Second Cousins Surface!

I don’t want to get your hopes up, or mine, but the first 2nd and a related 2nd-3rd cousin have just surfaced on 23andMe.  Since their files appeared on 23andMe at the same time, they are highly likely to be sisters and likely once removed, that is, of the same generation as my sons.  They are much less likely to be 1st cousins to each other.  They are almost certainly not mother and daughter.

What does all that mean? They would be descendants of  Frank’s sibling(s).  Amazing.

We know that Frank went back into the US several times looking for a brother.  We don’t know when Frank or his brother were orphaned.  We don’t know if either of his parents survived, or had any other children.  We may be about to find out some of this.

On 23andMe, these two new cousins share the most genetic material with me outside of my brother Brian and sons Jon and David. The 2nd cousin shares with me, and some of you, 10 times more DNA than the next closest cousin found so far, a possible 3rd cousin.  The 2nd cousin shares 3.40% shared over 12 segments.  The 2nd-3rd cousin shares 2.4% over 9 segments.

It is possible that they link to me through my Scottish grandmother.  But since both these cousins have the K1a1b1a maternal haplogroup, which is seldom found in non-Jews and is found in only 10% of women in the UK, that possibility seems unlikely.  They are not linked through my mother who had the maternal haplogroup U4a1a.

I sent these cousins a note inviting them to share genomes.  However, these cousins may not agree to connect or share genomes.  23andMe has many members who do not want to make contact with others, for a variety of reasons.

This discovery is only two days old so contact with them, if it occurs, may be some time away.

Stay tuned.


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New Genetic Genealogical Resources – Kelly Wheaton’s Beginners’ Guide to Genetic Genealogy

I have begun reading this material and find it helpful. I hope that as I begin to use it that I will be even more helpful. At this site there are references to useful resources such as spreadsheets for consolidating data that can be sorted in many different order to find telltale patterns of chromosome segments that suggest branches on family trees..

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Newborn Frances Shaw McCallum Continues the Name Francis/Frank in the Next Generation

We are pleased to announce that Frances Helena Shaw McCallum, born August 4, 2013 to Jonathan McCallum and Kerry Shaw  will continue in the next generation the name Frances which has variations in the families of both parents.

Unraveling  the mystery surrounding the past of orphan Francis (Frank) is the reason for this web site.   We have reason to believe that there were in distant family other versions including Fran/z/ziska/cizka/tiska. They are still to be confirmed.

Frances is the great granddaughter of Francis (Frank) McCallum.  The late Francis (Sandy) Merle McCallum was  a son of Frank and would be a great uncle to Frances.

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DNA / Genealogical Comparison Guidance

Can you suggest texts that explain how to read chromosome segments so as to determine family tree branches?  A utility or  app into which to plug selected chromosome data and generate probabilities would be ideal. GEDmatch does not currently provide the triangulation utility which did help locate and populate potential branches which could then be matched against known family trees.

Thousands of cousins have  turned up via various genetic testing services.  The labs propose generational distance.

Certain individuals share the same chromosome fragment(s).   Clearly segments over 6 cMs strongly indicate cousinage probability and the larger the segments the stronger the probability.  One can then infer that, the more segments shared, the stronger the cousinage probability.  But how does one read those segments to get the most out of the analysis?

GEDmatch provides  several Admixture analysis utilities which shows you the regional DNA sharing for each segment of  each chromosome.  What is the value in this if one can then determine that shared segments contain specific regional contributions, e.g. north-east Europe, West Asia etc?

There are likely to be other bits of wisdom the appropriate books or utilities could provide.

Where are they?





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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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Discount on cost of DNA tests for health and geneological purposes

23andMe has discounted it’s DNA tests to $99.

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Ancestry Overview

The new 23andMe features provided the revelation that in the past several hundred years my mother’s line had ancestry in Europe/the Near East.

This may be the first confirmation of something about a North African blood connection that my mother once alluded to in conversation with one of my brothers.  It also may provide the explanation of observation that my Mediterranean DNA is too great (around 45%) to be credited solely to my grandfather which should only be about 25%.

Also somewhat surprising is the reference to my father’s line still being found primarily in Africa.

Your Mother’s Line

Along your mother’s line, you have ancestry in Europe/the Near East in the past few hundred years, that traces back to eastern Africa around 50,000 years ago.


Your Father’s Line

Your father’s line was likely in eastern Africa 50,000 years ago. Today that line is still found primarily in Africa.

Your Overall Ancestry

It looks like all of your ancestors from the past few hundred years were of European/Near Eastern origin.

Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry

It looks like you have some Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. You share DNA with some 23andMe customers that have reported full Jewish ancestry.

And if it weren’t exotic enough there is the

Neanderthal Ancestry

You have an estimated 2.8% Neanderthal DNA, which puts you in the 85th percentile among Multi-regional 23andMe members.

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Top Relative Surnames – From 23andMe

23andMe has added some interesting new features.  One is Ancestry Overview.  One of its segments identifies Top Relative Surnames from all the other 23andMe subscribers that are our cousins–some 1008.  These names include the names of those 23andMe members and all the family surnames that they have included in their files.  Such a facility may be helpful in finding Frank’s true surname, whether it is McCallum or not.

What are those names?

Surname Count Enrichment
Cohen 10
Friedman 6
Levin 5
Fischer 5
Brown 7


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The Family’s Silk Route Connection from the Orient to the Levant – 9.6% Baloch


Apparently we share 9.57% of our genetic material with the people of the region that straddle Pakistan (Balochistan) and Iran (Baluchestan).  This region lies along and roughly in the western-middle of the ancient collection of overland and sea highways known as the Silk Road or Silk Route stretching from China to Turkey.  Much of the over-land route is to the north of Baluchestan.

Why did we not know this before?

The nature of DNA genealogical analysis is that it is a relatively young field of study–roughly 10 years old.  From a start of, for all intents and purposes, a  zero population of DNA samples this field is adding DNA samples at an exponential rate.  However, this means two things  that are relevant to answering the question of “why now?”  First, sample collection is not even world wide.  There seem to be higher concentrations in certain populations determined by societal wealth, education, ethnic motivation, and marketing.  For the most part, homogeneous populations are not as interested in learning their DNA genealogy when their parents and ancestors as well as their archaeology and written records provide both oral and written records going back  hundreds or thousands of years thereby satisfying their curiosity–they know who they are.

Relatively recent immigrants to “new world” regions don’t have these resources, particularly if they were forced by conflict to migrate thereby losing their family records. Intermarriage between immigrant groups confuses the oral tradition and often newly developed regions in the past t-500 years haven’t had  religious or civic record keeping.  Aside from large cracks through which data could fall, this also provided a vast canvas upon which individuals could paint new identities for themselves further obscuring their ancestral trail.  Gramps, Frank, stand up and take a bow.

Major forces in collecting genealogical material, by DNA and other means, have been Jews and Mormons–for different reasons.  European antisemitism from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s was a major people and record destroyer motivating contemporary Jews to learn who they are and who their ancestors were as well as locating lost living relatives.  The Mormons have their own, more open-ended, motivation which they have developed into a thriving business world wide.  They are omnivorous.

Into this mix has come a new generation of academics, geneticists, genealogists and genetic entrepreneurs bringing new DNA data collection and analysis and new analytic tools.  The world wide web has made this available to us all.

Even as data is being collected, the analysis of  that data is becoming more sophisticated.  Researchers are sharing their databases, their analytic approaches and even their tools making them and us smarter, more knowledgeable and increasingly more accurate.

The terminology is standardizing.  Terms like Admixture Analysis and Painting are becoming more comprehensible to the likes of us amateurs.

Our Baloch/Baluch is such an evolutionary product of this growth of data and understanding.

Admixture Analysis examines “the interbreeding between two or more previously isolated populations within a species”.  We are species that sleeps around.

The admixture of the child of one Caucasian parent and one Chinese parent is roughly (47-53%) 50% Caucasian and 50 % Chinese.  However, each parent is also an admixture of their ancestors.  The greater the amount of DNA analysis from an ever growing sample of DNA tests, the more refined is the researcher’s ability to match specific genetic fragments to specific populations both farther back in time and more specific to geographical locations.

Previously, our admixture analysis was based on samples and analysis more heavily European and North American.  The most motivated, therefore the most active groups providing samples and doing analysis were Jews, African Americans and Indigenous Americans–for obvious reasons.

My first use of Admixture Analysis was provided by 23andMe, then FTDNA and then analysis of my DNA by separate sources other than specific DNA labs.  I used GEDmatch and then Dienekes Pontikos’ Dodecad Project  made available by GEDmatch.

Dodecad was weighted to northern Europe.  Two weeks ago I used a new one, Harappa Ancestry Project (HarappaWorld), which focuses on Asia and Africa.  You can find a table below comparing the analysis of my DNA by these two analytic engines.

The 4 Admixture analysis engines produced results not that far off each other, in the macro, such as Mediterranean and Western/Northern/Eastern Europe and Asian/East Mediterranean.  The analysis by first 3 engines identified lots of general regional (Asian and Eastern Mediterranean) fragments without attachment to specific national geography.  However, Harappa appears to have pulled many of the fragments together and assigned a specific region and national group–Baloch.

The technology is more nuanced and sophisticated than I can adequately represent but as far as I have examined, they are reasonable presentations.  Will they change? Probably.  But they will become more precise as the years go on, perhaps even pinpointing specific small geographic regions, such as a province and a specific point in time.

So what’s the big deal about only 10% of my/our DNA being Baloch?  Big deal is a stretch but fascinating is closer to the truth–for me anyway.

For one thing, our major Y-haplogroup, E, came out of Africa.  We all originated there but not all haplogroups originated there.  Recent analysis suggests, contrary to previous analysis, that the migratory route was NOT up the Rift Valley from Kenya through Egypt into the Eastern Mediterranean. “The patterns of recombination diversity in the X chromosome from 30 populations Old World suggest that anatomically modern human first left Africa through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait rather than through present Egypt.”  This was about 60,000 years ago when the oceans were much lower and the straits were much shallower or dry, allowing a series of emigrations along the southern coast of Asia.  They went across the now 80 mile long and minimum width 20 mile strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea, north of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa.

From there they then went either across the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen et al) or by sea north across to Balochistan (Iran or Pakistan). Alternatively it could have been overland towards the Mediterranean and then back east along the Silk Road through Iran.  Our E Y-chromosome, even E1b1b1c1a (M-84), is found in Yemen. I don’t know yet if there are many M-84s in Balochistan but I presume that there are.  Stay tuned.

The further importance is that the flow, as the scientists suggest, was then west along the Silk Road by land and by sea.  Overland arrives at the small triangular region bounded by the upper coast of the northeastern Mediterranean and then over to the Syrian/Turkish border near Haran where Abraham lived and, according to a genealogical study, may have been an E1b1b1c1a like us.  Analysis suggests that in this triangular region of about 300x150x400 km is where our most recent mutation, giving us E1b1b1c1a, is believed to have taken place in our Most Recent Common Ancestor about 1515 BCE, give or take a few hundred years.

A further fascinating question about the Baloch connection, the answer to which might lead to further fascinating revelations, is “why is my Baloch fragment 10%?”   Clearly, or perhaps not so clearly, my mother and grandmother should have diluted my Baloch connection substantially–by at least 75%.  If they had no Baloch DNA themselves, then Frank would have had Baloch DNA of approximately 40%.   Bear in mind that this extrapolation math is being done by a DNA amateur.  But if true, one of Frank’s parents would have had Baloch DNA approximating 80%.  Obviously, this would have implications for ancestry migration prior to Eastern Europe where Frank seems to have come from.

Stay tuned.

In 10 years all this analysis will look quite primitive as then we will better know the migratory steps.

Below you will find some of the information and sources on the Balochs and Baluchs for you to explore, if you are interested.

Note: Eventually I will edit the following material  but it is sufficiently clear to get you started–if you are curious.


The ancient Silk Route straddles it and ends up near Harran in Turkey at the eastern tip of the area where our Y-chromosome originated. As the crow flies it is 2,643 km from Quetta in Pakistan to Harran.  It just skirts (40 km) the southern suburbs of Tehran en route.


The Silk Route or Silk Road meandered over 6,500 kms over land and there were sea links as well. See the map.

  1.  IRAN Baluchestan Province Wikipedia
  2. PAKISTAN ·  Balochistan, Pakistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Balochistan (بلوچستان) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and the largest, constituting approximately 44% of its total land mass. It is bordered by Iran to the …,_Pakistan

·  Balochistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Balochistan (Balochi: بلوچستان) or Baluchistan Land of the Baloch. Is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of …

·  Balochistan travel guide – Wikitravel


Open source travel guide to Balochistan, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written …

Cities (Pakistan)

Other destinations

  • PC Gwadar Beach resort [1] and Gadani beaches
  • Archaeological site of Mahargarh
  • Makran Coastal Highway (Over 770 km From Karachi to Gwadar) is unique fascination for tourists. It is pertinent to mention here that Alexander had passed through the coastal belt of Balochistan in 325 BC covering a long trail
  • Juniper Forests in Ziarat Valley – One of the largest Juniper forests in the globe


Balochistan provincial region of SW Pakistan has an area of 134,051 mi2 or (347,190 km2). It covers 48% of Pakistani territory;

Stay safe

You should seek advice from tourist offices and embassies about which areas are safe and which are not. Travel to some portions of Balochistan is not advisable or requires an armed escort.


Judaism and the Silk Route

Richard Foltz

The History Teacher
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Nov., 1998), pp. 9-16
Published by: Society for History Education
Article Stable URL:

To read a page go to

Admixture Comparisons

Harrappa Admixture Dienekes Admixture
Population Population
NE-Euro 46.56% East_European 15.97%
Caucasian 8.61% West_European 44.99%
Siberian 0.79%
Mediterranean 29.54% Mediterranean 25.30%
West_Asian 6.92%
Baloch 9.57%
SW-Asian 4.17% Southwest_Asian 3.72%
South_Asian 0.76%
NE-Asian Northeast_Asian 0.74%
SE-Asian 0.27% Southeast_Asian
San (South Africa) 0.22%
W-African Northwest_African 1.61%
E-African East_African
Pygmy Palaeo_African
American 0.25%
Beringian (ancient Asian migrants to America via Siberia and land bridge over the Bering Straits)


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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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