You are absolutely right that mtDNA could help answer this whole question (and the Y-DNA could answer whether Austin was a gypsy or not.)
I’ve just started a new thread “Bearse-Hyanno DNA Project proposal”on the Bearse Family Genealogy Forum proposing wedo a pair of DNA projects to help resolve the Bearse-Hyanno controversy.
I’ll update that thread if I get any interest, and we’ll post our results there.
Hope you're still checking this forum after so many years!
- Margaret Press
(My line: Austin Bearse 1, Priscilla Bearse 2, Martha Hall 3, Robert Paddock Jr 4, Martha Paddock 5, Asa Cheadle Jr 6, Martin Hersey Cheadle 7, Henry Clay Cheadle 8, Henry Wakefield Cheadle 9, Margaret E Cheadle 10 (my grandmother).)