A Question of Paternity Y-111

+8 votes
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I am trying to solve a 114 year old family mystery.

I have been dabbling in "classic" genealogy for 25+ years, but was reinvigorated by DNA earlier this year. While looking at my wife's family, I quickly realized that the paper trail didn't add up. My wife's paternal grandfather was born in 1893, and I found 2 marriage records each for his mother and father. Short part of the story is that we have DNA confirmed his mother is his, but not his father. What we did find was that his mother got married in 1890 and 1895 (he always believed that the 1895 marriage was his dad). Additionally, the man great-grandma married in 1890 got re-married himself in 1893 (same year grandpa was born).

We have found Zero autosomnal evidence that we are related to the man we thought was great-grandpa for 114 years (all connections we found also included a blood relation to great-grandma). We *have* found the very slightest of evidence that we are related to great-grandma's "Marriage #1"... One person with 10.5 cM over one segment, who could be a 4th cousin as the (paper-trail) tree branches... Not terribly conclusive.

We have found a fully paternal-paternal great-grandson of husband #1 although he has not ever responded to our reaching out. But in preparation of getting him agree to get tested, my father-in-law got a Y-111 test from FTDNA, and we got the results back a couple days ago.

It did not give us expected results in almost any respect...  I expected a surname to quickly present itself as "dominant" and I expected either Husband #1 (Hughbanks/Hubanks) or Husband #2 (Hanson) to at least make an appearance, but not only did neither show up anywhere,*none* of the names seem particularly dominant in the listing.

When you buy a Y-111 test from FTDNA, you actually get a variety of results for 111, 67, 37, 25 and 12 markers respectively, so here are the results:  His Haplotype is I-M253

Y-111: No matches

Y-67: 6 matches... with genetic distances of 5, 6, 7, 7, 7, and 7

Y-37: 3 matches... genetic distance 1 (Fisher), and 2 w/ distance of "4"

Y-25: 137 matches... including 7 w/ distance 0, 15 w/ distance 1

Y-12: 45 matches, all distance 0

So Y-25 appears most promising... Of the 7 w/ distance 0, the surname Hite appears 3 times, and appear to have only paid for a Y-25 test, so that could explain the absence at more markers. Of the other 4, 2 were 111 tests, one was a 67 and the other a 37 test and the oddity is that the Y-37 supposedly matching at distance 0 is the wrong Haplotype all together (I-Y10890).

Additionally, when I go back to the various autosomnal sites, I do see a bunch of Hite surnames showing up, and at a higher cM, but again not overwhelming: 33cM - on gedmatch (on 3 people with known  Hite lineage over 2 segments), 40+ people on Ancestry topping out at 28cM and an Ancestry estimate of 4th cousin or more distant.a 69cM match on someone with the last name Hite on FTDNA itself (but who hasn't taken a Y test) and on 23andMe, where there is some overlap with gedmatch results.

So is the mystery father a Hite? Is there a better explanation?  Do I need to wait for more people to take Y-111 tests?  If it is a Hite, it may have been a brief fling, or something dark. Whatever it is, Great-Grandmother never told he kids or grandkids about it... and Grandpa grew up lived and died believing that husband #2 was the genetic father.
WikiTree profile: Floyd Hanson
in Genealogy Help by Brian Gix G2G3 (3.9k points)
Charles Hughbanks remarried 9 months before Floyd was born, according to his profile, so it seems unlikely he'd be the father.  Was there a divorce?  If so, reasons would be given, none of this modern no-fault stuff (though they were often trumped-up).

Hi, Brian. A lot to sort through; I'll need to circle back later. One question: in the STR match summary you noted a Fisher with a GD of 1 as the closest match at 37 markers. But then you described another with haplogroup I-Y10890 that was a GD of zero. Is he a really a distance of zero at 37?

And, FYI, I-Y10890 is not a haplogroup mismatch. I-M253 is the SNP marker way up at the highest level of the clade; It's equivalent to "I1" on the ISOGG tree. I-Y10890 means that the individual has had deep clade testing done which goes well beyond the predictive haplogroup FTDNA assigns with a standard yDNA test. I-Y10890 is equivalent to "I1a2a1a1a5a1a2." So every male that's I1a, I1b, or I1c will have the M253 marker. Every male with the DF29 marker, "I1a," will also have M253; and so on down the list of identified SNPs.

If that match at 37 STR markers really is a GD of zero, it may be a reasonable expectation that your FIL's line will be somewhere along that I1a2a1a1a5a1a2 trail...I think I1a2a, or SNP S246 would be a fairly safe assumption.

The tree is hierarchical; you can reference the ISOGG tree here: https://isogg.org/tree/ISOGG_HapgrpI.html. May be a handy resource as you check other matches.

Yeah, I don't think Charles Hughbanks or Charles Hanson are likely the father, since neither surname shows up in any of the Y-DNA lists, and the one auDNA result I can find is only 10cM, to a very distant Hughbanks related cousin.

But Hite on the other hand shows up in many auDNA searches, with numbers in the 40+ for measurements of 10-20 cM, and 3 with measurements in the 50+ cM range.
Thanks Edison, I will need to look at that closer...

The Robert Fisher is at distance 1 on both the Y-37 and the Y-25 list (same guy), and he is listed simply as I-M253. The Hite is *only* on the Y-25 list, and his test is actually listed as Y-25, so I am guessing that Y-25 was offered at some point, and is no longer offered, but still in the system. Y-37 is now the lowest FTDNA sells.

Robert Fisher is the *only* distance 1 match at Y-37 or better. FTDNA predicts 58.5% chance that a shared ancester is within 4 generations, and 88.75% chance in the last 8 generations.

Hi Edison, I don't think I answered your question.  The "Zero Distance Match" of the  I-Y10890 guy at Y-25 actually took the Y-67 test, and he does also show up in that list but with a distance of 7.

It's not ruled out that Hanson really was the father, as always thought.  Just because his name was Hanson doesn't mean he had to come with common Hanson DNA.  There are lots of unknown small islands as a result of relatively recent NPEs.

You imply that autosomal tests have found matches, but they have an alternative explanation, so they aren't positive evidence.  But they aren't negative evidence either.  You need to draw blanks on too many "known" close relatives of Charles Hanson to rule him out.

If there aren't any Hites in the Y-111 results, then of course the likelihood is that the mystery father was descended from Hites through a maternal line.  You need to draw a big Hite tree and focus on the daughters and who they married and who their daughters married.  If you find a husband whose name crops up in the Y results, you could be on to something.  Big project.  You could write the book on Hites.  Very few of those books trace female-line descendants.

You could limit geographically - focus on Hites who moved towards Wisconsin and hope that no Hites who settled in Texas had descendants in Wisconsin.

You could start with a collection of marriages of Hite women, since it's their descendants that matter - it's not that useful to know all their ancestries, and in the end you'll only be descended from one of them.

(But you'd need to rule out the possibility that your Hite DNA comes from a different direction - by DNA tests on cousins)
Sorry, I now see you do have Hites in the Y results.
I did the Y-67 test at FTDNA and was equally underwhelmed. My closest match at 67 was genetic distance 3 (which could easily be 10-12 generations back). I was also interested to see that there was no domination of surnames either, even amongst matches who identified their earliest male ancestor as 200+ years ago. Even if there was a false paternity in my own male ancestry (probable) it implies most of these earliest ancestors are incorrect. The surnames were overwhelmingly Irish so I'm wondering if Irish surnames were a lot more fluid back then with both family and clan names?

I wouldn't bother with any matches down at the Y-37 level or below. It just means a vague affinity rather than a clear genetic link. You'll just have to hope closer matches appear in the future.
I'm starting to get "more comfortable" with what I am seeing. Apparently FTDNA used to only offer 12 marker and 25 marker tests, and there are a fair number of results down there that just won't show up on my 111, 67 or 37 screen.  But they do on my 25 and 12 screens.

I think the trick here is to view them in the context of the "most markers" available for both tests...  For instance, I have some "Distance Zero" matches on my Y-111 kit at 25 markers, which are marked as being Y-67 tests...  and the same tests show up there as well as distance "7".  So those are the ones I ignore.  However, I do have a very good lead on my surname Hite which matches with distance 0 on 3 separate Y-25 kits that were taken a long time ago when a Hite project  was trying to map where that family was from, and indeed if it was all one family (spoiler: it was not). And in my case I don't believe we connect into any of those 3 lines *domestically*, but they are all German, and it has lead me to a 1st generation (in the 1880's) German family living in the same county of Wisconsin where the birthmother lived.  Will it ultimately "bear fruit"? I can't say for sure right now, but I have a new family to research and hopefully find a living member of to request an auDNA test from.

1 Answer

+5 votes
You mention a yDNA test for your father-in-law but I would concentrate on auDNA when the relationships are this close.  My preference would be to test your father-in-law on 23andme and AncestryDNA first, then transfer the AncestryDNA to FTDNA, MyHeritage, and www.gedmatch.com.

I had trouble finding relatives on my maternal grandfathers side of the family. In this case, the reason we lacked matches is that the family sizes were so small.  My maternal grandfather had 1 half sister that never married and his father had only 1 sister that never married.
by Ken Sargent G2G6 Mach 5 (57.0k points)
We do indeed have the auDNA results uploaded to a variety of sites including FTDNA, MyHeritage and gedmatch.  My Father-in-Law is tested on 23andMe, and his sister (full sister DNA confirmed) is on Ancestry, so should show all of the close matches in common.

The Hite name is first suggested by the Y-DNA results, and those results show no Hansons or Hughbanks, so I do not believe either guy is the birth father....  So I am attempting to research just Hite, since I have a pretty good tree built for Hughbanks and Hanson already.
I suggest that you not spend significant time researching a Potential ancestral line using traditional genealogy.  There are only so many hours in the day.  I did something similar, and there was an NPE, but it was not the person I thought it was. It was much closer.  In your case, it could be further back.

The thought of an NPE usually begins with the lack of finding known DNA cousins along some line. I believe, like in my case, a DNA cousin appears in one of your lists that is close enough that you should be able to make the connection but you don't.  The more difficult comparison to find is a DNA cousin that should match but doesn't.

The chances are that you will be able to identify an NPE, if there is one, by a process of elimination.  This is why I would prioritize your time to documenting those parent/child connections you have confidence in both the Traditional Genealogy and have DNA match(es) that further supports that confidence.

New matches are arriving every day, so I would let the evidence you need, come to you because it appears you don't have it now.

I would also suggest that you update the biography with what you feel is appropriate. This may include much of what you have written here but I might separate out the DNA details into a separate document.

IMO, the best place to find a cousin that should be a match, but is not, is Ancestry.com via the member connections.

This relationship appears to be some of the evidence you are looking for. Relationship. IMO, it shows an NPE has occurred somewhere between these two DNA testers.  They share no segments greater than 1cM.

Technically, it could be anywhere, so I would first confirm what you can on your side, and also the other side, so you can eliminate any real possibility an NPE did not occur elsewhere.

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