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Who Do You Think You Are

Posted by Jermaine Sain on April 8, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Have you ever asked yourself "where did my family come from"? I'm sure you are aware of where you were born but I'm asking if you know where you originated from. Well, I have asked myself that very question several times. I'm sure many other Americans have asked themselves the very same question. Most African Americans, in particular, have no idea where they are from or if they really originated in Africa. Where I'm from, is something that has puzzled my mind for many years. I believe that finding out this piece of information will be an enlightening experience as well as, an opportunity to explore myself. So......who do you think you are?


I was born in a little town called Whiteville, Tennessee. It is a little town about 45 minutes from Memphis, Tennessee. I went to school there most of my elementary days at Whiteville Elementary, and then we moved to Bolivar, Tennessee, which is about 10 or 11 miles from Whiteville. Then, when I got to the 8th grade, my mother moved us to Jackson, Tennessee, until I was in the 10th grade. Thereafter, moving back to Bolivar, where I graduated in 1998 from Bolivar Central High School.


All though I moved a few times, I spent all my life in Tennessee, until I graduated and went into the Army, moving around from South Carolina to Texas to North Carolina to South Korea to Texas, and now Georgia. (A lot of moving!) Throughout my years in the military, I always wondered where I was from. Many people hadn't heard my last name Sain before. I only ran into one person throughout my military career that had that name and she was married to a Sain who was from Memphis. I'm sure that the name is a name that was adopted during slavery as many other black family surnames.

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Well during my search for this answer, I decided to go to ancestry.com to see if it woul help me. I knew the names of my grandparents but that's about it! For me, it was hard to get any information because all of my grandparents where dead by the time I reached 8th grade. Therefore, I started reaching out to my mother and some of my father's relatives to see what I could find out. On my father's side, it was very hard because they too didn't have much information (and I carry my father's last name). Therefore, I tackled my mother's father's parents instead. Thanks to ancestry.com I was able to go as far back as 1849. And can you believe I did all that for FREE?

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I recommend anyone that is trying to research their family to definitely get as much information as possible, then turn to ancestry.com for any leads. You can pay but thus far I haven't. I serious doubt that I will trace my family back to Africia but who knows! I was even thinking about doing the swap testing that I've heard so much about.

I was speaking with one of my friends from Ethiopia, and she believes that I definitely resemble people from Senegal. Of course, being from the United States, I'm definitely mixture of things but it was very interesting for her to say. She also says that, to her, it's a slight possibility that I have some Ethiopian descent. What do you think?

Categories: People and Blogs, Daily Thoughts, TV Shows

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