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23 and Me


HerNameIsBuffy

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HerNameIsBuffy

Have any of you done 23 and Me or other DNA sites?  I know the risks, but I did it anyway and found it pretty interesting how the results shake out with known relatives.

For instance growing up I knew my paternal uncle had a child but he and his wife divorced before or just after her birth and she remarried.  No one even knew if she was ever told about her bio dad and he died very young so no chance for him to find her.   Turns out she did 23 and me because she wasn't sure if the man who raised her was her and got her answer as she came out as first cousins with my brother and I.  

We were able to give her what little info we had (he died before my brother and I were born and our dad wasn't terribly chatty), pics, and some family medical history which she seemed to appreciate.  

Was very glad there were no surprises between my brother and I as both our parents are dead and so who would we scream accusations at if we weren't full siblings?  (kidding - we weren't concerned given what we know of our folks, but other people have been surprised so never know I guess.)

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CTRLZero

We did the 23 and Me kit.  The person who appeared highest on my family listing is my first cousin.  It was interesting that she was searching for the whereabouts of her biological dad.  She learned via the DNA kit that she and her brother have different biological fathers.  Surprise!  The fathers would both be long dead, as is her mother, so it remains a mystery. 

We have a few “walkaways” on both my and my husband’s side of our families, so we were curious to find traces of where they disappeared to.  It is fun seeing the occasional far flung family members on the charts, mostly just to be reminded that they exist.  

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HerNameIsBuffy
58 minutes ago, CTRLZero said:

We did the 23 and Me kit.  The person who appeared highest on my family listing is my first cousin.  It was interesting that she was searching for the whereabouts of her biological dad.  She learned via the DNA kit that she and her brother have different biological fathers.  Surprise!  The fathers would both be long dead, as is her mother, so it remains a mystery. 

We have a few “walkaways” on both my and my husband’s side of our families, so we were curious to find traces of where they disappeared to.  It is fun seeing the occasional far flung family members on the charts, mostly just to be reminded that they exist.  

I've got several where I know how we're related just because my mom's family is well documented (something good came out of an uncle converting to LDS....crazy detailed genealogy records) and I have old albums where she recorded the married names of her great aunts so I know their place in the tree, if not the people.

I'm not a big fan of living relatives - ha.  I have a huge extended family but outside of my siblings and kids I don't speak to anyone and that works for me....but I'm fascinated by the lines and ancestors.  I guess I like the idea of family more than actual people :) 

I did have one woman contact me from Germany, 23 has her as a 4th cousin, who was looking for info about her biological dad about whom she knew nothing.  Since my dad was German born I initially was hopeful she could help me with my brickwall there, but turns out she's related to my American side.  She had thought her father may have been an American GI stationed there at the time of her conception and it looks like she was right.  That reminds me I owe her a response to her last email, but I think it's been too long to reply without it being weird.  She was super friendly and I just left her hanging (unintentionally, but kind of a crappy pattern with me.)

The math is super interesting to me - just how the randomness shakes out.  I have one match who they said was likely a first cousin, but I know for a fact she's a first cousin once removed (I know who she is - my mom and her grams were sisters) and I share 4% more DNA with her than with an actual first cousin.

So interesting too how siblings shake out in the roll of the genetic dice.  My brother and I are all obviously related in an actual sense to all the same people to the same degree (except our kids, of course) but pretty different in how the ethnicities are categorized.  

Did you get any surprises when it comes to your ethnic makeup, as imperfect as it can be within the broader categories?  My only surprise was the 1.1% Finnish I got only because I've long joked about moving off the grid to rural Finland having no idea that hundreds of years ago one of my ancestors went the other way and got out of there!  

Do any of you all descend from the Mayflower crew?  I know @MarblesMom mom and I both do (not the same one), which makes me hope our ancestors spent some of the voyage passing the time by snarking.  

I wish someone in my family was interested in this stuff....my kids will humor me for a few minutes but neither they nor my siblings care at all.  

 

 

 

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clueliss

I've done both Ancestry DNA and 23 and Me (had better health information).  And hey - my sister did 23 and me and we're full bio sisters - no surprises.

I did discover via doing some intentional 'out there' connections in an attempt to triangulate the parentage of a 3x Great Grandmother that the Surname family that I was trying to tie to was going to be impossible to work with due to the vast number of cousins marrying cousins and then having children that were popping higher than they should have in my DNA matches.   A couple of colonial era generations of Surname family had eleventy children in at least two generations therefore making the part of the country they were from (Virginia/Carolinas) apparently hard to marry without marrying a cousin (or something).  So the exact connection remains a mystery (and I've since undone that connection - but I do recognize the names when I check trees now).

I've got a similar issue on my mom's side (Via the one non-german immigrant grandparent on her side) who, again, has issues of cousins marrying cousins that all tie a few generations back and pop up too high in matches.

 

 

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CTRLZero
4 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Did you get any surprises when it comes to your ethnic makeup, as imperfect as it can be within the broader categories? 

The Neanderthal component surprised me.  Other than that, nothing unexpected popped up DNA-wise.  A little extra sleuthing on a census document showed my great grandfather immigrating from Ireland instead of Germany (as the family lore goes), so not sure what that means.  Could be he traveled from Germany through Ireland.  *shrug*

4 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

That reminds me I owe her a response to her last email, but I think it's been too long to reply without it being weird.

I answered an email from an unknown cousin who initiated contact and provided me some info on my great uncles.  I had vague memories of the stories, so I replied with a few details of my own.  I’d love to hear from him again at any time, so I don’t think responding after a long while is weird.  Your comfort level may vary.  

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

My mother-in-law gave me an Ancestry DNA test as a birthday gift in 2019. I'm lazy/disorganized/worried by new things enough that it's still in the box. :pb_redface:  I need to find out if I can still use it.

I'm not particularly worried about any surprises in my immediate family. I look too much like both of my parents and my 3 siblings to expect any surprises there. I just haven't felt up to reading all the instructions and making sure I follow them all correctly. I'll also have to make an Ancestry account, I presume. This makes me sound like the lazybones I often am, but I find new things harder to start, even though they often turn out to be quite simple. (I recently put off returning a swimsuit to CostCo for over a week because I had never made a return there. It was super simple and took all of 10 minutes. :roll: )

So, I guess I'm curious how difficult anyone has found Ancestry to navigate, and to hear whether people found the results worth the hassle. (Sorry to jump in when my question is kind of tangental.)

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HerNameIsBuffy
On 3/27/2021 at 6:45 PM, WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? said:

My mother-in-law gave me an Ancestry DNA test as a birthday gift in 2019. I'm lazy/disorganized/worried by new things enough that it's still in the box. :pb_redface:  I need to find out if I can still use it.

I'm not particularly worried about any surprises in my immediate family. I look too much like both of my parents and my 3 siblings to expect any surprises there. I just haven't felt up to reading all the instructions and making sure I follow them all correctly. I'll also have to make an Ancestry account, I presume. This makes me sound like the lazybones I often am, but I find new things harder to start, even though they often turn out to be quite simple. (I recently put off returning a swimsuit to CostCo for over a week because I had never made a return there. It was super simple and took all of 10 minutes. :roll: )

So, I guess I'm curious how difficult anyone has found Ancestry to navigate, and to hear whether people found the results worth the hassle. (Sorry to jump in when my question is kind of tangental.)

Ancestry is super easy and you can create an account for free....but if you want to use the feature with records then you have to upgrade to one of the paid packages.

I was on there all weekend - needed an escape from life - and when looking at family trees trying to sort out one of my dead ends I saw a very familiar name keep cropping up.

Guess whose former Mennonite family has criss crossed lines with a fundy family of Mennonite extraction?  Hey Bontragers....my family dropped the Mennonite stuff first generation here in the 1700s and none of my line married a Maxwell!

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clueliss

On that note -I'd like to thank the colonial era Quakers for documenting (not really kidding) every stinking life event in their notes and preserving them.  Even if your family was Quaker for a short period of time - the notes are there.  Also explained to me (along with some google research) that Migration of folks from New Jersey/Pennsylvania through Maryland, Virginia and into the Carolinas really did happen (and you know, Quaker Meeting Notes).

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HerNameIsBuffy
7 minutes ago, clueliss said:

On that note -I'd like to thank the colonial era Quakers for documenting (not really kidding) every stinking life event in their notes and preserving them.  Even if your family was Quaker for a short period of time - the notes are there.  Also explained to me (along with some google research) that Migration of folks from New Jersey/Pennsylvania through Maryland, Virginia and into the Carolinas really did happen (and you know, Quaker Meeting Notes).

I have that migration pattern as well!  I wonder how many of us with Colonial ancestors have lines that tie in at some point.

I am now sad I haven't come across a Quaker.  But I am certainly glad my uncle because an LDS convert because there was some serious time and money spent documenting that side.  We've got documents on one line going back to 1635 - it's crazy.

It's so much more fun to do that side than my dad's....I'm a first generation American on that side so the brick walls come pretty early.  Main goal is to solve the mystery of my Grandfather's parents, but part of me feels kind of guilty since if he wanted us to know he would have been chattier about it.  

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clueliss

I also did some research and found a migration pattern out of Massachusetts after the Salem Witch Trials to Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.  But you know, I just can't imagine why the families of those persecuted in 1692/1693 would want to flee the area. 

I have ancestry that goes back to that area (as well as Maine).  And found that post Revolutionary War/War of 1812 when the government decided to pay soldiers with land grants there was a migratory hop out of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states (for me Maryland/Virginia) to the Ohio River area (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee).  And then another hop out of that area to Missouri/Kansas where my family is from after the Civil War.  Granted this is minus the German Immigrants (seemed to head right for St. Louis area) and a branch of the family that set up in Northern Arkansas (migrated from North Carolina across Tennessee and the southeastern tip of Illinois)

I find migration times and routes fascinating.

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HerNameIsBuffy
Posted (edited)

I also find the migration paths fascinating.  Of my 16 g-g-grandparents 6 lines are Colonial.  And except for one that went direct to MD from England everyone else is either MA/PA to VA.  From there I have a couple who went to NC before TN but then it gets super crowded with the ones that went to TN and from there to MO post civil war.  

Oh, except for a couple that went England > VA and one that went Scotland > Barbados > VA.

It makes sense for farmers as the government was awarding land in TN to Revolutionary war vets as an incentive to settle and lots of families (mine included) then went in groups together to MO, as you mentioned.  Some of mine went to OH also at that time, were they giving land grants for that area as well?  It's a dream of mine to go to Laclede county MO and just people watch to see who looks like me, since I share ancestry with so many people there (and my Grams was the last to leave the area, so as recent as that there is a lot of extended family.)

If I had the time/money/someone interested to go with me I'd love to do the TN > MO trip as ancestors graves are pretty cool in pics and I'd like to see then in person.  Some family cemeteries are on private property but from some forum posts they're super welcoming of people who want to visit.  Which is why I won't....I'd love to see the sites and the area but actually speaking to people....nope.

I think about those ancestors every morning in winter when I pre-start my car so I don't have to be cold for even a few minutes driving to work.  I imagine what it must have been like to travel those distances in covered wagons and dealing with eleventy kids without modern conveniences and having a baby every freaking year in some cases.  If I could go back in time I imagine they'd find me useless as my only skills require electricity.  I mean, I can cook but not on a wood stove and how do I know when things are done without a timer on my phone?

I just realized how very sad it is that I have a lifelong dream of visiting Laclede Co. Missouri.  I'm not sure a lot of people have that so high on their bucket list!

Edited by HerNameIsBuffy
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keen23

I did 23&Me, and there weren't any surprises. My parents are in fact my bio parents. There haven't yet been any surprise relatives coming out of the woodwork. I do have more than a handful of relatives who I'm related to on both sides (not that surprising). My family on both sides came over from eastern Europe -  I am 99.9% European and .1% unassigned- hung around in Newfoundland and Quebec for 150 or so years, and then came to New Hampshire/Maine/Massachusetts between 1880 and 1920. Except for my maternal grandfather who came directly from northern Italy to Massachusetts.

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HerNameIsBuffy
On 4/5/2021 at 5:25 PM, keen23 said:

I did 23&Me, and there weren't any surprises. My parents are in fact my bio parents. There haven't yet been any surprise relatives coming out of the woodwork. I do have more than a handful of relatives who I'm related to on both sides (not that surprising). My family on both sides came over from eastern Europe -  I am 99.9% European and .1% unassigned- hung around in Newfoundland and Quebec for 150 or so years, and then came to New Hampshire/Maine/Massachusetts between 1880 and 1920. Except for my maternal grandfather who came directly from northern Italy to Massachusetts.

I have that too and for the last couple of months had been on a quest and I finally found the common ancestors this weekend.  I was so excited to solve the puzzle I forgot how none of this matters irl :)

Turns out in 1512 and 1518 a Swiss couple had two sons amongst their kids.  The descendants of one (my 10th g-grandfather) went to Germany and stayed (my dad was born there) and the other's descendants (my 11th g-grandfather) also went to Germany and then to the US in 1717. 

Pedigree collapse doesn't bother me when there's almost half a millennium in between.  :) 

I've been working on this for months, cross referencing DNA matches from various sites, their trees, shared matches....so satisfying to finally find them.  And fun fact, my 11th g-grandfather noted above - his middle name is the same as my youngest son's first name.  I didn't know he existed until recently, but that was fun for me.

I mean I didn't know about this g-grandfather, I definitely knew my son existed.  Since he's lived in my house since I expelled him from my body he's kind of hard to miss!

 

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