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Interpreting Non-YDNA Test Results

Several weeks ago I received a file of DNA test results from a biological male Whipple descendant of a disconnected biological male Whipple listed on the Disconnected Whipples page of the Whipple Website. The file had 668,961 lines of data from a test performed by a large genealogical company. I was unable to draw any conclusions from that file. (I lack the expertise necessary to interpret that file.)

Background: Y-DNA Tests for Whipples

The late Blaine Whipple of Portland, Oregon, first suggested the value of a specific DNA test to me in an email a number of years ago. At the time, he wanted to see if the Rhode Island Whipples and the Bocking/Ipswich Whipples were related.

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Y-DNA Haplogroup T Reversal

This past April 3-4 I wrote a negative post on the value of Y-DNA tests as tie-breakers for Whipples. In the additional thoughts on April 4 (at the bottom of that post) I suggested that male Whipples who reported their Y-DNA haplogroup as T were likely mistaken—that their T-haplogroup was likely a mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroup.

My opinions changed completely on August 26.  Raymond “Ray” Whipple of Hamilton, Massachusetts emailed me that day, reminding me that he is in the Y-DNA T haplogroup. (I actually helped him get the test several years ago through Family Tree DNA. [duh!])

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DNA Tests in the new Whipple Database

During the past few days I’ve upgraded the software of the former web site. In the process I changed it’s address to

I now notice a new section of that site called “DNA Tests” (currently empty). I’m contemplating entering my own DNA information.

Unless I become inundated with email, I’m willing to accept (and enter) information from individuals who are found in the Whipple Database (i.e. whose name is listed at (Send your information to Be sure to include your individual number …)

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Recent Thoughts on DNA Testing

[On September 7, 2016, I revised my opinion of the usefulness of Y-DNA haplogroup T in identifying Ipswich Whipple descendants. You probably ought to read that post before reading this post further.]

Lately I’ve had second thoughts about the value of Y-DNA tests as a “tie breaker” in helping fill in a missing generation in one’s Whipple ancestral tree.

I’ll begin with these facts (from page 83 of the 2004 book entitled Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner, ISBN 1-59486-006-8):

Y-DNA “haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in Eurpoean populations. … This lineage is … the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype.”

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Who Is Henry Whipple?

According to the Whipple Genweb, Henry Whipple (one of many Henrys in the database) was born on May 13, 1788, in Rhode Island. He died March 19, 1848, in Cumberland County, Illinois.

Until last month it was assumed that his parents were Ezra Whipple and Abigail Harwood. Ezra is a great great grandson of Matthew Whipple, born in Bocking, England, in about 1590. Matthew sailed from England to Ipswich, Massachusetts, with his brother John in 1638. The brothers were great grandsons of Thomas Whipple of Bishops Stortford, England, born in about 1475.

Last month I received an email from a relative of a direct patrilineal descendant of Henry. The direct descendant had just received the results of his Y chromosome DNA test, which showed  him a member of the R1b haplogroup.

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Are Whipples Descendants of Scandinavians and Normans?

On the Whipple Website Facebook group this morning, a Whipple posted the following:

After watching the series “History of Britain,” it seems to me that Whipple’s may either originally be from the Scandinavian countries (viking hordes) or from Normandy in northern France, who were also from Scandinavia originally …..anyone who’s a direct line descendant, who’s had a DNA profile, did it show either of those ethnic origins, along with Britain?

I was about to post a long reply to the Facebook group, but decided it might be better to post it here (and refer the Facebook group to this post). … So here goes:

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What’s the Advantage of Doing the Y DNA Test?

Recently a close relative asked me the question that is the subject of this post. I asked her to wait for me to answer the question on this blog. So here goes …

Until a few years ago I kept asking myself the question, “What’s the advantage of doing any DNA test?”  I want to know exactly who my ancestors are; I don’t want to take a test that will tell me who my ancestors might be. DNA tests won’t tell me that, I thought.

Then someone gave me a good reason for DNA tests–specifically the Y chromosome DNA test. Here it the one scenario where the Y DNA test can be useful (in my humble opinion):

Let’s say a someone named Sam Whipple wants to trace his Whipple ancestry.

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Y DNA Test not part of AncestryDNA

Yesterday I came very close to ordering a DNA test from, assuming that it would include Y Chromosome  test results.

Before clicking the button to place the order, I decided to phone their 800 number to verify that the test would include a Y Chromosome haplogroup if the person being tested is a male.

Unfortunately, Ancestry doesn’t offer a Y DNA test. Fortunately, I phoned before placing the order. Ancestry’s test is an “autosomal” DNA test. According to the customer support person I spoke with,  it uses the other 22 pairs of chromosomes, but not the X and Y chromosomes.

Why Y DNA?

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