Do we have common ancestors in our maternal lines?

I have entered my mitochondrial DNA in databases

This page is all about my quest for information on my mother's ancestors. For other information on family history matters, visit my page about family history hunt homepage, where you will find general points, and information about my paternal heritage.

When you are done here, perhaps you will have a look at my general page about mitochondrial DNA research, with it's naiscent directory. The link opens in a new tab or window, so click it now, come back to this page for now, look at the other later?

As far as my maternal DNA is concerned, I believe I fall in Haplogroup H4a1a1. (More detail, and what databases I'm in: below.)

I am looking for information about the following families before 1900.... probably in New England, USA... but don't let that stop you getting in touch! Maybe someone migrated, and I don't know about it. Some of them, young men or women, must have "gone west"?

Bradley, Broadley, Dingley, McKenney, White, Wood

I'm also interested in....

Brewster, Sanger, Lane

"My" Bradleys were in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA by 1860. The Whites were probably there too, by about the same time.

I've seen....


... which includes a biography of John Erving BRADLEY, b. 1860, and has lots of information that looks like it is probably true... but I haven't verified more than a fraction of it.

The Dingley and McKenney families seem to hail from Gardiner, Maine, USA... at least in about the mid-1800s.

The following comes from the biography of J.E. Bradley, already mentioned, and explains my interest in some of the other family lines.... and, I fear, is the extent of my November 2009 knowledge of them! (I've altered the original to put surnames in upper case letters.) (I presume that what follows "shows" that "Bradley" was a evolution from "Broadley", but could be wrong on that point.)

"John Erving BRADLEY was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on February 26, 1860. He was the only son of Henry Osgood and Sarah L. (STOCKBRIDGE) BRADLEY, and on both his father's and mother's side was of New England descent. Daniel BROADLEY, the American ancestor of his father's family, came from England and settled in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, in 1623, and John STOCKBRIDGE, his mother's ancestor, came from England in June, 1635, and settled in Hanover, Massachusetts, in the old Plymouth Colony.

"Another ancestor was William BREWSTER, of Plymouth fame. Mr. Bradley's paternal grandfather was Osgood BRADLEY, who was born January 15, 1801, and died May 11, 1884, and who married Fanny SANGER; and his maternal grandfather was Lebbeus STOCKBRIDGE, his grandmother being, before her marriage, Lydia LANE."

So! If you can help me confirm or expand the above, I would be very grateful!

Faster Family Finding By Biochemistry.....

Hurrah for the work of scientists. I have submitted my DNA, after careful thought, to FamilyTreeDNA. If we share a mother, a mother's mother, a mother's mother's mother (etc), then our mitochondrial DNA will tell us! (You can read about it at Wikipedia. Link opens in new tab/ window.)

Concerned about "issues" surrounding the submission of DNA samples? So was I. But eventually, I came to believe that FamilyTreeDNA handles those issues well. I worried about three things... Civil liberties issues- FamilyTree, last time I checked, said they'd not yet been forced to hand over an data. Getting medical insurance issues- With more and more insurers requiring a pre-insurance medical, including blood draw, we've "lost" this one already. Being "pestered" by other FamilyTree participants- I've been a member, in the "contact me if we have similar DNA" system for years. No problems yet... the system protects your email address.

I have signed the "FTDNA Release Form" that you will find mentioned in the Family Tree literature. (As should you!) So- as soon as you submit your release form, if we are a perfect match, we will both get emails.

Just to help things along, here is another statement of my mtDNA results.... I exactly match the CRS "standard" DNA for HVR1. For HVR2, I differ from CRS only as follows....

(I.e. I have the "wrong" nucleotide in three places, an extra one after 315, and two missing. Amazing I function at all?)

In penance for not reading the FAQ answers deeply enough before writing familytreeDNA, let me add here that the familytreeDNA site only (at 11/09, pp FAQ answers) lists exact matches.... and not even all of those. If you have an exact match to someone, but your mtDNA haplogroup is significantly different, that person won't appear in your list of matches. How can two people with the same mtDNA-to-CRS profiles have different mtDNA haplogroups? Haplogroups, in addition to the CRS nucleotides, take into account SNP mutations.

A bizarre coincidence: If investigation bears out initial indications, it may be that there's a living Boyd to whom I, a Boyd by my paternal line, am related.. or at least have the same DNA as.. via my maternal line! (And no, we aren't the sort of people to marry cousins!)

Only people who share a mother, mother's mother, mother's mother's mother (etc) with me should have the same mtDNA (except by coincidence). The only families I've identified so far up my mother's mother's mother's.... line are: Bradley, Dingley and McKenney. All the other maternal line names are of people who will have the same mtDNA only by coincidence. (Or an earlier, as yet undiscovered, marriage to someone who also goes back to my matriarchal line.)

So... if I've got this right, two "Boyds" (or other name taken from father) can match on mtDNA if two daughters of daughters of... of the same woman from Back In Time both marry a Boyd. That would create two Boyds with the same mtDNA, I suppose? And the fact that they were both Boyds would mean nothing, in terms of "Boyd" relatedness? It would mean nothing more than, say, both of them having the same first name?

I suppose the fact that I've found only very few people who share my mtDNA+SNP mutation profile that the unlikely coincidence, if that's all it is, of finding such a person named Boyd, my father's name, fooled me into thinking there might be some "Boyd connection".. when there isn't? Or if there is, then there's an even greater coincidence coming into the picture. Hmmm... what would happen if two brothers married two sisters??? We'd still(?) Need a coincidental marriage of one of the daughter's daughter's daughters to some (needn't be related) Boyd, wouldn't we? Would the two-brothers / two-sisters marriages make any difference to generations so distant that the "special" marriages were no longer remembered?

The above just by way of reminding you that interpreting family history data can be tricky.... don't assume, and certainly don't PUBLISH as facts, that things that "make sense" are the ONLY way something could happen! The internet is a great tool, but many people have wasted many hours un-picking things based on incorrect information published as "fact".

The only families I've identified along my mother's mother's mother's.... line so far are: Bradley, Dingley and McKenney.

Other genealogy

As I said earlier, this page concentrates on my quest for information about ancestors on my maternal line. I have further information for family history hobbyists on my family history hunt homepage, where you will find general points, and information about my paternal heritage.

Fascinating document... and mystery...



...you'll find a fascinating account from 1892 of people in Gardiner Maine. You don't need to be interested in my family to find it fascinating. However, if you ARE interested in my family, a mystery arises.

The document above says that James B Dingley (b. 1834) married Maria (MCKENNEY) DINGLEY in 1858. (By that typography, I mean that the girl was born Maria, in a McKenney family, and married a Mr. Dingley.

So far, so good. In the following....


... there's a James Maxwell, b 18 Feb 1813 d 20 Sep 1893 who marries, first, a "Mrs Lurany (McKenney) Dingley b 13 Apr 1801 on the Pejepscot Claim (ME) d 19 Oct 1835 at Danville, Me, d/o Charles & Lurany (Richards) McKenney & the widow of John Dingley"

WIDOW OF JOHN DINGLEY. A McKenney. But "Lurany" here, not Maria, as before. AND... James Maxwell then goes on to a second marriage, in January 1844... but John Dingley is alive and well, at least until after 1858....

I was typing that when I percieved my mistake. Lurany McKenney was widow of JOHN Dingley. Maria McKenney was wife of JAMES Dingley. And the dates suggest John may have been James' uncle... or (unlikely!) no relation at all. But I think I can be forgiven for getting confused with all the James's and Johns and Dingleys and McKenneys making traditions of marrying the other family! And, which I'd noticed before I realized where part of my mistake was, there's also this in the second document. I think it is telling us about a second marriage by James Maxwell....

He m(2) 1 Jan 1844 at Danville, Sarah Dingley McKenney,
b 21 June 1821 d 14 June 1888
d/o William & Sally (Vickery) McKenney....

So now, heaven help us, we have another McKenney girl, not sister of Maria, if I've correctly remembered and understood statements in other documents... and they are true... marrying someone who'd already married another McKenney!

Ah, the joys of family tree tracing!!

Elsewhere I read...."EPHRAIM C. MORSE.... married August 12, 1847, Ann Maria McKenney. One of her sisters was married to Hon. Nelson Dingley, twenty-eighth governor of Maine, and over twelve years a member of Congress from that state, while another was the wife of John Perkins, a prominent manufacturer of that place." These McKeeney / Dingley marriages may be too much for me!

Remember (please) to have a look at my general page about mitochondrial DNA research, too, with it's naiscent directory?

I have a less well polished collection of general odds and ends which may interest family history researchers. They can be reached by clicking here.
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