Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day Tribute: Honoring My Look-Alike and Others’ Service in World War I

John Wesley Davis & Jessie Franklin Davis - This picture was taken shortly before they were drafted to serve in World War I.

When I first posted this picture of my great-uncles, John Wesley Davis and Jessie Franklin Davis of Panola County, Mississippi (L to R), a number of people, including family members, remarked that I bear a strong resemblance to Uncle John Wesley. I see some resemblance, but I wasn’t surprised by their observation. I am known to bear a strong resemblance to other members of my maternal grandmother’s family.

Nonetheless, for Veterans Day this year, on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, I also pay homage to them, who were both World War I veterans. Born on 13 December 1893 and 22 February 1896, respectively, near Como, Mississippi, Uncles John Wesley and Jessie were the first two children born to my great-grandparents, John Hector Davis & Mary Danner Davis. My grandmother, Minnie Davis Reed, was the youngest of their nine children. Great-Grandpa John had four additional children.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

25 Do’s and Don’ts of DNA

I first wrote this in January 2015 with 20 tips. Advancements in DNA technology and more DNA options have surfaced since then, making it necessary for me to update this blog post. Keep in mind, the comical yet serious tone of this post reflects my love for DNA technology. Maybe “addiction” or fanatic is a better word. I don’t desire any professional help for this. Also, these 25 tips are my perspectives. Of course, adoptees are exempt. You don’t have to agree with some of these. However, a written lecture on why I should be thinking the way you do about some of these dos and don’ts may get ignored. You’ve been forewarned. Well, here goes again ……

(1) Please do not take any DNA test without first trying to put together your family tree. DNA test-takers need to have started working on their family tree before jumping to DNA. DNA alone will not magically generate your family tree for you. I’m actually glad it doesn’t because researching is fun. Genealogy research + DNA technology = An Indelible Marriage.

(2) After you get your DNA results from either AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), or etc., some of your DNA matches may send you a message. Please respond. Also, if you took the 23andMe test, please accept invitations to share ancestry reports. It’s your choice if you want strangers to also see your health reports. To ignore someone’s message is just rude and disrespectful, in my opinion. The “I Don’t Have Time” excuse will likely fall on deaf ears. Utilizing DNA to uncover family histories and to solve family mysteries is a serious matter for many. If you are not interested in communicating with DNA matches, think about opting out of making yourself visible. We don’t need to see your name and be reminded how rude you are being by not responding, especially if we share a lot of DNA.