Questioning Your DNA

I have been working on our Stewart/Steward family line for eons… truly …and I cannot break through this brick wall that ends with John Steward and his wife Minerva. You can see my pedigree over there to the right.

Now I’m not a DNA pro by any means but I get the basics.  I have had my DNA (my mom’s and that of my children) floating around on Ancestry, 23andMe, and GEDMatch with positively ZERO hits on our Stewart line.  Three years plus and no hits anywhere, no DNA circles, not even the generic email from a possible relative with a match looking for info… just NOTHING.  So, recently, I decided to go through our DNA circles again to take a closer look.  I have 101 circles with NO Stewart matches and my mom has 25 circles with NO Stewart matches either.  (My circles are much larger because my dad’s KY line is huge.)  Puzzled… I began to dig deeper into our tree.

How to Surprise Your Hematologist with Genealogy

I had been having sharp, stabbing pains in my right lung area under my breast bone on an off for a few months.  It was so intense, it actually took my breath away and I’d have to speak in small, quick sentences until I could catch my breath again.  My rheumatologist thought it might be pleurisy, which is where your lung lining is inflamed and rubs against your chest walls.  Of course, every time I would get an appointment and go in to see him with this pain, it was never acting up so he advised that next time it happened, to go to the Urgent Care or ER to be looked at immediately and they could do an X-ray and see what exactly was going on.

The Scars of Our Ancestor’s DNA

Digital illustration DNA structure in colour backgroundI read a super interesting article this week called “Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes” by Dan Hurley of Discover magazine and in the article, it talks about how our ancestor’s experiences, both positive and negative, have made their mark in our DNA. Scientists have experimented on rats and observed behaviors – such as how if humans handled the pups, the mothers began to groom their babies more and were therefore, more “hands on”.  Those pups would then turn around and be more “hands on” with their own brood later on.  But beyond mothering traits, when males rats who were “bullied” were mated with females, and even though the babies were never exposed to their father, the babies were highly prone to stress as opposed to those babies who were not fathered by bullied rats, indicating that the probability that the stress the father experienced passed on through his DNA to his pups.