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It’s All About Me!

Picture of Professor Kasandra Rose

Kasandra Rose 2009


Hello fellow ancestor hunters! I want to introduce myself as Professor Kasandra Rose. I’m an adoptee using genetic genealogy to find my family and our ancestors. I’m well equipped for this adventure because, while I teach environmental science, I have two degrees in biology (BS and MA) and one in Anthropology (BA). My master’s degree focused on genetics and plant adaptations to the environment so I’ve had fairly recent training in genetics and try to keep up with the reading although, true confession time, I’m very concerned about the environmental changes going on in the world – especially those linked to global warming – and spend much of time keeping up this critical issue! (If you’re interested in what’s happening to our world too, feel free to drop by one of my other blogs: The Croaking Frog! It doesn’t have much on it yet, but it will!)

My Tale

A little confession: This isn’t my first name. When I was born I was called baby girl ? Then my adopted family called me Shelley Kay Jarvis. I changed my name some time after my adopted dad died to Kasandra Sylvan Rose. Someday, I’ll add the whole story of how I ended up with that name. But right now let’s just say that it turns out that I am related to a Rose family (French Canadian) and that I was partly raised by the Rose Farm in Ontario.. hmmm…


So.. here is where my personal search stands right now. I started out knowing very little about my family. My adoptive family, the Jarvises, told me from day one that I was adopted. They also told me that I was the same ethnicity as they were: French Canadian, Irish, German and English. I still don’t know how accurate that is. I can verify that am French Canadian on my mom’s side because I’ve identified my maternal grandfather as Cyprien St. Laurent through genetic genealogy. I’ll fill in more details on him later but he was separated from his family for several years right about the time I was conceived… so I haven’t identified my grandmother nor my mom  – yet! On my dad’s side I got very lucky in many ways – I’ve discovered that I’m the daughter of Theophil Boening. He was 100% Prussian/German. In fact much of my paternal ancestry is from Vasbeck, Waldeck, Germany (Prussia). A mountainous valley region which had a lot of cousins marrying cousins even after they moved to America where they mostly settled in St. Louis, Missouri or Minnesota. I’m now in contact with 2 of my (half) siblings and really like them! Unfortunately, my older brother had passed before I found my dad’s family and my sister lives all the way across the country in Hawaii so we haven’t met but we chat on the phone regularly!

For those keeping score, That means that French Canadian and German were two of the ethnicities claimed by my adopted parents. The third ethnicity was Irish and I can absolutely confirm that because I have a fairly rare mtDNA (check out my ABC’s of DNA series if you aren’t sure what that means – still in progress). It’s K1a10a and it’s almost exclusively found in England and Ireland with just a sprinkle found in Sweden and Norway which can be explained by an Irish lass marrying one of those adventuresome Vikings! I also have lots of born-in-Ireland Irish relatives at the 4th cousin level. I also have English DNA cousins but it’s not clear that those aren’t through my Irish roots. I have some hints on the Irish side but there are some technical issues with tracing the family on that side that I’ll talk about in one of my upcoming articles. For now, let’s just say I appear to have 3 very inbred ancestral roots making entangling my family tree and isolating my mom, who I believe is French Canadian and Irish, challenging.

All About Me!

Here’s a short summary of me:

  • Born in the spring of 1955 supposedly at Wyandotte General Hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan (half Ares and half Pisces for those that care about that sort of thing!)
  • Adopted on day 2 (purportedly) by my adoptive parents Maurice Edward Jarvis and Mary Thelma (Kim) nee Smoyer
  • Raised all summers and every weekend/holiday at our cottage on lake Erie outside of Morpeth, Ontario, Canada
  • Graduated Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1973
  • Went to MSU for one semester in the fall of 1973
  • Entered the military in the winter of 1974; honorably discharged in late winter 1980
  • Graduated with a dual degree (Biology and Anthropology) from University of Michigan in 1985
  • Worked for several decades for BASF in analytical chemistry
  • Earned a Masters in Biology at Wayne State University
  • Now, I’m semi-retired, teach college part time, and write part time

You may have noticed that I said I was purportedly adopted when I was just a day or two old. First, I have reason to doubt that story because my adopted mother was an amateur photographer and yet I can’t find any photos of me when I’m a baby. When I’m a toddler yes, but not one as an infant. Odd, huh? But, if it’s true that they adopted me that young, it makes me wonder if my adopted parents knew my bio mom. Well, right now I just don’t know. There’s still more DNA sleuthing to do!

My Known Ancestors

I’ll update and expand this page when there’s more time or if I discover anything great. For right now, let me share a link to two of my trees on Ancestry. Also, I’m including a link to a tree called ‘Rankin’ of a 3rd cousin who I can’t figure out and who may be a link to my mom’s ancestors. If you know anything about these folks that might help me out, drop me a line!

  • My dad’s tree: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/63371558/family
  • My mom’s dad’s tree: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/34834276/family/pedigree?cfpid=28665383061&selnode=1
  • Rankin tree?: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/34834276/family/pedigree?cfpid=28665383061&selnode=1

I hope this story and the blog will encourage others to search for their families and embrace their ancestors!