About Me

kellysmilebwI first went down the genealogy rabbit hole about ten years ago. My family tree is about as Southern as it gets, with just one maternal line going back to colonial New England. With the exception of that one line, I can trace very few people “back to the boat.” Nearly all my other documented lines begin in 18th century North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. View my public family tree on Ancestry.

My DNA shows British, Irish, and broader Western European ancestry along with mysterious dashes of Spanish, West African and South Asian. I’m definitely no DNA expert, but feel free to look me up on Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage or GEDmatch if you think we may be cousins.

Slavery was unfortunately a big part of my family’s story. There are dozens of slave holders among my ancestors. There are also many African-Americans who share our surnames (particularly Bembry) and African-American cousins among my DNA matches. I share all the slavery records I unearth in order to complete the picture and to assist descendants with their research.

I am always happy to share my information, and welcome any tips, photos, or leads from other researchers or family members. If you have information to share, please post a comment! Or email me at kbmgenealogy@gmail.com.

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Please do credit me and link to this website if you republish or repost my research in any way. Thanks. 🙂

Kelly Bembry Midura

9 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi, Kelly. Do you know if the Elizabeth Hamilton who you describe is the mother of Jane Shaw who married Andrew Patterson? I believe Andrew Patterson became a captain in the U.S. Army and served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. Thanks!


  2. Would love to find out more about my 3rd great grandmother Mason Cole who lived in Benton Co, TN in the 1830 and maybe as early as 1820; She married 1st ? Davenport one daughter Jane who married Joel Johnson. 2nd husband was John Davenport. They moved to Illinois in the late 1840s. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


    1. Hi, I do not have her in my tree, but she is probably related some how. My suggestion would be to look at Humphreys County records. Benton County was created from a piece of Humphreys County in 1835. So, my first Cole ancestor in the area (Loyd Cole) arrived by 1830 to Humphreys, but is found later in Benton. He probably didn’t move, they just redrew the county lines around him.


  3. Hi Kelly,

    My name is Gery Rives Gilbert. My Dad and Grandpa were William Rives. They were born in Sparta, GA
    and we are African-American. My family would love to share our history with you if you think you would be interested.


    1. Hi Gery. Sure! As you can see from the blog, my Rives go back a little ways. Susan Rives was my 3g grandmother, and that is the most recent Rives in my family. But I would be happy to collaborate and see how we connect.


  4. Hi Kelly – it’s been a while since we corresponded about Butlers and other Carroll Co. TN families. I am still trying to identify parents/siblings of Calvin J. Butler b. 1812 who mar. Martha HIcks; this remains my most vexing brick wall. Thanks for posting the wills of William Walker and his wife Nancy Townsend. I just added the info to my database. Email me – I have some comments on the slave Lucinda in Nancy’s will.


  5. Hello, My name is Thomas Mattocks and I have new information on the Barracks Plantation owned by Thomas Rives if you are interested. It was not located where the family believes it was and was not built by Thomas.


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