Monday, February 18, 2013

Taking the DNA Plunge

I have already done the autosomal DNA test on myself which was not earth shattering but it was interesting.  I had been putting off doing a yDNA test but I am now at the point in my Simmons research that I need to do something.  I can’t get past my brick wall and I am hoping this will shed some light on my dilemma.  I have no brothers and my dad is deceased but one of my dad’s brothers has kindly offered to donate some DNA for me.  I plan on chronicling the process on the blog so that you can see how long it takes and whether or not I actually find out anything useful.  I ordered the test from Family Tree DNA through the Simmons Group Project on 15 Feb 2013.  You get a little bit of a discount if you order the test through one of their project pages.  I opted for the 37 marker test which is the one they recommend.   

Here is the brick wall that I hope to break down:

James Simmons of South Carolina was born 14 August 1764 and died 10 Jan 18431 in Perry County, Mississippi.  He married Ellenor Lee of South Carolina abt. 1787, 2 most likely in South Carolina.

I have been unable to trace James’ parents though I do have a couple of theories.  So what am I hoping the DNA will accomplish?  Well, there are several people in the Simmons DNA project that have a Simmons ancestor in New England a generation or two before my James and some are even further back to England.  If my DNA matches one of those lines it will get me steered in the right direction. 

For more information on DNA tests, you can read my DNA in a Nutshell blog post.


1 James Simmons, Jr. Family Bible, 1764-1907, The Holy Bible (Philadelphia: Kimber and Sharples, n.d.), "Family Record"; privately held by Homer Kees, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Brookhaven, Mississippi, 1921. Entry for James Simmons Senr; The Kimber and Sharples publishing company was in business 1807-1844 [John Wright, Early Bibles of America (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1892), 123.] The earliest entries are in one same hand, the later entries are in a different hand and the latest entries are in a third hand.  Per Mr. Kees, the Bible passed from James to his youngest child Charity Green Simmons who was Mr. Kees' grandmother.  He inherited the Bible from her.

2 James Simmons, Jr. Family Bible Records, “Family Record;” Under the entry for James Simmons, Senr. is "Ellenor Lee Simmons, his wife." The estimated marriage date is based on Ellenor being 18 years of age at the time of the marriage.


Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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