"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root" A Chinese proverb
As a Marketing lecturer and a Chartered Marketer with consumer behaviour expertise, it was natural to study Jamaican history. My aim was to understand people's behaviour - their conspicuous consumption habits, reinventing the self, which all became intertwined in genealogical studies. For example;
- Searching for my mother's Elliott family with my cousin in the USA, Robin Michelson, who had pursued a significant amount of linking the family, cemented the intriguing probe into why do people pursue genealogy.
- The research on linking 'who was who' on my father's Tomlin, Ford and Reid family, with my cousin Sharon Tomlin, proved complex but intriguing, resulting in an unpublished video documentary (2007), on the Bulldead plantation in Mandeville, Manchester.
- The McPherson and Cambell family tree, finding the original family were more complicated and etched in the pages of slavery.
Resorting to the DNA testing of myself and members of the family became a useful tool to assist in the research. Since November 2005, I have been researching my family DNA to track their diasporic journey to Jamaica from Europe and Africa. My own DNA, my maternal/paternal Tomlin uncle (who are both related), my paternal Tomlin and Reid linked cousins were tested to ascertain my grandparents and great grandparents ancestral family. Most results lead to the Fang tribe of Gabon.
Using autoethnographic studies ie myself in the study, I took the following DNA tests to see how it would affect my behaviour, my identity, sense of belonging, tangible affinities and how my attitude towards the information gleaned from the data changed during the study. Some very interesting results were formed and this is still ongoing.
These genetic studies with genealogical studies, family tangible affinities, identity, will all form part of my research and creative writing. I am interested in why people do family history, the cause and effects of family geographies, how do people use the information and the extent of the hobby in terms of time and money on the immediate or extended family in their quest to achieve their genealogical objectives.
The following DNA companies were used to provide DNA analysis and triangulate results:
RESULTS: mtDNA Haplogrop L3 (Subclade L3f), East African Akan people. (2011 update)
- Ancestry By DNA 2.5 DNA Print Genomics Genealogy (they stopped trading in 2009) - A full test both maternal and paternal DNA, on 26 October 2006
RESULTS: 70% SubSaharan African, 19% European and 11% East Asian (Chinese)
- African Ancestry - a further test of my mitochondrial DNA involving the 70% SubSaharan DNA, tested on 28 May 2009.