Monday, October 22, 2007

Can DNA Testing Solve This Mystery For Me?

If you've read my blog for any time at all, you know that I have Polish ancestry. In fact, all of my ancestors came from Poland so I'm about as Polish as you can get given that I wasn't born there. But there's one surname on my family tree that stands out because it's not a Polish name. I've blogged about it before, the name is Killian. How it got on my tree is certainly a mystery to me.

I actually have two 4th great grandmothers with the surname of Killian. They were born about 1775. I don't have their birth records because records for peasants don't go back that far in their village in Poland. But I have the baptismal records for their children starting about 1800 in Podborze, Poland.

The thing is, Killian is both an Irish surname and a German one. But how can I determine if this Killian surname in my family is Irish or German in origin? I'm wondering if DNA testing could help me out with this. If I could get a DNA sample from my cousin (whose mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was a Killian) and run a mtDNA test on it, could I get the kind of results that would answer my question? Or could I compare the results with others in a German or Irish Killian surname group (if there is such a thing) to see if there is a match? Hmm... sounds like I need some help from the Genetic Genealogist!