14

A Mother’s Day Post

In honor of mother’s day, I’m reposting a portion of an entry from March 16, 2009 (“Visualizing Your Genetic Genealogy“).  It also follows a SNGF from Randy at Genea-Musings called “Matrilineal Line.”

In my genealogical research, I have sometimes found myself missing the trees by focusing on the forest.  I think it happens to many genealogists – we get caught up in the research, the dates, the places, and we forget that there was so much more to people than their vital statistics.

This can happen to genetic genealogists as well.  The connection between the results of a DNA test and the individuals in our tree can be easy to forget and difficult to visualize.  Take the results of an mtDNA test, for example.  The results are obtained from a tiny piece of DNA that has traveled thousands of years (and often thousands of miles) through hundreds of individuals to end up in your cheek cells and on the tip of a swab.  Everyone’s mtDNA is the product of an amazingly rich story that has largely been lost to history.

However, we as genealogists can do our part to connect the DNA to as much of the story as possible and prevent further loss.  In your own recent past, who were the people that contributed your mtDNA, your Y-DNA, or your autosomal DNA?

Visualizing My mtDNA Line

This is a compilation of the five most recent generations of my mtDNA line over the past 125 years, as shown in photographs:

Cora’s mother was Sarah L. Bodden, born January 1846.  Sarah’s mother was Julia Ann Rebecca, of which very little information is known.  What I do know, however, is that my mtDNA Hapl0group is A2, meaning that my matrilineal line is Native American.  Thus, Julia Ann Rebecca’s mother, grandmother, or more distant maternal ancestor was Native American, most likely of Central American or Caribbean origin.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my maternal ancestors.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

14 Comments

  1. Sarah’s mother was Julia Ann Rebecca, of which very little information is known.

    That may be because Julia may actually have been a Native American convert to Christianity. Catholics and Protestants have been consistently using church records for individuals for the last 4 or 5 centuries, so Julia’s parents and their recent ancestors should appear in church records if they were ever Christians. As apparently they don’t, probably they were all pagan Native Americans all along. This may also explain Julia’s grand daughter Cora’s facial features, which are somewhat reminiscent of Native Americans (at least according to my eyes, I don’t know whether you agree with that).

  2. Btw, you look like Mediterranean people (including West Asians). I guess it is due to your Spanish (Hispanic?) ancestry (at least partially) looking at the sharp distinction between your grand mother Jane, who has a Spanish surname coming from her husband, and your mother, who is apparently the first individual in your matriline to have a Mediterranean look (almost certainly because of her father).

  3. who is apparently the first individual in your matriline to have a Mediterranean look

    I should have said “distinctively Mediterranean look” as there are many Mediterranean people who are closer looking to more northerly people.

  4. looking at the sharp distinction between…

    Of course I am only referring to the physical distinction here, no other interpretations should be made.

  5. as there are many Mediterranean people who are closer looking to more northerly people

    And lastly, of course by “more northerly people” I mean only more northerly Caucasoids (full or almost full), excluding Mongoloids (again, full or almost full) and distinguishable Caucasoid-Mongoloid hybrids, two racial groups both of which are almost wholly away from the Mediterranean Basin anyway.

  6. two racial groups both of which are almost wholly away from the Mediterranean Basin anyway

    whether they are more northerly or not than Mediterranean people (who are as a group almost wholly Caucasoid btw)

  7. I guess it is due to your Spanish

    Of course I could have also said “Iberian” here.

  8. That may be because Julia may actually have been a Native American convert to Christianity.

    Btw, do you have any knowledge about her husband? For instance, was he White (if she converted to Christianity, this is very likely even if she was a pure Native American)?

  9. What is all this nonsense about race and heritage and “Mediterranean look” ad nauseum?

    This “Mother’s Day Post” by Blaine Bettinger has been wonderfully inspirational for me.

    I immediately found pictures of three generations going back of my female ancestors, starting with my mother, of course (dangit Blaine, you’ve got one more generation on me).

    It’s so inspirational to think I have the same mtDNA as my great great grandmother, Mary Francis Albin.

    Thanks Blaine. I don’t care about the appearance or heritage of your (great) (grand) mothers. I think it’s just great to see you in a montage with your female ancestors.

    Daniel Cooley (male)
    San Mateo, Calif

  10. Your article has inspired me to do some more research on my mother’s side of the family. Fortunately, my mother who is 87 and going strong has a good memory and has photos of many of her ancestors.

    Thank you for the inspiration. I’m sorry I didn’t do this a long time ago, when my father was still alive. I would have had more information easily available.

    Betty
    betty@familytreeprojects.com

  11. Thanks Blaine. I don’t care about the appearance or heritage of your (great) (grand) mothers. I think it’s just great to see you in a montage with your female ancestors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *