Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My blue genes

Allie's preschool made cards for the dads. See how long her hair is now
No eye color gene predictor tool will be needed
 to guess her sibling's eye color. It will be blue.

Both Steve's and my DNA have been loaded to gedMATCH, an organization that compiles the DNA obtained from the various DNA testing services, Ancestry and 23 and me  being the  2 largest. Not everyone who has their DNA tested uploads it. I see  that my 3 second cousins that Ancestry identified have not done it but the first cousin that Steve has did and from her user name, we figured out who she was. As her mother was one of the older children, perhaps she can shed some light on some missing links.

So what I have I done with all this DNA data. There are at least 12 alleles involved with eye color. From my DNA, they predicted I would have pale blue eyes. True color: bluish-gray. From Steve's, they predicted blue eyes with a green center: actual :  green.

Do we have genes in common? Absolutely none. I ran my DNA versus my friend's. On paper, we have similar  ethnic backgrounds. No commonality by DNA. But then I ran my DNA against her ex-husband who was born in Poland to two Polish parents. He is a probable 4th cousin. Go figure.

They also had a test to see if your parents were related. As my parents came from completely different backgrounds (in so many ways), no surprise that they were different.

Steve's parents came from a much smaller group (Ashkenazi Jews). There were rumors that certain people were cousins from both sides. Yet his parents were not related (at least through 5 generations) according to Steve's DNA.

This is what one does when it is much too hot to be outside though there was a bit of cloud cover very early in the morning enabling me to run without suffering too much. We have the sprinkler system going all the time. Thankfully we live on a large aquifer.

I have been diligently adding to the family tree stymied by death certificates in which the informant is asked for the names of the deceased parents and supplies only first names. Also in documents in which the birthplace is described in various documents in different countries. Information provided by the same individual.

I did make some inroads on a branch of my mother's tree. I had thought her father's mother was from Germany (as that was the info she provided). Nope, said her sister a few weeks ago. She was from Utica (city outside Detroit). I followed this up and learned all sorts of stuff about her parents who came from Baden-Wurttemberg in 1845 where they do keep records. In German but still, records that are in typeface, not in illegible handwriting like the Michigan records. So I didn't know I had relatives from southern  Germany. My mother's father's parents came from Prussia, the North. My aunt will provide me with the name of the city.

Even my mother's official info is not correct. According to the Social Security Administration, she lived where I did at the time of death. Well her checks were sent to me as I was her conservator (and guardian) but except for a few horrendous weeks, she did not live with me. She was in another county, whose probate office would remind me that I am lucky to deal with them versus the office in my own county.

What surprises did we learn from our DNA? That I am more Scandinavian than Irish. I did have a great-grandfather who immigrated from Ireland but he had a French mom, which cuts my Irishness in half right there. Half of my alleged Scandinavian heritage is Finnish, which consists of a unique set of genes. Despite the geography, Finns are different than the Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes.

As Poland is physically close to Scandinavia, maybe some genes are due to that. Or due to Vikings raiding Northern England and Scotland that is from my father's side.

Surprises from Steve's side. He has no Eastern European DNA at all (a bit of Western European). So much for the Cossacks raiding the shetls during their pogroms raping the women and setting things on fire for fun and the Polish locals occasionally getting into the action too leading both his mother's and father's family to leave for the US while they could. Worse for those who stayed behind. His father's side had only recently immigrated to Poland/Russia from Austria/Prussia so less of a chance of interactions with Eastern Europeans.

Steve also had traces of Northern African and Central Asian DNA.

How Jewish am I? less than 1%. Why both my mom's mom's parents had Jewish names is a mystery.


lotta joy said...

I would love to know who my ancestors were. My dad actually lived the true LITTLE RASCALS life, being homeless from age 8 up. So many last names that weren't true last names, but just names of whomever took him off the street to feed him. I've always gone by my mother's name and figured I'm Irish and Scots to the bone, but you have given me too many facts to hope I'm anywhere close to being right.

Elephant's Child said...

Tracking your roots is not easy is it. Compounded in my case because my father made an oyster look garrulous and my mother was often a stranger to the truth.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

LJ, I got my DNA tested through ancestry.com It also identified 3 2nd cousins who I never met but seem to have the same great-grandparents. Plus I uploaded my data to a medical based DNA site which tells me the medical significance of my genes full of conflicting information but interesting. EC, I was given lots of false clues and bad information but I am gradually soring it all out.


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