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Saturday, December 30, 2017

All the best in 2018!

  Hope you all had a great holiday season to round up 2017 with great family time. During the holidays I was able to meet all of my living ancestors, as well as all of my siblings and their kids, so I am definitely satisfied.

What I want to achieve in this blog post is wrapping up last year with the evaluation of my 2017 goal set, so I can improve setting up a more realistic 2018 list.

Let's shortly revise what I set up to:
  1. Have a healthy son introduced into the world. 
  2. Improve the family tree. This has subgoals as per the latest 2016 balancing blog.
    2.1. Identify 40% of ancestors up to 10th gen - identify 818 ancestors (out of 2046).
    I currently [think I] know 512 of them. This means 306 new ancestors in 2017.
    2.2. Identify half of my paternal grandfather's 7th generation. I.e. 64 ancestors. 
  3. Run a Czech series for newbies in genetic genealogy. 
  4. Break one or both of my closest brick walls.
    4.1. This includes a sub-goal of gathering as much relevant samples as possible.
    4.2. Work on recombination map and chromosome coverage on paternal side.
  5. Test my own children.
  6. Start an "Ancestor of the week" feature - were I blog about one of my ancestors.
  7. Keep working with my genetic genealogy matches (this includes 23andMe matches and the relevant goal mentioned in the recent 2016 balancing blog).
Let's start with the resounding successes:

1. Have a healthy son introduced into the world. 
Yes! Vitus is not only a great boy (he can already say "daddy"), I was able to deepen the knowledge of my paternal ancestry driven by my first born son - here. 100% complete

2.2. Identify half of my paternal grandfather's 7th generation. I.e. 64 ancestors. 
By very focused work, I was able to just achieve this goal! Yay!

7. Working with genetic matches.
I was definitely active in this direction and was able to map several US cousins to my tree (usually by building their own tree in the process).

On to the partial successes:

2.1. Identify 40% of ancestors up to 10th gen - identify 818 ancestors (out of 2046).
Well, today finds me at 635 ancestors. Some somewhat hypothetical. That is not too bad of a growth from the 512 I had last year (24%). I guess my goal was just too aggressive.
If I want to aim at another 24%, my goal for 2018 would be 788 ancestors.

3. Run a Czech series for newbies in genetic genealogy. 
This was a very small success at the last minute. I ran a blog about the most common Czech DNA test - Genetics and Surnames project.

4. Break one or both of my closest brick walls. 
Based on DNA testing, I now have a candidate father for my great-great-grandfather, Antonin Sula, 1871. The new supposed ancestor is Frantisek Skrejsovsky, 1837.
Further testing will be needed to verify this hypothesis.
The other MPE will be harder to identify, as there is quite heavy endogamy in the Hornacko region, and lack of Czech testers.

5. Test my own children.
This was another last minute save. We sent out my daughters tests to 23andMe on Dec 23rd. It was a pleasant surprise that my 3 year old was able to spit enough (not verified by the lab).
My youngest remains untested. I am kinda on a lookout for FTDNA move to GSA chip...

Total failure:

6. Start an "Ancestor of the week" feature - were I blog about one of my ancestors.

Well the Ancestor of the week is the only thing I have not managed to start in 2017. Hopefully, I can do better in 2018!

With that I am looking forward to the 2018 plan post and hope you all had better success planning your goals than I did.


  1. Hello, Your blog is very interesting. I am hopelessly at the beginning. I did a 23andme and one pending in My father, Jan Kriz, was Czech from Bohemia. All his informal searching 30 years ago has the Kriz family from the triangle of Praha, Ceske Budejovice, and Plzn. Yet his four grandparents have names that suggest more diversity: Kriz, Hajkova, Bachor, Kandlerová, the latter of which coming from Kandler and Balounova.

    My paternal Haplogrooup is I-Z16983.

    I would love to find out how up the seriousness of the DNA search.

    Thanks, Peter

  2. Hello Peter,
    thank you so much for the comment!

    We were all starting once! Genealogy using genetic information is not at all easy. The more you do it and the more you uncover, the easier it gets (which probably goes for many human activities :D ).
    If you are on facebook, you can join "Czech genealogy - DNA" group. And I definitely recommend "Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques".

    Importantly any genetic genealogy stands on the traditional paper genealogy and the better family tree you have, the better success with genetic genealogy you will have.
    Therefore, I strongly recommend researching your immigrant ancestors. Any naturalization records and death records are usually the most likely documents to hold the ancestral place. Did you or your father acquire these documents?

    Second, there is a number of knowledge people to help. I can't recommend enough the "Czech Genealogy" FB group.
    Also, you can always try hiring a professional genealogist. I am a genealogist myself, spend a lot of time, yet hire a professional from time to time, when things get rough, or my progress is slow due to lack of time.

    Your I-Z16983 is the largest sub-branch of the iconic I-PH908 mutation connected to the south-western Slavs during the slavic expansion in the early centuries after Christ.

    DNA testing is a lot about the matches. And want you want to do, is to try to assign them to various ancestors of yours (some will be Kriz matches, some Hajek, Bachor, Kandler, ... matches).
    For this the best thing to do, is trying to test relatives that only share some particular of these families with you. Or identifying them in the databases -- there probably already are your relatives who tested themselves and you can identify them. The basic information you will be using is the in-common-with data -- if you and your Hajek cousin share some matches, you do not share with your Kriz, Bachor and Kandler matches, they are likely through your Hajek ancestry.
    The more you will be doing this, the easier it will become.

    You can start using tools that will help like and

    But once again, you should first start with your tree and build at least 4 generations.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Kuba, this is great. I will try to mine relatives for all they know and join the FB page. several branches of my DNA represent challenges in and of themselves! I will gear up for this one!! Thanks again! Peter

    My father hired a local genealogist to research the Kriz name pertaining to his ancestry. I have names to 1390. Just paternal, Kriz. The other four are his grandparents. I will ask a few cousins. I only have limited family docs.

    One follow up question: for those of Czech DNA, which is the best DNA service? I have done 23andme and am awaiting my results.

    Again, Děkuji!

  4. I can only encourage participating in all databases. Uploading your DNA from 23andMe/Ancestry to Myheritage, FTDNA and GedMatch makes complete sense. You can start everywhere for free. Start looking around, collect interesting pieces of data.

    Additionally, it makes sense to test more of your relatives (as I elaborated on previous email). It is fine doing this just on a single company that suits you and uploading to others that permit it...

    Neni zac!