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Old June 20 2013, 12:36 AM   #1
Tora Ziyal
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Genetics / genealogy

I recently had genetic testing done by 23andMe. I figured that since they were giving me a free membership to take part in their chordoma research, they might not give me the ancestry data that they provide paid members. But they did, and it's been fascinating!

Has anyone else had genetic testing done? Anyone else doing genealogy? If others are interested in having a conversation about this, I'll share what I'm learning about my family.
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Old June 20 2013, 01:53 AM   #2
auntiehill
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

I have not had any genetic testing; it's far too cost-prohibitive, especially when one is not searching for a specific medical condition.

My mother has done extensive research on Dad's side of the family but hasn't done much on her side---her maternal grandparents were Germans fleeing WW1. Most of their relatives were killed in WW2, and the records completely destroyed.

I find I am mildly interested in my genetic heritage but not terribly so. Perhaps because other relatives are rabidly, psychotically obsessed with it, that I have been rather turned off of it in general. For instance, we discovered we are mostly Scottish and German, with English and various Scandinavian countries thrown in. We used to think we were mostly English and German, with some Scottish. So, I just shrug and say, "Oh, OK." I don't really find that to be earth-shattering information.

And really, if you go back far enough, we are all related and all from the same place.
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Old June 20 2013, 02:38 AM   #3
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

Auntiehill, I have some genealogy-obsessed in-laws, and it sounds like what your relatives have discovered isn't all that big a difference anyway, so I know where you're coming from, not being very interested. (Oops, no pun intended, honest.)

I got a pretty big surprise, though. My father's side of the family is as Italian as I'd expected. On the other side, I knew that my grandparents were born in Russian and Ukraine. Both were Russian Orthodox and raised my mother in that church. But... it turns out that one of them was genetically Ashkenazi Jewish. Now that was unexpected! It's most likely my grandmother (too tired to explain why her right now). Maybe she was adopted. Maybe her parents converted, either by choice or force, and kept it a secret from her. Or maybe she knew and just never told my mother or even my grandfather. Or maybe ancestors a generation or two back converted and then married within a community of other converts. Maybe..........

BTW, another possibility is that both grandparents had an Ashkenazi parent, but I've already tentatively ruled that out because it was so uncommon for Ashkenazim to marry gentiles, it seems unlikely that I'd have two ancestors who did it. Also, just because it's the most complicated possibility.

I love a good mystery!
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Old June 20 2013, 02:52 AM   #4
RandyS
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

I have a paternal family history on my ancestors going back to 1820, but this was a written report. I take it what you're talking about is done on the computer (I know, that's a stupid question, what isn't these days)?

Another question: When you say "genetics/genealogy", are we talking DNA testing here? Or looking for birth records, and that sort of thing? The latter is how mine was done.
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Old June 20 2013, 03:02 AM   #5
Miss Chicken
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

Myself and my sister have research both sides of our family. On my father's side the majority of my ancestors arrived in Australia (Tasmania and NSW) as convicts (mostly from England), on my mother's side they wee all free settlers (from England, Scotland and orangemen from Ireland). It is quite possible that at least one branch of my family were originally Hugenots.

I wouldn't mind having some genetic testing as we have some of the diseases that occur in my family (ulceratic colitis, Crohn's disease, esophageal cancer, non-Hodgins lymphoma, early onset osteoarthritis, asthma) all seem to have genetic link.

My paternal grandmother and my father died of esophageal cancer. My mother survive lymphoma (20 years later she died of lung cancer) but my mother's brother and her sister's daughter died of it.
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Old June 20 2013, 07:16 AM   #6
Portal
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

My paternal family tree traces all the way back to 1100 in France.
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Old June 20 2013, 09:41 AM   #7
RJDiogenes
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

A friend of mine had genetic testing done recently; they not only told him his recent ancestry, but also the percentage of Neandertal and Denisovan genes that he has. I think it only cost two or three hundred dollars. I can't remember off the top of my head where he had it done, but I'll find out. I'm thinking of having it done myself.
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Old June 20 2013, 11:06 AM   #8
Miss Chicken
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

I wouldn't mind doing it to see if I might have some Scandanavian heritage. My last name is of Old Norse origin.
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Old June 20 2013, 02:50 PM   #9
iguana_tonante
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

Even tho my family comes from Turin, in Piedmont, my last name hails ultimately from the town of Andria, in Apulia. The name itself is probably derived from the name of a preeminent Roman family of plebeian origin, but it's impossible to know if directly or indirectly.

Given that Italy has been invaded at least a dozen of times, and it was for the longest time a hub of travel and commerce, I surmise my actual genetic heritage would be all over the place, from Scandinavia to North Africa.
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Old June 20 2013, 09:05 PM   #10
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

^ Iguana, my "Italian" genes don't go quite that far north, but, yes, all the way around the Mediterranean. My grandfather's family has been in Morlupo (Roma) for hundreds of years, my grandmother's in Cagliari.

RandyS wrote: View Post
I have a paternal family history on my ancestors going back to 1820, but this was a written report. I take it what you're talking about is done on the computer (I know, that's a stupid question, what isn't these days)?

Another question: When you say "genetics/genealogy", are we talking DNA testing here? Or looking for birth records, and that sort of thing? The latter is how mine was done.
All of the above. It was deliberately a wide open question. Although there's a lot of genealogical info available on the internet, there's even more that isn't.

I want to take a look at the passenger lists for the port where my maternal grandparents arrived in 1922 or 23, and those are available only on microfilm, so I'll be spending a day at the public library soon. I wonder how many decades it's been since I used microfilm!

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
A friend of mine had genetic testing done recently; they not only told him his recent ancestry, but also the percentage of Neandertal and Denisovan genes that he has. I think it only cost two or three hundred dollars. I can't remember off the top of my head where he had it done, but I'll find out. I'm thinking of having it done myself.
2.8% Neanderthal here. That amount is in about the 60th percentile of Europeans.
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Old June 20 2013, 10:24 PM   #11
propita
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
Auntiehill, I have some genealogy-obsessed in-laws, and it sounds like what your relatives have discovered isn't all that big a difference anyway, so I know where you're coming from, not being very interested. (Oops, no pun intended, honest.)

I got a pretty big surprise, though. My father's side of the family is as Italian as I'd expected. On the other side, I knew that my grandparents were born in Russian and Ukraine. Both were Russian Orthodox and raised my mother in that church. But... it turns out that one of them was genetically Ashkenazi Jewish. Now that was unexpected! It's most likely my grandmother (too tired to explain why her right now). Maybe she was adopted. Maybe her parents converted, either by choice or force, and kept it a secret from her. Or maybe she knew and just never told my mother or even my grandfather. Or maybe ancestors a generation or two back converted and then married within a community of other converts. Maybe..........

BTW, another possibility is that both grandparents had an Ashkenazi parent, but I've already tentatively ruled that out because it was so uncommon for Ashkenazim to marry gentiles, it seems unlikely that I'd have two ancestors who did it. Also, just because it's the most complicated possibility.

I love a good mystery!


If your mother's mother was Jewish, that makes you Jewish.

Ahem...welcome to the tribe!

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Old June 20 2013, 10:40 PM   #12
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

^ Thank you, ma'am. Snacks will be provided... after I confirm that it really is her family, not my grandfather's.
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Old June 20 2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

I have not had genetic testing performed. However, my aunt did a full genealogy years ago B.C. [Before Computers]. On my mother's side we go back to the Mayflower through Captain Miles Standish. Our ancestors fought on both sides of Revolutionary War, Civil War and others. (Even today, our family cannot agree on much!)

My great-grandfather left Germany as Hitler was rising in power. He came to America, started a business, invested well, then went back with his son his wife. Sadly, the rest of the family were massacred in the Holocaust. He returned to America, married here and converted to Christianity from Judaism.

On my father's side, my grandmother was the daughter of a Cherokee chief. My grandfather, a minister, fell in love with her and the rest is history... my family history. I would like to delve further into Dad's side of the family. I know of a few historical figures through family stories, but would like to document them.
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Old June 21 2013, 03:10 AM   #14
Pondwater
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

Very interested due to some things going on...And one side is almost a complete mystery except for the fact they remained in one borough for ages. Besides that fact folks have been mum.

The other side pretty much the same situation, one island generations sprawled across the other six islands. Not much mystery there.
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Old June 21 2013, 05:14 AM   #15
Candlelight
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Re: Genetics / genealogy

I did the 23andMe thing in April. Very interesting results. Stuff in real life and work have prevented me from going beyond the brief overview. I'm mainly from Eastern Europe in a very tight area, so clearly a lot of inbreeding going on.

I also have 3% Neanderthal DNA.
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