"What a momentous occasion it was for me, after 20 years of fruitless research."

Jonnie’s family moved from Mississippi to Detroit in the mid-1930’s seeking a better life. As her dad told her “life was not very pleasant at the time for a black man in the South.” Then the family moved to Los Angeles when she was a child. She grew up surrounded by very few relatives—just her immediate family and an aunt and uncle. She often asked, “Why don’t we have more relatives?”

As an adult, her father took her to Mississippi to meet their extended family. On her mother’s side of the family, the story told was that a great grandfather was a Caucasian man named Littlepage.

Jonnie began to research, but she had limited success linking her family to the Littlepage family using local census records. A death certificate, however, provided a full name.

After she got her 23andMe results, Jonnie was matched with three second cousins, one of which had the last name Littlepage. Jonnie screamed when she got the email. “This is the Littlepage family I’ve been looking for.” Since finding Littlepage descendants, she has made special family connections. “DNA testing, as my case suggests, can be critical to busting through the infamous 1870 brick walls for many African-American researchers.”