After the success I had with my Y-DNA test, my wife was excited to find what she could. I explained to her that we could only do a mitochondrial test on her. It would give a broad brushstroke of her maternal line; we knew that her great-grandmother emigrated from Switzerland around 1903 and not much more. She was interested in her paternal side; family tradition held they come from Wales, however, there was no proof? Anyway, we convinced her brother to take the test. Mother was a little upset and concerned. She thought we were accusing her of a dalliance with the milkman and questioning her virtue. We finally convinced her that we were only looking for what we might find several generations in the past.
|Ancestry.Com – The Stonemasons|
Brother Jerome took the test and after what seemed an interminable amount of time, the results came back — Haplogroup I1, what Ancestry calls “The Stonemasons.” It is sort of an odd combination of Scandinavians and Mediterranean people. The map Ancestry provides shows the people coming out of Africa, to Scandinavia, then to the Mediterranean, and then back to Scandinavia. All that is well and good, but the real purpose of taking the test is to find a close match – and there was. A person with the same last name showed up with a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in only six generations. So the search was on, for the common ancestor. Unfortunately, it was not an easy task. The tree I have for my wife’s line traces ancestors into the early 1800s. The cousin’s tree goes back to the mid 1700s. Ancestors from both trees (Jerome’s and the match’s) were in Virginia in the early 1800s. I found no matches between the trees on first names though.
I worked on pushing my wife’s family history back another generation. I do not have a name for sure yet, but I am getting close. A couple more bits of information to sort out and assure which one of several Howell family heads is my wife’s 4th great-grandfather. What I do know is.
He died about 1817, in Buckingham County, Virginia
In 1805, he lived in Charlotte County, Virginia
He had at least four children, a girl and three boys. The daughter married (1819-1820) a man whose last name was “Holman” and they moved to Alabama about 1821.
We know Mr. Howell was not religious, so he is unlikely to show up in any bibles or church records.
Trying to track him down among all of the Howells in the Virginia counties during the times is grueling work.
However, once I find that common ancestor, I will have a whole new tree of descendants to explore. The cousin does not appear to have anyone in his tree that died in 1817. I have looked carefully at the match’s tree and our tree and there is not a possibility for a common ancestor in seven generations on his tree and six generations on our tree.
I have not been particularly pleased with the MRCA generation suggestion by Ancestry. In the cases where I have been able to trace back the number of generations suggested, none of them have been verifiable. Admittedly, it is only three connections, but I expect an 87.5% likelihood of a match within the suggested MRCA generations. I guess her family is n that remaining 12.5%. I will see what turns up when I have another DNA hit.