Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 A to Z Challenge ~ All About Me ~ Letter B


This is a post for the 2017 A to Z Challenge ~ All About Me created by Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story.

Brothers

In my family I have one brother Billy. However, between my birth parents I have six brothers, which by the way, is more than I thought I had! I know for a fact that my brothers through my birth mother that one is older and one is younger than me. I am not sure about my brothers through my birth father but I suspect that they are also older than me.  From my non-identifying information I knew that I had at least eight older siblings but my birth father's obituary listed that he had eight children so at least three of his children were born after me. I have four paternal brothers, Richard, Johnny, David and Mike. I never dreamed I would have so many brothers both older and younger than myself. 

I have been searching for Richard, Johnny, David and Mike since I learned about them in June 2016. Hopefully I can find them sooner rather than later because I really want to meet them and get to know them.

Barbara

Barbara is my birth mother. I met her twice first in March and again in late April of 2011. We talked for several hours during our first visit. I showed her pictures of my children, pictures of my parents and siblings. She showed me pictures of ancestors and my siblings. She was very forthcoming when it came to family and medical histories. She told me a little about my maternal siblings. We soon learned that we were both long time book readers and even liked some of the same authors. The one thing I wish I had done was to take a picture of her especially because she made it very clear that she did not want a relationship.

When I asked her about my birth father she didn't have much information because according to her he lied about everything he ever told her. It was obvious that he caused her a lot of emotional pain, I could see it in her eyes when she spoke of him. I am hoping that my siblings will share pictures of their respective parents with me at some point.

Birth and Baptism

I was born on Saturday, the 21st of July, 1962 at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Dade (now Miami-Dade) County, Florida. My birth mother told me that she worked in the X-ray Department typing reports and was working on the day I was born. I was delivered by Dr. Grosskloss (now deceased) and he is the doctor who arranged my adoption. My adoption was considered a closed, private adoption. My parents brought me home from the hospital the next day and the rest as they say is history.

Daddy, Momma and me the day I came home from the hospital. (personal collection)

I was Baptized one week later on Sunday, the 29th of July 1962 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hialeah, Florida. It was also my Momma's birthday. My Godparents are my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Kenny. Uncle Kenny is my Momma's younger brother. My Baptism was performed by Fr. S. J. Clift. I was the first to wear the family baptism gown. All of my siblings as well as my nieces and nephews wore this very same gown too. I had my children baptized together when Kenny was one and David was a newborn however, David weighed in at 10 pounds and even leaving the buttons undone he was just to big for the gown.

This is me in my baptismal gown. (personal collection).

Books

Books and reading have always been a passion for me. As a child who had severe asthma and allergies I spent a lot time inside. One of my parents was always reading to us kids. Once I learned how to read there was no stopping me! In middle and high school I would read late into the night. I can't tell you how many times my Dad would come in and tell me it was time to go to bed and turn out the lights.

I am not exactly sure when my parents bought this particular set of books (the books are long gone and I don't even remember the names any longer) but it was series I read repeatedly about U.S. Presidents for elementary school age children probably up until about 6th I would think. My particular favorite was the volume on John F Kennedy. These books fit in with my love of history which led me to reading books about the Salem witch trials, the kidnapping of the young son Charles Lindbergh, the sinking of the Titanic and other fascinating events in history.

By the age of 12, I discovered Agatha Christie novels. I couldn't get enough of them. In my freshman year of high school I discovered J R R Tolkien's, The Lord of the Rings and what some might call "trashy" romance novels. Complete ends of the spectrum I know. My senior year of high school I discovered true crime books when I found my Dad's copy of The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, which was about Ted Bundy. 

I am never without my e-reader which I received for my 50th birthday but I also still read real books too. I am a voracious reader and always have been. I would spend lunch hours in my car reading. I would read at my children's sporting practices but never during a game! I still read at lunch, between television commercials and always before falling asleep. I can't tell you how many times my husband has woken up in the middle of the night to find my book beside me with the book light on! 

This is my largest bookcase. It has only my hardback and oversized paperback books. (Personal collection)

As you can see in the photo above one set of my bookcases is quite full in my living room. I have a smaller bookcases on either side of my entertainment center filled to capacity and overflowing with paperback books only. I still have boxes, tote boxes, nightstand drawers, a shelf in the closet filled with books. Then I have a bookcase in my office filled with genealogy books, magazines and notebooks. 

I refuse to part with the series books I have collected over the years such as the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, the Luke Davenport series by John Sandiford and the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell to name just a few. 


Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 A to Z Challenge ~ All About Me ~ Letter A

My friend and fellow blogger, Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story started a fun blogging challenge about writing about ourselves. You can find her first post Letter A... All About Me here. The 2017 A to Z ~ All About Me Challenge is her twist to the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. The idea is to post bi-monthly posts about ourselves and completing all 26 posts by 31 December 2017. I am accepting Jeanne's challenge and I hope she won't mind if I add my own twist to it as well. My twist is that I will be using these posts to tell my birth siblings about my life. 



History has always been my favorite subject so it is no wonder that I fell in love with genealogy. With genealogy I can step back in time and discover who my ancestors were. I tell their stories here one my blog. Now I am going to step back into my memories and write my life so that my birth family will learn about me and my life. 

The letter A makes me think of being Adopted and Alabama.


Adopted

I have always known I was adopted. I can remember a set of books that my parents used to read to me about being adopted and how special I was because I was chosen. As far as I am concerned being adopted was like winning the lottery. My birth mother didn't have a lot of choices in 1962 and I believe she made a great choice in choosing my adoptive parents, Bill and Nina. I say choose because my adoption was arranged by the obstetrician who not only delivered me but treated both of my mothers. As a matter of fact, this same doctor delivered all of my siblings too. I have a great life, and I love my family.

 Dawn Marie Williams (personal collection)

Alabama

After graduating from high school on 4 June 1980, my husband Marc and I left for Montgomery, Alabama to begin our life as a married couple. He had been living and working there since shortly after we were married three months earlier. He was working for his brother, Lester at a motorcycle dealership. We lived in a two bedroom apartment in an area that was mostly open space. Now that area is filled with housing developments and shopping areas. 

We spent our time going to Lamaze classes as we awaited the birth of first child who was due on 21 September 1980. It was the hottest summer ever! To keep from going stir crazy in our apartment I would go to the Alabama State Archives where I began my journey in the world of genealogy. Finally on Friday,  10 October 1980 our son, Kenneth George Kitts was born at 12:50 p.m. We left the hospital the next day but two days later Kenny had to be admitted to the children's hospital because he was severely jaundiced. Then in November I was admitted to the hospital for anaphylactic shock from penicillin. 

By December the company my husband was working for was closing and we were heading home back to North Carolina. It was a 500 mile trip with a two month old baby but pulling up in front of my parents home just a few days before Christmas was homecoming I will never forget.

My son, Kenny. The best thing that happened in Alabama. (personal collection).
 


 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Do I Look Familiar Friday? # 4

 Photo Credit: Personal Collection

Do I look familiar to you? If so, please contact me! You can find my contact information in the left hand corner of my blog in the box "Are We Related?".

This is a post for my series, Do I Look Familiar Friday?. I will be posting pictures of myself at various ages in the hope that I may look familiar to someone who is either my sibling or by someone who maybe related to them.



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Top 5 Posts of 2016 for Scarlet and Dawn


I didn't write nearly as many posts I had hoped to here at Scarlet and Dawn, however, things really started popping for me my research and my search for my biological family back in the spring and it didn't slow down all year. I am hoping that 2017 will continue to see as much success as I had in 2016. 

Here are the top 5 posts from my blog for 2016!

  • Newspaper Extraction Form for Death, Burial and Obituary Notices This was my top post for 2016 and it is still getting hits! After months of clipping burial, death, funeral and obituary notices for my birth family I needed to find a way to get as much information as I could from each type of notice. I hope that eventually I can make a book for each surname using my form and a copy of the notice.
  • The Tale of My Two Mothers  This is by far my favorite post so far! It is the story of how one woman gave me life and how one woman took me into her heart and made me hers. I had originally written the post for my blog Dawning Genealogy on Mother's Day, 9 May 2015. I updated it with a few more details and posted it here for Mother's Day, 8 May 2016.
  • I Found My Birth Father's Funeral Notice! This was an amazing find for me! I was in Charleston for medical reasons but as usual wherever I go I always find time for genealogy. I still have had no luck in finding my paternal half siblings but I won't stop until I do.
  • A Little of My Story This was my first blog post of 2016. It is my story about how I came to be adopted. 
 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A New Year and a New Name for my Blog!



This is the first year for The Other Side of Scarlet. I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up with two blogs but I did manage to contribute nearly 60 posts between this blog and Dawning Genealogy. I am certainly aiming to write more posts in the coming year.

There is a big change coming to The Other Side of Scarlet! The change will be in the title of this blog. I realized in the late summer and fall as I worked with several paternal cousins on our shared family lines that the name of this blog just wasn't right. The goal of this blog for me was to explore my birth family, focusing on the stories of my biological ancestors, exploring my DNA and using it to confirm my birth family.  Now, The Other Side of Scarlet will be known as Scarlet and Dawn. This change will begin today. The link will still be the same.

In exploring my DNA this past year two things happened. The first is that I have been following every BSO and the second is I fell into the rabbit hole during the process! I took advantage of a sale at 23 and Me for the health reports after learning that my birth father died of liver cancer and knowing that my birth mother had leukemia when she died of a heart attack. I have now tested with all three major DNA companies. I also took advantage of deal negotiated by Thomas MacEntee for the company GPS Origins.

Starting in 2017 I am going to write a series of posts about working with my cousins and how we used DNA and good old fashioned detective work to confirm our Bessinger family line. I have only recently learned that I have a couple of maternal lines that are Quakers and I am anxious to explore these lines further and will be posting about them later in 2017. 

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year! Thank you for your support over the last year and I look forward to reading more of your posts throughout 2017!

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GPS Origins ~ My Results


I decided to take advantage of the offer that Thomas MacEntee was able to provide through his Genealogy Bargains for November 22, 2016 for GPS OriginsTM1 (Geographic Poplulation Structure) during the big sales last week! GPS OriginsTM uses your own DNA data and combines it with their new ancestral tracking technique to help pinpoint a more precise location of where your DNA began. This is done through using their proprietary alogorithim and basic migration patterns.

I began by creating an account and uploading my most recent DNA results from 23 & Me2. It was very easy to use and it only took about 30 or 40 minutes to get my results. My report was 17 pages long and includes a brief view of the history of migration patterns and your own migration story. As an adoptee, knowing where my DNA begin is important to me. Using autosomal DNA testing and adding the unique knowledge of GPS OriginsTM gives me a peek of who I am genetically speaking even if those genetic markers are ancient as mine appear to be.

My Top 3 Gene Pool %'s

I am surprised by the high percentages I received in some areas simply because Ancestry DNA and 23 and Me did not show such high percentages in some of  these areas while some never even registered any type of percentage worth mentioning. While GPS Origins only shows maps for your "top 3" percentages they do provide a complete breakdown of percentages. If you would like to see my report GPS Origins has provided a sharable link.

My highest gene pool percentage is 19.3% Fennoscandia. Fennoscandia consists of the following countries Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark during the Viking period and a part of Russia known as the Kola Peninsula. Ancestry DNA puts me at 12% Scandinavian and 2% Finland/Northwest Russia while 23 and Me puts me a 4.6% Scandinavian, 1.7% Finland and 28.9% Broadly Northwest European which includes Russia. See the map below.

  

My second highest gene pool percentage is 15.5% Southern France as you can see by the map below. This surprised me because Ancestry DNA puts me at 3% for Europe West which includes France while 23 and Me puts at 11.9% French German.
 

My third highest gene pool percentage is 13.7% Orkney Islands. Now I have to admit that this one surprised me. With Ancestry DNA I am listed as 56% Great Britain while 23 and Me puts me at 44.3% British/Irish. See the map below.



   My DNA Migration Routes

My DNA Migration Routes from GPS OriginsTM
 
It seems that my DNA has two migration patterns which have been labeled by GPS OriginsTM as "Migration Story A and Migration Story B".  The first migration pattern is Story A in the red. It starts in the modern day city of Nalchik, Russia across southern Europe, the Adriatic Sea, the Mediterrian Sea to an island in the Atlantic Ocean off of Morocco and ends in England. The second migration pattern is Story B in the blue. It begins near modern day Vologda, Russia crosses Scandinavia, the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Iceland and from there to England. Here is the description from GPS OriginsTM,

Migration Story A
Date: 1234 AD - 1614 AD
Radius: 26.3531miles
Latitude: 43.642
Longitute: 43.995

 
Ancient ancestry in Russia

 
Your ancestors came from Russia prior to 211 AD, so let's take a look at what was going on in Russia up to this point:


The Gothic Kingdom of Oium

 
Between 100 AD and 300 AD, Russia was ruled by local leaders in a period known as the Gothic Age. In 100 AD Gothic tribes migrated from Scandinavia and allegedly established the Gothic Kingdom Oium in southern Russia. The area was likely also home to Slavs and other groups, such as the Turkic Khazars, who had gradually arrived in the country since the end of the Ice Age. Oium collapsed when it was overrun by Huns. People migrated from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to Russia as part of the migration of different tribal groups around Europe searching for new land and opportunities. At the same time, populations moved from Russia to places like Scandinavia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine and the Baltic states during the movement of early tribes from Russia through to the Baltic region and Scandinavia. The Bulgarians from Siberia moved down into the Eurasian Steppe and the plains between the Caspian and Black Seas.


Migration Story A
Date: -861 BC - 1194 AD
Radius: 158miles
Latitude: 37.011
Longitute: -25.047


Movement from Russia to Morocco

 
At some point before 211 AD your ancestors moved to around Morocco. These are the events your ancestors would have lived through in Morocco.


A Client of the Roman Empire

 
Between 300 BC and 430 AD, Morocco was ruled by local leaders in a period known as the Age of Roman and sub-Roman Morocco. From the 3rd century BC, modern day Morocco was integrated into the tribal Berber Kingdom of Mauretania. In 33 BC Mauretania became a client of the Roman Empire, which ruled largely through alliances with the Berbers; Roman legionary control only reached as far as Casablanca. Christianity was introduced in the region in the 2nd century AD and by the end of the 4th century, the Northern Romanized areas had been Christianized. People migrated from Italy to Morocco with Roman imperial expansion.


Migration Story A
Date: 211 AD - 1950 AD
Radius: 158miles
Latitude: 52
Longitute: -1


Movement from Morocco to England

 
At some point after 211 AD your ancestors moved to England and once they reached there this is what they would have experienced:


The Roman Invasion

 
Between 43 AD and 410 AD, England was ruled by local leaders in a period known as Roman Britain. In the 1st century AD, England was invaded by the Romans who, having landed in Kent and defeated local tribal leaders, began to expand northwards. Although England became a Roman province, Roman expansion was frequently met with resistance and revolts from native rulers, such as the warrior-queen Boudicca. In the middle of the 4th century AD, Roman rule began to breakdown. People migrated from Italy and Ireland and the Netherlands to England due to the Romans conquest of England and subsequent settlement, the Gaelic invasions from Ireland in 300 AD and the arrival of Dutch Frisii tribes who settled in Kent.


Migration Story B
Date: 280 AD - 1273 AD
Radius: 132.1583miles
Latitude: 58.984
Longitute: 41.106


Ancient ancestry in Russia

 
Your ancestors came from Russia prior to 224 AD, so let's take a look at what was going on in Russia up to this point:


The Gothic Kingdom of Oium

 
Between 100 AD and 300 AD, Russia was ruled by local leaders in a period known as the Gothic Age. In 100 AD Gothic tribes migrated from Scandinavia and allegedly established the Gothic Kingdom Oium in southern Russia. The area was likely also home to Slavs and other groups, such as the Turkic Khazars, who had gradually arrived in the country since the end of the Ice Age. Oium collapsed when it was overrun by Huns. People migrated from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to Russia as part of the migration of different tribal groups around Europe searching for new land and opportunities. At the same time, populations moved from Russia to places like Scandinavia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine and the Baltic states during the movement of early tribes from Russia through to the Baltic region and Scandinavia. The Bulgarians from Siberia moved down into the Eurasian Steppe and the plains between the Caspian and Black Seas.


Migration Story B
Date: 855 AD - 1926 AD
Radius: 27.8321miles
Latitude: 63.406
Longitute: -20.287


Movement from Russia to Iceland

 
At some point before 224 AD your ancestors moved to Iceland. These are the events your ancestors would have lived through in Iceland shortly afterwards.


The Settlement of Iceland

 
Between 874 AD and 929 AD, Iceland was ruled by local leaders in a period known as the Settlement of Iceland. Iceland was discovered by a Norwegian Viking and a Swedish sailor and was first settled in 874 AD by a Norwegian family. Over the next 60 years all of Iceland is believed to have been settled, predominantly by Norwegians seeking new land and opportunity, and the Scottish and Irish slaves that accompanied them. People migrated from Norway and Ireland and Scotland to Iceland as Norwegians discovered and settled Iceland bringing with them their Irish and Scottish slaves.


Migration Story B
Date: 224 AD - 1950 AD
Radius: 154miles
Latitude: 53
Longitute: -2


Movement from Iceland to England

 
At some point after 224 AD your ancestors moved to England and once they reached there this is what they would have experienced:


The Roman Invasion

 
Between 43 AD and 410 AD, England was ruled by local leaders in a period known as Roman Britain. In the 1st century AD, England was invaded by the Romans who, having landed in Kent and defeated local tribal leaders, began to expand northwards. Although England became a Roman province, Roman expansion was frequently met with resistance and revolts from native rulers, such as the warrior-queen Boudicca. In the middle of the 4th century AD, Roman rule began to breakdown. People migrated from Italy and Ireland and the Netherlands to England due to the Romans conquest of England and subsequent settlement, the Gaelic invasions from Ireland in 300 AD and the arrival of Dutch Frisii tribes who settled in Kent.


Source Citations:
1. “GPS OriginsTM results for Dawn Kogutkiewicz,” database, GPS OriginsTM (https://gpsorigins.com : accessed on 30 November 2016)

2. "23 and Me DNA results for Dawn Kogutkiewicz," database, 23 and Me (https://www.23andme.com : accessed 23 November 2016).  

3. "Ancestry DNA results for Dawn Kogutkiewicz," database, Ancestry DNA (https://www.dna.ancestry.com : accessed 30 November 2016).