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American 0r Canadian?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Castledene
    Paper trail would be easy in USA military records and freedom of information act etc but in Canada no such luck records are closed. All I'm looking for is to see if I have any North Amercain Roots and hope for a DNA match if not for me my children in the future as batabase's get bigger. No much to go on when you only have your fathers first name Charles and your mother died in childbirth with you. Birth Cert shows father as "Blank" adoption records have no record of father, so where do I go!!!.
    As has been pointed out by someone else, there is no way that DNA testing will distinguish between American and Canadian ancestry. The only "North American" genetic signature is for Native Americans and even that probably can't distinguish between American and Canadian Native Americans.

    The fact is that the U.S. and Canada is mainly European in its ancestry, especially of British Isles ancestry. There are some advances in genetic genealogy, especially the newer SNP tests and haplotype cluster analysis, that are able to distinguish a little between various types of British Isles ancestry DNA results, allowing one to say that your ancestors were indigenous to the British Isles, as opposed to invaders (Germanic or Viking). However, those are more guesstimates at this stage than anything else.

    Still, even if you're able to take one of these SNP tests and say your deep ancestry is probably indigenous Irish or Scottish or invader Germanic or Viking, this says nothing about whether your recent ancestry is American or Canadian. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, just presenting the facts, as they presently stand, of what DNA testing can and can't tell you.

    That's the bad news. The good news is that DNA testing can potentially connect you with someone with whom you share a common paternal line ancestor. Of course, that only happens if someone in that same paternal line tests and is in a public database. I sympathize you with because my main reason for getting involved in genetic genealogy is that my great-grandfather was abandoned as an infant, so I don't know his parents' names or what the true surname associated with my paternal line actually is.

    So I have tested for 67 markers and I'm there in the public databases. Hopefully, someone who shares a paternal line ancestor will test and I'll find a match in my lifetime. It's a long shot but the only chance I have to find out what I want to find out. I think you are in a similar position.

    Mike Maddi


    • #17
      Thanks for your post Mike.
      On holiday in France, hard to find Wi-Fi conection in a motorhome!!!!
      I see that my DNA is being tested and look forward to getting the results soon. Do you know any good databases I should on when I get DNA back

      Thanks Again


      • #18
        Originally posted by efgen
        There's also an Adoptees project:

        Sorenson requires a pedigree chart, plus they don't directly provide your results -- you need to "find" your results in their database and can't simply search by name -- so that's not a good option here.
        Like efgen said, SMGF might not be where you want to start, since you don't have 4 generations or your bio-father's surname, but I've seen Pedigree charts on there that only have maternal info, so that person may have not known who his father was, either. They also do mtDNA testing.

        Do you know any of your mom's info? When you were adopted, were your adopted parents from the UK? Did your mother have any living relatives?

        Good Luck to you. If you do find your father or your father's family, will you try to contact them? Maybe you have a brother our there trying to find you.


        • #19
          Old-fashioned method of Genealogy Research

          Chris, I was thinking about your situation.

          DNA testing will be undoubtedly a good thing to do but don't discount the old-fashioned method of Genealogy Research -- searching for primary source documents.

          If you know your biological father's name was Charles and your mother lived in a certain place, you might be able to check the military records for US and Canadian soldiers who were stationed in that area, then along with the DNA test see if you can narrow down the surname. Did your mom have a diary or anything? If she was seeing him for a while, there might be information on his unit or places he fought that might narrow it down further? Canada may not have a FOIA, but I'm sure they have military records. Where did you learn his name was Charles? If your mom's parents were around when you were born, their journals may have info you can use, too. This sounds like a challenging puzzel that will be fun to put together.


          • #20
            local records

            As others have suggested the paper trail is most important. The military was also keen on paper trails and kept unit records and billet details. Most foreign troops (Canadian or American) had semi-permanet billets. Until d-day these units were positioned in certain areas of the country. Much has been published recently on these locations such as the just published book on the history of the Canadian units stationed in Eastbourne. It lists every unit and where they were. The key would be to confirm where your mother lived and determine if it was billited by the Canucks or the Yanks.

            Canada does have an FOIA but much of the WWII info such as unit war diaries are published on the internet. These give day by day accounts and lists personnel by name.

            Local history societies are also a valuable asset.


            • #21
              Canadian DNA?

              Originally posted by Castledene
              Thinking of a DNA test and would like know if this would tell me if my father came from America or Canada. My father was a solder in WW2 and stationed in the UK. My mother died in childbirth with me and I was adopted, so never knew where my father came from. I would be grateful for any help in pointing me in the right direction. Chris.
              I've heard of Australian and possibly American mutations occuring for those whose ancestors may have arrived sometime around the late 1500s to early 1600s. But when the dates get closer to the present, I'm not exactly sure how accurate they become in determing location of settlement in North America.

              I'm kind of in the same boat as you are. Though I don't believe there were any recent adoptions, but my papertrail is completely stuck in Boston, MA with a very good possibility the family arrived around the mid to late 1880s and were in Canada before then. But for how long they were in Canada is unknown, as well as where in Canada is unknown.

              All I can really do is speculate my family landed in Nova Scotia (or New Brunswick) sometime after 1700. So DNA in essence may prove not to be very useful when length of time and location cannot be determined for recent events less than 1,000 years old. Almost about roughly within the time frame a mutation usually occurs in DNA.

              Good luck.