I can take my tree back to Eve along my matrilineal line. Your matrilineal line starts with your mother and follows her mother and then her mother.
No, I don’t have any documentation that takes me back to Eve of Adam and Eve (I knew what you were thinking!), but I can get back to my 3rd great grandmother Eve/Eva Weaver. And it was no easy task getting back that far.
How often do you work on your matrilineal line? I bet you work on your patrilineal line. In fact, I bet you go left in your tree more often than you go right. Men are easier to follow. They left more documents like wills and deeds and therefore left more clues. For the most part, they didn’t change their names.
But just because the ladies in your tree are often more challenging, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth searching. It’s the difficult ancestors that are the most fun. That’s what I keep telling myself.
The women in your tree are just as important as the men. You wouldn’t be here without them. Their stories need to be told. If you don’t do it, who will? So here is my Mother’s Day challenge for you: How far can you take your matrilineal line back? What will it take to take it back another generation?
Happy Mother’s Day! Happy Searching!
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.