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DNA Story

When I first had my DNA tested, much of the commercial emphasis was on ethnicity. You might even remember the Ancestry commercial where Kyle traded in his lederhosen for a kilt.

Contrary to that focus, I was more interested in connecting with cousins to help verify some of my research and to help break down some brick walls. Since most of my lines are colonial American, I have over 200 years to document before making a connection to my immigrant ancestors and to my ethnicity.

Thus, when ancestry developed their communities, I started paying attention. Although those communities supported my paper research, they were just additional information and not proof for a lineage.

After reading Ellen Thompson-Jennings recent post, Do You Have New AncestryDNA Communities? I got curious to see if I did have any new ones. When I looked at my DNA story, I had a new group, but I also believe that I have groups that disappeared.

In looking back thru my blog at my DNA articles, I did not find any post documenting my communities. I found a few posts that made reference to either the community or my ethnicity.

So, when I opened up my DNA results today, I was informed that I had a new community.

A look at the map of my communities, it shows two communities: the ORANGE area for Early Connecticut & New York Settlers and the BLUE area for Lower Midwest and Virginia settlers.

Since I have no idea what communities I had before, I feel like I need to start documenting the DNA story for the tests I manage. Besides my own DNA (shown above), I manage DNA kits for my two brothers and for my mother. Below are their DNA communities as identified in February 2021.

Brother 1 – DNA Communities – Feb. 2021
Brother 2 – DNA Communities – Feb 2021
Mom – DNA Communities – Feb 2021

My ancestors were in all of these communities. With the exception of the Michigan community, my dad’s side of the tree would have been found in these same communities. In looking thru my tree and their migration path from the coast to Kansas, there is only one family line that does not fit these communities.

That family line is my BRILES line on my mom’s side of the tree. My ancestor, Alexander Briles, brought his family to Kansas from Randolph County, North Carolina prior to the civil war. The BRILES line is in Randolph County for several generations prior to that. Alexander’s great-grandfather, Conrad Broil. Conrad Broil, and his parents, Johannes Broyles and Ursula Ruop, arrived in Virginia in 1727 as members of the second Germanna colony. Based on this line, one would expect a community originating in Virginia and branching out to North Carolina and Tennessee.

My loyalist Harding line was in New York. However, these communities do not indicate that this line went from New York to New Brunswick for about 70 years. From New Brunswick, my branch of the line migrated to Wisconsin and then to Iowa.

Although our ethnicity estimates aren’t very helpful in this point of my research, I am going to document them here for future reference. Below are the estimates for February 2021 for all four tests.

Brother 1Brother 2MeMom
England & NW Europe49%41%54%47%
Scotland35%38%31%23%
Germanic Europe6%27%
Ireland4%3%
Spain2%
Wales2%12%2%
Norway2%5%3%
Sweden8%

Hopefully some day this type of DNA information will help identify targeted research areas. For now, it is just maps and numbers. How about your communities and ethnicity data? Is it helpful to your genealogical research?