Charlotte Woman Traces Family History - myfoxcarolinas.com

Charlotte Woman Traces Family History

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Jennifer Daniels started to question her features at a young age. She always thought that you have to know where you've been to know where you're going. And she decided she needed to fill the gaps caused by slavery. Her family history was only loosely held together with oral history.

"I didn't use to feel comfortable in my own skin when I was growing up. I didn't understand why I had freckles or why people made fun of me when I was younger. Now that I know who I am, not only am I comfortable, I am proud of it,” she said.

She started with obituaries, then searched on ancestry.com. When that wasn't enough, she took a DNA test and she was able to pinpoint her history to the country Cameroon. But there was a surprise.

“It said 67 percent African, specifically West African, and about 24-25 percent European,” she said.

How that 25 percent got in the mix is still a mystery, but Daniels is happy to be part of the melting pot that started in Africa.

“To know that you came from a group of people who made it here and then managed to flourish and become part of an integrated society, it's awesome. And I feel like you owe it to yourself to find out that story, no matter how scary it is," she said.

To break down the walls of uncertainly, she's continuously digging up the past and connecting with people all over the world that she’s related to.

Daniels plans on visiting Cameroon and different regions of Europe to reconnect with her heritage.

“It really helps you figure out why you are the person that you are, why you have certain traits, and why you express yourself in a certain way,” Daniels said.

While some things are part of her DNA, she says she's passing on something more powerful to her children - history.

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