As a genealogist, having my own DNA analyzed was at first a hard decision to make. I had spent 50 years reseaching my family tree using the old library method, and blood hound techniques. This produced results that I felt were pretty accurate. Or were they? DNA was to prove me right or wrong? What if all my research proved to be wrong? I had traced my JONES surname back to Wales. What if DNA showed I was from China? Oh man, maybe I sould leave this DNA stuff alone?
It took several years to decide to go ahead and have my DNA tested. It only took a couple of months to get the results. Twenty five exact matches for my 12-marker test! I've hit the jackpot! Well let's see who are these folks? There is a Claxton, Amshoff, Boyle, Tilton, Mauradoglu(x2), Dohanrich, Sharp(x2), Gilmore, Welrich, Johnson(x2), Prichard, Gill(x2), Leonard, Pearson, Maudire-Janton, Fournier, and only one other JONES! What in the world? I had never heard of most of these surnames! How could I have exact 12-marker DNA.
An explaination which came with the results stated: "...if you match another person exactley with the same surname or a variant, you have a 99.9% likelihood of sharing a common ancestor with that person." This information went on to say, "This individual is described scientifically as the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)." A graph was included that gave an estimate of how long ago this common ancestor lived. The graph showed that on a 12/12 match, "...a 90% probablity that the MRCA lived no longer than 23 generations"! There was a 95% probabitity that the MRCA lived no longer 29 generations.
No longer than 23 generations! Not many folks would have their genealogy past 6-8 generations. Maybe the next series of DNA markers will help? Well maybe, it's not about time yet?
My 12-marker test as reported:
Locus 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
DYS# 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389-1 392 389-2
Alleles 13 24 14 12 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 30
For an explaination of these terms see my post "Terms, Terms, and more Terms", Wednesday, December 22, 2010.