DNA Results Eastern European Ethnicity

While our family stories don’t include any Eastern European origins, my DNA shows 14% Eastern European ethnicity – the same percentage as my British Isles ethnicity. Below is the Eastern European information from AncestryDNA.  

Modern Day Location

Poland, Greece, Macedonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Moldova, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Belgarus, Kosovo

Did You Know?

The national anthem of Greece contains 158 verses, and is probably the longest.

About Your Region

Your ethnic profile points to Eastern Europe, which is a region stretching from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Mediterranean in the south. It consists primarily of former “Eastern Bloc” nations that were either aligned with or occupied by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—as well as Belarus and Ukraine were annexed directly into the USSR. While Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were satellite states as members of the Warsaw Pact. Also part of the region are the nations of the former Yugoslavia—Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Albania and Greece sit at the southern end of the region, bordering the Mediterranean.

The area is considered by many ethnologists to be the homeland of the Slavic people. Most of the nations in the region speak a Slavic language, which spread north and east into Russia and south toward the Balkans in the 5th and 6th centuries.

Perhaps the most famous resident of the area is Greece. From the ancient Mycenaeans and the Homeric epics of the Trojan War to the famous cities of Athens and Thebes, the fearsome Spartans to Alexander the Great—Greek culture and history laid the foundation for Roman, European, and, ultimately, western culture as a whole.

In the 1400s, the Ottoman Turks conquered the remnants of the Byzantine Empire and throughout the 1500s expanded deep into Eastern Europe, occupying the entire southern region up to Hungary, Romania, and parts of Ukraine. As a result, there are scattered communities of Muslims in the southern countries, although Christianity is prevalent throughout the region.

Migrations into this region

After the Last Glacial Period 15,000 years ago, populations expanded onto the eastern European plain from the Balkans and Blacks Sea as ice and tundra retreated. These Eastern Europeans were the first of the Neolithic farming culture that entered the Balkans about 9,000 years ago from the Middle East. In fact, individuals from southeastern Europe have inherited a higher proportion of Middle Eastern ancestry than other European individuals. About 2,000-3,000 years ago, the ancestors of Magyars migrated from the Ural Mountains in Russia toward present-day Hungary. Although they contribute their unique language to the region, their genetic impact may have been small.

Migrations from this region

About 2,300 years ago, the height of the Eastern European influence may have been the rise of the Greeks and their Hellenistic empire following the death of Alexander the Great. Their empire encompassed Italy, Turkey and even stretched all the way to northern India. Among the southeastern populations, Greeks in particular share elevated ancestry with the Middle East, potentially due to relatively recent migrations.

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.

The First Musgrave in Our Family in America

John Musgrave came to American in 1682, when he was 13 or 14 years of age. He was a Quaker and came as indentured servant* with Valentine Hollingsworth, living with Hollingsworth and his family for about four years in Delaware.

John’s father, Oswin Musgrave, most likely made the arrangements for John’s passage to America, planning to follow shortly with the rest of the family.

John was born in Belfast, Ireland in about 1668. His older brother, Moses, and parents, Oswin and Elizabeth, soon joined him in what is now New Castle County, Delaware near the present Pennsylvania-Delaware border. The earliest record is a warrant to John and Moses Musgrave to buy 200 acres of land, dated the November 2, 1689. This was just seven years after William Penn had founded his colony in Pennsylvania.

John went on to become a successful yeoman farmer and a representative of the Township, as well as a provincial representative with William Penn. His family has been extensively researched as has his father Oswin.** Since my direct ancestor is his brother, Moses, I’ll focus on Moses in a later post, after introducing his father and brothers. 

Oswin Musgrave

Oswin (first name also spelled Owen, Oswyn, Ossman and Oswin and last name also spelled Musgrove or Moosgrave on various documents) was the father of John and Moses. There is a lot of speculation about Oswin’s background. Oswin means “God’s friend”. There is speculation the name may be an adopted name. If so, we may never learn who his parents were. In “The Ejected of 1662: Cumberland & Westmorland; Their Predecessors and Successors” by Benjamin Nightingale there are quite a few references to a grandson of Sir Simon Musgrave who some speculate may be Oswin’s father.

Musgrave is a very old and noble English name with debate on which was first, a Musgrave from Germany via France with William the Conqueror or the English ones who formed the village of Greater Musgrave. Interestingly, Quakerism in Ireland was started by William Edmundson (1627-1712) who was born at Little Musgrave, England. The earliest records of Ireland have been lost by fire, leaving us to speculate on our Oswin Musgrave’s move from England to Ireland, and then on to Pennsylvania. That’s for other historians to research. Here’s what we do know.

 Oswin MUSGRAVE was born about 1640 in Cumberland County, England, some say at Eden Hall. He had died by 1687 in Chester County, Pennsylvania at age of 47. Oswin is thought to have moved from England to North Ireland about 1649, with his parents.  Oswin married Elizabeth last name unknown in 1665 in Armagh County, Ireland.*** Oswin and Elizabeth were Quakers. Elizabeth was born in 1644 in Armagh County, Ireland and died in 1698 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Their sons were:
i. Moses Musgrave Sr.-born 1667 in Belfast, Armagh Co., Ireland; died Lancaster Co., PA at age 59.
ii. John Musgrave Sr.-born in 1669 in Belfast, Armagh Co., Ireland; died Chester Co., PA at age 76.
iii. Thomas Musgrave was born in America and buried in Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
iv. Abraham Musgrave was born in America and buried in Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
v. Aaron Musgrave was born in America. We have no details on his death.

Oswin and Elizabeth left Belfast, Ireland arriving in port on the Delaware River in 1682.**** In 1683, Oswin bought 100 acres of land near his son John’s 200 acres. By 1687, Elizabeth was referred to as Widow Musgrave. In 1689, Elizabeth Musgrave was one of twelve women impaneled as a jury; in Quaker communities, women served as jurors on trials with women defendants.  Elizabeth was still alive on November 28, 1697, when she was asked to bring consent for Moses to marry Patience Hussey.  

 “John, Aaron, Moses, Thomas and Abraham Musgr(o)ve were the first settlers in the valley of Sadsbury, Lancaster county. Their warrant bears date in the year 1713. They purchased nearly all the land in that rich valley from George and Caleb Pierce, cleared off their land, and erected themselves residences. . . They were members of the society of Friends … The old Musgrove burying ground was expressly reserved by Moses Musgrove… It was kept enclosed …but, it was plowed up long since …”*****

*Indentured servant – the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed the paperwork. Both men and women could become indentured servants; most were under the age of 21, and most became helpers on farms or house servants. They were not paid cash. It was a system that provided jobs and transportation for poor young people from the overcrowded European labor markets who wanted to come to the colonies where more workers were needed.

**“A History of the Quaker Branch of the Musgrave Family”, Stanley Musgrave Shartle, 1995.

***Ossman Moosgrave paid one hearth tax in County of Armagh, Ballynegirne, Oneilland, West Ireland, Ireland in 1664. Source: Hearth Money Roll, County Armagh,1664, p.47. This meant that he had one hearth in his home.

****“A History of the Quaker Branch of the Musgrave Family”, Stanley Musgrave Shartle, 1995.

***** History of Lancaster Co, Early Settlers and Eminent Men, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 1974. contributed by Isaac Walker,.

Introduction

 When I first saw our family genealogy books, I was fascinated by all the names and dates, but wanted to know the stories behind the people. I didn’t take the time to start the research until last fall. This blog is a way to share the results of my work and, perhaps, work with other genealogists to build our family trees.

Included in my research is information on the social/political/economic background of the times. Researching this has been helpful to me in understanding why, such as, our ancestors moved from the British Isles on to American and then kept moving west.

I did not hear any of these stories when I was growing up and have gathered them so further generations can be aware of all our ancestors did to create this country and our families. Some of the stories are very exciting; some are heart breaking and some are shocking to us today. Our ancestors were people of their times, reflecting the customs of their current society.  We have ancestors on both sides of the Revolutionary War and on both sides of the Civil War. We have ancestors who were slave owners and, while not documented, we may well have Native American ancestors. 

The name “After Toil Comes Rest” comes from the headstone of James Monroe Elliott, Jr., the son of the Civil War soldier whose will be posted soon. James Monroe Elliott, Jr., has his own interesting stories, which I hope to research someday. 

 I do not give my permission for commercial use of this information, but feel free to use this information in your own research. 

I am fully responsible for all errors in this material. One genealogist said she now spends 40% of her time correcting her earlier research. I fully expect to have the same experience. Please let me know of any corrections or new information available, especially about our family stories.