Monday, February 10, 2014

List Your Matrilineal Line - Update

Back in October 2011, I shared my matrilineal line - my mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. At that time, I only knew back five generations to my immigrant maternal ancestor, Lillias (Johnston) Alston.

I recently discovered indexes of Scotland Births and Scotland Marriages at, and have extended my matrilineal line by a couple more generations.
a) Elizabeth
b) My mother (still living) married Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.
c) Helen Lysle Hunter (1907 - 1990) married Lowell Townsend Copeland
d) Marguerite Lysle (1876 - 1967) married Percy Earle Hunter
e) Marion Helen Alston (1850 - 1885) married George Lysle, Jr.
f) Lillias Johnston (4 June 1806, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland - 3 Jan 1852, Allegheny, Pennsylvania) married John Alston on 28 June 1833, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
g) Lilias Kennedy (27 December 1775, Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland - ????) married Robert Johnston, 22 November 1801, in either Douglas or Carmichael, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
h) Jean Grienshields [Greenshields] is listed as the mother on the index of the birth of Lilias Kennedy.
This line is how my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was passed to me. Since I originally shared this maternal line, I have had my mtDNA tested (with FamilyTree DNA) and I now know that I am in mtDNA haplogroup U5b2a1a1. A haplogroup is a personal DNA signature, which can be thought of as a branch in our common maternal lineage, which traces a branch back to a shared maternal ancestor in Africa. The U haplogroup is the major branch, and because I did a full mitochondrial sequence, I know the "smaller branch" of the haplogroup that I descend from.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed along from mother to child (son or daughter), so a son can be tested for his mtDNA. (Y-DNA is passed along from father to son, so only a son can be tested for his Y-DNA haplogroup.)

Going back thousands of years in the "maternal tree" (what FamilyTree DNA calls the "deep ancestral origin"), my branch's migration was from western Asia to northern Europe. When I look at my mtDNA matches in FTDNA, they are primarily in Norway, England, Scotland, and Germany.

For a more thorough  explanation of using DNA in genealogy, I recommend the blog, Your Genetic Genealogist, written by Cece Moore. Also, The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell, wrote weekly posts about DNA last year, many of which explain DNA very well.

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