Have You Seen This? (News related to Genealogy)

I just came across these genealogy-related news items this weekend and thought I would share.

DNA Testing — an abandoned baby found 55 years later?
I’ve been intermittently following the story of Paul Fronczak, the baby who was abducted from a Chicago hospital in 1964.  An abandoned toddler was found 2 years later, was declared to be Paul, and then raised by Paul’s parents.  “Paul” did a DNA test in 2013 only to discover he was not biologically related to the parents of the baby originally abducted.  The Fronczak story is again in the news: it’s possible that the biological son of the Fronczaks has been found — again due to DNA testing.  More here , here, and here.

Dallas City (Pauper’s) Cemetery
In the 22 December 2019 paper edition [1] of the Dallas Morning News (and online, dated 20 December [2]) is an article about Dan Babb (a software programmer by trade and genealogist by hobby) who is working to identify the 2,000 + graves of persons (including infants and children) buried here from 1933 to 1978.  Part of the site is regularly flooded during heavy rains.  Babb is posting memorials for this cemetery to FindAGrave.

 

 

[1] “A Mission to return this to place of rest,” The Dallas Morning News, (Dallas, Tex.), 22 Dec 2019, Metro section, p. 1B, col 4.

[2] Robert Wilonsky, “No one cared about them,” commentary, 20 Dec 2019, The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Tex.); (https://www.dallasnews.com/news/commentary/2019/12/20/no-one-cared-about-them-in-life-or-death-why-one-man-fights-to-restore-dallas-old-paupers-cemetery/ : accessed 22 Dec 2019).

Shared Clustering Tool and NodeXL– my mom’s match to her 4C

The other day I posted about how some of my Ancestry DNA matches looked on in the Shared Clustering Tool.  Today I’m comparing that same cousin — my 4th cousin 1 removed and my mom’s 4th cousin — against my Mom’s Ancestry DNA matches both in the Shared Clustering Tool and Node XL.

Cousin “Jane” (as I’ll call her) shares a set of 3rd great grandparents with my mom: Jacob Copple and Margaret (Blalock) Copple.  She shares 71 cM in 4 segments with my mom, according to Ancestry.  I can see 3 of those segments clustered in the Shared Clustering tool.  One segment appears to tie to matches with a Blalock/Blaylock in their tree and/or a segment on chromosome 9 (based on those matches who are also on 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage or GedMatch).  A second segment matches another possible Blalock segment, likely on chromosome 13.  Finally, a third segment cluster is with matches whose MRCA is likely Jacob Copple’s parents (Philip Copple & Patsy Wright) or grandparents.

Mom_4C_LF_cluster3

The orange line vertical and horizontal (in both pictures) represents cousin “Jane”.  The three blue arrows above show the three main clusters she shares with Mom and with other matches of Mom’s.

Below is a zoomed-in look at the “chromosome 13” segment cluster.

Mom_4C_LF_cluster2

Below is the likely chromosome 9 cluster.  The blue labeling in the rows and columns represent matches who have a Blalock/Blaylock in their own trees.  (Of course, the shared DNA may be due to another family line altogether, but the evidence at this point seems to be hinting at Margaret Blalock’s line rather than her husband Jacob’s.)  

Mom_4C_LF_cluster4

Can I see three clusters for “Jane” using the Node XL tool?  Actually, yes, I can.  The Node XL tool is not as intuitive to use as the Shared Clustering tool, and I don’t know the algorithms behind either, but it’s reassuring when different clustering tools give somewhat similar answers!

Cousin “Jane” is highlighted in red.  She is based in the green group, and matches the hunter-green group, the chartreuse group, and a whole bunch of my mother’s matches in the gold group.  The Node XL clusters are limited to Mom’s matches of at least 15 cM.

Mom_4C_LF dewtru_NodeXL

I haven’t done enough research with the groups in the Node XL tool, but I was intrigued by “Jane’s” cluster.  It looked like there were actually two groups — and sure enough, there are two groups, as you can see below.  I’m not sure why the cluster was not split out in a definitive manner, as there is not a lot of crossover between them.

If you’ve used Node XL regularly, do you know why that might happen?  Perhaps it’s the algorithm used?

Finally, in addition to more study of Node XL, I need to run a clustering report on the Genetic Affairs tool, which I haven’t used much.  It would be interesting to see how “Jane” clusters with my mom’s closest matches using that tool.

Grp 4 NodeXL 20191019 using 20190820 Data

Ancestry’s Latest Ethnicity Update

Ancestry is apparently in the process of updating ethnicity percentages yet again.  I got an email today from them, and checked it out.  The change is not particularly significant for me, but keeps getting farther from the “truth” (i.e., my maternal grandfather was a 1st-generation American, born to 2 Italian immigrants.)  One of my male cousins on that side has done the Y-500 test at FTDNA; his haplogroup (which should also have been my grandfather’s) has deep roots in the Italian peninsula.

Here’s what it was as of the last change (September 2018), when my Italian was dropped from 19% to 3%:

Ancestry Cathy Ethnicity Old

That was the big shift.  The image below shows what it is now as of today.  What IS very much in line with my family history is the southern Ireland genetic communities, such as Co. Clare, Co. Limerick and Co. Kerry.  (The Irish ethnicity is all on my paternal side.)  The Germanic Europe and Northwestern Europe which appears to include Schleswig-Holstein is also in line with my maternal roots. 

It’s just the lack of Italian heritage — which shows up on FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, and GedMatch — is really my only quibble with Ancestry’s results.  (And it may be due to Ancestry’s customer population being heavily weighted towards persons of European ancestry who have (relatively) deep roots in North America.)

Ancestry Ethnicity Update 20191023

My mother and my brother apparently have not gotten their updates yet.  If you’ve tested at Ancestry, have you seen a recent update to your ethnicity?  If so, how did it change?

 

 

 

How I use the Shared Clustering Tool

The other day, in the Facebook user group for the Shared Clustering Tool created by Jonathan Brecher, I saw a post about how different folks use the tool.  I mentioned capturing MRCA information and aligning it to the clusters, but thought I would expound here in a blog post.

Before I begin, I’m making one basic assumption for this post — that you’ve already started playing with the Shared Clustering tool yourself. 

First of all, I only use it for Ancestry matches at this time, primarily because that’s where I have the most matches (ditto for my mom and my dad) and because Ancestry currently doesn’t provide segment information.

Secondly, although the tool offers the option of downloading match data directly from Ancestry, I do not use that feature.  Instead, I use the match and ICW (“In Common With”) files downloaded from Ancestry via DNAGedcom.com, which is, frankly, my go-to tool. 

DNAGedCom’s CSV files are my go-to files because I’m most comfortable using Excel – one of the reasons I like Shared Clustering, actually – and because that’s how I started, and I’ve kept on.   (Long story short, had I begun by using Ancestry’s Notes feature more effectively than I did, I could save myself some time, but I do it all in my DNAGedCom match file, and then update each subsequent download using VLOOKUP.)

An example of tracking on my mom’s Ancestry DNA match list (via DNAGedCom) is shown below:

Mom_DNAGedCom_MRCA

Color-coded by known MRCA.  If I’m not certain of the MRCA, based on the clustering, I add comments like “Copple kin” or “Hill?”

I upload the MRCA information to the completed Shared Clustering file via VLOOKUP since Jonathan has so nicely included the Test ID in the tool.  Usually, I will take the time to color-code the MRCA data in the Shared Clustering result file, simply so I can zoom out and easily see which cluster “belongs” to which possible MRCA.

Below you can see where I’ve zoomed out to see a fairly large clustering of my matches.  I’ve zoomed out to 10% and have highlighted 284 matches.  Per Jonathan Brecher’s Wiki, the red color indicates likely shared DNA.  The gray color indicates that, although the two matches (one in the row and one in the column) do not share DNA with each other, they likely share with a third person.  You can also see (barely) my color-coded MRCA notes on the left side of the image.

Cathy_SharedMatches_1

So, let’s zoom in a bit on this large cluster.

Below, notice that I have highlighted in green (as indicated by the yellow arrows) one of my closest matches (although she is a 4th cousin 1 removed).  She and I share a common ancestral couple:  Jacob Copple and Margaret Blalock, my 4th great-grandparents.  We also share 3 segments of DNA, and two of those segments are indicated here, in the cluster of red at the top left, and the cluster of red (circled in yellow).  Note the vertical line of red that merges into a vertical line of green — the red is showing me that she and I share DNA with the bulk of the two circled groups.

Cathy_SharedMatches_4

What does this tell us?  First it indicates two different segments of DNA, so if we go far enough back in time, it would be 2 different ancestors.   Second, she and I likely share those 2 segments of DNA.  Third, all the associated gray indicates a link between these 2 segments of DNA, so these matches are all most likely related to me via one ancestor and upstream of that ancestor.

Let’s zoom in even further and look more closely, now at my MRCA/clustering information I’ve imported from DNAGedCom.  The blue labels refer to matches who are Blalock/Blaylock descendants.  The gray labels reference a known match on Chromosome 9.

Cathy_SharedMatches_2

This would seem to point at the connection being on a segment of chromosome 9 and also relating to Margaret (Blalock) Copple.  This does not mean these matches share Margaret (Blalock) Copple as an ancestor with me, but rather one of Margaret’s own ancestors.

To put it another way, I have a clue!  These shared cluster results would seem to indicate that I need to do more research on Margaret (Blalock) Copple’s line, and connect with the matches who are Blalock descendants. And, at other DNA vendors, I should connect with matches who share the same segment on chromosome 9 to find out how or if they might be connected to a Blalock/Blaylock ancestor.

SharedClustering_Chr9

Let’s look at the second cluster, below.  This zoomed-in, partial view show matches who potentially share a segment on chromosome 13 with me.  Based on their Ancestry tree information, there are some who share Jacob Copple and Margaret Blalock as common ancestors with me (just one shown here).

SharedClustering_Chr13

Other matches in this cluster have no Copple or Blalock at all in their tree.  Their trees could be incomplete or incorrect, of course (as could mine!)  OR, their trees could be indicating a shared ancestor further “upstream” (meaning, a possible ancestor of Margaret (Blalock) Copple.  To that end, I’ve noted where there are Hemphill and Hungate ancestors in my matches’ trees.

These Hemphill and Hungate families, according to the Ancestry trees of my matches, hailed from Kentucky (where Margaret Blalock was born ca. 1810) and a branch of the Hungate family ended up in Washington County, Indiana in the 1810’s – 1830’s.  This is the same county Margaret lived in during the same time frame.  Although not definitive, it’s worth noting as a potential clue.

In summary, because the two groups are related (as indicated by all the gray associated with them), both DNA segments the groupings indicate are more likely to have been inherited by me from Margaret (Blalock) Copple (and, ultimately, her ancestors) rather than from her husband Jacob Copple.

Here’s another example of a cluster on my Copple line, where you can quickly see, from the teal color on the left-hand side, that these matches share an MRCA.  In fact, I use the teal to indicate more than one generation of Copple ancestors (all also ancestors of Jacob Copple who married Margaret Blalock).

SharedClustering_COPPLE

The last example is a line from my dad’s side.  As with the Copple and Blalock lines from my mother’s side, this paternal line is rooted in the United States from at least 1800 if not decades before that. 

The bulk of these DNA matches share my third great-grandparents, Anderson Lamburth and Ermine Farley (or Farnham).  However, they are clearly grouped in two clusters, so that one set may share Lamburth DNA and another set Farley DNA, or “upstream” (as in Anderson’s mother and Anderson’s father, or Ermine’s two parents).

Most intriguing is the linking between the two clusters.  Not just the general gray, but the vertical red lines indicated by the blue arrow.  I need to look more closely at these two matches — their names will be in the column headers (not shown here for privacy reasons). 

One, they likely share 2 DNA segments with me.  Two, they clearly share DNA with the small cluster on the upper left, as well as the larger cluster on the lower right.  AND the folks in the middle who are only indirectly related (indicated by gray) to the two obvious clusters.

SharedClustering_LAMBURTH

One other item to note in this cluster.  Some of the MRCAs are not highlighted in yellow.  That’s legit; referenced is the granddaughter of Anderson & Ermine, Mary (Lamburth) Dempsey, who was my great-grandma and her husband William. Clearly, the segment shared here relates to Mary rather than William.

If you use the Shared Clustering tool to visualize your Ancestry DNA matches, do you use any visualization aids to assign clusters to ancestors?  Perhaps you make better use of the Notes field than I do?

 

Cite/link to this post: Cathy M. Dempsey, “How I use the Shared Clustering Tool,Genes and Roots, posted 21 Oct 2019 (https://genesandroots.com : accessed (date)).

 

 

My DNA Traits at 23andMe (v3)… how accurate are they?

I rarely look at my traits and health data on 23andMe, but after reading Roberta Estes’ post the other day, I thought I would take a look at my own traits and see which predictions are accurate and which are less so.

Below is the first page, and on the whole, it’s accurate.  Yes, I can taste bitter — but I like it!

23andMe_Blog1

Here is the second page of traits.  These are less accurate, especially about the hair color!

23andMe_Traits2

I intend to do a separate post on the issue of red hair.  I suspect hair color (and eye color, for that matter) is more complicated than what I originally learned in sophomore biology class, long before the human genome was decoded.

Have you tested at 23andMe?  And, if so, did you find your predicted traits to be fairly accurate — or not so much?

Triangulation vs. “In Common With”

This question came up in one of the posts in Blaine Bettinger’s Facebook Group Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques, so I thought I’d give a quick example here that I refer to myself when I get confused.

A man with 3 children, who have all tested, has a match to a 2nd cousin (documented through now through both DNA and traditional genealogy).  He and the 2nd cousin share 11 segments of DNA.

It so happens that all 11 of those segments have passed down to those 3 children, which you can see in the illustration below.  Of those 11 segments shared by their father and his 2nd cousin, Child 1 inherited 4 segments.  Child 2 also inherited 4 segments — but an entirely different four segments than Child 1.  Child 3 inherited 7 of the 11 segments.

The inheritance and sharing is illustrated below, in data pulled from GedMatch.

Inheritance

For purposes of illustration, we’re setting aside the fact that generally, when triangulating to find a common ancestor, we don’t use two full-blooded siblings as 2 of the triangle legs; they are too closely related, and will triangulate on many segments.

That said, Child 1, Child 2 and their 2nd cousin once removed (2C1R) have DNA in common with each other, but no triangulated segments with their 2C1R.  This is because Child 1 shares DNA with 2C1R on chr 6, on chr 12 and 2 segments on chr 15, while Child 2 shares DNA with 2C1R

Child 1, Child 3 and their 2C1R have 3 triangulated segments: on chr 6, on chr 12, and 1 segment of chr 15.

Child 2, Child 3 and their 2C1R also have 3 triangulated segments: on chr 4, on chr 8, and on chr 18.

*******
And that is a quick overview of triangulation vs. in common with.

 

 

The Shared cM Project: Tracking individual contributions

Do you know about Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Project?  It’s the crowd-sourced collection of shared centiMorgans (cMs) for the purpose of analyzing the ranges of cMs found at different levels of relationship (full siblings, half 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, etc.)

If you and your known relatives have done your DNA tests at any of the big vendors, you can submit your data here.  Relationship is asked for, but no identifying information (except your email) is needed for submission.

I have been submitting my own DNA data since 2016 — Blaine released the first results in May 2015.   However, so that I won’t skew the results (with duplicate or triplicate submissions), I keep track of my submissions in my own Excel spreadsheet.  A sample of the page I use is below, filtered on just some of the 2C1R relationships I have submitted.  (I have hidden the names of the two testers involved in each relationship.)

Submission_Shared cM Project

Note that the cM range for my submissions of 2nd cousin 1 removed is from 32 cM to 267 cM.  The vast majority of relatives at this level were known beforehand, or otherwise targeted tests.  In the case of the tester who only shares 32 cM, they share that cM with one of 1st cousins.  The rest of us — my siblings and I — and my 1st cousin’s siblings share a much more “typical” amount of DNA with the tester, around 110 – 140 cM.  And since we all match at the full-sibling level, and at the full 1st cousin level, it (so far!) appears that the 32 cM is just due to the randomness of DNA inheritance.

One thing I did in the beginning was submit a relationship for each vendor.  (My father, for example, has tested at 23andMe, FTDNA, and Ancestry, as have I.)  So, originally, I submitted 3 different sets of father/daughter data.  (Obviously, the cM count varied in only minor amounts.)

Since mid-2017, though, I only submit once no matter how many places the two testers have tested at.  (Blaine does ask for the vendor name when you submit.)

In general, I have said no endogamy — but that is based on what I know of the relationship.  Who knows?  With enough research on certain lines, I may find that indeed there was endogamy.

I also, for my own interest, track “expected” DNA shared with actual DNA shared (assuming grandparents and uncles/aunts share an average of 25% with the tester, first cousins share an average of 12.5%, 1st cousins removed (1C1R) 6.25% and 2nd cousins 3.13%.)  It never fails to amaze me how my sister, brother and I have such variations in the amount of cM shared with a given targeted cousin.

How do you track your submissions, if you are submitting to the Shared cM Project?  Are you concerned with not submitting twice — or do you figure it will all average out in the end (certainly a possibility)?

Cite/link to this post: Cathy M. Dempsey, “The Shared cM Project: Tracking individual contributions” Genes and Roots, posted 31 Mar 2019 (https://genesandroots.com : accessed (date)).

 

Ancestry ThruLines: Analysis of my mom’s lines

Yesterday I read Roberta Estes’ blog post on ThruLines, which you can read here.  It’s amazing how quickly she can research and walk you through new DNA tools that come to light!  I adopted my own version of her spreadsheet, a snippet of which you can find on that same blog post.  

Rather than focus on my own ThruLines, I focused on my mother’s ThruLines.  Here is the tree her DNA is linked to.  Note that I have not done any work on Mom’s paternal side (Italian lines) — but I do have the tree out to her 4 Italian great-grandparents.  I feel confident about Maria Bolognesi’s parents, and about Giuseppe Diamantini’s father.  The name Maddelena Serafini comes from another branch of the family, without attendant documentation, so it may or may not be correct.

Mom_Tree

Below is a screenshot of Mom’s closest ancestors who have ThruLines.  Note that Maria Bolognesi, her paternal grandmother, is missing. I have no idea why.  Mom’s closest match at Ancestry — after my sibling and I — is her paternal 1st cousin, who would likely share DNA with mom from both the Diamantini line AND the Bolognesi line.

ThruLineAncestors

Speculation on my part as to why Maria Bolognesi is missing is that there are 2 other DNA matches to Mom and her paternal 1st cousin (alias “Elena”) who match them on the Diamantini side.  Except for Mom’s siblings (who have not tested) and “Elena’s” sibs (who also haven’t tested), no other Bolognesi kin is known to be in the U.S.  Perhaps this is why Ancestry ThruLines are focusing on the Diamantini side??

Another possibility — again, this is speculation on my part — is that my mom and “Elena” share a relatively low amount of DNA (619 cM) for full-blooded first cousins.  The paperwork (birth certificates, marriage licenses, family tradition, family resemblances, etc.) indicates full first cousins, but Ancestry is treating them as half 1st cousins, presumably because of the amount of DNA shared (?).  Could that be why Ancestry has deemed them half 1st cousins, and thus ignored their shared grandmother?  (Both have the grandmother in their trees, so it’s not a lack of matching, as far as I can tell.)

ThruLines links Mom’s Serafini line specifically to one Ancestry member tree.  This particular member either has not done a DNA test, or simply does not match Mom at all.  However, this person has over 400 Serafini persons in their tree; it appears the tree includes all the Serafini families from one specific community in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  (Abruzzo borders the Adriatic Sea, and is just south of the Marche region, which is where my known Italian ancestors are from, and where known kin is living now.)

This Ancestry member’s tree with 400+ Serafini persons in it was a source tree for the tree created by the wife of a known second cousin to Mom on Mom’s Diamantini line.  No other sources (such as baptismal records, marriage records, censuses, etc.) are shown in either tree.  All 3 trees, though  — meaning Mom’s, the 400+ Serafini tree, and the 2nd cousin’s wife’s tree — have a “Maddelena Serafini”.  (She is married to someone different in each tree.)

The Abruzzo region connection with Serafini is intriguing; however, there is nothing else to go on, given no sources to review and validate for all of these names.  

Ancestry ThruLines, though, provides Mom with 42 potential new ancestors, 20 of whom are supposedly on her Serafini line (as shown below in the screenshot of Excel).  I say “no DNA matches on Ancestry to this line” referring to the fact that the trees Ancestry used to determine these 20 potential ancestors are trees of members who share no DNA with my mother.

Mom_PotentialAncestors

Below is the screenshot for how I  broke out Mom’s 254 possible ancestors through the 7th generation (through 5th great-grandparents).  Yes, her tree has a lot of blanks in it; 201 ancestors are not in her tree at all.  The bulk of those, though, are on her father’s Italian side.  By contrast, her most complete line is her 2nd great-grandfather Copple’s line, with only 5 persons missing from the tree.

Mom_ThruLines

So, the numbers that truly matter relate to the 53 ancestors who are in her tree.  Note that 20 ancestors have no known DNA matches in Ancestry; they are recently immigrated (late 1870’s) from Denmark — now Germany — and had small families with no living descendants today except for Mom, her kids and her grandkids.

The 3 missing ancestors are her paternal grandmother and parents of that grandmother.  Claus Clausen, Mom’s 4th great-grandfather and in her tree, was replaced by a Claus Clausen from a tree whose owner is not a DNA match.  Mary Addams in Mom’s tree was also replaced with another Ancestry member’s Mary Addams.  Mary was the likely stepmother of Mom’s direct ancestor, James Englehart, having married Samuel Englehart in Guernsey County, Ohio, some 5 years after James was born in Pennsylvania.

Regardless of her genetic relationship to us, Mary Addams was already in Mom’s tree, so it’s not clear why she was ignored in favor of someone else’s tree.

Moms53Ancestors

The 28 ancestors in Mom’s tree with DNA-match descendants are primarily the ancestors who have been in the United States the longest, since at least 1730 in some cases, to the best of my knowledge.  All of them are ancestors of my mother’s maternal grandmother, Hazel (Englehart) Holst. Hazel’s paternal grandmother, Hannah (Hill) Englehart, and Hazel’s maternal grandfather, Ben Franklin Copple, have the most-complete branches on Mom’s tree.  They are indicated by the blue check marks.

Many of these DNA matches also currently show up in my mom’s DNA circles for some of these same ancestors.  A number of the relationships I feel fairly confident about, having done my own documentation of the relationships involved. 

However, some of the trees used in these ThruLines I believe are incorrect — especially regarding Philip Copple, Mom’s 4th great granddad, who is, in many Ancestry trees, mixed up with his cousin Philip.  Both had daughters named Catherine, and named Margaret.  Assignment of the daughters to the fathers is, frankly, a mess!  (And it was a mess showing up in Shaky Leaf hints as well as the Philip Copple circle.)

HillLineCoppleLine

The bottom line is that I see a flood of Serafini potential ancestors, which would be awesome if I actually do some Italian research and trace my (reported) Serafini line.  Maybe that 400+ Serafini tree does have accurate — if undocumented — information.

I also know I cannot trust ThruLines any more than I trusted DNA circles or shaky leaf Shared Ancestor Hints.

And I suspect I will find similar issues when I explore my dad’s ThruLines shortly.

All that said, I saved the best for last…. thank to ThruLines, I just found out that possibly one more of Jacob Copple’s 7 children (who lived to adulthood and had descendants) may actually have a descendant alive today who also DNA-tested and matches Mom!!  I will be working to validate this match’s tree if I cannot connect with the person.  (See below.) I had thought Milton’s descendants were all deceased by the 1940’s.  If this proves out, 6 of the 7 children who had descendants (and 6 of 9 who lived to adulthood) not only tested but match Mom.   

This matters to me because Libby Copple was my original brick wall; oral history indicated she was a “Copple”.  It has only been with DNA testing that her likely father, Ben, and his family have been revealed.

JacobCopple

Cite/link to this post: Cathy M. Dempsey, “Ancestry ThruLines: Analysis of my mom’s lines” Genes and Roots, posted 12 Mar 2019 (https://genesandroots.com : accessed (date)).

 

23andMe Ethnicity Update

If you’ve tested at 23andMe, have you checked out your ethnicity results lately? 

In a recent post[1], Judy Russell mentioned 23andMe’s latest ethnicity update, which somehow I missed completely!

Naturally, I had to go check it out, fearing a bit that my ethnicity percentages might be “messed up”.  Even though I know they are estimates, 23andMe has for some time had the percentages closest to what would be expected by my family narrative.  My dad is “all Irish”; my mom is “half Italian” due to her father being from Italy.  Et cetera, et cetera.

23andme_ethnicity

Very little has changed in my ethnicity percentages.   Here, I’ve noted in an Excel spreadsheet my former ethnicities per 23andMe (as of November 2018) and my current ones as of today when I reviewed the changes.

What is interesting, though, is that they seems to have taken a page from Ancestry’s “genetic communities” playbook, and zeroed in on specific areas in Ireland, Britain and Italy where my ancestors possibly lived in the past 200 years.

Let’s take a look.  We’ll start with Ireland.  On my paper trail, both my dad’s parents have Irish roots.  My paternal grandfather’s family left Ireland, depending on the branch of his tree, around the time of the Famine and shortly after – say, the 1850 to 1865 range.  My great-great grandfather, Patrick Dempsey, reportedly came from Kings County (now Co. Offaly) – per his obituary.  I don’t have more details than that.  His wife Hanora Hurley (or is it Hanora Riordan) – whom he married in the U.S. — may have come from anywhere in southern Ireland.  Best guess is Co. Cork or Co. Limerick.  On my grandfather’s maternal line, her father’s Lamburth ancestors likely came from England, while her mother Eliza (Landrigan) Lamburth came from the town of Garryrickin, Windgap Parish, Co. Kilkenny.[2]

My paternal grandmother’s father came from Athea, Co. Limerick, as did his father, while his mother came from Cooraclare, Co. Clare.  My grandmother’s mother came from Athea, Co. Limerick, as did her father, with her mother coming from Beale, Co. Kerry.[3]

In sum, my Irish heritage on my Nana’s side is from the province of Munster, specifically southwest of Ireland, around the River Shannon, while my Grandpa’s Irish heritage is from the province of Leinster, specifically Co. Kilkenny and Co. Offaly.

And 23andMe’s ethnicity determination – for the moment at least – largely agrees.[4]

23andme_irishethnicity

County Kerry, County Clare, County Limerick and County Kilkenny are all in the top 10.

As far as Great Britain/the U.K. is concerned, I have no idea where my ancestors came from.  My paternal grandfather’s Lamburth line, here in the U.S. since at least 1800, likely came from England but none of us researching this line have yet “crossed the pond”.  My mother’s maternal grandmother’s Wright line has been here in the U.S. since at least 1730 or so; researchers on this line have not yet crossed the pond either.  Here is what 23andMe estimates[5]:

23andme_ukethnicityPerhaps these areas could be clues, but it would be silly to jump ahead of myself and start researching Wrights and Lamburth/Lamberts over in England without knowing more about the family here in the U.S. in the 18th century.  The references to Scotland surprise me a bit, but could be related to the Gaelic / Celtic heritage of my Irish side.

With respect to Italy, my grandfather’s parents came from the province of Marche.  My great-grandfather was from Fano, and my great-grandmother was from Sant’Elpidio a Mare[6].  Some of us in my family have even gone to Marche and met our living cousins – that’s a story for another blog post.

Here is what 23andMe estimates[7]

23andme_marche_ancestryPretty wild, huh?  Marche!!  Still have to take it with a grain of salt – my brother’s estimated places of origin in Italy are completely different from mine – but still, right now, today, it “fits”.

 

 

[1] Judy G. Russell, “And still not soup…,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 27 Jan 2019 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 28 Jan 2019).

[2] For sources, see cathymd, “Dempsey Family Tree“, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/17377380/family : accessed 26 Dec 2018).

[3] Ibid.

[4] 23andMe, Inc., “Cathy, your DNA suggests that 56.8% of your ancestry is British & Irish”, 23andMe.com (https://you.23andme.com/reports/ancestry_composition_hd/british_irish/ : accessed 29 Jan 2019).

[5] 23andMe, Inc., “Cathy, your DNA suggests that 56.8% of your ancestry is British & Irish”, 23andMe.com (https://you.23andme.com/reports/ancestry_composition_hd/british_irish/ : accessed 29 Jan 2019).

[6] For sources, See cathymd, “Serafini_Diamantini1“ tree, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/19505554/family : accessed 29 Jan 2019).

[7] 23andMe, Inc., “Cathy, your DNA suggests that 12.6% of your ancestry is Italian”, 23andMe.com (https://you.23andme.com/reports/ancestry_composition_hd/italian/ : accessed 29 Jan 2019).