Longest Surviving Matriline

and the use of that information

What is the longest surviving matriline in Western genealogy? And can knowing that -- answer any other questions?


Recently in a discussion on soc.genealogy.medieval, the longest surviving matriline was posted by M. Sjostrom as being this one:


Which shows descent, in the female-line only, from Gormlaith ingen Finn ua Caellaide

The listing at Leo van de Pas' Genealogics database is not guaranteed to be exhaustive, but can knowing what it shows there answer any other genealogy questions?

Matrilines are rarely studied in genealogy because, not sharing your surname, they seem more distant, and also because mt-DNA evidently changes more slowly than Y-DNA.

Leo is showing two distinct groups of modern survivors of this line
The descendants of
Lady Anne Neville Descendancy chart to this point b. est 1462 d. Bef 1486
and the descendants of her purported sister
Lady Lucy Nevill Descendancy chart to this point b. 1468 d. 25 Mar 1534

So if the mt-DNA among these living females were compared from one group to the other, and found to be strikingly different, that would be evidence that this descent has a flaw somewhere.  If they were found to be strikingly similar, that would be evidence that it does not.

So mt-DNA can be useful for something in genealogy.

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longer line found in the Mediterranean


Anonymous - 15 Jul 2009

This line you linked, starting perhaps in 1300 or so, is not longer. Gormlaith lived at least 250 years earlier.

Will Johnson - 15 Jul 2009