Bringing the Number Of Our Ancestors Into Perspective

Have you ever stopped and thought about how many ancestors you have in a given generation? As we go back each generation, the number of our ancestors double, becoming an astoundingly large number. Take a look at the following table I put together to get a picture of how fortunate we are to be alive. The table includes an estimated year in which our ancestors were living. Can you imagine the sequence of events and chance meetings that had to take place in order for our parents to meet and give birth to us?

* This table is based on the assumptions that you are 30 years old, no incest took place in the family, and a new generation was produced every 30 years. The first generation starts with you.

Generation No. of Parents/Ancestors Est. Year
1 (You) 2 1985
2 4 1955
3 8 1925
4 16 1895
5 32 1865
6 64 1835
7 128 1805
8 256 1775
9 512 1745
10 1,024 1715
11 2,048 1685
12 4,096 1655
13 8,192 1625
14 16,384 1595
15 32,768 1565
16 65,536 1535
17 131,072 1505
18 262,144 1475
19 524,288 1445
20 1,048,576 1415

Understanding DNA Testing for Genealogy Research

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Dewayne Jackson your host. In this presentation I’ll help you understand DNA Testing for Genealogy Research. Lately there has been a lot of discussion about this topic.

You may recall that this method of research is often referred to a Genetic Genealogy.

In 20012 Rachel Swarns of the New York Times wrote an article called, “Meet Your Cousin, the First Lady: A Family Story, Long Hidden. This article described the family connection between Michelle Obama and Joan Tribble, a white lady and retired bookkeeper from Atlanta, Georgia. [Read more...]

Great Scott! DNA cousin in Scotland

Playing BagpipeI recently received a very unexpected DNA match to a “predicted” 4th cousin that lives in Scotland. He is unaware of any ancestors leaving his native country after 1800. We are starting to collaborate to see how we are related but despite the fact that this mystery will not be solved anytime soon, it is exciting to find a piece of my family tree puzzle.

Last year I took FamilyTreeDNA’s Family Finder test and was very pleased with the results. Unlike tests that only check direct maternal or paternal lineage, this test examines DNA from all 16 of your great grandparents. Results provides matches to living relatives from 5 generations of your family. Family Finder also provides a percentage breakdown of your ancestral population from 7 possible groups: Africa, America, East Asia, Europe, Middle Eastern, Oceania, and South Asia.

Along with my African – Yoruba ancestry, The Population Finder revealed that I had European ancestry, of which I was already aware. However, the test did not stop at that broad category but pinpointed Orcadian, Orkney Islands, as well as several other European populations: French, Finnish, and Russian. The Orkney islands are a part of northern Scotland. [Read more...]

To Liberia and back

Liberian Grand March Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, was recently in the news discussing his real estate investments in Liberia. He has built a luxury resort that is providing opportunity for careers and much needed revenue. Johnson is also encouraging African Americans to learn the mutual history of Liberia and the United States. I am proud to say that I am aware of the shared history between our two countries due to family ties. After years trying to track down the descendants of 112 African Americans who left Lowndes county, Georgia in 1871 and 1872, I had the opportunity to meet them in Atlanta. The event was an annual convention hosted by descendants who are members of  Arthington Reconstruction Development Association, an organization of Liberian Americans determined to rebuild their city which was devastated by civil unrest that began in 1980.

My search for these descendants started in  [Read more...]

Genealogy- How to Get Started

Introduction | Surnames | DNA Test Results | Profile | Resources

Genealogy- How to Get StartedPick a starting point

When starting your genealogy research, decide which side of your family (Surname) you want to start with. The best one will probably be the surname that is closest to you geographically, and the one which you have most contact with. For instance if you live in south Georgia and all of your mom’s family are from the same area, but your dad’s family are from California, start with your Mom’s family first.

Get Organized

From the beginning of your search, be organized. Buy several notebooks, tablets, page dividers, and sheet protectors. Whenever records are found  for a surname in your family, place them in a designated notebook. Keeping a journal of your research efforts will be extremely helpful. In your journal keep a list of who you have talked to, places where you have visited, your thoughts on resources, and reminders. Evernote is a great online and mobile way to keep notes wherever you go.

[Read more...]