My mtDNA success story
by Peggy Carter Wehe
I have been doing some form of Family History Research for over 30 years. During that time I traced my mother’s family on the male lineage back to France and was delighted with the results. In the meantime a cousin on my father’s side took up that research and I started on my husband’s European lines – German, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.
I had been a subscriber to Richard Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter for a long time and about two years ago I read an article he wrote about DNA testing. I thought it sounded interesting and so I ordered the basic test – then decided to go to the second level of testing. Because it is mtDNA and traces the direct maternal line I went back and started researching that line and ran into a brick wall. Even though I had two major source books I could not find any information before the mid 1700s. I started a broader search and discovered that my maternal line may have immigrated to Acadia (Nova Scotia) in the mid 1600s. I was doing online research and thought that I had figured out my maternal lineage but because I had no access to primary sources I could not be sure. I joined the French Heritage DNA Project during this time.
Very recently I received an invitation to join an mtDNA Project and I accepted. I sent the information on my maternal lineage to Lucie LeBlanc Consentino who sent it to Stephen White for verification. After fewer corrections than I expected, I can now lay claim to being a 16th generation descendent from a daughter of Acadia – Jeanne Motin de Reux. I am fortunate to descend from such a distinguished line, because at sixteen generations it gives me the longest female-line lineage to date
On my paternal line, my cousin had done all the research and again thought that we knew which English “Carter” line we could claim as our ancestors but one link was weak on documentation. We convinced our Carter male first cousin to have his DNA tested and submitted our lineage to the Carter Society. Through the DNA test comparisons we were able to determine which Carter settler of the new world we descended from.
I am delighted with all the new information that I have recently obtained. It has become my custom to print a small family history book with pictures for each new baby that is born in our family. As my nieces and nephews turn forty years old I make a Family History Book as a birthday present for them. The DNA results will add an additional validation to some of the information.