The eight ancestor is my 52 week challenge is my wife’s paternal great-grandmother, Anna (HUIZEL) COLLINS. I’m not completely sure of the pronunciation of that surname, but I’ve heard both Oot-zuhl and Ooh-zuhl.
Anna was born around July 1881 in what is today, Netolice in the Prachatice District, South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. In 1881, I think this was just considered Bohemia. Her parents are John HUIZEL and Barbara REINDL. There is no birth record that we have found, yet, but I did find records of her parent’s marriage and the births of some of her other siblings in the area.
I basically tripped into the Czech records one day while browsing FamilySearch. I found a lot of info on her family at the online records available at the State Regional Archives Trebon. I got a lot of help from a very well-done blog about Czech Genealogy. You can read more about what I found on a post I wrote about it.
Anna immigrated from Bohemia around 1885-1888 with her parents. On Valentine’s Day 1899, she married Albert COLLINS in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where her parents resided. Albert and Anna had four children, including my wife’s grandmother, Barbara.
One of Anna’s siblings, a brother named Jacob, gave us one of the first humorous family mysteries. We had some photos from her grandmother and one of them was a photo of a gentleman and all it said on the back was “Uncle. One arm.” We ended up finding out that this was Anna’s brother, Jacob, whom we all refer to now as “Uncle One-Arm.”
Albert passed away around 1945 and Anna lived on in Madison, Wisconsin until she passed away in 1945. She is buried with her husband in Boscobel, Grant County, Wisconsin, where they lived for many years.
I mentioned in a recent post that I was able to get 23andMe tests for my father and my father-in-law that would hopefully help narrow down DNA matches and also find out more about ourselves. Those tests have been taken, sent in, and now finally analyzed. There were no surprising results, but it does help make a clearer picture of certain things.
With my father’s tests, I was also able to get his mtDNA (or Maternal) Line passed down from his mother’s line. The surnames that it follows would be CORRIGAN > BRAATZ > STEARNS > SCHUMACHER > HEINZ > HETTLER and that’s as far as I have right now. It’s basically a deep German line (minus the obvious Irish one in the beginning.) His mtDNA haplogroup is U4, but the subgroup is U4a3. 23andMe says:
Haplogroup U4 is found in western Eurasia, from Mongolia to central Europe. It arose about 25,000 years ago and subsequently spread with the migrations that followed the end of the Ice Age about 14,000 years ago.
[U4a] diverged from its U4 sister lineages about 21,000 years ago in the region surrounding the Baltic Sea. Today it is most common among the people of the Volga River and Ural Mountains of Russia, such as the Chuvash, Kets and Mari. It is also common among the Baltic and Finnish people of northern Europe who speak languages related to the Finno-Ugric tongues of the Volga-Ural region in western Russia.
That didn’t really surprise me. As for the YDNA line, which I also share, what is interesting is that my haplogroup is R1a1a* which usually means they know you’re R1a1a, but more than likely part of a subgroup. My father’s YDNA haplogroup is found to be just R1a1a, technically putting us in separate groups on the site. More than likely their tests are now more accurate and figured out that we’re directly from the R1a1a haplogroup.
My father-in-law’s tests were doubly useful as both the YDNA and mtDNA info was new to us as my wife doesn’t get either of those passed down from him. His mtDNA line, which follows the surnames: COLLINS > HUIZEL > REINDL > BOHM. The research on this line ends in the South Bohemian section the Czech Republic, which I assume was Czechoslovakia at the time. His mtDNA haplogroup is found to be H5.
H5 appears to have originated during the Ice Age, as the human population of Europe retreated to the few relatively mild pockets of the otherwise frozen continent. The haplogroup appears to have sprung up somewhere near the Caucasus Mountains, or in forests near the Black Sea. H5 is particularly common today in Georgia and in other populations from the Caucasus region. Not long after it originated, a few migrants carried H5 along the southern fringes of Europe into the Balkans and as far west as France, where the haplogroup can still be found today.
It seems to line up with the little amount of data we have on that line. His YDNA line, which we assumed was pretty deep Irish as the surname is MORAN, was pretty close to our assumptions. The YDNA haplogroup was found to be (besides the longest one ever) R1b1b2a1a2f*. There is that little asterisk again.
R1b1b2a1a2f2 reaches its peak in Ireland, where the vast majority of men carry Y-chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup. Researchers have recently discovered that a large subset of men assigned to the haplogroup may be direct male descendants of an Irish king who ruled during the 4th and early 5th centuries. According to Irish history, a king named Niall of the Nine Hostages established the Ui Neill dynasty that ruled the island country for the next millennium.
Northwestern Ireland is said to have been the core of Niall’s kingdom; and that is exactly where men bearing the genetic signature associated with him are most common. Genetic analysis suggests that all these men share a common ancestor who lived about 1,700 years ago. Among men living in northwestern Ireland today that date is closer to 1,000 years ago. Those dates neatly bracket the era when Niall is supposed to have reigned.
Besides matching our assumptions, that is a cool fact about men from that haplogroup. It’s the first haplogroup I’ve dealt with that names an actual (possible) ancestor. It also gives a highly-probable area of where to look for the origin of his MORAN ancestors.
Outside of the haplogroup testing, we’re still using this new info to break down DNA matches. Having at least one parent allows you to know which side a match comes from, narrowing down the research. I’m still working on that. The tests also gave us some interesting data on our Ancestry Composition which I will post about soon.
Anyone test their parents or other close relations and get some useful information?
Up until this weekend I had never done any Czech research. I knew my wife’s great-grandmother was born somewhere in Bohemia, which is in the Czech Republic, but we didn’t dig much deeper. As you may, or may not have, read in my last post, I sort of fell into researching my wife’s Czech line last weekend. While I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, I do feel I know a lot more about Czech research than I did a week ago. I stumbled upon a little site that filled my brain with helpful information (Thanks, Jennifer.)
The site was created by Blanka Lednicka over at Czech Genealogy for Beginners, a site I didn’t know about until the other day. While the site is pretty new and doesn’t have a ton of content, yet, everything that’s posted so far is extremely helpful to anyone doing Czech research. I’m personally used it to find some really helpful translations and writing comparisons. Google Translate can only take me so far.
The blog is also currently being updated and Blanka even personally responded to some of my comments, which is very nice and has also been very helpful.
I hit up FamilySearch this weekend to do some miscellaneous research. I happened to see their collection of records for the Czech Republic (or Czechoslovakia) and since my wife’s great-grandmother, Anna (HUIZEL) COLLINS, was born there, I thought I’d browse them. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything useful.
Though, while looking through their wiki pages on the records, I did happen to somehow find my way over to the Digital Archives: State Regional Archives Trebon. According to their site, “users can research digitalized materials of State Regional Archives Trebon and State District Archives of South Bohemia.” That sounded promising since our records indicate the family was from the Netolice region of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic. I jumped right into their “Parish Registers” section and then into “Roman Catholic Church.” Fortunately, they had a map of all of the parishes, so I was able to see which parish Netolice was in. It happens to be its own parish, so that’s good.
It’s a pretty amazing website, if you have Czech ancestors from this region. Dozens and dozens of digitized parish records from as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries. Some are in the process of being indexed. Their system even allows you to bookmark pages, etc. While the viewer and website and slightly clunky, I wouldn’t say they’re any worse than Ancestry or FamilySearch, just different.
I opened the list of registers. Netolice seems like a big area.
The weekly history from our family trees for this week. I plan on getting back to this since I’ve been so busy lately. As always you can browse the history by date on the Dates & Anniversaries page.
1841 – Died – Constant Joseph LAURENT – Constant is Brian’s 4th-great-grandfather on his mother’s side. He was born 14 Oct 1777 in Grez-Doiceau, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. In 1809, he married his wife Marie Josèphe BERO. He passed away in Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Waloon Brabant, Belgium.
1716 – Born – Rachel (BURLSON) WARNER – Rachel is Darcy’s 7th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born in Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. She married her husband, John WARNER, in 1741 and passed away in an unknown year at Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont.
1854 – Married – Jean Joseph Désiré DEBROUX & Marie Desiree LOOD – Jean and Marie are Brian’s 3rd-great-grandparents on his mother’s side. They were married at Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. Together they had 7 children, only one was born in Belgium before they traveled to the US and settled in Wisconsin.
1828 – Died – Marie Catherine LOUIS – Marie is Darcy’s 6th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born in about 1747 in Thorembais-les-Beguines, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. She married Jean Francois RENIER in 1774 and passed away at Thorembais-les-Beguines, Walloon Brabant, Belgium.
1842 – Born – Barbara (REINDL) HUIZEL – Barbara is Darcy’s great-great-grandmother on her father’s side. She was born in Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. She married John HUIZEL in about 1864. She passed away on 6 Feb 1905 in Plymouth, Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa.
This is a photo of Jacob HUIZEL (middle) and two unknown women. Jacob is my wife’s great-great uncle. The reason for the “One-Arm” title is that we found an earlier photo of Jacob and on the back it just said “Uncle Jake” and under it was written “(one arm)”. There are a few photos like this one, but it’s always hard to tell if he does only have one arm. If I would take a guess, it would be his right arm since you can see his left one. Family mysteries, huh?