Louisa “Lue” Bobo Danner
1842 – 1921
By now, many can probably tell from my recent blog postings, Grandma Was Right! and That DNA is Something Else!, that I am truly fascinated by the advances in DNA technology. I am awestruck how DNA can detect if someone is as distant of a relative as sixth cousins. I have often heard that after third or fourth cousins, the “blood link” is not there anymore. I facetiously express that this has been an erroneous rationale used by many who have considered “having relations” with someone they heard was a distant relative. However, as I have shown in That DNA is Something Else!, DNA can even detect if two people may descend from the same fifth-great-grandparents. Therefore, the “blood link” is there, indeed.
Today, I logged into my 23andMe account to see if my number of “DNA cousins” in my Relative Finder database had increased. Indeed, it had. Last week, it had increased to 244 people. Today, I now have 247 people. To my sheer delight, I immediately noticed that one of my new “DNA cousins” was a close cousin – Orien Reid Nix of Philadelphia, PA. She made her profile public, which enabled me and others to see her name, her picture, and the surnames she listed in her profile. I was beyond thrilled. Cousin Orien is one of my favorite cousins, and I had no idea that she also had recently taken 23andMe’s DNA test. She surprised me! Cousin Orien and I have been in touch since 1998, the year I received an e-mail message from her stating that she was the granddaughter of Laura Danner; she had seen one of my Internet posts about the Danner name. Not long after that, she flew to Memphis, TN to meet me and other family members.
The first woman to ever hold the position as Chair of the National Board of Directors of the Alzheimer's Association and a retired Philadelphia consumer news reporter, Cousin Orien is the granddaughter of Laura Danner Reid, a sister of my mother’s grandmother, Mary Danner Davis. They were the daughters of ex-Civil War soldier Edward Danner and Louisa Bobo Danner, my great-great-grandparents and her great-grandparents of Panola County (Como), Mississippi. This made Cousin Orien my second cousin – once removed. Based on genealogy research, I also strongly speculate that her great-grandfather, Robert Reid of Chickasaw County (Houston), Mississippi (born c. 1844), was a cousin to my great-grandfather, William “Bill” Reed of Tate County (Senatobia), Mississippi (1846-1937). I’ve traced both of our Reed/Reid histories to the same slave-holding Reid Family of Abbeville County, South Carolina. The fascinating saga of Grandpa Bill Reed’s stories is told in 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended.
The Danner Sisters – left to right, Great-Grandma Mary Danner Davis (1867 – 1932), Francis Danner Howard (1869 – 1951), Laura Danner Reid (Orien’s grandmother, 1871 – 1955), and Madam Mattie Danner Hockenhull (1873 – 1937). They also had 6 brothers, Jim, Mack, Alfred, Alexander, Phillip Isaiah, and Edward Jr.
According to 23andMe, Cousin Orien and I share 2.48% DNA across 9 chromosome segments (186 cM). As of April 25, 2012, she is now the closest relative in my database. The average amount of DNA sharing for second cousins-once removed (when a person’s great-grandparents are another’s great-great-grandparents) is 1.563%. A complete DNA sharing chart can be seen here. We share above average DNA for second cousins-once removed. Perhaps, a possible double connection may explain our numbers? Well, a poster in the “23andMe Community” forum shared that she know of two people, who are also second cousins-once removed, who share 2.63% DNA across 9 segments, which are very close to our numbers. Therefore, our above average numbers are not necessarily proof that we are indeed double related. Nevertheless, seeing how much DNA we share, in conjunction with our already-close relationship, I am thrilled that she took the test! Hopefully, this post will inspire more of my known (and unknown) relatives to take 23andMe’s DNA test, too.
Cousin Orien (right) at the 2007 Danner Family Reunion in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, Charlie, and daughter, Traci
For an interesting story about Mattie Danner Hockenhull, who ran her own beauty palor in Pine Bluff, Arkansas during the early 1900s and who established her own line of beauty products, see Angela Walton-Raji’s post, The Search For and Discovery of Madam Martha Danner Hockenhull.