Using DNA Painter to Verify Igbo Origins

After months of procrastinating, I finally began using DNA Painter last month. I am typically not a major procrastinator, but I was convinced to move forward with it after reading a Facebook comment purporting its usefulness in determining the connection to DNA matches. Indeed, it is. This tool is so cool, that web developer Jonny …

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A Google Success Story: Finding Grandpa Jack’s Folks

When I started researching my family history in 1993, I easily traced one of my father’s lines back to my great great grandfather, John “Jack” Bass of Warren County, Mississippi. According to the censuses, he was born around 1845, in North Carolina. Like many, I hit that infamous 1870 Brick Wall after finding him in …

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Our “Kunta Kinte”: The Search for Our African Ancestor’s Origins

In 2011, as my cousin, Dr. Jeffrey Ogbar, and I were discussing our family connection via my maternal grandmother, he told me how his Edwards family knew the name of their "Kunta Kinte." In the 1970s, down in Panola County (Como), Mississippi, his great-uncle, the late Rev. Sidney Edwards, interviewed family elders. They shared with …

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Diggin’ Up Family Dirt

Let’s face it.  A good amount of our family histories aren’t “peachy keen.”  History involves humans, and humans aren’t perfect.  Consequently, many – no, everyone – will encounter some family dirt when they embark on a journey to unearth their family’s past.  Some family dirt can be quite earth-shaking that it may cause an array …

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Honoring the Slain Black Milliken’s Bend Soldiers Who Made A Huge Difference

Earlier this year, as my father, oldest sister, nephew, and I toured the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, we conversed about the participation of my father’s great-grandfather, John “Jack” Bass of Warren County (Vicksburg), Mississippi, in the Civil War. I had confirmed that he served with the 49th Regiment, formerly the 11th Louisiana Infantry, of …

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The Family Was Broken but the DNA Wasn’t

DNA technology is absolutely amazing in so many ways! One of the ways is it can serve as very strong evidence, confirming years of research. More amazingly, it can verify ties that were broken during slavery. In 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended, I wrote about how I discovered that a man named Pleasant (Pleas) …

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Research Tip: Check Your Assumptions

Researching and documenting many of my ancestors have not been accomplished without mistakes from time to time. Mistakes can easily come from drawing the wrong conclusions from one (or more) sources. In other words, some historical conclusions, assertions, or assumptions may be drawn from what many may feel to be from "obvious" research findings. However, …

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