Fred and Myrtle Phenice Bucklin family circa 1950 in Hathaway, Louisiana. The children from left to right are Sylvia, Loris, Austin, Alma, and my mom Betty Lou.
This post is coming together from several things that I’ve been working on lately. I’ve been editing a lot of old photos from different eras. It’s also time to look at my mom’s side of the family. I think I’ve neglected them a bit lately. I did post this really nice edited photo of my mom’s childhood family recently just to give that side of my family a little bit of family history crumbs. But it wasn’t a bona fide post. I’m including it in this post to make it official!
The other thing that helped me to focus the theme for this week was a new DNA match at 23andMe. He is a grandson of Aunt Marguerite, my grandmother Myrtle Phenice Bucklin’s younger sister. Since he matches through his mother as I do, our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the same. The mtDNA is passed on from mothers to their children without any changes most of the time. From time to time there are mutations. Since 23andMe only gives an estimate of the mtDNA and those estimates are slightly different, I’ll just say that our designation is H1. Some of the close relatives get an -n or an -h at the end, but we’re all basically in the very common group H1.
Grace Phenice Sowder, Myrtle Phenice Bucklin, and Marguerite Phenice Hill in their young adulthood.
I also had edited photos of both Marguerite and their other sister Grace. I recently got a blog comment from Grace’s nephew by her husband Ray Sowder. He commented about how Grace seemed to be out of his uncle’s league as far as looks are concerned. I have to admit, those Phenice sisters were attractive young women. I was thinking of sharing those photo edits, as well as a photo of my own sisters that I had completed recently. It made me realize that there are several generations along this maternal line with three or more sisters. So I decided to make this post about all of those mitochondrial sisters.
Alma Bucklin Waldorf, Marguerite Phenice Hill, Betty Lou Bucklin Landry (my mom), Myrtle Phenice Bucklin (my grandmother), Loris Bucklin Woolley, and Sylvia Bucklin Pilcher at Grandma’s house on Alice Street in Jennings, Louisiana, on January 22, 1984.
I found several photos of my mom with one or two of her sisters, but none of just the four sisters by themselves. I also wanted one of them as adults. The one I decided on was this photo of Grandma with her sister Marguerite and her four daughters after the funeral of Grandpa in 1984. It’s a good photo of all of these H1 carriers. It includes two of the generations that are the focus of this post. Too bad they didn’t think to include some of the granddaughters in this photo, but that wasn’t the focus on that day. This was one of the most difficult times in my Grandma’s life and it’s nice to see her surrounded by those she cared about the most.
There are two generations before and after these two and I keep changing my mind about which two I will talk about next. I suppose I will go with the previous generation since I’ve shared those photos before. I’ll save the new photos (in all living color!) for the end.
Rosetta Ruth Keys Bryan, Daisy Keys Phenice, Mabel Keys Miller in 1894.
So that brings us to the Keys sisters Daisy, Ruth, and Mabel. I’ve posted about them previously. They all immigrated to Louisiana from England with their mother and brothers in July 1887. Ruth lived in Jennings, Daisy lived in Hathaway, and Mabel lived in Kinder. They stayed pretty close to where they originally settled after arriving in the United States.
Those lovely girls were the daughters of Martha Cook Keys, the brave woman that brought her five children to America after her husband had passed away. She was a dressmaker and shop owner in London at a time when a revolution in clothing manufacturing was taking place. I always took it for granted that she made her clothes with a sewing machine – a machine that seems so common. But it was a newfangled thing back then. Before that, people went through the painstankling process of sewing everything by hand. She was part of a revolution. I found this out from a TV program I saw when I took a break from writing this post to take a lunch break. I have a bit more respect for old Martha now.
Martha Cook Keys and Henrietta Cook Keys were from Great Wigsborough, Essex, England. They were married to Keys brothers.
I only have one photo for both of Martha and her sister. I think the one of Martha is a photo of a painting. At least we have something! She was born in 1836 in Great Wigsborough, Essex. She was the first child of Job Cook and Ruth Horsnell. Henrietta was born in 1839 and she was the last child of Job and Ruth. That’s because Job died the following year at the age of 38 from “phrenitis.” Otherwise I’m sure there would have been at least one more daughter. All the other generations that we know of had three or more daughters. Henrietta passed that H1 down to the present also. I have a DNA match that came directly down from her through a line of daughters.
Ruth (1816-1880) was the daughter of William Horsnell and his wife Ann (1774-1859). We don’t know Ann’s last name. Since I don’t know her last name, and she is the originator of the H1 DNA for all of these women, I think I may put her last name as H1. Somehow that seems appropriate. Ruth had two sisters, so Ann started the trend of having three or more daughters along this line. It could have been started earlier, but we don’t know that history.
Jamie Landry Perry, Jodie Landry Rhodes, and Karen Landry Fontenot on Christmas Eve 1978 in Jennings, Louisiana.
Let’s get back to the more modern era. I had three sisters. My two older sisters have died. My sister Karen died this year, so that was another reason I wanted to write this post about sisters. This photo was a photo that my parents had on a small table in their living room for many years. It’s from 1978 and it’s a good photo of all three of my sisters. I can see why Mama wanted it where she could see it frequently.
Jodie did not continue the tradition of three daughters. She had two children and they were both boys. Karen did a little better. She started out with a son, but then did better by having two daughters. (Just kidding, James!) Then Jamie decided that she had to keep the tradition alive. She had three daughters. She really did have three daughters, but you surely know I’m joking about her trying to keep up a tradition. It’s just a trend that happened through the years. Mostly it was the result of large families and the law of averages. If you have lots of children, about half of them will be female.
Sarah, Beth, and Jill Perry in November 2020 in League City, Texas.
Here is a very recent photo of Jamie’s three Perry girls. This was taken last month at the wedding of her youngest daughter Beth. Weddings and funerals are usually such big family events for us, but this was the year of Covid. Karen’s funeral had very limited attendance due to precautions for the virus. The high point was that the cousins in Lake Charles gathered around in the distance at the graveyard to show their love and support.
Beth and Glen’s wedding was postponed from the spring because of the pandemic. I was looking forward to the family getting together for their wedding in early November. But Covid struck again and Allen (the father of the bride) came down with a positive test. So we had to have a virtual attendance to the event. It’s not as good as being there in person, but it’s much better than missing the whole thing!
Now that she’s married, she can start thinking about carrying on that tradition! I know, I know. It’s not really a tradition, but we can’t let that stop her. Jill already has one daughter. They could make it fun – like it’s a contest or game. Our family likes games.
Let the H1 continue!