HomeDNADNA and Household Tree Analysis: Sudden Y-DNA outcomes

DNA and Household Tree Analysis: Sudden Y-DNA outcomes

Somebody does a Y-DNA take a look at to search out out extra about their direct male line and “the place my surname got here from” solely to search out that the outcomes usually are not what they anticipated. So that they be part of the DNA venture related for his or her surname and ask the Administrator for an interpretation. What info are they going to search out helpful? And, as an Admin, what info are you able to give them?

These had been the questions I contemplated just lately when a brand new venture member joined my O’Malley DNA Challenge. And I feel it will be helpful to take you thru my response to his e mail and level out among the challenges that Admins face when confronted by the surprising outcomes of certainly one of their venture members.

I’ve privatised any figuring out info. My feedback are in italics.

Pricey Mr O’Malley

I had a have a look at your outcomes and listed below are some prime line observations …

You might have 13 matches on the 111-marker degree of comparability, 20 matches at 67 markers, and 20 at 37.

Your prime matches are to folks known as Leyden/Layden/Lyden, Ward & Corcoran.

You haven’t any O’Malley’s amongst these matches.

You don’t match any of the genetic teams throughout the O’Malley Challenge.

This means that there could have been a Surname or DNA Swap someplace alongside your direct male line, which signifies that your Y-DNA signature was related to another surname previous to switching to O’Malley. This might have occurred comparatively just lately, or centuries in the past. The earlier surname might have been Leyden/Layden/Lyden, Ward, Corcoran … or another surname.

Already we could have shattered lots of the hopes that the test-taker could have had once they first took the Y-DNA take a look at. Some folks could also be within the deeper origins of their surname, however I think that the explanation most of us do any kind of DNA take a look at is to assist with our family tree and maybe to interrupt down a particular Brick Wall. Within the case of Y-DNA, the Brick Wall shall be on the direct male line, and within the case of Irish family tree, this usually halts abruptly at 1800. So, for a lot of test-takers (together with maybe Mr O’Malley above), the hope with Y-DNA could also be “can it assist me break by way of my 1800 Brick Wall and push it again by a technology or two into the 1700s?”. Alternatively, the Brick Wall could also be more moderen (say mid-1800s) and the test-taker’s family tree could also be caught in America (for instance), by which case the hope could also be “can Y-DNA assist me bounce again throughout the pond to Eire?”. One other chance is that the test-taker has explored the related surname venture and sees that there are a number of well-defined genetic teams throughout the venture and needs to search out out which certainly one of these he belongs to.

In the entire above circumstances, Mr O’Malley shall be disillusioned. He was aiming to search out an O’Malley in Eire, and as a substitute he has found that he’s “not an O’Malley”. Has his line of genealogical enquiry been utterly derailed? Is his Y-DNA telling him he isn’t heading in the right direction? Has he been sidelined into utterly international territory?

As an Admin, what do you do in such a state of affairs? What sort of info is perhaps useful for the test-taker? What info will help him navigate by way of this new uncharted territory?

The form of further questions which will come up embrace: 

  • if I’m not an O’Malley, what am I? what surname did my ancestors carry earlier than it was switched?
  • the place did the identify come from?
  • when did the change occur?
  • why did the change occur? was there some secret adoption or illegitimacy within the latest previous? or did the change occur centuries in the past, for causes misplaced within the mists of time?
  • do I’ve any hope of breaking by way of my Brick Wall? and what’s on the opposite facet – is it an O’Malley or an entire stranger?

The unhappy reality is that Y-DNA is severely restricted in its skill to reply these questions. It should presumably offer you some clues, however the reply is probably not definitive and you’ll have to spend some huge cash on costly assessments to reach at a nebulous conclusion. I do know this sounds pessimistic … however that is as a result of it’s. From the attitude of day-to-day family tree, there’s a lot much less to Y-DNA than meets the attention … particularly whenever you examine it to the knowledge you derive from autosomal DNA testing. I am not saying its ineffective … simply much less helpful, from a genealogical standpoint. And I really feel as pissed off about this as the typical test-taker.

Replace: some suggestions on this submit spurs me to make some further factors:

1) one other chance is that this man comes from a really uncommon department of O’Malley’s – a department that arose utterly independently of the opposite main branches and is by no means related to them within the quick pre-surname period (e.g. 700-900 AD in Eire) – and he’s at present the solely man from this uncommon department in the whole FTDNA database. He should wait for an additional member of this uncommon department to affix the venture earlier than he (and this new member) will be allotted collectively to a brand new genetic subgroup. I typically point out this in suggestions to new members with an SDS / NPE however the O’Malley DNA Challenge is kind of mature and quite a lot of genetic subgroups have already been recognized, and there are not any excellent O’Malley teams talked about within the historic document (e.g. surname dictionaries) so I’d be very shocked if any further uncommon subgroups had been to emerge (it’s not unattainable however it’s inconceivable) – therefore I made a decision to not point out this uncommon chance on this explicit reply. I could point out it if the response from the venture member raises any questions concerning the possible SDS, however it’s all the time a stability between giving simply sufficient info to adequately inform the brand new member and never an excessive amount of that it overwhelms the recipient. It is a judgement name. What would you may have accomplished? Hmmm …
2) Most individuals take the prospect of an ancestral surname change fairly effectively, however some bounce to the choice that they’ve wasted a long time of analysis on their family tree and half of it’s now ineffective. I’m going to pains in my displays to elucidate how commonplace such SDS / NPE occasions are and level out that every of us has someplace between a 33% to 55% probability that our direct male line does NOT return to the progenitor of the surname that we stock at this time. So if we insisted that you possibly can solely name your self an O’Malley should you matched the DNA of the progenitor of the surname, then about half of us wouldn’t be who we thought we had been. For me, anybody who carries a surname, owns that surname, and has each proper to say that surname’s historical past and heritage – “an O’Malley by some other identify would odor as candy”.

This is how I continued my response to my new venture member. I veered into deeper origin territory and should you get the impression that I used to be clutching at straws, you might be proper …

Your matches are comparatively distant. The closest matches have a Genetic Distance to you of 6 on the 111-marker degree of comparability (i.e. 6 steps away from an actual match), 3 out of 67, and three/37. Nonetheless, it could be useful to put in writing to every of them and ask if they’ve any connection to the O’Malley surname. The geographic origin of their MDKA (Most Distant Identified Ancestor) might also present some clues.

We might get additional clues from taking a look at SNP markers. A few of your matches have accomplished SNP testing (often the Huge Y take a look at) which permits us to see the place they sit on the Tree of Mankind. The query is – is there a sample? Listed here are the SNP Sequences (i.e. listing of ancestral SNP markers) on your matches at 111 markers (generated by way of the SNP to Breadcrumbs instrument right here):

  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130 > BY3308 > BY16783 > BY16785
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > FGC11134 > FGC12055 > Z3026 > Z16250 > A114 > CTS4466
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130 > BY3308 > BY16783 > BY16787 (x2)
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130 > BY3308 > BY16783 > BY16785
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130 > BY3308 > BY16783 > BY16787 > BY16790 (x2)
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130
  • R-L21 > S552 > DF13 > DF21 > S5488 > Z16294 > BY4001 > L130 > BY3308 > BY16783

From the above we are able to see that almost all of your SNP-tested 111-marker matches fall on or beneath the department characterised by the SNP marker BY16783 (in daring). It’s due to this fact probably that (should you had been to do SNP testing) that is the place you’ll sit too.

This SNP marker arose about 2400 years in the past (i.e. 400 BC, effectively earlier than the arrival of surnames), most likely in Eire.

Rob Spencer’s instruments are nice for illustrating the deeper origins of a specific SNP marker and the SNP Tracker instrument offers an incredible visible that captures the creativeness. Clients prefer it. Nevertheless, that is nearer to archaeology than family tree, and doesn’t handle the quick questions of the test-taker as described above … however is it the most effective we’ve to supply?

Solely 7 folks fall on or beneath this department (in accordance with FTDNA’s public Y-DNA Haplotree) – 2 report Eire as their ancestral homeland, 1 experiences USA.

The Huge Y Block Tree (which is seen solely to those that have accomplished the Huge Y take a look at) reveals the extra fine-detailed branching construction of this portion of the Tree of Mankind, together with the variety of SNPs related to every department.

It’s a pity that the Huge Y Block Tree just isn’t publicly viewable, not like Alex Williamson’s “Huge Tree” which has proved to be so helpful over time. These days the Block Tree has way more information than the Huge Tree and higher delineates the extra fine-detailed branching construction of the Tree of Mankind. Nevertheless, an enormous disadvantage of the Huge Y Block Tree is that it doesn’t show surnames for every department. I want it will. As an alternative it experiences the total identify for matches (reasonably than simply the surname) and just for these matches closest to the test-taker in query. This makes it far much less helpful as a analysis instrument. We need not see the total identify of matches on the Block Tree – simply the surname would do very effectively thanks.

The following query is – what surnames do we discover mostly on this portion of the Tree of Mankind?

We already know that frequent surnames amongst your matches are Leyden/Layden/Lyden, Ward & Corcoran. We will have a look at related Haplogroup Initiatives to see if there are any others. And the related Haplogroup Initiatives for this portion of the Tree consists of the R-DF21 and subclades venture (1664 members). This has the next folks grouped underneath or close to BY16783 …

From this we are able to see that the surname Duffy sits on a neighbouring department.

It’s unlucky that new members usually are not added robotically to the Haplogroup Initiatives related to their Y-DNA signature. This could assist make Y-DNA testing extra helpful to FTDNA’s clients. Within the current case, solely a handful of related matches have joined the venture and this decreases the worth of the Haplogroup Challenge for analysis functions.

It’s troublesome to attract any agency conclusions from this, however there could also be a preponderance of those varied surnames within the west of Eire, round Galway & Mayo, and this implies that this may very well be the place this explicit SNP marker arose. Coincidentally, that is near the origins of the Mayo O’Malley’s.

You might profit from becoming a member of the R-DF21 and subclades venture – the Admins there might provide further insights into the origins of your Y-DNA signature. 

There are not any DNA Initiatives for the surnames Corcoran, Duffy or Leyden/Layden/Lyden, in any other case I’d have referred him there too. There are a couple of Leyden’s and Layden’s within the Lyddon/Lydon/Liddon Challenge in order that is perhaps price becoming a member of, however not one of the individuals on the general public Outcomes Web page sit wherever near BY16783.

For now, I’ve moved you into the Ungrouped part of the O’Malley venture. It will change if one other O’Malley assessments and joins the venture and is a match to you.

Hope you discover this of curiosity.

Greatest, Maurice

So there we’ve it. Have we been capable of reply any of the burning questions this test-taker could have had? Let’s recap on what they may have been …

  • if I’m not an O’Malley, what am I? what surname did my ancestors carry earlier than it was switched? 
    • we’re nonetheless none the wiser – our further evaluation has not pinned down a almost certainly candidate
  • the place did the identify come from?
    • presumably the west of Eire.
  • when did the change occur?
    • we nonetheless haven’t any clue. Solely (costly) sequential Y-DNA testing of progressively extra distant male cousins might presumably handle this query (however provided that it was throughout the final 200 years or so). See an instance right here from the Gleason DNA Challenge.
  • why did the change occur? was there some secret adoption or illegitimacy within the latest previous? or did the change occur centuries in the past, for causes misplaced within the mists of time?
    • we could by no means know the reply to this query. If it was a latest change, there could also be some clues in documentary data (e.g. the lodger’s identify was Corcoran and he lived with the household for 20 years after the husband left).
  • do I’ve any hope of breaking by way of my Brick Wall? and what’s on the opposite facet – is it an O’Malley or an entire stranger?
    • his shut matches could provide some clues.
    • Huge Y testing could place him on a particular department of the Tree of Mankind that’s related to a particular single surname, however with solely 7 folks sitting on or beneath BY16783, it could be {that a} particular single surname can’t be recognized and due to this fact no agency conclusions will be drawn. During which case it’s a ready recreation for extra folks to affix the databases and do the Huge Y take a look at and fall on the identical or adjoining branches.
    • autosomal DNA testing could assist if the Surname or DNA Swap has been latest (i.e. throughout the final 200 years).

So the test-taker has been provided with an enormous quantity of knowledge to digest … however on the finish of all of it, he nonetheless stays in limbo. He doesn’t match any of the O’Malley teams throughout the venture. His closest matches usually are not that shut and have utterly international surnames. He arrived with a complete listing of questions and leaves with a complete set of latest ones (and the unique listing unanswered). His choices for transferring ahead are restricted and his Brick Wall looms bigger than ever.

This sadly is the present cutting-edge.

Maurice Gleeson
Dec 2021



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