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Old 12-05-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
1 posts, read 1,618 times
Reputation: 10

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Before my wedding I am working on my family tree, as a representation of our histories coming together. I know my fathers side fairly well. What I have so far, from just verbal history of my family is that I am about one third Norwegian combined from both sides, small amounts of Irish, some Cheyenne, and 'black dutch'. My mothers side is somewhat of a mystery, and my fathers side I believe there to be more American Indian than is said due to my grandmother sadly being somewhat racist and in denial, my father and aunt look like a lot more than a quarter to me and the rest of family. I live in Duluth, MN. And there is a heavy Indian population here, and I regularly get asked how much I have in me. And I know black dutch means a few different things.
My fiance knows his whole history, as they were a documented family, have pictures, immigration records etc. He is some 60% Norwegian, some Swedish, and some Irish and German. Looks the part to.
Was curious if anyone on here has any knowledge or knack for genealogy, if I could share a picture or two of myself and take some guesses and see if they match up at all with what my family thinks or guesses.
For the record as well, we are all on my Mothers side between 5' 3'' and 5' 5'', rich skin color, darker eyes, and are born with black hair, and dark skin, and almost black eyes. On my fathers side, the women are shorter, very, very dark hair and skin, and eyes. Again, born black hair dark skin etc. My father has black hair, and his skin is very dark, his eyes are hazel (as are mine). We are all well portioned, smaller hips though. And we scar strange as well, we almost always get keloids for anything more than a minor cut or burn. No freckles on either side.
We are going to get the DNA test done, to really narrow it down, but until then, any help or anything would be great!
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:35 PM
 
1,459 posts, read 2,127,419 times
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I think that you should start from scratch, by writing down all of your known relatives, talking to everyone who is still alive and getting any name they might recollect, etc.

The DNA is only going to give you general areas.

Photos are fun, but phenotypes can pop up out of the distant past and not really represent your predominant background. I am something like 90% English, but I have a broad German face, thanks to a single great great grandparent.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,581 posts, read 26,233,109 times
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I am a bit puzzled by what sort of "tree" you have in mind. Most of is here use that to mean the names of our ancestors. That can be found in written records and often will include information on their countries of origin.

If you are interested in your admixture of various ethnic origins, the newer genetic tests can help with it, but they will not tell you exactly which ancestors donated that DNA. For example, you might find a certain percentage of native American DNA but not be able to tell whether it came from one of your father's parents.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 10,060,044 times
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You can't tell ethnic background by looking at someone. Only by examining the records. If your ancestry is Scandinavian, odds are that they're fairly recent immigrants. That doesn't give you too many generations to search for an intermarriage with someone of a Native American background. In my very limited experience, I've found that most of those inter-marriages happened earlier. But, that doesn't mean it's not possible, or that it doesn't happen every day.

I do find that there is much more "rumored" native ancestry than there is actually.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,858,868 times
Reputation: 10464
Quote:
Originally Posted by acline0323 View Post
Was curious if anyone on here has any knowledge or knack for genealogy, if I could share a picture or two of myself and take some guesses and see if they match up at all with what my family thinks or guesses.
There is no way we could accurately tell you anything about your heritage by how you look (unless maybe you were Asian or black but you're not). I am mostly Italian and it amuses me when I tell people this and they say I do look Italian - because it's my dad's side which is Italian but everyone also tells me I'm practically a clone of my mom, who is mostly German and Norwegian and not a drop of Mediterranean blood in her. No one would guess by looking at her that she is mostly German and Norwegian, since these are usually associated with light hair and eyes and she has very dark hair and eyes. Only her blatantly German maiden name gives it away. So which is it? Do I look Italian or do I look like my non-Italian mom? There's no doubt I look like my mom so the fact that I also look Italian is mere coincidence.

Quote:
We are going to get the DNA test done, to really narrow it down, but until then, any help or anything would be great!
An autosomal DNA test will certainly tell you what percentage of ethnic backgrounds you come from, if that is what you're interested in. But I would not call that "working on your family tree". DNA is just one small part of genealogy and many family historians have never even had it done.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,678 posts, read 2,497,875 times
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Were your mother's parents alive in 1940 and do you have enough information to search for them in the 1940 census? I ask because the census lists place of birth and the census is free to browse: 1940 United States Federal Census

If your maternal grandparents were children then, you'll also be able to find out the names and places of birth of your great grandparents. You'd need to know your grandmother's maiden name of course.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:40 PM
 
4,148 posts, read 3,484,981 times
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Email me direct the info you know -names dates places -&I'll give an hour of research for a wedding gift. I believe in random acts of kindness.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:20 PM
bjh
Status: "Peace." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,346 posts, read 22,838,256 times
Reputation: 119835
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
I think that you should start from scratch, by writing down all of your known relatives, talking to everyone who is still alive and getting any name they might recollect, etc.

The DNA is only going to give you general areas.

Photos are fun, but phenotypes can pop up out of the distant past and not really represent your predominant background. I am something like 90% English, but I have a broad German face, thanks to a single great great grandparent.
The English, as in Anglo-Saxons, not the native British Celts are Germans. Note that part of Germany is called Saxony, from whence the Saxons came.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
You can't tell ethnic background by looking at someone. Only by examining the records. If your ancestry is Scandinavian, odds are that they're fairly recent immigrants. That doesn't give you too many generations to search for an intermarriage with someone of a Native American background. In my very limited experience, I've found that most of those inter-marriages happened earlier. But, that doesn't mean it's not possible, or that it doesn't happen every day.

I do find that there is much more "rumored" native ancestry than there is actually.
Very definitely. An unfortunate trend of wanting to have native ancestry has created a lot of false claims.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,858,868 times
Reputation: 10464
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
The English, as in Anglo-Saxons, not the native British Celts are Germans. Note that part of Germany is called Saxony, from whence the Saxons came.
The English are not purely Anglo-Saxon though. They've had genetic influences from the Romans, Celts, Vikings/Danes, and Normans too. There's a good book written on the DNA studies about this called "Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of British and Ireland" - which obviously includes the genetic make up of the English but also covers Welsh, Scottish, and Irish too.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:04 AM
bjh
Status: "Peace." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,346 posts, read 22,838,256 times
Reputation: 119835
Are the English really Germans or Spaniards? – Telegraph Blogs
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