Monday, November 13, 2006

Greetings to our cousins all over the world!

As many of you know, for years now we have wondered about the origins of some of our Acadian grandmothers who were among the pioneers of that wonderful country called "Acadie". Thanks to the marvels of science we will perhaps know at last whether they were of European or Native descent. There has been much contention among some that since we had not found the baptismal records for a good many of them, or at least records that would tell us they had come from France, that they then had to be of Native descent. Well mtDNA, which is a DNA test for the Matrilineal (female) line only may well tell us the truth before too very long. I have been in touch with some people who have been tested and some of the results are coming back with Haplogroup designations that indicate European origin.

Before long, I will be posting the results to the Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home for everyone to know what science is finally able to tell us. So stay tuned! You will not want to miss out on this information.

I have been working on the diary of Colonel John Winslow for posting to the site as well as a whole lot of data that should be of great interest to all researchers. In case you do not know, I do have sub sites that may be accessed through the main site. Some of those are sites for Stephen A. White includes information he has sent me over time. Then there is one for America, Quebec, Promises Kept and the most recent one I have been working on is World War I. This last one is not yet ready for viewing but it will be before too long. All of these sub sites may be accessed at the bottom of the sidebar on the main site or they can also be found through Google.

My father served in World War I so I've decided to share the information that I have been collecting over time to share with everyone. I have found some information difficult to find so all the more reason to share it.

If you have been searching for ancestors who lived and died in New Brunswick, Aline Williams Cormier has been doing quite a job going through cemeteries, taking photos of all the tombstones then transcribing all of the names to her web site. So far she has posted cemeteries for Cocagne, Irishtown, Grande-Digue, Richibouctou Village, Shemogue and St-Antoine to her site Acadian Roots You might want to drop by for a visit. If you had ancestors who lived on Cape Breton, she is in the process of posting marriages from the parish registers of St. Michael's, Margaree, to her site. St. Michael's has not yet been posted to the Internet by any other site.

My Moncton cousins Francis LeBlanc and Hector Boudreau have been busy photographing tombstones of other cemeteries like Memramcook and St. Joseph's Cemetery, Shediac. Francis has given me CDs of their work. I would like to post them to the Internet but need to find a program that would easily allow me to upload them for viewing. If you know of one of these "free" programs, would you please contact me. I believe their hard work is valuable to everyone on the search for such records and they afford everyone a view of graves they might never visit because of distance.

Have a great week! Let me hear from you and above all else, please stop by the Ancestral Home for a visit! ;o)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucie -- I am so happy to have found your blog and website! Your links came up when I was googling for "micmac mtDNA". The reason I was doing this was that on Saturday I received the results of my Genographic mtDNA test, the same one you have recently done. A bit of background: My great-great grandmother on my maternal line was born in Montreal and attended CND. She then moved with her parents to USA where she met and married my g-g grandfather. I have been trying to trace her mother's line for many years but without success; however, I have found census records wherein she and her children consistently classified her as "French". I became fascinated by mtDNA research when I heard Bryan Sykes, author of "The Seven Daughters of Eve", discuss that book over C-SPAN back in 2001. I hadn't made up my mind to test my own mtDNA, however, because it was fairly obvious what the line of descent would be for a French woman and this was of no particular interest to me. Ever since my earliest memories, my inclination lay in a totally different direction: I was hearing the beat of a distant drum. While my parents were busy exhorting me to immerse myself in my French and Nordic heritages, I was intent on learning native crafts such as beading, quilling and basket-weaving, and would only agree to take the moccasins off my feet for very special "dress up" occasions. My mother referred to my interest in all things Native American as my "obsession" and proclaimed that one day I would "outgrow" it – but I never did. A few months ago, the idea came into my mind that since many early French settlers had married native women, there was a possibility, however infinitesimal, that my maternal ancestral line might in fact be native rather than French. I liked this idea very much and for a while could not bring myself to do the test even after having purchased the Genographic kit because I didn't want to face the possibility of losing my dream if the test results came back with confirmation of a European maternal ancestor. But one day in September I finally made the decision to face reality.

I was able to access the results of my test for the first time Saturday night. I prepared myself for disappointment. When I opened my results page for the first time, Genographic said that they would begin by showing me a map of the path that my maternal ancestor's forebears had taken. So, I closed my eyes and imagined how I expected that a map for an average French woman would look -- an arrow coming out of Africa, over the Sinai Peninsula, up through Turkey and then veering west into Europe and eventually reaching France. Then I opened my eyes and looked at the map that Genographic had prepared for me. The arrow on my map left Africa by crossing the Sinai, and moved up into Turkey -- but then something extraordinary happened : It made a sharp turn to the East, heading into Siberia! And then it crossed the Bering Straits, and continued down through the Yukon and Northwest Territories into the Maritime provinces. On the basis of mtDNA, I am an Algonquin!!!

Genographic gave me six genetic "markers" that reveal my Algonquin ancestry. I have found that five of these are an exact match for several members of the Micmac tribe living on or near Prince Edward Island today. However, one of my markers [ 16136C ] is apparently quite rare and I have not yet been able to find it among any Micmac descendants. This marker is one that is found most frequently in Polynesia -- which means that my ancestral "clade" (genetic group) had acquired this mutation while they were still in Siberia, before the group split into two parts, one of which eventually populated Polynesia and the other that crossed over the "Bering Land Bridge" and gave rise to my gg-grandmother's tribe.

The only complete match I have thus far been able to find for all six of my mtDNA markers is with the Mayan/Quiche people (Rigoberta Menchu's tribe) of Guatemala! They have an ancient legend that tells of how their ancestors migrated to the region that is now Mexico and Guatemala from distant lands in the "northeast" and my mtDNA evidence seems to corrobate this path. Here are my markers, as determined by Genographic: 16111T 16136C 16223T 16290T 16319A 16362C . I will be fascinated to learn whether your test results reveal a similar profile.

Best wishes from your Acadian cousin, Aiyanna