Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My 37 Marker Y-DNA Results Arrived Today

FamilyTree DNA emailed the results of my 37 marker Y-DNA test today (having previously sent the results of the 12 and 25 marker tests). They are still working on the 67 marker tests.

(If I sound like I know what I'm talking about, I really don't. I have, however, received the following book from Amazon.com--two days ago: Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner (Rodale, c2004; ISBN 1-59486-006-8). I hope to read it over the Thanksgiving weekend. Previously I had begun reading The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine by Francis S. Collins (New York: Harper, c2010; ISBN 978-0-06-173317-8). The latter book is fascinating, but doesn't say much about genealogical applications of DNA.)
Anyway, here is what I know so far (in case readers want to know how I compare with them). I'll include my 12 and 25 marker results as well.

My Haplotree
  • My Y-DNA Haplotree: R1b1b2
My Y-DNA 12, 25 and 37 Markers 
  • My Y-DNA 12 marker has an "exact match" with 4 other individuals (three of them named Whipple). Here is what that means:
The probability that the five of use share a common ancestor within the last ...
2 generations is 18.50%
4 generations is 33.57%
6 generations is 45.86%
8 generations is 55.88%
10 generations is 64.04%
(Note: Captain John Whipple is 10 generations away from me--not counting my own generation. If we extend the above sequence to 28 generations, someone with an exact match would have 94.30% probability of sharing that ancestor.)
  • My Y-DNA 25 marker has an "exact match" with 2 other individuals (both named Whipple):
The probability that the three of us share a common ancestor within the last ...
2 generations is 37.69%
4 generations is 61.17%
6 generations is 75.81%
8 generations is 84.92%
10 generations is 90.61%
(If we carried that back to 26 generations, the probability of having a common ancestor would be 99.79%.)
  • My Y-DNA 37 marker has a "genetic distance" of two from the same two Whipples referenced above (in describing the 25 marker).
For the 37 marker, the probability that the three of us share a common ancestor within the last ...
2 generations is 7.89%
4 generations is 26.85%
6 generations is 48.04%
8 generations is 65.86%
10 generations is 78.79%
(If we carried that back to 26 generations, the probability of having a common ancestor would be 99.81%.)

Countries of Origin of My Patrilineal Ancestry

Several pages on the FamilyTree DNA site talk about countries of origin of my patrilineal line. (Patrilineal means, me, my father, his father and his father ... ad infinitum.) To sum them up, each test (12, 25, 37 marker) suggests the following countries of origin:
  • 12 marker: England (3 matches), Italy (1 match), Scotland (1 match), United Kingdom (1 match). [I'm not sure what the "matches" refer to.]
  • 25 marker: England [matches not specified]
  • 37 marker: England [matches not specified]
I'm still awaiting the results of my 67 marker test. If any direct-descendant Whipples have your results, I'm interested in how they compare with mine. (I'm still trying to figure out what sorts of privacy implications are involved in DNA testing. For that reason, I'm not giving the names of the other Whipples whose Y-DNA tests match mine.)

--Weldon Whipple, Webmaster, Whipple Website


  1. Hi Cousin,

    It's too bad there isn't a test for non y-dna and mitochondrial dna. For example, it should be possible to show yours and my relationship to all the Rhode Island Whipples. I understand why testing y and mitochondrial dna is relatively straight forward, but it should be possible to give some meaningful statistics on at least a few generations back.

    David Norwood

  2. Thanks for the comment, David! Hopefully more tests will appear over time, as we learn more about the human genome. I think it would be very interesting to see if the Rhode Island and the Ipswich, MA Whipples share a common ancestor--or NOT!. Either finding will help researchers know what clues to follow and which to avoid.

    Weldon Whipple

  3. I think I am the 4th person at Family Tree DNA that has a perfect 12 marker match (though i had the 37 marker test) with you and the other 3 Whipples. My family comes from the Palermo region of Sicily. I have traced my paternal line back to the about 1675, to a town called Montemaggiore Belsito. Palermo, Sicily. I have read that our 12 marker match with different surnames could possibly be coincidence, or a match:
    Generations Percentage
    4 33.57%
    8 55.88%
    12 70.69%
    16 80.53%
    20 87.07%
    24 91.41%
    28 94.30%

    I have a far fetched conjecture (28 generations @ 35 years per generation, about a 1000 years). I have read on your website that Whipples may have descended from Normans. At the same time the Normans invaded England in 1066, other Normans were conquering Sicily (about 1040 to 1080) by defeating Muslim Arabs, who had controlled it for a couple hundred years. My thought is that my paternal family is descended from a Norman soldier, who may have been a Whipple ancestor. I don't know how much reality is involved in this theory, but it is interesting thinking about it.

  4. Thank you SO much for posting! I noticed a non-Whipple that matched my X chromosome DNA. Truthfully, we don't know where my 8th great grandfather John Whipple (http://whipple.org/366) came from, except that he came from England to Dorchester (now part of Boston), Massachusetts in 1632 as an indentured teen-ager.

    I would LOVE to determine if he shares a common ancestry with the other major Whipple family in America.

    After reading about migrations throughout Europe in the genealogical DNA book last week, it is quite believable that you and I share a common patrilineal ancestor!

  5. I will be emailing you through FamilyTreeDNA and would like to compare my 37 markers to your 37 markers and see how close they are. I believe that our connection is on the order of 1000 years ago, at which point almost all of us are related in some way, but I agree that we share a patrilineal ancestor. I am fairly certain that my ancestors have been in Sicily all that time. My grandfather entered the US in 1902.

  6. If you can't get the email to me through FamilyTree DNA, feel free to contact me directly: weldon@whipple.org.

  7. Hi Cousin,

    I recently noticed that Family Tree DNA is offering what they call Family Finder testing, which looks at your autosomal DNA. My understanding is that this contains genes from all your ancesters, which is why it only gives useful statistics going back 6 generations.

    This testing is still expensive. Anyone have experience with it and can report on its usefulness?


  8. I have no experience with autosomal DNA tests. I wonder what sorts of useful tests could help Whipple genealogy.

    At the present time, I have verified that several other Rhode Island Whipples and I have matching Y-DNA. We descend from at least two different sons of Captain John (http://whipple.org/366) who died in Providence, RI on 16 May 1685. I now feel *fairly* confident that we have identified Captain John's Y-DNA signature (there is probably a more precise word than signature. I wonder what it is ...)

    I'm still trying to nail down the Ipswich (MA)/Bocking (England) Y-DNA. I'm waiting for an additional two Y-DNA tests, hoping the results will match another Ipswich Whipple Y-DNA test's results--a test that was completed over a year ago.

    If you look at the objectives for these tests (see the Objectives tab of this site), you'll note that one of the first objectives is to determine if the two main U.S. Whipple families share a "fairly recent" MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor).

    For now, I'm "hurrying up and waiting for more results." Thanks for your comments!