Friday, February 9, 2018

Teutophobia/ Chunks of DNA Admixture Missing?

My father and I. Actually I was starting to some down with the flu when this pic was taken

I'll be travelling back to the Kappel/Koppel homeland in Austria in May. It does bring mixed feelings. Being told over and over again that our surname is Jewish led me to near panic attack whenever watching any movies or documentaries about the Holocaust. I think I mentioned in a previous blog post that a Holocaust survivor said she looked just like me when she was a child. That brought home to me that I could have ended up in a concentration camp like her. I am also part German. I had avoided attending any German festivals for years, I couldn't celebrate that culture which was associated with genocide. I went to Oktoberfest a few years back and began to accept that I am part German, and not all Germans were involved in the genocide.

I made peace with celebrating Oktoberfest but really hadn't planned to ever visit Germany. I'll be taking a tour of Austria during a portion of my 2 week stay there. This tour actually starts in Munich, Germany. It's a Trafalgar tour called "The Sound of Music" tour. I'm a little apprehensive about this tour because we will be visiting Dachau. I've decided to take that optional tour to see the remains of the Concentration Camp. It will be very difficult but I think it's important to pay my respects there. A man from Gussing, living not far from my family in Inzenhof, died at Dachau. I also have memories of watching the hostage drama at the Munich Olympics on TV. I probably never would have gone to Germany if not for the fact the tour begins there. I don't know why I blame Germany more than the other Eastern European countries which also participated in the anti Semitism which ultimately led to the genocide? Hitler was actually born in Austria. I'm sure once I get there I will appreciate the beauty of the area and see first hand everything is alright there now.

I have to say the current climate in this country reminds me of what happened in Germany and Eastern Europe. I'm referring to the dehumanizing of people of a different religion and people who look different, or have a different lifestyle. This doesn't always lead immediately to genocide, it may never lead to that. What appeared to happen in Hitler's Empire is the financial collapse after WWI led to the scapegoating of Jews and others who did not fit into the Aryan stereotype. There was always discrimination against Jews and people who didn't fit into what was thought to be the norm. Tribalism is normal. Economic dislocation leads to anger at groups who don't fit the norm yet seem to be thriving while you are struggling to get by. Whenever things went bad in Eastern Europe they went after minorities. That seems to be the way of the world with the same sort of behavior here. Ingraining tolerance in children can inoculate society against ruthless behavior when resources become scarce. Most Americans are very kind hearted people. I believe we can overcome the forces that would like to destroy our fellowship with one another, and turn us against one another.

Chunks of Missing Admixture

The twist to this story after being told the Kapple's were ethnically Jewish my entire life the DNA tests are not supporting that? The autosomal tests never give me any Ashkenazi admixture. Although two of my cousins tested and they do show some Ashkenazi? My Aunt on my father's side doesn't have any Ashkenazi at Family Tree DNA, but does have some at MyHeritage? It's completely beyond belief that the Kappel/Koppel's have no Ashkenazi admixture. The Y test could point to some Jewish roots because my cousin Darryl Kapple tested as J-M172?

Family Tree DNA
I can see major problems with the admixture based the fact my grandfather Rudolph Kappel's Eastern European heritage is often missing from our results. My Aunt should be half Eastern European. Looking at the Family Tree DNA results I would say the 6% Eastern European represents my Aunt's father. Southeast European 30% likely also represents her father? That's 36%. We're missing 14% of her inheritance from her father.

MyHeritage would seem to be more accurate. Many say MyHeritage isn't accurate for them. It could be just by chance they accidentally came close to getting my Aunt's admixture right?

I'm giving MyHeritage the benefit of the doubt. About 27% of the admixture predicted by them would more than likely go to her father. 74% North and West European would be too much to give to my Grandmother Mason. The further breakdown which includes only continental Europe would included part of Austria and Germany most of which I would give my Grandpa Kappel, which I could add up to 50%. My Aunt's grandmother was Irish, so the 25% Irish would be correct.



I still actually believe the Kappels have some Jewish ethnicity. It is however possible they were also of Romanian origin or Sephardic Jews? The admixtures tests aren't accurate enough to say? We need many more people from more places testing to get more accurate results.

I took another look at DNA.Land's ethnicity predictions. They may be the most accurate for the Kappel/Kapple family giving my Aunt and I some Northern Slavic admixture. They also predict some South/Central European.


Looking at the pictures I have of the Kappel's they look a little Germanic, but you can tell they are mixed ethnically.

My Great Aunt Bertha Kappel to the right,  Daisy in the center? If anyone can ID Daisy I would appreciate it. And Bertha's husband Joseph Salamon.
Rudolph Kappel/Kapple, Daisy and my Grandmother Dorothy Mason-Kapple

Grandfather Rudolph Kappel with my Aunt June

 My father and Aunts with their Maternal Aunt Mary Mason-Green. She, along with my grandmother, was half Irish with a Mix of French Canadian and Early American Scots-Irish and English. We've got the Mason/Mullens pretty much nailed as to ethnicity

More on the Trip

The funny thing about my trip to the ancestral village in Inzenhof is how complicated getting there is going to be. I'll have to take several trains get there, plus rent a car. There are no hotels in Inzenhof so I need to stay in Gussing. My Great-Grandmother traveled back to the ancestral village from the US about 4 times. She was pregnant with my grandfather when the family went back in 1909. She often traveled back without her husband, but with some of her children. She would probably call me a wimp for complaining about the difficulty getting there today. She was only 5 ft. tall, like me, and had the stamina to travel with 6 young children including my infant Grandfather. On the 1910 return trip they would have had to take several trains from the Hungarian border to Antwerp, Belgium where they would  board a ship to New York. From New York they would have had to take another train to Chicago.  
Keppel/Kappel family returning to America in 1910
I wish I could have met my Grandfather Kapple, and great-grandparents. If I asked them what their ethnic mix was I doubt if they knew. From what I've heard they also believed they were ethnically Jewish. The reason they didn't know their ethnic origins is they lived in Burgenland, Austria. The Turks wiped out the population of this border area. Settlers were brought in to repopulate the area a little over 200 years ago. No one knows where all of the settlers came from? They could have been brought in from anywhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
I feel like 20 years after beginning my research into the Kappel family their ethnic origins are just as obscure as when I started. It really doesn't matter as much to me anymore anyway. I'm more interested in them as individuals rather than their ethnicity. I'm still curious about their ethnicity for the sake of it. I'm more curious about whether DNA can ever uncover our true ethnic mix at some point? I don't think they've nailed it yet, however I'm going with either Northern Slavic and/or Southeastern European until proven otherwise. We've managed all this time to get along without knowing what sort of mixed breed we are, so I think we'll continue to do so.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Filling In Chromosome Chart With MyHeritage and 23andMe.

I'm filling in my Chromosome chart little by little. Thankfully I'm now seeing some 2nd cousin matching segments. Not at GEDmatch or Familytree DNA, but instead at 23andMe and MyHeritage.

Since my mother tested I am able to separate my matches according to which parent I may have received a segment, or segments, from.

When I have segment data for matches I at least try to mark them according to which Grandparent they likely came from.That is easy when it comes to separating my Maternal line. Nicaraguan segments from my Grandmother Del Castillo are easy to separate from my Grandfather Forgey's Northern European segments. A high percentage of Native American and some African admixture signals a Nicaraguan match.

Separating my father's parents lines is more difficult since they both have European heritage. My Grandfather Kapple's family was from Burgenland, Austria. If someone has a tree with Burgenland ancestors I mark these segments as Kapple/Kurta, or more specifically if they have the same ancestors listed. My Mason grandmother had Irish, French Canadian, and some Early American Heritage. If I can find specific names associated with her family I mark her matches, or specific places like Pollaturick, Ireland.

This week I was able to see some 2nd cousin matches segments for the first time. One of these matches is a Kapple 2nd cousin. I'm certain these large segments are identical my descent. I know they come from ancestors in Burgenland, Austria. I also have a Mason 2nd cousin match. I'm not sure where geographically these segments trace too? They are helpful though in narrowing down which great-grandparents these segments may have came from

My expanding segment map helps me sort matches. If someone matches on my maternal or paternal side and matches in the same place I can infer they must descend from the ancestors that passed the segment down to me. Having 2nd cousin segments increases my confidence in my mapped regions. I'm hoping to fill in this map even more now that  MyHeritage is offering segment data.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

MyHeritage Adds Chromosome Browser


I'm thrilled with MyHeritage's Chromosome Browser! The segment data they are now offering is helping me extend my segment maps. It's confirming which ancestors the segments are coming from by increasing the number of matches sharing the same segments and ancestors.

I believe you can still upload your raw data from other companies for free? Or you can buy their kit. I would highly recommend either uploading your raw data or buying their kit. My Mother, Aunt, and I now have more than 1,000 matches, so their are enough people testing with them to make it worthwhile. They've also improved their matching algorithms.

The tools and filters provided by MyHeritage are outstanding. Below you can see the menus which allow filtering by matches who share your surnames, or has a family tree attached. You can sort by shared segments, largest segment, full name, and most recent matches.



Right now you can only download the segments of your matches one match at a time using the advanced tool attached to the chromosome browser. They will eventually provide the ability to download all matches on to one spreadsheet.

Since I'm not patient I used cascading windows and copy paste to create one spreadsheet with the segments for a couple hundred top matches.

I then edited the spreadsheet to match a FamilytreeDNA spreadsheet so I could upload it to Geno Mate Pro. I had to delete the RSID columns. I also had to change our names so they matched our own first and last names exactly at FamilytreeDNA. I added the letter M to the matches names so I know these matches came from MyHeritage.
MyHeritage provides some information the other companies don't such as suggesting approximately where geographically you and your match may have shared ancestors.

My chromosome charts are expanding based on the new segment data provided by MyHeritage.
Below you can see how one of my Chromosome maps has grown in one year. The top is this year the bottom is last.

I've been able to mark my first segments from my Grandfather Rudolph Kapple. He was born in what is now Burgenland, Austria. Since so few people from there, or living there, have tested we have few matches from Burgenland. My aunt now has a fairly close cousin sharing 189 cM's at MyHeritage. The segment on chromosome 11 is my only good Burgenland match so far. I also have a couple very small segment matches with Burgenland matches.  

Overall MyHeritage DNA provides outstanding tools for working with your DNA matches.
Way to go MyHeritage DNA! You Rock!