Thursday, May 24, 2012

Twelve Lineages of the Sinclair DNA Study

And counting...

The definition of a Lineage in the Sinclair DNA study has changed quite a bit since we started back in 2004. If you're participating in an active DNA study, it's important to understand just how dynamic they are. As new distinctions come along, a good administrator will give the different groups unique names. Early on, we grouped people by numbers - Lineage 1, Lineage 2, etc. This was based in part on how old their genealogy was.  Then we switched to early SNPs like R1b.  Those who follow DNA studies know that this is now ridiculously broad. But back then we were working with the data we had. As time has gone by, the R1b group has split up into over 8 Lineages.

Even those Lineages we divided up have had to be further segregated. We've still got some people calling lineages by the names we used in 2004. One group was called Lineage 4.  It's changed because SNP studies have proven that the members within Lineage 4 split into 4 groups who don't share a common ancestor for about 2,300 years (based on the current accepted calculations).

Dynamic means you have to keep up with Sinclair DNA

One reason I started this blog is because its more fluid; easier to populate with content. So if you're looking for the latest views on our Sinclair DNA study results, this is the place. The focus of all active family DNA studies now is SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms).  These are coming out now at a rapid rate thanks to the Walk the Y project by Family Tree DNA. As a result, the Sinclair DNA study is benefitting from all the new low-cost tests available.

Is your lineage waiting for the next SNP?

These new SNPs seem to come in fits and starts. Once one is cracked open, several others often come out very quickly. Witness the L48 SNPs of Z8 and Z1. This added a lot of knowledge in our study in particular. There are other SNPs in our study which came out very fast recently. So if you suddenly find yourself in a holding pattern, just wait a few months. There will shortly be a new SNP coming out for you to take.

More Lineages coming

We will soon have even more SNPs coming out. And that means more distinct Lineages. Keep an eye out here over the next six months. I'm sure we'll be dividing the Sinclair DNA up into even more Lineages.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Joining the St Clair Sinclair DNA Study

The Sinclair DNA study helps interpret the DNA of over 200 members worldwide. We can help you figure out your genealogy using DNA.

Click here to understand which of our 12 lineages you match. DNA and SNP studies are the most powerful way to get beyond genealogy brick walls in the Sinclair family.

Click here to join the Sinclair DNA study.

The Sinclair DNA study also has a very active discussion group. Click the contact link here to learn more.

Follow the Sinclair DNA study on Facebook.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sinclair DNA Mystery Lineage

By Steve St Clair

As much fun as it is getting to the answers using genealogy and DNA, it's also fun when one still has mysteries to solve. It's sort of like the anticipation of Christmas, and a slight let-down when it's over.

In our Sinclair DNA study, we have one lineage which I call the mystery lineage. We don't know the precise geography where the members connect, and we have not identified a common ancestor. While none of our lineages know their common ancestor, several know the general geography where their ancestors were, within a general time frame.

Within the Mystery Lineage, there are currently 10 members who carry our surname. One interesting thing about this lineage is the fact that the genetic distance seems to point to a common ancestor in the 1400s. Many of the members have family stores that point back to the Edinburgh area and Rosslyn. Some of these stories are quite specific.

Yet another Sinclair DNA SNP

The mystery lineage is showing the SNP P310. The common ancestor for P310 is quite far back in time, so the Sinclair DNA study will not be of much help yet using pure DNA. However what we're currently doing is working together with as many of the members of this lineage as possible to compare their genealogies. To this end, we are going to line up another blog talk radio show so that all the members and others in her family can join in the hunt for a common ancestor within a genealogical time frame. Given all the stories of the members of this lineage, we believe that common ancestor is probably in Scotland or northern England.

If you're a member of the family, with any of our variant name spellings, please join the Sinclair DNA study.

The main website for the Sinclair DNA study is at this link.

Follow the Sinclair DNA study on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Clues for Sinclair DNA in Frisia

A gentleman whom I follow and admire, Dienekes Pontikos, alerted us to a paper back in April which is quite telling. This subject has been much discussed, but the paper which Dienekes alerted us to adds real data to the discussion. 

The point made is this - The SNP R-U106 is well-represented among those with "authentic" Flemish surnames. Also very telling; U106 is not well-represented in the Île-de-France or in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

        Details of the paper -  "In the name of the migrant father—Analysis of surname 
       origins identifies genetic admixture events undetectable from genealogical records" 
       by M H D Larmuseau, J Vanoverbeke, G Gielis, N Vanderheyden, H F M Larmuseau 
       and R Decorte.  You must register to receive it in full. Click this link >> 

The paper acknowledges something far too many amateur genealogists won't - that family records aren't reliable before the 16th century. Then the paper points out that surnames were moving in large numbers during the demic migration from French-speaking parts of Normandy to scantily populated parts of Flanders. And I'm assuming that resulted in the densities we're seeing on the chart at Dienekes blog post. 

However, what's interesting about the percentages of French among the Flemish is that most (if not all) of the St Clair / Sinclair DNA study participants were already located in the U.K. long before this demic migration took place. 

Does this mean that the actual numbers of French DNA among Flemish, as well as Flemish DNA among the French, was much lower before this migration? I'm not certain yet. But the French among the Flemings is a very low percentage among modern DNA study participants.

If the St. Clair / Sinclair surname originated in France, then how and when did those with the DNA SNP called R-U106 obtain it so long ago? Especially if they were across the border in Flanders?

I think the answer is there can't be an answer yet.  DNA subclade studies of the U106 SNP will lead to more answers for the Sinclair DNA study very soon. Already we're down to the Z1 SNP, and that's getting relatively recent in terms of when their common ancestor was alive in Europe.

The demic migration was certainly not the only such event. We know that William the Conqueror recruited far from the borders of Normandy for his invasion. Surely there was other mixing going on; both with large groups and smaller numbers.

We have 3 groups in our Sinclair DNA study who show U106

That's quite good data. And, while our U106 groups members show 3 distinct SNPs downstream of U106, they all share an ancestor within the last 4,000 to 4,500 years, possibly sooner. It's currently believed that all the visible SNPs beneath U106 all share a common ancestor who lived on mainland Europe, not in the U.K. So there's still a long way to go before we have clear demarkations in the groups who showed up in the U.K. versus those who stayed behind in mainland Europe.