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MISTAKEN IDENTITY More than a century of family tradition held that the maiden name of Lannie Walker's great-great-grandmother, Nancy Scott, was Perkins. He had never really stopped to question this information until a distant cousin, Gerald Whiddon, asked for verification. Apparently, Gerald had located a marriage record for John Scott and Nancy Kirkland on the exact date that Lannie's great-great-grandparents had supposedly married. Furthermore, the Page 69 Testing Options Explained birthday of this newly discovered Nancy was the same as that of Lannie's great-great-grandmother. Could Nancy Scott's maiden name really have been Kirkland instead of Perkins? Confronted with this perplexing situation, Lannie looked for proof of the Perkins name, but came up empty. He then decided to research the possibility that Nancy had actually been a Kirkland and quickly reached the conclusion that she had indeed been misidentified for 150 years. When he shared this new in­formation with a fellow Scott descendant, however, she was re­luctant to let go of this long-held belief. How could so many people have been wrong for so long? Not unreasonably, she wanted more proof before introducing this new information into the family history. Lannie brainstormed for a way to provide more convincing evidence and realized that mtDNA testing might be just what he needed to settle the issue. The Nancy Kirkland he believed to have been his great-great-grandmother had a sister named Alcey. If "his" Nancy had been a Kirkland, her mtDNA should match that of Alcey. If they didn't match, clearly his theory was wrong. All he had to do was find appropriate descendants of both to test to make the comparison. As luck would have it, the very cousin who was reluctant to accept the new evidence had a female-only lineage back to Nancy herself and agreed to the testing. Fortunately, a researcher Lannie had already contacted was a descendant of Alcey's. And while she didn't have the "right" mtDNA, her father-descended through a chain of daughters-did. When the results came back, the two were a perfect match, reinforcing what the freshly examined paper trail had indicated: Nancy Scott was a Kirkland by birth. Both the Scott and Kirkland families now accept the combined traditional and genetic evidence as proof of Nancy's true identity. Page 70

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Created by Lannie G. Walker,Sr.

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