PDA

View Full Version : What Got You Interested in Genetics &/or Genealogy?



Scarlet Ibis
11-17-2012, 10:20 PM
Just curious. What got you started? :beerchug:

For me, it was the search for my dad's family. He didn't know his mother (my grandmother) too well, as she didn't raise him. I was curious to find out what the story behind it was, and who her parents, etc. were. I turned to ancestry.com, and it created a monster out of me. I was hooked on solving the mystery. When I hit a brick wall with paper records, I turned to these new genetics tests to see if it could help answer some questions. For the longest time, I thought my grandmother was substantially Native American, as she was rumored to be. These genetics tests have shown that those rumors were either unfounded, or highly exaggerated.

Little bit
11-18-2012, 03:59 PM
Thanks for asking, great question. Like you, it was to fill in the blanks for a missing parent. My parents were not married and my mom was very young when I was born. My father did not stick around, did not pay child support, and I never got to know anything about him or his family. It was a combination of him not wanting to take responsibility and my mom's family wanting to hide/minimize a "problem." I ultimately grew up with my grandparents, and was dissuaded from asking questions about him or searching for him. As I got older, I started to ask more questions and got increasingly ambivalent about the information being kept from me and towards my father abandoning me. Using what little info I could gather from my birth certificate and the meager offerings from my mother's side, I started to look for him, first on my own. When that didn't work, I hired a private investigator but nothing turned up there either. As science progressed, it became increasingly clear that family history was vitally important to managing health risks and I became even more angry about being denied what I had become to consider my birth-right - knowing my father and all the risks he may have conferred to me genetically.

I was vocal about my opinions, very often to the disdain of my mother's family, but when 23andme was named the invention of the year and highlighted on Oprah, my aunt bought me a kit for my birthday. I can't tell you how happy having these results have made me and I make no apologies for my sometimes excessive enthusiasm in following every lead. Since then, my mother and grandfather have tested (all to help me with my quest), my kids, my husband, and his mother as well. Seeing the A's, G's, C's, and T's playing out...being able to see which allele came from my mom and dad and seeing which one's I gave my kids is ALMOST as good as what people with intact family's take for granted.

Here is one of the only pictures I have of my dad, and marks the last time I was in his presence. The picture used to hurt me but now I find myself examining it to see clues to genetic traits we share that I can look up:
http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/LB234/th_Screenshot2012-10-22at74712PM.png (http://s953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/LB234/?action=view&current=Screenshot2012-10-22at74712PM.png)

jowston
11-20-2012, 02:52 PM
I initially got interested due to an 8th grade assignment to create a family tree. My father had died six years previous and I had never met anyone outside of our household with my last name - I would eventually meet a number of others with my surname in 1978 after being given my great-grandparents' family bible that had drifted out of my lineage for 50 years. It is one of my greatest treasures. Since that time, I have gained a great interest in my surname - of which there are less than 500 people who bear and its variants worldwide. My lineage can be traced back to my 10th great grandfather who died in 1568. In 1990, two other researchers and I began to chart everyone with our name and were able to put most everyone into one of three families. Y-DNA testing has confirmed that the three families have a common ancestor that probably lived in the 1400s. I have registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies. Last week, I created a blog specifically dealing with our name. You can see it at https://owston.wordpress.com/

MikeWhalen
11-20-2012, 04:51 PM
I've always had a love of history and an interest in my family tree, but did not do anything about it until the early 2000's. I got interested in DNA geniology from a Time/Newsweek article and got the National Geographic test done...that 'whetted my whistle' and got me testing for both recent geniological and ancient historical reasons and I eventually did many tests with FTdna, some with Ea and a big expensive one with 23&me.

Ironically, I could not understand the results of my first test (12 makers STR) and got very frustrated, and just shoved the results in a drawer for half a year. I started an pen and paper geniological search, particularly on my Y line, partially because I had 2 cousins do a very thorough job on my Moms side of the family and we had next to no info on my dads side. Thanks to the internet, I was able to quickly hook up with some unknown cousins work and was able to sketch out a basic tree going back to my eldest y line ancestor, Patrick Whealen b 1816 Ireland d 1874 Kincardine twp Ontario. This reeeeeealy got me the geniological bug and I spent the next several years filling in my Y line in particular, but also all the other lines in my tree. I now have all 16 great great grandparents for each line with one line (maternal's paternal) going back to '9 x great' grandfather in Devonshire England.

On the way, I met several blood kin online, one in person and they were of great help, 3 of us still keep in touch and all stemming from one of Patrick Whealens 12 kids or his younger brothers 13 kids. In the journey I found out several new stories and was able to confirm or deny several old family stories:

-we almost certainly did have kin that was a first class passenger on the Titanic who was saved, along with her mother and maid in the last life boat to get away
-we were not related to a US Politician in NY and were not able to inherit his millions-that was almost certainly some sort of scam directed at my family during the depression (Gpa owned a Jewelry store)
-the story I heard of how my y line Whalens got up to Northern Ontario was actually from the paternal grandmothers side of the family, it was me that figured out the y line story
-the 'brains' of the family move from Ireland to Canada was almost certainly my Patrick's father in laws father...Edward Collins fought in the War of 1812 and was given a 100 acre veterans land grant in the Ottawa area-several bunches of kin, including my Whealans came to Canada in a very well thought out manner over 12 years-1818-1830
-a 60+ family wagon train travelled over 300 miles through pure forest wilderness to move from Ottawa to the recently opened cheap good land in Bruce county...I have a long contemperary letter thats facinating in its details, such as the most feared creature was not the bear or wolf, but the wildcat because it ambushed from trees and targeted the face...one girl from the family was 'lost' on the journey, they did not know if by Indians or animals
-in his late 50's, GG grandfather Patrick was hoeing his 'beloved potato's' on his Kincadine bush farm, when he realized a large black bear has stalked him and was just a few yards directly behind him...he killed the bear 'with one blow to the head' from the heavy iron hoe, which was closer to a medieval weapon given the thick oak handle and 7 inch wide thick iron blade
-the original spelling of my name was Whealen, but every single one of my GG Grandfathers 12 kids had their name spelled my way, Whalen-one branch of the family thought it was because the one major federal assassination in Canada, Darcy McGee by Patrick J Whelan in 1868, forced the family to change to avoid notoriety, but I proved the change occurred much earlier, so it was probably related to religion and social conventions...my Gma Whalen told me that our spelling, whAlen was the protestant way, and whElan was the catholic way

anyway, though dna has helped my find 3 NPE or different surname cousins, I have still not gotten around my original roadblock of 1816----some day, I hope a long lost cousin will be found that smashes through that sucker!

Mike

Ian B
02-28-2013, 02:32 AM
Like some other members, I have no information about my biological father and never really cared. I had a stepfather who I loved and that's all that mattered. Some years ago, I started to research my mothers family tree, and found that she had lied to me about the origins of her family and name, which was Fox. My research unearthed the fact that her paternal origins were in fact I rish. From that I've been able to trace, on paper, her family back to the 1790's. I decided to have a MtDNA test to confirm those origins but was disappointed when the result was H2a4. I then decided to have YDNA tests, which resulted in the Japonic Hpg D(M174). I have no Japanese features at all and am now trying ascertain what happened between my ancient ancestor and more recent.

Grossvater
02-28-2013, 05:06 AM
For a few years as a kid, I was a step-child. I later lived with my father and my paternal grandmother was very much into genealogy. Having always had an interest in history, I pestered the elder family members on both sides of the family with lots of questions. I am so glad I did because I'm the go-to guy now when the younger family members want to know about our origins.

What got me going on genetic genealogy was a few years ago my brother-in-law informed me that he had made connections with a state-recognized Indian tribe that had approved my wife's family for membership. Her dad is mainly English but her mother's people had always seen themselves as just garden-variety Mexicans. When the LDS church put all the Catholic and Civil Records of Mexico on-line, I was able to trace her paper genealogy back to lots of Indians, Mulatos Libre, Converso Jews, and Iberian Conquistadors...even one line back to the Emperor Moctezuma II himself. Her earliest Iberian ancestor in Mexico was a blacksmith who came with Narvaez in 1521.

But it was DNA testing that helped me prove without a doubt my wife's Native American ancestry. Her grandfather was a Q1a3a1 in the Y line and her grandmother passed down a mitochondrial A2r to her. 23andMe and Dr. McDonald both confirm that my dear wife is somewhere around 25% Native American genetically.

Here is a picture of the dear girl I married 27 years ago

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t516/Ebersdorf/NancytheLovely0001_zps7ad6c6b3.jpg

Here are her maternal Grandparents:

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t516/Ebersdorf/AlejandroampBaptistinaWeddingPicture_zps9d5b8937.j pg

Baltimore1937
02-28-2013, 09:47 AM
As for myself, I come from a dysfunction nuclear family. My father deserted me when I was about 16. And my relatives shun me. My mother thwarted any attempt to find out about my family tree. So that made me all the more determined to find that family tree.

MikeWhalen
02-28-2013, 12:29 PM
Thats a dang pretty girl G...well done!
:)

Mike



Here is a picture of the dear girl I married 27 years ago

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t516/Ebersdorf/NancytheLovely0001_zps7ad6c6b3.jpg

Here are her maternal Grandparents:

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t516/Ebersdorf/AlejandroampBaptistinaWeddingPicture_zps9d5b8937.j pg