11 January 2011

mtDNA Success Story at Family Tree DNA

Any DNA success story is a success for all of us! Each one shows us a way to use testing to help our brick walls. Each step in discovering how we can test to get beyond those blocked paper trails is one for our side: Score one for the genealogists!

Thank you Joy for your story...


My genealogy interest began in my single-digit years. Grandpapa Eldred Lowe would come from the island of Abaco, Bahamas to the capital city Nassau on business. He stayed with us. After supper my parents sat with him to relax and converse. I’d hide behind the sofa, shy and out of sight, to listen. Even though I did not know the persons they spoke of, the fact that they were our family intrigued me.

In my teen years, I visited Abaco and met our family. I liked them, and wanted to learn more. Life opened a distant trail to me. After marriage to an Oregonian, there I transplanted. The move in 1964 motivated the start of a paper collection of my people in the Bahamas. Dad lived 90 years, sharp to the end. After mother died, I began to record the historical family stories that poured from him. The collection grew to an enjoyable hobby for a senior—genealogy and writing dad’s family stories for our grandchildren.

A genealogy program on the computer manages the data, while the internet links the Bahamas Genealogy Group researchers. Here I learned of the Bahamas DNA Project. Peter J. Roberts is the volunteer leader. I wrote to Peter, provided my maternal ancestry for four generations, then an unknown blank, a mother who had lived in Abaco, Bahamas about 1800.

For Christmas 2006, I gave myself the gift of doing the mtDNA test. I had no expectation, no idea what this might reveal.

What a surprise when the results came. I MATCHED Anita Laurie Albury, who still lives at Abaco, Bahamas. Anita, and I had NO knowledge that our maternal families connected. Peter pointed us to the uncommon name of both grandmothers: Anita’s Amana Roberts, and my Amana Russell, both born at Cherokee Sound, Abaco. Plus the fact that I wear the middle name Amana.

I never knew my maternal grandmother. She died four years before my birth. But I did know Anita’s grandmother, Ms. Mana. A widow, she worked in Nassau during the 1950s. We have the paper trail for both AMANA grandmothers, and back to their grandmothers, a Lenora Pinder for Anita’s line, and her sister Frances Pinder of my line.

A recent—2009—mtDNA test has a third match with us—another sister of Lenora and Frances—Sarah Jane, who moved to Key West, Florida after marriage. So far, we do not know their parents’ names. A clue may come from a note in my mother’s journal that speaks of “Grandma Charity”. We watch and wait for verification.

The small girl no longer hides—she sits comfortable and confident in an interview. Still intrigued, and curious, she listens and shares in order to learn.

©Joy A Lowe Jossi, 202 SW 14th St, Gresham OR 97080 joyjos@juno.com 3 Apr 2009

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