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Genealogy Blog

23 November 2012

Smallpox Virus Detected In 300-Year-Old Siberian Mummy

A team of French and Russian researchers recently found new snippets of smallpox DNA in 300-year-old mummies from Siberia, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine released Wednesday.

While in northeastern Siberia in 2004, researchers discovered several burial sites, each containing frozen wooden graves buried in the permafrost. It seemed that most of the burials were individual and involved only one body, but one grave contained five frozen mummies — two children and three adults — which appeared to have been buried shortly after death.

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19 November 2012

Authorities Identify Woman’s Skeletal Remains Through Online DNA Database

Nearly 12 years after a woman’s skeletal remains were discovered in a Homestead tunnel, and three years after officials buried them in a North Strabane cemetery, authorities used an online DNA database to finally solve the mystery of the unidentified bones.

Amanda Sue Myers, 22, died sometime in 2000. Family members last saw her that year in January at her daughter’s first birthday party; police found her bones 10 months later by train tracks in a fenced-off tunnel near McClure Street.

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26 July 2012

Genographic 2.0 Launched

Today, The Genographic Project officially announced the launch of their new Geno 2.0 project, a significant update to the type and quantity of genetic information that will be collected and analyzed by The Genographic Project.

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23 July 2012

Nine More Australian Soldiers Identified in Fromelles Mass Grave

Generations have passed in the Wynn family without anyone knowing whatever happened to Uncle Jack. John 'Jack' Wynn was a labourer from West Maitland in NSW, a single man who went off to war in 1915 and like so many others, never returned.

Along with some 5500 of his countrymen, the 19-year-old died during the bloody 12-hour Battle of Fromelles in northern France over July 19 and 20, 1916.

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12 July 2012

Earliest Americans Arrived in Waves, DNA Study Finds

North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada.

Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia.

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25 June 2012

Irish Origenes Interactive Castles of Ireland Map Part of Project to Pinpoint Irish Ancestors

The Irish Origenes website is designed specifically to show people with Irish ancestry how to use the results of a commercial ancestral DNA test to pinpoint where their Irish ancestors lived and it contains all the resources one will need to achieve this goal.

However only about 60 percent of people with Irish ancestry will be related to the pre-Christian Celtic tribes, so if your recent Irish ancestors originally arrived in Ireland with the Vikings or later in 1169 AD with the Normans it can be difficult to pinpoint those ancestors to a specific location.

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3 May 2012

Discover Your Irish Genetic Ancestors

Whose blood courses through your veins? Could you be a descendant of a Viking warrior or a Berber pirate? Or perhaps you are related to the Uí Neill chieftains or the kings of Laighin (Leinster)? If so your genes will carry the proof, and a new company set up by scientists offers a service that can reveal your genetic heritage.

Today sees the launch of “Ireland’s DNA”, a direct to customer genetic ancestry service. “We are planning it as a national project. The more people that get involved, the more we can understand about Irish history from the resulting dataset,” says Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri, one of three founders of the company.

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24 April 2012

Genes Reveal Secrets of Ancient Peruvian Families

Genetic analyses of individuals buried in funereal monuments near a volcano in southern Peru have revealed the family relationships and burial traditions of ancient Peruvians that lived before Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas.

The ancient Peruvians buried their dead in "chullpas," structures resembling vertical tombs, which can be up to 6.5 feet high. Researchers hadn't known how the individuals buried within one chullpa were related.

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19 April 2012

DNA Tests Aim to Identify 17th Century Swiss Hero - and Killer - Jürg Jenatsch

Archaeologists have reopened a grave in Switzerland to see if DNA testing can confirm it contains the body of 17th century Swiss hero - and killer - Jürg Jenatsch.

Jenatsch is believed to be buried under the flagstones of Chur Cathedral in eastern Switzerland. A body purporting to be his was already exhumed in 1959 by the anthropologist Erik Hug, who identified him on the basis of the clothing and the large blow to the skull.

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18 April 2012

Study Reveals 'Extraordinary' DNA of People in Scotland

The DNA of people living in Scotland has "extraordinary" and "unexpected" diversity, according to a new study. The Scotland's DNA project, led by Edinburgh University's Dr Jim Wilson, has tested almost 1,000 Scots in the last four months to determine the genetic roots of people in the country.

The project discovered four new male lineages, which account for one in 10 Scottish men. It also found that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte.

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28 March 2012

Irish Kelly Clan Gathering to Hear of Genetic Links to Australian Outlaw Ned Kelly

The genetic links of one of Australia’s most notorious and controversial outlaws – Ned Kelly – will be the focus of the next Kelly clan gathering in Dundrum, Co Tipperary, in May.

Kelly was born in Australia about 1854 and earned a reputation as both a cold-blooded murderer as well as a freedom- fighting folk hero. He was captured and hanged in Melbourne in 1880 for his crimes.

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26 March 2012

30 Indonesian Women Founded Madagascar, Maybe by Accident

The land of freaky animals and amazing biodiversity, Madagascar was also one of the last places to be settled by humans. And new research suggests that didn't happen until about 1,200 years ago.

The colonization might even have been an accident, the researchers say. A small group of Indonesian women settled the island in one fell swoop, possibly making their way there after their trading vessel capsized.

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27 January 2012

Following Genetic Footprints out of Africa: First Modern Humans Settled in Arabia

A new study, using genetic analysis to look for clues about human migration over sixty thousand years ago, suggests that the first modern humans settled in Arabia on their way from the Horn of Africa to the rest of the world.

Led by the University of Leeds and the University of Porto in Portugal, the study is recently published in American Journal of Human Genetics and provides intriguing insight into the earliest stages of modern human migration, say the researchers.

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Native Americans Hailed From Siberian Highlands, DNA Reveals

For nearly a century now, most scholars have agreed that the ancestors of Native Americans likely hailed from Siberia, trekking across the Bering Strait to Alaska via a long-gone land bridge.

But certain aspects of the historic migration—including the settlers’ specific region of origin, when exactly they left it and what drove them to seek new lands—remain matters of debate to this day. A new DNA-based study published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics offers new insight into these questions.

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24 January 2012

With DNA Testing, Suddenly They Are Family

Growing up, Khrys Vaughan always believed that she had inherited her looks and mannerisms from her father, and that her appreciation for tradition and old-fashioned gentility stemmed from her parents’ Southern roots. But those facets of her self-image crumbled when she was told, at age 42, that she had been adopted.

She began searching for her origins, only to find out that her adoption records had been sealed, a common practice in the 1960s. Then Mrs. Vaughan stumbled across an ad from a DNA testing company offering to help people who had been adopted find clues to their ancestry and connections to blood relatives.

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