Sunday, February 18, 2018

DNA Test Confirms the Albert's Connections to the Gaspe Peninsula

To date, I have taken two DNA tests; one from Family Tree DNA and one from Ancestry DNA. I urge other Alberts to take their DNA test also. Cheers to Susan Young for having tested already. In the image below, she appears on the top of my results page as my first cousin.


With the more delineated breakdown of the "Ethnicity Estimate" that Ancestry DNA provides, it shows that I have ancestors from the Gaspe region. This estimate aligns well with research I have done in this area and others represented in the red circle on the image above.

Fishing boats on the Gaspe around 1900

Our immigrant ancestor, Gabriel Albert, moved from France to the Gaspe region in the mid-18th century surely attracted by the rich industry of cod fishing. What lured fishermen like Albert away from their homeland in France?  According to GaspeCured, a modern day processing plant, the old tradition of curing cod dates back to 1755. "The region's perfect weather conditions, a cold and dry climate, make it the ideal place to salt and dry the cod." Seemingly, those conditions have not changed from Gabriel Albert's time.


The map with description above shows the closeness of the DNA report to my actual French Canadian heritage.  Two of my family lines immigrated from areas where the line emanates from (France).  Of course, one of these families is the Alberts. 

Creative Commons image of an English Silk Mill
One of the Albert descended sons, Ferdinand, decided to change the course of our family history and move to Southern Maine sometime before 1895.  Just as Gabriel had started a new life spurred on by the promise of a new industry, so had Ferdinand. The focus of our family's sustenance changed from an agricultural context to an industrial one as Ferdinand learned the craft of silk weaving in the growing French Canadian mill town of Westbrook, Maine.


Image Sources:
1. Fishing boats: 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/museemccordmuseum/5352062700/
2. Silk mill: 
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Silk_Mill_AJKeene.jpg

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