How far back in your family tree can you go?

three to seven generations

ancestrydna3I had thought of participating in the Bloganuary thing, but don’t have time. There’s a prompt every day. The one for today is: How far back in your family tree can you go? This intrigued me.

Of course, that depends on the line. I can go back three generations from my maternal grandmother, Gertrude Yates, but only one generation from my maternal grandfather, Clarence Williams.

I remember my father’s mother’s father, Samuel Walker, who held me as a baby and died when I was seven, but I can’t go back any further. His wife, Mary Eugenia Patterson – often mistakenly listed as Eugene, died long before I was born.  I can track THREE of her earlier generations, mostly the work of others.

But the mysterious Raymond Cone, my biological paternal grandfather whose name I’ve only known since 2019, has some tantalizing lineage. I can go back four generations from him. Maybe. The narrative is a bit murky.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “How far back in your family tree can you go?”

  1. My family is a weird mix of white, African-American and Cherokee. How racist the researching family member is seems to call whether they find the oldest African-American and Cherokee ancestors.

    I know one side goes back to 2 slaves from Savannah. We had Cherokee ancestors sent west in the Trail of Tears. Some of us have never used $20 bills because Andrew Jackson is on them. I had relatives on both sides of the Pettus Bridge during the Selma March. Some of us supported integration and some were in the local Klan. One close relative brags we have no Blacks in the family and also that the last white woman Henry VIII killed was one of us.

    It’s a genetic mess made worse by whether you like Trump or not. One of my ex-husbands said once that “William Falkner fiction seems to be journalism in your family….”

    …Must be why I live alone in Seattle now. I would have moved from Alabama to Hawaii if I had known how to swim, I think…

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