A while ago, I wrote about how I thought a Y-DNA test could help determine if I was indeed related to the descendants of Franciszek Niedzialkoski.
I have indirect proof of the relationship through church records in Poland, but I still have not been able to find some critical documents to confirm the relationship directly. In particular, I’m missing my grandfather’s birth and baptismal record, my great-grandfather’s marriage record, and my great grandfather’s birth and baptismal record.
Three of my Niedzialkowski/Niedzialkoski cousins arranged to have their Y-DNA tested. While the results are not yet complete, we do know that the Y-DNA markers of all three fit into the R1a haplogroup, described by FamilyTreeDNA as:
R1a - The R1a lineage is believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes north of the Black & Caspian Seas. This lineage is thought to descend from a population of the Kurgan culture, known for the domestication of the horse (circa 3000 B.C.E.). These people were also believed to be the first speakers of the Indo-European language group. This lineage is found in central & western Asia, India, and in Slavic populations of Europe.
The R1a haplogroup is the most common Y-DNA haplogroup in Poland. So, no surprises here.
I also sent my own DNA to be tested. My Y-DNA will correspond to the Danko surname. I received the results of the analysis of the first 12 markers and my Y-DNA fits firmly within the R1b1 haplogroup.
FamilyTreeDNA describes this haplogroup as:
R1b1 - Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype.
Quite frankly, I expected my Y-DNA would fit into the R1a haplogroup, just like the DNA of my Niedzialkowski/Niedzialkoski cousins. It looks like my Danko ancestors followed a different migration path to Poland than did my Niedzialkowski ancestors. My distant Danko ancestors appear to have arrived from Western Europe while my distant Niedzialkowski ancestors appear to have arrived from Eastern Europe!
These results are a bit unexpected, but not unreasonable.
I’m still waiting for the results of the analysis of my mitochondrial DNA, which should give me clues to the origin of my matrilineal line.
So, now I have DNA tests in progress for DNA that tracks with three of my grandparents: Kostanty Niedzialkowski, Helena Chmielewski, and Michael Danko. If I can convince another family member who carries my paternal grandmother’s mitochondrial DNA, I’ll have a DNA trail for all four grandparents.
It will be interesting to see what kind of information I can coax out of the final DNA results.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko