Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I've been thinking about my direct female line recently, as I delve into the world of DNA testing for genealogy.  I've been considering a mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA) test with the hope of learning more about my matrilineal ancestors.

As explained by CeCe Moore, author of Your Genetic Genealogist on
Mothers pass mtDNA to their children, both sons and daughters, but only females pass it on. Your mtDNA was inherited from your mother and from her mother and from her mother. No matter how far back in time you go, you only have one direct maternal ancestor in each generation and she is the one responsible for passing you your mtDNA.  Your mtDNA has followed this matrilineal path down through the generations for many thousands of years intact and virtually unchanged.

 I know quite a bit about my immediate female line.  My Grandma lived to be 93 and she shared a lot of stories about her mother and grandmother with me.  However, I have not, as yet, been able to trace beyond my third great-grandmother, Mary Temperance Mathis Temperance Burns*.  Would a mtDNA test help me learn more about the origins of my maternal lineage?  That's something I'm exploring right now.

Today, a tribute to the women who came before me.

My mother and me
LaVerne Rutherfurd, my grandmother
Julia Ellen Barrett, my great-grandmother
Nellie O'Hare, my second great-grandmother
*Temperance Burns -- click to read her story!

I have a 17-month old daughter who now shares this lineage, and the name of her second great-grandmother.  As I celebrate Mother's Day with her, and my son, I am grateful to all the women in our past.

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