Friday, 25 March 2016

New Members - B75592, 404565, 428569 (all Ungrouped)

The DNA results of the tests that people bought during the Christmas Sale are beginning to trickle in. As a result we have new members in four of the existing genetic families (R1b-GF1, -GF2, -GF4, & -GF5) and I'll be discussing these in subsequent posts.

However three new members received their results recently, and none of them match any of the members in the currently identified genetic families within the Farrell DNA Project. However, each of these new members has their own unique story as revealed by their DNA.

New Member - B75592, Farrell, MDKA Ireland

Basic information

Kit Number: B75592

Name: Farrell

Current Group: Ungrouped

MDKA: William Farrell, Ireland

Background: The Most Distant Known Ancestor (MDKA) is believed to have been of Irish descent.

Other projects: in accordance with our recommendations (see Getting the Most out of your DNA Test), he has joined several appropriate haplogroup & geographic projects including the following:

STR marker profile

He has no matches at 111 markers, 110 matches at 67 markers, 32 at 37, and 343 at 25 … but there is not a Farrell among them, and his closest matches within the project have a Genetic Distance of 8/37,  12/67, and 20/111. This indicates that there is no one in the project with whom he shares a common ancestor for probably 1000-2000 years.

It may be that there was an NPE (Non-Paternity Event, such as a secret adoption, infidelity, etc) somewhere along his direct male line (back in the mists of time) or that he is the first of his particular branch of Farrell’s to take the test. Thus, for the moment I have placed him in the Ungrouped section of the project but this is likely to change as more people test and join the FamilyTreeDNA database - eventually he should be paired up with a match. 

Next Steps: Testing his most distant documented Farrell cousin (if he can locate one) could help to ascertain if there has been a relatively recent NPE (i.e. in the last few generations). If his cousin is an exact or close match to him, then any NPE would have to have occurred prior to their common ancestor (grandfather or great grandfather, for example).

SNP marker profile

This individual's Haplogroup assignment is simply R-M269 i.e. M269 is the terminal SNP. This SNP marker is very far upstream in the human evolutionary tree (it appeared about 13,500 years ago). However, by reviewing his matches’ terminal SNP markers, we may be able to predict which downstream SNP markers he is likely to test positive for. Here are the terminal SNPs of his matches (at 67 markers):
  • A1206
  • A260 x5
  • A5902 
  • A725
  • A883
  • A887
  • DF105
  • DF109
  • FGC12948
  • FGC4077
  • FGC8739
  • M222 x13
  • S588 x2

By placing these markers on the FTDNA haplotree (we could also use the ISOGG Haplotree or YFULL Haplotree, among others), we can estimate on which branch of the human evolutionary tree this individual is likely to sit, and the good news is that every one of the SNP markers falls under M222 so we can be 99% certain that he would test positive for this SNP marker. This marker was formed about 4300 years ago and so testing positive for this SNP moves us down the human evolutionary tree by almost 10,000 years.

And as M222 is the genetic signature of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the famous Irish warlord, we can be reasonably sure that this person's ancestry goes back to Ireland. We can also estimate that his likely SNP progression (based on the preponderance of the evidence) is as follows:
R … DF49 > Z2980 > Z2976 > DF23 > Z2961 > M222 > S658 > DF104 > DF105 > A1206 > A260 > (un-named SNPs x2) > A883 / A887
SNPs in bold are the ones found among his matches that fit this estimated progression. This analysis is also born out by the terminal SNPs of his matches at the 25 marker level, so there is a reasonable chance that this estimated SNP Progression is correct.

Next Steps: So to clarify the above, we could either do the single M222 SNP test ($39) followed by the M222 SNP Pack ($119) or go straight to the M222 SNP Pack, which is what this member chose to do.

If the SNP Progression is correct (and he is on the A883/A887 branch), then this would place him in Alex Williamson’s Big Tree next to a Mr Riley and a Mr Flynn ...

The lower branches of the M222 portion of the human evolutionary tree

Furthermore, on the YFULL tree we can get an estimate of how old these SNP markers are and this tells us that the A260 SNP was formed about 1450 years ago (550 AD) and so he, Riley and Flynn share a common ancestor some time after that. More precise estimates will follow in time (as more people test and join the different company databases).

A260 is about 1450 years old

click to enlarge
Update: his M222 SNP Pack results arrived just as I was about to publish this post. And as predicted, he is positive for M222. His new terminal SNP is S566 and his SNP Progression is as follows:
R … DF49 > Z2980 > Z2976 > DF23 > Z2961 > M222 > S568 > S566

This SNP (S566) also goes by the name of FGC453 (many SNPs have alternative names, just to confuse us) and currently (on the YFULL tree) there is no time estimate of when it was formed, but we know it was some time after M222, which is 4300 years old.

Interestingly, this SNP progression places him on a different sub-branch of the M222 portion of the tree than that predicted above (see green arrow in diagram below). He has tested negative for the predicted SNPs S658, DF105, A1206, A260, A883, and A887. His nearest neighbours are now a Conroy and a Byrnes. Both of these are Irish surnames and this further supports an Irish origin for this particular Farrell branch.

The fact that the more downstream SNPs (below M222) are not as we had predicted suggests that there is quite a bit of Convergence (genetic overlap, for want of a better expression) among the lower branches of the M222 portion of the human evolutionary tree. If we look back at the terminal SNPs of this individual's matches, we can see that whilst the majority predict one particular downstream progression (red arrow), other SNPs are quite widely distributed within the M222 sub-branching system as indicated by the yellow circles below.
Red arrow is the predicted sub-branch, green arrow is the actual sub-branch (click to enlarge)

Further update (25 March 2016):
Susan Hedeen, one of the Administrators of the R-M222 Haplogroup Project, has kindly provided the following feedback having looked at the SNP results in the Farrell project SNP Pages for this individual. Susan has been able to predict a few additional downstream SNPs and a give an estimate of 800 AD for the emergence of the most downstream SNP
You are also derived for FGC440 that is downstream of where we believe PF1169 is located. This is the path as we believe that we know it now: S568>S566>PF1169>FGC440/FGC450/FGC456<--these thus far are considered equivalent, and FGC450 and FGC456 as well as these downstream-->FGC452/FGC455/FGC456 may be tested at YSEQ (FTDNA does not single SNP test for any of the others).
You would join these men who are also derived for FGC440
The Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) for the men above is 1150+/-260 ybp for a timing window of 540-800-1060 CE (current era); all before surnames.

Further update (20 July 2016):

During a routine audit of this project members results by FTDNA, it was discovered that the wrong results for the M222 SNP Pack had been uploaded to his account! He was notified in late June that the correct results had been uploaded and verified for accuracy.

The new results give this member a new terminal SNP, namely BY3338, which sits immediately above the terminal SNP(s) we had predicted from his Matches' Terminal SNPs Analysis (namely A883 / A887). Previously the two SNPs above A883 / A887 had not been named (they were simply referred to by their position on the Y chromosome) but since then one of them has been given a name - BY3338. YFULL dates SNP A260 (the one upstream of BY3338) as having formed about 1550 years before present, so BY3338 would have formed some time after that (it does not currently appear on the YFULL tree).

The new terminal SNP is BY3338, shared by Moody & Ford
(click to enlarge)

This BY3338 SNP marker is shared by two other people - Moody and Ford - names which appear among his 119 matches at 67 markers (he has no matches at 111 markers). If this Y-DNA is the result of an NPE (non-paternity event), then either of these surnames could be the surname of the genetic ancestor from whom this member's Y-DNA was derived. The Moody match has an MDKA (Most Distant Known Ancestor) from Ohio, the Ford match has an MDKA from Leitrim, in Ireland. However, this is the only time such names appear among this member's matches (at the 67, 37, & 25 marker level) so there is no strong signal for either of these particular surnames and the surname of the genetic ancestor could be something completely different.

Turning to the M222 Haplogroup Project, this project member sits in his own discreet grouping. However, the grouping of project members under A260 (the SNP 1-step upstream from BY3338) demonstrates an array of different surnames, albeit Irish-sounding, and several with MDKAs from Leitrim. Hopefully, as more people join the database and get SNP-tested, a closer match will be found and this may give clues to the ancestral origin of our member and to which particular surname he is most strongly related.

There are several Take Home Messages from this turn of events:
  • everyone makes mistakes, even the lab
  • the Matches Terminal SNPs Analysis (MTSA) correctly predicted the SNP progression to within a single branch of the new terminal SNP and appears to be a robust method of predicting the terminal SNP to within a few adjacent branches (in most cases?)
The varied names of those A260+ individuals in the R-M222 Haplogroup Project

New Member - 404565, Farrell, MDKA Ireland

Basic information

Kit Number: 404565

Name: Farrell

Current Group: Ungrouped

MDKA: Thomas Farrell, Ireland

Background: The Most Distant Known Ancestor (MDKA) is believed to have been of Irish descent.

Other projects: in accordance with our recommendations (see Getting the Most out of your DNA Test), he has joined several appropriate haplogroup & geographic projects including the following:

STR marker profile

He did the Y-DNA-37 test and at the 37 marker level he has 3 matches - no Farrell’s, but 2 Bradshaw’s and what looks like someone called Brannin. At the 25 marker level, he has 6 matches - again no Farrell’s, but the names of his matches look quite Irish (Fitzpatrick, Dalton, Gough, and even Ronan and Keating).

I also checked his “Genetic Distance” (GD) compared to everyone else in the Farrell DNA Project and his closest match among our members has a GD of 13 out of 37 i.e. he is 13 mutations away from his closest Farrell project match. That could be because his particular Farrell branch is quite rare and he is the first of the branch to test, or it could be that there may have been an NPE somewhere along his Farrell line within the last 1000 years or so, since the emergence of the Farrell surname. An NPE is a non-paternity event, such as an adoption, infidelity, etc, and the likelihood of this happening is about 1% per generation which is somewhere in the region of 33% over 1000 years (allowing 30 years per generation). In other words, about one third of us will not be genetically descended from the originator of our surname.

So for now, he has no close matches within the Farrell DNA Project but this may change over time as more people are tested.

Next Steps: Because he does not match anyone else within the Farrell project closely, I think that the chances of finding new Farrell matches by upgrading his 37 marker STR test to a 67 or 111 marker test are very slim indeed. However, we might find other non-Farrell matches (such as Bradshaw’s - his closest current matches). This could give us further clues to the origins of his direct male line. However, upgrading is not cheap - a 67-marker upgrade is $99 and an 111-marker upgrade is $220.

SNP marker profile

We have one further clue about the possible origins of his direct male line, and that is the terminal SNP marker of one of his matches, namely R-FGC5494. This is placed on the human evolutionary tree (Y-Haplotree) as follows:

R .. > M269 > L169 > L23 > L51 > L151 > P311 > P312 > L21 > DF13 > FGC5494

If this member shares the same SNP as his match, this would place him still fairly upstream in Alex Williamson’s Big Tree. This particular section of the tree has quite a few English and Welsh people, with some Scottish and Irish, but there is no particular preponderance of one or another nationality so this does not give us many clues to the origins of this direct male line (other than "somewhere in Britain or Ireland"). 

Next Steps: We would need to do some further testing to see a) does he also have the above SNP marker; and b) can we identify any further SNP markers “downstream" that would give us a better clue to the country origins of his direct male line. In order to do this, it looks like he would need to do the R1b-M343 Backbone SNP Pack ($99) followed by a "more downstream” SNP Pack (if there is an appropriate one currently available).

New Member - 428569, Ferrell, MDKA Ireland

Basic information

Kit Number: 428569

Name: Ferrell

Current Group: Ungrouped

MDKA: unknown

Background: unknown

Other projects: in accordance with our recommendations (see Getting the Most out of your DNA Test), he has joined several appropriate haplogroup & geographic projects including the following:

STR marker profile

So far, his Y-DNA-67 results indicate that he is not a close match with anyone in the Farrell DNA Project. The Genetic Distance to his closest matches among Farrell project members are 10/37 and 17/67 indicating that they are very distant indeed and I have placed him in the Ungrouped section for now.

If there has been an NPE somewhere along his direct male line, it might be possible to get some clue as to the name of his genetic ancestor by looking at the frequency of surnames in his surnames list. He has 1 match (Bruner) at 67 markers, 1 at 37 (the same Bruner again), and 426 matches at 25 markers. A review of the names of his Y-DNA matches suggests a preponderance of the following surnames:
Anderson, Brown, Chandler, Chumney, Clark, Crow(e), Duncan, Grigsby, Hughes, Loucks/x, Martin, Matheson, May, McPheeters, Rodriguez, Spencer, & West
Any of these names might be the surname of his direct male line genetic ancestor. And because they sound English, they may very well indicate an English origin for his father's father's father's line.

Next Steps: further resolution might be achieved by upgrading to 111 markers but it is a bit of a long shot and may not produce further matches or further refinement of the candidate surnames for the genetic ancestor.

SNP marker profile

This project member did the R1b-M343 backbone test, which assigned him a terminal SNP of Z36. So his established SNP progression looks like this:
R … > M269 > L150 > L23 > L51 > L11 > P311 > P312 > U152 > Z36

His Z36 terminal SNP places him quite far downstream on the Y-DNA Haplotree (the Tree of Mankind) and you can see his genetic neighbours on Alex Williamson’s Big Tree here. I attach a screenshot of it below (Z36 is on the second "row" from the top). No particular surname or nationality jumps out so unfortunately this gives us no clue to the country of origin of his direct male line.

Next Steps: There have been further SNP markers identified downstream of Z36 (at least 16) but the only way for this member to be evaluated for these would be for him to do a Big Y test ($575) or test for them individually ($39 each). Before paying out that amount of money, it would be worth his while joining a few relevant Haplogroup Projects (which he has) and asking the Admins for advice on next steps. It is never any harm to get a second opinion!

Z36 is on the second "row" from the top


So all three of these new members have been placed in the Ungrouped section for now. Over time, as more people get tested, the hope is that new people will join the FamilyTreeDNA database and turn out to be a match to each of them in turn. Once that happens, the newly-matched member can be moved from the Ungrouped section into an entirely new group. And if we are lucky, his new match will have a direct male line pedigree that has documented evidence of a specific place of origin so that the project member, by extrapolation, can finally identify the ancestral homeland of his father's father's father's line.

But for now, it's a waiting game.

And good things come to those who wait ... 

... as we will find out in the next post.

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