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Genealogy Blog

9 January 2014

DNA Shows Irish People Have More Complex Origins Than Previously Thought

Research into Irish DNA and ancestry has revealed close links with Scotland stretching back to before the Ulster Planation of the early 1600s. But the closest relatives to the Irish in DNA terms are actually from somewhere else entirely!

The earliest settlers came to Ireland around 10,000 years ago, in Stone Age times. There are still remnants of their presence scatter across the island. Mountsandel in Coleraine in the North of Ireland is the oldest known site of settlement in Ireland - remains of woven huts, stone tools and food such as berries and hazelnuts were discovered at the site in 1972.

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27 November 2013

The Genographic Project Returns to Ireland to Reveal DNA Results

Hundreds of County Mayo, Ireland residents gathered earlier this week to learn first hand what their DNA could show them about their ancient past. From Viking ancestry to descending from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the genetics of County Mayo proved intriguing, reaching far beyond Guinness and the rolling green landscape.

The Genographic Project Team returned to County Mayo Ireland to reveal the Geno 2.0 DNA ancestry results from 100 local residents that participated in the Gathering Ireland event this past June.

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10 October 2013

DNA Test Solves 80-Year Family Mystery

They sat at DFW Airport, the site of comings and goings, happy hellos and sad goodbyes. With nerves, they waited. "The way I felt about it, this day was never gonna happen," said Patrick "PJ" Holland. He was in the final 60 minutes of an 80-year wait.

"This is what we call a 'countdown,'" he said with a laugh, after asking yet again when his guests would be arriving.

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30 May 2013

AfricanAncestry.com Rolls Out New and Improved myDNAmix Admixture Test as Part of its 10th Anniversary Celebration

African Ancestry, Inc., the pioneers of genetics-based ancestry tracing for people of African descent, today announced new product enhancements to its myDNAmix Admixture product offering.

myDNAmix determines various ancestries included in one's genetic make-up from five distinct populations: Indigenous Americas (Native American), East Asia, West Sub-Saharan Africa, West Europe and India Subcontinent.

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21 May 2013

Mysterious Minoans Were European, DNA Finds

The Minoans, the builders of Europe's first advanced civilization, really were European, new research suggests.

The conclusion, published today (May 14) in the journal Nature Communications, was drawn by comparing DNA from 4,000-year-old Minoan skeletons with genetic material from people living throughout Europe and Africa in the past and today.

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All Europeans Are Related If You Go Back Just 1,000 Years, Scientists Say

A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn't have to go back much further to find that everyone in the world is related to each other.

"We find it remarkable because it's counterintuitive to us," Graham Coop, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, told NBC News. "But it's not totally unexpected, based on genetic analysis."

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10 May 2013

Genomics Recapitulates History in Europe

Most of us know our families back a few generations but, beyond that, have little idea who our ancestors were or where they lived. Jumping further back, all of us alive today likely share most of our ancestors from 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

What happened between then and now? We've pieced together a broad picture of human kinship based on disciplines from archeology to linguistics to history. In Europe, for example, several relatively recent migrations have helped shape links and gaps amongst today's populations.

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8 April 2013

Boy, 17, Builds DNA Testing Machine in His Bedroom To Find Out Why His Younger Sibling Has Ginger Hair

With Fred's straight brown hair and Gus's curly ginger mane, the teasing the Turner brothers got from their friends was rather predictable. Less predictable, however, was Fred's response to it.

After putting up with endless jokes about the boys having different fathers, 17-year-old Fred settled the matter once and for all – by designing his very own DNA testing machine.

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8 March 2013

1st African American Man Dates Back 338,000 Years

A miniscule bit of DNA from an African American man now living in South Carolina has been traced back 338,000 years, according to a new study.

The man’s Y chromosome — a hereditary factor determining male sex — has a history that’s so old, it even predates the age of the oldest known Homo sapiens fossils, according to the report, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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25 February 2013

Black Celebrities Trace Slave Ancestors

Samuel L. Jackson is amongst the personalities whose ancestry is discovered in a new series of the US programme Finding Your Roots.

The American version of the popular British show Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots premieres in the UK this Sunday (February 24) and episode one traces the ancestral backgrounds of Jackson, along with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons, president of America’s prestigious Brown University.

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19 February 2013

DNA Tests Reveal Last Medici May Not Have Died Of Syphilis As Believed

In 1743, the last member of the family that had ruled Florence for almost 300 years died a slow and painful death. Historical documents suggest that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici suffered from syphilis or breast cancer. But a first look at samples of her bone suggests that syphilis may not have killed her.

In 1966, the tombs of the Medici family were swamped in mud during severe flooding of Florence, which many feared had damaged the bodies. But Anna Maria Luisa's skeleton was found to be mostly intact when it was exhumed last October.

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18 February 2013

DNA Testing Helps With Family Histories

As she swabbed the inside of his cheek, Patt Heise assured her 84-year-old father that she wasn't crazy, just curious.

She mailed off the saliva sample and waited for results. Her dad died a month later, too early to find out what DNA testing had revealed — a list of potential relatives from all over the world and a migration chart dating back to Adam.

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6 February 2013

Richard III's Face Revealed

Advanced CT scans and wax modeling have revealed the face of King Richard III. Showing a hint of a smile, a prominent chin, and slightly arched nose, the facial reconstruction is based on a skull found along with other bones just 2 feet beneath a car park in Leicester, UK, last September.

The reconstruction follows confirmation that the skeleton was that of the king killed in battle more than 500 years ago.

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4 February 2013

How Canadian DNA Is Helping Solve The Mystery of King Richard III’s Bones

Researchers in Leicester, England, are hoping they have finally solved a 500-year-old mystery thanks to modern technology and some Canadian-born DNA.

On Monday, a team at the University of Leicester is set to reveal the results of DNA tests on a skeleton found underneath a local parking lot last summer. The bones are believed to be those of King Richard III, who died in 1485 during a battle roughly 25 kilometres away in Bosworth Field.

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24 January 2013

Genetic Evidence For The Colonization of Australia

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome and, more recently, genome studies from living people have produced powerful evidence for the dispersal of modern human populations.

The prevailing model of global dispersion assumes an African origin in which Australia and the American continents represent some of the extreme regions of human migration, though the relative timing of dispersal events remains debatable.

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