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Genealogy Blog

25 February 2013

Black Celebrities Trace Slave Ancestors

Samuel L. Jackson is amongst the personalities whose ancestry is discovered in a new series of the US programme Finding Your Roots.

The American version of the popular British show Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots premieres in the UK this Sunday (February 24) and episode one traces the ancestral backgrounds of Jackson, along with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons, president of America’s prestigious Brown University.

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19 February 2013

DNA Tests Reveal Last Medici May Not Have Died Of Syphilis As Believed

In 1743, the last member of the family that had ruled Florence for almost 300 years died a slow and painful death. Historical documents suggest that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici suffered from syphilis or breast cancer. But a first look at samples of her bone suggests that syphilis may not have killed her.

In 1966, the tombs of the Medici family were swamped in mud during severe flooding of Florence, which many feared had damaged the bodies. But Anna Maria Luisa's skeleton was found to be mostly intact when it was exhumed last October.

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18 February 2013

DNA Testing Helps With Family Histories

As she swabbed the inside of his cheek, Patt Heise assured her 84-year-old father that she wasn't crazy, just curious.

She mailed off the saliva sample and waited for results. Her dad died a month later, too early to find out what DNA testing had revealed — a list of potential relatives from all over the world and a migration chart dating back to Adam.

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6 February 2013

Richard III's Face Revealed

Advanced CT scans and wax modeling have revealed the face of King Richard III. Showing a hint of a smile, a prominent chin, and slightly arched nose, the facial reconstruction is based on a skull found along with other bones just 2 feet beneath a car park in Leicester, UK, last September.

The reconstruction follows confirmation that the skeleton was that of the king killed in battle more than 500 years ago.

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4 February 2013

How Canadian DNA Is Helping Solve The Mystery of King Richard III’s Bones

Researchers in Leicester, England, are hoping they have finally solved a 500-year-old mystery thanks to modern technology and some Canadian-born DNA.

On Monday, a team at the University of Leicester is set to reveal the results of DNA tests on a skeleton found underneath a local parking lot last summer. The bones are believed to be those of King Richard III, who died in 1485 during a battle roughly 25 kilometres away in Bosworth Field.

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24 January 2013

Genetic Evidence For The Colonization of Australia

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome and, more recently, genome studies from living people have produced powerful evidence for the dispersal of modern human populations.

The prevailing model of global dispersion assumes an African origin in which Australia and the American continents represent some of the extreme regions of human migration, though the relative timing of dispersal events remains debatable.

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The Genomic History of Denmark

Researchers from GeoGenetics in close cooperation with collegues from the National Museum of Denmark and institutes at the University of Copenhagen will make Denmark the first country in the world to map its evolutionary, demographic and health history - from the earliest settlers through to modern times.

DNA and proteins extracted from a Danish collection of archaeological skeletons from the Older Stone Age (5000-3000 BC) will be analysed in order to learn more about the Danish cultural heritage and health history.

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5 December 2012

National Geographic Unveils New Phase of Genographic Project

The National Geographic Society today announced the next phase of its Genographic Project — the multiyear global research initiative that uses DNA to map the history of human migration.

Building on seven years of global data collection, Genographic shines new light on humanity's collective past, yielding tantalizing clues about humankind's journey across the planet over the past 60,000 years.

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3 December 2012

Native Americans And Northern Europeans More Closely Related Than Previously Thought

Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that Northern European populations —including British, Scandinavians, French, and some Eastern Europeans— descend from a mixture of two very different ancestral populations, and one of these populations is related to Native Americans.

This discovery helps fill gaps in scientific understanding of both Native American and Northern European ancestry, while providing an explanation for some genetic similarities among what would otherwise seem to be very divergent groups.

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23 November 2012

Smallpox Virus Detected In 300-Year-Old Siberian Mummy

A team of French and Russian researchers recently found new snippets of smallpox DNA in 300-year-old mummies from Siberia, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine released Wednesday.

While in northeastern Siberia in 2004, researchers discovered several burial sites, each containing frozen wooden graves buried in the permafrost. It seemed that most of the burials were individual and involved only one body, but one grave contained five frozen mummies — two children and three adults — which appeared to have been buried shortly after death.

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19 November 2012

Authorities Identify Woman’s Skeletal Remains Through Online DNA Database

Nearly 12 years after a woman’s skeletal remains were discovered in a Homestead tunnel, and three years after officials buried them in a North Strabane cemetery, authorities used an online DNA database to finally solve the mystery of the unidentified bones.

Amanda Sue Myers, 22, died sometime in 2000. Family members last saw her that year in January at her daughter’s first birthday party; police found her bones 10 months later by train tracks in a fenced-off tunnel near McClure Street.

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26 July 2012

Genographic 2.0 Launched

Today, The Genographic Project officially announced the launch of their new Geno 2.0 project, a significant update to the type and quantity of genetic information that will be collected and analyzed by The Genographic Project.

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23 July 2012

Nine More Australian Soldiers Identified in Fromelles Mass Grave

Generations have passed in the Wynn family without anyone knowing whatever happened to Uncle Jack. John 'Jack' Wynn was a labourer from West Maitland in NSW, a single man who went off to war in 1915 and like so many others, never returned.

Along with some 5500 of his countrymen, the 19-year-old died during the bloody 12-hour Battle of Fromelles in northern France over July 19 and 20, 1916.

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12 July 2012

Earliest Americans Arrived in Waves, DNA Study Finds

North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada.

Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia.

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25 June 2012

Irish Origenes Interactive Castles of Ireland Map Part of Project to Pinpoint Irish Ancestors

The Irish Origenes website is designed specifically to show people with Irish ancestry how to use the results of a commercial ancestral DNA test to pinpoint where their Irish ancestors lived and it contains all the resources one will need to achieve this goal.

However only about 60 percent of people with Irish ancestry will be related to the pre-Christian Celtic tribes, so if your recent Irish ancestors originally arrived in Ireland with the Vikings or later in 1169 AD with the Normans it can be difficult to pinpoint those ancestors to a specific location.

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