Neyla Pekarek

by madman on May 16, 2017

Birth Name: Neyla M. Pekarek

Place of Birth: Denver, Colorado, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 4, 1986

Ethnicity: Slovak (paternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

Neyla Pekarek is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. She is the cellist and co-vocalist of the folk rock band The Lumineers. Other members of the band are Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz.

Neyla is the daughter of Dana (Collins) and Rodger Andrew Pekarek.

Neyla’s paternal grandfather was Andrew George Pekarek (the son of Paul Pekarek and Anna Leshko/Leschka). Andrew was born in Pennsylvania, to Slovak parents.

Neyla’s paternal grandmother was Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton (the daughter of John Kelly/Kelley Newton/Neuton and Fannie Foney Hunter). Verna was born in North Carolina. John was of English and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish descent, and the son of William Abraham Newton/Neuton and Nancy Elizabeth Crotts. Fannie was the daughter of John Hunter.

Neyla’s maternal grandfather was Daniel John Collins (the son of Bernard Michael Collins and Elizabeth Anna Murphy). Daniel was born in Massachusetts. Bernard was the son of John Collins, whose parents were Irish, and of Mary McNeice, who was Irish. Elizabeth was the daughter of Daniel Murphy, who was likely of Irish descent, and of Hannah Gorman Dwyer, whose parents were Irish.

Neyla’s maternal grandmother was named Neyla J. Harris.

Sources: Neyla’s paternal grandfather, Andrew Pekarek, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Andrew Pekarek on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Neyla’s father (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Neyla’s paternal grandmother, Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton – https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Birth record of Neyla’s paternal grandmother, Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton – https://www.familysearch.org

Neyla’s paternal grandmother, Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Neyla’s paternal great-grandfather, John Kelly/Kelley Newton/Neuton (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Neyla’s paternal great-grandfather, John Kelly/Kelley Newton/Neuton, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Neyla’s paternal great-grandfather, John Kelly/Kelley Newton/Neuton – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Neyla’s paternal great-grandmother, Fannie Foney (Hunter) Newton – https://www.familysearch.org

Neyla’s maternal grandfather, Daniel John Collins, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Daniel John Collins on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Daniel John Collins on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of Neyla’s maternal great-grandparents, Bernard Michael Collins and Elizabeth Anna Murphy – https://www.familysearch.org

Neyla’s maternal great-grandfather, Bernard Michael Collins, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Bernard Michael Collins on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Neyla’s maternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth Anna Murphy, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

madman June 14, 2018 at 11:34 am
madman June 14, 2018 at 10:32 am

It seems like this is Neyla’s grandfather Daniel J. Collins:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXT2-KMP
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XQ2R-MTP
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K461-LL5

This man was also born in 1916, has the same name and middle initial, and is from the same area in the same county in the same state as the other members of the family lived in (Pittsfield and Lenox in Massachusetts). There doesn’t seem to be any other Daniel Collins who matches those criterias.

If so, Daniel’s middle name was John, and he was the son of Bernard Michael Collins and Elizabeth Anna Murphy. Bernard was the son of John Collins, whose parents were Irish, and of Mary McNeice, who was Irish. Elizabeth was the daughter of Daniel Murphy, who was likely of Irish descent, and of Hannah Gorman Dwyer, whose parents were Irish.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N465-8CV
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M95F-YQX
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2NJ-W4X
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M95N-58J

madman June 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

I just saw that Daniel’s brother’s obituary refers to him as “Dr. Daniel Collins”, the same way the obituary of Neyla’s half-uncle refers to his own stepfather as “Dr. Daniel J. Collins”. It seems pretty certain it is the right man.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/berkshire/obituary.aspx?n=bernard-collins&pid=160247073
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/berkshire/obituary.aspx?n=john-foulds&pid=181986004&fhid=20743

follers June 15, 2018 at 3:44 am

Wait a minute, so your only source for this “African-American ancestry” is the 1940 U.S. Census?

The 1940 U.S. Census is famous for making lots of such errors. It’s totally meaningless on this issue. I doubt Fannie was black.

madman June 15, 2018 at 3:52 am

Yes, after I found more census records it seemed a bit less likely to be the case, given that only one of them listed the family as black.

madman June 13, 2018 at 5:10 am

Half-uncle:
http://www.rochefuneralhome.com/obituaries/John-Foulds/#!/Obituary

Dana Collins —> Dana (Collins)

Maternal grandparents were Daniel J. Collins and Neyla J. Harris.

madman June 13, 2018 at 4:41 am

She was born in September 4, 1986

And her father is actually Rodger Andrew Pekarek. But everything else (mother, grandparents) is accurate.

As it turns out, she is one eighth African-American.

Her grandfather Andrew’s middle name was George.

Neyla’s paternal grandmother was Verna/Vernia/Vernie Alma Newton (the daughter of John Kelly Newton/Neuton and Fannie Foney Hunter). John was of English and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish descent, and the son of William Abraham Newton/Neuton and Nancy Elizabeth Crotts. Fannie was black.

Regarding Neyla’s grandmother:
On the 1920 census, her whole family is listed as “White”. One the 1940 census, they are all listed as “Negro”.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZN1-RMR
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KW3L-J5V

This is John. He was white:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FGS6-MXY
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSYQ-MY7

I’ve found a genealogy of Neyla’s father:
https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=075&id=I12827

Grandmother:
https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=erickson-grandki&id=I85070

Great-grandfather:
https://www.geni.com/people/John-Newton/6000000069544374829

Here is the trail of records I’ve used to determine her grandmother:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VCQ4-T3C
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VH1L-7WL
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZRR-DKM
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZN1-RMR
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KW3L-J5V
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVMF-DL8R

madman June 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

Verna on the 1930 census (family is listed as white):
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X3SZ-J75

madman June 13, 2018 at 4:51 am

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