AnestryDna has been the gift that keeps on giving. It has helped me verify certain identified ancestors and providedclues to other potential ones. Last December it solved a mystery that had tantalized me for years.
Back in 2014, when I first received my DNA results, I noticed one of my matches had an ancestor, Ivory Lucinda Woods, who was born in Crockett County, Tennessee. This is where my maternal grandmother's people lived and some still reside. None of the other names on the tree looked familiar and only this one person was born in Crockett County. Ivie Woods is on the 1900 census living next door to my great-great grandmother Janie Koonce's sister.
I emailed my DNA cousin asking for more information but never heard back from him. Until two years later, this past December!! He just saw the message. Although he didn't know how we were related, it piqued my curiosity enough to make me look at the connection again.
On my cousin's tree Ivory's father is listed as William Woods but her mother is listed as private. And my cousin never emailed me the mother's name. I had to search for Ivory born August 23, 1895, died 1970, in another family tree. Luckily, I found her and her mother. Her mother's name was Florence. Next I found Florence's death certificate. Her parents names were listed as William Roberts and Judy Clay. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. Judy is my great great great grandmother and William is the step-father of my great great grandmother Jane Roberts Koonce. I am on the right trail!
Now here comes the mystery. On the 1880 census, James and Jane list a daughter, Jenie Koonce. Jenie was born in 1871 but Jane was born around and married James in 1876. Mystery number one. Mystery number two--I could never find Jenie Koonce again in any documents online but I did find a Jenie Roberts that married William Woods in 1892. However, on the 1900 census, William Woods, the same William that is Ivie's father and who is living next door to Jane's sister, is married to Florence and had been married to Florence for eight years. Florence is Jenie!
After further searching, I found out that Florence married Albert P. Yancy after William died. She married Albert Sr. in December of the same year, 1905, the William died. Their tombstones are in New Cemetery, Crockett County, Tennessee, the cemetery of my Koonce and Roberts ancestors.
So I solved the mystery of Jenie Koonce and naturally, another mystery is born. Who was her father? Her mother, Jane, was not married to James when she had her and she also was only around 12 years old. I think this is a secret that was taken to the graves of many of my relatives but DNA has a way of bringing the truth back to life. Maybe I will be able to solve that mystery too in the future