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While putting together a photo-book of our girls growing up – something for their families for Christmas this year – I want to include something of a family tree, at least a pedigree. I wound up getting on and doing some research.  The results were interesting, on both sides. But the real surprise was my wife's DNA test.
     Her whole family has always taken great pride in claiming almost pure Irish descent, with a strongly rumored dollop of Cherokee Indian. Oops.
     While her relations, on all four sides, are pretty traceable to the British Isles, it seems she has to reassess her life-held view of self, and I have to put a little more effort into figuring out just how her ancestors got to where they seem to have come from. She came up 54% Scandinavian, 24% Southern European (Italy, Spain, Portugal) and another 20% from a swatch of land reaching from Poland through Greece.
     I'll admit a great deal of disappointment in the lack of specifics for this. Some of these areas are pretty diverse. But the meat is in what is not there. NO native Irish, or any Celtic genes whatsoever. A family that sees itself as Irish might might well be descended from a bunch of Viking and Roman invaders who managed to avoid local contamination completely. How does this happen?
     Needless to say, my very short, petite, brown eyed, brown haired wife has mixed feelings about this – and is very strongly inclined to NOT communicate this information to the rest of her very extended family – outside of our own girls that is. And as far as the Cherokee – which many members of her large family do resemble, well that could possibly be in the remaining 2%. But hey, if they were that wrong about the Irish, well…………
     I've found that many, many of her ancestors arrived here from England in the 1600s, gradually heading for the hills of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky – heavy on the Andersons and Watsons. Who knows, they might be families that spent time in Ireland and later migrated back out. Whatever the explanation – she certainly ain't what she thought she was.
     So now I've decided to bite the bullet and send off for my own test. Hey, my family just "knows" that we're almost pure German. I've already dented that and  traced one branch back to Scotland – I'll probably find out that, genetically, my Western European heritage is completely lacking too, who knows.
     I wonder how many people experience a similar shock from these tests.

Originally posted to qua on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 12:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Genealogy and Family History Community and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Really interesting!!!! (10+ / 0-)

    I've been wanting to do this to test the family lore as well...
    I bet it ain't all what I've been told!

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:21:03 PM PDT

  •  Very interesting post. (4+ / 0-)

    Question:  Is the test expensive?  I'd love to do it.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:25:53 PM PDT

  •  mtDNA, like Y-DNA, gives a fraction of the picture (30+ / 0-)

    Any descent from anyone who is not straight-line mother-to-daughter (or father-to-son for Y-DNA) simply will not show up.

    As for autosomal DNA (the rest of the picture), that gets reshuffled every generation, and by the fourth or fifth reshuffle it's garbled down to little better than noise.

    DNA testing has a few, very specific, very limited uses in genealogy. Identifying ethnic background(s) is not one of them.

    For that, there is absolutely no substitute for the slow detective slogging of traditional genealogical charting.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:28:35 PM PDT

    •  This^^^ (18+ / 0-)

      It's altogether possible your wife's family migrated from Scandinavia and the European continent to Ireland during the Viking era or after the Norman conquest, or any time within the last 2000 years.  Keep plugging away at the genealogy. That's where the family history will be found.

      "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

      by Involuntary Exile on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I figured something like that… (7+ / 0-)

        especially with the way settlers tend to stick to their own language, cultural groupings. I remember in Boston there being large areas of Irish or Italian families who were very watchful of whither their children married.
           I like the fact that, at least they say in the site, that as more tests come in, more information about connections could be posted on the results page.

        •  People have *always* moved around a lot (18+ / 0-)

          The original proto-Celts lived in central Europe, and an offshoot may have traveled as far east as the Tarim Basin (some philologists find closer affinities between the Celtic language group and what we've been able to puzzle out of Tocharian than between Tocharian and any other Indo-European language group).

          The Romans held territory from northern England to eastern Germany to the Parthian border to northern Africa - and left their genes everywhere they went.

          The Norse did likewise all the way to Iceland (and one of them brought home a possibly-Beothuk wife or concubine from a stay in Greenland) and North Africa (again) and Russia. (The Romans didn't get to Ireland, but the Norse DID - and extensively raided for mates.)

          The Normans ran Sicily for a couple of centuries.

          And so it goes....

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (5+ / 0-)

            Who populated or invaded the British Isles?

            The Celts (originally from Germany), then

            The Romans (originally from Italy, but mixed in with Africa and Middle East and nearly everywhere) then

            The Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians, from  modern-day Germany, Denmark, and the low countries) then

            The Vikings (they had settlements in Ireland and Scotland -- and Northern England was called "Danelaw.") and finally

            The Norman French (a mixture of Vikings (Norman = Northman) and Celts and probably some Roman/Mediterranean influences, too).


            I don't know about much about the DNA tests, but the results in this diary don't surprise me.

            "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

            by Dbug on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:42:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Vikings established trade routes (3+ / 0-)

            on the four Russian rivers that ran north/south and set up the first dynasty in Russia, Oleg I (really Ukraine with Kiev as the capitol).  That dynasty ran from the 800's to Ivan the terrible.  The second dynasty was the Romanov.  Russia only had two royal families.  

            The Norse raided the British Isles and coastal France (the Normans were really the Norse men).  

        •  It's also all those maternal lines (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mayfly, mettle fatigue

          ...along the way that the genealogical record might not show.  Although there were dominant ethnic groups settling different places, the diversity of immigrants to America even in the early days is amazing.

          And then there are the undocumented children of affairs or other events or the informal adoptions that were never recorded as adopted children.

          And for most folks who came over because of poverty, at some point you run out of records altogehter.

          50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

          by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:17:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maternal lines are very interesting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TarheelDem, mettle fatigue

            I had always been told that my maternal grandfather's family were predominantly--almost exclusively--French Huguenot. But when I started tracking the maternal side of his genealogy I found mostly Dutch women marrying French men.
            Fortunately the Hudson River Dutch kept excellent baptismal records so the online search was easy to do and quite enlightening.
            I found out things like this:
            Dutch women tended not to marry young--sometimes not until their late 20s or early 30s.
            They tended to have very big families in the 1600s and 1700s, as most people did as insurance against infant death, but n fact not many of their children died in infancy, which I attribute to the fact that the women married later and were probably stronger and better nourished as a result.
            Use of the Dutch patronymic as a middle name started to die out only in the 1700s.
            The descendents of quite a number of sisters eventually ended up marrying several generations later. Is there a name for that ?(No, not incest, because by then they were 4th or 5th or more cousins!)
            There were a couple of Irishmen, Poles, a Norwegian (Dirk the Norman), and a bunch of Danes in the mix, from quite early on.
            Many of my ancestors were Protestants from the Low Countries who emigrated to escape being subjects of the Catholic Spanish king.
            The biggest surprise was how much people moved around and how much they were willing to risk to leave what must have been untenable situations for them.

      •  There were also many Spaniards (7+ / 0-)

        who sailed to Ireland and western Wales back in the day, doing a little invading and intermarrying with the locals.

        That's why you often see many Irish and Welsh (think Catherine Zeta Jones) who have very dark hair and brown eyes.

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've done the 23andme test (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        And for the ancestry, they state that the ancestry results which look for traits that signify membership in one of 22 population groups.  Some are more specific or rare than others. According to 23andme, for example, my DNA at sub-regional resolution is 9.2% Finnish, 4.5% British/Irish, but also 64.5% "non-specific northern European" and 14% "non-specific eastern European" (some additional ones in there too).

        They state that the results indicate the probably regions of origin for one's ancestors from about 500 years ago, before exploration and technological advances started mixing populations at a much faster rate.

        If you read the information, they also indicate that there is margin for error and you can choose 3 levels of certainty.  That standard level of certainty states that it has and accuracy of 70%.  The Conservative level is 90%, but it's much more generic.  The Speculative level provides for 50% accuracy (and says that I'm about 0.1% Ashkenazi and 0.2% East Asian).

    •  so very true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Aunt Pat, klompendanser

      I can trace back the male lineage all the way to England in the late 1500s.  But that is only the male path.  In each of the multiple generations there was a woman involved, and we would have to track back the lineage of EACH of those women, and the men and women who created them, and pretty quickly you can see what a mish-mash you are liable to come up with.  I supposed doing the mtDNA and yDNA could give you "buckets" or percentages of where ancestors might have come from, but won't really tell you who they actually were.

      •  It isn't *quite* that bad (6+ / 0-)

        due to the tendency of cousins to marry each other. (Sometimes because there was just no one else available!)

        Most persons of British Isles ancestry have one common ancestor somewhere around 1200 AD. (William the Marshal turns up in a lot of people's trees - he wasn't especially prolific himself, but his descendants married into a lot of other lines of nobility and even royalty, and in the other direction as well.)

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:49:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  YES! (17+ / 0-)

      This means getting the documents yourself, NOT copying someone else's work online!!!

      I've been doing genealogy research for 50+ years now, and yes, I know how expensive it is to get copies of original documents (and I loathe certified copies as re-typing what's allegedly in a record I haven't seen because when they fill in the blanks they omit details... like cause of death in my gr-grandmother's case; or misspell what's in the original document and/or add info not in an original document, like another set of gr-grandparents' marriage license info).  I always ask for a photocopy of the original document, period.

      Without getting photocopies of ALL of the birth certificates for my parents AND their siblings, I never would have leaped over the 45-year-old brick wall I had on my Swedish grandfather (it turned out that the town/parish name we had that I already knew was wrong was where his sis & youngest bro moved to - not where all four of the siblings were born in the adjoining parish).  As far as I know, only the birth certificate of my youngest paternal aunt has the name of the farm in Sweden where my grandfather was born (and only slightly misspelled; amazing!).  No other official document has that info..., and if I had gotten a certified copy instead of a photocopy, likely the certified copy would only have contained the word "Sweden" for his birth location, just as all other documents and census data has.  As luck would have it, everyone on both sides of the pond was awake when I got that image so I wrote to my genealogy list contacts and ten minutes later I had his birth record info, names of parents (patronymic naming system still in use, so I knew what Gramp's patronym would be anyway; American spelling is slightly different), and the names of his siblings, grandparents, and within a short time I had the answer to the riddle as to why an uncle was listed as a nephew in someone's household in the 1920 US census (she was the widow of Gramp's mother's brother - and just "down the road" from them in the same township was Gramp's mother's sister and family lived, as it all turned out over successive days, weeks, months of getting Swedish documents).

      If I had copied anyone else's genealogy info (sans documents) after I figured out about three decades ago how unreliable human memory is, it would have been one helluva mess to figure out fact from fiction.

      Ergo, I proceed on my own getting documents, documents, and more documents.

      Once I get US documents (the expensive part), making the leap to Norwegian and Danish documents is easy.  Both countries have their documents online and census info is transcribed, and all of it is free, thanks to the taxpayers in those countries.  Sweden's databases are fee-based, but the actual documents are available.  Norway has the easiest search engine to work with for the transcribed parts.

      DOCUMENT everything from copies of original documents.  They can be had in the US, even online..., but sometimes it takes some digging to find what you're looking for, too.

      Other times, Serendipity drops info into your general blind searches and you come up with a gold mine of info..., like when I was looking for info on one of my Bennett ancestors on Ancestry and what should appear to my marveling eyes was the Revolutionary War records of my Andrew Bennett..., disability pension application, but that file ALSO contained a microfilm copy of his Rev War honorable discharge paper signed at Newburgh in June 1783 by "G. Washington."  Yeah, my jaw dropped!  (I compared known signatures with the one on the microfilm image; it's definitely "the" George Washington.)  The whole file also contained names of battles, commanders, so I've followed him from Valley Forge through various other battles... and I'm astonished he lived through six years and some odd months of service.  He only had to apply for disability after he broke a thigh bone and shoulder bone and his wife and young kids (aged under ten) could not manage his farm without him (yes, he got the pension).

      Documents also proved my adulterer gr-grandfather became a bigamist when he married the third woman in his life.

      So..., if one can toss out preconceived notions and document everything from original sources (copies of original records if the record is not in hand), one finds that one has some very interesting ancestors (and a few of my earliest colonial ancestors even have Wikipedia pages!).

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:55:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Listen to NonnyO, she knoweth what she... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murphy, NonnyO, StrayCat, Bernie68

        speaketh of.

        {{{Hi NonnyO!}}

        And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

        by itzadryheat on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  {{{itzadryheat}}} (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          :-)  Thank you!

          Hi, and hope you're well and happy!  :-)

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:29:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm good. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Busy now that school is back in session here in AZ. It's a new year, new duties, and all that, so I have a lot to do every day. Which is why they pay me the miniscule bucks...

            How are you?

            And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

            by itzadryheat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:14:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  :-) Doing genealogy... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mettle fatigue

              ..., both for myself and my own ancestors and siblings and such, and helping others with their genealogy..., which means I'm pretty much as happy as a pig in mud.

              Through the years others have mentioned I should write something genealogy-related because of my sub-specialties in Scandinavian research, so I'm developing something to post here on DK to cover as broad a spectrum as I can manage.  It's taking on a life of its own, so I think I'll have to edit it down.  Or separate them out into shorter posts.  Problem is, they're mostly interrelated because of the history..., which, naturally, affects how, why, when certain migrations and language changes, etc., took place.  All this "necessary trivia" matters when it comes to finding info.


              I see a cardiologist tomorrow.  I've done two Holter monitors in three years, last one last month, and I want to get to the brass tacks of what the hell is going on with the AF which has come on within the last few months/years on top of the LBBB I knew about which was diagnosed at the same time I was first diagnosed with high blood pressure.  My gut instinct says one painless heart condition is tolerable.  A second heart condition that comes with radically fast heartbeat sessions is probably not a good thing.  [My bro had/has atrial fibrillation, one mild heart attack, several sessions in hospital for AF, had an ablation process done early this year and has had no problems with AF since.  He, however, does not have a secondary heart condition, just the one, plus, like me, high blood pressure that is under control with medication.]

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:23:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nope, afib is not a good thing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NonnyO, mettle fatigue

                ... for one, it ups your stroke risk something like 5X. For another, it only tends to get worse if you try to ride it out, and eventually leads to heart failure.

                Good luck at the doctor's. I'm dealing with afib myself ... two ablations later, it's almost history. If you decide to go for an ablation, get the most experienced EP you can find, especially since you have another heart issue. (Note I said EP, they're the ones who specialize in the heart's electrical issues - cardiologists aren't usually as knowledgeable because they haven't had the same advanced training.)

                •  ??? Electro... ? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mettle fatigue

                  Please fill me in on what EP stands for.  My "expertise" on cardiac issues is limited to my own experiences plus paying attention to causes of death listed on death certificates of various relatives or people who married into the family.  Both sides of my family are riddled with heart issues as a primary or secondary cause of death, even when they live extraordinarily long lives well into their 80s or 90s in some cases.

                  I looked up Left Bundle Branch Block a long time ago (surprisingly good diagrams online, and descriptions).  I know if that gets worse a pacemaker can help in some cases.

                  Altho the LBBB diagnosis happened at the same time as the zooming high blood pressure several years ago, I think that was the last time I actually spoke with a cardiologist.  I've been monitored by my MD since then (and he was new to me at the time).

                  I have several questions to ask him..., and I suspect I should actually type them out.  I've had a couple of episodes since the Holter monitor that have actually kinda scared me, and I want this stopped or monitored more closely (or whatever!), even if electrode adhesives rip off flesh and give me rashes after 48 hours (I'm allergic).  I have genealogy stuff to do and don't want to be distracted by fast heartbeat, chest or shoulder pains and the like.

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:09:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Best of luck for tomorrow, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NonnyO, mettle fatigue

                    And a big hug too!

                    I've got hypertension too, now well under control with meds. At this point, that is the only cardiac issue I have, and I am very grateful for that. I'm very much following in my father's footsteps, as he has had a high BP for decades (and has been treated for it for decades too).

                    On the other hand, I will do everything I can to avoid his stroke and his heart attack. He is still kicking at 83, and his physical health is probably at a personal best for him in decades because of the treatment (stents) following his heart attack.

                    Very unfortunately his mind is not keeping up well, and we're going through a few family problems because of that. My mom, at 84, is in great shape physically and mentally, but the strain of our dad is getting to her. They both could go into their 90's easily, like their parents, so we have some time yet.

                    Again, best of luck and prayers to you for tomorrow. You're Norse, you're probably too cussedly stubborn to go anywhere yet. We need ya here at the GOS to keep us grounded.

                    Bye for now, and let me know how it goes.

                    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

                    by itzadryheat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:41:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  {{{itzadryheat}}} (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      itzadryheat, mettle fatigue

                      Pass on hugs to your parents!

                      ;-D  Ah, ja.  Triple whammy of Scandahoovian, means three times as bleeping stubborn - and who knows what kind of Viking, Anglo-Saxon, and Celtic warrior blood that came with the Brit and Irish in my genetic makeup - and that's only what I can prove with documents?

                      Thank you for your good wishes.  I'll probably need them to remember all the things I want to ask.  Guess I'd best get to writing these things down so I can print them out....  :-)

                      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                      by NonnyO on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:07:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  familial medical history is a good reason to do ge (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                neology.  some health issues cluster within source groups, of course, but most valuable is if one can find out about the health issues of the parental, g'parental and g'g'parental generations.  unfortunately, once you get back about 30 years, the 'shame' factor of inherited health issues and resultant silence starts to set in.  and the further back you go, the more the chance of misdiagnosis, i.e., what was a reasonably valid diagnosis a few generations ago (e.g., "consumption") comprises today a whole raft of illnesses, and if the diagnosis is in circumstances without much actual medical attention involved, the chance of errors increases.  still, worth including medical history when doing genealogy.  later generations will benefit.

                •  True - (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mettle fatigue

                  One of the lines in my genealogy data is that of "Cause of death" and I put down what was listed on the death certificate.

                  A genetics project in high school biology class when I was a sophomore ca. 1962 was the reason I got into genealogy.

                  It has come full circle.  I collect death certificates so I know how everyone died.  Altho long-lived for the most part (rare exceptions), a lot of ancestors lived to their 80s, even 90s (one early one was documented to nearly 102) even with hypertension (as I have) and assorted other chronic illnesses.

                  With the predominance of degenerative arthritis (which has taken such a toll on me and my immediate family, necessitating knee replacements, my triple lumbar fusion, etc.), the issue of allergies and autoimmune sensitivities comes into play, and I have pages of allergies (as do several other family members since there's a genetic component to allergy tendencies) which goes hand-in-hand with degenerative arthritis.  When histamines can't find anything else to attack, they turn around and attack one's own joints.  According to the immunology prof in college, it's a form of being allergic to yourself.

                  Census data also lists how many children a woman had and how many were alive in the early 20th century for two or three cycles.  That's a good piece of trivia to have sometimes, too if I don't know how many offspring there are supposed to be.  [2010 US census is disgusting for lack of usable info for genealogists, I noticed when I filled it out.]

                  There are a whole host of things one can find out from old documents, including physical descriptions for men who filled out WWI or WWII Draft Registration cards, etc.  One just has to know where to look, and some states have more info online than others.

                  If we were not spending so bloody much money on illegal and unconstitutional wars and war toys, we could fund a project to put good quality digital images of just federal papers online for free and give grants to each state to do the same thing.  [Norway and Denmark have their records online for free, thanks to their taxpayers, some are transcribed, others are in image formats.  Sweden's records are on fee-based sites, the newest being in colored digital formats (don't like the Java based nonsense and they desperately need a name index, but images are great).]

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:21:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      klompendanser, NonnyO, murrayewv, Ohkwai

      After reviewing these offers I questioned how accurate or comprehensive these tests really are.  It's no one's fault, but the test is limited in what it reveals.

      Genealogical charting is fun, finding new links and sources is one of the biggest highs for me.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:12:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, memiller, True North, Joe Bob

      I did the charting on my Dad's side ...

      Then my brother did 23 and me, and then he got an email from a lady in the UK who came up as a distant relative. (a big section of her 10th chromosome was almost identical to my brothers').

      Well we compared family tress ... nothing.

      Then we looked deeper into addresses of ancestors ... and found way back in the 1840's 2 families living quite close to another (a few streets away), one on her tree, one on mine. The we saw one of the births looked a bit strange given the ages of the people involved. Can't know for sure, but looks like a "uncharted" event.

      We always have to remember that somewhere from 2% to 6% of births do not have the parents as assumed. Multiply that by a few generations and there is a good chance that your charted family tree is not your actual family tree.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:58:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My grandmother used to tell us that some distant (0+ / 0-)

        cousins of my grandfather asked to take my mother as their own child because they couldn't have children of their own. My mother was a baby when they asked.
        My grandmother refused, but never gave the impression this was an unusual practice, only that she didn't want to give my mother away. And this was in the early 1920s.
        I wonder how often this kind of thing happened.

  •  I wonder what effect all the sperm banks will have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, klompendanser, True North

    on tracing DNA for the next generations.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:38:15 PM PDT

    •  Interesting point about sperm donors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      Now that DNA testing is getting more affordable, I suspect that many people who have long wanted more information about parents but were blocked by laws protecting identity will sign up for both the testing, and the "share my info" options.

      The biological offspring of sperm or egg donors and adoptees are going to be interested in DNA testing, I suspect. They might find not only half-siblings by way of sperm or egg donation, but also half-siblings who are in the biological parent's recognized family.

      One of the stories on the 23 website is from a woman who hoped to find some distant cousins, so she coud track down some elusive members of the family tree.

      But she got a report that there was a possible sibling. It turned out to be true. She did not know that there was a younger sibling who was placed for adoption because the parents could not afford to raise another child.

      In Canada, the Supreme Court ruled on a case from British Columbia. A woman whose father was a sperm donor was trying to get sperm banks to retain records instead of destroying them after six years, and to open them to offspring. She didn't succeed. Many people were indignant that the privacy of the sperm donor would be violated.

      I think it is very likely that many sperm and egg donors will be identified by a more indirect route, as offspring participate in these DNA-testing programs.

  •  Italy / Spain / Portugal (11+ / 0-)

    could be Celts also. The Celts were in a variety of places, but there may have been migration from there up to Ireland.

    Genetic research shows a strong similarity between the Y chromosome haplotypes of males from north-western Spain and Portugal and Irish men with Gaelic surnames.
  •  I tend to take their "statistical analyses" (8+ / 0-)

    with a whopping ton of salt, because all they're really saying is that they find that much similarity with those particular groups as measured by how much studying they have previously done. You can get some really screwy results that way.

    On the other hand, if you (or your closest direct-line male relative) have an unusual Y-DNA type, that can give you some pointers as to who might be your ancestor(s) - and who probably is not in your direct male line. (But, of course, it can't tell you anything about the female or back-and-forth lines.)

    I have some idea how that works. My brother turned up an off-the-wall Y-DNA type found in a relatively small percentage of the population, and it matched someone in the mid-18th century with the same family name - who was probably not a direct ancestor, per genealogical charting, but perhaps a collateral male-line nth uncle or cousin.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:42:04 PM PDT

    •  I agree.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, True North

      as a person who teaches human genetics, these percent descent are based on variants that are more common in certain ethnic groups.  I would take it with a big grain of salt.  On the other hand, big differences like what part of Africa you are from vs. Ireland or Northern European, can be seen.  It is interesting to do as a test and some useful information could be found, but not enough hopefully for a big psychic shift in belonging.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:07:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sven the Milkman (12+ / 0-)

    Not to cast aspersions or anything but it's not unheard of for Karin, the daughter of Swedish immigrants to marry Seamus the Irishman but forget to mention that one time at band camp... with Sven the Milkman when little Seamus Jr. arrives on the scene 9 months later with blonde hair and blue eyes.

    The problem with diving into the gene pool is the skeletons at the bottom of the deep end.

    I know of at least one case where an entire family of brothers and sisters got genetic testing only to discover that only two of six were full siblings. Of the remaining four, one was unrelated (adopted presumably) and the other three had two different fathers. Both parents were deceased, so most of this will remain a mystery.

    •  This kind of stuff turns up in regular… (8+ / 0-)

      searches too. It's a wonder we're not all marrying first cousins or worse, without knowing it. My wife's father's mother would never divulge his father's name. Sort of makes everyone in that small town a suspect.  
         It is fun stuff though, and a great addition to a book of, in this case mostly B&W pictures, of three girls growing up in a little house in the woods. Ant they're getting this at the stage when their own kids are almost en masse fleeing the nests.

    •  That's occasionally been caught by Y-DNA tests (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, Aunt Pat, kaliope, klompendanser

      Am thinking of a particular line of distant relatives I was tracing out. Some of them had direct-line male descendants who got tested...and landed in two different haplogroups.

      One line was fairly clearly documented and had an unusual haplogroup type - another line was sketchily documented and fell into the common as dirt R1a1b2 type.

      Which one do you think was visited by the milkman? ;->

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:14:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  R1b1a2, actually - I always get them mixed up (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Aunt Pat, kaliope, klompendanser, nio

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:16:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Golly, can't imagine why! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Maven, I'm impressed that you know what's common as dirt and what's not!

          •  All you have to do is browse (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zwenkau, True North

            R1b1a2 is hugely represented in every European lineage - up to 90% in some cases. Everything else gets a look-in here or there in one or two lines - a bit more for I, I1 and I2 in Northwestern Europe (probably the Norse), but they're still way outnumbered.

            If your Y-DNA haplotype is R1b1a2, all that can tell you is who isn't a direct-line male relative (anybody whose direct line haplotype isn't R1b1a2).

            It's somewhat analogous to having blood type O - you can be certain that neither parent was blood type AB!

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:15:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm currently reading a biography of Lincoln (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch, HeyMikey, True North

      written by a history professor with mad genealogy skills.  Lincoln's mother was believed to have been an illegitimate child whose father was a wealthy, educated Virginia landowner.  One of his closest friends in childhood was a cousin who was the illegitimate child of his aunt and an unknown father.

      While not rampant, those situations were not unknown in those days.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:34:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a kit sitting on my (5+ / 0-)

    kitchen counter.  I'm just not sure I want my DNA stored in a database and somebody making big bucks selling the information.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:10:04 PM PDT

  •  My dad considered himself Irish. (6+ / 0-)

    Turns out his family was one of those English families that moved over to Ireland in wayback days, squashed the people living there in the name of the King, and then claimed to be natives.
    Sometimes it's better to let old bones stay buried, at least in my family.

    Each person stands on a shadow. Bill Reynolds

    by northsylvania on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:17:56 PM PDT

    •  They probably took Irish wives (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, northsylvania, True North, Zwenkau

      which means that before long the only piece of their genetic heritage that wasn't Irish was the Y-DNA.

      That pattern occurs all over Norse/Norman stamping grounds. There was a time when the Orkney Isles were ruled from Norway, not Scotland - but the greatest of the Orkney jarls, Thorfinn Sigurdarsson, was at least three-fourths Celt. (Scottish mother, one of the three(?) daughters of King Malcolm II, and Irish grandmother on his father's side as well. For that matter there were Irish genes in Malcolm's lineage.)

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:54:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've traced my Gr Gr+ Grandfather to the (0+ / 0-)

        Orkney Isles he was born in 1762 also a brother came to the America in 1785 they were survivors of the Faithful Steward shipwreck 1785  which sank off the Delaware coast

  •  I'd do the test over with different name/places (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ICanDoThis, NonnyO

    If I were depending on such results as being exact, I'd send in the sample with at least three different names and from different addresses around the country.  

    I would bet that you would have three different results. ;^)

  •  :-) I haven't done a DNA test (14+ / 0-)

    What kind of test did your wife have that she found out so much since when I was on a DNA-genealogy list years ago the big chat topic was yDNA and how much more it could tell people than mtDNA?  [The physical description of your wife matches mine.  I have a Scandinavian name, but most assuredly do not LOOK like a "typical" Scandinavian.]

    I have ancestors from seven different countries of origin..., and in my many years of insomnia when reading occupied my time, my vital areas of interest always involved history.  (Later, when I entered college as a non-traditional student, I used some of my own books for research papers.)  High on the list was history, from the Paleolithic through to the spread of Celtic civilizations to Viking explorations.  Different places in England where my British ancestors came from are also locations where Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Vikings invaded and settled, aside from the fact that I also have more recent ancestors from all three Scandinavian countries and ancestors from continental Europe where it is known certain European Celts lived.

    I know exactly how your wife's ancestry shows so much Scandinavian heritage.  For that, one must study history as it pertains to archaeology and anthropology..., because written documentation of individual ancestors can only rarely be found before the 1600s (if you can, that's jolly good - I have a couple of lines where this was possible to document).

    A great many of Ireland's coastal cities were founded by Vikings, including Dublin.  The Vikings and the farmers, traders, craftsmen, etc., who came with them and settled there are who Brian Boru was fighting.

    The famous Irish red hair?  Probably brought to Ireland by Vikings.  [My Norwegian gr-grandfather had red hair and a red beard until he died in his mid-80s. Some of his descendants have red hair of varying shades, and those who don't have red hair have red highlights.]

    At Roskilde harbor in Denmark, the longest Viking longship was found.  Dendrochronological dating makes the wood to build it from Ireland.

    Iceland, the last bastion of authentic Viking descendants who still use their original constitution, still use the patronymic naming system, have an extensive genealogy database to keep people from marrying those who are too closely related, has done DNA testing.  Most yDNA is Norse.  Most mtDNA is Celtic from Ireland.  Willing or as slaves, the Vikings brought Irish Celtic women with them.  In the Faroe Islands the DNA testing has yDNA as mostly Norse, and mtDNA is mostly Celtic from the area of Scotland and the islands north of Scotland (where Vikings also settled).

    This is on a T-shirt and on a coffee mug (both of which I own), but it's also true.  The Vikings were all over the known world for their day and age.  [The Vikings raided in England before 793, but the raid at Lindisfarne is still considered the start of the Viking age - and it can be accurately dated because the monks wrote about it.]

    The Viking World Tour
      793  England
      795  Wales
      799  France
      807  Ireland
      826  Russia
      844  Spain
      845  Morocco
      860  Iceland
      921  Greece
      957  Italy
    1000 America
    Absent 35 years of reading, here are a few "video short courses" in what the Vikings did and how the influenced the world via various educational videos:

    Vikings: Journey to New Worlds (2004) [History Channel]

    Viking Voyages [2003]

    Blood of the Vikings - Heritage  BBC Learning

    Blood Of The Vikings - 1 - First Blood  [48:07]

    Blood Of The Vikings - 2 - Invasion  [48:29]

    Blood Of The Vikings - 3 - The Sea Road  [48:45]

    Blood Of The Vikings - 4 - Rulers  [47:57]

    Blood Of The Vikings - 5 - Last Of The Vikings  [49:23]
    The Varangian Rus 1/3

    The Varangian Rus 2/3 [Burial ritual described by an ancient writer and shown in this episode mirrors the most recent History Channel's episode 6 of Vikings.]

    The Varangian Rus 3/3

    It never surprises me when I hear someone has Scandinavian DNA when they didn't expect to find it.  All one has to do is study the movements of people prior to keeping documents on individual people (on down to the peasant class), and that tells the tale of why and how one's expected ancestors suddenly become the genetic heritage of the invaders who settled in the area and claimed it as their own and then were absorbed into the local populations.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:36:14 PM PDT

    •  And there's the C1e mtDNA clade in Iceland (6+ / 0-)

      The genealogists have been scratching their heads over that one ever since it turned up in four Icelandic families.

      It's been there since some time well pastward of the 18th century, which means it can't have been introduced by recent Asian immigrants (besides, no one has yet found a C1e clade anywhere else).

      There is strong suspicion that an early Greenlander fetched home a mate from among one of the native peoples that have since gone extinct or been genetically absorbed (with the result that the rare clade was lost) - such as Beothuk or Dorset - and that they or their descendants beat it back to Iceland when times got hard.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:04:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then again, Greenland isn't the only possibility. (0+ / 0-)

        Early Icelanders were nothing if not travellers (an Icelandic word for "stupid" - heimskur - comes from the word "at home" (heima), aka, people who never travel are ignorant).  My boyfriend's family tree is testament to the traveling spirit - one of his ancient relatives (I think 14th century or so) had a nickname that basically meant "pegleg" because he lost it in a battle in Germany.  

        We know that there was the Vinland settlement in Nova Scotia, and that there's evidence that they explored further south, well further south even into New England (although likely not as a permanent settlement).  So wouldn't the obvious possibility be a spouse from the known C1 populations in that region, instead of theorizing about a currently-nonextant Greenlandic population?

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Vinland location probably Newfoundland (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mettle fatigue

          It is definitely the location of the only known Norse settlement in North America for the time period.

          Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by Norse Vikings. Archaeology has given support to the long-held theory that old Norse sagas show Vikings reached North America approximately five centuries prior (c. 1000) to the voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1492.[1] In 1960 archaeological evidence of the only known Norse settlement [2] in North America (outside of Greenland) was found at L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland.
          L'Anse aux Meadows was a Norse settlement near the northernmost tip of Newfoundland (which is actually Cape Norman) which has been dated to be approximately 1000 years old. This makes it the only undisputed evidence of Pre-Columbian contact between the Old and New Worlds, if the Norse-Inuit contact on Greenland is not counted. It is a likely location of Vinland, although this has been disputed.
          I remember when the news of the archaeological dig at L'Anse aux Meadows came out when I was a freshman in high school.  I was the only one willing to dispute the teacher and say I thought the Vikings found America before Columbus (who found Caribbean islands on his first and second voyage, South America on his third voyage, and Central America on his fourth voyage).  One of the few things I actually remembered from grade school was that America was named for Amerigo Vespucci, from whence the name America derives.

          I've (mercifully) forgotten much of grade school and high school, but odd bits of trivia remain.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:47:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, me and my lousy Canadian geography :) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I meant Newfoundland, not Nova Scotia.  Ugh.  But yes, there still is a question of how far south the settlers travelled.  Wikipedia has a pretty good discussion on this:

            Based on such interpretations and archaeological evidence, it is now generally accepted that L'Anse Aux Meadows was the main base of the Norse explorers,[citation needed] but the southernmost limit of the Norse exploration remains a subject of intense speculation. Samuel Eliot Morison (1971) suggested the southern part of Newfoundland; Erik Wahlgren (1986) Miramichi Bay in New Brunswick; and Icelandic climate specialist Pall Bergthorsson (1997) proposed New York City.[26] The insistence in all the main historical sources that grapes were found in Vinland suggests that the explorers ventured at least to the south side of the St. Lawrence River, as Jacques Cartier did 500 years later, finding both wild vines and nut trees.[27] Three butternuts were a further important find at L'Anse Aux Meadows: another species which grows only as far north as the St. Lawrence.[3][28] These travels explain as well how the vinviðir (wine wood) the Norse were cutting down in the sagas is actually referring to the vines of Vitis riparia, a species of wild grape that grows on trees. As the Norse were searching for lumber, a material that was needed in Greenland, they found trees covered with Vitis riparia south of L'Anse aux Meadows and called them vinviðir.[4] However, it should be remembered that regional climate change, such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, complicates conclusions derived from the Norsemen's observations of vegetation.
            South of the St. Lawrence, that's C-haplotype range.  And just from a practical standpoint, I find it highly improbable that a peoples who would travel from Iceland to Greenland, and Greenland to Newfoundland, wouldn't at least travel along the coast to New England to gather supplies.  That doesn't mean settlements - there's really no good evidence of viking settlements further south - but there's pretty good evidence that they went there for supplies.

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 04:24:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hope someday... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... there will be evidence of Viking voyages further south.  I agree that it seems illogical they didn't travel further south along the coast, too - at least so they could replenish food and fresh water supplies and then go back north to their little settlement or encampment.  If they only sailed along the coast and didn't do much exploring inland, that wouldn't leave anything in the way of artifacts, I suppose, but it's fun to speculate on such a thing.

              I saw the Smithsonian Viking Expo at the Science Museum of MN a few years ago and was so enthralled with looking at some of the artifacts I left nose prints on the glass enclosures!  They had a few artifacts from L'Anse aux Meadows.  Another item of interest was a book from Iceland, the first it had ever been off the island.  I just stood there and stared in awe.  There were also exhibits on things like a foot-powered lathe, weaving, etc.  I was quite fascinated.  [I love museums and old artifacts, so I was quite in my element.]

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:26:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Greenland was a going concern for ~400 years (0+ / 0-)

          and they had known interactions with the Dorset people (who have since gone extinct or been absorbed into the Thule Inuit).

          Vinland was discovered from Greenland, as a matter of fact - but the Greenlanders never had the manpower or resources for a permanent colony. Their trading post in Newfoundland was manned briefly and sporadically, at best; but they were known to make logging trips to the Vinland coast, as long as they had seaworthy vessels.

          The Beothuk lived in - yes - Newfoundland.

          There are NO known C1e clades anywhere except Iceland, and only in four specific families.

          C1a, b, c and d have all been ruled out.

          The most likely place for that mysterious C1e clade to come from is a Dorset or Beothuk woman, and the most likely way for it to get back to Iceland was via Greenland.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:21:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This was my family's experience. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My mother had the Ancestry DNA testing done. Prior to that she had established, through document searches, ancestors in England, Wales, Ireland and Germany.

      The DNA results were 100% Scandinavian.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:33:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  :-) Not surprising (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe Bob, mettle fatigue

        As I indicated, on top of my documented 19th century ancestors from Scandinavia, many of my multiple colonial New England lineages came from locations in England that were founded by waves of peoples:  Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, layered with Norman/Viking French from the Conquest (and William the Bastard was the descendant of a Viking named Rollo, and William defeated another Viking for the rule of England)..., and whoever came after that.  It's also known that Roman armies had mercenaries from Germania, that Byzantium had a Varangian Guard, other mercenaries from Arab and African lands, and let's not forget Caesar's Conquest of Gaul (Vercingetorix was kept a pampered prisoner for seven years until Caesar returned to Rome, had his triumphal march, at which point Vercingetorix was promptly executed).  Keeping in mind that until Rome pulled the armies out of Britain, many of the soldiers who actually lived long enough to retire could claim some 40 acres of land as a perk of retirement whereupon they either brought Roman women or women from conquered lands to their new farmsteads..., and the proceeded to have offspring, and so on and so forth.  That's only scratching the surface of those who were willing to be a part of those armies, and doesn't even take into account the slave trade that flourished for millennia between all those lands.

        Heck, the Scandinavian peoples had to come from somewhere (after the ice ages retreated far enough people could live that far north).  The earliest identifiable proto-Celtic and Celtic peoples are the ones who made up the La Tène culture and Hallstatt culture and their surrounding areas.  It's not difficult to figure out that branches of one or more proto-Celtic groups eventually became Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes.  Add geographic isolation for a few centuries and there is a local identifiable group whose language becomes the dominant language of what is then a culture that becomes a village, and then part of larger and larger groups and allies..., and somewhere along the lines the common elements of various groups form a nation (albeit with regional dialects in some cases).  It's a process, it takes a long time, but eventually there are common traits and languages that make up an identifiable culture.

        Mother Nature doesn't like inbreeding (strengths might be passed on, but so are defects - and worse, they become magnified as generations inbreed; we can see this with things like genetic defects in dogs and cats whose lifespans are so much shorter than ours - one or two generations of inbreeding because of a population bottleneck can be dealt with - which is what we had in colonial America for a few years, and this is easily traceable in documented genealogies - but the lack of genetic diversity cannot sustain itself over the long-term, and it's why populations of both animals and people with too much inbreeding die out because they are too susceptible to diseases, especially inheritable diseases), so all of this movement of peoples adds biological diversity and genetic strength to people in general.  If Hitler had not been such an unintelligent ass regarding 'racial purity' (and all that rot), and if he had studied history to find out about how ancients moved around, etc., he might have figured out there's no such thing as 'racial purity' - and furthermore, it's not desirable according to Mother Nature's rules that demand diversity and variables to increase a biological vigor that can be passed on to future generations (see CCR5-Delta 32, for instance).

        One way or another, cheers for diversity!  :-)

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You may've found olde migrations, qua (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, leema, NonnyO, StrayCat

    Many point to the probable migration of Galician (Spanish) Celts to Ireland, 'way back.  Certainly was a lot of cultural exchange; the two populations share music, instrumentation, I hear old inheritance law, and many other things.  This migration could easily have brought a slug of Roman ancestry, too.

    As far as the Scandinavian goes, Ireland received a great many Vikings, back when the Norsemen founded Dublin.

    Did the DNA results come with a timeline of probable appearance of the strains in your ancestry?

    •  And that doesn't even cover the Galatians, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, eztempo

      who were part of a mass migration/invasion that got cut off in central Anatolia and settled down there. They maintained their own cultural identity for nearly a thousand years, but it eventually eroded away until they were indistinguishable from their Greek-speaking neighbors.

      And then the Turks came rolling in....

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:05:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bryan Sykes (6+ / 0-)

    I strongly recommend the several books by geneticist Bryan Sykes, including

    Sykes, Bryan (1999), The Human Inheritance: Genes, Language, and Evolution, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-850274-5
    Sykes, Bryan (2002), The Seven Daughters of Eve, Corgi, ISBN 0-552-14876-8
    Sykes, Bryan (2003), Adam's Curse: A Future Without Men, Bantam, ISBN 0-593-05004-5
    Sykes, Bryan (2006), Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History, Bantam, ISBN 0-593-05652-3
    Sykes, Bryan (2011), DNA USA: A Genetic Biography of America, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 978-0-393-07804-6

    We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

    by bmcphail on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:03:40 PM PDT

  •  Herm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, greengemini

    I got rather odd results as well... not necessarily "milkman" but more that I think there is problems with how they come at their ancestry data.  

    Some are spot on (they completely nailed the ashkenazi percentage), but completely missed the irish and the french.

    Unfortunately, the reason I did it was to clear up a few question marks, like, Am I part Huron or Algonquin? And where exactly did my mother's father really come from? The answers are very vague and basically a mix of everything mostly eastern-european. And .03% east asian...

    Republicanism: the political theory that the poor have too much money and the rich do not have enough.

    by bacchae1999 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:06:51 PM PDT

    •  They're not very good on Native American (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, greengemini, MGross

      and tend to get the results muddled up with East Asian. (Which shouldn't be a surprise.)

      And they can't identify specific tribes with any degree of certainty, any more than they could tell you if an Irish ancestor was born in Antrim or Killarney.

      If your mother's father left any male-line descendants, you could try asking one of them to be tested and see what, if anything, that told you. (Or ask what their family tradition said, or both.)

      As for the tribal affiliation, that's going to take much more sleuthing.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:41:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, (0+ / 0-)

        my mother's father is completely unknown. He died when my mom was a kid and we know nothing about about his relations either. And he was the one that is supposedly native american/french-Canadian descent, unfortunately.

        Republicanism: the political theory that the poor have too much money and the rich do not have enough.

        by bacchae1999 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:18:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mitochondrial dna (aka mt-DNA) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, Denise Oliver Velez

        comes from your mother's mother's mother's mother's mothers (times a zillion). It's sometimes called your Eve DNA (as in Adam and Eve). I don't remember the exact numbers, but if you look at mt-DNA, there are several dozen Eves in Africa (because that's where humans originated -- so they have the most diversity). Europeans have only one or two Eves. Native Americans have, I think, 3 or 4 Eves -- corresponding to the three migrations over the Alaska/Russia land bridge (and what's interesting is that there are three or four proto-language groups among Native Americans, which correspond pretty closely to the DNA evidence). I don't remember off the top of my head how many Eves there are in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

        "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

        by Dbug on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:56:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Small sample size. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        There's a tiny (or zero in some cases) number of "pure-blooded" members of Amerindian tribes at this point, and even those that remain necessarily represent only a fraction of the original genetic diversity the tribes had at one point.

        Some data is simply lost forever...

  •  As others have said (7+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't feel less "Irish" as a result of the DNA tests. How many centuries do one's ancestors have to be in Ireland before they're "Irish," which I consider a shared set of social and human experiences anyway? "Irish" is a mixture of all sorts of people who came from other places, though so long ago that "Irishness" has had plenty of time to form as a social culture. I learned, researching Ukrainian history, that much of the DNA in the peoples of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, much of Poland is originally Vikings also.

    As I described in my first-ever diary, we had a similar surprise when I started looking into my family and learned that my dad's grandfather, who said he was Irish Catholic so he could marry my great-grandmother, was in fact descended from Protestant Yankees going all the way back to the Mayflower. He was a Vermont Yankee who moved to Boston and registered as a Democrat, as was expected of any Irish Catholic around here. In rural Vermont as a kid, I doubt he ever laid eyes on an Irish Catholic Democrat. Like I said, we didn't know any of this until I started doing my research in January 2012. That was tough to take at first because there's been a history of animosity between those two groups.

    Interesting story and interesting food for thought!

    "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

    by fenway49 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:34:14 PM PDT

    •  Jimmie Driftwood sang about a "Damyankee Lad" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:18:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny song! (0+ / 0-)

        At least my newly-discovered ancestors dropped me into the the SAR, but never the SCV!

        I've always been "Yankee" if you mean "north." My ancestors came straight from Europe to New England and New York, never left. Nobody in my direct ancestry has ever lived anywhere in the world south (or west) of Brooklyn. The part about being "Yankee" in the internal New England definition of Protestants going back here to colonial days, that was the big surprise.

        "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

        by fenway49 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:39:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I did the DNA test as well, and results (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, True North

    ... were interesting. I came up as 70% British Isles, 21% lusty Scandinavian Viking types, and 9% "unknown".

    So much for the Cherokee legend in our family too, unless that was in the Unknown group.

    I did connect up with a couple of people who are fairly close kin (3rd cousins - we knew family members in common) and that has been really fun -- we actually solved a family mystery together. I've run across others who are a lot more distant.

    A couple of the interesting things I've found -- I ran across one supposed 3rd cousin with high confidence (by DNA), but we can't see a connection in our trees. But she then told me that her father or grandfather had changed his name, I think, or they weren't quite sure who he was. Because of the part of the country and the closeness of the match, I have a couple of suspicions of a wayward great-grandfather or possibly another great-great uncle ...

    I've also started seeing a number of supposed matches where I can't see a match with my family tree, but I can recognize that they're part of another family where  I also had a supposed match I couldn't see. There's a whole clan of Davises that keep showing up and, while I have lots Davises in my family as well, mine don't seem to connect with them at all.  But they connect with each other, so I suspect that I do have a connection (perhaps just not in the Davises) with that family.

    But it is an interesting quest. I have discovered so much that I didn't know, and also so much that I thought I knew that was wrong. I had no idea of the family that I had on my father's side, and I think he may not even have known about some of them.

    I never thought that genealogy and family history would interest me ... it turns out to be fascinating, and in some cases, to carry cultural programming right down to today.

    "I believe that some fine day, the children of Abraham
    will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem."

    by Ducktape on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:50:51 PM PDT

  •  interesting.... (15+ / 0-)
    Her whole family has always taken great pride in claiming almost pure Irish descent, with a strongly rumored dollop of Cherokee Indian. Oops.
    Cherokee ancestry is a very common fiction among white Southern families.  It has some sort of defensive legitimization motive.
    While her relations, on all four sides, are pretty traceable to the British Isles, it seems she has to reassess her life-held view of self, and I have to put a little more effort into figuring out just how her ancestors got to where they seem to have come from. She came up 54% Scandinavian, 24% Southern European (Italy, Spain, Portugal) and another 20% from a swatch of land reaching from Poland through Greece.
    That's actually good evidence that her ancestry is Norse/Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and pre-Celtic Irish/Welsh.

    The Norse and Anglo-Saxon contributions will large parse as 'Scandinavian'.  The Germanic languages and tribes all originated on the southwestern shores of the Baltic Sea.  

    Linguistics shows that the Indoeuropean migrants who spoke the language that led to the famous Celtic languages (Gaelic, Gallic, Welsh, Brittonic) along the Atlantic coast also  went into Iberia (Spain/Portugal) and Italy, where Latin is the most famous derivative.  The language family is called Italo-Celtic.  It reflects a migration that probably started in
    Wallachia (in Romania) and Hungary and went up Danube River with branches splitting off into Italy, the rest reaching the end of the Danube and continuing up the Rhine or down the Rhone.  So the ancestry that brought ancient forms of Celtic language to Britain and Ireland will be related to people in Italy.

    The Polish-Greek thing also goes back to the spread of the Indoeuropeans in Europe.  Different branches spread up the rivers that empty into the Black Sea.  This one probably went up the Moldava and the languages formed by fusion of the Indoeuropean form with existing native peoples around the Pripet Marshes is generally called Slavic.  

    There are two possibilities.  Either somehow some of these people got mixed in with the people who went up the Danube and on to Britain, which I think unlikely.   Or- and this seems more likely- the story is a group of ancestorally Slavic people ended up in Britain.   We do know that there were small Slavic speaking tribes living on relatively poor farmland inland from the coast from the Angles, who populated the north-south part of the coast of the North Sea in what is now Germany.  And there are some surprisingly Slavic looking people in/from the parts of England the Angles and Saxons made their own.  There's a small city in the center of that part of Germany (the province of Schleswig-Holstein) called Eutin.  Eutin is documented to have been the ceremonial and religious center of these tribes.  After/during Christianization of the region these tribes were expelled by the surrounding Germanic tribes and force to migrate eastward to Mecklenburg, another agriculturally poor region where other Slavic tribes lived and held sway for a while longer, but were also eventually expelled to east of the Oder River or subdued and colonized and married.  But the Angle/Saxon/Jute invasion-migration into Britain is a century or two earlier.  And given how poor the farming lands of the Slavic triblets in central Schleswig-Holstein were- bad farm land meant perpetual problems with overpopulation and internal fighting and border conflicts-, a whole bunch probably migrated to England with the Angle groups.  Perhaps voluntarily, perhaps as farm servants/slaves.  Or perhaps the Angles had already mixed with them. someone has pointed out above, the earliest population of Ireland and Wales is known to have been mostly black haired, small in stature, and not speakers of Indoeuropean family language(s).  Molecular genetics shows  a good part of the population of Ireland and Wales is in fact related to the Basques of southwestern France and northern Spain.  And these to the general other population of Spain and Portugal.  We don't know much about the languages spoken in Ireland or Wales prior to the invasion and conquest by the Celts, but in Portugal and Spain the oldest written inscriptions discovered show that people there spoke languages related to Basque.  It's not much of a leap to infer that the oldest populations of Wales and Ireland, and perhaps Britain generally and the coasts of the North Sea were descended from relatively short and mostly black haired people who migrated across the Strait of Gibraltar initially and settled and migrated up the Atlantic coast of Europe later, but long before the Indoeuropean speakers did.  And spoke languages the last survivor of which is Basque.  (How these foik all ended with such pale skin is a problem, but not insurmountable.)  So when you look at the Irish singer Enya, who really is petite and while exceedingly pale tans very well and prefers her hair black (she's naturally brown haired) that's perhaps what the earliest population of Ireland and such looked like.  The people that lived in those small houses on Skara Brae.

    Speaking for this spread of a population north and east along the Atlantic shoreline from Spain is the linguistics of early Germanic.  The origin point of Germanic is the shores of the southwestern Baltic.  (Probably coincident with place and river names containing 'Got'/Gauth'- the name of their most important deity.)  A good number of pre-Indoeuropean words found in the Germanic languages, things like 'blood' and 'bone' and the names of the four directions (north/south/east/west) and boat parts (mast, keel, oar) and some uniquely local small animals seem to derive from a language perhaps distantly related to Basque.  The most salient example, though it could be a borrowing, is English 'cliff', German 'Klippe', Basque 'klipa'.

    ]I'll admit a great deal of disappointment in the lack of specifics for this. Some of these areas are pretty diverse. But the meat is in what is not there. NO native Irish, or any Celtic genes whatsoever. A family that sees itself as Irish might might well be descended from a bunch of Viking and Roman invaders who managed to avoid local contamination completely. How does this happen?
    It didn't.  Ireland and Britain are islands and their ancestral populations necessarily had to migrate there in groups at some point.  DNA is powerful enough to see the group migrations more strongly than the sedentary portions of the life of peoples, that's all.  The truth is that there are very few purebreds, and whether that's even desirable among humans is an open question.  The notion of pure breeding is always linked to a claim of belonging, either in a class or tribe or to a particular chunk of land.  The truth is that our lives, to be worth living, have to surpass the limitations posed by the small classes or tribes and small chunks of land that can be claimed by ancestry.  We can find safety in these things for a time, but certainty and a future not as much as we like to imagine.  Those we have to search and create ourselves.
    •  Wow… (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, SoCalSal

      I'm going to have to get my wife to read these comments, especially this one. Thanks. I had no idea I would get so much feedback, and so much information.

    •  Cherokee ancestry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, mettle fatigue
      Cherokee ancestry is a very common fiction among white Southern families.  It has some sort of defensive legitimization motive.
      Yeah, I never told people about my family's supposed Cherokee heritage because I figured it was exactly that... until the DNA test confirmed it was indeed correct (well, the American Indian part... I suppose the tribe could be wrong.)
      •  Virginia Indians and the Trail of Tears (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        There were a couple dozen tribes, at least, living in Virginia when the misfortune of the arrival of Europeans occurred. Over time, people were driven out of homelands. Some remnants moved on or merged with other tribal groups--often the ones further west.

        The government imposed the Trail of Tears, a forced migration, in 1831 on people who included not only Cherokee, but also people of the Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and other nations.

        As I understand it, many people who hadn't been captured and forced on the Trail of Tears tried to conceal their identity to evade capture after that. They changed names and concealed their heritage whenever possible.

        I suspect that a family's theory of a Cherokee princess ancestor often has a real basis, in that the family has First Nations ancestry, perhaps through descent from a tribe whose name we would not recognize, through an ancestor who is as likely to be male as female, and through an ancestor who was definitely never considered a member of a royal family.

        As I understand it, the Cherokee people have much more extensive records than some other groups, so it would be fortunate if one's ancestor were Cherokee. There would be a much better chance of locating information.

        There won't be much hope of tracking down ancestors who were in a tribal group was driven into obscurity through colonialism.

        So if DNA tests can show that ancestry at all, then that's great.

        •  However, you have to be careful (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North, mettle fatigue

          about family stories when you are researching your genealogy.  Sometimes they are largely correct, but many times they are just stories.

          Family stories of Native American heritage sometimes come from the fact that many more people spoke the NA languages than we think, and their descendants often just assumed if they spoke the language, they had the blood relation, which was very often completely untrue.

          Family stories often contain a strong kernel of fascinating truth.  Other times, they're just the product of playing telephone down through the generations.

          •  Being careful about family stories (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mettle fatigue

            I don't assume much of anything from family stories myself.

            But there were people who lived in places like Virginia at the time the Europeans turned up, people who are there no longer and who have not been in Virginia for centuries now.

            Were they killed? Did they die? Did they go into exile? Were they able to maintain their collective identity?

            I have no idea, obviously. But I hope that at least their genetic heritage lives on, even though descendants may have no knowledge that they are descended, in part, from one of these tribal groups, and have no knowledge of the name of the group, much less of individual ancestors.

            I'm less interested in the stories of my own particular ancestors than in history.

  •  There's a difference between Celtic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, kaliope

    and Irish.  I'm sure if you went to Ireland and tested the Irish, you would find a great many with long family lines who have little or no Celtic DNA.  That's just the way things are.  People don't necessarily have DNA along geographical boundary lines.

  •  I did that about 2 years ago. (6+ / 0-)

    23andMe says I'm 69% British or Irish, 8% French or German, and about 22% nonspecific European, which isn't surprising. It's interesting to find random people I'm related to, though, and to see how my DNA affects my health - it says I have a one in three chance of having a heart attack someday or getting deep vein thrombosis, but it also says I have one copy of the gene that makes you immune to AIDS.

    •  That latter is... (10+ / 0-)


      CCR5 Delta 32 was discovered while studying victims of the plague.  If a person has one copy of it from each parent, they don't get the plague.  If one copy, they may or may not get the plague, but if they do, they will probably survive (if there are no extenuating circumstances that make death a higher probability).

      The way the gene works to shut out the plague bacillus is the way it works to shut out the HIV virus because they attack the body in very similar ways.  Quite fascinating, actually.

      Secrets of the Dead: Mystery of the Black Death
      Secrets of the Dead: Mystery of the Black Death [YouTube video]
      [The majority of HIV-AIDS info is after 39/40 minutes into the video, but you need the background info of the previous 40 minutes.]

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:29:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I keep wanting to do this but there are too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    many different companies and I get confused as to which one or three to use.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

  •  I also did the Ancestry DNA test (5+ / 0-)

    I was actually hoping for something a little more exotic than the full Irish on my dad's side and the Welsh/English on my Mom's side (they all came over 3 generations ago, but that's as far as I've been able to trace back). Maybe some French, due to the odd spelling of the family name? Maybe some native Americans?


    It turned up 68% Irish/English/Welsh and 32% Scandinavian, which led to lengthy research about the Viking invasion of Ireland. Finally I found the source of my father's family name near Kilkenny, and they go back to the original neolithic people who (obviously) ultimately met and mingled with the Vikings. I should have known, having three brothers well over six feet tall and tending toward red-headedness.

    Honestly I was hoping for something other than white white white northern Europeans in the blood, but at least now I understand why I so identify with ancient tribal peoples!

    Oh, I used to be disgusted
    Now I try to be amused
    ~~ Elvis Costello

    by smileycreek on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:44:52 PM PDT

  •  I just did 23&Me (5+ / 0-)

    I confirmed much of what I already knew, that my family was heavy on the British Isles with some Native American. Since we didn't know much about my maternal grandmother, it seems to appear she had a great deal of German, Norwegian and French. There's some Ashkenazi, but not much.

    One story handed down through on my paternal grandfather's side was that there was an ancestor who was a "Persian Indian" woman, otherwise known as a Parsee. That would appear to be the case - a 5th or 6th great-grandparent.

    At $99.00, I couldn't resist having it done. It may help point my brother towards some specific areas of research now that we know more about our one grandmother.

    Technology is fun!

  •  Irish? (4+ / 0-)

    Same thing happened to me. 20% Scandinavian! Turns out that if you are from northern Europe the chances are pretty high that you have Vikings in your life.

  •  "Our family is boring" (4+ / 0-)

    I did the National Geographic DNA test years ago when it only cost $99.00.

    My maternal ancestors left Africa via the Middle East in or near Israel/Jordan, worked their through the Caucasus area, then followed a huge arc ending in Poland.

    No surprises there.  Polish on both sides, btw.  I do know that my great grandfather lived in the Prussian area and had a German last name - Bolen.

    Because there were no interesting offshoots, I told my older brother that "our family is boring."

    I had converted to Judaism by then and I so hoped that there was a chance of some Jewish ancestry, but nah.  My haplotype is shared by 75 percent of Western Europe.  (Jews tended to go through Italy or Greece.)

  •  Darn, I'm glad I shared this… (6+ / 0-)

    but we got back home late and now it's approaching midnight and my wife wants to read all the comments. Ouch.
       Thanks to everyone and their thoughts, feedback and information, and especially their own genealogy. She's so excited about the whole process now. And, for once I got her away from her Huffington Post to experience a different level of  commentary – with no "side boob."
       Me, I need some sleep – the iPad light won't bother me at all.

  •  I've been testing every (4+ / 0-)

    family member who will hold still for it.

    My stunning result was a tiny dollop of Native American ancestry -- and where that came from is anyone's guess. My father's lineage has proven a little more difficult, but I know the general parameters of who his ancestors were.

    For another relative, the stunner was Berber ancestry from the conquest of Spain by the Arabs and Berbers of North Africa in the 700s. By pure guesswork of the highly educated historian in the family, a Spaniard with Berber ancestry served under Charles V during his reign of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1500s. He could have been anything to a soldier to a clerk to ????  but he ended up in Germany and settled there -- and the known history of the family starts there in 1664 when the German ancestor came to the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam.

    It's fairly useless information for a lot of people, but fun if you are just curious. There are a number of Very Serious people who have blogs, facebook pages, email groups and so on for their particular flavor DNA and they work tirelessly at refining what they know.

  •  Have not done the DNA test yet... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalSal, qua

    but here is a diary I wrote awhile back after doing some research via  Sadly, the economic downturn has prevented me from renewing membership, but still, like your wife, I found that I'm not who I thought I was...

  •  Anderson is a family name for us. (0+ / 0-)

    Learned by genetic testing that I'm 50% Ashkenazi (not from the side of the family with Andersons).

    "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

    by MsGrin on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:16:04 PM PDT

  •  Ancestry results can differ (8+ / 0-)

    between different providers and different analytical methods.

    Unless you "dive deep" in understanding the reference populations and the methods used, don't put too much store in a single result.

    For instance, here are results for the same individual (me)
    from a number of different providers.
    98.8% European
      Northern European
        19.1% British and Irish
        1.2% Scandinavian
        65.4% Nonspecific Northern European
      0.2% Southern European
      12.9% Nonspecific European
    0.6% Native American
    0.1% Sub-Saharan African
    0.5% Unassigned
    65% British Isles
    30% Scandinavian
    5%  Uncertain
    Western European - 92.87% (Orcadian)
    Middle Eastern - 7.13% (Palestinian, Adygei, Bedouin South, Druze, Iranian, Jewish)
    Genographic 2.0
    43% Northern European (UK, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Germany)
    36% Mediterranean (Sardinia, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia)
    20% Southwest Asian (India and neighboring populations, including Tajikistan and Iran)
    Most similar to British and German reference populations. Admixture K9
    North European  64.84%
    Mediterranean   24.00%
    Caucasus        8.43%
    Siberian        1.67%
    South Asian     0.14%
    North Amerindian + Arctic       0.84%
    West African    0.08%

    Il s'agit d'une ligne de signature imaginaire

    by jotter on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:49:06 PM PDT

    •  Another reason we're taking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, mettle fatigue

      all this with a grain of salt is that my wife's map is colored in a large crescent going from Norway, around through Eastern Europe down to Greece, through Italy all the way to Portugal – completely missing all of Western Europe, the British Islas and Ireland. But we've successfully traced her people to England, Scotland and even one branch to Germany.
          Sure, they say that this doesn't reflect immediate heritage, that it comes closer to pinpointing hundreds, maybe thousands of years in the past. BUT many others here are getting results showing markers from Britain, France, Germany, etc. So the question is how does her family spend so much time in the area, marrying, having offspring, etc. without her showing any of the same genetic markers? We've pretty definitely traced one not-so-poor branch back to a Scottish Laird in the late 1400s (appointed to replace another). Again, we're more fascinated by what isn't there than what is. I'm needling her that several generations of in-family marrying would explain that, as well as a few other things about her family.

      •  Which company and which test (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TRsCousin, Zwenkau, qua, mettle fatigue

        are you referring to?  

        It sounds like you may be conflating the report from her autosomal DNA, which would give you population percentages, with her mitochondrial DNA maternal haplogroup, which is usually presented in the form of a map.  

        These two DNA sources reflect events and relations on very different time scales.  

        Autosomal DNA can tell you something about where your ancestors where hundreds to (perhaps) thousands of years ago.  

        Maternal and paternal Haplogroups speak to events more on scale of thousands to tens of thousands years ago, and show much more about migration patterns out of Africa than about recent ancestral locations.

        Genetics and genealogy are not a perfect match, for a lot of reasons.

        One of them is that it is perfectly possible to be genealogically related to a distant ancestor and at the same time share no (zero, nothing, nada) autosomal DNA.  

        This is more and more likely to be the case the further distant the ancestor.

        A genealogically proven relative dating from 1400 almost certainly has no very long autosomal DNA segments in common with you, and most likely has no DNA in common with you.

        On the other hand, you can have an exact match with the mitochondrial or Y chromosome DNA for a person who lived 20,0000 years ago.  So, you are related, but what meaning can you draw from such a relation?

        By some estimates each of has autosomal DNA that can be traced back to at most a couple of hundred ancestors.  This is because of the "crossing over" event that results in each parent donating only half of their genome to each of their children.  As the generations increase, the stretches of DNA that came from a particular individual get shorter and shorter until they are no longer detectable.

        At that point the ancestral population average is all that can be seen.  That population average is more stable, but usually contains DNA that is "attributable" to many distinct geographical areas that were a part of even more ditant ancestors past.

        I am hopeful that as more people learn about how inheritance really works, and how we in effect hold our history and our future in our bodies for such a short time before it continues on its way, dividing and dispersing into an unknowable future, it will change our understanding of ourselves and our place in the natural world.

        Il s'agit d'une ligne de signature imaginaire

        by jotter on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:30:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This was whoever deals with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mettle fatigue

          Their -about- says: "The AncestryDNA test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing, which surveys a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations". But I seem to remember reading elsewhere that they had recently expanded that to reflect both mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome - not sure.

          They just added a 105 page list of "third cousins" "fourth cousins" and some 5 to 8 removed who are on Ancestry. However their "confidence" rating for the list is only high (95 or so%) on the first four pages. After that it sinks sharply.

          The number one person on the list has 82% British Isles, 13 Scandinavian. So there would have to be some kind of Viking marker there to match up at 98% to someone 54% Scandinavian and 0% British Isles.

  •  My Mother did the same thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    sent for her DNA test and it confirmed what we all knew - she is of Finnish Decent.  BUT because women are both Y Chromosomes - she is having her twin brother send in his DNA to see what else might be in there.  If you wife has a brother, have his send in his DNA.  My father is going to do the same - we hope.  We suspect British, Scottish and French on his side of the family.

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:14:37 AM PDT

  •  It doesn't matter, really (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schumann, Satya1, mettle fatigue, nio

    It's interesting to see what your roots are, interesting to study a family history and learn a little about your grandfather's grandfather. But in terms of being disappointed by the results because you're not as Irish as you thought, that shouldn't matter.

    If you're an ethnic Thai, but you were raised by Germans in Berlin, you're a sausage-chewing beer-drinking German. If you're a Navajo raised in Rio de Janeiro, you're going to have an affinity for samba and soccer.

    Your DNA accounts for your physical appearance, and little else. America itself proves it. Americans of African ancestry will be as puzzled by Ghanaian culture as I am, and I'm a white guy of German ancestry. Americans of Japanese ancestry will still be baffled by the Tokyo subway system.

    Who you are is all about the society and culture in which you were raised. All of us are Americans who understand our country and our people, regardless of where our ancestors were 500 years ago.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:29:39 AM PDT

  •  We are all mutts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schumann, mettle fatigue

    can't remember the book...but it was a popular science book about DNA. included a story of a self-identified African-American descended on all sides from slaves. The whole family considered itself black and were 100% black culturally. He wanted to discover what part of Africa his ancestors came from so he sent off for a DNA test.

    And his only connection with Africa is from back when humans first arose in Africa. He turned out to be a mix of Native American and Latino with no recent African link.

    Leaving him rather confused about his identity.

    I recently read the book 1493. In it you really get a sense of how mixed populations became particularly in the Americas. People would take whatever identity they either felt most comfortable with or which gave them the best social rank, but many people were a real mix of Native American, African, Asian and European.

    Of course go far enough back and you start to realize humans have always been mutts. There are Neanderthal genes in most non-African populations. As I understand it there are also genetics hints of yet another human species that has never been found in the fossil record but seems to be reflected in the genes of some modern human populations.

    We are promiscuous and that has always been to our evolutionary advantage...agricultural inheritance rights aside.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. NYC's Progressive/Reform Blog

    by mole333 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:36:22 AM PDT

  •  Could she be Atlantean Irish? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue

    What many refer to as "Black Irish"?

  •  I live in a multi-cultural family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue

    and adoption is in the mix.  I would love to do DNA testing sometime but it just isn't a priority.  I don't think any surprise could upset me.  I take nearly all my identity from culture and living in a multi-cultural family.  And being fascinated by aspects of a couple other cultures that I admire means I identify with a wide set of experiences.

    It's a great world of amazing people.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:20:19 AM PDT

    •  "Black Indians" book about tribal american grps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with africanamericans who identify themselves as partl descended from this or that american tribe, [allegedly james earl jones, for example] are sold at some of the tribal fundraiser sites.  in fiction, movies, etc, there is a persistent theme of incomers being adopted into tribes, which could well account for familial history of tribal background with little or no tribal american DNA to show for it.

  •  I turned out to be 73.843% Neanderthal (5+ / 0-)

    which is at least 7.449% higher than I was expecting.

    But whatever, in a glass half full way, at least this opens up a new career option (i.e., starring in almost-defunct GEICO ads . .. .)

  •  Hills of Virginia and North Carolina (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qua, Zwenkau, mettle fatigue

    Qua, you said: " I've found that many, many of her ancestors arrived here from England in the 1600s, gradually heading for the hills of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky"

    My family has roots in the hills of Virginia--the southwestern corner--and before that from Britain.

    You might find it interesting to do some reading about the Melungeons, whether they are possibly in the ancestry line or not. I was exploring this group myself, and, through reading some books and other material on them, I learned more about the pattern of migration in the Virginia mountain area.

    Often, writers have assumed that the people in Virginia were First Nations people; Europeans of northern European origin; and Africans brought to the country to be held in slavery.

    But migration to Virginia, and within Virginia, was more complex than that.

    Some were Europeans from the Mediterranean, not Britain, and they called themselves Black Irish (for example) to try to fit in with the northern European crowd. Spaniards could include Jewish or Moorish Conversos. And Jews and Moors who had fled the Spanish Inquisition (and their descendants) might have had connections to other countries by the time they reached Virginia.

    The people who migrated into the hills were varied. Europeans who didn't fit into the settled coastal region, including those who had had some trouble with the law, moved west. Some of those Europeans who weren't fair northern Europeans might have been attracted to what was the frontier region. As I noted in another comment, as the colonizers arrived, some of the First Nations people were forced out of the coastal areas. And, of course, Africans who had been brought to Virginia as indentured servants (early on) or slaves may headed into the hill country if they got away.

    One researcher is convinced that one of the early Baptist church groups was composed of people who continued to practice Judaism secretly.

    The Melungeons are a fascinating group, but, as I say, even if you are completely unconnected to them, the writers do explore the migration patterns into the hill country as they try to make sense of Melungeon heritage.

    •  Now that would have really tickled her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      if she had found she was tri-racial. The bonus would be how much it would bother the rest of her family. I'd never heard before of say Mediterraneans using "black Irish" as a cover. But it makes sense - even if it does add considerably to the confusion. Her family, many branches, sports mostly tall, lanky darkish skin males with shorter, also lanky females. Jet black hair is prominent. A lot of them wound up in the Sparta, NC area. They look like they would have Cherokee in them, perhaps hence the claim.

      Funny you mentioned the Baptist part, because I'd always thought of the Irish as Catholic. All the way back that we can trace them on all sides but one, they were Baptists. The one more recently arrived line, traced into Scotland, were Catholic.

      At 54% Scandinavian, not a drop shows. But she could easily  pass for Mediterranean. I look porcelain white next to her. My thought on exploring this is to get mine done, then one of our daughters – just to see what percentages it shows.

      Odd how some traits seem to be so dominant. We know a lot of Rapanui on Easter Island. Marrying outsiders doesn't seem to do much for introducing outside traits. And yes, I have gotten stares from the local kids. One time a friend at a dinner remarked that I needed to get a tan - I held up the supposedly too white back of my arm and, pulling up my pants leg and laying it alongside, said: that IS my tan. I've gotten teased about the flashes of white my legs make as I jog through town.

      •  DNA (0+ / 0-)

        I think it is a great idea to follow up with the DNA, even if provides very broad brush strokes rather than definitive information. It's better than nothing.

        One of the great things about the current interest in getting tested is that a lot of people will discover that they aren't genetically who they thought they were. Maybe there will be some broader minds as a result.

        The tall, lanky, dark combination sounds interesting. Do you have thoughts about where the family origin might be? I'm jumping to the conclusion that it won't be from northern Europeans who tend to be shorter and much paler.

    •  New Amsterdam (later called New York) included (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Dutch Jews of sephardic as well as ashkenazic background, I believe.  The Dutch had a considerable colonial empire, and many of the 16th, 17th & 18th century colonialist wealthy shlepped various-origined servants, bound servants, and slaves with them wherever they went to impose/supervise the colonialism.  Servants could leave service and set up shop on their own, in theory; bound servants could serve out their bond and do likewise (indenturing themselves was a fairly common way of getting to the new world, among other places); and slaves in some circumstances also had the possibility of earning on their own to buy their freedom. From the 16th century onward, the major powers of europe took slaves from many locales they dominated, and from many locales where they collaborated with the local powers.

      •  Fascinating mix of the people drawn to America (0+ / 0-)

        Drawn to America--or taken to America, like it or not.

        Still, it is such a rich mixture of people.

        Perhaps we shouldn't talk about this too loudly. Would it distress conservatives to no end if they were aware that people of many origins were coming to America from the very earliest days?

  •  My "Irish" grandmother... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue

    ...who LOVED St. Patrick's day, turned out to be entirely English.  I didn't even need DNA to find that out--amazing what a little paperwork will do. Three lines go back to Jamestown before 1620; several others were in the northern neck of VA by the late 1600s.  No Irish, no Germans, no Scots...sorry, Granny. :)  

    •  For some reason people want to be Irish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue, Zwenkau

      and that includes St. Patrick, who was a continental Romano-Briton who fell in love with Ireland after he was carried off and enslaved there. (Patrick = patricius, Latin for "patrician").

      One of my bits of myth-busting involved an allegedly Irish alleged noblewoman at Jamestown, VA who turned out to be neither. Her descendants made up the whole colorful romantic myth many years later.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:32:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wars move people. BritIsles rescued in WW2 many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    european groups, e.g., Kindertransport.  People from europe and elsewhere who emigrated to the London area after ww1 had kids who were sent many places around the BritishIsles during the Blitz. Napoleon and Wellington and other armies of that era had tremendous numbers of displaced people in their "baggage trains" and that moved them all over europe, eurasia, near east, middle east.  Mercenaries sold from various european duchies (e.g., Hessians) to the larger powers easily ended up thousands of miles from where they were born with no chance of return, and how their parents & g'parents even got to where the mercenaries were born was as likely by movement of war as any other way.  Attila brought thousands of people thousands of miles.  When Ferd & Isabella unified upper spain and declared the "Reconquest", they were reconquesting actually in the name of pagan visigoths who were their ancestors.

    Climate change, force of government/army conscripting people, and destructive agricultural practices probably move people around more than they'd go by choice to raid, explore, or resettle.  Names get changed for safety among strangers.  

    And, fortunately, people love whom they love and have families even when they're breaking all the rules.

  •  The cherokee/ native american part (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently there was a fad in the 1920's among European-americans to claim native american inheritance. Usually it wasn't just any old native american, but someone of historical importance.

    In my father's family it was Pocohontas.  My father was able to track us back on his side to the ships that came from europe - and there was no way at all that we could have any connection.  (the oldest of my branch came over from Ireland during the war of 1812 - so there is probably some story that is lost).  The rest were German and English in the late 1800's.

    People with my fairly common surname often think they are related to one of the biggest slave traders of 1700's in Virginia (one of whom signed the declaration of independence). It was a great relief to find we weren't members of that family!

    None the less family legends can be a bit misleading.

    •  There's this to consider about Jamestown (0+ / 0-)

      The first generation of colonists were predominantly male, with only one nearby source of female companionship.

      The numbers didn't even begin to come into balance until the "bride ships" started arriving circa 1619 - about 12 years after the founding.

      Surely you don't think all the unattached men just whacked off for 12 years....

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:19:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DNA testing reliability (0+ / 0-)

    My sister and her husband have been heavily into the DNA/family tree tracing now for about 20 years.  They really believe in the scientific reliability of DNA tests to trace one's ancestral background with a fair amount of precision.  I remain unpersuaded and have not yet come across any scientific studies that support such reliability.  I am open to where ever the science leads but for now I see the DNA/ancestry testing thing as a waste of money.

  •  Beware! (0+ / 0-)'s test skews very badly toward Scandinavian.  Many people have tested as Scandinavian when they have none of that ancestry.  This aspect of DNA testing is still very speculative.  I would say beta.  Not for prime time.  

    23andme has the best ancestry composition so far, and it's still not great.

    The tests are accurate when it comes to finding cousins and relatives.  

    Although many white families have stories of Cherokee princesses, if they're far back enough they may not show up on DNA testing.  Seven generations, or so, max.  So it may still be true, or not!

    Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.--JFK

    by Blissing on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:32:35 AM PDT

    •  Or else they lump Norse/Norman together (0+ / 0-)

      and just don't bother to say so. Normans were Norse who extorted some land from the French king and settled down for a while, then went out land-grabbing on their own. England, Ireland, Sicily, southern Italy, the Middle-Eastern Crusader Kingdoms, anyplace they could barge in and put down roots.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's always possible that your wife's results were (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwenkau, nomandates

    incorrect for whatever reason. You could ask them if they would recheck her sample for free, or she could resubmit a sample.

    The Scandinavian component that Ancestry comes up with for people of UK descent represents the Anglo Saxon/Danish/Viking ancestry that many or most people in the British Isles would have. I have German, English, and Dutch ancestors and was surprised when my results came back as 42% Scandinavian. After doing some reading on other sites (I couldn't find anything about it on I learned that the "British Isles" genetic component is actually relatively ancient (compared to the genes from the Anglo Saxon etc. invasions), and is shared by people throughout Britain and Ireland.

    People of UK descent could just by chance have anywhere from 100% "British Isles" genes to 100% "Scandinavian" genes and anything in between.

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