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Brick Walls

DNA Project


Michael S. Cole, M.D.

The Unsolved Mystery:


    Genealogical Puzzle    
Confusing Facts and Fiction

                   me: Michael COLE (born 1955)
            my father: Bill COLE (born 1935)
       my grandfather: William John COLE (born 1885)
             formerly: William John COLEMAN (born 1876)
             formerly: William John TUMA (born 1876)
 my great-grandfather: John W. TUMA (born 1848)
 my gr-gr-grandfather: John THUMA

As do most men, my grandfather told things which he had not done and did things which he did not tell. Separating fact from fiction cannot be done with complete accuracy. Nevertheless, I've spent many years and much money trying to separate history from legend. This website is a review of a grandson's efforts to accumulate an accurate biographical and genealogical record of a remarkable character. Learning about him teaches me about myself.

    Unanswered questions:
    • When, where, and why did my grandfather change his name from TUMA to COLEMAN to COLE?
    • Why did my grandfather lose contact with every TUMA relative?
    • In what European village was my great-grandfather John TUMA born?
    • Who and where were our TUMA ancestors?

If you are a male with the TUMA surname, you can participate in our TUMA Surname Project with Family Tree DNA testing. We hope to discover the European village(s) from which our ancestors came. This will help us trace the family tree more generations into the past and tell us how we are cousins.

It was an exciting day on 4 July 2000 when we discovered
the COLEMAN branch of our family tree.


I grew up in the community of Rock Springs, west of the town of Harrison in Boone County, Arkansas. My father grew up and still resides in this same community. My paternal grandmother and her mother lived their entire lives in Rock Springs.

Several months after marrying my grandmother, my grandfather moved from California to Rock Springs in 1934. He remained there till his death, 25 years later, when I was 4½ years old.

As I grew older, I became interested in learning more about my grandfather, whose COLE surname I share. While in grade school, I received for Christmas a Bible containing a family tree chart. I immediately began searching for the names and dates to fill in the chart. That investigation for my ancestral heritage continues to this day.

Here are the facts, the presumptions, the bogus information, and the dead-end research about my Grandpa Cole. By placing the information on the Internet, perhaps it will help us to contact more of our lost cousins. Or just maybe someone will feel sorry for my family and help us solve these riddles.

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