Friday, February 13, 2015

My grandparents' DNA trails, Part I - Gibson Y-DNA

This is something I've been wanting to explore for a while, and now that I'm finally less busy, I can do it! I wanted to track the Y-DNA of my grandfathers, and the mt-DNA of my grandmothers, and see what the odds are that they will continue to be passed to future generations, or whether that torch will fall to more distant relatives. Of course, as this discussion necessarily involves living people, I won't be using names or ages outside of my grandparents, just genders.

First up - my Gibson line's Y-DNA. This is the only one of the four in my little study that I can actually play a role in passing on, which is why I'm starting here. My grandpa, Fred Gibson, was the only child of his parents, Frederick John Gibson and Augusta L. (Joseph) (Staffen) Gibson. Both of his parents had other spouses, but neither had any children with those spouses. Fred married Rosemary Blossom (Wagner) Nelson (aka Blossom) in 1947, and had four children, two sons and two daughters (in addition to Blossom's daughter from a previous marriage). One of those sons was my dad, the other was my uncle. So he had two candidates to pass on the Y-DNA he received from his father.

My uncle had four children, all girls, two of whom died in infancy. Because girls don't carry the Y  chromosome, my uncle won't have anyone to pass on his Y chromosome. But he does have two awesome grandkids, so that branch of the Gibson line doesn't end with my cousins, fortunately.

My dad had two sons, my younger brother and me. My brother and his wife have one child, a son. My wife and I have three kids, two boys and a girl. Between my brother and me, we have three Gibson males, the most seen in one generation since my great-grandfather and his brothers. With three males (so far) to carry on the Gibson name, I think the odds are good that we'll get at least a few boys in the next generation. That's the hope, anyways.

When my wife and I were first married, my grandpa kept telling us in his funny, teasing way that we needed to have boys to keep the Gibson name going. When our second son was born, my wife told him "There, I've had two boys. I've done my job!" I'm proud of the Gibson name I bear, and I do hope that there will be more Gibson boys (and girls!) to keep the family name alive for generations to come.

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