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MercurialCannibal

Who Are We Anyway: Tracing Our History

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It's frustrating when lines hit a dead end. The fun part is that there are so many lines to follow that you'll nearly always find something you can sink your teeth into. My dad (who is not the genealogist of the family) is focused on the paternal line - the family name. But my mom looks at all of it. She'll suddenly talk about a breakthrough on a name I've never heard her speak and then explain that it's the daughter of an uncle of her great-grandfather. She just likes the detective work of it all.

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Managed to trace my line all the way back to the 1750's, through the grandfather of the wife of my great great grandfather. Quite interesting, especially as someone from the New World, where your ancestry can really go through many different routes.

Edited by Hrokkan of Skagos

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May have some good news on the paternal line:  The grandson from the first marriage of the man we believe to be our grandfather has signed up on ancestry last month. Both my cousin and I sent him messages and are waiting to hear back from him. He did sign in to ancestry a couple of days ago, so I have my fingers crossed he'll respond. I have no idea what he might say. I am hoping he either knows something more than we do, has a picture we can compare or maybe even is willing to do the DNA test (if he hasn't already).

On my mom's side, I got a DNA match with a distant cousin who is on the other side of the one ancestor I wasn't 100% on. (too many people named Fields in a small area and they all used the same name for their kids). This is a huge break through for me. When I first started I had the wrong father for my great-great grandfather* and a person contacted me to let me know.  She also let me know I was not part of their line. Turns out the correct father is the  cousin to the one I thought it was, and two generations up, I was right back in her line. :lol: 

*it is also wrong on the Mormon web site. I contacted them, but they never fixed it

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SQUEEE!  I got a DNA match with the great-granddaughter of the sister of the man we believe to be our grandfather. DNA says 3rd cousins, and since we are actually 2nd cousins once removed, that is accurate!  I am so excited.  My main reason for doing the DNA was to find someone on my dad's side of the family who proved (or disproved) that Harold John Miller and Andrew Jackson were the same person.

It will be interesting to see if she writes back. I have 2 closer matches on that side of the family, but neither have trees and neither responded to messages sent.

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On 11/28/2014 at 1:23 PM, Iskaral Pust said:

The boring thing about being Irish is that you know your DNA is pretty much all Irish. I probably have a little more Scandinavian DNA than the darker haired Celtic Irish, but I'm still all Irish. (Vikings brought Scandinavian DNA to the east coast around 850-1150). .

I'm half Irish and yeah, I did a DNA test and didn't really find out anything that surprised me from my Irish side - my paternal ancestors were from Cork/Kerry and I along with my entire Irish side of the family have dark curly hair so we're definitely less Viking and more Celtic.

My moms side was more interesting - I knew from my mothers family I was French, Italian, and Lithuanian (the latter two I turned out to be even less so than I thought I was) but apparently I'm part Balkan and (very remotely) Middle Eastern as well? Huh.

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And how is an everyday consumer supposed to be able to judge how "reliable" a particular DNA testing outfit is?

I am really skeptical of "genetic testing" that gives people percentages of "nationalities" in their ancestry. As the box in the link says, using genetic tests to decide if two men with the same surname have a common male ancestor, or to decide if someone is likely to be a cousin with a common ancestor in the last few generations, can make sense. But claiming that people have certain percentages of "Irish" or "German" genes is just silly:

http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/files/resources/119/Sense-About-Genetic-Ancestry-Testing.pdf

 

 

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For example someone of Southeast Asian ancestry reading they are 75% Welsh or something. I have heard of tests yielding completely bizarre answers like that, though I'm not familiar with different DNA testing brands.

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Today I logged into Ancestry to find a new 1st cousin match. The person's screen name is not a "real name" so I was holding my breath as I clicked on the match and the first thing I saw was the shared ancestor hint and our shared ancestor was Andrew Jackson (not the president ;) )  He is the son of one of the children my grandfather left behind when he ran off with my grandmother and changed his name, making it impossible to prove who he truly was before DNA testing.

Last month I got a 2nd-3rd cousin match that proved the who he was, but getting a match this close is truly exciting. I am hoping to hear from him and if he knows anything about his (our!) grandfather.

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We did my father's DNA test.

Good news is he really is my father :P (hey, my mom dated his brother at one point, so there could have been some doubt)

Turns out there is no Native American, in fact nothing outside of Europe. He was all Western Europe and Irish.

Some of my family will be freaking out over this, including my father. I am finding it greatly amusing.

 

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14 minutes ago, Lany Freelove Cassandra said:

We did my father's DNA test.

Good news is he really is my father :P (hey, my mom dated his brother at one point, so there could have been some doubt)

Turns out there is no Native American, in fact nothing outside of Europe. He was all Western Europe and Irish.

Some of my family will be freaking out over this, including my father. I am finding it greatly amusing.

 

I had taken one several weeks ago and had to laugh at the e-mail from Ancestry DNA congratulating me on so-and-so being my mother. The test broadly confirmed known ethnicity, but the trace amounts were interesting surprises.

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On 21/2/2016 at 8:10 AM, Maelys I Blackfyre said:

For example someone of Southeast Asian ancestry reading they are 75% Welsh or something. I have heard of tests yielding completely bizarre answers like that, though I'm not familiar with different DNA testing brands.

Everybody is related to everybody, and every genetic marker can be found in every place in the world. For every genetic marker you can find in Walles, there are people in Southeast Asia with that genetic markers.

However, those tests don't rely on a single genetic marker to pinpoint you as having Welsh ancestry; they use all the genetic markers to calculate a guess.

Those tests rely on using Probability Theory to try to make a good guess about where your ancestors came from. If you have a lot of genetic markers that are common among the Welsh, and you lack many genetic markers that are common among other related populations, there is a decent chance that many of your ancestors came from Walles.

However, there are more than 7,000,000,000 people in the world, so freaky stuff happens. There probably is a guy in Malaysia who got, by chance, a lot of genetic markers that are common in Walles.

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Correct as far as it goes but Neanderthal genetic markers and Denisovan genetic markers will not be found in people from sub Saharan Africa. People have always found people  from other cultures much more sexually exciting than people from their own.  This is a survival strategy as it creates stronger immune systems in the children.

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On 11/8/2016 at 9:13 AM, maarsen said:

Correct as far as it goes but Neanderthal genetic markers and Denisovan genetic markers will not be found in people from sub Saharan Africa. People have always found people  from other cultures much more sexually exciting than people from their own.  This is a survival strategy as it creates stronger immune systems in the children.

Partly off-topic, but that is not, scientifically speaking, universally accepted. Outbreeding depression is a legitimate drawback, and many studies suggest that populations tend to prefer to produce offspring with those that are genetically similar to them, though evolving cultural factors can play a part in swaying this genetic preference one way or the other for various different reasons from one population to the next.

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My father passed away last weekend and I'm sad that he never did a DNA test. He was really into genealogy, at least for his mother's side. She was born in Wales and he'd always assumed that that's where her family was from. Wrong. They were from Scotland.

His father's side of the family has been in the US since Jamestown, so tracing the family out of the US has been problematic. I once put my maiden name into Google and it came up as Isle of Man. It's apparently a transposition that occurred in the 16th century in Peele, but what the original name was, no one knows and we may never know. Isle of Man is interesting because my grandfather always maintained that they were Norwegian and Irish, and now that makes sense. Godred White Hand invaded the Isle of Man from Dublin in the 11th century (after getting his butt kicked with Harald at Hastings). Which means I may well have ancestors that were Viking raiders. 

My mother's father's family is kind of boring. :D There are two family Bibles from her dad's side going back to the 1700's when they went to Belfast from Scotland. All of the Civil War stuff is documented--from the Whiskey Rebellion to the move to Kentucky, to one of my ancestors spending almost the entire war in a Union prison. Her mother's family, however, was Eastern European from the Carpathians. My great grandmother was a gypsy. 

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My condolences on the passing of your father, CCLT.

Genealogy can be a mixed bag. Some pleasant and not-so-pleasant discoveries. My family has discovered relations aren't as close as originally expected. I'm not quite sure how those relatives who have passed in recent years would react to such news. The younger generation finds it interesting, but I could imagine deceased relatives having trouble coming to terms with such revelations.

 

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On 11/18/2016 at 6:09 PM, Astromech said:

My condolences on the passing of your father, CCLT.

Genealogy can be a mixed bag. Some pleasant and not-so-pleasant discoveries. My family has discovered relations aren't as close as originally expected. I'm not quite sure how those relatives who have passed in recent years would react to such news. The younger generation finds it interesting, but I could imagine deceased relatives having trouble coming to terms with such revelations.

 

Thank you. :) One of my cousins says he's going to continue the research and we're going to put together a family website at some point. 

I think a lot of people are finding out just how much hanky panky was going on back in the old days :D Not only that, but knowing that your ancestors were involved in things like wiping out the Native Americans and owning slaves (among other brutalities) might be hard for some to grasp. 

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On 11/21/2016 at 7:26 AM, Crazy Cat Lady in Training said:

Not only that, but knowing that your ancestors were involved in things like wiping out the Native Americans and owning slaves (among other brutalities) might be hard for some to grasp

We found a will with a named slave to be passed on to a daughter. The slave's name was Belly. You know these things in your head, but sometimes unexpected things hit you hard in the gut. We knew the family owned slaves, but seeing the name on the document slammed it home for me.

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21 hours ago, Gertrude said:

We found a will with a named slave to be passed on to a daughter. The slave's name was Belly. You know these things in your head, but sometimes unexpected things hit you hard in the gut. We knew the family owned slaves, but seeing the name on the document slammed it home for me.

One of my ancestors was at Great Meadows (AKA Fort Necessity) with George Washington. He was involved in the Battle of Jumonville Glen, which is what started the French and Indian War.

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I love it when you can find little (not so little, actually) things like that. It's actually kind of hard to get unbroken lines you can verify so I love it when people do find the connections.

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