Art By Clint





Re:        Mitochondrial DNA Testing
From: (Joseph Romeo)
Date:     1/17/2003

Back in September, I sent a message about mitochondrial DNA testing as a way to determine Native American ancestry along an individual's strictly maternal line (mother's mother's mother's etc. mother ), and a number of you have expressed interest in participating in this testing.   Ray and Betty have been kind enough to track the initial message along with your responses on their web site; you may refer to Testing.htm for the complete history.

Enough of you (more than 10) have volunteered so that we qualify for a group rate of $175 per test using Oxford Ancestors (  This is down from an individual test price of $220, but not quite as good as the $160 rate we could get if we had more than 20 volunteers.  Several of us have discussed off-line whether or not to wait for more volunteers, and decided that we should go ahead and send the application for the tests with the volunteers that we currently have.

What I need you to do, if you are interested in having the test done, is to send me (off-line if you prefer) the following information, which is needed to order the tests:

1.  Name of person to be tested
2.  Full mailing address
3.  E-mail address
4.  Telephone

I will assemble the responses into one application, so that we qualify for the group rate quoted above, and send it to Oxford Ancestors.  Once Oxford Ancestors receives the application, they will send out the DNA sampling kits with full instructions to each volunteer.  You will return the test sample to Oxford Ancestors along with the required payment.  They hold the check until the test results have been mailed out to you, which is approx. 6 weeks after they receive your sample.  The results are confidential, so it will be your choice whether or not to share the findings with the group (although we hope that you do).

If you are interested in sharing the results, would you please let me know whether or not your maternal line can be traced to one of the Mitsawokett families, and if so, please specify the line, starting with yourself, then your mother, her mother, her mother, etc.  If any of you  shows up as belonging to a DNA group of Native American origin, it means that every woman along your  maternal line likewise belongs to the same group, which anyone else who can claim descent from one of these women might be interested to know.

The DNA test that Oxford Ancestors performs matches a segment of your DNA against a scientifically-recognised reference set, and it is the differences between your DNA segment and the reference set that determines your DNA type.  Each DNA type is associated with one of 36 prehistoric "clan" mothers.  Four of these "clan" mothers are identified with Native Americans, and a fifth, more rarely encountered, one is seen in small percentage of Native Americans and Europeans.  Oxford Ancestors sends you: a readout of the relevant part of your own DNA sequence; a full explanation of the scientific procedures that they use; an authorised certificate identifying your "clan" mother; a chart showing how your DNA type fits into the overall evolutionary framework; and information about the life and times of your maternal "clan" mother.  Refer to for further information or to see a sample of the certificate that they send.

Some of you asked about Y-chromosome DNA testing to determine Native American ancestry along the paternal line.  Unfortunately, Oxford Ancestors' Y-chromosome test does not look at the specific site that can indicate Native American paternity.  Therefore, if you were interested in this test for this specific reason, you do not want the Y-chromosome test from Oxford Ancestors.  However, if you are interested in pursuing this type of test, there are other organisations whose Y-chromosome DNA test does look at the specific site for Native American paternity.  The Y-chromosome test that Oxford Ancestors currently performs can be used instead to help clarify relationships between people who are thought to descend from a common paternal ancestor.  For case examples, refer to

I am excited that so many of you volunteered for the mitochondrial DNA testing, am looking forward to receiving the information needed to order the tests, and am especially looking forward to whatever results we may learn from the tests.

Best regards,

Joseph A. Romeo





Subj:     [Mitsawokett] Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:     9/24/2002

Hi All,

I recently read a new book titled "The Seven Daughters of Eve," by Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford. Based on research using mitochondrial DNA (a type of DNA that is passed down only through the maternal line), Sykes puts forward evidence that about 95% of Europeans are descended from only 7 females who lived between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago (hence the title of the book).

What caught my attention was the larger world picture. The world population is now estimated to descend from only 36 women. Four or five of the women are claimed to the ancestors of today's Native Americans. This got me to thinking about our research group, and the problem that we have "proving" Native American ancestry. If there is a way to prove it, this type of genetic testing may be what we need.

We consider our Delaware families to be a mix of, at least, European and Native American. If I had to guess at the origins, I would say the most likely scenario is that European male colonists intermarried with Native American females. If so, then we might expect a Native American type of mitochondrial DNA to show up in someone in the group (male or female) who can trace his/her descent strictly along the maternal line (mother, maternal grandmother, maternal grandmother's mother, etc.) to one of these early Delaware families. Of course, if my guess is wrong, we could find instead that the maternal line is of a European type (remember Miss Rigua) or even an African type, but we'll never know until people step forward and have the test done.

The book references an organisation which will conduct this type of testing for a fee. Although I personally am not descended from our Delaware families (my ancestors were all European), I am interested in having the test done just to see which of "the seven daughters of Eve" I am descended from. My question to the group is, Is anyone else interested in having this test done, and sharing the results with the rest of the group? There is a cost for each test, from $220 for an individual test down to $160 for each test when 20 or more are ordered at the same time. The test, as I understand it, involves simply swabbing the inside of your cheek. I think they mail a test kit to you and you send it back, with no need to go to a lab. More information about this can be found at

The author of the book is quick to point out that this type of genetic testing does nothing to prove racial type. A descendant of one of the so-called seven daughters of Eve (the European clan mothers) can not be determined to French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc., based simply on the result of this test. Think about it this way: the alleged intermarriage in our Delaware families could have occurred in the late seventeenth century, which is about 12 to 14 generations ago. Each of you living today would have had 1024 9th-great-grandmothers 12 generations ago, and 4096 11th-great-grandmothers 14 generations ago, assuming no marriages of cousins of any degree. The genetic testing using mitochondrial DNA only reveals the genetic origin of one of an individual's 1024 9th-great-grandmothers and one of an individual's 4096 11th-great-grandmothers. The other 1023 9th-great-grandmothers and 4095 11th-great-grandmothers could have another genetic origin, but this would not show up in mitochrondial DNA testing. So having a test identify your mitochondrial DNA as of Native American type would not necessarily make you Native American, just as having a test identify your mitochondrial DNA as non-Native American type does not mean that some other part of your genetic past could not have included a Native American. But my feeling is, that if tests showed that the mitochondrial DNA of a sufficient number of people in the group showed a Native American type, then no one could deny that our families are true descendants of early Native Americans.

Best regards,


Subj:     Re: [Mitsawokett] Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:     9/26/2002 & 10/10/2002

Count us in!

We wish to find out if the story related by Weslager is correct, that Betty's great-great-grandmother, Catherine Morgan Dean, was the daughter of John Morgan and "a white woman."

Unfortunately, Catherine's daughter, Annie Dean Mosley, did not further enlighten us as to the white woman's name and we have been unable to elicit it from other sources.

Betty's maternal lineage is as follows:

Grace Geneva Wilson Davis, mother
Bessie Alice Mosley Wilson, gmother
Anna Elizabeth Dean Mosley, ggmother
Catherine Morgan Dean, gggmother
"white woman?," ggggmother

Subj:   [Mitsawokett] RE: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:  10/7/2002
From: (John C. Carter)

A couple people have responded, but I wanted to also state that I would be interested. As some of you know, I have already participated in a DNA test myself (for my purported Hardcastle branch), but this was a Y-chromosome (paternal) test, not a Mitochondrial (maternal) test as Joseph describes.

My maternal line is not of any of our Delaware, etc. families, either, so the benefit would be out of the "Eve" curiosity, not to substantiate any Native ancestry. My mother's family was from Kentucky and Tennessee, and whereas there is a rumor of "Black Dutch" in her ancestry, it's seems this refers more to "Deutsche" (German) peoples from the Black Forest area than to any non-European ethnic backgrounds.

I agree with one of the other responses that I hope we can get the cost down as cheap as possible.

Subj:   Re: [Mitsawokett] Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:   9/27/2002
From: (Cheryl Marshall)

I would be interested in the testing if we could get it at the group rate.

Cheryl Wright Marshall

Subj:    [Mitsawokett] DNA test
Date:   10/8/2002
From: (Ila Miller)

My husband is willing to join in the DNA testing, David Miller, so add him to the list. Any other info you need or to contact us use our email at When I told his father about my new findings on his Enoch Miller son of Debrix and Sarah Consellor Miller he was just amazed!

Subj:    Re: [Mitsawokett] RE: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:   10/8/2002

I might be interested in having such a test done, if it would help reduce the cost for all. Just a question, though; I correct that matrilineal DNA testing locates only female ancestors on one's maternal side (thereby bypassing a host of male ancestors there), and that likewise the Y-chromosome testing locates only male ancestors on the paternal side, with a similar unfortunate bypass of some ancestral data?

Subj:    [Mitsawokett] Re: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:   10/10/2002
From: (romeoja)

... your understanding is correct.

The reason these tests are used, is because the DNA in these tests is never a mix of mother and father; it is unique to one sex or the other, and is passed from generation to generation with infrequent mutations. The mitochondrial DNA can only be passed though women, just as the Y-chromosome can only be passed through men.

A man inherits mitochondrial DNA from his mother, so he can perform the mitochondrial DNA test to determine the genetic ancestry on his maternal line. He can also perform the Y-chromosome test to determine the genetic ancestry on his paternal line. A woman, though, can only ever perform the mitochondrial DNA test.

If you wanted to test the genetic ancestry of a male ancestor not in a direct paternal line (your maternal grandfather, for example), it would be necessary to find a direct descendant in that ancestor's male line (your maternal uncle or his son); likewise, if one wanted to test the genetic ancestry of a female ancestor not in a direct maternal line (your paternal grandmother, for example), it would be necessary to find a direct descendant in that ancestor's female line (your paternal aunt or her daughter). It the men did not have sons or the women did not have daughters, and so on in each generation, then these types of tests can not be used.

Subj:   Re: [Mitsawokett] Re: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:  10/13/2002
From: (TheoLouise)

Count me in, I would like to participate.

Subj:   Re: [Mitsawokett] Re: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:  10/14/2002

I'm game for this testing. So if you need volunteers let me know.

Subj:     RE: [Mitsawokett] Re: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:    10/14/2002
From: (Kaler, Beth)

We have one male and one female in our family who would like to have the DNA testing. Thanks.



Subj:     [Mitsawokett] Re: Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:     10/20/2002
From: (Lisa)

Count me in and my mother Lishia Durham Heard (



Subj:      Re: [Mitsawokett] Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:     11/11/2002
From: (Dave Perkins)

Is a Y-chromosome test planned, if so I would like to participate.



From:      JUANITA CARNEY []
Sent:        November 13, 2002
Subject:  DNA

I am intersted in the DNA testing. Add me to the list



From:      mikie []
Sent:       November 28, 2002
Subject: dna testing

I am researching my Native American roots. My ancesters came from the Rockland Co. Ramapo area and Morris Co. NJ area. Count me in on the DNA testing.



Subj:    Re: [Mitsawokett] Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Date:   1/2/2003
From: (C. G. Ritchie

My father and I would be interested in the DNA testing. We are from Kent County, Delaware.




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