Monday, September 10, 2012

Matrilineal Monday: My Matrilineal Line

Scientists have “calculated that all living humans are related to a single woman who lived roughly 150,000 years ago in Africa, a ‘mitochondrial Eve’ […].” (Source: James Shreeve, “The Greatest Journey”, National Geographic, March 2006, p. 62.)

I have been fascinated for years by mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), in which a person’s maternal ancestry (from a daughter to her mother to her mother’s mother and so on) is traced. I can follow my matrilineal line for seven generations – from myself (no. 1) to my great-great-great-great-grandmother (no. 7).  I can’t go further, though, because I haven’t been able to find any information about Marie Marguerite’s parents.

My Matrilineal Line:

1. Yvonne Belair

2. Jacqueline Desgroseilliers

3. Juliette Beauvais (1901-1948)

4. Olivine Hotte (1879-1926)

5. Marguerite Lacasse (1839-1907)

6. Thérèse Durgey dite Doyer (1810-1900)

 7. Marie Marguerite Carpentier (ca 1782-1874)

For those who are curious, the longest proven matrilineal descent is an amazing 37 generations, from the wife of Henry I, Count of Limburg (who died in 1119) through Empress Maria Theresia of Austria to the granddaughters of Michael, the exiled King of Romania (born in 1921). The interested reader will find this line and 100s of other ones in Matrilineal Descents of the European Royalty (5th edition, 1997) by William Addams Reitwiesner. This monumental work is the largest collection of matrilineal genealogies ever assembled. It was compiled by William (who passed away in 2010) and is available in book format at the Library of Congress and on microfiche in larger libraries around the world. 

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I see you are interested in using genetic genealogy in solving brick walls in your ancestry ( Please get in touch with our French Heritage DNA group ( if you are into trying to solve your mtDNA dead end. The goal in our cataloguing DNA signatures is exactly this :it is a bottom-up-and-back-to-bottom methodology. I was able to solve long-lasting enigmas in working this way : for instance, one pioneer mtDNA signature helped me get around a documentary dead end in my own genealogy. Just get in touch with us if you want to collaborate. Best regards.