The Catalogue

[Version française]

This ‘Catalogue of validated ancestral signatures‘ posts online signatures that were probably those of pioneers who settled in New France in the 17th century, as well as those of  Aboriginal women who founded the mitochondrial Amerindian lines carried by more than 5% of ‘Laurentians’ today.

The Catalog supports two types of ancestral signatures: mitochondrial signatures, which are transmitted along the maternal or uterine line of descent, and the signatures of the Y chromosome, passed down from father to son in the patriline.

Validation is obtained through an inferential operation called ‘triangulation’,  which is explained at

Essentially, in the case of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), triangulation is successful when two persons match on their mitochondrial signatures and in addition show a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) or common matriarch who founded their line of mothers in North America or share an uterine descendant of this matriarch, but within less than 4 generations of the first settler.

In the case of the Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA), triangulation is declared successful when two men match on their Y-DNA signatures and when their paper trail share a MRCA or common patriarch who founded their respective paternal lines in North America or a MRCA who is a direct descendant of this founder and but within less than 4 generations of the first settler.  Most often these men will carry the same surname, or variations of the original surname.

Matrilineal or patrilineal genealogies that are proposed to support a triangulation  must be rigorously documented so that the MRCA can be readily identified and verified by our professional genealogist.

By definition, the matrilineal ancestor or MRCA is the most recent ancestor shared by two matrilines originating from two of her daughters.

It is the same for the MRCA of the paternal lines. The MRCA is the male ancestor most recently shared by two men lines, each line originating from two distinct sons of the MRCA.

The ancestor targeted for purposes of triangulation is usually the pioneer of a line. However, it is not always possible that the pioneer serves as a MRCA in a triangulation.  Thus it happens that a male pioneer has had only one son continuing his line until today. In such a case this son will serve as a MRCA instead of the pioneer, or even a son of the son will have to serve as MRCA. Some male lines daughter out.  It is the same for the triangulation of a mitochondrial signature. The targeted matriarch may have had only one daughter or some lines of her daughters may have extinguished through only surviving sons unable to pass on their mtDNA.  A much more recent MRCA will thus have to be used. In many cases also, a descendant of one of the branches that could have given support  to the triangulation will not be found or will not accept to participate.

Since the MRCA of a successful triangulation will not necessarily be the pioneer,  many triangulations will remain perfectible. With time, other support lines will be discovered that will move the MRCA closer to the pioneer.

For a given triangulation to be submitted to the Catalogue, its MRCA must have been born in 1750 or before.  Exceptions can be considered.

Support can come from several matrilines for mtDNA or patrilines for Y-DNA. Different line pairs may share different MRCA. For any triangulation, the minimum support must comme from two matrilines or two patrilines.

For the sake of transparency, the Catalogue publishes matrilines and  patrilines of support to allow the community of genealogists to examine the documentary validity thereof. The validation of signatures is a public and critical affair, just as in science.

However, the kit number,  the name as well as E-mail addresses of people whose matrilines or patrilines or serve as support will remain confidential. In addition, though unions or marriages established less than a century ago will serve to validate descent, they will be noted  ‘private’ in the public listings.

It is the same for mutations of the coding region of the mitochondria. Although they will be considered while comparing mtDNA signatures, they will not be published among results and will remain confidential.

In case of doubt, please contact us.