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Thread: Using DNA matches to trace traveller/gypsy roots?

  1. #1
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    Question Using DNA matches to trace traveller/gypsy roots?

    Hi guys, i'm just looking for some advice regarding some results on Gedmatch.
    There are two traveller/gypsy surnames on my dad's side of the tree but I haven't been able to get very far back in tracing them as they are 6 generations back in my tree. I joined a Facebook group for the descendants of those two travelling families and I've just finished comparing my dad's DNA against theirs to see if there is any possible link.

    on gedmatch genesis of the 38 descendants of the first family my dad matches 6 people at 7-8 cm and 20 people at between 4 and 6 cm.
    Of the twelve descendants of the second family my dad matches two at 8-10 cm and matches 8 people at between 4 and 6 cm.

    I'm not very good with gedmatch, I have cognitive & vision problems that have made it difficult to learn beyond the basics so I'm not too sure how to interpret this. Was wondering how likely do you think it is that I have a connection with these families based on this data?

    I'm thinking of hiring a professional genealogist to get past my brick wall but would like to try and get an idea of whether it's worth doing first.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    England North of England Ireland Scotland Wales Romani Star of David
    I think it's very likely. It's said that anything 10cM+ is highly probable to be a legitimate match.

    It's also worth checking out you and your dad's one-to-many matches. If you are looking for Romanichal ancestry in particular, certain surnames are more common amongst the Romani than English/Welsh people in general. For example, Boswell, Lovell, Eastwood, Godwin and Lee. If a surname considered "Romani" crops up in your one-to-many, it's likely that your connections to the families you mention are legit due to shared DNA between Romani people.
    Ethnogene (most accurate so far IMO): Frisian 2.8%, Scottish 19.2%, Welsh 2.4%, English 29.0%, Irish 31.7%, Cornish 1.9%, Irish Traveller 4.0%, French 2.6%, Dutch 1.0%, German 1.8%, Western Indian 1.1%, Central/Southern Ashkenazi 1.0%, Norwegian 1.5%

    "In. Year. Out. See ya."- Chris Wilder

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Scotland Ireland England
    Thanks for your reply I took a look at the one-to-many matches for my dad - the family we think there could be connections to is the Millers and 14 millers come up on gedmatch. It's a common non-gypsy name too though. I think the Miller folks in the facebook group said theirs are Romany. I checked out the surnames you mentioned and have a couple of strong matches with some Eastwoods but nothing for the others I'm afraid.

    I'm not sure what to make of all the <7cm matches I have with folks in the group. I know matches below 7cm are not necesscarily reliable but don't know if that changes if you're looking at a large group with suspected common ancestry?

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