I live in Houston. My father was born in Wyoming and his father in Nebraska. Someone in the family tried to trace our roots a while back and found that a guy named Henrich (or Heinrich) Pfister, eight generations before me, left Germany or Switzerland in the mid-18th century to come to America. His son, Henry Feaster, Jr., born in Maryland in 1759, changed the spelling of his last name to a more Anglicized spelling. I've traveled in Germany and Switzerland and see many Pfisters listed in the phone books.
I had my DNA analyzed by Family Tree DNA. They look for specific mutations on the y-chromosome, which is passed on from father to son without change (except for the occasional mutation), as compared to the DNA in all the other chromosomes which contains a random mixture of the father's and mother's DNA. The initial report tells me that my ancestors most likely were among those people who first developed agriculture in the fertile crescent of the Middle East and brought it to Europe 8000-10000 years ago. I am going to have them run a more precise test to definitively trace my ancient ancestry. In the meantime, I'm hoping to find Pfisters in Europe with matching (or near-matching) DNA that would indicate more recent origins and possibly some not-too-distant cousins.
I have a lot of information about DNA testing. Let me know if you'd like to know more.
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