As I look back to August of last year, I was searching for a fairly close DNA relative by the name of Phillip Legg. (See Post #635). He was listed as a 2nd to 3rd cousin by 23andMe, and number six on my list from that genealogical service. I had identified everyone else above him on the list and marked them with a distinctive DNA MATCH label on my family tree. It helps me identify patterns that relate to my bio parents. At that point of time, I had 280 Leggs on my Jerry Banister tree and since then have added 470 more in effort to find Phillip. As it turned out, his daughter Lor-Anna, was a 3rd Cousin once-removed match that just showed up today on Ancestry and I was able to trace her lineage back through Phillip to his great grandmother Cora Banister Combs. Cora’s true brother was Henry Otis Banister, great grandfather of my birth mother, Edna Faye Banister. Cora’s half-brother was Charles B. Banister, great grandfather of my birth father, Cecil Ralph Banister. I was the surprise product of this complicated inner-family relationship that led to my adoption as Michael Lee Johnston. 

Phillip Dale Legg was born in Tipton, Indiana on March 3, 1937. If he is still alive, he would now be over 82 years old. Although I tried to contact him through the site years ago to help solve the mystery of our DNA relationship, I never heard back. Instead, I persisted in my tedious search through the rather large Legg family. I finally got the answer today. He joins Joyce Gourley, Marilyn Banister, Janine Marthai, Carolyn Erley and Deb Vaughn as my top 6 DNA matches on 23andMe. Next on the list is only identified as second cousin Kay S. – not much to go on other than she was born in 1959.

As I continued working on the Ancestry site this afternoon, I then found a new fourth to sixth cousin match with Mary Beason, and added her to my tree beside her brother Steve Beason, who had been identified at an earlier date. New names show up regularly once members submit to the saliva test. To be honest, I hadn’t added any names to my tree for several months, having hit a temporary dead end. I typically don’t go beyond a fourth cousin match. There are currently over 15,000 relatives identified on my massive tree that continues to grow. Today, it grew two more Leggs and a Beason.