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Thread: Y-DNA as a Genealogical Tool

  1. #1
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    Y-DNA as a Genealogical Tool

    Just curious as to what the folks here think on the topic, how useful can Y-DNA be in learning for example which family one is connected with based on the same deeper Y-DNA haplogroup or say where ones paternal ancestors were originally from for those whose ancestors recently left their original homeland (colonials mostly but also Huguenots, etc.)?

    To use my specific case, I recently discovered that my final Y-DNA haplogroup is R-Y140955, a subclade under R1b U152>L2>Z49>BY3620, et al. and soon thereafter I discovered a family with my surname from Lancashire who are likely also R-Y140955 (based on discussion with another R-Y140955 individual who has examined their DNA match) but who are certainly R1b U152>L2>Z49>BY3620, et al.

    Now when I consider that U152 itself is a less common British haplogroup and that my subclade perhaps is a less common branch under U152 based on known samples, I am wondering what the statistical chance of having the same deeper haplogroup with a family line with my surname and not actually being related is? Seems it would have to be an extreme coincidence no? I mean of known samples with my surname (nearly 500 members in the FTDNA project) there is only one other who is U152 (not the Lancashire man.)

    So what do those with more experience in these matters think? How useful is Y-DNA in this regard and how likely do you think it is that I am connected with the family in question?

  2. #2
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    It can be done but it's tricky. I have a large number of Y chromosome testers of a German family that came over to America in the 1750s. Enough from several of the sons to prove that the DNA the descendants carry did indeed come from the immigrant ancestor. Next using a Big Y on myself and some of the known testers I was able to show that my line split off within the last few hundred years. And that several known lines of the German ancestor were living in the county in middle Tennessee that begat my unknown line. Once I reached that level I was confident that I found the connection on a general level.

    I don't think you're there yet, BY3620 is too far back. But you're close enough to make the final push. If you can show that your line and their line have a common ancestor within the last 4 centuries I think you can move it from possible to almost certain. Especially if you can show that two lines from that split off in that family before your line split. That bolded bit is the level of proof that you want.
    Daughter's ggg grandparents(father to left, mother to right)
    Male: R-BY4242, R-Z344, ?, ?, E-V13, ?, E-L29, ?, R-Z20907, ?, ?, ?, R-L2, R-L20, ?, ?
    Female: ?, ?, H3g, ?, ?, ?, ?, W6a, ?, N1b1, ?, B4a1a1, ?, ?, ?, H3h, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, I3a, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, K1c1g

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    So what do those with more experience in these matters think? How useful is Y-DNA in this regard and how likely do you think it is that I am connected with the family in question?
    I think you can be.
    It depends on the surname and how deep is the final clade.

    If the surname is common one like Baker, Miller, Carpenter aso, and clade is 2000 y.o. then it can be a coincidence.
    But if the surname is not a common name, surely belonging to one family (even if is large) then it is not a coincidence.

    Y-DNA btw is the only tool to check the paper genealogy, so it is very usefull tool and ultimate.
    But not the first.
    First are papers.
    Only in their absence (as for ancient genealogy) Y is a substitube of papers, but has to be used always in frames of strict sens.

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    Thanks yeah I doubted its absolute use and certainly the need to prove the connection via paper trail is most important.

    As to the surname, it is not an uncommon one (Carr) but not as common as Smith perhaps. I suppose learning whether the family in question is also R-Y140955 might make for a more substantial lead. Unfortunately we did not match autosomally so if there is a paternal connection it predates what can be determined through autosomal DNA or just isn't being picked up with this particular sample.

    Though I do wonder if Y-DNA is at least helping me pinpoint a general geographical area of origin as most of the British samples seem to have a Northwest British (with one Irish) center of weight. From my research, it seems based on surnames and paper trail two samples are from Northern Wales, one from Cheshire, one likely from Southwest Scotland, and another from Lancashire in regards to BY3620. I share the same R-Y140955 with someone whose family likely originally was from N. Lancashire/Cumbria and an Irishman. This likely general Northwest Britain/Irish Sea center of weight for most known samples seems also to be too coincidental and is what made me further consider the possibility the Lancashire Carr family mentioned and I may be connected.
    Last edited by Gwydion; 04-07-2019 at 03:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    Just curious as to what t folks here think on the topic, how useful can Y-DNA be in learning for example which family one is connected with based on the same deeper Y-DNA haplogroup or say where ones paternal ancestors were originally from for those whose ancestors recently left their original homeland (colonials mostly but also Huguenots, etc.)?
    One of the best uses of Y-DNA is connecting with other people in roughly genealogical times or even slightly before who themselves have more or different documentary evidence than you do about their male ancestry. In my surname project for instance we have 2-3 Y-DNA lines for which some members have good documentary evidence, in one case even back to 1384AD. Any new tester who places into one of those groups gets at least a rough connection to that whole collected body of knowledge. It's not always exact information but even sometimes just confirming for someone that their original male immigrant into Australia or the US was from Ireland (for example) gives them knowledge they didn't have before.

    Unfortunately for that to work you have to "luck in" to matching a Y-DNA line that not only has a fair number of tested men already but also includes some really enthusiastic genealogists, and obviously that's not a given.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    I am wondering what the statistical chance of having the same deeper haplogroup with a family line with my surname and not actually being related is? Seems it would have to be an extreme coincidence no?
    I think the deeper the haplogroup, the more likely this is. Again using my surname group as an example, we have two subgroups of the same surname who are both L513 but who are not related to each other for about 3500-3800 years (the age of L513). Yet they share a surname now and they did both come from Ireland just before emigrating to the US and Australia, but we don't yet know if they adopted the surname independently or if one took the surname first and the second then adopted it from the first.

    I know it happens, but I can only speculate as to all the reasons why. At least with European and British Isles/Irish haplogroups with the increasing mobility of cultural groups and trade that went on for millennia leading to regular mixing both though major migrations and individual migrations, it was probably not that uncommon for two men who were originally related in the very distant past to happen to adopt the same surname independently from each other by the time surnames became common.

    In the more recent times before surnames certainly if a Y-DNA line expanded rapidly in one area just before surnames were adopted that would probably increase the odds of that line's descendants to have adopted the same surname independently especially with job-related surnames like Baker, Cooper, etc. But while I'm sure this happened in a few instances, it seems to me that the conditions necessary for it would make it less common, although certainly possible.

    The reason it seems rare today I would think is only because in the larger perspective most Y-DNA lineages die out and so we only see the reduced number of "independent surname adoption" cases that survived to present day.

    All just my opinion and I don't think I've seen any real studies on the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-V View Post
    In the more recent times before surnames certainly if a Y-DNA line expanded rapidly in one area just before surnames were adopted that would probably increase the odds of that line's descendants to have adopted the same surname independently especially with job-related surnames like Baker, Cooper, etc. But while I'm sure this happened in a few instances, it seems to me that the conditions necessary for it would make it less common, although certainly possible.

    The reason it seems rare today I would think is only because in the larger perspective most Y-DNA lineages die out and so we only see the reduced number of "independent surname adoption" cases that survived to present day.
    Yes this is the primary explanation I could come up with as to why we would share the same deeper Y-DNA and surname and not actually be of the same family line, namely that our ancestors both adopted the same surname coincidentally during the medieval period, especially since the surname in question is a fairly common name of topographic origins from Northern England and Scotland.

    That said given the relative uncommon nature of U152 in the British Isles (at least in relation to say L21 and U106, etc.) and the seeming geographic commonality of known samples of my particular branch, I remain hopeful that I am at least drawing closer to learning what I do not know, namely where my family was from prior to migrating to America and with some luck finding the particular family line in question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    Just curious as to what the folks here think on the topic, how useful can Y-DNA be in learning for example which family one is connected with based on the same deeper Y-DNA haplogroup or say where ones paternal ancestors were originally from for those whose ancestors recently left their original homeland (colonials mostly but also Huguenots, etc.)?

    To use my specific case, I recently discovered that my final Y-DNA haplogroup is R-Y140955, a subclade under R1b U152>L2>Z49>BY3620, et al. and soon thereafter I discovered a family with my surname from Lancashire who are likely also R-Y140955 (based on discussion with another R-Y140955 individual who has examined their DNA match) but who are certainly R1b U152>L2>Z49>BY3620, et al.

    Now when I consider that U152 itself is a less common British haplogroup and that my subclade perhaps is a less common branch under U152 based on known samples, I am wondering what the statistical chance of having the same deeper haplogroup with a family line with my surname and not actually being related is? Seems it would have to be an extreme coincidence no? I mean of known samples with my surname (nearly 500 members in the FTDNA project) there is only one other who is U152 (not the Lancashire man.)

    So what do those with more experience in these matters think? How useful is Y-DNA in this regard and how likely do you think it is that I am connected with the family in question?
    Since you mentioned FTDNA, what's the STR situation with you and this other family? Do you have a 111-marker match to any of them?
     


    Hidden Content


    Y-DNA: R1b-FGC36981 (L21> DF13> Z39589> CTS2501> Z43690> Y8426> BY160> FGC36974>FGC36982 >FGC36981)

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Since you mentioned FTDNA, what's the STR situation with you and this other family? Do you have a 111-marker match to any of them?
    Unfortunately I didn't test at FTDNA, I did Yseq's U152 Superclade panel. I mainly mentioned FTDNA's project to emphasize the paucity (so far) of people with my surname who are U152, let alone the deeper HGs under Z49, and hence why I thought it intriguing that there would be another BY3620 testee with my surname.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    Unfortunately I didn't test at FTDNA, I did Yseq's U152 Superclade panel. I mainly mentioned FTDNA's project to emphasize the paucity (so far) of people with my surname who are U152, let alone the deeper HGs under Z49, and hence why I thought it intriguing that there would be another BY3620 testee with my surname.
    If you are interested in y-chromosome relationships in genealogical time, FTDNA is really the only game in town. The Big Y-700 is the way to go, but you can always start small, with a Y-37 test, see what kind of matches you get, and work up from there.
     


    Hidden Content


    Y-DNA: R1b-FGC36981 (L21> DF13> Z39589> CTS2501> Z43690> Y8426> BY160> FGC36974>FGC36982 >FGC36981)

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

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    I agree with rms.

    You certainly can use YDNA matches to establish that people with the same surname are descended from a common ancestor -- that's one useful feature of those surname projects at FTDNA. Much of the time there will be multiple origins of the same surname (or with things like occupation or patronymic names, a crazy number of independent origins), but you will get grouped with those who have tested and match you.

    I would pursue more testing with this other family and yourself if they are amenable to it, to see if it leads anywhere.

    My gggg-grandfather lived near another family with the same last name (unusual), and I had always wondered if he was connected to the other family, but both him and the father in the other family are brick walls. However, I have an aDNA match to a descendant of the other family, and a male line relative of my ancestor and that match (who is a male-line relative of the father in the other family) are matches in their surname project. So now I am confident that my gggg-grandfather and the other man were brothers or cousins or some other kind of relative.

    I'm hoping that they will eventually get a match with someone who can get us over the Atlantic.

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