So I'm waiting on mtDNA that should follow a papertrail back 12 generations... What can I do to prepare?

+8 votes
271 views
Hey- Im an all female line descendant of Lucretia (Williams) Hitchcock (1631 - 1675),  born in 1631 in West Saco, York, Maine, in colonial America. (I think she's my 12th great grandmother if I counted right. And her mother technically has a profile, but her first name and maiden name are unknown-that's the profile linked below).

I'm currently waiting on the full mtDNA results, which should go back to Lucretia, and then to Mrs. Unknown Williams (barring any sort of NPE in my maternal line). While I'm waiting, I'd love to learn more about Lucretia and see if anyone could help me find more about her mother, so I can extend my all-maternal line further. Pretty much all I know is from her profile here at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Williams-16089, which was wonderfully put together by her profile manager, David Barnhardt.

I was wondering if there was any possible mothers suspected for Lucretia that the DNA could help with, so we could extend the line. However, I dont really know where to look for that info. I've been focused on more recent ancestors so I haven't delved into colonial times very often and don't know the best sources to get into. I'm very excited to get my results and see what additional information it may dig up, and I cant wait to share it with all of wikitree.

I'd also like any recommendations for good information for specific mtDNA lines. I understand the biology of mitochondrial DNA, so I'm looking more for sites that help once I know my haplogroup.

Has anyone else traced their female line back to colonial America? I'm so excited about what will turn up and curious about how modern of a match I may get, or if it will all be ages back.
WikiTree profile: UNKNOWN Williams
in Genealogy Help by Allison Schaub G2G6 Mach 1 (14.6k points)
I can't wait to see the results!
I got T1a1, so from my understanding, it at least reinforces my prediction that Lucretia's mother is likely European, not North American.
The haplogroup seems to have a higher concentration in Ireland/England/UK as well as German, Denmark, Sweden/Scandinavian. So generally northwest Europe. Which makes sense for the Mayflower or early Puritan Great Migration woman who would have been there to give birth to a child in 1631 Maine.

3 Answers

+6 votes
Hi Allison,  You have a pretty awesome maternal family line there.  Most of us lose track of G-G-G grandma's maiden name and are not able to track back through the 1700s.  Congratulations.

The Williams maternal line of descendants to you do not seem to have any mtDNA tests listed on the profiles, so any cousin connections you can make based on your mtDNA test will probably be from the testing company (FTDNA?).  I hope you are successful.  Kitty
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (540k points)
I'm insanely lucky in having researchers come before me, so my research could link into a line that went back further. I recognise and am very grateful for them, and familysearch.org and wikitree in general. I wouldn't know half as much as I do without help and the record database.
I'm hopeing to try to test mtDNA and yDNA lines, (my paternal grandfather's mtDNA line died out before testing as did my maternal grandfather's YDNA line so there's only really 3 lines of each I could potentially access) as well as auDNA in everybody, is hopefully my way of helping out the next generations of researchers.
I started with my mtDNA, since that's one of the two longest lines that could potentially link up. (the other line, my uncle's Hanes YDNA, would also go back to Pre-revolutionary war New England, but through the German philistines) The other four lines I could test dont really go back further than the 1800's so I have very little hope they will match anyone that could actually be linked up to with a papertrail.
Sometimes for yDNA, you have to go back to an early ancestor and choose a different son to look for living descendants.  This happened with my mom's paternal line.  I had to go back to the immigrant forefather and come forward on a different one of his sons to find a living man that was willing to do the yDNA test for our lines.  It is tough to find the living men, but sometimes we get lucky with an obituary or record.
With my YDNA line that died out (my maternal grandfather) He had no sons, and no brothers, my great grandfather was also a single child. So I'd have to find a male line descendant of my third great grandgrandfather (a brother of my second great grandfather). That may be possible, but I don't really know how to jump the gap from easily found records to living private people.
The mtDNA that died out would be my paternal grandfather's, who is the only child of an adopted person. I have found the likely bio mom to my great grandmother recently, but not other children. So I'd have to go back to my third great grandmother and back down for that. Again, I'd have to figure out a gap between public records to private living people.
So I guess there's a chance, but it's not very likely.
+9 votes
Do you already know her mtDNA haplogroup from other descendants of Lucretia who have tested? If yours differs when the results come in then you can rule her out as a direct maternal ancestor. If it is the same then this will give some supporting evidence that you are on the right track, but will not be conclusive evidence that she is your direct ancestor.

If you want to see mtDNA matches that you can use in your research then you should test with FTDNA using the full test which gives you levels HVR1 and HVR2. The other companies just tell you the haplogroup without matches and some are not so specific in identifying the relevant subclade. FTDNA also offers mtDNA projects. However, be aware that even if you find matches with zero genetic distance, the common ancestors could still be tens of thousands of years ago and long before the timeframe in which we can document specific ancestors. I took an mtDNA test back in 2011 and have not yet had any matches that can be tied in to my paper trail. I hope you find something useful in your results. Fingers crossed that you see what you are expecting to see.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (628k points)
So far I haven't seen any mtDNA tests in her descendants, so I guess my test will stand in as her presumed DNA until other branches could test to confirm or deny. Since no one else has tested, I really don't have anything to expect, other than I would presume my results would be considered common for English/UK line DNA (or northwest European however they break it down), since that's who would be around in 1631. I guess a Native American would be possible, but doesn't strike me as probable.
I did test though FTDNA's full sequence- I took advantage of their summer sale.
What do you mean by English/UK line DNA? Most mtDNA haplogropups go back way beyond anything that can be identified as English.
I've read demographics, like 40% of English lines are H,
https://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_mtdna_haplogroups_frequency.shtml
Perhaps there is a high % in England, but I believe haplogroup H migrated into Western Europe from Asia, so it would not confirm English roots.
+6 votes
Hi, well one thing to do while you wait is to keep adding in all the descendents you can find on your maternal line.  I see you have many entered already but the more you have it will make it easier to find where your matches fit in with your 'paper tree.'

Good luck!
by Erik Granstrom G2G6 Mach 2 (26.5k points)
That's a good idea. I had been working on all the descendants of my 4th gg down, but I may re-focus to the female line for a while.
It's all about priorities, and those shift over time anyway. As others have said, seeing as how H is 25-30,000 years old and your specific subclade is probably also thousands of years old, you may not get a lot of easily spotted matches anyway.

If it were me, I'd just keep on doing what you're doing now. What you get back for matches will tell you if you should consider another plan of attack (assuming you can't initially ID the MRCA).

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