West Family Genealogy Update (June 2013)

Last week was an amazing week genealogically! I received DNA results for my father and maternal grandfather (Edward West). The Wests are Vikings! (Okay, that’s a simplification, but we are haplotype I-M253 with origins in Scandinavia, and I’ve been reading about Vikings lately so I’m claiming it.)

Haplogroup I Migration Map (Screenshot from FamilyTreeDNA.com)
Haplogroup I Migration Map (Screenshot from FamilyTreeDNA.com)

I also got in touch with a member of our “long lost cousins” line of Wests in Arkansas. At least two brothers and one sister of my 3rd Great Grandfather Lightner West (who died in the Civil War) migrated to Arkansas throughout the 1870’s-90’s. I was able to get in touch with Ron West from Arkansas (like me, he grew up just a few miles from where his great-grandparents lived) and find out what became of their family. Ron also has old letters that George W. West sent to his son Paschal in Arkansas. I can’t wait to read them! Like my good friend Carmen said, “It’s like waiting on Christmas!”

I also found out that we’re going to be able to see the home that my Great-Great Grandfather Lightner Leander West (son of the above Lightner) and his wife Josephine McDaniel built around 1900. The family who bought it after Lightner died have kept it amazingly preserved. I’m so excited and lucky that I get to take my Papa Edward West there to see the home where he spent time as a tiny baby!

Finally, it turns out that DNA testing seems to point to the fact that we are related to the Pickens/Gilmer County Wests (as detailed in this blog post “George W. West: Who’s Your Daddy?”)  Most clues point that way, but I just haven’t been able to find a paper trail. And, even with the close DNA relationship, my George could be a nephew/cousin in that family and not actually a son in that family. Further research needed, but at least I know I’m not barking up the totally wrong tree. Now if only I could find one of those West and get him to take a DNA test… Hmm…

Well, that’s all for the West genealogy update. Time to head over to the West Reunion and try to find out more!

Happy Detecting!


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