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 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 1600’s. 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!
Actually, my DNA is accurately reflected in various countries and family names such as the Benton, Byrd, Adams, Williams, Gore, and Huff–And that just covers 6 of the 8 great-grandparents I know about.