Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frank Griffin

Every day is a day to make a new discovery. If I hadn't ordered another monthly subscription to I might not have made this find. I use the one for about $50.00/month that includes a subscription to Fold3 (Database of military records) and

I believe I found the mother and father of Frank Griffin.

As i've said before, Frank Griffin (My mother and grandmother have called him Benjamin Franklin Griffin, yet he comes up on census records as "Frank Griffin", even with the correct info for all of the other household members.), is my great grandfather on my grandmother's side. I previously was having trouble searching for the Griffin side. But I used some of my crafty ingenuity to at least narrow things down to a few names.

For the most part, unless a family is wealthy enough to accrue the cost of travel, a few generations ago most families tended to stay in one place. Not necessarily the same house but quite often the same county or town.

So I searched for a "Frank Griffin" born in 1902 in South Carolina anywhere near either "Saluda" or "Ward", South Carolina (I didn't narrow it down to those names, but I was consciously looking for that connection).

Since a lot of the (Accepted) information I had already found came up under the regular search (All census'), I decided to narrow down my search to just the 1910 Census. Thankfully only a few Frank Griffins came up with the exact info that I needed.

 I know that he wouldn't have even been on the census in 1900s, not having been born, so I scratched that one off immediately.

Some of the Frank Griffins were white, black, and at least one mulatto. But only 3 were born near Ward, South Carolina.

The Frank Griffin who is listed as a mulatto was listed as having been born in Saluda.
His info:  1920 Census (Born in 1905) - Township 7, Saluda, South Carolina

 While a Frank Griffin listed as black is listed in the 1910 Census (Born in 1904) for Wise, Edgefield, SC

I ended up choose another Frank Griffin who was listed as black and lived in 1910 at:

Ward, Edgefield, South Carolina
Which is about 2 hours and 10 minutes from Ward, Saluda. (Where he and Dora Griffin lived with their children). 

I also found mention of him in the 1920 census in which, unsurprisingly he is still living at his parents house. He was born to an Elbert and Virginia Griffin.

Most interestingly in the 1920's his last name is spelled "Griffins". Even though it is the same person in the 1910 census. Even more interesting, my ancestor's last name (Also Frank Griffin) is also spelled "Griffins" in the 1930 census. I believe that this is a mistake that was never rectified. But might have helped me to retrace his footsteps.

For example on the census, Frank Griffin's name is presented as:
Frank Griffin
[Frank Griffins]

P.S I'm going to have to do some more research cause i'm not sure if it's him. Though I believe I am close.

Military Brat

Today was another interesting day talking to my mother.

She told me about life in the military town of Jacksonville, North Carolina. She was born in Burlington but during her time in the Marines, she lived in Jacksonville. Apparently there were people from all over the world in this town.

One of her best friends was a woman from Greece by the name of Sophia Pappas. As far as I know Sophia Pappas was also from North Carolina.  Of the dishes she would make, my mother's favorite was her hummus. From a conversation with another one of her friends, a Kay Speckman from Jacksonville, she learned how to make hummus from scracth. I understand that it includes "Lots of garlic, garbanzo beans/paste, and olive oil". Now i'll really have to try that recipe. I've never had fresh hummus, only the one from Sabra (Roasted Garlic, which I love). I am currently on a pescetarian diet so now is the perfect time to learn how to make any and all tasty dishes that with sate my palette.

She also told me that when I was about 1 year old, Sophia and Kay came over to watch An American Tail (An animated tale about a Russian mouse named Fivel) with me and my mother. During the movie he sings a song called "Somewhere out there", during which all three "Grown women started crying", recounts my mother. Not the most important part of this log surely but definitely the most heartwarming.

One thing that drew me to this conversation is the presence of Sophia herself. The presence of Turkish and Hungarian dna in both my grandmother and grandfather lead me to believe that its from some sort of early presence in North Carolina. Perhaps early Melungeons.

P.S. I even tried to search for Sophia Pappas and would also try searching for Kay in order to reunite them and my mother. I know she has talked about wanted to find them before. 

Monday, December 30, 2013


Here are my grandma's results on Interpretome, a popular user friendly site that allows you to compare your genetic data with that of various populations around the world. 

(I haven't been doing a lot of genealogy searches for the past day or so. I figured i'd post as a sort of space filler. I used my grandma's data on interpretome yesterday and the results are interesting...)

HGDP African Populations

Grandma's Results: Show Mozabite and Bantu Speakers North immediately side by side, with a little diamond nearby representing Bantu Speakers Southern.

FYI, the Mozabite "The Mozabite people are a Berber ethnic group living in M'zab in the northern Sahara. They speak Tumzabt. Most of them are Ibadi Muslims. Most also speak Arabic, though they use the Zenati dialect of the Berber language in everyday life." Genetically they are more Eurasian and North African, with Subsaharan lineages only covering about 12.9% of their genome on average.

Middle East/Jewish affinity

Popres European- The British and Italian ancestry which 23 and Me has shown is clear. It's interesting that my grandfather has detectable Turkish ancestry on 23 and Me, though my grandmother hasn't shown any yet. But on this application she at least seems to have some affinity. 

HGDP World. My grandmother is smack dab in the middle of a Near Eastern and African reference.

Reference Populations. Between Subsaharan African and East African.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sorensom Database

So i've begun doing something I should have done a long time ago. I've reconnected with my matches on 23 and Me. Being connected to so many people was a little bit overwhelming. Before I only had maybe two generations of my family tree...And none of them matched my DNA relatives (Or if they did, there was still no immediately obvious connection).

Last night I started re-connecting with people, many I haven't talked to since at least June of this year. I had to apologize for my tardiness. It's my intent to continue this research but I did not have time to communicate with them and research because of school.

I feel like i'm going to have a major breakthrough soon.

When I was on GeneTree back before they merged with and became AncestryDNA, I learned some of my lines of descent. Direct, maternal, 1- and 2- difference match, etc etc. Luckily, I am still able to view that information on This is the website from where you can view all of your matches in this world from now all the way to the 1600s (In my case, perhaps further back).


I am going to start storing some of that information here.

When you search using your genetic markers, a list of people you match shows up on the next screen. Though the person themselves may not be visible, their family tree usually is.

So for example,

Zina Magdalene Beus is one of my direct descendant lines. So I can trace my ancestry on her family tree all the way to a Suzanne Bouisse, who presumably lived in Torino, Italy before her daughter Marie Meynier. Their names are interesting. They are very French, which makes sense since Torino is on the border between France and Italy. (I'm also reminded of the ever contested regione Savoia, the region directly along that border between the two countries). What's even more interesting is that I also have Swiss dna, over 20cM in fact. Of course Switzerland is also nearby Torino.

 I have over 291 matches in this database. Many are from Africa, from places like Togo, Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, and Benin; A confusing amalgam of foreign surnames and first names that are difficult to use for research at the moment. I also have matches in South American countries like Panama, Peru, and Brazil. I also have a match in Jordan and Portugal of all places as well.

Needless to say i'm only using the trees that have a wealth of information that I can use right now. Mainly from the US, since I think I can more easily connect those surnames in some way shape or form with those I have now at my disposal.

I am concentrating on the maternal surnames (The bottommost "Protected" is where the maternal ancestor is listed. I am using the daughters line as well since these were maternal connections according to Genetree).  


Mississippi. The Griffin surname is interesting. I will have to take a closer look.





Part 2 of Wales:

Another user with the same Welsh connex:

South Carolina. I'll be looking at this one more closely soon since my grandmother's side of the family is from South Carolina.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Get Your Facts Straight

Speaking to mom cleared up some things. It turns out there are two Dora Griffins. One is his wife, whom is simply Dora Mae. While the other is his daughter, Dora Mae Griffin. I was using the latter as his wife on Suffices to say I didn't get very far. I kept the earlier date of birth of course (Circa 1902 for both Dora Griffin and Benjamin Franklin Griffin)...But the rest of the facts for each respective Dora Griffin were a mess. But i've fixed it.

Moral of the story is: Get your facts straight.

Thanks mom.

Paper Trails

When you start using in order to expand your family tree I can stress enough to follow the leaf hints that are given along the way.

This is a leaf that shows up whenever the information you've given into the database (Such as a date or location for a family member) matches another in their database. Now, the hints aren't always exact. For instance, on the pedigree chart I last showed you, I am searching for information on Mal and Chamel Brown. There seems to be literally zip about them online. But once I discovered their place of birth, both in Pitt, North Carolina, a leaf appeared. Unfortunately, the person I was taken to, a Manda C. Brown, does not seem to have anything in common with the facts I have for my family.

Another thing you genealogy aficionados might want to consider is the spelling of your family name. Just today i've come across several entries that tell me that the name Carmon, has been spelled both as Carman and Carmen. 

I'm not sure if this is a spelling error or the census or a something that changed from generation to generation in my family...For example, Frank and Winnie Carmon's children are all spelled "Carman". On some records, Frank and Winnie's surname is spelled -mon, others -man. And the most important question, yes they are the same person with the same children, each with their proper date and location of birth. I triple check my facts. 

James Carmon, the bother of my grandmother is actually spelled -men.

It's important to constantly scan paper trail items for information. I am a bit stuck on Winnie Carmon/Brown at the moment. I know her father and mother are named Mal and Chamel Brown respectively, but I have not been able to find their date of birth. Usually I can do so by searching for the birth records of their children (In this case Winnie Brown). But this part of the search is still posing a challenge.

Luckily I caught a break. I went back to the Death Certificate of Winnie Brown, resolved to use any facts presented. I discovered something I overlooked the first time. The place of birth for both Mal and Chamel are listed as "Pitt, North Carolina". Though it isn't a date of birth and though I remain stuck here now, it's something.

Pay close attention to those paper trails.

Family Pedigree

So here is my family pedigree. This is the main line (Pedigree). In the regular, "Family tree" mode on there are also listed lots of brothers and sisters, grandchildren, etc etc. But I can't seem to be able to print the screen with all of that information on it.

The only names i'm not sure of are Jim Washington and Kizzie Kornegay. I need to re-research into that line.

Other than that, I know that the rest of the names, through both research on and oral history, are accurate.

This pedigree chart begins at my mother. Her name (Not shown) is at the leftmost on this chart.


Aleut people are the "Indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, United States and Kamchatka Krai, Russia."

Connections, connections.

Well, it's obvious that my family's very real genetic link with Russians might also explain my seeming connection to indigenous/Native Alaskan peoples as well.

There is a genetic connection with Eurasia that, though I don't quite know from where it came yet, I know that one day (Hopefully soon) I will make sense of it. 

Of course my results might belong to another Eurasian population entirely. A lot of those indigenous tribes, Chuckchi, Erzya, Udmurt, Aleut, etc etc...Seem to blend together genetically.


I love talking to my mother.

Besides my grandmother and grandfather, whom are coherent enough to interrogate but do not remember much except their mother and father's names, locations and dates of birth,  (I'm not complaining. Those are necessary vitals), or, maybe i'm just no good at interrogating them, my mother was able to provide some detail into the early history of our immediate family.

She remembered where she grew up. 

At a 610 Montgomery street in Burlington, North Carolina. Near Mebane. She was born at Alamance County Hospital, which she also mentioned to me a few days ago.

She also mentioned that at one point my grandfather, William J Carmon worked in Construction for KirkPatrick Paving, which is now a Triangle Grading and Paving, Inc. I believe it is the same location because the vice presidents name is R. “Gray” Kirkpatrick. Perhaps he is related to the older generation of KirkPatricks who owned the company under a different name. 

Triangle Grading and Paving, Inc.
Located at:
1521 Huffman Mill Rd, Burlington, NC 27215
(336) 584-1745

Another interesting tidbit involves my great grandfather Benjamin Franklin Griffen. He is the one who was reputed to be a full blooded Native American. He is, of course, the father of my grandmother Jeanette Carmon. According to my mother a part of the story revolves around a mole on my grandmother's forehead. Obviously I know that this could in fact have been a genetic anomally. It's interesting the way that we play telephone with facts, especially genealogical facts passed down from our relatives. Facts are often distorted. 

Take the word "Indian". 

One might assume Native American, since we are in the U.S. and I am not sure about the presence of Indians (From India) in early North Carolina. As far as genetics, I have not found a significant (For me, over a detectable rate of >.90) contribution from India. And again, as far as genetics, I have found a significant contribution from Native/East Asian (North Amerindian, Alaskan, Siberian, etc). So the possibility of having an immediate ancestor ultimately from India but who lived a few hundred years ago in North Carolina seems uncanny.

Genetics is a great tool to be able to plow and sift through all of these family stories. You can easily see which ones have more weight than others.

More to come


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Family Genetics

So i'm going to log offline for a while. Otherwise i'll go into research addict mode. But I want to share my genetics results. Actually I prefer to share my grandmother's and grandfather's results as they are older and give more insight into our family history. I've found that like African ancestry, European and Asian ancestry can also be unreliably determined from later generations such as myself (Being a mix of ancestries from both my mother and father and their mothers and fathers, grandparents, etc).

Here are the results for my grandmother, Jeanette Carmon. For myself, having a mix of dna is amazing. Not all, but many other people of African descent don't like knowing they have European dna. I'm not one of those people. Nor do I believe that all of my European dna is from the time of slavery. I am very open minded about the journey i'm on.  In fact, I am a part of a group on Facebook for people of African descent who have tested. I have learned of several people who have found out that some of their white ancestors were slaves themselves (Research "Barbadosed", Irish slaves in the Caribbean). So i've never been one to assume. 

Unfortunately, the major roadblock I have to discovering the lines which lie beyond my American ancestors is genealogical research. I am now as far back as the 1800s...Which is a great accomplishment. I know, however, (Using my genetic markers on the Sorensom database) that I have ancestors as far back as the 1600s from Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, (Glamorgan) Wales, (Torino) Italy, and even South America. Their names are at my disposal but are of no use until I can get past the current roadblocks.

One of the most interesting tales in my family is of my great grandfather on my grandmother's side, name unknown, apparently being a full blooded Native American. Such tales are not uncommon in America, especially in African American families. Some though not all tend to be the work of fancy.

If I had resolved to test myself alone, I wouldn't have thought anything of my own mere 1.1% Native/East Asian dna. However, seeing as my grandmother also has about 1.1%, my mother has 1.2%, and I 1.1% (And also my uncle and grandfather both have 0.7), there might be something to the tale.

But, I think of it like this.

If my grandmother's father (Unless I heard it wrong) was really full blooded Native, I would expect to have approximately (Cause it's never exact) 12% of his dna. I would also expect my grandmother to be half Native and I know that she is not. Seeing that grandmother's dna has only 1% Native/East Asian, then this person would be past the great great descendant line, assuming the mathematics of this chart is right on average. So in conclusion, while I don't doubt that there is some truth to this tale, I do have my doubts about whether or not he was 100% full blooded Native.

But only time will tell.

On, a very useful database of genetic calculators, which aren't by any means without fault, and they merely tell you how close to populations you are, my mother's secondary populations have read as Athabask and Aleut, both North Amerindian/Alaskan Native populations. This is very different from the Cherokee and Choctaw myths but still leave a very interesting alternative version to the original story. Or perhaps those groups are genetically close to the North Amerindians? That is a question as I have no idea myself.

My Mother's Results:
On Dodecad K7b Oracle:

#Primary Population (source) Secondary Population (source) Distance
1 91.9%Mandenka (HGDP) + 8.1%Chuvashs (Behar) @ 1.15
2 92.1%Mandenka (HGDP) + 7.9%Mordovians (Yunusbayev) @ 1.25
3 92.2%Mandenka (HGDP) + 7.8%Russian (HGDP) @ 1.3
4 91.9%Bantu_S.E._Tswana (HGDP) + 8.1%Hungarians (Behar) @ 1.35

On World 9 Oracle
#Primary Population (source) Secondary Population (source) Distance
1 93.2%Mandenka + 6.8%Aleut @ 1
2 84.5%YRI30 (HGDP) + 15.5%Dominican @ 1.24
3 85%Bantu_S.W._Herero (HGDP) + 15%Dominican @ 1.24

Note that the Aleut are an Alaskan Native tribe. Dodecad K7b marks out family affinity with Eurasian groups, of which Amerindian (I believe) and Eastern/Central European (I know) are a part.

Here is my grandfather's chart.

I have currently reached out to a history of North Carolinians of Hungarian descent group. Both my grandmother and father, actually all of us, possess a large amount of dna from Central and East Europe (Slovenia, Hungary, Romania. Especially the last two). We also have dna from Russia, Serbia, etc. Not believing in coincidences, I believe that both lines of their family got this dna in America, as opposed to from distant relatives non-American relatives. Before it was speculated that it might be from a melungeon ancestor which is possible.

Not having found much information online, I have contacted the president of the aforementioned organization in an effort to learn about their history in the state as well as to learn where I can discover more about their presence in early North Carolina.

If I didn't already tell you, this is my major. So I technically don't have a lot of free time on my hands as much as I have a lot of future work experience lol.

James Ponybill Carmon: His Ancestors

Last night I wrote that, "I have since not been able to locate the parents of James Ponybill Carmon".

Yet today the very opposite is true. I have added to my family tree two people I am pretty certain are his parents. It all started last night. On the WWII Draft I posted in the first blog, I saw the name of the man that James Ponybill Carmon worked for, a Mr Luther Dail. Since he was a farmer then my great grandfather was most likely a hand of labor on his farm. It's also important to note that both my great grandfather's address and his place of employment is RAD #1 (Via Google Earth you can see that today it is still a large stretch of land, paved here and there but largely rural country). Mr Luther Dail of course being the employer.

In searching for more information about Luther Dail, I found that he signed the WWII Draft card for another member of the Carmon family by the name of Grover (B. 1906). This is significant because he was also born in the Winterville, Pitt area of North Carolina, just like my great grandfather. Also his place of employment and his living address are also that which belongs to his employer, Mr Luther Dail.

Grover Carmon's address, about 1940: Rte 1 (Today located in Wagram, NC 28396)
James Ponybill Carmon's address, about 1940: 1 Rad (Today located in St Lillington, NC 27546)

Since Grover was born in 1906, he's obviously not the father of James Ponybill Carmon. So suffices to say he's probably an older brother (I don't think he's a cousin). Via Google Maps you can see that these two places are a mere 1 hour and 30 minutes apart. So they both lived relatively nearby.

The next thing to do was to find Grover Carmon's parents (Since I had no luck searching for James Ponybill Carmon's). I eventually found a Frank and Winnie Carmon, whom I had previously ignored. When I had ignored them previously, I saw that there was a James Carmon in their family, but not seeing his middle name "Ponybill" and noticing that his date of birth was off by two years, I dismissed it. However, I am almost 100% certain that these are the parents of my great grandfather.

I have previously learned that while searching for other family members and being 100% sure the information i'm seeing matches theirs, that sometimes date of births can be off by a few years. I haven't accepted a margin of error greater than 2 so far. But I know that it's a possibility and need to keep that in mind for future research.  


Hello there and welcome. 

I have created this site in order to participate in Blogfest. Blogfest is sponsored by the African-American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research Group, and their intent is in not only allowing people of African descent to tell their stories with the greater world but also with the hope that the participants will expand their knowledge of their family, through mutual exchange (Blogger to blogger) or perhaps even a chance encounter with a random viewer.

For more information, please visit:,guid,0db88fbf-6821-44c4-98af-385179d1a705.aspx#commentstart

There is also a group on Facebook. 

My name is Nadia Carmon.

(Quick .I am a Biology major and an Italian minor. I've been into genetics and genealogy for the past few years. In addition to genealogical research, I have also been a part of the genetics testing boom on the consumer end. So far i've had myself, my mother, my uncle, my grandfather, and my grandmother tested. I think i'm done testing now. Now it's time to take those results and compare and contrast with my matches in order to build upon my genealogical research. I might add some of those results later for added effect to this blog).

I was born on a military base in North Carolina called Camp Lejeune. I was born in the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. Both my mother and father were in the Marines. Unfortunately, my father died in action back in the early 1990s. I do not have a lot of information to go on about him so I will leave him out for now.

[I will see if I can recover some pictures from my aunt. She is the family historian and has pictures of myself and my mother when I was an infant. I would also like to salvage any other pictures she might have of the family.]

My mother, Patricia Ann Carmon was born in Almance County Hospital in Burlington, North Carolina to a William J Carmon (J for "Junior") and a Jeanette F Griffin (F for "Francis").  She grew up on a street called South Mebane. The entire family seems to have migrated between Winterville, Greenville, and perhaps also Ayden. Mainly, at least.

My grandfather's side of the family has been easier to pinpoint so I will begin with him.

William J Carmon (1933)  is the son of James Ponybill Carmon and Hattie Mae Carmon (1915).

At one point they lived on a farm (Owned by a non-relative Luther Dail, see his information below in the image). My mother remembers going to their farm often, and learning how to ride horses (To which her immediate family, not living on a farm, responded "How did she learn that?".

James Ponybill Carmon (1917) was drafted in World War II. Courtesy of Fold3 and, I have found his Draft Card below:

Some of my grandfather's brothers and sisters are (Carmon side):
James, Willie F, and Johnny Ray, and Pearlie Mae.

I have since not been able to locate the parents of James Ponybill Carmon.

However, I have recently found the mother and father of Hattie Mae Carmon. I was glazing through one day and realized that Hattie Mae Washington was really Hattie Mae Carmon. Both her name and my great grandfather's name was on the family tree of someone I didn't know. I have since tried to connect with them but they have not been online in a few years.

The mother and father of my greatgrandmother Hattie Mae Washington were a Will (1870) and Maggie Washington (1901).