Happy Mother’s Day this coming weekend. And Happy Mother’s Mother’s Day. And Happy Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Day…
As a genealogist, I certainly do mean that, and what a great opportunity to give more thought to our foremothers.
Let’s just start by thinking of the female lines of the mothers who are still with us.
The longest female line of those living in my birth family (since I don’t have daughters), goes through my sister. We start with my niece, Stephanie (Taylor) Zimmerman, mother Maureen (Moore) Taylor and grandmother Joyce (Steeves) Moore.
In my husband’s family, we have Hannah DelGiudice, mother Lisa (Saucier) DelGiudice and grandmother Claudette (Saucier) Saucier.
If you do even that much, you have recorded (and I hope will share with your family) something worthwhile.
You also have begun working on the mitochondrial DNA line, which is passed only through daughters, although sons do receive the mitochondrial DNA. My sons have my mitochondrial DNA, which came from my mother. My niece and nephew have it as do my sister and my brother. But the males in the group cannot pass it on, so each of their children will have the mitochondrial DNA of their own mother.
The mitochondrial DNA line of Joyce Steeves Moore continues with her mother, Edith (Roberts) Steeves, Etta (Eldridge) Roberts, Agnes (Bray) Eldridge, Mary (Payne) Bray, Clarrissa (Doolittle) Payne, Lozette or Lucette (Blakeslee) Doolittle, Hannah (Dunbar) Blakeslee, Elizabeth (Fenn) Dunbar, Mary (Thorpe) Fenn, Mary (Benton) Thorpe, born 1642; and her mother, Alice (Purden) Benton.
Although Roman Catholic Church marriage records have led to Franco-American records often being more comprehensive than many civil records, even these may have bumps in the road.
When I tried to continue Claudette (Saucier) Saucier’s mitochondrial DNA line, I found next her mother, Rose Anna (Chamberland) Saucier, Edith (Chasse) Chamberland, Margueriette (Pelletier) Chasse, Julie (Dominique Rau) Pelletier, and possibly Claire (Gaudreau) Dominique Rau.
That’s what I have so far. Certainly, I hope to add to it, and I do plan to have my own mitochondrial DNA tested at some point. As recommended by geneticist Dr. Tom Roderick, I have read “The Seven Daughters of Eve” by Brian Sykes. His definition of Eve is not the Eve of the Bible, but rather “mitochondrial Eve,” which is the earliest woman found so far who is presumed to have been an ancestor (though not the only female ancestor) of everyone on Earth.
Just a reminder that the 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society will be held at Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road, Bangor. The free program, which is open to all, is a talk I have written about looking for information and records of U.S. military veterans. Among the items we will view are military honor rolls which local non-military organizations have given to the museum, and Purple Heart medals that have been given to the museum for display.
Also, the Maine Old Cemetery Association meeting, set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Palmyra Community Center, intersection of U.S. Route 2 and Madawaska Road, Palmyra, will feature a 9:45 a.m. presentation by Ann Foss, “Comprehensive System for Recording Cemetery Information.”
Registration is $3 at the door. Reservations are needed only for lunch, choose ham, tuna or egg salad sandwich on white or wheat bread. Send preference by May 10 to Ann Foss, PO Box 280, Palmyra, ME 04965-0280, or NAFFRR@tds.net or 938-2947. Cost of lunch is $7 at the door.
For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.