Friday, February 27, 2009

The Tuttles and DNA

Pauline Anderson Harward and Cindy Harward Eppich, July 2007

Josiah Tuttle was my lastest Tuttle ancestor who immigrated to Utah from Stokes County, North Carolina. His parents were Alexander Tuttle and Emily Jane Hartgrove.

Alexander and Emily Jane Hartgrove Tuttle

On a trip my mother and I took to North Carolina about two years ago, we were able to spend some time with Tuttle cousins. We enjoyed our visit with the Tuttle cousins who were descendants of Larston Hardin Tuttle a brother to Josiah Tuttle. They gave us some pictures of their Tuttle ancestors--most looked a lot like the pictures we have. They took us to a very old Tuttle family cemetery. We felt a peaceful feeling there in a grouping of trees among sunken graves marked and unmarked. Some had discernable headstones, a few had only stone remnants and still others were just indentations in the ground.

As I think about those Tuttle relatives, I wonder to myself, "How much am I really related to those people so many generations since we had a common ancestor?" Being a female not carrying a "Y" DNA gene, can I claim relationship to the Tuttle line at all?

My mother has been very interested in the Tuttle line for some time. More than anything she would like to prove this Tuttle line and place them in a country across the Atlantic Ocean.

Known as Sister Google to her family history missionary friends, she has long been searching for others who could give her this Tuttle information, but no one sharing on the internet seems to have the entire puzzle put together. Reading about DNA and the possibility of finding ones ancestry using it, her next goal was to search out a direct line male Tuttle, have him donate his DNA and then hopefully the line would be proved.

Through a little sleuthing, she contacted Richard [Dick] Kent Tuttle, the son of James Franklin Tuttle who was the son of Josiah and Sarah Barr Tuttle. Dick was more than happy to share his DNA--although he couldn't figure out why.

The test results were published on, Dick's DNA matched several other Tuttle men whose pedigree charts had a common ancestor, but nobody's pedigree chart showed an ancestor from "across the Atlantic." Now what? The answer is we wait. We wait until another straight line male Tuttle donates his DNA and hopefully his pedigree will show us an ancestor from "across the pond."

If you like waiting--family history can really be fun!

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