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Y-DNA Test Confirmed Hypothesis

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  • Y-DNA Test Confirmed Hypothesis

    My Y-DNA test essentially confirmed a hypothesis about my paternal line. We already knew my G-G-GF immigrated to America in the late 19th century with his wife and first three children from East Prussia. Census records variously called their origin Prussia, Germany, or German-Polish. The family had always self-identified as German, but my grandfather grew up speaking both German and Polish at home. I imagine this was common in families from former East Prussia, as both Germans and Poles inhabited the region.

    A few years ago, a distant cousin from my dad's side did some research in Europe and put together a nice packet explaining his findings. His research traced the family back a few more generations using church records. The area where my paternal ancestors originated is now the very northeast corner of Poland, close to the border with Lithuania, Russia, and the separate Russian territory of Kaliningrad. He also learned our surname was shortened at some point around the time they immigrated. Then, based on the sound of the original surname, he hypothesized our ancestors were actually Lithuanian, and became "Germanized" over time.

    I didn't know how this could be proven or disproven, or if it was even possible. But after learning my Y-DNA haplogroup was N1c1, I did a little research. Since it's not one of the more common ones, there's less information available, but one paper in particular helped me out. "Y Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Lithuanians" explains that almost 40% of men are haplogroup N1 in Lithuania and other Baltic states, but less than 5% in Poland. That's pretty good evidence the hypothesis was correct. It could have still been possible had my haplogroup come back as R1a (about 40% of Lithuanians are), but my actual results present a stronger case. It also basically rules out Germany as my paternal ancestors' origin.

  • #2
    Originally posted by nathanm View Post
    The area where my paternal ancestors originated is now the very northeast corner of Poland, close to the border with Lithuania, Russia, and the separate Russian territory of Kaliningrad.
    Oops! I meant to say the area bordering Lithuania, Belarus, and Kaliningrad.

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    • #3
      Always nice to hear when DNA seems to agree with the genealogical paper trail research, that isn't always the case!

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