Testimonials from customers of iGENEA
Previously unknown distant relative found
I intensively researched the family history of my ancestors for 10 years. However, documentation research did not take me back any further than 5 generations. After a friend told me about DNA genealogy, I had a Y-Chromosome test conducted for EUR 120.00 and found Scottish relatives previously unknown to me via the iGENEA database.
Within one month I learnt that my original name was Morison. The lineage of the Morison-Clan can be followed back to the Viking era; my Gaelic name is Mc Mathan("The Bear"). My forefather came to Germany during the 30 Year War as a soldier and married here. His name was not understood and therefore converted to Moritz.
Ralf Moritz, Niedersachsen
Descended from the sea-faring Phoenicians
I was very keen to find out who my father’s ancestors were, and also where my family name came from.
Since, however, the local church burned down many years ago, it had been impossible to learn more about my paternal origins. . To my great surprise, we learned through a DNA-Test that we are descended from the sea-faring Phoenicians. Moreover, we learned that our ancestors came from the modern-day Lebanon/Syria with their city states suchas Tyre and Carthage, sailing to Italy, and must have migrated to Switzerland from there. It is really fascinating to find out that genes can tell us so much. It also seems personally fascinating to me that I always felt drawn to the Mediterranean as a child. Maybe there’s more passed on in our genes s than we think..
Benjamin Tschupp, Switzerland
Long Migrations of our Ancestors
While I was rummaging through the internet researching my ancestors, I happened on a geographic DNA project run by the Mennonites. Since my direct paternal ancestors were members of the Mennonite church, I was immediately interested in their results. The members of this group mostly marry within the group, and so many family names can be traced directly back to the time of the Reformation. I was especially interested in our family name “Penner,” which had been changed from “Fröhlich.” Astonishingly, 35 of 36 people tested with this name belonged to the same haplogroup, which means that they have to have been related at some time within the last 500-600 years. Now I wanted to know if I belong to this group, and had a Y-Chromosome test done.
The result showed the haplogroup E3b, which means that I am descended from the first male ancestor of the Penners. The truly surprising part was that the DNA of the Penners showed the most commonalities with Spaniards and people descended from Spaniards. This is especially astonishing as their origins are attested in documents from the Low German-Netherlands region, from where they later emigrated to West Prussian and then in large part on to Russia. Apparently one of my ancestors must have come from Spain before the documentary attestation began. This likely happened when Spain occupied the Netherlands during the 30-Years-War, or perhaps a bit earlier, fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition.
Haplogroup E3b came to Europe via multiple routes, but still the Penner DNA evinces similarities with that of North Africans. They could therefore have come with the ancient sea-faring people the Phoenicians, or with the Muslim Invasion by the Moors in Spain. If this incredible history is correct, my ancestors must have come from North Africa, through Spain, the Netherlands, West Prussia, the Ukraine, Siberia, and Kazakhstan before my grandparents came back to Germany.
Since then, I have had the maternal ancestral line tested by iGENEA, so that I know now that I also have Germanic and Celtic ancestors, confirming European origins. These results certainly show that people of the past undertook amazing journeys.
Stefan Fröhlich, Germany
Origin of my great-grandfather's family
I had already been interested in researcing my family tree for quit some time. Of especial interest to me was the history and origin of my great-grandfather's family.
In order to deepen the research that I had already done, I ordered a Combination Starter Test from IGENEA. I was very surprised by the results, because I had strongly suspected that my paternal ancestors had come from the East. The result showed instead that my region of origin on my father's side was the United Kingdom of England.
Johann Reischenböck, Schweiz
Traced back to the Seventeenth Century
As an avocational geneaologist, I've been trying for 12 years to find traces of my ancestors. I was only successful to any real degree in getting as far back as the Eighteenth Century.
My ancestors came from East Prussia. In the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, East Prussia was largely re-populated by immigrants from all over Europe in the wake of the Thrid Nordic War and the Great Plague. That's a real problem for most genealogists. If one can't find some clue to an immigrant's original native country, then one hasn't really any reasonable chance of tracing his ancestors back. Add to this that, between two World Wars, unbelievable amounts of material, such as church registries, tax rolls, etc. were lost.
In genealogist circles, the topic of genetic testing (GEN-Test) to resolve exactly this problem has been discussed for some time, as a way of continuing research into one's own family tree in order to use one person to localize ancestors who migrated from afar. I had the first GEN-Test done, though to date without any real success. This is understandable in my case, since only a growing number of persons who've been tested will increase the probability of a successful match. That's why I'm not going to give up, since this is for now, the only real chance to find a trail leading back to the Seventeenth Century.
Dieter Finkhäuser, Deutschland
Surname project: Hauri or Howery
I am excited, because finally I now know my true ancestry. My test partner and I are amateur genealogists. We knew that both of our families are distantly related to the descendants of the Hauris’ from Switzerland. The first mutual ancestor probably lived around 1400. My family, who carries the name Howery, always claimed they would have formerly been named Hamilton until an ancestor in about 1800 took the name Howery from his stepfather. We could never find evidence to prove this story; however, we believed it nevertheless. I came to the conclusion that only the Y-Chromosome test could reveal the truth to us and got down to work.
Much to my surprise the basic test stated that I am a
descendant of the Hauri family. Now I have the proof that for a long time my family adhered to a tradition that was incorrect. I am a Howery with Swiss roots.
Justin Howery, email@example.com
Search and find relatives from all over the world
My name is Alice Rabinovich and I live in Argentina. Recently I heard that a man in California, who searched over the internet for his family, could be our cousin. We established contact and he ordered a test for himself and for one of my cousins.
Almost within a month we found out that we belonged to a family who “we had lost” three generations ago. We were all very happy. They live 6000 miles away from us.
A new era has begun for us.
Adopted child searches for roots and finds them
I was abandoned at birth – and had to live with this sad knowledge, which was actually a total lack of knowledge about my background. It gave me great hope when I learnt about the Y-Chromosome test. Thanks to this test I am now a new person, a person who has roots. My ancestors are Hungarian Jews. I have even found two distant cousins; these are my first relatives besides my own children, who now also have “complete” roots.
Surname project (non-paternity event): Mumma
A man with the surname of Bell contacted the administrator of the Mumma surname project. The man’s great-grandfather had been a commercial traveller in Ohio. According to uncertain sources he had been robbed and killed before he could marry Bell’s great-grandmother. She had been pregnant at the time with his grandfather. Later she married a man by the name of Bell, who adopted her illegitimate son. According to information that had been passed on verbally, the name of the murdered party had been “Elmer Maumau”; however, nobody was sure of this because there was no written proof. In the Mumma family tree of the Mumma surname project, one Elmer Mumma can be seen. However, this Elmer Mumma had not been killed, but had married and started a family. Our man with the surname of Bell subsequently had his own sample analysed. And lo and behold: his Y-DNA profile conformed exactly to the profiles of the three descendants of the immigrant, Peter Mumma. Due to this one can now conclude that Mumma is the genetic surname of Bell. The results were shown to a great-grandson of Elmer Mumma. The grandchild confirmed that Elmer Mumma was a commercial traveller and that he had lived in Ohio at the time that Bell’s grandfather was conceived. After all of the facts and family photos had been exchanged, it was clear that Elmer Mumma was the father of Bell’s illegitimate grandfather. Although complicated, the frequently pleasing results of a test can be so exciting…
I was adopted as a baby. To my regret I didn't know about my origin other than that I am blond and blue eyed – probably European. I found hope with regard to finally coming across my roots when I learned of the DNA test. Through this I was identified as Central European, East European or Anglo-Saxon. Ultimately the Y-DNA-12 test showed that I am West European on my father's side and that I belong to haplogroup R1b. The mtDNA test placed me into haplogroup T, which means that I am also East European. Now I had the details on my origins. I decided to broaden both tests, I wanted to search for and find relatives. I was disappointed when I found that I only conformed with many people in the 12 marker. However, nobody conformed with me on the 37 or 36 markers. I spent six months waiting in anticipation. Then I received an E-Mail, which took my breath away: “FTDNA Y-DNA conformity in 37 markers”. There was someone who conformed to me on all 37 Y-DNA markers. That means that there is a 90% probability that we both have a mutual ancestor running back over the last five generations. Naturally I immediately contacted my umpteenth cousin. He is my first blood relative. And I, the onetime adopted baby who grew up into a man without knowing his background, am overjoyed. My blood relative and I write E-Mails to each other regularly. We don't just have a genetic connection; we also get on with one another very well.
Our name occurs very frequently in Northern Germany. We therefore wanted to ascertain through a DNA genealogy test, which families with this name are not related to each other. In order to economise, we conducted a 12 marker test with ten people. After this simple test covering recent time, two of the ten people could be eliminated. We, that is to say the remaining eight people, arranged a further test, an upgrade to 37 markers. And this definitely confirmed the family tree analyses that already existed. We eight namesakes (in the true meaning of the word) probably descended from two brothers.
We have such a rare name that I was sure whoever bore it, came from the same area in Austria as ourselves. I collected addresses over the internet, from phone books and from the municipal chambers. When I contacted the people concerned, most were prepared to have a test done. The Y-DNA Genealogy Starter Plus (37 marker test) divided us into two different genetic groups. We compared the family trees, documents and word of mouth and learnt that one group came from England / Scotland and the other from Austria / Hungary. Thanks to the 67 marker test, the group from Austria / Hungary to which I belong could be divided even further. Much to my delight my family tree is now growing. The new information gained from DNA genealogy has contributed to this happening.
From the Cohen priest-line
My father was born in 1883 in mid West America. His father had in turn emigrated to America from the Kiev region of Russia. Some months ago a cousin in Houston told me about a family who like us is called Cherniss. They had come to America from the former Soviet Union, from the same place as my grandfather had originated from. I thought about it: should we be related to these Cherniss’, we would have lost contact with them over 120 years ago. Following this I ordered two test kits, one for me and one for a member of the Cherniss family in Houston. We soon knew that we are related to each other; not only that we also learnt that we are descendants of Cohen priests. This has certainly been very encouraging and exciting.
Joel Cherniss, San Francisco, USA