Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1067820652

From: David Faux <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Marker Mutation Rates
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 16:50:56 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi John: Yes, in one very well - known surname study of a German family (probably I should not name it directly in case confidentiality around this matter is an issue), I am one mutation away from the "classic" such and such signature. In other words I match 22 of 25. If the match had been 23, then the search would have been on for some possible connection. It is a tricky business trying to decide who meets whatever definition is selected, and to pigeon hole individuals into various "lines" - all the while realizing that there is a high probability for error in whatever way the person is classified - particularly with R1b haplotypes.

David F.


I think people do tend to treat the MRCA calculation with more
respect than it deserves. I don't know if anybody has actually
adopted the policy you mentioned (drawing a cuttoff line below
23/25 match as a boundary of relatedness), but I'm sure that
fixed cutoff lines do figure in a lot of the analysis that goes
on. This can be a serious mistake if the lines are too tight,
but it can also be a useful triage tool for deciding which
near-matches to scrutinize as possible indications of previously
unknown connections.

Dr. David K. Faux, P.O. Box 192, Seal Beach, CA, 90740, USA

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