Monday, November 5, 2012

My DNA Journey - The Results


Several weeks ago, I wrote about taking the Ancestry.com Autosomal DNA test and I promised that I would let you know what the results were.  In my previous blog (http://genheirlooms.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-dna-journey.html) I talked about what I expected to find out from my test…here is what I found out.

My supposition was that I would be 100% European – with the possibility that I might have some Native American ancestry or an Asian lineage.  Despite every family story – the test shows that I have no Native American ancestry.  Like most people, the story of that Indian in the background is just that…a story.  In fact, there weren’t a lot of surprises in my results…except one.

Most of my ancestry is Scandinavian or from Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  I would imagine that most people tested whose families come from England and Ireland will most likely have the same result.  The Vikings left a lot of descendants all over Europe both as merchants and raiders.  I suspect that most of this ancestry for me comes through England and Ireland.  From what I have been able to surmise – most of my English ancestors came to England  through the Norman Invasion in 1066.  Since there isn’t a lot of record keeping…going much beyond that is difficult.  The Scandinavian portion is 55%.  Most of my paternal side of the family probably comes from England and probably makes us the majority of this Scandinavian branch.  There is also ancestry on my maternal lines that are Irish and Scottish and could also be part of this Scandinavian portion.

I have 16% Central European ancestry which includes Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.  I am actually surprised that this isn’t a bigger chunk of my family background.  My paternal great grandmother’s ancestry primarily came out of this region – mostly likely Germany and Austria.  My paternal grandfather also had ancestry from Germany.  Most of my German ancestors left Europe in the early to mid-1700’s and ended up in New York and West Virginia. 

The Southern European label is the one that confuses me the most.  According to my test, I have 13% Southern European ancestry which includes Italy, Spain & Portugal.  As far as I know, I have no ancestry from that area.  It is a large enough chunk that it leads me to believe that it might come from my Friddle ancestry.  I make this guess…because of all my family lines, this is the one I know the least about.  My great great grandfather first shows up in 1858 in a record.  By that point, he has been married and already had several children and the 1858 record is his second marriage.  I’ve never been able to locate an 1850 census record for him nor any mention of parents.  My great uncle told me that his father had told him that Moses Friddles was supposedly a foundling child.  He was taken in by a family and raised by them and his ancestry is unknown.  I have no proof of the accuracy of this story.  Most of my family lines trace back to before the 1700’s with only a few exceptions and most of those lines come through either England or Germany.  So…this is definitely a puzzle.

My test also says that I have 12% British Isles ancestry.  Since, there is such a predominance of Scandinavian ancestry in my family that I think comes through England…this ancestry is also puzzling.  I suspect that is an area that had little contact with the pillaging Vikings which leads me to guess that it might be Wales.  According to some of the information that I have read, my mother’s paternal grandfather’s mother was supposedly from a Welsh background.  With a surname like Jones – I’m not sure how you can make that assumption because that name is so common.    However, it is a decent theory to look into.

The test leaves me with a lot of questions and possible contacts.  Several matches have come up that are likely 4th to 6th cousins.  With as many family lines that I have – I suspect that it won’t be easy to really establish a true match.  However the question that I have always had about the Native American ancestry is answered and like most others…is proved false.    (See Blog – Do I have Native American ancestry? - http://genheirlooms.blogspot.com/2011/11/do-i-have-native-american-ancestry.html for more info!)
So here are some of my main family lines and my best guess as to where they came from:
Paternal Lines:
  • Johnson – England
  • Gage – England
  • Gallup – England
  • Montanye – France
  • Shawver – Germany
  • Pitsenbarger – Switzerland
  • Lyons – Ireland
  • Pope – England

Maternal Lines:
  • Tannahill – Scotland
  • Brown – England or Ireland
  • Bailey – Ireland
  • Jones – Wales
  • Dollar – Scotland
  • Friddle - ???
  • Pennington – England
  • Allen – England
  • Kelley – Ireland
  • Fillinger - Ireland