PATFIELD: Alma… Chapter 6

The "Patfield" section of this site is in memory of my mother, Alma Maud STRONG (née PATFIELD). It is not intended to be a full account of the PATFIELDs, since this is covered by other publications. My narrow focus is on our part of this family. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the "Sitemap" page. Note that it is intended that the chapters develop the story of our family and appendices will contain supporting data. The section is integrated with the Photo Gallery: “Alma PATFIELD… her father's & mother's lines.” This gallery illustrates Alma's early German heritage, her grandparents, parents & siblings, and her own life.

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

This chapter discusses the results of my mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) test for my maternal ancestry and the conclusions drawn from a number of matches

mtDNA & Maternal Ancestry

Image of Samuel & Sarah Australia PATFIELD outside their home at Paterson. Photo: Courtesy David Smith View of Kembach, Wertheim, Baden, Germany. Photo: Gerhard Klinger from nearby Höhefeld, Germany. Alma PATFIELD's earliest maternal ancestors found with known BDM records were Maria Dorothea WIRSCHING, baptised at Kembach on 4 Oct 1761… daughter of Hans Johann Jacob WIRSCHING & Eva Bauer (m.1753). Maria married Johann Peter MARCHARD on 17 May 1803 at Niklashausen.


This section focuses on mtDNA tests. However, let's look at some of the basic terms and in passing, mention other terms which the reader might use for further research:

  1. Autosomal DNA…the autosomes are all the chromosomes in the cell nucleus apart from the X and Y chromosomes.  These are handed down by both parents and shuffled around by random pairing in the process of meiosis. Also some segments of a chromosome may be recombined from a maternal chromosome, the other from a paternal chromosome by chiasma in meiosis. This is what gives variation between brothers etc.  Autosomal DNA tests are OK to establish close relations… brothers and sisters, 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins. However, they are not effective for distant relations.
  2. Y DNA… the Y (♂male) sex chromosome in the cell nucleus is handed down by father to son. Unlike the autosomes,  the Y chromosome does not recombine often with the X (♀female)  chromosome during meiosis, but is usually transferred intact from father to son.
    All the males of my family STRONG with the name STRONG would have the same YDNA unless some genes have mutated. Y DNA tests are useful to establish distant relations with a common uninterrupted paternal ancestor.
  3. mtDNA…the DNA from the mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny bodies in the cytoplasm (jelly) of the cell (not the nucleus) and are responsible for changing chemicals into energy.  The female's body cells form the ovum which contains the same mitochondria with the same mtDNA.  The nucleus of the ovum is fertilised by the sperm, then the fertilised ovum starts dividing… with the end result that the nucleus has DNA from father and mother and the mitochondria have mtDNA which has been handed down from mother to daughter unchanged, provided there are no errors in copying (mutations). mtDNA does not have the same problem to the family historian regarding autosomal DNA’s random pairing and recombination.  
  4. mtDNA Full match… THE BOTTOM LINE: If you and I have a full match, then we are looking at a maternal ancestor who was both your ancestor and mine and who may have lived over 600 years ago… with the same mtDNA!  With a mtFull sequence test and with an exact match, there is a 50% confidence level that we would get a common maternal ancestor in 5 generations (about 125 years) and a 95% confidence level that we would get a common maternal ancestor in 22 generations (about 550 years). With this confidence level of 95% we could even extend to 1,000 years!

My results:

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) placed my sample in mtDNA haplogroup H30b1. I have identified my earliest maternal ancestor with a name, place and date. My earliest maternal ancestor is Eva BAUER who married Johann Jacob (Hanss) WIRSCHING at Kembach (see photo above) on 11 Sep 1753. Their daughter Maria Dorothea WIRSCHING from Kembach married the widower, Johann Peter MARQUARD from Höhefeld at Niklashausen on 17 May 1803. Kembach is only 3km N from Höhefeld and these villages are served by the church in the nearby village of Niklashausen. These villages are in the upper Tauber river valley. The local administrative centre is the town of Wertheim am Main. See chapter 4 for details of my maternal ancestors and locations.

FTDNA maintains a database and notifies customers of matches. I received the great news that I have full mtDNA matches with other people and was supplied with their e-mail details. Following correspondence (many did not answer) and an on-line ad hoc forum, the following data was established from our full mtDNA matches:

The data is only included in the following table when the earliest maternal ancestor could be identified in a continuous female line, with a name, place and date, and also when there is a full match and zero genetic distance.  The matches are presented in chronological order of the earliest maternal ancestor of the various contributors:

1.   Kembach, Baden Germany 1753
2.   Mitterode, Hessen Germany 1765 (about 150km N from Kembach)
3.   Western Ukraine 1778
4.   Tennessee USA 1800
5.   Kentucky USA 1804
6.   North Carolina USA 1811
7.   Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany 1833
8.   Kentucky USA 1848


More data is need for definite conclusions. However suggestions might be made that our group's earliest common maternal ancestor had a number of female descendants present in Central Germany in the 1600's  (see items 1, 2, 3 in the above table).  Some event must have occurred to cause a diaspora (dispersion or scattering) to distant countries around the middle of the 1700's .

Family Search suggests the following reasons: 

1683 to 1820. Emigrants left Germany and migrated to Southeastern Europe, North America, Russia, England, Scotland, and Ireland. This wave of emigration was caused by economic hardships and religious persecutions after the Thirty Years' War. Many of these emigrants were Protestants from Southwestern Germany, primarily the Rheinland, Westfalen, Hessen, Baden, Württemberg, and Elsaß-Lothringen. See here.

Search for More Data

Replication of data is needed to make firm conclusions about my mtDNA. How many people share the same mtDNA with me? I hope they might be curious enough to take a mtDNA test with FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA)? AncestryCom had the mtDNA test from 2007 to 2014, but probably made a commercial decision to discontinue it? My mtDNA is the same as that of my g-g grandmother Maria Dorothea (Dora) ROOS (née MARQUARD). I hope that other descendants of Dora who are like me and share an uninterrupted maternal line to Dora MARQUARD and thus received her mtDNA will read this? Dora's seven daughters' families are below:

Just from these figures above, Dora MARQUARD passed on her mtDNA to 7 daughters in the 1st generation of her descendants and then 28 g-daughters in the 2nd generation. Male children of these 35 women would have received the same DNA, but could not pass it on to their descendants.

In my own family descended from Alice Maud (m. Monty PATFIELD), I am the only surviving holder of this mtDNA. However, in the family descended from Minnie (m. Alf PRESLAND) I know of 63 surviving holders, both male and female. More time and/or information is needed to estimate the number of surviving holders in the other families, but the bottom line is that there are a lot of exact matches out there!


Thanks to my mtDNA matches who so readily shared information. I have not mentioned you by name and have only included the place and date of your earliest maternal ancestor and not the name which you provided.


It would be great if descendants of the German ROOS (ROSE) and MARQUARD (MARQUET etc) families who might share our earliest maternal ancestor might contact me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.


The Story Continues