DNA Genealogy Hedgecoe-McKenna

The Matriarchal Mystery

Posting Member: Jenn
Topic: The never ending mystery of Sage Tancke and DNA
Family Name Associations: Allen, Allan, Allyn, FitzAllan, Scott, Kimball, Tancke, & Lewen
Location: My very pretty office.
Mood: Festive.  I know it’s early, but we’ve started decorating for the holidays already!

Female DNA testing has never been as exciting for me as Men’s can be.  Finding your mtDNA might be interesting, but a male’s Y-DNA is so likely traceable.  As far as learning more about your genealogy with DNA testing, I really feel like testing your male line is worth the money.
It’s all based on Surnames.  Surnames follow through the man in most historic relationships, so for women there’s often a huge lack of information leading to surname and parentage.  The fact that we have as much on my matriarchal line is purely due to diligence of seeking them out and a whole lot of luck – A lot of genealogy comes down to luck and good timing!  But not being able to really follow your female ancestors can be frustrating, and if you simply don’t have a male in your line to test, well, extra frustrating.

We’ve had several conversations now about who exactly should be tested before the information in their cells is lost.  These tests are at least good $200 a pop, they go up to $400 for a complete marker analysis, so it’s not like we can just test everyone.  Actually, finding descendants who want to pay their own way would be sweet!
Who would we like tested?

A McKenna Male, definitely, if we can find one who’s willing.  There’s only one male descendant left that I know of from Gran’s line.  And O’Neill male would be equally as valuable to our research for the line of Mary O’Kane and James O’Neill – Actually, that might be our only way of confirming who that line of our O’Neills are.  I’ve got more than one line of O’Neill blood in me, so even comparing our Chicago based cousins to me hasn’t been a huge help, beyond confirming what we already know.

Walker.  A Male Walker test would be like a Christmas present any day of the year.  Simply put, the line has died out except for one male descendant who was adopted.  He’s about my age, but might not know he even has cousins.  The Walker line in our families has been blessed with amazing women, but women can’t track or Y-DNA test.
If you’re new to DNA – Women’s mtDNA tests find their Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Mothers.  And all the way back, woman to woman.  Men’s test allow pinpointing of the origins of the Surname and go back to Father’s, Father’s Fathers.  A Walker male’s DNA would be able to confirm or deny Scottish heritage.  We’d finally know if the claims linking us to Stewarts of Appin were true.

We probably also need to test as direct of a descendant of Annie Stone’s as possible.  The first time I viewed the mtDNA test as valuable was realizing it would be capable of proving links in England to relatives there.

A Male from the line of George Grant Gill…  That might be our only way of getting further back with that branch.  He’s supposed to be from the Isle of Man originally, but we’ve never had luck with confirming it and we keep hitting brick walls at every turn.

There are other lines that might be able to benefit from it all.  We’re really going to have to consider using this as a more viable tool.
Even so, once a DNA test is complete I’d still like the paperwork and the generation chart of traditional genealogy.

In my maternal line we’ve been stuck for ages now on the family of Margaret Lewen, daughter of Sage Tancke and Henry Lewen.  Admittedly, once you’re back in 1607 you should just be grateful you can get that far back!  Even so, we still try and poke around seeking out any further information about the mysterious Sage.  A part of this struggle is an attempt to sort out exactly who these founding Americans were, as Royal Blood claims abound, proof would be nice.

The one actual document we have recording her name from 7 Feb 1607, Sage Tancke is married to Henry Lewens at St. Giles Cripplegate Church in London, England.

We confirmed ‘Sage’ by comparing the writer’s ‘S’ to the other names on the page, including Alice Sheeres and Priscilla Sames.  Although we’ve been told that Sage’s name is often reversed as Tancke Sage, we’ve been going on the presumption that her marriage record was correct.  Meaning, my oldest confirmed Matriarchal surname is Tancke.  We’ve also seen people write her name as Saye, but the ‘g’ of her name compares to the name ‘Page’ in the same document.  Above Sage’s name you can see an example of the writer’s ‘y’, his g and y letters are actually clearly different.

Tancke is coming up as a Germanic or Nordic name in most of my searchers.  Nothing has been forthcoming on who Sage is, how she got her lovely name, or who her parents were.  Such interesting puzzles and curiosities!

We’ll be around working on the site for the next few weeks, and then uploading documents should being after the holidays.  Hope you’re all doing well 🙂

Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.


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