Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-03 > 1110904604

From: Whitney Keen <>
Subject: Quoting [Re: [DNA] Article in today's NY Times [race]]
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:36:44 -0500

Hi, Whitney --

Your post didn't reach the mailing list because it exceeded the size
limit I have set. If you'll trim most of the quoted material, it should
go through OK.


In a message dated 03/15/05 7:56:34 AM Pacific Standard Time,

> Subj: Re: [DNA] Article in today's NY Times [race]
> Date: 03/15/05 7:56:34 AM Pacific Standard Time
> From: <mailto:>
> To: <mailto:>,
> <mailto:>
> Sent from the Internet
> I can understand your and your participant's consternation, but it is
> important to remember that a Y-DNA haplogroup assignment is based on
> only 12 markers for only one single ancestral line on a many-branched
> tree. And that someone might match someone whose ancestry is middle
> eastern only means that an ancestor along that single line shared an
> ancestor along a similar single line of a person who considers himself
> Middle Eastern. For example, my mtdna is J* which comes out of the
> middle east about 10,000 years ago. That gives my maternal line a lot of
> time to get to western England, Wales and Ireland where my known female
> line is from. I can only go back at most to the 1400s with any degree of
> certainty. Because I studied archaeology and early history, I have
> taken some pleasure in assigning myself an ancestral "hometown", an
> archaeological site in north Syria called Abu Hureya. I have absolutely
> no evidence that my ancestor came from there, but only that at one time
> one of them came from around there. However, the people who match me
> have mostly started calling themselves crypto-Jews, which is both weird
> and totally unjustified. There were absolutely no Jews 10,000 years ago,
> anywhere in the world. At best, our mutual ancestors worshipped bulls,
> tall mountains, rocks, thunder and probably the sun and moon.
> Undoubtedly, some of them later became Jews, hence the match to Jewish
> people today.
> It is really important for people to realize that Ydna and mtdna testing
> each track only ONE SINGLE line of ancestry, and that each person has
> literally thousands of ancestors, even taking into consideration that
> the lines must have looped back on themselves many times over. (If they
> didn't loop back, people would have more ancestors 2000 years ago than
> there were people on earth.)
> Perhaps you can contact your participant by mail or telephone (do you
> have that information in his record with the testing company?) He may
> have changed email address, and there is no forwarding for email
> addresses. I find that most people are totally confused by numbers and
> simply do not understand chronology and generational spread. They will
> try to pin down a paleolithic mutation in the Middle Ages, and link the
> Bronze Age Phoenecians with the 5th century AD Fresians. You can also
> point out to your participant that, even if his DNA shows a different
> DNA pattern, it could be due to an ancient adoption (for example an
> orphaned child from the Black Death taken in by a neighboring family) or
> something much much older. It only takes one anomoly to break the
> pattern, and that could be due to any number of reasons, and back many
> generations, perhaps before any written records. It certainly doesn't
> prove that you aren't "related" by family and tradition, although it is
> less likely than if you matched.
> Whitney Keen
> adam bradford wrote:
> >
> >
> >I'm a likely R1b. This person I recruited came back as a likely J2. He
> >had three exact 12-marker matches in FTDNA's database: one listed with
> >Iran as country of origin, the other two as Russian Ashkenazi, one of
> >these also a Cohen. I'm not prejudiced, but when I looked at how FTDNA
> >presented his results it definitely had the general effect of
> >essentially telling him he was Jewish or Middle Eastern.
> >So I emailed him to tell him it looked like we weren't related and
> there goes my
> >theory - the area, and that perhaps in the future matches would turn
> up for
> > So I tried to stick to genealogy - not the issues of race and
> >ethnicity that are automatically brought up every time you look at
> >your results page (at least with FTDNA).
> >
> >I haven't heard from this man since the day I emailed him about his
> >results. I made another attempt a few months ago to ask if he had any
> >questions about his results - again no response. A few weeks ago I
> >again emailed, and asked if he had had any contact with his close
> >matches whose email addresses were passed on by FTDNA. No response. I
> >feel like at this point I should give up and not try to contact him
> again.

> it's possible for J2 to have ended up being as thoroughly
> >Anglo-Celt as R1b - but this doesn't come across without explanation
> .
> >
> >Has anyone else had this sort of a problem with a participant? Does
> anyone feel I
> >should have handled it differently? Do you think it would be
> >inappropriate for me to try to contact this person's 12 marker matches
> >- if only to see whether they've tried to contact him? Is anyone else
> >supportive of a big fat caveat somewhere, or everywhere, about Y-DNA
> >and ethnicity? Either that, or perhaps FTDNA should add something in
> >their copyrighted J2 description about ways in which it could have
> >been carried to those islands off the coast of France.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 14:02:31 -0500, Whitney Keen <>
> wrote:
> >
> >>In my opinion, race is a descriptor that is best left as a part of our
> >>past. Maybe we need another word to describe people who are genetically
> >>close to each other (haplogroup, anyone?) but as we all know, there is a
> >>lot of mixing even within haplogroups.
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >==============================
> >Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
> >last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more:
> >

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