Submitted by Carol Vass
The Faires BERRY Family is one of the more interesting groups on the project. If you look at their results in the Family View it looks like a group of men with a small range of differences but, still, they appear to be closely related.
As much as possible, I also like to look at the results of any ‘group’ on the project and, if possible, sort them according to the genealogy research – the paper trail. Using both criteria with the Faires BERRY group, as shown in the chart below, we can see four fairly clear ‘subsets’:
Subset #1: This subset is connected to James R. Berry/Elizabeth Faires who married in 1816 Washington Co, VA. The very close DNA results for this group confirms the very strong circumstantial paper trail that ALL in this group are descendants of John Barry/Margaret Cook (ancestor of #167) who came to America, from Ireland, ca 1780-1790, settling first in Frederick Co, VA, then to Washington Co, VA and then to several nearby east Tennessee counties. Subset #1 is the closest match to the modal values of the Faires group as a whole.
Subset #2: #31 and #161 are descended from Andrew Jackson Berry (1817-c1879) the son of James Berry. James had served during the Revolution from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, afterwards migrating down to southwest Virginia where he died c1832 in Russell Co, VA. The two BELLs (#175 and #176) have circumstantial evidence that their ancestor changed his name from BERRY to BELL and the DNA results support this theory. The comparison in this chart is to the modal values for the entire group, but you can see that all of Subset #2 have the same differences from the modal on three markers (388, 392 and YCAiib) which means, compared to each other, #31 and #176 have a Genetic Distance of 0 at 37 and #161 and #175 are a genetic distance of 1 to #31 and #176. (This chart is not showing the upgrade to 67 markers for #31, #175 and #176. At 67 markers, and just comparing #31, #175, #176 to each other, the genetic distance between #31 and #176 is still 0 and #175 is a genetic distance of 1 compared to #31 and #176 – this is a very strong genetic relationship!!)
Subset #3: There is NO connection -- on paper or circumstantially – between #139 and #192, and there is NO connection for either one of these men to SUBSET #1, #2 or #3, on paper or circumstantially. The genetic distance to the modal values, particularly for #192, is greater than what is found in either Subsets #1 or #2. However, in comparing #139 and #192 to each other, the genetic distance is 2 at 37 markers because they also differ from the modal values on three of the same markers, in this case 391, 458 and CDYa. Hopefully these two participants can fully investigate each other’s genealogy research to see if they can discover a common ancestor.
Subset #4: The ancestors of #114 and #146 were both born in Ireland (different counties) and immigrated, entirely separately, to America after 1800, settling in completely separate parts of the country. They have no paper trail connection to each other or to any of the other subsets of the Faires BERRY participants. Like Subset #3, when comparing them just to each other, the Genetic Distance is either 2 or 3 at 37 markers. [The infinite allele formula, which FTDNA uses, counts all steps of a multi-step mutation. The step-wise formula counts any multi-step mutation as one event, no matter how many steps. In either case, the match between the two of them is within the acceptable range of closeness.]
As a group, the Faires BERRYs are a good match to each other. By using the paper trail and/or a one-to-one comparison, we can ‘see’ how they are subsets of the whole. It seems, to me, that the Faires BERRYs have a common ancestor who lived in Ireland closer to the time period when surnames were adopted, probably making it extremely unlikely that he can ever be identified.
Submitted by Carol Vass