Saturday, January 31, 2009

Swan Quarter

You may recall that I have a Swan Quarter Berrys (I liked the name) database of Hyde Co., NC Berrys that I gleaned from the various censuses from 1850 through 1930 supplemented with information from the Hyde Co. GenWeb pages.    I can't recall now whether we have more than one Swan Quarter Berry tested but I do know that Johnny, #117, from that group has and matches the Spartanburg Co., SC Berrys.    There were and are so many Berrys in Hyde Co. that I can't tell which direction the migration may have gone - the two areas are not that proximate.
This family may have to become much more robust before that becomes apparent.

You may also recall (or not) that during Berry Beach Week last year I traveled to Fulford Cemetery in Hyde Co. to photograph the Berry gravestones there.    I now have that online here.    It is very strange that both the Soule Cemetery and the Fulford Cemetery are overrun with Berry gravestones while the Amity Church graveyard just a short distance away contained nary a one.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Faires Berrys results

Here we go again!    The balance of Dave's, #137, Y-DNA37 order came in yesterday so we can take a look at the relationships of the eight members of this family.

First, we'll take a look at their comparative results.    I know it's pretty flimsy but all I have to work with for an 'ancestral' haplotype is that Dave and Paul, #36, share a '17' at DYS576.    This 'ancestral' could easily change with new 37 marker tests, but it's all we have to go on at this point.

And here we have the Faires' genetic distances -
And my least favorite table, Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor.    Remember, all this tells you is a 75% probability that the most recent common ancestor will be within this time.    This necessarily includes the 25% possibility that he will be outside this time.
And the Faires' cladogram.    Only five of the family had tested to 37 markers so they could be compared.    I suspect that DYS576 may be important to this family, perhaps to differentiate lines?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Member

Richard Webster Berry has just become our 144th member and our 153rd participant with his mtDNAPlus, Y-DNA25 order.    Richard's father and grandfather were named Clifford Willis Berry but he has no information beyond that.    Hope he matches someone.    Richard doesn't have email so I'll call him about any developments.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have a little hesitancy to recommend this but the price is certainly right! is offering their 33 marker tests for $79 and their 46 marker tests for $149.    Here are the markers tested -

As you can see, they count DYS19b and DYS464e & f which rarely show up so you should really count these as 30 and 43 marker tests.

So comparing these with FTDNA (group pricing), here's what we have:
   FTDNA 25 markers      $124
   Ancestry 30 markers         79
   FTDNA 37 markers        149
   Ancestry 40 markers       149
I hesitate not because of the price, which you can judge for yourself, or because of the quality of the testing, which is done by Sorenson Genomics, but only because it is a little more difficult for me to extract and convert your results so that they can be compared with everyone else in the Project.    Not a hesitancy you should be concerned with.

If you think you might be interested you can take a look by clicking this line.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

. . . . and back to DNA

In all the excitement of the inauguration, Peter's, #56, Y-DNA13-25 results came in, completing his Y-Refine12to37 upgrade.    Alas, still no matches.    But, with 37 markers tested, when Peter's match does show up there'll be no ambiguity about it.

Yesterday the first 12 markers of Dave's, #137, Y-DNA37 test came in.    Only 12 markers so far but well on his way to a Faires Berrys match.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


This is the beginning of my relationship with Macintosh, 25 years ago today.    And I've never regretted a moment of it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Inauguration of Barack H. Obama

Our day started early, arising at 3:10 to catch a charter bus at 4:30 in Martinsburg, WV, for our trip to the inauguration.
Our arrival.    We were among some 1000 buses parked at RFK Stadium.    Here's my traveling companion, my son Jon, after alighting -
We were all moved the two miles plus to the Capitol by a large number of shuttle buses rotating between RFK and about 7th Street.    Crowds were very large but very orderly.    It took a little while to get on one of the shuttles but we were fortunate to have gotten a very nice, but a little aggressive, driver who got us to our destination without too much time passing.

After leaving the shuttle, this is 'our crowd' moving toward the mall.
As I've mentioned before, we had tickets for the Silver standing area so I knew that we needed to backtrack because the gate I was heading for was on Fourth Street on the Independence Avenue side of the mall.    Our journey took us past at least two massive nonmoving 'lines' of people who said they were the Silver ticket holder line.    They just didn't seem to be in the right place to me   --   much too far from where I thought Fourth Street was   --   so we kept moving, finally arriving at Fourth Street and turned toward the Mall.    Things are a bit of a blur at this point but I don't really remember a line here.    Just large gluts of people that we had to get through/by until finally arriving at the security gate where we were whisked through and into our destination.

The area was very full where we first entered but by skirting that bunch and moving across the area and toward the Capitol Building we were able to finally arrive at a pretty good location.    This is about were we started (looking toward the Washington Monument) -(looking toward the Capitol) -
From there we moved forward to this spot -and finally ending up here -
Here's the two of us at our 'spot' -

And the culmination:

I didn't even try to videotape the President's Inaugural Address.    I figured it would be much better recorded by the professonals.    So I just tried to listen for his message.    I must say that there on the Mall I was disappointed     I had expected and hoped for something more lofty, uplifting, ennobling and challenging.    I now believe, however, having listened again to the tivo'd version in the quiet of my home, that in the midst of the crowd my attention was assaulted by too many distractions leading me to a degree of inattention sufficient to blur my understanding and appreciation of it.    While perhaps not as lyrical as some, the new president's inaugural address was certainly adequate in challenge, direction and aspiration.

And, as though more were needed, the ex-president took off for his last 'fly-over'.Bye-bye, "W".

Jon and I briefly considered trying to see what the parade crowd might be like but, that being an event where the President would be much closer to the spectators, security was much, much tighter and that combined with just the absolute mass (think two million) of people there was sufficient to make access difficult enough to deter two cold and tired souls.    We did, however, decide that we had plenty of time so we would walk back to RFK rather than try to hook up with one of the shuttles.    Bad idea.    Not unmitigated bad, just further than it sounded and dressed in multiple layers and heavy boots, the old guy got very tired.

Remember those 1000 buses parked at RFK?    That meant that our trip home started in a two hour traffic jam leaving the lot.    Started to leave about 5:00.    Got out of the lot at 7:00.

Am I glad I went?    On balance, definitely.    I think I was a little disappointed that I didn't see and feel that absolute joy that we saw and felt in the faces of those lucky folks in Grant Park on election night.    Happiness and elation, but not that pure joy.    But I am glad I was there, if for no other reason than I know that I would have always regretted not having been there when I had the opportunity if I hadn't gone.

Here's Jon's take on it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Congratulations, America!

Monday, January 19, 2009


V. Cathy Berry Layne has tested her brother, James Louis Amzi Berry, at and has joined us as Participant #143.    They're still working on his yAncestry beyond their great grandfather whose name is George Amzi Berry.    You'd think with a name like Amzi in the family research would be pretty easy but, surprisingly, Amzi is not that uncommon.    The Augusta/Washington Co. Berrys have a Hugh Amzi Philander BERRY in the family but, not hopeful.    We're haplogroup I1 and James is haplogroup R1b.    One source says that Amzi is Hebrew and means 'Strong'.

As soon as I get my inaugural celebrating done I'll compare his haplotype with the rest of the the Project to see if we can spot any matches.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

new results

I'll need to sneak this in here amidst all the inaugural excitement.    Peter,#56, has received new results, a part of his Y-Refine12to37 order.    These have been posted.    No apparent (at least to me) surprises.

Recently most results have been arriving significantly earlier than their expected date.    Perhaps one of these days they'll get their 'expectations' more in line with reality.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yes we are . . . .

. . . going to the inaugural!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our X chromosome, pt. 2

Following is the second of the columns by Blaine Bettinger, PhD. from his excellent blog The Genetic Genealogist which I am again going to copy verbatim here.

This is again entirely Dr. Bettinger's work as published by him on Jan. 12, 2009.

More X-Chromosome Charts

Last month I wrote “Unlocking the Genealogical Secrets of the X Chromosome” and posted a few charts that show the inheritance of the X-chromosome through 8 generations.    I thought these charts might be helpful since inheritance of the X-chromosome can be difficult to understand without seeing it.

New Chart with Ahnentafel Numbers

Since posting the article, two new charts have been created using the originals.    I made one, and the other was made by Rodney Jewett (who gave me permission to re-post the chart here) and posted at

Mr. Jewett added the Ahnentafel numbers of contributing X-chromosome ancestors to the chart. Using these numbers, an individual can simply create a numbered Ahnentafel report to identify X-chromosome contributing ancestors using this chart:

Note that Ann Turner also has a text file of the Ahnentafel numbers of those ancestors who potentially contributed to the X chromosome, through 10 generations.

New Chart Showing Contribution Percentages

I’ve been very intrigued by all the recent discussion of the X-chromosome in the genetic genealogy context, and I’ve been exposed to some facts about the X-chromosome of which I previously was unaware.

For instance, I kept seeing statements that suggested that different ancestors in each generation contributed different amounts to the X chromosome.    I read that at the 8th generation, one ancestor contributes 1/8th, some contribute 1/64th, and the others contribute between 1/16th and 1/32nd.    I kept trying to understand this, but I had to chart it out to grasp it.    Although this chart is for a male, I believe it will also work for a female by adjusting the generations slightly.    The chart is big so it might take a moment to download:

Thus, the chart shows that if you are a male, your mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother contributed 1/8th of your X-chromosome, while your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s parents only contributed 1/64th.

Now, keep in mind that this chart serves only as a very rough guideline for inheritance.    Although males pass the X chromosome largely unchanged to their daughters, females will usually pass a ‘mixed’ X chromosome to their child   –   a mixture of the X chromosome they received from their father and the X chromosome they received from their mother.    However, a child is unlikely to receive an X chromosome from their mother that is 50% from their maternal grandfather and 50% from their maternal grandmother   –   it will most likely be some other more random amount between 0% and 100%.    Thus, an ancestor is likely to be either under- or over-represented in an actual X chromosome.

Please, if you find any errors in my chart, please feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to correct them.

Potential Research

With the advent of affordable sequencing, I would love to see a study that examined X-chromosome inheritance in a family of 6 or 8 generations.    How closely would it match the theoretical inheritance probabilities from the chart above?    It’s probably just a matter of time before this research is conducted.

P.S. - Feel free to use these charts, but please give [Dr. Bettinger] proper credit.

© The Genetic Genealogist

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our X chromosome, pt. 1

Blaine Bettinger, PhD. writes an excellent blog called The Genetic Genealogist which I would recommend to you for regular consumption.

On the chance that you might not, however, and because I'm a complete novice where the X chromosome is concerned, I'm going to copy two of his columns verbatim here.    What follows is entirely Dr. Bettinger's work as published by him on Dec. 21, 2008.

Unlocking the Genealogical Secrets of the X Chromosome

Most genetic genealogists have sent away their cheek swabs to learn about their mitochondrial DNA or their Y-DNA lines.    Others have explored their autosomal DNA for ancestral information, a field that is growing quickly and will undergo rapid changes as the price of sequencing continues to fall.

Now genetic genealogists are beginning to discover the ancestral information locked away in the X chromosome.    Indeed, X chromosome tests have been offered by companies such as Family Tree DNA for a number of years.    Armed with some of this information as well as the advent of SNP chip information from 23andMe and deCODEme, genetic genealogists are making new discoveries in this very young arena.

Inheritance of the X Chromosome

To help you understand some of the X chromosome data, I’ve prepared this short summary regarding the unique and interesting inheritance of the X chromosome.    Males, of course, have one Y chromosome from their father and one X chromosome from their mother.    Females have two X chromosomes, one from each parent.

The charts below trace back the inheritance of the X chromosome through the level of GGGGG-grandparents.    At that generation, a person has 128 ancestors.    Of these 128 ancestors, a male will have 21 people who potentially contributed to their single X chromosome (8 males and 13 females).    A female will have 34 potential contributors to her two X chromosomes (13 males and 21 females).    Note that I say “POTENTIAL” contributors because it is unlikely that all these ancestors are equally represented in the X chromosome   –   it is more likely that some ancestors are completely missing while others are well-represented.

What I found to be particularly interesting is that the number of X contributors at each generation follows the Fibonacci sequence of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233… (HT: John Chandler).    A male will start with 1 X contributor and then follows through the sequence, while a female will start with 2 X contributors and follow through the sequence (although the numbers will be different if there is recent overlap in your family tree, as there is in mine).

Male Inheritance (click to enlarge)   –   Male contributors are in blue and female contributors are in pink:

Female Inheritance (Click to enlarge)   –   Male contributors are in blue and female contributors are in pink:


It is important to keep in mind that this investigation into the X chromosome is VERY new and thus can be confusing or unclear.    While I don’t recommend jumping into this area if you aren’t ready for the many changes, reversals, or dead-ends that will undoubtedly appear, I would encourage anyone who is interested in assisting these researchers contribute their own information if you feel completely comfortable doing so.

It will be very interesting to see how this field develops over the next few years.

P.S. – Feel free to use these charts, all I ask is that [Dr. Bettinger] be credited with a link to [his] blog.

UPDATE: Ann Turner has a text file of the Ahnentafel numbers of those ancestors who potentially contributed to the X chromosome, through 10 generations. If you are a male, be sure to start the ahnentafel chart with your mother.

© The Genetic Genealogist

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange Co.

George, #134, had his Y-DNA12-25 results returned yesterday, completing his Y-DNA37 order.    George is an Orange Co., NC Berry and at least some of the Orange Co. folks are probably delighted that his 37 markers match exactly those of Wiley, #18 and Harold, #123.    Myself, not so much.    I'm always hoping for some differences that will jazz up the cladogram for this family.    As it is, I don't even need to redo the last cladogram at all.    Just add '#134' under the #18 and #123 on it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Email addy security

As most of you know, my email address is    You also know that your email addresses are available in a couple of places on the Project website so that folks who want to get in touch with you about your family, can.    I thought that I should reassure you that your email addresses are not just out there 'in the open' so that spambots can harvest them.    Spambots are programs that comb websites looking for email addresses, typically by looking for the '@' symbol and the 'mailto:' tag.

Your email addresses are, and have always been, encoded in the code of the page in a form that is not recognizable by spambots.    This is what my email address, above, looks like to the spambots -
Yours would look similar.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Those (interesting) Faires Berrys

We just received the final panel for the Y-DNA37 order of Samuel Tilton Berry, #139.    I can't recall whether we expected him to match the Faires Berrys or not, but he does.    This is one of those 'interesting' families that relies on an 'in-betweener' for at least one of its relationships, that between Dennis, #31, and Sam.

Here's the yResults table, color coding their genetic distances -You can see the project yResults 'Family View' by clicking here.

Next, their Genetic Distance table, itself -
And the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor -which, at best, is merely 'suggesting' a 75% probability of what the time might be.

I considered doing a cladogram for these folks but since they are waiting for Dave's, #137, results, expected 2/26/2009, I think I'll also wait until then.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oops!   Missed one.

And my Berry family, too!    John Edward Berry will be Participant #142 and is expected to be an Augusta/Washington Co. Berry.    John is expected to match one of the 'mysterious' lines of this family that was in the same place at the same time as other lines but we can't seem to find the paper connection.    If it weren't for DNA we'd think that he was an entirely different family.

And now, to toot my own horn -
My alma mater?    UVA

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Trying to catch up.

As a result of the Christmas holidays and my New Year's bluegrass trip to the southern border of Georgia, I've gotten a little behind in my reporting to you the condition of the Berry Family DNA Project.    This will be an attempt, hopefully successful, to bring us current as to new members and new results for our Project.

We have new Y-DNA1-12 results for George Berry, #134, likely an Orange Co., NC Berry, and I seem to have missed the Y-DNA48-60 panel for Charles, #138, an English Colony Berry completing his Y-DNA67 order.

We also have new participants   -   Stephen Berry, #140, and William Berry, #141.    Stephen is searching for links that will help him discover the origins of his earliest known ancestor, Isaac (or James Isaac?) Berry, c1710 - c1770.    Bill, #79, found and sponsored William in pursuit of his Barry/Berrys.    Hope it works.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Jekyll, contd.

I'm a little behind so this is a conglomeration of the end of day one (I got sidetracked by Jason) and days two and three.

This is IIIrd Time Out, still from day one. -
Now from day two, Goldwing -a great band made up of the father and his three American Indian sons.
Here, in their regalia -
And a great young band, the Grascals -
And a family band, Cherryholmes -
Now to day three, the Bluegrass Brothers -
and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage -You may remember that Rhonda's fiddler, on the left, is Hunter Berry.    More on him and some video tomorrow.    -    Well, maybe next day  -   driving tomorrow.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Jason Barie

The fiddler with the Larry Stephenson Band, shown here at leftis a young fellow named Jason Barie.    I didn't get a chance to talk with him but it would sure be interesting to see if he matched any other Berry spellings.

His greatgrandfather played the fiddle and Jason started at age 10.    He's done well, as you can hear here -

Maybe someday I'll get a chance to talk with him about testing.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I may have mentioned, we used to be really into bluegrass music, attending maybe a half dozen or so festivals each year plus a couple dozen concerts.

Through a complicated, and much too boring to recite here, route we have come over to old time music  -  but we still have one (vestigial) bluegrass festival the we attend each year at New Years at Jekyll Island, Georgia -
Here's a little taste of the first day's events.

First, the Gary Waldrep band -and a bit of Gary's clawhammer banjo -

One of my favorite bluegrass bands was always the Country Gentlemen, led by Charlie Waller.    Charlie died and his son, Randy, took his place.    Betty thinks Randy sings as well as his dad.    Me, I'm not so sure.

Here's the band -and here's part of a tune, Ages and Ages Ago.