Monday, December 27, 2010

The after-Christmas doldrums

Since things may be slowing down a little for the next couple of weeks, might I suggest an experiment that would consume just a little of your free time?

Try tracing your maternal line. This became of interest to me when I got a report back on my mitochondrial DNA and started learning something about it. From what I understand, that material gets passed down directly from mother to child. I’m not even sure it changes very much, if at all. But I was really surprised to see where my matriarchal tree went.

I think we are so focused on the paternal lines (perhaps because they’re the easiest to find) that we fail to appreciate those odd-numbered lines on the pedigree chart.

So just for fun, find out who your earliest known contributor of mtDNA is (i.e., your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s...well, you get the idea!).