Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1119281957

From: "David Wilson" <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] What additional tests do I need?
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 08:39:17 -0700
In-Reply-To: <017e01c573b6$b38b7370$6502a8c0@your4105e587b6>


Just one cautionary note about this new line of investigation. If after
further testing you find the plantation overseer continues to be a close
genetic match to your father, that may or may not be evidence of recent
relatedness. I understand that circumstances of time and space make him look
like a candidate ancestor, but a question needs to be addressed: how close
are both men to the modal values for the haplogroup they share?

If the two lines match closely and their haplotypes are frequently found,
that is a less strong case than if both men shared one or two really unusual
values at some of the tested markers. To fabricate an example, let's say
both men are known to be R1b. If they have completely modal or near modal
values for this most commonly found of haplogroups, it will be challenging
to assert a family connection. But if both men share unusual values (for
example, 15,16 at 385a,b instead of the modal 11,14), that constitutes
evidence strongly suggesting relatedness.

If those unusual matches actually do exist, you would still have the
question of whether the overseer had a brother or cousin in the same area at
the same time who could have been the contributor of the Y-chromosome your
father carries.

David Wilson

-----Original Message-----
From: B.J. Smothers [mailto:]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 8:35 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] What additional tests do I need?

Thanks David--and Terry, Gareth, and Russ --for the feedback. I've decided
to go ahead and do the 24/25 marker test. In the meantime I'd like your
thoughts about whether I'm still in the "coincidence zone".

I ran the 8 markers through Ysearch as you suggested and got 11 exact
matches. One in particular caught my eye since the place of origin was SC,
where many of the families who settled GF's home county were from. It was
not a name that I've ever associated with my family but I ran a search on
the most distant male ancestor at WorldConnect anyway and then started going
through the results one by one to see whether any family members ever went
to south-central Alabama and whether I recognized any names.

Well, to make a long story short, I spent the better part of today following
leads and ultimately traced a direct male descendant of the Ysearch ancestor
to the same county, locale and time frame as my GF! The descendant was an
overseer on a plantation with 102 slaves in 1860, one year before my GF was
born. Again, the slave owner's was not a name that was ever even remotely
associated with my family so I've never researched it. Even more remarkable,
the descendant was buried in the local cemetery along with families that
owned properties adjacent or near to properties owned by families that I do
associate with my GF's, i.e., Mixon, McMillan, Norris, Hazel and Irby.

What are the odds that the DNA-match family that I discovered quite by
accident was right where my GF was in 1860-61? And what are the odds now
that having matched 8 markers AND quite a few facts that when I expand to 24
or 25 markers that there will not be a match?

As you might be able to tell I'm pretty stoked right now. All of this was
quite unexpected but I don't want to get my hopes up too high if these sorts
of coincidences are pretty common.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 6:14 PM
Subject: RE: [DNA] What additional tests do I need?

> B.J.,
> A couple of thoughts:
> I ran the eight values you have through Ysearch. There are only 11 exact
> matches for them, and you get just under 100 hits if you accept a genetic
> distance of 1 in the returns. Not one of the returned records carries one
> of the three surnames that particularly interest you.
> In general, it takes both a surname and a lot of markers in common to make
> a good case for relatedness. For that reason, if you decide to test
> further, I suggest that you consider not less than a 25 marker test and
> maybe even a 37-marker test. There's a company in England that will test
> 43
> markers for a reasonable price, and that might be worth looking into.
> I would ordinarily caution people against looking for matches without a
> surname in mind. There are such things as random matches, even when lots
> of
> markers are being compared. I know that African American genealogy offers
> challenges and that broader research approaches are sometimes warranted,
> but please bear in mind the statistics of this kind of search. I'd hate
> for
> you to be tempted by an apparent connection that might lead in the wrong
> direction.
> It wasn't clear to me whether you were specifically focusing on your
> father's European ancestors or whether you were looking at his African
> American ancestry in general. If the latter, and if his mother is African
> American, there is a chance to get a line on the Y-DNA in that family by
> testing your father's father-in-law or brother-in-law, or one of his
> mother's male-descended cousins.
> If the former, I think your next step involves testing for additional
> markers. I wouldn't even look at a 12-marker test. You already have values
> for several of the markers that come with that panel. Go straight for 25
> markers or even more. If money is an object, remember that you can start
> with 25 and add more markers later if there is clear reason to do so.
> David Wilson

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