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The benefits of SNP testing!

(February 3rd 2021). When commercial DNA testing began it focused completely on Y-DNA STR testing. While Y-DNA STR results can routinely be used to pinpoint a paternal origin, the STRs themselves, as short repetitive sequences of DNA, can be amplified or deleted with each generation. As a result, there is considerable variability in the number of shared STR markers even among males that share the same unique surname. This high degree of variability in STRs and resultant surname matches is particularly prevalent among males that, for example, carry the R-M222 (Niall) marker. The R-M222 marker is one of the most notable genetic markers. It dominates those with Irish, Scots, and Scots-Irish ancestry, and hence there are many millions of males worldwide that carry the R-M222 marker. As a result, a male who carries the R-M222 marker may find himself matching lots and lots of males with many different surnames upon Y-DNA STR testing!

While Scottish Origenes can often pinpoint an origin for males with the R-M222 marker who have taken the Y-DNA 111, 67 and 37 marker (STR) tests, we routinely find ourselves recommending for them the BigY SNP test. These SNPs are specific ‘permanent’ DNA mutations on the male Y chromosome. The benefit with SNP testing is that the results ‘more accurately depicts the precise chronological appearance of specific surnames among a tribal group of related males living in a specific location.’ Since surnames still concentrate (among the farming community) in the area where they first appeared, one can examine the distribution of the surnames revealed in one’s SNP results and pinpoint where one’s ancestor lived when paternally inherited surnames first appeared approximately 1,000 years ago. This process is beautifully illustrated in the terminal Y-DNA SNP results of 3 males named Mitchell, Kernan and White whose SNP results feature in the 3 accompanying images (all of whom share the R-M222 paternal marker). Each Case Study can be downloaded and studied (see links below).

When one examines the distribution of each R-M222 male’s terminal SNP matches they lead back to 3 quite different locations! The fit between SNP revealed surnames and locations is perfect!

What the SNP results reveals is an explosion of surnames among the descendants of the Gaelic Irish R-M222 males who migrated out form Northwest Ireland and colonised parts of Ireland and Scotland. What will your SNP results reveal, or rather where will your BigY SNP results take you?

Click here to download the Mitchell Y-DNA Case Study

Click here to download the Kernan Y-DNA Case Study

Click here to download the White Y-DNA Case Study

What will your DNA reveal? CLICK HERE for a FREE CONSULTATION on your DNA results (Y-DNA, Autosomal or mtDNA) or to find out which commercial ancestral DNA test is suitable for you. Remember folks, I am a trained Scientist with over 20 years’ experience in both Academic and Industrial Labs. Always check the scientific qualifications of the blogger offering DNA advice. An honorary qualification is no substitute for decades of genuine awards and practical experience.

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