What is immediately clear is that I have a lot to learn. My reading to date has been along the lines of Genetic DNA for Dummies - and I haven't fully absorbed that. Time to up my intake levels.
I've been given some good pointers for places to explore. My weekend reading is starting with Blaine Bettinger's ebook "I Have the Results of Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What?" which can be downloaded from his The Genetic Genalogist website. I have joined the DNA forums at Genetic Genealogy Digest and posted my first query. Joan Miller pointed me to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy website. 23andMe has forums and information, though I have found it difficult to navigate so far. Several of us have banded together on Facebook for moral support with a 23andMe Newbie group. Please join us if you wish.
Lots to absorb. I am, however, truly interested in the results so far. I have little expectation of actually connecting with relatives on my father's side, but there are some potential matches that I have started communicating with. What has most interested me is my paternal Carpatho-Rusyn grandmother's haplogroup result - H2a5. My admittedly novice reading of the results suggests that this group is restricted to the Basque region of Spain - definitely NOT what I expected.
H2a5 and the BasquesThere are other non-Basques with the same haplogroup, though most seem to be Norwegian. Curious and curiouser.One branch of H2 is much more localized. In fact, H2a5 is found only among one group of people: the Basques of northern Spain. The Basques are an isolated ethnic group that mostly reside in the Pyrenees Mountains that separate Spain from France. They speak a language that is distinct from every other on Earth, and many scientists have speculated that their linguistic uniqueness may mirror an equally unusual genetic history. In fact, some have argued that the Basque represent the descendants of some of the earliest human inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula. Although Haplogroup H2 is found among many Europeans, H2a5 is found only among the Basque, at levels of about 6%. H2a5 likely arose about 15,000 years ago, just after the glaciers began to recede from Europe after the Last Ice Age. People carrying H2a5 expanded into the Pyrenees, where their descendants still reside today. (From 23andMe's website)