Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Wrann DNA

November 14, 2008

For the past few years I’ve been hearing about DNA tests and how they can be of value to genealogists…especially when they’re trying to prove a relationship.

Without getting too technical, the Y Chromosome is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. What this means is I have the same Y-DNA as my father, his father, his father’s father, his father’s father’s father and on back as far as you can imagine. This also means that my Y-DNA is the same as my Great Great Grandfather Ferdinand Gustav Wrann’s as well as any Wrann male grandparents, cousins, uncles and male siblings he might have had. Since a major brickwall in us figuring out where our Wrann-cestors (too cheesey?) came from in Germany begins at Ferdinand I thought maybe DNA would eventually help us break through.

About a year ago I had my Y-DNA tested via Ancestry.com. The markers that make up my Y-DNA are stored in a database there and if anyone gets a Y test through them and the results match mine I’ll receive an email with a link to a form I could use to contact that person. Since the Y-DNA is passed only along the male line then logically only someone with a Wrann (or someone who had a Wrann for a father) surname would match mine. To date there are no matched amongst the thousands of Y-DNA tests they have done.

Outside of the people directly related to my Grandfather Willard I’ve never bumped into a Wrann I didn’t know. We’ve always considered the surname to be fairly rare. We have of course found other Wrann’s online – some from Austria, some from Germany, some from Chile, Australia, the UK…and a few in the United States with no known connection to us.

Last year my father contacted one of these United States Wranns who seems completely unrelated to our branch of Wranns. In the interest of privacy I won’t post his first name here but I will tell you he’s in his 80’s, fought in WWII and seems to be a genuinely nice guy. His father immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in the 1920’s and documents indicate he was born in a town called Klagenfurt. If somewhere down the line this man and myself share a common male ancestor then a DNA test would prove the relationship. Because we know specifically where his father was born then if we are connected I could research records from that area and eventually we would discover where Ferdinand Gustav and this man were related. My father paid for the test, Mr. Wrann took it and the lab received the test kit back on November 3. The test results typically take about two weeks to be completed and we’re anxiously awaiting the results.

If any family members want to see the results of my own test send me an email at wranncestry@gmail.com and I’ll send you a .pdf file.