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Romany Gypsy, Melungeon or AmerIndian dna

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  • Romany Gypsy, Melungeon or AmerIndian dna

    somewhere on the boards someone said that if you have a connection to AmerIndian's prior to 1800 it won't show up in a dna test. I'd like to know more about this. if it is so, we may never have our answers to what seems to me to be the biggest mystery in my tree. I've been trying to discover the reason behind some very exotic looking ancestors who have a very common Irish surname, Collins-one that's well known and used among Melungeons.
    if there's some way to attach a picture to the messages, I'd do it. we are very Dutch looking, from my father's genes, but my mother's mother was very dark, and her son looks like a close relative of O.J. Simpson. my grandmother's mother and aunts are even more exotic, looking very much like Gypsies and Indians. I so want to find out what the genetic background of the family is, and suspect that it's Romany Gypsy or Melungeon. but the line daughtered out, from what I have of it-our branch appears to have completely daughtered out, and I suspect the closely related branches have, as well. unfortunately the Collins family is not in my direct mt line.

  • #2
    Hard to tell much from any of that

    I have photos of my paternal grandmother's father. Shocking if you are used to thinking of yourself as blonde and blue eyed etc. Raven black hair, a huge hook nose and startling eyes, almost white looking from the old, 19th century photograph. Sitting in his 19th century garb with that glimmer of laughter in the corner of his eyes and known reputation as a pub singer, dowser, turner of cards (fortune teller), gardener, herbalist, his wife and sisters in law's occupation "bonesetter" you would swear out loud as did my cousin on first seeing this photo- Eastern Europe ... Romania ... gypsy. No. Channel Islands. Norman French. I look at the painting of Lily Langtry and it is like looking into my grand mother's eyes. Then there is my mother and her favorite second cousin. Could be David Niven and Sandra Bullock. They look so similar in my mother's wedding picture. With perfectly English names. The DNA returned 3 matches, 2 Sicilian. I don't look anything like my father, but he was my father. My father looked like the grandfather I have described except my father was five foot 8 inches and my great grandfather four foot eleven inches. I look most like my great grandfather's father-in-law, a man whose accent was so thick the census takers spelled his name 5 different ways over five censues and it wasn't even his name. He was trying to tell them he came from the Dutchy of Brabyn (Belgium). He was a Brabyant. Which became Brabyn, which became Bannan, which became Bravin, which became Braven. Although I look like him outwardly, I turn dark brown in a summer. Appearances can be deceptive and measure more what we bring to the gazing than that on which we gaze.
    Last edited by Deirwha; 13 November 2008, 05:20 PM. Reason: spelling of key word

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    • #3
      eye of the beholder

      it does stand for something, Deirwha, but if I don't find out it will drive me a little stir crazy-whatever they are, it isn't standard Irish...but then the Collins gene may be weak and it might come from another branch! that one has, I believe, the surname Black, another often used Melungeon name. and the next generation back, the one we don't have names for yet, hail from the Carolina's. Lewis Collins was born in abt 1785-1790 S. Carolina, Cynthia, possible maiden name Black, was born in abt 1791 N. Carolina. it may be some time before we find them entering America...
      I've tried to be objective in looking at these people, but with so many interelations over the generations, it's hard to tell where most people come from.
      the intriguing points are dark, curly hair (small ringlets), wide, full lips, almond shaped often olive colored eyes, and dark complexion. puts a double twist on black Irish, if they prove Melungeon. what is even more perplexing is that my great, great grandparents (parents of the exotic looking family) are as Ozark Irish looking as can be. light blue(?) eyes, medium colored hair, classic British facial structure. maybe it jumped a generation or three. happened to me, I have my paternal great, great grandmother's mouth and chin.

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      • #4
        neokat:

        I think the statement about connections prior to 1800 being impossible to detect is simply about the fraction of DNA. A child gets half of his dna from the mother and half from the fater. In each generation, you divide by two. So after 6 generations, you only have one 64th, which is too little to detect with accuracy. the exceptions are of course the pure male or pure female line, where you can check the y chromosome or the mtdna.

        cacio

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        • #5
          Understood

          and one day we may know. In the meantime the dna testing works with the paper shuffling and we can learn more daily.

          I argue, and it is I realize just another argument, entitled to no more weight than anybody else's argument, that our reliance on data derived from today's dispersal of DNA across the globe for identifying who was what back when is not sufficiently grounded in an identification of DNA in graves in strata independently confirmed by archaeology. There is a lot of talk on this and other forums about who came from where when. I think we give to little credit for the mobility of the human animal. We should have been named homo sojournus. In just that little piece of humanity found in Lantagelos-By-Fowey where my family sojourned from approximately the last half of the 17th century through the middle of the 19th, I have identified Scots, Cornish, English (Anglo Norman), French, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, Jewish, Greek, Romanian, Hugeunot, Dutch, German, Channel Islands, Orkney Islands, Norway, and possibly Albanian families. There is even a family that, according to legend, were American Indians brought to the UK when the Mayflower returned to Plymouth. That's dad's side. On mom's side, the Bahamas, even her little piece of it, was the home to not only English refugees, but Spanish, Italian, Greek, pirates of every background, two tribes of Native Americans (Caribs and Sarawaks), and so many slaves before the slave trade ended that the "original" white owners who brought them came to be outnumbered 10:1. The islanders all thought they knew who was what. It was a society like Mexico in the past where social standing was inversely related to color. You either talked incessantly about your whiteness or were silent if you could not. But still, the bottom line is just about everyone on these small islands is somewhere related to everyone else. It is not hopeless to figure all this out, but it is daunting, the DNA process or technology early and evolving and you take 3 steps forward, 2 back and suddenly 20 forward. I, being every bit as obsessive as you might be, struggle with patience, but I as I suspect you, will worry at the bone until I get my answers. Networking helps. It really, really, really will help you to get your hub to take the deep clade test. Really. Cannot emphasize it enough. Good luck.

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          • #6
            autosomal mix

            Take me, for example. I am 25% Austrian. But neither my Y-DNA or mtDNA show this. I look more like my Austrian maternal grandfather than my Norwegian/German side. Austrians seem to consist of a substrate of pre-Indo-Europeans with a Keltic/Germanic overlay. That included south Sudeten Germans in what is now the Czech Republic (Bohemia & Moravia) before expulsion after WWII.

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=nekocat]somewhere on the boards someone said that if you have a connection to AmerIndian's prior to 1800 it won't show up in a dna test.

              I don't agree with this statement. My native-American DNA was 8% on DNAPrint 2.5 and I know for certain that is must be from the 1500's since the Taino Indians from Puerto Rico were extinguished in the mid-1500's. There were no 100% pure Taino Indians in Puerto Rico by the 1600's. Everyone was a mixture by then. I do not have a full-blooded Native-American great-grandparent. So those percentages 50% from each parent, 25% from each grandparent and 12% from each great-grandparent does not work for DNAPrint 2.5 or any other ethnic test. If DNAPrint's recombinant DNA is true then it would explain inheriting DNA from way back. It is quite possible that I had several ancestors from the 1500's who were Native-American and that's why the genes remained and were not diluted.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=Starr173]
                Originally posted by nekocat
                somewhere on the boards someone said that if you have a connection to AmerIndian's prior to 1800 it won't show up in a dna test.

                I don't agree with this statement. My native-American DNA was 8% on DNAPrint 2.5 and I know for certain that is must be from the 1500's since the Taino Indians from Puerto Rico were extinguished in the mid-1500's. There were no 100% pure Taino Indians in Puerto Rico by the 1600's. Everyone was a mixture by then. I do not have a full-blooded Native-American great-grandparent. So those percentages 50% from each parent, 25% from each grandparent and 12% from each great-grandparent does not work for DNAPrint 2.5 or any other ethnic test. If DNAPrint's recombinant DNA is true then it would explain inheriting DNA from way back. It is quite possible that I had several ancestors from the 1500's who were Native-American and that's why the genes remained and were not diluted.
                That is probably the case, or you had many ancestors who had some NA admixture. However, if you only had one or two NA ancestors from the 1500's, that contribution would not show. If one or two were all you had, and the other ancestors had no NA admixture, then you would have probably received 0 NA. Although when it comes to DNA Print, even Europeans score 12% NA and sometimes even higher. Also, I have the feeling they change their algorithm from time to time, without making any announcements.

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                • #9
                  Nekocat, are you saying that you haven't had the test yet? If not, it may be worth it to have it done anyway.

                  Even if there is no direct line descendant in your close family, you can always do genealogy research and see if any of your distant relatives who are lineal descendants has tested. There were big families in the 1800's so it is possible.

                  As for the curly hair and dark skin, that sounds more like SSA admixture than NA to me. Still, I've met native Swedes and Irish with very dark brown ringlets and darker skin, so it may be nothing. Sometimes you can tell from photos if someone is partial NA, SSA or EA ancestry.

                  Still, if you are wondering, just go ahead and get the test.

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                  • #10
                    low odds

                    I took the HRV 1 test, Dianne, nothing else. I squeezed it in just before our pension shrunk. but we'll squeeze harder and get the deep clade for my husband.
                    assume the Swedes with dark curly hair have Greek in them as well, but that's just a guess. SSA. can't quite translate that one. NA I get, and SEA I get, and even SA, but SSA isn't quite as clear to me. unfortunately, I'm finding very few leads on the suspect line. not enough data in the early years, then what I have available either dies out or daughters out-but it's the men's lines that daughter out. I'm beginning to realise this line may be untestable.

                    yes, that's how it is for me, Juan, just one line, back in the 1700's, if they are NA/Gypsy at all.
                    my dad's paternal line is Fresian and Dutch with a tiny drop of Dane. his maternal line is Scottish, and English (Counties of Essex and Suffolk and of Yorkshire). my mother's also got early Yorkshire, though a different name. she also has two German lines, one thought to be out of Baden Wurtemburg, the other said to be Alsacian. can't prove either as yet, they're her paternal line. classic Scots, also. then there's the Collins branch. no idea except I'll eventually find them in the Carolinas. and maybe some Polish or Russian, but that's just an "I wonder...". so I am a Heinz, but if an autosomal test told me I had Romany, Alsacian or Polish, I'd know which line it was in. even French. but if it said I had Italian or Spanish, that might give me pause. but such a test is way out of budget.

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                    • #11
                      I disagree with the statement too. I had my Y DNA tested, and I am C3, Native American. I have several lines, and I can trace them back to the 1600's.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nekocat View Post
                        classic British facial structure.
                        Hi,
                        Just out of interest, is there one? Do you mean a "nordic" structure (supposedly long skull)? Just curious if there is a known type, as I don't think me and my Mum's facial structures are common of typical British people (from my observations living here and looking at English family members/friends photos!)

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                        • #13
                          By classic British facial structure I think she means the Christie Brinkley or Petulia Clark or Olivia Newton-John type. But if Prince Charles was just an American guy, people would think he was Melungeon or Gypsy. Leo Sayer looks North African or part Sub Saharan African or Borneo or something. Ringo Starr would be considered Melungeon or part Amerindian. I think all the guys in the Rolling Stones look part Amerindian. Jimmy Page would be guessed as gypsy or Italian. Catherine Zeta-Jones might be considered to be Melungeon if she lived in the deep south, or latina if she lived in miami, or Italian if she lived in NYC, or American Indian if she lived in Oklahoma or Utah, etc. I would love to know if I am right about the Rolling Stones.

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