National DNA Day

This coming Sunday, 25 April 2021, is National DNA Day! What is National DNA Day? According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, it “commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953″. The whole field of genetic genealogy wouldn’t be possible without either of these events.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the analysis of my Y-DNA screening. FamilyTreeDNA initially estimated my haplogroup as R-M269, which probably formed some 13,300 years ago. My most recent common ancestor with other children of R-M269 was probably some 6,400 years ago. (All numbers are based on estimates in the YFull Tree.) Based on a limited number of SNPs tested, 23AndMe estimated a more recent haplogroup of R-CTS241 (aka R-DF13), which formed about 4,500 years ago and with a most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of 4,100 years ago. I finally received a closer haplogroup and it turns out my branch of the Keating family is within the haplogroup R-BY166297. Unfortunately, there’s not yet a clear estimate of the age or TMRCA for this haplogroup. However, it is a lot closer than the original R-M269 and R-CTS241/R-DF13 estimates. From R-M269, the lineage goes: R-M269 > R-L23 > R-L51 > R-P310 > R-L151 > R-P312 > R-Z290 > R-L21 > R-S552 > R-DF13 > R-Z39589 > R-S1026 > R-BY23442 > R-BY166297. There are some other haplogroups beneath R-BY166297 that I don’t belong to, and it seems my Keatings share some distant paternal ancestry with a family of Drakes and a family of Coopers within subclades of R-BY166297: R-BY166212, R-FT176011, and R-FTC43922. My Y-DNA doesn’t show these three mutations, but we do share a common ancestor within R-BY166297. (I’m still waiting for my haplogroup to be added to the YFull tree. It looks like the maintainer updates it every few months.)

Over on FamilyTreeDNA’s Keating DNA Project, I’ve put together a family “DNA Tree” of the various members of the project. We’re starting to see various Keating family groups start emerging from the data. The tree combines the family groups using the older STR-based tests and the haplogroup identifying SNP-based testing from the Big-Y tests. Where does your family fit in the tree? Are you part of an existing branch, or are you a branch that hasn’t been discovered yet? (My own kit number is 948705. There are several STR-based kits that are distantly related. We haven’t found the connection yet, but the families both seem to be from the Dublin area, although they use the Keaton/Keeton spelling.)

If you’re interested in an autosomal DNA test (it helps to find close family on both your paternal and maternal lines), both FamilyTreeDNA and 23AndMe are offering deals on their autosomal DNA tests. If you’re interested in seeing where your paternal line fits in the tree above, consider taking FamilyTreeDNA‘s Y111 or Big-Y700 tests. If you’re known to be a distant cousin of mine, please consider taking the Big-Y test as well. I’d love to see if we can get more branches underneath that BY166297 branch.) Because of National DNA Day, they’ve got sales going on until Monday, 26 April. Now’s a good time to take the next step in your genetic genealogy! (I’ve no financial interest in FamilyTreeDNA or 23AndMe (or any other genealogy company), although I am a co-administrator of the Keating Family DNA Project sponsored by them.)

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