Saturday, July 4, 2015

Y-DNA test When No Paternal Relative Is Available II

This post will again address genetic genealogy for Irish, Scots, and Scots-Irish, when no male relative is available to DNA test.  Why is a male needed?   In surname studies we use the Y chromosome, it is only passed from father to son. 

Women cannot take this test.  And males that are researching a line other than their father cannot use their Y chromosome test to find matches.  Males only carry the Y chromosome of their father and no other Y chromosome will show up in their DNA test. 

So, what do women, and men researching lines other than their father's, do?  

Here is an example:  I have already researched my father's paternal line, all the way back to Ireland and Scotland.  Found them, have been over to visit, found the progenitor in the primary sources.  Total success. 
But, I wanted to research my father's mother's father's line.  Their surname is Tweedy and I do not carry the Tweedy Y chromosome.  However, I do carry a lot of Tweedy DNA, just not the Y chromosome.  I used another test which used this other DNA material.

I did the Family Tree autosomal DNA test.  They call it their Family Finder test.   Through this test I located a female Tweedy cousin.  She had a brother.  He did carry the Tweedy Y chromosome and we had him do the Y chromosome DNA test.  Through this simple method we obtained the Tweedy Y chromosome and are using it to research the family.

I manage several large Scottish and Ulster DNA projects.  There are hundreds of people that have used this method to research a family line where they do not have access to a known male descendent. 

Autosomal DNA testing does have limitations.  As a research tool, it can only go back around five generations.  But, most people can locate a co-lateral line they need within this time frame.  In my case it was fourth cousins and the time connection was mid 1800s. 

All you need is one good match to the family you want to research and then have a male in that family test their Y chromosome.

Once you get the Y chromosome, you are set.  The Y chromosome does not have time limitations, you will find close cousins, find distant cousins in Ireland and Scotland, confirm real clan connections,  and even research tribal histories going back several thousand years. 

My recent book, Finding the McCains is a guide that illustrates how much can be accomplished through a well run Y chromosome genetic genealogy project 

Good luck with your research and do not fret about those brick walls, they can be smashed.



uaeblond said...

Great information...Thank you!

Onepony2002 said...

I had been looking for a man named Sheppard who a a descendant of my husband's Scotland-born ggfather without success. You reminded me that I can also look down all the lines for someone to take the autosomal test. Thanks.