Yesterday I came very close to ordering a DNA test from Ancestry.com, 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?
For many individuals desiring to know their roots, an autosomal DNA test might be helpful. However, the Y Chromosome DNA test is particularly helpful for a Whipple trying to learn if they are descended from Captain John Whipple of Providence, RI or instead from the Ipswich, MA or Bocking/Bishops Stortford, England Whipples (Thomas Whipple or his great grandsons Matthew or John.)
- A “large” number of male Whipples that know they descend from Captain John of RI have taken the Y DNA test and found that they are in haplogroup R1b1b2.
- Most male Whipples who know they descend from the Ipswich Whipples are in haplogroup I2b1. One who “assumes” he is an Ipswich Whipple based on records research has learned he is in haplogroup T.
- If you are a male with surname Whipple with a missing link in your patrilineal Whipple line, a Y DNA test will tell you one of three things:
- You are a biological descendant of Capt. John of Providence if your haplogroup is R1b1b2 …
- You are a biological descendant of the Ipswich Whipples if your haplogroup is I2b1 …
- You are descended from some other Whipple line, or an adoption, illegitimate link may exist.
So a Y DNA test isn’t guaranteed to pinpoint your Whipple ancestry, but it might (in case 1 or 2 above) help prune your tree of possible ancestors.
Where to get a Y DNA test
I purchased my test from Family Tree DNA (ftdna.com) several years ago for less than $100. I just checked their web site, and at the time of this writing their cheapest Y DNA test is $169. In the past, they have periodically offered tests for considerably less than that. (I recommend waiting for a “special.”)
What if you are female?
Females don’t have a Y chromosome. However, their brothers, uncles and male cousins do. If one of them is surnamed Whipple and a patrilineal descendant of an incomplete Whipple line, you can invite them to have a Y DNA test.
If you have additional facts about DNA testing that I’m missing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!