Ancestry Tests

Has anyone done an ancestry test? I'm considering one but I have a few questions.

1) How accurate is it?
2) Does discovering one's ancestry make someone rethink their overall identity?
3) Anything else I should be aware of?
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Comments

  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited March 13
    I would take a hard look at what they are allowed to do with your DNA information once they have it. I believe some corporations have tried to monetize this information in various ways. The reality of course is the corporations already have lots of personal information about us (Facebook anyone?), and I'm sure it would be highly unusual for any corporation to think it was worthwhile to look closely into their information about me personally rather than using it in the aggregate. But once the information is out there you can't take it back.

    Personally I don't think it would make a huge difference to know my genetic heritage, unless I suppose something came back really unexpected. (E.g., neither of my parents are Italian, so if my genetic heritage turned out to be exactly half-Italian it might raise some awkward questions.) I'm basically a mongrel of various northern European ethnicities, as far as I know. I would be surprised to find out that I had significant genetic heritage from, well, a long list of places, but I don't think it would have any effect on my sense of who I am.

  • Okay, as far as ancestry goes--

    This is really rather dodgy. Here's the reasons.

    These places use reference pools to judge your DNA against. That is, they went out (or paid others who had already gone out) to get DNA from places judged to be as pure as possible, genetically speaking--which is to say, not very, in a lot of cases) populations that had been on the same piece of land for generations. How many generations is a sticking point, because a) you're relying on their self-report, and b) if you go back far enough in history, EVERYBODY comes from migrants. Who hail from somewhere else... ultimately, most likely Africa, for everybody.

    So you have to take it largely on faith that this particular reference population, which your DNA happens to match, stands for something meaningful about your historical ancestors. And that might not be so. All the more because they aren't testing ALL of your DNA against ALL of theirs, but only selected bits. And you yourself don't possess the DNA of all your ancestors, but only a very selected bit, mostly shared with your most recent ancestors--so the Cherokee great-great-great-grandfather's DNA might be entirely written over by the time it gets to your generation. Or not, as chance has it.

    There's also the fact that if you have unusual DNA (read: non-European), you will probably not get much detail, because their reference pools skew heavily heavily European. Good luck if you're, say, Burmese. You may get back a notation like East Asian or even "Asian, general" which is a fat lot of good.

    You will also find that your results change if you check them every few years, as they continue to add more of these reference pools. Which is a bit disconcerting. So consider it basically a parlor game.

    I suspect the kits are more useful for tracing relatives of the past few generations.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    (Incidentally, Ms. Marsupial was reading my post just as the edit window was expiring and made the same point about reference pools.)
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Ancestry DNA has been used to trace criminals. All it takes is a simple court order.

    My cousin discovered he was not really a part of the family. He took one and saw no connection with us. He called me and the first thing I assured him was as far as we were concerned he was a part of the family. I then encouraged him to reach out to some of the names that came back as first cousins. Turns out they want nothing to do with him. He found out from his mother (with whom he is estranged--she abandoned him as a kid) that she had been hitchhiking in Montana and a trucker picked her up and one thing lead to another. (It was the era of free love.)

    In my research, I had to redo two branches. Ancestry DNA had indicated certain people were my direct descendants, but checking with a couple of other genealogy sites the dates did not add up. I had to retrace a couple of names. In both cases, Ancestry suggested I was a descendant of one brother, but it was another brother. Once I identified the correct brother, things pretty well fell into place.

    There is one roadblock I am still dealing with. It is my great-grandmother on my maternal grandfather's side. I have a death certificate that lists her name, but the line disappears. My Mother says she was an orphan. I might not get around it.
  • I'm a bit disturbed by the idea of doing a test like this, as I'm aware of one case of disputed paternity in the larger family--and if I test, anybody on that side of the family could use my results to "out" the person-in-question as "not really" a member of the family (or vice versa, whichever happens to be true). I can't prevent that from happening, and said person has not tried to explore the issue themselves. So I'm lying low.
  • I did it, and it came back to match with family lore. That did not interest me that much, but I did enjoy the help in tracing back the family tree. My grandmother died giving birth to my aunt so I knew very little about her family. I found that fill in interesting. I also reconnected with a 2nd cousin I had met as a child.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    I have a friend who was adopted. He's pretty much estranged from his adoptive family, but he did an ancestry test and found his biological family, and they've been very welcoming to him.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    I go back to Adam and Eve, the same as you all.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Nah. Woden, me.
  • My understanding is that I was assembled from a blue light special K-mart kit...
  • I've done it but it didn't throw up much of interest. Mainly English, with some Irish and a little bit of "northern Europe" (those damn vikings got everywhere). It showed up a host of 3rd and 4th cousins, but nothing worth following through.
  • I'm reminded of times past when you could send away for a family crest. We have one that looks nothing like what was on offer.

    I'm also querying why it's so interesting. Having several adopted family members who're as much my family as those who weren't adopted and perhaps because who I'm fonder of. Also, as we've 4 different races represented both by marriage and adoption, it has been commented among us that any preoccupation with genetic ancestry contains probable worrying aspects of racism. But this may reflect having (blood!) relatives who were Nazis, and the rejection of anything related by the 2 generations since.

    I've a family tree that purports to go to 1000AD which was cooked up to prove pure Aryan blood. So it's all a crock to me.
  • Well, I can only answer for myself. Why the interest?

    Firstly, it was because I knew so little about my mother (who was adopted) that I wanted to see if there were any familial links out there. As it turned out, the DNA test didn't help at all but I subsequently discovered (almost by accident) that my mother had a half brother she knew nothing about and so that I have first cousins, who can tell me more about my mother's birth-mother.

    Secondly, my father was pretty vague about his side of the family, so I wanted to see if there were any links that might help me. Nothing so far.

    Thirdly, I am researching a few people who might be distant relatives and I had a very faint hope that a DNA test might throw up some clues.

    Finally, there is always the possibility that the results might have thrown up something truly weird (like a strong Eastern Europe or Middle East connection). I know a few people who this has happened to.

    Of course, there's always a chance that it will produce results you really don't want (like discovering that your father isn't your father). If you don't want to face something like that, don't do it.
  • I'm Chinese, but I have heard from other relatives stories of relatives in Southeast Asia so I always wondered if I have other East Asian ethnic groups in my heritage, if they can only give a "Asian general" result, that would not help me.

    And I'm a bit cautious considering that in all likelihood, their research database on East Asian populations might be limited, so I question the reliability.

    Still I am curious if it's possible that this test might be useful, hence my curiosity.
  • I decline to take any such tests, as it could jeopardize any future life insurance applications I make. You have a duty to disclose what you know, diabetes is enough for them to chew on.
  • I'm Chinese, but I have heard from other relatives stories of relatives in Southeast Asia so I always wondered if I have other East Asian ethnic groups in my heritage, if they can only give a "Asian general" result, that would not help me.

    And I'm a bit cautious considering that in all likelihood, their research database on East Asian populations might be limited, so I question the reliability.

    Still I am curious if it's possible that this test might be useful, hence my curiosity.

    You can probably google for the companies with tests most likely to be helpful to people with Asian ancestry. Almost certainly some will be trying to branch out into this area.
  • I decline to take any such tests, as it could jeopardize any future life insurance applications I make. You have a duty to disclose what you know, diabetes is enough for them to chew on.

    If you would otherwise be interested, seek out a company that will allow you to add more coverage later without a new round of exams and disclosures. Then pick up a tiny policy--say, enough for funeral expenses.
  • bassobasso Shipmate
    I've taken two tests after I got interested in my family history.

    There was one thing in my results that would have been very surprising if I didn't already know about it. The first result I got was about my unexpected half-brother, who had looked us up and made contact. He's my mother's eldest son, and none of us had any clue that he existed. But he was born in Kansas, which is an open records state. All he had to do was send off for his birth certificate.
    I hate family secrets. My mother had to guard that one her whole life. I think I can see evidence of the difficulty it caused her when I recall certain comments she made over the years.

    I don't know how much to trust the ethnicity guesses you get from these companies. Company #1 gave me a rundown that repeated what I already knew - basically Britain and Ireland. Company #2 added a head-scratcher. According to them I've got about 2% Inuit in my background.
    American Indian wouldn't be surprising - I've got lots of ancestors in colonial New England, and somebody might well have married somebody who had that connection. But Inuit? I can't figure that one out at all. I figure I'll just wait and see if they have second thoughts about it.
  • I do have a strong interest in this for a number of reasons. One is that I'm half Finnish, and Finns are not as genetically homogenous as non-Finns (unless they're geneticists) assume. The division in Finland is as much east/west as it is north/south. There is a vague hiccup in the Finnish genealogy that leaves the open the possibility of a Jewish influence, which a test might or might not resolve. A more eccentric reason is that a friend of mine claims to be a psychic, and gets a strong First Nations vibe off me (whatever that might mean). One quarter of my background was in Nova Scotia for five or six generations before I was born, so some FN is within the realm of the possible, but certainly there was no reference to it in our oral history. And then, of course, there' my boundless curiosity about the past. I'm at a stage in my development that any ethnic surprises wouldn't have any impact on myself perception.

    All that said, I wouldn't take it for the reasons outlined by @Marsupial and @Sober Preacher's Kid. I'll take my genetic test, if ever, when it becomes medically relevant, regardless of my curiosity.
  • I did the Ancestry test. I'm fascinated by genealogy and my test results have confirmed my paper research.

    It's enabled me to confirm one great great grandfather, which I could not have done through conventional research.

    I will never stop being amazed by the connections it throws up. That said, it would be less interesting if I hadn't already had a paper family history to map the results onto.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I'm Chinese, but I have heard from other relatives stories of relatives in Southeast Asia so I always wondered if I have other East Asian ethnic groups in my heritage, if they can only give a "Asian general" result, that would not help me.

    And I'm a bit cautious considering that in all likelihood, their research database on East Asian populations might be limited, so I question the reliability.

    Still I am curious if it's possible that this test might be useful, hence my curiosity.

    They do update their findings from time to time as more people enter the database.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I just come across people with my surname and claim them as ancestors. I have a beatified martyr in the family and I'm pushing everyone to pray to him so we can push him over the line into sainthood.
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I just come across people with my surname and claim them as ancestors. I have a beatified martyr in the family and I'm pushing everyone to pray to him so we can push him over the line into sainthood.

    So even when you're dead and gone to heaven, you're still bothered by the kids for help?
  • Part of the problem with Ancestry as a whole is that people tend to make connections on the slimmest of evidence. On researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, it appeared as if one of her ancestors had been Governor General of one of the first colonies in America. It took me 5 minutes to disprove this and yet there were at least half a dozen family trees that had accepted this patently false connection.
  • Part of the problem with Ancestry as a whole is that people tend to make connections on the slimmest of evidence. On researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, it appeared as if one of her ancestors had been Governor General of one of the first colonies in America. It took me 5 minutes to disprove this and yet there were at least half a dozen family trees that had accepted this patently false connection.

    [Genuine question] How can you disprove something like this? I'd have thought all it takes is one person in the chain who (putting in bluntly) shags everything in sight and suddenly you're in a whole other branch of the tree. Over the course of 400 years, say a dozen generations or so, the chances of the official father not being the actual father, or an undocumented adoption, get significant. Is there some way of correcting for this?
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited March 15
    Part of the problem with Ancestry as a whole is that people tend to make connections on the slimmest of evidence. On researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, it appeared as if one of her ancestors had been Governor General of one of the first colonies in America. It took me 5 minutes to disprove this and yet there were at least half a dozen family trees that had accepted this patently false connection.
    Yes, this is my experience too. My mother’s great great great grandfather was famously deported to Australia in 1834 for forming a trade union (proper working class blood here, who needs royal ancestors when you can have farm labourers) and researching this online means wading through family trees that are not correct and contradict each other. And this is less than 200 years ago.

    I’ve considered ancestry tests but I expect it would be very unexciting results.
  • Ancestry trees are notoriously unreliable, as anyone can post anything, and then other people just copy and paste. I think that it's the copying and pasting that creates the worst results.

    There are some trees on Ancestry that are so obviously wrong, that the person putting them up clearly hasn't looked at them; just copied and pasted - in any tree if someone allegedly died aged 130, or had their first child aged three, or if they appear to have been skipping back and forward between Canada in Scotland in the early C19th, commonsense should suggest a problem.

    But Ancestry DNA tests are not affected by crap trees. DNA is what it is.

  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I’ve begun a poss Family history thread in my drafts box; possibly to go in Heaven. Would anybody be interested or would it be more appropriate to just enlarge on some of the points made here? (I’m not particularly interested in ancestry tests). I agree with you, Annie and Rufus; I’m already finding sundry discrepancies in info, only two or three generations back are driving me nuts.
  • Part of the problem with Ancestry as a whole is that people tend to make connections on the slimmest of evidence. On researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, it appeared as if one of her ancestors had been Governor General of one of the first colonies in America. It took me 5 minutes to disprove this and yet there were at least half a dozen family trees that had accepted this patently false connection.

    [Genuine question] How can you disprove something like this? I'd have thought all it takes is one person in the chain who (putting in bluntly) shags everything in sight and suddenly you're in a whole other branch of the tree. Over the course of 400 years, say a dozen generations or so, the chances of the official father not being the actual father, or an undocumented adoption, get significant. Is there some way of correcting for this?

    I've been researching my family history for decades. My PhD was a study of social mobility which involved following hundreds of families through successive census returns, and creating small family trees. I have a lot of experience of primary sources.

    I have always known that the paper records don't necessarily reflect reality. Much of the excitement of DNA for me was that the DNA has confirmed my research. I met someone years ago through family history - she and I are descended from a couple who married in 1795. When I saw her name as a distant cousin DNA match, I cried.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Fawkes Cat wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I just come across people with my surname and claim them as ancestors. I have a beatified martyr in the family and I'm pushing everyone to pray to him so we can push him over the line into sainthood.

    So even when you're dead and gone to heaven, you're still bothered by the kids for help?

    :lol:
  • Miffy wrote: »
    I’ve begun a poss Family history thread in my drafts box; possibly to go in Heaven. Would anybody be interested or would it be more appropriate to just enlarge on some of the points made here? .

    I'd probably join in - I did most of mine the old fashioned way, so I'm waaay behind on what can be done online.

    I'm with ST on Fawkes Cat's post. Brilliant!

  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    @Sandemaniac , thanks - busy day today, so I’ll revisit the topic this evening and see what other folk think of the idea.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    Given the copious amounts of family history paperwork lounging on our bookcases, the children would probably want me to shuffle over to a Family History thread!
  • I would join a family history thread.
  • Please do, @Miffy, because since I posted last an absolute googly has landed in my inbox, completely out of the blue!
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Has anyone done an ancestry test? I'm considering one but I have a few questions.

    1) How accurate is it?

    I've taken such a test and from my experience it's pretty accurate. My results matched up with family lore and correctly identified several known relations who had taken the same company's test, including their degree of relatedness. The caveats are that I have a genetic background that's somewhat over-represented in DNA databases.
    2) Does discovering one's ancestry make someone rethink their overall identity?

    Not really, but I had a vague but comprehensive notion of my ancestry before taking the test, which didn't contain any major surprises. There was one minor thing which had long been speculated on my mother's side which the test confirmed, but nothing earthshaking.

    The caveat here is that you should be prepared in case there is something surprising. I remember hearing an interview with someone who, in the early days of commercial genetic ancestry tests, decided to use her family as a "control group" to verify the accuracy of the tests. The results came out pretty much as expected except for one of her uncles. It turned out the test was accurate, just his paternity wasn't what everyone thought.

    Other complications include things like white supremacists discovering they've got African (or other non-white) ancestry.
    3) Anything else I should be aware of?

    As others have noted, sometimes law enforcement will use DNA test results to track down criminals. You probably shouldn't take the test if you've committed any crimes for which DNA evidence might exist. A conversation along these lines:
    Dad: “Did you ever take that DNA test?”

    Me: “What DNA test? And no, I wouldn’t have taken it anyway.”

    Dad: “Why not? Don’t you want to know about your family history?”

    Me: “I know enough about you people and I don’t want the government to have my DNA.”

    Dad: “How would the government get your DNA?”

    Me: “All those companies give their data to law enforcement. How do you think they caught the Golden Gate killer?”

    Dad: “Are you a Golden Gate killer?”

    Me: “No, not yet.”

    Dad: “But don’t you want to know about your heritage?”

    Me: “You took the test, mom took the test, and the other kids took the test. I think we have it narrowed down by now. Unless there is something you or mom want to tell me.”

    Dad: “Goodbye.”
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    All the more because they aren't testing ALL of your DNA against ALL of theirs, but only selected bits.

    On a technical note (I am not a geneticist, so take this for what it's worth), this isn't as much of a problem as it's being portrayed. A lot of the human genome is standardized and doesn't vary that much regionally. Hox genes, for example, dictate the form and sequence of embryonic development, meaning mutations in these genes are often fatal. They're so stable the same Hox genes are found in all bilateral animals (humans, birds, insects, etc.) and a few radials as well. Genes that control critical things aren't as subject to mutation because such mutations are often fatal and thus strongly selected against. If everyone has the same Hox genes (or a very limited number of variations) those genes are useless for determining human ancestry. They'd work to show you weren't some kind of plant, but presumably you already knew that.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Right, @Sandemaniac, @Ethne Alba , @North East Quine , family history thread open in Heaven.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited March 15
    Crœsos wrote: »
    All the more because they aren't testing ALL of your DNA against ALL of theirs, but only selected bits.

    On a technical note (I am not a geneticist, so take this for what it's worth), this isn't as much of a problem as it's being portrayed. A lot of the human genome is standardized and doesn't vary that much regionally. Hox genes, for example, dictate the form and sequence of embryonic development, meaning mutations in these genes are often fatal. They're so stable the same Hox genes are found in all bilateral animals (humans, birds, insects, etc.) and a few radials as well. Genes that control critical things aren't as subject to mutation because such mutations are often fatal and thus strongly selected against. If everyone has the same Hox genes (or a very limited number of variations) those genes are useless for determining human ancestry. They'd work to show you weren't some kind of plant, but presumably you already knew that.

    Of course they don't bother with the bits that all humans have. But they can't be bothering with a lot of the bits only SOME humans have, either, because that would be time-and cost-prohibitive. Let's say (pulling an number out of thin air) that there are 15,000 genes that differentiate me from ... your sister, or anybody's sister (so we don't get into it about sex). They can't be looking at all 15,000 of those, it would take ages and cost the earth. From my reading, they have certain target "bits" and use those. And I have not yet come across any explanation how how they choose the target bits--whether it's for maximal variation, for convenience, or some other reason or combo of reasons.
  • Okay, from here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20363/:
    Between any two humans, the amount of genetic variation—biochemical individuality—is about .1 percent. This means that about one base pair out of every 1,000 will be different between any two individuals. Any two (diploid) people have about 6 × 10-to-the-6 base pairs that are different, an important reason for the development of automated procedures to analyze genetic variation.

    So we're looking at (very roughly) 6 million base pairs to compare, which is a helluva lot of comparison to ask of a place that's charging you 99$ for a Christmas present. I really doubt they're looking at all or even ten percent.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Of course they don't bother with the bits that all humans have. But they can't be bothering with a lot of the bits only SOME humans have, either, because that would be time-and cost-prohibitive. Let's say (pulling an number out of thin air) that there are 15,000 genes that differentiate me from ... your sister, or anybody's sister (so we don't get into it about sex). They can't be looking at all 15,000 of those, it would take ages and cost the earth. From my reading, they have certain target "bits" and use those. And I have not yet come across any explanation how how they choose the target bits--whether it's for maximal variation, for convenience, or some other reason or combo of reasons.

    Here's an explainer from Vox.
    There are about 3 billion base pairs — the individual letter instructions of our genetic code — that make up the human genome. When you spit into a tube and send it off to a company like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, or MyHeritage, they don’t bother looking at every single letter. That would be overkill.

    All humans have about 99.9 percent of their DNA in common. So instead, to speed up the process, the tests look out for the locations on the genome where people commonly vary from one another.

    These are spots where you might have the nucleotide (the molecule that forms one half of a base pair) adenine and I have thymine. That’s it. In all, these single-letter changes in our DNA can help explain why one person is taller than another, or why one has brown eyes and another green.

    In science jargon, these variations are called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced “snip”). Companies can analyze half a million SNPs or more in an ancestry test.

    And remember, some of these SNPs don't make a measurable difference in how a gene is expressed. For example, AAA and AAG both code for Lysine.
  • gustavagustava Shipmate Posts: 26
    Looking at a family tree I'm 25% Irish, according to the DNA test I'm 48% Irish, but across all people groups the place names, locations and cousin relationships are what would be expected from the tree, so I guess the selective testing would explain the unexpected Irish weighting?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    gustava wrote: »
    Looking at a family tree I'm 25% Irish, according to the DNA test I'm 48% Irish, but across all people groups the place names, locations and cousin relationships are what would be expected from the tree, so I guess the selective testing would explain the unexpected Irish weighting?

    There’s also the fact that while you get 50% of your DNA from each parent it’s not necessarily an evenly distributed 50%. You may have 3 billion base pairs (per the aforementioned Vox article), but they’re grouped together on 46 chromosomes and assigned to you en masse. Think of it like reaching into two bags of tokens with 46 tokens in each and drawing out 23 from each. Even if the two bags have 23 ‘Irish’ tokens between the two of them there’s no guarantee that you’ll draw exactly 11 or 12 of them. You might end up with 20 of them. Or 3.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    edited March 16
    It was a not cheap form of amusement for me - a gift from Kuruman. I was always assuming I had Jewish blood. I don't. I'm about as horrendously Sassenach as it's possible to be. :frowning:

    But the bigger problem is the on-going blither they send. They discover a match. Both my first wife and Kuruman come from Families Of Distinction.™ So I am constantly getting references to their famous friggin' ancestors. And really I don't need to know that my ex-wife's third cousin's uncle's third wife was Murgatrotd Frigging Flobbdegoo.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Irate reverse snobbery @Zappa? Love it.
  • I assume it's like LinkedIn - an appeal to vanity a bit like 'look who's been looking at your profile'.

    An American sent my Dad our tree back to 1700-ish (we have an odd surname) though we were able to correct a couple of points about the modern bits - so maybe not all is correct. It reads like a human geography lesson - generations born in shit on a farm in one small village in the sticks in Essex, leave for East London over two generations around 1850, mostly live in the same road until the 1960s, dissipate all over the place since. I'd love some Murgatrotd Frigging Flobbdegoo, but that's centuries of Essex vanity showing. If I had some I'd name them on a brass-effect plate screwed to my uPVC porch columns :smile:
  • Make some up!
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited March 16
    Yes, my family tree reads like a human geography module focused on the evolution of British Industry; Dorset farm labourers to Lancashire cotton mills to Luton manufacturing post WW2, with the birth of the trade Union movement thrown in (my great great great grandfather being George Loveless). But it also throws light on issues such as illegitimacy and marriage in the working classes so appeals to the social historian in me. I’m proud to be solidly peasant stock.
    But it does mean it is probably not worth me having DNA ancestry as I am almost certainly also going to be solidly Saxon, with possibly a little Viking.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I assume it's like LinkedIn - an appeal to vanity a bit like 'look who's been looking at your profile'.

    An American sent my Dad our tree back to 1700-ish (we have an odd surname) though we were able to correct a couple of points about the modern bits - so maybe not all is correct. It reads like a human geography lesson - generations born in shit on a farm in one small village in the sticks in Essex, leave for East London over two generations around 1850, mostly live in the same road until the 1960s, dissipate all over the place since. I'd love some Murgatrotd Frigging Flobbdegoo, but that's centuries of Essex vanity showing. If I had some I'd name them on a brass-effect plate screwed to my uPVC porch columns :smile:

    Sounds like my family, only substitute South for East London. And does go some way to explain the (to us) shocking snobbery of one long-since ‘late’ relative over those who work in ‘trade.’ I bet you they’d have loved to have had a Murgatrod Double-Barrel in the tree.

  • I have always been deeply suspicious about these things since being targeted with emails with putative family trees based on my surname. I know the family history of my paternal side, it's already documented, officially, and the guff I was sent wasn't even wrong it was so badly off.
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