Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Understanding The Roots


For a couple of years now, I've been researching the good ole family tree and have only gotten as far as finding out the names of both maternal/paternal grandmothers' birth parents.
I don't want it to stop there and need to keep going further back.
I'm simply fascinated by my family's history and yearn to see where the roots stem from, where that tree was planted.
In talking to my mom about it, she too finds herself enamored with the idea of discovering where we hail....
A good friend of mine, G who was also learning about her personal origins/genealogy helped me find beneficial sites like myheritage.com and 23andme.com.
Myheritage.com was a place where I could plot down information I had about the family tree.
I have some of my parents, grandparents, and great grandparent's information due to knowledge, obituaries, and my aunt (dad's sister) gave me further. As a site member, she also added cousins, siblings, and other Glaspers I had never heard of, much less met.
But after that the trail went cold.
Naturally, I lost interest.
Months ago, G told me about 23andme, a site that could determine ethnic background by DNA sampling- spit in a tube mixed with a special solution.
It interested me!
But with it being $100 a person, I was skeptical.
Fortunately, G got a special rate & sent me 3 complimentary kits- 1 for me, my brother, and mom.
I can never thank her enough for such generous kindness!
This thoughtful gift meant the world to me and my family, of course!
Thanks doesn't even seem to be enough, but thank her again, I must.
Most wouldn't even care (and some I've met) but she did and I'm grateful for that graciousness.
Here are some parts of the research 23andme have discovered about me so far.
My ancestors hail from the Sub-Saharan parts of Africa, the region that is below the Sahara which is basically Western Africa and it's about 55,000 years old. The maternal haplogroup that I belong to is L2a1 and locations circa 500 years ago before planes, cars, train, bikes, scooters, mopeds, and my personal favorite- buses! Heehee!
So basically my ancestors were walking around kind of like I always do!
See found something similar already!
At 20% concentration, apparently L2 is the most common amongst African Americans, but there's also a whopping 40% range in Brazil.
FYI: Haplogroups are defined by 23andme as, "families of mitochondrial DNA types that trace back to a single mutation at a specific time and place."
I found out about my disease risks, carrier statuses and traits, like curlier than average hair and brown eyes.



In terms of origin, my 23andme results claimed that I was 87% African, 11% European, and 2% Asian.
Asian part was extremely suspect.
G informed me that 23andme does have trouble with their African American samples and mentioned a Dr. McDonald who could go further in depth just from analyzing downloaded raw data files.
He concluded that it was most likely 87.8% African (all West African) & 12.2% European (various subcontinents) and that the non-European/non-African seeds on the chromosomes are probably not even significant, let alone real.



Here are his scattered diagrams, which to me inspire my imagination to start drawing connective dots or painting textured fragments on canvas, leaving naked negative space.
Far away it does look as if some image is being formed, trying to constrain from being graphed.
I see a typical pyramid in the first, two legs walking in the second, and so forth...






Breakdown of Western European components:

Tuscan= 0.123 Yoruba= 0.877
Romania= 0.123 Yoruba= 0.877
Italian= 0.122 Yoruba= 0.878
French= 0.122 Yoruba= 0.878
Spain= 0.123 Yoruba= 0.877
English= 0.121 Yoruba= 0.879
Hungary= 0.122 Yoruba= 0.878

Basically I'm almost 9/10 African and 1/8 European.
Incredible huh?
My brother got his results as well.
His-77% African, 18% European, and 5% Asian. The Asian has to be disregarded due to what I've stated earlier, but he has no desire to download his raw data to Dr. McDonald.
Boooo!
Brothers are so stubborn!
Also we share the same maternal haplogroup-L2a1.
Can't wait to hear what they've found out about Mom though!
She's very, very excited!
All and all this is such fascinating stuff!
And yes.
I was serious about making art about these findings somehow....

2 comments:

  1. That is so neat!! I too have been doing some digging around within my family tree and I've been using ancestors and the local library help. What a great find you discovered. I've been able to trace back about 5 or so generations in my grandma's fathers side, wish me luck!

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  2. Wow! That's amazing!
    Congratulations and best of luck on discovering awesome things about your tree!
    Whoo hoo! :)

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