Thursday, October 6, 2011

Family Finder at FT DNA

An interesting email from another tester at FT DNA for Family Finder. This one was directed towards my brother's results for Family Finder. He had a match estimated at 3rd Cousin. I knew for sure this person was not his third cousin but I had been intrigued by the match earlier. This same individual matches me as 5 - Distant Cousin which is the more likely. He also has all Scot ancestry to this day. My brother also has a second individual who matches him in exactly the same locations as estimated 3rd cousin and is also a 5 - Distant Cousin for me. The other individual lives in the United States and as far as I can tell from his Gedcom his ancestors have been in the US for at least two hundred years.

Now what am I to think about these results? On the one hand they could be quite ancient like 9th or 10th cousin and we are talking a large group of people at that level back.  When I look at the second person who has already declared us to be Distant Cousins he has quite mixed ancestry from England, Ireland, The Netherlands and France plus some surnames which could be Scot. So you are left to conjecture is the individual who wrote yesterday absolutely correct with all Scot ancestry which traces back to Norman lines? When we talk about 9th or 10th cousin we are only back into the 1500s or later. How large a block of DNA will pass unbroken and from how far back? Looking back at the book which I just read on mitochondrial DNA (this is nuclear DNA for autosomal) there was some comment on the nuclear DNA which has it remaining the same for longer periods with mtDNA changing more rapidly. So conceivably a large block of autosomal DNA could pass intact from generation to generation for a long period and in this case it probably has.

However, I have one interesting fact that binds me to Scotland and that is our mtDNA which has unusual mutations (we are H11a2a1 (my coding) which is a small grouping in itself) but according to the Blood of the Isles Database which Bryan Sykes prepared our mutations take us back to Argyllshire/Ayrshire Scotland. This part of Scotland is interesting in that these peoples became planters in Ulster in the 1600s/1700s and some of them were part of Rev William Martin's emigration to the Carolinas in 1772, some remained in Ulster to this day and another group is known to have gone from Argyllshire/Ayrshire to Cumberland and thence to the Midlands in the 1700s/1800s.

I know that my great grandmother's line belonged to one of the last two groups but I have, at this time, no ideas on when her line arrived in Birmingham nor the mode by which they arrived. A few bits of family lore intimate Ireland but that family lore is from my childhood and no one in my family remembers some of the things that my mother and grandmother said about the Taylor family of Birmingham into which my Ellen Taylor was born in 1859-1860 since she is listed as 37 years of age on her death registration in 1897. Of course this is her husband listing her age and I have no idea if he knew her as a child although he was also born in Birmingham but I have all of his details and ancestry back further from himself.

From my grandmother I know that her mother was 37 when she died and so this does fit in with the death registration but would a mother have passed wrong information to a child? There is a little suspicion in my mind in that regard I have to admit. Ellen Taylor had an illegitimate child in 1879 and no more children until 1886 when my grandmother was born as the first child of her marriage with Edwin Denner Buller. In 1879 she would have been about 19 years of age. Although by process of elimination I am tentatively placing her in the family of Thomas Taylor and Ellen Roberts I only have a bit of family lore for doing that (Thomas was a shoemaker and my grandmother mentioned that her maternal grandfather was a shoemaker). The other plus was my grandmother visited Ashton under Lyne where the Taylor family lived from the mid to late 1870s having moved there from Birmingham around that time. They are on the 1881 census at Ashton without their daughter Ellen (or older son Thomas). Anyway it made for a rather exciting time trying to discover any relationship and will continue to look at it.

It is interesting though to have the contact and the ideas that these people have as to how we might be related. I do note though that the mother of this individual is descended from the Lamont Clan and the Blake family is included in that Clan. But is it my Blake family? A piece of autosomal DNA could conceivably come down through a family for many generations. That is the mystery. The Blake family is beginning to consume all my genealogy thinking time and quite rightly as it is the one name study that I am spending most of my time on. The other, Pincombe, also has some of my thinking time but it has reached the stage where only an effective yDNA study can really answer any questions.

No comments: