TENNESSEE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
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How Research & DNA Revealed the Founder of Several
Historically Black Colleges & Universities
by Rowena Allen Featherstone
As a small child, Rowena listened to her mother as she told stories of ancestors. The gaps in her mother's information inspired Rowena to begin her research. In 2013, on the advice of a friend she joined Ancestry.Com and her DNA tested. Later, in 2019 she joined the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society and in 2020 joined Tennessee Genealogical Society.
Through Ancestry she has gained many family members, reconnected with family, and discovered unknown ancestors. One such revelation is historically prominent Bishop Elias Cottrell (1853-1937), of Holly Springs, MS., the brother of her paternal grandfather.
Rowena Allen Featherstone is a native of Holly Springs, MS. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, before moving to Memphis and then graduated from Melrose High School in 1970 and received her B.S. from Memphis State University (U of M). Rowena was Chief Supervisor, Reservation Sales for Delta Air Lines (Memphis) and later owned a Nationwide Insurance Agency. Additionally, with her late husband, owned Loyal Featherstone Realtors and Builders. Though semi-retired she continues to enjoy selling real estate with The Peyton Company Realtors.
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