What I learned from my father's and grandfather's DNA

If there is one thing every serious genealogist should consider doing is to get the DNA of your parents and grandparents, if possible. Having their DNA results, will provide you with more information than your own test will. Using my own family's Ancestry DNA results, shown here, you can see a great example of what information you could be missing out on.

Notice, my Ancestry DNA results identified me as a descendant of New York Settlers, Metropolitan New York Settlers, and Northeastern States Settlers. My father's results, however, indicate he was a descendant of those plus Southern New York Settlers, and New York City & Long Island Settlers. Furthermore, my mother's father is recognized as being a descendant of the same ones I am plus Rhode Island & Southern Massachusetts Settlers, New England & Eastern Great Lakes Settlers, Pennsylvania Settlers, and Poconos & North Jersey Settlers.


To be a descendant of "New England Settlers" and the "Northeastern States Settlers", is quite broad, but because I had my father and grandfather tested, I was able to get more detail. I had an "Aha!" moment, when I reviewed these "Other Communities" Ancestry's algorithm recognized. Before I began researching my family history, it seemed like none of my family emigrated from anywhere. Whereas my friends had grandparents or parents who emigrated within the not to distant past, I knew of no immigrant ancestors in my family. They all just came from New York, as far as anyone knew. I felt like the oddball but now that I know how they got there and when they got there and I am proud to be a descendant of so many New England and Northeast Settlers who helped build the foundations of this great country.


This week my family and I are planning a special trip to New York City. We plan to see the port my great-grandfather, Percy Daniels sailed from in the early 1900's as a merchant mariner. We'll see Castle Garden and The Battery, near where my first Dutch ancestors, Daniel Tourneur, Frederick Deveux, Dirck Claeszen, and others lived in the mid 1600s, when New York City was still called "New Amsterdam". Where skyscrapers now tower, my ancestors' livestock and cattle once grazed. On paved city streets where bikes, cars, taxis, and buses ride, my ancestors carved out dirt roads and traveled by horse and buggy. Before the Brooklyn Bridge or the Holland Tunnel, they crossed The Hudson and East River in boats. Long before the Path Trains or the Long Island Railroad, LaGuardia or J.F.K. Airports, the sea and rivers were the only way to travel any distance of more than a few miles. We look forward to visiting the Irish Hunger Memorial and finally, the One World Observatory, which is probably as close as we will ever get to time travel. The elevator ride to the top of this building which stands 1,776 feet tall (the tallest in the Western Hemisphere) allows visitors a view of what the island looked like when my ancestors first arrived. It's going to be an exciting visit! Stay tuned for photos and video of our trip!

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