Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2008-02 > 1203158565

From: "Janet Crawford" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Extinction Chances
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 10:42:45 -0000
References: <><002601c87047$dae04960$6400a8c0@Ken1>

There are some interesting periods when almost all of a tribe may have been
wiped out, i.e. the great plagues in Ireland, Wales and England in the
500's. Being tribal, I could well see a few closely related men restoring
the population in a village area. A great war could have had a similar
result. Similar situations may have occurred in later periods in rural

In Ireland, surnames actually began a little earlier than normally stated,
and I would put their use back into the 800's/early 900's, but I would agree
that surname development continued well into the 1600's/1700's in Ireland.
Actually I guess I want to clarify that even more. In the writings, a man
was specifically identified as "x mac y" far earlier than the 800's, and one
would have to assume that the same probably was done verbally.

In Ireland, there are odd things that can happen with surnames, and I would
use the Ryan's as an example. There were so many Ryans by 1700 that they had
to use nicknames to keep themselves straight, and often a Ryan would drop
"Ryan" and begin to use his nickname as his surname; thus Thomas Ryan-Maher
could decide to become Thomas Maher to distinguish himself in the
neighborhood where there might be several Thomas Ryan's, and his descendents
would continue to use Maher as a surname. I have also seen family feuds
where a man would stop using his own family's surname and adopt another
instead. One also has to be careful, very careful, in assuming that Ryan in
one place is the same as Ryan in another. The Ryans of Leinster are a
completely different family from the Ryan's of Munster, with entirely
different ancestors; here the DNA results are going to be invaluable.

There is one other cultural issue as evidenced in the ancient Irish stories,
wherein a great warrior would be besieged by women coming from all parts of
Ireland to have his child, thereby spreading his DNA to many parts of the
country and who knows what eventual surnames. The warrior's status would
have allowed him the opportunity to have many children who would probably
not even be supported by him.

Finally, before the mid-1800's in Ireland, it is not unusual to find men
begetting many children. My Great-great-grandfather, "James the Stud", a
farmer, managed to father 21 children - 10 legitimate and eleven
illegitimate, by 5 women. His grandfather was another begetter, and we have
no idea of the number of children he fathered as the parish records run out;
I can account for 5 leg. and 5 illeg. by 3 women. Most carried the father's
surnames through life but a few did not. My family's male behavior, I can
assure you, was NOT uncommon. Illegitimacy was rampant before 1850.

I still don't understand anything much about the science of DNA, but you all
are the closest thing I have to a time machine I can find, and I am quite
fascinated. I hope no one minds my jumping in from time to time.

Janet C.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:58 AM
Subject: Re: [DNA] Extinction Chances

>I look at my collection of I1a-AS7E haplotypes (keeping only one per
> surname), and they are almost void of mutations from the modality. It is
> an
> incredibly young clade. I would not be surprised if it is younger than
> the
> age of surnames. That suggests that the many surnames in AS7E are the
> result of some mass adoptions or of a very promiscuous male back in
> history.
> Ken
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 7:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Extinction Chances
>> The Childress study's Administrator, working with FTDNA, seems to have
>> concluded that NPE's might account for a couple of families in the
>> group.
>> I
>> haven't researched their ancestry and have no opinion on this, but
>> certain
>> information provided on the website suggests that possibility--or maybe
>> I
>> should
>> say, at least doesn't contradict it. The problem is that the analysis
>> also
>> implies ignorance of the existence of AS7E and of other families in the
>> group
>> not included in the Childress study.
>> At the other extreme, I think we may be confident in identifying
>> families
>> that aren't connected to Childress by NPE's, at least not in a very long
>> time--Trimble, for example, whose ancestors in the 19th century were in
>> Australia
>> (if I'm remembering correctly).
>> So it might be possible to begin grouping some of the lineages in this
>> way.
>> But what about measuring distance? Do we use GD? Or simply count
>> markers
>> that don't match, and what about markers like 464 vs those that are more
>> stable? And finally, how many markers? If 67 are required, then we
>> would
>> lose
>> over half of the 19 families in the group.
>> Lindsey
>> ************************
>> Dear Ken,
>> I see what you mean about the need to be careful about overly
>> relying on the most outlying haplotypes within a subclade, but on the
>> other
>> hand you need to be careful that you don't overly rely on haplotypes
>> that
>> have a relatively small genetic distance from each other as well. For
>> instance, let's say that you have 10 haplotypes that are part of a known
>> subclade such as AS7E. Let's say that two haplotypes have a genetic
>> distance of 10 from the AS7E modal out of 67 markers. Let's say that 8
>> haplotypes that have an average genetic distance of only 4 from the AS7E
>> modal. In a situation such as this one, it could be that either through
>> sampling bias or through a particular progenitor leaving far more
>> descendents than his contemporaries (such as Genghis Khan) that the 8
>> haplotypes come from people who are closely related and are overly
>> represented relative to the other haplotypes. Thus, if you include
>> multiple
>> haplotypes in the variance analysis, you need to somehow take into
>> account
>> the possibility of sampling bias and overrepresentation of any
>> particular
>> branch.
>> Even if all of this is relatively complicated and imprecise, it
>> would be nice if this list could collectively begin developing
>> approximate
>> ages for all of sub-haplogroups in the ISOGG Y SNP tree at
>> _
>> (
>> , for all of your Haplogroup I clades at
>> _
>> ( , and possibly also
>> for
>> John McEwan's R1b STR modals at _
>> ( and for
>> your R1b STR modals at _
>> ( . The
>> approximate ages could be revised as more data becomes available, but I
>> think that having approximate ages for most of these sub-haplogroups and
>> clades would be helpful for many of us.
>> Sincerely,
>> Tim
>> ***********************************
>> Tim, I am sure a statistician could come up with an estimator using the
>> greatest GD seen among the haplotype pairs in a sampled population of N
>> haplotypes of a clade in order to infer the age back to the clade MRCA.
>> But
>> it would be a mess, and I challenge anyone tuning in to find that
>> estimator
>> published in any book. It is just not practical or as good as taking the
>> variance statistic for the entire population of N haplotypes.
>> The relationship between generations to MRCA and largest seen GD would
>> have
>> to involve N as well; it would be a complicated function.
>> Look at it another way: by putting all your eggs in the single basket of
>> that greatest GD seen, you are greatly enlarging your confidence
>> interval
>> for whatever answer you might get. The relationship between variance of
>> all
>> N haplotypes to generations is not only relatively simple, but by being
>> an
>> average statistic taken over all the evidence available, it will have a
>> tighter confidence interval.
>> Ken
>> **************The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
>> Awards. Go to AOL Music.
>> (
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