Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Grandma Cotter Calls to Me

We're heading to Edinburgh on our next Mormon Heritage Association tour of Scotland and Wales in a few weeks. My wife and I are going a week early as a celebration of my retirement. I had planned to travel down to Durham for some Vaughan family visits, but something besides just the longer drive nagged me to stay in Scotland.

We were going to rush through some of my wife's ancestral villages in Scotland just the other side of the Firth of Forth and then swing up through the Highlands just to say we've been. But now, I've planned for a few more days in the Lowlands. Grandma Cotter has been prompting me.

The Mitochondrial DNA is passed from Mother to children unchanged and can be traced on the maternal line back for a very long string of generations. My results show that my mother's mothers' mothers come from Scotland. And Elizabeth Cotter (1787-1860) is along that line.

She was on my FamilySearch Family Tree and married to Thomas Fletcher, who we believe to have been in Lord Nelson's decisive naval Battle of Trafalgar. But with the MtDNA, she is the one who was clearly a Scot.

FamilySearch was all messed up for her. My Ancestry.com research had a lot of good information and I still went to some original sources to dig out her birthday of 29 November 1787. She was born in Carriden Parish, now Bo'ness when it was in Linlithgowshire also called West Lothian. That's a lot of confusion right there!