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  • Make yourself useful

    My favorite matches are those that make no plausible sense to my current knowledge of my pedigree, because I figure there has to be an interesting story there.

    I guess some of them could just be straight up baloney--especially the small ones. I have a couple Russian/Ukrainian matches that I suspect are IBS, but theoretically could represent some ancient Czech or Sorb from my legitimate tree.

    Recently noticed a marginalcM but decent SNP match (>2k) whose entire known background is in Brittany and environs. If it's real at all for me it's paternal on my side, which seemed like a real head scratcher.

    Until I read that 20% of Berlin were French Huguenots through the mid-19th century, and that a family closely related to mine in Co. Mayo married the daughter of a well-known privateer family from St. Malo.

    You just never know what interesting things you're gonna learn when you research your weirder matches. Don't ignore them, please.

  • #2
    Great post! Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a similar experience. My grandma had a couple very distant Polish matches. I just figured they were false matches, until one of them e-mailed me asking if we had any Polish ancestry. I said no, and told her my grandma's ancestry was mainly English, Scottish, and French. This match then told me that many Scots had settled in Poland over the centuries, which I never knew about. So it's likely that, even though this match has no known Scottish ancestry, we're related far back through one of those Scottish settlers.

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      • #4
        Yes, that is a very common pattern. Lots of emmigration to Poland and Prussia from east coast cities like Aberdeen and Dundee. Immanuel Kant, the philosopher from Koenigsburg in the east of modern Poland, his father was a Scot. Nearly half the population of that area was whiped out by plague in the 1700s, and the Prussian and Swedish kings heavily recruited Scots and Huguenots to repopulate.

        Sometimes it worked the other way, too. I had a distant match with an English woman whose gg grandfather was a German from Danzig who settled in Aberdeen. Turned out to be a phoney match--too few SNPs, on Gedmatch, but it was still a learning experience.

        Originally posted by AlisonT View Post
        I had a similar experience. My grandma had a couple very distant Polish matches. I just figured they were false matches, until one of them e-mailed me asking if we had any Polish ancestry. I said no, and told her my grandma's ancestry was mainly English, Scottish, and French. This match then told me that many Scots had settled in Poland over the centuries, which I never knew about. So it's likely that, even though this match has no known Scottish ancestry, we're related far back through one of those Scottish settlers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just as a question for everyone, is there any point looking into the unexpected matches in the '5th to remote cousin' category -or are they more likely to be very very remote (one article I read was saying even as further back at 35 generations for 10 cM segments!) or just coincidence (IBS -Identical by State)?

          I guess it depends a lot on the circumstances, so I will specify what my situation is.

          My father's known genealogy at his 32 great great great grandparents is: 59.375% (19/32) Irish, 37.5% (12/32) English and approx. 3.125% (1/32) "speculative Irish" (ie. there is a family story - and family appearances - that this speculative ancestor -whose name we don't know yet- was not Irish).

          Most of my fathers matches are expected - Irish, English, Colonial American. He has some more interesting matches in this '5th to remote cousin' category - 2 Swedish, 1 German, 1 Sicilian. I expect the Swedish is through his Irish or northern English family lines, but the Sicilian match is very interesting.

          Some of my father's admixture results at Gedmatch:

          Eurogenes K36 (my father - first percentage - compared with my mother -second percentage - who is of similar Irish/Scots/English/Welsh ancestry)

          North_Sea 20.12 18.46
          North_Atlantic* 18.53 17.39
          Iberian* 11.97 13.16
          French* 9.91 10
          Italian* 6.30 5.62
          Fennoscandian* 6.05 10.46
          East_Central_Euro* 4.69 4.23
          West_Med* 4.42 0.07 <interesting
          Basque* 3.94 4.73
          South_Central_Asian* 3.80 0 < interesting
          Eastern_Euro* 3.62 3.15
          Central_Euro* 3.21 8.81
          East_Balkan 1.80 3.19
          Volga-Ural* 1.26 0.13
          North_Caucasian* 0.32 0.6
          Armenian* 0.05 0

          HarappaWorld
          S-Indian 0 0
          Baloch 13.57 10.02 <interesting
          Caucasian 4.54 6.67
          NE-Euro 46.62 50.64
          SE-Asian 0 0
          Siberian 0.1 0.28
          NE-Asian 0 0
          Papuan 0.27 0.23
          American 0.24 0
          Beringian 0 0.1
          Mediterranean 32.97 32.01
          SW-Asian 1.48 0 <interesting

          ORACLE (father) 87.3% british, 12.7% iranian @3.22
          ORACLE 4 (father) british + british + n-european + spaniard @ 3.523

          Dodecad V3
          East_European 8.93 12.39
          West_European 53.91 54.12
          Mediterranean 24.85 25.69
          Neo_African 0 0
          West_Asian 9.29 6.86 <interesting
          South_Asian 1.74 0.44 <interesting
          Northeast_Asian 0 0.13
          Southeast_Asian 0 0
          East_African 0 0
          Southwest_Asian 1.28 0.33 <interesting
          Northwest_Asian 0 0
          Palaeo_African 0 0

          MDLP K=12
          East_European 15.26 20.43
          Paleo_Mediterranean 14.31 13.4
          Iberian 14.51 15.28
          Caucasian 6.23 3.44 <interesting
          Uralic_Permic 1.66 1.84
          Balto_Finnic 5.68 5.24
          Paleo_Balkanic 1.58 1.26
          Celto_Germanic 37.04 36.08
          Paleo_North_European 1.8 1.36
          South_Central_Asian 0.46 0
          Volga_Uralic 1.47 1.67
          Altaic_Turkic 0 0

          Eurogenes EUTest
          South_Baltic 10.77 12.9
          East_Euro 11.64 10.55
          North-Central_Euro 25.96 29.33
          Atlantic 28.83 29.05
          West_Med 13.34 11.67
          East_Med 4.51 1.75 <interesting
          West_Asian 3.97 4.74
          Middle_Eastern 0 0
          South_Asian 0.99 0

          Could there actually be anything in my father's family story - or am I just wasting my time?
          If there was actually anything to discover, wouldn't my father have more of these Sicilian matches or similar - or are there not many people from that population or similar in the FTDNA database?

          Any help would be most appreciated, thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Since getting into genetic genealogy, I have told myself to be aware of these things:

            (1) The migration history of an ethnic group. Example: Finns within the Russian Empire or in Sweden and Norway.

            (2) What may form a genetic basis for a relatively new ethnic group. Example: French-Canadians or Acadians might very well have Basque, Spanish or Portuguese in their deep ancestry besides the expected French.

            (3) It seems that a family's sense of ethnicity can change over a few generations in one place. Example: French families who immigrated to England and then after a generation or two, immigrated to the New World.

            (4) Migrations and back-migrations. Example: Native American genes showing up in the genomes of European residents.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ausgenjourneys View Post
              . . . My father's known genealogy at his 32 great great great grandparents is: 59.375% (19/32) Irish, 37.5% (12/32) English and approx. 3.125% (1/32) "speculative Irish" (ie. there is a family story - and family appearances - that this speculative ancestor -whose name we don't know yet- was not Irish). . .

              Could there actually be anything in my father's family story - or am I just wasting my time?
              If there was actually anything to discover, wouldn't my father have more of these Sicilian matches or similar - or are there not many people from that population or similar in the FTDNA database?

              Any help would be most appreciated, thanks.
              There must be a really good story there. Anything is possible.

              Keep in mind that Ireland wasn't hermetically sealed, and there are all sorts of interesting foreign elements creeping up.

              Consider the Palatinates and the Huguenots planted there in the 17th and 18th centuries.

              Consider 'les armateurs de Nantes', Irish Jacobites fleeing the disaster of the Williamite Wars and dividing their time between piracy and legitimate commerce from the coasts to Brittany down to La Rochelle.

              Consider the soldiers and camp followers of the War of the Spanish Succession, Napoleonic campaigns, etc.

              All of these present ample opportunity for the influx of foreign genes.

              I have ancestors in the last two categories who came back to Ireland and settled down to relatively humdrum lives. Even very vanilla-sounding names can have some exotic history behind them.
              Last edited by Frederator; 15 August 2013, 10:19 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Frederator View Post
                There must be a really good story there. Anything is possible.
                ...

                Consider the soldiers and camp followers of the War of the Spanish Succession, Napoleonic campaigns, etc.
                How common was this? - as, yes, that is the family story. So far the era fits for the Napoleonic campaigns and I know a lot of Irish from the same region were soldiers.

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frederator View Post
                  There must be a really good story there. Anything is possible.
                  ...

                  Consider the soldiers and camp followers of the War of the Spanish Succession, Napoleonic campaigns, etc.
                  How common was this? - as, yes, that is the family story. So far the era fits for the Napoleonic campaigns and I know a lot of Irish from the same region were soldiers.

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry I accidentally posted that reply twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ausgenjourneys View Post
                      How common was this? - as, yes, that is the family story. So far the era fits for the Napoleonic campaigns and I know a lot of Irish from the same region were soldiers.

                      Thanks
                      Hard to say. I don't think they had the same statistical view of the world we have today, so some things were never tracked. I have, however, heard someone in a history forum say once that nearly 1/2 of the British Army were Irishmen of some description in the 19th century, whatever that means.

                      I stumbled on that statement when I was researching the Irish ancestors of one of my South African matches who came there by means of military service. Interesting how in the early days regiments were recruited and outfitted at the local landlord's expense. Odd when compared to the modern bureaucratic methods.

                      I bet you've got one interesting story there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We just had one of those wonderful, unusual matches. My mother has mostly Mayflower and Great Migration ancestors but her great great grandparents on her mother's side were (1) Scotch Irish from PA and VA and (2) early settlers of Cumberland County, southern New Jersey. The surnames of the latter were Davis and Mintz.

                        I have been speculating that there might be Dutch ancestry because of my mother's mtDNA and because Sarah Davis' child by her first marriage married one of the Dutch New Jersey families (van Kovenhoven - Conover). And Sarah Davis' first marriage was to a family that is likely Dutch (Bennett). Mintz (the second marriage, our ancestor) might also be Dutch although family lore says he was German.

                        Now my mother's closest match is an American man whose ancestors are primarily Dutch and recent Dutch as well as New Jersey (but not Cumberland county) Dutch. And a Swiss German ancestor too, so the match could be through Mintz.

                        Anyway, this unusual match is a lot of fun and will eventually bear fruit and break down a brick wall I predict.

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