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trying to figure out lineage

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  • trying to figure out lineage

    I’m circling back and trying to understand some things on Y-DNA STRS and possible paternal lineage in I-P37. There are 3 other Langston’s on FTDNA that I’m related to according to the Y-DNA test. I know all 3 of them and communicate with them regularly. We all have a common ancestor, Dempsey Langston b. 1780 d. 1842 from Nansemond County VA, supposedly. When I look at the I-P37 group and our matches at 37, 67, and 111 it seems all of us are more similar to the Binghams and Reddicks in the Scots-Irish I-P37 group. I've studied both the Bingham and Reddick projects along with the I2a group and the TiP reports from my matching page. Unique among us Langstons are STR values of 28 in DYS449, 33-37 in CDY, and 11 at DYS438. My 1st cousin and myself have 111 and 67 markers tested, respectively. My 2nd cousin and 4th cousin only have 37 markers tested. At 37 markers, I’m a genetic distance of 0 to my 1st cousin and a 2 to both my 2nd and 4th cousins. Both my second cousins have DYS570 value at 19 where my 1st cousin and myself are at 18. Obviously there was an out of wedlock pregnancy, a name change, or an adoption somewhere before 1780. Also at 37 markers I have Reddicks and Binghams in the 3 and 4 genetic distance range which is similar to my 67 marker results. I'm trying to figure out where the Langstons come in at or before 1780. My paper trial ends at the birth of Dempsey Langston (1780) by unknown parents. I've pieced together some information from a Revolutionary War land grant that was awarded to several heirs in 1834, but no Reddicks or Binghams in that mix. Actually the Reddick and Bingham surnames are not used anywhere in our genealogical records. Most of the Langstons in the U.S. are in haplogroup J. In the area where me and my ancestors lived Riddick (form of Reddick) is a fairly popular name, and I found one individual from this area that was a match to me at 37 markers, but he had already passed and my only correspondence has been with his wife and daughter.

  • #2
    The history of the adoption of stable, fixed surnames, such that they are reliable passed from father to son, is complicated. One possible explanation for your data is that, at some point in the distant past, and possibly as recently as the 18th Century, a group of related families adopted different surnames (and kept them in succeeding generations), with the result that their Y chromosomes are very similar. In some parts of the world, stable surnames were not the norm even as late as the early 19th Century (areas where patronymic systems were in effect, for example). If you or any of your Langston matches want to spring for the Big Y test, you might be able to get a clearer view of the situation. I had the situation where my only decent matches were McMillans, while I'm a McCoy. The Big Y revealed that I'm out on a little twig of the Y haplotree, separated by several mutations from the McMillan group, and vastly separated from the rest of the McCoys. Once I understood that, I could see that (1) I can safely ignore the other McCoys who have been tested, we don't come from the same lineage at all, and (2) the McMillans must have come from a common ancestor quite a long time ago, well before the earliest available records, so I can ignore them too, at least for now. Where does that leave me? Still waiting for some closer matches, and especially, matches from any of the possible McCoy families that crossed paths with mine in the first half of the 19th Century.

    The Family Finder test is indeed interesting, especially if you transfer the data to GEDmatch, where you can explore individual matching segments with more powerful tools. But it can be difficult to make progress with autosomal DNA data unless you can test known relatives as well, as many as possible. Once you have a set of known relatives with autosomal DNA data, the next difficulty is that a large number of your shared matches will probably not post usable pedigrees, and many of them will know little or nothing about their own genealogy (but that's an opportunity to help them, by sharing your information). But with patience, usable clues do eventually emerge. The autosomal DNA tests will reliable detect most relatives out to about 3rd cousins, but real, useful matches do turn up back to at least 5th cousins from time to time.