How to pinpoint ancestral location?

Hioloi

Expert Gynecologist
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Ethnic group
Turkish, Albanian
Y-DNA haplogroup
I-Z17855
Its been quite a while, since the last time I posted here.

I know everything about my ancestry now, but still have a huge gap in my paternal lineage.

My great grandpa or grandpa was most likely Albanian. I have many Balkan matches, many of whom are Albanian.

Now the issue I am having is my cousins are from all over. Many are from Kosovo, some are from Northern Albania, others are from Korçe etc.

It is hard to pinpoint exactly where my grandfather originates. My Haplogroup is I-Z17855, which seems to be mostly situated in southeastern Albania and western Macedonia.

I also have a lot of Slavic matches, polish, Russian, Serbian (although I believe some of them are descendants of Albanians), Croatians and Bosnians.

So its very hard to tell.

In my town in Turkey there's an Albanian village nearby, I asked them and they are Kosovo Albanians, there's even many Albanians living in my town in general, so its most likely an Albanian grandfather.

I also do not care about admixture estimates no longer. On ancestry they keep increasing my Albanian dna, now its at 9% (previously 5%), it ranges from 9-17%. On 23andme I get 0 Balkan. People told me that is because they have added Turks of Balkan descent into the Anatolian category, since the last update, so now even if you get 100% Anatolian, you could still be of Balkan descent. And on g25 my balkan dna keeps changing. Sometimes its 12% and sometimes its 25%.

What is your advice, or your opinion? I reached out to many matches and most haven't responded, but the ones that did were from Kosovo (Gjakova), Albania (Shkodër) and Korçe.
 
Hey Hioloi, it seems you have gotten pretty far as far as ancestry research.
First, admixture estimates will not help you pinpoint your grand-grandfather, since within a few generations admixture can change widely. Furthermore admixture in Albanians is generally homogenous regardless of location in the Balkans, so it wont help you narrow it down either way.

That leaves you with either YDNA matches (looking at the tree it looks North Eastern/ Many Bosnian/Bulgarian flags, few Greek flags so lower chance of Korce).
If you have some close YDNA matches, check where do they report their location in/around Albania.

Now, another thing you could try, is Ottoman Defters. Depending on when you family moved to Anatolia, this could be the best place to search. First find out what Surname they had when they moved, and possibly if there was any indication where from. Then look at the Balkan Ottoman Defters for confirmation. Sometimes this whole ordeal is hard, due to Defterologists being rare.

My final advice, since you already narrowed it down so much, pat yourself on the back, you already did a good job. I myself found deep links in the past, but sometimes hurdles appear (In my case a dead end and lack of Defterologist to resolve it).
 
Hey Hioloi, it seems you have gotten pretty far as far as ancestry research.
First, admixture estimates will not help you pinpoint your grand-grandfather, since within a few generations admixture can change widely. Furthermore admixture in Albanians is generally homogenous regardless of location in the Balkans, so it wont help you narrow it down either way.

That leaves you with either YDNA matches (looking at the tree it looks North Eastern/ Many Bosnian/Bulgarian flags, few Greek flags so lower chance of Korce).
If you have some close YDNA matches, check where do they report their location in/around Albania.

Now, another thing you could try, is Ottoman Defters. Depending on when you family moved to Anatolia, this could be the best place to search. First find out what Surname they had when they moved, and possibly if there was any indication where from. Then look at the Balkan Ottoman Defters for confirmation. Sometimes this whole ordeal is hard, due to Defterologists being rare.

My final advice, since you already narrowed it down so much, pat yourself on the back, you already did a good job. I myself found deep links in the past, but sometimes hurdles appear (In my case a dead end and lack of Defterologist to resolve it).


It's a bit weird, I've seen another G25 result from a Turk of Balkanic ancestry (from Albanians from Prespa) and his result was typical for a mainland Albanian on Illustrative, the G25 coords given also gave him close distances to Albanians from Macedonia and other regions.
Code:
TurkBalkan_scaled,0.132035,0.140143,0.018102,-0.013889,0.025851,-0.002231,0.004935,0.002308,-0.00225,0.016037,0.002598,0.007194,-0.007582,0.003716,-0.018865,-0.003447,0.019427,-0.0019,0.00729,-0.005002,-0.010981,-0.003462,0.003574,-0.002289,-0.001557

I ultimately think that to pinpoint the most realistic geographical location of said persons lineage, Y-DNA would be of upmost use especially if one can get their terminal position. Also considering the different migrational events that have taken place, of which haven't all occurred during the same exact time period, thus the admixture differences would vary say from Albanian descendants who arrived during the early 15th-18th centuries say, than Albs who arrived later on during the 19th century.
 
Hey Hioloi, it seems you have gotten pretty far as far as ancestry research.
First, admixture estimates will not help you pinpoint your grand-grandfather, since within a few generations admixture can change widely. Furthermore admixture in Albanians is generally homogenous regardless of location in the Balkans, so it wont help you narrow it down either way.

That leaves you with either YDNA matches (looking at the tree it looks North Eastern/ Many Bosnian/Bulgarian flags, few Greek flags so lower chance of Korce).
If you have some close YDNA matches, check where do they report their location in/around Albania.

Now, another thing you could try, is Ottoman Defters. Depending on when you family moved to Anatolia, this could be the best place to search. First find out what Surname they had when they moved, and possibly if there was any indication where from. Then look at the Balkan Ottoman Defters for confirmation. Sometimes this whole ordeal is hard, due to Defterologists being rare.

My final advice, since you already narrowed it down so much, pat yourself on the back, you already did a good job. I myself found deep links in the past, but sometimes hurdles appear (In my case a dead end and lack of Defterologist to resolve it).

Hey. Thanks for the advice.

My friend is somewhat of an Ottoman archives Guru and he found out that people from these places migrated to a city near me:

Lesbos island, chios island, crete island, limni island


Aleksandrupoli


Φέρες (Ferecik)


Around Florina (Φλώρινα)


Around Kozani (Kozȧvn)


Around Pethrich-Bulgaria (Пeтрич)


Around Kilkis-Thessaloniki


Стар Дојран - Macedonia


Katerini-Greece


Yanniça-Γιαννιτσά


around seres-tirhala


Koniçe-Κόνιτσα


Preveze-Πρέβεζα

I also know that there are Cham Albanian festivals held in that same city. Its a wide arrange of ethnic groups, but many of these aforementioned places were inhabited by Albanians as far as I know.
 
Hey. Thanks for the advice.

My friend is somewhat of an Ottoman archives Guru and he found out that people from these places migrated to a city near me:

Lesbos island, chios island, crete island, limni island


Aleksandrupoli


Φέρες (Ferecik)


Around Florina (Φλώρινα)


Around Kozani (Kozȧvn)


Around Pethrich-Bulgaria (Пeтрич)


Around Kilkis-Thessaloniki


Стар Дојран - Macedonia


Katerini-Greece


Yanniça-Γιαννιτσά


around seres-tirhala


Koniçe-Κόνιτσα


Preveze-Πρέβεζα

I also know that there are Cham Albanian festivals held in that same city. Its a wide arrange of ethnic groups, but many of these aforementioned places were inhabited by Albanians as far as I know.

This hints towards a south Albanian origin then. Do you know the first last name your ancestors had in Turkey, that could help.

Also, I would love to get in touch with your friend, if he has time/interest. I am looking for the first mention of a settlement in defters. Since my ancestors supposedly moved there from the north between 1400s to 1700s. But the settlement does not seem to appear in defters in the 14-1500s. Would help me verify or deny potential links to the 1400s, and an important stage of Albanian history.
 
This hints towards a south Albanian origin then. Do you know the first last name your ancestors had in Turkey, that could help.

Also, I would love to get in touch with your friend, if he has time/interest. I am looking for the first mention of a settlement in defters. Since my ancestors supposedly moved there from the north between 1400s to 1700s. But the settlement does not seem to appear in defters in the 14-1500s. Would help me verify or deny potential links to the 1400s, and an important stage of Albanian history.

My surname is Duman, people told me that could have been a turkified version of Dumani, but I dont know.

Btw the Kosovo village is closer than the city. I also have not asked about other cities in the area so there might be more.

His name is u/BilalSelim on reddit
 
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