May 26th, 2014 · History
It all started a couple of years ago, when my sister suggested I sign up for one of these DNA tests, for genealogical research, she said.
Bonnie inherited our mother’s genealogy gene. She also inherited boxes and boxes of my mother’s notes, compiled before computers streamlined much of the tedious process of tracing a family history.
Bonnie’s added her own meticulous research tracing my dad’s Lind family in Scotland, and she hoped my DNA test would help confirm some guesses and resolve some issues dating back a number of generations.
Here’s her theory in a nutshell, from a email to a person
believed to be a very distant cousin.
I have been researching our Linds since the early 1990′s and have a theory that all the Linds in the villages straddling the West Calder/Carnwath line (also the county line between Lanarkshire/Midlothian/West Lothian — yes, time to get out your map of Scotland) are related somehow. There are some gaps where the link comes a generation before those who died before Civil Registrations began in
1855, but in general the theory holds.
There’s lots more, but you get the idea. Bonnie even contacted the moderator of a forum for sharing DNA results and information from people with presumably related surnames–Lind, Lynn, Linn, etc., and arranged to sign me up with them in advance.
So after months of stalling, I finally paid my money and got a test kit from Family Tree DNA. You just scrape the inside of your cheek, send in the sample, and wait several weeks for the test results. The company then notifies you of every genetic match. Don’t get too excited. A lot of these are very distant matches and of little interest, unless, as one commenter put it, you’re interested in your caveman relatives. There are varying degrees of genetic matches, from extremely distant to the kind used for paternity testing.
We expected that I would soon be getting the names and contact info from a bunch of distant Lind family cousins.
But here’s where the science threw a curve ball. At last count, I’ve been notified of more than 1,200 genetic matches found within the Family Tree DNA database. Just two of them are named Lind, and one of those is John Lind from Hana, and we are pretty sure we know just how we’re related (my paternal grandfather and his grandfather or great-grandfather were first cousins who left Scotland independent of each other and came to the U.S.).
So now we have this mystery. Why aren’t I linked by DNA to any other Linds in the database? Actually, I don’t know how many there are, but there are enough to sustain one or more of these discussion “projects” through Family Tree DNA.
We’re left to figure out how to account for the negative
Bonnie had one theory:
In looking at the list of surnames associated with R-M269, the Glinn/Glynn/Glenn sequence leaped out at me. I can
see that GL sound getting slurred into LINN or LIND. Think how it SOUNDS, not how it looks. Think how it sounds based on variations in dialect and accent. Our Grandmother Lind’s mother was Janet Greig. In tracking the Greigs I had
a terrible time until I found the baptismal entry with the surname spelling GARIG. Irish priest in Ayrshire??? Or a priest from farther north or east in Scotland? Someone whose ear was not tuned to the guttural Ayrshire brogue and I can hear it happening. Glinn to Linn to Lind is not a long jump.
Of course, another kind of jump is a possible explanation. Someone might have “jumped the fence,” as they say. Or maybe one of my male ancestors was adopted, raised by a grandparent, or raised in a hanai family, as was common in Hawaii.