Sunday, October 25, 2009

Early Potential Success at 23andMe for the Vick and Allied Families DNA Project

While our VICK Y-DNA Surname Project participants almost all test at FamilyTree DNA we found a couple of matches at the old Relative Genetics (now Ancestry DNA) who didn't have the VICK surname. These two men did have the same surname and matching Y-DNA signatures. The two men didn’t match other men with their surname in their Relative Genetics project. Because our VICK ancestor’s Y-DNA signature (haplotype) is fairly rare (we are haplogroup Q1a3*) we were reasonably confident these two men's patrilineal ancestor was a VICK (their research can't extend their line in a county with many VICKs around the time of their ancestor’s birth in 1810). We ran into a problem trying to figure out which of our VICK ancestor’s sons these two men were descended from. They didn’t have enough markers to isolate a line and Relative Genetics didn’t test all of the markers that are branch informative for the VICKs. Compounding the problem was that the two men didn't want to submit new samples for testing at FTDNA. So, we seemed to be at a dead end.

When 23andMe came along we thought 23andMe was worth at try. We looked for someone to test in the two men's line so we could compare their results with the VICKs in our 23andMe project. The nice thing about 23andMe was that we could test women who were descendants of our VICK ancestor and non-patrilineal male VICK descendants. We weren't limited to male VICKs.

While we still have to go through the pedigrees and ensure we can find no other explanation, I still have to smile when I look at our 23andMe match of a non-patrilineal male VICK with a female descendant of the two men's line.

This match at least makes me see that 23andMe has promise. By the way, the match was in the “Distant Cousin” category for those who are looking at them at 23andMe and wondering about how useful they may be. The predicted range was 9th to 10th cousin, which could well be correct. We haven't had a match between two project members who are so distantly related in the VICK line.

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