Growing my roots:

Interlocked and Interwoven by common ancestry & DNA

An image is worth…

I have genealogy photo envy. I admit it. It is not a begrudging envy of those with photos of their ancestors. It is a longing envy; a longing to have photos of my own ancestors. Hell, I don’t have any of my mom and only two of my dad.  My mom, as probably discussed in an earlier post, thought if someone captured your image they could do magical, often bad, things to you. Therefore, she hated taking pictures. Even me and my maternal siblings don’t really have pictures of ourselves as babies and children either. This may stem from her Mississippi Delta upbringing where I have read was the birthplace of hoodoo, a form a voodoo. I can’t speak much of hoodoo or voodoo, because I do not know the particulars and only found out recently that the difference between the two was not just in spelling. And my dad…I did not grow up knowing him, so that is why I have no pictures of him.

I would love to add a picture with every post. A picture would go well with when I write about my grandmother Fannie Mae Pearl-Shorter or when I write about my great grandfather’s Ben Moorehead’s (Mohead/Morehead) corner store in Leflore county, Mississippi, from the 1930s–which was something special for a black person in that era. I also wish I could place a name to the face of my great great grandfather Whylie Wilson, who I speculate gained his freedom when he was 16, which was 26 years before emancipation. More than anything, I wish I had more photos of my mom and my dad, Irene “Punch” Virginia Roberson and James “Jerry” Vernon Louie.

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December 8, 2013 Posted by | Dad, Mom | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was Effie’s Delta blue?

cropped-ew.jpg

Effie Wilson was my great grandmother. She was born in about 1875 and spent most of her life in the counties of Claiborne and Jefferson, MS, in the Delta.  In 1920, she had 10 living children. They were Nancy, Willie, Lillie, Rachel, RT, Ibby/Abby, and Esther (later in life she would go by Estelle). They were all fathered by Willie Shorter. Her other children, Mariah, Frankie, and Fannie (my grandmother) were all fathered by Howard Pearl. Effie’s mother  was Abby/Ibby Tilgman and Whylie Wilson, and her siblings were Wiley, Thomas, Robert, Whylie, Bettie,  Jane, Henry, Lucy, Ibbie, Ida, Ollie, and  Charley.

Effie, born a Wilson, became a Shorter, then a Pearl, a Shorter again, and a Smith (via Robert Smith). There may have been some other name changes along the way. Following Effie through the decades on the census was interesting. I always knew when I had found her because she was always with her kids. She had enough of them with her for me to know that I had the right person. In a few censuses, her mom was with her.

I have not heard any oral stories about Effie. In fact I did not know her name until I was 26. I have one picture of her, which I also saw when I was 26.  Effie, you have not been forgotten. I hope your life was filled with joy and laughter.

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Reconnecting, The journey, Wilson | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Broken branches

I started my genealogy journey barely with grandparents’ names on one side.  My mom was from Shelby, Mississippi. She had come here in the late 60s, estranged from her then husband and already with 9 kids. (She would in the end have 12; I am the youngest.)  She never talked much about her family. A few times, I would remember her talking with my grandmother, who still lived in Shelby. My grandfather used to visit quite a bit as well. She would mention colorful names, when speaking with my grandmother, like Sonny Boy, Pumpkin, Sidda Baby, Sug (as in Sugar), and Red. Later, I would learn that she was known as Punch and not many called her by her given name.

My grandfather went missing when traveling from Mississippi to Chicago to visit my mom when  I was four. He may have been in the first stages of Alzheimer’s. My grandmother died when I was 12. The last time that I saw her I was a lot younger than that. When I was ten or so, we discovered that we had been living just a block away from my mother’s nephew and his family.

The assumption among my siblings and I was that my mom had lost contact with her family in Mississippi, especially after the loss of her parents. Even after discovering her nephew lived so close, we still thought that she was not in contact with them. I discovered that she was always in contact with someone from her hometown or some who came from her hometown when I placed an ad in the Shelby, Mississippi newspaper. It was my attempt to claim information that my mother said she did not have. It was information on her grandparents. Well, within less the week, my email box was flooded with not-so-distant relatives. I was told that my mother spoke with someone at least once a week and that she often visited. They gave me loads of information. My mother later corroborated this information and had a few pictures.

I have my suspicions on why my mother was so secretive. I will address those assumptions in another post.

September 7, 2013 Posted by | The journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in the blood?

I started researching my family in 2012. I am one of twelve siblings on my mom’s side and one of seven on my dad’s side. I grew up only knowing my maternal siblings. I did not interact with extended family, alhough my mother hails from a big family from Shelby, Missississippi. My father hails from Lexington, Missississippi. The last that I saw him, I was five. My parents are both deceased now.

Here is my direct line lineage surnames and places:

Maternal: Wilson, Roberson, Pearl, Shorter, Tilman/Tilgman, Roberson, Robinson from the Mississippi counties of Bolivar, Claiborne, Leflore, and Jefferson

Paternal: Louie, Mohead/Morehead, Lott, Holman, and possibly Willis, Davis, and Howard. They are from the Mississippi counties of Holmes, Leflore, and Carroll.

Below are the results from a few DNA that myself and siblings have taken. It is what makes us us.

Shirese (me)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L3f1b3

Paternal haplogroup: R-M269/R-U106/R-Z306/R1b1a2a1a1a3a1(brother tested)

ShireseCrop

Ancestry.com DNA

Maternal haplogroup: does not offer

Paternal haplogroup: does not offer

SLAncestry

Juvelle (paternal half brother)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L1b1a

Paternal haplogroup: R-M269/R-U106/R-Z306/R1b1a2a1a1a3a1

JL

Ancestry.com DNA

JLAncestry

Brenda (matenal half sister)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L3f1b3

bp

Lynn (matenal half sister)

23andMe

RLR

Ruth (matenal half sister)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L3f1b3

GM

Ruby (matenal half sister)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L3f1b3

RJW

Mildred (matenal half sister)

23andMe

Maternal haplogroup: L3f1b3

Mb

September 25, 2012 Posted by | DNA results | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment