A Tribute

Mother’s Day, Honoring Maternal Matriarchs

Image of Maternal Line Matriarchs
Maternal Line Matriarchs

As Mother’s Day approaches, I would like to honor the women who represent my maternal line.  Autosomal DNA testing has revealed that the haplogroup for these strong God fearing women is L3e2a.  These women represent women who were proud descendants of African women who lived life and nurtured  their families and those in their community sometimes under the most difficult circumstances.

Image of Mariah Nelson(née Pierson), Grandmother
Mariah Nelson(née Pierson), Grandmother
Image of Helena Haynes (née Albert), Elnora's Sister
Helena Haynes(née Albert), Elnora’s Sister
Image of Rosemary Johnson (née Nelson),Aunt
Rosemary Johnson (née Nelson), Aunt









They endured the first middle passage from Africa and then a second middle passage to Louisiana. They survived generations of enslavement, lived through wars, reconstruction, and endured the grave injustices of the the Jim Crow south.  My 4th great grandmother Lytha Bryant and her daughter Francis were both enslaved. Josiah Gray and Hardy and Caroline Perry  where among the owners. I will say that throughout all of this, the family of  Lytha Bryant and her husband Nelson Taylor (b. Virginia) remained in tact. Their children included  my third great grandmother Francis, whose husband was John Irvine (b. Maryland).

I have listed the matriarchs on my maternal branch and where they were born.

Mother  R Nelson New Roads, Pointe Coupee, LA Living
Grandmother Mariah Pierson  St. Francisville, West Feliciana, LA 1907-1955
Great Grandmother  Elnora Jones/Albert  St. Francisville, West Feliciana, LA  1894-1943
2x  Great Grandmother  Mariah Irvine Bayou Sara, West Feliciana, LA  1871-1925
3x Great Grandmother Francis Taylor Wakefield, West Feliciana, LA  1842
4x Great Grandmother Lytha Briant/Bryant Mississippi  1813
5x Great Grandmother ????? Georgia  ?
Lytha “Lifie” Taylor (nee Bryant), 1880 Census
On the 1880 census Georgia is listed as the place of birth for Lytha’s parents. I do not know who they were. Both my godmother and my children’s godmother’s also have Georgia roots. I must mention and thank those who have helped to jump start my research on this line- Uncle Joel Nelson, Cousins Michael Willis, Patricia Bayonne Johnson, Shawn Taylor, and Judy Riffel, Genealogist. For more information on Lytha Bryant and her husband Nelson  Taylor, check out the African Roots and Rooted in Purpose blogs.



  1. Deborah

    I just did something like this on my FB page for Mother’s Day. I have two other pages for my mother’s family and this is my way of sharing with my cousins who live out of state. What prompted me to respond was seeing that like you, I have a Frances Taylor in my family too. We are from the NC/VA line. Gates County NC and Nansemond County VA.

    1. karen

      Deborah, interesting. Both Frances and Taylor were common names.

  2. R. Grimes

    Great job Karen. Thanks.
    This information is informative for our future generations.
    Love, Ma

  3. True

    Awesome Karen! Here’s to all of us finding one more Mother this Year! Shout Out to All you L3’s! HaPpY Mothers Day!

  4. Kristin

    Very nice. I love going back through the female lines.

  5. Col William C. "Chip" Morrison

    Well done!


  6. Julia Summers

    Thanks for this info. I’m the great granddaughter of John Quincy Adams Freeland who had 2 plantations in LA and although I can get back to him, I can’t find his parents. He was born in Alabama and that’s it. Can anyone else help?

  7. Zena Galloway

    Mrs Galloway

    This is excellent and exciting work which warms the heart and soul of your readers and nurtures knowledge of the sacrifice of the great woman in our family

    Mr Zena Galloway

  8. hazel ion

    I am an L3e2a and our line traces to England then America in the 1600’s
    there are L3e2a’s all over the world in limited numbers and I have found most can trace back to a migration from north Africa to Israel to southern Europe to east/north Europe. It looks as if some stayed in Africa and some left, sadly not all of their own free will. As the last mutation was over 12,000 yrs ago it is possible some very strong females left on their own. you are the first I have found with slaves, I am so sorry your family endured this cruelty.

    1. Karen Galloway Post author

      Hi Hazel,

      Thanks for checking out my post. My experience has been that most L3e2a that i have encountered via testing platform discussion boards or other social media have identified as being of African descent. But I have also seen a number of discussions where people who identify as being of a certain ethnicity(s) have Haplogroups that are not typically associated with that ethnicity. I know first hand that this can come as a surprise especially when there seems to be no explanation. I am no expert however it seems that sometimes any autosomal data that might explain these occurrences has long vanished due to recombination . Seems to me that there was way more interactions between different ethnic groups than our historical documents and family research account for. I hope you are as proud of the L3e2a women in your family tree as I am of mine!

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