Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Augusta/Washington County Berrys Relationships

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick is certainly a nice person!   You will recall that she is the author of Forensic Genealogy, and co-author with Andrew Yeiser of DNA & Genealogy.

Trying to understand what the cladograms tell us about the relationships between 37 marker tested members of the Augusta/Washington Co. Berry family, I wrote her the following:
In the attached cladogram Sterling/Jim (2510) descend from the immigrant John, and Charles (2287) descends from the immigrant James.   We know that John and James were both born in Ireland, probably before 1700 but nothing more.   Both showed up in Virginia in the early 1700s.   We've always assumed that they were brothers, perhaps cousins or even uncle/nephew.   Jerry (3399) is a NPE who matches Wendell.   We do not have a paper connection for Wendell but they lived in close proximity to those previously mentioned in SW Virginia.   John Edw. is also not paper connected to elder James or elder John but is to Wendell.   Neither do we have a paper trail for Brian whose ancestor we can only trace back to Pennsylvania in the 1860s.

Are we able to guess anything more about the relationships of these parties, particularly elder James (2287) and elder John (2510), vis-a-vis the others?

Click cladogram to magnify image

Her responses follow, verbatim:
Please attach the word "probably" to everything below.

Well, first you can say that all these guys are closely related.   As far as where and when they are related:

            1) You can say that the mutations that separated (Jim & Sterling) from (Charles) happened in Ireland, since you know that (J&S) and Charles do not have a common ancestor in the US.

            2) Likewise, the mutation that separated (Jerry & Wendell) from John Edward happened in the US since I gather you know their common ancestor and he was in the US.

            3) At first glance it is up in the air whether the common ancestor between (Jerry & Wendell) and (Jim & Sterling) was in Ireland or was here.   But our guess was that he was in Ireland.   We reason this because the single mutation separating (J&W) from (J&S) on DYS 570 happened before the three mutations (CDY, 449, 570) that separate John Edward from (Jerry & Wendell).   Since three mutations would probably happen over a long period of time, they must have happened in the early history of the family in the 1700s, and therefore any previous mutation happened (and the common ancestor lived) back in Ireland.

As far as the relative ages of the haplotypes:

            1) The oldest haplotype of all is (Jim & Sterling)'s and the other branches are derived from them so that Jim and Sterling probably carry the haplotype of the common ancestor of this cluster.   As your study progresses, you may see this configuration change and another person take the center of the cluster, in which case this future person would have the haplotype of the ancestor.

The reason we designate (Jim and Sterling)'s haplotype as that of the ancestor is that their yellow circle has the most branches (each representing a different mutation) coming from it.   This means their haplotype has been in existence the longest, and has had the most time to mutate.

            2) The second oldest is (Jerry & Wendell)'s.   Starting with (Jim & Sterling) as the oldest means that Jerry and Wendell's haplotype was created by a mutation at DYS 570 on (J&S).   Once (J&W) came into being, it has had a chance to "sprout" once, creating John Edw' haplotype.

            3) There are three nodes that have not sprouted yet = John Edward, Brian, and Charles (a sprout does not counting their single connections to (Jim & Sterling) and (Jerry & Wendell) since these two haplotypes are older).   Normally, I'd say the two showing a two-step mismatch (Brian and Charles) occurred later than the one showing a three-step mismatch (John Edward).   But you know that John Edw has a common ancestor with Wendell in the US and Charles and (Jim & Sterling's) common ancestor had to be in Ireland.   So the chronology must be the other way around.

Having a three step difference between (Jerry & Wendell) and John Edward over about 300 years is not all that probable.   A calculation of the Most Recent Common Ancestor would put him many more generations back than this, with only about a 25% chance that the common ancestor lived within the last 300 yrs.   But it can happen.   I'd chalk this three step mismatch up to a fairly rare event (or a rare combination of single events) and say that since the connection between Charles and (Jim & Sterling) must be in Ireland, then the common ancestor between Brian and (Jim & Sterling) is in Ireland, too.

Our conclusions based on what you say about your paper trail are logical.   Our conclusions based on the number of mutations and their chronological order are based on a small number of haplotypes which is not a whole lot of data to go on.   So I'd say keep this all in mind and as you get more people into your study that fit into this group, don't be surprise if the configuration changes somewhat.

* * * Addendum * * *

Carol Vass correctly pointed out to me that I had misspoken about elder James' and elder John's descendants in my original question.   Therefore, hat in hand, I went back to Colleen with this correction:

In fact, according to the paper genealogy, only Jim (2510) descends from the immigrant John and both Charles (2287) and Sterling (2510) descend from the immigrant James.   Everything else I told you is correct.

Her reply:
The answer to your question is that since Charles and Sterling both descend from James and Jim descends from John, that both John and James had the same DNA profile and that later a line broke away from James' family with those two mutations (570 and CDYa) and that is the where Charles descends from.   This is kind of interesting because everyone who has those same mutations will be from that same line.   It's a way of differentiating it from the others.  .  .  .

Same thing happened with Jerry and Wendell's line.   Somewhere they had an ancestor who broke away from John and James' (mutual) genetic line with a single mutation at 570.   Anyone with this mutation is probably a descendent of that break-away ancestor.

It's curious to me that in both cases 570 is involved and that between Jerry and John Edward there is another mutation on CDYa.   As you add more members to your study, it will be interesting to see how the network develops in this corner.  .  .  .


Post a Comment

<< Home