Friday, February 17, 2017

DNA of Jemima Campbell Tice (daughter of Joel Campbell, 1735-1828) PART I of IV

If you have done much research in the 18th century and earlier, you know how hard it is to find information on maternal lines. Maiden names were seldom recorded.  Females rarely held office, or were levied taxes, or signed deeds, or joined armies.

That is certainly the case with the females closely related to Joel Campbell. Many questions about the wives of Joel remain unanswered. Their maiden names, even their given names, can be disputed. What is known is this:

No mention of the names of Joel’s wives has been found in historical documents EXCEPT for a 1793 deed that gives her name as ABIGAIL. This is a name that DOES NOT occur in any traditional genealogies.

The evidence that he had more than one wife is fairly strong.  The historian, Craft, states in his 1878 book that Joel's family at the time of settlement in the Ridgebury area in 1805 "consisted of his second wife...", and that "Joel and his wife lived to be very old people." Craft undoubtedly talked with people who knew Joel and his second wife while they were alive, but it is still not a first hand account. In Craft’s accounts, he never mentions the name of the wife.

Traditionally, the wives of Joel are listed as Nancy Leonard and Rebecca Hunter. Nancy is the one most commonly associated with being the mother of Joel's children. The source of this information is purportedly a family bible that belonged to Joel's grandson, Benajiah.

The name of Rebecca Hunter is most certainly an error of genealogists that were searching for Joel's roots in the Boston area.

Because the name of the mother of Joel's children is still debatable, I will refer to her in the remaining text as "Jemima's mother."

With this dearth of historical information, can anything more be learned from the mtDNA that Jemima’s mother passed down to her children?

Part II will review mtDNA and how it is used to research maternal lines.

Also see this related post from 2015.

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