My maternal grandfather always claimed that his father’s surname was Lanier. He even gave his children the middle name Lanier. Ever since I started Genealogy, I have been researching James Lanier, first husband of my great grandmother Rosa Barbee. In May 1901, his mother, Rosa, married James Lanier in Morgan County, Alabama. Grandpa’s birth registration on 4 Jan of 1901 lists his father as Jas Linere.
However, I haven’t found any close Laniers in my DNA databases. So, my conflict was what I was going to do. Did my grandfather get it wrong? I have, however, found an unknown person as a match with my mother in the half first cousin range (156 -979). The person’s daughter was understandable, open, knowable, and had a well-documented tree. Many close cousin matches appeared, and we could identify our most common ancestor. Unfortunately, his father was not James Lanier. However, I didn’t have to delete him from my tree but change his title to stepfather.