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Old 05-12-2018, 07:01 PM
 
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Of course, when you're dealing with DNA research, some genes simply won't get passed down. Allegedly there was Native American in my family tree (I have serious doubts about it). I wasn't able to verify this either via genetic testing or through whatever documents I could find. After speaking to various relatives, I think a big part of the Native American was the fact some people had great difficulty in admitting that certain ancestors were the children of slave/maid/concubines and their owners, so the "Native American" was made to explain away people who had light skin, light hair color, and light eye color.

I wasn't able to verify any Native American ancestry via DNA or historical records, but at the same time that doesn't mean that there was never Native American in my family. I seriously doubt it though, and it would take broader genetic testing of my family along with some positive results to convince me that there is.

Re: Last names, Jewish experts use last names and other related evidence in various records to assess whether a family had Jewish naming patterns or not. Outsiders who consider themselves knowledgeable often don't know anything at all on the topic.

There was no Scandinavian in my DNA, so I don't have that in my family. There was definitely Spanish though.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Here in New Mexico there are families that were Conversos in Spain who were allowed to migrate as settlers to New Spain and then traveled up to the far interior away from the authorities. They were crypto-Jews and kept some of their practices in secret for generations while being nominally Catholic. There's a lot of recent research and some remembrances being published in recent years. Certain things like six-pointed flowers carved on grave markers are now recognized as clues. Some families quietly observed Moses's birthday instead of the Christian holiday. On some vaguely remembered holy days the household saints were turned to face the wall. The Spanish Inquisition was active in New Mexico but these people and practices survived.
Yes. There's a lot of research on conversos in the Southwest, Mexico, Colombia, and other regions. There were Sephardic Jews in the US South too since the colonial days.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Not superior at all. I started doing genealogy before there was an Ancestry.com. In fact, I started before Family Tree Maker put out four diskettes of information, one of which was a SS death index.

All I had were documents. And letters sent out and holes in my tree and a fledgling internet. It was a boon! To me DNA is the icing on the cake.

Cake sounds good.

One approach isn’t more right than other approaches. All approaches work as well as they can given the parameters of your familial situation. As a white person firmly ensconsed in PA and NY, I got loads of documents and searching. Each find, I could pick the phone and tell my mom. Oh, telling her I found my great grandparents? The best.

And losing mom dimmed my genealogy zeal for a long while. I’ve gotten back into it and now my sisters get the calls.

It’s a hobby, and some people take their hobbies seriously. Too seriously, too. I quilt, and I’ve run into people who will flat out tell you, unless it is totally stitched by hand, and quilted by hand, it’s not a quilt. To those people, I usually give them a one finger salute.
I really like your balanced approach. Yes once approach definitely isn't better than another approach and everyone has to use the best approach or approaches than can given the parameters of their family history and what they are looking for.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I'm impressed and encouraged that it was able to supply details on Africa. That's contrary to what I've heard from some others, including some DNA cousins with African ancestry. Did you use the standard tests? You might actually be at the end of your search but I figured that was true for me about 15 years ago but technology moves ahead and new records are found and published.

Very few family histories are a bed of roses. Very often they are one trauma after another: plague, famine, bullets, domination, warfare, rape, persecution, tenements and TB. They made decisions and life choices that we would reject in a minute but the context of the age is a big part of the puzzle. It is miracle that we are even here to look back and wonder about our ancestors.
Standard DNA ancestry and 23 and Me give rather detailed information on regions from Africa. So for people of African descent in the Americans, realistically speaking DNA testing is ALL they are going to get on their African ancestors.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
And what do you get from DNA testing? Information about the living. It tells you nothing about the past. It presumes that grandparents have been in the same place forever. Look it up. That's the key to 23andme and ancestry methodology. A huuuge presumption, since any decent researcher can go back further than that. Of course, you don't like research.

You ought to do some reading on the methodology behind DNA genealogy, before you make bold claims. Of course that would be research. Easier to just blindly copy the work of others, isn't it, and propagate the errors. I guess for some people, any big old tree, even one full of errors, is better than a small one that's accurate?
DNA has helped me break down brick walls in my tree, it is not just "about the living". However, it's useless without the documentation and research to go along with it. It sounds to me like you are talking about the ethnicity reports, but the DNA test is much more than that. With the DNA matching side of things, it can be very beneficial to your research.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Then there was Ellis Island renaming!
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smith...nts-180961544/
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...nge-180953832/
https://www.nypl.org/blog/2013/07/02...s-ellis-island
https://ancestralfindings.com/change...-ellis-island/
https://www.ancestry.com/academy/cou...or-name-change
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Thank you. I "get into this" with my wife's family frequently. They insist their surname was changed at Elllis Island. I point out their first immigrant ancestor used his birth last name his whole life, and that it was his son who changed the name. The census is very clear about which family member changed the name.

They are hamstringing themselves for no good reason by hanging on to this myth. They could never find their first ancestor in the census......because they weren't looking under the right name.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:22 PM
 
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My husband’s dad had the family that “came through Ellis Island”, except they came soon after the war. The Revolutionary War. At least that’s my first record. A lot of my family lore was spot on — not all, we have the “Indian Princess” story, too.

But on my husband’s side, wow. Everything my father in law told me was wrong, with the exception of being related to President McKinley. He didn’t lie, but his dad died while he was very young, and his mother probably didn’t know much either. So Mom may have filled in the blanks.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
My husband’s dad had the family that “came through Ellis Island”, except they came soon after the war. The Revolutionary War. At least that’s my first record. A lot of my family lore was spot on — not all, we have the “Indian Princess” story, too.

But on my husband’s side, wow. Everything my father in law told me was wrong, with the exception of being related to President McKinley. He didn’t lie, but his dad died while he was very young, and his mother probably didn’t know much either. So Mom may have filled in the blanks.
I think it's important to remember when talking about ancestors in the US, like the Ellis Island story you mention, we have 4 grandparents. 8 great grandparents. 16 great great grandparents. 32 great great great grandparents! And so on. So ancestor stories our parents passed down to us, where we came from, might be just one of those people, maybe more, but not always all.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
My husband’s dad had the family that “came through Ellis Island”, except they came soon after the war. The Revolutionary War. At least that’s my first record. A lot of my family lore was spot on — not all, we have the “Indian Princess” story, too.

But on my husband’s side, wow. Everything my father in law told me was wrong, with the exception of being related to President McKinley. He didn’t lie, but his dad died while he was very young, and his mother probably didn’t know much either. So Mom may have filled in the blanks.
That's one thing about either DNA testing or searching for records. Both can reveal lies. Allegedly there was Native American in our family. I found no records of this, nor did it show up in my DNA. It was difficult for some people to admit the lighter skin and the straight hair of some relatives or ancestors came from someone being the child of a slave/maid and a slaveowner. Mind you there wasn't even a Native American presence in our county by the mid 1800s.

The family stories about white and Jewish ancestors that I heard from some relatives were accurate and verifiable.

Last edited by NyWriterdude; 05-14-2018 at 06:19 AM..
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