mtDNA Update

Recently I received notification from project administrators that my mitochondrial DNA results had been updated to a new branch under the haplogroup W3a1c. The new branch is defined by two mutations and is now listed by W and N2 DNA Project administrators as W3a1c + G7853A + T9716C.  The general designation remains W or W3 by Family TreeDNA.

The differences between the new branch and the standard haplogroup were explained in this way:

  • W is defined by T195C! T204C G207A T1243C A3505G G5460A G8251A G8994A A11914G G15884c C16292T.
  • W3 is defined by C194T & T1406C.
  • W3a is defined by T15784C.
  • W3a1 is defined by A13263G.
  • W3a1c is defined by T199C & G7269A.
  • W3a1c+G7853A is defined by G7853A.
  • W3a1c+G7853A+T9716C is defined by T9716C.

W3a1 has a huge spread from Ireland to Laos, indicating that it has an ancient origin, maybe as far back as Stone Age.

W3a1c has members with matrilineal ancestry from US, Canda, UK, Germany and Sweden, while W3a1c+G7853A only has members from US, Canada & UK. Most kits under W3a1c+G7853A have additional mutations, so the branch may be several thousand years old. W3a1c+G7853A+T9716C is so far only found in US kits.

This new designation is not yet recognized by the wider genome research community, but only within the privately administered haplogroup project. Among the project admins are scientists and medical people who also share mtDNA W with me and are busily interpreting the results ahead of the larger genome research community. W is otherwise not in the forefront of most research since we are so few.

So far only one other person so far in the U.S. who has taken the test shares this branch with me. He and I have communicated before and learned that both of our ancestresses came from the same county in Indiana, yet we do not know precisely how they were related (he was adopted, by the way).

I will post as I learn more (but don’t hold your breath since it goes really slow).

10 Years Later

It is hard to believe that I started “The Magellan Project” at least 10 years ago–probably more like 15 years ago! As yet I had never heard of WordPress or blogs, and I was trying my hand then at some feeble excuse of a web site. My original pages had cute little back buttons at the top of every page that said ‘Home, James’ instead of simply ‘Home’. Also included was a page entitled “Back to the Garden” where I had attempted to connect the longest continuous line in my family back to the Garden of Eden with only a few hundred years missed, give or take. Naturally, I had to fill in a lot of stuff for the missing years!

Then in 2002 when I should have been working on a master’s thesis, I ended up writing what I thought would be the beginning of a book on the Fisher-Bolding line. I had only one chapter then, but it was really packed! I finished it the same year my thesis got printed. However, other affairs of life prevented the Fisher-Bolding line from becoming an actual book, and I donated the small work to four different institutions to keep the information from having to be reassembled from scratch by some other pool soul. (One library was good enough to bind it as an actual book and give it a call number.)

The woman who carried the Brockett research into the mid-20th century had hundreds of notes that formed the background of the voluminous book she produced and they were all tossed out by her son when she died! Even now historical records are falling into the hands of an intellectually undisciplined generation that largely neither knows nor cares where it came from and unhesitatingly judges past generations with no context outside itself. As any genealogical sleuth can tell you, there are moments when micro-history exposes the uneven framework of accepted historical opinion.

Genealogists are greatly under-appreciated in most of academia, save for a few souls who begin as another kind of historian and run into a particular need to delve into a subject’s family background. I have seen extensive family histories included in the literature concerning the noted English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning as well as that of the musical Bassano family of Renaissance England. But this is rare.

However, my research into family matters has never paid me a dime. I’ve always had to carry on at other jobs for my living. Unless I was content to study the lives of others in my spare time and come to the end of my life without having lived myself, I had to give up genealogy (mostly) and be content that I had done my share. One of the genealogists I came across worked on her computer morning, noon and night while her husband died and later as her adolescent son lay dying also. Perhaps it took her mind off of things. Or perhaps because she was a Mormon, she felt a higher purpose in her work. In any case, it sometimes crossed my own mind that had I actually known some of my own ancestors, perhaps I would have taken an instant dislike to them. Maybe I would have even disavowed knowing them!

I ran across cases in my queries where families seemed to bear the scars of sufferings, real or imagined, that had passed down for generations. In one of my more recent lines there had been a family split that was so alienating that I never even met some of my closest relatives who lived mere blocks from me. By happenstance I met second and third cousins from the same line who turned out to be wonderful people with good attitudes, eager to trace down the family tree. We contacted a couple of other cousins from that line who were cordial enough initially but suddenly pulled back. The little information I dragged out of one of them intimated that we were suspected carriers of some family contagion.

I ran into this with other lines, too. I began to suspect that all family lines include descendants who hate being included. Even among living people who grew up with one another, I found siblings who distrusted siblings, cousins who distrusted cousins–because they were one of “them,” and “them” was something to avoid. They were all angry, all ashamed of whatever they had come from, whatever that meant to them. Some of them were in therapy, I’m sure. Others congratulated themselves on having escaped the family orbit, and with this group the unspoken message was always the same: “All those other people are of that family, and only I have escaped.”

In fact, I found that almost none of them had escaped. The magnitude of this hit home when an older cousin who never knew me well once hit me with a slur from out of the blue saying that she should have guessed I would do such-and-such. After all, she said, X-family always did behave like such-and-such. Never mind that both our mothers were siblings from the same X-family. She was sure that I carried the family disease and that she did not.  (“I alone have escaped and lived to tell the story–” sound familiar?) I rarely take such commentary seriously any more except in those instances where the family “problem” is truly so monstrous as to warrant intervention.

As someone mentioned recently, no one chooses their mother or father. The door swings both ways, though. Mothers and fathers do not choose their children either.  Every baby born into this world has a wealth of potential, but inherently we are all of us little savages at birth who must be civilized. We already know how to find the wrong paths by ourselves–thank you very much–Mom and Dad! The lesson, I hope, is that the soul who counts his siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., as the Other while excusing himself is incredibly myopic, hypocritical or both. We have none of us escaped anything until we accept that our families did not choose us either and that we alone are responsible for the accumulation of choices we make throughout life. To think otherwise is unfair and unjust.

Having gotten that out of the way, I’m happy that so many are genuinely interested in knowing where they have come from, apart from whether their natural family is “good” or “bad” in their estimation. Many today seem to think the entire world sprang from a vacuum one day. They are destined to reinvent the wheel, repeat history over and over, because they refuse to learn about the past in order to understand the present. But you, my friends, are not of this sort or you would not be here.

I have read many of your comments to one another, and the level of discourse has been so positive.  I’m especially happy and proud of the fact that there has not been one incident (to my knowledge) of in-fighting on this site. So many of you have helped one another, and that is the highest I could ever hope for a site that started as a random collection of my notes. I wish this were a completely private site and could guarantee that the bots wouldn’t gather your shared email addresses and things like that. I can’t. But on the other hand, it’s a specialty site where trolls are not so likely to lurk. You might also consider sharing email addresses with spaces in them that can be removed when actually typing them into an address field. This will slow down bot collection of random email addresses.

Now to explain some changes I’ve made. I’ve privatized the pages of a couple of family lines that came from hasty working notes. Even though I have a disclaimer on the page “My Mad Methods,” not everyone will see it. I also have notes on which lines I’ve verified and which have been verified by others. The Bolling line has been verified by what seems like a multitude. The Woodliff line has been verified by a very serious genealogist who happens to be a truly selfless public servant. The Brockett line was verified in something like the 19th century, I believe, and re-verified by a later descendant. The Bassano line has been verified by musicologists and historians, but a multitude of others have connected the line to more recent generations. I myself have gone round and round the verifiable details of that family’s deeper (and sometimes confused) history with other researchers. I have removed two of the more minor and unverified lines that were part of my working notes.

Also, because I manage numerous WordPress sites and because I’m writing under a pseudonym for a couple of them, the change is reflected in sites I didn’t intend to use that name with Unfortunately it appears that there is no longer an option for posting under one name on a site and changing the name on another. This template currently in use for The Magellan Project is one that automatically posts the pseudonym with each post. I was not able to change it back without messing up my other sites. You are reading the words of “Kathryn Brogdon” or “K.L. Brogdon” even though the author line may be different.

As yet, I have not found a way to start a special group on Facebook without creating an unneeded workload for myself (and not everyone wants to be on Facebook). In the meantime, I would suggest that you continue responding to one another on this site. If there is a truly pressing issue that needs to be addressed (such as trouble on the site with someone), then please email me at seapearlmedia @ outlook.com (remove spaces). I will get the email even if I do not look at the site that often. And please remember that usually I cannot answer direct genealogy questions.

Thank you all for being such super readers of a site that never (or rarely) get updated! Good luck to all of you.






Hello, All

Clearly it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve posted anything on here. I’m really amazed at how many people visit this site. It really became a “safe deposit box” for a lot of random notes on my family. I’m truly sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to some of you in a more timely manner, but I am involved in other projects these days. Nevertheless, I’m so pleased that a few of you are finding clues you need and reaching out to help one another in ways that I can’t.

At this stage of my life, I’m really not sure what to do with this site. It seems important enough to so many that it would be a shame to utterly abandon it. I’ve wondered about the possibility of changing the format a bit, whether I should appoint a person or a group to co-administer it, etc. I would really welcome suggestions on how to offer better service, make the site more navigable, relevant, etc.

I’m primarily concerned about the security of those who want to connect with one another. Some of you want to contact each other privately, but there is no other way to do so without leaving personal information in your comments online. Might there some better way to facilitate that?

My second (and certainly not extremely serious) concern is that I sometimes feel I might as well eliminate all other family lines except that of Gen. Winfield Scott! It just happens to be one of the important tributaries that crossed my path (though I am a student of history, to be sure). But I sometimes feel as if I might as well devote a site to nothing but lines that intersect his. Or should I create a special space for lines that intersect with the Scotts? (How ironic that li’l ol’ me should have such a popular page on this site!) Or should a specialized page be administered by someone who has a particular interest in all things pertaining to the Scotts?

There is already a site at patch.net wherein you will find all sorts of lines connecting to the Scott family. Those ladies do a tremendous job over there. Should I connect in a grander way where that’s more accessible?

So, please, drop a commentary here if you have any brainstorms. I am all ears.

Thanks very, very much! You are all valued.

Bolding Family

I have verified this line myself. It appears in the other page “A Confederate Family”.
1Dr. James P[leaz] Bolling (later changed to Bolding), physician, b. 23 Sept 1812 [Bowling Green] Kentucky, d. 25 Sept 1889 in Hubbard City, Hill Co., Texas; m. Elizabeth Fisher [see Fisher], b. 22 Nov 1828 in Monroe Co., Mississippi, d. 24 May 1906, Hubbard City, Texas.

2Rachel C. Bolding  b. about 1857-1861 Pontotoc Co., Mississippi

2Mary “Mollie” F. Bolding  b. about 1856-1860, Pontotoc Co., Mississippi

2Martha Ann “Annie” Bolding  b. about 1852, Pontotoc Co., Mississippi; m. Capt. William A. Wallace
       3Frank Bolding Wallace
       3Albert Wallace
       3William Wallace
       3Raymond Wallace

2Sarah “Sallie” E. Bolling b. Sept 1853, Pontotoc, Mississippi; m. 5 Sept. 1877 Winfield Scott Boggs, b. May 1850
       3Winfield Scott Boggs Jr. b. 1878
       3Elizabeth “Bessie” Amelia Boggs b. May 1880 m. Richard Beck
       3[Balos] Sloan Boggs b. Feb. 1882
       3Annie Boggs  b. Sept. 188[6]
       3Marshall K. Boggs b. Dec 1892

2Cornelia “Neely” E. Bolding b. Pontotoc Co., Mississippi; m. 7 Dec. 1876 James “Jim” T. Frazier
       3Albion Meredith Frazier m. Stephena Allan
       3J. Wallace Frazier, unmarried
       3Nell E. Frazier m. Bruce Frazier

2Dr. Edmund {Ed} Randolph Bolding, physician, d. 9 Oct 1915, unmarried

2Loretta “Lottie” A.  b. Pontotoc Co., Mississippi

2Rosa Bolding m. [?]
    3Mary Dell [?]

2[Susan] Amelia “Amy” Bolding  b. Oct 1860 Pontotoc Co., Mississippi, d. 1942; m/1 first A.G. Taylor, a pharmacist in Frost, Texas who was killed on a train
track in 1888 in Corsicana, Texas
       3James Grestfield Taylor
       3James Edwin Taylor
    She m/2 George Williamson Morse, b. [1850] Hempstead, Texas
       3Harry Raymond Morse Sr. b. 3 Sept 1896
       3Ralph W. Morse b. about 1898
       3 Ann Kathleen Morse b. about 1894 m. Ernest Whitley
       3Stanley Francis Bolding Morse b. about 1900

2Fisher Bolding m. but no children

2Alfred “Alf” Bolding, unmarried

2Della R. Bolding  b. 1872 Mississippi, unmarried

2William Bolding d. as an infant

2Robert “Bob” Platte Bolding, unmarried

2James “Jim” Bolding, unmarried

2Charles “Charlie” Bolding, the youngest, unmarried, d. in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident

Mills Family

This is received information and not a line I have personally researched. Please pay attention to the numbering of generations since this is pasted-in and the template may not support the original formatting.

1James Mills, b. about 1740 Duplin, NC, d. 1775-76; m. about 1760 Rebecca Hicks, b. about 1742 Duplin, NC, d. before 1795
2Shadrack Mills, b. about 1780 Duplin Co. NC, d. before 1850 Dale, AL; m. 8 March 1806 in Bulloch, GA, Sarah Lanier, b. about 1785 Albermarle, VA, d. ?
3Mahala D. Mills, b. 29 Nov 1811 Bulloch, GA, d. TX; m. 1 Apr 1841 Dale, AL,  John Tyler Moody, b. 27 Apr 1816 Buck Swamp, Marion Co. SC, d. 16 Nov 1868 Oakey Streak, Butler Co. AL.

Moody Family

This is received information and not a line that I have personally researched. (In case anyone wonders, I have not found a connection thus far to either the famous preacher Dwight L. Moody or the pirate named Moody.) Please pay attention to the numbering of the generations, since this is pasted in and the template does not support all formatting. Bolded names are my own ancestral line.

1Roger Moody, b. 1785 Marion Co., SC, d. 12 Sept 1841 Old Williams Graveyard, Rose Hill, Covington co., AL; m. 1813 Nancy Turbeville, b. 1795, d. 8 Feb 1837, Old Williams Graveyard, Rose Hill, Covington Co., AL
2John Tyler Moody, b. 27 Apr 1816 Buck Swamp, Marion Co., SC, d. 16 Nov 1868 Oakey Streak, Butler Co., AL; m. 1 Apr 1841 Dale, AL Mahala D. Mills, b. 29 Nov 1811, Bulloch, GA., d. TX
3Sarah Ann Mahala Moody, b. 2 March 1849 Little Oak, Pike, AL., d. TX; m. Lovett Blackshear Brogdon
   2Solomon Moody
2Charles Wesley Moody
2Thomas Nelson Moody
2Celia Moody
2Nancy Moody
2Theophilus Moody

Turbeville Family

This is received information from a general source.

1John Turbeville, b. 1760-1770 Craven Co. SC., d. 17 Sept. 1834, Marion District SC., m. Bethany Johnson, b. before 1775 Georgetown Dist., SC., d. April 1860 Old Williams Graveyard, Rose Hill, Covington Co., AL.

2Nancy Turbeville, b. 1795, d. 8 Feb 1837 Old Williams Graveyard, Rose Hill, Covington Co., AL, m. 1813 Roger Moody [See Moody], b. 1785 Marion Co., SC., d. 12 Sept 1841 Old Williams Graveyard, Rose Hill, Covington Co., AL.