Wednesday, January 13, 2016

John Turner Project - Genetic Genealogy Project for Descendants of John and Patience Turner and Thomas Weathersbee

The research of John and Patience Turner has been a pet project of mine for many years, in large part because their story as a couple, as a slave and as a person of color in the South is so compelling but probably also because I have yet to figure out where they came from before their known stories and so there is an element of a puzzle or mystery there.

Some time ago, I started digging into their genetics via myself and their other descendants.  I found evidence of John Turner's Sub Saharan African ancestry and I'd love to find more.  I'd love to be able to continue their family trees.  Perhaps I could find evidence that John's father was or was not his slave holder, Thomas Weathersbee or maybe evidence of Patience's family.  Pie in the sky, we could maybe even create a pretty comprehensive Lazarus kit for John Turner or Patience Turner!

To further the effort, I created a 'data collective'.  That's a fancy way of saying a spreadsheet of all of the data related to the genetic matches of related descendants (of John Turner and Thomas Weathersbee), accessible by all project participants.    The project is in it's wee bitty stages still but it's already looking promising!  So far, 13 kits and a couple of months in, we have identified two segments from two ancestors that are most likely from John Turner.

We need more descendants' data to work with though.  If you are descended from John and Patience Turner or Thomas Weathersbee, I would love to include you in the project.  Participation is easy.  You only need a gedmatch kit (free and easily created from your 23andme, ftdna or ancestry.com DNA) and a family tree (even a suspected one is fine) between you and John and Patience Turner.  If you have sources for your research, that is all the better - otherwise, I will research your tree to the extent that I can find evidence in support of your tree.  You send me your information, I send you a link to the spreadsheet and from there, you can do as much or as little as you'd like!

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