GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-10 > 1130740642
From: "David Wilson" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] calculating distance
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 22:37:22 -0800
You wouldn't be able to test the early middle ages guy directly, so this is
really a question about the probability that one patrilineal sequence would
accumulate six mutations in, say, 1200 years or so -- 35 to 50 generations.
That is not impossible, but it's also not likely. So the answer to your
original question about "calculating a meaningful male ancestry distance"
must remain discouraging.
This is a "grand approximation" type of answer. There are much better
statisticians on this list, and I’m sure you will hear from them if there is
anything that needs to be said about calculating the likelihood of the
questions you posed.
On 10/30/2005 6:34:23 PM, David Zincavage () wrote:
> What if party A was a person from the early middle ages who did live
> the adoption of surnames, and party B was a person living today?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Wilson" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 6:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] calculating distance
> > A genetic distance of six over 25 markers says to me that there is very
> > little chance of a recent ancestor during genealogical time -- that is,
> > since the adoption of surnames. But there is always an outside chance
> > two individuals who had a common ancestor only three or four centuries
> > might have amassed a fairly large genetic distance in the interim
> > generations.
> > As to five of six values being one lower (or one higher, if you change
> > frame of reference): There is no significance.
> > David W.
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