Saturday, January 29, 2011

DNA and our Ancestors Part I

Ray and Nori had their DNA tested last year by 23 and Me, the company used in the PBS series "Faces of America".  We had some questions about the make up of Nori's paternal ancestry.  Since Nori didn't have any brothers, we couldn't get to the paternal questions unless 23 and Me was used as they test somethings that other companies don't but it's not complete by any means, more of a guess.  They also did the health portion which is of use to our family as well as their sibling's families

So today, we will discuss MATERNAL DNA.  In order to understands what this all means, we need to have a little science lesson, otherwise it won't be clear what we have learned and from what family is concerned.  I will cover this in several blog posts as it is long (and maybe a little boring).   This is from the 23 and Me website:

What is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)?

Small structures called mitochondria reside in every cell in your body. Within each of these structures is a tiny circular genome. We call the DNA of this genome "mitochondrial DNA" or "mtDNA" for short.
Mitochondria in cell

Unlike the rest of your genome, mtDNA is only passed on from mother to child; mtDNA inheritance is "maternal," tracking your ancestry through your mother, your mother's mother, your mother's mother's mother, and so on.
mtDNA and family
So to lay this out:

Ray Riley    to    Selma Brueggeman   to   Emma Louise Long     to    Louise Nagel

Using Mitochondrial DNA we are getting the Ancestral Information on Selma's mother and her mother but not her father (Ernst August) and his father (Clamor).  We would need one of Ernst August's grandsons of one of his son's to get to this info.  Or to get to Clamor, one of his son's son's.  In other words, if your last name is still Brueggeman (or Brugge), you would be able to find out about Clamor's Ancestral DNA.

DNA Genealogy

Think this enough for today but I will tease you --- there was a little surprise on Ray's maternal DNA so stay tuned.

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