Archive for March, 2012

Two people walk into a bar…

I’ve been asked how we got started on this quest. As all such stories should go, it starts with, “Two people walk into a bar…”

In the spring of 2010 my son, David, was in a Toronto bar with his girlfriend Angella. They were discussing finding an appropriate birthday present for her father.

While surfing the net on a friends web-enabled phone they discovered that 23andMe was offering DNA testing for both medical and genealogical results for $99 down from $495. The offer expired in 20 minutes. They bought one for her father and David also bought one for himself since he had been asking “who am I?” largely motivated by the identity-hole left by his great-grandfather, one that David had unsuccessfully tried to fill.

When his results came back he had no time to check them since he was out of town for two months and had recently decided to do his PhD in Sweden and they had to be there in two months. So he gave curious me access to his file. After a week or so of poking around I stumbled across a MacCallum web site devoted to genealogical DNA research. Hundreds of McCallums (McCallan etc) on it were people with only versions of haplotype R. None were versions of our E. We didn’t belong. Then I checked for other sites related to E1b1b1c1a. Low and behold we came from the Levant (near Abraham’s Harran) around 1515 BCE  (+/-650 years).

It was like waking up on a foreign hotel room and not know which way was home. Completely disorienting—for days.  The Levant is not Glasgow.

Fortunately, Klezmer is every bit as appealing as bagpipes.  My grandfather did marry a Glaswegian and so my love of the pipes must come from her.

While on the subject, yes David’s girl friend’s father’s DNA test must have checked out because David and Angella will marry July 27th on the shore where the Atlantic Ocean meets Canada in Newfoundland.

Just kidding about David checking Angella’s father’s DNA test.

 

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

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Ish7688voT0/TOAbjajWtcI/AAAAAAAAC40/GmUk005OYlU/s1600/ADMIXTURE10.jpeg

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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.

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Identical_By_Descent_segment

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Wiki_Welcome_Page

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Relative_Finder#Thresholds_for_relationship_matches

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_tools

There is an interesting user-controlled animation here:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/tour/

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Geographical Origin of E1b1b1c1a M84

Given that the Time of the Most Recent Common Ancestor M84 was about 1515 BCE  (+/-650 years), it is hard to pinpoint the exact location of his birth. However, scientists estimate that it was within a region of about 20,000 sq km that stretched southwest to the Mediterranean from just over the Turkish/Syrian border at about Harran (home of Abraham).

By comparison, that is an area about the same size as Israel, Sardinia, Sicily or Massachusetts; twice the size of Lebanon or Cyprus; and 4 times the size of PEI but 1/4 the size of Ireland or the island of Newfoundland. It is also slightly larger than the triangular area from Toronto to Kingston to Ottawa.

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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%
West_European
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%
100%

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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Proposed Cousins MASTER List – These Cousin Relationships Are Probable But Remain To Be Verified & The Links Are Unknown

As more have their DNA analyzed there are more cousins being proposed by various organizations. I am currently using 23andMe, GEDmatch and ftDNA. As well, I am using MyHeritage for family tree (GEDCOM) development. there are others but these are the primary ones. I will update the list from time to time.

I have decided to put up this master list of the most promising names in order to attract others who are searching and may have parts of the puzzle that we don’t have. Note that searches of specific family trees–such as the current most promising family tree managed by 4th cousin Daniela Mihailovici–will get their own postings.

For Frank’s descendants coming to this page, remember that these matches–out of necessity–are to me and to Merle, Kevin and Brian since it is my DNA that was used. This means that all Frank’ and Molly’s descendants may be related but that since half my DNA is from my English mother then other descendants of Frank and Molly may NOT be related to these cousins. If one other of my cousins (Frank’s descendents) were to have their DNA tested then we could cross compare and determine if the DNA that matches each of these proposed cousins comes from Frank or Molly. That would reduce the search time required by weeding out those who are not related to Frank. I’m unaware of any other of Frank’s descendants having their DNA tested other than me, Brian, David and Jon.

ftDNA

2nd Cousin – 4th Cousin Step Match

Charlotte Kirk Lazell – contact established
Sandra (Raskin) Curcuru – contact established

3rd Cousin – 5th Cousin Step Match

Alexis Hillary Frankel – contact established
Brian Scott Politzer
Mitchell Adley Leon – contact established
Juri Alperovich – contact established via 3rd party cousin
Jewell Betty Andersen (nee Pick)  – contact established via 3rd party

Sasha Emily Ganz – contact established via 3rd party cousin
Ralph F Rothschild – contact established
Julie Bernsen Brook – contact established
Robin Kasch
Jamie Elyse Merriman-Cohen – contact established
Rayna Gillman – contact established
Gregory Lee Steinhauer  – contact established
Roger Wright Lamson
William Alan Schubert
Shirley Jean Collins Beane
Marsha Spector – contact established via 3rd party cousin
Helene Shulman Lorenz
Helmut Schwab
William Morris Yoffee – contact established
Harvey Morris Kabaker – contact established
Fred A Schreier
David Stephen Senzel – contact established
Gil Bardige
Sally Mizroch – contact established
Beatrice Ann Witter
Valerie Bunch Hollinger
Terri /Alexander Kahan

23andMe – 3rd-4th Cousin

Eugene Yurtsev – contact established
Alexander Lifanov – contact established
Karen Aziz
Nathanael Eisenberg

All of the names posted are unproven, unless otherwise indicated. They will be added to our GEDCOM and will be appropriately “qualified”.

NOTE: If anyone named above would prefer to be removed from the list, please let me know. The information posted above is available from other web sites that require members to opt in so that they can benefit from matching DNA analysis and family trees/GEDCOMs. Nonetheless, I wish to establish friendly relations with newly found relatives. We can agree to disagree later, once we really get to know each other!

This addition originated from my son, David, who opened up this DNA Pandora’s box. He pointed out to me the relative importance of propriety and enthusiasm. He deserves the credit as well as his mother who must have brought him up well.

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