Archive for Immigration

Romania 8, Latvia 9, Ukraine 4

Are we closer to knowing paternal ancestry beyond Grandfather Frank?  Well, yes and no.

Possible late 1800s “source” countries, ranked in order of probability, starting with the most probable country of origin, and providing a relative scale number for each, we have:

Latvia 9
Romania 8
Ukraine 4

At 2 each:

At 1 each:
Czech Republic
Russian Federation

I won’t go into the caveats for the above except to note that these scale numbers are based on the percentage of my matches relative to the number of tested individuals who identify with each of those regions.

There is a strong Ashkenazi linkage to many of these matches. except for the Fante, South-West Ghana link.  The Ashkenazi link would suggest that the individuals we seek migrated either in groups or individually from one Ashkenazi community to another.

Confused?  Let me parse, as best I can.  One of the reasons we have not yet produced the answer we seek is that my knowledge, skill and experience is not yet up to the task of working with so much unorganized data.  What is relevant, what is related etc.

From the table above the most that I can take, I believe, is that it narrows the number of potential source countries.  This enables us to focus, for the time being, on leads that relate to those countries.

You will recall that early on in this search I came across 4th cousin Daniela (Dana)  Mahailovici, living in Haifa, Israel but with parental  origins in Romania.  She has enabled me to have access to a combination of family trees that seem to amount to several 10s of thousands.

She suggested several lines of probability, specifically the Landesman family which led me to spin-off Pick/Pik who had many family named versions of Frank including Franz, Frances, Francis etc.  Pick is still the most probable surname.

This means that the table sort of confirms Daniela’s original suggestion. Questions arise because whereas Romania and the Ukraine are close to one another, their capitals about 1,000 km apart, Latvia’s capital is 2,000 km north and north of both Poland and Lithuania.  That is geography only. Migration forces are more than geography. Certainly the migration history of the region should clarify.

The table was prepared by FamilyTreeDNA from all the 12 Marker Genetic Distance -1 for me.  The 64 people who match me give those countries as related to their families.

The Ghana reference is the most curious.  I mean, we look African, don’t we.  It’s an anomaly.  Our Y-Haplogroup, E, is the most common in Africa by far.  However, that doesn’t explain a -1 match since our Y-Haplotype’s last mutation was about 1515 BCE in the region of the current Syria/Turkey border. My hypothesis is that the tested Fante individual, of the Akan ethnic group, has an ancestor who was either one of the Portuguese traders who established themselves on the African coast around 15 century or was one of the Phoenician traders who established themselves along the coast north and south of Gibraltar around 1,000 BCE, give or take hundreds of years.  The Portuguese connection would also relate to Phoenicians at their trading posts set along the Atlantic coast of Spain (Cadiz) and Portugal BCE.

By the way, my only Exact Match reference cites Germany.  I need to find out what that means and how to make use of that information.

One of my frustrations with ftDNA is that I can’t yet identify the 64 individuals by their names and email addresses, unlike the rest of the site.  There must be a way. I’ve downloaded the complete list and search by the term “Romania” which has turned up a manageable list but it is much longer than the cited -1 list. For them I do have email addresses and names and in some cases family trees. More work to do.

I may need to upgrade my ftDNA marker test.  But for the time being, I can find no explanation of why that would be of any use.

Stay tuned.


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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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Pick Hypothesis – Family Tree + DNA Match

March 26, 2012

Today was the first confirmation of a DNA match for the Pick hypothesis derived from the Mihailovici family tree.

An ftDNA match with me by the name of Jewell Betty Andersen turns out to have Pick as her maiden name.  At this point I know no more about her than that.  I have asked the manager of her file–a Doctor and PhD–for her specifics and family tree information. That may fill in pertinent gaps–1890 to present–in the Mihailovici tree, particularly for the family members gone missing in action after immigrating to the US. If the trees complement one another and there is still a male MIA fitting our parameters then that will be Frank.

ftDNA proposes us as 4th cousins within a range of 3rd-5th cousins.  This would make our common ancestor either Frank’s father or grandfather since we may be once removed.

We share 35.75 cMs and the longest fragment is 11.38 cMs.

There are

It turns out that in ftDNA there are two other genetic matches that include Pick as names in their family  trees.  They are:

  • Elizabeth Jeanette James
  • B. Ann Carlton Oppenheimer

The 5 of us, including Daniela, share multiple fragments on multiple chromosomes.


March 10, 2012

Of the Hora/Mihailovici family tree options the most probable is the Pik/Pick family.

Ship passenger manifest records showed an uncle and nephew arriving in New York in 1906. Interestingly both appeared to be named Franz Pick.

This does not conform to the available family tree information. The uncle’s age conforms to the date of birth for Leopold PICK (1866). of to Gabriel WIEN
Leopold PICK Josef (Pepo) WIEN Francizka Pick

Rationale for thinking that there is a strong possibility that Francizka (Franz) Pick is Frank McCallum.
• From Josef Pike there is a multi-generational reoccurrence, in various forms, of the name Franziska/Franz/Francis for males and females. In three generations the Pick males married women with the name Franziska.
• March 20/21, 1906 the ship Le Champagne / Le Bretagne from Le Havre on March 1 arrived at Ellis Island, New York. The copy of the ship’s manifest (attached) at lines 18 & 19 identified two Slovak Pick males, Franz aged 16 and one aged 38. The younger seems to be identified as the nephew of the older, but that is somewhat problematic as the names and the dates would appear to be father and son. The name of the elder male is not given as being different – odd. In subsequent typed records both are named Franz. However, Franz’s father was Leopold.
• The dates would make Franz born in 1890 which is generally consistent with the family tree and with Frank McCallum’s birth date although neither has been independently verified. In some records Frank did use 1890 as his birth year.
• The ship’s manifest said that the two men were heading out to Nebraska and to Rock Spring Wyoming to join relatives, specifically John Pick. There is a street address which has not yet been confirmed.
• Cousin Eric Josef (Beppo) PICK b. 1898, died in Connecticut leaving named descendants who are presumably in the US. We have no indication of when he entered the US. It does suggest a family interest in America.
• The relationship tree between Daniela and Ian would appear to be supportable by the quantity of cMs (61.6) larger than 3 cM .
• GEDmatch suggested Daniela and Ian are 3.9 generations to MRCA. In this Pick hypothesis there are 4 generations between Daniela and the MRCAs and 5 generations between the MRCAs and Ian

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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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Immigration to America in the 1800s

For the time being, we are assuming that Francis “Frank” Freeman McCallum was born to immigrant parents, perhaps on board ship during the voyage to America. In his WWI Canadian military attestation documents he claimed to be born on October 27, 1891. The actual range may be a year on either side, approximately 1890-92.

His parents’ nationality of origin remains a mystery.

The best statistics that I have found of the country of origin of immigrants is an American Senate report from 2011. It provides a year by year breakdown by country for that period. It can be found at

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Frank May Have Been Born on A ship Bound for America

Given that we now know that our ancestors were possibly Phoenician, it seems fitting that Frank is likely to have been born at sea while his family was on the way to America around 1890.

Recently, sister Merle discovered correspondence to her from our father, Jim, in which he mentions that belief. Prior to David’s DNA bomb I was looking at the Ellis Island ships’ passenger manifests and immigration records. As time permits, one of us should go on line and dig through them again, broadening the years and also looking beyond New York to include Boston.

If a McCallum passenger family had a ship board birth, that would be ideal. However, if there was a ship board birth and there was also a McCallum family on the same ship, then that would also be a lead. I recall that there may have been one such combination.

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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.

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New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records

A short search of this record recently made available by, using obvious combinations of Frank, Francis, Freeman and McCallum, turned up no obvious leads.

AJHS, New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1860-1934
According to one account, residents of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York (HOA) made up an entire enumeration district in the 1920 U.S. census. Not all the children at the HOA were “orphans” in the traditional sense – some were half-orphans: children whose parents who couldn’t provide for them. (By the way, the Yankees never did buy the asylum property. They built their new stadium on a little site in the Bronx instead.)

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Gon Fishin – Email to kin – August 8, 2010

While we now have a fair amount of info on Frank/Gramps but we still don’t know anything concrete about his parents or brother(?).  So I’ve started using the social networking systems to go fishing.  Eventually it will be best for us to set up a family site where the most recent documents and confirmed information is placed and updated.  One of the areas with promise may be the Orphan Trains which transported orphans and indigents from the eastern United States to the west in order to provide needed labour.  Apparently there is a large body of information so if there is anyone in the family that can tackle that area it would be appreciated by all.

I have placed the message set out below on a new group that I created on Facebook [Frank McCallum Finding ancestors & kin Y-DNA E1b1b1c1a1 (E-M136) (E-M34) ]

and also on [] However, it may have ended up in the wrong part of Ancestry.

I’m not sure that I have the optimum set up or test but I will tweak it later.  Only so many hours in the day.

Do you have a Facebook account?  I’m at Ian McCallum and Skype Mcluhan.

Do you have suggestions as to edits, additional key words or other fishing holes where I can place the hook?

The Y-Chromosome information is a long shot but will become of increasing use as more people are tested, their results made public and their family’s migration patterns are geographically plotted and tracked as far back as they can.

Feel free to pass this info along to anyone else in the family who might be interested in it.

It’s a great detective story for a family of thespians and other creative types. 


Frank McCallum Finding ancestors & kin Y-DNA E1b1b1c1a1 (E-M136) (E-M34)

Key Points: We are looking for the parents of our grand father, Frank McCallum, and living family too. Frank was likely born in 1891 or 92, probably in the United States and orphaned before he was 12.  He emigrated, that is walked, from North Dakota to Saskatchewan, Canada around 1902.  He died in 1956 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Much of the social information about him is unconfirmed.  Recent DNA analysis proves that McCallum could not have been the ancestral name. 

We don’t know when or where he was orphaned.  The story that family recall that he provided was that he worked on a farm in North Dakota, left and walked into Saskatchewan, Canada in his early teens, around 1902.  He then worked at Vanscoy near Saskatoon as a farm labourer for Charlie Benolken who had recently emigrated with several other relatives and family members from just west of Minneapolis.  Frank then acquired four parcels of land to farm and simultaneously operated a small general store from his farm, sold insurance and involved himself in other ventures.

Apparently he had a younger brother, name unknown, who Frank last saw in North Dakota.  Later Frank tried finding him but was unsuccessful.  He remembered his father having red hair and his mother black hair.


Haplotype:         E1b1b1c1a1 or E-M136 a sub-clade of E1b1b1c1 (E-M34).   

The DNA analysis proves that our ancestral name is not McCallum.  The global McCallum Y-chromosome is group R; his was group E.  The McCallum name was adopted at some point.  Emigration or adoption would be events when that would occur.  There are all kinds of reasons why someone looking for a name would pick a specific name; but, “Frank McCallum”? Frank is not a typical Scottish name per se, particularly in that era since the name Frank apparently only came into use in the 1700s.  Today there are a number of Frank McCallum’s listed in a Google of today’s Glasgow. 

The modern day geographical locations of the M136 haplotype are not yet meaningfully identified.  The earlier E1b1b1c group seems to have originated in or near to the Jordan Valley of the eastern Mediterranean.  However, distribution of the M34 haplotype also includes northern Spain and Portugal and through the coastal areas of the Mediterranean and into Anatolia and even north East Africa.

Frank’s eldest son deduced from various indicators that Frank may have been Jewish.


Date of Birth:     likely October 27, 1891 or 1892 

Place of Birth:   possibly Detroit or Wayne County, Michigan (cited in numerous homestead registrations, wedding certificate and WWI sign-up documents); but could also be New York, Illinois and Europe.

Alternative McCallum Parentage

Alternative McCallum Parentage – Alternative Names

(from his 1919 Glasgow wedding certificate)

Father: John McCallum, hotel proprietor

Mother: Julia, maiden name Leggat

Alternative McCallum Parentage – Immigrants 1892


Names: Frank McCallum Age 42 (nationality Canadian) & Mrs. McCallum Age 40 (nationality Irish) Both citizens of the USA.

Arrived: Ellis Island, New York Sept 9 1892  from Liverpool

Ship was: The City of New York  

Of the 65 McCallums who landed at Ellis Island, New York between 1892 and 1924 only one was named Frank, arriving Sept 9 1892, who brought no children. 

Coincidence? Quite possibly.  But consider the following: this Frank’s Nationality/Ethnicity is listed as Canada! Very odd. This Frank is also a Citizen of the United States and destination is “Ills” which I assume is an abbreviation for Illinois (Chicago?). Why would Canadian Frank be taking an Irish wife from Liverpool to live in the US instead of Canada?

So what might be the relevance?

·         They could have had a child after arriving in Illinois.

·         They could have “adopted” a child, even one from the boat.  There were deaths during the voyage but I haven’t yet checked the other 1,740 passengers.

·         Our “Frank’s” parent(s) could have met passenger Frank and his wife on the boat and then after landing taken on his name, and naming his son Frank as a tribute or thank you. 

For an eventual orphan Canada could also be a strong, attractive myth of “home”, strong enough to motivate a walk there when he could have walked in any other direction.

Alternative McCallum Parentage (possibly grandparents)

Source: Essex County, Ontario Wedding Records (year)

Father: Frank McCallum

Mother: Julia Vanantwerp / or Van Antwerp

Father: James McCallum

Names Given To children that may be relevant hints:

James, John, Francis, Merle, Neil, Effie.

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