Sunday, February 22, 2015

My grandparents' DNA trails, Part IV - "Harris" mtDNA

Now we come to the last of my four grandparents' DNA trails, the mtDNA of my grandma Sally (Harris) Crawford. In case it wasn't clear last time, I put the surname for the mtDNA lines I trace in quotation marks because the last name changes with each generation. So, let's see where this DNA line leads us.

This line of DNA goes back to a lady named Margaret (last name unknown), born about 1830 or 1832 in Germany or France (she listed both in the census records, which makes me think it may have been Alsace-Lorraine, but at this point I don't know). She married John Georg Waechter in Ohio around 1853. Margaret's mtDNA came down to me through her granddaughter Philena Emily "Lena" Beilstein, Sally's grandmother, who I've written about many times before.

My grandma Sally has three kids, two girls and a boy (a nice inversion of the typical pattern of two boys and a girl). My aunt has four children, one girl and three boys. The boys can't pass on the mtDNA, but their sister can. So far, she has one child, a boy. So at this point, the mtDNA on that branch stops with my cousin.

My mom has three kids, with (you guessed it) two boys and a girl (I swear that pattern is engraved in our DNA, because that's exactly what I have too!). My brother and I can't pass on the mtDNA we carry, but my sister can. At this point, she doesn't have any kids. So like with my aunt's line, the mtDNA on my mom's line ends with my sister. So at this point, we don't have anyone among my grandma's descendants who can pass on her mtDNA.

I don't want to leave it at that though. So let's see if there's anyone else who can pass that mtDNA on. My grandma did have one sister, who had three kids (anyone want to guess the pattern? Kudos if you guessed two boys and a girl). The girl, my mom's cousin, has one child, a daughter. So far, she doesn't have any kids, so the mtDNA line on that branch ends with my 2nd cousin.

Ok, that didn't pan out either. My great-grandma, Sally's mom Edna Craddock, had three sisters. I have identified a couple of their grandchildren, but don't have any info on great- or great-great-grandchildren. Maybe I can pick the brains of a couple of Grandma Sally's cousins and try to fill in the gaps. I don't want to see my own line die out, but even if it does, odds are there are others out there of my more distant relatives carrying the torch for Margaret Waechter's line.

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