Happy Mother's Day!

Seeing everyone else's posts this morning inspired me, so I had to make a post. I'm very pleased to say that we have a ton of great photos in our family, both because my grandfather was a shutterbug and because we have a lot of photos from back in the old country. We even have lots of photos showing four generations of different branches of my family tree. Including one of my direct maternal line.

My mother, my baby sister, my mom's mother Merle, her mother Eliza, and me ca 1976.
In fact, from my sister's daughter back, we have a nice long line of photos, which ends with our furthest-back known female ancestor on that side.

Ellen and Hugh Roberts with my great-grandmother, I believe. They were her grandparents, which makes Ellen my third-great grandmother.

Hugh and Ellen's daughter Selina with her husband Gabriel Howells and four of their six children. My great-grandmother is sitting on her mother's lap. Selina is my second-great grandmother.
Their daughter, Eliza Howells, who went by Bessie, my great-grandmother.
Her daughter Merle Jones, my grandmother.
Me and Mom at Hood Canal ca 1970 or 1971.
My sister ca late 90s.
My niece.
With my niece, that makes seven generations. Not bad.

Happy mother's day out there to all the moms reading this. Especially to my mom. Love you.

My DNA Results!

So for my birthday, I asked for a DNA test for my genealogy. We have several spots that have questions, and I was hoping to prove or disprove some of them. I just got my Ancestry DNA results back this morning. A perfect week to get them back, because I'm home today and tomorrow, so I can really play around with it all. And tomorrow I go over to see my family, so I can show it to them. The mix was a bit different than I expected, but then I expected a few surprises, so I guess that's par for the course.

My Mix:
55% Great Britain
This one was one of my surprises. I have a grandmother who is full-blooded Welsh, and a great-grandmother who was Northern Irish, so I did expect some English, possibly even more than 25%, but more than half is shocking. Until I look at the map Ancestry provides about each grouping of DNA. This one includes Denmark and Germany. And given that Danish is another 25% of my Ancestry, 55% suddenly makes a lot more sense.

30% European Jewish
At first this one made sense, until I realized it's more than one grandparent's worth of DNA, which would only be 25%. Wow. This means that I have hidden Jews in my tree. A whole 5%, at least. More, really, given that the Jewish lines married into the area in many cases. And when I take into account two of the smaller strands in my tree below; the Iberian and Caucasus lines, that brings the percentage up to almost another 10%, if I am right about those also being Jewish in origin for my family.

4% Europe West
This includes the central body of Europe: France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, etc; but also bits of England, Denmark, Italy, and the Czech and Slovak regions of Eastern Europe. I expected this piece to be much higher, given that I have at least four different areas of my tree that link back to Germany, and one that links to France. I was hoping to have some proof for the Huguenot ancestry on my great-grandmother's side, but unfortunately, this doesn't help that at all.

4% Scandinavia
This was a major shocker, given that two of my lines are strongly Scandinavian. Nana was the daughter of two full-blooded Danish Immigrants, and Grandpa's father was "full-blooded" Norwegian. Until I remember that Danish is also included in the Great Britain results, at least partially, and that several of Grandpa's line actually came from Germany, but that still doesn't explain the Europe West part. Perhaps several of the Hidden Jews were in this line, and that's why they moved to Norway?

3% Ireland
This was one of the things I was hoping to prove. My great-grandmother was Northern Irish, which tended to be more Scottish and English than actual Irish, but now I know for certain we have a small amount of Gaelic blood, whether from the Scottish or the Irish, I'm not sure. The test doesn't separate out the two, which isn't a shock, given how close the two are related. Still, I'm very glad to have this confirmed. We are not just English Transplants.

2% Iberian Peninsula
And then there's this, which makes me even more excited. My family surname, Hillinger, was actually spelled Hilinger by my great-great grandmother. I know nothing of her line aside from her and her descendants. But when I look up the surname, I find that there are a larger percent of Hilingers in the Iberian Peninsula than anywhere else in the world. Which made me wonder if we might have some roots there. If this result is right, and not from some other line, this means that we most likely have some small Saphardic heritage. Very exciting.

2% Caucasus
This is the middle east, basically, which implies that this is the origin branch of my Jewish Heritage, so unsurprising, but still nice to see.

So what does all this tell me? Well, I'm still very Northern European, which I knew before. But the Jewish Heritage (34% total if I include Iberian and Caucasus) is far larger than expected, so I will have to look into that, and I have definitely proved the Irish connection, even if it is way far back there.

Off to look into the connections they suggest now. Wish me luck!

Genealogy Stats Update

So it looks like I haven't updated my stats in some time. I was thinking it hasn't changed much, but looking back at the post I made in 2013, apparently it has. Significantly. I do need to update with a few things found at Family Search, but for now, here are the stats as compared to 2013:

Overall stats for Roots Magic File: 
• 4728 People – a difference of 238 from 2013
• 1631 Families – a difference of 50
• 7425 Events – a difference of 368
• 153 Alternate names – a difference of 4
• 1222 Places – a difference of 69
• 281 Sources – a difference of 51
• 23135 Citations – a difference of 763

I'm fairly certain most of the changes were deep in my tree over these past two years, though there have been a few natural additions, and one minor but significant discovery as well. I've had cousins on two separate sides (about equidistant cousins, actually) have babies. One on the Hillinger side, and one on the Jones side.

And then there was the email I got from a distant cousin in Israel. She added several more families and family members to a very sparse branch of my tree. While she didn't double the amount of people in that line, she definitely added to it and the information I had in a significant way. I now know for certain I lost only one family member in the extended line to the Nazi purge. I'm sure there were distant cousins or aunts and uncles who may have been affected in other ways, and I know that some of Alex's nephews died fighting in the war, but only one of Dora's sisters was taken by the Nazis, and none of Alex's family were in the country, and so they were safe from that fate. It's good to know. Still saddening, but I'm glad to finally have a name and a number for my family.

Numbers for each line: 
Hillinger line—
• 5 generations (plus one after me)
• 129 People (13 more people, with the addition of Dora's siblings' families)

Hansen line— 
• 21 generations (ending with my paternal grandmother) (either I miscounted last time, or I found a new branch, not sure which)
• Over 2000 People (Still not able to determine an exact number here. Someday I'll figure it out.)

Bordewick line— 
• 11 generations (ending with my mother)
• Over 1000 People (Again, not certain how to count these, either.)

Jones line— 
• 6 generations (ending with my maternal grandmother)
• 296 People (72 new people, mostly from being linked to the Gabriels's family tree online. Need to get back to that and add in my family's full information there.)

The Hansen and Bordewick lines are still the longest. Not that I expected that to change. The other are the ones that have changed most, though. And are most likely to change in the future, though I do keep working on the other two as well.

Goals for the coming year:

• Finish or at least continue the Hometown Histories Posts
• Add the Gabriels's line as I have it to the family tree online.
• Update my database with the info found at FamilySearch.
• Write letters to the UK—one to see if there is any information on the Seneft family's immigration there, and one to see if Leon served at the synagogue in London.
• Write a letter to the Red Cross in Geneva to see if they have information on Alex's time in Camp Douglas during WWI, and whether any of his brothers were there with him.
• Find Nana and Aunt Marilyn's letters and work on getting them scanned, along with other family documents.
• Work on a format for a new family tree book.

Wish me luck!

About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.