Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Branch DNA Project.....Is Your Surname Branch?

If your surname is Branch, and you are searching for your ancestors, you may want to consider joining the Branch DNA Project affiliated with FamilyTreeDNA. The Houston, Texas-based company is offering its FamilyFinder test kit for the reduced rate of $99 this week. First off, I am not affiliated with the company, but I have had my own DNA tested by FamilyTreeDNA and was quite satisfied with the results of my FamilyFinder test. My DNA results, however, cannot be used for the Branch DNA Project - samples must be from male members of the Branch family who are willing to submit a sample for y-DNA testing. 

If you are wondering why I am writing about the Branch DNA Project, my answer is a simple one. I have searched unsuccessfully for years trying to determine the names of my 5th great-grandfather's parents. Here are the facts:

Edward Branch, born circa 1750, married Martha Tilman in 1797 in Amelia County, Virginia. Martha Tilman was a daughter of Richard Tighlman/Tilman. Edward had been married twice before, to Martha Botte and to Sara Goodrich, and according to most researchers, he had as many as ten children by the two women.  My own family line is descended from Edward's marriage to Martha Tilman, a relationship that allegedly produced only one child. Edward Tillman Branch, born in 1798 in Brunswick County, Virginia, was the youngest son of his father's children. He served as a rather young man in the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, and later, he migrated, possibly with other family members, to Mississippi. In 1830, Edward Tillman Branch married Winiford Ragland in Hinds County, Mississippi, and from that point on, my lineage is clear. If you are interested in reading more about the descendants of Edward Tillman Branch, who married Winiford Ragland Branch, in Hinds County, Mississippi in 1830, you may want to grab a copy of my new book, The Juke Joint King of the Mississippi Hills: The Raucous Reign of Tillman Branch, scheduled for publication by The History Press on March 11, 2014. 


But in the meantime, I'm still searching for my 5th great-grandfather's parents. So if your surname is Branch, and you are male, and if you are related to Branch family members who lived in Tidewater or Southside Virginia in the 1700s, North Carolina, Tennessee, or Mississippi, please consider participating in the Branch DNA Project. Once you have purchased the test kit, the rest is easy.......you are only a cheek swab away from helping Branch researchers place some more branches on their family trees.


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