Saturday, June 1, 2013

First Lesson in DNA Genealogy

Sunday Morning Sermon - June 2 2013

​When I inherited my paternal Grandpa's massive research on Sri Lankan
​ 
​Moor ​
 ​
genealogy, which he had worked on for fifty years before his death in 1972, it never occurred to me that I would be diving deep into human cells that would give us clues about where we came from. While the work has been extremely exciting through the years
 ​ 
 since then​, the labor of finding clues and links has also been quite back breaking.
Extending my own research to all the other communities and ethnic groups in Sri Lanka has also been another adventure for me. ​
In recent times with massive leaps and bounds in gene technology
 ​​
,
​ 
medical science has broken ground on identifying blood lines
​and origins ​based on DNA
​ 
testing​.
genealogical DNA test looks at a person's genetic code at specific locations. Results give information about the persons genealogy or ancestry. Generally, these tests compare the results of an individual to others from the same lineage or to current and historic ethnic groups.

Taking a genealogical DNA test requires the submission of a DNA sample. This is usually a painless process. The most common way to collect a DNA sample is by a cheek-scraping (also known as a buccal swab). After collection, the sample is mailed to a testing lab
​ 
who process the test and submit the findings​.

There are three types of genealogical DNA tests available
​ 
today​. They are, 


1. autosomal (atDNA) tests for all ancestry​

2. mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
​ 
tests females along their maternal lineage​



3. Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA)
​ 
tests that are made along direct paternal lines​



Y chromosome (Y-DNA) testing 

A man's patrilineal ancestry, or male-line ancestry, can be traced using the DNA on his Y chromosome (Y-DNA) through Y-STR testing. This is useful because the Y chromosome passes down almost unchanged from father to son, i.e., the non-recombining and sex-determining regions of the Y chromosome do not change. A man's test results are compared to another man's results to determine the time frame in which the two individuals shared a most recent common ancestor, or MRCA, in their direct patrilineal lines. If their test results are a perfect, or nearly perfect match, they are related within genealogy's time frame.
Each person can then look at the other's father-line information, typically the names of each patrilineal ancestor and his spouse, together with the dates and places of their marriage and of both spouses' births and deaths. 
Y-DNA tests generally examine 10-67 STR markers on the Y chromosome, but over 100 markers are available. STR test results provide the personal haplotype
A Y-DNA haplotype is the numbered results of a genealogical Y-DNA test. Each allele value has a distinctive frequency within a population. For example, at DYS455, the results will show 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 repeats, with 11 being most common. For high marker tests the allele frequencies provide a signature for a surname lineage.
My
​ 
​own ​Y-DNA Test, done in 2008, indicates that I belong to the R1a Haplogroup. The migration pattern of this group seems to originate somewhere in East Africa, passing through northern Saudi Arabia, Iraq, across the Caspian Sea to Kazakhastan and Eastern Europe (Turkey), before moving eastwards to settle
 ​ 
a
​n​
d inter marry​
 ​ 
in South Asia, either through trade, migration,
​survival, ​or pure
 ​ 
​human ​adventure. They didnt come to conquer and oppress like the Portuguese, Dutch and Brits without a doubt.


My Y-DNA Markers, which are used to compare one individual to another for lineage and relationships, are as follows:-
Fazli Sameer's Y-DNA Profile
Y-DNA STR Results
20 Certified Markers
DYS19
15
DYS385a
11
DYS385b
14
DYS388
12
DYS389i
13
DYS389ii
31
DYS390
25
DYS391
10
DYS392
11
DYS393
13
DYS426
12
DYS437
14
DYS439
10
DYS442
13
DYS447
24
DYS448
20
DYS460
11
GATA H4
13
YCAIIa
19
YCAIIb
23

Its very easy to have a Y-DNA test done and will cost around $100 from any testing lab across the globe. The results can be extremely fascinating when comparing to the results of others and seeing the many close matches that may be prevalent therein.

Genebase, who did my test keep the results archived in their database and do the matching automatically and send me updates on a regular basis of possible close matches and generation links.

To date, I have
​ 
​found ​around 1,368 close matches
 ​ 
​(between 17 to 18 matches out of a total of 20 markers) ​
 
with other people who have also done their Y-DNA test and whose results are stored in the Genebase
​ 
​database ​archives. The closest I have so far
 ​ 
​are​
​ 
separated by 23 generations with a good 18 out of 19 markers within my Y-DNA Haplogroup.

They are:

1. Thiruvengadam Ramakrishnan from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India (R1a1a)
2. James Jaworski (R1a)
 ​ 
originally  from Europe
3. Caetano Filipe Colaco (R1a1a1h1)
 ​ 
from Goa, India. Originally Hindu but Catholic now

There are many others from all corners of the globe with similar close matches including those whose ethnicity are Tamil, Sinhala, and Eastern European. The need for more people to test their Y-DNA and have the results stored in the database becomes relevant in trying to establish these matches. I even have a matches to Arab and Jewish guys within 37 generations with 17 out of 19 matches.

The ethnic matches that I have from the database, so far, are as follows:-

AFRICA
 N
​ 
(2 matches)
AFRICAN AMERICAN (6 matches)
AFRO EURASIAN, AFRO ASIATIC, SEMITIC (10 matches)
EAST ASIAN, AUSTRONESIAN, MALAYO-POLYNESIAN (1 match)
EURASIAN, BALTO SLAVIC, 
INDO EUROPEAN​
 ​ 
(188 matches)
EUROPEAN (110 matches)
INDIGENOUS AMERICANS (7 matches)
INDO IRANIAN,
 ​ ​
​EAST ASIAN, DRAVIDIAN, DARDIC
 ​
*
​ 
 
(2
​6
​ 
matches) - most of the Tamil/Sinhala come under this
JEWISH (4 matches)
URALIC, FINNO-UGRIC (7 matches)
UNSPECIFIED (972 matches)

Interesting stuff to browse through during ones leisure and understand that we have cousins across the globe and that the whole earth is our homeland.

​It would be interesting to trace back from the DNA results of GeeKay, Brian, (both Dutch connections), Ando (Portuguese connection),Muthu/Skanda/Suren (possibly INDO IRANIAN, DARDIC*, DRADIVIAN). Irshad may also be a typical R1a like me unless there are some significant variances by the fact that they have roots in Matara and Weligama
​ and it may not be clear from where they landed there unless we have some evidence to look at​
.​

*DARDIC - The Dard people (Devanagari: दारद, Perso-Arabic: دارد) are a group of Indo-European Indo-Iranian-speaking people predominantly found in eastern Afghanistan, the Gilgit-Baltistanregion and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan, as well as Jammu and KashmirThe community is also known as Brokpa, Drokpa and Shin


Amen

1 comment:

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