Scents can revive certain memories from years ago and pull you back into past events. We all have scents that are associated with our childhood, and whenever we feel homesick, we can cook that dish to feel as though we are at home. Some of us share collective memories, for instance, the smell of roast turkey can remind us of Thanksgiving. You catch a whiff of newspaper or freshly cut grass, and you immediately get immersed in your childhood memories.
It seems like siblings share the same family background, their ethnic background must be the same. After all, they both inherited half their DNA from each of the two parents. However, because of how DNA is passed on, siblings (not twins) with exactly the same ancestors can have different ethnicity breakdown. Culturally, they can say they are “1/8th Irish”, but at the DNA level, one may have no Irish genes at all.
It’s rather common for siblings to get different ethnic results from a DNA test, even though they have the same parents. There are several factors that can affect ethnic heritage.
Tracking Your Family Roots Through DNA Testing
To understand why people who share the same ancestors have different ethnicity results, you must have at least a basic knowledge of human genetics. We’re not going to delve deep into the science of DNA and genealogy, but there are some fundamentals you need to know.
Chromosomes consist of continuous thread-like molecules of DNA. Each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. There are different types of genealogy tests, but we will focus on autosomal testing since it is responsible for ethnicity estimates. The autosomal testing explores the first 22 pairs of chromosomes that are called autosomes (no surprises here). The 23rd pair of chromosomes determines your sex.
Each chromosome represents a long double helix on which thousands of genes are encoded. Genes define how our bodies grow and operate, as well as our build, complexion, and even taste. Also, genes determine your ethnicity.
DNA stores information about your ancestors and their place of living. However, because of the way genes are inherited by children, things get a bit complicated. The 22 pairs of autosomes that we have are not identical to your parents’ ones. Our reproductive cells take pieces from your parents’ chromosomes to create a new, unique configuration. The new DNA helices are very similar to those of your parents, yet not identical.
Children receive half of their chromosomes from each of their parents. At first sight, you might think that if your maternal grandfather is 50% German and 50% Italian, and your maternal grandmother is 100% French, that your mother would be 25% German, 25% Italian, and 50% French, but that’s not necessarily true.
The maternal grandmother can only pass on 50% of genes, so half the mother’s genes are French (50%). But the maternal grandfather can pass on either German or Italian genes, but won’t necessarily be an exact half of each.
With each new generation, another set of genes from each ethnicity will be passed down. Even within two generations, there will major differences at the siblings’ ethnicity estimate.
Typically, siblings share half of their DNA, and the other 50% can vary. Only twins have identical DNA. This means siblings may have a different ethnic breakdown, too.
Determining the Ethnicity Breakdown
The ethnicity breakdown can be resolved through single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In simple words, these are tiny pieces of DNA that vary depending on your ancestry.
People migrated significantly less than we do today and tended to marry within their own religious and ethnic groups, so these SNPs accumulated over time. If your DNA contains an SNP that appears solely in Greeks, then the odds are high that you have Greek ancestors.
Provided that DNA becomes increasingly mixed with each new generation, the siblings may get different ethnicity estimates. If you inherited many SNPs related to a particular ethnic group, your ethnic estimate for that group would be higher. On the other hand, if your sibling inherited less of it, their estimate will be lower.
One interesting consequence of this is that siblings can have different relative matches. Since they share only around half of the DNA, the relatives they are matched with won’t be exactly the same, either. You’re more likely to find more German and Italian relatives if these ethnicities dominate in your DNA. However, this mostly applies to more distant relatives. Close family members are more likely to see the same set of relatives.
Remember that genealogy testing companies use different methods to determine ethnicity estimate so the results may vary. This doesn’t mean the results are wrong or inaccurate. It just shows that if you want to get the most accurate results possible, you need several tests.
Though siblings share the same cultural and family roots, they can still have different genetic backgrounds. While at first glance this may seem strange, it’s actually a widespread phenomenon. This is the result of the complex relationship between genetics, ancestry, and ethnicity.
Don’t forget to visualize your ethnicity breakdown results! Use our genealogical tree builder and create detailed profiles for every ancestor you discover! Create amazing stories and share them with your friends and relatives!
When you start doing research, the first thing that comes to your mind is asking your family members about your family roots. Who else other than your parents and grandparents can tell more about your family history? However, completely neglecting online sources would be unreasonable.
For people researching their family history, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make new plans and set new goals for improving their ancestor’s research strategy. If you don’t know where to start from, here are some goals for you to work towards in 2019.
Updated on June 3, 2020
Conducting a family history research can be an exciting journey, though difficult. Anyone who has ever dug into their family history knows how time-consuming (and even frustrating) the process can be. The do-it-yourself approach to learning your ancestry may lead you down a series of blind alleys. We compiled advice to help you do your ancestry search – just keep reading and you will learn how to do the research like a pro!
Tips on the Correct Way to Research Family History
Make a Plan
To succeed in genealogy research, you need to have a clear plan of action. It is better to start off with smaller goals that can be changed over time rather than going at full speed and hit a brick wall. Spend time collecting information and documenting your family in small pieces as you work towards the larger goal of filling out your family tree.
1. Set an objective. Focus on a particular story about an ancestor or a family you are interested in most of all. Aim to uncover any data relating to them.
2. List known facts. Make some notes during your search. This will help you organize information and rest assured you don’t miss anything important.
3. Identify sources. Once you have established your hypothesis, list all the data that can be potentially useful based on what you have learned during step 2.
4. Make a working hypothesis. Combine all the facts you have discovered about the ancestor in a single story. For example:
James Evans was born in London, the UK. In 1903, he got married to Emme Wilson and had two children, Megan and Harry. His first wife died in 1028. After a while, he married Laura Johnson and they moved to America. While in Denver, their daughter Emily was born. James and Laura both died in Denver. James’ children from first wife, Megan and Harry, settled in Florida. Emily moved to Canada.
5. Start your online family tree. Start building an online family tree to organize your results. As you continue to find new details it is important to store your research data. Enter important information in your family tree builder, including names, dates, and places to build a solid foundation as you continue exploring your ancestry.
Note: Remember to re-evaluate your goals sometimes. If you have hit an inevitable brick wall, don’t stare at it but rather take a step back and think. In this case, it is better to switch focus to nearby relatives.
Every journey starts at home. Start the research about your ancestors by having a conversation with your relatives. This will help you learn about your ancestors more closely.
Your older relatives are living libraries and can save you so much time and effort. Even if you have heard your family stories and legends for many times already, taking time to interview your relatives and asking specific questions can help reveal new details. Quiz them about your grandparents and, if possible, beyond. Ask them to identify people and places in old photos and don’t forget to learn all basic information like ethnic background, occupations, addresses, military service, where relatives are buried, and other important clues.
Treasure Hunt at Home
At this stage, you can start searching for records, personal correspondence, and old photos somewhere in the attic, basement or drawers. Documents with dates are especially helpful. Some clues may be hiding in plain view at home – just keep your eyes open.
You may involve your relatives in the process of discovering your roots. Explain what you are doing and why guide each other. This can save you a great deal of research time.
Research at Archives
Archives are the number one place to go if you want to learn about your past. However, before visiting an archive or record office for family history research you need to discover what you really need to know and the types of records that may hold that information.
Some archival material may not be cataloged beyond the title and asking information on a specific ancestor may be unfruitful. Contact the archive to find out of they are likely to hold the material you need or any other relevant material.
Use the information you have collected to search online. There are websites that collect genealogy records and resources from around the world. They provide various books, online records, and publications to ease your mission. Look for local history centers or go to a library – there you can get access to various online databases, like immigration and emigration books, border crossings and passports information, citizenship and naturalization records, and many others.
If you don’t know where to look for records and other data, you may want to check out our list of best genealogy websites. There, we have collected the richest and the most reputable online databases where you could find information about your ancestors.
Get a DNA Test
A DNA test can help you determine deep ancestry and lead you to people and places you would never find simply by doing some paperwork. DNA tests are immensely popular today, both among seasoned and novice researchers. However, there are some things to consider.
Genetic testing is an extremely powerful tool, but you need a clear understanding of what to expect and how to use the results. Don’t expect that a genetic test will help you avoid routine paperwork. DNA tests are definitely worthwhile but be prepared that you will still have to conduct traditional documentary research.
Don’t Neglect Social Media
Through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you can connect with people with the same ancestral surnames and look for organizations, archives and libraries, and other services in your ancestor’s birthplace. Besides that, you can find people who live in your ancestor’s hometown and contact them to ask some questions.
Besides that, you can join various networks of family historians and make new connections to gain insight into how to expand your family history resources.
What’s Been Done Before?
It is worth checking if anyone else had been doing genealogy research into your family before. There are social networks where people can register their research interests and this can be a way of finding information. The Society of Genealogists library maintains published and unpublished family histories notes. However, you should never copy information from someone’s online tree without proper verification. Instead, use this data as a helper only. Take the time to make sure every piece of information is backed by a source document.
Get Organized and Keep Going
The first weeks of your journey might be tedious since it is not that easy to collect facts about relatives. Plus the amounts of data you have gathered may be difficult to process and systematize. To organize everything you have discovered, choose an online genealogical database to help you keep the data.
Beginning genealogists often wonder how long it will take to finish research. The truth is that genealogy is a never-ending challenge, since the farther back you go, the more ancestors you are likely to discover. However, there is something enticing about genealogy – though you never know where your family roots will lead you, the search can be both intriguing and enlightening.
The genealogy boom started around 20 years ago. However, records, resources, and even technology were limited at that time. These days you can find all the necessary information with a single click so you basically don’t even need to get out of the chair to find records. The journey to family lineage has never been easier. Continue reading “The Origins of a Family Tree”
RON WEASLEY FAMILY TREE
This famous wizarding family from a series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling is known for their red hair, money misfortunes and goodwill towards half-blood wizards and Muggles. The family made the Sacred Twenty-Eight, a list which comprised families that did not intermarry with muggles. However, they bewailed their inclusion in this list since, as they said they had connections with Muggles and were proud of it. Because of that fact, the Weasley family gained disapproval of the pure-blood doctrine advocates and were dubbed blood traitors.
The family is not exceptionally well-off financially, and we know from the books that on numerous occasions their deposit at wizards’ bank Gringotts consisted of only a single galleon and a bunch of sickles.
All generations in the Weasley family had large numbers of children, which was met with disapproval by many elitist pureblood families. Besides that, for several generations children from the Weasley family have been male. This trend terminated only in 1981 with the birth of Ginny Weasley, and the latest generation included more girls than boys.
Let’s take a closer look at this wonderful family and learn a bit more about its members.
How Many Weasleys Are There
Arthur and Molly Weasley
Arthur Weasley was born into a family of pure-blood wizards. His parents were Septimus and Cedrella Weasley (formerly Black). Since the Weasley were considered a family of blood traitors, Cedrella’s marriage to Arthur caused her to be burnt out from the Black family. From 1970 to 1996 Arthur headed the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts office which let him explore the non-magical world. As of 1996 was the head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects. He was especially passionate about collecting electric plugs and batteries. Arthur also was a secret member of the Order of Phoenix.
Molly Weasley (formerly Prewett) eloped with Arthur and settled in Burrow, an old, dilapidated house outside of Ottery St Catchpole. Though known as a loving mother and wife, she was never one to be fooled with, as she proved once and for all in a fierce duel with Bellatrix Lestrange.
Arthur and Molly had seven children – William, Charles, Percy, Fred, George, Ronald, and Ginevra.
Weasley Family Tree – Next Generation
William “Bill” Weasley is the oldest child. He was a high achiever at Hogwarts and thus set the bar high for other children in the family. After graduation from Hogwarts, he became a Curse-Breaker for Gringotts in Egypt. In 1995, he came back to England and joined the Order of the Phoenix. During this time, he was dating Fleur Delacour and married her in August 1997. During the Battle of the Lightning-Struck Tower, Bill got his face scarred by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback. However he didn’t turn into a werewolf, just got a craving for rare steaks.
Fleur Delacour was a student of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and represented it in the 1994 Triwizard Tournament. Just like her husband, she was a member of the Order of the Phoenix. She took part in the Battle of Hogwarts and was awarded bravery medals by both the British and French Ministries of Magic. Bill and Fleur had three children, Victoire, Dominique, and Louis.
Charles Weasley was an exceptional Seeker and was chosen the Gryffindor Quidditch team captain. Charles worked as a dragonologist in Romania. He is fascinated by magical creatures and rather preferred studying dragons to having romantic relationships, so he never got married and didn’t have children.
Percy Weasley can be called the most ambitious of all Weasley children since he dreamt of becoming the Minister of Magic. He graduated from Hogwarts with excellent grades and started his career at the Ministry of Magic in the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Percy’s ambitions caused a split between him and his family but he got back on to his family’s side during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Very little is known about Percy’s wife Audrey. It is not known whether she worked at the Ministry or not. However, we may rest assured that she knew all their regulations and rules in detail due to her husband’s meticulousness. Percy and Audrey have two daughters: Molly and Lucy.
Fred & George Weasley
Fred and George Weasley are twin brothers and both are known as Troublemakers-in-Chief since they liked pranks and inventing trick sweets. Shortly before graduation they decided to leave school and created the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (aka Weasley & Weasley) joke shop. Both brothers were Beaters for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Tragically, Fred was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts, which left his family devastated.
Just like his twin brother, George is a member of the Order of the Phoenix and took part in the Battle of the Seven Potters and the Battle of Hogwarts. While being on a mission for the Order of Phoenix, George lost his ear in a battle, only to joke that he felt saint-like (or “holey”). After the end of the Second Wizarding War, George married Angelina Johnson.
Angelina Johnson played Quidditch as a Chaser for the Gryffindor team and during her last year at Hogwarts she was made the team’s captain. She was a member of the resistance group called “Dumbledore’s Army”. Angelina and George had two children, a son named Fred, in honor of his twin brother Fred, and a daughter named Roxanne.
Ronald Weasley is the youngest son of Arthur and Molly. Ron was sorted into the Gryffindor House and often felt outshined by his elder successful brothers. Fortunately, his fears proved to be groundless. He was a very skilled Wizard’s Chess player and succeeded as a Quidditch Keeper. He was also appointed a Gryffindor prefect. Together with friends Harry and Hermione he fought in countless battles of the Second Wizarding War and overcame many challenges. Ron eventually married Hermione and had two children, Rose and Hugo Granger-Weasley.
Hermione Granger was born in a Muggle family. She was gifted in almost all subjects and was one of the finest minds to ever attend Hogwarts. She played a crucial role in many battles of the Second Wizarding War. After the war, she married Ron Weasley and eventually became the Minister of Magic.
Ginevra Weasley was the first girl to be born in the Weasley lineage for several generations. She had impressive skills at playing Quidditch and was appointed a Chaser and a Seeker at different times. She also played an important role in Dumbledore’s Army and fought in many battles during the Second Wizarding War. After the war, she started her career at the Holyhead Harpies, but after marriage to Harry Potter and having children, James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna, she was offered the position of a sports editor for the Daily Prophet.
Harry Potter, the legendary “Boy Who Lived” first met the Weasley family at the King’s Cross station and quickly made friends with Ron. He was always treated as a fully-fledged member in the Weasley family. After he married Ginny this status was made official. In 2007 Harry was promoted to the Head of the Auror Office and would occasionally give Defence Against the Dark Arts lectures at Hogwarts.
Weasleys have a truly exciting family tree, don’t they? What if your family is no less interesting? Let’s check that! Make your own family tree using our building tool and share your personal story with friends and relatives!
DO I HAVE ROYAL BLOOD?
“Do I have royal blood?” Nowadays more and more people are starting to ask this question. Many of us fantasized about being a descendant from a wealthy, noble family in childhood – the premise of numerous fairytales, books, and movies.
Today the DNA tests are more affordable and accurate, meaning that we have more of a chance to delve deep into our ancestry. While a genetic test helps to determine an ethnic breakdown, which means we can figure out whether two individuals have a common forebearer, humanity hasn’t yet invented a method to establish his identity. This means we still don’t have any test for royal blood.
However, if you don’t give up that easily, you can do a small research of your own to learn if you do come from a royal bloodline.
Am I Related to Royalty: A Few Things to Consider
In 1999, Joseph Chang, professor of statistics at Yale University, showed that if you go back 900 years you will discover that each of us shares a common forebearer. The research by Graham Coop and Peter Ralph, that’s based on Chang’s study, states that all Europeans descend from the same people.
How Do I Know If I Have Royal Blood? A Historical Record Is the Best Proof
There are many family history resources where you can find relevant civil records. While church records may take you back as far as the 1600s, land records and other documents can track down your family history even further back.
However, in many cases, the lack of historical records stems from wars and changeovers of government bodies, or in many instances people simply didn’t attach value to them. Plus, in most cases, only the upper class had written records (and managed to preserve them). All these (and many other) factors make it difficult to track distant royal lineage.
Marriage Between Royals and Commoners
As the study by Chang indicates, most mating is assortative, not random. This means that people tend to choose mates with a similar background, including such aspects as geography, language, social and economic status. In many countries, wealthy men and women were more likely to marry within their own circles.
In some countries, however, marriages between aristocrats and wealthy commoners were uncommon yet possible, though in many cases it meant disinheritance for the noble spouse. Besides, some colonial settlers had noble origins as well, and they often married natives of other countries or locals.
Consequently, many people who don’t have famous family names may find that they have noble origins.
You Don’t Need to Be Fully Royal to Link You to a Throne
You don’t have to be a direct descendant of a prince/princess to have royal blood – your ancestors could be one of the so-called “almost royals” – illegitimate children and those who have certain royal connections but their lineage is not clear. It was a common thing for kings to have love affairs with consorts or mistresses.
Besides that, it should be noted that royalty isn’t necessarily static. Even Americans have royal lineage due to so-called “gateway ancestors” – settlers to the American Colonies with royal lineage.
Not All Royals Are Europeans
Certainly, Europe is not the only one to have kings and queens. A study by Am J Hum Genet indicates that over 16 million men in central Asia have the same male Y chromosome as Genghis Khan, the famous ruler of the Mongol Empire. According to another study, 10 other noble men from Asia and the Middle East left large genetic legacies between 2100 BC and 700 AD.
In South America, as stated in genetic research, modern Peruvian families are blood relatives of the last Incan emperor Atahualpa.
Half of the Western European men are said to have a common ancestor – the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, including up to 70% British men, according to Swiss geneticists.
Royal Ancestry May Be the Culprit for Some Ailments
For most of human history, especially in royal families around the world, marriages between siblings were common as it was believed to help maintain a pure bloodline. This led to different genetic ailments: certain kinds of cancer, cystic fibrosis, facial asymmetry, Habsburg Lip, hemophilia, and a suppressed immune system. These disorders are seen in individuals today, and even though they are not necessarily direct indicators of monarchic ties, they have spread, at least to some degree, via royalty.
Perhaps the knowledge of your ancestors will not affect your present day, and you may not end up being a prince or a princess, but this knowledge could help you learn about who you are and uncover the past of your family, so it’s definitely worth doing.
Already know a lot about your ancestors? Take a step forward and visualize your ancestry! With our family tree builder, you can go on an adventure of discovering your origins, ancestors and create a complete family tree from scratch using multiple designs.