Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to the Whipple DNA Blog!

About two months ago at a relative's wedding reception, I struck up a conversation with an ardent fan of genealogical DNA. Until that time I had always been a skeptic of its benefits, preferring instead to identify actual relatives by name, using vital records and other sources.

By the time we left, I was a convert. I returned home and immediately signed up for a DNA test at Family Tree DNA. I have received some of the test results; I'm still waiting for the rest.

For the past several weeks, several Whipple relatives have exchanged email about the benefits of DNA to genealogical research. While I am still a newbie, here is part of one of my replies:

Two thing I have gleaned:

yDNA: If two males can trace their male line back to the same common male ancestor, they should have an exact match. (The "y" is for the y chromosome that determines maleness.)

xDNA: Same as yDNA except substitute female for male. This isn't as useful because females in our society tend to change surnames when they marry.

Since you are a RI Whipple, you and I should have an exact yDNA match. I'm assuming that the three Whipples with whom I have an exact match are RI Whipples.

We need more Ipswich Whipple male-line Whipple descendants to take the yDNA test. If they are all exact matches among themselves--but different from my DNA, then we can conclude that the two Whipple families don't have a common Whipple ancestor. If they do all match, then we can conclude that the two Whipple families do share a common male ancestor somewhere.

I really ought to write something like this on the Whipple Blog. ... But I really would like to see the results of my 37 marker and 67 marker (the latter of which I ordered today).

Because three other Whipples are exact matches with me, I now feel confident that Capt. John of RI is in fact my biological 8th great grandfather.
Genealogical DNA testing is important enough that I don't want it to get lost in the "generic" Whipple Blog, so I have created this Whipple DNA blog.

William Lyons has been a helpful participant in our DNA discussions, so I have invited him to become an official "poster" to this blog. Thanks for your willingness, Bill!


  1. Thanks Weldon for beginning this. And thanks Bill Lyons for agreeing to be the official poster. I ordered my DNA test from Family Tree DNA a number of years ago and have received 210 results from 25 markers through 67 markers. Interestingly, not a single one included an individual with the Whipple surname. I'm from the Bocking, England - Ipswich, Mass. line and I'm hoping others from that line will join in Genealogical DNA testing. Blaine Whipple

  2. You're welcome, Blaine. (Thanks, Bill, too!) I still awaiting the results from my Family Tree DNA tests. The book on genealogical DNA that Bill recommended arrived yesterday. I hope to read it in the next week or so. (I'm also reading a book my daughter--studying biotechnology--loaned me. I MIGHT have to finish that one first. :-)

  3. As a Whipple and someone who is studying Genetics in college (UC Davis), I think this is awesome. Using a letter my Dad's been carrying for years, and the tree from the WhippleGenWeb, I've somewhat informally hypothesized that we are connected to the RI line of Whipples.

    I'd love to get this test done, so that I can get a little verification on what I suspect to be true, but would be otherwise more difficult to find any sort of certainty. Christmas is coming up. :)

  4. I'm a Rhode Island Whipple as well. I'm still waiting for my Y-DNA37 and Y-DNA67 results. The results of my Y-DNA13 and Y-DNA25 results showed matches with three Whipples. I'm not really certain who they are, but I'm guessing they too are RI Whipples.

    I'd LOVE to have more direct male-line Whipples that are descendants of the Ipswich Whipples have their Y-DNA tests, so that we can see if there is any connection between the RI and the Ipswich Whipples ...

    (Actually, I'd REALLY like to know if the three Whipples I match so far are RI or Ipswich Whipples ...)

  5. BTW, orangeyousunny: It's great that you're studying genetics. I look forward to learning about your results!