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  • 1000 year old brothers found again.

    Just a note to say thanks to FTDNA and for the posting of email addresses for DNA matches, I have been in contact via email with a perfect 12 marker match! However, since our surnames and locations are very different, our matches would indicate we were brothers one thousand or so years ago.

    Though our physical appearances are very different today, (as are the countries and cultures we live in) we seemed to share some odd second sense of brotherly DNA. As we both agreed, it seemed we were somehow searching for each other.

    Hopefully he will be in the states soon for us to meet in person. In the meantime we email each other with pictures and stories. Not knowing what to send someone who I have never met personally though who I seem to have known all my life, I wrote the below poem. I had it framed and mailed it to him. I hope others have such positive and good experiences as we have.

    Thanks again!

    ~ A Point of Return ~

    One thousand years ago,
    two brothers came into the world.

    Born on the Asian plain,
    they shared home, hearth and love.

    But it soon became time
    for the two brothers to say goodbye,
    for it was time to painfully part.

    One traveled far to the West,
    the other to the East, both to begin again.

    To new and different lives the brothers had,
    though very much apart.

    Now, one thousand years later,
    the two brothers say hello - once again.

  • #2
    This is a beautiful sentiment. I can relate to the feeling of a special human connectedness

    Comment


    • #3
      Value of a 12 marker match

      Originally posted by Danny
      Just a note to say thanks to FTDNA and for the posting of email addresses for DNA matches, I have been in contact via email with a perfect 12 marker match! However, since our surnames and locations are very different, our matches would indicate we were brothers one thousand or so years ago.
      Danny,

      I don't mean to denigrate the real emotions you've expressed in your posting or give you a letdown, but frankly a 12 marker match does not indicate a great deal about relatedness between two people. I don't think a 12 marker match indicates a common ancestor within the last thousand years. I think you would need a 25 marker match to be able to say that. It's even possible that you and the person you're corresponding with are in different haplogroups and haven't had any common ancestor in 40,000 or 50,000 years!

      I would suggest that if you're interested in your deep ancestry that you take up the great offer FTDNA has of very affordable deep clade tests, which establish what is your haplogroup, down to subclade. That would allow you to find out much more about your deep ancestry than a 12 marker result does. Once you know your haplogroup and subclade, that would allow you to connect with people with whom you share a common ancestor within the last 10,000 or 20,000 years, perhaps less.

      And think about this - it's fairly well scientifically established that all humans today are descendants of a "genetic Adam" who lived in East Africa about 60,000 years ago. So, ultimately we're all brothers through that common ancestor.

      Mike Maddi

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for your kind comments, however (and perhaps someone from FTDNA will inject in here), I thought that the 12-marker test did indeed show the likelyhood of a common ancestor (if surnames were different) of 25 - 30 generations ago - a 95% probabability I thought. I will find the exact wording if you would like but it is on this website somewhere. If there was no connection, then why bother to even match the 12-markers at all?

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=....... If there was no connection, then why bother to even match the 12-markers at all?[/QUOTE]

          I have seen/heard many question the value of only testing 12 markers. The one purpose I know of is to act as an initial screen of possible relatives with the same surname. A mismatch will disprove kinship, while a match will suggest additional testing to prove that connection.
          Floyd

          Comment


          • #6
            My father matches on 34 of 37 markers with a man with a different surname, albeit with a surname with a common heritage on the borders of England and Scotland. FTDNATiP says we likely had a common ancestor within the last 600 to 700 years, which sounded reasonable to both of us; although really unactionable. We were both tested for haplogroup. He is an I, my dad is a J2. There is no common ancestor between us for 10s of thousands of years. Our previous sense of "connectedness" was unfounded. He's a nice guy, but he's not a cousin.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Danny
              Thank you for your kind comments, however (and perhaps someone from FTDNA will inject in here), I thought that the 12-marker test did indeed show the likelyhood of a common ancestor (if surnames were different) of 25 - 30 generations ago - a 95% probabability I thought.
              A perfect match on a 12 marker test puts the probability of a common ancestor within 62 generations (2,000 years) at about 95%.

              http://nitro.biosci.arizona.edu/ftdna/12-0-0.html

              A large percentage of perfect 12 marker matches with different surnames turn out to be unrelated.


              Originally posted by Danny
              If there was no connection, then why bother to even match the 12-markers at all?
              The primary use of the 12 marker test is to confirm the relation of two people who are already suspected of being related (e.g. they share a surname). It can also serve as a crude and imperfect (but inexpensive) predictor of Haplogroup.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by vineviz
                A perfect match on a 12 marker test puts the probability of a common ancestor within 62 generations (2,000 years) at about 95%.

                http://nitro.biosci.arizona.edu/ftdna/12-0-0.html

                A large percentage of perfect 12 marker matches with different surnames turn out to be unrelated.
                The above is contradictory. A common ancestor within the last 2000 years is a relation, albeit a distant one. Being "related" is itself a relative term!

                One of my pet peeves in genealogy is the overemphasis on "historic" relatedness, which is typically often defined as relatedness within the time frame of surnames. This is rather laughable, insofar as the introduction of surnames took place in very different centuries in different parts of the world!

                For example, many or most Polish-Americans descend from Polish peasants, who until about 1850 were serfs. (A serf is basically a slave who is tied to his little plot of land; he is implicitly included whenever the plot of land is bought or sold, but is never bought or sold apart from his little plot of land. A serf is not very different, in practice, from a plantation slave.) But the surnames of Polish serfs did not stabilize until 1850!

                http://www.polishroots.org/genpoland/surnames.htm
                ---
                Peasants didn't have surnames in our contemporary meaning of the word surnames until practically the late 1600's. They were using nicknames to discriminate between people with the same Christian name, but these were generally not passed from generation to generation. This custom appeared in the first half of the 18th century, at first in the Western parts of Poland and then later in the East. Despite this, within the next 100 years, surnames were often modified within a given family both by spelling and by suffixes. After 1850 the practice of developing surnames had mostly ended throughout the entire population.
                ---

                My point is that one of the greatest uses of genetic genealogy is to establish relationships before the introduction of surnames. FamilyTreeDna has not yet posted the results of my tests, but when they do, I will be very happy if I find anyone with whom I share a common 1100-year-old ancestor, because that will mean that we both descend from the original Polish clan when it separated from the other West Slavs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lgmayka
                  The above is contradictory. A common ancestor within the last 2000 years is a relation, albeit a distant one. Being "related" is itself a relative term!
                  There is no contradiction. The majority of folks who have a close match with 12 markers see that match fall apart with more accurate 25 or 37 marker tests or with SNP testing.

                  In short, having a common ancestor DOES IMPLY a relationship. A 12 marker match DOES NOT IMPLY that having a common ancestor is likely.

                  No one can stop you from being excited about the possibility of having a common ancestor within the past two millenia. The fact remains, however, that a 12 marker test is essentially useless for proving relationships.
                  Last edited by vineviz; 31 March 2006, 10:52 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vineviz
                    A 12 marker match DOES NOT IMPLY that having a common ancestor is likely...The fact remains, however, that a 12 marker test is essentially useless for proving relationships.
                    Family Tree DNA disagrees with you vigorously:

                    http://www.familytreedna.com/faq2.html#table1
                    ---
                    95% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations
                    12 of 12..........29
                    ---

                    Thus, Family Tree DNA asserts that a 12-of-12 match has a 95% probability of sharing a common ancestor within the last 29 generations. If we consider a typical generation (age difference between father and son) to be 25 years, this relationship may be as much as 725 years old (though it may also be much less, too). A 725-year-old kinship may not be useful for conventional genealogical charts, but is quite meaningful for sentimental purposes.

                    Once again I emphasize that you are getting confused by the artificial concept of historical (i.e., written) genealogy. For most people, historical genealogy almost requires the use of surnames (simply because without surnames, reliable tracking from generation to generation becomes almost impossible). But surnames, and the demand for them, are artifices (i.e., of deliberate human construction). My example of Polish serfs illustrates that not everyone has the "luxury" of restricting himself to surname-driven genealogy.

                    Please don't misunderstand me. I fully support the testing of more markers than 12. I myself have ordered a full 59-marker Y-DNA test as well as mtDNAplus. But it is simply incorrect to throw a wet blanket on a poster's enthusiasm simply because you--and not he--restrict yourself to surname-driven genealogy.
                    Last edited by lgmayka; 1 April 2006, 06:09 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here is what FTDNA says about 12-of-12 matches with other surnames:

                      http://www.familytreedna.com/facts_g...t=show&nk=2.11
                      ---
                      Understanding Your Results: Matching Other Surnames
                      ================================================== ==

                      For Y DNA test results, matches with other Surnames can occur. These matches are the result of one of the following events:

                      1. You share a common ancestor before the establishment of surnames
                      2. Convergence: where both participant's result mutated and now match
                      3. An adoption
                      4. An extramarital event
                      5. A branch of the family adopted a different surname

                      Matches with other surnames are typically more prevalent with those who are Haplogroup R1b.

                      Most likely, when you match some one with a different surname, you share a common ancestor before the establishment of surnames or convergence occurred.
                      ---

                      "Convergence," mentioned above, is the slight possibility (less than 5%, according to FTDNA's charts) that the two humans' lines diverged many thousands of years ago and then, by chance, mutated toward a common 12-marker sequence.

                      Other than this low probability, FTDNA asserts that a 12-of-12 match is a relationship, though perhaps not within the time frame of surnames. But again I emphasize that some of us have only had surnames since 1850. (And that was in Europe! I have to assume that some other parts of the world adopted surnames even later.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lgmayka
                        Please don't misunderstand me. I fully support the testing of more markers than 12. I myself have ordered a full 59-marker Y-DNA test as well as mtDNAplus. But it is simply incorrect to throw a wet blanket on a poster's enthusiasm simply because you--and not he--restrict yourself to surname-driven genealogy.
                        I stand by my earlier statement that a perfect 12 marker match does not indicate anything close to certainty that there is a common ancestor in the last 1000 years. With only 12 markers, there is clearly a significant possibility of convergence of haplotypes for two people who have no common ancestor in any thing like the last 1000 years or more. If a perfect 12 marker match guaranteed the certainty that two people shared an ancestor in that period of time, there would be no need for 25 or 37 or 59 markers. And if two people who match perfectly at 12 markers turn out to be in different haplogroup subclades, then you are not talking about a common ancestor in the last 10,000-20,000 years, at a minimum.

                        I speak as someone who is not basing his hope on matching with someone with the same surname. My great-grandfather was abandoned at birth and I have no idea of the surname of his birth father. So when I match perfectly at 37 markers with someone with Sicilian ancestors of any surname, then I will know that he and I share a common ancestor in much less than 1000 years.

                        Mike Maddi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MMaddi
                          With only 12 markers, there is clearly a significant possibility of convergence of haplotypes for two people who have no common ancestor in any thing like the last 1000 years or more.
                          This is the crux of the issue. Rephrased, this is the question we need to ask FTDNA:

                          When FTDNA's tables give a 95% confidence level for common ancestry, are cases of convergence included in the 5% failure rate? Or must customers consider convergence as a separate, additional source of ancestry mismatch? If convergence is indeed a separate, additional source of ancestry mismatches, can FTDNA make an attempt to calculate the probability of convergence, and to incorporate such calculations into its probability tables? Certainly, FTDNA experts ought to be able to estimate the probability of convergence better than ordinary customers!


                          By the way, I am sorry to hear that you cannot trace your surname very far back either.
                          Last edited by lgmayka; 1 April 2006, 02:39 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lgmayka
                            Family Tree DNA disagrees with you vigorously:

                            http://www.familytreedna.com/faq2.html#table1
                            ---
                            95% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations
                            12 of 12..........29
                            ---

                            Thus, Family Tree DNA asserts that a 12-of-12 match has a 95% probability of sharing a common ancestor within the last 29 generations. If we consider a typical generation (age difference between father and son) to be 25 years, this relationship may be as much as 725 years old (though it may also be much less, too). A 725-year-old kinship may not be useful for conventional genealogical charts, but is quite meaningful for sentimental purposes.
                            ..................
                            .
                            This is what FTDNA says about 12-of-12 matches with DIFFERENT surnames:
                            "If you compare the 12 marker result to someone else who does not have the same surname, but the scores match, you are most likely NOT recently related. When we use the term recently related, we are talking about a time frame within the last 1000 years or 40 generations, a time depth that accommodates the earliest known use of surnames."
                            Note that FTDNA is using 25 years per generation. I have one ancestor, born almost exactly 1000 years before me, that is 31 generations back, about 29 years per generation. I feel much more comfortable with a generation number around 30 years. (40 generations ~ 1200 years) Based on my single data point, but also supporeted by the large number of males in my tree that fathered around a dozen children when between 20 and 40 years of age.
                            1000 years is about when surnames came into use in Britain, following the Domesday Book (1086).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lgmayka
                              Once again I emphasize that you are getting confused by the artificial concept of historical (i.e., written) genealogy. For most people, historical genealogy almost requires the use of surnames (simply because without surnames, reliable tracking from generation to generation becomes almost impossible). But surnames, and the demand for them, are artifices (i.e., of deliberate human construction).
                              I am not confused. If you think I am, it is only because you failed to read what I wrote. I'll write it again.

                              The majority of 12-marker matches are NOT matches when 25, 37, or 59 markers are tested.

                              A partial match (e.g. just two two-step mismatches) on a 25, 37, or 59 market test pushes the 95% confidence interval out to something like 70 generations. Most 12 marker matches fail to even match that well on subsequent testing.

                              Again, I say that if the possibility of having a common ancestor 2,000 or 3,000 years ago excites you then more power to you. I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade.

                              The fact is, however, that the most generous conclusion supported by a perfect 12/12 match is that a common ancestor can not be ruled out.

                              Originally posted by lgmayka
                              Family Tree DNA disagrees with you vigorously:

                              http://www.familytreedna.com/faq2.html#table1
                              ---
                              95% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations
                              12 of 12..........29
                              This chart is listing the probable time frame in which the MRCA lived ASSUMING there is a MRCA. This is different from the probability that such a MRCA exists. These probabilities are not interchangeable.

                              The correct probabilities can be found here:
                              http://nitro.biosci.arizona.edu/ftdna/12-0-0.html
                              Last edited by vineviz; 2 April 2006, 06:38 PM.

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