Category: Watkins Toots

A 5th Cousin Match

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By , November 22, 2015 8:02 am

Cousin found! I don’t usually pursue DNA matches beyond 4th cousins because, more often than not, after a few back and forths the search for our common ancestor ends in futility. However, this time I made an exception when a predicted 5th cousin contacted me on 23andme and so glad I did. We found our connection in record time, like 20 minutes, because we each had done the work. Our MRCA are my 4th and his 5th great grandparents Reese Kelso Watkins and Sarah Barber, ancestors of my paternal GF Robert Norris. I am descended from their daughter Nancy who married William Norris; he is descended from their daughter Sarah. The Watkins came from Wales to PA ca. 1700; the Barbers were Scotch-Irish who settled in Craigs Creek, Augusta County, VA. My branch of this family ended up in Wilcox County, AL by way of Craigs Creek then Johnston County, NC then Oglethorpe County, GA. His went to Vermilion Parish, LA.

Like me, my new cousin is African American. Both of us have found white Watkins and Barber cousins but what’s remarkable is that we found our common ancestry through the brick wall imposed by slavery. His 2xGGM was an enslaved woman of Native American ancestry. He still carries her A2 genetic marker. My GF born into slavery in 1861 was the offspring of a mulatto slave and a white Norris. He is the first African American cousin I’ve confirmed who is not a close relative to me. The chances of us finding each other were less than 2%!

I can track my GF’s white ancestors back to their European homelands and their arrival in this country before the Revolution. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to do the same for my enslaved ancestors beyond the generic African designation.

Source: Reposted from Facebook on November 22, 2017,

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