Friday, September 13, 2013

It's a Small World - Especially with DNA Testing

From my Y-DNA test that I did with FamilyTreeDNA I only have 11 matches at the 12 marker range and that includes 2 that are at the 1 step range (that is one marker that is different by a one step mutation). This is from a database that is almost half a million men (500,000) that have tested with FTDNA.
This number of matches is not surprising even though there are many others who will have a much larger number of matches.
The surprising part is that one of my matches, is another donor conceived man in the USA (I live in Australia).
A man that I have had communications with for several years.
While we are very distant genetic cousins, we do share a common ancestor that is likely to have occurred about 100 generations ago or about 2000 years. (If a faster mutation rate is used in the calculations this could be reduced to about 50 generations or about 1000 years, but the slower mutation rate is more conservative).
So while we share a commonality in both being donor conceived we also share a common ancestor, and while we all share one if we go far enough back in time, it is quite ironic that some of us also share significant familial links beyond just being donor conceived.
Such a link might be meaningless to many people but for those of us that have no knowledge of our paternal heritage such information is interesting nonetheless.
The power of DNA genealogy makes the world a somewhat smaller place.

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