I am researching my 3rd g-grandfather, James W. Reynolds, b. Lee, MS 1846. He married Ann Eliza Boren in Itawamba, MS in 1864, d. 1885 in Conway County, AR.
I did a DNA test, and found I have some West African ancestry (I am white and had not heard this before), and I think this may be where it comes from. Both he and wife and all children are listed as white on census of 1880 and 1870, but I cannot find them before 1870. In 1880, they were one of two white families among many black families in MS. This seemed odd to me for that time and place. In 1870, they lived in a different town in a neighboring county, neighbors were mostly white. I think one family was black. One of their children, Rachel Paralee Reynolds, claimed to be part Chickasaw Indian, but, according to my DNA, I am more African than Indian, so I am wondering if that might have been a lie someone told to cover their dark complexion. I have Ann Eliza's line traced back 2 more generations, and all are listed as white. I do not know who James's parents were. Unfortunately, he has a common name which makes it harder. I did find a James M. Reynolds in the 1850 census living in a different (far away-- Natchez) part of MS with his son, also named James M. , no wife or other family, and no other info (like age) listed, but owned 200 slaves, some listed as Mulatto. This James M. appears again in 1860 with a wife (Mary) and several children, but no son James. He was b. 1822. Still had a bunch of slaves. Maybe no connection, but I wondered.
Anyone have any info. on these people, or how to proceed researching this mystery? I did check other family trees on ancestry.com, but only 3 had my James, and none had his parents or any siblings listed.