My Y Chromosome Matches - Finding The Common Ancestor
In my previous post I explained one of the many types of DNA testing that can assist you in your search for your ancestral roots is a Y chromosome test. This test is only available to males as the Y chromosome exists only in males and is passed from father to son continuosly.
When I was contacted by another Ancestry.com member, Mr. Tom Clarke, who had a very close DNA match to my autosomnal test results, we began to explore our possible common ancestor. After a few weeks of exchanging information about our respective families, we narrowed down the suspect ancestor to Herbert Granville Clarke.
Herbert Clarke was the paternal grandfather of Tom Clarke. When Tom and I exchanged stories about our families, with me telling him that my grandfather, William "Bill" Taylor was born in Brighton, Ontario in 1903, and that I had earlier discovered his was born out of wedlock and his father listed as "unknown" on his birth record. Tom checked his grandfather's records and found that he had been living in close proximity to my great grandmother in 1902 and suspected his grandfather was my great-grandfather. We shared some old family photos and soon realized that there was an uncanny family resemblance between some of Tom's relatives and my relatives, and myself.
Tom asked if I had taken a Y chromosome DNA test which traces only the paternal lineage. The Y chromosome is only found in males, and is passed from father to son. While slight changes occur from generation to generation, the main DNA stays intact as long as there is a male in the bloodline.
I decided to take the Y 67 DNA test offered by Family Tree DNA in order to confirm whether or not Herbert Clarke was my great grandfather or not. Prior to Tom finding me, I thought finding my grandfather's biological father would be impossible so I was excited at the prospect of discovering my true great grandfather.
Family Tree DNA offers several Y chromosome tests from 37 to 111 genetic markers. The 37 marker test is sufficient to prove a close relationship such as uncle to nephew, or grandfather to grandson, etc., while the 111 genetic marker test will compare 111 different markers.
After doing some research, I decided on the 67 marker Y chromosome test meaning that I would have my DNA matched on 67 different genetic points. Each test varies in price from $169.00 to $359.00 (US funds, pricing correct as of 4/9/16). The 67 marker test cost came in right in the middle at $268.00 and would provide me enough genetic information to confirm my relationship to Tom as well as confirm relationships back numerous generations.
When I received my test results I found only 4 matches at the 67 marker level as shown in the photo above. The closest match was to Tom Clarke, proving beyond doubt that the and I were 2nd cousins and that he and my father were first cousins sharing a grandfather.
Tom and I have since been discussing our "new" extended families with other family members. As you can imagine, this came as a shock to a number of people. There had been no talk of my grandfather not being the biological son of the man who raised him (Joseph Boulderstone), at least not by anyone in the past 3 generations.
Using our 67 marker Y chromosome matches, Tom has managed to discover that Philip John Yule (who matches to me 7 generations back) has an ancestor named Ninian Yool (variation on the spelling of their surname) and that Ninian Yool was a great grandfather several generations back of Joseph Yule Jr., who later became known as Mickey Rooney, the actor.
Since Y chromosomes are only passed directly from father to son, Tom and I share a direct male ancestor with Mickey Rooney. How far back that ancestor was has yet to be determined, but it provides yet another interesting story in my paternal lineage which has turned out to be full of famous ancestors.
Without DNA testing, and the proof of the Y chromosome testing, I probably never would have found my paternal grandfather's biological father. Another mystery in my family history has been put to rest. Now to find out how Tom and I are related to Mickey Rooney.... ;)