Bluejacket Reunion with a Tomahawk

I want to thank Carlyle Henshaw for this wonderful article.  When I asked him for permission to publish, here’s what Carlyle had to say.

“I really had fun researching that article.  The three Bluejacket brothers that establish Bluejacket Crossing were George, Henry and Charles.  Henry was my great great grandfather.  The three brothers were grandsons of Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket, 1737-1808.  He was the last principal war chief of the Shawnee Tribe of Indians.  We have 15 members in our PekowiBlueJacket Project.  All trace to Blue Jacket genealogically.  We all descend from the three brothers via DNA.  Nine of us have Family Finder.  Four males have fathers who are named Bluejacket and all match each other.  One is haplogroup Q and three are Q1a3a1.  All in all, everyone matches up in the Blue Jacket line, genetically and genealogically.  We have sixth, seventh and eighth generations from Blue Jacket represented.”

A REUNION with a TOMAHAWK

by Carlyle Hinshaw

Twin Bridges State Park — On July 1, 2001, the Shawnee Indian Blue Jacket family held its biennial reunion at this lovely place eight miles southeast of Miami, Oklahoma. The picnic was comprised of 60 relatives and other Shawnee friends and two fine Ottawa County Coon Hounds who know a Shawnee repast when they see, er, smell one! Blue Jackets from the Cherokee Nation (Cherokee Adopted Shawnee), Eastern Shawnee Tribe and Shawnee Tribe gathered to celebrate their long, illustrious history. Several excellent stories arose and are being told as time allows for the telling.

Robert Harry Withrow, Jr., of Kanab, Utah, brought a Pipe Tomahawk used by and handed down through, his family from Shawnee days in northeastern Kansas Territory during the middle 1800’s. Robert also brought along the story of the Pipe Tomahawk.

On November 30, 1831, a group of 334 Shawnees, including families of Chief John Perry, Henry and James (Jim) Blue Jacket, Peter Cornstalk and John Woolf arrived at the Shawnee Agency in Kansas after a three month “Trail of Tears” from Allen County, Ohio. Most of the adults rode horseback and the children in baggage wagons. These Wapaghkonetta and Hog Creek Shawnees had ceded (August 8, 1831) their homelands to the U. S. Government for 100,000 acres within or contiguous to, the existing Shawnee Reserve south of the Kansas (Kaw) River. The following year, 24 Shawnees of the River Huron in Michigan Territory made their trek to the new Shawnee country. In 1833, 14 more followed suit and in 1839, the total of River Huron Shawnees in the Shawnee Reserve was 38. (Louise Barry, THE BEGINNING OF THE WEST, p. 223-24, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, 1972).

The new Shawnee lands were however, smack dab in the middle of the great western migration. Starting with a fur party path in 1827 (Sublette’s Trace), several trails headed up in the Independence, Missouri – confluence of the Kaw and Missouri rivers area and the main trace of the Oregon California Road crossed Shawnee lands south of the Kaw. Westward Ho traffic steadily increased and reached a crescendo after the discovery of gold in California in 1849. Settlement along the various trails began and Indian lands became more and more desirable to emigrants wanting to establish roots.

Treaty of 1854

Successful in their continual efforts to displace Indians, the U. S. Government had Shawnee leaders travel to Washington DC and sign a treaty on May 10, 1854, ceding 1, 600,000 acres of their land for 200,000 within the same area. Now that was a hell of a deal for the governmental’s! Shawnee signers of the document included: Joseph Parks, Black Hoof (was he still around?), George McDougal, Silverheels, Paschal Fish, Long Tail, George Blue Jacket, Graham Rogers,  Wa-wah-che-pa-e-kar (or, Black Bob), Tooly and Henry Blue Jacket. Witness’s to the signatures included Agent Benjamin F. Robinson and Interpreter Charles Blue Jacket. Each Shawnee was awarded, in severalty, 200 acres and that included Absentee Shawnees and Adopted Shawnees.

BLuejacket crossing

Hughmongous tracts of lands immediately became available for settlement and many new areas were incorporated, including Lawrence in 1854 and Eudora in 1857. German settlers purchased land for the latter town from Paschal Fish, who, along with John Blue Jacket, had been assistant gun and blacksmiths for the Leavenworth Agency in 1837. Quick to take advantage of this new situation, the Blue Jacket brothers, Henry, George and Charles, went into the hotel and ferry business. George and storekeeper William “Dutch Bill or Billy” Greiffenstein incorporated the town of Sebastian, six miles SE of Lawrence in the SE1/4 of the SW1/4 of Section 12 – Township 13 South – Range 20 East. The town did not survive and is not shown on modern maps. Henry died at Blue Jacket’s Crossing of the Wakarusa River on May 3, 1855, leaving his wife, Eliza, with six children and expecting a seventh. The latter was born in early 1856.

On the afternoon of May 19, 1855, the first steamboat to ply the Kansas River, the EMMA HARMON, left Kansas City en-route to Topeka and other way landings. Stopping to re-supply wood around noon the next day, they slipped into the stream again and almost immediately were hailed by an Indian wanting a tow up river for his flatboat. They stopped, made the small boat fast and proceeded west up river. The flatboat had just been made by Tooly, a Shawnee who had operated a ferry where the Delaware River, coming from the north, joined the Kaw between Lawrence and Topeka. Upon reaching the confluence of the Kaw and Wakarusa, they cast the Indian loose in his craft. Amidst cheering and waving from the passengers, the red man poled his way up the smaller stream. That Indian boat captain had to be one of two cousins, both strapping 21 year olds, Stephen S. Blue Jacket, eldest son of Henry, or William George Blue Jacket, eldest son of George! Thus began operations of Blue Jacket’s Ferry. (Kansas Historical Quarterly, V. 6, p. 17-19)

bluejacket ferry

Civil War

The Free State – Slave State concept became an overriding one at this time, as anti-slavery Kansas Jayhawkers actively worked with the underground railroad bringing freedom to many and pro-slavery Missouri Bushwhackers fought to bring the freedmen back into slavery. With Lawrence as the “free state” capitol, local traffic added to the depth of Oregon California Road ruts. Kansas in fact became a free State in 1861 as the Civil War broke out.

On the night of August 21, 1863, Confederate Captain William Clarke Quantrill led 400 raiders from successes at Independence, Missouri against Union troops, toward Lawrence to punish the anti-slavery zealots of many years standing. The inhabitants of Blue Jacket’s Crossing got wind of Quantrill’s sweep across northeastern Kansas and took precautions. Eliza Silverheels, wife of David Likens Blue Jacket, had a one year old boy at the time but took it upon herself to round up the children and some older protectors, loaded them with provisions and the very youngest and sent them into the hills south of the Wakarusa.

Defending Hearth and Home

Eliza was determined to guard her home, stayed there and lay in wait for the band of guerillas prancing toward Lawrence. This great-great grandmother of Robert Harry Withrow, Jr., was armed with a Pipe Tomahawk, most assuredly obtained from her father-in-law, the Rev. Charles Blue Jacket, by now an ordained Methodist Minister.

As the raiders crossed the Wakarusa at this Shawnee enclave, one, bent on looting Eliza’s home and perhaps intent on doing bodily harm to any inhabitants, tried to enter by a window. A young, enraged Shawnee Indian woman brandishing a wicked looking Tomahawk confronted him! With great effort, Eliza gave a mighty swing of her weapon, so mighty in fact, that when the axe met the raider, her arm broke. The haft of the Tomahawk broke at the same time. The Quantrillian was not so fortunate, as the blow to his head did him in for good!

The Confederates hit Lawrence at 5 AM, killing upwards of 200 men, looting, raping and setting fire to the entire town in an atrocity of the worst kind. Quantrill later was abandoned by most of his men and killed by Union troops in Kentucky. Lawrence began recovery immediately, regardless of the heartbreak foisted upon them by those monsters.

Pipe Tomahawks

The successful defender passed the family Pipe Tomahawk on to daughter Cindarella Blue Jacket who passed it to her daughter Cindarella Florence (Mills) Brown. Mrs. Brown’s daughter, Betty June, married Robert Harry Withrow and they parented Robert, Jr., who is the current keeper of the family heirloom. The Withrow family and 90 year old grand mom, Cindarella Florence, all attended the picnic and all contributed to this story.

European and Americans developed pipe Tomahawks for the Indian trade. Made with a smoking handle and a tobacco bowl insert at the head, they served, among other things, as “badges of prestige” given to Indian leaders at treaty signings and other occasions. Giver and receiver ornately decorated most. Modern artisans reproduce them and can be acquired at less than $50.00 to $500.00. Documented historical antiquities sell for upwards of $35,000!

Robert Withrow pipe tomahawk

Robert Withrow’s Pipe Tomahawk does not have the original smoking haft, thanks to Eliza’s mighty blow, however, its origin is documented by makers marks.

The maker was a Vickers metal smith in London, England in 1833. The head was cast in the Naylor, Vickers and Company’s Sheffield foundry.

Pipe tomahawk

Both sides of the head have the “Bleeding Heart” symbol, which is a common decoration on the antique ones.

Pipe tomahawk bleeding heart

The Masonic emblem was probably etched by gun and black smithy, John Blue Jacket, brother of the Rev. Charles Blue Jacket, who, along with many other Shawnees, was active in that organization.

Pipe tomahawk man in moom

The other side is scribed with a man in the moon, which is a bit unusual. The French Moon or crescent moon was, however, a common inscription, sometimes included when the head was cast.

Robert Withrow, Jr. is a teacher of survival skills across the country, both to private and military groups. It is fitting that he continues to preserve Shawnee history and heritages.

Withrow family

Top L-R: Robert Withrow, Robert Withrow, Jr ., Robert John Brown
Bottom, L-R: Betty Withrow, Cindarella Brown, Saundra Davis.

The elder Withrows live in Chetopa KS, Robert and Saundra in Centralia IL and Cindarella in Centralia.

Cindarella had the good fortune to remember her grandparents. She was born in 1911 and David Likens Blue Jacket passed away on April 4, 1919 and Eliza (Silverheels) Blue Jacket on June 12, 1929. Great historical events were told directly to their daughter Cindarella (Blue Jacket) Mills and to their grand daughter Cindarella Mills. Now, at 90 years of age, the latter is still able to give us insight to our Shawnee heritage. Thank you Cindarella Florence (Mills) Brown.

Gaylord Carlyle Hinshaw
1713 Baron Dr
Norman OK 73071
405-364-4584
bjexploration@swbell.net

Daughters of Princess Mary Kittamaquund

Daughters book cover

Recently Shawn and Lois Potter utilized the Minority Admixture Mapping technique I developed, utilized and described in the series “The Autosomal Me” to establish that the mother of John Red Bank Payne was Native American.  Shawn and Lois were so encouraged after that positive experience that they set forth to document another Native ancestor.

They produced this report as a beautiful and fully sourced booklet which they have very graciously given permission to reproduce in part here.

Daughters of Princess Mary Kittamaquund

Every student of American history has heard about Pocahontas—the young Indian princess who struggled to establish peace between the Powhatan Indians and Virginia colonists, married Englishman John Rolfe, and left descendants through her son Thomas Rolfe.  But, few have heard about Mary Kittamaquund—another young Indian princess who likewise promoted peace between the Piscataway Indians and Maryland colonists, married Englishman Giles Brent, and, as revealed by archival research combined with DNA analysis, left descendants through her daughters.  Both women lived heroic yet brief lives; and both should be remembered for their devotion to their people in an age of momentous danger and change.  The following sketch introduces Princess Mary Kittamaquund and her daughters.

Mary Kittamaquund, daughter of the Tayac (Paramount Chief) of the Piscataway Indians, was born in Maryland probably about 1631.[i]  Her father ruled over as many as 7,000 people between the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.[ii]  Following about six months of dialogue and study with Jesuit Missionary Father Andrew White, Mary’s father converted to Christianity and was baptized on July 5, 1640.[iii]  Soon after February 15, 1640/1, Mary too was baptized, and her father sent her to the English settlement called St Mary’s City, near the mouth of the Potomac River, to be educated by Governor Leonard Calvert and his sister-in-law, Margaret Brent.[iv]

Mary married Giles Brent, brother of Margaret Brent, before January 9, 1644/5.[v]  A band of Parliamentarians led by Richard Ingle and William Claiborne attacked St Mary’s City on February 14, 1644/5, and carried Giles Brent, Father Andrew White, and others in chains to England.  Upon his arrival in London, Giles brought suit against his captors and returned to Maryland before June 19, 1647.[vi]  Mary and Giles moved to present day Aquia, Stafford County, Virginia, after November 8, 1648, and before August 20, 1651.[vii]  Mary died probably after April 18, 1654, and before September 4, 1655.[viii]  Giles Brent died in Middlesex County, Virginia, on September 2, 1679.[ix]

Scholars disagree about the number of children born to Mary Kittamaquund and Giles Brent.  Some list only three children named in the 1663 and 1671 wills of sister and brother Margaret and Giles Brent.[x]  Margaret appointed her brother Giles “and his children Giles Brent, Mary Brent, and Richard Brent” executors of her estate.[xi]  Giles left bequests to his son Giles Brent and daughter Mary Fitzherbert.[xii]  Other historians, such as Dr. Lois Green Carr, Maryland Historian at the Maryland State Archives, on the basis of information gleaned from provincial court records, probate records, and quitrent rolls, identify six children of Mary and Giles, including Katherine Brent (who married Richard Marsham), Giles Brent (who married his cousin Mary Brent), Mary Brent (who married John Fitzherbert), Richard Brent (who died after December 26, 1663), Henry Brent (who died young), and Margaret Brent (who also died young).[xiii]

Some researchers further believe daughter Mary Brent divorced John Fitzherbert before April 26, 1672, and married second Charles Beaven.  This belief is supported by (1) a reference to the divorce of Mary and John in a letter of this date from Charles Calvert to his father, (2) a statement regarding “my brother iñ Richard Marsham” in the June 20, 1698 will of Charles Beaven, (3) the appointment of “my well beloved Richard Marsham” by Mary Beaven to be executor of her 1712 will, and (4) other circumstances demonstrating kinship ties between these families.[xiv]  Still others refuse to accept this relationship without further evidence, lamenting the loss of contemporary records which has “confused researchers for a hundred years.”[xv]

Recent DNA analysis, however, reveals six descendants of Katherine and Richard Marsham and three descendants of Mary and Charles Beaven, representing six separate lineages, inherited at least sixteen matching segments of Native American DNA on chromosomes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16, 20, and 22.  Figure 1 shows the relationships between these descendants; and Figures 2-17 illustrate the sixteen matching Native American chromosomal segments (see Figures 18-33 for additional images of these segments produced by four independent admixture tools; and also see http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/02/the-autosomal-me-summary-and-pdf-file/ for information about Minority Admixture Mapping).  These matching chromosomal segments point to a common Native American ancestor, who, because other possibilities can be eliminated, must have been the mother of Katherine and Mary.[xvi]  Considering this DNA evidence in light of contemporary records, it now seems certain Mary Kittamaquund and Giles Brent were the parents of Katherine, wife of Richard Marsham, and Mary, wife first of John Fitzherbert and second of Charles Beaven.

Genealogical Summary

Katherine Brent was born probably in Aquia, Stafford County, Virginia, say about 1650.  She may have served an unknown period of indentured service to Thomas Brooke, perhaps following the death of her mother, before she married Richard Marsham perhaps before December 26, 1663, and certainly before March 11, 1664/5.[xvii]  Richard immigrated to Maryland in 1658, where he served three-years of indentured service to John Horne for his transatlantic voyage.[xviii]  Katherine died in Calvert County, Maryland, before October 26, 1670.[xix]  Richard married second Anne Calvert, widow first of Baker Brooke Sr., and second of Henry Brent, after April 30, 1695, and before February, 1696.[xx]  Richard died in Prince George’s County, Maryland, between April 14 and 22, 1713.[xxi]  Katherine and Richard were the parents of the following children:

1. Sarah Marsham was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1667, married first Basil Waring say about 1685, married second William Barton after December 29, 1688, married third James Haddock after April 19, 1703, and died in Charles County, Maryland, after January 8, 1733.[xxii]

2.  Katherine Marsham was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1669, married first her future step-brother Baker Brooke Jr. say about 1689, married second Samuel Queen after May 27, 1698, and died in St Mary’s County after March 18, 1712, and before April 14, 1713.[xxiii]

Mary Brent was born probably in Aquia, Stafford County, Virginia, say about 1654.[xxiv]  She married first John Fitzherbert before 1671.[xxv]  Mary and John divorced before April 26, 1672.[xxvi]  Mary married second Charles Beaven say about 1674.  Charles died in Prince George’s County, Maryland, between June 20, 1698, and June 21, 1699.[xxvii]  Mary died in Prince George’s County between April 28, 1712, and June 13, 1713.[xxviii]  Mary and Charles were the parents of the following children:

1. Richard Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1676, married Jane Blanford before June 11, 1703, and died in Prince Georges County, Maryland, before August 9, 1744.[xxix]

2.  Sarah Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1678, married Thomas Blanford on June 20, 1698, and died in Prince Georges County, Maryland, after August 7, 1749.[xxx]

3.  Margaret Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1680, and died in Prince George’s County, Maryland, between April 28, 1712, and June 13, 1713.

4. Elizabeth Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1682, married John Boone about 1708, and died in Prince Georges County, Maryland, before October 30, 1725.

5. Katherine Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1684, married Henry Culver about 1711, and died in Prince Georges County, Maryland, before December 20, 1762.[xxxi]

6. Charles Beaven was born in Calvert County, Maryland, say about 1686, married Mary Finch about 1712, and died in Prince Georges County, Maryland, on December 16, 1761.[xxxii]

Daughters pedigree

Following this lineage information, Shawn and Lois included a chromosome by chromosome analysis of the various individuals who tested.  I am including only one example, below.

Daughters DNA

Following the many pages of genetic comparison information, Shawn and Lois included quite a bit for their readers about the Piscataway History and Culture.  After all, DNA without genealogy and history is impersonal science.  Included were early drawings and paintings of Native people and villages, an account of the people by Father Andrew White in 1635 as well as anonymous documents from 1639 and 1640.  Their food, language and vocabulary were discussed as well with historical events being presented in timeline format.

Piscataway Timeline

1550           Piscataway Tayac governed c. 7,000 people between Potomac and Patuxent Rivers

1608           John Smith explored the Potomac River; Piscataway welcomed him with kindness

1622           Powhatan Indians attacked at least 31 Virginia settlements along the James River

1623           Virginia colonists attacked Moyaone, killing many and burning houses and corn

1634           Piscataway Tayac Wannas permitted Leonard Calvert to establish St Mary’s City

1640           Piscataway Tayac Kittamaquund was baptized by Jesuit Father Andrew White

1644           Wahocasso succeeded as Tayac, who was succeeded by Uttapoingassenem in 1658, who was succeeded by Wannasapapin in 1662, who was succeeded by Nattowasso (son of Wahocasso—breaking the tradition of matrilineal succession) in 1663

1666           Facing increasing encroachments by European settlers, the Piscataway petitioned the Maryland council, saying: “We can flee no further.  Let us know where to live, and how to be secured for the future from the hogs and cattle.”

1695           Maryland Governor Francis Nicholson “advised the council to find a way of depriving Indians beyond Mattawoman Creek of their lands, in order to ‘occasion a greater quantity of Tobacco to be made.’”

1697           Piscataway Tayac Ochotomaquath and about 400 others fled to northern Virginia; then they allied with the Iroquois in 1701 and moved to Pennsylvania.

1699           Maryland colonists estimated Piscataway military strength at 80-90 warriors

Although many Piscataway left Maryland by the end of the 17th century in the face of encroaching European settlements, others remained on their homeland, intermarrying with Europeans and Africans, while preserving their cultural traditions.  In 1996, an advisory committee appointed by the Maryland Historical Trust voted unanimously to recommend state recognition of the Piscataway Indian Nation, citing genealogical, linguistic, cultural, and political continuity between the earliest Piscataway people and their modern descendants.  On January 9, 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley issued two executive orders, granting official state recognition to the Piscataway Indian Nation (about 100 members), and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe—consisting of the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and Subtribes (about 3,500 members), and the Cedarville Band of Piscataway (about 500 members).

St Mary's City 1634 Indian Village

This drawing of St Mary’s City in 1634 by Cary Carson from the Maryland State Archives Map Collection shows the Native people living outside the city fortifications.

This 262 page book is a wonderful combination of genealogy, genetics and history, and does exactly what genetic genealogy is supposed to do.  It enables us to document and better understand our ancestors, and in this case, to prove they were indeed, Native American.  Shawn and Lois would welcome inquiries about the book or the family lines included and you can contact them at shpxlcp@comcast.net.


               [i] Most scholars estimate her year of birth as 1634, because an unidentified Catholic missionary made the following statement about her.  “On the 15th of February we came to Pascatoe, not without the great gratulation and joy of the inhabitants, who indeed seem well inclined to receive the christian faith.  So that not long after, the king brought his daughter, seven years old, (whom he loves with great affection,) to be educated among the English at St. Mary’s; and when she shall well understand the christian mysteries, to be washed in the sacred font of baptism.”  See “Extracts from Different Letters of Missionaries, from the Year 1635, to the Year 1638,” in E.A. Dalrymple, ed., Relatio Itineris in Marylandiam.  Declaratio Coloniae Domini Baronis de Baltimoro. Excerpta ex Diversis Litteris Missionariorum ab Anno 1635, ad Annum 1638, Narrative of a Voyage to Maryland, by Father Andrew White, S.J.  An Account of the Colony of the Lord Baron Baltimore.  Extracts from Different Letters of Missionaries, from the Year 1635 to the Year 1677 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1874), 76.  But, the circumstances of Mary’s life suggest she was born a few years earlier.  So, we suspect the author of this letter underestimated her age.

               [ii] Father Andrew White, “Annual Letter of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, 1639,” in Clayton Colman Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1910), 126.

               [iii] Ibid.

               [iv] Ibid., 131.

               [v] John Lewger to Governor Leonard Calvert, January 9, 1644/5, in Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1636-1667, Vol 3, pp. 162-163 (original pages 186-187), Archives of Maryland Online.  “To the horle Governor.  Sir  I doe signify unto you that Mr Giles Brent hath delivered unto me 2. petitions nerewth sent unto you; and I desire you by vertue of the Law in that behalfe, that you wilbe pleased to give him a competent security for his indemnification in the possession of the lands at Kent, mentioned in one of the said petitions, & for iustification of his title in them, according to the said petition, dated 7. January instant: & likewise to satisfy unto him 5700l tob & cask, demanded in the other petition for damage of non pformance of a covenant to his wife Mary touching certaine cattell; or els to shew cause why you refuse to doe either; and to appoint some time when the Counsell shall attend you for it, betweene this & Monday next.  So humbly take leave to rest  Yor servant  S. Johns. 9th Jan: 1644 John Lewger.”  See also Margaret Brent, “Account of the Estate of Governor Leonard Calvert,” June 6, 1648, in Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court, 1637-1650, Vol. 4, pp. 388-389 (original pages 159-160).  “By payd to Mrs. Mary Brent Kittamagund 0748.”

               [vi] For information about the arrest and transport of Giles Brent to London during Richard Ingle’s Rebellion, see “Richard Ingle in Maryland” in Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 1(1906), 125-140.  For the terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) Giles Brent returned to Maryland, see Maryland State Archives, Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court, 1637-1650, Vol. 4:312-313.  “June 19th This day came Margaret Brent Gent, & desyred the testimony of the prnt Gouernor Mr Tho: Greene concerning the last will & Testamt of the late Gouernor Leonard Calvert Esqr And the sd Gouernor did authorize Giles Brent Esqr one of his Lops Counsell to administer an oath unto him the sd Gouernr concerning the foresd busines.  The sd Gouernor Tho: Greene Esqr answered uppon oath concerning the last will & Testamt of Leo: Calvert Esqr aforesd That the sd Leo: Calvert, lying uppon his death bed, some 6 howres before his death, being in prfect memory, directing his speech to Mrs Margarett Brent sayd in pnce of him the sd Mr Greene & some others I make you my sole Exequutrix, Take all, & pay all.  After wch words hee the sd Leon: Calvert desyred every one to depart the roome & was some space in priuate conference wth Mrs Marg: Brent aforesd Afterwards the Mr Greene comeing into the roome againe, he heard the sd Mr L: Calvert appoint certaine Legacies in manner following.  Viz I doe giue my warring cloaths to James Linsay, & Richard William my servants, specifying his coath suite to Rich. Willan & his black suite to James Linsey. & his waring Linnen to be diuided betweene them.  Aliso I giue a mare Colt to my God sonne Leon: Greene.  Allso hee did desyre tht his exequutrix should giue the first mare Colt tht should fall this yeare, (& if non fall in this yeare, then the first tht shall hereafter fall) unto Mrs Temperance Pippett of Virginea.  And further he deposeth not.  Recognit Teste mc Willm Bretton Clk.”

               [vii] The terminus a quo (limit from which—earliest possible date) for the relocation of Giles Brent from Maryland to Virginia is the date Giles Brent appeared in court at St. Mary’s on November 8, 1648, requesting compensation for destruction of his property on the Isle of Kent by anti-Papists.  See Archives of Maryland, November 8, 1648, Liber A, Folio 205.  The terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) Giles Brent removed from Maryland to Virginia is the date Giles Brent patented Marlborough in Potomac Neck, Virginia, on August 20, 1651.  See entry from Mercer Land Book cited by W.B. Chilton, ed., “The Brent Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul., 1908), 96-97.

               [viii] Virginia Magazine XVI, 211.  On April 17, 1654, Giles conveyed his personal estate in Virginia and Maryland to his sister Mary, in trust to educate his children and allow maintenance to his wife Mary.  See also Lurene Rose Bivin in “Brent-Marsham-Beaven-Blandford Article: A Closer Look,” Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 3, 328-334.  “In the grant to John Harrison (dated 4 September 1655), he refers to his “sister” as Mrs. Frances Harrison (Nugent, p. 319).”  Giles may have been engaged to marry his second wife, Frances Whitgreaves, widow of Jeremiah Harrison, on this date, because John Harrison made a provision for Giles.

               [ix] W.B. Chilton, ed., “The Brent Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Oct., 1908), 212.  “‘Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia.  Collo Giles Brent of Potomac departed this life 2d of September 1679 and was buried in the Great Church Yard ye next day following.’”

               [x] For example, see Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2005), 129.  “They had two sons, [Col.] Giles and Richard, and one daughter, Mary (wife of [Capt.] John Fitzherbert).”  See also, Robert W. Barnes, British Roots of Maryland Families (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1999), 73-74.

               [xi] W.B. Chilton, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul., 1908), 98-99.  “The Will of Margaret Brent.  In the name of God Amen.  I Margaret Brent of Peace in the County of Westmoreland in Virginia considering the casualtys of human life do therefore make this my last Will and Testament as followeth my soul I do bequeath to the mercies of my Savior Jesus Christ and my worldly estate to be disposed of by my Executors as followeth to my nephew George Brent I give all my rights to take up land in Maryland except those already assigned to my cousin James Clifton to my niece Clifton I give a cow and to my neece Elizabeth Brent I give a heifer; to Ann Vandan I give a cow calf; to my neece Mary Brent daughter of my Brother Giles Brent I give all my silver spoons which are six; to my nephew Richard Brent son of my brother Giles Brent I give my patent of lands at the Falls of Rappahanock River also my lease of Kent Fort Mannor in Maryland saving yet power to his Father my brother Giles Brent that if he shall like to do so he may sell said lease and satisfye to his son other where as he shall think fitt in lands good or money and in case of my said nephew Richard Brents death under age and without heirs of his body lawfully begotten his legacy thereto to go to his brother Giles Brent or his sister Mary Brent or to the heirs of my brother Giles Brent or otherwise as my said brother shall dispose it by his Deed or last Will to my brother Giles Brent and to his heirs forever I give all my lands goods and chattles and all my estate real and personal and all that is or may be due to me in England Virginia Maryland or elsewhere still excepting the before disposed of in this my last will and Testament and I do appoint him my said Brother Giles Brent and his children Giles Brent Mary Brent and Richard Brent or such of them as are living at the time of my death the Executors of this my last Will and Testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 26th day of December, Anno Domini, 1663.”

               [xii] W.B. Chilton, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul., 1908), 98.  “The Will of Giles Brent.  In the Name of God Amen.  I Giles Brent of the Retirement in Stafford County in Virginia Esquire contemplating the uncertainty of my time of death do ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following my body to the earth and my Soul I bequeath to the mercy of my Savior Christ all my worldly estate I appoint to my Exectors to be disposed of as followeth to my daughter Mary Fitzherbert I give five ewes and a ram to my son and heir Giles Brent and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten I give for ever all my lands rights unto lands and reversions of lands any ways due to me in either England Virginia or Maryland and for want of such heirs then unto mine own right heirs and for want of such then to the right heirs of my Honored Father Richard Brent, Esquire, deceased Antiently Lord of the mannors of Admington and Lark Stoke in the County of Gloucestershire in England after my debts paid I give all my goods moveable or immoveable whatsoever to be disposed of as followeth three thousand pounds of good tobacco with cask to be given by them my Executors unto pious use where and to whom they shall see fitt for which doing and how and to whom given I Will that to none else but God they shall be accountable.  I also Will that to Mr. Edward Sanders they give four ewes and a ram and to John Howard four ewes and a ram.  Executors of this my last Will and Testament I appoint my son Giles Brent and my Brother Richard Brent and my Brother William Brent both in England and as Attorneys in their Executorship untill my said Brothers shall otherwise order and I do appoint Mr. Edward Sanders and John Howard above mentioned both of Stafford County to be and to act and it is my Will that after my debts and my Legacies paid my said Executors stand possessed of all my goods and personal estate to the sole use of my son Giles Brent then to be delivered into his sole dispose when it shall please God that he hath arrived to the age of one and twenty years.  In witness unto this my within written last Will and Testament I have hereunto set my hand and seal this last day of August, Anno Domini, 1671.”

               [xiii] Image SC4040-0166-1, Dr. Lois Green Carr’s Biographical Files of 17th and 18th Century Marylanders, Maryland State Archives, http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc4000/sc4040/000001/000166/html/sc4040-0166-1.html.  Note: Dr. Carr lists the children in the following order: Mary, Giles, Richard, Katherine, Henry, Margaret.

               [xiv] See excerpt from Charles Calvert to Cecilius Calvert, April 26, 1672, in William Hand Browne, ed., Proceedings of the Council of Mayland: 1671-1682 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1896), xiv.  “Major Fitzherbert’s brother who maryed the Indian Brent, has civilly parted with her, and (as I suppose) will never care to bed with her more; soe that your Lordship needs not to feare any ill consequence from that match, butt what has already happened to the poore man, who unadvisedly threw himself away upon her in hopes of a great portion which now is come to little.”  See also Will of Charles Beaven, signed June 20, 1698, proved June 21, 1699, Prerogative Court (Wills) Vol. 2, pp. 182-183, Liber 6, Folios 285-286.  See also Will of Mary Beaven, signed April 18, 1712, proved June 13, 1713, Prerogative Court (Wills) Vol. 3, p. 240, Liber 13, Folio 513.  See also Maryland Land Patents, BB#37:374.  On March 15, 1696/7, Richard Marsham transferred 600 acre grant called The Hickory Thickett to Charles Beaven by assignment.

               [xv] Lurene Rose Bivin in “Brent-Marsham-Beaven-Blandford Article: A Closer Look,” Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 3, 328-334.

               [xvi] Four potential scenarios explain this matching DNA considered together with Charles Beaven’s reference to Richard Marsham as “my brother iñ Richard Marsham.”  The first scenario is Richard Marsham and Charles Beaven were brothers.  This scenario almost certainly is not true because Richard Marsham and Charles Beaven had different last names and the written reference by Charles Beaven to Richard Marsham as “my brother iñ” appears to have been a standard contraction of “my brother-in-law.”  The second scenario is Richard Marsham and Mary, wife of Charles Beaven, were brother and sister.  This scenario almost certainly is not true because Mary referred to Richard Marsham as “my well beloved Richard Marsham.”  If Richard Marsham and Mary had been brother and sister, Mary surely would have referred to Richard as her brother.  The third scenario is Charles Beaven and Katherine, wife of Richard Marsham, were brother and sister.  This scenario almost certainly is not true because their descendants inherited matching segments of Native American DNA.  Charles Beaven immigrated from England to Maryland in 1666 (Skordas, Liber 9, folio 455), so he surely did not inherit Native American DNA from his parents.  The fourth and most compelling scenario is Katherine, wife of Richard Marsham, and Mary, wife of Charles Beaven, were sisters, and they also were daughters of a parent with Native American ancestry.  This scenario is consistent with other indications that Katherine and Mary were daughters of Mary Kittamaquund and Giles Brent.

               [xvii] Maryland Colonial Land Records, Liber 7, Folio 582, 583, Maryland State Archives.  “March xith 1664.  Came David Bowens and demands land for these rights following John Barnes, Clement Barnes, Margaret Whitthe, Martha Garbett, Catherine Marsham by Assign and Francis Street by Assign as follows–Know all to whom these presents may concern, that I Katherine Marsham doe assigne all my Right and Title of a Right due to mee the said Katherine for fifty acres of land unto David Bowing as witness my hand this Eleventh of March One Thousand six hundred sixty foure.  Katherine Marsham (her K mark).  Witness Richard Marsham, Robert Turner.  Know all men by these presents to whom this may concern that I Francis Streete doe assigne all my Right and Title of a right due to mee the said Francis Streete for fifty acres of Land unto David Bowing as witness my hand this Eleventh of March One Thousand six hundred sixty four.  Francis Streete.  Witness Richard Marsham, Robert Turner.”  See also Maryland Colonial Land Records, Liber 12, Folio 512, Maryland State Archives.  “May 11th 1670.  Came Richard Marsham of Calvert County and proved right to fifty acres of land it being due to him for the time of service of Katherine his wife performed to Major Thomas Brooke, Warrant then issued in the name of the said Richard Marsham for fifty acres of land it being due to him for the causio oraem above.  Certified the 11th of August next.”  Note: Even though these two documents indicate Katherine was due a total of 100 acres, the first 50 acres for an unstated cause and the second 50 acres for service to Thomas Brooke, neither record says Katherine was transported to Maryland, and both records may result from fraudulent claims.  If these records reflect legitimate claims, they do not say or prove Katherine was transported to Maryland, since some claims were granted for people who were born in Maryland.  For example, a patent for 1,644 acres was granted to Mary Brent on November 17, 1652, for the transportation of 33 persons, including “Mrs. Mary Brent, wife to Capt. Brent.”  See Nugent, pp. 266-267.  This Mrs. Mary Brent was Mary Kittamaquund, wife of Giles Brent, who certainly was born in Maryland.  Furthermore, according to Abbott Emerson Smith (“The Indentured Servant and Land Speculation in Seventeenth Century Maryland,” in The American Historical Review, Vol. 40, p. 467), “A great many of the warrants which were granted were for rights proved by the wife of a freedman.  It is not unlikely that some persons managed to get freedom dues in land, although they had never been in indentured service.”  Finally, if Katherine did serve a term of indenture, her service may have resulted from the death of her mother at a time when she was old enough to begin providing for her own maintenance.  It was not unusual during this era for children of deceased well-to-do colonists to serve a term of indenture.

               [xviii] See Maryland Colonial Land Records, Liber 4, Folio 4, Maryland State Archives.  “May the 7th 1659.  John Home demands Land for the transportation of himself and his Servants, Richard Marsham & John Edmondson, in 1658.”  See also Maryland Colonial Land Records, Liber 5, Folio 295, Maryland State Archives.  “Know all men that I Richard Marsham do give and make over to Thomas Pagett my right as is due to me as being a Servant, and now being free in Roberto McJohn Hearen as witness my hand the 16th of September 1661.  Richard Marsham.  Wit: Robert Coberthwail, Michael Coreuly.”

               [xix] See Maryland Colonial Land Records, Liber 12, Folio 512, Maryland State Archives, as cited above.  “May 11th 1670.  Came Richard Marsham of Calvert County and proved right to fifty acres of land it being due to him for the time of service of Katherine his wife performed to Major Thomas Brooke, Warrant then issued in the name of the said Richard Marsham for fifty acres of land it being due to him for the causio oraem above.  Certified the 11th of August next.”  See also Maryland Colonial Land Records, October 26, 1670, Liber 14, Folio 228.  “Patent for 50 acres in St. Mary’s County, originally Calvert County, to Richard Marsham, tract called St. Katherine’s.”  Note: This patent establishes the terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) for Katherine’s death, because Richard would be unlikely to name this property Saint Katherine’s unless Katherine had died.

               [xx] The terminus a quo (limit from which—earliest possible date) for Richard’s marriage to Anne Calvert is established by the date of a Prerogative Court record concerning the estate of Henry Brent naming Anne Brent executrix.  See Prerogative Court Records, April 30, 1695, Liber 13A, folio 291, Maryland State Archives.  The terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) for Richard’s marriage to Anne Calvert is the date they were named as husband and wife on a probate record.  See Provincial Court Judgments, February Court 1696, Liber P. L. #3, Folios 556-557, Maryland State Archives.  Richard Marsham with Ann Marsham, administrator of Henry Brent, against Thomas Collier.

               [xxi] Will of Richard Marsham, signed April 14, 1713, probated April 22, 1713, Maryland Prerogative Court (Wills), Liber xiii, Folio 514-520, Maryland State Archives.

               [xxii] The approximate year of Sarah’s marriage to Basil Waring is estimated from the year of Basil’s death preceded by four years to account for the births of two children.  See Will of Basil Waring, signed December 8, 1688, probated December 29, 1688, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 2, p. 50, and Liber 6, Folio 66.  Basil named his wife Sarah and sons Marsham and Basil.  The terminus a quo (limit from which—earliest possible date) for Sarah’s marriage to William Barton is determined by the probate date of the will of her first husband Basil Waring.  See Will of Basil Waring, signed December 8, 1688, probated December 29, 1688, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 2, p. 50, and Liber 6, Folio 66.  The terminus a quo (limit from which—earliest possible date) for Sarah’s death is determined by her deed to Robert Mackhorn.  See Deed from Sarah Haddock to Robert Mackhorn, signed January 8, 1733, recorded March 18, 1733/4, Charles County Land Rcords: 1733-1743, Book O #2, page 28.  “Sarah Haddock, widow, of Prince George’s County, formerly wife of William Barton, late of Charles County, Gent., deceased, to Robert Mackhorn of Charles County, planter.  William Barton by his will, divised to his son-in-law, Basil Waring, 300 acres, being part of this tract of land called Hadlow, lying in Charles County, and the rest of Hadlow to his wife, being now the aforementioned Sarah Haddock.  Now this deed witnesses that sd. Sarah Haddock, for 4500 lbs tobacco, has sold to said Robert the rest of Hadlow, lying in Charles County, bounded by Thos. Gerard, the division line made by sd. Sarah Haddock and Basil Waring.  Signed Sarah Haddock.  Wit. Jas. Haddock Waring, Henry Keen.”

               [xxiii] The approximate year of Katherine’s marriage to Baker Brook is estimated from the year of Baker’s death preceded by eight years to account for the births of four children.  See Will of Baker Book, signed February 5, 1698, probated May 27, 1698, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 2, p. 142, and Liber 6, Folio 83.  Baker named his wife Katherine and four children Baker, Leonard, Richard, and Ann.  The terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) for Katherine’s marriage to Samuel Queen is determined by the probate date of the will of her first husband Baker Brooke.  See Will of Baker Book, signed February 5, 1698, probated May 27, 1698, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 2, p. 142, Liber 6, Folio 83.  The terminus a quo (limit from which—earliest possible date) for Katherine’s death is determined by the date her husband’s will was probated.  See Will of Samuel Queen, signed January 10, 1711, probated March 18, 1712, Maryland Prerogative Court (Wills), Vol. 3, p. 222, Liber 13, Folio 389, Maryland State Archives.  The terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) for Katherine’s death is determined by the date of the will of her father, Richard Marsham, which provides for her children but does not mention her.  See Will of Richard Marsham, signed April 14, 1713, probated April 22, 1713, Maryland Prerogative Court (Wills), Liber 13, Folios 514-520, Maryland State Archives.

               [xxiv] On April 5, 1673, Giles Brent Jr., son of Col. Giles Brent and Mary Kittamaquund, deeded 500 acres, which he had inherited from his father, to his uncle George Brent of Woodstock, Stafford County, Virginia, stating he had reached the age of 21—a condition set in his father’s will for his ability to take possession of the land.  This suggests Giles Brent Jr. was born about 1652.  See W.B. Chilton, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul., 1908), 99-100.

               [xxv] Will of Giles Brent, signed August 31, 1671, in W.B. Chilton, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul., 1908), 98.

               [xxvi] See excerpt from Charles Calvert to Cecilius Calvert, April 26, 1672, in William Hand Browne, ed., Proceedings of the Council of Mayland: 1671-1682 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1896), xiv.  “Major Fitzherbert’s brother who maryed the Indian Brent, has civilly parted with her, and (as I suppose) will never care to bed with her more; soe that your Lordship needs not to feare any ill consequence from that match, butt what has already happened to the poore man, who unadvisedly threw himself away upon her in hopes of a great portion which now is come to little.”

               [xxvii] Will of Charles Beaven, signed January 20, 1698/9, proven June 2, 1699, Prince Georges County Wills, Liber 6, folios 285-286,  Maryland State Archives.

               [xxviii] Will of Mary Beavan, signed April 28, 1712, proven June 13, 1713, Prince Georges County Wills, Liber 13, folio 513, Maryland State Archives.

               [xxix] Will of Richard Bevan Sr., signed February 27, 1738/9, proven May 21, 1739, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 8, p. 789, Liber 22, folio 58, Maryland State Archives.  For the terminus ad quem (limit to which—latest possible date) of Richard’s marriage to Jane Blandford, see Administration of the Will of William Bayly, June 11, 1703, Liber 24, folio 16a, Prince Georges County, MD.  “Executrix, Mrs. Jane Beven, wife of Richard Beven.”

               [xxx] Will of Thomas Blandford, signed June 17, 1749, proven August 7, 1749, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Maryland State Archives.  Thomas named his wife Sarah executrix.

               [xxxi] Will of Catherine Culver, signed October 6, 1762, proven December 20, 1762, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 31, pp. 890-891, Maryland State Archives.

               [xxxii] Charles Beaven signed a deposition in 1728, claiming to be 42 years of age.

Clovis People Are Native Americans, and from Asia, not Europe

In a paper published in Nature today, titled “The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana,” by Rasmussen et al, the authors conclude that the DNA of a Clovis child is ancestral to Native Americans.  Said another way, this Clovis child was a descendant, along with Native people today, of the original migrants from Asia who crossed the Bering Strait.

This paper, over 50 pages including supplemental material, is behind a paywall but it is very worthwhile for anyone who is specifically interested in either Native American or ancient burials.  This paper is full of graphics and extremely interesting for a number of reasons.

First, it marks what I hope is perhaps a spirit of cooperation between genetic research and several Native tribes.

Second, it utilized new techniques to provide details about the individual and who in world populations today they most resemble.

Third, it utilized full genome sequencing and the analysis is extremely thorough.

Let’s talk about these findings in more detail, concentrating on information provided within the paper.

The Clovis are defined as the oldest widespread complex in North America dating fromClovis point about 13,000 to 12,600 calendar years before present.  The Clovis culture is often characterized by the distinctive Clovis style projectile point.  Until this paper, the origins and genetic legacy of the Clovis people have been debated.

These remains were recovered from the only known Clovis site that is both archaeological and funerary, the Anzick site, on private land in western Montana.  Therefore, the NAGPRA Act does not apply to these remains, but the authors of the paper were very careful to work with a number of Native American tribes in the region in the process of the scientific research.  Sarah L. Anzick, a geneticist and one of the authors of the paper, is a member of the Anzick family whose land the remains were found upon.  The tribes did not object to the research but have requested to rebury the bones.

The bones found were those of a male infant child and were located directly below the Clovis materials and covered in red ochre.  They have been dated  to about 12,707-12,556 years of age and are the oldest North or South American remains to be genetically sequenced.

All 4 types of DNA were recovered from bone fragment shavings: mitochondrial, Y chromosome, autosomal and X chromosome.

Mitochondrial DNA

The mitochondrial haplogroup of the child was D4h3a, a rather rare Native American haplogroup.  Today, subgroups exist, but this D4h3a sample has none of those mutations so has been placed at the base of the D4h3a tree branch, as shown below in a grapic from the paper.  Therefore, D4h3a itself must be older than this skeleton, and they estimate the age of D4h3a to be 13,000 plus or minus 2,600 years, or older.

Clovis mtDNA

Today D4h3a is found along the Pacific coast in both North and South America (Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil) and has been found in ancient populations.  The highest percentage of D4h3a is found at 22% of the Cayapa population in Equador.  An ancient sample has been found in British Columbia, along with current members of the Metlakatla First Nation Community near Prince Rupert, BC.

Much younger remains have been found in Tierra del Fuego in South America, dating from 100-400 years ago and from the Klunk Mound cemetery site in West-Central Illinois dating from 1800 years ago.

It’s sister branch, D4h3b consists of only one D4h3 lineage found in Eastern China.

Y Chromosomal DNA

The Y chromosome was determined to be haplogroup Q-L54.  Haplogroup Q and subgroup Q-L54 originated in Asia and two Q-L54 descendants predominate in the Americas: Q-M3 which has been observed exclusively in Native-Americans and Northeastern Siberians and Q-L54.

The tree researchers constructed is shown below.

Clovis Y

They estimate the divergence between haplogroups Q-L54 and Q-M3, the two major haplogroup Q Native lines, to be about 16,900 years ago, or from between 13,000 – 19,700.

The researchers shared with us the methodology they used to determine when their most common recent ancestor (MCRA) lived.

“The modern samples have accumulated an average of 48.7 transversions [basic mutations] since their MCRA lived and we observed 12 in Anzick.  We infer an average of approximately 36.7 (48.7-12) transversions to have accumulated in the past 12.6 thousands years and therefore estimate the divergence time of Q-M3 and Q-L54 to be approximately 16.8 thousands years (12.6ky x 48.7/36.7).”

Autosomal

They termed their autosomal analysis “genome-wide genetic affinity.”  They compared the Anzick individual with 52 Native populations for which known European and African genetic segments have been “masked,” or excluded.  This analysis showed that the Anzick individual showed a closer affinity to all 52 Native American populations than to any extant or ancient Eurasian population using several different, and some innovative and new, analysis techniques.

Surprisingly, the Anzick infant showed less shared genetic history with 7 northern Native American tribes from Canada and the Artic including 3 Northern Amerind-speaking groups.  Those 7 most distant groups are:  Aleutians, East Greenlanders, West Greenlanders, Chipewyan, Algonquin, Cree and Ojibwa.

They were closer to 44 Native populations from Central and South America, shown on the map below by the red dots.  In fact, South American populations all share a closer genetic affinity with the Anzick individual than they do with modern day North American Native American individuals.

Clovis autosomal cropped

The researchers proposed three migration models that might be plausible to support these findings, and utilized different types of analysis to eliminate two of the three.  The resulting analysis suggests that the split between the North and South American lines happened either before or at the time the Anzick individual lived, and the Anzick individual falls into the South American group, not the North American group.  In other words, the structural split pre-dates the Anzick child.  They conclude on this matter that “the North American and South American groups became isolated with little or no gene flow between the two groups following the death of the Anzick individual.”  This model also implies an early divergence between these two groups.

Clovis branch

In Eurasia, genetic affinity with the Anzick individual decreases with distance from the Bering Strait.

The researchers then utilized the genetic sequence of the 24,000 year old MA-1 individual from Mal’ta, Siberia, a 40,000 year old individual “Tianyuan” from China and the 4000 year old Saqqaq Palaeo-Eskimo from Greenland.

Again, the Anzick child showed a closer genetic affinity to all Native groups than to either MA-1 or the Saqqaq individual.  The Saqqaq individual is closest to the Greenland Inuit populations and the Siberian populations close to the Bering Strait.  Compared to MA-1, Anzick is closer to both East Asian and Native American populations, while MA-1 is closer to European populations.  This is consistent with earlier conclusions stating that “the Native American lineage absorbed gene flow from an East Asian lineage as well as a lineage related to the MA-1 individual.”  They also found that Anzick is closer to the Native population and the East Asian population than to the Tianyuan individual who seems equally related to a geographically wide range of Eurasian populations.  For additional information, you can see their charts in figure 5 in their supplementary data file.

I have constructed the table below to summarize who matches who, generally speaking.

who matches who

In addition, a French population was compared and only showed an affiliation with the Mal’ta individual and generically, Tianyuan who matches all Eurasians at some level.

Conclusions

The researchers concluded that the Clovis infant belonged to a meta-population from which many contemporary Native Americans are descended and is closely related to all indigenous American populations.  In essence, contemporary Native Americans are “effectively direct descendants of the people who made and used Clovis tools and buried this child,” covering it with red ochre.

Furthermore, the data refutes the possibility that Clovis originated via a European, Solutrean, migration to the Americas.

I would certainly be interested to see this same type of analysis performed on remains from the eastern Canadian or eastern seaboard United States on the earliest burials.  Pre-contact European admixture has been a hotly contested question, especially in the Hudson Bay region, for a very long time, but we have yet to see any pre-Columbus era contact burials that produce any genetic evidence of such.

Additionally, the Ohio burial suggests that perhaps the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is or was more widespread geographically in North American than is known today.  A wider comparison to Native American DNA would be beneficial, were it possible. A quick look at various Native DNA and haplogroup projects at Family Tree DNA doesn’t show this haplogroup in locations outside of the ones discussed here.  Haplogroup Q, of course, is ubiquitous in the Native population.

National Geographic article about this revelation including photos of where the remains were found.  They can make a tuft of grass look great!

Another article can be found at Voice of America News.

Science has a bit more.

Obtaining Help with DNA

helix graphicI’ve always made it a policy to reply to every e-mail or information request that I receive.  The good news is that my blogs have become very popular.  The bad news is that I now receive literally hundreds of e-mails every day, many asking questions or for advice, and I just can’t keep up anymore.  So, I’ve assembled this information which provides direction for most of the types of inquiries I receive.

First, my www.dna-explained.com blog is free, fully key word searchable and has hundreds of articles.  So if you want to find out about autosomal tests, for example, just type the word “autosomal” into the search box and a list of articles about autosomal testing will appear.

If you are requesting information about the different types of DNA tests to take, visit this link:  http://dna-explained.com/?s=4+kinds

If you are requesting information about Native American DNA testing, visit this link:  http://dna-explained.com/2012/12/18/proving-native-american-ancestry-using-dna/

If you are an adoptee, visit this link:  http://dna-explained.com/2012/07/30/adoptee-resources-and-genetic-genealogy/ and this link http://dnaadoption.com/AboutUs.aspx

If you are looking for Melungeon information, read this paper: http://www.dnaexplain.com/Publications/PDFs/MelungeonsMulti-EthnicPeopleFinal.pdf

If you want to know which testing company to use, see Consulting and Products, below.

If you have a general or specific DNA question, try searching my blog.

ISOGG (International Society for Genetic Genealogy) has a robust wiki as well:  http://www.isogg.org/wiki/

If you want to learn about DNA and genetic genealogy, visit this link:

http://dna-explained.com/2014/01/24/genetic-genealogy-the-basics-and-beyond-by-emily-aulicino/ and this one https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/beginners-guide-to-genetic-genealogy

You can also join several online lists, which are great places to ask questions and learn, such as:

The primary genetic genealogy list:

http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/other/DNA/GENEALOGY-DNA.html

The DNA Newbie group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DNA-NEWBIE/info

FaceBook has an ISOGG group.

Other mailing lists:

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Genetic_genealogy_mailing_lists

Consulting and Products

For a long time, I’ve tried to answer basic questions for people, for free.  However, recently the volume has increased to the level that I can’t do that anymore.  Plus, trying to skim a question to help someone with a quick answer leads to errors and some days, I receive dozens.  Hopefully, the sources above, plus the breakdown below, will answer most questions for most people. 

If you want to know which testing company to use, and why, the answer is “it depends,” based on your goals, who you have available to test, the products and services currently being offered by the testing companies, how thorough you want to be, and your budget.  You can purchase a Quick Consult at http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx for a personal recommendation based on your circumstances.

If you have questions or want to learn about your Y DNA or mitochondrial results, and have tested at Family Tree DNA, you can purchase a Personalized DNA Report at http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx.  These are heirloom quality and range from 80-100 pages.

If you are a previous client and want your report updated, I do that on an individual basis, based on what has changed.  Typically updates run from $50 to $200.  Contact me for specifics.

If you are a previous client with questions or are looking for direction, you can purchase a quick consult at http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx.

If you have a quick question about DNA results, you can purchase a Quick Consult at http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx.  Quick consults are designed to answer quick and relatively simple questions that take less than an hour in total.  If your question involves complex family relationships and takes more than a paragraph or so to explain, it’s will probably take more than a quick consult to unravel.  In that case the quick consult would tell you what would be involved unraveling your mystery, not provide you with the answer.  If you have a complex problem, contact me before purchasing a quick consult.  I do not provide consulting by phone.

If you have a question about who in your family to test to determine what, you can purchase a DNA Test plan available at http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx.

If you are looking for someone to work with you through complex autosomal DNA and genealogy results, I am not accepting new clients for these types of cases, but I am referring people to a colleague.

If you are looking for genealogical assistance, please visit www.apgen.org.

If you are a member of one of the DNA projects for which I’m a volunteer administrator, and your question is project related, or you are inquiring about the project, I’ll do my best to help you or refer you to someone who can.  Please be specific with your question and tell me which project you’re asking about.

I hope you have found this information useful. Best of luck on your genetic genealogical journey!  I hope you unlock the mystery of your ancestors!

2013’s Dynamic Dozen – Top Genetic Genealogy Happenings

dna 8 ball

Last year I wrote a column at the end of the year titled  “2012 Top 10 Genetic Genealogy Happenings.”  It’s amazing the changes in this industry in just one year.  It certainly makes me wonder what the landscape a year from now will look like.

I’ve done the same thing this year, except we have a dozen.  I couldn’t whittle it down to 10, partly because there has been so much more going on and so much change – or in the case of Ancestry, who is noteworthy because they had so little positive movement.

If I were to characterize this year of genetic genealogy, I would call it The Year of the SNP, because that applies to both Y DNA and autosomal.  Maybe I’d call it The Legal SNP, because it is also the year of law, court decisions, lawsuits and FDA intervention.  To say it has been interesting is like calling the Eiffel Tower an oversized coat hanger.

I’ll say one thing…it has kept those of us who work and play in this industry hopping busy!  I guarantee you, the words “I’m bored” have come out of the mouth of no one in this industry this past year.

I’ve put these events in what I consider to be relatively accurate order.  We could debate all day about whether the SNP Tsunami or the 23andMe mess is more important or relevant – and there would be lots of arguing points and counterpoints…see…I told you lawyers were involved….but in reality, we don’t know yet, and in the end….it doesn’t matter what order they are in on the list:)

Y Chromosome SNP Tsunami Begins

The SNP tsumani began as a ripple a few years ago with the introduction at Family Tree DNA of the Walk the Y program in 2007.  This was an intensively manual process of SNP discovery, but it was effective.

By the time that the Geno 2.0 chip was introduced in 2012, 12,000+ SNPs would be included on that chip, including many that were always presumed to be equivalent and not regularly tested.  However, the Nat Geo chip tested them and indeed, the Y tree became massively shuffled.  The resolution to this tree shuffling hasn’t yet come out in the wash.  Family Tree DNA can’t really update their Y tree until a publication comes out with the new tree defined.  That publication has been discussed and anticipated for some time now, but it has yet to materialize.  In the mean time, the volunteers who maintain the ISOGG tree are swamped, to say the least.

Another similar test is the Chromo2 introduced this year by Britain’s DNA which scans 15,000 SNPs, many of them S SNPs not on the tree nor academically published, adding to the difficulty of figuring out where they fit on the Y tree.  While there are some very happy campers with their Chromo2 results, there is also a great deal of sloppy science, reporting and interpretation of “facts” through this company.  Kind of like Jekyll and Hyde.  See the Sloppy Science section.

But Walk the Y, Chromo2 and Geno 2.0, are only the tip of the iceburg.  The new “full Y” sequencing tests brought into the marketspace quietly in early 2013 by Full Genomes and then with a bang by Family Tree DNA with the their Big Y in November promise to revolutionize what we know about the Y chromosome by discovering thousands of previously unknown SNPs.  This will in effect swamp the Y tree whose branches we thought were already pretty robust, with thousands and thousands of leaves.

In essence, the promise of the “fully” sequenced Y is that what we might term personal or family SNPs will make SNP testing as useful as STR testing and give us yet another genealogy tool with which to separate various lines of one genetic family and to ratchet down on the time that the most common recent ancestor lived.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/03/31/new-y-dna-haplogroup-naming-convention/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/10/family-tree-dna-announces-the-big-y/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/16/what-about-the-big-y/

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2013/11/first-look-at-full-genomes-y-sequencing.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-first-look-at-britainsdna-chromo-2-y.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/11/yseqnet-new-company-offering-single-snp.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-y-chromosome-sequence.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-confusion-of-snps.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-simplified-y-tree-and-common-standard.html

23andMe Comes Unraveled

The story of 23andMe began as the consummate American dotcom fairy tale, but sadly, has deteriorated into a saga with all of the components of a soap opera.  A wealthy wife starts what could be viewed as an upscale hobby business, followed by a messy divorce and a mystery run-in with the powerful overlording evil-step-mother FDA.  One of the founders of 23andMe is/was married to the founder of Google, so funding, at least initially wasn’t an issue, giving 23andMe the opportunity to make an unprecedented contribution in the genetic, health care and genetic genealogy world.

Another way of looking at this is that 23andMe is the epitome of the American Dream business, a startup, with altruism and good health, both thrown in for good measure, well intentioned, but poorly managed.  And as customers, be it for health or genealogy or both, we all bought into the altruistic “feel good” culture of helping find cures for dread diseases, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer by contributing our DNA and responding to surveys.

The genetic genealogy community’s love affair with 23andMe began in 2009 when 23andMe started focusing on genealogy reporting for their tests, meaning cousin matches.  We, as a community, suddenly woke up and started ordering these tests in droves.  A few months later, Family Tree DNA also began offering this type of testing as well.  The defining difference being that 23andMe’s primary focus has always been on health and medical information with Family Tree DNA focused on genetic genealogy.  To 23andMe, the genetic genealogy community was an afterthought and genetic genealogy was just another marketing avenue to obtain more people for their health research data base.  For us, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For awhile, this love affair went along swimmingly, but then, in 2012, 23andMe obtained a patent for Parkinson’s Disease.  That act caused a lot of people to begin to question the corporate focus of 23andMe in the larger quagmire of the ethics of patenting genes as a whole.  Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, discussed this here.  It’s difficult to defend 23andMe’s Parkinson’s patent while flaying alive Myriad for their BRCA patent.  Was 23andMe really as altruistic as they would have us believe?

Personally, this event made me very nervous, but I withheld judgment.  But clearly, that was not the purpose for which I thought my DNA, and others, was being used.

But then came the Designer Baby patent in 2013.  This made me decidedly uncomfortable.  Yes, I know, some people said this really can’t be done, today, while others said that it’s being done anyway in some aspects…but the fact that this has been the corporate focus of 23andMe with their research, using our data, bothered me a great deal.  I have absolutely no issue with using this information to assure or select for healthy offspring – but I have a personal issue with technology to enable parents who would select a “beauty child,” one with blonde hair and blue eyes and who has the correct muscles to be a star athlete, or cheerleader, or whatever their vision of their as-yet-unconceived “perfect” child would be.  And clearly, based on 23andMe’s own patent submission, that is the focus of their patent.

Upon the issuance of the patent, 23andMe then said they have no intention of using it.  They did not say they won’t sell it.  This also makes absolutely no business sense, to focus valuable corporate resources on something you have no intention of using?  So either they weren’t being truthful, they lack effective management or they’ve changed their mind, but didn’t state such.

What came next, in late 2013 certainly points towards a lack of responsible management.

23andMe had been working with the FDA for approval the health and medical aspect of their product (which they were already providing to consumers prior to the November 22nd cease and desist order) for several years.  The FDA wants assurances that what 23andMe is telling consumers is accurate.  Based on the letter issued to 23andMe on November 22nd, and subsequent commentary, it appears that both entities were jointly working towards that common goal…until earlier this year when 23andMe mysteriously “somehow forgot” about the FDA, the information they owed them, their submissions, etc.  They also forgot their phone number and their e-mail addresses apparently as well, because the FDA said they had heard nothing from them in 6 months, which backdates to May of 2013.

It may be relevant that 23andMe added the executive position of President and filled it in June of 2013, and there was a lot of corporate housecleaning that went on at that time.  However, regardless of who got housecleaned, the responsibility for working with the FDA falls squarely on the shoulders of the founders, owners and executives of the company.  Period.  No excuses.  Something that critically important should be on the agenda of every executive management meeting.   Why?  In terms of corporate risk, this was obviously a very high risk item, perhaps the highest risk item, because the FDA can literally shut their doors and destroy them.  There is little they can do to control or affect the FDA situation, except to work with the FDA, meet deadlines and engender goodwill and a spirit of cooperation.  The risk of not doing that is exactly what happened.

It’s unknown at this time if 23andMe is really that corporately arrogant to think they could simply ignore the FDA, or blatantly corporately negligent or maybe simply corporately stupid, but they surely betrayed the trust and confidence of their customers by failing to meet their commitments with and to the FDA, or even communicate with them.  I mean, really, what were they thinking?

There has been an outpouring of sympathy for 23andme and negative backlash towards the FDA for their letter forcing 23andMe to stop selling their offending medical product, meaning the health portion of their testing.  However, in reality, the FDA was only meting out the consequences that 23andMe asked for.  My teenage kids knew this would happen.  If you do what you’re not supposed to….X, Y and Z will, or won’t, happen.  It’s called accountability.  Just ask my son about his prom….he remembers vividly.  Now why my kids, or 23andMe, would push an authority figure to that point, knowing full well the consequences, utterly mystifies me.  It did when my son was a teenager and it does with 23andMe as well.

Some people think that the FDA is trying to stand between consumers and their health information.  I don’t think so, at least not in this case.  Why I think that is because the FDA left the raw data files alone and they left the genetic genealogy aspect alone.  The FDA knows full well you can download your raw data and for $5 process it at a third party site, obtaining health related genetic information.  The difference is that Promethease is not interpreting any data for you, only providing information.

There is some good news in this and that is that from a genetic genealogy perspective, we seem to be safe, at least for now, from government interference with the testing that has been so productive for genetic genealogy.  The FDA had the perfect opportunity to squish us like a bug (thanks to the opening provided by 23andMe,) and they didn’t.

The really frustrating aspect of this is that 23andMe was a company who, with their deep pockets in Silicon Valley and other investors, could actually afford to wage a fight with the FDA, if need be.  The other companies who received the original 2010 FDA letter all went elsewhere and focused on something else.  But 23andMe didn’t, they decided to fight the fight, and we all supported their decision.  But they let us all down.  The fight they are fighting now is not the battle we anticipated, but one brought upon themselves by their own negligence.  This battle didn’t have to happen, and it may impair them financially to such a degree that if they need to fight the big fight, they won’t be able to.

Right now, 23andMe is selling their kits, but only as an ancestry product as they work through whatever process they are working through with the FDA.  Unfortunately, 23andMe is currently having some difficulties where the majority of matches are disappearing from some testers records.  In other cases, segments that previously matched are disappearing.  One would think, with their only revenue stream for now being the genetic genealogy marketspace that they would be wearing kid gloves and being extremely careful, but apparently not.  They might even consider making some of the changes and enhancements we’ve requested for so long that have fallen on deaf ears.

One thing is for sure, it will be extremely interesting to see where 23andMe is this time next year.  The soap opera continues.

I hope for the sake of all of the health consumers, both current and (potentially) future, that this dotcom fairy tale has a happy ending.

Also, see the Autosomal DNA Comes of Age section.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/05/23andme-patents-technology-for-designer-babies/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/10/07/a-new-patent-for-23andme-creates-controversy/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/13/genomics-law-review-discusses-designing-children/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/06/11/andy-page-fills-new-president-position-at-23andme/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/25/fda-orders-23andme-to-discontinue-testing/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/26/now-what-23andme-and-the-fda/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/06/23andme-suspends-health-related-genetic-tests/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/11/26/fooling-with-fda/

Supreme Court Decision – Genes Can’t Be Patented – Followed by Lawsuits

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court determined that genes cannot be patented.  Myriad Genetics held patents on two BRCA genes that predisposed people to cancer.  The cost for the tests through Myriad was about $3000.  Six hours after the Supreme Court decision, Gene By Gene announced that same test for $995.  Other firms followed suit, and all were subsequently sued by Myriad for patent infringement.  I was shocked by this, but as one of my lawyer friends clearly pointed out, you can sue anyone for anything.  Making it stick is yet another matter.  Many firms settle to avoid long and very expensive legal battles.  Clearly, this issue is not yet resolved, although one would think a Supreme Court decision would be pretty definitive.  It potentially won’t be settled for a long time.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/13/supreme-court-decision-genes-cant-be-patented/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/06/14/our-dna-cant-be-patented/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/09/07/message-from-bennett-greenspan-free-my-genes/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/06/13/new-press-release-from-dnatraits-regarding-the-supreme-courts-holding-in-myriad/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/08/18/testing-firms-land-counterpunch/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/07/11/myriad-sues-genetic-testing-firms/

Gene By Gene Steps Up, Ramps Up and Produces

As 23andMe comes unraveled and Ancestry languishes in its mediocrity, Gene by Gene, the parent company of Family Tree DNA has stepped up to the plate, committed to do “whatever it takes,” ramped up the staff both through hiring and acquisitions, and is producing results.  This is, indeed, a breath of fresh air for genetic genealogists, as well as a welcome relief.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/08/07/gene-by-gene-acquires-arpeggi/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/05/family-tree-dna-listens-and-acts/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/10/family-tree-dnas-family-finder-match-matrix-released/

http://www.haplogroup.org/ftdna-family-finder-matches-get-new-look/

http://www.haplogroup.org/ftdna-family-finder-new-look-2/

http://www.haplogroup.org/ftdna-family-finder-matches-new-look-3/

Autosomal DNA Comes of Age

Autosomal DNA testing and analysis has simply exploded this past year.  More and more people are testing, in part, because Ancestry.com has a captive audience in their subscription data base and more than a quarter million of those subscribers have purchased autosomal DNA tests.  That’s a good thing, in general, but there are some negative aspects relative to Ancestry, which are in the Ancestry section.

Another boon to autosomal testing was the 23andMe push to obtain a million records.  Of course, the operative word here is “was” but that may revive when the FDA issue is resolved.  One of the down sides to the 23andMe data base, aside from the fact that it’s not genealogist friendly, is that so many people, about 90%, don’t communicate.  They aren’t interested in genealogy.

A third factor is that Family Tree DNA has provided transfer ability for files from both 23andMe and Ancestry into their data base.

Fourth is the site, GedMatch, at www.gedmatch.com which provides additional matching and admixture tools and the ability to match below thresholds set by the testing companies.  This is sometimes critically important, especially when comparing to known cousins who just don’t happen to match at the higher thresholds, for example.  Unfortunately, not enough people know about GedMatch, or are willing to download their files.  Also unfortunate is that GedMatch has struggled for the past few months to keep up with the demand placed on their site and resources.

A great deal of time this year has been spent by those of us in the education aspect of genetic genealogy, in whatever our capacity, teaching about how to utilize autosomal results. It’s not necessarily straightforward.  For example, I wrote a 9 part series titled “The Autosomal Me” which detailed how to utilize chromosome mapping for finding minority ethnic admixture, which was, in my case, both Native and African American.

As the year ends, we have Family Tree DNA, 23andMe and Ancestry who offer the autosomal test which includes the relative-matching aspect.  Fortunately, we also have third party tools like www.GedMatch.com and www.DNAGedcom.com, without which we would be significantly hamstrung.  In the case of DNAGedcom, we would be unable to perform chromosome segment matching and triangulation with 23andMe data without Rob Warthen’s invaluable tool.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/21/triangulation-for-autosomal-dna/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/07/13/combining-tools-autosomal-plus-y-dna-mtdna-and-the-x-chromosome/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/07/26/family-tree-dna-levels-the-playing-field-sort-of/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/08/03/kitty-coopers-chromsome-mapping-tool-released/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/09/29/why-dont-i-match-my-cousin/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/03/family-tree-dna-updates-family-finder-and-adds-triangulation/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/21/why-are-my-predicted-cousin-relationships-wrong/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/05/family-tree-dna-listens-and-acts/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/09/chromosome-mapping-aka-ancestor-mapping/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/10/family-tree-dnas-family-finder-match-matrix-released/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/15/one-chromosome-two-sides-no-zipper-icw-and-the-matrix/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/02/the-autosomal-me-summary-and-pdf-file/

DNAGedcom – Indispensable Third Party Tool

While this tool, www.dnagedcom.com, falls into the Autosomal grouping, I have separated it out for individual mention because without this tool, the progress made this year in autosomal DNA ancestor and chromosomal mapping would have been impossible.  Family Tree DNA has always provided segment matching boundaries through their chromosome browser tool, but until recently, you could only download 5 matches at a time.  This is no longer the case, but for most of the year, Rob’s tool saved us massive amounts of time.

23andMe does not provide those chromosome boundaries, but utilizing Rob’s tool, you can obtain each of your matches in one download, and then you can obtain the list of who your matches match that is also on your match list by requesting each of those files separately.  Multiple steps?  Yes, but it’s the only way to obtain this information, and chromosome mapping without the segment data is impossible

A special hats off to Rob.  Please remember that Rob’s site is free, meaning it’s donation based.  So, please donate if you use the tool.

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2013/01/brought-to-you-by-adoptiondna.html

I covered www.Gedmatch.com in the “Best of 2012” list, but they have struggled this year, beginning when Ancestry announced that raw data file downloads were available.  GedMatch consists of two individuals, volunteers, who are still struggling to keep up with the required processing and the tools.  They too are donation based, so don’t forget about them if you utilize their tools.

Ancestry – How Great Thou Aren’t

Ancestry is only on this list because of what they haven’t done.  When they initially introduced their autosomal product, they didn’t have any search capability, they didn’t have a chromosome browser and they didn’t have raw data file download capability, all of which their competitors had upon first release.  All they did have was a list of your matches, with their trees listed, with shakey leaves if you shared a common ancestor on your tree.  The implication, was, and is, of course, that if you have a DNA match and a shakey leaf, that IS your link, your genetic link, to each other.  Unfortunately, that is NOT the case, as CeCe Moore documented in her blog from Rootstech (starting just below the pictures) as an illustration of WHY we so desperately need a chromosome browser tool.

In a nutshell, Ancestry showed the wrong shakey leaf as the DNA connection – as proven by the fact that both of CeCe’s parents have tested at Ancestry and the shakey leaf person doesn’t match the requisite parent.  And there wasn’t just one, not two, but three instances of this.  What this means is, of course, that the DNA match and the shakey leaf match are entirely independent of each other.  In fact, you could have several common ancestors, but the DNA at any particular location comes only from one on either Mom or Dad’s side – any maybe not even the shakey leaf person.

So what Ancestry customers are receiving is a list of people they match and possible links, but most of them have no idea that this is the case, and blissfully believe they have found their genetic connection.  They have found a genealogical cousin, and it MIGHT be the genetic connection.  But then again, they could have found that cousin simply by searching for the same ancestor in Ancestry’s data base.  No DNA needed.

Ancestry has added a search feature, allowed raw data file downloads (thank you) and they have updated their ethnicity predictions.  The ethnicity predictions are certainly different, dramatically different, but equally as unrealistic.  See the Ethnicity Makeovers section for more on this.  The search function helps, but what we really need is the chromosome browser, which they have steadfastly avoided promising.  Instead, they have said that they will give us “something better,” but nothing has materialized.

I want to take this opportunity, to say, as loudly as possible, that TRUST ME IS NOT ACCEPTABLE in any way, shape or form when it comes to genetic matching.  I’m not sure what Ancestry has in mind by the way of “better,” but it if it’s anything like the mediocrity with which their existing DNA products have been rolled out, neither I nor any other serious genetic genealogist will be interested, satisfied or placated.

Regardless, it’s been nearly 2 years now.  Ancestry has the funds to do development.  They are not a small company.  This is obviously not a priority because they don’t need to develop this feature.  Why is this?  Because they can continue to sell tests and to give shakey leaves to customers, most of whom don’t understand the subtle “untruth” inherent in that leaf match – so are quite blissfully happy.

In years past, I worked in the computer industry when IBM was the Big Dog against whom everyone else competed.  I’m reminded of an old joke.  The IBM sales rep got married, and on his wedding night, he sat on the edge of the bed all night long regaling his bride in glorious detail with stories about just how good it was going to be….

You can sign a petition asking Ancestry to provide a chromosome browser here, and you can submit your request directly to Ancestry as well, although to date, this has not been effective.

The most frustrating aspect of this situation is that Ancestry, with their plethora of trees, savvy marketing and captive audience testers really was positioned to “do it right,” and hasn’t, at least not yet.  They seem to be more interested in selling kits and providing shakey leaves that are misleading in terms of what they mean than providing true tools.  One wonders if they are afraid that their customers will be “less happy” when they discover the truth and not developing a chromosome browser is a way to keep their customers blissfully in the dark.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/03/21/downloading-ancestrys-autosomal-dna-raw-data-file/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/03/24/ancestry-needs-another-push-chromosome-browser/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/17/ancestrys-updated-v2-ethnicity-summary/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/06/21/new-search-features-at-ancestrydna-and-a-sneak-peek-at-new-ethnicity-estimates/

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2013/03/ancestrydna-raw-data-and-rootstech.html

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/09/15/dna-disappointment/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/09/13/ancestrydna-begins-rollout-of-update/

Ancient DNA

This has been a huge year for advances in sequencing ancient DNA, something once thought unachievable.  We have learned a great deal, and there are many more skeletal remains just begging to be sequenced.  One absolutely fascinating find is that all people not African (and some who are African through backmigration) carry Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA.  Just this week, evidence of yet another archaic hominid line has been found in Neanderthal DNA and on Christmas Day, yet another article stating that type 2 Diabetes found in Native Americans has roots in their Neanderthal ancestors. Wow!

Closer to home, by several thousand years is the suggestion that haplogroup R did not exist in Europe after the ice age, and only later, replaced most of the population which, for males, appears to have been primarily haplogroup G.  It will be very interesting as the data bases of fully sequenced skeletons are built and compared.  The history of our ancestors is held in those precious bones.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/01/10/decoding-and-rethinking-neanderthals/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/07/04/ancient-dna-analysis-from-canada/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/07/10/5500-year-old-grandmother-found-using-dna/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/25/ancestor-of-native-americans-in-asia-was-30-western-eurasian/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/12/2013-family-tree-dna-conference-day-2/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/22/native-american-gene-flow-europe-asia-and-the-americas/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/05/400000-year-old-dna-from-spain-sequenced/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/10/16/identifying-otzi-the-icemans-relatives/

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/12/recordings-of-royal-societys-ancient.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/02/richard-iii-king-is-found.html

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/22/sequencing-of-neanderthal-toe-bone-reveals-unknown-hominin-line/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/26/native-americans-neanderthal-and-denisova-admixture/

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2013/12/ancient-dna-what-2013-has-brought.html

Sloppy Science and Sensationalist Reporting

Unfortunately, as DNA becomes more mainstream, it becomes a target for both sloppy science or intentional misinterpretation, and possibly both.  Unfortunately, without academic publication, we can’t see results or have the sense of security that comes from the peer review process, so we don’t know if the science and conclusions stand up to muster.

The race to the buck in some instances is the catalyst for this. In other cases, and not in the links below, some people intentionally skew interpretations and results in order to either fulfill their own belief agenda or to sell “products and services” that invariably report specific findings.

It’s equally as unfortunate that much of these misconstrued and sensationalized results are coming from a testing company that goes by the names of BritainsDNA, ScotlandsDNA, IrelandsDNA and YorkshiresDNA. It certainly does nothing for their credibility in the eyes of people who are familiar with the topics at hand, but it does garner a lot of press and probably sells a lot of kits to the unwary.

I hope they publish their findings so we can remove the “sloppy science” aspect of this.  Sensationalist reporting, while irritating, can be dealt with if the science is sound.  However, until the results are published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, we have no way of knowing.

Thankfully, Debbie Kennett has been keeping her thumb on this situation, occurring primarily in the British Isles.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/08/24/you-might-be-a-pict-if/

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-british-genetic-muddle-by-alistair.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/12/setting-record-straight-about-sara.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/09/private-eye-on-britainsdna.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/07/private-eye-on-prince-williams-indian.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/06/britainsdna-times-and-prince-william.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/03/sense-about-genealogical-dna-testing.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/03/sense-about-genetic-ancestry-testing.html

Citizen Science is Coming of Age

Citizen science has been slowing coming of age over the past few years.  By this, I mean when citizen scientists work as part of a team on a significant discovery or paper.  Bill Hurst comes to mind with his work with Dr. Doron Behar on his paper, A Copernican Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA from its Root or what know as the RSRS model.  As the years have progressed, more and more discoveries have been made or assisted by citizen scientists, sometimes through our projects and other times through individual research.  JOGG, the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, which is currently on hiatus waiting for Dr. Turi King, the new editor, to become available, was a great avenue for peer reviewed publication.  Recently, research projects have been set up by citizen scientists, sometimes crowd-funded, for specific areas of research.  This is a very new aspect to scientific research, and one not before utilized.

The first paper below includes the Family Tree DNA Lab, Thomas and Astrid Krahn, then with Family Tree DNA and Bonnie Schrack, genetic genealogist and citizen scientist, along with Dr. Michael Hammer from the University of Arizona and others.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/03/26/family-tree-dna-research-center-facilitates-discovery-of-ancient-root-to-y-tree/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/04/10/diy-dna-analysis-genomeweb-and-citizen-scientist-2-0/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/27/big-news-probable-native-american-haplogroup-breakthrough/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/07/22/citizen-science-strikes-again-this-time-in-cameroon/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/30/native-american-haplogroups-q-c-and-the-big-y-test/

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2013/03/citizen-science-helps-to-rewrite-y.html

Ethnicity Makeovers – Still Not Soup

Unfortunately, ethnicity percentages, as provided by the major testing companies still disappoint more than thrill, at least for those who have either tested at more than one lab or who pretty well know their ethnicity via an extensive pedigree chart.

Ancestry.com is by far the worse example, swinging like a pendulum from one extreme to the other.  But I have to hand it to them, their marketing is amazing.  When I signed in, about to discover that my results had literally almost reversed, I was greeted with the banner “a new you.”  Yea, a new me, based on Ancestry’s erroneous interpretation.  And by reversed, I’m serious.  I went from 80% British Isles to 6% and then from 0% Western Europe to 79%. So now, I have an old wrong one and a new wrong one – and indeed they are very different.  Of course, neither one is correct…..but those are just pesky details…

23andMe updated their ethnicity product this year as well, and fine tuned it yet another time.  My results at 23andMe are relatively accurate.  I saw very little change, but others saw more.  Some were pleased, some not.

The bottom line is that ethnicity tools are not well understood by consumers in terms of the timeframe that is being revealed, and it’s not consistent between vendors, nor are the results.  In some cases, they are flat out wrong, as with Ancestry, and can be proven.  This does not engender a great deal of confidence.  I only view these results as “interesting” or utilize them in very specific situations and then only using the individual admixture tools at www.Gedmatch.com on individual chromosome segments.

As Judy Russell says, “it’s not soup yet.”  That doesn’t mean it’s not interesting though, so long as you understand the difference between interesting and gospel.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/08/05/autosomal-dna-ancient-ancestors-ethnicity-and-the-dandelion/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/04/ethnicity-results-true-or-not/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/09/15/dna-disappointment/

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-updated-ethnicity-results-from.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cruwysnews+%28Cruwys+news%29

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/17/ancestrys-updated-v2-ethnicity-summary/

http://dna-explained.com/2013/10/19/determining-ethnicity-percentages/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/09/12/ancestrydna-launches-new-ethnicity-estimate/

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-first-look-at-chromo-2-all-my.html

Genetic Genealogy Education Goes Mainstream

With the explosion of genetic genealogy testing, as one might expect, the demand for education, and in particular, basic education has exploded as well.

I’ve written a 101 series, Kelly Wheaton wrote a series of lessons and CeCe Moore did as well.  Recently Family Tree DNA has also sponsored a series of free Webinars.  I know that at least one book is in process and very near publication, hopefully right after the first of the year.  We saw several conferences this year that provided a focus on Genetic Genealogy and I know several are planned for 2014.  Genetic genealogy is going mainstream!!!  Let’s hope that 2014 is equally as successful and that all these folks asking for training and education become avid genetic genealogists.

http://dna-explained.com/2013/08/10/ngs-series-on-dna-basics-all-4-parts/

https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/home

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2012/08/getting-started-in-dna-testing-for.html

http://dna-explained.com/2013/12/17/free-webinars-from-family-tree-dna/

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/06/09/the-first-dna-day-at-the-southern-california-genealogy-society-jamboree/

http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2013/06/the-first-ever-independent-genetic.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/10/genetic-genealogy-comes-to-ireland.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/03/wdytya-live-day-3-part-2-new-ancient.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/03/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-day-3.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.com/2013/03/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-2013-days.html

http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-surnames-handbook-guide-to-family.html

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Beginners%27_guides_to_genetic_genealogy

A Thank You in Closing

I want to close by taking a minute to thank the thousands of volunteers who make such a difference.  All of the project administrators at Family Tree DNA are volunteers, and according to their website, there are 7829 projects, all of which have at least one administrator, and many have multiple administrators.  In addition, everyone who answers questions on a list or board or on Facebook is a volunteer.  Many donate their time to coordinate events, groups, or moderate online facilities.  Many speak at events or for groups.  Many more write articles for publications from blogs to family newsletters.  Additionally, there are countless websites today that include DNA results…all created and run by volunteers, not the least of which is the ISOGG site with the invaluable ISOGG wiki.  Without our volunteer army, there would be no genetic genealogy community.  Thank you, one and all.

2013 has been a banner year, and 2014 holds a great deal of promise, even without any surprises.  And if there is one thing this industry is well known for….it’s surprises.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!!!  All I can say is hold on tight….

Native Americans, Neanderthal and Denisova Admixture

Denisova cave

Recently, a Neanderthal toe bone yielded enough DNA to sequence the full genome of the woman whose remains were found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains, shown above.  This information was published in the Journal Nature in an article titled “The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains” by Prufer et al.  I wrote about what was found here, but it wasn’t until I really read the 200+ pages of supplemental information that I found additional buried information.

The article itself talks about some of the findings relative to Native Americans, but the supplemental information provides additional detail and the supporting charts.

In the paper, the Mixe and the Karitiana people of Mexico and Brazil, respectively were most often used to represent Native Americans.  There are about 90,000 Mixe language speakers alive today, so their population is not small.  However, the Karitiana are just the opposite, with only about 320 people in a very remote region of Brazil.  The Karitiana shun contact with outsiders.  In some parts of this study, additional population groups were used for additional Native samples.

Here’s what the article itself has to say about Neanderthals, Denisovans and Native Americans.

Denisovan gene flow in mainland Asia

We used the two high-coverage archaic genomes and a hidden Markov model (HMM) to identify regions of specifically Neanderthal and specifically Denisovan ancestry in 13 experimentally phased present-day human genomes (Supplementary Information sections 4 and 13). In the Sardinian and French genomes from Europe we find genomic regions of Neanderthal origin and few or no regions of Denisovan origin. In contrast, in the Han Chinese, the Dai in southern China, and the Karitiana and Mixe in the Americas, we find, in addition to regions of Neanderthal origin, regions that are consistent with being of Denisovan origin (Zscore54.3 excess relative to the Europeans) (Supplementary Information section 13), in agreement with previous analysis based on low-coverage archaic genomes. These regions are also more closely related to the Denisova genome than the few regions identified in Europeans (Supplementary Information section 13). We estimate that the Denisovan contribution to mainland Asian and Native American populations is ,0.2% and thus about 25 times smaller than the Denisovan contribution to populations in Papua New Guinea and Australia. The failure to detect any larger Denisovan contribution in the genome of a 40,000-year-old modern human from the Beijing area suggests that any Denisovan contribution to modern humans in mainland Asia was always quantitatively small. In fact, we cannot, at the moment, exclude that the Denisovan contribution to people across mainland Asia is owing to gene flow from ancestors of present-day people in Oceania after they mixed with Denisovans. We also note that in addition to this Denisovan contribution, the genomes of the populations in Asia and America appear to contain more regions of Neanderthal origin than populations in Europe (Supplementary Information sections 13 and 14).

The fascinating part of this, aside from the fact that Native people also carry both Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA, and that they carry more than Europeans, is that the Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA that they carry is different than that carried by Europeans.  In fact, it appears that not all Europeans carry Denisovan DNA and this paper lowers the estimated percentage of Neanderthal for all Europeans.

This difference in the Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA might be able to help solve a long-standing mystery, and that’s whether or not part of the Native population of the Eastern seaboard, and in particular, the far Northeast part of that region, was populated by or admixed with Europeans long before the time of Columbus and other European pre-colonial explorers.  This information, of course would have to come from pre-contact burials, but they do exist and with this new information in hand, they might just yield answers never before available.

Dr. Ricki Lewis, in her DNA Science Blog, mentioned something else quite interesting culled from a Christmas Day issue of Nature titled “Sequence variants in SLC16A11 are a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes in Mexico.”  In a nutshell, from article introduction, we find this commentary:

“The risk haplotype carries four amino acid substitutions, all in SLC16A11; it is present at ~50% frequency in Native American samples and ~10% in east Asian, but is rare in European and African samples. Analysis of an archaic genome sequence indicated that the risk haplotype introgressed into modern humans via admixture with Neanderthals.”

Ricki extrapolated on this further:

“Researchers determine the degree to which a mutant gene differs from the most common sequence (wild type), then impose a time scale in the form of  known mutation rates. The SLC16A11 five-site haplotype is so divergent that it goes back to nearly 800,000 years ago — before our ancestors expanded out of Africa.

The most plausible explanation, unexpected I suspect, seemed to be that the haplotype came from an archaic human – a Neanderthal or Denisovan or their as-yet unnamed contemporaries. And the haplotype indeed shows up in the skeleton of a Neanderthal found in the Denisovan cave in Siberia.”

And so, it seems that the Native American people today indeed inherited their propensity for type 2 diabetes from their ancient Neanderthal ancestors who lived in the Altai Mountains.  It also appears that this genetic predisposition did not carry forward to Europe, if indeed this group of Neanderthals was ancestral to Europeans at all.

Cherokee Mother of John Red Bank Payne

John Red Bank Payne

There is nothing I love more than a happy ending.  Second to that perhaps is to know that my blog or work helped someone, and in particularly, helped someone document their Native heritage.  In doing so, this confirms and unveils one more of our elusive Native people in early records.

I recently received a lovely thank you note from Shawn Potter.  We had exchanged notes earlier, after I wrote “The Autosomal Me” series, about how to utilize small segments of Native American (and Asian) DNA to identify Native American lines and/or ancestors.  This technique is called Minority Admixture Mapping (MAP) and was set forth in detail in various articles in the series.

Shawn’s note said:  “I’ve been doing more work on this segment and others following your method since we exchanged notes.  I’m pretty sure I’ve found the source of this Native American DNA — an ancestor named John Red Bank Payne who lived in North Georgia in the late 18th and 19th centuries.  Many of his descendants believe on the basis of circumstantial evidence that his mother was Cherokee.  I’ve found 10 descendants from four separate lines that inherited matching Native American DNA, pointing to one of his parents as the source.”

Along with this note, Shawn attached a beautiful 65 page book he had written for his family members which did document the Native DNA, but in the context of his family history.  He included their family story, the tales, the genealogical research, the DNA evidence and finally, a chapter of relevant Cherokee history complete with maps of the area where his ancestors lived. It’s a beautiful example of how to present something like this for non-DNA people to understand.  In addition, it’s also a wonderful roadmap, a “how to” book for how to approach this subject from a DNA/historical/genealogical perspective.  As hard as it is for me to sometimes remember, DNA is just a tool to utilize in the bigger genealogy picture.

Shawn has been gracious enough to allow me to reprint some of his work here, so from this point on, I’ll be extracting from his document.  Furthermore, Elizabeth Shown Mills would be ecstatic, because Shawn has fully documented and sourced his document.  I am not including that information here, but I’m sure he would gladly share the document itself with any interested parties.  You can contact Shawn at shpxlcp@comcast.net.

From the book, “Cherokee Mother of John Red Bank Payne” by Shawn Potter and Lois Carol Potter:

Descendants of John Red Bank Payne describe his mother as Cherokee. Yet, until now, some have questioned the truth of this claim because genealogists have been unable to identify John’s mother in contemporary records. A recent discovery, however, reveals both John Red Bank Payne and his sister Nancy Payne inherited Native American DNA.

Considering information from contemporary records, clues from local tradition, John’s name itself, and now the revelation that John and his sister inherited Native American DNA, there seems to be sufficient evidence to say John Red Bank Payne’s mother truly was Cherokee. The following summary describes what we know about John, his family, and his Native American DNA.

John Red Bank Payne was born perhaps near present-day Canton, Cherokee County, Georgia, on January 24, 1754, married Ann Henslee in Caswell County, North Carolina, on March 5, 1779, and died in Carnesville, Franklin County, Georgia, on December 14, 1831.

John’s father, Thomas Payne, was born in Westmorland County, Virginia, about 1725, and owned property in Halifax and Pittsylvania counties, Virginia, as well as Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Franklin County, Georgia.  Several factors suggest Thomas travelled with his older brother, William, to North Georgia and beyond, engaging in the deerskin trade with the Cherokee Nation during the mid 1700s. Thomas Payne died probably in Franklin County, Georgia, after February 23, 1811.

Contemporary records reveal Thomas had four children (William, John, Nancy, and Abigail) by his first wife, and nine children (Thomas, Nathaniel, Moses, Champness, Shrewsbury, Zebediah, Poindexter, Ruth, and Cleveland) by his second wife Yanaka Ayers.  Thomas married Yanaka probably in Halifax County, Virginia, before September 20, 1760.

Local North Georgia tradition identifies the first wife of Thomas Payne as a Cherokee woman. Anna Belle Little Tabor, in History of Franklin County, Georgia, wrote that “Trader Payne” managed a trading post on Payne’s Creek, and “one of his descendants, an offspring of his Cherokee marriage, later married Moses Ayers whose descendants still live in the county.”

Descendants of John Red Bank Payne also cite his name Red Bank, recorded in his son’s family Bible, as evidence of his Cherokee heritage.  Before the American Revolution, British Americans rarely defied English legal prohibitions against giving a child more than one Christian name.  So, the very existence of John’s name Red Bank suggests non-English ethnicity. On the other hand, many people of mixed English-Cherokee heritage were known by their Cherokee name as well as their English first and last names during this period.

Furthermore, while the form of John’s middle name is unlike normal English names, Red Bank conforms perfectly to standard Cherokee names.  It also is interesting to note, Red Bank was the name of a Cherokee village located on the south side of Etowah River to the southwest of present-day Canton, Cherokee County, Georgia.

While some believe the above information from contemporary records and clues from local tradition, as well as John’s name Red Bank, constitute sufficient proof of John’s Cherokee heritage, recently discovered DNA evidence confirms at least one of John’s parents had Native American ancestry. Ten descendants of John Red Bank Payne and his sister Nancy Payne, representing four separate lineages, inherited six segments of Native American DNA on chromosomes 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and 18 (see Figure 1 for the relationship between these descendants; Figures 2-7 for images of their shared Native American DNA; and http://dna-explained.com/2013/06/02/the-autosomal-me-summary-and-pdf-file/ for an explanation of this method of identifying Native American chromosomal segments).

Upon careful reflection, there seems sufficient reason to believe John Red Bank Payne’s mother truly was Cherokee.

Roberta’s note:  I have redacted the surnames of current testers.

Payne chart

Chromosome 2, Segment 154-161

In this segment, Bert P, Rosa P, Nataan S, Cynthia S, and Kendall S inherited matching Native American DNA described as Amerindian, Siberian, Southeast Asian, and Oceanian by the Eurogenes V2 K15 admixture tool, and as North Amerind, Mesoamerican, South America Amerind, Arctic Amerind, East Siberian, Paleo Siberian, Samoedic, and East South Asian by the Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Project World22 admixture tool. Since their common ancestors were Thomas Payne and his wife, the source of this Native American DNA must be either Thomas Payne or his wife. See Figures 2a-2g.

Note: Since Native Americans and East Asians share common ancestors in the pre-historic past, their DNA is similar to each other in many respects. This similarity often causes admixture tools to interpret Native American DNA as various types of East Asian DNA. Therefore, the presence of multiple types of East Asian DNA together with Native American DNA tends to validate the presence of Native American DNA.

Payne graph 1

Payne graph 2

Payne graph 3

Payne graph 4

Payne graph 5

Roberta’s Summary:  Shawn continues to document the other chromosome matches in the same manner.  In total, he has 10 descendants of Thomas Payne and his wife, who it turns out, indeed was Cherokee, as proven by this exercise in combination with historical records.  These people descend through 2 different children.  Cynthia and Kendall descend through daughter Nancy Payne, and the rest of the descendants descend through different children of John Red Bank Payne.  All of the DNA segments that Shawn utilized in his report share Native/Asian segments in both of these family groups, the descendants of both Nancy and John Red Bank Payne.

Shawn’s success in this project hinged on two things.  First, being able to test multiple (in this case, two) descendants of the original couple.  Second, he tested several people and had the tenacity to pursue the existence of Native DNA segments utilizing the Minority Admixture Mapping (MAP) technique set forth in “The Autosomal Me” series.  It certainly paid off.  Shawn confirmed that the wife of Thomas Payne was, indeed Native, most likely Cherokee since he was a Cherokee trader, and that today’s descendants do indeed carry her heritage in their DNA.

Great job Shawn!!  Wouldn’t you love to be his family member and one of the recipients of these lovely books about your ancestor! Someone’s going to have a wonderful Christmas!

Haplogroup Q and C Fundraising Report

Thank you all 3

I just can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone who contributed in so many ways to the haplogroups Q and C fundraising effort to purchase several Big Y tests.

This fundraising was really kind of a last minute desperation effort.  As administrators, Rebekah Canada and Marie Rundquist had e-mailed and encouraged appropriate participants in the C and Q projects to order the Big Y test.  Many were able to do so, but some very critical kits still needed to be tested.

On Thanksgiving, we discussed what to do, and on the 29th, very late, after 2 days of company, with a massive headache and never ending refrains of the cartoon “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” reverberating through my head, I wrote and posted the blog about our fundraising effort.  I’m amazed it was coherent.  Yes, I have young grandchildren!

We were hoping against hope to fund 2 tests in each of those haplogroup projects, for a total of 4.  Some participants had coupons available, some didn’t.  Truthfully, almost $2000 is a huge amount of money to try to raise in 2 days, especially right after Black Friday when everyone is busy with both family and then shopping, and I wasn’t terribly hopeful that we would be able to raise the entire amount.  But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You folks have proven me wrong…in spades.

Between the two projects, we raised a total of $3335 in less than 2 days and we have funded 7.5 tests, 3 in haplogroup C and 5 in haplogroup Q.  Yes, as the admins, we “tipped it over the edge” of course to fund the rest of the partially funded test.

Thanks goes to lots of people.  Of course, in addition to the efforts of my tireless co-admins and their lists and blogs, Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, wrote a fine article for us as her weekly DNA offering.  I must say, I think Judy’s article and the folks who reposted, reTweeted and blogged is what gave us that final push to fund the final 2, if not 3, tests.  Thank you Judy and the rest of the blogging/tweeting community.  You guys are absolutely awesome!

I noticed that Elizabeth Shown Mills posted on Facebook about our project as well.  Family Tree DNA featured our Q and C projects over the weekend on Facebook too.  Thank you FTDNA and Elizabeth for your votes of confidence.

Not only that, but Janine Cloud,  the Customer Support Supervisor at Family Tree DNA availed herself not only to us, but to the other admins too who were trying to place orders this holiday weekend.  Thank you Janine for going way above and beyond.

Bennett Greenspan gets a special thank you for being so very supportive of genetic genealogists as a whole, and for making a generous contribution himself.  He was also available over the holiday weekend for questions.  Bennett is just like that.

But the real stars of this show are those of you who contributed funds to get this done as well as those who purchased their own tests.  We had 4 contributed coupons by people who did not order the Big Y but who had previously taken the WTY test.  Thank you to all of those folks.  Between both projects, we received a total of $3335 in contributions by 45 different people, with several donating to both projects, plus $200 worth of coupons.  With that we were able to purchase 8 additional tests.  This brings the total number of Big Y tests ordered in the haplogroup Q project to….drum roll please…..27….  and the total haplogroup C project Big Y orders to 5.  I know this doesn’t compare to the large haplogroup R projects, but for our smaller projects, this is a huge number and the results hold so much promise for these more obscure and unique haplogroups that include Asian, European and Native people.

You folks really rallied to the cause and supported our efforts tremendously.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.  You can’t even begin to imagine what this level of support from within our community means to us.

We will be reporting back with results as soon as we have something to report.  It’s going to be a great February, with very little sleep!!!

Roberta Estes, Rebekah Canada and Marie Rundquist

Native American Haplogroups Q, C and the Big Y Test

Sicangu man c 1900I’m writing this to provide an update about Native American paternal research, and to ask for your help and support, but first, let me tell you why.  It’s a very exciting time.

If you don’t want the details, but you know you want to help now….and we have to pay for these tests by the end of the day December 1 to take advantage of the sale price…you can click below to help fund the Big Y testing for Native American haplogroups Q and C.  Both the haplogroup Q and C projects need approximately $990.  Everything contributed goes directly to testing.

To donate to the haplogroup Q-M242 project, in memory of someone, a family member perhaps, or maybe in honor of an ancestor, or anonymously, click this link:

http://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Q-ydna

In order to donate to haplogroup C-P39 project, please click this link:

http://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Y-DNAC-P39

Now for the story…

As many of you know, haplogroup Q and C are the two Native American male haplogroups.  To date, every individual with direct paternal Native American ancestors descends from a subgroup of either haplogroup Q or C, Q being by far the most prevalent.  Both of these haplogroups are also found to some extent in Asia and Europe, but there are distinct and specific lineages found in the Americas that represent only Native Americans.  These subgroups are not found in either Europe or Asia.

In December, 2010, we found the first SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) marker that separated the European and the Native American subclades of haplogroup Q.  Since that time, additional markers have been found through the Walk the Y program and other research.

How did this happen?  A collaborative research approach between individual testers and project administrators.  In this case, Lenny Trujillo was a member of the haplogroup Q project and he agreed to take the WTY (Walk the Y) test, which indeed, discovered a very unique SNP marker that defines Native American haplogroup Q, as opposed to European haplogroup Q.

Much has changed in three years.  The WTY test which was focused solely on research is entirely obsolete, being replaced by a new much more powerful test called the Big Y, and at a reduced cost.  The Big Y sequences a much larger portion of the Y chromosome, which will allow us to discover even more markers.

Why is this important?  Because today, in haplogroups Q and C, we are learning through standard STR (short tandem repeat) surname marker tests who is related to whom, and how distantly, but it’s not enough.  For example, we have a group of haplogroup Q men in Canada who match each other, but then another group with a different SNP marker that is located in the Southwest, Mexico, and then in the North Carolina/Virginia border area.  Oh yes, and one more from Charleston, SC.  Most Native American men who carry haplogroup C are found in Northeastern Canada….but then there is one in the Southwest. What do these people have in common?  Is their relationship “old” or relative new?  Do they perhaps share a common historical language group?  We don’t know, and we’d like to.  In order to do that, we need to further refine their genetic relationship.  Hence, the new tool, the Big Y.

The Big Y sequences almost all of the Y chromosome – over 10 million base pairs and nearly 25,000 known SNPs.  But the good news is that the Big Y, like its predecessor, the WTY, has the ability to find new SNPs.  And they are being found by the buckets – so fast that the haplogroup trees can’t even keep up.  For example, the haplogroup project page still lists most Native people as Q1a3a, but in reality many new SNPs have been discovered.  The official haplogroup tree is still under construction, but you can see an updated version on the front page of the haplogroup Q project.

That’s the good news – that the Big Y represents a huge research opportunity for us to make major discoveries that may well divide the Native groups in the Haplogroup C and Q projects into either language groups, or maybe, if we are lucky, into tribal “confederacies,” for lack of a better word.  I hate to use the word tribes, because the definition of a tribe has changed so much.  What we would like to be able to do it to tell someone from their test results that they are Iroquoian, for example, or Athabascan, or Siouian.  This has been our overarching goal for years, and now we’re actually getting close.  That potential rests with the Big Y.

The bad news is that the test costs $495, and that’s the sale price good only through Dec. 1., and we need funding.  In the haplogroup Q project, we do have a few people who are testing.  Everyone who did the WTY has been sent a $50 coupon to apply towards the Big Y test.  I hope everyone who did do the WTY will indeed order the Big Y as well.  If not, then the coupon can be donated to us, as project administrators, to apply towards the Big Y test of someone else in the group who is testing.  If you’re not going to test, please donate your coupon.

In haplogroup Q, we have two additional men who we desperately want to take the Big Y test, and 2 in haplogroup C as well.  We’re asking for two things.  First, for unused $50 coupons and second, for contributions against the $495 price.  We’d certainly welcome large contributions, or a sponsor for an entire test, but we’d also welcome $5, $10, $25 or whatever you’d like to contribute.  Every little bit helps.

To donate to the haplogroup Q-M242 project and to help fund this critical research, click this link:

http://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Q-ydna

In order to donate to haplogroup C-P39 project for this research, please click this link:

http://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Y-DNAC-P39

Thank you everyone, in advance, for your help.  We can’t do this without you.  This is what collaborative citizen science is all about.  Of course, we’ll report findings as we receive them and can process the information.