View Full Version : Discover your deep ancestry

June Pelo
16-10-05, 22:09
This was in our newspaper today:

Most scientists think humans are descended from a common ancestor, so why do we look so different? IBM and the National Geographic Society are searching for the answer by creating a global family tree from human DNA. Lead researcher Spencer Wells is overseeing the gathering of 100,000 samples from native peoples around the world to learn the routes early man took to populate the Earth. He expects some surprises when the results are analyzed, within five years. "We all share a common beginning and many similarities," Wells tells us. "If we remember that, maybe we can reduce the tendence to emphasize our differences." You can participate by buying a kit, doing a mouth swab and sending it in. In eight weeks, you'll learn your deep ancestry. (Results are kept secure.)
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/genographic for details.


22-10-05, 06:52
Hello, June

Thanks for bringing up the topic of DNA here.

Your e-mail post about 'deep roots' prompts me to reply, as I--and a cousin in Finland--have just begun some work to develop a Swede Finn DNA project.

We have each given our DNA, and now we are trying to determine the best way to involve people from the Finby part of Narpes, where my grandparents, Matts Smeds and Hulda Snickars emigrated from, to Colorado.

The results--and the experience of what we have already learned-- can only be described as fascinating.

Whether it is the first 'match' with someone else one experiences, or the details of the known migraiton pattern of one's DNA, or being able to see just how closely a match occurs with others who have taken the test--which is the most interesting, is very hard to say. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

In the rough plan we are making, we are hoping to somehow ultimately involve every male in Finby! How we will do this, I do not know yet, but we expect to find a way.

Perhaps this forum could set up a section for folks interested in DNA, and/or those undertaking DNA surname studies?



Nicholas (Smeds) Smith
Washington, DC

June Pelo
22-10-05, 21:31
A few months ago I had some mail from someone whose roots were from Larsmo and he was going to get a kit or have a DNA test. I haven't heard if he actually did it. I think the LDS church went around the country about 5 years ago taking samples.


22-10-05, 23:44
Originally posted by Nicholas
...Perhaps this forum could set up a section for folks interested in DNA, and/or those undertaking DNA surname studies?...

If there is a need for it - yes of course!

Would be nice to see if my genes go directly to Homo neanderthalensis or erectus... Shall we all order a kit and see where we come from - was it some 100$ or what? Has anybody got the result who could describe what one could expect.

23-10-05, 06:20
The test --from Family Tree DNA, in Texas, is avilable for several different types of test and results. if you only want your Y-line DNA (for Males only) then there is one type of kit, and several different versions. If you want your mtDNA (for males who want their mother's mother's mother's, etc., line and for women who want the same thing), you order another kit, with about three options.

The options depend on how many 'marker's you want to compare with others. I took the full package: 37 markers, both Y-line and mtDNA. This is about US$300. One can also order the 25-marker or the 12-marker kit, but if you do match with someone, then to learn if it is really a true match, you will have to ask the company to make more tests on your DNA, at an additional cost. Why not do it all now?

They create a web page for you to track your results and matches. And to give you lots of interesting information about your haplogroup --the group into which your particular line of DNA falls.

The lab results take about 6 weeks, sometimes a bit longer. The results (at least ours) were really interesting. They send maps, data, and text telling you what they know, and what they can currently believe, based on the results.

The 25- and 12-marker tests are much less, and if you only take a Y-line OR mtDNA test, then you save even more. If there is a group of people with the same surname (or variations on it) who want to know if they are related, and, if so, how closely, and if someone among the group is willing to be an 'administrator,' then the group receives an even lower rate on the tests.

If for no other reason, it was worth proving my connection to my cousins in Finland.

I could go on, but this is the basic info, as I know it...


23-10-05, 06:23
PS Family tree DNA is the company I took the test with, and they are also the company working with National Geographic and the Genographic project, which is mentioned in the article June posted above.


23-10-05, 12:04

Now there is a subforum for DNA genealogy...

Since you have had the "hands on" on your own DNA results - is it possible compare two persons' result and see if they are related on the Y-cromosome line/mitocondria line? Silly question since I know the answer is yes, but can one extract information from the results to tell if the common ancestry is "near" or if the common ancestor is Adam or Eve in the paradise?

Must one be a medical professional to understand the results presented?


June Pelo
29-10-05, 21:47
There has been a discussion going on Finngen about this subject. Here's one letter. I replied to it but it hasn't appeared online yet:

Most of us are Sursills. It is said that one-third to one-half of Finland is descended from the Sursill (rotten fish) family. Essentially
anybody with Swedish Clergy ancestry in Finland is a Sursill. This includes Mannerheim, Sibelius, etc., etc...

I won't recount the Sursill tale right now - I'll let somebody else tell the story who knows it better then I for the sake of those that might
not know know it.

It would be really interesting if somebody had a matrilineal Sursill line, their DNA Mitochondria then would be Swedish instead of Finnish. I know that a lot of people from the Copper Country have Kuusamo roots, so the same idea would apply to a matrilineal Granroth line. The Swedes and Finns have a very, very different historic origin.

In the course of my research I have found that the Hannula family of Tervola is of Saami origin in Rovaniemi, so the patrilineal DNA of my mother, Karen (Hannula) Randell is actually Saami and not Finn.


- Kenttipoika Rantala Bostonissa (aka Kent Randell)


June Pelo
29-10-05, 21:54
Here's another DNA discussion from Finngen:

I watched a very interesting documentary on television in early October, on The Learning Channel, called "I Am My Own Twin"...about people who are chimeras, people who have two distinct sets of DNA.

Usually, chimeras will have outward features that distinguish them from someone who has only one set of DNA, but they are discovering that they really don't know how many people actually are chimeras and would not know it unless further DNA tests have been done. For example, a person can have one set of DNA in the skin, and another set of DNA in another organ of the body, a completely different set of DNA than the former...apparently this can happen in one of 3 ways, but it always happens inside the womb. It was an interesting program and I can see how this phenomenon could affect genealogy research. A person could go through his/her entire life and never know he/she
was a chimera.

The program I watched on television focused on two women who live here in the United States...the children had their father's DNA, but not their respective mothers, and the doctors were convinced that these children were not born to the mothers, but that isn't the case, the children really were born to them...it just didn't appear that way according to the the initial DNA tests.

They said this happens because two fertilized eggs fused together inside the womb which created one person who had two sets of DNA. The women featured on the show didn't have any outward signs of being chimeras...but when they did further DNA tests, they did indeed find two sets in each of the women.

here's a link to a webpage about this subject:


and another page that talks about the two women I mentioned.

This is the heading you want to look for in the link I have provided below:

"(thing) by Timeshredder (2 hr) Thu Jul 21 2005 at 21:15:26"

(the link is a cached page I found in a Google search on this subject)

...just something to keep in mind and not to discount anything, even when DNA tests have been done, unless this particular subject has been addressed.

Kirstie Talvitie
Chico, CA.


03-11-05, 22:24

Offline for a bit, so just posting a reply today.

In fact, with a test as limited as only 12-markers (about US$99), one can predict that another person is or is not a close relative. With more markers, it is easier to determine if they are close or more distant 'cousin'. Still, DNA and genealogy are still in their infancy, as joined research. This makes it an 'inexact science' at best.

It is imprtant to recall that not only can you find matches, but you can also see proposed migration patterns for your DNA. This is pretty interesting itself.

As of yesterday, I have started a Smeds Surname Project DNA study at Family Tree DNA's website. Any male with a connection to Finland, who also bears the surname Smeds is eligible to participate in the project.

While I am certainly hoping for more matches (we have four already), maybe one day we will learn where we were before we arrived in Finland, and where before that!

You might want to consider being tested. The results are fascinating.


PS if you want more information about the project, I would be be happy to answer questions that are not above my knowledge level via my e-mail address: NSmith*AltairLiteraryAgency.com

FT DNa is also really helpful, and will take the time to explain about anything related to DNA testing one could want to know.

Also: Smeds Surname Project.

02-01-06, 00:23
I am fighting with myself over my deep ancestry and this thread has just rocked my sensibilities.
Earlier today, I read some info about microchimeritosis (I think that was the term) that someone had run into on a Law&Order TV episode.
I am a chemist by training and thus tend to follow the 'scientic method' in my research stuff .. but I have a psychic streak (according to my family and in-laws .. I kinda see it as the best of both worlds <grin>.
I have also found that when I stumble across information that really, really piques my interest.. that there is usually some value in it for me or someone close to me .. thus the chimera thingys.
For some reason, I've spent most of today reflecting on the fact that my DNA is quite unusual .. I do match at 24/25 with a family whose heritage is Finnish...but only at 31/37 with them on the 37 marker test from FTDNA.
My thoughts have run to wondering about the blood transfusion I had when I had bypass surgery in 200 (all of my DNA testing has been done since then) .. and the fact that I was treated for acne as a teen and the doctor used XRay therapy and burned me the first round with loo large a dose and that was followed by 12 weeks of estrogen injections.
Add that to the fact that i ran behind DDT machines in Panama, C.Z when I was a kid (didn't know better and liked the smell..heheh)
Seems like I *should* have messed up my DNA if it is possible .. any thoughts, opinions, etc (besides telling me I was nuts for following the mosquito spayer!)

03-03-06, 23:01
Hi, Chris

Read your post and thought I could make suggestion: There are very good books in print now that may tell you what you want to know.

Also, some testing services have really knowledgable people taking calls from people who want to have/have had testing. Call them. At the least, they may lead you in a direction that will supply 'best guess' answers.

I would guess that while you may have set in motion changes to your DNA line, that your tests were probably not altered by your actions...even your earliest ones.

If you have close male relatives who would be willing to be tested, you can also compare your results with theirs, and see if any signicant differences are found. (Doubt they will be, but then, I am the guy that tested his father, to be able to provide myself with verified results.)

Please keep us up to date if you are willing to share what you learn...


04-03-06, 05:46
Most probably you are right about my actions not having affected my DNA. I'm just so desparate to find my true blood relatives that I'm trying to grab at straws .. whcih is counter to my life's training as a scientist.
Just yesterday, one of my Saline group participants got results on his fathers' y-dna and they differed by 2 markers!
The difference *is* on the DYS464 marker(s) which tend to be useful in identifying members of the extended family .. but in this case the father-son pair is unusual but not unheard of. As I understand it, Bennett Greenspan of FTDNA and his son differ by one marker, too.
Since, realistically, my search is for my grandfather or even further back .. this sort of news is giving me a bit more leeway.
I'm matching up to a lot of folx with Finn heritage at 12 markers and even 24/25 matches in Norway .. which could easily be Finns that migrated many years ago.
Nother more concrete than that right now .. but will certainly let this lest know of any progress I make or useful stuff I learn.

11-04-06, 04:25
I just got my DNA results from the Genographic Project and I am Haplogroup W. There is a statement about the letters designating certain parts of my mtDNA differ from the Cambridge Reference Sequence at 16223T and 16519C.

It goes on to say that W is an uncommon haplogropu, descended from N with a wide geographic distribution. It appears in the western Ural mountains and in the region of the eastern Baltic Sea, but can also be found in India.

Interesting. They also state that more research must be done before th full geographic and chronological story of the W haplogropu can be told.

So I guess I have to wait for more research to learn more about it. I've found it very interesting so far. Are there any others of Finnish descent who are haplogroup W?

22-05-06, 00:55
I heard about the National Geographic test a few months ago and am encouraging many people in my family to take the test. It is more limited than the fellow who found out both his male and female ancestry, but also less expensive ($100 plus shipping) and a good place to start.

The National Geographic Genographic project is working to track the progression of people out of Africa over hundreds of thousands of years. They are doing this by taking samples of indigenous peoples and allowing others of us to buy a test and participate, as well. They track only the mitochondrial DNA, the female line, for women, and the Y-chromosomal DNA, the male line, for men.

It is actually a cool way to think about family, not your entire family ancestry, but just your mother's mother's mother's mother... or father's father's father's father.

My mother's results just came back. Her maternal ancestry is from Norway, and she (and I) are haplogroup I. Now how they got from the east of Finland, where the I arrow leaves off on the National Geogrphic site, to Norway, I don't know - it seems they are still gathering info and updated results may be available later. My brother also took the test, and his results indicate the expected Irish or southern English ancestry (no viking raiders snuck in there! :-))

On the Swede-Finn side, my grandmother is taking the test now, and it is her maternal line that came from Oravais. When I hear what the results are, I'll pass them on.

I'd recommend this to everyone interested in their deep ancestry - the ancient trail of their family. Of course, I would LOVE more details, which genealogist wouldn't, :-), but it's a really cool start.

Kelly Keegan
Washington, DC

04-06-06, 17:38
I wonder, how much information can I expect to get from Naitonal Geographics tests. Is it just a hablogroup from 20.000 years ago, or are there some estimations from the last few milleniums ?

It would be nice to see on example of their reports.


04-06-06, 19:20

The National Geographic test is somewhat limited and only provides info on ancient ancestry, nothing as new as a few thousand years ago. I wish it did! It really is focussed on the ancient migratory path your ancestors took as they travelled out of Africa. The closest information we received was about the end of the last Ice Age, 8-10,000 years ago.

However, now that we know some of the sites of changes on our DNA, we can compare those changes to other people's. Have you heard of the recent discovery that Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish king who lived in the 400's, was an ancestor to a relatively high percentage of Irish men? They have published his site change locations, and it turns out that my brother matches the first 11 of the 12 that National Geographic tests to Niall's! While I don't know if we are direct descendants of Niall's, we can be pretty sure we have very old Irish roots, which I find fascinating.

Also, to further my understanding of what the test results mean, I have been reading, Mapping Human History , by Steve Olson. The book does not go into details about haplotypes but rather discusses the larger patterns of movements of people in human history. With that contextual information, I could take the info from the National Geographic test and start to plug my ancestors into the larger picture.

Your question is a good one, and I wish we did get more details from the National Geographic tests, but the information you do learn is still valuable.

05-06-06, 02:39
As Kelly reckons, the test that National Geographic does is a *great* starting point for a new look at genealogy.
Granted, the mtDNA for females or the 12 marker y-str test for males are both relatively limited but either can readily confirm knowledge or suspicions one might have about their paper-trail research results.
The 12 marker test is only a starting point for "genealogical time frames" .. one really does need at least a 37 marker y-str test to beging to separate members of a known or suspected family tree, though.
I think the current max # of markers by FTDNA right now is 57 but there need to be others who have taken that test for it to be useful.
In my case, for instance, even though I've got results for 37 markers and many matches at 12 markers .. few of those have done a 25 or 37 marker test and none that have match me, exactly .. though a number of them do match me at 24/25 (two) or 33/37 (three, all cousins of one another) .. and all of us match our haplogroup of N3a which for them confirms Finnish and Norwegian Saami ancestry .. I'm still hoping to find someone with a 37/37 match with me and then try to confirm some of their relatives were in the Buffalo, NY area around 1915-1920.
This is the process I'm trying to use to grab a handle on my male lineage .. almost certainly Scandinavian and probably Finn but could easily be Estonian or other Eastern Baltic .. the N3a does show up there in smaller proportions than in Finland, Norway or Sweden...but first I gotta find a match! .. and the search goes on .. as does the education .. love it!

BTW, if interested my website with some charts of results is at http://wcscott.net/SalineDNA

06-06-06, 21:03
Thank you Kelly and Chris

As you say National Geographics test is an intereting starting point. I didn't expect to find relatives at that way, but maybe something about how or my paternal ancestors came to Finland.

I think that if a person, who lived for 10.000 years ago, has several millions paternal descendants in Europe, he is practically certainly somehow one of my ancestors too. It is not so important at what way. But anyhow, it is very intersting getting to know about them generally. Maybe I will just read a good book about human history. There are interesting internet sites about the daugters ov Eve, but I think less about the sons of Adam.


28-06-06, 04:11
Hi everyone,

Back after a long absence, and found your pondering over the value of ancient DNA.

Like Kelly,and others, am trying to gain an idea of 'how my ancestors arriived where they did' -- ancient DNA provides some of those clues...or, at least it provides some hints to them.

My 92-year old father has also taken the FT DNA tests. Because my curiousity is great (!), I asked that he take both Y and mtDNA tests. Both of his parents were born in Narpes, Finland. Both sides have a paper trail that can be traced far back.

Still, I wanted to know more about their origins: where were they before they arrived in Finland? And, how long ago did they arrive there?

My father's Y sample (and mine, as well, as we are a perfect 37/37 match), matches the 'N' haplogroup. According to FT DNA, our DNA was formed somewhere between N. Mongolia and the Altai mountain area of Russia. This was big news for us.

The mtDNA provided a smaller, but interesting connection--and cluses-- of its own: my father (but not me) carries mtDNA of the 'K' haplogroup. This is the same group as the ancient man known as the 'Iceman' -- the fellow who was found in the Alps, after being preserved buried under a sheet of ice, for thousands of years.

It is a small thing, and not likely to be a very close connection, but it is interesting. And, it helps me in considering the possible pathways that my grandmother's mtDNA (female line) ancestors probably trod from Africa, to reach far-away Finland.

After the last 'glacial maximum' (Ice Age), only pockets of people are said to have survived. They are believed to have spread out from those few geographic locations, and to have re-populated the earth, as we know it today. We are the descendants of true survivors.

Though I recognize that, between the ancient DNA of the Genographic Project and the more recent DNA information found in our DNA samples that we can use to connect to the recent past, there is a big gap (immense!), maybe one day, that gap will be closed...and each of us will know the rest of the story.

Wouldn't thhat be something?

If you ask everyone you know to send ion a sample, it may come to pass.

Night all...


27-07-06, 20:25
Welcome back Nicolas,
Have you considered a "deep" SNP test for your male lineage?
FTDNA offers only the LLY22g which identifies N3 haplogroup but Ethnoancestry offers a test that will take the test down to N3a (which I ended up being!)
The N haplogroup is so widespread one needs to break it down a bit farther to get a more anthropological view I(as opposed to just genealogical)
I think the N3a group is very very high in Finland (and the Saami peoples) .. but R1b and I2a (I think) are also high in Scandinavian countries, too.
Near as I've been able to tell, it is likely that N3a Finns may well have originated in Northern Siberian steppes. One article I read about the Buryats (or the Yakuts...I've lost the reference..sorry) was the author felt it was the originating point for blond haired blue-green eyed Caucasians .. hmmm...I look like that! <grin>

28-07-06, 15:04
Hi, Chris

Thanks for the welcome!

Of late, there has been limited time and oppoirtunity for me to visit here.

I have not taken a SNP test yet, but will probably do so in the near future. It would be easier if FT DNA also offered the tests that others are now offering.

I am assuming you have had to provide another sample, to the other lab, for the SNP test.

If you have the contact info, and more about the arrangement for taking the SNP test, I (and maybe some others here) would be interested in having any details about the process, that you could share.

Best regards,


28-07-06, 16:06
Hi Nicolas,
Here is the link to Ethnoancestry's homepage
Dr. David Faux(USA) and Dr. Jim Wilson(UK) put this company together a year or two ago as a result of I assume, their common interest in research in the Shetland and Orkney Islands...at least that was my perception being a lurker and sometimes poster on the DNAGenealogy mail list on Rootsweb.
The website is loaded with information but a bit tedious to navigate at times .. but well worth the time spent, I think, if you're interested in deeper ancestry stuff...and recently even some of the "fine" tuning stuff for Y-DNA (more markers).
Their lab is uing some of the most recent techniques and allows them a quicker thru-put than some others.
I've used many different labs for my research, mainly to crosscheck results, etc and actually been pleased with all.
Don't know if you read the latest about FTDNA and DNAFingerprint or not..but they are gonna be one company, now.
Thomas Krahn with DNAFingerprint in Germany has been very present and helpful to list members with his knowledge about DNA identifcation techniques .. both genealogical and forensic. This may lead to more intensiive testing by FTDNA regarding the N haplogroup.
It looks like the National Geo project has done wonders for the N
bunch .. I went for years with no matches on even my first 12 makers and suddenly have about 75 .. most thru folks who have "migrated" to FTDNA but most still have only the "predicted" haplogroup.
By the way, Whit Athey's haplogroup predictory has a link on the EA website
.. oh, well, I just copied/pasted the link <grin>. This predictor works very wellfor the most part, but is not a substitute for the SNP test
Let me know if I can help any further ..

29-07-06, 04:53
Hi, Chris

Many thanks.
Guess I need to take the SNP test!

I will check out the two links.

All best,