Saturday, April 18, 2020

A Page out of Rose's Bible: Dabney and Towles

When I was a young girl, I loved doing connect the dots puzzles. Now that I am no longer young, my mission is to connect my family members; unlike the dots puzzles, that have an end number, connecting family is unending! 

My cousin Jackie, on my dad’s maternal side, spoke of a relative of ours who is an author and a professor at Emory College. Mind you, I had just connected with Jackie a few years before through her dad, Burton (the keeper of family history), Burton had a book of family obituaries he called the “dead book.” Having met him, he provided more than sixty more dots for me to connect!

My conversation with Jackie took place in 2017; I wasted no time and sought out and purchased my cousin’s books on Next, I found a work email address, I took a chance and contacted her. There was an immediate warm response from Kimberly stating that she was glad that I reached out to her.

When I receive information on relatives, I act on it quickly. I sometimes think about the time that’s been lost, so I am compelled to connect my dot to theirs as soon as possible!

In September of 2018, I get a call from another cousin; it was Rose the mother of Kimberly, the author/professor! Rose, like me has an interest in getting to know family connected to her mother. I told Rose that my great-grandmother, Cornelia Towles Anderson, was sister to her mother, Adeline Towles Hardman. 

Fast forward to 2020, Rose and I recently reconnected, I called her last week to check on her during this COVID19 situation. She requested the DNA pie chart of our cousin, which I emailed to her right away. She wanted to compare information from her mother’s DNA test with African Ancestry, done quite a few years back, to our cousin’s to see what countries are listed.
I checked my email the next day and saw that Rose sent me a copy of a family tree that is written in a Bible that belonged to her mom Adeline. The copy provided me with three additional sibling names of Mahala Dabney Towles, my second great-grandmother and two additional sibling names of Beverly Towles, my second great-grandfather.

The research was on, again! I was up really late searching for the wives, husbands, children, daughters and sons-in-law, and grandchildren. I came across a birth certificate of the daughter of one couple. The parents’ of the girl, listed their color or race as Ethiopian. Both parents were born in Virginia around 1894. I saw this as an Alex Haley moment! Someone passed on written and or verbal African history.

Armed with this new bit of information of our connection to Ethiopia, I decided to view both my dad’s and Burton’s DNA pie chart. I was pleasantly surprised to find that both of them have overlap into the bottom portion of Ethiopia. This is amazing!

Cousin Rose, I appreciate you for providing additional dots for our family tree!