Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New yDNA tree and why test your DNA

The revised yDNA tree at FT DNA is still a work in progress especially given that the Big Y results are not yet figured into that tree. The tree is primarily the result of all the testing by the National Genographic Project. Since 20% only of the results of that study are transferred to FT DNA, there will be sections of that tree that might mystify users of it.

Why test though? My grandfather and father might have said that to me I do realize. They would have said we know where we are from; who our relatives are. Why would we bother testing? It has to be because of the deep ancestry although again I must admit my grandfather certainly would have said that his family had always lived in the Andover area; like forever. It is that thought perhaps alone that has most inspired me to test DNA. No one has lived in the Andover, Hampshire, England, UK area for absolutely ever. It is possible that some creatures have lived there but they did not belong to the Homo species to which we all belong. That single item was enough for me to scrape my mouth with the little plastic tool about eight years ago and send a sample off to the Genographic Project. I wanted to be in that big project that was going to find the origin of man if it was possible to do that using DNA. A year later I asked one of my brothers if he too would go into the genographic project for our yDNA and he agreed; he too was finding the idea of our deep ancestry interesting after I showed him the map of our mtDNA coming out of Africa. Then by piecemeal I gradually purchased one test after another as curiosity would impel me forward to learn a little more. It is cheaper to just buy the full genetic scan and the 111 markers and the Gen 2.0 but I was just a little curious but I give better advice than that to people who ask me. Save your money; buy the full test.

But still to this day we do not have any matches of our yDNA and no matches of our Full Genetic Scan of the mitochondria. We were dropped on this planet from somewhere I laughingly say some days. But I know I have cousins who still live in the Andover area and I wonder will they test one day. Will they become interested in their deep ancestry?

Still FT DNA has the best database for comparison and the most surname/geographic projects of any testing agency. They are still the cheapest although I also tested my brother at BritainsDNA and I am very pleased with that result. The chromosome painting still intrigues me although I have now used GedMatch and can do that myself but I saw theirs first and they have lots of prepared charts to look at making it easy for the user to look at their results. No sharing of results there; no databases for comparison but it is all about deep ancestry and that is, primarily, still my main interest.

My grandfather used to mention his furtherest back ancestor known to him by name lived at Old Hall in Enham and there lived Nicholas as he penned his will in 1547. Now that I have pushed that back likely to Robert Blayke who also lived at Enham as he penned his will in 1521, I wonder what my grandfather would think about that. Then I also wonder what the children of his cousins would think of that. Perhaps one day I will find that out. But for the moment I can only say that testing your DNA is a fascinating way to learn about your ancient ancestors. Doing Family Finder has brought me matches but far fewer than my husband with his early colonial American ancestry. No one in my close family other than my siblings has tested.

But I think if you really want your genealogy to be complete then you need to test your DNA to tell you if that ancient male ancestor was a deer-hunter like mine living on the edge of the ice sheets as they retreated or perhaps a Roman soldier or a Celt crossing from France centuries before the Romans or perhaps a Viking or Anglo-Saxon or a Norman or perhaps you came later.

The discovery of Richard le Blak of Rouen requesting to be present at markets in England


His license would have read thus:

"Licence, until Michaelmas, for Richard le Blak, merchant of Rouen, to
come to England to trade and to carry his wools and merchandise to the
usual fairs and markets by the public streets and common ways, provided
he do not carry or cause to be carried his wools or merchandise out of the
kingdom, nor deal with the Flemings or others of the power of the countess
of Flanders in the kingdom, or in any way communicate with them, during
the contention between the king and the said countess."

[30 May 1274 Westminster, 2 Edward I, volume 1, pages 51 - 52, Calendar of Patent Rolls]

1274 is 740 years ago. Imagine finding a record of your ancestor from 740 years ago. Now, personally, I do not think this is my ancestor. My Blake line belongs to the haplogroup named deer-hunters by BritainsDNA. Did he stay in England; I have collected some records for Richard le Blak and I need to get to transcribing them but I am an orderly person and still working on the wills. But those documents are to come and they should tell us an interesting story. Words can tell us part of the story and our dna can tell us another part.

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