Archive for November, 2009

Family Tree DNA Sale on Y-DNA Tests

The company that does the testing for this project has lowered its prices for the holidays. If you order a 37-Marker test, it’s only $119, which is about the same as the regular price of a 12-Marker test (without the project discount). If you are thinking of joining the project, this is a great time to do it, and we’d recommend at least 37 markers, since the Bacharachs already match 100% on 12 markers. We need additional markers to estimate how far back the genetic divergence occurred. Use this link to order your test.

Exciting Results and What They Mean

Matches

As of a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been getting test results in and have been very excited to learn that, so far, all the men with the Bacharach/Bachrach surname are matches. You can see the actual results by clicking on the “DNA Results” tab above, but I will give a summary here. As of today, we have the following participants:

  • 2 men who trace their ancestry to Kestrich, Hesse
  • 1 man who traces his ancestry to Frielendorf, Hesse
  • 1 man who traces his ancestry to Fellheim, Bavaria (Bavarian Swabia)

The summary of the matches is as follows:

  • All four participants match 12/12 (100%) on the first 12 markers of the Y-DNA
  • Kestrich and Frielendorf match 25/25 with each other when looking at the first 25 markers (with the exception of extra copies of DYS464, which we will get to later
  • Kestrich and Frielendorf match 24/25 with Fellheim

These are all very close matches, and a fairly clear indication that these men all share a common ancestor, possibly somewhere in the range of 400-600 years ago. Some of the participants have had more markers tested, which will help to refine the data and begin to show where the genetic divergence occurred.

We know that there were Bacharachs in Fellheim in the 1600s and in Kestrich at least as early as the 1700s. These locations are about 250 miles apart, which is not so far today, but represents a long distance back then. Click on the map tab above to see where these places are.

While we are still waiting on the remainder of the 37-marker test for one individual and the remainder of 67-marker tests for two individuals, the results so far are continuing to match. Of the 37-marker tests we have back now:

  • Fellheim matches 35/37 with Kestrich (again with the caveat about the extra copies of DYS464)

We will keep you up-to-date as more results come in.

DYS 464 Anomaly

Now the explanation about the DYS464 marker. Normally there will be four copies of this, labeled 464a-464d. There is, however, a small percentage of Y-DNA samples which contain more than four. Of the Bacharachs, three out of four have two additional copies: 464e and 464f. The fourth person’s results from the lab do not show these two extra copies. Family Tree DNA is rechecking this result, since everyone else in this group has the extra copies and there are 24/25 or 25/25 matches on everything else. If it turns out this was a clerical error and the individual does indeed have these two extra copies, which is what I expect to happen, then these Bacharachs are all related. Remember, this is an extremely rare occurrence, which increases the likelihood of a common ancestor for these men.

Other Surnames

While looking at the matches for the men in the project, we stumbled upon a few others whose markers matched exactly or extremely closely, but whose surname was not Bacharach or Bachrach or who had no knowledge of any connection to that surname. We asked them to join our project since they were such close matches, including the rare DYS464 situation. They both trace their oldest patrilineal ancestors to somewhere in eastern Europe, to the generic “Russia” which so many of us are familiar with. We don’t know what the connection is to the Bacharachs, but we suspect there is one and perhaps we can unearth it. We may add other individuals who come up as matches for the Bacharachs in general as time goes on, even if they don’t share the surname.