Right Chromosome, Right Place, Wrong Side.

My cousin Christopher found me through 23andMe about a year ago.  He and his ancestors are from West Virginia.   Since meeting online we’ve been trying to figure exactly how we connect.  Since he matches my maternal uncle I know he’s a cousin through my maternal side. My Bayley line came from West Virginia.  They were two counties away from where Christopher’s ancestors were.  Christopher still lives in the area.

Right Chromosome, Right Place

Our match is on chromosome nine from 15M to 24M.  This is a 13.2 cM 2,142 SNP match.  This triangulates to my maternal Drybread side.  My Drybread uncle matches on an overlapping 133.6cM 19,427 SNP segment.    There are only a handful of GedMatch kits that match me in the section.  Of those only one GedMatch kit with traceable genealogy triangulates me, Christopher, and my Drybread uncle.   A Hatfield cousin that matches me on a 16.9cM 1,582 SNP segment. 

My ninth chromosome GedMatch Segment Search
My ninth chromosome GedMatch Segment Search

So when I saw seven new samples in GedMatch Segment Search I was excited!  I started to write Christopher a quick message.  Before I even finished typing I stopped.  I’d only looked at the matches for ten seconds.  Just in that short time I’d seen names like, Seamus, Liam, McGee, Donegal and Quinn.  They all sounded Irish. As in Ireland Irish.  That is a long way from West Virginia where Christopher and I think we connect.

 

Wrong Side

To check this match I ran a ten sample Multiple Kit Analysis at GedMatch. The first three kits I entered were me, my uncle, and Christopher. The next seven kits were all the new ones. There are several Visualization Options under GedMatch Multiple Kit Analysis.

Wrong Side - GedMatch Chromosome Browser
Wrong Side – GedMatch Chromosome Browser

 The first visualization option I chose was the Chromosome Browser. Immediately the table told me what I had expected.  All the new samples match me, but do not match Christopher or my uncle.  Since most DNA matches are half-identical you can match different sides in the same place on the same chromosome.  

 

Same ten samples - GedMatch Traceability
Same ten samples – GedMatch Traceability

Another useful visualization option for seeing if people on the same place of the same chromosome are related is Traceability.  The same ten samples run in Traceability generate a web-like image. Since there is a triangle between me, Christopher and my uncle it shows we are related. The lines show all the new samples are related to each other and me, but not Christopher or my uncle. The Traceability option also includes a table similar to Chromosome Browser with a generations estimate. Judging by the names of the new samples it seems highly likely they live in Ireland.

My father and all his known ancestors are from Southern England.  My mother’s ancestors all came to America before ‘the USA’ was a thing.  When I look at lists of cousins it’s easy for me to guess which side they are on.  This is because 97% of my maternal cousins seem to be in America.  And 97% of cousins on my fathers in the British Isles and Australia.

Back to Genealogy and Oral History

So my instinct to stop writing that first message to Christopher was good. We are still where we were before.  Two cousins seemingly connected through West Viriginia ancestors.   Like many from West Virginia we have  mixed race family history.  The lines that we suspect connect us start to brick wall as recently as the Civil War.  So far the best clue we have found is a shared oral history of Blackfoot ancestry on our maternal lines.

Today many people with Blackfoot oral history originating from the Virginia/Carolina Piedmont identify as Saponi.  Through genealogy research at Searching for Saponi Town and other forums I’ve been able to learn more about my lines.   Especially relevant now that I am also making DNA matches to people I have met through these forums.  For all the discoveries made through DNA it seems oral history is still one of the best tools we have.

Thankfully I come from a line of ancestors, many Quakers, (Friends) who recorded the genealogy that I work with.  As a genealogist today I stand on their shoulders.   The rise in popularity of DNA testing, shows how many people are searching for these answers.  Answers these ancestors took the time to record. People are searching for their roots. They are searching for who their ancestors are.  Because we all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors.

Swab-A-Thon a Success ‘Thanks Ottawa!’ says Grandma’s Genes

Grandma’s Genes held Ottawa’s first (World’s First) genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon.    The event, held at Bowman’s Bar and Grill on Saturday August 27th, brought a diverse crowd.  People came with questions about their origins, asking what they could learn from DNA testing?  Genetic genealogist, and Grandma’s Genes co-founder, Marc Snelling opened the event.  He spoke about the discoveries that can be made through DNA.

Marc spoke about how to learn more about your ethnic background. About how and where we fit into the human family tree.  He also spoke about breaking a brick-wall in records, such as adoptions where no records are available, or finding unknown grandparent. Other reasons for DNA testing he covered included; leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren, making new discoveries, and connecting with living cousins.

Participants in Ottawa's first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon put on by Grandma's Genes, Family Tree DNA, and Ancestry.ca
Participants in Ottawa’s first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon put on by Grandma’s Genes, Family Tree DNA, and Ancestry.ca

Grandma’s Genes co-founder Mags Gaulden spoke about DNA tests currently available to consumers.   Autosomal tests  (chromosomes 1-22, and X),  are a test offered by ‘the Big 3’ testing companies, 23andMe, AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA.  23andMe includes testing for DNA health markers, and idetifies paternal and maternal haplogroups, currently priced at $249 (CA). She also spoke about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) a test of your direct maternal line and it’s associated halpogroup, and Y-DNA a test of the direct paternal lines. (tests offered by Family Tree DNA).  She also spoke about The Genographic Project, a science-focused DNA project to document the human family tree and it’s haplogroups.

Mags Gaulden, Marc Snelling of Grandma's Genes at Swab-A-Thon
Grandma’s Genes co-founders Mags Gaulden and Marc Snelling answer attendees DNA questions at the Swab-A-Thon.

Mags and Marc spoke with Swab-A-Thon particpants about the value-added services Grandma’s Genes provides to customers who have purchased a DNA test from one of ‘The Big 3’.  Some of the services offered by Grandma’s Genes include;

  • In-depth ethnic analysis, beyond simple percentages with results across multiple DNA testers,
  • Searching for birth families of adoptees, and uncovering the identity of unknown ancestors,
  • DNA mapping – identifying common ancestors shared with DNA cousins, through triangulation of DNA and genealogy across all company’s databases and public records, 
  • Preparing genealogical reports for First Nations or American Indian Nations, and other lineage societies such as United Empire Loyalists, Daughters / Sons of the American Revolution.

Lesley Anderson from Ancestry.ca spoke to the crowd about the Ancestry database, over 2 million samples. The size of the DNA database together with millions of user-created family trees creates discoveries through Ancestry DNA Circles. Ancestry DNA Circles are an automated tool that discovers common ancestors shared between DNA matches.

Everyone who came had a different reason for being there.  One adoptee sought to learn more about his birth parents.  Two others wanted to learn more about what their DNA will tell them about their deep roots in their home countries, France and Algeria.  Another wanted to know more about his maternal granparent. An ancestor the family says was in England while other lines were in Eastern Europe. Several others purchased tests as gifts for their relatives.

Free kits won by three!

Three free DNA kits were awarded.  One from Grandma’s Genes., one by Family Tree DNA, and a third from Ancestry.ca. Geraldine won the FTDNA Family Finder kit offered by Grandma’s Genes.  Vanessa won the Family Finder kit offered by Family Tree DNA.  Lyle won the free AncestryDNA kit.  Those who won prizes all purchased additional kits for testing themselves at both Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA. They also purchased kits for other family members.

Another Swab-A-Thon?

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped create Ottawa’s first genetic genealogy Swab-A-Thon.  Several participants were hopeful another Swab-A-Thon will be held.  An event  to bring their cousins and family members to, to learn more about DNA testing.  Grandma’s Genes hopes to bring another Swab-A-Thon to the area in the future.

Haplogroups Most Recent Common Ancestor

Recently on WikiTree someone asked me ‘Dumb question, What are Haplogroups?’

Thinking it was not a dumb question at all I gave the following answer.

A haplogroup is a grouping of common  patrilineal or matrilineal lines who share a common ancestor.  The main haplogroups are divided by letter, and smaller sub-divisions by letter and number.  For example H is a very large group, H1 is a subgroup of H, H1a is a subgroup of H1, and so on.   The further you narrow it down the closer in years the common ancestor is. Continue reading “Haplogroups Most Recent Common Ancestor”