This being the first day of the new year I thought it only fitting that I write about MyHeritage’s Genetic Groups update that dropped on December 24. They are free to anyone who has taken a test at MyHeritage or uploaded there. I have three uploads, my 23andme which was uploaded in Sep 2018, my brother’s Ancestry which was uploaded in Mar 2018, and my father’s 23andme which was uploaded in Aug 2020. Since my brother and my uploads were done in 2018 we were grandfathered into having access to most of the DNA tools without having to pay. It’s interesting how both our uploads perform, my brother’s upload has 520 DNA relatives while I have 500. Our father on the other hand has 1,006 DNA matches!
Here’s my Ethnicity on MyHeritage, I didn’t receive any Genetic Groups unfortunately, these results don’t really make much sense to me and has never changed since I uploaded.
Here’s my brother’s Ethnicity, he has one Genetic Group, Netherlands, which makes sense since I knew we had relatives in the Netherlands.
My father’s upload was stuck behind the paywall because it was uploaded after MyHeritage stopped allowing the free uploads but I never really thought about paying for it since I could see his ethnicities by comparing his account with mine or my brother’s, I have to admit though, seeing that he had 3 Genetic Groups and I had no way of seeing them unless I paid made me very curious. I ended up paying 34,80€ to unlock his DNA results.
I’m not sure if being able to change the Confidence level of the Gentic Groups is part of the paid DNA account or if it’s due to the fact that there is more than one Group.
The Puerto Rico and USA Genetic Group makes perfect sense as my father has a lot of family that moved to Puerto Rico and then their children later on moved to the USA.
The other two Genetic Groups I wasn’t expecting, if you read the About this Genetic Group section it’s mostly British and some Irish and German settlers, on my father’s paternal side we have a few Irish/British lines so this makes sense.
In conclusion the Genetic Groups have been a pleasant surprise just waiting on an update to the Ethnicity because I’m not really sure what could be contributing to the South Asian in both mine and my father’s composition.
Like my previous posts, which you can find here, here, and here, I’ll be showing off my new Ancestry Compostition (AC). The last post Phasing my 23andme you read about how my AC changed when I got a test kit for my father and he finally got his results. This update is, interesting to say the least. My AC I felt was improved but my father’s…well I guess it was improved a bit but the percentages and the categories they ended up in were less than ideal. I know that it is difficult to separate French & German from British & Irish and then you add in the small percentages of Spanish & Portuguese as well as Italian. It makes sense when you think about how often borders have shifted but my father’s AC. I’ll just show you below.
His F&G and B&I quite literally switched positions and for someone who just got a DNA test it would seem like his father wasn’t actually his father! It is nice to see most of the Broadly gone and I hope in future updates they can attempt to break down the African regions because there are so many different ethnic groups in Ghana alone. Just by statistics alone you’d assume that the Ghana would be Akan but there’s just no way to tell. Try searching for records you say? That is nearly impossible when you have no idea who the father of your great grandmother was or not being able to go past a certain point. For instance my Father’s mother was born in the US Virgin Islands, her mother in St. Croix and her father St. Thomas, her father’s line is a giant mystery. I have been able to track back to my Great Great Grandparents Joseph Alexander Boyles born about 1869 but I have a dead end there, I don’t know where he was born or who his parents were and I don’t know why the last name went from Boyles to Boynes. Sarah Holm is also a complete blank, she was born about 1880 but I don’t know where or who her parents are. I keep looking in my DNA relatives but those names don’t appear to be shared with anyone else. Makes you wonder. For my other Great Great Grandparents one side is more researched than the other, George Petersen born in St. Croix (assumed) around ?, I currently have a George Petersen born on August 29, 1881 to Thomas Petersen and mother is unknown. Thomas was born in St. Croix around 1856. Here the line stops, Petersen is a very common surname on the Island and everyone assumes that they are all connected but there’s no proof to this, I don’t even have any DNA relatives with the last name. The more researched side belongs to Maud Hines born in St. Croix on July 28, 1899 to Ann “Annie” Eliza Dorothea Boldt (See the baptism record below)
Unfortunately, Maud’s father is unknown and the baptism record provides no clues. Ann was born on August 8, 1872 the daughter of Joseph “Joe” Boldt born about 1842 and Christina Chamberlin born about 1846 (Baptism record below)
I have a lot of DNA relatives for my Boldt line so I was able to verify that I had the right parents. Joe and Christina were married on October 28, 1869, just two months after the birth of their first child Adelaide, who was born on August 7, 1869.
So all my Dansk Vestindien lines end here and I have no idea how to break these walls…yet.
Speaking of Dansk Vestindien, I’m kind of surprised that 23andme still doesn’t have an option for there in the Recent Ancestors in the Americas category. They didn’t have Saint-Barthélemy before but I spoke about it on the forums and they added it. My father and I don’t have that but I have Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. My father has no regions for the Caribbean at all and I find that weird because you’re suppose to have at least 5 DNA relatives with all 4 grandparents from that area to get the region but he has more than 5 for Saint-Barthélemy and he doesn’t have the region. What gives 23?
I know of relatives in Trinidad and Tobago from my father’s side but to actually get the region is surprising until I checked it, I have as much relatives on my mother’s side as I do on my father’s, who knew!
I’m assuming most of the people from Trinidad and Tobago is from my father’s paternal side because there was a few people who left Saint-Barthélemy and moved to Trinidad. I was contacted by one a few years ago and it was a revelation to me, I had always thought that most left St. Barts for either the States or the Virgin Islands, I was wrong, so wrong. I learned about those who left for Australia, Puerto Rico, the Dominica Republic, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, those who moved back to France. They are quite literally everywhere.
Here’s my AC update, like I said it was an improvement unlike my father’s.
Yes, I have Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occiataine regions for France just like my father, imagine when I first took my test I only had 3.3% French.
I look forward to seeing what future will show because they almost always offer something interesting to look at.
I was thinking how crazy it is that I began my genealogy journey in 2006, that’s 14 years ago, way older than my oldest child. I was barely a child myself, 19 years old and I had no clue what I was doing. I just jumped on Ancestry and started putting in names my parents gave me. I hit huge brick wall because there were so many people with the same name and people frequently used only their middle names or nicknames. I did a google search for my great grandparents names which lead me a thread on Ancestry about family with that name. It looked correct so I put it in my tree. Biggest rookie mistake ever!
Luckily for me it was the correct couple and that lead me to a distant cousin who had all kinds of information on my grandfather’s mother’s family. This was the first time I’d learned that her name wasn’t Josephine but Marie Josephine. The tree of this cousin took me all the way to Joseph Simon Turbé my 5x great grandfather. I assumed he was born in St. Barts as well since everyone else seemed to have been also, another rookie mistake. I did another google search which lead me to Anne Marie Danet’s post on her blog 3 – First French in the Antilles, you can see on line 24 there is a Joseph Turbe who married Anne Rose Greaux and he is the ancestor of all Turbe on the Island. This Joseph is my great grandfather. This suggested that he was from Nantes but he wasn’t born there which was a brickwall I had for a long time.
To break this wall I scoured all over the net, looked at several family trees, and then I found a reference somewhere that said he was born in Couëron, I had never heard of this place before.
Couëron is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. It is part of the historic French Brittany. Couëron is one of the 24 communes of the Nantes Métropole.
It makes a bit of sense why he would be considered a Nantes native but it is very unhelpful for a novice. So, I now knew where he was from but I had no idea where to find information about his parents. I asked a question on Wikitree in 2018 asking if anyone could help me find his Acte de naissance or Acte de baptême. A very helpful person pointed me in the right direction and I found not only his Acte de baptême but that he had a brother! I haven’t explored much of his brother’s descendants, maybe I should do that sometime soon.
Now I work on all the families of Saint-Barthélemy, sometimes I find a link to my family and realize this stanger suddenly became a distant family member. I spoke a bit about it in my post Saint-Barthélemy Project last year, I actually have an update on that post that I just never posted about. I now have the ancestry of my 3x great grandparents Anne Louise Chapelain and Pierre LaPlace thanks to the author of The Saint-Barth Islander. He was very helpful and I was able to make connections on those lines in my brother’s Ancestry DNA tree. The Joseph Chaplin that I thought was my grandmother’s brother was in fact her brother and someone made a typo on his age.
For now I’m working on the Governors of the US Virgin Islands/Danish West Indies. It is much more challenging work compared to researching my French ancestry. A lot of them were descendants from slaves and those records are not so easy to go through.
If you’re also looking to do some research in the Dansk Vestindien I suggest this site Caribbean Genealogy Library or CGL for short, I find myself using the records for St. Thomas a lot when working with my French side because many of them left St. Barts and ended up in the Virgin Islands. I’m particularly fond of the:
For census records during Danish time you can find those on Ancestry which of course requires a subscription to use but you can also find the St. Croix census on the Dansk Demografisk Database by Rigsarkivet (Danish National Archives), all you do is enter a name and it will bring you up all instances of that name appearing in the Census records.
Show Household will display everyone that lived in the household.
Show all Fields will show you all the information about the person you were looking for.
It is a pain because you have to search for eveyone one by one but it is free so I can’t really complain. I should note that not eveyone can be found this way, the record you are looking for might not have been transcribed or the name is spelled differently than you are looking for.
For the more recent Census records you can find them on Ancestry or you can look on FamilySearch, FamilySearch is free to use, you just have to sign up for a free account. It is a very useful site because you can also look up their free world tree to see if your relatives are already on there. If they are you will be notified when you search for records about them. You can see it circled in the photo attached.
There are not that many of us doing Caribbean genealogy on Wikitree so if you are interested in helping I’d suggest joining and helping put on Islands on the map.
As you guys have read about before here, here, and here. I took the 23andme test in June 2018 and got my results back on July 18, 2018. I was left very underwhelded, there was not much to learn from the results.
Take a look for yourself:
Over 100€ for that, I thought my brother’s Ancestry test was much more informative. It was fine though, a couple of months after there was an update and it broke down the African. It still wasn’t the best but at least it wasn’t just West African anymore. My .3% African Hunter-Gatherer was gone while Nigerian, Senegambian & Guinean, Congolese, and Sudanese was separated from the broad West African category. Coastal West African while narrowed down from just West African is still a broad category not to mention the Broadly West African, Broadly Congolese & Southern East African, and Broadly Sub-Saharan African. Just a lot of Broadly.
My European stayed mostly the same. Scandinavian at .4% was added send it made sense since my brother had Norway and Sweden which I assumed came from my Father’s mother. My grandmother’s family has been in the Danish West Indies since the first slaves were brought there. There’s also a mulatto ancestor with the surname Boldt, I admit it’s not much evidence but a cousin who descended from that same line also has Norway and Sweden. Unfortunately Ancestry DNA doesn’t have a Chromosome browser so I can’t see where that Norway and Sweden is located and if my brother and this cousin match on that same chromosome. Since doing my research on my grandfather’s place of birth Saint-Barthélemy, I realized that Swedish could come from that side since the Swedish colonized the Island from 1784 to 1877.
I should note that my African went up and my European went down, not by much but I found it interesting nonetheless. My Native American stayed the same and I gained Western Asian and North African.
In May 2019 my results went through another update, they called this a Beta update, my African portion was broken down even more, I lost the Sudanese but gained Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, the Congolese & Southern East African got a break down showing Angolan & Congolese but there was still those pesky Broadly categories.
My European had a revamp, the Iberian category was renamed to Spanish & Portuguese, I lost the little bit of Italian I had. My Native American once again stayed the same. Strangely, I had Central & South Asian added at 0.1%, seeing how categories at that level seem to vanish I didn’t expect to see it at the next update.
Now we’re at my most recent update before I phased with my father. It was updated around September 2019 but if you remember I was pregnant and sick during that time so I didn’t see the update until April of this year. My African Hunter-Gatherer is back at the same percentage too. Southern East African was added at .1%. My Western Asian & North African went up. I had a location for France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine which lines up perfectly with my paper trail, and I had a Caribbean location Dominica, which is right on the money since both my Mother’s parents were from there.
For Father’s Day I decided I was going to buy my father a 23andme kit, it wasn’t a surprise since I had spoken to both parents about it and they were interested, my father got his kit in July and his results were ready earlier this month. I’m not going to lie but I didn’t expect anything in his composition other than European and African. What he received shocked me.
My father apparently has Native American ancestry. Never in my life has anyone ever mentioned him having Native American anywhere in any of his family lines and since both his parents have passed I have no one to ask about it and will probably never find out where it comes from. Even better?
My Native American comes from him. All my life I was told my Mother’s mother had Kalinago ancestry and when I saw Native American in my composition I assumed it came from my Grandmother, jokes on me though, it could have come from a Grandmother, just not the one I thought.
My Father has two region in France and six in the United Kingdom. Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie lines up perfectly with our paper trail but all the United Kingdom regions are a mystery.
Here’s my results after phasing with my father. My African Hunter-Gatherer is gone once again. Italian has reappeared. My West Asian & North African has gone down again, this time they are trace ancestry.
I guess my course of action now is to test my Mother and see what secrets her dna is hiding.
Recently 23andMe updated their Neanderthal Report, you get this Report when you take their DNA test and it tells you how many Neanderthal variants you inherited from your ancestors.
If you don’t know what a Neanderthal is, 23andMe define it as:
“Neanderthals were prehistoric humans who interbred with modern humans before disappearing around 40,000 years ago.“
I wish I had taken a screenshot of my variants before the update but I knew it was 102 variants, here is my updated Report:
Not all of the variants I agree with, for instance, I have a terrible fear of heights, I can’t look out the windows or go into balconies of very tall buildings, I just can’t do it.
I do agree with the others, I do indeed have a hard time parting with rarely used possessions, I got that from my father. I have a terrible sense of direction, I can get lost very easily which is why I don’t go out walking by myself.
I can’t really say if I agree or disagree with the salty over sweet one, they both have a place in my heart and sometimes I will eat something salty with something sweet, like I love popcorn with chocolate, it’s delicious.
While this was a nice little update I’m interested in seeing if they will ever update the haplogroups.
If this is your first time hearing about it, 23andMe is a DNA testing company, it’s one of the more well known ones, you have Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage, and FTDNA, which does big y DNA testing.
Along with the introduction of Trace Ancestry category. My estimates have gone through quite the change.
I’ve always found my French & German percentage to be on the small side for having a father who is half French. This estimate is more understandable. I went from 3.3% to 9.7%. My British & Irish also went down, for the longest time it was higher than my F&G and it shouldn’t have been. It’s nice to see that they’ve shifted some of the B& I over to F&G where it belongs. I just hope they’ll be able to do the same with Spanish & Portuguese because I have no known ancestry from those areas, what I do have is Ancestors who lived in border towns so maybe, just maybe they were S&P?
I don’t know if I ever mentioned before that I took a DNA test with 23andMe on here but I took one back in June 2018. The main reason I took it was to discover who my father’s family was, my father was adopted when he was young and while we knew the names of his parents I didn’t know anything else. My paternal grandfather passed away when I was 13 years old and in all that time I had never even met him, my two older sisters stayed over at his house but never me. I’m always told that I look like his side of the family so it was a pretty hard blow to never know him or about his family and wish that I had been given that chance. I have no pictures and very little stories to even remember him by so I took to genealogy to try to learn something.
My grandfather was born in Gustavia, Saint-Barthélemy, Antilles françaises in 1920. He was the son of Vitalis LaPlace and Marie Josephine Turbé. My grandfather left his home to stay with an aunt in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands where a lot of French people migrated to in the late 1800s. While my father was born in St. Thomas he grew up in St. Croix where I was born and I didn’t visit St. Thomas until I was well into my 20s thanks to one of my older sisters.
One of my younger brothers did an Ancestry DNA test in I want to say 2017 but Ancestry doesn’t ship to France so I went with 23andMe. Looking at my brother’s results I had an idea of what my Ancestry Composition could look like and I was excited waiting for my results.
I got my results back on June 18, 2018:
The African portion was pretty underwhelming and my French & German was pretty small for someone whose grandfather was a French man. What I have since learned is that some of that British & Irish, Iberian, Italian, and Broadly categories were hiding a good portion of my French DNA and it was nearly impossible for 23andMe to separate it from the other areas of Europe because of migrations over the ages.
Sometime around October 23andMe updated their African categories and I had a brand new Ancestry Composition to look at:
My West African was broken down into Nigerian, Coastal West African, Senegambian &Guinean, Congolese, and Sudanese. My African Hunter Gatherer category disappeared. My British & Irish went up, Italian went up, Iberian went down, and Scandinavian appeared. Western Asian & North African category appeared. Everything else remained more or less the same.
In December 23andMe once again updated their categories:
Coastal West African category was broken down into Ghanaian, Liberian, & Sierra Leonean. Iberian was changed to Spanish & Portuguese. Everything else remained the same.
Yesterday 23andMe invited their V5 customers to try out a Beta Update to their composition:
My Ancestry Composition went through a lot of changes!
Central Asian & South Asian was added.
My African categories were all decreased with the exception of Congolese and Sudanese. I gained a new category as well, Southern East African. My European increased Spanish & Portuguese now being my highest category at 6.6% British & Irish decreased from 8.9% to 6.0% my French & Geerman went from 3.3% to 5.6% I completely lost the Italian I had which doesn’t worry me much since I never had any Italian paper trail. My Native American remains unchanged through all of these updates.
It has been so fascinating watching all of these changes and I can’t wait to see what other changes happen later on.
On the paper genealogy front, I had a really big breakthrough yesterday as well. I have a brick wall 3x great-grandmother Anne Louise Chapelain who I couldn’t find any information on her parents or siblings but yesterday I decided to go back over my work to see if I missed anything and while going through my 2x great-grandfather’s second marriage I found an uncle named Joseph Chaplain in the witness section. This Joseph Chaplain would have been 35 in 1888 so born around 1853 give or take, I think he might be a half brother because Anne Louise was born around 1835, that’s a good 18 years older and depending on her mother’s age might have been way after her childbearing age. I haven’t found anything on him so far but I have hope.