Sarah Rash’s and Perhaps Mary Warren’s Mitochondrial DNA – 52 Ancestors #359

Utilizing the FamilySearch “Relatives at RootsTech” app that was accessible within the month or so surrounding RootsTech (however not now), I linked with a cousin who’s a direct matrilineal descendant of Sarah Rash, our frequent ancestor.

My cousin, who descends by means of Sarah’s daughter Rhoda Shepherd, very kindly agreed to take a full sequence mitochondrial DNA test so we now have details about Sarah Rash’s matrilineal origins.

I wrote about Sarah Rash and what we all know of her life in Sarah Rash (1748-1829), Church Founder and Grandmother of Nearly 100.

Mitochondrial DNA Inheritance

Girls contribute their mitochondrial DNA to all of their youngsters, however solely females move it on. Subsequently, mitochondrial DNA is rarely divided, watered down or blended with the DNA of the daddy. Mitochondrial DNA supplies a useful periscope view immediately again in time for our matrilineal ancestors – our direct mom’s, mom’s, mom’s line on up our tree.

Sarah Rash was born to Joseph Rash and spouse, Mary, purportedly Mary Warren.  Sarah’s mitochondrial DNA additionally belongs to her mom Mary. That will be Mary Warren if certainly Mary Warren is Sarah’s mom. Mary Warren’s dad and mom are unknown. Nonetheless, there’s a Warren household in Spotsylvania County, VA, the place the Rash household lived in that timeframe.


My objectives for searching for a mitochondrial DNA test for Sarah Rash’s descendant are:

  • To substantiate Sarah’s genealogical accuracy by matching one other descendant, ideally by means of one other daughter or sister of Sarah.
  • To study what we are able to from Sarah’s haplogroup. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • To assemble proof to verify or maybe disprove that Sarah’s mom is Mary Warren.
  • To probably lengthen Sarah’s line backward in time.

The Course of

A number of individuals have requested me to step by means of the evaluation course of that I take advantage of for mitochondrial DNA outcomes, so let’s try this.

What can we inform about Sarah’s ancestors by means of her mitochondrial DNA?.

Sarah’s Matrilineal Line is Not Native

Typically when the mom of an early pioneer settler can’t be recognized, the “go-to” assumption is that she could be Native American.

Sarah’s haplogroup is U5a2a1d which is unquestionably NOT Native.

We are able to dispel this thought completely.

Since Sarah’s matrilineal ancestors aren’t Native, the place are they from?

The place Are Sarah’s Ancestors From?

Utilizing the public mitochondrial tree, here, we see the next international locations displayed for haplogroup U5a2a1d.

Sarah’s haplogroup is discovered most frequently within the US, which suggests brick-walled right here, adopted by England, Eire, and less-frequent different areas. Word that two individuals declare Native, the feather, however that may imply both they’re mistaken, or they’ve entered data for his or her mom’s “facet” of the household or their literal “oldest ancestor,” not their particular matrilineal line.

Regardless, haplogroup U is definitely not Native.

Matches Map

Typically the matches map, which reveals the geographic areas of your matches’ most distant matrilineal linear ancestor could be very informative, however not so on this case.

Of 74 full sequence matches, solely 4, plus the tester whose pin is white, have entered the areas of their matrilineal ancestors.

One among these incorporates a male identify, so we all know that’s incorrect.

That is actually unhappy – a wasted alternative. Think about how helpful this might be with 74 pins as a substitute of 4, and a kind of being recorded incorrectly.


The mutations tab reveals you the mutations you have got which are both additional or lacking out of your haplogroup project. Which means these could also be mixed within the subsequent model of the haplotree to type a brand new haplogroup.

My cousin has 5 additional mutations, however at the very least three of these are in unstable areas that I’m certain is not going to be utilized as haplogroup-forming. The opposite two mutations are insertions at one single location and I doubt these might be used both.

I wrote about haplogroup formation within the article, Mitochondrial DNA: Part 3 – Haplogroups Unraveled, together with an inventory of unstable and customary mutations. Suffice it to say that quite common areas like 16519 and 315 insertions aren’t helpful to type haplogroups. Some quite common mutations, equivalent to insertions at areas 309 and 315 and deletions at 522 and 523 aren’t even counted in matching/variations.

What these unstable mutations truly inform me, relative to Sarah Rash’s DNA is that I want to concentrate to the GD1 (genetic distance of 1) matches, which means individuals who have just one mutation distinction from my cousin. On condition that my cousin’s additional mutations, variations from her outlined haplogroup, are in unstable areas, shut matches equivalent to GD1 and even GD2 might be fairly related. All of it relies on the distinction.

In fact, we are able to’t see the mutations of the individuals my cousin matches, so these with a GD1 or GD2 could have mutations on a steady marker that my cousin doesn’t have.


My cousin has a complete of 74 full sequence matches, of which 31 are precise matches, 18 have timber and 12 have listed an earliest identified ancestor (EKA). Should you haven’t achieved so, right here’s how to enter your EKA.

In fact, the EKA of my cousin’s matches could or could not agree with the earliest matrilineal particular person of their tree. And the tree could or could not have a couple of or two individuals. Regardless, each trace is value follow-up.

Consider these as diamonds within the tough.


I seen the timber of every of the matches which have uploaded timber. I additionally made an inventory of the earliest identified ancestors for matches that didn’t have timber so I might be cognizant of anticipating these names.

Many timber solely had a couple of generations, however I used Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and WikiTree to see if I might fairly full the tree again a bit additional. Of those, I notably like WikiTree as a result of I believe it tends to be extra correct AND it permits for individuals to enter that they carry the mitochondrial DNA of particular ancestors. Because it seems, nobody has achieved that for Sarah Rash, or her purported mom, Mary Warren, but when that they had, it could present a affirmation alternative.

I did discover one thing fairly fascinating.

Who’s Jane Davis?

The EKA of Elizabeth, one among my cousin’s matches, is Jane Davis who was born in 1690.

Sadly, Elizabeth didn’t add a GEDCOM file or create a tree, so I turned to different timber elsewhere to see what I might unearth about Jane Davis.

I must state emphatically that what I’m about to inform you must be taken with the complete salt lick, not only a grain.

Bear in mind, we’re searching for hints and proof right here, not foregone conclusions – though admittedly, these can be good.

In response to (cringe) some timber, Jane Davis was the spouse of 1 William Warren who was born 1678 in Surry County, VA and died on September 29, 1764 in Edgecombe County, NC. I’ve not confirmed any of this. Gathering proof is step one within the course of.

IF that is correct, William Warren and Jane Davis often is the dad and mom of Mary Warren, the purported mom of Sarah Rash.

Discover all of these weasel phrases – if, could, purported. That’s the place we’ve to start out. In weaselworld.

Clearly, this wants a LOT of conventional family tree work, however right here’s the nice information…I now have one thing to work with and another person, Elizabeth, who seems a method or one other to be descended from this line.

The Good Information

Whether or not or not Jane Davis is correct or not, I’d wager that we’re trying on the similar line as a result of Elizabeth matches my cousin’s mitochondrial DNA. I must electronic mail Elizabeth to see if she descends by means of Sarah Rash. If that’s the case, that’s affirmation of this line.

If not, and she or he descends by means of a daughter of another person on this similar line, like one among Mary Warren’s sisters, that’s proof and a HUGE HINT that I can use to verify Mary Warren because the mom of Sarah Rash. Confirming her mom would additionally verify that Mary’s father is William Warren – so would supply proof for each of Sarah’s dad and mom.

Extra Instruments – Superior Matches

Subsequent, I used Superior Matches to question for anybody who matches at each the total sequence degree and in Household Finder. There have been no matches, which doesn’t shock me because it’s fairly a approach again in time.

Discover that the hyperlink to add a household tree is on this part, together with the general public haplotree I used earlier.

Household Finder

Checking my cousin’s Household Finder matches and looking for surnames, I instantly checked for myself and my identified cousins from that line. No cigar, however our frequent ancestor is many generations previously.

Checking the Rash surname for my cousin reveals a match to somebody who descends from Joseph Rash’s brother, William Rash whose youngsters additionally migrated to Claiborne County, TN together with Sarah Rash’s daughter, Elizabeth Shepherd who married William McNiel.

My cousin has quite a few autosomal matches to the McNiel line as effectively. The Vannoy, McNiel, Shepherd, and Rash strains have been all present in Wilkes County, NC collectively earlier than migrating to Claiborne and Hancock Counties in Tennessee. Earlier than Wilkes County, the Rash, Warren, and McNiel households have been in Spotsylvania and close by counties in Virginia.

Objective Success

How did we do fulfilling our authentic objectives?

Objective Remark
To substantiate Sarah’s genealogical accuracy by matching one other descendant. Maybe – We now have that result in comply with up on with Elizabeth and her EKA of Jane Davis. We even have a number of related autosomal matches.
To study what we are able to study from her haplogroup. Sure – Not Native and possibly from England or Eire. That’s helpful and is sensible.
To substantiate her mom as Mary Warren. We now have hints and instruments. We have to hear what Elizabeth has to say. I might be able to extract extra data by viewing timber individually with individuals my cousin matches on Household Finder.
To probably lengthen Sarah’s line backward in time. We now have an important trace and data to work with, each mitochondrial and autosomal. Jane Davis often is the spouse of William Warren, which could effectively verify Mary Warren because the daughter of William Warren. It’s too quickly to inform however my fingers are crossed for a descendant of Jane Davis from a special daughter by means of all females.

Typically solutions are available in a gulley-washer, and different instances, we’ve to dig and sift over time for the gems. Let’s create a plan.

What’s Subsequent?

There’s loads we are able to do, however possibly among the finest locations to start out can be to aim to assemble details about the Warren households of Spotsylvania County, VA. This Thomas Warren could be a superb place to start or possibly work my approach up from Mary Warren, here.

I must concentrate on each conventional family tree and genetic autosomal matches at all the distributors. My cousin’s DNA is just at FamilyTreeDNA, however my outcomes and people of a number of different cousins are discovered at a number of distributors.

I can use Genetic Affairs’ tools to see if I cluster with different individuals descended from the Warren household. My cousin can arrange an account and do the identical factor if she needs. AutoTree and AutoKinship could assist with that.

Utilizing conventional family tree, if I can establish different sisters of Mary Warren (daughters of Jane Davis,) I can ask individuals descended from them by means of all females to take a mitochondrial DNA test. In the event that they match my cousin, that’s an exceptionally compelling piece of proof.

In fact, I can do extra work on the mitochondrial DNA matches we have already got by emailing and asking for family tree data. The piece of proof we want could be proper underneath our noses.

The Warren Household

Should you descend from a Warren household within the Spotsylvania County space within the 1600s by means of 1700s, would you please verify your matches to see if in case you have me, Vannoy, McNiel, McNeil, Rash or Shepherd matches? I’d like to slim this down.

Should you descend by means of all females from William Warren or one other Warren household who would have been having youngsters within the Spotsylvania County from about 1710 to possibly 1740, would you please attain out to me? If we are able to pinpoint a probable household for Mary Warren who was reportedly born in 1726, I’d like to do a confirming mitochondrial DNA test.


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