Saturday, February 17, 2018

Way behind answering emails

Life is pretty hectic at the moment and I am way behind answering emails. I hope to get to some of the really outstanding ones this weekend.

Waiting patiently for Big Y Results for our Blake yDNA and they are due in mid to late March. I am fairly sure where these results will take us but nice to see the actual test results. This Blake line is quite ancient to the British Isles with the I-L1498 designation by FT DNA and the I-S2640 by Britains DNA. This is named as the "Deer Hunters" by Britains DNA. The Genetic Signature from the chromo2 chip is most interesting and with the newer testing by other companies add a number of other known common mutations to this particular line.  I had considered doing a full genetic scan of my brother but decided if I ever do do that I will do it on myself.

Other than that the days pass quickly the last six months and will continue apace for another six months. I hope to get back to writing our family story in the next few weeks but time will tell how much I get done.

I have not taken on any new projects other than looking at my DNA matches and I continue with those projects. I want to get back to my last post where I talked about match pileups and whether I can sort them into a particular grandparent phasing chart that I have produced. That is still a work in progress.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Set of matches on Chromosome 4 and Segment Search on Gedmatch

Working my way through matches on Gedmatch I discovered that I had four individuals and a family of three that were all matching me on chromosome 4 (and all matching each other). The start location varied between 83,882,518 and  93,686,575 and ending between  105,645,025 and 131,472,885. The total length in centimorgans varied between 17.5 and  30.3. This implies 3rd cousin once removed to 4th cousin but there is a much wider range in actuality. 3rd cousin once removed implies 2x great grandparents and 4th cousin we are looking at 3x great grandparents.

None of these individuals is known to me with regard to placement in my family tree. Their places of location include the British Isles, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. The resting spot for this particular match appears to be the Midlands of England but even that is not set in stone. Comparing these matches with my phased grandparents files leads me to my mother's side. Several of the individuals have X matches eliminating my father's father's line. I can not necessarily eliminate my father's mother's line (and do not) although I am dubious that the match lies on my father's side. The Buller family (my mother's mother's line) has settled in New Zealand, South Africa and Canada which struck me almost immediately when I looked at what I had written. But there isn't necessarily anything to connect any of these members to the Buller family.

I have a lot of information on my 3x great grandfather Christopher Buller and his wife Mary Beard.

I have collected all the information on these seven individuals into excel files. I have run Segment Matches on all of them. There is a lengthy list of matches that tends to be consistent between members. Basically another pile-up on Chromosome 4 but being on Chromosome 4 it tends to be more significant than a pile-up on Chromosome 23 the research tends to tell one. There is some overlap between matches on other chromosomes which is also interesting. I have not yet compared all of them to each other and need to do that.

The family group mentioned above has done a lot of research and are suspicious that this match is in the Birmingham area which fits well into my mother's mother's line. But one of the matches is in West Yorkshire and I have managed to trace her back to the mid 1800s and her family lines appear much deeper there. I will continue to work on her line as I know more about her because of shared information. I happen to have extensive East Riding of Yorkshire ancestry in my Gray line, My maternal grandfather's mother's father's line was from the East Riding of Yorkshire going back many generations.

I need a Research Plan to look at this material.

1. Produce a unified file for all of the matches
2. Continue researching the one member match in the West Riding of Yorkshire
3. Write to the three members, no email address for the fourth as she is part of a study by another researcher already known to me
4. Write to the manager of the family set to see if she has progressed in her research
5. Where I have an X match run the tree software on Gedmatch

Thursday, February 1, 2018

H11 Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 1

H11 Newsletter
Table of Contents
1.   FT DNA Project
2.   Project Statistics
3.   Latest release of the phylotree, Feb 2016
4.   Recent publication
5.   Future article
6.   Value of mtDNA testing

1.   FT DNA Project:
My life has become incredibly busy in a different way the past few months and my ability to keep up with my projects considerably diminished. I am hoping with the New Year that that will change and I can now complete some tasks that I set for myself with regard to the H11 project. There are now 274 members in our H11 project. Full sequence results are completed on 238 members of the group. Interestingly 189 members of this group have also done Family Finder. Unfortunately it is not possible to visually look at the Family Finder results as that would compromise the privacy of individuals. However, you can look at your matches in Family Finder. 

2.   Project Statistics (yDNA statistics removed):
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups
Family Finder
Genographic 2.0 Transfers
Maternal Ancestor Information
mtDNA Full Sequence
mtDNA Plus
mtDNA Subgroups
Total Members
Unreturned Kits

3.   The latest release of the phylotree used by FT DNA was dated 18 Feb 2016:

H11 breakdown in the PhyloTree mt:

Within the study group we have members in every sub-haplogroup except H11a5 (and it can be seen in the chart above that the mutation C15040T marks this subgrouping). 

*van Oven M, Kayser M. 2009. Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation. Hum Mutat 30(2):E386-E394.

4.   Recent publication:
Interesting information on H11 haplogroup published by Maciamo Hay (originally published in January 2014, last revised November 2016):

Haplogroup H11

H11a: found across most of northern, central, and in eastern Europe and in central Asia; found in middle Neolithic Germany and Megalithic Spain

H11b: found in Poland, Slovakia, Serbia, and England

A comment within the article: Other H subclades were also probably found among Mesolithic or later Upper Paleolithic Europeans based on their exclusive presence in Europe today. This could be the case of haplogroups H10, H11, H17, H45 as well as many minor subclades for which too little data is available at the moment, but that seem to be exclusively European. H10 and H11 have a stronger presence in Eastern and Central Europe and would have re-expanded from the Northern Black Sea Region rather than from Southwest Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum.

I did find the earlier reference to geographic location for H11a including central Asia to be a contrast to the idea expressed in the comment where H11 is said to “seem to be exclusively European.”

5.   Future article:
Hopefully, in the next issue, I will do a breakdown once again from the location material submitted by the members. It would be interesting to once again look at that with regard to the above mentioned article.

6.   Value of mtDNA testing:
The two paragraphs below discuss my own mitochondrial DNA results and the results for my husband. It is helpful for people to understand that the greatest value in mtDNA testing is knowledge about one’s deep ancestry anything else is just a luxurious happening. If anyone else has a good news story to share please send it in if you wish to have it published.

Mitochondrial DNA can be a very helpful tool to some for instance my mutations bring me to Argyllshire/Ayrshire Scotland or Ireland - thus far no exceptions in my many matches included in the project. That can be very helpful to some. However, it does not tell me the name of that distant ancestor. I am still stuck in Birmingham in the mid 1800s. I do have a possibility. That possibility in several generations does not lead me to Scotland or Ireland. Family Lore helps a little but nothing substantial from that either. My matches and my Living DNA results do point to my having a Irish/Scot connection but I do have 2 3x great grandparents with a Scot surname although rather distant back. I have no perfect matches other than my siblings and ten matches are one step away. Also having this lovely person with the surname of Taylor adds to that challenge.

My husband on the other hand has over a dozen perfect matches to his mtDNA. The only item he has learned from all of that is a match with someone in England whose line has been in England back to the 1700s at least and is a perfect match. Looking at this matching individual there is a possibility that her ancient ancestor was from Denmark/The Netherlands. My husband can trace his line back to 1654 when Margaret Carr was baptized in Newport Rhode Island but no further for sure. No one else in that particular maternal line has tested that can trace back to Margaret Carr or her sisters.

Any submissions to this newsletter can be submitted to Elizabeth Kipp (

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

George Percy DeKay (1938 - 2016)

Just remembering my fourth cousin George DeKay who first set me on this trek into genealogy. A trip to London, England in November 2001 was nudging me in that direction but George completed the nudge with the request in the winter of 2003 that I do a writeup on my Pincombe family. They were emigrants to Westminster Township, Middlesex County, Ontario and a history book for Westminster Township and Delaware Township was being produced (2 volumes) and George was Editor.

His method of recruiting was very like him. He told me quite directly that my cousin was willing to write up the family but he thought my grandfather owned a grocery store on Wharncliffe Road. That was actually my uncle William Edwin Pincombe and not John Routledge Pincombe my grandfather. Since it was going into a history book I decided that, in memory of my mother who had just died and was very interested in her Pincombe family, I would produce the profile for the history book.

Although my husband had been doing genealogy for more than 30 years at that time he had not done very much on England itself and so I decided to look more intently at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and signed up for one methodology course. Two weeks into that course I signed up for the entire years of English Record Studies and then just a couple of months after that I signed up for the three years of English Record Studies and added in Canadian Records for three years.

The only items that I asked of George were one that he set up a meeting with my Pincombe cousins whom I no longer knew as we (my husband and I) had moved away from the area in the mid 1970s and trips back involved mostly visiting with our parents and siblings. George set the meeting up for the summer in 2004 and a great deal of scanning occurred of available images. We selected the images for the final article at that time. The article itself concentrated on the youngest son of the immigrant John Pincombe and his wife Elizabeth Rew - Richard in terms of pictures because his line remained in the Westminster Township area whereas my line had moved into the City of London after the death of my grandfather. My second item was that he arrange to borrow from my second half cousin the photograph albums owned by his mother my half-great aunt (half sister to my grandfather). George duly managed that as well working with our mutual cousin who had originally volunteered to do the Pincombe profile. The scanning of those three photograph albums took my husband and I most of one day but I discovered unknown pictures of my grandparents and mother that have been a treat to the family.

The profile was due in the summer of 2005 and I duly presented my effort to George which he accepted without revision. I had already passed it by all the cousins to see if they were in agreement with the written copy (and also all my siblings). It was published in the Fall of 2005 and probably still available for purchase unless all the copies have been sold.

George set me on a path that day. As I worked through my lessons I used my own family research to delve back into my family history. I really thought I knew my family history fairly well as my paternal grandfather liked to chat about his family (and he lived with us) and my maternal grandmother was closeby and I spent hours and hours with her going over items that she shared with me of her trip back to England in 1939. Now fifteen years later I continue to work away on my family tree as well as my one-name studies (my parents' surnames - Blake and Pincombe). Thank you George, not how I thought I would spend retirement that is for sure. My retirement was much more personal and involved watching many many movies, knitting and sewing. All of that has gone by the wayside as I avidly pursue genealogy and in particular genetic genealogy is of special interest to me.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pincombe-Pinkham - a singleton family?

As a child growing up my mother learned that there were several different Pincombe family lines. She did not think that they were related. During the 1840s and 1850s several distinct Pincombe families emigrated to Canada and lived in the London, Ontario area. They did not know if they were related and actually assumed that they were not. Now with the possibility of linking families with DNA I have been curious as to whether or not we can find that we do have a common ancestor.

The yDNA Pincombe study at FT DNA has found that there are a couple of distinct lines for Pincombe-Pinkham. The earlier researchers for the Pincombe-one-name-study had produced sixteen charts showing that the two names were used by similar family groups. For instance a Pincombe family at Barnstaple, Devon used the Pinkham spelling after they moved to London, UK. In another case a Pinkham family that emigrated to New Hampshire colony also showed the earlier Pincombe spelling and then later Pinkham.

The tester for my Pincombe line is a descendant of our mutual 3x great grandfather Robert Pincombe (married to Elizabeth Rowcliffe 7 Jun 1803 at Bishops Nympton, Devon). He is my third cousin once removed and my siblings and I match him as anticipated for a third cousin once removed (and better for some of my siblings). That gives us a baseline for the Pincombe family at Bishops Nympton from the latter part of the 1500s to the present. Going back one generation, the parents of Robert Pincombe were John Pincombe and Mary Charlie/Charley who married 8 Nov 1767 at Bishops Nympton. They had four sons and two daughters. A descendant of their son William has also tested his yDNA (fifth cousin to us) and he is a perfect match to my third cousin once removed thus moving back another generation the yDNA match.

My fourth cousin (daughter of the yDNA tester) also tested at Ancestry where there was a match with a descendant of Aaron Pincombe and Elizabeth Withicombe who married 24 May 1802 at St Giles in the Wood. I have not been able to find parents for this Aaron Pincombe but it is interesting that a descendant of this line matched my fourth cousin (but not myself). Unfortunately this kit has now disappeared at Ancestry.

Of interest, following back on my ancestral line takes me to William Pincombe who married Emotte Snow.  This William died in 1602 and was living at East Buckland when he wrote his will which named his seven sons and two daughters. I have only been able to trace down a couple of these sons - Richard (fourth son) is my likely line. I do not know the names of the husbands for the two daughters thus far. Given the number of sons, the possibilities for descendants is quite large in the Pincombe line. I am slowly extracting all the early Pincombe entries.

Lately I have been in correspondence with a possible descendant of Aaron Pincombe and his wife Elizabeth Withicombe although he himself has only officially traced his line back to John Pincombe and Mary Thomas. I suspect this John Pincombe is a son of Aaron Pincombe and Elizabeth Withicombe.

I often wonder how much interest there is within the Pincombe family to pursue a DNA study. It is a large enough family to have a good sized yDNA study but this study grows very slowly.