Thursday, July 26, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Zitzmann family goodness!

Sorry about the missed weeks this month. Between a family vacation to Idaho and Utah, DNA test results (which I will blog about soon, promise!), and general life craziness, blogging has fallen to the wayside. But I'm back!

I've blogged before about how much info I've found on the site about my Zitzmann family line. I'm still not done going through all the records I've found, but I wanted to give a general idea on just how much information has come my way. Before this June, when my Zitzmann cousin pointed me to all these records, my great-great-grandma Mary (Zitzmann) Hoffman's family tree looked liked this:

You can see I really had nothing except the names of Mary's parents, taken from her marriage and death records. Now that I've entered pretty much all the direct line records, this is what Mary's tree looks like:

Not only do I have much more info on her parents (including their original German names) but also all of her grandparents, great-grandparents, and 6 of her 16 great-great-grandparents! I couldn't fit him in the shot, but I also have one 3rd-great-grandparent, Andreas Seitz, father of Martin Seitz. Where I have dates for them, Mary's great-grandparents were born in the 1700s! When I started researching my family history, I never imagined I'd be able to take her family back past Mary herself, given how she refused to say anything about where she came from, or to even let her daughters say anything. But now I've got four and five generations of Mary's ancestry!

I've still got a lot more details to pull from these records. I've got records for almost all of Mary's siblings, as well as some aunts, uncles, and cousins. The script is hard to read, but I'm learning. There are details about which midwife oversaw which birth, info about the priests coming to do official visitations and verifying the records, and who performed the baptisms and marriages recorded, etc., all of which I want to learn about. But I've got so much else I need to catch up on - the church records from Poland I've found in my Joseph research, making more use of the DNA test results (especially the mtDNA and Y-DNA tests), and continuing the review and entry of the other records I've collected over the last 12 years. There's plenty of work to do, but it's good work, and I love it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Genes Day Friday - The more I learn, the more I need to learn

I've been working like crazy to get the data I've discovered on my Zitzmann line entered, so I don't have too much to update on my genetic genealogy journey this week. I do have a few things though.

I received an email on 6-29 that the DNA sample for my Harris cousin (on my maternal grandma's side) was received at 23andMe! So that makes today the end of week 1 of waiting. Only 1-2 more weeks, and I'll have the next big piece of my missing Native American DNA puzzle to play with.

I also received notice that ALL my mtDNA results were in! That gives me three tests to look at - my maternal grandmother, paternal grandfather, and my dad. I've downloaded the certificates from FTDNA, and took a quick look at the results lists. There weren't too many for two of them, actually - grandpa had 15, and my dad had 5. My grandma's test had 70 matches though. However, as the mtDNA tests only checked HVR1, I'll need to upgrade the tests to see how close these matches are. That's kind of on the back burner though, as I still have a few living relatives that I want to have tested before I worry about upgrading tests that have already been taken.

One thing I did notice was that my maternal grandma is in haplogroup H (not H3, as 23andMe had guessed from her autosomal results). That puts me in H as well. Interesting! Brian Sykes named the H haplogroup Helena, which turns out to be the capital city of the state I was born in - Montana. Not that that means anything, but it's fun little trivia.

I made another little discovery this week. I had the idea to go on 23andMe's advanced inheritance finder and see how a couple of my grandpa's matches matched each other, instead of my grandpa. They both matched my grandpa at the same place on chromosome 1, and I wondered if they matched each other more or less than they matched him. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they didn't match each other at all. At first I thought maybe I had selected the wrong people, but when I checked my spreadsheet, I confirmed I had the right matches. They had almost identical starting and ending points on the same chromosome, so how could they not match? That's when it hit me - each chromosome is made up of two halves, one from the mom and one from the dad. Despite the starting and ending points being the same, these two matches shared DNA with two separate branches of my grandpa's family, one maternal and one paternal. It had never occurred to me that this could happen, and it's made me rethink all of the matches I've linked to so far. Now, in addition to seeing how they match my relative, I'll also have to see how they match each other. I did this with a couple other sets of matches who matched grandpa at the same place on the same chromosome, and found that most of them did match each other, though not all did. It'll be interesting to go back over the rest of them and see what else I can discover.

That's all for the DNA news this week. I'm hoping that by this time next week I'll have my Harris test results, but if not, I have plenty of other things to keep me busy.