My Ancestry DNA Results Are Back!

A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a promotional offer from AncestryDNA. I have been tested with 23andMe and have blogged a lot about that, but I have held off with Ancestry because of their lack of allowing chromosome browsing. However, the promotional offer was good so I went for it.  I am amazed that my results are already back in. They just received my sample July 28th! That was a far shorter turnaround period than I expected.

I’ve only had a few moments to take a look, but you know what? As I have been learning how to do Google Hangouts On Air (HOA), I did a short test tonight. I made a broadcast to go through my results so I could share it with my mother. I can’t believe I’m posting it (and keeping it public for all to see), but here goes!  I might as well kill two birds with one stone. 

In doing this HOA, I am using my wi-fi, which is not recommended, so the video is grainy. I’ll hook up with a wire next time.  And yes, I am sitting on my bed. It’s bedtime ya know…  :-D

Many thanks to my partner in crime, Patrice for really getting me on a roll with doing Google Hangouts On Air! Not only am I looking forward to further exploring my DNA results but I am also going to be doing more with Google HOA.  Stay tuned….

Cousin Connection: Lennon Family

Earlier this month I had another cousin connection that I’ve not been able to blog about until now. Gotta love the internet!

My cousin, CM, found me and contacted me through this blog. One of his great-grandfathers is named Grant Lennon. Grant was from Columbus County, North Carolina and a son of Council Lennon. One of my 2nd great-grandmothers was named Etta (short for Annette?) Lennon and she too was a daughter of a Council Lennon. I’ve not been able to “prove” it conclusively but I do believe Grant and Etta to be siblings, thus making CM a 3rd cousin to my mother. 

I will be speaking to CM more later today, but he has sent me an awesome picture – a picture of Grant with Grant’s second wife, Allie. 

Grant & Allie Lennon

This is great news and I’m looking forward to further exploring our shared connections. 

 

 

23andMe: A DNA, Surname & Geographic Location Match!

Continuing my blog series on our 23andMe results, I had to share an exciting lead I have now that my mother’s results have been processed!

One of my mother’s matches is a lady who we’ll call Ms. W.  Ms. W  has DNA similarity with my mother at 2 segments:  a) On Chromosome 3 with a segment that is 23cM and includes 4965 SNPs and b) Chromosome 6 with a segment that is 6.5 cM and includes 1244 SNPs.  From comparing our family trees we learned that we both have Lennon ancestors from the Bladen/Columbus County region in NC.  23andMe predicts my mother and Ms. W to be 4th cousins.

shared DNA segments

Ms. W has a 3rd great-grandmother named Caroline Lennon who was born a slave around 1855.  Caroline married Creed McNeill and had at least 5 kids.  Caroline most likely died by 1910 as in that census year Creed has remarried.  My mother’s paternal grandmother was named Lucinda Lennon, daughter of John & Etta Lennon.  Lucinda was born in Bladen County and her parents lived in both Bladen & Columbus counties.  Both John & Etta were Lennons so if Caroline is part of my family, then she could be related through either John or Etta.  The DNA they share is of African origin.

The goal now is to find out if we can place Caroline with a family since the only thing Ms. W. knows about her at this point is that her maiden name was Lennon.   As I consider it, the following are things that can be done as next steps:

  • Can we locate any marriage information for Caroline & Creed?  According to their 1900 census record they married around 1870.  I’ve located a book of marriage records for Bladen County that includes both white and black marriages during that time period. Need to find someone who can do a lookup.  Perhaps parents will be listed? As a black couple, it’s not likely there was ever a newspaper notice published.
  • Look for burial records? If Caroline died before 1910 as I suspect she may not have a death certificate. But, maybe she is buried somewhere in the area and has a tombstone.  Need to look for cemetery listings, focused on cemeteries where her other family members may be buried.
  • Look at those living near her in 1880 and 1900 to see if any names look familiar.  Often people lived near family so maybe she did also.
  • I need to look more closely for any white Lennon’s that owned an approximately 5 year old female black slave in the 1860 slave census schedules to see if I can identify a potential slaveowner.  Such a determination may offer clues in searching the records of the white Lennon family for Caroline spottings.
  • Caroline had at least 5 kids, but Ms. W. has only traced the descendants of one of them which is her own direct line. Time to start tracing the families of the other 4! Who knows what we may learn and find by contacting individuals in those other branches? Would be great if we did locate a few people of the other branches and they agreed to be DNA tested.
  • My mother has a 1st cousin who has a 23andMe kit on the way.  If this cousin also matches Ms. W then we will know for sure that the match comes from my mother’s paternal side of the family as we highly suspect.
  • My mother has 4th cousin once removed that we could ask if she is interested in the DNA testing.  The 4th cousin once removed is related to my mother via Lucinda’s paternal family.  If that cousin also matched my mom and Ms. W. then we would at least be able to narrow it down to Lucinda’s paternal branch.
This is going to be a process for sure!  I am sure I am missing some potential research avenues — do you have any recommendations/suggestions to offer?

 

 

 

 

Saturday Night Fun This Week

I’m feeling all inspired again with my genealogy blogging! I’ve gotten some great thoughts from reading others’ blogs. For this post, I’m taking Randy up on his last Saturday Night Fun quest, Where Were They in 1909?

The task was as follows:

1) Which of your ancestors were alive in 1909?

2) Tell us where your ancestral families were living in 1909. What country, state, county, city/town, etc. Who was in the family at the time? Use the 1910 census as “close enough.”

3) Have you found each of these families in the 1910 census?

Here is a brief synopsis of my ancesestral families and what they were up to in1909. To keep it simple, I’m going to go three generations back to my great-grandparents.

Barfield & Josephine (Holloway) Koonce - my father’s paternal grandparents were both alive and living in Craven County, North Carolina.  The family was from this area.  In 1909 they had been married for about six years and had two children, son Hampton and daughter Minnie.  The third child that appears in their 1910 census record would not be born until early in 1910.

William Lawhorn Jr. - In 1909, my father’s maternal grandfather was not yet born! He was born August of 1910, so his parents, Sam & Cora (Cox) Lawhorn were close to his arrival as their 3rd child.  His parents were also living in Craven County, NC and I have located them in the 1910 census. His future wife, Pearlie Kilpatrick, was not born until 1912.  I’ve found her too in 1910.

Lewis “Christopher Columbus” Robinson & Lucinda (Lennon) Robinson – my mother’s paternal grandparents have thus far eluded me in the 1910 census.  I periodically search for them, but I’m not sure where to look for them! They were both from the Columbus County area of North Carolina, but by 1920 they’d moved to New York.  I do not know for certain when they were married, but their oldest child, Ethel,  was born in 1908 in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina.   Their next child was not born for another 5 years. I have located a man that fits his description (age, race, state of birth) in the 1910 census living in Trenton, NY as a hired man, but I’m not sure if this is really him or not.  If it is him, I suspect perhaps Lucinda may have been living with family with their young daughter? In any case, I’ve still got some searching to do.

Abraham Lincoln McNair- In 1909, my mother’s maternal grandfather was a 13 year-old boy living  in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina with his father and five siblings.  His mom, Gracy (Bullock) McNair seems to have passed by 1909 and soon after, his father would remarry.  His future wife, Martha Jane Walker, was 12 years old, living in the same town, with her own parents, Anthony Walker and Martha Jane Baker and 4 other siblings.  I have located both of them in the 1910 census.

So, of my 8 great-grandparents, only two were not yet born in 1909.  I obviously have work to do tracking Lewis & Lucinda down in 1910.  Very interesting to reflect on this.  Thanks Randy!

A New Cousin?

Since my last post a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been quite busy.  I’ve finished the curriculum phase of my MPH degree and have now moved into the research phase. This means that I no longer am in class every day for three hours a day + working + homework + family +  hobbies. Whew! I am glad to have made it this far!

This does mean though that I should gradually start having more time for genealogy and I’m gearing up for that full force.  I have a number of small projects underway that I look forward to working on, plus I’m developing a surname specific site for Koonce genealogy.

One of the most interesting things I’ve had go on recently though is being contacted by a possible new cousin!  One of my brickwalls has been with one of my 2nd great-grandmothers and figuring out who her parents are.  Etta Lennon may have been the daughter of Council Lennon of Columbus County, North Carolina.  If she was, then I would be Karen’s 2nd half-cousin twice removed.   I believe her grandfather to be a half-brother to my 2nd great-grandmother.

We are hoping that by working with each other, we can make further connections and reveal more information about the Lennon family.  Wish us luck!

My New Found Cousin

The past couple of weeks I’ve been more focused on my Koonce genealogy work than anything else.  Ever since having that flurry of Koonce activity, I’ve just been caught up in it.  I have decided to do a new blog devoted to chronicling my quest to research and findings; not just of my own Koonce line, but for Koonce’s in general – my very own Koonce surname project I suppose.  Since I’ve been so busy with school and work however, I don’t expect to begin any real efforts towards it until late summer.

But, I did have a great week this week in that I was contacted by a new cousin! She commented on my Ancestry tree and we believe that our respective Robinson (of Columbus County, NC)  ancestors were brothers.  We don’t have any concrete proof yet, but are building up a theory based on several things such as proximity, shared names in the family, ages, etc.

My Robinson line stems from William Robinson, born about 1830  North Carolina.  William married Rebecca Toon and they would have at least 9 children, their youngest being my great-grandfather, Louis “Christopher Columbus” Robinson.

Yolanda’s line stems from John Robinson, born about 1842 who married Matilda Toon.  John and Matilda, or Tilly, would have at least 7 children. Their son Nathaniel is her great-grandfather.

We suspect that John & William’s parents were Bob (born about 1800) and Hagar (born about 1815).  John had a son named William and William had a son named John.  Both men had sons named Nathaniel.  In 1880, the two families are only a few households away from each other.

We are in the process of exchanging information and pictures, so I’m looking forward to learning more.