I received my Y-DNA report from Family Tree this morning, resuming the quest for direct ancestry links. It showed six Ban(n)ister matches including Paul D., Sandra Knox, Donald Ray, Alan, William Neill, and George Huntington. I’ve been in regular contact with Paul Banister, who initially encouraged me to take this test. Working together, hopefully we can identify the missing links in the Ban(n)ister family. It will be interesting to see where this leads. 

This is my third DNA test. I first went to 23andMe that uncovered two second cousins. This got me really fascinated, so I sent an additional saliva sample to Ancestry. I got an even closer match with a half-sister! As a result, The Jerry Banister Family Tree began to have significant meaning. In most cases, it’s filled with ancestors that I’ve never met or never will, but there about a dozen relatives that I’ve connected and communicated with regularly. It’s like finding a whole new family – not that I needed one. 

In fact, I feel guilty that I’ve spent more time with this new family than with my adopted relatives. Several are in Indiana, while one lives in Thailand. I do stay in touch with my sister every week, but haven’t seen her or her kids in two years. Facebook has kept me in the lives of those cousins that were a key part of my youth. Only weddings and funerals have brought us together, but not in the last ten years. Distance back home from Austin and Portland have limited family get-together opportunities. Trips to Indianapolis to visit my wife’s family have had me focused on DNA matches in that area, without time to drive a hundred miles north. I’ll meet with my top DNA match, my birth father’s daughter, on the soon to be drive to Florida.

I’m waiting for a response from Paul Banister on this last test. Interestingly, he was not a match on Ancestry but is on Family Tree. He’s probably the most knowledgeable of my Banister connections about family history. We recently lost what many considered to be the guru of family research. She worked closely with Paul on how forefathers like Laban or Laborn and Burrell were connected. There are confusing records that have led to discrepancies on various Ban(n)ister Family trees. As with any mystery, more DNA evidence like mine could help ultimately solve the case.