finding your roots

Clues to my Ancestors

Dianne M. Daniels May 14, 2012

Dianne M. Daniels

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Finding my ancestors on my father’s side has been the most difficult part of my genealogical research. My father, Charles Edward Morton, passed away when I was 9 years old, and there were not a lot of records in his personal papers. I unfortunately did not start an intensive search until I was an adult, which further hampers my progress, because most of the elders who might have been of assistance have also passed on.

Record searches found him in Richmond, Virginia (his place of birth) but not much past that is known. He is reportedly Choctaw and African-American in ancestry, but I’ve been unable to confirm this. His mother – Lucinda Averett Morton – and his father, Ernest Morton – are ‘roadblocks’ in my search because records for them are very hard to find.

I will keep looking and documenting – and the release of the 1940 census will hopefully shed a little more light…I did find one unusual clue some years ago. I was at a community fundraiser and saw a woman across the room who could have been my father’s twin in female form. I gathered my courage and walked up to her and introduced myself, then asked about her ancestry. She was very kind and wonderful and told me of her family, and we thought there might have been a connection, but I lost track of her. Sadly, I cannot find any information about her – not her name or where she might have lived.

I have much more information on my Mother’s family – Katherine Elizabeth Ramsey Morton. In fact – I was at a local Highland Games and discovered a Clan Ramsay / Ramsey. There is a possible connection there as well.

Now I can explain my ancestry as African-American, French, American Indian, Jewish and Scottish.

What a wonderful journey to be on!

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The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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