Archive for December, 2014

First Cousin Data

Now two additional grandchildren of the elusive Frank have taken the 23andMe DNA test.  Marcus McCallum (son of Neil) and Bryce Holmgren (son of Effie) have stepped up to the tube, spit and mailed it off to the lab.  Now, with Brian, we have 4 grand children from 3 different children plus 2 great grandchildren, David and Jon, from the same father, me.

Bryce and Marcus have given me access to their data to help isolate selected chromosome fragments that are consistent with us all, or most of us, so that we can use these to more clearly identify probable cousins.

The chromosome comparisons show some interesting correlations within the family but these need further review to determine what might by useful.  I have not yet had time to triangulate with other cousin matches.

Stay tuned.

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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:
Poland
Belarus
Ghana

At 1 each:
Austria
Czech Republic
Russian Federation
Switzerland
Spain
Hungary
Lithuania
Mexico

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.

Ian

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