Predominantly Germanic-Celtic ancestors
I first came into contact with genealogical research when I got my hands on my grandfather's so-called Ahnenpaß (proof of ancestry) from the Third Reich. Despite being critical of the system, both my grandfathers were civil servants and therefore, required to prove their so-called Aryan ancestry. This legacy was an absolute treasure trove of information, which I continuously devel-oped due to my curiosity. For a private individual, I now have one of the best researched family trees imaginable. That applies not only to my direct ancestors, but also to all my living relatives. In addition, I am continuously discovering something new and am still surprised from time to time. Almost all my ancestors come from regions of Old Bavaria and the neighbouring Sudetenland, but mainly from Upper and Lower Bavaria and the neighbouring Innviertel and Mühlviertel. The most significant asset any ancestor of mine ever owned is the Hofmark Weichs, but otherwise, I can trace many of my ancestors back to rural estates. My Sudeten German ancestors were all royal yeomen.
I eventually discovered that church records stopped during the Thirty Years' War and that at this point good advice was expensive. At the time, I almost inevitably came up with the idea of checking the lines known to me for their genetic ancestry if living descendants were still among them. I had every conceivable genetic test conducted among my relatives and bearers of the same name in order to find genetic cousins in those lines in which I was unable to make any further progress by other means. Basically, this is the stage of research I'm now at, and I still take a lot of pleasure from DNA genealogy because it opens up entirely new opportunities. The majority of the findings I have made are indicative of Germanic and/or Celtic descent; a remarkable number of ancestors actually exhibit a close relationship with the English and northwest Europeans, who are mostly of Celtic or Germanic descent. With that being said, I'm also related to the French royal dynasty – the House of Bourbon, which descends from a German shire – via Haplogroup G2a. My other genetic cousins include controversial figures like Joseph Stalin or the mummified iceman, Ötzi. My haplogroup is originally from the Caucasus, but parts of it must have been pre-sent in Europe as early as the Bronze Age. Based on the fact that one of my great-grandfathers belongs to Haplogroup I1, Viking blood also runs through my veins. Most of my maternal ances-tors descend from Haplogroup H2. Consequently, an increasingly comprehensive picture of all my ancestors from the Germanic-Celtic area exists.
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Manfred Hiebl, Germany
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This story has been published on: 20.03.2013