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.

1 comment:

Jan said...

How great to be able to visit your ancestral home this spring! I'm sure much has changed since your ancestors left and even more so since the end of WWII almost 80 years ago. It would be interesting to see first hand how they have confronted their recent past. Apparently some ideas and speech are banned by law. I recently read an account by a fellow who discovered his grandfather, a lowly clerk, had dark past he hid from his family. Museums and monuments tell stories too.

We continue to grapple with our past here in the U.S. as I suppose most countries and societies do.

I don't read much into ethnicity estimates. Interesting but "Not Soup, Yet" as Judy Russell has blogged. My ethnicity agree with what I expected from family lore and my research. My first DNA test said 99% Western European +/- 3%. Not very exotic or interesting. We are still puzzling over my wife's unexpected 12% Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity. Her father claimed his ancestors were Melkite Christians who prayed with St. Paul in Damascus in biblical times. My wife's brother is in the same R-M269 haplotype so now we wonder if they arrived in Damascus during the Crusades. Fun stuff.