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Clue to family mystery or over-interpretation of FF?

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  • Clue to family mystery or over-interpretation of FF?

    I'm trying to figure out what to make of the "small but strong" presence of Native American ancestry (.3 %) Dr. McDonald picked up, when I sent him my raw FF data.

    It's a surprise, given my half Scottish/half Slovenian background. Prior to 1898, all my ancestors were still in Europe.

    Dr. McDonald noted that Native American can sometimes be mistaken for East Asian or Finnish (when it includes indigenous Saami.)

    So here's the odd thing: On the 1902 Minnesota birth certificate of my Slovenian-American grandmother, both her parents' birthplaces are listed as Finland. Everywhere else, it's Slovenia/Yugoslavia. (Confirmed on multiple records: immigration, marriage, census, death records.)

    At the time, I dismissed it as a strange clerical error, maybe because they were living in a mining community that had Slovenians and Finns in equal numbers.

    There are a few other odd things. The "baby girl" wasn't yet named. My great-grandfather signed as the "attending physician or midwife." (My grandmother was born at home, my mother explained.)

    So now I'm wondering about an informal adoption, or a child born of a different father.

    Am I making too much of this? Maybe it's just coincidence. Of course, "non paternal events" in the U.S. could also have happened at a couple other points up the line, with the addition of Finnish and/or actual Native American ancestry.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts about this.

    Blair
    Last edited by bkilpatrick; 27 March 2011, 06:30 PM.

  • #2
    Most of these analysts quote a statistical "noise" value below which results are unreliable. In your case I would have expected 0.3% to be within the noise region.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by gtc View Post
      Most of these analysts quote a statistical "noise" value below which results are unreliable. In your case I would have expected 0.3% to be within the noise region.
      Thanks for commenting!

      I do see your point. But he did differentiate between the one N.A. spot which he thought was "strong" and probably "real" and a few smaller ones, which were probably "noise."

      I am very new to this and really appreciate others' opinions.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bkilpatrick View Post

        Am I making too much of this? Maybe it's just coincidence.
        It might well be, but it might also be a pointer to further avenues of research. If It Was Me, I'd certainly see what I could turn up that might back it up. How much effort you put into that would be commeasurate with how likely you think it might be...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by aeduna View Post
          It might well be, but it might also be a pointer to further avenues of research. If It Was Me, I'd certainly see what I could turn up that might back it up. How much effort you put into that would be commeasurate with how likely you think it might be...
          Thanks for your thoughts! First step, ask my mom what she thinks. She's in her 80's, but sharp (sometimes sharp-tongued :-) as the proverbial tack. Prepare to be laughed at. . .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bkilpatrick View Post
            I'm trying to figure out what to make of the "small but strong" presence of Native American ancestry (.3 %) Dr. McDonald picked up, when I sent him my raw FF data.

            It's a surprise, given my half Scottish/half Slovenian background. Prior to 1898, all my ancestors were still in Europe.

            Dr. McDonald noted that Native American can sometimes be mistaken for East Asian or Finnish (when it includes indigenous Saami.)

            So here's the odd thing: On the 1902 Minnesota birth certificate of my Slovenian-American grandmother, both her parents' birthplaces are listed as Finland. Everywhere else, it's Slovenia/Yugoslavia. (Confirmed on multiple records: immigration, marriage, census, death records.)

            At the time, I dismissed it as a strange clerical error, maybe because they were living in a mining community that had Slovenians and Finns in equal numbers.

            There are a few other odd things. The "baby girl" wasn't yet named. My great-grandfather signed as the "attending physician or midwife." (My grandmother was born at home, my mother explained.)

            So now I'm wondering about an informal adoption, or a child born of a different father.

            Am I making too much of this? Maybe it's just coincidence. Of course, "non paternal events" in the U.S. could also have happened at a couple other points up the line, with the addition of Finnish and/or actual Native American ancestry.

            I'd appreciate any thoughts about this.

            Blair
            Just so you know it was not odd for people to give birth in the home in that time frame. I have also seen many old birth records where there is no name for the child. The name written as baby and they were not adopted. I have also seen census where the woman gave birth to a new born listed on the census with no first name. Its not like it is today where you have to name the baby before you can leave the hospital.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Yaffa View Post
              Just so you know it was not odd for people to give birth in the home in that time frame. I have also seen many old birth records where there is no name for the child. The name written as baby and they were not adopted. I have also seen census where the woman gave birth to a new born listed on the census with no first name. Its not like it is today where you have to name the baby before you can leave the hospital.
              Thanks, Yaffa. You are right, of course; I do know that and have seen it myself. Good to remember that these are all just bits of information that aren't conclusive, or even especially striking, in themselves. But, taken togehter, they could support an alternative view of my mother's family history.

              Most striking to me was my mother's reaction, when I tentatively broached it with her on the phone tonight. A lot of things (about her family dynamics) started to "click." She's been neutral, sometimes dismissive, about my family research, much less DNA testing. But she actually brought up the possibility of being tested herself.

              Blair

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yaffa View Post
                Just so you know it was not odd for people to give birth in the home in that time frame. I have also seen many old birth records where there is no name for the child. The name written as baby and they were not adopted. I have also seen census where the woman gave birth to a new born listed on the census with no first name. Its not like it is today where you have to name the baby before you can leave the hospital.
                In Australia at least, you've got 6 weeks to register a name. It took us a couple of days to finalise a name, but the little blighter did come a month early

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bkilpatrick View Post
                  She's been neutral, sometimes dismissive, about my family research, much less DNA testing. But she actually brought up the possibility of being tested herself.

                  Blair
                  Neat! Always nice to pique someone's interest....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bkilpatrick View Post
                    Thanks, Yaffa. You are right, of course; I do know that and have seen it myself. Good to remember that these are all just bits of information that aren't conclusive, or even especially striking, in themselves. But, taken togehter, they could support an alternative view of my mother's family history.

                    Most striking to me was my mother's reaction, when I tentatively broached it with her on the phone tonight. A lot of things (about her family dynamics) started to "click." She's been neutral, sometimes dismissive, about my family research, much less DNA testing. But she actually brought up the possibility of being tested herself.

                    Blair
                    Glad to hear that your mother may be willing to DNA test for you. I hope her DNA helps you get more answers. Good luck!

                    Comment

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