Our DNA has Memory
In the beginning, I didn’t understand where the desire came. I just knew it was there. The desire quickly became a passion and consequently an addiction.
Nine years ago, looking for my husband’s ancestors, I came across a woman whose allure was irresistible. As a genealogist, I find many significant people with vital stories throughout history. Why was this one so overwhelmingly important?
Her name was Margaret Cornish. She was one of the first Africans to arrive in the English settlement of Virginia in 1619. The desire to understand where she came from and how she found herself in an English settlement became intoxicating. Every hour of every day filled with questions overwhelming my senses. My husband’s 9th generation great-grandmother had captured my mind like she was captured by the marauders of her kingdom almost four-hundred years ago. Some 20,000 + hours of research turned into a series of novels with the first book winning a national gold medal. But, the grandest surprise was yet to come.
As my own 97-year-old grandmother’s health began to fail, and with her tireless urging, I collected her DNA. Then in June of 2014 her spirit passed into the land of our ancestors and I said goodbye to a woman of unwavering faith. Simultaneously, I received her DNA results and the explanation of my addiction quickly became crystal clear. Margaret Cornish wasn’t only my husband’s ancestor, but mine as well. With tears of joy streaming down my face I began to understand. The addiction I felt was a scream from within myself. A memory from within my own DNA begging to be heard. Finally, I understood my fate was deep within my own DNA. A story of an ancestor begging to be told.
Join my journey as I take you down the path of Margaret Cornish’s life, one of FATE & FREEDOM.
I loved the story that DNA showed that you and your husband have a common ancestor. Your genealogy research is giving me hope that I will be able to locate my family’s slave master ancestors to learn our true family lines. I have a genesis in Virginia and in North Carolina, but I am stuck at the slave masters. There is also Native American blood in my family, but my family cannot identify which tribe out of Alabama. I am assuming Creek, but assumptions are not wise. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Marya, Thanks for your comment. Have you tested your DNA? If so, one of the best tools we have access to is GEDMATCH.com. You can upload your raw data into their database and they can breakdown your chromosome matches. Its a great genealogy DNA website. Also have you checked on Virginia Historical Society’s “Unknown No Longer” site? If not, google it. You can find it quite easily. They have many slave master records where you might be able to match up dates and names. Good Luck!
I have recently discovered that I descend from Margaret Cornish…on my mother’s side. I have always had a desire to know ALL of my family history as I have always known it was quite the mixture. I just never knew how diverse it was. I’m grateful to even know as much as I do and eager to know more and more. I plan to find and purchase your book! I am on GEDMATCH but am quite the novice so it will take some time to figure it out! Surely we are related…or I will find that my research is wrong. Either way, it’s all intriguing and I look forward to reading your story.