Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thinking About My Results From My AncestryDNA Test

Let me start this post by saying that it just took me twenty minutes to figure out how to download a picture on my Nook and then upload it up onto this blog post. LOL! Don't tell me I can't do something now. Well anyway. While I have been on vacation, I have had some time to think about my DNA results more and to look over some more articles and information regarding DNA testing. I think I have a better handle on what my results mean. Here's a recap on what my results were: 70% West African 11% Finnish-Volga-Ural 10% British Isles 7% Scandinavian 2% Uncertain. Now before taking the test I thought for sure the majority of my genetic ancestry would be West African and the remainder probably from the British Isles, and perhaps a smidgen of Portuguese if in fact the oral history passed down on my mother's side of the family was correct. My mother's ancestors from what I researched were predominately owned by people of Irish descent. My paternal grandfather was from Barbados, so again any European influence there I thought would have been the British Isles. The thing I forgot to consider was that the British Isles were invaded over a length of time by the Vikings. The genetic influence of the Vikings on the British Isles means that many people who have descended from ancestors who came from the British Isles in fact may have measurable portions of their genetic make up coming from Scandinavian countries. This was a good wake up call for me as I travel further along my genealogy journey to realize that DNA has always and will always continue to migrate around the world. So if you get a chance and haven't already done so check out a post I found from another blog, The Genetic Genealogist that talks about the new AncestryDNA test. The link is http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2012/06/19/problems-with-ancestrydnas-genetic-ethnicity-prediction/ Also, I have the link here to a map I found on Wikipedia regarding Viking movements through the British Isles and other parts of Europe from the 8th--11th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Viking_Expansion.svg

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Making New Memories On Vacation.

Love this boy so much! A beautiful start to our vacation on Cape Cod.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thank You Bernice!

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

So there's a lot going on over here today. First of all, kids are home with me now since school is out for the summer. That nice bit of quiet time I had in the mornings to write is on hiatus until then, so I have to squeeze blogging in around breaking up squabbles over who had what toy first. Housework is calling, but I told him to call back later. Oh yeah there is that little thing called packing to go away on vacation that I kind of put off to the last minute again. Sigh.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment and thank Bernice Bennett for having me on as a guest for her show Research at the National Archives & Beyond. The title of the show was "Sharing Your Genealogy Research Through Blogging!" and I have included the link here for anyone who missed it. 


It was a great show. For anyone who has been on the fence regarding whether they should begin a blog or not, they should give the show a listen. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Results: I'm What?!!

Isn't it always the case in genealogy that once something is revealed there's more questions that need to be answered. Well without further ado, here's a screen shot of my AncestryDNA results.

Screenshot of my DNA results page on Ancestry.com

Hmmm. Now the 70% West African matches up perfectly with the result from my first admixture test through AfricanAncestry. If you missed the results from that test from earlier in the year, here's the link to that post My DNA Admixture Results Are In!  In my head I already had it figured that most of my European ancestry if not all was going to be from England and Ireland. My paternal grandfather was from Barbados so I thought immediately, west African and English. My mother's people I thought had possible Irish ancestry due to the white families that they were associated with during slavery. My DNA from the British Isles came out to be 10%. Okay, I thought that would be higher...moving on.

According to the oral history I had been given regarding my Whitney family line, I thought there should be a splash of Portuguese up in here. Nope! No Portuguese for you! (A la the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld if you don't know what I'm referring to,YouTube it.) No Native American Ancestry again, although 2% of my DNA did come back uncertain (It's a stretch, I know but there's still a shot. LOL! I have to laugh at myself for not letting this go.)

Then there's that little matter of the 11% Finnish/Volga Ural and 7% Scandinavian.

I had to read through the rest of the information provided on my DNA results page to find out that Finnish/Volga-Ural refers to the areas of modern day Finland and Western Russia.
Scandinavian for Ancestry.com's DNA results refers to modern day Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

Alrighty then. I guess I have some more research to do. LOL!

Special Delivery: AncestryDNA Results Are In!

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

The results are in! I have to say I was surprised at how quickly they came back. I received an email notification on May 21, 2012 that the company had received my DNA sample and on June 13, 2012, I had my results. So I have had a couple of days to ponder over things. Were there any surprises? Hmmm. Let's just say yes.

To be continued..........

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day To My Dear Husband!

The night of my daughter's graduation from Preschool.
Thank you dear honey for being my partner in this journey!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A Special Occasion? I Still Don't Know What For.

Ethel Murrell (paternal grandmother), Mary Horton (maternal grandmother), Janice Murrell 
(my father's sister) in the foreground, and two other family friends on the back right. This was
some sort of family gathering that from appearances looks like it took place at my maternal grandmother's
house in her basement. I don't know what the occasion was. The thing that stood out for me here was that my Aunt Janice is holding a cigarette. I never knew she ever smoked. I don't recall her smoking when I was a child, so perhaps it was a short-lived habit. I like her smile in this picture.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Little Help From Mary Smith.

If you missed my post from yesterday, you may want to check it out first before reading this one. Here's the link Amanuensis Monday: More From Samuel Whitney's Estate Record

So we have just discovered that Samuel Whitney, my probable 4th great grandfather, had an illegitimate daughter named Mary Smith that he recognized as his heir. When I saw her name was Mary Smith, I said to myself, "Mary Smith.  Why did her name have to be  Mary Smith?" I said it and felt it in the same way that Harrison Ford describes how he doesn't like snakes in the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I have nothing against Mary personally. Shucks I don't really know her. It's just that Mary Smith has to be one of the most common names of all time! LOL. Oh well. Something happened yesterday though that makes me think that Mary herself may have given me a little nudge to figure things out. 

While I was writing, I had a few different tabs open on the computer so I could flip back and forth between reviewing the text of the estate record, writing my blog, and checking my email. Anyway, while doing this Google Chrome crashed so I had to bring everything back up again. When I went to go back to FamilySearch.org to bring back up Sam Whitney's estate record, I was in a bit of hurry. In the past, I would simply type in his name and then type in Craven County in the appropriate fields and hit enter. This time I hit the enter button after just writing his name so it brought up tons of entries for all things related to Sam Whitney. To get to where I needed to go, after this I clicked on the area where you can filter down your results. I clicked on collections and then probate and court, to get back to the estate record. Well, when I did this this time, an interesting thing came up.

I noticed that a result came up for a Mary Smith in the Freedman's Bank Records where the father was listed as Sam Whitney. 

So here's the Freedman's Bank Record Entry:

"United States, Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874" index and images, FamilySearch

No: 3211    Record for Mary Smith

Date  November 19, 1872
Where born, Newbern
Where brought up, do.
Residence, Bragg's Alley
Age, over 50                      Complexion, Brown dark
Occupation, Nurse
Works for Mrs. Slover
Wife or Husband, Richard Smith d. 30 yrs.
Children, dead -Richard - Maria.

Father, Sam Whitney - d.
Mother, Maria do.        d.
Brothers and Sisters, Maria Downs.


     Signature, Mary     X   Smith

So it looks like I have some new leads to investigate. Thanks Mary! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: More From Samuel Whitney's Estate Record.

Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

Okay folks, this estate record for the man I suspect is my 4th great grandfather has been driving me crazy. I have been staring at it and staring at it and have had a difficult time making out a good portion of it. Just look at it. LOL!  Somehow on Sunday, my eyes were able to start to see the words  a little bit clearer and so I started transcribing. This is from page 31 of the file.

Image courtesy of Familysearch.org
"North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1968" index and images"
Samuel Whitney Estate Record

State of North Carolina Court of Pleas for Craven County (word?) March 1848 (the worshipped?) the justices of the Court of New Bern & Quarter (Opinions?) for the County of Craven.

The Petition of Calvin B. Dibble (Admin?) of Sam Whitney respectfully observath on to your worships that Sam Whitney (a free man of colour) late of said County died intestate on the (space) day of (space) 1847 and that the petition obtained from this court letters of administration on his estate of the February term thereof 1847. Petitioner further observath that as admin aforesaid he has sold the entire chattels of his intestate and the proceeds thereof amount duly to the sum of twenty-five 99/100 dollars-That he has paid expenses of said estate amounting to five 47/100 dollars and is indebted for further costs and charges amounting to (blank) dollars.

Pet (abbreviation for petitioner perhaps?) further observath that his intestate is indebted to (usury?) persons to most John (unsure of name) by worth forty three dollars---William (unsure of name) ten dollars Dibble & Brothers about twenty dollars as nearly as he can ascertain.

Petitioner observath that there is no other party in his hands to satisfy said debts and it has become absolutely necessary to sell the (word?) herein after mentioned for that purpose .

Pet. further observath his intestate died asigned of two lots of ground in the town of Newbern situated 

Page 32.

on New South Front Street and known in the plan of said town by (51&52) the number fifty one and fifty two of the value of one hundred dollars not exceeding that sum. Petitioner observath the said intestate left no heir that he has any knowledge of except an illegitimate child named Mary Smith of said County. Pet. prays that the said land be sold that he have (word?) of this Court to sell the (word?) and apply the proceeds to the payment of the debts of his intestate according to the Act of the Grand Assembly in cash and provided and that due notice of this application be given & served on said Mary Smith and the (remainder?) duly executed and that all other such proceedings be had in the promises as may he keep any to subject said head as aforesaid & as in duty bound  (word?)

I have to stop the transcription here because my eyes are falling out of my head and that I am dying to share something I just found out. 

We find in the transcription something amazing! Samuel Whitney had an illegitimate daughter named Mary Smith. Now why did her name have to go ahead and be Mary Smith now, huh?! Could we get a name that could be anymore common? LOL! Guess what? I did find something on Mary, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Rosa Lee Hester

Image courtesy of Find A Grave.  Picture taken by Mojo Warren

Rosa Lee Hester
August 5, 1898--January 14, 1967
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
Bayview Cemetery in  Morehead City, NC.
My 1st cousin 3x removed.

Her parents were Mott Hester and Sidney Bryant Hester. Sidney's sister Jonas Bryant was my 2nd great grandmother. All of them resided in Morehead City, NC. Her parent's grave is just to the right of hers.

Picture I took on my January visit to Morehead City.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: These Artifacts Are My Time Machines.

When my grandmother, Mary Horton, passed away my mother
 asked me, "What would you like from her house?"
I told her, "The Hands."

I am sure that some of you out there who read my blog probably can relate to this. I have items around my house that I have inherited from family members who have passed away. They are my little time machines. When I look at them, in my mind I can travel back to a specific place. I can see the layout of a room come back as clear as day. These hands were always part of my childhood memories of visits to my maternal grandmother's house. They sat on the ledge of the upright piano that stood in her living room. They were placed toward the right side of the ledge and just to the right of that was the thermostat dial on the wall. This is my  reference point for rebuilding in my head the rest of the room. Suddenly, it is all there. There's the sound of the parkway outside (My grandmother's house was on a service road.) Her house feels stuffy. It's just a little too warm and humid. I see the coffee table with the set of Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf below. The crystal candy dish appears with it's delicious contents inside. I can see the light blue recliners by the windows, the couch placed perfectly centered along the mirrored side wall.  I see my grandmother in her favorite blue house dress smiling, waiting for her kiss from her grandchildren. Ahh...It's all there. 

Mom and me at my maternal grandmother's house.
In the background on the right you can see the base of "The Hands" statue. 

"The Cats"

Oh how I miss the days of after school going over to my paternal grandparents house in Hollis, NY. These cats take me back there when I look at them. They used to rest on the mantle in the living room, overseeing whatever day to day activities occurred. They were always watching. I see the fireplace and my eyes continue downward. There's that seashell shaped ceramic vase on the floor. Next to that the crochet poodle craft that I think one of my grandmother's friend's made back in the 70's.  Then I see the glass coffee table, the slip-covered royal blue upholstered chairs, and the light green couch. I see my grandmother meticulously vacuuming the blue carpeting to achieve the perfect vacuum wave pattern. I smell the scent of freshly baked rolls coming from the kitchen. I see granddaddy sitting at the kitchen table with dog underfoot, having a cup of tea with lemon and a slice of Sarah Lee pound cake. 

My paternal grandmother Ethel Murrell and my aunt Janice Murrell
Part of one of the cats can be seen on the mantle behind my aunt.

Do you have special time machines around your house? Feel free to leave a comment.

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