Your DNA Wanted!

From ‘Twissle Times - Inbox’, June 2022
From: Stephen J Entwisle, member120
To: Eileen Cowen, Editor 
Sent: June 2022 
Subject: Your DNA Wanted!

In the time since Janet Durham (my 2nd cousin) and I gave a presentation at the AGM, in September 2019 more has come to light on my/our patrilineal lineage (fathers’ side).

As well as one other Entwisle (residing in USA and not an EFHA member), several named Prescott and one named Sutherland have been identified by FamilyTreeDNA as having the same patrilineal lineage as member Janet and I, and indeed member Mark Thompson (2nd cousin to us both). FamilyTreeDNA describe Mark’s DNA as an ‘exact match’ i.e., it would appear that there has been a recent ‘unexpected event’. However, this is clearly not the only ‘unexpected event’ as these Prescotts and Sutherland also share the same patrilineal lineage. So, are Janet and I, Prescotts, Sutherlands or indeed Thompsons, like Mark?

Ideally, all male EFHA members would have their Y-DNA analysed, and given that sex chromosomes mutate significantly less frequently than autosomal, so, if all Entwis/t/es are related, all of us should have the same Y variant, i.e. we should all share a common ancestor.

Do you know of any other male EFHA members that have had their Y-DNA tested? My Y-variant is R-M269.

I was wondering whether it would help if I wrote a brief article for Twissle Times.  Perhaps my experience is unique (probably not) but it does highlight that many, many hours could be wasted by researchers chasing a tree that isn’t, in a patrilineal sense, theirs.

I have sent to Paul Gleitsmann’s (Entwisle) mother for review. (See the diagram below)

I’ve also attached a graphic that may/not be of use. I’m a novice but hopefully much more skillful after completing the various expert-run DNA courses I have enrolled on over the next couple of months.     Best wishes, Steve

Twissle Times, June 2022

My Entwisle Family

Standard genealogy research, largely undertaken by my first cousin once removed, Margery Howcroft, has taken our arm of the Entwis(t)le family back 8 generations from me to John Entwisle, born in Ringley on 28 November 1736. John married Betty Ryle from Ringley, at Prestwich on 12 August 1755. To break through the ‘brick wall’ beyond John, I visited ‘Family Tree Live’ at Alexandra Palace in 2019, primarily to attend lectures on using DNA in genealogical research, and whilst there provided a DNA sample to FamilyTreeDNA for testing.

DNA Tests

The two main DNA types used in genealogical research are autosomal-DNA (atDNA) and the sex chromosome Y-DNA. Given Y-DNA is the patrilineal DNA, I had high expectations that my results would unite me with other Entwisle cousins, at least some of whom would have information that would help me to break through the wall!

My DNA Results

A few weeks later the results arrived. My Y-DNA haplotype is R-M269, one of the most common haplotypes in Europe, but because, unlike atDNA, sex chromosomes undergo significant mutation very infrequently, with only very minor mutations over shorter  timescales, it allows one to connect the dots over a greater timescale than is possible with atDNA. The catch is that you must be male, as Y-DNA is only passed through the patrilineal line.

There are hundreds of markers on the Y-chromosome, but it is accepted practice to start with a 37 (Y37) marker test. If the resulting number of matches is large, then further markers can be tested.

So, what did my results show?

Well, there were a modest 9 people matched to me at Y37, but none had the Entwis(t)le surname!! Like other DNA ancestry providers, FamilyTreeDNA offers the facility to contact others that you are matched to. Thankfully, it emerged that the (Paul) Gleitsmann from the United States in the list was an Entwisle after all; following a divorce in 1921, Paul’s Entwisle ancestor changed his surname, legally, to that of his former wife’s. However, no such explanation is available for the others in the list.

Based on the mutations observed, FamilyTreeDNA provides a Genetic Distance range for each of the matches i.e., the probability of a common ancestor within ‘x’ generations, and 85% probability is widely accepted as the primary target. Paul and I share a Genetic Distance of 2 and have an 85% probability of sharing a common ancestor at 10 generations back. I have a Genetic Distance of 3 with a Sutherland, but still an 85% probability of a common ancestor within 10 generations. Fortunately, whilst Paul and I share the same matches, he is one Genetic Distance closer to both Sutherland, and one of the Prescotts we are matched to. Paul’s ancestral line can be traced with both standard genealogical research and genetic genealogy (both he and his sister) back 8 generations to Isaac Entwisle, born in Lancashire in 1767, in Halshaw Moor, Bolton, though the line has been tentatively traced back to Richard Entwisle, born about 1660, probably in Bolton-le-Moors.

One female at DNA cousin that I am matched to through Ancestry DNA, and believes we share a common Entwisle ancestor at Genetic Distance of 3, has 67 matches with Entwisle in his/her family tree, 55 with Prescott, 1 of whom has the last name of Prescott, and 75 with Sutherland, 6 of whom have the last name of Sutherland.

So, are we Entwis(t)les, Prescotts, Sutherlands?

DNA Surname Projects (hosted by Family Tree DNA) exist for Prescott, Sutherland, and Taylor, but one does not – yet – exist for Entwis(t)le. Whether or not the EFHA ultimately decides that we should create a formal project, hosted for free by Family Tree DNA, Y-DNA testing by male EFHA members will provide valuable information, for all of us. We should, not least, all share the same patrilineal lineage, and it may help us to determine whether that lineage is Entwis(t)le, or perhaps something else.

I’ve enrolled on an online Y-DNA course run by genetic genealogist, Diahan Southard, starting  early July, and will be participating in her detailed DNA ancestry course starting in mid-August. I will report back in the next TT with the additional insight that these courses will undoubtedly provide.

Y-DNA testing:

[Stephen J Entwisle, member120]