Monday, December 29, 2008

Greetings From the White House

On Saturday night, I began an Internet search on 'White House birthday greetings for Centenarians' because my Aunt Della will be turning 100 next year. Aunt Della is the youngest sister of my paternal grandmother Hattie. Even though Aunt Della won't turn 100 until December 26, 2009, I wanted to look into this matter early so that my family would know what to anticipate. I wasn't sure if a birthday greeting from the President of the United States was automatically sent, or if someone needed to submit a request. From my Internet search, I learned that a request has to be submitted at least six weeks in advance and that the honoree has to be a U.S. Citizen.

I was extremely surprised to learn that individuals as young as 80 can receive a birthday greeting from the President of the United States. Wow, I thought after reading this, Aunt Della, and my other elderly relatives, such as my 86-year-old maternal grandmother, could have already received a birthday greeting form the President of the United States if I had known about this age criteria.

I also learned that official greetings from the White House are not only sent for birthdays, but also for other special events such as a 50th anniversaries, Weddings, a Baby's Birth, Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award Bar, and Bat Mitzvah's or other equivalent events.

I'm looking forward to utilizing the White House Greeting card to honor my Aunt Della and other elderly family members, as well as to welome the births of two new additions to my family (a great niece and a great nephew whose arrivals are expected in February and March of 2009.) The White House Greeting Cards will be even more special for my family since they will be signed by the first African American President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

For more information on Greetings from the White House, visit the websites below.

  • How to Order Greeting from White House
  • National Centenarian Awareness Project
  • Sunday, December 28, 2008

    Proximidade Award

    I am honored to be a recepient of the “Proximidade Award” Many thanks go to fellow Bloggers Msteri of Heritage Happens and Cindy of Everthing's Relative, for nominating me for this award.

    This is the Proximidade blog award. The details of the award are as follows:

    "These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

    I have added the Proximidade Award logo to my blog and also placed links to the persons who gave me this award in this posting. Additionally, as a recipient of this award, I am required to nominate eight other blogs. Below, is a list of my nominations for the “Proximidade Award.”

    1. Steve’s Genealogy Blog

    2. Life in England

    3. Christine's Genealogy Website

    4. The Blessedness of Believing

    5. Genealogy – Photograph – Restoration

    6. Another American in London

    7. Food, Family, Fun

    8. The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

    Finally, I will leave comments on each of these blogs. Thanks again to Msteri and Cindy for your nominations.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Having a Good Time

    The tall man in the middle of this photo was George Goode (abt. 1900-1956), who was the husband of my Aunt Lena Bullock Goode Dunn (1902-1949). Lena was a half sister of my great great grandfather Andrew Bullock (1862-1915). I do not know the names of George Goode's friends in this photo, but they all look like they were having a great time!

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Brick Wall Knocked Down Through DNA Testing

    I am pleased to announce that DNA test results have confirmed a paternal relationship between the descendants of Arthur “Ardie” Pair (1864-1929) and Mabry Pair (1858-bef. 1900), both who lived in Greensville County, VA. My reason for testing the Y-chromosome or paternal DNA of these two families is that the documents (two marriage licenses and death certificate) found on my great grandfather Ardie did not name his parents. However, I determined the name of Ardie and Mabry’s mother through several research methods.

    1. Marriage License. Locating Mabry’s 1879 marriage license which named his parents as “Hal and Rainey.” No surname was listed for the parents on the marriage license.
    2. Surname Search. Doing a surname search of PAIR marriage records in Greensville County, VA which revealed that a Rainey Pair married a Joseph Briggs in 1867.
    3. Census. Search of the 1870 and 1880 censuses for Rainey Pair Briggs and Joseph Briggs where Ardie and Mabry were found living with their mother and stepfather in 1870.

    Since I had not found any documentation on the paternity of my ancestor Ardie, I turned to DNA testing for answers. I wanted DNA test results to prove or disprove a paternal connection between Ardie and Mabry Pair.

    In order to test these two lines, I needed to test direct male descendants of these two families. In October 2008, a great grandson of Mabry Pair took a 46-marker DNA test from DNA . In November 2008, my father, who is a grandson of Ardie Pair took the same type of test. Results for both tests were received in late November with exact matches on all 46 markers. The paternal Haplogroup for these two tests is E3a.

    The 46-marker test results mean that these two families share a paternal ancestor within the last six generations or 150 years. I do not know when Hal, the common ancestor in these two families, was born or died; however, I do know that he was a common ancestor within the last five generations of this family.

    Further, these matching results also mean that the descendants of Mabry Pair have the same African connection as the descendants of Ardie Pair. In July 2007, one of my father’s brothers took a Y-chromosome test through the African Ancestry DNA Company) The results of this 8-marker test match present living people in three African countries:
    1. Balanta people in Guinea-Bissau
    2. Yoruba people in Nigeria
    3. Akan people in Ghana.
    These African Ancestry results mean that the Pair family has genetic African cousins living in these countries and that we share a paternal ancestor who lived thousands of years ago.

    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery

    Congratulations to my online friend, Melvin J. Collier, on the publication of his new book "Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery" This book captures Melvin’s fourteen-year journey in uncovering the buried history of his maternal grandmother's family-a journey that took him back seven generations, from northern Mississippi to the Piedmont hills of South Carolina, and even back to a specific people and region in West Africa where his ancestry undoubtedly began.

    Melvin also has been busy with numerous book signings and I wish him much success in this endeavor.

    Related Links

  • Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery

  • Mel’s Roots Diggin’ Site

  • Mississippi to Africa website
  • Friday, December 5, 2008

    Last Visit with Aunt Dorothy

    This picture was taken in late November 1981 and it was the last time I saw my Aunt Dorothy Thornton Andrews before she died the following year. Aunt Dorothy was from Enfield, NC and had moved to New Jersey when she was a young woman. During my freshman year in college, my maternal grandmother Emma and I took a trip to Newark, New Jersey for Thanksgiving to visit relatives. Aunt Dorothy and her husband James (sitting in chair) lived in East Orange, NJ, which is a close to Newark. I am not sure who the young boy was picture in this photo. Perhaps he was a boy from the neighborhood.

    Aunt Dorothy was a sister of my grandfather Minor Elwood Thornton.

    Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood!

    In this 4-part video, the family of the now President-Elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are interviewed by Access Hollywood. The interview was conducted during the Summer of 2008.

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 1 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 2 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Pary 3 of 4)

    Obama family goes Unplugged on Access Hollywood! (Part 4 of 4)

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Tombstone Parking Meter

    Talk about a way to get attention even after death. I found a photo on another blog of a tombstone with a parking meterplaced on it. It is the grave of Barbara Sue Manire (1941-2005).

    This is definitely one of the most unique tombstones I’ve ever seen.