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Mitochondrial DNA - a personal experience

Mitochondrial DNA chart of Andre Clement Perreault

Mitochondrial DNA is found in mitochondria, molecules which surround the nucleus of a cell. During the 90's, a team from Oxford University, directed by geneticist Bryan Sykes, after having analysed several thousand samples, deduced that there were only seven major clusters of European mitochondrial DNA, accounting for about 95% of the population (note: about 40 "clans" have been identified worldwide). In his book, "The seven daughters of Eve", Sykes even christened them : Helena (for group H), Jasmine (group J), and so on. Intrigued by this discovery, I contacted Oxford Ancestors, a spin-off venture created in 2001 by the university following publication of the book. And here are the results. Focus on the center of the chart at right, and locate the gold star just below. Yep, that's me.

Because this DNA is only passed on by women, the diagram shows that i am a member of the Jasmine matriarchal clan, albeit with a slight mutation, as was my mother, Celina Perreault, her mother Rosalba Roberge (spouse of Charles Perreault, and her grand-mother, Delina Rainville (spouse of Damase Roberge), and, it follows, all the girls, and all the children of those girls, of Rosalba and Delina.

I've managed to work back up the female line to Marguerite-Madeleine Morisseau, who wed Francois Pelletier dit Antaya, on the 26th of September 1661, in Sillery, QC. According to Jetté, Marguerite-Madeleine was the daughter of Julien Morrisseau and Anne Brelancour, of Saint-Pierre parish, town of Roye, arrondissement Montdidier, diocese of Amiens, Picardy. Imagine for a moment all the descendants of Marguerite-Madeleine who are part of clan Jasmine, after a dozen generations or more.

True, i could have ordered my test from FamilyTreeDNA or some other lab, and it probably would have been somewhat cheaper, but the presentation ... ACP

Celina Perreault 1901-1987, photo Andre Clement Perreault

Celina Perreault, baptised Celina Jeanne,
Verner, ON, 1901 - Ottawa, ON, 1987
the photo dates from 1965

Rosalba Roberge 1876 - 1939, Fontaine Photo studio, in Lowell, Mass.

Rosalba Roberge,
Saint-Jean de Matha, QC, 1876 - Ottawa, ON, 1939
the photo from the Fontaine studio in Lowell, Mass. dates from about 1895

Damase Roberge & Delina Rainville

Delina Rainville
(ca. 1851 - 1929)
& Damase Roberge, parents of Rosalba