This project centers on the mtDNA of our maternal ancestors. Both men and women are invited to participate if their direct maternal line (mother's mother's mother... etc.) is documented as coming from Alsace, or is believed to be from Alsace, or from the Moselle region of Lorraine. You are also welcome to join if you have a FamilyFinder test and known Alsace/Moselle ancestry.Alsace (German Elsass or Elsaß) is located in the uppermost NE corner of France, along the west bank of the Rhine River and borders both Germany and Switzerland. The area has had a colorful past, being ruled, as well as ruling itself, but with a strong German language tradition. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, marked the start of the territory being claimed by both France and Germany. Because many residents spoke German, but France controlled the region much of the time, some official civil records have been kept in French, and some in German. Many early Catholic parish records are in Latin. The historical language of Alsace was Alsatian, a German dialect. Surname and given name spellings changed with the language used - records may be indexed in French or Latin, but the record and signatures may show German spellings, causing difficulties in tracing through the records.
Additionally, due to its location, settlers came from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lorraine, Savoy and other areas after 1648 until the mid 1700s. Anabaptist refugees from Switzerland came in the late 17th and early 18thcentury when Strasbourg (Straßburg) became a main center of the early Anabaptist movement. There were also well established Catholic and Protestant populations throughout the region, as well as Jewish residents, especially in/near the larger towns. Some early 19th century census records tracked religious affiliation. After the French revolution, Alsace was split between Haut- and Bas-Rhin regions. It is presently divided into 13 Arrondissements and 75 Cantons.