Growing my roots:

Interlocked and Interwoven by common ancestry & DNA

The story of Anderson and Malinda

The last post I wrote was written in a 2AM haste. Here is a more concise account of the life of my second great grandparents, Anderson and Malinda. To see the only photos I have of them, please refer to this post.

Eating watermelon on Paw Anderson and Mama Linda’s Farm

Anderson was born in Lexington, Holmes, Mississippi to a slave named Virginia and a white slavemaster named Samuel Moore in 1862. In the 1870 census, Anderson Moore, age 8, is living in a house with Richard Moore, age 9. I highly suspect that this was my Anderson living with a possible brother. Why they were alone with no adults is a mystery, but 40 pages away on the census are Samuel Moore with his family, and Virginia with her other children (both older and younger than Anderson and Richard) are three houses away.

Malinda Baker was born a slave in 1864 to Jacob and Amanda Baker. In the 1870 census, her family lived a few houses away from Anderson’s mother. Anderson and Malinda had planned to wed later but Malinda’s pregnancy at 16 with Mamie (my great grandmother) forced 20-year-old Anderson to marry her earlier. His will would suggest, although Anderson had some fidelity issues, that Malinda was the love of his life.

The next we see of Anderson and Malinda is in 1910. Per my aunts and newly found cousin, Anderson’s father left him some land that Anderson allowed his family (children, brothers, and sisters) to live on rent free as long as they kept it up. Sadly, I did not see Richard. In every census from 1910 to 1930, Anderson and Malinda are living with a revolving door of children. I am told that they were always willing to take in a niece or nephew when a family member couldn’t take care of them from time to time. There were also what my aunts called “outside” kids. Anderson had a few kids outside his marriage that Malinda demanded he take care. When Malinda got wind of them, Anderson was forced to sleep in the barn for three months.

I am not sure if this was before or after the birth of Oscar, Let me back up a bit. Anderson and Malinda’s kids were (in order of birth) Mamie (my great grandmother), Jacob, Sue Hallie, Telitha, Olivia, Ora, Occie and Obbie (twin girls), Benonia, and Charley. And although, the “outside” kids and nieces and nephews were always welcomed to stay with Anderson and Malinda, they usually went home to their mothers. These three who were raised by Anderson and Malinda together were George (Anderson’s sister Dollie’s son), Harvey Alexander, and Oscar (the youngest). Harvey and Oscar were both from affairs that Anderson had. Another family story is that Oscar’s mother was dying after giving birth to him. She sent for Malinda and asked her to raise him. So, since birth, Malinda regarded Oscar as her youngest baby and Oscar, although he knew his biological mother was not Malinda, regarded Malinda as his mother.

In 1909, tragedy struck:

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Now, my aunts swear up and down that one of Anderson and Malinda’s daughter’s husbands (not my great grandpa) somehow framed George and that Anderson believed the son-in-law did it, but he did not want his grandkids to grow up without a father and for his daughter to be on her own. My aunts said this was known throughout the family. He did try to help George. I am not sure what became of George, but he is mentioned again in Anderson’s will that is still to come.

Anderson died in 1939. I found his will on Ancestry. He wrote it like a man who knew he was dying. He confessed his love for Malinda, which I thought was sweet, and gave her everything upon his death. Anderson stated in his will that upon Malinda’s death, which was in 1943, the children would each be given equal shares of his land, but George would be given a $1. Now, I cannot decipher if he was trolling George for killing Jacob or if George was jailed and much more would have done him no good. (I am not sure how much he really believed George was innocent and the son-in-law was guilty.) One dollar in 1939 was worth $17.25. Oscar had made some money in Chicago and would eventually buy everyone’s land. The farm is still with Oscar’s  direct descendants this day.

There will be a Moore Reunion in Chicago in August. Although I am from Chicago and only been gone for less than two years, I will not be able to attend. One of my aunts said that the last Moore Reunion she attended was in the late ’80s, and it was boring. I asked why. Her verbatim response was:

“Sunday morning they wanted us to get up early and go to Paw Anderson’s farm. Oscar’s grandson ran it. Anyway, they wanted us to go to Paw Anderson and Mama Linda’s farm and sit out in the hot Mississippi sun eating watermelon like some slaves. At that time, most of us had been to Paw Anderson’s farm many times growing up. Our grandparents hadn’t sold all the land to Oscar until most of us were teenagers, and even Uncle Oscar let us visit. So why the hell these bougie folks want to sit around like slaves eating watermelon on a farm in all that heat? I told D (another of my aunts whose identity has been concealed) let’s go home, and we went back to Saint Louis Sunday morning.”

I wavered on adding my aunt’s sentiments, but family is colorful. And her comments, though I do not agree, are beautifully bold and full of personality that a descendent one day will look back on and have a sense of her personality, hopefully, a chuckle. I heartily laughed.

I, for one, would love to see that farm and eat watermelon in the hot Mississippi sun on it.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Anderson Moore, Baker, Lexington, Holmes County, Mississippi, Malinda Baker, Moore | Leave a comment

Restoring My Moore Line: The Power in Using DNA for Genetic Genealogy

After a long hiatus, I am back (sort of).

If you have followed my blog in the past, I am sure you have read my ravings about how DNA testing can really enhance your genealogy research. You also have read my frustration with people who take these tests and focus on the most unhelpful part: the ethnicity estimates. These same people will see an unknown close relation and never wonder how they connect but bitch and moan about not having ethnicty results reflecting a particular group without understanding history, migration, and scientific affinity. Well, folks, you are selling yourselves short and wasting a 100 bucks if you never look back at your DNA matches and reach out to that unknown third cousin (and sometimes closer). Mapping a scientifically accurate genetic tree and speaking to relatives with information can tell you a lot more about who you came from than seeing a label on a screen.

Recently, DNA has restored a whole branch of my family that I have been searching for about fifteen years. Before ever taking a genetic genealogy test, I used oral history and whatever paper documentation that I could find. I did not grow up knowing extended family, and trying to get accurate information from them when I did make contact was very hard. They treated the information as if it was classified. For the longest time, I had my paternal great grandparents listed as Berry Louie (1884–1964) and Nora (1888-unknown). No matter how hard I tried, I could not figure out Nora’s maiden name. Let it be known, I was also doing genealogy on a fixed budget. (Genealogy can eventually be an expensive endeavor!) So, any money devoted to it had to be planned. Over the years, I would work on another line but always go back to Nora. Getting information on Berry was not much better. I remember thinking how easy my research would be if Allen, Berry’s brother, was my great grandfather because finding information on him seemed much easier. In 2013, I sent for my grandfather’s (John Louie; b. 1912–1968) original social security application. On these documents parents’ names are usually listed. I had sent for it before, but state agencies only release certain information such as parents’ names after a certain amount of time for living-persons’ privacy reasons. So, I did get the application but with black marker blotting out the parents’ names.

A year later, when the “wait” time was over, I re-sent for the document. When I received the application, it read father: Allen Louie Sr. (1879-1975) and mother: Mamie Louie (née Moore; 1886-unknown), it just listed their names and not the parenthetical.  This made me very excited, because there was a lot of information for Allen online: obituaries, census records, draft papers, etc. Once again, I was facing the same problem I had with Mamie that I had with Nora. Other than knowing that Mamie’s last name was Moore that was revealed off of Allen’s obituary, there was not much that I could find on her. Around the same time, my brother and I received a very close match on 23andMe. This young man had family from my father’s hometown of Lexington, MS. in Holmes county. He gave a few names and they were unrecognizable to me. The names I knew were unrecognizable to him. I tried encouragng him and letting him know that DNA is more solid evidence than surnames, but he was not having it. So, again, this line went cold.

In hindsight, I now see that I did not give Mamie the scrutiny that she deserved since finding out that it was she and not Nora who was my second great grandmother. I spent so much time trying to figure out Nora’s parentage (which I still do not know and is still important) and then having so much information streaming in on Allen, I was sort of confused about my bearings on the line. This was also during the time that my mom was extremely sick and I was nearing finishing up graduate school.  Things were in a state of flux.

Until four months ago, I really did not think too much about the line. Then, my brother and I received an “Extremely High Match” on AncestryDNA. I, honestly, was not excited. I have written high DNA matches before to receive no response, or, even worse, a disbelief in the scientific test that they had paid for. I really did not think this time would be any different. This match had a tree filled with folks from Lexington, MS. I wrote her, and a day later she had written back. She was very excited to hear from me. We exchanged information. She had not heard of my Louies or Collinses (my go to when discussing my Lexington branch). About three days later she wrote me and said she had looked at my tree and found the connection. Mamie Moore was the daughter of her great grandparents Anderson Moore (1862-1939) and Malinda Baker (1864-1943), making them my 2nd great grandparents. I looked at my tree and my saved census records and right next door to Anderson and Malinda are my great grandparents Allen and Mamie Louie. If I would have given Mamie the proper attention she deserved, I would have seen that Mamie was living right next door to a Moore and in a neighborhood filled with Moores. (Keep in mind, I am no beginner at this. So this was really a silly oversight.)

I called my paternal aunt whom I had not spoken to in 10 years or so. I needed information and wanted to explain that I am not doing anything nefarious with the family information and that it does not need to be guarded like it was in Fort Knox. She was surprisingly very chatty. She knew of Anderson and Malinda and their connection before I even began mentioning what I had found through the DNA connection or mentioning their names at all. I just said “I have been really thinking about Mamie’s parents, and.” Well, that was all I needed to say before she brought up Anderson’s farm and how he owned land.

Using certain tools available to those of us who use genetic genealogy in our research, I was able to reach out to other common matches sharing the exact same segment as me and my cousin to let them know how we are related. That is so much more rewarding than a label on a page.

(L to R) Anderson Moore (1862-1939); Malinda Baker Moore (1865-1943);(bottom) their gravesite.

DNA Kit Giveaway

Because I really think that DNA testing can open up a lot of doors that need to be opened about our past, I will once again offer to pay for (as I can afford) DNA tests for people who stumble upon my blog. There is a caveat this time.

I am looking for people who can prove that they truly think they descend from the following couples.

Whylie Wilson (abt 1833) and Abie/Ibby Tilgman (abt 1843) lived in the Mississippi counties of Claiborne and Jefferson

Effie Wilson (1872-1925) and Howard Pearl (abt 1862) lived in the Mississippi counties of Claiborne, Jefferson, and Bolivar.

Webb Roberson/Robinson (abt 1863) and Mariah Quarles (1868) lived in the Mississippi counties of Scott and Bolivar. Webb may have also had another wife by the name of Frances (abt 1870) Bolivar, MS

Willie Roberson/Robinson (abt 1900) Missisissippi counties of Scott and Bolivar, and Fannie Mae Pearl/Shorter/Washington (1906-1988) Mississippi counties of Claiborne, Leflore, and Bolivar

Ben Moorehead/Mohead (abt 1893) and Inez Lott (abt 1898) of the Mississippi counties of Carroll, Leflore, and Holmes

Gary/Gray Lott Sr. (abt 1838) and Francis Holman or Francis Turner (abt 1860) of Carroll county, MS

Esther  (abt 1839) and Sam Holman (abt 1812) of Carroll County, MS

Simon Theophilus Turner (1809-1891) and Martha Ann Eddins (1814-1892) of Denmark, TN, and Carroll County, MS

Mamie Moore (1886-) and Allen Louie Sr. (1879-1975) of Lexington, Holmes county, MS

Anderson Moore (1862-1939) and Malinda Baker (1864-1943) of Lexington, Holmes county, MS

John Louie (abt 1834) and Sarah/Sallie Collins/Collum (abt 1840) of Lexington, Holmes county, MS

You must email me at with a detailed message of whom you think you descend from and why. I am only able to offer a kit as I have the spare funds to do so.

June 18, 2017 Posted by | 23andme, ancestrydna, Baker, Collins, Dad, DNA results, Eddins, Holman, Lexington, Holmes County, Mississippi, Lott, Louie, Moore, Moorehead, Pearl, Quarles, Roberson, Turner, Wilson | 2 Comments