Sunday, 15 May 2016

R1b-GF6 has a new member

In the previous post, we discovered a new Genetic Family (R1b-GF6) with likely origins in Ireland. Since then the results of a new project member have become available which adds to what we know about this particular genetic group of Farrell's.

New Member -5164, Farrell, MDKA ?Meath

Kit Number ending: -5164
Name: Farrell
Current Group: R1b-GF6
MDKA: Mathew Farrell, b abt 1825 Longford, d 1870, Buffalo, NY

Background: here is what the kit manager tells me about her particular Farrell family:
The most distant Farrell ancestor the I know for sure is Mathew Farrell, b 1825, d 1870 in Buffalo, NY. He was born somewhere in Ireland and immigrated around 1847-8. He married Mary Doyle here in Buffalo, but he had a prior marriage in Ireland, because Mary brought his two children, Thomas 1845 and Bridget 1846 to Buffalo with her. We assume that the mom died in the famine. They arrived around 1850-51 and Mathew and Mary were married shortly thereafter. Mary's parents were Thomas and Margaret Doyle. I found their names on her death certificate. No death certificate was filed for Mathew because it was before they were required. I do know where he is buried, though.
I have some possible hints about Mathew. Family lore says that he came to America with brothers. I found 3 Farrell brothers living in a boarding house in Westchester county in the mid-1840s. Mathew's birth year was right and the brothers were James and John. I suspect that they could have come to work on the Erie Canal expansion that was taking place in that era. Heading up the Hudson River, working in Westchester, then making their way to the Erie Canal would make sense. It would also explain why they ended up here in Buffalo if they followed the canal. Mathew and Mary had 5 more children, 3 of whom lived to have large families of their own. One of their daughter's godparents was a James Farrell so this lends some credibility to my assumption about the Westchester boarding house and the Erie Canal. This is really where I am stuck. I added these names to my tree and no new hints appeared. There are other Farrell lines around here in the area, but I cannot make a connection to them. I suspect that the connections lie back in Ireland ...

... Mathew died in 1870. Using the Buffalo directories (much like phone books before phones) I can see that his widow Mary was living for a time at the home of a Christopher Farrell with her younger children. Christopher's wife was also named Mary so it got confusing, but the 1871 directory identified Mary as a widow. Assuming that this wasn't an error, I can now assume that Christopher was likely another brother to Mathew. Christopher lived at the same address for a very long time, 17 Hayward Street. In a publication called the Boston Pilot, there was a section where Irish immigrants would place ads looking for lost family members. Christopher placed two such ads, looking for an Edward and a Patrick Farrell. In the ad, he identifies his father as James Farrell from Porterstown, County Meath in Ireland ... I understand that this is not too far from Longford ...

The kit manager has been in touch with some of Christopher Farrell's descendants and one has taken the autosomal DNA test. If she shows up as a match, this will lend support to the possibility that James Farrell of Porterstown, Co. Meath is the common ancestor. If several such descendants all match each other, then the probability of James Farrell being the common ancestor to all of them will greatly increase. This will allow this family to push their Farrell line back an extra generation and will confirm the ancestral origins of this particular family.

Currently, the Farrell pedigree for this family is as follows:

  1. Mathew FARRELL b 1825 Ireland; d 1870 Buffalo, NY; m Mary DOYLE
  2. John P FARRELL b Mar 1864 Buffalo, NY; d 20 JUL 1940 Buffalo, NY; m Anna Loretta O'CONNOR
  3. Berchman G FARRELL b 7 SEP 1906 NY; m Veronica FITZGERALD
  4. father of kit owner
  5. kit owner -5164

Other projects: in accordance with our recommendations (see Getting the Most out of your DNA Test), this member should join several appropriate haplogroup & geographic projects including the following:

STR marker profile

This member did the Y-DNA-37 test and has 10 matches at 37 markers (no Farrell’s) and 45 at 25 (again no Farrell’s). However using the Genetic Distance tool (that I have access to as Admin), he is closest to those project members in R1b-GF6 but with GDs of 7-10 out of 37 markers … which is really quite distant.

And if we look at the TiP Reports (orange icon beside each match), these gives us an estimate of the TMRCA (Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor) of about 17 generations with a 90% range of 8 to >24 generations, which translates into about 510 years (range 240 to >720 years), which in turn translates into a birth year for the common ancestor of about 1440 (range <1200 to 1710 AD).

So the hope of finding a paper trail back to the group's common ancestor is remote. Of course, individual members will be more closely related, moreso as more people join this group, and eventually it is hoped that some individual members will be able to connect with documentary records.

GD Analysis for Member -5164 vs other Farrell project members

SNP marker profile

Now, let’s look at the terminal SNPs of his 45 matches at 25 markers:
  • DC24 x1
  • DC70 x1
  • FGC5628 x1
  • FGC5659 x1
  • L226 x7
  • M269 x33 (this is the most upstream SNP in the group)
  • Z253 x1

And if we plot them on the haplotree (using Alex Williamson’s Big Tree) we see that they are all sit on a particular branch of the tree, either at or below SNP marker Z253. Furthermore, all of the terminal SNPs fall below L226. This tells us several things: 
  1. there is no evidence of Convergence, and therefore 
  2. we can be reasonably certain that Z253 & L226 are two of his more downstream SNPs ... and I would hazard a guess that his most downstream SNP is somewhere below FGC5628
  3. L226 is the defining SNP marker for the Irish Type III haplotype. This is a genetic signature associated with Irish surnames from the southern part of Ireland and most frequently in the counties Clare, Tipperary, & Limerick. There is a wealth of information provided by Dennis Wright, the Administrator for the Irish Type III Project, on the project's website.

The terminal SNP profile for this new member's matches is very much in keeping with the terminal SNPs of those individuals already in R1b-GF6, because one of the members (kit -1778) has already tested positive for FGC5628 (on a single SNP test). -1778 has also tested negative for FGC5659 so it may be that our new member is more likely to be somewhere on the DC24 sub-branch - this could be confirmed by doing the Z253 SNP Panel test ($119).

Plotting the terminal SNPs of the new member's matches unto the Haplotree

Rare Marker Values

Based on all the above evidence alone, I would be reasonably happy to move this new member into the R1b-GF6 group. But furthermore, he shares the rare marker values for R1b-GF6 (dys459 = 8-9 and dys464 = 13-13-15-17, although in his case it is 13-13-15-18) so I am even more confident that he belongs in this group despite the rather large GD of 7-10/37 with the other members.

As noted in the previous post, the only caveat is that these particular rare marker values are quite common below L226, in fact they are the norm (see the DNA Results page for the L226 Haplogroup Project). So although we can be reasonably confident that the members of R1b-GF6 lie somewhere below Z253 and L226, where they lie below that is still open to question. And the further downstream we go from L226, the more speculative our "best guess" becomes.

There is also still a chance that the new member has been incorrectly placed in the R1b-GF6 group, but the only way to be absolutely sure would be for all the group members to do the Z253 SNP Pack test ($119) in order to characterise the more downstream SNPs among these project members.


So the upshot is that the new member's DNA results point to an origin in Ireland, probably in southern Ireland, and possibly in Clare, Limerick or Tipperary. The results suggest that the other members of R1b-GF6 are very distant relatives, probably some time back in the 1400’s, so well beyond our genealogical reach. Doing the Z253 SNP Pack would help place our new member (and his R1b-GF6 cousins) more accurately on the haplotree (but would not generate any new matches).

As for his Farrell origins within Ireland, one of the other members in R1b-GF6 has an MDKA from Longford and another has one from Limerick, so we would need more people to join the Farrell DNA Project and match these members in R1b-GF6 before we could say for sure where in Ireland their Farrell line came from.

Maurice Gleeson
May 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment