Saturday, March 31, 2012
At home with the cats today. Mr. Stripey is especially photogenic, but he's learned that the camera emits a small red light every time it takes a picture, so he squints his eyes when he hears me push the button. Now it's hard to get a picture in which he isn't squinting. It's pretty easy to get a picture of him yawning, though.
Miss Teto is a little harder to photograph. She's very squirmy. I got a few good ones, though.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The woman who is the source of my mitochondrial DNA is a cipher named Laura Moore. She was born around 1811 in upstate New York. Moore was her married name; I don't know her maiden name or the names of her parents. I do know that she is my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother. A few years ago, my mother had her mitochondrial DNA analyzed; the result was that it came from Northern Europe. What a surprise! (Sarcasm is difficult to convey via the internet.)
While I was searching for more information about Laura, I discovered something interesting - a trend, among Laura's descendants, to have only children who are daughters. I've found four.
Laura's granddaughter Aletta had an only child who was a daughter (Ruth); Ruth's granddaughter had an only child who was a daughter (me); Aletta's brother Ross had an only child who was a daughter (Irene); and Laura's daughter Helen had an only child who was a daughter (Myrtle).
Myrtle (pictured above) is interesting to me because, as Laura's daughter's daughter, she shares my mitochondrial DNA. She was Ruth's cousin. Ruth was very close to many of her cousins, probably because she (and they) didn't have siblings.
Myrtle, whose maiden name was Sheldon, married a lawyer named Frederick Lindell Conklin. They didn't have children. This makes my line the only one that I know of that carried Laura's mitochondrial DNA into the next generation. Laura had three daughters, Mary Jane, Laura, and Helen. Laura the Younger might have had descendants, but I don't know who they were.
Mary Jane had three children: two sons and a daughter. The daughter, Aletta, had one child, a daughter (Ruth). Ruth had two children, a son and a daughter (my grandmother); my grandmother Janet had four children, three sons and a daughter. With only one daughter per generation, my mother and I are the only living people I know of who have Laura Moore's mitochondrial DNA.
So, you can see why I hope to have daughters.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Some facts about my great-grandmother Ruth:
-She was born on September 16, 1896, in Millerton, New York.
-Her parents were dairy farmers. She was an only child (as the story goes, her mother Aletta gave birth in their isolated farmhouse with only her husband Myron with her. Afterward, Myron said, "Let's never do that again.").
-She disliked her first name.
-She was a descendant of Revolutionary War veterans, Quakers, Puritans, Plantagenets, and many, many farmers.
-She vowed not to marry a farmer.
-She graduated from the State Normal and Training School at New Paltz and subsequently taught fifth grade at the elementary school that my grandmother, mother, and I would attend.
-Her husband Ernest was from Canada, the son of Scottish immigrants who were so poor that they could only afford to give their children one orange each for Christmas. He became a successful business-owner in New York. He also served in the local government and was the president of his Free Mason Lodge.
-Frances Collier was her beloved grandmother. Ruth told my mother that Frances was very cultured and spoke several languages.
-She loved to research her genealogy and meticulously documented her own family's history by saving newspaper clippings and other ephemera.
-She had two children: a daughter (my grandmother, 1930-2010) and a son (born 1934).
-She has four grandchildren: my mother and my mother's three brothers.
-She has six great-grandchildren.
-She was a dedicated supporter of Planned Parenthood.
-She died on April 28, 1987.
Planned Parenthood is a crucial health resource, an educator, and an advocate for women's rights. They serve millions of women and men in the United States, including many who count on Planned Parenthood as their sole health care provider. I support Planned Parenthood in honor of my great-grandmother and out of respect for the great work they do for this country.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I'm 1/16th Irish. That means I'm only 1/16th offended by the tacky drunkenness that many people consider to be a genuine expression of Irish heritage. On the other hand, I was 1/16th pleased by this Book of Kells-inspired Google artwork. You mean the Irish are responsible for something other than Guinness, leprechauns, and Bill O'Reilly? Yes. Yes, they are.