Friday, April 17, 2015

Momma's Baby, Daddy's Maybe: Using DNA to determine Grandma Jane's father

On Ancestry DNA, I have two close DNA matches who both descend from Robert & Mary Jackson of Bellville, Austin County, Texas. These matches are most likely paternal as my father's mother, Jane Garnett was born and raised in Bellville, Texas.

DNA Matches
  • Cousin C is listed in the 2nd - 3rd cousin range (Predicted 2nd Cousin) descends from Robert's daughter Julia E. Jackson Williams
  • Cousin V is in the 3rd-4th cousin range (Predicted 3rd Cousin) - descends from Robert's son Turner Jackson
DNA matches - Descendants of Robert Jackson

Both matches are given the Confidence Range: Extremely High, which according to Ancestry means we would share more than 30 centiMorgans of DNA.

Louise "Mickey" Garnett 

Grandma Jane's mother, Louise Garnett never married and her four children all had different father's. Aunt Leola & Aunt Mable shared the same father, Hannibal "Daddy Sam" Southern and Aunt Martha's father was Milam Curry. Growing up, my father always spoke of Daddy Sam as being his grandfather. When my grandmother was killed in May of 2000, I learned from my dad that Daddy Sam was in fact not my grandmother's biological father, but he did treat her like she was one of his own.

When I started researching in 2006, I asked my grandmother's cousins did she ever know who her father was or mention his name. None of them had ever heard any mention of her father except for my grandmother's 1st cousin Idell. Cousin Idell remembered her mother Rosie Garnett-Smith (Louise's younger sister) state that Ed Taylor was my grandmother's father. At the time I figured it was true, especially because of the 1930 U.S. census Ed Taylor lived just two houses away from Louise Garnett and her family.

1930 U.S. Federal Census - Precinct 1, Austin County, Texas (Burleigh & Creed Taylor Road)

My grandmother's Delayed Birth Certificate found among her belongings did not list her father's name.
Grandma Jane's delayed birth certificate
In 2007, I sent off a request of my grandmother's Social Security Numident - an abstract of an individuals Social Security application (SS-5).

A few weeks later I received the document which listed my grandmother's parents as Robert Garnett & Louisa Travic. Then I thought, "this can't be correct because Louise was definitely a Garnett". Travic/Travick is the surname of Louise's maternal-grandmother, Mary Travick. Now there were two individuals in the Austin County area named Robert Garnett (one a Jr. and the other Sr.) but older relatives stated they didn't know these Garnett's.

Grandma Jane
I then ordered a copy of my grandma's Social Security application to see if the information on the SS application differed from the numident and it did not. My grandmother likely distorted the facts of her parentage on her application due to the shame of being illegitimate during that time.

I believe that the name Robert may not have been a random name my grandmother placed on her SS application and that he is possibly her biological father. If Robert Jackson is my Great-grandfather then that would make Cousin C [2nd Cousin, once removed] and Cousin V [2nd Cousin, twice removed].

Unfortunately, I am unable to triangulate any segments between these matches and myself. Ancestry does not have a Chromosome Browser and neither cousin is on Gedmatch. I'll likely have to wait for another descendant of Robert Jackson to show up in my list of matches (one who would hopefully upload to Gedmatch in order for me to compare segments).

Terrence A. Garnett
   [April 17, 2015]

 Source Citations
  1. 1930 United States Census, online database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Aug 2014), Louisa Garnet HOH (Age: 40), Precinct 1, Austin County, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0002, sheet 16B, family 365, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2287.
  2. Texas Department of Health Services, Delayed Certificate of Birth, #423132, Jane Garnett born April 1, 1922 (Austin County), Entry for mother: Louise Garnett. Delayed BC issued: May 16, 1984.