My mtDNA Results – T2b

by Don Taylor

I recently took the mtDNA[i] test through Family Tree DNA. I wasn’t surprised to learn I am a T2b haplogroup (23&Me’s test also told me that). There were 30 matches with a Genetic Distance of zero (0). Tracing mtDNA ancestors can be complex as the surnames typically change every generation. With that in mind, I thought I don’t know what my mtDNA cousins’ surnames are. I know my two mtDNA sisters and my one niece, but not any cousins.

Looking At My Tree,

Photo of Sylvia Larson (later Matson) in nurse's uniform - circa 1955
My mom, in nurse’s uniform – circa 1955

I received my mtDNA from my mother.

She received it from her mother, Madonna Mae Montran. Madonna had no other daughters.

Madonna received her mtDNA from her mother, Ida Mae Barber. Ida had no other daughters.

Ida received her mtDNA from her mother, Sarah H Blackhurst (1848-1929). Sarah also had a daughter Eva. Louisa Barber.

  1. Eva married Adelbert Roswell Goff and had a daughter
    1. Lillian A. Goff (1907-___).

Sarah received her mtDNA from Fanny Taylor (1806-1889). Besides Sarah, Fanny had five other daughters

  1. Ellen Blackhurst (1829-1905) married Henry Clough and had one daughter.
    1. Kara A Clough (___-___)
  2. Elizabeth Blackhurst (1831-1915) married Isaac John Earl and had one known daughter.
    1. Mary Flora Earl
  3. Mary Blackhurst (1833-1900) married Royal Baldwin (no known children)
  4. Louise Blackhurst (1840-1927) had one daughter with Samuel Sanders and one daughter with Champion Eslow.
    1. Carrie B. Sanders (1867-___)
    2. Phoebe Ann Eslow (1879-1948)
  5. Phoebe Anna Blackhurst (1842-1929) married William Brownell and had two daughters
    1. Hattie L. Brownell (1860-1916)
    2. Fanny P Brownell (1866-1939)

I don’t know who Fanny Taylor’s parents are.

So, my known mtDNA ancestors and cousins include the following known surnames: Blackhurst, Brownell, Clough, Earl, Eslow, Goff, Sanders, and Taylor.

Next, I looked at the surname of my mtDNA matches trees.

  1. PJM: Sole, Perry, Ahearn, Broderick.
  2. SPD: Murray, Doherty, Elliott, Beggs.
  3. MDC: Newton, Barry.
  4. DJT: Hose, Rankin, McKenzie, Finlayson.
  5. SCC: Norris, Edwards, Arnold.
  6. ACG: Richardson, Douras, Lennon, O’Neil.
  7. RJC: Norris, Edwards, Arnold, Bryan.
  8. NAM: Lafferty, Doherty, Elliott.
  9. MW: Stein.
  10. MD: Parkyn, Smith, Harris.
  11. DBD: van Dyle
  12. DMW: Miller, MacKellar, Gallop, Caldwell, Flynn.
  13. BS: Regnier, Darcy, Crahan.
  14. MA: Coombs.
  15. AMN: Leonard, Campbell, O’Brien, Deasy.
  16. PMT: Bothwell, Fahey, Curtis, Jones.
  17. SV: Leonard, Campbell, O’Brien, Deasy.
  18. MKL: Lyons, Browne, Bergin, Long, Crabb.
  19. CW: Cushing, Pratt, Shonk.
    • Two trees had all mtDNA ancestors “Private.”
    • One tree was “Forbidden” to be seen by me.
    • Eight individuals had no trees.

So, none of the matches with a zero (0) genetic distance has a surname that matched my known surnames.


My next mtDNA task will be to expand my known surnames in hopes of finding an identifiable match. I’ll look closer at Eva Louisa (Barber) Goff. Did she have any daughters besides Lillian? Did Lillian have any children?


[i] Mitochondrial DNA is the small circular chromosome found inside mitochondria. (Wikipedia- Mitochondrial DNA) – See: for more information.


Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown’s Mother – Part 6 of 6

Can DNA Help?

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I’ve been unsuccessful in finding any information regarding my great-grandmother’s mother, Eliza Jane Fannin(g). I’m not 100% convinced that is her name. But, continuing my investigation, my next step is to look and see if DNA testing will help. In the past, I’ve found DNA test results opened up discovering my biological father and my sister’s biological father. Two DNA tests can be helpful—Autosomal and Mitochondrial.


Image of DNAI tested with Ancestry and 23 & Me during my efforts to determine my biological father. I also uploaded my results to FamilyTreeDNA and GEDMatch.

Ancestry provides a tool that allows you to group individuals that you share the same ancestor with. In my case, it is easy to divide the matches I have into four groups based on my grandparents. The problem with Ancestry DNA is that the relationships rely upon a person’s tree. So, if they have Eliza Fannin, she will show up as a common ancestor. If they have Sarah Garvin as the mother of Mary Brown, she’ll show up as the common ancestor. So basically, I can determine if Mary (Manning) Brown is a common ancestor but can’t discriminate between her mother being Eliza or anyone else.

In looking at my DNA Matches, I found one match, N231, with a tree that indicated Phoebe’s mother was Eliza Fannin, and her parents were James Garvin and Sophia Thompson.

Name Via Common Ancestors Comments
N231 Phoebe John & Eliza (Fannin) Manning James Garvin &
Sophia Thompson

The match doesn’t help, but it is interesting to note (See Part 1 in this series – “Could it be Sarah Jane Garvin?”)

The bottom line is using Autosomal DNA test results won’t help in identifying the name of Mary (Manning) Brown’s mother because doing so relays upon other people’s trees which may be incorrect.

Mitochondrial DNA

A mother passes on mitochondrial DNA to her children. So boys have their mother’s mtDNA, but only girls can pass the mtDNA on to their children. So, Mary and Phoebe Manning received their mtDNA from their mother, who received it from her mother, and so forth. That means that any direct female descendants and their children would carry the mtDNA.

Mary (Manning) Brown had 12 children, 5 were girls.[i]

    1. Victoria – Had six children; only 1 was a girl.
      1. M___[ii]
    2. Cora – Had four girls.
      1. Beatrice
      2. E___
      3. Jo___
      4. Ju__)
    3. Dorothy (died as a child)
    4. Delores—Had eight children, six of them girls
      1. B___
      2. Sharon
      3. Patricia
      4. S___
      5. B___
      6. D___
    5. Nettie – Had five children, 2 of them girls
      1. E___
      2. (FNU)[iii]

Phoebe (Manning) Richmond had eight children; 2 were girls.

    1. Estella – had five daughters.
      1. Marjorie
      2. Mildred
      3. Meretta
      4. Hazel
      5. Phoebe
    2. Mahala – had four girls
      1. A___
      2. M___
      3. I___
      4. G___

It is possible that mtDNA test results could provide new insight into that line of ancestors. If you are the child of any of these people (or that person), you carry the mtDNA of Mary & Phoebe’s mother. I would love to hear if you have done an mtDNA test and what your test results and matches show. Genealogical mtDNA tests are only available from FamilyTreeDNA.[iv]


I don’t believe autosomal DNA testing can provide any clarity in determining the mother of Mary (Manning) Brown. It is unlikely that mtDNA tests will provide clarity in this identification, but I believe it is possible.

My next step in determining Mary (Manning) Brown’s mother is to do a “deep dive” into her life. Many new sources are available since I looked at her eight years ago that I should explore. So, I’ll begin further research by putting together a research plan using dates and locations.


[i] These names, numbers, and relationships are tentative. I have encountered the information as collateral information and have not researched these family lines personally.

[ii] Names with an initial and a underline are individuals who may be living (I have no death information for them). Note endnote i above.

[iii] FNU is an abbreviation for “First Name Unknown.” I have evidence that the individual exists but I do not have the persons first name.

[iv] I anticipate FamilyTreeDNA will have a sale on their mtDNA a little before Mother’s Day. Watch for it. DISCLAIMER: Several years ago, I was an affiliate in the Family Tree DNA advertising program. I am no longer an affiliate and will receive no reward for if you purchase any tests or services from FamilyTreeDNA.

Mary-Alice’s ThruLines – Part 2

ThruLines Thursday

This week I took a look at some of my wife’s Ancestry DNA matches and some of her ThruLinestm results.

DNA Matches

There were no new matches in her 2nd cousins and closer, so I started looking at her third cousins.

The first three were 3rd to 4th cousin.

Individual cM shared on x Segments Line Comments
3C = 3rd Cousin
D. L. 196 cM 11 Seg Hobbs 3C – Samuel Aquilla & Martha Ann (Bryan) Long.
C. C. 179 cM 8 Seg (Howell?) No Tree – I’m awaiting response to contact email. 
J-7 166 cM 9 Seg Hobbs No Tree – I’m awaiting response to contact email.


No new connections on her grandparents.

For her great-grandparents, there were 2 matches for her Howell/Vinson line and 3 for her Hobbs/Long line. There were no new individuals on her Darling, McAllister, Huber, or Trümpi lines.

Howell Line

Both of the individuals connect via Grandpa Howell’s sister Anna Lee Howell. One indicates that he is descended from William J. Boseman and the other indicates he is descended from Virginia L. Roseman.  My records indicate that Anna Lee married William Boseman in 1886 and had three children with the Boseman surname, Maggie, William, and Jesse. After that, my records show that she had five children with the surname Roseman. I’m not showing that Anna had a second marriage or showing any other reason for the surname change.

That lets me know I need to look more closely at Anna Lee Howell and her life and her children. Also, I’ll look more closely at William Jackson Boseman (1888-1962) and Virginia L Roseman (1905-___) and see if I can untangle the surname.

Hobbs Line

There were three ThruLinestm matches along the Hobbs line. All three were through great-aunt Annie Hobbs (1872-1953) who married Frank Alton Armstrong, Sr in 1890. They had three children, their oldest, Hazel G Armstrong (1895-1997). Hazel married Itimous Thaddus Valentine (1887-1970) and had five children that I am aware of. One of those children (possibly living) had at least four children, two of whom tested and were already in my (private) tree. The third person matching is J.H. a great-grandchild of Hazel through one of the other children (possibly living). I didn’t have him in my tree, but I did have his mother in my private tree, so I’m confident enough in his relationship to add him to my tree.

DNA Relationship

ThruLinestm indicates that both are second cousins twice removed. DNA Painter’s Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 indicates that 2C2R should share between 0 and 261 cM of DNA with an average being 74cM. The ThruLines match “RC” and my wife share 52 cM and the second match shares 60 cM; so the proposed relationship fits the amount of DNA shared.


Genetic matches and TrueLines confirmed several people in my tree. It let me know that I need to further research three ancestors on a secondary line, and it allowed me to confidently add one new cousin.

Final Comment

If you are a descendant of Peter Fletcher Howell (1842-1924), I’d love to learn how you and my wife are related. Testing with Ancestry DNA is an excellent way for us to confirm our relationship and possibly you broaden your tree as well.

My other ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category.


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ThruLines – William Henry Brown – Part 1

ThruLines Thursday

In Part 7 of my ThruLinestm analysis, I’m looking closely at matches with my 2nd great-grandfather, William Henry Brown (c. 1843- c. 1888). The first group of matches included 12 matches descended from Arthur Durwood Brown. I looked at those matches just a few months ago in Part 2 of this series. However, as I have learned how to use ThruLines better, I feel it is important to revisit them.

The 12 Children of Arthur Durwood & Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown

Clyde Leroy Brown (1894-1971) – No DNA Matches.

Clyde Leroy Brown – Married twice – had seven children (that I know of).

Victoria C. Brown (1896-1998) – One Known Match

I confirmed the one descendant of Victoria C Brown who has tested with Ancestry DNA and who has a tree on Ancestry previously.

Clarence Arthur Brown (1897-1988) – No DNA Matches.

Clarence Arthur Brown – Married twice – had four children (that I know of).

Martin Brown (1900-1900) – Died as an infant.

Cora Elsie Brown (1901-1986) – No DNA Matches.

Cora Elsie (Brown) Seaborn Petersen – Married twice – had four children (that I know of).

Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990) – Four DNA Matches

The four matches descended from my grandfather Richard Earl Brown. I either manage or am in regular contact then.

Dorothy Brown (c. 1906-1908) – Died as a young child.

Edward Lewis Brown (1908-1998) – One DNA Match.

Next is a descendant of Edward Lewis Brown. After contacting “TB,” I have determined that “TB” is a 2nd cousin once removed.

Arthur Eugene Brown (1912-1996) – Two DNA Matches.

Next, are two descendants of Arthur Eugene Brown. The first one, “J.B.,” and I have been in contact previously.

The second match reminds me that Ancestry DNA ThruLines does get it wrong sometimes. “JO,” according to Ancestry, is a 2nd cousin with whom I share 20 cM of DNA. That is far below the range expected of 2nd cousins (should be 46 to 515 cM). His online Ancestry tree only has his father’s name and doesn’t connect with anyone I have in my tree. So, I’ve emailed him to see if he has a tree elsewhere. Followup!

Charles William Brown (1914-1990) – No DNA Matches

Charles William Brown – Married twice – had six children (that I know of).

Delores Sarah Brown (1917-2011) – Three DNA Matches

I have two second cousins and one second cousin once removed that descend from Delores Sarah Brown. The three are each descended from a different “Larson” girl.

“TB” and I share 180 cM across 12 Segments. I have been in contact with him, however, not for several years.

“CL” is descended a great-grandchild of Deloris. We share only 25 mM of DNA. That is lower than typical but still within the range of 2nd cousins once removed. I have messaged him on Ancestry twice earlier this year and have not received a response. He appears not to have logged into Ancestry since January 2018 (over a year ago). Followup!

“CB” and I share 147 cM over nine segments. CB and I share trees and are friends on FaceBook.

Nettie M V Brown

Finally, I have two 2nd cousins descended from Nettie Brown. I have been in contact with “BB” and “NB” through both email and Facebook.


I was astonished to learn that of the ten children of Arthur and Mary Brown who lived to adulthood, I only had DNA Matches on Ancestry with six of them. If you are a descendant of Clyde, Cora, Clarence, or Charles and have not tested with Ancestry DNA, I encourage you to do so. It will be great to see you added to the tree. Also, if you have tested with Ancestry DNA and haven’t linked you and your DNA to a place on a tree, please do so. It will help us better understand this pioneer family’s descendants. Although Arthur died long before I was born, I remember Great-grandma Brown quite well from the dozen or so visits we had in Motley.

All of my ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category.


The ads and some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” If you purchase after clicking on them, I will receive a small commission which will help me pay for this site. Please see my Disclaimer Page for more information.

ThruLines – Part 4 – Patience A Marshall

ThruLines Thursday
Roberts, Marshall

In Part 4 of my ThruLinestm verification process, I’m looking closely at matches with my 2nd great-grandmother, Patience Anna Marshall Dean Roberts.

Patience married Asa Ellis Roberts in Jefferson County, Illinois on 25 August 1872. She had four children with him, Charles Wilson Roberts, Rosa Della Roberts, Florence Elizabeth Roberts, and my great-grandfather, Hugh Ellis Roberts.  I wrote about my ThruLines findings with that family in Part 3 of this series.

Before Patience married Asa, she was married to Thomas B. Dean. Thomas died in 1863, but Patience had at least one child with him[i]. Her name was Elnora Dean. My records included her birth, marriage, and death information but nothing about any children of hers.

ThruLines indicated there were four here-to-for unknown half-cousins, all descended from Elnora Dean, and have tested with Ancestry DNA.

Step one:  Does the shared DNA amount match expectations for the relationship?

  • Match 1 is a half 3rd cousin, 1x removed, with whom I share 79 cM
  • Match 2 is a half 3rd cousin, 2x removed, with whom I share 22cM
  • Match 3 is a half 3rd cousin with whom I share 60cM
  • Match 4 is a half 3rd cousin, 1x removed, with whom I share 17cM

According to the Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4, all four of the individuals and I share expected amounts of DNA.

Step two: Do the cousin’s common ancestor with me and match my known information about that common ancestor.

Yes. My records indicated that Patience had a daughter Elnora Dean and Elnora married Samuel H Pitchford on 11 Nov 1880 in Jefferson County, Illinois. All of the ThruLines matches are descended from Elnora and Samuel.

Using the ThruLinestm, I learned that Elnora and Samuel had seven children. Mary, Edward, Grace, Blanche, Florence, Edith, and Herbert.

Blanch married Homer H Roberts and had two children Theodora and Earl. Earl was the grandfather of one of my new cousins.

Edith married twice, once to Walton Pyles where she had several children. She married a second time; that marriage produced a son Eric Lemons. Eric was the father, grandfather, and great grandfather to the other three half-cousins in my ThruLinestm.

Thanks to ThruLinestm, I added 25 new half-cousins to my chart all descended from Patience Anna Marshall’s daughter Elnora Dean.

Sadly, none of these cousins carry Patience’s mtDNA. However, hopefully adding several generations of Patience’s descendants will yield, in the future, new cousins, some of whom will carry Patience’s mtDNA.

If you are a descendant of Patience Anna Marshall, consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too.


[i] The 1900 Census for Patience Anna Roberts indicates that she had six children, five of whom were living. It is unclear if the one child that had died was a child with her first husband, Thomas Dean, or her second husband, Asa Ellis Roberts. In either event, it does not appear that the child lived to have children.