Monday, August 23, 2010

Beginning Steps to using Family Finder or Autosomal DNA Tests

We are getting queries and getting results with the new Family Finder test available from Family Tree DNA.  There are many benefits to using Family Finder.  One is to confirm how collatoral branches of families link together.  This will become quite useful to the Taylor project over time.  Even today we have "matches" where we can confirm that two or more individuals with different pedigrees have "related" DNA, but we do not know from the y-DNA or the paper trail exactly where the lines converge into a common ancestor.

With Family Finder we should be able to see where two (or more) lines converge if it is within the last seven generations.  This is because Family Finder works best with relationships at the 5th cousin or closer range. 

One of the steps in using Family Finder, other than submitting a sample, is to provide a list of surnames in your family line.  I have done this for my direct line and will include it below as an example.  Since the test goes out to fifth cousins, ideally you will go out to your seventh generation in lineage.  I have a couple of gaps, but most of my other 5 times great-grandparents are included.  Some of the surnames are duplicated, so that reduces the number and for some I give alternate spellings.

  • Augustus

  • Barteaux/Berteaux

  • Beall/Bell

  • Born

  • Bright/Brecht

  • Cassell

  • Crockwell

  • Dickerson

  • Foster

  • Gaston

  • Glover

  • Harbaugh

  • Hinton

  • Hockersmith

  • Hutt

  • Jackson

  • Johnson

  • LeCain

  • Leonard

  • Lingenfelter

  • Lockwood

  • Madden

  • McDonald

  • Mead(e)

  • Moore

  • Perry

  • Pope

  • Pulliam

  • Rice

  • Ritchie

  • Robinson

  • Ryerson

  • Scott

  • Simon

  • Smith

  • Spence

  • Springer

  • Starratt

  • Stone

  • Taylor

  • Vail

  • Wheat

  • Whitman

 Assembling that list of surnames will be vital to matching records--documented paper records--when you get a Family Finder match.  It's time to start your own list!
Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project

Friday, August 20, 2010

Taylor Project is Increasing and Getting Better

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a Cultural History)

I've been less communicative in this blog lately, but Taylor work is proceeding.  The project as a whole is now over 380 members.  We've established goals and metrics to make sure we are progressing.  And we have been having busy "conversations" behind the scenes with the five active and two "retired" administrators.

In addition to the metrics, we've been struggling with making the project useful for all Taylors.  A major roadblock is that 85% of our members are of Western European haplotypes, yet we have a dearth of UK Taylors for comparison.  Taylor is one of the most common surnames among English speakers, which is exactly why so many Taylors become keenly interested in genetic genealogy.  There is no other way, sometimes, to distinguish us!

Consider these map suggestions from Alasdair MacDonald : "I had a wee look at several sites to get a handle of the distribution of the Taylor surname in the UK and in particular Scotland. You may already be familiar with them; they are helpful for initial general analysis:

"By clinking on the maps it shows the most prolific counties for the Taylor surname – the north east of Scotland is a stronghold:

"Similar information here:"

We thank Mr. MacDonald, a Scottish advocate of genetic genealogy, for this information.  If you look at the maps you will notice a strong convergence of Taylors in one region of Scotland.  Is any project member planning a trip there?  Take along information about Family Tree DNA, and plan to proselytize along the way!

Lalia for the Taylor Surname Project