Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What’s Your Matrilineal Line?

This week Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has offered up a genetic genealogy game for us to play! Here is the mission:
  1. List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
  2. Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
  3. Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.
  4. If you have done this before, please do your father's matrilineal line, or your grandfather's matrilineal line, or your spouse's matrilineal line.
  5. Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines? 

Digital image.
My matrilineal line is as follows: 
  1. Beaulah Belle Yawman (1915-1999), my mother, married Jasper J. “Jack” Spurlock
  2. Myrtle Arminta Snider (1878-1958), my grandmother, married William L. Yawman (at the left in this picture with my aunt Joyce Opal Yawman Seeley).
  3. Ruth Franklin (1851-1914), my great-grandmother, married David A. Snider
  4. Rhoda Cary (1833-betw 1872-1877), my 2nd great-grandmother, married Joseph Franklin
  5. Matilda Gandy (1801-1853), my 3rd great-grandmother, married Ephraim Cary
  6. Tamson Garrison (1772-1809), my 4th great-grandmother, married Henry Harris Gandy
  7. That’s as far as I can go! Tamson’s parents are unknown at this time.

I have had my DNA tested through 23andme. My maternal haplogroup is J1b1a, a subgroup of J1.  On their website, 23andme has posted the following information about the origins of haplogroup J1:

“Haplogroup J originated about 45,000 years ago on the Arabian Peninsula not long after modern humans expanded out of Africa and onto the Eurasian continent. About 7,000 years ago the expansion of farming carried daughter lineages of J, including J1, into Europe. Today the haplogroup extends as far west as Britain and as far east as Central Asia.”

From time to time I conduct descendancy research on one of my ancestral lines to see if I can bring the line forward to connect with living cousins. Most recently I have been conducting research on the Burton line; I began with my maternal 2nd great-grandfather James H. Burton, Sr., have been working forward in time on each of his children and their descendants.

I don’t do exhaustive research on collateral lines, but I do cite all the sources I use so that if I ever need to research more thoroughly, I will have a solid foundation. If I find information that is particularly interesting, I may write a blog post about it. Every few months, I upload a new GEDCOM file to Ancestry Member Trees so that my most up-to-date information can be found by distant cousins.

Anyone out there also a J1b1a? Or related to one of the women in my matrilineal line? Does anyone know the identity of Tamson Garrison’s mother?

© 2012 Denise Spurlock


  1. Replies
    1. Ha ha ha! Yes, Deanna, you, Leah and Rana should all be J1b1a. Someday when we have a surplus of money you need to get tested though, so we can see what else we have in common!

  2. I was recently tested by 23andMe and I am also J1b1a!

    1. Valerie, that's very cool. Please feel free to look at my maternal line and see if we share a common ancestor. Of course, you may also show up in my Family Finder on 23andme.


  3. Denise -
    I am also a descendant of Tamson Garrison, although not in direct female descendency. I have also been trying to expand my knowledge of that part of the tree. So far, I have found a couple of family trees at which show parents of Tamson Garrison. They are given as William Garrison (1747-1819) and Ruth Davis (1750-1823). I have not yet verified this, but will continue working on that now.