Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Ancestry.com DNA testing: some progress

THIS article today on GENEALOGY and DNA TESTING gives a quick explanation of the three main types of testing offered to the general public for genealogical purposes.  Are you curious about your ethnicity?  Do you have holes in your family research due to "brick walls" or stalled research?  I've found much enjoyment from my experience with Ancestry.com's Autosomal DNA testing product as of late.  While it hasn't provided any huge "AHA" moments or broken down any brick walls in research, I've found several promising cousin matches and common ancestors, according to the results. 

A few months back, I posted on my family's blog about my initial, shocking results.  See the article HERE.

For a refresher, here is a snippet of my ethnicity profile:

Persian/Turkish/Caucasus??  What gives?!?

To my surprise, my mother also volunteered to take the test!  I eagerly anticipated her results, because I had a sneaking suspicion that the odd-ball ethnicity (as in...ethnicity that my family history research did not seem to cover) might have originated in her family line.  And what do you know...even more unexplained ethnicity!!

Eastern European?  Oh goodness...
The reason these results are so mysterious?  According to the math, approximately 78% of the ancestors on my tree were born in the United States; 15% in Germany; 7% other (mostly including British Isles).  Based upon these new revelations, it appears that at some point my research might take me to a region I have yet to investigate. 

For me, the percentage is equivalent to a great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent.  That has yet to be seen!  Still intriguing, none the less.  On my mother's side of the family, I have a 4th great-grandparent whose origins are murky...who I can't seem to find on passenger lists (even though his naturalization declaration states an exact date and location)...and whose name I'm starting to believe is a self-created moniker for his new life in America.  Even his immediate family wasn't sure where he was born, since they often quoted an incorrect location on census tellings after his death (Holland some places...Germany others).  Could it be that this jeweler from Amsterdam is my Eastern European link?  Would love a definitive answer to the background of one of the most mysterious figures on my family tree to date.

Not to be left out, my sweet husband also participated in the Ancestry.com DNA testing.  His results:


Here, the DNA math mostly matches the TREE math.  In total - 68% Norway, 19% England, 13% USA.  From what I have read and heard, the algorithm for the Ancestry testing often co-mingles Scandinavian and British Isles results - thanks to those ever-present Vikings.  No surprises in Paul's results...just more of an affirmation that we're investigating in the correct region of the world :).  Big mysteries I hope to crack?  A paternal great-grandfather was an Orphan Train rider.  We know nothing about his family origins, as he obediently (as was prescribed by the Orphan Train administrators) spoke very little about his beginnings.  We (painfully, patiently) await feedback from the archivist at the Children's Aid Society in New York re: his case file.  Hoping they might shed some light on this second mystery!


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