Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday evening wrap up

A hodge podge day with hodge podge results.

I spent hours looking at admixture results for our DNA testing. For someone who literally dreams about maps, vectors and migration patterns (not normal I know, but I really don't have much control over my dreams) it's been fascinating. I've always seen traces of central Asia in my grandmother's face, a slight oriental cast to her eyes. While my father's family has been firmly planted in the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains as far back as we can trace them, that's no more than 200 years. It's clear from the DNA tests that somewhere in the previous 10,000 years or so his ancestors (MY ancestors) were tromping across Asia. While 75% of his DNA reads as European in the latest admixture test, 25% is a mix of Middle Eastern, Asian and North African. Forget finding Charlemagne. I'm hunting Ghengis Khan! And one note to my descendants - all that DNA you think might be Indian comes from your European Grandfather, NOT your Colonial American Grandmother.

Switching gears, I searched for Meredith information and found some information about a John & Thomas Meredith who were merchants in Easton, MD in the early 19th c. I would very much like rule these guys in or out as my John & Thomas Meredith but it's not clear yet.

Finally, I'm assembling some information on my grandmother Anna Pereksta's family for a new-found cousin and am, of course, obsessing over what I don't know or haven't well documented. He's more interested in what I do know and that's what I need to focus on. HOWEVER, during my one (ok, there were four of five) last check on FamilySearch I found a fascinating record.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the Perekstas that my aunt knew a family in Binghamton, NY where the first husband had been George Pereksta. He was a cousin of some sort, was working as a miner in Vermont when he was killed in a mining accident. I did not mention that his wife was named Susie and that they had a daughter Katherine before he died.

Today someone new, Katie Perkesta born 1905 in New York, showed up on my screen. Since I thought I'd found every possible Pereksta in the US after 1900 I was startled. Katie was enumerated in the 1905 New York State Census which can now be viewed. I viewed.


Katie was listed as the 5 month old daughter of Mike and Susie Pereksta both born in Austria (the Empire, not today's nation). Just as I was beginning to remember a Susie with daughter Katherine I saw Mike's occupation. Slate quarryman. The bells went off! That's awfully close to a miner. Then I looked up Granville on a map. It's awfully close to Vermont! I went back to my notes from my aunt and saw George, not Mike, staring up from the page.

From Google Maps
So it's not a perfect fit. But this Katie and Susie are the same ages as the women in the 1920 Binghamton census. And I know too well that first names are fluid in this population and memories are not perfect. I was asking specifically about Georges when my aunt told me this story - trying to figure out just who the George Pereksta was who travelled with my aunt Mary when she came to America.

I don't have an immigration record that fits for this Mike or Susie. It's not clear whether they were married in the United States or if Mike went back to Europe to marry. I don't know where Mike died. There were plenty of slate quarries in Vermont and NY and apparently many accidents and deaths. He likely died shortly after the 1905 census, since Susie's next daughter, who was reportedly not his child, was born about 1907/1908. Immigration, marriage, birth, death records - lots to do!


  1. Susan, dreaming about maps and migration patterns I understand; but what are vectors and should I be obsessing about them, too?!


  2. Interesting DNA results - guess this is something I'll have to look into. Did you have this done through Family Tree DNA?

  3. The Pereksta story is interesting. Just like you I constantly find new pieces to the genealogy jig-saw puzzle that I'm trying to assemble--but the pieces don't exactly match.

  4. Cathy - Thank you! Most people's eyes just glaze over when I start talking maps or migration. As for vectors, think of those arrows on the maps showing the movements.

    Greta - We did the original testing through 23andMe. The admixture tests were done by two different anthropologists for projects they have developed.

  5. I know that as researchers of our family's history, it only hurts us to start making assumptions, but at what point do you simply say, "it all makes too much sense to be anything else?"

    I've come across many instances where the names have changed, but the location, or the occupation has remained the same. I tend to make a note of it, but use my best judgement and move on.


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