Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The kit is here!

Welcome back, friends, family and followers, all!
The DNA kit arrived on Friday 12/23 - I couldn't believe how quickly my kit was delivered.
O.K., so I paid for the thing 12/19 and posted that same evening and - is this right - 4 Days later? Amazing! Boy, these guys don't mess around. "Git 'r done!"
So after work that evening I find in my mailbox a white envelope from Family Tree DNA in Houston, Tx. with a letter from the President of the company that starts ... "Dear Fellow Genealogist:" ... yeah, well, I'm still working on that. Try 'genealogist-wanna-be' or 'when I grow up...', anyway, 'we're a really cool company and we do some really cool stuff and we're gonna keep your DNA for 25 years, at no extra charge, so that you can add any other tests you may want to add later.'
So then, the blue sheet - DNA Collection Method - with step-by-step  instructions on how to scrub the inside of your cheek and how to handle the samples. Sounds simple enough, I can do this.
Except there is this one little paragraph that says "Scraping should be before eating or drinking, or at least an hour after eating and drinking. Avoid warm or hot fluids before scraping."
The problem is; since I received this thing, I haven't found the ideal time yet that I wasn't either eating, drinking, working or sleeping!
I don't know about you guys, but, we usually work so hard between work, church, singing (annual caroling party, holiday concerts,etc.) and preparing the house, the tree, and on and on and on in a mad rush to the big Christmas Eve event (family tradition). Then we crash and burn on Christmas day to finally re-emerge like the proverbial groundhog around Jan. 2nd. to start the race all over again.
But! I have a plan.
I've worked some long days the last two days but I'm off tomorrow - before my morning coffee and my breakfast (probably left over cookies or something from Christmas Eve - only the healthiest stuff, don't ya know), I will try to do the first of two scrapings. Then after I wake up and busy myself with day-off-morning-routine stuff for an hour or so I will do the second scrapping, put the samples in the self-addressed envelope along with the proper amount of postage.
Then, with any luck, I should be able to put the envelope in my mailbox before the postal carrier arrives to take my envelope and send it on it's return journey to the labs in Houston, Tx. and then, the waiting begins...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas to ... me!

Have I mentioned that I have a wonderful, generous wife? 

When she asked me this year what I wanted for Christmas, I told her, " just one thing: A DNA test."
Imagine her shock. A DNA test? What for? Aren't DNA tests for criminals? 
Silly rabbit, DNA tests are for genealogists!

With a simple test and a month or so of anxious waiting I will have answers to questions that I could not possibly prove otherwise. Of course, my brothers and cousins will have answers to questions that they didn't even know they had. 

So, with the blessing of Mrs. Santa, I ordered the test through Family Tree DNA this morning. And shortly I will receive the kit to swab my cheek and sent that off to the lab and, with the results of that test, and a comparison with the other members of the Green(e) family project, I will learn who my ancestors really are. This test will go back at least 5 generations and probably more. I will finally know just what percentage of heritage (American Indian, European) I am.

And, my dear readers and family, ( I know you're out there) I will take you along on this journey of discovery and keep you posted on each step along the way. So, stay tuned to see the steps and the time involved and the results. Is it Feb. yet?

Happy Christmas - to us all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Story Confirmed

I was in Costco with my wife yesterday after church. Going through the new books section - I love browsing through this section - I came across Glenn Beck's new book about the life of George Washington. I couldn't help but wonder if he had included a section about Washington's service before and during Braddock's Defeat.
Curiosity got the best of me. I couldn't stand it so I had to check it out.
Sure enough, there it was, towards the beginning of the book - a detailed account of the story. Of course, Mr. Beck had a whole book to fill and so he could get into much more detail and background than I could on this humble little blog.
I thought the story I told was too long for this blog - 7 parts - but it necessarily included my family history. This was, of course, the point of my version of this story and would not have been written otherwise. It just happened that Mr. Washington's career crossed paths with my ancestors and gave me a great hook for my story.
I did not have the time to read the whole account, but the bits I did read did not include my Stewart ancestors. Well! Color me miffed!
I know. I should break down and buy the book and read the whole story because I really would love to read the story of that amazing life. But, as you might imagine, I have so many books on my "must read" list right now that Mr. Becks book will just have to wait. Sorry Glenn.
Who knows, I may just find this and 1 or 2 other historical books under my
Christmas tree if I'm good ... well, OK, maybe not.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stewarts - Part 7 - The Aftermath

Stewarts, Washington, and General Braddock’s Defeat
(A historical story in 7 little parts)
By David L. Green
The aftermath 

In the end, or should I say…as the story continues, George Washington gains favor in the eyes of the colonists and goes on to become a war hero in the American Revolution. Eventually, of course, he becomes the first President of the new United States.
General Braddock gives the British crown its worst defeat before the War of Independence. His grave was found some years later and the body re-interred about 100 yds. away from the original grave (Braddocks Grave). There is a park there now and a beautiful memorial where a service is held each year.
Daniel Boone goes on to become one of the most famous frontiersmen in history exploring and opening the Cumberland Gap for Western expansion.
Governor Robert Dinwiddie left the colonies in 1758, retired, and died in Bristol, England.
And the sons of James and Robert Stewart become famous as “Indian Rangers” and Revolutionary War heroes. The family eventually married into the Cooke family who married into the Green family and became my ancestors.
Robert Stewart/Stuart and Mary Ann Lafferty (O’Lafferty) are my 5th Great Grandparents.
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Abbott, J. S. Benjamin Franklin: A picture of the struggles of our infant nation, p.177.
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Ferling, J. E. ( 2010 ). The First of Men: A Life of George Washington. Oxford University Press,.
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