One thing doing genealogy teaches you is that you are NEVER exactly who you THINK you are. For over 36 years, I’ve researched my roots. On my dad’s side of the family, my journey has taken me back through slavery and slave-owners in Georgia and North Carolina. But I’ve only been able to get back to great-great grandparents and not on every line.
I’ve had far more success researching my mother’s line which has taken me back to known ancestors from Bermuda, England, Scotland and Germany. As of now, there are some lines I’ve gotten back to medieval times in England!!
For years, I’ve thought about taking a DNA test but just got around to doing that recently. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is over DNA test in family research, here’s a video that explains it better than I ever could -
To get started, I sent for a DNA test from Ancestry.com. When it arrived, I filled the little vial with my saliva (apparently a rich source of DNA) and waited about 5 weeks to get my results. Here they are (and who I am) -
54 % West African
34 % British Isles
7 % Scandinavian
5 % Uncertain
Like many BLACK people in the USA, I knew my genealogy was mixed. And I specifically knew that I had many ancestors from England and Scotland. But the Scandinavian link was a complete surprise!
Apparently the DNA test shows your lineage back hundreds, even a thousand years. None of the modern day Scandinavian countries were around then. So, according to Ancestry.com, the results show that I have Viking ancestry. Go figure.
Did a Viking really wander through my family tree??
My grandmother was an amazing lady. She was born Beatrice Parker in Fortson, Harris County, Georgia – the grandchild of both former slaves and slave-owners in the neighborhood. Gram, as I called her, grew up as a tomboy who used her trusty slingshot to supplement the family groceries with the rabbit and squirrel running around in her rural neck of the woods.
Our family didn’t have much in those days. They were sharecroppers making a meager living growing cotton on someone else’s land. Life was simple. In fact, it was an accomplishment to get any kind of education since everyone who could work needed to help bring in the crop.
But my grandmother finished the 8th grade. She was pretty proud of that but sad that she …
My great aunt Clara was my maternal grandmother’s younger sister. She was born on December 1, 1894 in Cleveland, Ohio to my great grandparents, Prince Albert and Jennie Hood Weaver. Aunt Clara and Grandmother had a brother and sadly, 3 other sisters who didn’t survive childhood.
Aunt Clara was a “pistol” – outspoken and her own person in a time when women were struggling to even have the right to vote. Depending on who is telling the story, she was married 5 times although by the time I came along, I don’t remember any of the husbands being in the picture.
I would see Aunt Clara every summer through my childhood when we took our annual trip to visit my mother’s family in Cleveland. Every day, Aunt …
My maternal great-grandmother, Jennie Daisy Hood was born in the tiny little town of Waterford, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1867. She was the daughter of Andrew Coover Hood and Clarissa Scribner. By all rights, Jennie should have stayed a small town girl, married a young man who her parents knew and stayed in the area where her family had been since right after the American Revolution. But she didn’t.
I’ll never know what – but something drew Jennie away to Washington, D.C. where I found her in the city directory in the mid-1880′s working as a chambermaid. This probably meant that she was working in a private home doing housework and making a meager wage as the “help”. I need to do more research to see …
I wanted to share this interesting infographic from Archives.com showing the growth of diversity in America from 1820 to 2009, which was done in celebration of Family History Month. A lot of research went into this but I have to confess my first thought was – what about Africans brought to this country in slavery or what I view as “forced” immigration. If you’re wondering the same thing, here’s what happened.
The timeline in the Family History Month infographic below picks up right as there was a major shift in the politics on slavery. In 1820, the United States took a bold step when it made the trading of African slaves Read more