McNair

Establishing my Great-Grandparents DNA Profile

Well, parts of it anyway. ūüôā

This week, the 23andMe DNA Roots Into the Future results came back for one of my mother’s paternal 1st cousins. ¬†A great advantage of her having done the test is that I can now begin to establish segments of my mother’s DNA that comes from her paternal grandparents, ¬†Lewis & Lucinda (Lennon) Robinson, whom Cousin C and my mother have as their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

“Cousin C” shares 10.5% and 28 segments of DNA with my mother. ¬†All 28 of those segments come from Lewis & Lucinda. ¬†Additionally, Cousin C shares some DNA segments with my mother’s brother that she does not have in common with my mother (11.2% and 32 segments). ¬† ¬†Because the sharing with my mother and uncle are not 100% overlapping, this means even more segments from the great-grandparental units.

In the image below the DNA Cousin C shares with my mother is marked with green; the DNA she shares with my uncle is marked in blue.

This means that as I sort through my mother’s Relative Finder matches, if someone matches both her and Cousin C – then that person is related to us through Lewis & Lucinda and will thus help me narrow which branch to focus the search on. ¬†As I have started to tabulate these shared segments into my analysis spreadsheet I have already identified a few individuals who I can now narrow our search for our MRCA to that branch of my tree.

And also of interest, I have parts of DNA of a set of my 2nd great-grandparents, Andrew & Gracy (Bullock) McNair on my mother’s side since a 3rd cousin of hers, for whom Andrew & Gracy are the MRCA, has also had his testing completed. ¬†On my father’s side, I’ve got DNA segments attributed to ancestors of mine even more generations back that these — how cool is that?

I really need for one of the DNA testing companies to add the tagging capability I’ve described on my blog in the past — it would be so helpful!

Grandma Truly Is Forever In Our Hearts

My daughter Kaleya was born on her great-grandmother Alice’s birthday – October 16th. ¬†Yesterday, we celebrated Kaleya’s 7th birthday. ¬†Yesterday, my grandmother did not turn 87. ¬†ūüôĀ

Today, b/c of it being her birthday, my mother went to her gravesite to visit her and to take the first pictures of her headstone.  Grandma is buried in Sarasota National Park cemetery and is in fact in the same section as her eldest son, Stanley, who passed away 10 months before her.

Mommy says that Grandma is in the same diagonal row as Stanley – just 11 rows above him.

 

Great-Grandparents’ Signature

My great-grandparents, Abraham & Martha (Walker) McNair, purchased their home in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina in 1945. ¬†While I have a copy of the deed from the local registrar’s office it is not a true copy of the original.

My mother found their original deed last week and their signatures are on it

signature of my great-grandparents

Looking at this, I see now that my grandmother, Alice, ¬†had her father’s handwriting. ¬†I am looking forward to making a copy of the original deed next time I visit home.

Tombstone Tuesday: Filling in Our Find-A-Grave Entries

Sunday afternoon I was reading Susan Petersen’s post on her Long Lost Relatives blog about how to make the most use of Find-A-Grave. ¬†It’s a useful article and while I do most of what she discusses, as I read it, I was inspired to create the memorial for my grandmother that just passed away on Mother’s Day.

So, I went ahead and created hers, then realized I did not have memorials for her mother, nor three of her brothers Рall have predeceased her.  I was busy Sunday afternoon creating them, then linking the family together.

Now, she and all her brothers are there and linked to their parents, Abraham Lincoln McNair Sr. and Martha Jane Walker McNair and each has pictures added.

I am so glad I’ve done this. ¬† I have more family members to add of course, but it was important that I do her family cluster right away. ¬†With her passing, all of their children have now died.

Part II – There is another part I need to add onto my original post. ¬†I wrote this Sunday, but Monday morning when I logged onto my email I had another tombstone treasure — someone was nice enough to send me a picture of my 2nd great-grandmother’s headstone that he’d taken! This is the headstone for Polly Hood Holloway. ¬†I was tickled pink!

 

I then went over to Find-A-Grave to see if she had a memorial and sure enough someone else had added it and an picture back in November.  See, Susan is right Рyou must go back to review regularly! Thank you Susan for the inspiration.

Rest in Peace Grandma

Sadly, ¬†yesterday morning, Mother’s Day, my maternal grandmother, Alice Elizabeth McNair Robinson, passed away.¬†She was 86 years old. ¬† Affected by Alzheimers these past several years, she fell ill a few weeks ago from an infection and never fully recovered. ¬†She was the last one of all her parent’s children and my last biological grandparent.

Alice is truly the inspiration for my family research. ¬†While the grave of my father’s grandfather Barfield was my initial hook into wanting to know my family; Alice was very much my line and sinker. :-). ¬†Alice always knew what was going on with her many family members and always kept in touch with everyone. ¬†I was fortunate enough to have learned many details from her one day when I was in college from an oral interview I conducted and when I picked up genealogy in 2006, ¬†my notes from that interview were the basis of my family tree. ¬† From there, I began to actively seek out additional sources, information, and family members.

I have to share an amazing story though. ¬†My mother often said that Grandma would find a cousin wherever she went. She was naturally outgoing, so would talk to people all the time and invariably find some connection. ¬† Grandma passed away at 5am EST, but I had a Grandma “moment” yesterday afternoon that I undoubtedly know was her doing.

I am in DC right now on a business trip. The hotel agent who checked me in had excellent customer service skills. ¬†I was impressed by it, ¬†so planned on letting management know and I wanted to be sure I had her name. ¬†I did a double-take when I saw that her last name was McNair, same as my grandmother’s maiden name! ¬†It’s hard for me to pass up the opportunity to ask about a surname I know, so I asked her about it and it turns out her husband’s family is also from NC; as my own McNair ancestors and cousins. We spoke for awhile and she indicated that his family was related to football player Steve McNair. ¬†I’ve heard from extended cousins that we are also, though right now I don’t know exactly how. ¬†If true, I came all the way to DC and found a cousin – a total Grandma moment indeed.

Rest in peace Grandma. We love you and miss you and I will do my best to fill your family history shoes.

Our House on Wilson Street

I’ve learned a new vocabulary term this week – “heir house.” Never heard of it before, but this has been my opportunity to learn. Let me explain.

Yesterday I learned from my mother that her grandparents house at 502 Wilson Street in Plymouth (Washington County), NC is up for consideration to be turned over to the city of Plymouth. Our cousin who used to maintain it is really not able to anymore and he approached the city to see if they would be interested in it. The house sits on property right next to a ball park and they could use the land. We are not yet sure how things will develop, but we will continue to work through it. The house is in such bad shape that I think the best thing would be to turn it over to the city.

My great-grandparents bought the house March 14, 1945 for $400 from a family in nearby Martin County. This is an early view of the home:

My great-grandmother Martha in front of it in 1959

My cousin Lawrence McNair on the front porch just recently

And, a picture of the house. You can see how rundown it is

Seeing the pictures of the house has me feeling so nostalgic in a sense. I’ve only ever been to Plymouth once (at 9 months old), but Plymouth has a special place in my heart. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I really need to plan a trip out there…

I have a copy of their original deed somewhere and could not find it – however, the lawyer handling this process sent me a copy so I now have another one.

502 Wilson Street Deed

Ronald E. McNair A Cousin?

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Explosion, and upon that shuttle was astronaut Ronald Erwin McNair.

Ronald E. McNair - 1971 Senior Yearbook Photo - A&T University, North Carolina

Family lore has that he is related to us — my maternal grandmother is a McNair from Washington County, North Carolina. ¬†As yet I’ve not further explored this potential connection. ¬†On my ever-increasing to-do list is to further explore and find out if this is true. ¬†R.I.P. Ronald.

Our McNair Family History is on the Books

A few weeks ago I had a chance to see in person the book,  Edgecombe County Heritage, North Carolina, 1735-2009.  I was thrilled to see in print my contribution to the book that I submitted in 2008.

I contributed an article on my McNair ancestry, going back to my 3rd-great grandfather Rufus Tannahill McNair and his wife, Mariah Wimberly McNair.
I did not photocopy the pages; instead I took a digital picture, but I do want to go back later and get the physical copy.

I am very glad I contributed this information for 50, 75, 100 years from now, hopefully additional descendants will come across the information I share. ¬†I do see that the publishing company messed up my 4th great-grandfather’s name the first time it is mentioned (Allen Wimberly), but as I mention him again a couple of lines down, hopefully a smart reader will figure it out. ¬†I also included a picture of my great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln McNair, with my submission and several references.

I am ecstatic! ūüôā ¬†And though I didn’t submit this one, there is also a brief bio of Mariah’s brother, Dred Wimberly in the book too.

At least I know that some of my research will continue on in print format.

RIP Jassmine McNair

On November 26, 2010, my 5th cousin, Jassmine McNair (b. 1990), was killed in an automobile accident.    I have never met her, but soon after learning the news from a family member,  I could not help but feel sadness and loss.  We share 3rd great-grandparents РRufus McNair & Mariah Wimberly of Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina.

Jassmine and daughter Kamerin

Jassmine will be missed sorely by her family and friends and my thoughts are with the family in this challenging time.   It is a tragedy that you were taken so young in life, but your memory will not be forgotten.  RIP with our ancestors.

Rufus McNair Cemetery

Thanks to the generosity of another researcher with family ties to Washington County, NC, I now have pictures of one of the most important cemeteries in my family research. ¬†The cemetery is the Rufus McNair Cemetery of Plymouth, North Carolina. ¬†I first learned of this cemetery in 2006 and was thrilled then to know of it. ¬† Rufus Tannahill McNair is my 3rd great-grandfather and I’ve posted about him several times.

I received the pictures this evening after getting home and I cried. ¬†I cried because I’ve been looking at the names of those buried here on a piece of paper for 4 years (the local gen society county cemetery transcription book). ¬†From that record, I knew that almost everyone in the cemetery is related to me. ¬†But, it was a moving experience to now see their headstones.

Rufus McNair & Mariah Wimberly McNair monument

While I was happy to see the headstone for my ancestor, Rufus & Mariah,  the one that made me cry the most was that of John Lee Boone.  He is a cousin of mine who passed away in January and I do regret that I was not able to meet him before he passed.  I did have an at-length phone conversation with him once about the McNair family history.  He was the last of the five McNair family members who started the annual McNair Family Reunion that is held during Memorial Day Weekend.

This year is the 40th year of the reunion, dedicated to John Lee’s memory, ¬†and I am planning to attend. ¬†I’ve been to Plymouth one time, I was 9 months old, and a visit to my grandmother’s hometown is long overdue. ¬†Especially after getting these photos; I need to physically visit these grounds. ¬†And, I’m eager to meet my extended McNair Family.

You can view all the cemetery photos in the NCGenWeb Cemetery Gallery.