Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DNA Tested for Male SIM - Part 1 of 3

In May 2017, a SIM male (my brother) was gracious enough to donate some of his DNA for genetic testing.  The main objective was to find the origins of the SIM family via the Y-chromosome or male line. 

Why this test was selected: The test purchased was from LivingDNA, a company that claims it can provide information on the specific areas of the United Kingdom/Ireland that your ancestors lived.  It is known that Living DNA test results will show higher percentages of UK ancestors, but that is ok since we are really only trying to find the locations that can help us pinpoint the SIM family. 

Autosomal DNA map
The tests included much more information than needed for the objective:  Autosomal DNA (from both parents), Y-chromosome DNA (paternal line) and mitochondrial DNA (maternal line).  The map above shows the autosomal DNA which includes 50% of the father's DNA (which we know is United Kingdom origins - green color on map) and 50% of the mother's DNA (Western European origins - hot pink color). 

A few surprises showed up with some minute amounts of Scandinavian (rose color, those Vikings got around!) and Basque (purple color) DNA. The Basque DNA was reported only on the mother's line, but was eliminated when they calculated results with more stringent probabilities.  The report stated that Basque would be found in many tests since the Basque population migrated and can be found in most of Europe.

Genealogy Research

The autosomal DNA test is supposed to give information up to 10 generations into the past.  We really don't have a complete record in our family tree research beyond 6 generations. From our research, we know that in the 1700s, the SIM ancestors were in Scotland and Ireland.  Some of the OTWELL ancestors from England had already immigrated to the American colonies.  Other OTWELL ancestors were still in England and Ireland. 

Autosomal DNA

Autosomal DNA includes the DNA from both parents. 50% is from the mother and 50% is from the father, but each individual inherits different portions within that 50%.  Keep in mind that even a sibling of the test subject will show slightly different percentages.

The test subject’s maternal line is European and the paternal line is English/Scottish/Irish. 
Comparing our Family Tree Research and the DNA results:


As expected per online comments about this particular test, the LivingDNA test ran higher than expected for UK origins(58% vs 50% expected).  But, that is pretty close.

In our research, we have about 6% unknown origins.  The original OTWELLs that came to the colonies in the 1600s were from England.  We have had difficulty tracing many of the wives that appear before 1800.  I have assumed they were of English ancestry and the DNA test may have confirmed that. 

What is interesting is the smaller percentage of Irish origins in the DNA results.  The DNA shows 12.2% of the DNA from NW Scotland.  This area includes part of northern Ireland in addition to NW Scotland.  We know that the WALLACE and HUSTON lines were from northern Ireland.  We do not know from which part of Ireland the ASH (or ASHE) line originated.  We also know that the Irish surname WALLACE means "foreigner".  The DNA may indicate that much of the Irish lines originated in England or Scotland as late as the early 1700s.

In Part 2, we will look closer at these specific locations in the United Kingdom.

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