Friday, February 27, 2009

Billy and SMGF

We should, of course, mention that the final 7 markers of Billy's , #8, Y-Refine37to67 order arrived yesterday.    He's the second of the 11 Orange Co., NC Berrys to test to 67 markers.    No additional differences between those two.

Additionally, SMGF has just posted new haplotypes and genealogical records to the Sorenson mtDNA and Y-chromosome databases.    I'm not yet sure how many additional data we may find because there are now 31,706 haplotypes with more than seven markers.    That compares to 30,362 in August 2009, or just 1,344 new haplotypes.    mtDNA has just 1,082 new sequences in the same time period (63,902 vs. 62,820).    It'll take me a little while to go through the databases to find additional markers for the folks that now have some (I have looked at mine;  still the same puny 19 markers) and to find what new Berry haplotypes are there   -    and to see whether they're really new or whether they're markers for one of our members.    A further complication is that SMGF limits the number of searches I can make in a 24 hour period.    Don't remember now what that limit is.

I'll post stuff as I discover it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


O.K. you all.    I need some of you to put on your thinking caps.    We just got Joseph's, #109, results on Tuesday and he matched no one at FTDNA.   Still doesn't.    But he does seem to match SMGF Berry/Cornish at a gd of 3 comparing 28 markers.    But SMGF Berry/Cornish also matches Peter, #56, at a gd of 3 comparing 28 markers.    So Joseph and Peter must be related?

But look at this GD table.
Joseph and Peter have a GD of 11 comparing 37 markers.
What gives?    Anything?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

X and Autosomal DNA

I want to quote here a posting to the DNA List made by Kathy Johns which, although I'm not sure I completely understand it, seems to me to help begin an understanding of what we might expect from the developing and maturing field of X and Autosomal DNA.
First of all, it is kind of Tim to call us pioneers but the truth of the matter is that we may think we are pioneers, but those of us who are in the X chromosome study group are actually rediscovering (for the first time for us) information that was already out there but not widely known or understood.

To address your concern about the methodology. We should not be applying percentage ancestral origins to the definition of haploblocks at all.    The percentage ancestral origin just gives us your best guess as to the probability of each ethnic or geographic origin that contributed to your X as a whole, nothing more than that.    We are also not including the ends of the chromosome where there is a lot of crossover recombination.

The main reason for asking people to calculate their percentage of X ancestry is to determine where your X might have come from.    It makes no sense to give us your percentages from a man's father, for example because your father would contribute nothing to your X if you are a male - neither would your mother's father's father's line.    It helps to know that your mother's father's mother's father's line contributes a whole lot more to your X (on the average) than your mother's mother's mother's mother's line etc.    Knowing the probabilities and the geographical areas could eventually lead to the identification of some ancestors that carried a particular mutation in a particular block, or hopefully give us a set of STRs or other hypervariable regions within a block that could be used to identify founders.    We are talking about origins here within a genealogical time frame.    Each of our X chromosomes is a mosaic of several blocks of founders spliced together, not just one as in the Y chromosome.    We expect to find some of the same types of haplogroups.

Some people have found what they think might be SNPs representing a particular ethnic group, or a founder effect but we are not ready to attach assignments yet.    Some blocks just look promising because the pedigree seems to have an ancestor from a distinct geographical area and we think we might be seeing identifiable founder sequences in that same chromosome.    It is really too early to tell.

Sometimes a particular block is assigned an origin based on the fact that deCODEme has reported the block's ancestry painting to be of a certain race, for example, African, but that is really a misnomer.    I have also used the term "African" when nearly 100% of Sub Saharan Africans in HapMap have had a particular SNP sequence.    But as we have also discovered, those of us who have detected these sequences in ourselves at 23andMe really don't have African in the recent past.    These blocks just happen to be older than our species in some cases but also match some African populations.    These same blocks have at the other end of the spectrum, an "Asian" block that matches none of the Sub Saharan Africans.    Most Europeans will fit into one or the other and can have both depending on the rate of recombination in these ancient blocks.    Other blocks seem to have much more variation.    Some blocks will probably never be classifiable.

Thank you, Kathy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Y-DNA26-37 results

Joseph, #109, received his Y-DNA26-37 marker results today.

It just amazes me every time we get a new Berry that doesn't match anyone we already know about.    We now have 55 separate, and unrelated to one another, Berry families in the Project, including Joseph, and one would think that we must have come close to discovering all there are.    Problem is that new unrelated Berrys just keep showing up.    Who knew?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I didn't know they worked on Sunday

The final panel of results for Bill's, #141, Y-DNA67 order came in today, unexpectedly as far as I was concerned, and since we determined that he wasn't a Barry/Berry, I guess I'll need to compare his full haplotype with the rest of the Project to see if he does match anyone. (as I type this I haven't done so and really don't know.)

Now I do know.    Bill doesn't match any of our members.    His line is the top (and left edge) of this table.    The only reason he has a gd of 2 from #41 is that #41 has only tested 12 markers.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad news

C. E., #77, and Bill, #79, were hoping that Bill, #141, was going to be a part of their Barry/Berry family, but two more of his panels came back yesterday and I can now see all three that are back.

Here's what has been returned -

Allele results compared -
Their genetic distance table-
and TMRCA -
The most important of these is the genetic distance table, from which we can see that only comparing 37 markers, Bill, #141, has a genetic distance of 12 from the Barry/Berrys and is therefore not related.

We'll have to wait for his entire 67 marker order results to be returned before I can compare him with the entire Project to see who, if anyone, he does match.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New & new

Billy, #8, a member of the Orange Co., NC Berry family, got the middle panel, his Y-DNA48-60 Markers, of his Y-Refine37to67 upgrade results today   --   so far no differences from Wiley, #18, the only other Orange Co., NC Berrys thus far to test to 67 markers.    This just in!    Billy's Y-DNA38-47 markers also.    I've only posted both these to the Family yAncestry page until all of the markers come in.

Likewise, Bill, #141, got his Y-DNA48-60 Marker panel of his Y-DNA67 order.    The Barry/Berrys hope he matches them but I guess we're going to have to wait a little before we get even a hint.    When FTDNA completes one of their 'panels' the results are posted to their database but not reported until (maybe) the order is completed.    I can usually see these partial results as soon as they're posted, but not Bill's.    Maybe because he doesn't have a database to post it to, that is, Y-DNA1-12 hasn't yet been posted to start it.

We also have a new member, John David Berry, who will be Participant #145.    I haven't gotten John's yAncestry yet so haven't any idea whether he expects to match any of our established 'families'.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Bill, #73, has just ordered his Y-Refine12to37 upgrade.    Good for him!    At present Bill has no matches and is not likely to find any by ordering more markers but doing so is absolutely the right move!    Now, when that match does show up there'll be no wondering whether it's real or not.    Unfortunately, we won't know when to expect Bill's results until next Wednesday evening when his sample is shipped to the lab.

I had high hopes when Bill first ordered because William Martin Berry is also my great grandfather's name.

Another thing Bill, and all the rest of you who have not yet done so, should do is upload his results to Ysearch.    On your FTDNA personal page, go to your 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.    Take a look to see if the 'Click here to upload to' line is there.    If that line's not there, no worry.   You've already done it.    If it is there, click it.    This doesn't happen automatically, only semi-automatically.    You don't have to type the numbers in but you do have to click the 'Click here to upload to' line in the 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.    Fill in the info asked for and let me know what your Ysearch ID is so I can put a link for you on the yResults pages.

If you didn't test with FTDNA, no worry.    You can still upload your results to Ysearch.    I'll be happy to guide you through it, or do it for you, if you'll let me know you need help by clicking here.

Using Ysearch will enable you to search for matches with folks who have tested with many labs.    You can read about Ysearch here.

P.S. - POSTED AT 2:45 PM
Carol points out that Bill's yAncestry matches the Madison Co. Berrys and that one of his differences is a two-step mutation at DYS 390.    I do have Bill in my Madison Co. Berrys database, so although he is a GD of 3 from those folks maybe this will turn out to be one of those 12 marker 'false negatives' and the 37 markers will bring him into line with them.    Let's hope.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Ghost In Your Genes - UK

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Not everyone may be interested in this, but yesterday I had my colonoscopy and thought I might share a little of my experiences just in case there is someone who ought to have the procedure done but is dreading the experience.

To summarize:   The preparation is hard;  The procedure itself is simple and painless;  The recovery is sublime.

The preparation involves fasting for a day coupled with drinking large quantities of some substance that is designed to clean out your colon.    It doesn't really taste bad but seems to have a 'thickness' to it.    One or two glasses wouldn't be bad, but seventeen?    C'mon.    Fifteen of them beginning about 6:00 in the evening (for a 10:00 a.m. procedure appointment) and two at 4:30 a.m.    But once you've done that, the worst is over and the rest is gravy.

For the patient, the procedure itself is very simple and painless.    After checking in and getting into your 'gown' you simply lay on a bed with wheels while nice nurses attend to you.    After being wheeled into the procedure room, I recall being asked to roll onto my left side, and beginning to comply, but nothing more.

The next thing I remember is my wife asking me if I need anything.    I'm told that I replied, "IPone".    And that I next asked for my camera and mumbled something about taking a photo of the white wall!    Well, I suppose I could have said worse.

So, here I am, looking more alert than I apparently was -
and here's my lovely driver -
After returning home, I spent the better part of the afternoon in the corner of the couch working on my laptop and iPhone and watching MSNBC and feeling very mellow.    I suppose I could have gotten up and done something but I just didn't see the need to.    I thought that I had recovered from the effects of the anesthetic but it wasn't until much later in the evening that I realized that I had not.    They used Demerol and Versed.    I highly recommend them.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


To pass the time until we get more results in I thought I might share with you the 'traffic' at a couple of our sites.    The first one is the numbers of folks that looked at our DNA Project site over the past week -and the averages over the longer term.

and for this blog itself, about the same -
Too bad folks aren't as interested in DNA as they are in gravestones -

Friday, February 06, 2009


As you can see from our current pipeline, we have no more results 'expected' until next month.    That's a long time for you all to have to read all those exciting 'fillers' I use to pass the time between results.

On the brighter side, they've recently been returning most results before their 'expected' date.    Let's hope.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

no comment

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Optimize your FTDNA account

Since we seem to have hit a flat spot in new members/new results, I'll take this opportunity to post a couple of reminders that will help your results to work better for you.

Each of you should go to your FTDNA Personal Page:   First, click on the 'User Preferences' tab and select your matches to be "set against the entire database".    Leaving it set to "display of matches only to my Surname Project" will severely limit your opportunity to see matches that may be of interest to you but are not yet in the Project.    Severely, as in 'No Chance'.    One exception to this advice is that if you have more than 12 markers tested it will probably be a good idea to uncheck the 12 marker button.    Since 12 marker matches are mostly meaningless this will avoid those 'dear cousin' emails from folks with different surnames.

Next, you should all check your 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.    Those of you who have gotten new results, be sure to upload them to ySearch.    Take a look to see if the 'Click here to upload to' line is there.    If that line's not there, no worry.   You've already done it.    If it is there, click it. This doesn't happen automatically, only semi-automatically.   You don't have to type the numbers in but you do have to click the 'Click here to upload to' line in the 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.

Also, while you're at your Personal Page, you have the opportunity to upload a gedcom of either your Y-DNA family tree or your mtDNA family tree, or both.    Just click on the 'GEDCOM - Family Tree' link under 'Tools' and follow the instructions.    Or you can ask me for help.    Having this information available online can be very helpful to others trying to make a connection to you, particularly on the mtDNA side.

I'm assuming that you've gone to the trouble and expense of DNA testing to further assist your family research.    These steps will help optimize that endeavor.

Another friendly reminder - If you've been considering upgrading or ordering any new tests where FTDNA already has your DNA sample on hand, take this as a sign that TODAY'S the day to do it.    It will save you up to a week on getting your results back.    Place the order before 4:30 or so this afternoon, Mountain Time, to avoid waiting up to a week additional for the next batch to be shipped out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Project-wide genetic distances

Thanks to a gentle reminder from Cathy who sponsored her brother, James, #143, I was reminded that I needed to do a Project wide genetic distance survey.    Cathy was interested in particular to see whether James' results, which we imported from, matched anyone.    They did!    James is a part of the Berry Family that I haven't yet been able to name, comprised of BJ, #88, and Clifton, #98.

An interesting discovery (or perhaps, re-discovery, since I believe I've mentioned this before - here and here) is that Kevin, #84, of the Rockingham Co. Berrys seems to also be a match to the Faires Berrys although his match in the Rockingham Co. Berrys, Robert, #75, not so much comparing to the Faires Berrys.    Worth looking into you Faires/Rockingham folks.

Another interesting 'match' is a genetic distance of 1 (comparing 27 markers) between Philip, #10, and Doug, #121.    Philip is our adoptee looking for his family and Doug's Barry ancestors emigrated from Ireland to New York by way of Canada.    Philip tested 67 markers at FTDNA and Doug tested 30 markers at so they only have 27 markers in common to compare.    They differ by 1 at DYS385b.    It would be helpful if there were an inexpensive way to fill in some of those 40 additional markers to test the 'match'.

Of somewhat lesser interest because we don't know who they are is that two of the SMGF Barry testees seem related to each other, Barry/Kellett and Barry/Williams who differ by one at DYS447 comparing 32 markers.

You all can examine your genetic distances from any member of the Project by going here.    The ID column is by Participant ID#.    By hovering your cursor over the distances in your row or column the two ID's compared will appear.

Happy Birthday, Honey!
Happy Birthday, Jayne!