DNA and genealogy

Genetealogy's born. Hungarians and the Huns? and the Avars? and the Sumerians? Let's not get back that far. Something more practical for the family historian.

Wednesday, January 23, 200818:10:22 CET
23andMe whole genome sequencing now available in Europe

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Got this via Megan S.: 23andMe get its feet wet in Europe (and Canada).

23andMe is a commercial service offering whole genome sequencing (personal genome service). With their price (US$ 999.00/person) this service is not cheap. Perhaps approaching a critical mass prices plummet.

filed under: DNA and genealogy

Tuesday, August 7, 200713:35:04 CET
Croatian genes and history in a TV series

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To build some skills in the Croatian language every now and then I listen to the programs on Croatian TV (available online as RealPlayer streams). While it was playing in a background window I noticed a program dealing with history.

This program turned out to be a 4 piece series on the genetic history of of Croats. The film on show on Aug 5, 2007 was part 2 of the series. This piece tried - with no success - find descendants of White Croats in the Czech Republic and in Poland. Everyday people in villages were asked about White Croats, and they had no clue.

In Part 3 connections between Ukrainians (Poles?) will be reviewed. The program will be on show at 14:55 local, 08:55 (AM) US Eastern time on Aug 12, 2007.

The last part is scheduled for Aug 19, 2007. No details are available yet, only its title is shown: Genetic origin of Croats: Iranian influences.

Besides the field reports the series also employs experts, including historians, linguists and scientists from genetic laboratories.

filed under: Croatia DNA and genealogy

Tuesday, August 7, 200713:10:24 CET
Hungarian mtDNA research on Dienekes Blog

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Two recent posts at Dienekes' Anthropology Blog relate to DNA research in the Hungarian stock.

The first of the posts refers to a recent mtDNA paper in a Hungarian journal. According to the report the sample of 55 showed that a large majority belonged to haplogroups common in other European populations. Only in 5% of the samples could haplogroup M (common in Asia) be found. One of the comments on the posts also mentions that 3.6% of the sample carries haplogroup B. The WikiPedia human migrations map puts B to Japan and US Midwest.

Is a sample of 55 pieces ample enough to draw conclusions? I don't know.

The other post extracts info from the paper by Professor Raskó's team. They used both current samples (101 from today's Hungary, 76 from Hungarian speaking Seklers in the Transylvania part of Romania) and material found in 10-11th century Hungarian cemeteries (27 samples).

Let me quote an extract from the extract:

"Only 2 of 27 ancient Hungarian samples are unambiguously Asian: the rest belong to one of the western Eurasian haplogroups, but some Asian affinities, and the genetic effect of populations who came into contact with ancient Hungarians during their migrations are seen. Strong differences appear when the ancient Hungarian samples are analyzed according to apparent social status, as judged by grave goods. Commoners show a predominance of mtDNA haplotypes and haplogroups (H, R, T), common in west Eurasia, while high-status individuals, presumably conquering Hungarians, show a more heterogeneous haplogroup distribution, with haplogroups (N1a, X) which are present at very low frequencies in modern worldwide populations and are absent in recent Hungarian and Sekler populations. Modern Hungarian-speaking populations seem to be specifically European. Our findings demonstrate that significant genetic differences exist between the ancient and recent Hungarian-speaking populations, and no genetic continuity is seen."

filed under: DNA and genealogy

Friday, May 4, 200715:41:20 CET
DNA testing available in Slovakia

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I paid a short visit to the Slovak Genealogical-Heraldic Society and saw that society members could claim discount of 20% should they want to order a DNA test from DNAtest Ltd. (Bratislava). They offer various tests. The price of a 17 marker Y-DNA one is about 115 US$, and the list price of an mtDNA is the same.

filed under: Slovakia DNA and genealogy

Monday, April 23, 200711:42:43 CET
Zamagurie region DNA research starting off

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K. Melis, the group administrator of the Zamagurie Region DNA Project sent me a kind notice about their efforts "To collect DNA samples for surnames specifically linked to the Zamagurie Region with the goal of identifying potential matches for the project members." (quote taken from the website).

Zamagurie is situated in the northern part of the former Szepes County of old Hungary, now the Spis region of Slovakia, with parts stretching over to Poland. Due to its natural beauty, it's been popular with tourists.

This is the same region where genetealogy started. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (Chief Family Historian @ Ancestry.com, co-founder of Roots Television, lead researcher for the PBS Ancestors series) started her own DNA research in Osturna, a village in the Zamagurie region.

The project's webpage lists a photographer with a book about the region, Wojciech Smolak. Any relation to the Smolenyaks?)

I was surprised to see Alzo in the list of surnames being researched in the Zamagurie project. Lisa Alzo has been doing and teaching Slovak research for a couple years now. Any relation?

filed under: Slovakia DNA and genealogy

Friday, March 5, 200420:02:30 CET
Genetics lecture on TV university to come on Monday

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There is a popular series going on Hungarian TV where professors give lectures covering their specialities to the widest public. It's titled "Mindentudás Egyeteme" (the University of Universal Knowledge). On 8 March Prof. Raskó of the Genetics Institute in Szeged will deliver his one on genetics in general, and by popular expectation, he will probably cover their findings on the genetics of Hungarians, as well. There is a preliminary interview with him done by popular science magazine Élet és Tudomány. Read it here (in Hungarian). Similarly to other lectures, a new topic will be opened on the site's message board, too. Let's see how it develops.

filed under: DNA and genealogy

Sunday, February 29, 200415:06:31 CET
DNA database to go online on Monday

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Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is set to release their DNA database on Monday. After a short visit to their site I noticed that it might not be that easy to find your genetically related people. It takes efforts to get an idea what results this type of research would yield. Will see how it develops.

filed under: Databases DNA and genealogy

Saturday, December 20, 200315:46:07 CET
Sentence on Dr. Endre Czeizel reduced

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Dr. Czeizel, the 2000 winner of the Joseph P Kennedy Jr Foundation international award for scientific research, is known in Hungary thanks to his work in family planning. Besides, he is a geneticist, and in this character, researcher of family trees of outstanding Hungarian artists and authors. (his works, according to Amazon)

He was one of the several people accused of infant adoption from Hungary to US violating Hungarian laws. First judgement on them was issued in 2002. Now judgement is definitive, and sentence is reduced on many of the accused, including Dr. Czeizel. He is punished with a fine.

filed under: DNA and genealogy Outstanding personalities

Wednesday, December 3, 200323:55:33 CET
DNA testing service in Hungary

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Quite by chance I came across a company in Hungary that offered DNA tests: Genodia. They concentrate on tests for various health issues (their English pages only list these), but reading the Hungarian pages one can learn that paternity tests and even other tests of relativity are on their service list, as well. I'm far from being well informed about these tests, but their prices seem to be a way too high when compared to FamilyTreeDNA or to GeneTree: a test of relativity level for 3-4 persons costs 200,000 Hungarian forints, which makes something like 900 US$.

filed under: Genealogy industry DNA and genealogy

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Former Austria-Hungary genealogy blogs
[100 Years in America by Lisa S.]
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