08 May 2013

Hmmmm..... very interesting!

While I have been waiting for my Ancestry.com DNA test results, I have been thinking about my first cousins. How alike we are in stature, and somewhat in our facial features; and yet we each have a different "stamp" on us from the non-Stoddard parent in the family. I think our most notable likeness is our toes. When got together during the summer a couple of years ago I noticed, since we were all wearing sandals at the time, that our toes were very similar.

I'm not sure, genetically speaking, what this means other than we are related and this toe shape is a dominant theme, but I would say our feet came from the same mold. Years ago, I thought my toes made me a freak of nature- everyone else I knew had toes that were shoe-shaped. I was pretty upset that my feet were not shoe-shaped; at least not in the then current fashion mode. Fifty odd years later, I look at my sister's feet, and my two girl cousin's feet and realized I wasn't all that unique. At some point over the past twenty years I did discover that my foot shape had a name and it is called Saxon. I have known all along that we came from Scotland and England, so the discovery was not a momentous one, but a nice confirming one.

So, you can imagine that I could hardly wait to open Ancestry.com email yesterday announcing the DNA test results were ready. Frankly, I wasn't expecting any big surprises, since I already had a pretty good idea where my ancestral families come from. So, the 92% British Isles ethnicity was not earth-shattering news to me. 

I did not expect this though - the other 8% was Persian/Turkish/Caucasus. 


I would have bet the farm on European, Other or Unknown; but not Persian/Turkish/Caucasus. I immediately thought about the Mehlman family, who fled "Germany" in 1752 - perhaps the family did some traveling before they left Germany?

Then I noticed that I had one match from that 8% ethnic group. Whoopie!

I have to say I was really excited - at last, some confirmation of speculation!!! But no. The match was from my Stoddard family. We have a new 5th cousin once removed!- we share Samson Stoddard, my 4th great grandfather! We also share some other families, understandably; Atwood, Cooke, Nettleton, Richards and Turner. It turns out that my match person and I also have British Isle shared ethnicity, and it would make sense, since Anthony Stoddard came from England. 

So, why did the match came up under the Persian/Turkish/Caucasus ethnicity and not the British Isle ethnicity? Granted my research only go back to the 1500's in England. I wonder how soon someone will publish a book on how to figure out which family actually comes from a DNA derived ethnicity. I suppose it is time to hit the history books again.

I did get a lot of Ancestry.com "matches" from the British Isles ethnicity, but I have only been able to find two with closely related surnames that are in the same geographical location. Surprising to me, they are not "Mayflower" people as I expected. Rather they are from the Stoddard line. Ives, Russell, Clark and Tirrell. As I understand it, the more people take the DNA test, the better mapped we will be. So, are the Stoddard surname people out there getting tested and other surname families not so much?

Well, there sure is a lot to ponder.