Ancestry Surprises

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

I recently received the results from my AncestryDNA kit, which I mailed into the company just after Christmas last year. It took quite a bit of time to get those results because of the influx of DNA kits around that time of year; at least, that’s what the email updates which I received in January and February said. Within the results I received, I found several surprises. More on that in a moment.

Lozane and Samuel Lonit Mansfield
Lozane and Lonit Mansfield – my great grandparents.

For as long as I can remember, my father and his siblings and their father claimed Native American heritage. I grew up thinking I was 1/16 Cherokee. My father often referred to his father’s mother as ½ Cherokee; her name was Lozane Ard. She married a man named Samuel Lonit Mansfield, whose father was also Samuel Mansfield and whose mother was Ella Locade Baham. I’ve been able to trace Ella’s (who is mostly known by her middle name, Locade) family several generations back. Dad’s grandmother Lozane had a father name William Pinkney Ard, and her mother’s name was Rachel Williams (we think – William P. Ard had three wives, at different times, thankfully, but still not quite sure which woman was Lozane’s mother at this point). William Ard’s mother was Margaret Ard – his father was possibly William Beavers but that is not a known fact either. It seems Margaret had several children but most records indicate no male (ie, husband) living with her other than her male children. So, there’s a mystery. Many of us wondered if the Native American lineage was brought in at this point, and that seemed to be the accepted fact, and the story passed down through generations, including to me.

Dads GreatGrandparents_Samuel Mansfield and Locad Baham Mansfield
Samuel Mansfield and Ella Locade Baham Mansfield, my great-great grandparents.

Now, for my DNA results. What was not surprising was that I’m 42% western European and 26% Scandinavian. My mother’s parents were German/Swiss on her mother’s side and Danish on her father’s side; in fact, her grandparents were full German and full Swiss on her mother’s side and full Dane on her father’s side. They are easy to figure out. Within the western European is also French, and that for certain is from my father’s side (the Bahams), so that wasn’t much of a surprise. What came next was: 9% Iberian Peninsula, which includes Spain and Portugal, and, an even bigger surprise: 13% African, with highest percentages traced to Nigeria, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast/Ghana. And, the biggest surprise of all: NO Native American, not even less than one percent.

Grandpa John's Mom_Lozane Mansfield
My dad’s Grandma Lozane Ard Mansfield – is she part Native American? Not according to my DNA results.

Interestingly, I used to joke that Dad’s side of the family may have African blood. Dad and all his immediate relatives grew up in Louisiana, and not much was really discussed about ancestors. Just snippets here and there, and of course, the claim of Native American heritage. So, lightheartedly, I’d say, “I wonder if there are skeletons in the family closet, like slaves.” And that may not be far from the truth. I discovered a possible ancestor: a slave a man named Honore Baham. However, the more I dug, the more I found that to be less possible. I did discover that Honore was still a slave when he was 30 years old; he belonged to the Baham family, and he was emancipated in 1820 by Renez Baham, brother to the man who seems to be my 4th great-grandfather: Louis Jeanbon Baham. So, Honore the slave, when he was freed, received the last name of Baham (and he could have been the son Renez and a slave woman – there are indicators to that possibility); therefore some of the mix-up in the family tree.

William Pink Ard
William Pinkey “Pink” Ard, Lozane’s father and my dad’s great grandfather.

Thus far, I’ve traced some of my heritage back to the 1600s, with people coming from France to Canada then to Alabama and on in to Louisiana, via different generations. Another branch came from France directly to Louisiana. There seems to be some mixed blood, likely a French ancestor marrying, or simply living with, a freed black woman. I’m trying to learn more about this branch of the family tree.

I’ve found family crests on some of the sides who hailed from France. I’m also learning more about this part of my heritage.

My neighbor, Marian Kingdon, is assisting me on this ancestral journey. She loves genealogy and has traced her family lineage as well as her husband’s, and she’s excited to help me; and I’m grateful for her help. I’m fascinated about the different findings we’ve discovered. I know there’s more about my family tree that I’ll be learning in the weeks and months to come.

Me with my parents, Earl D. Mansfield and Marcia L. (Christensen) Mansfield

Tomorrow is my 56th birthday; I’m more than half-way through my expected life-span. And I continue learning more about my heritage, surprises and non-surprises alike. I recently bought a DNA kit for my father and sent it off a few weeks ago. I likely won’t know results for several more weeks, but I’m looking forward to putting more pieces of the ancestry puzzle together. I wonder if we’ll find more surprises from Dad’s DNA results… or perhaps by further digging into the names and lives of our ancestors. It’s a fun, exciting, and yes, somewhat surprising journey!

Now more than a half-century old, and on the cusp of 60 years of age, I’m learning about my heritage … and I’m thankful I can do so, surprises and all.

23 and Me-Genealogy and Memoirs by Cher’ley

This post by Cher’ley Grogg

An 80-year-old couple was having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor, to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctors, they explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory. After checking the couple out, the doctor tells them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left. Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair, and his wife asks, “Where are you going?” He replies, “To the kitchen.” She asks, “Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” He replies, “Sure.” She then asks him, “Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” He says, “No, I can remember that.” She then says, “Well, I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you’ll forget that.” He says, “I can remember that you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.” She replies, “Well, I also would like whip cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down.” With irritation in his voice, he says, “I don’t need to write that down, I can remember that.” He then fumes into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment and says, “You forgot my toast.”

As we age, we contemplate more and more about our ancestors, and maybe even writing a Memoir. I love doing family history that maybe will make its way to a memoir someday.

How far back can you trace your family tree? I started doing genealogy about 20 years ago I worked hard at it for about six years and accumulated loads of information about my ancestors. Not long ago, I kept seeing these advertisements on TV about 23 and Me. My ears always perk up when I hear the words family tree or genealogy. So they were showing people who had connected to long lost relatives, and also people who would find out exactly where their ancestors came from and what percentage of each nationality you are. Ancestry really interested me. All I had to do was pay $108.00 and send in a DNA sample. So I did.

I am:

99.1 % European Mostly British & Irish, some Scandinavian (Viking)—A little French & German,

             And bit of Iberian (Spain, Portugal)

     9 % American Indian



 Viking female using the drop spindle

Growing up I was told I was mostly English and Indian, I guess I’m a little more English than Indian. I know I am a sub-tribe of the Shawnee. With names in my family like Dicken and Baker (English), Baker is also an Ohio Indian Surname (many English sounding names are also American Indian), Swan is Indian, Kibble is Scottish, Thress is German, Jakobson is Norwegian, Founds is Cornish from the “lost” medieval villages and hamlets and they spoke the Celtic language. I found a few tidbits here and there that were interesting. I love doing the research, but I don’t have much time to devote to it.

.two weathered stones standing at an angle on a grassy hill, with a third doughnut-shaped stone between themMên-an-Tol is an ancient lith site in Cornwall



She looks like my Great-grandma, except my Grandma didn’t like to wear glasses.

Miniature portrait of Charles Dickens (aged 18) by Mrs Janet BarrowCharles Dickens at 18.

This page has links to Memoir Books to read: Types of Memoirs and Examples

Here are some types of Memoirs: 

  • Family legacy
  • Intersection with history or politics
  • Nostalgia
  • War
  • Public or Celebrity Life
  • Charity or Service
  • Personal Struggle or Witness
  • Social or Cultural Struggle or Witness
  • Advice Based on Experience
  • Coming of Age
  • Rags to Riches
  • Spiritual Journey
  • Travel
  • A Second Coming of Age
  • Romance

I don’t believe we have any Memoirs Writers, but if you were going to write a Memoir, which one would it be? I think mine would be Nostalgia.


If anyone is going to do 23 and me, please let me know. If you use my name and number, I get credit. Thanks. And yes, I thought it was worth the money.

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 
Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE