Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Mitochondrial DNA

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has another challenge for us, one I can participate in:

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.

3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.

4)  If you have done this before, please do your father's matrilineal line, or your grandfather's matrilineal line, or your spouse's matriliuneal line.

5)  Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines? 
Okay, here we go:

A) Daniel Dillman - me.
B) Eva L. Williams (Living) married Dana E. Dillman (Living)
C) Emma Gertrude McMurry (09 Jun 1901 Winn Parish, LA - 03 Apr 1950 Baton Rouge, LA) married Omar Holt Williams (27 Sep 1903 Caldwell Parish, LA - Jul 1985 Livingston parish, LA)
D) Lela Lawrence Louisiana Dark (12 Jun 1872 Winn Parish, LA - 26 Jun 1960 Winn Parish, LA) (How do you not love a name like that?) married Robert E. Lee McMurry (26 Mar 1870 Poplar Bluff, AR - 19 Jul 1944 Alexandria, LA)
E) Lela Lawrence Louisiana Fuller (1847 - 1873) married William Edward Dark (05 May 1848 Meriwether County, GA - 23 Mar 1941 Winn Parish, LA)

This is as far back as I go in a strictly matrilineal fashion.  This is complicated by the fact that I have always lived in Minnesota, and this line is all in Louisiana, 1500 miles away.  I have visited Louisiana several times, but all in my youth before I started this hobby.  It's further complicated that parts of this line were people who moved around a lot, and were not interested in keeping records of this sort.

I have yet to have my DNA tested for genealogical purposes in any way.  This is not from fear or lack of desire, but from a lack of funds available for the purpose.  It's on my to-do list, but other things take priority.  I am a strong proponent of DNA testing for genealogy, as it's really the only true way to find your lineage.  True, family are the people who nurture and love you all of your life, but the genes tell the true story of where you came from.

Okay, since my matrilineal line is fairly short, let's rework the exercise using my father's matrilineal line:

A) Dana E. Dillman - my father, still living.
B) Alta May Day (12 Feb 1910 Sheffield, SD - 03 Jun 1992 Yankton, SD) of whom I've blogged many times, the one responsible for me being involved in this hobby, and indirectly responsible by extension for this blog post, married Estel E. Dillman (21 Dec 1908 Leavenworth, IN - 06 Nov 1982 Yankton, SD)
C) Ida May Thurston (04 Jul 1883 Beadle County, SD - 16 Jun 1937 Huron, SD) married Clyde J. Wyman Day (19 Jul 1880 Cass County, NB - 23 Jul 1973 Huron, SD)
D) Barbara Ann Messing (07 Sep 1842 Hesselhurst, Ortenaukreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany - 03 Nov 1909 Cavour, SD) married Alfred Mellin Thurston (06 May 1842 Wellington, ME - 31 Mar 1927 Orient, SD)

This line is even shorter, and I would have to do some serious research in Germany to take it further.  Frankly, it seems like most of my matrilineal lines are shorter, and that's probably because we in the English speaking world tend to have patriarchal families, and the males just get more emphasis in doing up the family histories.  Looking through the trees, I have all of my 4th generation back, but the 5th generation starts getting some blanks in it, and further back only gets more spotty.

Part of the fun is to report on which haplogroup I'm in,  Since I haven't yet tested, I can't complete that part of the assignment.  However, someone to whom I am related on paper has had a DNA test done (a YDNA, or patrilineal test) and there is a Dillman DNA Project that has data for a number of separate Dillman family lines through the Dillman Family Association, and assuming all of the paper genealogy is correct, that related person is in the T haplogroup.  We're related only loosely, our common ancestor being Michael Dillman, my G-G-G-grandfather, of whom I've blogged in the past.

Have you had your DNA tested?  Which sort of test did you have?  How many markers?  Did you learn anything surprising?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman