Archive | May 2014

Etne Endogamy and four generations of DNA for my Norwegian descended cousins

It has been quite surprising to me to see how often 23andme claims Norwegian relatives are more closely related than they in fact turn out to be. This particularly shows up among those descended from the farms around the Stordalsvatnet (a large glacier lake upstream from Etne in Hordaland Norway) such as Skjold, Frette, Tveito, Lussnes, Sande, Hovland, and Håland to name just a few (Click here for a picture towards Frette from google maps).  So when last at the library in Salt Lake City, I photographed pages from the Etnesoga farm books for all these ancestral farms in order to discover the many ways these folk intermarried in recorded genealogical time. I have been entering all this data on GENI and ancestry but have yet to discover good ways to display family trees with so many cousin marriages.

So Dad has an expected 3rd to 4th cousin “MB” from Etne who shares 4 good sized segments and .66% of her DNA with him. She is in fact twice a 4th cousin once removed and once a 6th cousin to him (so far). Most delightful however is that she has four generations of family tested. So here is a picture made with my segment mapper tool of her versus her daughter (.55%), two grandsons (.52% and .38%), a great granddaughter (.39%) and a great grandson (.26%). Clicking on the picture will take you to a copy of the actual output with mouse-over popups showing the centimorgan (cM) values.

4gensSandeAs expected, her daughter is a solid blue line as she has half of all her DNA, thus one of every chromosome pair, from her mother. Looking at the two sons, you can see that they inherit some of the same DNA and some different. Notice how all of chromosome 21 has been passed intact all the way to her g-granddaughter. This is the smallest chromosome. The X inheritance is also of interest as MB’s daughter gave each son only one piece from her mother, and not the same pieces.

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Fresh lemonade with blue agave syrup

Lemon TreeSo we have way too many lemons and when life deals you lemons … time to make lemonade. In the photo on the left I circled where many lemons have fallen off the tree due to our hot weather spell. I have given away 3 bags of lemons in the last week and still have too many.

So I googled recipes for making lemonade and I was appalled by the fact that they all called for as much sugar as lemon juice. The basic recipe is 1 cup lemon juice (from 4-6 lemons), 1 cup sugar (best to make into syrup via hot water), and 4-6 cups cold water (depending how watered down you like it).

So I decided to try using that blue agave syrup that has been sitting in the cabinet. It was in packets and it took 14 little packets to get enough sweetness! And of course the flavor is a touch different than sugar but I think I like it.

After making the lemonade, you put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Let’s see if I still like it later!

More on Norwegian naming practices and how to list them in your GEDCOM

On and they allow birth surnames for men and women which makes life easier for those of us with Norwegian ancestry since the farm name of birth can go into the “maiden” name slot for both sexes and the farm where they lived most of their life into the surname slot. It is important to use the farm name as a surname and put the patronymic in as a middle name, since it makes it much easier to find and identify an ancestor. There are so many Ole Olesons and Lars Larsons otherwise.

ArvegodsThis wonderful blog post explains Norwegian naming in great detail.

Sadly she has not written very many blog posts.

[UPDATE 9-AUG-2017] That author, Anne Berge, told me to send people to this page instead for her Norwegian DNA project at Family Tree DNA:

I found the original on this page at GENI which discusses Norwegian ancestry in detail.


Learning about Genetic Genealogy: Conferences, Courses, and more

Cece Moore
If I were just starting to learn about genetic genealogy now, I think I would sign up for the Institute of Genetic Genealogy’s conference in Washington this August organized by two of the leaders in this new field: Cece Moore (pictured to the left) and Tim Janzen. Immersion always works best for me.

If I could not make that, then I would try DNA day at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in June.

In the meantime I might attend the Google+ hangout from 23andme Genetic Genealogy Basics, on May 22 at 12PM PST (3PM EST) (details at )

Then there are also a number of online courses to take:

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Klotho – a gene for longevity and better brain function as you age

A recent discovery in the news is the Klotho gene which seems boost brain function and adds to longevity. About one in five people have the good variant.

KLsnpIf you tested at 23andme, you can find out if you have it by checking the SNP at rs9536314, the protective variant is the heterozygous one, GT, while the normal variant is TT. The homozygous version, GG, appears to be deleterious.

So log into your 23andme account and then click this URL to see if you have the GT  version is

Here are a few informative news articles explaining this discovery:

Now to get more technical.

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