In Search of Victoria Drag

In Search of Victoria Drag

My maternal 2nd great-grandmother, Victoria (Drag) Kuznicki, is a mystery. She was born on December 23, 1890 in Galicia--a historical region in East-Central Europe that is divided between Poland and Ukraine today--and she arrived at Ellis Island aboard the SS Vaderland on March 30, 1909 at the age of 18. Victoria built Kuznicki's Bar from [...]

DNA Discrepancies

DNA Discrepancies

To create a customer's ethnicity estimate, DNA companies--including AncestryDNA, 23&Me and MyHeritage DNA, to name a few--compare the customer's DNA to a reference panel, or DNA from individuals of "known origin." If a section of the customer's DNA is most similar to the DNA tied to a reference panel of individuals from Sweden, for example, [...]

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Ever wondered where your freckles came from? Or why you hate cilantro? The likelihood that an individual exhibits a certain phenotype is based, in part, on the presence or absence of markers in their genotype that are associated with specific traits. A few weeks ago, AncestryDNA unveiled a new feature--AncestryDNA Traits--that provides customers with insights [...]

My Musical DNA

My Musical DNA

Based on my research, my roots aren't very musical: I have a great-great-grandmother who sang opera and one distant cousin who played almost every instrument in existence, but that's the extent of my family's talent. AncestryDNA has teamed up with Spotify to create "Heritage Playlists: The Unique Sound of Your Ancestry" for their customers, and while [...]

DNA Connections to Pomerania

DNA Connections to Pomerania

With surnames like Marczynski, Zielinski, Gostomski and Kuznicki in my family tree, I'm undeniably Polish. My great-great-grandparents, Mikołaj Kuznicki and Wiktorya Drag, left Galicia for Dunkirk, New York in their early twenties, and the Zielinski's, Gostomski's and Marczynski's all arrived at Ellis Island in 1900. Some of my ancestors started working in the coal mines [...]