DNA Diaries



In June 2016, I was in the final planning stages for our bi-annual family reunion under my leadership and in my town.  While working in Family Tree Maker software, I noticed an email icon indicating I have a message.  I didn’t use the software for email.  At first sight the email was in a strange place. This was not just any email but an email that would change who I think I am.  I won’t use real names so those who prefer to remain anonymous can do so.  You see I was putting the finishing touches on the Brown Family Tree for the reunion that was in a matter of weeks.   Suddenly, I see an envelope email icon out of the corner of my eye so I clicked and now I am no longer in Family Tree Maker software but in AncestryDNA. I read the email:

June 10, 2016
Hello Kitty-

Apparently, we are somehow matched/related genetically. You popped up 1st on List of Related 1st-2nd Cousins – Confidence Extremely High.

Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

Thank you in advance,

I looked at my DNA matches and she is listed under first cousin. I’m flabbergasted!  All my first cousins are like siblings except my Uncle James’ daughter Annie.  Family story goes we had a first cousin in Florida, Uncle James’ daughter.  His wife killed him and went to prison and all contact was severed but there his 3 year old little girl somewhere in Florida.  Fortunately, the release of more public documents over the years made it possible for me to find her. My aunt talks to Annie and keeps up with her now.  I became a member of AncestryDNA in 2014 and only had 4th cousins.

Now, I have a first cousin and I don’t know how I am related to her but after the reunion it will be my one mission to discover what this means to me.  How is Chloe my 1st cousin?  That would mean our parents are siblings but I know it’s not possible on my mother’s side.  Now, my dad was another matter.   I didn’t have a relationship with him but my mother told me about him when I would ask.  I reached out to him at 25 years old with a negative response so that ended that. My father had 8 sisters and 1 brother.   I’m close with my dad’s sister, Lucille who still lives in the family home.  Unfortunately my dad is dead as well as my mother.  Who is this new first cousin?

So begins my journey searching for answers and ancestors with matching DNA!

5 Things I like about Family Reunions


5 things I like about Family Reunions

Let me start off by saying I love my family to the point that I am brought to tears when I ponder how wonderful these people are that I share blood membership with.  We have been blessed as a family.  Some families fade out and die off and there are some who don’t care for whatever reason to be part of a larger whole. And, I would like to find all of my relatives and know them all. These are the folks that celebrate your birth and gather to send you heaven bound with roaring confidence of prayer and song.

What I like …

  1. My Uncle’s red jacket. My uncle is usually at the beginning of the soul-train line with his sharp red jacket doing his two-step.  Matter of fact, I think he is at the end too. Love it!
  2. How about those grandparents that watch the kids while you hang out. That shit is priceless! The kids are getting to know each other especially if they live far away and may only see each other at a reunion. With social media, the young adults are staying in touch after the reunion. That’s awesome!
  3. There are memories of those who have gone on to be with the ancestors that we ceremoniously share to keep them alive in our heart. This is always a nice touch at a reunion. And family news is BIG at reunions. Charley got that business up and running and Joyce had another baby and there’s George who got married for the 4th time.  And, who is Uncle Mutt with now?
  4. Old pictures of previous reunions are one of my favorites. Yes, I am looking for “me” in those pics. Was that me at 17 years old? WOW, look at Cousin David at 19years old, thin and trim, not so anymore!  I should talk with my extra 30 following me around all time. LOL
  5. I love seeing family I haven’t seen in years! That’s Primo!  You discover Cousin Junior has changed to be care free in retirement!  Over 40 years of reunions, Cousin Greg makes an appearance for the second time and everyone is excited.  And, can’t forget those ivy leaguers, those who graduated from top colleges, kids in college, and after established careers, are now touring Europe and took a break to stop by the reunion with “love you and miss you” and we feel the same, love you too.