DNA week on TIG: Chris traces his Polish roots - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

DNA week on TIG: Chris traces his Polish roots

This week, Karla Heath-Sands, Cade Fowler and Chris Zelman are all learning the results of their genetic makeup on Today in Georgia. This is Chris' journey. (Source: WALB) This week, Karla Heath-Sands, Cade Fowler and Chris Zelman are all learning the results of their genetic makeup on Today in Georgia. This is Chris' journey. (Source: WALB)
My DNA kit came back with the results a week and a half before anyone else. (Source: Chris Zelman) My DNA kit came back with the results a week and a half before anyone else. (Source: Chris Zelman)
From what I've been told, my Dad and my Mom are both Polish. (Source: Chris Zelman) From what I've been told, my Dad and my Mom are both Polish. (Source: Chris Zelman)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

This week, Karla Heath-Sands, Cade Fowler and Chris Zelman are all learning the results of their genetic makeup on Today in Georgia.

Chris' Journey

While giving the saliva sample with Karla and Cade, I had a pretty good idea of what the results of the DNA test would be. We sent out the kits at the same time and yet mine came back with the results a week and a half before anyone else. That should've been a good hint that there's not much variation in my genetics. 

From what I've been told, my Dad and my Mom are both Polish. My mom was born in a town called Lvov. Which is now actually in the Ukraine. It was Poland when she was born there.

So maybe I'm Ukrainian? Then my Dad told me stories, that his name Zelman is of German descent. And he believes someone from Germany immigrated to Poland before World War II.

99% Eastern European. Less than 1% Asian.

That makes perfect sense since I was born in Warsaw, Poland and immigrated to the United States with my mom when I was 5 years old. The low confidence South Asian 1% most likely comes from the Mongol attacks during medieval times.

The most surprising result was just how Polish I am. The average Pole is 82% Polish according to Ancestry.com. My DNA says I'm 99% Polish. That means my ancestors pretty much stayed in that region of Europe and only the political boundaries changed. 

Most Polish names ends in ski, but my name does not. According to the "House of Names" website, the Zelman name has its origin in the town of Zell in Bavaria, Germany. The name is pretty uniformly distributed across Eastern Europe.

Well, at least I was able to connect with a 4th cousin who lives in the U.S. while putting this story together. We have communicated via e-mail and are trying to see how our family trees are connected. 

If you want to learn more about Poland and its history. You can read James A. Michener's Historical Novel Poland. It tracks 3 fictitious families through the History of Poland. 

Copyright 2017 WALB. All Rights Reserved.

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