23andMe Results: My Ancestry Painting

With much joy yesterday I was delighted to learn that my DNA results were back from 23andMe. I ordered my kit for free through their Roots Into the Future initiative and have been working on getting my family members tested too.  So far, my husband and my sister are done; my mother’s will be done in a few weeks.

My maternal haplogroup was already known to me since my sister’s results came back awhile ago – -we are L2a1e.  This lineage goes back to sub-saharan Africa.  No surprise :-).

My Ancestry painting was what was the most fun to look at last night.  My mother and I went through it in detail and especially noted how I compare to my sister.  According to 23andMe, my DNA has the following approximate origins – 84% African, 13% European and 3% Asian (likely Native-American).

My ancestry painting

This is in contrast to my sister’s  78% African, 18% European and 4% Asian (again, likely Native American).  Goes to show how siblings do get their DNA distribution differently from each parent.

Kelli's ancestry painting

One thing that is clear from both of our paintings is that most  of our European DNA is coming more from one of our parents.  Most of the blue colored segments are in the bottom half of the chromosomes and 23andMe uses a distinction between the top half and bottom half of each image to denote the two parents.  At this point, we do not yet know which parent, but if I had to guess I would predict from my father’s side.  We will hopefully know more once my parent’s results are in.  Very exciting!  I have so much more to blog about with these results so stay tuned.

You can read my past 23andMe blog posts here.

Grandma Truly Is Forever In Our Hearts

My daughter Kaleya was born on her great-grandmother Alice’s birthday – October 16th.  Yesterday, we celebrated Kaleya’s 7th birthday.  Yesterday, my grandmother did not turn 87.  :-(

Today, b/c of it being her birthday, my mother went to her gravesite to visit her and to take the first pictures of her headstone.  Grandma is buried in Sarasota National Park cemetery and is in fact in the same section as her eldest son, Stanley, who passed away 10 months before her.

Mommy says that Grandma is in the same diagonal row as Stanley – just 11 rows above him.

 

Upcoming History/Genealogy Projects from the IMLS

At my job, one of my primary responsibilities involves a grant project we have that is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Just this week, they announced a new round of funded projects.  Some of them caught my genealogy eye as they have potential to be of benefit for family history researchers.

The full list of funded projects can be found here but the following are of interest:

  • Florida – Orange County Library System(Orlando) — the library is planning to work with community partners to prototype and evaluate the feasibility of a new type of library service geared towards creating openly accessible online databases of obituaries.  The online obits will be places where family and friends can submit detailed tributes and in doing so, help build a meaningful history of the residents of the community.  This is a planning project, so the database will not be built in this round of funding, but concepts surrounding it will be explored.
  • Chicago – American Library Association – another planning grant; in this project, the ALA will begin a collaboration with StoryCorps to make the service accessible to public libraries across the country.  The StoryCorps program is an important one for capturing oral histories, so the more that we can capture now, the better off we will be in the future.
  • Southeastern New York Library Resources Council – to increase awareness of oral histories, the organization will work with libraries, museums, community organizations and others to digitize oral histories from several repositories. They will create radio broadcasts, create linked and dynamic websites to showcase the collections and create mobile apps. Sweet.

 


23andMe Results: Kalonji’s Ancestry Painting

Continuing my posts on our 23andMe testing, I continue with a brief description of Kalonji’s Ancestry Painting and what we’ve learned from it.

The Ancestry Painting is a feature of 23andMe that shows an analysis of the 22 non-sex chromosomes we inherit from our parents.  The result is a beautifully colored image that illustrates DNA segments and gives a report of if the DNA is likely inherited from Africa, Europe or Asia.

The first part of the Ancestry Painting gives the overall breakdown.  Apparently, Kalonji’s DNA is 78% African origin, 21% European origin and 4% Native American (shows up as Asian but is very likely Native American or else statistical noise).

It is not uncommon for African-Americans to have 20% or more European DNA given our history of slavery, so the results were not really surprising.  What I found most interesting about the painting was the distribution of the European DNA.  If a DNA segment is bi-colored, it means each of the chromosome pairs came from different parents.  From reading blog posts from 23andMe, I learned that the coloring is consistent in that the top half of the chromosoume represents one parent, while the bottom half represents the other.  23andMe cannot tell you which half is which parent, but clues in a person’s family history may provide that.   In this case, it was true for Kalonji.

When you look at the Ancestry painting, it is clear that one half of all the chromosomes contains more European DNA than the other half for there are more blue segments on the bottom halves of the 22 than their are on the top.  This is consistent with what we know of Kalonji’s paternal ancestry and that of all of Kalonji’s 2nd great-grandparents, we are fairly sure that one of them in particular was white and he was on Kalonji’s paternal side (see previous posts on Kalonji’s McClellan ancestry).  Given Kalonji’s father’s complexion, paternal grandmother’s complexion, and her father’s complexion and features, we are pretty sure most of the European DNA is coming from that lineage.  Thus, we hypothesize that the bottom halves of the Ancestry painting are the portrait of DNA Kalonji inherited from his father.   We kinda knew this already, but it was neat to see it in the DNA analysis. :-)

My New (Old) Microfilm Reader

Can you say ecstatic! That is the feeling I am having this weekend after my geneabuddy Billie gave me a microfilm reader. She got it from a library that was closing several years ago. Finding herself not using it any longer, during a recent conversation we had about microfilm, she said she’d be willing to give it to me.

And I love it! Nevermind the fact that it is sitting on my nighstand in our bedroom :-). Until I get a “real” office space set up this is where it is going to remain. It is a Dukane model and I have no idea how old it is, but I know that it works. Yeah!

Thank you Billie!

Great-Grandparents’ Signature

My great-grandparents, Abraham & Martha (Walker) McNair, purchased their home in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina in 1945.  While I have a copy of the deed from the local registrar’s office it is not a true copy of the original.

My mother found their original deed last week and their signatures are on it

signature of my great-grandparents

Looking at this, I see now that my grandmother, Alice,  had her father’s handwriting.  I am looking forward to making a copy of the original deed next time I visit home.

23AndMe Results: Kalonji’s Paternal Haplogroup

On September 8th, I posted my first blog post about genetic testing results from 23andMe regarding Kalonji’s maternal haplogroup.  This time, I’m posting about his paternal haplogroup.

Kalonji’s paternal haplogroup is E1b1a7a.

This haplogroup is subgroup of E1b1a.  E1b1a has its origins in sub-saharan Africa.  This of course is not surprising to us given Kalonji’s descent from former slaves.  The 23andMe site shares the information that

E1b1a is also the most common haplogroup among African-American male individuals. About 60% of African-American men fall into this haplogroup primarily due to the Atlantic slave trade, which drew individuals from western Africa and Mozambique, where E1b1a is accounts for the majority of men.

At this point, I am unsure of what to take away from this, except, that as Kalonji gets matches in Relative Finder knowing the haplogroup will help differentiate shared ancestry among paternal vs. maternal lines.   The Relative Finder feature in 23andMe is awesome! The next posts will describe our experiences with that.  Stay tuned :-)

Participating in Genealogy Market Research

This week concluded with an interesting experience for me – I participated in a market research interview for a genealogy company – AppleTree.com.

AppleTree is a collaborative genealogy website.  They contacted me because of my past blog posts on collaborative genealogy, probably most specifically a post I made about Geni.com and my initial thoughts on it and how it compares to other collab genealogy sites.

It was definitely a fun and interesting experience! I don’t believe I am your “typical” genealogist so I did explain that to them, but of course they are interested in a multitude of viewpoints.

Admittedly, I have not explored the site in-depth, but I may have an idea of where they are heading based on the questions in our conversation.  I explained also that I have a very high threshold for what I expect from a web-based genealogy program so I have very high expectations. :-)  That said, I am even more convinced that we are going to see even more innovation in tech + genealogy in the next few years from companies like theirs and others, and I am going to have a glorious time trying to take it all in!

Thank you Jim & Scott for a great conversation.

 

23AndMe Results: Kalonji’s Maternal Haplotype

This blog post is going to be the start of  short series of posts I will do about my husband’s 23andMe DNA testing results.  We were able to get the kit for free because the company is trying to expand their database of African-American DNA.  Currently, most of the health results available are based on a mostly European population.  This initiative is part of their Roots Into the Future Initiative.

There is so much to go over his results, so I’ll have to spend some time working my way through them.  For now, let me start with his maternal lineage.

Kalonji’s maternal haplotype group is: L2a1a2

Kalonji's Maternal Haplogroup

This haplogroup is a subgroup of the L2 Haplogroup.  L2 is the most common haplogroup among Africans and African-Americans.  From what I have read, the origin of L2a1a2 seems to be West or NorthWest Africa, but it underwent an expansion with Bantu migrations and is associated with SouthEast Africa. Currently, the highest percentages of Africans of this haplogroup are in the Mozambique area (36%).  The haplotype is also found in Afro-Brazilian populations too.  You can see in the image that the darker spots on the map correlate to an are in West African and then right around Mozambique.

I don’t believe this is enough information for us to know with any certainty where in Africa Kalonji’s ancestors may have lived, but I am continuing to do more research.  From a link shared in the 23andMe community forums, downloaded a spreadsheet with very specific genome data and there also seems to be an association with the Mozambique area.   I guess we will have to get him tested with African Ancestry to see if we can potentially get a tribe match.   More to come soon!