Twigs to Trees
Mary Helen Haines
Hello everyone. Summer has arrived in Texas with all the ensuing heat. I am looking forward to our Annual Members Meeting in September at Estes Park, Colorado where the temperatures will be perfect! I hope to see some of you there and have a chance to meet in person.
The biggest change that has occurred in our MacFarlane DNA project is the new rule that affects privacy. It is a big headache for the administrators because we cannot see your results or matches unless you specifically go to your settings and allow access. This means we can’t help you interpret results or make meaning from your results. So, please, if you haven’t already done so, follow the instructions here:
- 1. Log into your FTDNA personal home page and hover your cursor over your name on the top right hand side. This will create a drop down menu.
- 2. Click on 'Privacy & Sharing', then when the new screen comes up, click on the tab 'Project Preferences'.
- 3. Click on the 'Edit' button for the MacFarlane project.
- 4. Please grant ‘Limited Access’ to everyone.
Also, do this for any other project that you have joined at FTDNA, because all administrators of the projects are in the same boat.
The newest task I have taken on is to administer a couple of new DNA projects with FamilyTreeDNA. The Mobley surname is part of my distant lineage, and is also my husband’s mother’s name. By comparing my FF matches with his FF matches, I found that we are distantly related….oh my! They do say that we are all 6 degrees of separation and now I totally believe it. I am also the 6th cousin of my husband’s step-father. This is the fun of genealogy…..finding all the connections.
Twigs to Trees
Mary Helen Haines
Hello everyone. Now that we have changed our newsletter format, my column, Twigs to Trees will be published directly on our website under the Genealogy section. I will continue to post every three months, so expect new columns in March, June, September, and December.
I will continue to post information on the latest DNA results and genealogical histories submitted by our members. We now have over 1000 participants in the MacFarlane project administered by Terrance Gach MacFarlane at https://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=MacFarlane Many people who did their Family Finder test with Ancestry have transferred their information so they can have the additional matches within our project. If you have done a test with Ancestry, please consider adding to your options
Also, do not forget to always check our database maintained by our team member Andrew Macfarlane at http://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/ to look for your family line. If you see an error, please contact us in order to add or make corrections to the information we have posted.
Please let me know if you have a particular ancestor that you would like recognized, either as part of this blog, or your own separate article.
We have come a long way with DNA testing. Years ago, when this project started, we assumed that if your STR’s matched, then somehow you were related. The fewer differences, the closer you were related. While that can be the case, what we found is that STR mutations can happen at any time, in any generation. You can have a 100% match with someone, and that person could be a 6th cousin, while another match with 2 differences could be your 1st cousin. Or, as we now know, that person could be from a different lineage all together.
It is still important to start with the STR test. My recommendation for all males is to take the 37 marker test first. That will match you with people within the time frame for possible research. After those results come in, it is time to take one of the various SNP tests to determine your haplogroup. The importance of the Big Y test is that it covers all your SNPs. It is also important that at least two people from the same lineage take the Big Y to discover if there are any particular SNPs that define your particular lineage.
I will try to explain this using my own family line; the line of Robert McFarland who died in 1751 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in northern Ireland and came to America about 1718 as part of that large migration. Because of the Big Y test taken by several men, we have discovered that the SNP BY3019 is a common SNP to our line. So far, there are 13 men who have tested positive for that particular SNP. More are awaiting results. However, a recent Big Y test, from a man who is NOT descended from Robert, but is descended from a John McFarland, also born in northern Ireland at about the same time as Robert, who came to America and died also in Lancaster County, revealed that he too had the BY3019 SNP. That means that this SNP goes back to Ireland, and not all men who carry that SNP are descended from Robert. It could be that John is a brother of Robert, but we just don’t know.
In order to reveal any more SNPs downstream from BY3019, more members need to do the full Big Y when they can afford it. For example, in order to determine if there is a common SNP for a particular lineage within the BY3019, you need more than two men from a particular lineage to take the full Big Y. Right now, two men from the line of James C. McFarland have taken the test and found a common SNP BY28612. Their common ancestor is James C., so that SNP can be considered the defining SNP for this line.
For my own particular lineage, we are awaiting results from my 2nd cousin’s test, to see if we have a downstream SNP from BY3019 that would define the lineage of John “Scotland John” McFarland who was married to Mary Montgomery. This is a very large group of people, and if we can find a common SNP, then it would further prove connections for those people without a paper trail.