Who I Know I Am

Genealogy is a funny thing.  Even with an archaeologist in the family, (seriously), you can come across some gaps in the family lineage.  So, a couple of months ago, I finally decided to do something about it.

I had thought about having my DNA tested for a long time.  Now, I knew that English and Irish heritage already played a good part in my history, but I wondered about the hidden parts.  My mom's family history had some gaps, and I wanted to know more.  I sent off a DNA sample to Family Tree DNA with an autosomal  DNA test  as well as my mom's DNA, the mitochondrial DNA, that went back about eight generations.

I was pleasantly surprised.



James Claude, my paternal great-grandfather 


My Dad's DNA yielded what I knew to be true.  Mostly British Isles, including Ireland, England, Scotland, and the Orkney Islands, which lends a bit of heritage toward the Picts.  Yes!    As well as a bit of Middle Eastern thrown in the mix.  Surprise!  

James Claude, again, with his wife, Fannie, and two of their children. This photo of James Claude, with the mustache, I think resembles my father in his younger mustache days.  My dad has those ears!  


My Mom's DNA proved to be a little more interesting.  

My paternal great-grandmother, Tamar, and great-grandfather Jim, with children Beatrice, seated, and Ora, as a baby.  Longevity is a hallmark of this line, with the women living well into their nineties.  



Her information told of German, Belgian and French influences, as well as a healthy dose of Irish blood in the mix.  Oh, and a bit of Finnish in there as well.  

My maternal great-grandfather, Lucas, with my great-grandmother, Anna Lee.  Anna is pregnant, in this photo, with my grandmother, Dorothy Bird.  In her later years, known simply as Bird.  She would be their only daughter.  Both Anna, and her daughter, Bird, lived to be in their nineties.  I remember visiting Anna, when I was a child. 


The Irish was expected and I knew of a French trapper ancestor, but the German, Belgian, and Finnish DNA was a fun surprise. 


Bird, as a young woman.  She told me that she always disliked this photo, as the dress was too big.  Hence, no smile.  

This put my mitochondiral DNA sample into the K Haplogroup.  Interesting, to say the least, and a bit unexpected for this Appalachian area.  

Bird's husband, my maternal grandfather, Henry Edward.  It was mentioned that, in his early days, he possibly ran a little 'shine on the back roads.

So, where does this leave me?  Somewhat satisfied, with a yearning to know more.  Family Tree DNA allows members to work out their family trees and link up with others, as well as participate in family surname projects.  


Possibly a project for this summer.  

Have any of you had your DNA tested?  








Comments

  1. Morning Michelle, so very interesting, loved reading and seeing the old pictures. Blessings Francine.

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  2. I have fun researching genealogy, haven't done dna but mostly online research but I have hit some walls mainly where things point to native american as they hid that because of the laws. Other than that it isn't too hard once you figure to look for all the different spellings of a name.

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  3. What fun. I have a question on my Grandfather's side but never pursued the DNA. I did however encourage my husband do send in his test. Still not as conclusive as I would wish. All our ancestors came to this country so far back that it has been difficult to trace some of them and with my husband's ancestor the known lineage stopped in S. C. Oh well, maybe one of these days I can find out more.

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  4. i love genealogy...i haven't had my dna tested but i did have my oldest son's tested when a woman contacted me trying to make a link in the breese line. christian proved with his dna that her thoughts were correct and her ancestor was also part of our line!

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  5. I think it would be a fun project. I think I know ...English, Welsh, French on my mother's side and German, Swiss on my father's side. But wouldn't it be fun to find something I didn't know!

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  6. I have not had mine tested yet, but it IS on my birthday wish list...we shall see. :-) What fun! I have been into genealogy for years now and want to go to the next step. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  7. I didn't know this was available...thanks for sharing...

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  8. Very interesting.... I didn't even know you could do that type of thing!

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  9. i'm not too far away from the roots. 2nd or 3rd generation born here in the states. several grandparents came over from czechoslavakia and germany as tots.

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  10. Interesting. My aunt did our family genealogy for my father's side and what I found very interesting is that my great grandfather was a convict sent from England to Australia. We knew that already but really interesting bit was that she found his criminal records with a complete physical description on him from the shape and color of eyes, eyebrows, ears etc, right down to the shape of his fingers. I have to say we haven't fallen far from the tree. Oh, and the 'convict' was a 17yo boy who stole 1lb of beef and a lady's lace handkerchief! No such thing as petty theft in those days, I guess.

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  11. Well you are a wonderful mix! And those photos are great!

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  12. Cool! How much does something like that cost?

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    1. McVal,
      Family Tree is linked in the post, so you can check out all of the costs.

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  13. Wonderful post, nice to hear about your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing and I will need to check into this dna testing....very interesting.

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  14. I didn't know about being able to test your DNA either. Dad and my brother have done some extensive digging; it helps to have a history teacher as a parent ;-) I will share this post with them, and see what they do with it! Great pictures! I think I could "clean up" the cracks and spots for you. I used to love to restore old pictures with an editing program. It's addictive though!

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  15. I've not had mine done but a cousin on my dad's side of the family had his done. Sometimes they tell you to have DNA from the males in the family rather than the females but, heck, what do they know. Females may be harder to track, though. I haven't done anything on genealogy in a long time. Perhaps I'll get back to it one of these days. Have fun.

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  16. Love family histories. I'm just starting my research not much time right now. My uncle has been tracing it for about a year with grandma filling in some gaps so I'm starting with his notes. Your family photos are wonderful. I was fortunate enough to know 5 of my great grandparents and know some hertiage from that. Never knew you could do the DNA. Warm Blessings! Amy

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  17. I've done mine, my father and a cousin. Lots of connections that I didn't expect and I still don't understand it all. I've really found out more just researching the family tree the old fashioned way- connecting as far back as I can through census and tons of other records. DNA is a cool tool- that's for sure! I love your old photos- fantastic!

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  18. Amazing what you can find, we are all such a mixture.
    Merle.........

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  19. WOW I love the nice mix you have going on there. Lucky girl. I have never had mine tested but now it sounds so interesting I would think about it someday.
    LOVE LOVE the old photos. I found out my GG Grandmother was dutch and I was surely surprised it goes well with the Irish Scotch English German thing maybe we are related:) Quite the Heinz 57 for both of us I find family history searching fascinating.Hug B

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  20. How exciting to find out about these parts of your heritage Michelle. And your old family photos are fantastic. Great post!

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  21. I am such a mongrel that I am probably better off not knowing. There is some family lore about an ancestor being thrown out of Ireland for staling horses.

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  22. It's good to know who we are! Enjoyed reading this post! I've never checked into the DNA but someone on my Fathers side had a family tree of history that went way back! Very interesting~~~I'm part Welsh, Irish and Cherokee Indian. Have a wonderful week~~~~Roxie

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  23. I would but they would probably tell me there's no hope for me.

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  24. This is totally fascinating..who knew you could find out this much info..wow! xo

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  25. Is it costly? I have a document that my mother started working on of tracing our genealogy. She ended her search with some folks who lived in Mississippi which is where I am now. So we have come full circle. I think the DNA is fascinating was this a cheek swab from just you?

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  26. This is fascinating stuff! Thank you for sharing . . . I did not know one could have their DNA tested just to learn about their personal history. Very cool!

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  27. How fun! I wanted my husband to do it because he has some interesting family history, so I got him the kit as a gift once, but he never got around to sending in the sample.

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  28. Interesting! I've had friends get tested but haven't done it myself. I just might give it a try.

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  29. Wow, that is some lineage! I never thought of doing this, but now I am getting curious. We have an old fashioned family tree which goes back a couple of centuries, but they were mostly farmers in the same area of Tuscany, with no trace of exotic names. But who knows...

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  30. Fabulous! Don't you feel wealthy, have such lush, rich roots??? i call that exciting.

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  31. Wow, I'm impressed with your DNA testing and the results. I would *LOVE* to find out more about my blood line and might just do this. The blood I am really most interested in is I have American Indian blood in me and I would dearly love to know which tribes I descend from. I love your story!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  32. James looks like the little boy from Jurassic Park does he not?

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  33. Nice Post!! Someday I might get my DNA done -- although one of my cousins had it done and it turned out as I expected -- strong German heritage on my mother's side and strong Irish heritage on my father's side. I have been working on collecting stories about my family and I have much to do yet. Your photos are priceless and what a handsome man that James Claude! -- barbara

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  34. I did it last year and it helped me find a great grandmother who was a mystery in the family. Quite interesting stuff. I really need to find time to work on it some more one of these days.

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  35. I had no clue about this, your findings are incredible! I am not sure if it's available in India, but given a chance this exercise should be pretty interesting!

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  36. How neat! I spent two weeks (free trial) working non stop on my family tree. It was exciting. If I did it again I would concentrate on one side and go from there. I was all over the place for a while but it was fun :))))

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  37. Such an interesting, varied and historical background, must have fun finding out all of this.
    I descended from Scottish Parents with my Mothers side coming from Ireland a generation before. MY Fathers ancestors were less pleasing with the law in and around the City of Glasgow.

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  38. Never done the DNA testing myself and have scant knowledge of my ancestors background, Michelle, most of whom came to the U.S. From Italy. My husband, Pat (Grenville) has done a lot of work on his family tree and traced ancestors from Ireland and Scotland.

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  39. Very cool! My mother's family has a deep history in Appalachia which lends itself to Scottish, Irish and English ancestry.

    It is a wonderful journey to discover our history.

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  40. That is so interesting! I had no idea you could have your DNA tested like that!

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  41. Very fascinating! I love genealogy & family history. This is so cool, what you can find out about the past & where you have come from.

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