Archive for Research

Geographical Connections Through GEDmatch Admixture Analysis

Updated September 18, 2011

Today GEDmatch added a new utility for analysing individuals complete DNA file and coming up with an admixture breakdown by geographical region. I had the utility analyse my data and it produced the columns below.

I wondered what it might say about Frank so I decided to subtract my known western European DNA (mother=50%; paternal grandmother=25%) from the western European total and distribute the difference proportionally across the rest of the percentages. I also decided to try it with taking out 100% of western European DNA to simulate 100% of it coming from the two women. However, it is worth noting the discrepancy between the 75% of DNA contributed by those 3 grandparents is far larger than the 44.9% Western Europe DNA turned up in the analysis. Since we don’t have either DNA analysis or genealogical information on them to use to make a decision about further data extractions, I just left that 30% in.

This discrepancy raises a question however. Theoretically, the total western European DNA credited to Molly and Dory should total almost exactly 75%. However, the analysis only shows 44.9%. What happened to that other 30%? The only explanation that I can think of is that either Molly or Dory or both had some DNA from non-Western European sources. That would be news to me. However, Brian suddenly remembered a conversation with Dory in which she mentioned that her father had mentioned the possibility of some Moroccan ancestry! We have not had time to talk abut that further. In the meantime I am trying to contact Dory’s cousin Tony in Oakville to see if he knows anything or knows if any family members have had DNA testing done. Also, I’m going to contact Bryce, Jeannine and Dennis Sharpe to see if they can shed any light on an Italian connection to the family that his mother, Molly’s half-sister may have mentioned. There was something about a ship building, which was her father’s business.

The distribution over the regions is interesting on its own. However, the adjustment to the western Europe DNA produces fascinating results. After extracting Western Europe, in a gross consolidation the Mediterranean and the West Asian (Arabian Peninsula) added together to total 55%. If you also add SouthWest Asia that total climbs to 62%. Eastern Europe is 30%. The residual 8% is Asian or African.

West Asia includes Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, part of Iran and Turkey as well as smaller countries.

If you want a visual definition of West Asia and the other Asian sectors see the colour map at

For the time being, we don’t have an explanation for the Eastern European contribution, but it % size would suggest that it is a relatively recent contribution. The original 29.6% would suggest that either of Frank’s parents could have made that contribution but it is unlikely that that great-grandparent would have 100% Eastern European DNA.

GEDmatch Admixture Analysis of Ian McCallum
**Adjustment by Subtracting Obvious Western European DNA
Mother DNA % 50%
Grandmother DNA % 25%

Removing 100% of Western Europe
New Weighting
Population Self Added
East_European 29.6%
West_European (removed 44.9%)
Mediterranean 44%
Neo_African 0.2%
West_Asian 11.3%
South_Asian 2.3%
Northeast_Asian 1.0%
Southeast_Asian 0.7%
East_African 0.5%
Southwest_Asian 6.7%
Northwest_African 3.5%
Palaeo_African 0.4%

Adjusted Summaries
East_European 30%
Mediterranean+West Asian (Arabian Penninsula – Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, Yemen etc) 55%

Note: also read the 23andMe Ancestry Lab posting under Category DNA or Semitics. It is a breakdown of the DNA that is shared with Ashkenazim.


Comments (1)

By the Numbers – Potential Living Relatives

Living descendants of Frank and his alleged brother, allegedly named John, would number approximately 100, of which the John side might account for about 50. The probability of them having their DNA analyzed by now is probably statistically higher than the population as a whole assuming that they are as curious about their ancestry as some of us are. That probability will increase exponentially as the population as a whole has their DNA analyzed for the health benefits. I haven’t seen any projections, but at the current rate of growth and laboratory discoveries concerning both analysis and targeted gene treatment of illnesses, I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years 50% of the population has had their DNA analyzed.

If we look to living descendants of Frank’s grandparents, on both his father’s and mother’s side, then the living relatives could number about 2,500. Some of these would be 5th and 6th cousins. In the DNA research to date, 6th, 5th, 4th and even a couple of 3rd cousin potential relatives have shown up but are yet to be confirmed.

Leave a Comment

Explanation of Range of Genetic Analysis for Genealogical Purposes

The site ( provides a helpful explanation of the range of genetic analysis used for genealogical purposes. Although it could be briefer, it is in reasonably plain English for the layman.

What I would love to find is a table of dilution by generation for the various factors such as SNPs, STRs, genetic distance (CMs), gene segments etc.

Some of the services including 23andMe and GEDmatch provide data and conclusions but then allow you to infer how they used the one to get the other. As a rule of thumb, it appears that the dilution factor is a ratio of 3:1 for each succeeding generation. You have half your father’s DNA and your child will have 1/4 of your father’s DNA. Also, you have 1/4 of your grandfather’s DNA, as does your cousin, but your cousin will not necessarily inherit the same DNA from your grandfather that you did. However, if you and your cousin are both male and are the children of brothers, then you will both have the same Y-chromosome as do your father, uncle and your grandfather.

The calculation of daughters and X-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA is a different calculus altogether.

Leave a Comment

Interesting POSSIBLE links to E1b1b1 (M35) Borgheses, Einstein, Wright Brothers and Barrack Obama

Just to show you that you never know who you are going to turn up in your ancestral closet. I haven’t fully verified these claims but they look legit and you can check them for yourselves at the sites listed below. Also, remember that we are 3 mutations farther branched from that haplotype. You may take awhile to get your head around that one.

Feb 18, 2011 : Ancient, Southern Italian Borghese Family Y-DNA (not Roman) Haplogroup E1b1b1 (M35) Y-chromosome DNA Testing
National Geographic Genographic Project Y-DNA Test results:

The designations for all 12 loci examined for this purpose are listed here, along with the Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) outcome for each.

393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389-1 392 389-2

13 24 13 10 16 – 18 11 12 12 14 11 31
Feb 17, 2011 : Out of Africa or the Middle East ?

E1b1b1-M35 DNA of Albert Einstein and Barack Obama. 12% of Spanish Jews are E1b1b, 20% of Eastern European Jews (the ones who migrated east after they moved northward through Italy) are also E1b1b. Albert Einstein was from the 20% of Eastern European Jews and belongs to Haplogroup E1b1b

Barack Obama’s dad is a Luo-Nilotic from East Africa / Kenya.,_Sr.
Feb 16, 2011 : E1b1b1-M35 The Wright Brothers Y-DNA

The Wright Brothers of the United States belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b1, subclade E1b1b1a2 (V13). They were supposedly descended from Robert Wright of Brook Hall, Essex, England. Look at Wright DNA Project

DYS – 393-390-19-391-385A-385B-426-388-439-389I-392-389II
Alleles 13 – 24 -13 -10 – 16 – 18 – 11 -12 – 12 – 13 – 11 – 29

Leave a Comment

Third Cousin Once Removed – Tyler Clark Burke: Status – No Progress

Proposed Cousin relationship = 3rd cousin removed 1 time(s)
Estimated average number of generations to the common ancestor based on Autosomal values: 3.9

March 23, 2011 someone contacted me who picked me out of GEDmatch as a possible relative.

It would appear that we are related as

Her great great great grandfather
My great great grandfather

She and Merle, Brian and I would be 3rd cousins once removed. Jon, Andrew, David, Sara, Christy, Sam, Beckie and Rosalind would be 4th cousins.

I believe that the common ancestor would be Frank’s grandfather, probably born around 1825.

Who is she?

She is 37 and heavily into the arts. In fact, wait for it, she was artist in residence the Drake Hotel in Toronto. Her name is Tyler Clark Burke.

David, Andrew, and Angella have probably been tripping all over each other at events in Toronto, sitting at the next table, staring at the same Nuit Blanche work, perhaps even David’s.

She grew up in Winnipeg, moved to Toronto, went to the University of Guelph. Her father is a professor in the film department at Queen’s University, an expert on Federico Fellini who autographed some things for Tyler, including his phone number.

If you are interested in more information you can check her out at: There is a long 2004 article on her in the Toronto Star which is linked from this page.

Tyler has extensive family tree information going back to Ireland and southern Italy. Her father was born in New York. At the moment she is unaware of any orphan connection.

My tentative assessment is that our common ancestor was more likely to be Italian than Irish. Our male Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b1c1a is a relatively small group with limited distribution beyond the Mediterranean basin until into the increased migration in the mid-1800s made possible by steam powered ships. Even further, that haplogroup has strong Italian pockets in Sicily, Sardinia, southern Italy near Naples which is where the Martocci family apparently sailed to New York from. The Martocci family apparently came from Laurenzana which is in mountainous mainland terrain 160 km ESE from Naples.

That Italian connection is through her mother. We could confirm that if she could persuade her father to have his DNA analyzed. I haven’t yet explored the possibility of a direct male descendant on her mother’s side having his DNA analyzed. We would be looking for the Y-chromosome E1b1b1c1a. As a woman, she wouldn’t have that.

Until we have located an E1b1b1c1a carrier, there is the possibility that the DNA connection is through either my mother or grandmother. Since my mother came from Manchester and my grandmother from Glasgow, it is unlikely but possible. There is also the possibility of a female only link of some kind. Tyler and us can share a lot of DNA without direct sharing of haplogroups. I wish it were simpler but there it is.

I must stress that these conclusions are not fully proven as they are based on our preliminary DNA comparisons but the evidence would appear to be very strong. There is clearly enough shared DNA material to suggest that we are 3rd cousins once removed.

We’ve had a half dozen email exchanges and will have more. Regardless of how this turns out, she seems like a very warm, smart individual who would get along well with this family.

Comments (2)

Known/Unknown — Birth, Life & Death Details from Public Record & Best Guesses

We have only one incontrovertible piece of information about Frank and about his father and his grandfather.  They all have the same relatively rare male Y-chromosome (E1b1b1c1a, Y-M84, L117) as had his three sons, and have his nine grandsons and more than eight great grandsons.  Virtually no other McCallum male can have that Y-chromosome.

Generally, no other substantiated information exists for Frank prior to his first Saskatchewan land acquisition in 1910 when he would have been about 19 or 21 years old.  No birth certificate, orphan or adoption related documents have been found yet.

From his Military Attestation Val Cartier, Quebec, Canada September 1914

  • Birth: Detroit, 27 October 1891 (Unsubstantiated.  He may have been born in 1889 or on some other DMY.)
  • Apparent age: 23 yrs 10 months
  • Height: 5′ 3 1/2″
  • Eye Colour: Blue
  • Hair Colour: Brown
  • Skin: Medium
  • Girth: 37 1/2″ Expansion: 4″
  • Discharge certificate: 13266 June 15, 1919

Optional Places of Birth, Early Life, Orphanage, Adoption, “Boarding” as farm laborer:

The options are:

Option 1: From Frank’s son, Jim:
Frank was born on board a ship as his family migrated to America.

Option 2: Detroit/Wayne County, Michigan — From Frank’s Canadian WWI Military Attestation & his application for Saskatchewan land in 1927.  No other documentation exists.

Option 3: Based on DNA cousin and other records.

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Saginaw & Millington, Michigan and area  (Marginal Addendum to Military Attestation listed Miss Clara Trywitz  (sp?), 277 Winter street, Saginaw, Michigan.  A Clara Lugiewicz (later Clara Midcalf) lived at that location.)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Pocahontas County,  Sherman Township (Havelock), Iowa (see 1900 Census item 13, Stover farm boarder )

The Benolkins: Additional information relevant to placing Frank in the mid-West

In 1901 (+/- 1 year) Frank connected with the Benolkin family emigrating from Beardsley, Big Stone County, Minnesota to Dundurn, Saskatchewan where they acquired land and where Frank lived and worked for a number of years until he acquired land at Hanley, some 20 miles away.  They remained friends for life.  No one knows how or where it was on their respective journeys that they met and joined up.  However, Beardsley is 260 miles NNW from Havelock, Iowa and virtually on a straight line to Dundurn, Saskatchewan.

Benolkin in Minnesota Census  Big Stone County

Death: Apr. 19, 1955
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Homesteader at Vanscoy, Sask., 1911-14; served overseas WWI; farmed at Hanley, Sask., following the war. Married and had children and grandchildren.
Woodlawn Cemetery Plot: M-L031
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Find A Grave Memorial# 54670693

Leave a Comment

More sources of McCallum matches provides 20,135 McCallums, 666 John McCallums, 17 Frank McCallums, 31 Julia McCallums, 0 Freeman McCallums

Leave a Comment

2,191 Potential Relatives and Counting

February 10, 2011 was a major milestone in our search for living relatives, ancestors and our true paternal name.

I was able to compare my genes with 560,000 others via GEDcom yielding 1,200 possible relatives. Via 23andMe we have 991 possible relatives. There is only one named McCallum – Virginia.

We started this blog only in mid-2010 with no expectations of such a major development. Six months later we are beginning to contact the most promising of these and, from there, organizing the family histories and genetic family trees together in an increasingly meaningful way. The exponential growth in people having their DNA analysed will yield increasing potential and relevancy in the months and years to come. It is a big job but the data is growing and tools more powerful and, as a result of my DNA analysis, I have been told by those who read my genes that I have a superior chance of living to be 100, therefore I have many more years to be able to do the work!

This morning, as Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak resigned, I had a reply from the first and the genetically closest person from that group, someone who appears to be perhaps 6 orders away; not exactly close, but promising. It is safe to say that we will never get completely caught up with family gossip. We’ve not yet spoken but her email was very warm and welcoming.

We still have the documentation search to keep up but these developments are a huge boost to our efforts.

Leave a Comment

GEDcom Has Identified 1,200 Potential Relatives

I have just uploaded my file to and the huge number of names it now provides as potential matches. I played hookie today to get this far. But the huge learning curve this data provides tells me that I need to dedicate some time to it to get anywhere meaningful.

I started using the Triangulation Tool but there are 1,200 possible relatives from 3rd cousins to those further removed. A third cousin, if I have it right, would mean that our common ancestor was our common great-great-grandfather or mother, that is, Frank’s grandfather or grandmother.

Leave a Comment


If you are on GEDmatch you can find me at M144207 *MccIan.

23andMe is providing some potential 3rd & 4th cousins with whom I’m following up.


Leave a Comment