What It Is is What It Was

For our anniversary, I gave us both a kind of unique present – a DNA kit.  Lynn’s dad has been an amateur genealogist for years; digging around into the history of his family (Jones’ and McCoy’s from North Carolina) and Lynn’s mom’s family (the DesAutels–French Canadians).  He can only get so far then he hits road blocks.

On my mom’s side – the Sharpe’s – I did some research and can only get back as far as the Civil War.  I really hadn’t done that much research on them until recently and it’s a work in progress.

The Bagby side of my family is much easier to research because most of it has been done by a couple of people already.  There’s even a website dedicated to it; Bagby.org.  The basic research is pretty solid for the most part and it traces us all the way back to a James Bagby who came to Jamestown around 1628 or so.  James’ country of origin is hotly debated among Bagby researchers.  Many cling to the belief that great-to-th -power of 10-grandpa-James, was from Scotland.  This opinion has no documentation to support it and the author of the Bagby.org website does a great job of pointing that out.

Also pointed out is the fact that there is a town of Bagby in Yorkshire, England.  Here is an excerpt from the website in regards to the village and how it may have gotten its name:

By John C. Downing (deceased, this was his last column)


The surnames Bagbey and Bagby are English place names acquired from once having lived at a place in the North Riding of Yorkshire, spelled Baghebi in the 1066 Domesday Book, Baggaby around 1160, Baggebi in 1280 and now Bagby. The meaning is “Baggi’s By” Baggi was an Old Norse personal name of uncertain meaning and it is found compounded with other words among the Danish settlements in England. – from Bagby.org

I also did some reading from a couple of books about the history of Louisa County;  which is where I grew up.  The Bagby’s settled there in the early 1700’s.  We were ministers, doctors, farmers and anything else you can imagine.

Lynn and I like watching shows where they trace people’s genealogy back as far as they can like Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots.  As you can expect both of the shows are heavily sponsored by Ancestry.com and they heavily promote their DNA service to help you find the origin of your family.  So since I am a consumer and an American, I purchased a couple of kits for Lynn and me for our anniversary,  They came a few weeks ago and we immediately sent samples of our best saliva and waited,  The literature said that it would 6-8 weeks so I tabled my excitement and tried to forget about.

Christmas morning while I waited for everyone to awaken and Lynn was preparing breakfast, I opened up my email and lo and behold there was an email from the Ancestry.com with the heading “Your Results Are In.”  Merry Christmas to ME AND Lynn!!!

I opened them up and they were a bit surprising.  Here they are mu results (Lynn’s results were interesting as well):


We’re 46% from western Europe which is France, Germany and southern Denmark.  That keeps the Denmark theory alive.  Next is 19% from Ireland which also makes sense to me because Louisa County (my county of origin) was heavily populated by the Scots and Irish. After Ireland is Great Britain with 17%, which also makes sense.

I don’t quite know what to make of it all but at its core it does all make sense.  It doesn’t really point to where ground zero was for the Sharpe’s or the Bagby’s but that’s okay.  I fully expected it to land me squarely in Great Britain for the most part so the France-Germany-Denmark connection was a bit surprising.

Well that probably wraps up my amateur genealogy research for awhile. I’m going to take a breather and maybe start back on the Sharpe side to see if I can get any further,   It was fun and interesting and was made so much easier with technology and the help of others

Does this change how I feel about myself as a person?  Not really.  I’m still how I grew up and the sum of my experiences.  Will, son of Walter who grew up in Bumpass.  Husband of Lynn-Father of Andrew, Catherine and Jack,  Machinist-Millwright-Project Estimator-Trainer-Teacher. Friend.

Happy New Year!!

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