Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Day ! ! !

Don't miss out -

Friday, September 26, 2008

unintentional Hiatus

A combination of events have led to this 'lull' in postings, for which I apologize.    Primary among them is the fact that we've had no recent activity, neither results nor new members.    Our next results are not 'expected' until Oct. 3, being a third run of Harold's, #20, sample.    Apparently, two runs of the A swab failed to yield results.    Keep your fingers crossed.

In addition, I'm off to Oregon for a couple of weeks tomorrow.    This may become part travelog when things are otherwise slow.

There may still be hope!    My son, Jon, has discovered a cemetery in Munich that seems to have struck his fancy.    You can see his blog posting about it here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Only one more week!

Don't miss out -

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama's Economic Plan

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (Charlotte, NC)
Charlotte, NC | September 21, 2008

The news of the day isn't good.

The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led us to a perilous moment.    They said they wanted to let the market run free but instead they let it run wild.    And now we are facing a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression

But here's the truth:

Regardless of how we got here, we're here today.    And the circumstances we face require decisive action because your jobs, your savings, and your economic security are now at risk.

We must work quickly in a bipartisan fashion to resolve this crisis to avert an even broader economic catastrophe.    But Washington also has to recognize that economic recovery requires that we act, not just to address the crisis on Wall Street, but also the crisis on Main Street and around kitchen tables across America.

As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan.    Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering.    And in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency, fairness, and reform.

First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money.

Second, taxpayers shouldn't be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street.

Third, taxpayers should be protected and should be able to recoup this investment.

Fourth, this plan has to help homeowners stay in their homes.

Fifth, this is a global crisis, and the United States must insist that other nations join us in helping secure the financial markets.

Sixth, we need to start putting in place the rules of the road I've been calling for for years to prevent this from ever happening again.

And finally, this plan can't just be a plan for Wall Street, it has to be a plan for Main Street.    We have to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to pass a stimulus plan that will put money in the pockets of working families, save jobs, and prevent painful budget cuts and tax hikes in our states.

So I know these are difficult days.    But here's what I also know.    I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis.    That's who we are.    That's what we've always done as Americans.    Our nation has faced difficult times before.    And at each of those moments, we've risen to meet the challenge because we've never forgotten that fundamental truth - that here in America, our destiny is not written for us; it's written by us.

But another thing I know is this - we can't steer ourselves out of this crisis by heading in the same, disastrous direction.    And that's what this election is all about.

Because while I certainly don't fault Senator McCain for all of the problems we're facing right now, I do fault the economic philosophy he's followed during his 26 years in Washington.    It's a philosophy that says it's ok to turn a blind eye to practices that reward financial manipulation instead of sound business decisions.    It's a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise.    It's a philosophy that lets Washington lobbyists shred consumer protections and distort our economy so it works for the special interests instead of working people and our country.

We're now seeing the disastrous consequences of this philosophy all around us - on Wall Street as well as Main Street.    And yet Senator McCain, who candidly admitted not long ago that he doesn't know as much about economics as he should, wants to keep going down the same, disastrous path.

He calls himself "fundamentally a deregulator," when reckless deregulation and lack of oversight is a big part of the problem.

And here's the really scary part.    Now this "Great Deregulator" wants to turn his attention to health care.

He wrote in the current issue of a magazine - the current issue - that we need to open up health care to - quote - "more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking."

That's right, John McCain says he wants to do for health care what Washington has done for banking.

Think about what that means.

Over the years, states have come up with common sense rules to make sure that insurance companies aren't just looking out for their own profits, but for your health. And we cannot toss those rules out the window.

As anyone who has health care knows, the one thing we don't need to do is give insurance companies an even freer hand over what they charge, who they cover, and what they'll cover.

The radical idea that government has no role to play in protecting ordinary Americans has wreaked havoc on our economy.    And we cannot let this dangerous philosophy spread to health care.

What we've seen over the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on this failed philosophy.    And I am running for President of the United States because the dreams of the American people must not be endangered any more.

The times are too serious.    The stakes are too high.    At this moment, in this election, we need real change - change that's more than just a slogan, change that actually makes a difference in people's lives.    And that's the kind of change I'll bring to Washington when I'm President of the United States of America.

That's the change the American people need.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.    I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.    I will eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups - that's how we'll grow our economy and create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families.    My opponent doesn't want you to know this, but under my plan, tax rates will actually be less than they were under Ronald Reagan.    If you make less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime.    In fact, I offer three times the tax relief for middle-class families as Senator McCain does - because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

I will finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American.    If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums.    If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.    And I will stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

I will also create the jobs of the future by transforming our energy economy.    We'll tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.    I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.    I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.    And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced

And now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.    I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support.    But in exchange, I will ask for higher standards and more accountability.    And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

This is the change we need - the kind of bottom up growth and innovation that will advance the American economy by advancing the dreams of all Americans.

Times are hard.    I will not pretend that the change we need will come without cost - though I have presented how we can achieve these changes in a fiscally responsible way.    I know that we'll have to overcome our doubts and divisions and the determined opposition of powerful special interests before we can truly reform a broken economy and advance opportunity.

But I am running for President because we simply cannot afford four more years of an economic philosophy that works for Wall Street instead of Main Street, and ends up devastating both.

I don't want to wake up in four years to find that more Americans fell out of the middle-class, and more families lost their savings. I don't want to see that our country failed to invest in our ability to compete, our children's future was mortgaged on another mountain of debt, and our financial markets failed to find a firmer footing.

At this defining moment, we have the chance to finally stand up and say:    enough is enough!

We can do this because Americans have done this before.    Time and again, we've battled back from adversity by recognizing that common stake that we have in each other's success.    That's why our economy hasn't just been the world's greatest wealth generator - it's bound America together, it's created jobs, and it's made the dream of opportunity a reality for generation after generation of Americans.

Now it falls to us.    And I need you to make it happen.    If you want the next four years looking just like the last eight, then I am not your candidate.    But if you want real change - if you want an economy that rewards work, and that works for Main Street and Wall Street; if you want tax relief for the middle class and millions of new jobs; if you want health care you can afford and education that helps your kids compete; then I ask you to knock on some doors, make some calls, talk to your neighbors, and give me your vote on November 4th.    And if you do, I promise you - we will win North Carolina, we will win this election, and we will change America together.

News from Houston

From Bennett Greenspan regarding FTDNA:

a) As you may know, all of our standard Y-DNA and mtDNA tests are processed at the lab in Arizona, and therefore, this processing has not been affected at all.

b) Also, as we advised previously, we have taken appropriate measures to safeguard and protect the data and our servers and therefore all computer systems are in place and functioning normally. You may have noticed that our web sites have been up, available, and are running normally as they were before and during the storm.

c) The building where Family Tree DNA's offices and Houston laboratory are located is without power, like most of Houston office buildings, and sustained damage, like so many other Houston office buildings. This means that the building will be closed for the next few days until it is ready for tenants to return. Despite this situation, several members of our staff have worked over the weekend to transfer equipment to other locations so that our normal office operations can resume on Monday, or at the latest on Tuesday, from an alternate location. All postal mail will be picked up normally at our local post office, so that kits can be checked-in and processed normally.

a) The 5th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy will be postponed until February or March 2009, as the Sheraton Hotel has just informed us that they will not be in an appropriate condition to host our conference. The positive aspect of this postponement is that we will try our best to arrange the schedule in order for Spencer Wells to be one of our speakers. As soon as we have the new date we will advise you.

b) Labs: First of all there has been no interruption in the processes related to the standard Y-DNA and mtDNA tests, which are performed in Arizona. The batch was successfully closed this week and transmitted, a couple of days later than normal, due to networking issues that were resolved Friday.

The Genomics Research Center (Houston Lab) processes the full mitochondria, autosomal, and deep clade, as well as the advanced marker tests. These are the only ones subject to delays. We are pleased to announce that due to the outstanding efforts of our lab team and the restoration crew in place at our site, we were able to fully restore the freezing capabilities of our DNA storage robot. Yesterday, we were also able to power one of our sequencing machines. Our lab team is working this weekend and we will be able to advise you of the integrity of the DNA samples stored in Houston by mid-week. As soon as this is confirmed, our Houston lab will resume the work on our customer samples, while we restore the full capabilities of the lab.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yes, it's the economy, stupid

Bring about real change to our economy

$1,000 Tax Cut for Middle Class American Families
Obama and Biden will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families, because the economy needs to be revitalized from the bottom up, not top down. Read more »

Energy Rebates
Obama and Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. Read more »

Create Jobs through Fair Trade
Obama and Biden believe that trade with foreign nations should create American jobs, not send them overseas. They will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security. Read more »

Create 5 Million Green Jobs
Obama and Biden believe that we should invest in innovation and manufacturing jobs in the growing clean energy market, freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil within a decade and creating 5 million green jobs. Read more »

New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment
Obama and Biden believe that rebuilding our highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems will create jobs, ensure safety, and bolster our long-term competitiveness. Read more »

Technology, Innovation and Creating Jobs
Obama and Biden will increase federal support for research, technology and innovation for companies and universities so that American workers can lead the world in cutting edge jobs and products. Read more »

Support Small Business
Obama and Biden will level the playing field for small business by eliminating all capital gains taxes on start-up and small businesses. Read more »

Obama and Biden will strengthen the ability of workers to organize for good wages, healthcare, and secure pensions. Obama and Biden will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama and Biden will ensure that labor appointees support workers' rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. Obama and Biden will also increase the minimum wage and make sure it remains a real wage year over year. Read more »

Protect Homeownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud
Obama and Biden will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. They will make sure homebuyers have honest and complete information about their mortgage options, and they will give a tax credit to all middle-class homeowners. Read more »

Address Predatory Credit Card Practices
Obama and Biden will establish a five-star rating system so that every consumer knows the risk involved in credit card borrowing. They will establish a Credit Card Bill of Rights to stop credit card companies from exploiting consumers with unfair practices. Read more »

Reform Bankruptcy Laws
Obama and Biden will reform our bankruptcy laws to protect working people, to ban executive bonuses for bankrupt companies, and to require disclosure of all pension investments. Read more »

Work/Family Balance
Obama and Biden will help working families by doubling funding for after-school programs, expanding the Family Medical Leave Act. They will provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules. Read more »

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We did it again!

Two weeks in a row!    John's, #126, sample came in today and it's already on its way to the lab.    I expect you to pay attention to Wednesday Shipment Days when you're ordering an upgrade and you all have control over when it's done, but . . . .    How are you guys controlling those Postal workers?

Good job!    John's 'expected' results day is . . .What!?    It's still here?

Didn't go out quite as early as I'd come to expect but, after all, I guess they did have a hurricane.

POSTED AT 9:05 PM, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008    Apparently FTDNA is not completely hurricane-proof.    John's markers are still there :(

Monday, September 15, 2008


John, #114, and Michael, #69, both received their mtDNA HVR1 results recently.    I don't have them posted yet.

Bennett Greenspan, President of FTDNA, just wrote Project Admins to reassure us of the safety and integrity of our samples and data, saying, " we have taken appropriate measures to safeguard and protect the data and our servers and therefore all computer systems are in place and functioning normally. You may have noticed that our web sites have been up, available, and are running normally as they were before and during the storm."

Judging by these photos of the storm, such a reassurance may well have been in order:

Hurricane Ike


Friday, September 12, 2008

Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys

Jeannette Berry Pemberton sponsored her brother, Bland, to test 46 markers through Ancestry.com and his results have just become available.    Yup.    An Augusta/Washington Co. Berry.    That makes 24 Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys in the Project.    Well, that does include Edgar, #125, whose results aren't due for another two months, and SMGF Berry/Velez who is sort of an involuntary participant.

Bland is participant #131, our 140th member!

Why is it that I can only count 43 results from Ancestry.com's 46 marker test?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You guys are the best

You've often heard me harp on the importance of ordering your upgrades before the Wednesday afternoon shipping time at FTDNA so as not to have to wait that extra week for your results.    Upgrades because you new guys can't control the Postal Service.    Or can you?    Harold's, #123, kit arrived last Saturday  -   Not too bad but still doing nothing but sitting there for four extra days.    But Edgar, #125, and Billy, #122, I don't know how you did it but your kits arrived yesterday (Wednesday) and went right out last evening.    Amazing!

So here's our pipeline -

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cemetery Man

Here's an article that ran in a recent Woodmen of the World membership magazine that some of you may find interesting -
The site referred to is here: Woodmen of the World

Monday, September 08, 2008

Where to end . . . .

To clean up (I think) the last of the SMGF Update 'discoveries' I'll offer what might seem to be disparate observations.

Bobby, #3, and SMGF Berry/Cornish are 'probably' a family.    Bobby has tested 25 markers and Berry/Cornish, 36 markers.    They have a genetic difference of two which FTDNA calls 'Probably Related'.    Interestingly, SMGF Berry/Cornish appears to be from Scotland.

I almost hesitate to suggest this but a new family comprised of Peter, #56, and SMGF Berry/Dunfee from Delaware could be a posssibility.    My hesitancy comes from the fact that Peter has only tested 12 markers.

Likewise, there is a suggestion that John, #114, could be a Faires Berry but with no paper connection and just 12 markers it is too risky to say so.

Ten markers were posted for Brian, #49, in the SMGF update, three of them previously untested.

What seems to me to be as important a discovery as any has been before us for a while but I needed to do the whole Project comparison to call it to my attention again.    That is that we have strong indications that Philip, #10 and Douglas, #121, are a family.    Philip has 67 markers and Doug has 30 from Ancestry.com, and they have a genetic distance of one.    The significance of this, you may recall, is that Philip is an orphan searching for his family.    This may be a case where an mtDNA test by Doug to compare with the one Phil has already done could be very informative.

Finally, for those of you who may be interested, the Project-wide TMRCA may be seen here:

I may finesse a posting tomorrow.    It's my anniversary.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where to begin . . . .

Well, maybe with those three Irish guys I mentioned last time.    One turned out to be a match for the Gum Branch Berrys family, SMGF Barry/Bell whose pedigree is shown here -

The other two form a new family, matching each other but no one else.    I don't think I'll make a 'formal' family out of them since they appear to be perhaps father and son.    They are SMGF Barry/Williams -and SMGF Barry/Kellett -
We also have a new match for the Effingham Co. Berrys.    SMGF Berry/Alderman's pedigree is even from Effingham Co. -

If you'd like to see what I work with to make these determinations, here's the combined distance table of all Project members plus all the haplotypes gleaned from the SMGF database.

More later . . . .

Big oops! - POSTED AT 8:35 PM    Just realized that SMGF Berry/Alderman is Bob Berry, #46.    Rats!    Wonder if Jeff, #100, has tested with SMGF?    That'd be a good idea.    Give us enough markers to tell whether he and Bob are really related.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I was able to make some progress today before my 'Query Limit' struck.    Those 'suspected' Madison Co. haplotypes proved to be just that.    Actually, a little more than that.    They were the results for Raymond, Matthew and Richard, tested at the Madison Co. Berry reunion last September (2007).    Faster results than I expected.    They are now Participants ##128, 129 and 130, respectively, and their results and yAncestrys are posted.

In addition, all Emmett's, #119, results except his Y-DNA26-37 panel are in and posted.    No matches yet.

The 'Query Limit' got me while I was investigating some Irish Barrys.    Haplogroup R1b in case anyone's interested.    There seem to be three of them but I haven't looked closely enough yet to tell whether they might be related to each other or not.

I'm sure there's more but I don't have any real system . . . . I figure I'll eventually mention it all.

To be continued . . . .

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Last Call

The Orange Co., NC Berrys are holding thier annual reunion this coming weekend, Sept. 12-14, in Florence, Alabama.    Should any of you want to attend and haven't yet made plans to do so I sure that Allen, Dane or Ben would be glad to help you.

Here's a link to a video of the 2007 Orange Co., NC Berry Reunion.    Reunion Video Link

In the meanwhile, I am busily working to extract new Berry DNA testers and additonal markers from the recent upload to the SMGF database.    Unfortunately, I keep getting slowed down by this -

Nonetheless, I have found two new Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys, one of whom has responded and is now Participant #127.    We are still hopefully awaiting some clue as to how to contact the other whose haplotype is set out as the last item in the Augusta/Washington Co. Berry yAncestry under 'S'.

I do think that I've also identified three new Madison Co. Berry haplotypes but am so far prevented from investigating them by the 'Query Limit'.

More later . . . .

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Several items:

JoAnn is testing her brother, James, who will be #126, our 135th member!    As soon as she is able to get his yAncestry together we'll have some idea whether he expects to match any of our current members.

John's, #113, panels of his Y-Refine37to67 upgrade have been dribbling in 'under-the-radar'.    The order has now been completed and is posted.    John is a
Fayette Co. Berry.

SMGF has just updated their mtDNA and Y-chromosome databases and I have begun the process of combing through them to discover new Berrys and to obtain additional markers posted for those of us already there.    I have (naturally) started with the Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys but, never fear, I'll get to all of them in due course.    James, #102, has 5 additional markers which are now posted.

More exciting, though, are two new Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys, as yet either unidentified or uncontacted.    In the first category is the grandson of Lewis Russell Berry and Anna Mueller.    He matches the Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys 30/30.    Here's his pedigree:If you are this person, or if you recognize him, please contact me.

I also found James Russell Berry who is part of the group we call the Hawkins Co. Berrys who are also part of the larger Augusta/Washington Co. Berry family.    James matches 34/37 and this is his pedigree -I've emailed James.    Hope he responds.

To be continued . . . .