to Sheila is labelled Private.

 

Private

 

So I and probably others can not see any sources that you might have posted on the profile for Sheila. 

Edited by Anton Hagelee

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Neil Harris

Hi Anton, understood, thanks.  I previously invited anyone on this thread who has an Ancestry.com account to send me a private message and I can give you a link/invite to see the full tree including living people.  Please feel free to send me a private message if you want an invite link. 

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Frank H. Johansen
På 22.5.2019 den 12.54, Anne M. Berge skrev:

Her kommer et forsøk:

 

Kandidater til mor Sheila/Veruschkas foreldre er: 

 

Edward Brinn Urquhart (28. juni 1916 - jan 1995  NYC) og Vera Overton Boston Tyson Farmer (4. mai 1918 PA, USA  - 29. mai 1988 NYC) - jeg tror ikke disse to ble gift. Vera er 22. april 1936 gift med Oscar E. Farmer (19. april 1914 Maryland - 11. aug. 1984 Maryland) og det ser ut som om Vera og Oscar får flere barn sammen.


(...)


Ut fra dette har Durek en oldemor født på Sagene, og en oldefar med foreldre fra Karibien/Vestindia. 

 

 

Her gikk det kanskje litt for fort? Det ser ikke ut til at noen har stilt noen spørsmål om hvorfor det var Edward Brinn Urquhart som skulle vært faren til Shelia i stedet for den mannen som hennes mor var gift med? 

 

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Neil Harris

Today I discovered text from an interview with Durek from late 2018 in DUST magazine in which he says his mother is part-Russian too.  This is the first I heard of Russian too.  He also mentions the "Yoruba" tribe here, but in his 2019 book he says "a mix of Mende, Yoruba and Bantu."  Interesting how the ethnicities of his ancestry change depending on the audience of the interview.  Here is the section of text about that:

 

Can you tell us about your lineage? 

My lineage goes back to Africa. My great-grandmother and her family were members of the Yoruba tribe in Ghana. When slavery broke out they tried to flee, a lot of my family members were taken into slavery, to the Dutch slave camps in Ghana. My great-grandmother ended up escaping capture and managed to get a boat to Haiti. There she became a spiritualist and a medician and eventually went to New Orleans where she was practising healing. Once there she met a man to whom she got married, and they had my grandmother. The Shaman tradition of my family continued on U.S. soil. Soon after, my father was born in 1925, and he had a special relationship with my great-grandmother; he became her apprentice. She told him: “One day, you are going to have a boy, your boy is going to have the family gifts, there are going to be certain signs that you will recognise in him, he’s going to remind you of me. He’s going to have a lot of powers”. My father then ended up meeting my mother who was part-African American, part-Russian, part-Norwegian.

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