Friday, February 19, 2016

Of Lack of Time, New Cousins, and Deep, Deep Roots

Image from

This month has just gotten away from me. I intended to do regular posts and here it is more than half a month into February and this is my first post of the month. Not what I intended. But life got away from me.

It has been a full month. It feels as though I’ve been busy almost every evening. But I have been able to research on the weekends, and I have been reading a lot of Canadian history. Most particularly about the rebellions of 1937 and 1938, which I’d never heard of before, but it looks like I have at least two ancestors who were involved in the conflicts (on the side of the British). My research will lead to at least two, possibly three ancestor articles in the next month or so. I really can’t wait to share it with you but I want to try to fill in some more holes before I do (if I can’t fill them in within the next few weeks I’m just going to publish them and ask you to help me fill them in.)

As a result of all my recent research, I’ve also suggested to The Great Courses that they produce a course on Canadian History because listening to their courses on American history helped me so much in understanding my ancestors lives and in getting ideas of where to look next when I lose them. What I’ve learned from them has also informed my posts here. So I went looking for a course on Canadian history and they don’t have it. So I suggested it to them through their website and through their Instagram account. They tell me that they will take it under advisement and that they like to produce what they think their customers want and will use. So I’m now putting out a plea that my readers also request that Great Courses put out a course on Canadian history. I figure the more of you that do that the more likely that I will get my Canadian history course sooner rather than later!

I have also been lucky enough to be contacted by several people inquiring as to whether we may be related, which required going through our trees to try to find where we meshed. We figured it out for one on my mom’s side, on the Erwin line. We’re in an ongoing process of figuring out a connection on my dad’s side, on the Bennett line. And I had a person contact me making queries about the Henn line, based on DNA results, but after I responded with links to various pedigree charts, I never heard from her again, so I’m thinking that one did not match up. (She never sent me a link to her pedigree chart so I don't know for sure.)

Finally, I’ve uploaded my AncestryDNA results to GEDmatch, so that I can compare them against a larger pool of genealogy-seekers. GEDmatch is a free website that allows you to upload your autosomal DNA test results from AncestryDNA, from Family Tree DNA, or from 23 and Me to their website and compare against others from any or all of those (pay) sites. In comparing your DNA with others, you can see the results numerically or through a graphic representation similar to that which you see on Finding Your Roots on PBS. You can also see not only how they match you, but how they match each other, which I understand can help figure out the distance to the common ancestor (I don’t understand that part yet), and it shows you their email addresses so you can contact those you choose to contact. There was also a tool that let me separate out which parts of my DNA came from my mother and which came from my father, which was interesting, and another tool which compared my mother and my father to determine whether they are related to each other (they aren’t). Additionally, there are seven different options for displaying ethnicity or deep ancestry data. 

Of course, I played with the deep ancestor admixture charts. I discovered that they are talking about deep, deep roots on these tests. Really deep roots!

You know how I’ve been telling you that I that I come from a long line of farmers? I had no real idea of exactly how long that could possibly be!

Here is my MDL P K 13 Ultimate-Deep Origins of Populations Calculator result:

Climbing My Family Tree: MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for Jo Henn; Chart from
MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for Jo Henn
Chart from

The key that accompanies the results identifies the codes as follows:

ANE = component from North Eurasian component by interpolating the non--East-Asian part of Native Americans ancestry.

Caucasus-Gedrosia = identical to Pontikos’s Caucasus-Gedrosia cluster (no real idea of what that means yet)

ENF = the component of the ancient European Neolithic farmers with the peak in the ancient samples of the LBK culture. Among the modern populations -- the highest values have been detected in Sardinian’s, Corsican’s, and Basques.

Near East = the modal component of Middle Easterners

WHG-UHG = the native component of the ancient Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Among the modern populations -- the highest percentage in the population of Estonians, Lithuanians, Finns and others.

Ancient European Neolithic farmers. Now I know that my family have been farmers for a long, long time! And did you catch that I have American Indian DNA? It’s apparently ancient, but it’s there. 

I ran Dad’s and Mom’s DNA data for comparison.

Here's Dad's:

Climbing My Family Tree: MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for my Dad; Chart from
MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for my Dad
Chart from

So I didn’t get the AmerIndian from his side. LOTS of ancient farmers, though.

And here's Mom's:

Climbing My Family Tree: MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for my Mom; Chart from
MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture results for my Mom
 Chart from

I got the AmerIndian from mom’s side. She also has a sub-Saharan component.

Sub-Saharan is explained = the second African component (Mandinka, Yoruba, and Esan). 
Perhaps Mom's family is older than Dad's.

Utterly Fascinating!

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