Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ancient Migrations and the Journal of Genetic Genealogy

Journal of Genetic Genealogy

April, 2012

A Fall, 2011 issue of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy has been posted:


O.K., I know that the header says "Fall, 2011" and this is Spring of 2012. But the issue was released on or about April 24th. That may be due to the lack of an Editor, as the former editor Blaine Bettinger, resigned because of employment and family commitments.

The Editorial Board is actively seeking a new Editor.

In this issue:


"Satiable Curiosity"
Identity Crisis: Identical by State or Identical by Descent?
by Ann Turner

A column by Ann Turner, this issue deals with autosomal analysis, such as what you might see with 23andMe or FTDNA's "Family Finder" product. Her story explains the analysis of short segments, and attempts to evaluate if you can use them to determine recent relationships.
The column gives an example of how to use David Pike's Utility for this.  

See the footnotes to obtain this article as a PDF file.

Review Article:

"Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population"
Roberta J. Estes, Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson, Janet Lewis Crain


"Melungeon is a term applied historically to a group of persons, probably multiethnic, found primarily in Hawkins and Hancock Counties, Tennessee, and in adjoining southern Lee County, Virginia. In this article we define the Melungeon population study group, then review the evidence from historical sources and DNA testing--Y-chromosome, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA--to gain insight into the origin of this mysterious group."

"On the Structure and Age of mtDNA Haplogroup JT--A Phylogenetic Tour"
J. J. Logan

Analyzed the clade structure of Haplogroup JT and from it derived estimates for the ages of the various subclades. From the article:

"The coalescence age of 49.6 kya as computed here for Haplogroups J and T is very comparable to the age of the differentiation that was said to have taken place in western India, in the region of the Fertile Crescent or in the migration path between them. It is important to emphasize that this is well before the appearance of modern humans in Europe...."

"...The age of J and T and their first order divisions suggest that migration into Europe was
occurring well before introduction of agriculture. Currently available genetic alone data does not
permit a definitive determination of the geographic location of the clades."

There is a nice Glossary at the bottom for folks not familiar with mtDNA analysis.


"The Evolution of the Gordon Surname: New Insight From Y-DNA Correlations and Genealogical Pedigrees"
Tei A. Gordon and William E. Howard III


"Surnames can be grouped into families by two methods: (1) matching Y-DNA marker haplotypes assisted by pedigree information, and (2) using correlation techniques. Both methods, applied independently, yield remarkably similar results, with the correlation technique having a slight advantage in determining the members of family groups and clusters. Traditional and correlation techniques produce similar results, with similar uncertainties, when estimating the time at which the most recent ancestor of a pair of testees lived if they are within the genealogically interesting period within about 1000 years. The correlation technique has a decided advantage when times to the most recent common ancestor of a family group, the most recent common ancestor of separate family groups, and the most recent common ancestor of families within separate haplogroups are estimated. Correlation techniques and genealogical pedigrees, working together, are used to explore the history and evolution of surname groups as well as the haplogroups of which they are a part. Totally new information that shows remarkable relationships among pedigrees, cluster and subcluster membership, geographical location, and their evolution has become apparent through this study. The appearance of surname subclusters within a surname cluster can indicate a strong, confirmable tie to pedigrees when they are available for members of a subcluster. We have uncovered correlations between recent historical activity and the formation of subclusters. The times when Gordon family clusters first appeared, and when the most recent common ancestors of Gordon interclusters lived, are compared with the chronology of the Gordon surname and events in European and Scottish history to provide additional insight into the history of the Gordon surname and possible origins from 2500 BCE to the present. The earliest most recent common Gordon ancestors who were located in pairs of different haplogroups date to about 17,500 BCE, just after the European glaciers in the most recent ice age began to recede.

In the R1b1 haplogroup, the ISOGG time estimates, the RCC time scale, the Y-DNA evidence and our results are consistent with an origin of the Gordon surname in areas near modern Turkey and Greece. Comparison of the ISOGG dates with those determined using the RCC time scale shows good agreement and no inconsistency between the RCC- and ISOGG-derived estimates. 

The times derived from the RCC matrix for the early migrations of the I1 haplogroup into the British Isles from Scandinavia and from Western Europe agree well with the history of the area derived from archaeological excavations, genetics and anthropologic studies."


"Dating Y-DNA Haplotypes on a Phylogenetic Tree: Tying the Genealogy of Pedigrees and Surname Clusters into Genetic Time Scale"
William E. Howard III and Frederic R. Schwab


"An RCC matrix (Howard 2009a), resulting from a new correlation approach to analyze Y-DNA haplotypes, is used in conjunction with a standard Mathematica application program to produce a dated phylogenetic tree. The program displays the evolutionary relationships among all haplotypes in the matrix; it groups closely related surnames into family clusters that correlate well with genealogical pedigrees. The time scale assigned to the tree is monotonic, linear, and dates the evolutionary relationships of Y-DNA testees that may go back tens of thousands of years. This study is arguably the first to investigate the time relationships between surname Y-DNA haplotypes, pedigree- and RCC matrix-derived surname clusters and their associated phylogenetic tree. It offers a straightforward methodology and a uniform time scale that can also be used to estimate the evolutionary relationships among Y-DNA haplogroups."

If you would like to see an example of a professional treatment of surname project phylogenetic trees, this is one. This TMRCA report is a little heavy on the mathematics (using Howard's correlation technique, RCC, previously published in JoGG). They have brief graphical displays of the genealogy trees in the Gordon Project, along with the graphic displays of the mathematical results.

To give an idea of the amount of work involved, they analyze two Gordon clusters, I1 and R1b:

The Evolutionary Diagrams of the Major Gordon Surname Clusters and Interclusters in Haplogroups I1 and R1b1b2

I have to say that I was most intrigued by the correlation of the Gordon surname to "Historical Events."

A Comparison of Events in the Evolution of Gordon Clusters and Events in European and Scottish History from the Maximum of the Last Glaciation to 2500 BCE

If I read that correctly, they have the Gordon Haplotype I1 populating Norway, Sweden, and Scotland from between 7500 BC to 9500 BC.

If so, then this is in huge disagreement with the "Ancient Migrations" that I derived for I1 and R1b in the Ham Country blog articles using McGee's Utility and Y-DNA STR values to trace ancient migrations of off modal I1 and R1b:

Perhaps this JoGG article might be a statement of their disagreement with my STR geographic analysis. However, they have been careful not to correlate geographic locations with the samples. They simply list historical events next to the tree. However, the article does contrast with my ancient migration blogs because in this article, the timeline is far larger.



The Journal of Genetic Genealogy, Fall, 2011

The Gordon DNA Project

House of Gordon research

DNA processing lab
Mathematica software program:

"Ancient Migrations" that I derived for I1 and R1b in the Ham Country blog articles using McGee's Utility and Y-DNA STR values to trace ancient migrations of off modal I1 and R1b:
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