|Origins of Ed|
Years ago in the pursuit of deeper genealogy, I took a DNA test through Ancestry.com. It brings up a whole list of worries since DNA tests can open up cans of worms that were meant to stay sealed among families. I have met several people who have essentially learned that they had adulterous ancestors or some that adopted without telling the children somewhere back along their tree by taking DNA tests. The tests can show with a great degree of certainty close relatives back as far as five generations and can match you with others who have the same genetic code. So if you take a Y-DNA test which tests genetic material only along your paternal line and discover you are related to hundreds of Smiths but your last name isn't Smith, it can spell that somewhere along the line, a male Smith ancestor isn't your blood ancestor for whatever reason.
I should break here to say that even though exact copies of your paternal ancestors code is passed down through the years, about once every three to four generations, a mutation of one of those genes can occur. It is natural and happens to everyone which is why we gradually evolve instead of being exact 50% copies of each of our parents. By tracing those mutations and using math, genealogy places can match you to other people with the same mutations and give accurate estimates at how far back you are most likely related.
So saying all that, it was a relief to get back my DNA test and see that all the people who were related to me and matched up by Ancestry.com all shared the same surname as my birth surname. I am the product of a knowing adoption due to a divorce so even though I now have a different surname, I still know my birth surname. It has allowed me to connect with other people whom I am related too but with whom we don't know our connecting ancestor. Many times we've been able to figure it out eventually but sometimes we can't. I usually suspect either an adulterous ancestor or a "secret" adoption as the culprit and those are almost impossible to trace without finding a living male descendant along that particular line and having another Y-DNA test done.
I've also had another DNA test done that goes back further in your DNA tree and compares you to millions of other people to measure how "close" your DNA is. They can actually tell you where your ancestors came from in percentages with a high degree of certainty. For example, I am:
63% Great Britain
23% Europe West which includes countries like Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland
5% Scandinavian which includes countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark
2% Iberian Peninsula which includes countries Spain and Portugal
They also have low confidence regions such as Western Asia which includes most of the Middle East and Northern Africa both of which comprise less than 1% of my DNA makeup each. In the write-up, they provide, they state this is most like ancient left over bits of DNA remaining from ancestors who rose up at the birth of humans and migrated into Asia and Europe. They also tested for European Jewish ancestors and Native American ancestors but found no DNA markers for either.
Recently, technology has allowed them to hone in on particular migration waves of immigrants coming to the United States. From my DNA, they tell me that two of them, Early Settlers of New York and Early Settlers of the Northeast, play significant parts to my genetic makeup. The Early Settlers of New York are comprised of German, English, Scottish and Irish immigrants who came in the 1700's and joined the earlier Dutch and Scandinavian groups already in the area. The Early Settlers of the Northeast are the same German, English, Scottish and Irish immigrants but ones that comprise some of the first settlers in the United States. If you compare these ancestors with the map shown on yesterday's post, you can then see their migration routes as they expanded westward and eventually landing in my state of Iowa and producing me who is writing about it some 300 years later.
|Early Settlers of the Northeast|