Tag: mtDNA


The twenty-sixth ancestor (and half-way point) in my 52-week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandmother Ida (SCHAVANDIE) MUHM. Her last name has been recorded in so many different ways, I don’t know which one to settle on anymore. It has been recorded as Schavandie, Schwendie, Swinty, Schwinta, Schwandie, Sivinty, and for some reason Kalahan in the marriage record on one of her daughters.

Two census records state that Ida was born in Wisconsin in September 1852, but other census records and vital records state that she was born in Germany. The 1910 Census from when she was living in Oregon states that she immigrated in 1910, which also points to a non-US birth. Her parents, on her marriage record, are listed as Lawrence SCHAVANDIE and Anna RASCH. Ida is also part of my mtDNA (or direct maternal) line. Her mother, Anna, is as far as mine goes. This makes her maternal haplogroup H11a, part of the H haplogroup.

On 18 April 1870, Ida married Peter MUHM in Germantown, Washington, Wisconsin, not far from where I live now. Somewhere in the early 1900s, I lose the Peter & Ida family. On a lucky break, I ran across an article about the Muhm family in the Antigo (Wisconsin) Daily Journal mentioning that the family had moved to Portland, Oregon in about 1902. Peter died there in 1905 after falling from some scaffolding. Ida lived in Portland for sixteen more years before coming back to Wisconsin.

Three years after moving to Portland, Mr. Muhm died as the result of a fall he suffered when a scaffold collapsed. Mrs. Muhm continued to live there for sixteen years, then returned here to make her home with her daughters, Mrs. Joe Narlow, and Mrs. Fred Van Atter. Another daughter, Mrs. Peter Van Price lives in Port Washington; a son Edward in San Francisco, and an older son, George, in Portland, Oregon.

Ida passed away on 12 November 1934 in Antigo and is buried there at Elmwood Cemetery, though Peter is buried in Portland.

This post is 26 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

The twentieth ancestor on my 52 week challenge is my wife’s 4th-great-grandmother, Susan (SKINNER) WARNER.

Susan is also the furthest back we have documented on my wife’s mtDNA line (mother’s mother’s mother, etc.) Her mtDNA/maternal haplogroup is HV0, which is very heavy in Europe, especially in the British Isles and Scandinavia.

What we do have on Susan Skinner is that she about born sometime around 1813 in Connecticut. We don’t know her parent’s names, but we do know that she married Seth WARNER on 13 September 1832 in Chautauqua, New York. Sometime between 1836 and 1838, the family moved to Waupaca County in central Wisconsin. Here my wife’s ancestor, Helen Marion WARNER, was born.

Susan passed away on 9 August 1865 in Waupaca County and is buried at Lind Center Cemetery in that county.

This post is 20 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

This is Part 2 in a series of post dedicated to finding out more information about your DNA test results from 23andMe or Family Tree DNA. If you haven’t read it, yet, view Part 1.

There are four main types of DNA that can be used for genealogy purposes: Autosomal, X Chromosome, Y Chromosome, and Mitochondrial DNA. Each type of DNA is passed down from parents to children in different ways, allowing different patterns or different signs to help in your research. Here is a quick video that I found very useful explaining the four types:

My DNA lines
My DNA lines. Click for larger version.

Most people that have taken DNA tests are somewhat familiar with what seem to be the “big two”: Y Chromosome (YDNA) and Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These are the two types of DNA that literally shoot out in opposite directions from you through your ancestry, though females can only trace mtDNA. They also give you the Haplogroups that you may have seen, one Maternal and one Paternal. Mine are H11a and R1a1a, respectively. They use this to determine where your deep ancestry hails from.

YDNA is passed down from from fathers to sons. The father is the one that determines the sex of a child by either giving an X Chromosome, for female, or a Y Chromosome, for male, which is why only males can use the YDNA information. The YDNA information traces your patrilineal line (or your surname line) back thousands of years since the Y Chromosome does not change very often as it is passed down.

mtDNA is passed down only from mother to all of her children. It works in a similar way to YDNA in that you can use it to trace your matrilineal line back thousands of years (your mother’s mother’s mother and so on.)

Here is another quick video explaining mtDNA. To view a similar video on YDNA, visit the Molecular Genealogy site at the University of Utah as I can’t find a version that I can embed.

View Part 3 for an overview of the X Chromosome and how to determine which ancestors you may get it from.