My family just came off a lovely vacation to Lake Chelan, Washington. My husband and sons and I enjoyed the mountains, boating, wineries, and each other. In one of the conversations that I had with my husband, I realized I was not the first genealogist in the family. Actually he was. After I have spent the last seven months studying our family lines, he reminded me of when he decided to take the leap to try to understand the story of his past.
Approximately five years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It was during those early months while coming to terms with his diagnosis, he learned through Michael J. Fox ( www.michaeljfox.org) about a company that was offering genetic screening. Michael J. Fox’s Foundation is an organization that is so proactive in research that they find anyway possible to get candidates to participate in aggressive studies so that a cure can be obtained. My husband was able to take advantage of genetic testing with www.23andme.com at a reduced price because of Michael J. Fox.
The company 23andme was founded in 2006 by a couple of brilliant women that thought the study of our DNA was relevant. 23 stands for the number of pairs of chromosomes we all have. The good news is that their database now has over 150,000 folks worldwide that have used this simple test. My husband’s test is now in that bank and it is with great hope that a cure will be found for Parkinsons as well as many other disease processes.
One of the interesting extra features we have found out from being a part of this testing is that www.23andme.com has released additional information on their website for each of their members. These details are specific genealogical/ancestry compositional insights on my husband’s lines. On our vacation my husband shared this information with me. Boy , I was in for quite a treat.
The research he had which by the way was obtained by him giving 2.5 cc’s of his spit in a tube was remarkable! The results mirrored much of my research I had done and I was quite pleased by the findings. In sharing this with you, I hope it encourages you to continue in your own studies of finding yourself. Here are some of the findings and remember this is not all of them. I hope to share other findings on another blog post at some point:
1. The test established that his origins were 100% European and that this traced back several 100’s of years. In my research, we revealed my husband’s lines to be of German, Belguim and Dutch ancestry for the most part.
2. It was also determined that my husband has 515 DNA relatives in the 23andme bank with 69 of those relatives being third cousins! The other 446 are distant cousins. We are now able to make contact with them through the social networking website that has been set up if we choose to do so.
3. The test also revealed that his Neanderthal ancestry was 2.7% which puts my husband in the 68 percentile among Northern European 23andme members. My indepth studies on my husband showed some of his ancestors did not come to America until 1850, 1867 and 1913. We have to remember intercontinental travel was not so prevalent until the immigration years especially in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
4. The study also revealed the top surnames in the family which included Yoder, Stayrock, Kauffman, Holt, and Hoover. My studies revealed a strong link with Yoders on my husband’s paternal great grandmother’s side.
5. It was also discovered a link with some Jewish origins particularly of the group called Ashkcnzai.
6. The research also indicated the particular Haplogroups he belonged to. Without being too technical, a Haplogroup is basically what major family tree in the whole scheme of humans does my husband come from. One of those groups my husband belonged to is the H13a1a1a group. The H13 part indicated a group of people who typically would stay put in the area they originated from. This H group rose to prominence during the Ice Age some 13,000 years ago!
Wow. Doesn’t this just blow your mind? I hope you enjoyed this installment from Alesiablogs and I hope you will join me again as I explore more of these findings with you. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line in the comment section. I hope this encourages you to keep discovering who you are. Although much of this is experimental, we know it is through research that new discoveries are found. Next time I will share with you what famous figures we share ancestry with. You might be surprised…See you soon!! Below are a few pictures from our recent vacation and also a glimpse of our family from a wedding photo taken over 20 years ago. Afterall this work is being done because of them and we would not be here if not for them: