I've spent the past four months researching my grandmother's background. She is the only one we didn't know the ancestry of, as she was adopted out of Washington, D.C., in 1920. She was lily-white in complexion, and we have always assumed from these features that she was most likely Irish and/or English. In aiding my research, my mother agreed to do a DNA test this last month, and the results came in a few days ago. My mother's genetic makeup came back as 94% European and 6% African. At first, I didn't pay attention to these results, because we were interested in seeing if we were connected to a particular person, who also agreed to do the DNA test. After a day, though, I began to see the significance. As my grandfather, her husband, was 100% European (50% German, 50% French), it meant that my grandmother had to have been the person with the African background, and it also meant that she herself would have been 12% African, and would have been called, back then, an octoroon. To follow this logically, then, her birth parents, whom we know nothing about, would have to be either a 100% White European Man and a 75% European/25% African Woman, who would have been called a quadroon, or both parties would have had to have one-eighth African ancestry. One can, then, continue the logic backward to some member of my family being at one time a slave. And while I am merely of 3% African ancestry, my thoughts since I learned this have been on my great-grandmother, and her parents, and back of that, and it has spun my thinking and focus entirely. Now all I am reading about are Quadroon Balls, "passing," and the social history of Washington, D.C, from 1879-1950. More to come.