Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Having a tombstone while still living, definitely forces one to face their own mortality.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
First I should probably do a brief explanation of what ancestral DNA is and is not.
1. Ancestral DNA can not provide you with your complete family or tell you who your ancestors were.
2. Ancestral DNA can
- Determine if two people are related
- Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
- Help in determining if you are related to others with the same surname
- Prove or disprove your family tree research
- Provide clues about your ethnic origin
There is also autosomal DNA, which as I understand it, is supposed to look at percentages of various groups that you descended from. If you need further information, check out Ancestral DNA 101, http://genealogy.about.com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/dna_tests.htm, or just google ancestral DNA.
Testing and Results
I went through Ancestry.com and ordered the 33-marker test. At this time I decided not to do the mtDNA test on dad. Probably the only thing I've regretted in doing this is going through Ancestry. Not because Ancestry didn't do a good job with the testing but because their database is not the greatest. I chose them primarily because I was already a member of Ancestry, could link the results to the family trees I have there, and finally, price.
Although dad complained the entire time (don't know why you are doing this, all those people are dead), testing was easy. After receiving the kit from Ancestry, I took the 3 swabs that came with the kit, swabbed the inside of dad's checks, put the swabs back in envelope that was provided, dropped them in the mail, then anxiously awaited the results.
Haplogroup I1 - the Stonemasons
I received the results back much sooner than I expected and must admit I was surprised by the results. Dad's Haplogroup was I1 (formerly I1a) and the report stated that ancient ancestors primarily occupied what is now present day Norway, Sweden, Denmark and part of Finland. Not that I didn't believe miscegeny could have occurred, but if it did, unlike my other lines, there just didn't appear to be any identifiable physical traits of it. Of course that's purely conjecture as I never met my grandfather and am only going off the pictures I've seen of him.
Here is where the frustration with Ancestry's database comes in. Their database showed a really close match, within 3 generation of having a common ancestor in the last 70 years. I wrote this person not once but twice before realizing that the match hadn't checked in in over a year. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. I was so looking forward to possibly having more family members.
Sorenson Database and Mali
Thanks to a wonderful new genealogical networking site, Genealogywise.com, I've learned about other databases where I can take dad's results and manually enter them into their database.
So, last night, dad's results were entered into the Sorenson database. And the results are surprising given the Ancestry DNA report. My ancient ancestors more than likely came from present day Mali and our african surname is possibly Traore. Let's just say at the 85% match, ton's of names from Mali showed with the Traroe surname being the most common, etc. (23/25 markers).
What this Means to Me
I set about trying to determine who my great-grandfather (father of Harry Claudius Jones) was and that desire has not vanquished. Given the circumstances of my grandfather's birth, I suspect I may never find my great-grandfather. I won't give up on trying to find him but with regard to my Jones line, I finally feel like I'm starting to build a trunk to my tree even if I don't have names. It's the realization that I am no longer just part of a branch but something bigger than myself even I don't fully know what it is. It's being able to say, at least for now, my family came from Mali.
One of these days, when funds allow, I hope to retest through Family Tree DNA or another site that has a more extensive database than Ancestry, so that I hopefully can get in touch with possible relataives. In the meantime, I'll do further research on Mali and specifically the Traore family, and I also need to understand Haplogroup I1 more and its connection to that part of Africa.
Till Next Time!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I immediately plugged Ophelia's name into ZabaSearch and to my surprise there was a match for an Ophelia Hargett in Williamston, NC. So I thought to confirm the ZabaSearch results that I would double check using Whitepages.com. No match. Not to be deterred, I decided to search census, birth, and death records, using Ancestry, to try to find Ophelia. No matches for birth or census but there appears to be a match for a Death Certificate.
- Vonzella Ophelia Hargett
- 78 years
- Date of Birth - 25 Jul 1919
- Birth County - Martin
- Date of Death - 3 Aug 1997
- Death County - Bertie
As I continue to hunt for my information on the Gaynors (where did I put it), I can say I've learned a valuable lesson here
- No more 10 year brakes - At this point in my life, the ancestors cannot afford for me to take another break of that magnitude.
- Always, always, go back and look at notes, documents, etc. - Now that I've awaken from my 10 year hiatus, I'm constantly picking up on things in documentation, notes, etc. that I never would have noticed when I first started. I really believe this comes with maturity as a genealogist. Unfortunately, many of us when we first began the journey do try to get back as far as we can as fast as we can and even now, I sometimes find myself falling back into that pattern. In the early stages of research, we don't often pick up on what appears to be an insignificant mention of a name, place, event because in those early days and years of research, unless it has to do with your direct line you aren't as interested. As you mature in your research efforts, you begin to realize that those insignificant mentions can be a goldmine of information and researching other branches of the tree can actually lead you back to your direct line.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Well it happened with me on the 1920 and 1930 censuses. About two weeks ago, I noticed that great-granddad Peter Everett basically reared two of his grandchildren, Etherlyn (Cousin Hun) Johnson and James (Buddy) Johnson. This discovery lead me to wanting to know what happened to aunt Goldie Everett, my grandmother Iola Everett Jones' big sister, and what happened to Goldie's husband, J Henry Johnson.
I think Cousin "Buddy" Johnson came to my grandmother's funeral, which was in 1969 but that is all I know about him.
Cousin "Hun" died in 2002 at the age of 95. I don't ever remember meeting Cousin "Hun" but do remember writing her when I was in college. I was taking a history class where we had to write a paper about a member of our family and relate their personal history to US history. I remember deciding to write about Cousin "Hun" and wrote her for more info. While cousin Hun was interested in what I was doing, unfortunately, she didn't respond to my letter and I ended up writing something off the top of my head as best as I could. Cousin Hun has three sons, but from what I can tell, there has never been a close relationship between her children and the rest of the family. I have met cousin Hun's youngest son on a few occasions but have lost touch with him after Cousin Hun's death. Since I'm back on the ancestral hunt (after a 10 year break), I think now is as could a time as any to try to locate him and reestablish ties. Perhaps he can fill in the missing pieces of his grandparents.
Till Next Time!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Just like my great-grandmother Fannie on my maternal side, one of my great grandmother’s on my paternal side has haunted me for years.
She’s the one that seems to push me the most amongst my North Carolina ancestors and yet she’s the one I know the least about. She’s the one that I always felt like was denied her rightful place amongst the ancestors, and that’s it always been up to me to tell the world about her.
Unlike like my maternal side, very few stories or information about the ancestors were handed down on my paternal side. So it’s been dogged determination with the few snippets I did get that have allowed me to even get a small glimpse of her.
And so here is what I knew when I begin this search
1. My aunt, Martha Edith Jones, was named after both of her grandmothers.
2. My dad always said that Mary Williams, who he and my aunts and uncles called grandmother wasn’t really my granddad’s Mom. Dad always suspected that Mary Williams was my granddad’s aunt.
3. On occasion, dad mentions that he thinks granddad had some siblings.
What I know and have discovered through the years
1. On my grandparents’ marriage license, granddad lists his mother as Martha and she was still living when my grandparents were married (Dec. 27 1914).
2. On the 1900 census, Hamilton, Martin, North Carolina, there are three families listed for dwelling, 110.
- Family 121, General Williams and his wife, Mary E.
- Family 122, Je* Williams (female), age 70, is listed as head. With her is Joseph Williams, age 16, listed as her son and Clansy Jones, boarder, and Leter Jones, boarder.
- Family 123, Martha Jones, head
3. I’m fairly confident in stating that (1) this is the Mary E Williams that reared my granddad (granddad’s death certificate list General Williams as his father and Mary Elizabeth Jones as his mother. My grandmother was the informant on granddad’s death certificate), (2) Clansy is my granddad, Claudius, and (3) the Martha listed is my great-grandmother.
And now, the headaches, frustrations and questions
1. Where were Mary and Martha between 1880 and 1900? Based on the 1900 census, Mary was been born abt. 1872 and Martha was born abt. 1877. To date, I’ve not been able to locate either of them on the 1880 census. I've also never been able to locate them or granddad on the 1910 census.
2. What happened to my great-grandmother after 1914? I’ve not located her on the 1920 or 1930 census. Did she marry?
3. Who is Leter Jones? Is it possible that my grandfather had a twin? On the 1900 census both are listed as being born in 1892 with granddad being born in July and Leter being born in August.
Till Next Time