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While I originally created this blog for my family & relations to follow my progress with my research of my maiden name "Vodden" & its variants to provide them with an appreciation of the time & effort required, it is now including my Professional business and Volunteer posts. Thank you for following this site! Linda J. Hauley PLCGS

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vodden DNA Results - What do they mean?

It all started with a meagre interest in DNA & how it related to my research in genealogy & my VODDEN One Name Study.  I ordered a kit to test my Dad's DNA back in the fall of 2008 and when I visited my Dad in April, 2009, we got his sample & sent it off to www.familytreedna.com requesting a 37 marker Y-DNA test be completed.  This is the most common one for genealogists as the results will render possible matches with a 95% certainty in seven generations or approximately within 180 to 220 years.  Most family trees can be traced back that far especially in England (Devon) where census records start in 1841 with family members dating back to the late 1700's.  To test beyond that doesn't narrow the results down much farther. One of the projects I did join with my Dad's results was the Devon DNA Project (Debbie Kennett, administrator*).

At the time, I really didn't know what I was looking for so I ordered a further test to 67 markers in October 2009.  The only match that was consistent to the full 67 markers; however, with a genetic difference of 7, meaning markers that didn't match at this level (this match had been a genetic difference of only 4 markers at the 37 Y-DNA level).  Consulting the probabilities that the site provides, this person was really not related at all!  How disappointing!  As the results were so negligible, I decided that this wasn't going to work for me & ceased further testing.  My Dad passed away on June 21, 2010.

My interest in DNA was aroused again when I had casually listened to two webinars on DNA testing and how to interpret the results.  So I went back to my Dad's results.

When I had the original results done, one of the tests that I had not reviewed was the mtDNA which gives the Haplogroup of an individual.  A Haplogroup is the deep ancestral origins or where the individual originated thousands of years ago.  Both men and women can test for mtDNA.  I didn't think that this as significant since my Dad's results were of such a large Haplogroup of R1b.

With so many sub groups showing for this Haplogroup, I decided to order a Deep Clade test which would test to situate my Dad's sub-group in more detail.  The results are of tests done on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and please don't ask me to explain what these are!! Since the lab keeps remaining DNA stored safely for further testing, I was able to have this test done in October 2011, a full year after my Dad had passed on.

I first had notification that the test had been done but no results were released - they were verifying the results.  I wondered why.

When I got the results, the administrator of the Devon DNA Project, Debbie Kennett, immediately got in touch with me and said that FTDNA 'really went to town' on my Dad and that they didn't normally test this many SNPs.  He tested to the subclade P312 but whereas the normal category was a plus, my Dad was a negative.  She explained that he is the first person in the Devon DNA Project to belong to this particular subclade of R1b1a2 and in the records being kept of the results for the project, she had had to start a whole new group for him alone.  It appears that this Haplogroup originates in Eastern Europe (R1 being Central Asia about where Russia is 30,000 years ago) but the R1b subclade traverses across Europe which "spread and multiplied until its lineages can be found throughout Europe and until it became the most frequent Haplogroup in Western Europe" around 25,000 years ago!!!

Well, so much for Dad's theory that we came from Friesland, which is on the coast of Europe between the Netherlands and Germany/Prussia, in more recent times.  The Vodden line may have come from there and across to Devon but as suggested by Debbie Kennett, "My thinking therefore was that, as your dad's subclade is so rare and ancient, it was some sort of relic of the very early settlers in the British Isles." *

So, it appears that we are not going to find in current time, records that will indicate that we came from Friesland but we did come from somewhere in Western Europe and it appears the Vodden's (and variants, of course) are one of the most ancient settlers in Devon; however, we will not know this for sure until there are more samples tested to draw more firm conclusions.

So, my Vodden male friends, until some more of you are tested, this is where it remains.  I would love it if some of the direct male line Vodden's including Vawden's, Vowden's, Bowden's, Voden's and other variants are tested!!  Please use the same testing agency I used, my FTDNA, or Family Tree DNA at www.familytreedna.com.

In the meantime I have had myself tested for the mtDNA and my Haplogroup follows the same pattern as my Dad's.  I am having a further test done called Family Finder and will let you know those results when received.

I'm very excited!!

* emails between myself and Debbie Kennett dated January 13 & 14, 2012.

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