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Mysteries and Family History: Mitochondrial Line

Hey Family Historians! Velma here. During the excessive amount of quality time with myself, I have been watching a whole lot of Finding Your Roots on PBS. I love learning new tips and tricks on researching!

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is about DNA mapping of Mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria are considered the powerhouse of the cell, and are passed from mother to child through the egg cell. I know…I know…sciency! From that sciency randomness they now understand that I’ve inherited my Mitochondrial DNA from Mom, who inherited it from Nana, who inherited it from Grandma who inherited it from her mother, and so on and so forth.

What I find most fascinating this is that they can use this DNA to map and trace maternal lines back hundreds even even thousands of years back to the area that your people originate! This blew my mind and got me thinking about my maternal chain.

That my friends lead me to…Mom’s Month Mystery!

I started a few days ago mapping out names and dates. Focusing solely on just mom’s mom to her mom and so on. I wasn’t starting from scratch on this hunt, as I had some information back to my great great great great grandmother, Lydia Allard Densmore, “Liddie”. General information of course, as this particular branch hasn’t been focused on quite yet. I was hoping to get a few more generations past Liddie.

For privacy sake, I don’t ever include living persons information online, so I’m skipping over Generations 1 and 2, Me and Mom, and starting with Nana. Here’s the name and date map:

Generation 3 is Janice Ileane Clark. Nana was born in the summer of 1936 at her parents’ home in Pontiac, Michigan. We lost her on March 2016 in her own home in Clarkston, Michigan.

Generation 4 is Lydia Ellen Marie Campbell. Grandma Ellen was born September 24th 1913 in Detroit, Michigan. We lost her on August 28th, 1996 in Bloomfield, Michigan.

Generation 5 is Margery Jean Brander. She was born November 17th 1893 in Detroit, Michigan, and died June 16th 1955 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Generation 6 is Jane Lydia Densmore. Jennie was born on January 18th 1861 in Wayne Michigan. She died January 22th 1930 Detroit, Michigan.

Generation 7 is Lydia Allard. Liddie was born August 15th 1819 in Bartlett, New Hampshire. She died May 10th 1904 Detroit, Michigan.

Generation 8 is Mary Elizabeth Fall. Betsey was born in 1793 in Bartlett, New Hampshire. She died January 1st 1861 in Davenport, Iowa.

Generation 9 is Judith Stanton. She was born in 1759 in Lebanon, Maine, and died May 1st 1841 in Eaton Center, New Hampshire.

Generation 10 is Elizabeth Worcester. Betsey was born Aug 7th 1737 in Berwick, Maine.

Generation 11 is Judith Hall. She was born about 1720 in Maine or Massachusetts.

My point to ponder about all those names and dates while you wander is that….My maternal line has all been born in America since before the United States was born. Eleven generations of women experiencing 255 years of this nation’s history! I certainly wasn’t expecting that! And it’s definitely something I want to explore!

Stay tuned for how my maternal line interacted with US History over the next few months!

XO Velma