About Liv Taylor-Harris

Christian. Genealogy enthusiast. Retired book publicist and school librarian. In short, I'm a Lifelong Learner!

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just after 6 pm on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at age 39, was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike. He was preparing to leave the motel to go to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. Dr. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. I was 8 or 9 years old when he was assassinated and saw how his death affected my family and our friends in the community and at church. I could not help thinking about how did his children feel about losing their father in this awful way.

YouVersion’s exclusive conversation with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King below gives me some insight on what I often wondered — how were the King children coping emotionally and mentally through the years over their father’s death. I suspected there was anger towards white people in general. But despite her anger over what happened, it’s comforting to hear how the power of God’s Word is how she found the ability to forgive. I love her challenge to us to take God at his word when she said, ” . . . we too can tap into that same power today, in order to practice true justice towards others: by walking in mercy and humility. When you start practicing in this vein — doing justice, and loving mercy — it invites God into the equation and gives Him room to operate.”

A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King: His Word Does Not Return Void

Isaish 55:11 – “so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void . . .”

My Day at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

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Even though I wasn’t able to attend the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC when it first opened to the public August 22, 2011, seeing it on a rainy day years later in the Fall of 2016 was just as exciting and emotional for me as I’m sure it was for everyone in attendance on opening day!

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Happy Memorial Day form BillionGraves.com

A heartfelt Memorial Day message to my family from BillionGraves.com

Happy Memorial Day from BillionGraves.com

Dear Claiming Kin,

Memorial Day is a chance to pause and share our gratitude for the brave servicemen and servicewomen throughout the world. We pause to remember not just those in the United States, but all people who gave their life, or who continue to risk their lives, for the pursuit of freedom, love, and equality for all people.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you and your families for sacrifices you all have made to make the world a better place.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sincerely,
The BillionGraves Team

Happy National DNA Day 2017!

My celebration of National DNA Day and fascination with genetic DNA testing began with my first mitochondrial test (mtDNA) on 30 December 2011. The results of my mitochondrial lineage — Haplogroup L2a1l1b — just confirmed what I already knew about myself and the female ancestors in my family tree — our ancient origins/roots are in Africa!

As more genetic tests became available, my desire to know more about my ancestral roots prompted me to expand my results. So from 2011 to 2016, I completed the mtDNA Plus, Family Finder, mtFull Sequence, and Autosomal tests. With each test, I learned some amazing information about my lineage and ethnicity!

I’m 84% African. No surprises there!

I'm 84% Africa
Cameroon/Congo – 29%; Benin/Togo – 18%; Nigeria 13%; Mali – 12%; Ivory Coast/Ghana 9%

I’m 12% European. It was interesting to learn which areas of Europe are a part of my DNA!

I'm 12% European
Ireland – 6%; Scandinavia – 3%; Western Europe – 2%; Finland/Northwest Russia – 1%; Great Britain – <1%

Guess what?! I’m 2% Asian! Who knew?! – ROFL!!

I'm 2% Asian
Regions: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan; Turkmenistan; Azerbaijan, Afghanistan

To every family member who told me that my great-great-grandmothers on both sides of my family tree were Native Americans (and I didn’t believe them), this one is for you!

I’m 1% Native American! So I guess those relatives who talked about having high cheekbones, being hairless with straight hair that is not exactly curly, kinky, or spirally may have been on to something here — LOL!

I'm 1% Native American

So, how will you celebrate National DNA Day? Feel free to celebrate with me here by sharing your Haplogroup and/or Ethnicity results in the comment section of this post if you like!

The Poetry of DNA

April 25, 2017, is National DNA Day where students, teachers, and the public worldwide will spend time learning more about genetics and genomics!

Why Celebrate National DNA Day?

Ask a genealogy hobbyist what they think of genetic DNA testing, and some will say they’re fascinated but haven’t quite figured it out just yet. Others will beam and readily talk about how this great scientific discovery of all time – DNA’s Double Helix — has helped them to verify family and discover deep ancestral roots!

I believe Prince Ea says it best in his profound video below that, “This is about ME. This is about YOU. This is about us, and everyone who lives—and lived—in this world.” So true, so true! I hope that you join in on the celebration. And just in case you have not given celebrating DNA Day any thought, check out Prince Ea’s “The Poetry of DNA” video and be inspired to be a part of this celebration!