Archive for DNA

The Lost Have Been Found! Journey’s End! Perhaps. Maybe.

We are convinced that we have found Frank “McCallum’s” parents!  Hard to believe.  DNA testing has been the key resource.

A short summary:

  • Frank was born October  7, 1890 not October 27, 1891 as he believed.
  • He was born in Saginaw, Michigan not Detroit as he believed.  He did live in Detroit for a number of years.
  • Frank’s  mother was Juliana Lugiewicz who married Joseph Franckowiak in 1892 in Saginaw. Clara Lugiewicz, who Frank put on his WWI Military Attestation as his Next Of Kin, was his aunt, Julia’s brother Andrew’s wife.  From the beginning of this eight year search we had wondered if Clara was Frank’s mother.  His mother, Julia, died in 1911 of tuberculosis, which–we believe–is why he named his Aunt Clara as his NOK.  Juliana was born in 1867 in Germany/Poland, immigrating to Saginaw in 1884.
  • Frank’s father was Carl Henry Weil from Randegg, Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  It is a 50 minute drive from Zurich, Switzerland.  He and a handful of brothers immigrated to Saginaw/Toledo from 1884. They set up a number of fruit wholesale and grocery retail businesses. Eventually, in the early 1890s he moved to Chicago.  Then they moved into the cardboard and paper business running Cromwell Paper Co.
  • The Weil family of Randegg has a celebrated history including many highly respected Rabbis.  One family history goes back to 1135.
  • It has been quite a search, over 4 continents and four thousand years.  It has been very rewarding.
  • Frank had ten half siblings.  Three of Julia’s children died young. Meeting many living cousins has been quite wonderful.  This continues.

There is a great deal that we do not yet know about Frank’s background, including where he picked up the name McCallum.  We have some clues but no evidence yet.  It appears that he lived with his mother and step-father for a number of years, even up to 1900.

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Just a minute Frank

Frank may have been getting more credit for our Eastern European and North African/Middle Eastern genes than he is due.

I was poking around the other night on 23andMe when I focused on mother/grandmother’s haplogroup U4a1a which is about 15,000 years old.  From this it occurs to me that her DNA might provide some of the eastern slant that shows up in us.  How recent that link is I can’t yet tell.

My very preliminary web search turned up the relative presence of U4a1 below:



Eastern Europe (n = 4,008)abc 1.8 (74)
Central and eastern Europe (n = 2,016)a 1.0 (21)
Northeastern Europe (n = 1,013)b 0.9 (9)
Volga–Ural region (n = 979)c 4.5 (44)
Central and western Europe (n = 3,704)d 0.5 (19)

U4a1a, our mitochondrial DNA from Dory (m/gm), is a subclade of U4a1 and until we hear otherwise can be assumed to reside in those populations in roughly similar proportions.  The study for which this abstract was prepared might have those proportions for U4a1a.

There may be ways to separate out the mitochondrial (female) contribution. Sometime I’ll look into that.  On the other hand, Merle we may get you to spit into a tube yet—our treat.


  • Haplogroup U4 is found in western Eurasia, from Mongolia to central Europe. It arose about 25,000 years ago and subsequently spread with the migrations that followed the end of the Ice Age about 14,000 years ago.


  • Haplogroup: U4, a subgroup of R
  • Age: 25,000 years
  • Region: Europe, Asia, Northern Africa
  • Populations: Indians, Europeans
  • Highlight: The range of haplogroup U spans three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa.
  • Locations of haplogroup U4 circa 500 years ago, before the era of intercontinental travel.

Also see

Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny in Eastern and Western Slavs

  1. 1.        B. Malyarchuk*, 
  2. 2.        T. Grzybowski†, 
  3. 3.        M. Derenko*, 
  4. 4.        M. Perkova*, 
  5. 5.        T. Vanecek‡, 
  6. 6.        J. Lazur§,
  7. 7.        P. Gomolcak‖ and 
  8. 8.        I. Tsybovsky¶

+Author Affiliations

1.        *Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Far-East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Magadan, Russia
2.        †Department of Molecular and Forensic Genetics, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, Institute of Forensic Medicine, The Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland
3.        ‡Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty Hospital, Charles University, Pilsen, Czech Republic
4.        §Department of Laboratory Medicine, LABMED, Kosice, Slovakia
5.        ‖Institute of Pathology, Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia
6.        ¶Institute of Problems of Criminalistics and Forensic Expertise, Minsk, Belarus
  1. E-mail:
  • Accepted May 7, 2008.

From the Abstract

Haplogroup U4a1 is largely characterized by an eastern European and a west Siberian distribution being found at highest frequencies (7–21%) in populations such as Mari, Chuvash, and Kets (table 1, supplementary table S2, Supplementary Material online). We investigated the structure of haplogroup U4a1 by complete genome sequencing of 12 mtDNAs from populations of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Belorussians, and Russians. The resulting tree (fig. 1) indicates that there are at least 3 subclusters within haplogroup U4a1–U4a1a, with transition at np 961 and insertion of 3 C’s at np 965, and its subclade U4a1a1 defined by additional transitions at nps 8167 and 12618 and insertion of 1 C at np 5899; U4a2 defined by transitions at nps 745 and 3204; and U4a1c characterized by a rank of mutations at nps 8155, 13158, 14110, and 16234. Interestingly, among eastern Slavs (Russians and Belorussians) the only specific subclade U4a1a1 has been revealed, whereas in western Slavs the remaining subclades have been found. The coalescence time estimate for U4a1 complete genomes was 14,650 ± 2,400 YBP. This value is close to those (around 10,000–14,000 YBP) calculated from the first hypervariable segment (HVS1) data for central European (Germanic-speaking) populations but not for the Baltic Finno-Ugric and Volga people (around 20,000–22,000 YBP) (Tambets et al. 2003).


Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny in Eastern and Western Slavs

Table 1

Haplogroups U4a1 and U4a2 Distribution (Percentage with Number of Individuals in Parentheses) in Different Populations of Eastern, Central, and Western Europe







Eastern Europe (n = 4,008)abc 1.8 (74) 1.4 (57) 0.8 (31) 0.3 (9) 0.3 (13)
Central and eastern Europe (n = 2,016)a 1.0 (21) 1.9 (38) 1.2 (24) 0.4 (7) 0.1 (3)
Northeastern Europe (n = 1,013)b 0.9 (9) 0.8 (8) 0.6 (6) 0.2 (2) 0
Volga–Ural region (n = 979)c 4.5 (44) 1.1 (11) 0.1 (1) 0 1.0 (10)
Central and western Europe (n = 3,704)d 0.5 (19) 0.3 (12) 0.2 (9) 0.1 (2) 0
  • NOTE.—The data were taken from the literature cited in supplementary table S2 (Supplementary Material online).
  • ↵a Russians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Slovaks.
  • ↵b Finns, Karelians, Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians.
  • ↵c Maris, Komi-Zyrians, Komi-Permians, Mordwin, Udmurts, Chuwashes, Tatars, and Bashkirs.
  • ↵d British, Germans, Czechs, Austrians, Swiss, Bosnians, Slovenians, Italians, French, Spaniards, and Portuguese.

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Graph showing genetic admixture for groups by % of genetic contribution by ancestors from specific regions


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Background on the process of diluted gene fragments passing from generation to generation

Here are some good resources to explain gene fragments passed down from a common ancestor to generation to generation.

There is an interesting user-controlled animation here:

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Geographical Associations of Chromosomes

My chromosomes can be shown to be in common with the pool of individuals of specific geographic regions who have been tested. In theory, my genetic makeup should be 75% Western European–mother (50%) and my father’s mother (25%). However, it is only 45% which means that my English mother and Scottish grandmother would have some explaining to do, were they still alive.

Since our narrow current quest is to explain my “orphan” grandfather, I have extracted all Western European from the admixtures calculated from each chromosome, and dubbed the residual to be 100%. The non-Western European contributions distribute themselves as follows, although the weighting in each chromosome varies significantly. I will add that table when I can get it to present clearly here.

Removing 100% of Western Europe
New Weighting

East_European 29.6%
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%

Source: 23andMe Admixture Analysis

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4th Cousin Daniela (Hora) Mihailovici and Her Family Tree – February 2012 Developments

UPDATE: March 10, 2012
So far the two names with the greatest promise are Pick and Rosenfeld, both families had members who immigrated through New York in the 1900 -10 yrs or + 6 years time frame.

An initial attempt to contact members of the Rosenfeld family has not yet yielded any contact.

See a separate posting for the Picks.

January 16, 2012 was a major development in our search for Frank’s roots and living relatives. I found a possible 4th cousin by the name of Daniela (Hora) Mihailovici. She manages a family tree that has more than 3,300 names on it. I am going through the tree to find branches with individuals who immigrated to the United States around 1890-1905. To date the most promising branches–at the time of immigration–are Pick and Rosenfeld. Eventually I will post the names of living descendants in the hope that someone can provide more information that will either validate or invalidate their inclusion as persons of interest.

Also, I’m attempting to find an easy and “clean” method of including promising names with our family tree on My Heritage Family Tree Builder. I want to mark them indicating that their inclusion is tentative since My Heritage makes regular evaluations in order to match up family trees that otherwise might be unaware of the existence of other family trees with the same people on them.

Names from Daniela’s tree that we are currently searching are:

SURNAMES – Strelinger, Pick, Brugler, Lorand, Landesman, Rosenfeld, Heitler/Hora.

FIRST NAMES – Francis, Frances, Frank; For his mother there is a high probability that the name is a variation on: Julia Yulia,YULIYA, Gyula.

FEMININE FORMS: Various LANGUAGES: Julia (Biblical), Júlia (Slovak), Julija (Slovene), Júlia, Juli, Juliska (Hungarian), Iulia (Romanian), Yuliya (Bulgarian), Julija (Croatian), Julia, Julita (Polish), YULIA, YULIYA (Russian) Julitta (History), Iúile (Irish), Giulia, Giulietta (Italian), Julija (Lithuanian), Júlia, Julinha (Portuguese), Julia (Scandinavian),Julia (Spanish), Iulia, Julia (Ancient Roman),


With those names we are assuming emigration from Eastern Europe to America through New York in the 1890s. American city locations include the regions of New York, Detroit and Chicago.

DNA comparison through GEDmatch has turned up a 3rd or 4th cousin, Daniela Mihailovici from Haifa, who has access to a family tree of more than 3,200 names. We have not had much time to determine what the route between us might be. Dana has suggested the name Landesman on her side might be the link. I have been poking around on her family tree but need her help to do more. In the meantime I have added a few of the names to our family tree on MyHeritage and it has connected me to yet other family trees which I am now exploring and examining with the site administrators.

My DNA connection with Daniela is quite strong with 11 segments over 10 chromosomes and a total of 61.6 cMs, the second most that has turned up to date for me. Naturally, she and I do not share the same haplogroup, so our connection could be either through my great grandmother or great grandfather. I have not been able to make a connection with the only stranger with an even stronger linkage.

I hope to be adding more confirmed information in March.

DNA comparisons can be made on GEDmatch, 23andMe and soon on ftDNA.

If you would like to know more details before then, then email me at .

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Sources: DNA Basics Explained

It is an oxymoron to state that DNA is complex. Fortunately, if you focus on the area that is important to you and if you use some of the many excellent resources that are available, you can understand what you need and apply it effectively.

Well that’s the theory. Stumbling is both frustrating and richly rewarding. After all, it is only about life and death, and so we might as well enjoy the ride.

As we come across resources that are reliable and have helped me, we will add them here.

It is also worth noting that we cannot assume that any “fact” or interpretation will be definitive for all time. DNA research is growing new knowledge at an exponential rate. The increasing number of people having their DNA analyzed is contributing to that.

It is also worth noting that what appears to be bona fide interpretation and analysis may not be reliable. Enthusiastic amateurs like me, without the rigour of peer review, can post anything and make it sound credible. Others post “analysis” which is really opinion or speculation. Still others, like me, conduct their research from a particular interest base which either corrupts their findings or states them in a way which is misleading because they do not take the time to qualify their findings or to put them in the appropriate context. Alas and, occasionally, mea culpa.

All of the retail DNA labs that I have checked out seem to have very good explanatory information. some of it is not so easy to find. There are other organizations, like the ones that I will list below, which provide great services as well, but many of them are hybrid blog/peer review so be careful about how you use information that you find there if it is critically important to you. Verify.

Retail Labs
23andMe (mine)

Information Sources
ISOGG International Society of Genetic Genealogy

Comments (3)

3rd to 4th cousin – Eugene Yurtsev – Closest possible unknown relative identified to date.

Eugene Yurtsev is the closest possible unknown relative identified to date. Eugene and I have made contact on 23andMe.

Third cousin means that we might share great-great-grandparents, in other words, Frank’s grandparents.

He will be exploring his family tree with his family in the coming days. What I have learned is that a few years ago he migrated to the United States from Israel where he and his family had migrated from Belarus (600 km x 600 km; landlocked; surrounded by Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania).

The lab matching determined that we share 0.41% of our genes and 4 chromosome segments: two on chr 1, and one each on 6 and 12.

However, we don’t share common Y haplotype or Mitochondrial haplotype. Since his Y chromosome is not our E, then his intervening line of descent, at some stage was through the maternal line.

My brother Brian shares two on chr 1 and 1 on chr 6. Curiously, my son David shares the most segments, 5, whereas son Jon shares none at all.

David shares: chr 1 x2; chr 6 x 2; chr 12 x 1.

Stay tuned.

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23andMe Ancestry Lab Test for DNA Shared with Ashkenazim

It looks as if we have a high level of DNA shared with Ashkenazi meaning that gramps was highly probably Jewish. This is the strongest confirmation yet of the guess that Jim made. I have asked a 23andMe expert for confirmation of my interpretation.

It is worth bearing in mind that the Most Recent Common Ancestor, the progenitor of our E haplogroup was born between 2175 BC and 875 BC. By comparison, while Shem, son of Noah was the progenitor of the Semitic peoples, Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews, Muslims and Christians lived about 2000 BC, give or take a significant handful of years. The Phoenicians lived as an identifiable group from about 3200 BC to 312 BC. I think that while E haplotype E1b1b1c makes up about 10% of modern Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, it is conceivable that our line came up through one of the non-Hebrew Phoenician trading posts around the Mediterranean. It is conceivable, but probably a low percentage option given the nature of migration to North America in the 1800s.

My test results are below, using the 23andMe Ancestry Lab test utility, turning on the the Ashkenazi test and indicating 1 grandparent, gramps, from the same country (whatever that is, even if it is the US).

If set Minimum Segment Length in cM @


% Declared Ashkenazim at each of the 4 lengths

16.1%-29.9% Brian 20.2%-36.9%

Not Declared
14.6%-28.4% Brian 18.5%-36.2%

Brian did the same test and produced the following results at 7.5 cM. As shown above, his results were 20.2%-36.9% declared, 18.5%-36.2% undeclared. All of these results are significantly higher than my results.

Note: also read the GEDmatch Admixture posting under Category DNA or Research. It is a geographical breakdown of the DNA.


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Certain Relatives

More certain relatives (single strand more than 10 Centimorgans long) from 23andMe. Some are duplicates from previous list.

If any of them (you) come to this site please establish contact by emailing me at

Larry Baum 26.2
Martin Varsavsky 18.5
Michael Schonbaum 17.1
Anthony Bates 16.6
DG Party 12 15.8
Jeffery Stein 14.6
Gary Nachman 14.5
Lee – 13.9
Andrea Gargiulo 12.9
Naomi Torpey 12.7
Annette Murch 12.6
Laura Tesler 12.4
Robert Lefkowitz 12.4
Daniel Williamson 12.1
Helene Carman 12
Valerie Podlesnaya 11.9
Anonymous0222 11.8
Chris Jones 11.8
Elizabeth Bakwin 11.8
Alexandr Ivashchenko 11.4
Andy Warner 11.1
Brian Hawthorne 11.1
Stuart Opotowsky 11.1
Cara Weisman 11
Meredith Sellers 11
Cheryl Schweitzer 11
Charles Bockoff 10.9
David Elkins 10.9
Doug Evans 10.9
Fedor Karpelevitch 10.9
orderedchaos 10.9
Yuliya Ivashchenko 10.9
Carl MGB 10.8
David Friedman 10.6
deaconSandy 10.6
California Sam 10.6
Donovan1 10.6
ken levine 10.6
Edward Kazyanskaya 10.4
Ilya Shlyakhter 10.4
Sandy Yancey 10.4
Sari Friedman 10.4
Amanda Garnica 10.2
Richard Hawk 10.2
Russell Conser 10.2
SpeaksCohn 10.2
Jan Greenspan 10.1
Mizya Blyakher 10.1
Richard Cahn 10.1
Brent Gendleman 10
Dane Elliott 10
David Toube 10

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