Poll: How do you feel about testing remains of Mayflower passengers?

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Thread: Going Straight to the Source!

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    Going Straight to the Source!

    The express purpose of the MayflowerDNA.org wiki is to learn more about the genetic identity of the Mayflower passengers and crew. For a handful of passengers, it may actually be possible (in theory) to complete testing on the remains of the passengers themselves. I realize this is likely to be a loaded issue, but I wanted to gauge the opinions of a group I expect would be biased towards testing.

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    Me personally, I am mostly positive about it, but do have some ambivalence. Most of my ambivalence is around how it has the potential to be divisive within the community. I believe we can learn a lot about the Mayflower passengers by studying them directly. Not only can we examine their DNA, but from that (and from the bones) we can likely reconstruct how they looked (eye color, hair color, height, etc.) what their diet was like, I believe isotope analysis can be done to provide more clues to where they lived during their childhood, etc.

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    Do you have Y-DNA or mtDNA lineages still living from the Mayflower passengers ?
    J1 FGC5987 to FGC6175 (188 new SNPs)
    MDKAs before Colonial Brazil
    Y-DNA - Milhazes, Barcelos, Minho, Portugal.
    mtDNA - Ilha Terceira, Azores, Portugal
    North_Swedish + PT + PT + PT @ 3.96 EUtest 4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    Do you have Y-DNA or mtDNA lineages still living from the Mayflower passengers ?
    Yes for some of them. But Y-DNA and mtDNA are only a very small portion of the total DNA.

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    Yes, would you have the indication of any project related to the Y-DNA or mtDNA from those passengers with names ?
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    Y-DNA - Milhazes, Barcelos, Minho, Portugal.
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    North_Swedish + PT + PT + PT @ 3.96 EUtest 4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    Yes, would you have the indication of any project related to the Y-DNA or mtDNA from those passengers with names ?
    You can find most of what is currently known at FTDNA's Mayflower DNA Project https://www.familytreedna.com/groups...rsociety/about and choose DNA results, then YDNA or mtDNA results.

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    I would really like to see this. I clearly inherited some autosomes from my 5th great-grandfather who has Mayflower roots, based on common segments/surnames that came from his maternal grandfather.

    Even from there it's still quite a few generations back to the Mayflower, but it's just slightly more likely given that I have a segment from the right ancestor from 1765, that I might have an autosomal segment from 1620.
     

    Other ancestral Y lines:

    E1b-M81 Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    E1b-V13 England
    I1-M253 Ireland
    I2-M423 Ukraine
    R1a-L176.1 Scotland
    R1b-L584 Syria/Turkey (Sephardi)
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    R1b-L21 (1)England; (2)Wales?>Connecticut
    R1b-L48 England
    R1b-P312 Scotland
    R1b-FGC32576 Ireland

    Other ancestral mtDNA lines:

    H1b2a Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    H6a1a3 Ukraine
    K1a9 Belarus (Ashkenazi)
    K1c2 Ireland
    V7a Ukraine

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJL View Post
    I would really like to see this. I clearly inherited some autosomes from my 5th great-grandfather who has Mayflower roots, based on common segments/surnames that came from his maternal grandfather.

    Even from there it's still quite a few generations back to the Mayflower, but it's just slightly more likely given that I have a segment from the right ancestor from 1765, that I might have an autosomal segment from 1620.
    Exactly!! In addition, even if you find someone you have some DNA match up with and they descend from the same Mayflower passenger you do, that doesn't automatically mean this segment HAD to have come from the Mayflower passenger. Colonial Plymouth Colony (and even New England as a whole) was not a huge population, and it is just as likely the segment came from another ancestor you share in common.

    Going directly to the remains will clearly document whether you share segments of DNA with one of your Mayflower ancestors. However, even then I don't believe it would be 100% certain the DNA came from that line. But as long as you can verify the remains are for the person you believe they are for, then you can be assured the DNA results would be accurate.

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    Talking about assuring the remains actually belong to the correct person reminds me of what happened in my family. My ancestor, Moses Wing (1759-1837) was a veteran of the Rev. War. At the Battle of Flatbush, LI, he was injured and ended up having his left leg amputated just below the knee. He never let his wooden leg hinder him, as he served as first postmaster, town clerk, school teacher, doctor and even had a license to preach the gospel when no minister was available. When he died, he was buried on the old family cemetery in Wayne, Maine.

    Thirty years after his death, the family decided to create a new family cemetery (adjacent to the original cemetery). They leveled off the top of the hill, dug down several feet to remove all of the rocks (and folks who know Maine know how rocky the soil is). After they accomplished this, they dug up the bodies from the old cemetery and moved them to the new cemetery. This was a somber event, well attended by family members. You can imagine the shock and disbelief when they dug up Moses' supposed body and it had both legs!!

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    I want to make clear the issue about the possibility of using remains for DNA purposes was solely from my own musing. I spoke to the Project Manager (Greg Magoon) about this idea and he stated the project intends on only testing LIVING persons DNA. He was not only concerned about the controversial nature of digging up graves, but also was concerned about the the costs and whether "off the shelf" NGS testing would be able to adequately read the likely degraded 350+ year old samples.

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