VANITA THE GENEALOGIST!
My excellent research skills are the result of my military law enforcement career as a criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigator; and my local law enforcement career here in Colorado. I am a retired police officer and a retired Air Force Veteran with over 24 years of military service. I hold a Ph.D. in Theology and have professional experience in Education & Training, as well as in Business. I also hold a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.
I am a native Coloradan with a passion for genealogy. I have been researching my own family history for over 13 years and have discovered family roots dating back to the 1600s. This includes descendancy from my slave owner, 3x Great Grandfather, Burrell Benton. I requested a copy of his entire probate file from Panola County, Texas. There’s some really interesting stuff there. But it also helped me to get to know him a little better; and some of the things he was going through. Despite the atrocities of chattel slavery, I am very proud of the ancestry and the families (Caucasian and African) I am descended from. What did Maslow say? “You are where you were when!” Thus, so were our ancestors. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be here today–and I like being here today!
I had my DNA tested and discovered additional roots in Europe, West Africa, South Africa, Japan? (Where did that come from?); as well as gaining information to correct my family’s oral heritage passed down since my youth. Contrary to my upbringing, and my grandmother’s stories–on the Benton side of the family; I discovered that I have no apparent North American Indian in my DNA. What? No Cherokee! Bummer!
My DNA is accurately reflected in various states and countries; and family surnames of Benton/Byrd, Adams/Gore/Hudson, Williams/Davis, and Huff/Caston–And that basically covers the 8 great-grandparents I know about. There’s also Ratcliff and Heath, but I’m trying to verify and make the evidential connection with these names and which branch they belong to.
However, my African DNA is the most interesting. Knowledge of it has caused me to research my roots in that great continent more deeply, since I now know where to look. My parents and ancestors did not have that luxury. I have also learned that genealogy is directly associated with theology; and as a result, I have trademarked the logo and phrase “Ancestry Meets Theology (TM)” for my theological writings. I’m very excited to be on this path.