A little spit goes a long way…

This week FamilyTreeDNA announced their new ‘myOrigins’ which is, according to their website, the new version of their DNA Population Finder. This is the test that gives you your ethnic makeup. If you had the FamilyFinder test done previously, then you will automatically see the new results. Apparently they have updated their database, so the percentages and breakdowns of one’s results, in some cases, will have changed slightly.

I have already seen one change, the 5% JOHN result that had Palestinian/Jewish/Bedouin is no longer there. But now I see Spanish/Italian/Greek in the mix instead, which is also seen with William Shepard’s results. Interestingly Bill has a slight bit of Middle Eastern showing up now, and no Germanic whatsoever. I highly suggest you click on the images to see them larger.

Vic’s results show very little of his German ancestry, but lots of his mother’s Norwegian and, possibly, George Hamm’s unknown father’s Northern Mediterranean heritage, (which probably showed up as the Jewish background before the update). There is also a bit of the JOHN’s Trans-Ural Plains.

Bill has mostly English/Irish/Scottish with good percentage of Northern Mediterranean thrown in, and that smudge of Middle Eastern, maybe the latter two came from the Roman empire’s invasion of the British Isles.

For myself, it looks like I got mostly the German DNA with about equal amounts Irish/English/Scottish and Norwegian. The surprise for me is seeing the Finnish added in the mix with our Norwegian, although I am not sure why I should be surprised.

Now for those Bumann relatives. No surprise here, with a guy who is half German and half Polish, these results were pretty well expected.

I didn’t put Robert Cain’s results on here because he is only related to us on one side of his family, the Cain side, so I don’t know what part of the results would be from his mother and what part his father.

Personally I find the new way of presenting the data very organic and more comprehensive, also colorful. And as purple is my favorite color, I am glad to see lots of it on the maps, even if it’s not on mine.

The study of the origins of the human race has always been of interest to me. As far back as high school I was most interested in those classes that taught DNA and Anthropology. Reading about the breakthroughs in science, that are helping us understand where we come from, has been a fascinating journey these last few years. And it seems that more and more of these breakthroughs are coming out everyday. I am glad that I am able to participate in the ride and I thank those of you who have joined me by donating your spit.

Science Rocks!

Upgrade…

I mentioned a few months ago that I was doing an upgrade to Dad’s DNA tests, as FamilyTreeDNA was having a sale. Well I finally got the results last weekend. I waited until Labor Day weekend to share them with Dad as we were going to be there for a visit.

The upgraded tests were for his mtDNA, being Myrtle’s female line, and the Family Finder test. The Family Finder test finds cousins in the FamilyTreeDNA database and your percentage of ethnicity. In mine and grandpa Shepard’s Family Finder results we carry the DNA that shows us to be 100% European. Imagine my surprise, when Dad’s showed up with 5% Palestinian, Jewish, Druze, and Bedouin. I should correct that to be surprised, but not surprised. I imagine that the JOHN DNA is what carries these characteristics, as the ancient  JOHN yDNA has its origins in the Middle East glancing into Asia.

The reason none of this DNA showed up in me is all about chaos. My burning question now is which side do I choose?

The science in genealogy…

FamilyTreeDNA is currently having a big sale on its test upgrades, so I have bit the wallet and upgraded Dad’s sample to add the mtDNA Test for Myrtle’s maternal side and a FamilyFinder test which will show cousins and % of ethnicity.

Doing the Family Finder test for Grandfather Shepard showed us no American Indian ancestry,( as many family fables love to brag).

Will share the results as soon as I get them.

More DNA testing

FamilyTreeDNA, the company that has done all of our genetic testing in the past, had a holiday sale at the end of 2011. So I decided to upgrade a few of our samples that they have in their freezers.

Firstly, I upgraded Robert Cain’s sample to 67 markers. It had previously only been tested at 37 markers along with a specialized SNP test that is being used to help sort out the CAIN lines. That is probably all I will be able to do with his sample for a while, and I am crossing my fingers that we won’t need many more tests with his DNA, samples can go bad and with Robert having passed away, I am left without a source for this genetic line.

Secondly, I upgraded grandfather’s (William Shepard) sample. Grandfather’s maternal DNA was never tested, so I remedied that situation, and I added the FamilyFinder test. This is the one I had done, sometime in early 2011, to my DNA. The results help you to find cousins in their database (male or female, it doesn’t matter) and your ethnicity. Grandfather’s maternal DNA will give us genetic information on g-grandmother Dick’s maternal line back to Sarah Asher who married Thomas Headlee in Pennsylvania in the very early 1800s.

Results are expected sometime around February 20th. If we are lucky it might be a little earlier. But I imagine with the sale that they had, lots of folks have decided to jump on the upgrade bandwagon.

I will keep folks updated.

On the same note, I periodically receive updates from surname group administrators on the progress of the testing, the sorting out of the lines, and other news related to that surname. The most active group so far has been the CAIN line, and it has come to our attention that there is a particular marker that is showing up with our CAINs, that will be confirmed with the upcoming upgrade results, indicating a Briefne connection. Part of what this means is that our CAINs are descendants of original Irish/Celts, not one of the invaders who later integrated into the population. It also points to Martin Cain possibly coming from the Northern Ireland area, as I was beginning to speculate.

The future is looking very interesting.

NOTE: The Kingdom of Breifne or Bréifne (anglicized BreffnyBrefnie or Brenny) was the traditional territory for an early Irish tribal group known as the Uí Briúin Bréifne. The Bréifne territory included the modern Irish counties of Leitrim and Cavan, along with parts of County Sligo. [from Wikipedia]