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Long lost relatives...


Jerry_Atrick
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I learned that a great Aunty of mine passed away in a home near Caloundra aged 96. I hadn't seen her for years but remember her as a lovely lady.  She was the last of my grandmother's (mothers side) generation. I finally got hold of my mother this afternoon (Eastern Aussie time) to wish my mum condolences as she was close to her Aunty.

 

She said it had been a bad couple of weeks with her Aunty and first cousin (I think), Dexter, dying within such a short period. I know I am losing it, and despite extreme rattling of marbles I could not recollect ever hearing of Dexter, let alone knowing who he was. It turns out he was long lost (in terms of contact) with us, but was this bloke: https://7news.com.au/news/qld/australias-oldest-person-dexter-kruger-dies-in-queensland-aged-111-c-3465974

 

I lament never having met the fella; I can only think he would have been a positive influence on my life. I recall many happy Chrissies in Brisbane seeing what would have been close relatives to him once a year (one a beef farmer, one, my idol, had a motorcycle shop which I salivated over). I am going to buy his autobiography and have a read.

 

Learn a new thing every day!

 

 

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In my family the previous generations had kept in touch with their UK "cousins" despite us having arrived in the 1840-1860 period. So up to the 1950s when someone from my parents generation went to England/Ireland/Scotland they looked up "cousins". That is almost extinct now, although my wife has a crazy English "cousin" who rings her once a fortnight. My wife's family left the UK in about 1903.

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to a review of my DNA by one of those genealogy sites, I have genetic relatives in Victoria. I guessed as much as my grandmother came from a large family born in the Ballarat area. I've traced her parental line (both sides) back to about 1690. If you think of all the descendants from a 1690 marriage and subsequent ones, there's a heck of a lot of them. The number of descendants of that early marriage has grown exponentially. So now my DNA is not unique to a particular family, but is part of a locality population. The bloke next to me could be my cousin, umpteen times removed.

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True, OME.. very true... In fact, if we go back far enough, we are all probably related in some way. In this case, though, this is a relative that my mother had contact with and is the cousin of my grandmother. So, according to  https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/what-is-a-second-cousin/, I am first cousin, twice removed. As I said, I had never met the man, but the relationship is at the grandparent level, rather than some long lineage line.. From my perspective, I never met the man or his immediately family, so it is and interesting piece of genealogy.

 

Spacey - I have (or by now, had) a grand-uncle, Clancy, who took off when he was about 17, never to be heard of again from his family..  Sadly, this sort of thing is probably very common.

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Have you ever watched the TV program Long Lost Family? There have been 3 or 4 seasons in the UK, at least 2 in the US, and 1 in Aus.

Locating birth parents of adopted people now adult, missing parent through divorce, sibling separated in marriage breakups, etc. The show plays on the Foxtel Lifestyle channel here in Aus. I also like watching Who Do You Think You Are, on SBS, sponsored by Ancestry.com, where celebrities (entertainment, sporting, etc.,) trace their family history back generations, to find if their ancesters were royalty or convicts or anything in between. Some get quite a shock. Billy Connelly, for example, found out he has Indian ancesters.

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My great grandfather took off in 1904 leaving about ten children and a wife. They never heard from him again. I tracked him down via records and found he worked as a wharf labourer in New Zealand for another forty years. He had never tried to hide his identity, but in those days they couldn't find him.

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I remember reading an article about the Anglo-Saxon lineage, and why so many Anglo-Saxon people look familiar. It turns out that the population of England in the 12th Century was around 2M - and only 10% of that 2M people actually left descendants (I have no idea why, possibly because the men spent all their time killing each other in that era). 

 

Because all people of Anglo-Saxon ancestry come from that small pool of 200,000 people, that makes every person of Anglo-Saxon descent a 36th cousin, and explains why so many people of Anglo-Saxon descent look quite similar.

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The pandemic of the mid 12th Century (the Black Death) significantly reduced the total population of Europe, North Africa and Western Asia, thus reducing the sizes of the various genetic pools. Add to this the fact that very few people travelled more than a day's walk from where they were born, then the amount of genetic mixing was very small. During the Late Medieval Period, many populations were decimated by armed conflicts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_1000–1499 which mainly reduced the variation in the pool of male genes.

 

Thus it is possible to  estimate the genetic origin of a person by their phylotype. In Onetrack's example the phylotype is facial and cranial appearance. Australia and the USA are good places to practise the art of genetic origin detection because the population is such a recent mix of phenotypes.  Just by looking at a person one can make a reasonable estimate that a person is of Irish, Scottish, English, Mediterranean, Western European or Central European descent. Likewise it is possible to determine the various Asian and Indian origins. 

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9 hours ago, onetrack said:

Because all people of Anglo-Saxon ancestry come from that small pool of 200,000 people, that makes every person of Anglo-Saxon descent a 36th cousin, and explains why so many people of Anglo-Saxon descent look quite similar.

You could say the same with all races and cultures, a lot may depend on your own upbringing and involvement with different races. It's the first glance that gives that impression, from there it's a learning experience of observation and understanding, then we begin to see beyond the stereotype and see the real person. To me, it's irrelevant as to what you look like or are capable of, its what you are inside and how you express that in life, that's the difference in recognition, acceptance or rejection.

 

My ancestry is very mixed, convicts from Ireland/UK arriving in both Tas and NSW, mariners from Scandinavia/Denmark, Rom, Scot and Tas indigenous. Having Rom, means there's a bit if Indian in there and probably neanderthal, especially after seeing how some of my supposed extended family acted a few decades ago. Luckily the Rom side in Tas were Show people, extremely nice to be around and had amazing parties. Whilst my family thought I was at Sunday school, I was round my uncles.

 

They partied most Sundays which was the only day they got off during show/circus season, so they let their hair down, played music, drank heaps, danced and cooked huge meals. My father used to turn up drunk from Sunday morning at the footy club, give me a smile then got drunker and drunker as they swapped stories and invented many things. There were also mixed race people in the shows, so got to play with lots of kids from different places only ever saw what they were, not what they looked like.

 

The consequences when we got home were a war between mum and dad, but being with happy people, instead of morbid retribution god nutters was worth any form of punishment. Funny how as we grow, we can become more intolerant of difference, when in most cases there is no need. We may all claim to be tolerant of others, but I can't claim to be that way, just don't let that outlook dull my real life view of others. When it comes to ideologues, there's no case for intolerance and it would be interesting to find when in the past ideology was came about, it seems only humans have this genetic malfunction. Seems to go back a long way, maybe to far back to trace, or have we not evolved beyond primitive fear of the unknown.

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Our family tree is back to the 13th century, a noble (Henry De Lace) Normandy was out of favour and scooted off to Eire ,married a local chieftens daughter and built a castle in Trim ,somewhere in that mix were some Vikings ,the De Lace family angicised the name to Lacey(still a lot of them in Eire) again went out of favour and scooted to Doncaster in UK, then on to Wales where my side of the family resided, most of our family emigrated to Aus in the sixties, my son who has had the genetic testing(primarily for medical reasons) then had it done for ancestry, wow that turned up some hidden genes , now we have Spanish, Celt from the Steppe, french,,danish,Irish,Anglo,welsh,Italian, some of these traces are from my present wife,s ancestry, so we are all i think a mixed bunch.As an aside my mothers father didnt return from WW1 untill 4 years later, surprise on his deathbed started talking fluent french and since then have found out we have some cousins there .

 

Edited by gareth lacey
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Many of the English tribes didn't necessarily interbreed a lot with the invaders. There would have been a lot of general dislike of people seen as coarse and aggressive, and of different appearance.

It has been discovered there wasn't as much racial intermixing between the Romans and many British tribes of the Roman era, as was presumed. The Picts resisted the Romans totally, and stayed true to their type.

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4 hours ago, onetrack said:

Many of the English tribes didn't necessarily interbreed a lot with the invaders.

A few years ago this was proven when DNA from an ancient British skeleton closely matched some long-term local families

Quote

…The Picts resisted the Romans totally, and stayed true to their type.

They’re still a breed apart!

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I reckon I look like a Pom and I was English, but it wasn't till a few years ago that I found out my great Grandfather was Italian.

My family always had snobbish ideas and didn't intermix, but funnily I came to resent all that and like mixing with other races.

Aussies in general mix much more freely than European or British people.

One thing always jars with me and that is how many times we see a young attractive afro american woman in TV adverts and yet I don't think I have ever seen one in Australia.

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Just watched Insight on SBS. Seems people should be prepared for shocking news from DNA tests. 
Some members of the audience had found out dad wasn’t really their dad. Some discovered their mum had been cheating and others learned they had ancestors in exotic countries. The most positive thing is that lots of people found half-siblings and extended families they never knew about.
 

Before we go breeding with an absolute stranger, we’d better make sure we’re not closely related…

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1 hour ago, spacesailor said:

O K

But does it matter !.

The Royalty have been at it for eons. 

Prince Phillip is related by Queen Victoria, to hie wife. ( third cousins )

spacesailor

Give them credit for improving, Spacey. In King Tut’s day they married their sister.

These days royals seem to be more genetically cautious than the average citizen.

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Animal breeders do "inbreeding" lots. If the genetic stock is good, as obviously king Tut's was, this can work well for humans too.

But we sure have an inbuilt distaste of sex with close relatives, and this sure helps avoid  inbreeding.

Once I read that a surprising number of girls were molested by their fathers. It was only when I found that these "fathers" were actually stepfathers that this made any sense to me. Another case, methinks, of the politically correct lot being stymied by their own nonsense.

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