If you are into genealogy and thinking about genetic testing, please consider taking a mitochondrial DNA test. It’s overlooked by genealogists as a tool to trace their maternal ancestry. It is also a great way to help others! I Someone might be desperately researching their maternal line and need a hand. The regular price for the mtDNA Plus kit is $69. I am considering buying one for someone who can show me they are also descended from Sarah Evans (married to William Brummet) through a direct female line.
“Also technically speaking, mtDNA is the black sheep of genetic genealogy. It’s sort of like that friend you had when you were a kid that you didn’t really like but kept around because their parents had a lot of money. mtDNA is important, but not necessarily fun.
Now here’s the part where I advocate for mtDNA testing after such a supportive prologue. In all honesty, it’s sometimes necessary. Do you want to confirm your deep, direct maternal line Native American ancestry? Autosomal DNA can’t help, as it only deals with recent ancestry (we’ll get into autosomal testing soon). mtDNA testing is the only test that can possibly help in this quest if, say, your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother was Native American and inherited that from her mother. Do you want to confirm a relationship with another individual with whom you share direct maternal ancestry, and the other individual doesn’t have autosomal DNA results? mtDNA is the way to go. Would you like a rough idea of likely recent maternal countries of origin? mtDNA is your test! Are you a masochist that thrives off of pain, sweat, and sleeplessness derived from genealogical brick walls and want a test as anger fuel? mtDNA is the only way to go.” Jeremy Balkin, Breaking Genetics
Also, if you are a customer with 23andMe, please respond to messages! Even if you don’t know what the person is talking about, just tell the inquirer so.
Congratulations, those are some strong genes! But seriously, I was going through my maternal matches and saw that only a few who match all 3 of us shared any genealogical information in their profiles. These are them, their most distant ancestors if listed, and their surnames, if shared:
E. H. Vannoy, S. Vannoy, and M. Vannoy
Most Distant Ancestors
Paternal: Elijah Vannoy b c1784 Wilkes NC d c1850 Hancock TN
Maternal: Mary Ann Ford, b 1835 Pulaski KY, d 1925 Pettis MO
R. C. Douglas
Most Distant Ancestors
Paternal: John Douglass b.30/12/1731, St Pauls London Eng.
Maternal: Mary (surname unknown)
Champion [Cornwall], Dixon [West Bromwich England], Douglas [London], Douglas [Cambridgeshire], Douglas [Western Australia], Douglas [Glasgow], Douglas [New Zealand], Douglass [Cambridgeshire], Duglas [Covent Gardens London]
V. G. Moore
Most Distant Ancestors
Paternal: John Jackson Moore, 1754 – 1842
Maternal: Susan Jane Lite, 1839 – 1906
F. D. Akin
Most Distant Ancestors
Paternal: Brantly Duncan b.1821 SC d.1864, GA
Maternal: Nancy E Cain b.1802 GA, d.1885 GA
Cain [GA], Dobbins [GA], Duncan [GA/SC], Head [GA], Robinson [Carroll-GA], Smith [Carroll-GA], Stewart [GA], Warren [GA]
Most Distant Ancestors
Arnold Hagenbucher born in Switzerland. Came to US. Married Albertina Polier
Hagen [US], Hagenbucher [Switzerland, US], Moore [Ontario Canada, US], Polier [US]
I have no idea how to connect them, other than some matches one match had family in areas I know we had Taylor, Brummit, or Evans ancestors. Either I am missing some branch of my family or they are. Most likely both.
Ben sent me the 1860 census for Salt River Township, Shelby County, Missouri. Thank you Ben!
We see James (J.W.) is a carpenter, is already married to Geraldine Dennisson, and only Isaiah and Jane are listed from his marriage to Mary A. Bromett. The History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas mention a third child who was deceased at the time the book was written (as was Isaiah, Sarah Jane Taylor being the only child of Mary A. Bromett who was alive) so I assume the child was likely already deceased. James and Geraldine have a two year old Samuel and have James’ brother Wesley Taylor living with them. They appear to also have a relative of Geraldine’s, Dillard Dennisson living with them as well. The whole family is living with May Thomas, Walter? W. Simon, a lumber dealer, and William Walker, a carpenter. Interestingly, only James is listed as having real estate, valued at $3000.
Ben also found a record of marriage for James Taylor and Geraldine Dennisson:
Why didn’t we know about Isaiah Taylor? There are hints that he may have had descendants.
Why was our Sarah Jane only known as Jane? Is this why she chose to go by the name Juanita in New Mexico?
How did Mary A. Bromett and their third child die? When did it happen? Where are they buried?
How did James Taylor and family eventually come to reside in Kansas?
Did Mary A. Bromett have sisters born of the same mother? Who was her mother? When I started this search it was because I would like to trace my maternal line as far back as possible in hopes of identifying a living maternal line descendant who might agree to a mitochondrial DNA test. I would love to find a match to confirm our line.
This is my timeline for James Taylor so far:
1830-Born in Montgomery County, Missouri
1850-Married Mary A. Bromett in Livingston County, Missouri
1852-Son Isaiah Taylor born to Mary A. Bromett
1855-Daughter Sarah Jane Taylor born to Mary A. Bromett
1857-Married to Geraldine M. Dennisson
1858-Son Samuel G. Taylor born to Geraldine M. Dennisson
1860-Living in Salt River Township, Shelby County, Missouri with family
There are many things that could be said about my grandma. She was interesting, strong, supportive, and many other adjectives. Despite this, it’s difficult to express the enormity of her as a person. She was beyond words.
She flipped through many facets of her personality regularly. Sometimes she was boisterous, attending live wrestling events and taking joy in heckling the wrestlers. At other times she was more reserved, observing members of her family to ensure that everyone was happy and thriving.
She will be missed for many reasons, a few of which involved Halloween. She was always very generous to the children who came to her door, having taken the time to pack sizeable treat bags with good candy for each child. No cheap candy! Every Halloween-eve was spent putting the final touches on her hand made decorations and lovingly packing those bags.
For us, that spirit of generosity and care for others is what stood out about her the most. She was a loving and supportive mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who worked hard to provide for her children. She always thought of the wellbeing of her family first.
She also had a fire in her that coloured everything she did. Every song she sang, every dance was flavoured with that intense light. It is in this spirit that I would like to share an excerpt from a well-known poem by Maya Angelou that describes grandma in ways we could not:
“Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Hola readers! It’s been a while since I’ve written to you.
Have you heard that Family Tree DNA is updating their Population Finder? I’m so excited for this because my grandma has an account there and I didn’t have the heart to ask her for a spit-sample for 23andMe, hahaha. She wouldn’t be able to produce that much saliva!
My cousin Ben Blea from New Mexico found my blog and gave me a ton of information; he’s so sweet. :) Shoutout to Ben Blea! He corrected my assumption that Sarah Jane Taylor was born in Tula or Tooley’s Ferry Kansas as his grandfather Celestino Ortega had the love letters exchanged between my third great grandparents, Dionisio Ortega and Sarah. The letters from Dionisio were mailed to Iola, Allen County, Kansas. You can see her death certificate says she was born in Iola, I need to update my glasses, haha. Unfortunately the letters were thrown out after Celestino’s death. Such heartbreak knowing that the letters are gone, I’m sure you genealogists are familiar with that.
In addition to that bit of information, he provided actual pictures and clues. Words can’t express how much appreciation and affection I have for Mr. Blea for reaching out to me and sharing his family pictures and documents.
Sarah Jane Taylor and Dionisio Ortega with their daughter Beatrice/Beatriz and two other people.
Haplogroup V first appeared in Iberia toward the end of the Ice Age, about 16,000 years ago, when Europe’s human population was mostly restricted to a few temperate enclaves in the southern part of the continent. Aside from a branch that established itself in Sardinia during the period, haplogroup V was mostly confined to the Iberian peninsula until the Ice Age had ended.
The haplogroup began expanding once consistently warmer conditions arrived about 11,500 years ago. One migration carried it northward along the Atlantic to a low-lying coastal plain rich in game and marine food sources such as seals and sea birds. Known as Doggerland, that region lies under the North Sea today – because so much water was locked up in the polar ice sheets during and immediately after the Ice Age, sea level was lower in the past than it is today.
Doggerland slipped beneath the waves about 9,000 years ago, but haplogroup V remains at levels of about 5% in countries that border the Atlantic and especially the North Sea. It is most abundant today in Scotland and northern Germany.
A separate post-Ice Age migration carried haplogroup V through central Europe to western Russia and the Scandinavian Arctic.
Haplogroup V tends to be most common today in isolated populations on Europe’s fringes, from the Finns and Saami in the north to the Sardinians and Basques in the south.
V reaches levels of 12% among the Basque. But its complete absence in ancient DNA samples from their homeland suggests that wherever the haplogroup originated in the Iberian peninsula, it wasn’t in the Basque country.
The Saami, also known as the Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous ethnic group of northern Scandinavia and Russia’s Kola peninsula. Because their language belongs to the Finno-Ugric linguistic group, which appears to have originated in Russia, they were previously thought to have come from northern Asia or the Urals. But genetic analysis, including the detection of haplogroup V among the Saami, indicates that they probably migrated to their homeland from southern Europe after the Ice Age.
Haplogroup V appears at levels of about 40% in the Saami, and like the other two common haplogroups in the population, H1 and U5b1b1, it clearly originated in Europe. The haplogroup appears to have expanded from Iberia through central Europe after the Ice Age. It is found today at levels of about 10% percent in the Maris, an ethnic group living along the Volga in Russia, which suggests the Saami may have approached their Arctic homeland by traveling up that river and its tributaries toward the Baltic.
The high frequency of V in the Saami is due to the population shrinking to a small size several thousand years ago, then subsequently expanding. It is not known why this occurred. However, when this happens, some lineages randomly become more frequent while others disappear. Because of this V is more common in the Saami than other Europeans, including their Scandinavian neighbors.
A distinctive archaeological site – a cemetery on an island in a lake near St. Petersburg – suggests that ancestors of the Saami may have reached the Baltic region as much as 8,500 years ago. Saami groups in far northwestern Russia buried their dead on lake islands until the mid-19th century.
E arose in the eastern part of Africa about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. Since then, migrants have carried it throughout that continent and into neighboring regions of Europe and the Near East.
Within Africa haplogroup E is extremely common and widespread, reaching levels of 75% or more among Arabs and Berbers in Morocco, Senegalese in western Africa and Bantu-speaking groups in South Africa and Kenya.
E1b1b1a originated in a population that moved from eastern Africa into northeastern Africa about 14,000 years ago, during the final days of the Ice Age. From northeastern Africa, E1b1b1a men expanded across northern Africa between the Sahara and the Mediterranean coastline, and out of Africa into Near Eastern populations, where their descendants still live today.
Haplogroup E1b1b1a is also common in southern Europe, including the Balkans, Iberia, and Italy. It is particularly common among Greeks, Bulgarians and Albanians, reaching levels of 15 to 30% in those populations. The majority of men bearing E1b1b1a descend from a quick expansion of people out of the Near East via Turkey about 4,500 years ago. This expansion of E1b1b1a is linked to the Bronze Age, a culture that arose from the smelting of tin and copper to create beautiful and complex bronze items, such as jewelry and weapons. These Bronze Age men carrying E1b1b1a and other haplogroups journeyed along river waterways in the Balkans and spread into east-central Europe. Today, men from Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia all carry E1b1b1a at levels of nearly 10%.
While the majority of E1b1b1a European males trace their recent ancestry to Turkey and the Near East, some men carrying E1b1b1a from Spain, Italy and Greece trace their ancestry directly from North African populations, probably within the last 4,000 years. The ancestors of these men must have sailed across the Mediterranean Sea and settled in communities along the European coast.
But not all branches of E1b1b1a are linked to the Mediterranean. Haplogroup E1b1b1a2 arose in the Balkan region of southeast Europe about 9,000 years ago, just as agriculture was beginning to make its way into the region. Men bearing this haplogroup had been hunter-gatherers, but likely took up farming soon after the arrival of agriculturalists from the Near East.
Today, E1b1b1a2 is still found in the Balkans, with about 20% of Greeks and 24% of Albanians carrying this haplogroup. E1b1b1a2 is present at lower levels in the surrounding Balkan Peninsula and in Anatolia (present-day Turkey).
Yet another branch of E1b1b1a, E1b1b1a3, originated in northeastern Africa about 10,000 years ago. Today it is found in about 20% of Egyptian men.
In the 23andMe blog…
Haplogroup E1b1b1a is also linked to the spread of agriculture in southeastern Europe. Learn more at the 23andMe blog.
About 8,000 years ago men from the E1b1b1a1b branch of E1b1b1a migrated from Egypt southward into eastern Africa, perhaps in search of new pastures for their recently domesticated goats, sheep and cattle. Most men in Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya who carry the E1b1b1a mutation today are descendants of these migrants.”
Interestingly, I noticed DH has a null 425 Y-STR marker and had him join the Null 425 project at FTDNA in November of 2012. I noticed the administrator listed DH as E-V13 and asked about it. The administrator said:
So your husband has typical STR (marker) values for this E-V13 subgroup, which is very common in the Balkans. It is considered to be the marker of ancient Illyrians and Thracians, and every 5th Bulgarian man belongs to this. It is the most common in Albania, but also frequent in Romania, Serbia and Greece. You may test V13 as an individual SNP from FTDNA if you like, to be sure, but I say 99.9% you would test positive. Also, all of the closest matches in the Null 425 project belong to this subgroup.
I asked Dr. McDonald about that spot of Americas green on chromosome 9 which he said was not actually Native American (which would not make any sense because DH and his family are from Bulgaria and have been for generations), he said it is actually Siberian. This is what he said:
“Americas is very close to being East Asian and therefore likely some sort of Siberian something. Looks like Bulgaria or Former Yugoslavia or some combo of those with Greek, or maybe Greek-Turkish or actual Cypriot-something. VERY clearly it is not Ashkenazi Jewish. Top bet is Bulgaria, but not great odds. What is it supposed to be?”