Tag Archives: FamilyTreeDNA

More Ancestry changes means more confusion

Once again, Ancestry DNA results have changed. I get it… However, it really makes getting a test done, for the most part, useless.

You just never will know with any sort of certainty what your heritage truly is. It’s all based on demographics and people willing to buy and test their DNA. As a male, I have the luxury of being able to have my Y-DNA tested, which is, for the most part, pretty stable. It gives me better, albeit a bit more vague, insight into my heritage.

So I’m evaluating the current Ancestry change with past results, what I know for fact, and then weighing it alongside my Y-DNA results.

The latest results that came in show the following:

England and Northwestern Europe is really no change or surprise. That is my base heritage… maybe. Back in 2020 it jumped from 33% to 20% and then back into the 30 percentile until this last update, rocketing to 55%. At it’s lowest point my Germanic heritage was dominant and then evenly weighed.

Now my Germanic side is all but gone. I can only surmise that my Germanic heritage went down due to a reevaluation of Eastern Europe and Russia. I have verifiable Polish heritage on my mothers side. Did that heritage come out of Germanic Europe and get inserted into the Eastern Europe/Russia category (which, including the Baltics, originally was only like 4-8% of my DNA make up)?

Scotland was at a high point in 202 (along with everyone else in the world it seemed) and has since receded. Same with Sweden and Ireland. Bottom line is that the groupings keep changing and is inconsistent and really, as I said, based on demographics of folks having their DNA tested by Ancestry.

Finally, Ancestry has released an “Ethnicity Inheritance” feature recently. This breaks down heritage for each parent that comprises the makeup of your DNA. It doesn’t say “Mother/Father” just “Parent 1/Parent2” but it was easy to tell that parent 1 was my mother and parent 2 was my father.

My dad’s heritage is not very complex. Predominately England & Northwestern Europe, Scotland and Ireland. All, which are right in line with my research and what I know for fact. Where the strangeness comes in is on my moms side. More complex than the typical “we’re Polish” view of our heritage.  Again, England/Northwestern Europe rule but the advancement of Eastern Europe, Russia, Baltic alongside the inclusion of Sweden/Denmark and Portugal on my mom’s side was not expected.

Interestingly, my Y-DNA is Haplogroup I (I-M253) which is thought to have roots in northern France and today is mainly found in Scandinavia and Northwestern Europe as well as Eastern Europe (Viking DNA), matches my mom’s side a bit more than my dad’s.

Ultimately, this has just left me more confused and wondering what bombshells will be dropped at the next update. I’ve really started putting less care into my Ancestry DNA and have considered getting a more in-depth Y-DNA test done to see if I get more conclusive results. Granted, this only takes into account half of my DNA (my fathers) and leaves out a huge gap on my mothers side. Maybe more investigation on how to get better results from the maternal line is where I should focus my research on. But for now, I’ll be English/Northwestern European until the next change.



A renewed focus on 1850 Benjamin Bucket

I am still wrapping my head around how to interpret my Y-DNA results from FamilyTreeDNA. I think I am starting to understand it a little better, but it’s more like knowing a few words and phrases in a foreign language rather than being able to carry a conversation in that language.

The good part is I have made a contact with another Burchett (well, in this case Birchett) through the YDNA testing that looks extremely promising. I have renewed my research mostly centered around Joseph (1843), his connection with the 1850 Cape Girardeau census Benjamin Bucket, and the potential that he is descended from Joseph Burchett (1725) or his father Robert Burchett (1673). Right now, I’m not finding any sons of either of these Burchett’s that line up with the dates and locations of my 1850 Benjamin. But hopefully with more research one pop’s up in this line.

What I do know, so far…

There is a Benjamin Burchett from Adair, Missouri, however, I does not appear to be the same Benjamin as the one in the 1850 Cape Girardeau Census. There is a will available for the Adair Benjamin, however, the children’s names do not match with the 1850 Census Benjamin, leading me to believe he is a different person.
The following artifacts seem to line up with the Benjamin Bucket (Burchett) listed in the 1850 Census in Cape Girardeau, MO.
  • There is a Benjamin Burket listed in the Arkansas, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1819-1870 as being in Arkansas Territory, Monroe County, AR. in 1839. This coincides with the possible birth of son Joseph in Arkansas around the 1840 time frame.
  • There is a marriage to Miss Elizabeth Wooly on 1 MAY 1856 in Mississippi County Missouri, which is close to Cape Girardeau, for a Benjamin Burchett. If this is the same Benjamin, this would be his second wife and assumes his first wife (also Elizabeth) died some time after birth of daughter Perneicia in 1846 and prior to 1856.
  • There is a U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 for a Benjamin J Burchett in 1864 in Jonesboro, Illinois. This is also fairly close to the SEMO area that Benjamin Burchett resided in. The assessment is for 14 head of cattle, possibly meaning he moved there to farm or herd cattle. Nothing so far to tie this record to 1850 Benjamin – yet.

I also have made other observations and continue to document the following:

  • It appears a lot of people are mixing Benjamin Burchett records together, including marriages.  The Adair, MO Benjamin was married to Eliza (not Elizabeth) DEROD (1 Jul 1877) and the SEMO Benjamin married Elizabeth (not Eliza) WOOLY (1 MAY 1856).
  • While I do not have a record yet, Benjamin was married to another Elizabeth from Tennessee who was the father of his children Eliza Jane, George, Susan, Sally, Joseph, Elizabeth and Perneicia. Many list this as Elizabeth MOBELY, but again, no citation to prove that as of yet.
  • Also, Civil War records for the Benjamin Burchett serving in CO B 39th INF RGT is for the Adair, MO Benjamin Burchett.  This also validates that the date of  22 AUG 1891 is NOT the death date for our Benjamin Burchett but IS the death date for the Adair, MO Benjamin.

So, still nothing conclusive, but some good leads. The real break through would be if I can conclusively tie the 1850 Benjamin to the North Carolina Burchett/Birchett line through my DNA results with them. BUT, all of this is very promising and could finally be the break through I have been looking for all these years!!

Y-DNA Results came in today as well as updated Ancestry results

I was expecting an extremely long wait time (the FamilyTreeDNA site told me 6-8 weeks before I would get results) for my Y-DNA test results, however, they surprisingly came today just shy of four weeks after they received them.

After a quick look at the results all I really know so far is that it is predicted I belong to Haplogroup I-M253 with the explanation that,

Haplogroup I dates to 23,000 years ago, or older. The I-M253 lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking/Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found at low frequencies. Haplogroup I represents one of the first peoples in Europe.

Unfortunately, a quick look at the matches has done nothing to break through my paternal brick wall. It appears the matches I do have are many, many generations past Joseph Burchett and leaves a very large gap in between them and Joseph.

The plan now is to learn more in-depth what the results tell me and how I can use them to break down the brick wall. This will require more education on my part into the DNA realm and I suspect the involvement of a professional.

I’ll be sure to update.

On another front, Ancestry had updated results and wow, did my DNA results alter themselves. Both interesting and a bit disconcerting at the same time.


Sweden disappears altogether and Scotland takes a huge leap forward. The Germanic is expected and well-known to me. Another interesting observation is how my English roots dropped a good bit as well.

So, the disconcerting part is trying to make sense of this. I’m concerned that the results are less scientific and more based on, as a friend who also had her DNA analyzed, “crowdsourcing”. Ancestry provides a variety of surveys on your DNA account and I’m wondering how much my results are based on the updates of people with similar markers taking the surveys are as, again, opposed to scientific data.

Lot’s of what if’s and the brick wall that is Joseph Burchett remains… to be continued…

Ordered my FTDNA Y37 test

I ordered my FamilyTreeDNA Y37 test kit this morning. I was on the fence initially when trying to decide to order it or not.

My first concern is that it would only lead me to Joseph Burchett again and no further. I didn’t want to spend $120 if that was going to happen. I posted my concern on the DNAAncestry subreddit, and the responses were that it helped some of them overcome their brick walls, so I decided to go ahead and spring for it.

Now, once again, the wait. Waiting for it to be shipped, then waiting for it to be shipped back, and then waiting on results! (Can you tell I have an impatient side?)

But seriously, I am looking forward to seeing what the results are and really hope they open things up on my paternal side.