Thursday, April 11, 2024

Didn't "Daughter Out"


It was years ago when I first ran into the phrase, "daughtered out." Perhaps it was during a time when Y-DNA was the preferred—or perhaps only—DNA test used for purposes of genealogy. Following the patriline for Y-DNA meant, of course, that one was following a male line of descent which featured one detail in common for each match: sharing the same surname. The difficulty with trying to piece together a genealogy based on that surname was that, in any given generation, it was possible for a man in that line to not have any sons who could thus pass along the surname. In other words, that man would have "daughtered out."

In my current case, using the mitochondrial DNA test to help in researching the matriline of my mother-in-law, I would have loved it if her ancestors had "daughtered out." However, with aggravating frequency, those women belonging to her matriline often did the opposite: if they had any children at all, the offspring was comprised solely of sons. Very rarely did I see any daughters.

I'm not done yet with my travels through my mother-in-law's matriline. While in the background—where I'm stuck on a dispute over whether her sixth great-grandmother was daughter of Lewis Duvall of colonial Maryland—I'm seeking documents to resolve the genealogical impasse, for purposes of daily posts from this genealogical guinea pig, I've taken to seeking any and all female descendants. And finding very little at all for her mtDNA results.

In many cases, more sons were born to these ancestors than daughters. For those few families which included female descendants, quite a few of those daughters either never married, or had childless marriages. In other cases, a female descendant who married might have had several children, all of whom would be sons. Where were those "daughtered out" families when I needed them?!

I am working my way down the lines of descent for the daughters of Elizabeth Howard, my mother-in-law's fourth great-grandmother. The reasons for this choice of starting point take in the difficulty of locating descendants for Elizabeth's two sisters, Rachel and Sarah. There is more work to do on those searches, but while that is ongoing in the background, following Elizabeth's own daughters seems easier. And easy progress would be encouraging right now.

Elizabeth and her husband, William Ijams, chose to move from the area in Maryland where their ancestors had settled for generations. Their new home was in Fairfield County, Ohio, where William died in the early years of the 1800s. Because their daughter Sarah was in my mother-in-law's direct line, that was one line which I've already checked quite thoroughly. It is Sarah's sisters—Rebecca, Comfort, Rachel, and Mary—whose descendants I need to pursue.

I have yet to find any descendants at all for Rebecca. Comfort, while having four daughters herself, seemed to be blessed with many grandsons, at least for those daughters who married at all. On the other hand, Rachel and Mary, while marrying in the early years of the 1800s in Fairfield County, seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. For Mary, though, there may be a slight sign of just where she went after disappearing from her home in Ohio—but I can't yet be sure.

You know what that means: I'll have to once again play the genealogical guinea pig and test a hypothesis. For this, we'll need a few days to pursue Mary and her likely husband, Walter Teal, after the date of their 1804 wedding in Fairfield County, Ohio. We'll begin tackling that question tomorrow.

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