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150 year old paternity test

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  • 150 year old paternity test

    I'm a male and I started genealogy back in 1995 when I got Family Tree Maker. I interviewed my great uncle (father's father's brother) about the family and he gave me a little bit of information on his father's father so my paternal line. His name was Elvin Mathis Johnson from Tennessee, his wife was named Mary. He had a son from a previous marriage and then after marrying Mary moved to Texas and had 5 kids in 12 years then left the family behind while he went to California to find land for them to farm planning to send for them later. On the way he got sick and died in New Mexico.

    I found his marriage to Mary Casteel in 1879 Franklin Co., TN and found him in the Moore Co., TN census in 1880. I found him in the tax lists of Grayson Co., TX after that and know he died around 1895 but couldn't find anything further on him. He just wasn't anywhere in the 1870 or 1860 census of in the tax lists from Tennessee that I ordered. So back in 2002 I took a Y chromosome test at Ancestry but quickly transferred over here where they bumped me up to 25 markers for free.

    I had a handful of matches of all different names but nothing was exact and nothing seemed close. 10 years passed and occasionally a new match would pop up but no patterns. I eventually upgraded to 37 and then to 111 markers, did the backbone test, NGS 2.0 test and then the Big Y trying to whittle down my closest SNP figuring if I couldn't work backwards maybe I could start 1000s of years ago and work forward.

    Then suddenly a pattern started to emerge, the name Lentz or Lance occurred a few more times then the others which could be that they were testing more. More matches kept popping up at the 37 marker level and they didn't have the Lentz name but when I looked at their deeper ancestry I found they had just lost the name at some point it time and picked up a new one.

    I dug deeper into the Lentz family tree and found they came from Germany to Buncombe Co., NC and then spread out across the states but there was one line who went to middle Tennessee which was where my Johnson line came out of. In addition I took Family Finder and searched for matches who descended from the families of the Lentz men's wives. I found a few which also pointed to that one line who went to middle Tennessee.

    That all gave me lots of confidence that I was on the right track. My Big Y put me in a very rare SNP R-BY3493 so I contacted the members of the Lentz family and looked for known Lentz descendants who were willing to test. It wasn't hard to find one willing so he took the Big Y and he came back (in 4 weeks woohoo!) as R-BY3493.

    In addition when I reviewed his novel variants they fall into 3 categories. The first category is unreliable SNPs which seem to flip back and forth every few generations. The second is reliable SNPs shared by all members of U152 which is the grandfather SNP of BY3493. Then the last are reliable SNPs shared by only my match and myself. And that's the slam dunk, we shared a common ancestor within the last handful of generations.

    My research points to 1 of 2 brothers being Elvin's father. Isaac or Wilson Lentz. They were both married when Elvin was born so did they have an affair? Did they have a son who changed his name or left his life behind? Who was Elvin's mother? Every time a brick wall crumbles or falls there's always more questions but I can't believe this one cracked!

  • #2
    That's an interesting story. Did you both get your Big Y data analyzed with YFull? When you do, your shared novel SNP becomes a new SNP branch and you get an age estimation for that SNP.

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    • #3
      I'm at YFull now. Still waiting for my matches BAM file but plan on going there as soon as its available. YFULL has
      1. an amazing browser for the raw data, especially when you go through the groups.
      2. I'm hoping that the STRs that they pull out might be helpful as well.
      3. YFULL has additional novel variants that I can look at that aren't reported by FTDNA.

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      • #4
        Y Full

        Is this the one my brother is contemplating? He has the Ydna 67 and I have Ydna 111. Mine came via transfer out of Genographic 2.0 Next Generation - first upgraded to Family Member Finder (may not yet be ready?).

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