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09 February 2017


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Fine but as I said she was probably repeating helpful family lore. People were really big on Indians back then, something like "save the whales." When I was a captain or something I absent mindedly mentioned to a personnel clerk that my family believed itself to be part Indian. He put it in my personnel file against my wishes because they were enjoined at that time to identify anyone who was part Indian. See how inclusive we are! It took days to get them to take that out of my record and even so the EEO people called me up every year or so wanting me to give talks as a successful Indian officer. It took a long time to get them to give up. come to think of it I should have let them keep it in the record. pl


Colonel -

I will stick with the lore on our family's connection to the First Nations. My understanding of DNA ethnicity testing advertised on TV is that they are overstating the case. Easy to determine in large percentages, but not definitive when dealing with snippets. Maybe this blogs resident microbiologist could weigh in on that? But for me, why spoil a good family yarn.

Another family yarn my Mom always teased my Virginia father about was a possible strain of mulatto blood in her family roots. She and my aunts on a trip to the Maritimes to trace those roots had found a family gravestone where the first name was Freeborn. So she would badger Dad with that when he went off on tirade about the NAACP. She claimed Freeborn had used the Underground Railroad to escape from a plantation run by Dad's ancestors. That would keep him quiet for a while, until my aunt would weigh in with the fact that the Underground Railroad never went up thru northern Maine, and that Freeborn was more probably christened by a family that had been brought to the new world as indentured servants.

I always listed "other" when asked for race. None of the governments business is my contention.


This could all be a gambit to show that Gorsuch is "independent" which is one of the major stated concerns by Democrats.

steve g

Col Lang:
What is your opinion of the thousands
who joined National Guard and Reserve
units including celebrities professional
athletes and future president,W, during
the VN era to "hide out" from the draft?
As was well known at the time, deployment
to VN was almost nil.
Yes they did fulfill their obligation for six
years. Would their duty be comparable to
the disdained REMFS as you could not get
any further from combat than that.


There were all kinds of "evasion". The National Guard was one very popular one despite the fact that 8 guard units were federalized and sent to the Nam. Hell, I've been accused of "hiding out" in Korea even though I did a tour there and then went to Vietnam. It's often in the eye of the beholder who dodged what.



you served in the military then and you are obviously not an evader nor a draft dodger. You could easily have been sent to VN. The NG? the number of NG units that went to VN was quite small as a % of total Guard force. This was a deliberate political decision on LBJ's part. Some NG units volunteered to go to VN, i.e., the three battalion artillery group from NH. OTOH I knw a number of USAFNG people like GW Bush who certainly hid in the NG. pl


steve G

REMFs in VN (Rear Echelom Mother Fuckers)like Fobbits in Iraq were at least in country and could have been killed or wounded by indirect fire or in ambushes. People who hid out in the Guard and Reserves are just another kind of draft evader. pl


I did serve in Vietnam and half my tour was in the 107th Signal Company, RI National Guard. We were part of the 972nd Sig Bn, the unit I shipped with. We had Signal Shots all over 3 and 4 Corps and I was just a schlub who drove trucks to the various installations.

Phil Cattar

Hi Nancy,The rules of inheriting DNA do not work the way most people think they do .We all inherit 50 % of our chromosomes from each parent but we do not necessarily inherit 25% of our chromosomes from each grandparent.Take your mom's father and mother for example, the breakdown at the grandparent level could be 40%/10% or any combo to make 50%.If one of your grandparents was for all practical purposes100 % Nigerian going back forever and all 3 other grandparents were NW European going back forever for our discussion here.You could possibly be anywhere between 1% and 49% Nigerian or sub Saharan African.People can have 1 grandparent 100 % Native American and show up quite a bit more or less than 25%.You could have 15% Indian chromosomes and your sister 40%.


Col. Lang,

I wonder if Gorsuch was trying to sucker folks into thinking he's a moderate. Or, Dems are floating this to cover their lack of spine when they vote for him.
This IS the man who wept when he learned of the of death of Scalia.

robt willmann


I looked for Schumer's editorial today, and his version is: "Judge Gorsuch told it to me in private; when Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and I asked him to say it in public, he refused. Clearly he wanted this to be seen as a marker of his independence, because his handlers immediately told us, `You can tell this to the press'." --



Whatever version may be the truth, I think that Trump is not bothered by it and might well think that what Gorsuch said was just like the bulls**t that he, Trump, would say to other parties in a transaction when his goal is to make the deal go through.

Nancy K

Thank you for info, very interesting.

Phil Cattar

You are welcome.

Nancy K

I have a question that perhaps you can give some insight to. My husband's DNA shows 96% eastern European Jew but also 2% Italian and 2% Greek. His family history is Russian/Polish/Austrian. How far back does DNA testing go?


Nancy K

It does not "go back" It differentiates among your present strains and the idea is to match that up with good genealogical research among the ever growing mass of records. pl

Nancy K

That is probably where it is helpful to have a Mormon in the family or access to their records.


Nancy K

Ancestry.com has access to nearly all the Mormon records. I would think that the foreign language hand written records that you can reach on ancestry.com would be more of a barrier. pl



Just a few things to be aware of when interpreting your DNA sequencing results and how they are interpreted for genealogy.

1) First thing to be aware of is the fact that most companies do not do a full genome sequencing and only a portion of SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) are sequenced. Usually the SNPs that are sequenced are the ones which change more often through generations so this is a pretty reliable method but not a "complete" method.

2) The percentages that you see on your results indicating how much you resemble a certain ethnic and national group is pretty subjective. Most sequencing companies take samples from ethnic groups and populations and treat these samples as reference. In some cases these sample sizes are quite small. 23andme was using 10 samples for certain groups which caused a bit of controversy. Even bigger problem is that there is no such thing as 100% French or Russian or Italian genome. There is usually a lot of structure within these groups as well (North Italian vs Southern Italian and so on). So your percentages can change drastically based on the databases used.

If you have access to your dna sequencing raw data file (if you did your sequencing with 23andme.com , ancestrydna.com or family tree dna), you can download your raw data files and upload them on following site:

This site has a lot of tools and databases to compare and analyze your results. For example, the best database for South Asians is harappaworld and for Europeans it is Eurogenes. There are other tools that compare your results with ancient dna extracted from skeletal remains of neolithic people in various parts of the world.

There is another new project which you can try at following site:

You will notice that your results will vary across these different tools and databases due to the fact that they all use different reference points.

3) Detecting number of generations which i believe is what your question was about is again not a very exact science at this point. Usually this is calculated on the basis of dna chunk sizes. When you do relative search most companies us eat minimum 7CM(centimorgan) as the default setting. A larger shared dna chunk usually means that the dna chunk has been inherited more recently from a common ancestor and has seen less fragmentation due to meiosis. If the shared dna fragments are small than this means the inherited dna fragment has been broken dna due to meiosis over generations.
The relationship between dna chunk size and how many meiotic events (1 meiotic event per generation) is again an inexact science as far as i can tell.

4) Lastly, the best and most reliable way to know descent is by using Y-chromosome mutations(haplogroups) for males(passed from fathers to sons) and mitochondrial mutations (haplogroups)for females(mothers to daughters and sons).
But it gives a very broad brush picture. For example i have a Y Haplogroup J2 which probably originated in Anatolian region around ~20k years before present and spread over a large geographic area and different populations like Turks, Armenians,Albanians, Ingush, Greeks, Both Ashkenazi and Sephradic Jews , Iranians , Italians and present day Subcontinent.


Phil Cattar

Nancy,I going to read all of Farooq reply.He seems to know a lot.I believe Family Tree DNA uses your 16 great,great grandparents or your 8 great grandparents to do their ethnic analysis.And also connect you to your Family Tree.It is definitely interesting.As Farooq writes there are no "French" or "Italian" ethnic groops.It is spread over a much larger area.People moved around a lot in history.............Southern Italians are more likely to share DNA with Greeks than Northern Italians. .However some groups such as Jews ,Gypies ,perhaps Native Americans etc married a lot more within their groups...................The Haplogroups tests are more expensive and are interesting and many times surprising .If my memory serves me correctly Obama,Einstein and Hitler all have the same male Haplogroup.............Thomas Jefferson Haplogroup is Phoenician or Jewish...Napoleon's male haplogroup originated in the middle east....near present day Jordan I believe..........In a way the male Haplogroup could mean literally nothing as far as looks,ability etc etc..............If my great grandfather,50 greats lets say, left the Island of Gotland,near Sweeden, 2000 years ago, and moved south over the years as a GOTH,fighting and plundering.His great ,great grandson (50 greats) would carry the male Haplogroup I1................the "Viking" haplogroup .Even though the last 20 generations had intermarried with Middle Eastern peoples and for all practical purposes was a middle easterner.THe Haplogroup "marker" shows you where your great grandparent (times MANY greats) was living before the last great Ice Age..Hope this is not too much info.

Nancy K

Thank you for such an in-depth informative reply, it is very much appreciated.

Nancy K

Thank you for information, it is so fascinating.

The Twisted Genius

Nancy K.

See if you can find a group like this for your ancestral background. I haven't started digging like you or Colonel Lang have, but this page has certainly primed my interest.


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