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Old 04-24-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,023 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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I hope I'm not setting a bad precedent for guessing at ethnicity but for years I have truly wondered about the backgrounds of a few ancestors I have pictures of. This picture was probably taken around 1920. I know what he's supposed to be but sometimes there's a genetic throwback to previous generations (I think) and they can look like something they are not known to be. He and another brother look similar while the other brothers seem to have thick red hair and very light skin. Hint: there is absolutely no influence outside of New England or southern Canada.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,092,628 times
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You are correcting accepting the fact that dormant genes can surface after many generations. It is impossible to look at a photo and correctly identify where the "look" came from. It is always fun to take family oral history and try to figure it out, but totally unreliable.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:31 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,023 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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I know it won't be reliable but I was just wondering if anyone would see what I see. I've traced all this man's lines back to the 1600s in New England. He is one of the brothers of my ancestor. All the families appear to be white, of English derivation, and early settlers. But he looks dark and I'm wondering why. There is another photo of this same man and he looks very different from a white American. We have rumors of "Indian Blood" in our family and I am wondering if it could be in this particular line.

His mother and father don't look like Native Americans, but as you stated, the traits can show up down the line. I suppose DNA testing might show something. It's frustrating not knowing, just having the rumor. All the names sound English and I wonder which one, if any, was really a Native American!
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:57 AM
 
Location: SC
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I actually see a bit of Italian. A slighly long face, close set eyes, the nose, and a slightly larger space between the top of the upper lip and bottom of the nose. All very italian facial traits. The close set eyes stand out the most to me.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,263,826 times
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How about French Canadian?
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:58 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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OP: I've traced my DH's family back to the Mayflower and subsequent ships. I've also found that a couple of lines off the spiderweb that is his family tree married Native Americans as you suggested back in the 1600s.

Perhaps it's possible that a couple of people in your family married Native Americans also- and despite 3 centuries of dilution, his look just happened to be a bit of a throwback from the small percentage of Native American DNA which still existed?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,023 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamatomic View Post
OP: I've traced my DH's family back to the Mayflower and subsequent ships. I've also found that a couple of lines off the spiderweb that is his family tree married Native Americans as you suggested back in the 1600s.

Perhaps it's possible that a couple of people in your family married Native Americans also- and despite 3 centuries of dilution, his look just happened to be a bit of a throwback from the small percentage of Native American DNA which still existed?
This is what I'm thinking. Also, I just looked in Ancestry and I realized that I have his grandparents with his grandfather coming from England probably--and for his grandmother there is nothing. She was b 1836 in Quebec. (I'd have to pay for Ancestry.CA to see if there is anything on her.) All the other lines were relatively easy to trace way back but with this man, it stops with his grandparents. There are no "hints" for his grandparents on Ancestry like there usually are.

My "cousin" has just written that a descendant of one of that man's brothers wrote a book and said there was Indian blood on his mother's side back a few generations. There is mention of an Algonquin chief. (Why is it always a chief or an Indian princess?? lol).

I know something about early New England captives being taken by Native Americans, taken up to Canada in the early 1700s and the white captives would often stay and intermarry and become part of the tribe. But this seems to have occurred later, I think. Somewhere I read that after so many native Americans had been killed off, by the 1800s the remaining ones more or less just became part of the towns they lived near. Some were referred to as "Indian Joe" and so on. Maybe they would have made up "English" names in order to be accepted and then they would have just married in.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
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It is fairly common to find Native American blood in French Canadian ancestry. Also Canadians of French Ancestry tend to be darker than their mostly English stock counterparts. In any event, I don't see from the photo you provided any specific "dark features" or "Native American " look.

Indian Mixed-Blood
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,023 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
It is fairly common to find Native American blood in French Canadian ancestry. Also Canadians of French Ancestry tend to be darker than their mostly English stock counterparts. In any event, I don't see from the photo you provided any specific "dark features" or "Native American " look.

Indian Mixed-Blood
Thanks for the link. I'd like to read more about Native Americans mixing with the Canadians. This ancestor was not French Canadian that I know of--that would be a first. All the others were English settlers who migrated north through New Hampshire and Vermont and lived just over the Canadian border. This man's parents both have English surnames.
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