Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fun with Genealogy DNA

or Grandpa Dick and Grandma Jane may not have been who you thought they were.....

One of the big questions in our family genealogy search has always been if there was native americans in our ancestors.   My husband's mother distinctly relayed on numerous occasions, the tale of the "Indian Princess" who was adopted into the family.  In my own family, my grandfather who descended from French Canadian Fur Trappers, told me there were native american ancestors.  Given the bloodline, I thought it was true.

Joseph Maxime DeSotels (1834 - 1927) the last DeSotel ancestor born in Longue Point, Montreal, Quebec Canada.  Does he look part Native American?  That was the question.........my gr great grandfather.

Burley Austin Dye (1893-1988)  my husband's grandfather who was a descendant of the "Indian" Princess.   Does he look part Native American?   That was the question....................

We decided for Christmas for ourselves we would buy each other a Ancestry.com DNA test.  Both of our kids were pretty excited to see the results.

And the results were:

Hubby -- NO trace of Native American ancestry.   Busted myth of the Indian Princess.

Me -- NO trace of Native American ancestry.  What?  My line of DeSotels have been in North America since the mid 1650's and were fur trappers....

It would appear that every generation I trace back on the DeSotels, I am descended from a French Canadian wife right back to Catherine Lorian Dit la Pointe DeSautels in the 1600's.   No native wives.  Quite the surprise

For Hubby, obviously there was no adoption of a native american girl and the princess myth is totally untrue.  How did that rumor come to be????   And where did the family features come from in the Dye family line -- men who were tall, dark haired and did not go gray nor bald in old age.  Faces that aged and looked native american. My husband is often asked how much native american blood he has when he goes to a public function.

Turned out the Dye family has been in North America since the founding of New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the 1600's.  And the physical features we had attributed to Native American ancestors were in fact, probably Dutch.

One of the interesting things dug out of Ancestry.com was that the first Dye (then Duyts) was a "Great Foot" Hans Lauren Duyt who was called that due to his stature and foot size.  Apparently a big guy and also not very nice.   He was banned from New Amsterdam and had his left ear cut off for selling his wife!!!

Was I satisfied with my subscription to Ancestry.com.  Yes.  However you must use the data with a caution.  A lot of people have errors and it's easy to copy and pass along those errors.

Was I satisfied with the DNA tests.  Yes, up to a point.  Don't expect detailed information from this.   You will get a generic area from where you descended like Northern Europe, Spain, Southern France, Etc.  So if you expect what you get, it's okay.

Am I glad I did it?  Absolutely.   Warning - it's addictive!

Happy Genealogy Hunting!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Merideth I love looking for my ancestors, which in Britain is a little more mundane as most of us are from Saxon stock as we were invaded several times by them. My husband's Uncle always liked to joke we were related to Catherine Parr (Henry VIII last wife) and our Boys love to tell it as actual fact!!! It is very addictive finding out about your past but very time consuming. Hugs, Susie x