Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Faces of my mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to her children. While I have passed my mtDNA on to both my son and daughter only my daughter was able to pass it on. These are some of the women with whom I share mitochondrial DNA.

This is my granddaughter, Sprout (M.A.E.) Isn't her first official school picture adorable? Does the fate of our mtDNA line rest soley with her? I have two other equally adorable granddaughters, however my step-son could not pass on mtDNA to them.

Sprout's beautiful mother is Bean (S.J.E.), my only daughter. Fiercely independent and very smart she received a B.S. degree from Wells College in Bio-Chemistry and swore children were not for her. Currently she is married and a full time mother of two. Sprout has a brother, Twig (H.J.E.), who is cute as a button. I couldn't be more proud of my daughter.

That brings us to me (C.A.G.). An old picture and when I look in the mirror I wonder where the years have gone. I married at 17 and stayed married just long enough to have two beautiful children. I've been married to John (F.J.G.) for 26 years now. Bean gets her smarts from me but somehow I wasn't smart enough to figure out how to pay for college and get my teaching degree. I've held an interesting mix of jobs; retail, insurance auditor, travel agent, and ten wonderful years as a full time mother and community volunteer. These days I drive a school bus where I can occasionally be found teaching without the proper degree.

I have "better" pictures of Mom (P.C.B.) but this is one of my favorites because she is smiling. Mom's laugh is contiguous. I get my smarts from her. Salutatorian of Buchanan High School Class of 1943! She went on to the University of Michigan before joining the Navy. She met my father in the service, settled in Syracuse, NY, held several jobs and gave up any hope of ever having children. I was quite a surprise! I was followed by a brother and a sister and Mom spent several years as a full time mother. After my father left us she returned to work as an insurance auditor and later a mortgage clerk. She retired at the age of 70 but likes her independence and lives alone in the house she has been in for more than 45 years.

Here is a picture of all four of us together. 

Mom also passed her mtDNA on to my sister (E.L.D.). This is the only picture in existance of just the three of us together and therefore one of my favorites. Sis has a lovely step-daughter but no children of her own so the line will not continue through her.

Moving back another generation is my maternal grandmother, Pearl Vivian Camfield Carlisle. She was born 14 July 1886 in South Bend, IN. We all inherited our smarts from her. She attended business school there and worked at the Singer Sewing Machine cabinet factory in South Bend working her way up to become the assistant to the President of the factory. She gave up her professional life when she married and settled into life as a housewife. At the time she married she couldn't cook so back to school she went! She raised three children and stuck out a difficult marriage. Alzheimer's disease claimed her final years.

Pearl had another daughter, Vivian Ruth Carlisle LaValle. Aunt Vivian also had two daughters and they are shown below with Pearl. Neither of my cousins had a daughter so our mtDNA line did not continue with them.

Moving ever backward we come to the last female ancestor in this line that I have a photograph of, "Rose" Susan Arazina Graham Camfield. This is the only photo of her that I have ever seen. I have previously written about Rose. Her early years were hard and I believe she received little education. She was the mother of five. She and her husband seperated after the children were all grown and she spent the rest of her life living with one or another of her daughters.

Rose had three daughters, Mabel, Pearl and Ruby. The picture below is the one I cropped and she is standing with youngest daughter Ruby in front of their home in South Bend, IN. Ruby never married or had children. I have no picture of Mabel! Mabel Camfield Marsh did have a daughter, Vera Jane Marsh Edmunds. Vera Jane had a daughter, L.E.S. I found a picture of L.E.S. online but rather than violate the copyright you'll have to click here to see it. I asked Mom if L.E.S. had any daughters and she thinks that there were only sons but she isn't 100% certain.

Continuing the line further back I have no pictures. Rose was the daughter of Elizabeth Doughty Graham. Elizabeth was abandoned by her husband and left to try and raise five children on her own. The children were sent to live with other families so that she could work, work and work some more. Elizabeth died when she was only 53. Three of the five children were girls. Besides Rose there was Xenia Belle Graham Gallup,who had no children, and Sarah Jane Graham who never married or had any children that we know of.

Elizabeth's mother was Susanna Smith. Susanna was born about 1799 in Virginia. I know of only two children but there may have been others. Besides Elizabeth there was one other daughter, Margaret Sarah Doughty Horner. I have transcribed Margaret's divorce petition in which she mentions children however it does not state how many or of what sex they were. I know there was at least one daughter, Susannah Horner who was born in 1849 in Delaware County, Indiana. At this point I have not researched this line further so perhaps there are others out there with whom I share the same line of mtDNA.

This was written for the 21st edition of Smile for the Carmera: Give Their Face A Place, to be hosted by fM at Shades of the Departed.

My inspiration to use the faces of my mtDNA came from Dr. Blaine Bettinger at The Genetic Genealogist and his post: Visualizing Your Genetic Genealogy.


Lori H said...

Wonderful work! What an adorable granddaughter and beautiful daughter you have!

GrannyPam said...

Interesting photos, quite a representation of your female line. I can't do that, I just do not have anything beyond my mother. Nice to know someone can! I think your granddaughter looks "just" like you, what do you think?

Blaine T. Bettinger said...

Apple - what a beautiful famliy and beautiful post! You are very lucky to have so many pictures of your mtDNA ancestors, even though it's only a few. Nice work!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Lori - Thank you!

Pam - Hopefully someday you'll discover more on your line. I do think that Sprout looks like me but her father will surely disagree!

Blaine - Thank you! I can't believe it took me a year to get to this after seeing your post.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I love the pictures of your maternal line. Remembering our mother's mother's mother's mother's mother and so on is a wonderful way to share in women's history!

my Heritage Happens said...

Fantastic article Apple! A wonderful post for Shades! Well done, and a great idea!

Becky Wiseman said...

Beautiful descendants and lovely ancestors. Very nice, Apple!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Thank you ladies!

Nancy said...

Your photograph of Rose and her daughter caught my eye. Isn't it interesting how the older ladies hung on to their long, black dresses when clothing styles began to change in the 1920s and 30s? I love that photo. I also enjoyed reading your post and looking at the photos of your family. Wonderful!

Leah Kleylein said...

Great posting! It's wonderful that you have the older pictures!!

Ginger Smith said...

I really enjoyed reading this post about the women in your family. I started writing one about the women in my family today too and started looking for photos to include in my post when I realized that I had a 5-generation photo already of my matrilineal line! So I used that one. Since I was late in posting for the SNGF, I posted it as a Treasure Chest Thursday post(today). You really inspired me today :-) Thanks a bunch!