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DNA, History, Connections

September 11, 2016 , , , ,

My Ethnicity Map

My Ethnicity Map

Europe 99%
Great Britain 85%
Europe West 6%
Trace Regions 8%
West Asia < 1%
Trace Regions < 1%

I have studied my ancestry since 2008, and have made much progress. There are several dead ends that seem kind of hopeless. My maternal grandmother was an orphan who was adopted right after the Civil War in Mississippi in a county where the courthouse burned to the ground with all the records. I know who her adopted parents were, and that she had a brother named Fidel who was adopted by the same family.  My paternal 2nd great-grandfather was part of a Swiss/Pennsylvania Dutch family.  I know who his nephew was because I have written notes form my own great-grandmother. I can trace his nephew back to Virginia, and then to Switzerland, but I can find no record of his birth.  I have not found his parents out of all the Petersons scattered all over the Midwest.  I hold a grudge against the state of Indiana for this oversight/problem, because that was the state of his birth.  I desperately want to hook up the data, but can’t find the hard evidence to do so.

The big problem with records of all kinds is that they were created by human beings.  There are errors for all kinds of reasons.  Since all these cases are extremely cold I have no way to verify anything I might find in writing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I have made errors because of common names like Taylor, Smith and Morse in my tree that can easily be mistaken for  another person with the same last name.  Still, I do learn a lot about the history of the times even when I am proceeding along an erroneous lead.  When I find errors sometimes I can rebuild with accurate data easily, but often I am back to square one without a clue.

I sent my DNA sample to when the service was first available.  With few folks in the study my DNA was described as 99.9% from the British Isles.  Now the a few years have passed and more comparison DNA has been added I am only 85% from Britain.  I have not paid too much attention to this data, only checking in infrequently.  The impressive part of this data is that I now have 540 4th cousins or closer in the site’s database.  I have started looking at this as a new way to trace the connections because I was recently contacted by an adopted man looking for his birth parents. His closest DNA match is a 2nd cousin of mine.  He and I do not show any match, but male DNA, containing the y chromosome, has more detailed information, as I have recently discovered.  I began to research more about how these tests work and what we can discern from them.  My relative in search of his roots informed me that a match can go back for up to 12 generations.  Finally all my research may be useful to solve this adopted man’s mystery.  He has turned my attention to this fascinating element of genealogy research that I had not really used.  I don’t think I will solve my brick walls (as we call the dead ends in family trees), but it does give me a new way to discover my connections to all my relations.  I am grateful all these 540 people felt curious enough to send in DNA samples for our mutual benefit.  Have you examined your DNA, gentle reader?  Any surprises?

What do you think?

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The only thing that was a surprise was what was missing: I have a Welsh last name and some French in my family tree, and I thought we were a small fraction English and Scandinavian (Viking), but the DNA scan didn’t find any of that and said I was practically 100% Irish.

Liked by 1 person

John Holton

September 11, 2016

wow…Do you know of any Irish ancestors? I have a potato famine 3rd gg father, and some Irish and many Scots Irish in the ancient times..I now show up as 4% Irish. Seemed kind of small to me.


Pamela Morse

September 11, 2016

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