4 Dec 2015 – Laura Washington and Melzar Williams

It’s a pleasure to have my Mom living with us!  I hear so many stories about our ancestors that really help to fill the gap that “Between The Dashes” addresses.  If you are following my blog, you know my Mom celebrated her 80th birthday this year!  My Mom and her sister are the oldest living relatives in our family.  Today, let me share with you my 2nd great grandparents, Laura and Melzar Williams.

Laura Washington was born 17 May 1869 in Mobile, AL to Annie (age of 25) and George Washington (age 28 ).   She was about 5’2″, light-skinned with long hair that she parted down the middle, braided in two braids, and pinned each braid in the back.  She had three sisters (Etta, Mary, and Addie) and two brothers (Dave and Emanuel).   Continue reading

23 Nov 2015 – Cousin Francis 

Last week, my Mom and I were reminiscing about cousin Francis.  He was special to both of us, and we have many fond memories of him.  My Mother and Francis grew up together in Mobile as children.  They were like best friends.  They attended the same schools from elementary through high school.  Francis worked at the Seafood business that Our family owned.  He would go with my Mom to pick up the fresh seafood from the Mobile Bay and bring it to the restaurant to sell.  Francis also delivered groceries for the business.  Francis was my father’s best man at my parent’s wedding.

I knew Francis while I was growing up as a child.  He was always the one that loved to have fun and cooked some of the best gumbo around!  The gumbo had big pieces of crab, shrimp, sausage and rice with seafood seasoning.  Unfortunately, no recipe on this one folks!  Francis combined his fantastic food with drinks  and dancing at his parties.  In Chicago, we called them “house parties”.   My sisters and I had a house party one night, and one night only.  Perhaps I will share that story in a future post.

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11 Nov 2015 – Korean Conflict – Roland Davis (My Father)

Happy Veterans Day!  A special thanks to all of our military and their families for their service!  It’s truly a Team effort!  Following is a picture of my father and his friend while serving in Korea in 1953.


Roland Davis & Timothy - Korea 1953

Roland Davis (left) & Timothy Perkins (right) – Korea 1953


During my childhood, I don’t remember my father talking much about his service.  Most of what I will tell you today is either documented in his discharge papers, based on my research, or based on family history.

On 5 November 1952, Roland Davis reported to Montgomery, AL for in processing which consisted of uniform issue and mental and physical exams.  I believe his basic training was done at Camp Stoneman, CA per his brother Roosevelt.   When the US Army inducted him for the Korean Conflict, my father was 20 years old.  Prior to entering the service, he lived with his mother and three brothers in Mobile, AL.

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5 Nov 2015 – Health History

When we do our family tree, we focus on births, deaths, marriages, and other significant events.  One very important piece of information is generally missing.  As you do your genealogical research, take the time to gather health history as well.  This is helpful information for you, your family and your doctor, especially for diseases that are hereditary.

There are several options to gather health information.  For deceased persons in my tree, I generally add cause of death as a fact to my tree.  You can also upload documents and attach to your tree.  Be mindful what information you share especially if you make your tree accessible to the public.

The March of Dimes has a very comprehensive  family-health-history-form that could be completed and attached as a fact to your family tree.  This form is pretty involved.

Other useful sites include:

My Family Health

Tracing Your Health History at Genealogy.com

My Family Health Portrait

Know Your Family Health History at FamilySearch

Family Health History Toolkit

Ancestry.com – Creating a Health History (requires Family Tree Maker software)


Between The Dashes

3 Nov 2015 – Genealogy and DNA

Have you ever thought of getting your DNA tested?  Well, I thought about it and actually did it!  My Mother always talked about the women in our family having a Native American heritage, so I really expected to see results that included Native American – maybe 10% or more!



The structure of part of a DNA double helix. May be subject to copyright.

I took advantage of the tests offered by Ancestry which provides an estimate of the historical origins of my DNA.  Following are my results:

 Africa 73%

  • Benin/Togo 21%
  • Mali 17%
  • Cameroon/Congo 14%
  • Nigeria 6%
  • Ivory Coast/Ghana 5%
  • Trace Regions 10%

Europe 26%

  • Europe West 10%
  • Ireland 8%
  • Trace Regions 8%

West Asia 1%

  • Trace Regions 1%

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