Thursday, June 21, 2007

* * * HIATUS * * *

This is a 9 or 10 day one.   We leave about noon today for the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville.

We'll be there until Sunday when we drive on down to Marlinton, WV, for a week of music workshops at Allegheny Echoes.   Betty is taking vocal this year from Kay Justice and I'll be taking fiddle from Bobby Taylor.

It'll be great to see all our friends again.
Link to last year's post.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


James Forrest Berry's, #96, Y-DNA1-12 results came in today, 16 days ahead of 'estimate'.    Not only does Jim have no matches in the project he is also the lone member of a brand new haplogroup to the Project.    He's estimated to be J2e1 by FTDNA who, unfortunately, still use an outmoded tree. According to FTDNA, J2el is characterized by SNP M102.

The Wikipedia article on Haplogroup J2 subdivides that haplogroup into divisions a and b.    SNP M102 is listed in the Wikipedia article as characterizing J2b1 in conformity with the current ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2007.    Likewise, Whit Athey's haplogroup predictor computes Jim to be haplogroup J2 with a fitness score of 65 and 100% probablility.    Since FTDNA typically runs behind the curve in this area, we'll use the current ISOGG designation in this Project, J2b1.

James Watson

This one you don't have to read.    Sorry about the commercials.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ta! da!

Happy Father's Day from my graphics design son in L.A. -

Is this cool or what?

In addition, a notice from Relative Genetics:

Relative Genetics is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with, by way of our parent company, Sorenson Genomics.    This new partnership will combine's unrivaled collection of online family trees and historical documents with Sorenson Genomics' precision ancestral DNA testing.

The powerful combination of these three major pillars of family history research   -   historical records, DNA and family trees   -   will revolutionize family history and add meaningful tools to assist you in your family history research. currently has more than 14 million users and the world's largest collection of online family trees.    In the coming months, will release technology that captures DNA test results and integrates them with the historical documents already in their online family trees.    This integration paired with the ability to collaborate with the community gives you the ability to add branches to your family tree in one vast, ever-expanding online location.

DNA testing and select genetic genealogy services formerly provided by Relative Genetics will soon be offered exclusively through    At that time, your Relative Genetics information will migrate to    Before this happens, you will receive an e-mail with more details regarding this transition.

We are excited about the unprecedented possibilities this combination of historical records, DNA and family trees will provide for your family history research.    For more information about the benefits of this exclusive partnership and to view our FAQs, please visit Relative Genetics News.    Should you have any further questions, please e-mail Relative Genetics or contact a member of the Relative Genetics customer support team at 1-800-956-9362.

If you would like to completely exclude your DNA test results, contact information and surname project data from transferring to, please contact Relative Genetics prior to July 15, 2007.

There is currently an active discussion on the DNA list about whether those with results either tested by RG or posted there 'want to/should' have their results transferred to for a myriad of reasons.    If you are one of this group you should at least read the FAQs, referenced above.

PLEASE NOTE:   All of this has nothing whatsoever to do with SMGF, which I still recommend to all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Brazen Bride!

We went to a wedding Saturday.

Jill and Will, two of our friends in West Virginia got married at the Brazen Head Inn in Mingo, Randolph County.

It was a very nice wedding.    Outdoors and fairly simple.

Waiting music -
The wedding procession -
The Ceremony -I could have done with a Preacher who showed a little more tolerance, but it wasn't my wedding.

The kiss -
Newlyweds -
Celebrants -
The winner -
And, whenever folks in West Virginia get together, it's time for a little jam -
Ah, West Virginia!    Great people.    Great music.   Good fun.    Almost Heaven.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

father's day

Sincere condolences to the fathers and the children of the 3,521 U.S. service members who have been killed in

                                                                      "W"'s War.

Friday, June 15, 2007

pipeline update

While not exactly riches, we do have some results to look forward to over the next few weeks.You notice that Jim,#96, has markers due in Batch 206.    Curiously, the 'Target Results Date' given on his FTDNA Personal page is 07/06/2007 while the 'Est. Result Date' shown here is 07/18/2007.    I wonder why the difference?    Which will be closer?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Singularity Is Near!

The Law of Accelerating Returns
by Ray Kurzweil

An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view.    So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century   --   it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate).    The "returns," such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially.    There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth.    Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity   --   technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.    The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.

A long, but very interesting and worthwhile article which may be found here.
Actually, a 'must read'!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

another stealth member?

James Forrest Berry, #96, our 101st member!    He contacted us the other evening telling us that his DNA was in process with FTDNA and that his results are due shortly!    Again, he wasn't showing on the FTDNA Project pages that we have access to.    He must have then contacted FTDNA because yesterday morning he did show up.    He had ordered Y-DNA12+mtDNA with a new Y-Refine12to37 order.

I haven't gotten the story yet whether this is really a new order by Jim or is a 'make-up' like Danny's.    At any rate, the new order should go to the lab this evening and I'll post a 'pipeline' report later in the week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Berry Plain Berrys website updated!

I've finally gotten my Berry Plain Berrys website updated.    Several additions and corrections and I always welcome more.

I use the Reunion database which just recently upgraded to version 9 (now at release 9.05) and I'm beginning to feel a little more comfortable entrusting my data to it.    I'm gradually working up to feeling comfortable enough to trust it with my 38,604 person Augusta/Washington Co. Berry database, the online version of which is badly in need of updating!

Reunion is published by the Leister folks who don't take kindly to criticism.    I got banned from the ReunionTalk forum for being too vocal with my complaints so all I can do now is monitor it.    I can no longer post.    That's how they keep the tone uncritical 'civil'.

One thing I've never been able to get them to correct is the manner with which the database handles the lack of a spouse.    When viewing a 'Person Sheet', therefore, do not be misled by the designation 'Unmarried' under Spouses.    It should be ignored.    Notwithstanding that we often just don't have information about a person's spouse, the Reunion database cannot handle the lack of a spouse without gratuitously inserting the 'Unmarried' designation.    I will only use 'Never married' where appropriate, never 'Unmarried'.

Take a look.    Please let me know if anything doesn't work.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Not much going on this weekend.

I had a grandson graduate last Friday evening -Congratulations Rhino!

And then there was a sunset -

Friday, June 08, 2007

pipline health restored

Thanks to Brian's, #50, order that I mentioned on D-Day, and FTDNA, our pipline is back in business!    I already mentioned the 'free' test/upgrade that they're doing for Danny, #95.    Well, in addition, they have a SNP Assurance policy, announced last November, " if your group has a member for whom we could not predict the haplogroup with 100% confidence, we will run that DNA sample through our Backbone SNP test for free."    Apparently they're not that certain about the Hg G2 that they originally assigned to Grant, #93, so his Y-HAP-Backbone test is also in process.
I think the SNP Assurance thing has already happened without my realizing it.    Dennis, #30, Walter, #34, John, #42, David, #63, Michael, #69, and Dennis, #89, all appear to have had 'Backbone' tests done.    I've been curious in the past about how one ordered the Backbone test because I could never find it in the test listings.    Apparently never curious enough, however, to follow through with trying to find the answer.

Oh, well.    Mystery apparently solved.    If any of you that I've mentioned DID somehow order and pay for the backbone test, though, please let me know.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stealth member

We've had stealth results before but Danny Berry, #95, is our first 'stealth member' and also our 100th participant!    Whooo-eee!    I don't know when Danny ordered his kit but it was returned to FTDNA on 5/9/2007, his target results date was 6/22/2007, and his results came in yesterday!

What had happened is that when his kit was ordered it wasn't ordered through the Project.    As a consequence we didn't know anything about him and wouldn't have if Ben Henderson hadn't asked about him.    So I asked FTDNA and he was located and put into the Project just in the nick of time.

From time to time we get a little put out with FTDNA for one reason or another and don't hesitate to complain when we do.     For that reason I think it's only fair to tell you about it when they do something good.    Because Danny hadn't ordered through the Project, his Y-DNA12 test cost $149.    When they found him and put him in the Project they said they couldn't refund the test that was already in process but what they did was give him a free Y-DNA13-25 upgrade so that he really got what he paid for, the Project price for the Y-DNA25 test being $149.    Can't get much fairer than that.    All in all, it's my judgment that FTDNA is about the most 'Project friendly' of the DNA testing labs.

Well, back to Danny.    Unfortunately, he didn't closely match any of our current participants.    He's haplogroup I and a GD of 3 from Norman, #74, and 4 from Larry, #48.    Too far for 12 markers but it 'could' improve at 25 markers.    Probably not, but possible.    He's likely one of the folks who has to wait for someone to come along and match him.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

D-Day - An attack on your mitocondria?

Professor Peter Piper, UK aging expert and professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, recently warned against the use of sodiam bonzoate, a common ingredient in diet soft drinks such as Fanta, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper (My drink of choice) saying it has "the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria . . . . The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it . . . then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously" contributing to "Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing."

For further reading on this subject, check the Longevity Science blog.

Servo dies

Brian, #50, has saved the day!    Just when we thought all was lost and our pipeline was empty Brian ordered his Y-Refine37to67 and his DeepSNP-I tests.    Brian will be the 4th Augusta/Washington Co. Berry to have ordered the 67 marker upgrade.    Maybe we'll finally see some variation in those last 30 markers.

Brian is an Augusta/Washington Co. Berry so, if asked, I suspect that Carol would have advised him not to bother with the DeepSNP-I test because jim, #7, another Augusta/Washington Co. Berry has already been SNP tested and Brian will also be I1a*.    That may well be true.    I'm afraid that I don't think I understand SNPs well enough yet to be comfortable with that assertion and I welcome the verification.

Another indication of how 'with it' someone like Brian is:    Today is 'batch shipment day'.    Save a week, save the world.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

An empty pipeline

Yesterday, with the return of the balance of Grant's, #93, results, the Berry Family DNA Project pipeline is empty!

Grant's is a unique haplotype.    He has one other 'close' match in the entire FTDNA database.    That is a match with someone named Skidmore, 2 markers distant at 25 markers, not anything likely.    Sometimes it's nice to be unique but when we're looking for genetic cousins is not one of those times.

Grant, as well as Ken, #83, Gerald, #85, Nat, #87, BJ, #88, John, #91, and Mark, #94, should all attend to uploading your results to Ysearch through the link in the Y-DNA Matches tab on your FTDNA personal page.    If anyone would like any help with this just let me know.

Ronald, #86, and John, #92, should let me know if you have already uploaded your results so I can put a link on our yResults page, or, let me know if I can help you with the upload.

Don't you all have any folks you need to determine whether are cousins or unrelated?

Monday, June 04, 2007

coming June 29

– the day Apple changes the world again?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back to the mundane

Peter Charles Berry, #56, has just received his DeepSNP-R1b test results as M173+ M207+ M269+ M343+ P25+ M126- M153- M160- M18- M222- M37- M65- M73- P66- SRY2627- placing him in haplogroup R1b1c.

The Project has only one other test result outstanding, the balance of Grant's, #93, Y-DNA67 order due 6/29.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Vandalia - day 2

The Vandalia festivities typically start at noon each day so we had some time to kill in the morning.    I have liked the Mary Jane shoe style since my 'yout' and I wear Crocs year round so I've been trying to find a pair of red Mary Jane Crocs for Betty for a while now.    We decided to try an enclosed mall in downtown Charleston.

My son, Jon, has a fondness for angles so I took a couple of shots inside the mall that he might like -or, as he likes to photograph with an additional 'angle' -

Well, as on the first day, I spent my time on other pursuits that I didn't record.    I spent some time in the jam tent and at the polish sausage concession (yesterday was blackberry cobbler and homemade chocolate ice cream) and went to a filming of Building a Cello with Harold.    Harold Hayslett is a retired pipefitter from South Charleston and world renowned cello and violin maker who received a Gold Medal for cello tone in 1980 from the Violin Society of America.    My interest in Harold's work stems from the fact that I play his #70 violin fiddle.

But, I did again film some excerpts from the evening concert from the West Virginia State Theater.    First, here's Karl Smakula who appeared in the concert by reason of being the 2006 West Virginia Junior Liar, spinning another -
Frank George

Lester McCumbers

Dwight Diller

Jimmy Costa


And today's contest winners were:

Old-Time Banjo (under age 60)
1st place ($400) - Bob Shank, Bruceton Mills
2nd place ($250) - Bob Smakula, Elkins
3rd place ($150) - David O’Dell, West Logan
4th place ($75) - Ben Townsend, Romney
5th place ($50) - Jim Mullins, St. Albans

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)

1st place ($400) - Gerry Milnes, Elkins
2nd place ($250) - Ben Carr, Wilsie
3rd place ($150) - Bernard Cyrus, Fort Gay
4th place ($75) - Ted Samples, Harrisville
5th place ($50) - Charlie Loudermilk, Frankford

Youth Lap Dulcimer (age 15 and under)

1st place ($75) - Katie Stricker, South Charleston
2nd place ($50) - Shalor Gore, Charleston
3rd place ($25) - Jackson Davis, Tornado

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)

1st place ($400) - Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
2nd place ($250) - Dave Haas, Cross Lanes
3rd place ($150) - Heidi Mueller, Charleston
4th place ($75) - Tish Westman, Mabscott
5th place ($50) - Tim Gillenwater, Griffithsville

Youth Flat Pick Guitar (age 15 and under)

1st place ($75) - Jacob Ryder, Marlinton
2nd place ($50) - Doug Cossin, Mt. Alto
3rd place ($25) - Levi Lipps, Bomont

Flat Pick Guitar (all ages)

1st place ($400) - Matt Lindsey, Dunbar
2nd place ($250) - Adam Hager, Kenna
3rd place ($150) - Brandon Bentley, Sumerco
4th place ($75) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
5th place ($50) - Tim Gillenwater, Griffithsville