Family Tree DNA is recalculating Big Y results

I only knew about this because of an email that began..

Dear Big Y Customers,

We are still recalculating your Big Y results. We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience during this exciting update to Big Y.

We anticipate this taking approximately 7 more days. During this time, you will continue to see “Results Pending” in the Big Y section. You will be notified by email once your results are processed and ready.

Below is a refresh on the changes we are implementing. We can’t wait for you to experience the new Big Y!

I will note that I got this email 10 days ago, so once again, Family Tree DNA has underestimated the effort required, in terma of how long this will take.

There is extensive discussion of the issue on Anthrogenica. Overall, I think the best approach is to be patient. People have noted the recalculation has changed terminal SNPs in certain cases. The standard for having a unique DNS change has also been adjusted. Again, dirty details are discussed in depth in the Anthrogenica thread.

Jesse Horne 1854-1934

Among my matches at 67 markers is a Mr Horne (removing his first name for privacy, as I’ve sent him email but haven’t heard from him as of yet), whose terminal relative is Jesse Horne 1854-1934. I didn’t pay much attention to this match, in part because it was a lesser match at 37 markers, with a diff of 3 at 37. At 67 markers, though, the diff is 4 and the match is thus closer.  So, I sent the man an email and then looked up what I could on Ancestry.

Jesse Horne 1854-1934 is matched to a man in the 1880 census in Shelby County, Tennessee. He is married at this time. In 1900 he is in the same county and state and now has several children. Unlike the previous census, they note that he can read and write and he says he was born in Kentucky. He claims his mother and father were born in Kentucky as well.

The same Ancestry source has a 1850 US Census entry for a possible father. This ‘Jessee Hornes’ is living in Perry County, TN, but a closer read of the census data shows that this Jessee Hornes claims to have been born in TN, about 1820.

In 1820 there are a fair number of Myers in Tennessee. By 1840 most of them are gone, to Missouri for the most part. But I can’t eliminate the possibility that a Cove Creek Myers (or close relative) fathered this Jessee Hornes, or alternatively, was the parent of Jessee Hornes’s father. In fact the few times I’ve looked at a TIP calculation of these possibilities, those odds were substantial.

And if the father is actually born in Kentucky, I’ll note, as just one example, that David Crockett’s autobiography speak of various traveling Myers selling wares out of Greene County, Tennessee.

To note, this match may be a product of luck. If I had any advice for a male Horne who is a direct descendant of Jesse 1854-1934, it would be to get an accurate YDNA haplotype. A P312 test at YSEQ is pretty cheap. Z39300+ tests don’t exist in isolation, and someone would have to decide if the $600 or so for a BIGY would be worth it. And if the Horne males are P312+, they can join the P312 project at ftDNA, and then let the experts there guide the search. I will note that my line of Myers YDNA is rare. If we are matched, it will stick out like a sore thumb on the BIGY test.

Update: While I didn’t initially realize it, ‘Horn’ can be a German name. Horn and variants of Horn (Hornung, Hornberger, etc) can be parsed from Pennsylvania German Pioneers. My first try picked up about 92 males with ‘Horn’ or some variant thereof. So one possibility, which I hadn’t initially considered, is that a common ancestor, if he exists, would be found on the other side of the Atlantic. A German Horn would come to the states in the 18th century, and migrate to Kentucky in the late 18th, early 19th century.

Y111 results. The meaning of laborer in the 1772 tax rolls.

Both Rayedene Graves, who manages Artie Myers DNA samples, and I extended our YDNA STR markers to 111 markers, and the results are that we match each other to 107/111 markers. We both match to Ross in 107/111 markers. The ftDNA TIP calculator can get us some indication of how close we are. To make things simple, I’ll note that the odds for being William Myers Sr’s son or grandson is somewhere between 44 and 52% and the odds of being his first cousin once removed, or closer, is between 74 and 79%. This is closer than the 50% per first 4 possible matches we were assuming before. If I recall right, the odds that John Myers b 1742 is Charles Sr’s father is about 30%, that being his father’s brother or closer is 60%, and that being the father’s first cousin or thereabouts is also in the 70s. This is a fairly closely knit group.

At this point, I suspect that both John Myers b 1742 and William Sr come from Germany, perhaps on the same boat and as part of the same group. Again, they could have come separately, but both would have been minors during the peak of German immigration and likely bound (indentured) after arrival, to pay for the trip.

The book “Beyond Philadelphia” has a section on the Lehigh Valley, which discusses the 1772 tax rolls in Northampton. They note that the occupation lab’r is most likely a farm hand. This now leads to the question of who in Tennessee (or perhaps Philadelphia, if Charles was the son of a cousin that stayed behind) trained Charles in smithing. I notice a number of apprenticeships were starting at the ages of 9 and 11 in those days, so looking in the Greene County minutes during the time span 1798-1800 would not hurt.

Charles Myers 1789-1857. The “Out of Northampton” hypothesis.

This is the idea that Charles Myers (1789-1857) is born in Northampton County Pa to someone related to Captain William Myers (1735-1823), and that he comes down to Greene County TN along with the rapid migration of Myers into the region. It does not require that William Sr fathers Charles, though in some ways that makes the idea the easiest to assume.  One of the reasons this blog has been pursuing narrowing the gap between PA and TN is that it makes it easier to understand where Charles may be, and at what time.

Tax roll data from the Easton PA genealogical library places the time that William Sr leaves to between 1792 and 1794. Oral testimony by John Myers’s widow places their time of departure to 1790. The internet story ‘Conrad Girdner obit‘, places the time of departure of a Myers married to a Girdner to 1792. Barnabas Myers is born in TN in 1795. Elizabeth Kocher, William’s grand daughter, marries in 1795 in Greene Co TN.

This hypothesis makes some things easier. The appearance of Charles Myers in TN is no longer an unexplained mystery. His family takes him into TN. Other elements of the story become harder to research.  Oral testimony by George Myers makes it clear that the Myers didn’t have church weddings performed.  Now church studies by the Easton library are ongoing but nothing has been returned yet. People don’t even know the name of Cap William Myers’s spouse before his marriage to Nancy Carter in 1800.  And children, for the most part, don’t exist in records so long as they are cared for. Only if they inherit property do they end up in court records, as courts assign guardians to them.

Let me point out that this whole idea is not new, that Wayne Myers was talking about this at least 15 years ago.  The new element is DNA evidence that Charles Myers Sr is related to George Myers and William Sr.

So, where to look? I would suggest looking at Greene Co court records in the 1803-1805 time frame, to see if Charles Myers formally requests apprenticeship. I think the end of Charles’s stay in Green Co needs to be documented. The first time I can locate Charles Sr in Giles County is the 1820 federal census. The second part of his journey needs to be better elucidated.

DNA rarity and Myers YDNA

This was a concept I wasn’t entirely familiar with, the idea that someone’s STR data set could be so rare that you don’t match anybody. This was striking enough I started looking for ways to measure rarity, and found this link.  On this site, they have a spreadsheet you can download, and I fed my Dad’s Y67 values into this sheet. Results were interesting enough, to say the least.

wheaton_average

One of the rarity measures is called a Wheaton Average, and I calculated this for my Dad’s YDNA. At 12 markers it was 28.7, at 25 it was 22.7. At 37 it was 16.4, and at 67 it was 11.1. Looking at the chart, in order that would mean, Rare, Rare, Uncommon, Average.

This is the deal. Rare at 12 means rare, period. Same with 25. And if someone can’t begin to match you at Y25, it’s not as if the match gets any better at 67.

This article by Roberta Estes (back in 2012, so with a much smaller pool of tested folks) is illuminating. She says,

The average person has about eight hundred 12 marker matches, just under 200 25 marker matches, fourteen 37, thirteen 67 and not quite one 111 marker match. There still aren’t a lot of folks who have tested at the 111 marker level. The good news is that if you have a 111 marker match, it’s generally a very solid genealogical match.  Most people use the 111 marker test to resolve 67 marker matches or to find line marker mutations within a family to identify specific ancestral lines.

To make the point, my Dad and I have 9 matches at Y25.

Yfull results and YDNA calculations at the 50% level.

Yfull emailed me and my results are in.  Yfull calls me R-PH2278, which is their labeling of Z39300. This is a slow outfit, and there will be more results in coming months. I’m especially looking forward to these guys digging out the STRs they can fetch from the BIGY data.

yfull_summary_panel

I also spent just a bit of time looking at the 50% limits of a Y37 test. Artie and I are a 36 of 37 match, and his terminus is Cap William Myers, through George. 36/37 at the 50% confidence average 4 generation apart. Folks who test like us are about equally as close or closer than 4 gens, and 50% past that point. Now, the point to remember in this kind of calculation, is that George Myers could be Charles’s father in this deduction. We cannot exclude him as a potential father. George is 23 years old when Charles is born, and if we assume a Northampton PA birth, then yes, George fathering Charles is possible.

So, the 4 gens are: George, William, William’s dad, William’s granddad. At the 50% mark, Charles Sr is, compared to William Sr, his grandchild, his child, his nephew, or his first cousin, once removed.

At this point, there is still plenty of regular genealogy and genetic genealogy to do.

The book “Trade in Strangers” and other genealogical notes.

I have read this book through the first half, the part talking about German immigration. The latter half is about Irish immigration.

tradeinstrangers

From the book: about 110 thousand Germans come into the US in the 18th century and over 80 thousand of those come from Germany into the Delaware Valley. Of these, half arrive in the five year span from 1749 to 1753. Afterwards, the French and Indian Wars cut off the immigration path for a time, and German immigration never again reaches the peak during the 18th century.

Almost all the Germans were from the Rhine. It was a war torn region and the region was shot through with small feudal entities. The typical German had a bond to the land, and had to pay his feudal lord to leave. It is relatively simple for these folks to get to the sea, as they could take barge traffic down to Rotterdam. By the mid 18th century, specialists were in place that ship these folks (referred to as “freight”) as it helped pay for the westbound traffic (eastbound ship traffic was much more lucrative).

Only a tiny fraction of the Rhenish head to America, perhaps 10% of the total emigration out of the Rhineland states. The three largest states contributing to the exodus were Hesse in the North (where Hessians come from), Palatine in the middle, and Würrtemberg in the south. DNA evidence suggests a more southern connection.

Also suggestive are the location of the Myers in PA and TN. They’re both in the vicinity of water and next to mountains, and at least in PA, not in the flattest of lands either. Consequently, I ask myself if our German roots don’t come from people near mountains as well.

The Northampton county history I’ve been reading notes that in the early 1770s, between 80 and 85% of the population of Northampton county was Pennsylvania Dutch.

I have received an email from Easton. They have my check and their research on William Myers Sr will take between four to eight weeks. In about three weeks I’ll head to Greene Co TN, to their genealogical library, to do some research on my own. I’ve also asked Yfull to analyze my Big Y data, and for the second time, they’ve pushed out the date. For now, it’s the middle of August.

Big Y tested. R-BY15581. Z38300+

I had decided that if my work gave me a bonus, I’d have the BIG Y done. It was frustrating not having a known terminal SNP, and I wasn’t sure what else I could do to get there. Just, BIG Y is expensive. In this case, I’d say it was worth it.

Turns out the TX Myers Y-DNA is rare. We were the first family with a BIG-Y test that was Z39300 positive that claimed continental European origins. All others were from the Britain/Scotland/Ireland cluster. So that means we’re pretty unique, and that we changed, in a small way, the Y-DNA tree. The data are here. And that small portion of the tree changed when our data were added.

We’re not the only family with this cluster. There are close STR matches on familytree that likely have it as well. Some are found in the Feichts of Pennsylvania, and perhaps other families as well.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that genetic genealogy is illegal in France and Germany, and so we’re not going to be given help from overseas. It’s going to require more grunt work on our side of the Atlantic.

Y assignment BY-1551. Probably wrong again.

This is my latest assignment from Family Tree DNA:

screenshot-from-2016-12-14-11-23-20

BY-1551. This was an assignment from the National Geographic Geno 2.0+ data set. If you look at Big Tree ( go to link. Search for BY1551. click on it) and also the BY-1551 test at YSeq, they both say the normal base at this location is Cytosine.  But the raw data for my DNA says this base is Cytosine and yet also a mutation. This is an error in the assignment of the data.

 

Y assignment R-FGC11678. Probably wrong.

This is my latest assignment.

r-fgc11678-assignment

Very hard to believe a haplogroup where I am U106-, Z381-, and Z156-. This SNP is a Nat Geo 2.0 Next Gen SNP and the raw assignment is Cytosine. I need to know if X-> C is the actual mutation folks look  for. This could easily be another random mutation on our part.

Update: the U106 spreadsheet of Raymond Wing shows that this change should be G -> A, not a cytosine. So this is another natural mutation, not a diagnostic marker.

Update 2 6/25/2017: for the folks in the L21 Yahoo groups hitting this page repeatedly, thank you. I didn’t realize that my issue was more common than realized. The issue is pretty simple. Nat Geo Geno 2.0 transfers have a data issue in that any point mutation at a site is classed as a “true”, even though the odds of it being the mutation ‘on the books’ is one in three. These classifications wreak havoc with ftDNA terminal haplotype software (crufty stuff, not smart enough to double check the mutation) and so if you do not eventually do a Big Y, your life will become dominated by ftDNA mistakes that you will have to check manually.