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Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 21 Aug 2013 12:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm not very familiar with this stuff, so this may be a silly question. On my mother's side of the family, supposedly the ancestry is Polish, Russian, German, and English. The problem is, my uncle and brother both look VERY Mediterranean. My uncle has much darker skin than anyone in his family. My brother's skin is very olive-toned and darker than any of us. Both of them have very dark brown eyes. My grandparents on that side have blue and very light green/blue eyes and very light skin. My mom and I both have rings of brown in our eyes, which otherwise are blue-gray.

So, if everyone in my family - to my knowledge - is from light-skinned and light-eyed northern European countries, where does this Italian appearance come in? They both have the exact same look, so I know it's on my mother's side of the family. I'm very confused. Does that mean there's some Italian-area ancestry on that side of the family that I don't know about? And if so, how do I go about finding out how far back it is and who it is?

Re: Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 21 Aug 2013 10:42AM GMT
Classification: Query
It's not like it's impossible for someone of Polish, Russian, German, or English heritage to have darker features.

But the quickest way to find out would probably be an autosomal DNA test, ideally on the people whose features are in question. Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA all offer an autosomal DNA test for $99.

Re: Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 2 Sep 2013 1:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi there again. I was looking at other message you have posted on ancestor who hanged the surname and came across this one. You forget about numerous migrations which happened within Russia and Europe. Russia is huge and includes many nationalities.

When you say Russian it could be from anywhere in Russia If you take the Russian from east and from west or north or south, they will all be different looking.

What are the origins of the surnames in your tree.? This might give you a clue as well.

Re: Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 2 Sep 2013 7:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
I don't know how to find out the origins of the surnames. Just about all of them don't come up anywhere. I believe the only one that does is English. There are Italians in my family, ironically, though they're not blood relatives.

If the little bit of info I do know is correct, I think it would be western Russia.

Re: Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 2 Sep 2013 11:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Do you want to post the surnames. I can help with russian.

Re: Ancestry and physical characteristics not matching up

Posted: 3 Sep 2013 2:11AM GMT
Classification: Query
On their side of the family? The only ones I know for sure are Johnson, Koch, and some variation of Pfiel. The possible Russian ancestor and his wife I'm not positive on the surnames. Hers, assuming it wasn't also changed, was Pawlak or Pavlak. But again, I'm not positive on anything from that branch of my family.
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