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Special Project for Childers Genealogy
Posted by: Elizabeth Britton (ID *****0291) Date: March 16, 2012 at 11:15:42
  of 3972

To All Childers or Childress Men who have 22 at DYS390, 12 at 392, and 9 at 460 and therefore belong to the AS7E (Viking) subgroup of Haplogroup I1:

Some of you will probably recognise my name--others may not--but my Britton family and about thirty other mostly English families share with the Childers/Childress family a common ancestor believed to have lived about 1500 years ago. My Britton ancestor settled at Curles in Henrico County a generation after the arrival of Abraham and Philemon Childers in the same area, and two other AS7E families--Sandidge and Creed--settled in neighboring New Kent county before the close of the 17th century.

The name AS7E (AS stands for Anglo-Saxon, E for English) comes from Dr. Ken Nordtvedt, a retired physicist from Montana State University who is one of the principal researchers for Hapologroup I. What is known of the English origin of the AS7E families suggests either that they did not originally settle in the same part of England or that by c 1600 they had scattered to different parts of the country. The Wards, for example, were in Rutland by the late 16th century, the Childers were born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and the immigrant Jonas Westover had a kinswoman in Taunton, Somerset.

Until recently, research for the AS7E subgroup was limited to the search for genetic matches and the collection of genealogical information on individual families. While that approach expanded our knowledge of the group, it provided few clues for future research and could not not tell us which subgroups of Haplogroup I1 were most closely related to us or when our subgroup branched from the main trunk of the I1 tree. This stalemate ended abruptly last fall when Family Tree DNA offered a new series of SNPs that promised to identify the branches of the I1 tree and reveal when and in what sequence this branching occurred. SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, are changes in a single letter of the genetic code, which occur rarely and are generally not subject to back mutation except perhaps over many thousands of years and therefore are sometimes described as "one-time" mutations. Because of their stable nature, they are useful in identifying branches of the genetic tree.

Three AS7E families--Allred, Creed, and St.Clair--took part in testing the three entry-level Z-SNPs. Testing by members of other I1 subgroups confirmed that Z58 and Z63 were main branches of the I1 tree, but so far, no one at Family Tree DNA has yet tested positive for Z131. Our AS7E volunteers tested negative for all three of these Z-SNPs, placing us in a subset of five I1 subgroups which are not part of the Z58 and Z63 branches. This is another way of saying that we are more closely related to the subgroups testing negative than we are to those who were positive for either Z58 or Z63.

This week, the Allred and St.Clair families volunteered for a second round of testing for DF29, a new SNP introduced last week by Family Tree. Results should be available within 4 to 6 weeks.

The reason for this e-mail today is twofold--first, to make you aware of this latest research pertaining to your ancestry, and, second, to tell you about an important project which Dr. Nordtvedt is recommending for the Childers' family.

Some of you may already have heard of Family Tree's Walk-Through-the-Y (henceforth WTY) test. It is an expensive test at $750, and therefore not a test that most men take. It is also by application only, although I have no doubt that an application from an AS7E participant would be approved. The purpose of the test is to discover new SNPs. These SNPs are of two types--those which occurred many generations ago and have therefore spread to a large number of men (these identify main branches of a haplogroup or subgroups of a haplogroup) and those which occurred more recently and are found in only a small number of men (these are private and may be used to identify a family or even a branch of a family). Once a new SNP is discovered and added to FTDNA's menu, anyone may test it for only $29.

If you think of your ancestry as a path leading from the distant past down to the present day, then SNPs are the signposts telling you where to turn in order to follow your lineage. The SNPs we are testing right now occurred long ago before the historical period in northern Europe. As more SNPs are discovered, however, we will move closer to the present until we reach historical and then genealogical time. This is why I believe it is important for someone from the AS7E subgroup to participate in WTY--there is a chance we could find an SNP which occurred within the historical or genealogical period, because the most recent common ancestor of the AS7E subgroup lived in the Dark Ages.

When I asked Dr. Nordtvedt whether we should apply for the test and whether he thought we might hope to find a new SNP, this is what he said: " Now that Dr Krahn has been able to cover so many more sites in his WTY, coupled with the apparent deep time separation of 7e from other branches of Z58- Z63- Z131-, yet the young age of 7e MRCA, you have a decent chance of finding a snp for 7e. I'd pick the most "normal" or central 7e haplotype that you can if you proceed with this WTY.... Childers is a modal or "normal" 7e. And as you point out, with such a huge family of paticipants, they can share the cost for modest per individual amounts. Good luck. Ken"

If by any chance you would like to purchase this test for yourself, please let me know. Otherwise, I think we need to determine first how many are willing to make a contribution so that we can divide the cost evenly and then draw to see who actually wins the right to take the test. For example, if 30 contribute, the cost to each individual would be $25; if 50 contribute, only $15 each. If you double or triple your contribution, your name could go into the hat two or three times, doubling or tripling your chances of winning. Or if one person is willing to contribute 50% or more to the total cost, we could award the privilege of taking the test to him. One WTY test should suffice for the Childers' family as well as the AS7E subgroup except where private SNPs are concerned.

If we do this as a raffle, we will also need to choose someone to draw the winner's name. Collecting the money will be easy--it should be contributed to the Haplogroup I1 project and you should specify at the time you make your contribution that the money is to be used for WTY for a member of the AS7E Childers family. Contributions may be made by check, credit card, or PayPal. More on all that later--right now, I am mainly interested in finding out how many are willing to contribute and how you wish to select the winner.

In order to be eligible for WTY, you must have been tested by Family Tree DNA and you will need to join the I1 project in order to use the money we collect. Joining is simple and quick from your Home page at Family Tree.

I hope to hear from you soon. Please let me know what you think.


Lindsey Britton
Administrator of the Britton DNA Project
LPlantagenet AT

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