Saturday, November 7, 2009

Search for my Grandfather

When I did the post on the search for 16 Great Greats it may have been obvious that there is a hole in my ancestry.Genetic Genealogy is pointing me to a place if not a name. That post indicated that a fair size chunk of my autosomal profile points a man who came from the Baltic region.
I was offered an opportunity to participate in the Beta test for 'Relative Finder' at 23andMe and jumped at the chance.I had wanted to test the full genome autosomal but balked at the price. Myself and hundreds and hundreds of the group of genealogists who believe that DNA is a short cut over big brick walls took the plunge.

Anecdotally I am convinced this unknown man was a merchant sailor who came into Baltimore.My teen aged Grandmother never gave up an identity as I understand it and Dad himself professed not to know who he was. We were told that his birth certificate was 'sealed' through his adoption by his grandmother.

Grandmother married a Norwegian sailor, Sigurd Boe, who many years later indicated he could be his father.He repeated this after Grandmom passed away but my father said " you're not my father, I don't know who my father was". Dad and Stepfather however, had many similarities; coloring,shoe size and both were very soft spoken.
I currently have 187 matches on 'Relative Finder' most of which are distant cousins.All of these persons have not yet made contact with me and none are closer than 3rd cousin.Most if not all of them seem to match my know Irish connections.

The genome wide autosomal allows for a more uniform look at who I inherited my DNA from.
Prior testing like mitoDNA and X markers and X strs pointed to my female to female lines.The X markers by their nature exclude anything of a paternal line and is sometimes referred to as the 'paternal grandmother test'.Dad as a male inherited a Y chromosome from his father and his other chromosome, the X, from his mother.

One of the advantages of a large testing group is the availability of population samples for geographic location. Dr. Doug McDonald is working with Scots and Irish populations and compared my genome with his model. He indicates that I am very very Irish in my ethnicity!
A small but clear subset of my genome looks different and from the region across the North Sea .
The conclusion falls right in line with what I have been told previously which is both Native and Baltic.The first look at my genome in 2006 was said to be a Northern Native American which fairly quickly resolved itself into Polish or Russian tribal.

He( McDonald) feels it points to somethings like Swedish or Finnish Saami or Lapps. That fits with everything else.I asked him if it was from the unknown grandfather or my known Swedish Swanson great grandfather and he feels it is likely both of them.

This makes absolute sense to me.Dad's birth certificate which I was able to acquire after his death notes a Louis Seybold as the father.The ethnicity there also points to the Baltic region perhaps.

Dad was quite blond and blue eyed and a great sailor also although his Carrow uncle was a ship captain and he grew up directly on the Delaware River banks.

Saami.Let me try it on for effect.

1 comment:

Mary said...

How great that DNA testing is giving you clues to the missing line....good luck with this!