Monday, June 11, 2012

Madness Monday - One More Clue in the Search for a Great Grandmother

Actually clue is probably not the right term. It was more of a confirmation of my research.

My Great Grandmother, Fannie "Of the Many Names," is one of the main reasons I begin this journey way back when. In fact she's the reason that most of the relatives on my maternal grandmother's side of my family want to begin searching.

I've not talked or researched Grandma Fannie for quite a while. I was having success on other lines and frankly, I had run out of ideas with regard to Grandma Fannie. But since hitting the proverbial 1870 brick wall on my other lines and not having much success breaking through those walls, it's only natural that Grandma Fannie would start calling out to me, again.

So, what the clue that dropped into my lap. Well, if you remember back in 2009, when I first started blogging about my research, I unearthed a new cousin, whom mom and I affectionately call Little Irene, to distinguish her from her Grandmother (mom's first cousin), who was also Irene. Irene's great grandmother, Mattie Lou Henyard Martin was my grandmother's older half sister. Based on the 1900 and 1910 censuses, Mattie never lived in the house with my great grandparents, my grandmother and the rest of her siblings. However, both censuses indicated that my great grandmother had other children that were still living. Therefore, even though my Great Grandfather had been previously married, I concluded that Mattie was my Great Grandmother's child. To date, I've not been able to document my Great Grandmother prior to 1900 and Aunt Mattie, who was born abt 1885 and died 10 Oct 1918 has been even harder. So, my only hope bringing some type of confirmation to the theory of Mattie's parentage was DNA. While I had asked Cousin Irene, early on about doing DNA, it wasn't until this year that she was finally able to do it thanks to 23andme's  Roots to the Future program, which was aimed at getting more African Americans into their database.

When Little Irene's results came in I was ecstatic!

Her mtDNA was L3e1a3. Strange as this may sound, since beginning DNA testing, the only other folks that I've come across with this assignment are known relatives, my mother and my cousin Nicholas who descends from my grandmother's baby sister, Ossie. So based on research, and a recently rediscovered letter from Cousin Ovella, Little Irene's Grand Aunt, to my mother, it appears that the DNA backs up the research.

The second part of the testing with 23and me is the Relative Finder, which shows mom and Little Irene share 1.50%, 8 segments.

Even better, in less than a month, I will finally meet Little Irene. She plans to bring her Grand Aunt Evelyn's photo album. I'm hoping that between the two of us we can finally crack the case of our mysterious Grandma Fannie.

And yes, I'm officially back on the hunt, for the time being, for Miss Fannie "What's Her Name," also know as Fannie "Of the Many Names," aka my great grandmother.


  1. Wow! Exciting find. I'm glad 23 and me helped you find the information. I have found nobody that I can figure out on 23 and me. My three closest matches won't respond. One of them shares the same mtdna with my paternal aunt so i'm sure we could figure out the link. Again, congrats!

  2. Congrats Mavis, I recently had success with confirming some ancestors on my mother's paternal side thanks to 23andme.

  3. Wow, the DNA matching is exciting. Maybe one of these days my cousins and/or I will try it. Best luck on your continued hunt.

  4. briolivia@hotmail.comApril 22, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    How Cool! I have the same mtdna assignment by 23andme

  5. briolivia@hotmail.comApril 22, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    How cool! My mtdna assignment is the exact same through 23andme


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