Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My DNA News of the Week: SNPs and AncestryDNA Search

Many SNPs available for sale in the R Haplo

Last Friday, April 25, Family Tree DNA began to offer again for sale individual SNPs. They also expanded the number of SNPs available for purchase by including newly identified SNPs which have been discovered in partnership with the Genographic Project. These SNP markers are useful in identifying ancient migrations of the human population.
DYS425 Null for
Several of our testers in our Forgey/Forgy & Forgie Project have done deep clade testing to determine the origins our family. Our surname sounds vaguely French, and the spelling looks a little French. According to Lucille Wallace, the author of an extensive family history, the surname was most likely derived from the surname Ferguson and was Scots-Irish. It was still possible that the family had been Norman. A distant cousin Roger Forgey took an SNP test recommended by the Ferguson group administrator, which turned out to be positive for the SNP L126/S165+. This suggests our family has been in Brittan for thousands of years. This particular SNP also points to the family being in Scotland for 1500 to 5000 years. So our family wasn't Norman. Testing a single SNP was an inexpensive way to answer our question about family origins. Even after the release of the expanded SNP tree at Family Tree DNA that SNP is still a terminal one with no options for further testing at this time. Our question has been answered to my satisfaction at this time anyway.   I think SNP testing is worthwhile only if you can test an SNP that is unique enough to be useful. I suspect many are too broad ranging to be useful.

I was inspired by all this SNP talk to Google our SNP again and see what the latest research has uncovered about it. Sounds like the definition of this SNP is the same as in 2011. I did however find an interesting Forum post about the determination of the broader Haplo M284. Dr. Kenneth Norveldt explained that a null value on marker DYS425 was a hallmark of this Haplo. Only one person in our group tested 67 markers and the DYS 425 marker. I did find the null value which confirms this haplo. Nice to see that confirmation.

My AncestryDNA search isn't working correctly again. I searched Forgey and two of my matches aren't showing up. I searched another surname I had problems with before and it's not displaying correctly either. I suspect more accounts may have the same problem; but, some of these customers probably aren't aware that some of their surnames aren't showing up. Bugs in these massive databases seem to be common and difficult to repair. Here is an example of my current issue:

These are the results I got when the surname search worked correctly

These are the results I'm currently getting. Two matches are missing and they still are in my match list.

I was hoping we would have the new Population Finder at Family Tree DNA by now. They may not release it until a conference in late May? Our Y DNA project is still awaiting another result in batch 563 which may come in this week?


Nan Harvey said...

Indiana University has started offering a grad certificate in "Big Data". It's the latest push in Information Science because of the difficulty of dealing with large databases. I always think of Ancestry when I read about it.

Annette Kapple said...

Family Tree DNA is having similar problems. Today I noticed practically all my matches now say 4-26 as the match date. Setting up the new population finder may have caused this glitch?