GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269735105
From: Elizabeth Bennett <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Family Finder Test
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:11:45 -0200
Thanks for all the good information.
In Clan Donald DNA on the ClanRanald Branch there is only one 67 marker result among the documented Clanranald genealogies; the 67 marker results of the chief of ClanRanald. The Glenaladale and Bornish MacDonald descendants with documented genealogies have only 37 marker results. I am looking for a way to establish a 67 marker modal for R1a ClanRanalds.
There is a large Glenaladale population on Prince Edward Island, Canada due to the emigration plans carried out in the late 1700's by Capt. John MacDonald of Glenaladale. It is very difficult to research on PEI prior to 1800. The land was not owned but rented as it was in Scotland. The first census was in 1841, head of household but in one area there is not another surviving census until 1871. For the average person not closely related to Glenaladale or a head of one the cadet branches there will be no existing documents prior to 1800.
There are several R1a's from this are which have a verbal tradition in their family of being ClanRanald and having ancestors who migrated through the Maritime provinces. They have varying degrees of documentation but I believe all have researched to the extent that documents exist, as have I. There is one distinguishing marker in the modal for this group an 11 at 537 compared to the MacDonald Modal of 12, but there are some who do not believe themselves ClanRanald who have this marker. Among this group there is a maximum genetic distance of 5 at 67 markers. I guess only more 67 marker results will help us establish a ClanRanald DNA signature.
Do you know how Dr. MacDonald is using autosomal markers to study Clan structure? Is there anything published regarding this? How is this possible if we are only dealing with 5 generations for autosomal testing?
Again thanks for all the information.
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:25:55 -0500
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Family Finder Test
> What a high resolution autosomal test like Family Finder can do for a
> group of people who almost match through Y-DNA67 tests is narrow the
> time to a common ancestor.
> For example a 65/67 marker match may still be 16 generations or so
> back. If the two people take an autosomal test then it will tell them
> if they are 1st, 2nd... 5th, distant, or too distant to detect
> This lets you focus on researching the traditional records of those
> Y-DNA matches who have a chance of being related in the last five
> I think that that will indirectly help with what you are talking
> about. I know that Dr. Doug McDonald is also working on detecting
> population structure in the Scottish Clans using autosomal tests.
> On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 1:36 PM, Elizabeth Bennett <> wrote:
> > I'm sorry if I was unclear. I do not assume that if autosomal results show a relationship that it is in the paternal line. IF there is an autosomal relationship and IF they are assumed to be cousins in the paternal line, CAN these results be used to group Y DNA results in smaller groups within a large one. If you look at the R1a network charts on the Clan Donald DNA page there are not many clusters.
> > Clan Donald has at least one chief who was Donald Gorm; Donald the blue eyed so I have exchanged information on eye colour and height with some of my father's matches.
> > Elizabeth
> >> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 12:42:58 -0400
> >> From:
> >> To:
> >> Subject: Re: [DNA] Family Finder Test
> >> Elizabeth wrote:
> >> > If autosomal results could indicates cousins of some degree and they
> >> > are assumed to be cousins through their paternal lines, can these
> >> > results be used to group Y DNA test results in smaller group within
> >> > a large one to help develop a phylogenetic tree? It is not a case
> >> > of one of the other autosomal or Y-DNA but can they be used in
> >> > combination.
> >> Here's an example of autosomal results indicating cousins of some
> >> degree: eye color. It's quite true that, all else being equal, the
> >> blue-eyed testees are more closely related to each other than they
> >> are to the brown-eyed testees, and vice versa. We could certainly
> >> gather data on the eye color (or blood group) of our project members
> >> and use those data to form clusters by simply assuming the relationship
> >> to be on the paternal side. However, there is no justification for
> >> that assumption. The same is true of Family Finder.
> >> Sometimes, I think that genetic genealogy (as practiced heretofore) has
> >> been a serious setback to genealogy as a whole. GG has fostered a very
> >> unhealthy "shorthand" notation that refers to people being "not at all
> >> related" when the truth is that they merely have very different Y
> >> chromosomes. For example, if my own maternal grandfather were alive
> >> today and joined the Chandler DNA project because he heard me talking
> >> enthusiastically about it, the results would show that "we are not at
> >> all related" in the terminology of genetic genealogy. And yet a
> >> Family Finder or 23andMe test would reveal that we share something like
> >> 1/4 of our DNA -- perhaps even more. The key here is that autosomal
> >> testing carries the same criteria for relationships as in traditional
> >> genealogy, but the range of detection is strictly limited by the rapid
> >> fall-off of consanguinity (factor of 2 for each generation up the tree
> >> to a common ancestor and for each generation back down the other branch).
> >> When you step over from haploid genealogy to diploid, it is necessary to
> >> shed the shorthand and get back to thinking more like a traditional
> >> genealogist.
> >> John Chandler
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