Special note: Due to health issues, I've had to suspend my genealogical research and my upkeep of the WikiTree profiles I manage for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I will not be able to respond to inquiries posted here, or to post new information or make edits to my WikiTree profiles. I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you. I hope to eventually be well enough to resume my genealogical research and my upkeep of these profiles. In the meantime, I want to thank you all for your patience. —Greg
Dr. Gregory J. Casteel (1965-present)
[Usually goes by Greg.]
Greg was born on 30 September 1965 in Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, to James Martin Casteel (1922-2010) and Hazel Wynell (Adams) Casteel (1932-2017).
Greg has lived most of his life in Limestone County, Alabama, but he lived in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, for about a decade in the 1990s and early 2000s. (He also lived in Auburn, Lee County, Alabama, for a couple of years while attending Auburn University in the 1980s.)
Greg went to school (K-12) at Athens Bible School in Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, graduating in 1983. He then attended Auburn University in Auburn, Lee County, Alabama (1983-85), the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama (1985-92), and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee (1995-2003), earning a BA in Political Science from UAH (1990), a BA in Sociology from UAH (1992), an MA in Public Affairs from UAH (1992), an MA in Political Science from Vanderbilt (1999), and a PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt (2003).
Greg worked as an Arms Control Analyst for Teledyne Brown Engineering (on contract with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command) in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama (1991-97), as a research assistant on the Militarized Interstate Disputes dataset version 3 update (MID3) project at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee (2000-01), and as a Political Science instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama (1992-93 and 2007-10), where he taught courses on American government, international relations, American foreign policy, comparative politics, causes of war, and U.S. national security policy concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). After his father's death, Greg became a full-time caregiver for his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's Dementia, until her death in 2017.
Greg never married and has no children.
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Here are Greg's DNA test results (from 23andMe):
Y-chromosome haplogroup (Casteel): R1b1a2a1a2b (R-U152)
— 23andMe designation: R1b1b2a1a2d
[Please see the notes below for a discussion of these haplogroup designations.]
Mitochondrial haplogroup: H5b
Neanderthal DNA: 2.4%
0.1% Sub-Saharan African
— 52.0% British & Irish
— 18.9% French & German
— 6.2% Scandinavian
— 0.7% Finnish
— 18.3% Broadly Northern European
— 1.2% Iberian
— 0.3% Sardinian
— 1.6% Broadly Southern European
0.8% Broadly European
— 0.1% West African
Greg's mother's brother, Bobby Adams, has also had his DNA tested (through Family Tree DNA), so we have learned quite a few things about this side of the family.
Y-chromosome haplogroup (Adams): R1b1a2 (R-M269)
[Please see the notes below for a discussion of these haplogroup designations.]
Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup: not tested (but it would be the same as Greg's: H5b)
5% Middle Eastern
— 43% British Isles
— 33% Western and Central Europe
— 14% Scandinavia
— 5% Finland and Northern Siberia
— 5% Asia Minor (Turkey)
[Please note that Family Tree DNA's ancestry breakdown is organized a bit differently and is somewhat less detailed than the ancestry breakdown provided by 23andMe.]
A few words about y-chromosome haplogroups:
The y-chromosome is something that only men have. Women have two x-chromosomes, whereas men have one x-chromosome and one y-chromosome. The y-chromosome is passed from father to son and only from father to son. That means that, if you're a guy, you got your y-chromosome from your father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, and so on. And the y-chromosome will usually be passed from one generation to the next unchanged. So, if you're a guy, your y-chromosome is essentially identical to the y-chromosome of your father's father's father's father's ... father's father's father and also to the y-chromosomes of all of his sons' sons' sons' sons' ... sons' sons' sons.
Normally, an exact copy of the y-chromosome is passed from father to son, but every so often a mutation will occur in the y-chromosome as it is passed from father to son, and this mutation will then be passed down to all subsequent generations. If it weren't for these occasional mutations then all men on planet Earth would have identical y-chromosomes, so they wouldn't be very useful for helping us trace our ancestry. But because mutations do occur every so often, all men don't have identical y-chromosomes, so the differences in their y-chromosomes can help us determine who is related to whom. We can assume that men who have similar patterns of mutation in their y-chromosomes must share a common male-line ancestor that they don't share with men who have different patterns of mutation. And the greater the similarity in the pattern of mutation, the more recently the shared ancestor must have lived.
These similar patterns of mutation are known as haplogroups. Two people who belong to the same genetic haplogroup are presumed to be related — though perhaps distantly. Haplogroups are organized hierarchically so that some groups are actually subgroups of other, larger groups. For example, haplogroup R1b1 is a subgroup of haplogroup R1b, which is a subgroup of haplogroup R1, which is a subgroup of haplogroup R. So, if you belong to haplogroup R1b1 you are distantly related to everyone in haplogroup R, more closely related to everyone in haplogroup R1, even more closely related to everyone in haplogroup R1b, and most closely related to everyone in haplogroup R1b1 (though, of course, "most closely related" is a relative term — the common ancestor of everyone in haplogroup R1b1 would have lived several thousand years ago).
Notes on y-chromosome haplogroup R1b1a2a1a2b (R-U152):
The official designation for this haplogroup has changed several times since its discovery in 2005. The designation that is currently used by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) is R1b1a2a1a2b. However, some DNA testing companies — including 23andMe — still refer to this haplogroup by one of its older designations. For example, as of 2015, 23andMe is still using the ISOGG's 2009-10 designation for this haplogroup: R1b1b2a1a2d. If you are researching this haplogroup online, you are likely to encounter any of the older ISOGG designations, plus a few other shorthand labels that are in common use. Here are all of the official designations that ISOGG has used for this haplogroup over the years:
In addition to these ISOGG designations, you will often see this haplogroup referred to by its SNP number: R-U152 (sometimes reported as S28 / U152 or alternately as U152 / S28). There's no need to worry about what the SNP number means, just be aware that many people prefer to use it instead of the ISOGG designation because it's shorter and easier to remember. The thing to bear in mind is that you might see this haplogroup referred to by any of these designations, so try not to let it confuse you. From here on out, we will be referring to this haplogroup as R-U152.
Notes on y-chromosome haplogroup R1b1a2 (R-M269):
R-U152 is a subgroup of a larger haplogroup whose SNP number is R-M269. Its current ISOGG designation is R1b1a2, though in the past it has been designated as R1b1b2 (2008-11) and R1b1c (2006-07). R-M269 is itself a subgroup of a larger haplogroup whose ISOCC designation is R1b1a, which is a subgroup of R1b1, which is a subgroup of R1b, which is a subgroup of R1, which is a subgroup of R.
Many of the older y-chromosome DNA tests were unable to identify the genetic marker for haplogroup R-U152, and some DNA testing companies still don't test for it. Therefore, these tests would identify people who fall into the R-U152 haplogroup as belonging to its parent group, R-M269. So please be aware that at least some of the people who have previously been identified as belonging to haplogroup R-M269 are actually members of its subgroup, R-U152.
Geographical distribution of haplogroups R-M269 and R-U152:
R-M269 is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe and is fairly common in Central and Eastern Europe as well. It can be found virtually everywhere from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa (with pockets of it found even beyond this broad region), though it is most heavily concentrated in the west, near the Atlantic coast, diminishing gradually as you move eastward.
R-U152 (a subgroup of R-M269) is less common, though it can still be found throughout Western Europe. However, the distribution of the R-U152 haplogroup appears to be concentrated mainly in northern Italy, Corsica, Switzerland, and France, with lower concentrations in Germany, southern Italy, Sardinia, England, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Low Countries, and Spain, and much lower concentrations elsewhere in Europe. (However, an isolated concentration of the R-U152 haplogroup can be found in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan in the Ural Mountains. The Bashkirs have traditionally been regarded as a Turkic people whose ancestors were presumed to have come from the Central Asian steppe, but genetic tests have revealed that they are more closely related to Western Europeans than to Turks or Mongols. No one has yet come up with a satisfying explanation for this genetic oddity.)
A few words about mitochondrial DNA haplogroups:
When we think of DNA we usually think of the 23 pairs of chromosomes that are found in the nucleus of most living cells. But this isn't the only type of DNA in the human body. There's also mitochondrial DNA — a completely separate type of DNA that is found in a cell's mitochondria rather than its nucleus. Inside every human cell there are lots and lots of tiny, bacteria-like organelles known as mitochondria which convert blood glucose (sugar) into a form of energy that the cell can use. So, mitochondria are, in essence, the "power generators" that keep our cells running. What's unique about mitochondria is that we all get them from our mothers and only from our mothers — never from our fathers. Men have mitochondria, just as women do, but they can't pass them on to their children in the same way that they pass their chromosomes to their children. Mitochondria are always passed from mother to child. So, all of us, men and women alike, get all of our mitochondrial DNA from our mothers, who got it from their mothers, who got it from their mothers, and so on. And mitochondrial DNA will almost always be passed from mother to child essentially unchanged. That means that the DNA in your own mitochondria will be virtually identical to the DNA that was in your mother's mother's mother's mother's ... mother's mother's mitochondria and in the mitochondria of all of her daughters' daughters' daughters' ... daughters' children (both male and female).
But just as with y-chromosome DNA, every so often a mutation will occur in the mitochondrial DNA as it is passed from mother to child, and if that child is a girl, she will in turn pass this mutation on to her own children. So, in much the same way that there are a number of distinct y-chromosome haplogroups, there are also a number of distinct mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups. And just as we can use y-chromosome haplogroups to determine whether or not two men share a common direct male-line ancestor, we can use mtDNA haplogroups to determine whether two people share a direct female-line ancestor.
Notes on mtDNA haplogroup H5b:
The H5b haplogroup is a subgroup of the H5 haplogroup which is a subgroup of the H haplogroup. Haplogroup H is found mainly in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. It is the dominant mtDNA haplogroup in Western Europe, with roughly half of all indigenous Western Europeans belonging to this large haplogroup. Its daughter haplogroup, H5, can be found throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, but the largest concentrations of this haplogroup are in Wales, Slovenia, Latvia, the Alpine regions of northern Italy, Belgium, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Poland. Please note that research has shown a link between the H5 haplogroup and an increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Its daughter haplogroup, H5b, is found mainly in northwestern parts of Europe, including the British Isles.
First-hand knowledge of this contributor, Dr. Gregory J. Casteel.
Family Tree DNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/
A very informative paper (PDF) discussing y-chromosome haplogroup R-U152: http://www.davidkfaux.org/R1b1c10_Resources.pdf
Family Tree DNA's R-U152 group page: https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/r-1b-u152/about
ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree: http://www.isogg.org/tree/index.html
ISOGG Haplogroup converter: http://dna.scangen.se/index.php?show=tools&lang=en
(Useful for looking up all of the different designations that ISOGG has used for its various haplogroups over the years.)
Eupedia entry for Haplogroup H (mtDNA): http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_H_mtDNA.shtml
Wikipedia entries for:
— Bashkirs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashkirs
— Haplogroup H5 (mtDNA): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_H5_%28mtDNA%29
— Haplogroup R1b: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b
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