Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1266342927

Subject: Re: [DNA] Sorting the Irish via DNA
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 17:55:27 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>


I think I'll avoid the use of the term quality to describe modals and instead try to evaluate their usefulness. I think that the YGX5M ysearch entry that you describe was created by a member of the 464xccgg project, and while I admit that I would not have chosen to include the same markers in a skeleton haplotype, I have to say that when I did a search for perfect matches to it just now, it did pull up a decent proportion of men who are probably ccgg members of the Leinster Cluster, including some whose surnames I'm not sure I have found in other searches. So this modal has some usefulness for me. I cannot say how the owner is using it. I see that he has posted a link to our project website in the notes section, and that link may be helping us with our recruiting.

I do see that that search pulled up a couple of Donohue men that miss on one of our key markers, and I wonder if that is one of the main reasons that you doubt this particular modal haplotype. We have lots of project members who miss on one or two of our key markers who have DYS464X and/or L159+ test results that bolster our hypothesis that they are related. I wonder if any Donohue men from that family have results for DYS557, DYS446, DYS464X, or L159. Results for any of those tests might shed some light on a possible connection between those men and men in our project.

I looked for the Irish Sea-Ewing modal, but did not find it. The other modal doesn't seem to have any connection to the Leinster Cluster or any other cluster called the Irish Sea Cluster at this point. Instead it is a subgroup modal for the Mc Kenna project.

While in principal it's good to be skeptical, I'm not sure why you would question the usefulness of either of these other two modals.

I have some tricks that I use for searching on ysearch that I will share with you later. These tricks have been very useful to me for researching the Irish-Viking? cluster. You have already seen the modal haplotypes that I have created on ysearch for that cluster, so you could probably find some of the other members of that group with some digging in the meantime, but it would be easier for you and anyone else who is curious to view this ysearch comparison:

The Burns you found is definitely not part of the 464xccgg/Beatty-Byrnes/Irish Sea/Leinster Cluster group. I'm pretty sure that either this Burns whose line is from Carrowdore on the Ards Peninsula or Erskine from nearby Belfast is the closest relative in the FTDNA database to my McConnell line outside my McConnell family. That makes this group very relevant for my research. Burns shared a marriage record for one of his relatives in Carrowdore. He married a McConnell.

I have thought about creating a project to research the Irish-Viking? Cluster, and I probably will at some point, but for now the 464xccgg, R-L21 WTY, and Kasbohm projects keep me busy. In the meantime, I think it's a good thing to have those modal haplotypes on ysearch. If anybody new from the Irish-Viking? group shows up, they may find me before I have time to find them.

You have connected the legitimacy of ysearch modal entries to the project administrator status of their creators. I would not make that connection. Genetic genealogy is like paper genealogy when it comes to this issue. People have to think about what they find and decide whether it's good for them or not. Nobody has the time to do a good job of gate-keeping at ysearch, and that includes the people at the testing companies who decide whether or not to open DNA projects. The best we can do is try to help each other learn how to recognize solid research.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth O'Donoghue" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 10:28:09 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [DNA] Sorting the Irish via DNA


You're certainly correct that there are other Irish modals - the 'Irish Sea'
modal being an example. But the quality of the modal is based on the
thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the person creating that modal. I
believe there are currently two Ysearch records - YGX5M, described as 'Irish
Sea', has only 10 markers, including DYS464a,b,c and YCA IIa, with its
origins listed as ' 350 users,, Leinster, Ireland'. The
other is 'Irish Sea-Ewing', with ten different markers, including DYS385b
and 459a, and origins of 'Central (Scotland), Scotland'. An earlier 'Irish
Sea Modal' record of VC6NH had contained 37 markers, but it the ID now
belongs to a McKenna. What value could there be in such modals?

What I find when searching with some modals, using the maximum search
parameters of GD 6, particularly if the selected record used is truncated,
you end up with a selection of matches that sometimes contain a significant
number that vary from the particular off-modal (of the AMH) markers which
are meant to identify the Ysearch ID created. Usually, they contain the AMH
values instead, which to my mind questions the validity of the modal in the
first place.

In your own example of the Ysearch record, 4WSZR, which you entered called
'Irish-Viking?' you included a shorter 15 marker record, JSF9K, labeled
'Irish-Viking? off-modal + slow'. When I searched the first at 37 markers,
max GD of 6, I got 15 matches, 4 of them some other modal, and the only one
matching your distinguishing DYS578, 607, 393 and 442 completely was a
Burns, who probably belongs in the Beatty/Byrnes/Irish Sea group. Your
truncated modal includes matches from Slovakia to Algeria.

I'm sure it took you some time to study and develop this apparent modal, and
I appreciate your effort, but when so few people fit it, how relevant is it
for research purposes?
In contrast, the South Irish modal, which contains 4 distinct off modal
markers from the AMH at 37, contains a vast majority of Irish, with a
smattering of British Isles and very few continentals, with the unknown
origins invariably having Irish or BI surnames. I think that's a major
reason why the four main modals are just that - because they are strongly
Irish. That's why I don't think the 'Fourth Irish modal' is terribly
significant, since it seems too broad to be helpful.

I personally think there are too many manufactured modals in Ysearch now.
When a project administrator adds one, there is a justification for it, but
I'm sure the myriad entries are not limited to that type of entry. I'm
amazed how many such modals turn up when searching through Ysearch. I'm
always discarding some when I make comparisons.

Perhaps someday there will be more records in the database that would match
these smaller modals you posit. Hopefully, curious individuals and group
administrators will discover them as they arise. The searches continue!


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of

Sent: 16 February, 2010 2:16 AM
Subject: Re: [DNA] Sorting the Irish via DNA

I think there are probably many more Irish modals that have been discovered
and have not become well-known, and I think it is interesting to ponder
about the reasons for that.

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