Previously, I did an update on my search to learn more about the many and mysterious Jamaican profiles that appear within my DNA relative matches.
In rechecking these matches a couple of months ago, I noticed that in addition to several surnames repeating, there were repetitive family groups that tie back to Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica.
For example, Witter, Bent, Elliott, Falconer, Parchment and Powell are surnames that appear in nearly every single one of my shared Jamaican DNA matches (I have over 50 matches with Jamaica identified as an ancestral location on AncestryDNA alone). These matches are all on my paternal line going back about 4 generations.
A closer inspection yielded a discovery of these family groups among my DNA results—
I match descendants of:
Dorothy Witter Elliot (1827-1895) of Saint Elizabeth.
Sarah Powell Rochester (1771-1828), whose parents were Benjamin Powell Rochester (b.1745) and Margaret Witter (b.1755), married Nicholas Bent, all of Saint Elizabeth. I have a number of DNA matches with descendants of Sarah and Nicholas’ children: Margaret Powell Bent Elliott (1797-1884) and Bernard Ballard Bent (1808-1888).
James Watson Witter (1821-1890) of Saint Elizabeth. His mother was Dorothy Witter Powell (1774-1840). Her father was Benjamin Powell Rochester (b.1745). James Watson Witter’s son, James Allen Witter (1850-1918), married Jane Elizabeth Elliott (1851-1892).
David Witter (1857-1955), son of Margaret Powell Rochester (1826-1912). Margaret’s father was James Powell Rochester (b.1808). James’ father was Benjamin Powell Rochester II (1765-1813). Benjamin was a brother of Sarah Powell Rochester (1771-1828).
There are many other matches that tie back to these families.
Based on the historical records, family trees, and genetic testing results, I feel confident in saying that:
I am a descendant of Benjamin Powell Rochester (b.1745) and Margaret Witter (b.1755).
The learning process continues and I will further look into triangulation of these results to confirm, but so far—empirical genetic genealogical evidence abounds.
How amazing is it to have such ancestral reclamation?!
I will remind you that if you seek, you will find. Here’s to finding our people. We have a situation.
The Genealogy Situation Room