Had a lot going on in my DNA research this week. I started digging a little deeper into my Y-DNA results, to get a better idea of my haplogroup and subclade. By the by, when I'm talking about "my" Y-DNA results, I'm actually referring to a test taken by my paternal grandfather. But, since he and I have identical Y-DNA results (I compared my results from SMGF to his and they were a perfect match) for the rest of this post I'll be referring to "my"results, since they are the exact same as my grandpa's.
23andMe defined my Y-DNA haplogroup as R1b1b2a1a1d1*, a rather long name that didn't tell me much of anything. It also turns out to be an older name, as 23andMe is using an outdated version of the Y-DNA haplogroup tree (someone told me 2008? I don't know for sure, but I have been repeatedly told it's not current). Family Tree DNA defined my Y-DNA haplogroup as R1b1a2, but I was told that they weren't using the most recent version of the Y-DNA tree either. As I was repeatedly referred to the ISOGG website, I hopped over there, pulled up the 2012 Y-DNA SNP tree, and started trying to find my SNPs (23andMe is very helpful on this end, and gives you a list of SNPs you've tested positive for). I didn't know what information to look for exactly, or where my SNPs fit on the tree, so I wrote some of them down and emailed the Newbie DNA mailing list I'm on and asked for some help. I was told by some very helpful people that one of my SNPs, M405 was also known as U106, and was a major branch of the Y-DNA tree. They suggested I check and see what SNPs downstream from there I tested positive for.
So, I went back to the ISOGG tree, found U106, and started checking downward from there. In addition to the most current Y-DNA tree, ISOGG also has a SNP index, which gives all the names for each SNP (like how U106 and M405 are the same SNP), and sometimes its "address" on the Y-DNA chromosome. It's a good thing they post the address, because that's how 23andMe lets you look up SNPs they test for; you can't search by the shorthand name (like U106). So I started pulling up all the SNPs I could that were listed under U106, and eventually narrowed down my positives to just two more - L48 and L47. So I now knew my most recent Y-DNA SNP was L47. Cool! I went back to the mailing list and told my new friend what I'd discovered. He gave me the numbers for four more SNPs that were downstream of L47 - L44, L45, L46, and Z159. The first three were all tested by 23andMe, and they all came up negative on my test. The last one was not tested by 23andMe, so I don't know if I tested positive for it or not. My mailing list buddy said there was a mailing list specifically for U106, and that I should check with them to see if testing specifically for Z159 would be a good idea.
I joined the U106 mailing list and told them what my plan was - since I had tested positive for L48 and L47 and negative for all other SNPs under U106, I was going to test for Z159 and see if that's where my branch on the Y-DNA tree terminated. They said it was a good plan, and that I should go for it. I also found there is a U106 DNA project at FTDNA and joined it. The admin for the project also agreed that I should test for Z159, as all of their project members who tested L47+ and negative for all other SNPs (with the exception of one guy) had tested positive for Z159. I figured since the test was only $30, and that there were no other SNPs to test for under Z159 (at least at this point), and I really wanted to know exactly where on the Y-DNA tree my line fit, I'd go for it. I ordered the test on Tuesday, and was all excited to see how long it would be before the results came back. I was thinking somewhere between a few hours and Friday. Imagine how I felt when the test finally hit my "pending lab results" screen and the estimated completion date was in December! Well, since I can't go any further on that research right now, time to move on...
I spent a little time going back through Lisa's matches on AncestryDNA, to see if there were any other connections that suggested a common ancestor. Sadly, there weren't. I still need to do more with the two matches it already gave me though. Most of the surname matches are with common names like Johnson, Smith, etc. so I haven't followed up too closely with them. I did write to all of those who have locked/private trees to ask if we could put our heads together to try and find the matches. So far, no one has responded yet.
Also regarding my wife's DNA, my friend CeCe Moore posted a link in the DNA Newbie mailing list to this very interesting article by Roberta Estes, another genetic genealogist. Basically, she calls AncestryDNA's bluff on the massive amounts of Scandinavian DNA, saying that it's not a new discovery that everyone should ooh and ah about, it's an error and Ancestry needs to go back to the drawing board with their ethnic analysis. Harsh words, but perhaps necessary. I mean, I know my wife does not have 73% Scandinavian ancestry. I need to write them and ask them to reanalyze it. People speaking out caused them to announce the release of the raw DNA data sometime in early 2013. If enough people demand they redo their ethnicity tool, they'll have to do something about it.
And last but certainly not least, through the generous funding of a relative, I ordered a Relative Finder test for a possible Harris connection. I did some research on the ancestry of this possible relative and was able to go back pretty far, even to the the late 1700s on line. I'm really excited for this one, and hoping that the test will give me some answers on who and where my Harris relatives are. The lab received the test on the 23rd, so the results will hopefully be in sometime around election day. Boy, imagine if they came in that day! I'd be up all night both waiting for election results, and delving into DNA test results. Might have to pull an all-nighter on that one!
That's all the DNA news for now. Since I'm back to waiting for results, I'll try contacting those two matches of Lisa's, and probably get back to my documentation project. Just a few more folders to go, but they're big ones - Beilstein, Bergstad, Berry, Crawford, and Craddock. If memory serves, Beilstein, Bergstad and Berry should all be done, but I'll need to double check them to make sure. I know I didn't get through Craddock, and that's a big one. Crawford, don't have too much on them, so that one should be pretty short. And then I'll be done!! I will finally know where I stand on all my lines, with every discovery so far documented as best I can at this point. That will be a happy day. It would be great to start 2013 fresh, to pick a line to research and just research, without worrying whether I've entered everything on that person or family yet. That's my goal for the rest of 2012 - to get my documentation done. Wish me luck!