Several weeks ago, I sent in a sample for DNA testing, no not for paternity, but for my genetic ethnicity. I was unsure what to expect when the results came in. Would my many years of research be proven or would something throw a wrench into my life?
I only half-jokingly asked my father, “Dad, now is the time to tell me if I am adopted or if there is something else in our family that I need to know.” He laughed and said no and nothing that he was aware of. So I spit into the tube, closed the top and sent it off.
Just a couple of weeks later and I have my results. Was my research confirmed? Did I find anything new? Yes to both.
- British Isles 67% (thought it would have been higher)
- Eastern European 15% (what?!?!)
- Central European 10% (Dad said he thought there was a French connection)
- Unknown 8% (as more people do this test, these regions become clearer)
So, what does this tell me? I need to find out how close the relation has to be to have a 15% result, how many generations back could that go? I called my father and told him the results and he says, “Well Grandma Sallie once told me that she heard her grandfather say that his grandfather said that had he been born in the next farm over, he would have been Polish.” Really Dad, you are just now telling me this?? So, who was this #great grandparent that could have been Polish or other EE group?
Not having much experience with the Eastern European areas, I thought where should I be looking at and what should I be looking for? According to ancestry.com modern day countries would be,
Poland, Greece, Macedonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Moldova, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Belgarus, Kosovo
Since my mother’s line is the strongly known and documented from England, Scotland and Ireland with a Frenchman way back in the 17th-century, and given what my father just told me about his grandmother’s comment, I decided to look at his line first for possibilities. This is where I have the most unanswered questions and blank lines.
I have no ancestry records for these great grandparents from North Carolina, could one of these couples hold the key to the Eastern European ancestry?
- 3rd Great Grandfather, JOSEPH BURGESS, d. aft 1830. No wife found, two known sons, John T (my 2nd g-grandfather) and William.
- 3rd Great Grandfather, SILAS HEATH, 1793-? Wife Nancy. Known children, Amanda, John William, Nancy, Thomas Arendell (my 2nd g-grandfather) and Sally
- 3rd Great Grandfather, JOSHUA ROUSE, 1816-1887 and his first wife Susan Caswell. Known children, Sarah E, Susan M, Marcellus Wooten (my 2nd g-grandfather) and William Henry.
- 4th Great Grandparents, WRIGHT HUNTER and Wife NANCY DAVIS. Known children Nicholas, Wright William (my 3rd g-grandfather), Mary and William Jackson.
- 4th Great Grandfather, JESSE COOPER, 1776-1859. No wife found. Two known daughters, Lucinda (my 3rd g-grandmother) and her sister Caroline.
- 4th Great Grandmother, CATHERINE BOND, North Carolina. Husband Dallam Caswell. No proof of her maiden name found. Eleven known children including Susan M Caswell (my 3rd g-grandmother)
- 5th Great Grandparents, NATHANIEL BATTS, abt 1750-1840 and his wife, ELIZABETH DIXON. Known child, Lewis Jasper Batts (my 4th g-grandfather)
Nothing is jumping out at me when I look at this list of names, however surname migration research will help and visiting the NC archives will be another step. Also, having my father participate in the DNA genetic ethnicity testing will help, for his genetic make-up will tell me if indeed it is his line that the EE make-up comes from.
Knowing my genetic ethnicity will hopefully lead me in new research directions and just maybe, find some new family leaves. Yes, the fire is lit once more on my North Carolina heritage and with renewed determination, I am hopeful for rich discoveries in the future, dare I hope the near future.
Stay tuned. I will be documenting my search for my Eastern European ancestry as I find it fascinating that after 25 years of researching, I can still learn plenty of new and interesting facts about my own family.