I have written many blogs on DNA but I don’t think that I have written about my Hartley autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA is the kind of DNA test of which Ancestry claims they have tested over 2 million people. Autosomal looks at the DNA we get from both our parents and their parents and so on until the DNA runs out. And it does run out for some ancestors at some point. Due to this effect, very little of my DNA is actually Hartley DNA. If you think of it, I got half of my DNA from my father, but he got half from his father, his father got half his DNA from his father and so on.
Paternal DNA from Maternal DNA
The best way to get your paternal DNA is to test your father. This avenue was not available to me. However, I was able to test my mother. Gedmatch.com has a utility available that will separate out the DNA I got from my mom from that which I got from my dad. That utility does not recreate my dad’s DNA, but it does recreate most of the portion of DNA that I got from him.
Here is what the utility looks like. It is quite simple to use and works quickly.
Once I have this information, I can run the results against all my matches to find out which of my matches are from my dad and which are from my mom. There are also those that match neither which may be considered false matches. This takes out a lot of the guesswork with our matches. It makes life twice as easy.
Paternal DNA from Testing a Paternal Relative
The other way to find paternal (that is Hartley) DNA is to test a paternal or Hartley relative. That is when I went to my father’s cousin Jim and asked him to take a DNA test. He was willing and I have some Hartley matches. I also had tested myself and my two sister’s. Here is what Jim’s DNA results look like compared to me and my 2 sisters on a Chromosome Browser:
I find this graphic interesting. It shows that Jim matches me and my 2 sisters on almost every chromosome. The last chromosome is the X Chromosome. It was cut off a bit. However, Jim could not match us on the X as my father only got his X Chromosome from his mother who was a Frazer and not a Hartley. On Chromosome 13 my 2 sisters and I have pretty much the same match with Jim. The 3 bars are of equal length. On Chromosome 20, only my sister Sharon matches Jim. On Chromosome 11 we all match but at different amounts. My sister Heidi has the largest match there. The places where we don’t match, my family is busy matching the other 3 grandparents. Or perhaps Jim is busy matching on his father’s non-Hartley line.
What Do All Those Matches Mean?
All those matches represent Hartley DNA. But remember that I said that even our Hartley DNA consists of other families. So the answer is a bit more complicated. First I will show the Hartley genealogy relative to the DNA match between Jim and my family. That will help explain all these DNA matches. In the first line below, Greenwood Hartley was from Trawden, England. Ann Emmet was from Bacup, England. Isaiah Snell had non-Pilgrim colonial ancestors. Hannah Bradford had Pilgrim Colonial ancestors.
I have those with Hartley DNA in green. Those that have no Hartley DNA are in blue.
Here is Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet:
Probably Hannah Bradford and Isaiah Snell at their house in Rochester, Massachusetts:
Every match between Jim, me and my siblings represents a specific Ancestor from the 1st line above
The common ancestors between Jim and me are James Hartley born 1862 and Annie Louisa Snell born 1866, but the DNA represented between Jim and me is actually their parents who were all born around the first third of the 1800’s. This was just made clear to me within the last few days. I know, it gets confusing. That means that out of the 1/4 of my DNA that is Hartley (as I have 4 grandparents), only 1/4 of that quarter is Hartley when we go back to where the DNA came from. That means that every orange, blue or green bar in the first image represents one of the 4 ancestors from the early 1800’s above.
How We Get Our DNA
When we were conceived, we got our own blend of DNA. That DNA was really from our 4 grandparents. We got equal amounts from our mom and dad, but the amounts we got from their parents was blended and we may have not gotten an exact 25% from each our grandparents. We all actually have 2 of each chromosome. One is paternal and one is maternal. For example, the siblings James Hartley b. 1891 and Annie Louisa Hartley b. 1902 received on their paternal chromosome alternating segments of Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet DNA. Likewise, on their maternal chromosomes, they had alternating DNA from Isaiah Snell and Hannah Bradford. Those mixtures of their 4 grandparents was passed down to Jim, me and my 2 sisters and is represented in the Family Tree DNA Browser that I show above and again below.
How Can We Tell Which Segment Matches Which of the Four Ancestors?
For example, it would be nice to know if Heidi’s Chromosome 11 match with Jim shown in green below represents Hartley, Emmet, Snell or Bradford.
The best way to find out which segment represents which ancestor is to do additional testing.
- A Hartley relative not related to Emmet, Snell or Bradford
- An Emmet relative not related to Hartley, Snell or Bradford
Well, I think you get the picture. Once one of these people is tested, they would be a reference and any match Jim or my family had with them would be from the Hartley, Emmet, Snell or Bradford lines. The problem is, where are these people? There may be Snells around not related to Hartleys, but I dont’ know of many Hartleys not related to Snells. Sorry for the double negative.
Another way is to wait until one of these Snells not related to a Hartley shows up on a DNA match list. This doesn’t work for Ancestry matches because AncestryDNA doesn’t tell you which chromosome you match on. However, if they were to upload their results to gedmatch.com, then the segments could be identified.
why do we want to identify these segments?
Well, for one, some find it interesting to know where they got their DNA from. Another reason is, that once these are identified, then we know right away where to look for an ancestor match. For example, if we knew a match was on the Bradford side. We would look for a common matching ancestor descending from the Mayflower perhaps.
Summary and Conclusions
- When I tested my Hartley father’s 1st cousin, I got a lot of DNA matches on most of my chromosomes
- These matches represent 4 of my 2nd great grandparents
- These four 2nd great grandparents represent Trawden and Bacup, England and Colonial Pilgrim and non-Pilgrim lines.
- So far, I have not been able to figure out which colored bar represents which 2nd great grandparent.
- There may be some advanced techniques that could help me tease those out. Or I may be able to find those out by testing appropriate relatives if found.
- The older generations are the best for testing as the further you get from your ancestors, the less autosomal DNA you carry. It reduces by a factor of 4 every generation.
- Those relatives that have tested at Ancestry should upload their results to gedmatch.com for comparison.
- One of my Hartley 2nd cousins has uploaded her DNA results to gedmatch.com and that will be the subject of my next Blog.