JoLynn had spent years researching her European Ancestry and was surprised to discover a document or file that stated one of her great grandmothers was from Africa. Then she took an Ancestry DNA test to know her ethnicity estimate result.
Ancestry: What motivated you to trace your family using Ancestry DNA?
JoLynn: One day, I found a document on my parental 3rd great-grandmother that recognized her as a free woman of color. I was so interested that I did an Ancestry DNA test, and my DNA results showed that I am 4% Southeastern Bantu.
Ancestry: How will you explain your level of personal family history knowledge before taking the Ancestry DNA test?
JoLynn: My family history knowledge before taking the Ancestry DNA test was limited. It is much easier to research online with all the data that Ancestry has.
Ancestry: Can you please tell us about your research approach once you were matched with possible cousins?
JoLynn: When I got the DNA match for my sisters, we were close to 1st cousins. But, I was not sure what that meant precisely. I also don’t know my other siblings, so I predicted we were cousins. I first started calling them cousins. It took only eight emails, and after we came to know that we are not cousins. We are half-sisters and have the same father. All of us were super excited, but it was also thrilling for my sisters since they had been given for adoption at birth and finally connected with their biological family members.
I give them the family photos of our grandparents and beyond. My DNA also matched with cousins on both my parental and maternal sides. I have also contacted my cousins that I am connected to through bondage. We have no intent to which ancestors we are connected or related through yet, but we are working on it.
Ancestry: What were the responses of your family members when you gave the information you discovered?
JoLynn: My mother is 88 years old, and she was surprised to know about my discovery. She did not know that my biological father had fathered twins before he married my mother. My sisters, whom I grew up with, were also surprised. We are half-sisters too, and all three have different fathers but the same mother. They were also excited to take the Ancestry DNA test to see what their results say to them. I am only saying my sisters as half-sisters for your clarification. I love my sisters more.
Ancestry: Can you please explain your experience after meeting your sisters for the first time?
JoLynn: After meeting my new sisters for the very first time, it was an exciting moment, and I was so tense. My sisters lived only a 5-hour drive away from me. They are identical twins and are so funny. My sisters had many questions, and we had a conversation with each other till our throats were sore from talking. The overall experience was very amazing, and we are not only sisters now but are good friends as well.
Ancestry: Has the experience of searching for your long-lost family changes you in any way?
JoLynn: The overall experience of searching for a new family was wonderful and awesome. I would not change a thing. I can’t say if the experience while searching my family has changed me anyway. It made me more aware that nothing is impossible. So, don’t be afraid and search for what you can and find out more possible thoughts.
James Wilson and I am a writer. I live in the USA As a writer historical stuff attracts me. That’s why I activated an Ancestry DNA kit to find out my family’s history. To activate Ancestry DNA kit, visit: Ancestrydna.com/activate