Hamm DNA News

This is George Hamm. Taken possibly on his wedding day or shortly thereafter, which would mean late 1874 to early 1875.

About 10 years ago I came into contact with a Hamm cousin who descended from Emil, the youngest child of George and Amelia Hamm. We kept in contact for a while, and then over time, as happens, we lost touch. But, earlier this year, out of the blue, he contacted me again. He had recently moved to Wisconsin to be closer to family, and was interested in re-connecting, now that he was closer to our neck of the woods.

My husband and I dropped in for a visit a few months ago and we all had a nice visit. I was able to go home with a few pictures that I needed to scan (and then send back), and some excellent dried fruit! Which I didn’t have to send back, which is good, because it didn’t last very long.

During our visit I mentioned my hope that he would want to help out in the DNA front by getting his HAMM yDNA tested. Thankfully, he said yes.

And the results have come in.

According to FamilyTreeDNA‘s website the HAMM yDNA’s haplogroup is I-M170:

Haplogroup I dates to 23,000 years ago, or older. This haplogroup is found throughout Europe, although some branches may be present in low frequencies in Northeast Africa, Central Siberia, the Near East, and the Caucasus regions. Haplogroup I represents one of the first peoples in Europe.

There are three very interesting items of note regarding the results.

First, there was only one match to be found, in all the thousands of yDNA results that are available to compare to at FamilyTreeDNA.

Second, that one match is with a man whose surname is Hamman. (This Hamman has only tested 25 markers – and is 2 markers off from our Hamm line, our cousin’s test was a 111 marker test)).

Third, this Hamman surname comes from Hesse-Darmstadt, almost the same place as our Hamm’s (Rhineland-Palatinate they are very close neighbors). Now, these areas in Germany are pretty large, so, you think ‘well that’s a stretch that they are closely related’, but when you look at the two towns on a map and compare the distance. Hmmm. Not so far apart.

This also makes a very intriguing argument in favor of my belief that George Hamm really is a son of Jacob Hamm, and his parents didn’t get married until after he was born.

One can easily imagine the Hamman/Hamm name changing slightly over time, even within the same family. Maybe our Hamm’s got kicked out of town a couple hundred years ago, (our Hamm’s appear to be the type that would get kicked out of a town), and headed west to work in the vineyards. Or, some of the Hamms moved to find better work in a different area.

Of course, this is only speculation, I need to know more about this Hamman family before we can make any definite conclusions.

But I have to say, for me, Yule presents don’t get much better than this!

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