Tuesday, July 8, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #27 The Amish DNA of Elizabeth Estella Lake Maddox Donnelley

You got it from your mother. I got it from mine. Our mothers got it from their mothers. It's the DNA that powers our cells. It's mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA for short.

Last year my father and I each had our mtDNA tested by FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA). With his mother's mtDNA, he matched nearly 100 people. I matched only a handful. I was curious as to why my matches were so few.

During the recent attack on Ancestry, I spent some quality time on FTDNA closely studying the tree of my closest match. Following women ancestors can be tough, but I can follow my maternal line back to about 1760. The match also has his line back to the mid-1700s. I could see that our families relate in other ways, but I couldn't see where our match was.

Fortunately, he knew something unique about his maternal line: the branch is Amish and/or Mennonite. No wonder our matches are few. Amish descendants of Amish women won't be doing DNA testing!

My maternal line was Swiss-German Baptist who later became Church of the Brethren. However, it's very possible that pushing back another generation or two may turn up that connection to Amish/Mennonite.

Elizabeth Estella Lake's mother, Sarah Elizabeth Bosseck, was probably raised in the Church of the Brethren. When she married Aaron Lake in Cass County, Illinois, in 1857, she broke the pattern and married outside the Swiss-German community. The Lake family was Methodist in the last half of the 1800s.

Lizzie Lake was born February 11, 1861, the second of ten children. She and her older sister, Nellie, married two brothers. Lizzie married Joseph Allen Maddox and Nellie married George S Maddox.

Lizzie was a bit of an adventurer. She married at 15, while lying that she was 18. It appears that she forged a parent's permission note for Al, who was also underage at 19. They married in his home county of Scott County, Illinois, on June 13, 1876.

The Lake and Maddox families had financial troubles and together joined a wagon train to Kansas in about 1879. The Bosseck family had gone to Kansas earlier and the rest of the family joined them in Wilson County by the time of the 1880 census. Al Maddox doesn't appear in the census with the rest of the family. He was both a miner and a farmer and was likely mining elsewhere.

One of the family stories passed down is that Lizzie and Al would go out driving at night. Al would propose a horse trade in the dark with unsuspecting travelers. Sometimes he would come out ahead and other times behind. They would leave their children in the care of the eldest, Daisy, my great-grandmother. It seems that Al was quite a gambler and scoundrel and Lizzie must have enjoyed the game.

Lizzie and Nellie, their father, Aaron, and their families moved westward to Kingman County, Kansas, leaving behind most of the Bosseck family. When the opening of the Oklahoma Cherokee Strip was announced in 1893, they were living in an ideal spot to plan for and execute a land run. The family story is that Al ran for the land on foot, while Lizzie followed, with the children, in a wagon.

Lizzie and Al built a soddy on their homestead and began the work of cultivating the land and building a permanent house. However, Al battled with tuberculosis and alcoholism through his adult life. He died in 1895, leaving Lizzie with five children and an unfinished house. Aaron Lake is credited with finishing the house for her. She was able to keep the homestead, which Al had wanted to secure for their son, Archie.

On January 7, 1900, Lizzie married Charles Ford Donnelley, a widower with seven children. They had one more child, lucky 13. The photos show the couple, along with their son. Lizzie is also shown with three of her sisters and with her daughter Daisy.

Quick drop page from Mother is a Verb by Krystal Hartley for Digital Scrapper

To care for herself and her family, Lizzie was a milliner and taught the skill to her daughters. She opened a lovely store called Rosedale in Enid, Oklahoma, where the family moved in 1918.

Lizzie died on November 23, 1924, and was buried in Enid Cemetery.

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