Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ancestor #3: Farther Down the Line


When cousins marry cousins, reading that family's history can become confusing to an outsider. Hang on to your hats, then, as we press farther down the family line while jumping from one third great-grandmother's Taliaferro family roots to that of another.

For the first two of my Twelve Most Wanted for 2024, I chose my third great-grandmother Sarah Taliaferro's maternal lines of the Carters and the Chews. For this final selection from my mother's family for this year's Twelve Most Wanted, I'm going to add another cousin to the mix by jumping from Sarah to her cousin, Mary Elizabeth Taliaferro.

It was Mary Elizabeth's youngest daughter—also named Mary—who, orphaned, was married to her cousin, Sarah's son Thomas Taliaferro Broyles. We worked on his family for last year's Twelve Most Wanted. This year, though, I need to jump tracks and review what I don't know about his wife's matriline. After all, her matriline is also mine, making this a good chance to review some of my mtDNA matches a bit more closely.

Another opportunity for research success comes blended into this goal for March: Mary Elizabeth's roots connect to some historic names from colonial America, including the Gilmers, the Lewis family, and the Meriwethers.

I realize March may seem like a long month—at least comparing those thirty one days to the shorter month of February—but I admit I may be over-reaching for this one month's research goal. Let's just say we'll start in March with Mary Elizabeth Taliaferro's mother, Mary Meriwether Gilmer, and see where that research trail leads us.

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