Grandma Lucy and Her Puzzling History

Believed to be my great great grandmother, Lucy Kennedy Cherry of Leake County, Mississippi (Picture courtesy of Perry Bishop) When my cousin Perry e-mailed this picture to me, he was wondering if this was a picture of his great great grandmother, Isabella "Bella" Kennedy Hansford Dillard (1851-1930) of Lake Providence, Louisiana. Aunt Bella was Grandma …

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Just Another Cool DNA Story

Ms. Hattie Abram (1909-2002), Picture courtesy of Angela Moses Many people are often captivated by their admixture results from Ancestry.com, 23andMe, MyHeritage, FTDNA, etc. However, I am most fascinated by those revealing autosomal DNA matches – people who share identical DNA with me and my family. DNA can also be heart-breaking. It can certainly unearth …

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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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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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That Infamous 1890 Sinkhole

In 1921, a huge chunk of the stored 1890 census was destroyed in a fire at the Commerce Building here in Washington, DC. More can be read about that fire here. Genealogist Robyn Smith calls it “The 1880 Donut Hole,” as she brilliantly demonstrates its effect on her research in her blog post. However, I …

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25 Do’s and Don’ts of DNA

I first wrote this in January 2015 with 20 tips. Advancements in DNA technology and more DNA options have surfaced since then, making it necessary for me to update this blog post. Keep in mind, the comical yet serious tone of this post reflects my love for DNA technology. Maybe “addiction” or fanatic is a …

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