Thank you for the suggestion. It has helped me a little with narrowing down my searches on ancestry.com. I am definitely going to have to tap into the information my cousins have and hopefully she will be able to give me a lead.
I did find out that my ancestors were Slavic and metal workers. My ancestors may have lived in central or south Asia, and migrated further as time progressed. Around 20,000 years ago, during the final Ice Age, sheets of ice extended to cover the maximum amount of earth they would ever occupy. A combination of nomadic lifestyle and retreat of the ice shelf would have allowed the R1a1 haplogroup to proliferate on the Eurasian Steppes, the stretch of land between present day Hungary and Mongolia. Today the R1a1 haplogroup can be found in high frequencies among groups living in the Ukraine, Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Haplogroup R1a1 is also found at rates of 50% in Ashkenazi Jewish populations, who ultimately settled in the Rhineland, now Germany, and have a deep and detailed contemporary history.
The Metal Workers may have been part of the Kurgan population who migrated during the Copper Age, when metal tools first evolved. The Kurgan people lived in northern Europe and are considered by some population geneticists to be the single ancestral pool from which all Indo-Europeans descended. The earliest sites associated with the Kurgan people are found in the Ukraine and in southern Russia and are known for their distinct burial mounds, which reveal much about the progress of the culture. The Kurgans kept cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Horses probably played a significant role in Kurgan life and may have been key players in the dispersion of haplogroup R1a. Wheeled wagons have been found at sites associated with the Kurgan people and were probably driven by oxen or horses. The Krugan Metal Workers most likely cultivated the flat grasslands near wooded areas and used hammer-hoes fashioned from elk antlers for this task. Copper knives and daggers have also been found in the Kurgan settlements, as witness to the time period.
A relatively recent migration of Slavic peoples occurred in the Early Middle Ages, around the 5th century AD. These migrations could have been prompted by a Hun invasion or as a response to population growth. How much this event, the Kurgan migratory settlements and the retreat of the ice shelf contributed to the movement of the R1a haplogroup is not known. It is possible that a blend of all three events led to the haplogroup dispersal and growth among present-day populations.
(Information above is provided by Ancestry.com thanks to a DNA test that I had my father do.)
Fearless Females: Free Research Resources
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