German ancestors on my mom’s side

Abraham Hildebrand (1748-1833), my 4th great grandfather on my grandfather Clifford’s mother’s side.

Abraham Hildebrand, born about 1748 in Pennsylvania, married Anna Schantz. She was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Schantz, who were active in the (Swiss-German) Mennonite Church. The Hildebrands, were active in a sect of the Church of the Brethren known as Dunkards (Old German Baptists). It is guessed that Judge Abraham understood German and could read and write English by the later deeds he signed and by his capacity as judge:

The 1777 non-associators record meant Judge Hildebrand was not in the Revolutionary War and chose to be non-associated due to his religious beliefs as a Dunkard – a Peace church.
It is believed that Johannas Hildebrand may have been the father of Abraham Hildebrand. Johan, before the age of sixteen, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 24 1734 on the ship St. Andrew. He was discovered as a stowaway passenger. He had apparently run away from home to follow his older brothers to the Americas, which is why he was listed on the Ship’s manifest as cargo. After being discovered he was forced to work on the ship as an indentured passenger to pay for his fare and was released with his brothers upon arriving in Philadelphia

John Dewatt Weimer (1740-1831) My 5th great-grandfather, my 4th great grandfather on my grandfather Clifford’s mother’s side.

John and his brothers Martin and Frederick immigrated to America from Germany in the 1760’s.
He served as a corporal in Captain John Riley’s Co., Third Pennsylvania Continental Line in 1778-79 which was at Valley Forge with George Washington. He was twice listed as having “Insufficient clothing” at Valley Forge. His name is sometimes recorded as Wimmer, Wymer or Wemmer..
After the Revolution, John, his wife Susanna Ackerman, and their family settled in Somerset County where he was granted 336 acres of bounty land in Milford Township. He received title to his land on Feb. 26, 1788 and named it “Prospect Hill.”

Hackler & Delp, (Hechler & Delph) On my grandma Clifford’s paternal side.
Johann Georg Hechler (1743-1821) arrived at age 11 with his parents, Hans Georg Hechler (originally from Alsace) and Susanna Müller, in Pennsylvania in 1754. They lived in Manchester Township in York County, Pennsylvania and were members of Quickel’s Lutheran Reformed Church. He married Elizabeth Peter in 1770 and moved to Elk Creek, Grayson County, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, sometime in the early 1780’s.
His son Peter Hackler was married to Mackalana “Molly” Delp, daughter of Peter Delp and Eveline Reichbacher. Peter Delp’s parents were Hans Georg Delp and Barbara Moyer. Hans Georg Delp (1708-1773) immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738 and settled in Montgomery County. Although many genealogies list Peter Hackler as being born in Grayson County, Virginia, it is unlikely since his parents stayed in Pennsylvania.
Not much else is known about these families, except that they were very prolific. I have confirmed my mom having 396 DNA matches with Delp shared ancestors and 213 matches with Hackler shared ancestors. The Delps are second only to the Cornetts. Some matches are descended from Cornetts, Hacklers AND Delps, with some who also descend from Russells and Stampers, too! …Many descend from both due to siblings of one family marrying siblings of the other family.

The Baughers– Johannius Georgius Bager (1725-1791), my 6th great grandfather, on my grandma Clifford’s maternal side.
It appears that most, if not all, Baughers in the United States are descendants of Johannius Georgius Bager and Anna Elizabeth Schwab. They were married in Giessen, Darmstadt, Germany in 1748 and sailed to America on a ship called the “Rawley” in 1752. The “u” and “h” were added to the Bager name upon arrival in North America (Many various pronunciations of Baugher are found among descendants.) Johannius Georgius Bager was educated at the University of Halle (This is the same university that my famous ancestor Barthold Heinrich Brockes on my dad’s side went almost 50 years earlier.) Bager was ordained and installed at Simmern, Germany, in the month of December 1749. He was sent to be a pastor of the Lutherans in Pennsylvania, December 16th, 1752. Shortly after arriving to America with his wife and son, he became the pastor of St. Michael’s, an old log church along the Carlisle Pike, near Hanover, PA. He made many ministry tours helping to establish more than one hundred churches in Baltimore, Maryland, and several Pennsylvania Counties.

Dana’s chromosome segments likely inherited from ancestral couples

By identifying the DNA segments that you share with relatives with known shared ancestors, you can identify segments that you likely inherited from those shared ancestral couples, using the online DNA tool, DNA Painter.

(In some cases, my known relatives were descendants from other marriages of an ancestor, so instead of an ancestral couple, just the one ancestor is shown as contributing that segment.)

Here is what I have been able to determine on my dad’s side:

Here is what I have been able to determine on my mom’s side. (There are several anomalies, which are likely due to multiple relationships. The most glaring one is on chromosome 18 which has overlaps of relatives on both my grandfather’s Verbryck/Holt side and my grandmother’s Cornett/Pennington/Stamper sides. I believe that perhaps that the Holt and Pennington sides might be related somehow. They both have roots in Virginia…There are a lot of double+ relationships with DNA matches on my grandmother’s Cornett side of the family back in early Virginia and North Carolina! )

The rest of the key that wouldn’t fit in the original photo…

Likely Y-DNA Haplogroups for Surnames in my Tree

I thought it might be interesting to look at other surnames in my tree and try to find likely relatives in other surname projects at ftDNA. There are also a few basic Y-DNA haplogroups for some of my matches at 23 and Me.

To recap what I have determined or postulate on my dad’s Kelley/Kelly side:

  • Kelly (Irish): After testing to big Y700 at FtDNA, My newphew was assigned a new haplogroup branch, R-BY123821. My nephew’s closest matches have also tested further and beed reassigned to R-BY68219. (These matches and most if not all, my nephew’s matches seem to descend from David O’Kellia, and early immigrant to Massachusetts.)  All are in the Irish Type III group on the L21 Descendant Tree, some members of which are thought to have descended from Brian Boru.
The Full R1b-L21 chart

  • Auen: An Auen match at 23 and Me was identified as having the R-L2 yDNA haplogroup. The Auens were from East Friesland in Germany.
  • Brocksen: I recently found Brocksen relative at 23andMe. He was assigned the haplogroup: I-Z58. My great-grandmother, Marie Brocksen Reimers, emigrated from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and descends from the famous German poet, Barthold Heinrich Brockes.

On my Grandpa Clifford’s side:

  • Clifford (Norman English- Herefordshire-) also likely belongs to the basic haplogroup R-M269. It is the most common European haplogroup, most frequent in western Europe. It is thought to have arisen in Western Asia or Europe about 4,000- 10,000 years ago near the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution. New research questions the idea that it spread with expansion of agriculture. Current distribution may have been the result of major population movements occurring after the Neolithic agricultural transition. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)
  • Irwin (Scotch-Irish) likely belonged to haplogroup R-FGC34569 which is also in R-M269. It is downstream of L555 which is clearly identified with the “Border Irwins” on the L21 Descendent Tree.
  • Decker (Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein) likely belonged to haplogroup R-DF98. This is also in R-M269, but in the U106 branch that is more frequent in Friesland. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)

  • Holt (Germany) likely belonged to J-M172(J2)/J-PF5456. Although I have not traced this tree back, I have DNA matches who descend from a Hans Michael Holt (b. 30 Dec 1696 in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, d. Orange, North Carolina, USA) It gets difficult to tease apart Virginia and North Carolina matches from Grandma’s Cornett side, but I thought this might be a likely ancestor…J-M172 is thought to have originated between the Caucasus Mountains. It is most common in Western Asia. “The PF5456 subclade is barely 2500 years old and would have emerged and propagated after the founding of Rome. Outside Italy, it is now found in such varied places as Portugal, Spain, France, Britain, Belgium, southern Germany [Baden-Württemberg is in southern Germany], Austria, Bulgaria, Tunisia or Lebanon, all regions colonized by the Romans.” Many Ashkenazi Jews also appear to belong to this subclade.

On Grandma Clifford’s Cornett side:

  • Cornett/Cornutt (Southhampton?, England) likely belonged to I-FGC21683. Cornett family lore claims descent from the Danish King Cnut, King of Denmark, England and Norway– the North Sea Empire. Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 after centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. Yet after the deaths of his heirs within a decade of his own, his legacy was largely lost. Since he had no legitimate living heirs, claim of descent from him is called into question. However, this haplogroup, mostly found in Norway does suggest descent from Vikings.

  • Stamper (Cumberland, England) likely belonged to R-BY152352. This is downstream from R-M269/U106 which suggests descent from Germanic Frisians like the Deckers above. (See R1b Descendant Tree near the end of this page.)
  • Baugher/Bager belonged to R1b-BY250 > Y15982 > BY20244 which is considered Northern Germanic. (This haplogroup lies somewhere in the gold oval in the R1b Descendent Tree below.) Our first Bager in the U.S. was born in Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany which is on the western border of Germany between Luxembourg and Alsace. Johannus Georgius Bager studied theology at University of Halle. He came from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1752 and helped to to establish many Lutheran churches in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
  • Higginbotham likely belonged to R-L2. It is also in the R-M269 group but is in the R-U152 group that appears mostly in SE Germany. “According to some family traditions, the family went from Germany to England at an early date and settled at Hayfield or Glossop, in Derbyshire.” “Early in the seventeenth century the cousins Otwell and John Higgenbotham settled in the Barbados, in the West Indies. The will of Otwell, dated 1649 and proved at London about 1651, mentions his cousin, Captain John Higginbotham, in the Barbados, and his children…”
Kelly & Irwin are L21, My husband’s Bressette is DF27, Higginbotham is U152, and Decker & Stamper are U106.
This shows a likely expansion of the R1b group M269

Ed’s Family Ethnicities

We get 50% of our nuclear DNA from each of our parents. But because of how chromosomes recombine and divide during meiosis, the contribution that we get from our grandparents can vary, even though the PROBABILITY is 25%. Therefore, each generation of more distant ancestors may contribute varying amounts to our genome.

What we know about Ed’s ancestry:

Edmund Bressette, Sr:

Tracing back his tree, Ed Sr. is all French Canadian.  I have only found one German amongst all the French. I have not been able to verify the family lore of any Iroquois, or other Native American in either the tree or the DNA analysis.—

This is also confirmed with his, and Ed Jr’s inclusion in the French Settlers Along the St. Lawrence Genetic Community:

Overview: “Many French settlers of the St. Lawrence Valley came to present-day Québec, Canada, to work in the fur trade. They lived in a harsh climate surrounded by dangerous wilderness and hostile native tribes. Life became even more challenging after the French and Indian War when the British assumed control and classified French Canadians as second-class citizens. While some left for New England and industrialized cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit, those who remained created a strong community centered around Catholicism and their French heritage.”

Here is the new ethnicity estimate for Ed Sr.:

It is pretty much as would be expected. It is likely that many of his ancestors were from Normandy which could account for the 10% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe.

Pam Scott Bressette:

Pam’s mother, Malvina Schumacher Scott, is mostly all ethnic German. Her ancestors settled in North & South Dakota after living a couple of generations in “Little Russia” or the Odessa region in the Ukraine. Most were originally from Alsace, some from other parts of Germany.

This is also confirmed with Pam and Ed Jr’s inclusion in the Germans from Alsace-Lorraine in North Dakota Genetic Community:

Overview: “German-speaking immigrants first came to America for familiar reasons: land, economic opportunity, and religious freedom. Ongoing revolutions in Germany prompted many more to follow. In America they were known as excellent farmers whose hard work and unique culture transformed the American Midwest, which even today has the highest proportion of German ancestry in America. However, despite their contributions, they faced prejudice and discrimination during World War I and World War II.”

The biggest puzzle has been Pam’s father’s, Oren Scott’s ancestry. Since he was adopted, It has taken a lot of research to determine his ancestry.

I have confirmed that his biological mother was Mildred Kathleen Bearns (1905-?). She was born in South Africa, the daughter of a prospector originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her ancestry appears to be mostly English & Irish.

I have also determined that the man, Mildred Bearns married was not the father of her baby. (Oren was born less than 5 months after she married.) I am now pretty sure his biological father was a Canadian trucker by the name of Carlton Lundy, the only son of Alice Rand (1904-?). Pam has a lot of DNA cousin matches with the Rand family. The Rand family originated in New England, mostly Maine & Rhode Island. The Lundy family traces back through Manitoba & Ontario, back to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, & Connecticut with some French & Scottish lines. Pam has some distant cousin matches related to this line—I am waiting to get some closer matches before I am absolutely certain of this relationship.

Both of these lines on her father’s side are likely where Pam gets her connection to the Settlers of Colonial New England Genetic Community:

Overview: “Long a haven for English colonists, the rocky coast of New England welcomed newcomers from the Palatinate region of Germany and Scots-Irish from northern Ireland in the 1700s. After the French and Indian War, the British increased taxes on the colonists and tensions began to rise. Boston became the center of the revolutionary spirit until the American colonies won their independence. Eventually mills and manufacturing overshadowed farming, and Boston and New York became crucial international ports and centers of American literature, culture, and the arts.”

Here is Pam’s new ethnicity estimate:

I would have expected more German than what is predicted here. It should be closer to 50%, but the Northwestern Europe category appears to include Alsace, barely, and some of Germany. It is likely that some or most of the Scandinavian is from her mother’s side, too.

I expected at least 14% Ireland & Scotland from her dad’s side, with most of the rest (~32-36%) being English. So it appears that Pam may have received 1/2 of  her England, Wales & Northwestern Europe from each of her parents.

Here is Ed Jr’s New Ethnicity Estimate:

Comparing Ed Jr’s actual estimate with his (predicted) estimate using his parents’ estimates I get the following:

  • France 45% (45%)
  • England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 34% (37)
  • Ireland & Scotland 10% (9%)
  • Germanic Europe 6% (5%)
  • Sweden 3% (2.5%)
  • Norway 1 % (1.5%)

So it is pretty close, except from whence did the 1% Sardinia come? I would guess mostly from his dad’s side, but in order for it to show up in Ed Jr. and not in Ed Sr., he might have got some from his mom’s side, too!

Here is Edmund Jr.’s results compared with his son, Sky’s:

If I compare what Sky’s actual results are with what would be (expected) from averaging his dad’s and mine, I get the following:

  • England, Wales & Northwest Europe: 79% (45%)
  • Germanic Europe: 7% (16%)
  • Sweden: 6% (1.5%)
  • France: 4% (22.5%)
  • Ireland & Scotland: 3% (10.5%)
  • Norway: 1% (4%)
  • Sardinia: 0% (0.5%)

He appears to have inherited much more of the English than any of the other ethnicities. He didn’t get much of the French, German or Irish! Looking at the following chart, it looks like he got about 7.5% more DNA from his Grandma B than his Grandpa B.

Here is a comparison of DNA shared amongst the Bressettes and the Scotts: (Percentages on the bottom left half of the matrix and the actual centimorgans shared across/# of segments on the top right.)

The biggest anomaly here is that Amy Farrigan, (Ed’s Sr’s niece and Ed Jr’s cousin appear to share half the DNA than would be expected. (Lisa shared Brad’s results with me, but I don’t have Karstin & Kelsey’s, so I can’t compare them to each other. It also takes a manager to update to new ethnicity estimates, Brad and his girls haven’t done so— I can’t compare apples to apples!)

Old Analyses:

DNA Ethnicity comparisons of Ed’s family

These percentages from DNA results are only estimates, median values of a range of possibilities. The width of the range depends on how heterogeneous or homogeneous that ethnic group is.

It is important to note how they come up with these estimates. They compare our DNA to a sample group of individuals from each region. It sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish distinct ethnic groups, depending on how much interbreeding occurred between groups. Those living close to trade routes or coastlines subject to invasion are likely to be genetically diverse than those who were more isolated.

Since Ed Sr. came up with a lot of Great Britain and no Europe West, it seems likely that much of his French were Norman.

Kelley Family Ethnicity Estimates

I have added/rearranged this post as new updated ethnicity estimates have become available.

When we were growing up we were told that we were “Scotch, Irish & German.” It is difficult, however, to trace back from where all my mom’s ancestors immigrated. Many were some of the first immigrants to the New World in New Netherland (New York & New Jersey) and Virginia.  I have reached dead ends in some lines.

Here is a map of how many of my ancestors migrated across America, mostly on my mom’s side. (My dad’s family settled in Iowa and then moved to California where I was born.):

To begin, it helps to have some understanding of genetics. Although we are guaranteed to get 1/2 of our genes from our fathers and 1/2 from our mothers (actually a little more from our mothers, if you include the little extra on the X chromosome for males and mitochondrial DNA). We are likely to get 1/4 from each of our grandparents, but that can vary depending on which genes were contributed to us by our parents. So the estimated percentages, that I came up with from my tree were based on an 1/8 from great-grandparents, 1/16 from 2nd great-grandparents, 1/32 from 3rd great-grandparents, etc….

Here is an estimate for my mom based on the family tree (I mostly used Mom’s 3rd great grandparents as a basis.)

  • English: 41% (Most of the Cornett, Stamper, Woodrum sides, many were early settlers in Virgina [may include some Irish & French]; also the Cliffords in New Jersey & Pennsylvania.)
  • German (Click on Link to see some short biographies) 25% (The Hildebrand side (PA) [includes some Alsatian]; The Hackler/Hechler side (PA & VA) [includes some Alsatian and Swiss]; and Baugher/Bager (PA, VA, IN) side.)
    • German and/or English? 3-6% (The Holt side KY, VA, NC plus unknown maiden name for Mary Holt??)
  • Dutch 8% (The Verbryck (NJ) side and the Decker (NJ & PA) side were descended from early settlers in New Netherland, although they were mostly Dutch, it included settlers from Belgium, France, Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, East Friesland, Spain, Norway, & England.)
    • ?? unknown maiden name for Isabella Decker–3%
  • Irish/Manx? 6% (The Lawson (PA)–might really be McLaren; see the Lawson/McLaren surname entry here.) Maiden name of Sarah Lawson: Fleming means from Flanders, the northern Dutch-speaking region of Belgium.)
  • Scottish 6% possibly? (from surnames Gordon [NJ & PA, VA?]; and Scott [NC])
  • Scotch-Irish 5% (Irwin [PA], new information has the Irwins descending from Ulster Scots; McGatta possibly comes from there, too.)

Following are new ethnicity estimates from AncestryDNA, which appear much more accurate:

Here is the new estimate from AncestryDNA for my mom, Doretta Clifford Kelley:

Versus her old estimate:

She appears to have lost all her Irish! –And many of those odd trace ethnicities. She went to having just a trace Great Britain to 92% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe. I would have expected more German and Irish. But remember that there have been lots of migrations in Europe and many of the people of England are really French, German and Scandinavian as well as Celtic. People have been interbreeding for millennia.

Dana Kelley Bressette’s New Estimate:

Eric Kelley’s New Estimate:

Bruce Kelley’s New Estimate:

Eric appears to have gotten some Swedish and a trace of Finnish  and has more Norwegian than me. Bruce did not show any Scandinavian. Bruce and I ended up with more Irish; and I got a little more English and less German than Bruce and Eric. Otherwise, we are all now more similar. Eric’s changed significantly from his previous estimate. He went from having 78% British to 47% England, etc. (which did not make sense, since mom’s previous estimate had her as < 1%!) You can see the older estimates if you scroll down to older ethnicity analyses that I had done.

If I average mine, Eric’s and Bruce’s together, I get the following estimate for my dad, Dean Kelley:

  • Germanic Europe: 55 %
  • Norway: 13%
  • Sweden: 3 %
  • ——-  = 71% added together
  • England, Wales, Northwestern Europe: 12%
  • Ireland & Scotland: 19%
  • ——- = 31% added together

(There is an extra 2% because the math showed a -2% Finnish)

We know that all 4 of my dad’s grandparents emigrated from Europe so what we might expect would be:

So the results come out close to what we would expect.

**I still like to say my “Ethnic Center” is in the middle of the North Sea!

Here’s how my DNA ethnicity compares to actual birth locations of ancestors as far as I have been able to determine.

My son and both Eric’s sons and one of Bruce’s daughters also have tested with ancestryDNA.

Here is my husband, Edmund’s results compared with my son, Sky’s:

My husband’s father was all French Canadian, his maternal grandmother was all ethnic German/Alsatian. His maternal grandfather was adopted, but we know he was at least 1/4 Irish and probably at least 1/4 English on his mom’s side. The dad’s side, if I have identified him correctly, appears to go back to New England, so is likely mostly English.

If I compare what Sky’s actual results are with what would be (expected) from looking at his dad’s and mine, I get the following:

  • England, Wales & Northwest Europe: 79% (45%)
  • Germanic Europe: 7% (16%)
  • Sweden: 6% (1.5%)
  • France: 4% (22.5%)
  • Ireland & Scotland: 3% (10.5%)
  • Norway: 1% (4%)
  • Sardinia: 0% (0.5%)

He appears to have inherited much more of the English than any of the other ethnicities. He didn’t get much of the French, German or Irish! (It does look like he got about 7% more DNA from his Grandma B than his Grandpa B, if I compare actual cM shared with his grandparents.

Here is are Eric’s son’s results compared with each other:

If I average their results and compare it with their dad, I come up with the following estimate for their mom, compare it with her (sister), who has also tested with ancestryDNA ~then average the 2:

  • England, Wales, Northwestern Europe: 39% (21%)~30%
  • Sweden: 21% (19%)~20%
  • Norway: 10% (35%)~22.5%
  • German: 16% (0%)~16%
  • Finland: 14% (18%)~16%
  • Baltic: 2% (0%)~1%
  • Ireland & Scotland 0% (7%)~2%

According to her tree her grandparent’s ethnicities are as follows:

  • One goes way back in the U.S, and has English, Welsh, and French, at least, which probably accounts for most of the English, Welsh, Etc.
  • One had Swedish grandparents, so we would expect ~25% Swedish.
  • One had parents that went back to Galicia, which was part of the Austrian Empire, but is now part of Western Ukraine.—This is the one that is most puzzling. You would expect something from Eastern Europe, but maybe that is where she gets most of her German.
  • One had Norwegian parents, so we would expect ~25% Norwegian.

Bruce’s Daughter, Rose:

Here is a comparison of Bruce and his daughter, Rose:

Rose’s mother was born in Sweden, so we should expect a large amount of Swedish and other Scandinavian. The math does not work out very well if I try to come up with an estimate for her mother, but if I throw out the negative numbers for England (-29%) & German (-29%) and spread the rest out proportionally, I get:

  • Sweden: 53%
  • Norwegian: 37%
  • Finnish: 9%
  • Ireland & Scotland: 1% (Maybe those Vikings brought back some Celtic brides.)

It is important to note that although Bruce did not show any Norwegian, Swedish, or Finnish, Eric and I did. So he could still have had some trace amounts that could show up in his daughter and maybe could have had an additive effect in combination with her mother’s DNA?

The following chart shows the amount of DNA we share with each other, at least according to what was tested by Ancestry. The charts below show what would be expected probabilities for each relationship.

Rose seems to be the biggest outlier here. She and I share about 4% more DNA than would be expected. She also shares 3-4+% more with Dean and Sky than would be expected, and about 2% more than what would be expected with her grandmother. Dean shares about 4% less with his grandmother than would be expected, but 2% more with his brother than would be expected. Bruce shares ~3% less with Guy than would be expected and Eric shares ~2% less with Sky than would be expected.

What seems most interesting here is that many people have remarked how alike Rose and I are in looks and personality!

Old Analyses:

I have now gotten ethnicity reports from 4 different companies. The results are “all over the map,” so to speak, which indicates that this is not an exact science! I am still mostly North and Western European, although the most recent results show a lot more Eastern European and a bit more Southwestern (Iberian) European. I don’t know if it makes sense to average them..but I did..

When I had my brother, Eric tested. His ethnicity came up very different from my mom and I.

We get 50% of our nuclear DNA from each of our parents. But because of how chromosomes recombine and divide during meiosis, the contribution that we get from our grandparents can vary, even though the PROBABILITY is 25%. Therefore, each generation of more distant ancestors may contribute varying amounts to our genome.

That said, these percentages from DNA results are only estimates, median values of a range of possibilities. The width of the range depends on how heterogeneous or homogeneous that ethnic group is.

It is important to note how they come up with these estimates. They compare our DNA to a sample group of individuals from each region. It sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish distinct ethnic groups, depending on how much interbreeding occurred between groups. Those living close to trade routes or coastlines subject to invasion are likely to be genetically diverse than those who were more isolated.

The most surprising result is Eric’s large amount of Great Britain and his small amount of Europe West and Irish.

Great Britain: Primarily located in: England, Scotland, Wales
Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy.

There may be several different explanations for this. It may be that our Irish Great grandfather, Andrew Kelley, had Scottish & British ancestry. His mother’s maiden name was McKettrick (Irish/Scottish, ‘son of Sitric’ from the Norse personal name Sigtryggr, for ‘true victory’ or conqueror.) His grandmother’s maiden name was Britt (an ethnic name for a Celtic-speaking Briton or a Breton).

Dad’s German great-grandparents were all from the North Sea German provinces. His Grandpa & Grandma Reimers were from Schleswig-Holstein. His Grandma Kelley (Auen) was from East Friesland. This is where the Angles and Saxons that populated England originated.

But how could Eric get 78% Great Britain when mom only showed <1%? The only thing I can guess is that there must have been some kind of synergistic expression when combined with dad’s contribution. We know that much of Grandma’s C’s ancestry was British (probably about 3/4). On Grandpa C’s side, the Cliffords, at least, were British (He was probably about 1/4 British). So mom should have come up as about 30-50% Great Britain. (See more estimates based on our family tree further down on the page).

Mom said she was always told she was “Scotch, Irish & German.” As far as I have been able to determine. She only has about 9% Scotch, 13+% Irish, & 20% German.  She actually SHOULD be “English, German, Irish, Dutch, Scottish.” based on our family tree.

So much of the comparison i did earlier is thrown out the window, especially the calculations I did to try and estimate Dad’s DNA ethnicity…


I have had DNA tests done for my mom and myself, and for Edmund and his mom. It is interesting to compare the ethnicity estimates with the actual places from where our ancestors immigrated.

It is important to note that these are just estimates. AncestryDNA  “creates estimates for… genetic ethnicity by comparing…DNA to the DNA of other people who are native to a region. The AncestryDNA reference panel (version 2.0) contains 3,000 DNA samples from people in 26 global regions.” 

The charts give a percentage for each ethnicity. This is a median value. The actual percentage is likely to be somewhere within the lower and upper ranges given on the chart. Some regions, such as Ireland, are more homogeneous; they have less genetic variation. Whereas Europe West & Scandinavia are more heterogeneous, and have more genetic variation. This is certainly a factor of immigration,  interbreeding, and history of invasions (including rape, captive slaves, political marriages, etc. hopefully only in the distant past!), among European populations.

From ancestryDNA
From ancestryDNA

Dana Kelley Bressette

Ethnicity Estimate

Danas ethnicity estimate2


From ancestryDNA
From ancestryDNA

Doretta Clifford Kelley

Ethnicity Estimate

From ancestryDNA
From ancestryDNA

It seems odd that mom did not show more ethnicity from Great Britain, by my figuring she should have 40% (England & Scotland), but she only shows only 0-7% in her DNA analysis. But her Irish was higher; perhaps many of her English ancestors were actually Irish? By looking at the ethnicities of our DNA matches, it seems likely that her European Jewish comes from the German side.

AncestryDNA has also matched us with many distant cousins. I have communicated and shared information with several of them. Here are the numbers of distant cousins so far that we have established one or more confirmed shared ancestors:

  • Cornett: ~137
  • Verbryck: ~62
  • Woodrum: ~45
  • Clifford: ~22

The Cornetts, seem to have been especially prolific!


By comparing my mom’s estimate and my estimate, I can calculate an estimate for my dad, Dean Kelley (I had to fudge the numbers a bit so they didn’t end up greater than 100%, the calculated numbers added up to 109%):

  • Europe West: 50%
  • Scandinavia: 17%
  • Great Britain: 16%
  • Ireland: 14%
  • Finland/Northwest Russia: 3%
  • Europe East: 1%

I was initially surprised that most of my 25% Irish came from my mom’s side. But considering that Andrew Kelley’s mother’s maiden name was McKettrick (Scottish) and his grandmother’s maiden name was Britt (British), the Great Britain estimate is not so surprising. And we all know the Scandinavian Vikings spread their genes all around Europe (as well as their captives). The Frisians were also a seafaring folk; they may be closely related to early settlers in Great Britain. (Frisian is somewhat similar to English).

My DNA cousin matches on my dad’s side only show a few confirmed shared ancestors (one Kelley, and a couple Auens). I think that it is mostly due to the fact they were more recent immigrants and they seem to have had a lower birth rate. It also depends on who becomes interested in genealogy and actually has a test done.