Mailing List:2002-02-01 09, Re: DNA (and its use to WRG), by Ron Kyser

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Mailing List Archives > 2002-02-01 09, Re: DNA (and its use to WRG), by Ron Kyser

From: "R. Kyser" <sorryken -at-> Subject: [WHITNEY-L] Re: DNA (and its use to WRG) Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 14:18:49 -0600 The type of study the Wellses are involved in, had we deep LDS pockets and BYU facilities handy, could be very useful for WRG as it could answer either of two questions. (Not both, though, at least positively, as they cancel each other out.) These are: 1) Do the various Whitney families descend from the same ancestor, an "ur-Whitney" or "proto-Whitney"? The Yorkshire genealogist George Redmonds makes the controversial claim that the bearers of the same English surname generally do share a single ancestor. That may be a bit fanciful regarding Smiths and Johnsons, but not necessarily for a place name with a Scandinavian suffix such as Whitney. There can't be all that many "white islands" along the coast or in English rivers, so a single ancestor 800 years or so back is at least conceivable. (By the way, the Wye River on the Welsh border seems an unlikely source for a first Whitney. Where did that familiy come from?) 2) To which lines do the "unconnected" Whitneys connect? If the answer to the first question is "yes", then Y-chromosome analysis couldn't answer this, unless there is significant mutation after the lines diverge. However, if there are several Whitney families, then many unconnecteds could be attached to this or that line. One has to be careful here. If a modern Whitney shares the Y with John's descendants but not Samuel's, Henry's or the Irish family, one can't conclude he descends from John; he could also be from John's brother, father, great-great-grandfather, etc. (In the recent famous Jefferson case, one of the two lines in question was shown to be a genuine male Jefferson descent, but it was impossible to determine from which of any particular male Jefferson.) Though the questions cancel each other out, it is possible to have a partial positive answer for both. E.g., if, as some have surmised, Henry and Samuel are related, but John is not related to them, then unconnecteds might be linked to either the John or Henry/Samuel lines, but Henry's and Samuel's descendants would be tougher to tell from one another. (The tough part, if you're not a male named Whitney, would be finding a volunteer to represent your line; e.g., if your grandmother was the unconnected Whitney, you'd have to find a willing second cousin, or his father or son.) One academic who might have been able to help in this area was an unconnected Whitney himself-- Prof. Glayde Whitney of the Dept. of Psychology at Florida State Univ., and former president of the Behavioral Genetics Association. He told me a few years ago his Whitneys were traced four generations to a South Dakota pioneer. I planned to hear him speak later this winter and intended to broach the subject again, as there seemed to be an opportunity for a quid-pro-quo here. However, I'm saddened to report that Prof. Whitney passed away from a sudden emphysema attack in early January. Lesson learned: Don't put off your correspondence! Cheers, Ron Kyser -----Original Message----- From: Rose Zella Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 23:08 Subject: [WHITNEY-L] DNA >Recently someone was asking for information on the DNA research. >Someone said at the time there had been a lot of discussion about it and >maybe one of those >who had something to say about it could response. >I was one of those who had a good deal to say and for various reasons I >just haven't gotten >to the information. >Here it is: > >the Wells family is deeply into this research and the address on line >for some information is: ><a href=""></a> > >

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