Saturday, December 29, 2012

What's Ahead In 2013?


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I came across this image today and instantly identified with the expression on this woman's face. It's like she's saying with attitude no less, "Do you think, I know where I'm going?"

There are times that when I am writing on my blog, that I feel like this woman. People write so many wonderful comments and cheer me on along my genealogy journey and sometimes I feel like whispering, "Psssp...You know...I don't really know what I'm doing." Now of course I know that isn't exactly true. I have been able to find out an incredible amount of information over almost three and a half years of digging up roots and a year and a half of blogging. That didn't happen by accident. It took time and patience. I had to learn how to do research. (Believe you me, I still have a lot of learning to do.) But now that I am here, what's next? What's ahead for 2013?


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More digging of course! 

Currently, I am researching my Ellison family line and I plan on sharing more of my findings shortly. I am really excited by this branch of the family tree because it has taken me to a new place, Greene County, NC. I don't know much about this county so I will be doing a lot of reading in the next couple of months to get a sense of what it was like there prior to the start of the Civil War.

Image courtesy of  "sheelamohan"  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More DNA testing!

That's right another DNA test is in the cards. (And yes, that is me chuckling to myself in the background.) That whole thing with 23andme doing the $99 sale in December got me hooked again. My problem is that I just can't say no to a sale. Oh well, I guess there are worse thinks to be addicted to than DNA testing. I ordered a test for my husband too. His ancestry is Irish and English. I have to say that I am a bit curious to see if there are any surprises waiting to be discovered in his genes. Also, wouldn't it be interesting to find out if perhaps we are distantly related?


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Lastly, I hope that this year will bring forth even more cousin connections. Blogging has been an absolute blessing for me in this regard. To all my readers, wishing you peace, love, and happiness for the New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Christmas Elf

My sweet little Christmas elf.

Her dear aunt bought her this dress to wear Christmas day. Guess what she did? First thing Christmas morning she woke up, put her dress and hat on all by herself and went into MommyDaddy's room. (That's what she calls our bedroom.) She whispered, "Mom, It's Christmas." I told her, "Yes sweetie, It is."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Have a Merry Christmas!
Enjoy a peaceful holiday with your friends and family.




Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Very Special Message

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I came across this clip just this morning. It is from episode 3.14 of The Muppet Show and was featured in the documentary Sing Your Song, a film that tells the story of Harry Belafonte's life. This is a case when something found me at just the right time for me to fully understand and appreciate it's message. The song Mr. Belafonte sings here, reminds me of something Oprah Winfrey said during the closing episode of her daytime talk show.


"I've talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: 'Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?"

So with so much craziness happening in the world as of late, I think perhaps we should all take a moment and acknowledge the people in our lives. Do you see them? Do you hear them? Does what they have to say mean anything to you?"





Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Caroling: O' Holy Night


I am happy to be participating in Blog Caroling again. This a wonderful Christmas tradition created by Footnote Maven. If you are not familiar with Footnote Maven's blog, here is the link: http://www.footnotemaven.com/

O'Holy Night continues to be one of my favorite Christmas Carols. Last year, I featured a version done by Patti Labelle on this blog. Still love, love, love Patti's take on the song but I wanted to share a version that I stumbled across on YouTube by Traci Chapman. Feel free to sing along. 


O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear saviors birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees
O hear the angels voices
O night divine
O night when christ was born
O night divine, o night
O night divine

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees
O hear the angels voices
O night divine
O night when christ was born
O night divine, o night
O night divine


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part two

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If you missed my last post, here's the link: Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part one

So what on earth is going on with this DNA? If mom's DNA shows French and Romanian ancestry, why didn't that show up in my test results with AncestryDNA? 

Since my mother took her test through FamilyTreeDNA, I thought it would be logical for me to take another DNA test using the same company that she used. Thankfully, FamilyTreeDNA ran a sale in November that made springing for the cost of a new test less painful. The cost of $199.00 still hurt though. I placed my order on November 14th. The company already had my DNA on file from when I took my MtDNA test, so I did not have to re-swab. I received email notification that my information was in on December 4th. Woohoo! Results returned to me in just under three weeks. Drum roll, please!




My Results:
30.69% Europe (French, Orcadian, Romanian)
69.31%  West African (Yoruba)

So let's compare my results to my mother's.



My Mom's Results:

31.23% Europe (French, Romanian)
68.77% West African (Yoruba Mandenka)


The word that jumped out at me from my results was the term Orcadian. I had never heard of this word before. I went to trusty Google on the computer and typed in Orcadian. Here's what I came across on Wikipedia.

Orcadians:  Orcadians, who reside primarily in Orkney, are the descendants of Iron Age Picts,[1][Notes 1] Norwegian Vikings and Scots. Because Orkney is a trading hub Orcadians are found all over the world.

Now my next thought was, where is this place called Orkney on the map? Again, back to Wikipedia.

Orkney (Scottish Gaelic: Arcaibh[1][2]) also known as the Orkney Islands (and sometimes "the Orkneys", a name which locals disparage),[Notes 1] is an archipelago in northern Scotland, 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the coast of Caithness. Orkney comprises approximately 70 islands of which 20 are inhabited.[4][5] The largest island, known as the "Mainland" has an area of 523.25 square kilometres (202.03 sq mi) making it the sixth largest Scottish island[6] and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall.[7]

File:Orkney Islands in Scotland.svg
Orkney Islands in Scotland are highlighted red.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. 


Aha! I get it now. My interpretation of this is that FamilyTreeDNA is using the term Orcadian to refer to ancestry coming from the British Isles. After reviewing their website, I found a section which explained what subgroups and populations for continental groups were used for the FamilyFinder test and it would seem I may be onto something with this interpretation. For European Ancestry it is split as follows:
                                                  Representative Populations  
                                                    
North East European:               Finnish and Russian
South East European:               Romanian
Southern European:                  Italian, Sardinian, and Tuscan
Western European:                Basque, French, Oracadian(Orkney  
                                                   Islands) and Spain

Since Oracadian didn't show up in my mother's test results I will gleam from this that this portion of my genetics comes from my father. It's interesting to compare my test results between AncestryDNA and Family Finder from FamilyTreeDNA

AncestryDNA:                                       FamilyTreeDNA:
West African 70% :                              West African 69.31%
Finnish/Volga-Ural 11%                        French, Orcadian, Romanian          
British Isles 10%                                   30.69% (no percentage                   
Scandinavian 7%                                                   breakdown provided for                                     
Uncertain 2%                                        each ethnicity)

Both companies do note that results will change over time as more data is gathered in their databases. I look forward to seeing what the future may bring in terms of bringing me more clarity on what my genetic make up is.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Taking Another Look At My DNA (Because I Can't Help Myself) --Part one

Image courtesy of  "dream designs" / Free Digital Photos.net


I have to share with you guys that this whole DNA thing has sparked some of my family members curiosity.  Back at the end of June, when I shared with my mom the results of my admixture test that I received through AncestryDNA she was quite intrigued to find out what my genetic breakdown was. I shared my findings in the following post: The Results: I'm What?!! As a recap, here's what I found out.

West African   70%
Finnish Volga-Ural   11%
British Isles   10%
Scandinavian   7%
Uncertain  2%

I could see it in my mother's eyes that she was thinking about taking a test herself. Then finally on July 1st, when my mom, brother, and I were hanging out around my dining room table and chatting about my results again, she finally said "Hey, I want to do that!" Within a few minutes, we were online ordering a Family Finder test kit from FamilyTreeDNA. Within a couple of days, the test kit arrived. She swabbed and mailed off her sample immediately. We received email confirmation that the test had arrived at the lab on July 10th and exactly one month later her results were in.

Here are her results:



31.23% Europe (French, Romanian)
68.77% Africa (Yoruba Mandenka)

Okay, West African roots no surprise here but hold on one gosh darn minute. What's this French and Romanian stuff all about? Again, another test and now more questions. With my mother showing 31.23% of her genetic make-up being French and Romanian, wouldn't some of this show up in my results? Could this simply be attributed to that I take more after my father genetically than my mother? 

Tune in tomorrow folks for the next episode of  "What on earth is going on with this DNA?"



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: My Brother's Kindergarten Graduation

Today was my brother's birthday and so in his honor I thought it would be nice to highlight him in pictures. These are photos from my brother's kindergarten graduation from June 1972. He looks so adorable here. It must have been truly special for my Grandpa Lemuel that day because he was celebrating the graduation of his youngest child from kindergarten as well as his grandson's.


Yeah, I look good.



My parents and my brother David.

 Grandpa Lemuel Harrison (my mother's father), Grandma Ethel Murrell (my father's mother),
 and the graduate.

The graduates --my brother and his aunt Wanda.

My dad, his mom and David.


My aunt Janice (my father's sister) with my brother.



What a handsome young man!

Mom, my brother and me. What? You can't see me? I'm there. Safely in my mom's belly :)