Thursday, November 27, 2008

Journal of Genetic Genealogy

Fall Issue of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy


A few good articles in this season's edition of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy.

Those of you who are familiar with the DNA testing might recognize Whit Athey's name, he was the one to create the "Haplotype Predictor" (link found in the HAM Country DNA Tools area). Whit is the main editor of this "Journal of Genetic Genealogy."

Mentioned this month in JoGG is an interview with John Butler. You folks may not recognize him, but I had written him when I was first developing my program "ft2dna." John Butler is with NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIST keeps a catalog of Y-STR standards on their web site. I was converting FTDNA numbers into "ATGC" format a few years back, and many of the Y-STR markers were not yet posted to the internet. I wrote John Butler about it, and he was able to post the standards for all of the first 37 Y-STR markers tested from FTDNA. So, thanks to John Butler, I was able to complete the "ft2dna" program. (It is found in the "Tools" area of HAM Country).

Which, of course I used in the Lamarc mutation rate study for HAM DNA Group #2. (The bottom link on the main DNA Project page at HAM Country).

Funny thing, this past week I have been working on improvements to my "ft2dna" program, so that I can automate some of the work involved in running Lamarc (or PHYLIP) against our DNA groups. I have automated the "ft2dna" program sufficiently to generate a Genetic Distance chart of our entire project, as well as generate ATGC format for the entire HAM DNA Project these days. However, I have a number of bug fixes yet to complete, and I want to have the "ft2dna" program generate the results in the Lamarc file format (xml) for me. That could save me a considerable amount of time.

I have modified the "ft2dna" program to generate a "Dean McGee web page style" of a Genetic Distance chart, using the data that I use as input to Dean McGee's utility anyways. If you have downloaded the older version of the "ft2dna" program, the documentation has some links to NIST that I used as a reference to generate the "ATGC" format. Pretty grueling stuff to try to figure out on your own. For example, Sorenson uses DNA complements, which can be confusing if you are not aware of what they are doing. With a number of Y-DNA testing companies analyzing Y-STR values with different techniques, it becomes important to have a standard to apply for DNA Project administrators.

Butler has a PDF file in this issue of JoGG that shows the ATGC structure for Y-STR's that I was attempting to convert with the "ft2dna" program. A good reference if you are interested in how that conversion is done.

Ann Turner is on the Editorial Board at JOGG, and she helped me to figure out "how to" do the BLAST searches for the Y-STR values. I did those BLAST searches in order to verify that I was writing the "ft2na" program against reality. Ann Turner has also written a "Mutation Rate Calculator" also found in the DNA Tools area at HAM Country. She is also an expert at mtDNA, and has helped a number of Genetic Genealogy Project Administrators with their mtDNA analysis.

Anyways, it is good to see a standard from these Y-DNA testing companies. John Butler is interviewed in this season's issue of JOGG.





see: http://www.jogg.info/42/index.html








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Sunday, November 9, 2008

HAM Surname Counties of Origin in Virginia





I have uploaded a You Tube video of the Counties of Origin of the HAM Surname in Virginia prior to 1800. From the book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC." A 3.5 minute video, about 5 MB in size.


Not all counties are included here. For example, counties are not included that were once in Virginia but now are in present day West Virginia. But, it does give a quick overview of the migration pattern for the HAM surname in Virginia prior to 1800. Lists names of first inhabitants with the surname HAM(/M/ES) by County.


In a few cases, I had to make a judgment call on which person to list. For example, Joseph HAM arrived in 1621 in Elizabeth City County, but died in York County. Or, for example, John HAM died in Stafford County in 1739, but Elizabeth HAM is the first to appear in Stafford County in the book (1716), so Elizabeth was listed in the video. Another example would be Jerome HAM, who first held land in Charles City County, but lived in York County.


Therefore, a few adjustments were made in order for the video
to make better sense.


The HAM Surname Counties of Origin in Virginia

You Tube video





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Friday, November 7, 2008

HAM County Origins in England

Last month's HAM Country Blog Poll indicated that folks don't know much about how the surname began. There is already a short description of how the name was derived at HAM Country, so I presume that doesn't do the trick on it's own. Therefore, HAM Surname County Origins in England has been posted to You Tube. A 3 minute video (about 4 MB in size).

Trying a different idea, it shows the Counties of Origin for the HAM surname in England. The locations are Counties in England, and have been taken from the book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC."
It runs through the earliest HAM on record in volume #1. Then, it runs through the Counties graphically in alphabetical order. Set to music by Ilya Gordon.





There are actually more Counties in the book than the video mentions, such as Middlesex or Warwick.



The book has no graphs, so those of you who own a copy of volume #1 (Origins & Migration) will be better able to picture the Counties mentioned. For the rest of the folks, this is just a graphical overview.









(click on image to enlarge)



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Monday, November 3, 2008

Poll Results: Areas of Interest


Poll Results: Areas of Interest




In the blog
Poll for October, the questions were geared toward finding out the interests of those currently reading the blog. The blog saw 147 unique visitors in the month of October. Up to 16 votes were cast in the Poll.

One of the items (that people voted on) indicated that they did not know "How To" read a phylogenetic chart. Which resulted in a blog post and You Tube video on the subject. The poll was to help me set a priority on some things I should be setting a priority to work on.

Here were the results of the October poll:








64 % said they could identify 5 famous HAM(M)'s.
35 % said they could NOT name 5 famous HAM(M)'s












76 % of those who voted said they did NOT know how the HAM(M/N/E) surname began.

23 %
said they DID know how the HAM(M/N/E) surname began.













85 % said they did NOT know who Odon IV
was.

14 % said that they did know.












57 % of those who voted said they did NOT know if they descend from an immigrant ancestor who arrived in America prior to 1700.

42 % said they DO know
if they descend from an immigrant ancestor who arrived in America prior to 1700.










92 % said they did NOT know "H
ow To" interpret HAM DNA phylograms.

7 % said they did.











50 % said they DID NOT KNOW if their HAM(M?N?E) line is participating in the HAM DNA Project.

42 % said that their line was participating in the HAM DNA Project.

7 % said
that their line was NOT participating in the HAM DNA Project.







50 % said they have the most interest in Virginia
31 % said they have the most int
erest in South Carolina
18 % said they have the most interest in the states of:

Georgia
Illinois

Kansas
Missouri
North Carolina
12 % said they have the most interest in the states of:
Alabama
Indiana

Kentucky

Ohio
and 6 % said they have the most in the states of:

New York
Pennsylvania
Tennessee or "other" state

( * You could vote on more than one state for this question.)





46 % voted that they have an interest in England
40 % said Germany

26 % said United States
(presumably, could apply to Native Americans)

13 % said they have an interest in:
France
Ireland

- or "other" Country
6 % said they had an interest in:

Netherlands
Scotland


( * You could vote on more than one state for this question.)


I would also presume that African Americans are not yet voting in the Poll.










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