Friday, March 17, 2017

Filles de Roi, Normandy, and DNA Industry Doubts

Does this map explain my weird results on the Ancestry Autosomal DNA test?  It was a little bit of a shock. When I got my results a week or so ago, I expected to see Britain, Scotland, a little Scandinavia and lots of Western Europe.

Instead, I got Britain, Caucasus, Italy, Aegean islands and Scandinavia.

Although I adore all things Italian, I am half French Canadian back to the early 1600s and allegedly have a British father  from the North of England.

Confused, I read up  on the subject and it seems it's all a bit of a crap shoot. If you read the 'small print' and not the marketing jargon, the companies don't deny it, either.

 "Like a ouiji board," one scientist on one such site admits.  On top of it, these ancestry DNA companies, all of them, really screw up when it comes to French mainland ethnicity and French Canadian, too, which is 90 percent from France.

This confusion  probably only sows more profits for these ancestry testing companies. I certainly feel the need to take more tests, or maybe get my twin brother to take a paternal line Y Chromosome test for, yikes, 300 dollars. Then, again, with all the ethical issues surrounding DNA technology, maybe it's only good citizenship to bone up on the topic.

Still, while surfing, I was surprised to see how a woman who is half Western Europe  and half Sicilian got EXACTLY  the same ethnicity results as I did at Ancestry.  Another program online confirms I have genes from either Sicily, Cyprus or Malta.

Sicilian? I began to wonder. Are my genes why I am spending the cold winter of 2017 learning Italian online, watching live streaming scenes from Genoa, and taking another course on Roman Architecture?

Does my French Canadian mother look Sicilian?

No, here it is all explained in one chart. (Very likely, anyway.)

I just traced my mother's maternal line back to Normandy (Protestants for three generations in Quebec, I think). I hit a brick wall going backwards marriage-to-marriage in the Drouin Catholic Church collection, but I found someone else's extensive tree that had it all worked out.

There are a lot of French Canadians doing their trees because the online scans at BANQ etc. make it all so easy.

My mother always said her people came from Normandy. Her father's line I traced to Poitou in the Loire district, the same place many Acadians came from.

And there are about 500 other lines to go.

I have traced about eight other lines back to France and I have already found three Filles de Roi, as it were. One girl had no recorded parents ( Francoise Boivin my furthest maternal line ancestor out of Quebec) and one had parents in France and a dowry of 200 dollars.

So, not all of these  Filles de Roi were prostitutes or jailbirds, choosing to take the treacherous journey to the land of ice and maple syrup rather than hang for stealing a ribbon, or something.

(One of my immigrant ancestors from 1630 or so was a vintner back in Picardy. Are you crazy man?)

As yet, I haven't found any huge families in my tree. Yes, the biggest family was 13, but from one of the first families to arrive, so I don't count it.

I haven't found any unusual first names, either. I have spent a lot of time on the 1911 Canadian census and my fellow French Canadians at that time had strange highly creative names.

Well, my ancestors so far are all Marguerites, Jacquelines and Louises among the many, many Maries.

And, I found only one woman, ah girl,  married at 12. I expected to find many more. Poor child. She, too, was a new immigrant. She only had one child who lived and she died at 23. I wonder  if she suffered miscarriages in-between. Maybe I'll try to write a story about her, but that'll take some research, won't it?

                               My genes, through the prism of Eurogens on Gedmatch.