Friday, 13 July 2018

Update on Group 1 (R1b-GF1)

Group 1 of the Farrell DNA Project consists of 10 members. The dominant surname variant is Farley, although the variant Farler appears twice among the group members.

Group 1 members of the Farrell DNA Project
(Key:  BY, Big Y;  SS, Single SNP test)

Chance Matches & Surname Switches
There are several non-Farrell names within the group - Ambrose, Jarrett, Eaves. These could either be  Chance Matches (due to Convergence) or they could be the result of a Surname or DNA Switch (i.e. they are Farley's by DNA, but with a non-Farley surname). This could result from a recent event such as a secret adoption (for example) or it could be due to a distant event, such as a young Farley widow remarrying and her children taking the name of the second husband - thus the Farley Y-DNA of her first husband becomes associated with the surname of her second husband.

Where are they from?
Three of the group members have MDKAs (Most Distant Known Ancestors) from Virginia, and two others have ancestors who go back to the southern US states (Georgia & Tennessee), so it is likely that the name arose in or around Virginia. In fact, the second oldest pedigree goes back to Virginia in the 1600s.

Prior to Virginia, there is a suggestion that the name came from England (according to the oldest pedigree). This would be in keeping with what is know about the Farley surname from surname dictionaries, such as the extract below.

Apparently the surname Farley is an Anglo-Saxon name derived from at least four locations within the UK named Farleigh (or similar). Thus, one would expect a variety of different genetic signatures to be associated with the name as it arose in several different locations independently. The surname translates as "fern-covered clearing".

Note that there is mention of a Thomas & Jane Farley arriving in Virginia in 1623 on board a ship called the "Ann".

The Farley name in surname dictionaries

How old is the group?
There are several ways to determine the age of the group (i.e. for how long have they been carrying their surname). Using genealogical data supplied, the oldest pedigree goes back to 1560, suggesting that they have been carrying the surname since the 1500s at least.

Using the FTDNA's TiP Report tool for the two most distant members of the group (based on their Genetic Distance) gives a midpoint estimate for the TMRCA (Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor) of 6 generations (with a 90% range of 2-12 gens). This equates to a MRCA born in 1770 and a range of 1590-1890 ... this is not consistent with what we know from the genealogies and serves to show how inexact these TMRCA estimates can be. Caution is therefore advised when interpreting them.

In all likelihood the name has been around for a long time prior to 1500 but as yet no one from "the old country" has tested and provided a genetic link back to England.

Where do they sit on the Tree of Mankind?
Placing a group on the Tree of Mankind (Y-Haplotree) can help determine how old the group is. And by assessing their nearest genetic neighbours, we may get clues as to where they came from.

One of the group has done the Big Y test and his "current terminal SNP" is BY71827. Two Farley's share this particular SNP and no one else in the database (the other Farley man is not a member of the project). This suggests that this particular SNP may represent a SNP marker that is specific for men called Farley.

Here is the SNP Progression for this group (i.e. the SNP markers that characterise each branching point in the Tree down to where the Group 1 Farley's currently sit):

  • R-U106/S21 > Z2265 > Z381/S263 > Z301/S499 > S1688 > U198> S15627 > DF89> Y5975> JFS0027 > JFS0028 > JFS0284 > JFS0285 > BY71827

Group 1 Farley's on the Big Tree
Group 1 Farley's on FTDNA's version of the Haplotree 

We can use SNP data to help date how old each branching point is in the Tree down to where the Farley's of Group 1 currently sit. Unfortunately, the further downstream along this branch, the fewer datapoints we have to work with, and the more inexact the estimate becomes. And currently it does not give us much of a clue as to the age of the presumed Farley-specific SNP BY71827.

In fact, the upstream SNP JFS0027 appears to be only a few hundred years old. This suggests that there may have been a Surname or DNA Switch (SDS) along this direct male line sometime since the introduction of surnames some 1000 years ago or so. The question is: which came first? The Ferrari chicken or the Farley egg?

Crude dates of each branching point in the SNP Progression

Nearest Neighbour Analysis
From the Big Tree diagram above, and the FTDNA-derived diagram below that, the nearest neighbours to the Farley's are Ferrari, Barbour, Burgess, Saunders, and Taylor. A Nearest Neighbour Analysis using Surname Distribution Maps for these surnames (see below) do not suggest a particular location for the Farley surname.

So for now, the presumed origin of the Farley surname in England has yet to be defined.

This genetic group is dominated by the surname Farley. The group members are all / mostly based in the US and probably represent the descendants of a colonial family who arrived in Virginia or thereabouts some time in the 1600s. The name probably came from England prior to that, in accordance with surname dictionary accounts and the limited pedigree information for this group.

Next Steps
  1. This particular group needs more members to join it
  2. MDKA information should be entered by all members in their profile
  3. Pedigrees should be posted on the Post Your Pedigree page
  4. Group members should share their pedigrees amongst themselves and try to find out where the various pedigrees connect
  5. Additional Big Y test would be informative
  6. All members should join the U-198 Haplogroup Project to assist future research into their origins

Maurice Gleeson
July 2018