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The Doty Y-DNA Project Primer

 

The use of DNA for genealogical purposes is quite new, and therefore unfamiliar to most people.  For that reason, we have included this short DNA primer on our website.  For an analysis of our results as they pertain to our distant past, please click on Our Deep Ancestral Roots. 

 

To see all our test results in one table, please go to Y-DNA Test Results.   To see those lineages that Y-DNA participants have made available, go to Lineage.

 

Y-DNA Primer

Each of us inherits 46 chromosomes from our parents, 23 from our mother and 23 from our father.  One of the chromosomes inherited from our father determines our gender.  Those who inherit the X-Chromosome from their father are females, while those who inherit the Y-Chromosome are males.

 

Our DNA testing is done on the Y-Chromosome; thus the name of the Project: “Y-DNA”.  We, and others with similar projects, selected this chromosome because it is passed on from father to son almost unchanged from generation to generation.  Because of this characteristic, it is the best chromosome to use when investigating one's likely paternal heritage .
 

Results of these Y-DNA tests are stated as a series of numbers which indicate the number of times that a particular sequence of chemicals is repeated in specific segments of our strands of DNA.  (The word “marker” is used by geneticists when referring to these DNA segments.)  In our Project, we are asking that members have at least 37 markers, or segments of their DNA tested, so their results will consist of 37 numbers, one for each marker.  The entire set of 37 numbers for any individual is typically referred to as that individual’s haplotype.

 

An example of test results, the haplotype of one of our participants, is shown in Table 1.  The numbers shown vertically at the top of the Table, typically called DYS numbers, are numbers that geneticists have assigned to each marker or segment of DNA tested.

 

DYS numbers in red denote markers at which mutations tend to occur more rapidly than average, while those in black denote markers with mutation rates that are lower than average.  Thus at the first relatively slow mutating marker, denoted by DYS #393, this individual’s chemical sequence  was repeated 13 times; at the second marker with a relatively low mutation rate, DYS #390, the sequence was repeated 24 times, and so on through all 37 markers.

Table 1.
The Test Results, or Haplotype, of One of Our Participants

                                                    G                    
                                                    A                    
        3 3       3   3   4 4             4 4 4 4   T Y Y         C C    
3 3   3 8 8 4 3 4 8 3 8 4 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 4 A C C 4 6 5 5 D D 4 4
9 9 1 9 5 5 2 8 3 9 9 9 5 9 9 5 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 H A A 5 0 7 7 Y Y 4 3
3 0 9 1 a b 6 8 9 -1 2 -2 8 a b 5 4 7 7 8 9 a b c d 0 4 IIa IIb 6 7 6 0 a b 2 8
13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 16 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 17 17 11 11 19 23 16 15 18 16 40 40 11 12

 

Viewed alone as they are here, these results really don’t tell us very much about this individual’s family heritage.  When they are compared with another person’s results as we have done in Table 2, however, they take some genealogical meaning.  (This second person whose results are shown in the Table is also a member of our Project.)

Table 2.
The Test Results, or Haplotypes, of Two of Our Participants

                                                    G                    
                                                    A                    
        3 3       3   3   4 4             4 4 4 4   T Y Y         C C    
3 3   3 8 8 4 3 4 8 3 8 4 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 4 A C C 4 6 5 5 D D 4 4
9 9 1 9 5 5 2 8 3 9 9 9 5 9 9 5 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 H A A 5 0 7 7 Y Y 4 3
3 0 9 1 a b 6 8 9 -1 2 -2 8 a b 5 4 7 7 8 9 a b c d 0 4 IIa IIb 6 7 6 0 a b 2 8
13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 16 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 17 17 11 11 19 23 16 15 18 16 40 40 11 12
13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 16 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 17 17 11 11 19 23 16 15 18 16 40 40 11 12


If you look closely at the results of the two tests in Table 2, you will see that they are identical at all 37 markers tested.  We noted above that the Y-Chromosome is passed on from father to son almost unchanged from generation to generation.  At the 37 markers tested in this example, the chromosome was passed on in identical form in the paternal lines of both participants.  Identical haplotypes such as these suggest that the two individuals tested are very closely related.

 

What if there had been some differences in the two tests?  Would that have meant that the two individuals were not related?  The answer is "not necessarily".  The data may be specific and scientific in nature, but its interpretation is somewhat of an art form.

As a general rule, it’s fair to say that the fewer the differences in the haplotypes being compared, the greater is the probability that the individuals involved are closely related.  Recognizing of course that there are always exceptions, most analysts would typically agree that five or less differences between the 37-marker tests of two individuals would be interpreted to mean that there was a strong probability that the persons being tested were closely related.   Conversely, six or more differences between the test results of two individuals would typically indicate that the individuals being tested were not likely to be closely related.  (If one goes back far enough in time, of course, we are all related to each other in some way.)

 

If your surname is Doty or one of its variants, or if you are a male with a surname other than Doty but believe you might have a direct male line back to Doty roots and you would like to help us achieve our objectives in addition to learning about your heritage in the process, we would encourage you to participate in our DNA Project.  Males with the Doty surname may participate directly, while females must find a close male relative to submit a sample of his DNA.  With greater participation and with continued efforts on our part to discover the true origins of the Pilgrim Edward Doty, we believe we will be able to provide a valuable service to you, to all who are or think they are descendant from the Pilgrim Edward Doty, and to members of many collateral families.

To participate in our Doty Y-DNA Project:

• Go to the Doty project on the Family Tree DNA Website.
• Scroll down the page to the order form, fill it out and click on “Submit”.

That’s all there is to it. You will receive a test kit in the mail within a few days.