THE DNA EVIDENCE
At the end of the last chapter, we were left with a very uncertain past, unclear as to how, if at all, we were related to the Inneses of Stow. Faced with this situation and hoping that DNA research might pro-vide a missing link to Francis Innes Tranent’s forebears, my brother and I participated in a number of DNA tests of our Autosomal and Y-Chomosome DNA. A brief account of these is given below. A more detailed account is given in Appendix E. At the end of this chapter, you will find a table, Table 1., which com-pares the Innes main line of descent, the Duke of Roxburghe’s, with the lines of those individuals whose DNA has been analysed for this chapter. We will refer to this table from time to time. Confirming a Descent from Gilbert Innes of Stow A. Autosomal DNA Testing
Autosomal DNA is inherited by males and females alike but in less-ening amounts over time until after 8 generations or so, very little, if any, DNA remains. Given this, as Gilbert’s putative 4th great grand-son, it was always going to be a long shot to find remnants of his DNA in mine. Nevertheless, it was worth a try. With this in mind, Kate Deans and I had our DNA tested in 2019. Kate you may recall is Gilbert’s 3rd great grandchild. We were also joined in the testing by Neil Cameron, Kate’s 4th Cousin Once Removed, also descended from Gilbert on the female side. The results were inconclusive. Kate and Neil were not identified as cousins, as one might have expected, and nor were Bill and I. Given that at the 7th generation, very little DNA remains, this may simply have been the luck of the draw. On the other hand, it may also be that we are not descended from Gilbert. B. Y-STR Testing Y-DNA is passed from one male to another and is useful in estab-lishing relationships over long spans of time. Unfortunately, we were unable to identify male descendants of Gilbert with whom to com-pare our DNA. A Descent from the Inneses of Ardtannes In earlier chapters, we have noted that the name Francis is very un-common among Inneses. In fact, there is only one Francis Innes in the Innes Family data base who predates our earliest known ancestor, Francis Innes in Tranent. He is Francis Innes in the Mill of Meikle Wardis, descended from the Inneses of Ardtannes . How Rare were Francis Inneses? In the 300 year period from 1553 to 1855, only 13 Francis Innes births were recorded in all of Scotland. By comparison, over the same period 515 Williams, 640 Johns and 457 Alexanders were recorded. Upon discovering him two years ago, he and his descent became my working hypothesis for our descent going forward; and in this regard, DNA testing, both Autosomal and Y-STR, has proved to be very helpful, allowing us to take what was little more than a hunch and pre-sent it as historical fact with the necessary evidence to back it up.
How did this happen? The short answer is with luck and persistence. As you’ll see in a moment, we were extremely fortunate to connect with two individuals whose DNA matched ours and who also had well documented descents : Ruby Otto in Ontario and A.N. Innes in Michigan.
Through this combination of matching DNA and documented de-scents, we were able to determine that the three of us were descended from Walter Innes of Ardtannes, Miller of Inverurie, Ruby descending from his 3rd son, Alexander; A.N. from his 4th son, John; and our-selves from his 5th son, James. How we determined this is the sub-ject of the rest of this chapter.
A. Autosomal DNA Testing
In September 2019, my brother’s autosomal DNA was tested and found to match Ruby’s DNA. They were identified as cousins (5th – Remote). Here, at last, was support for my hypothesis. For details please see Appendix E.1. We don’t know with precision where Ruby’s line and ours connect. However, it is likely at the 10th or 11th genera-tion, possibly the 12th.
B. Y-STR Testing
A.N. Innes A.N. Innes, like Ruby, is descended from the Inneses of Ardtannes. By virtue of matching our DNA with A.N., Y-STR testing confirms that we are too. It goes further, indicating that we are very likely 12th cousins or nearer. For details please see Appendix E.2.
So, in both cases, the DNA testing confirms that we are related but not how we are related with any precision. This is where documented genealogies play an invaluable role. Ruby and A.N., according to their paper genealogies, are 11th cousins, sharing Walter Innes of Ardtannes at Generation 11 as their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). While conceivably, our lines could connect a generation earlier, for reasons we’ll come to in a moment, we have good reason to believe that Walter Innes of Ardtannes is also our MRCA. Walter Innes of Ardtannes had several sons, any of whose descendants could be our ancestor. However, as already noted, only one son, his 5th son, James, had a descendant named Francis. None of the others did. The rarety of the name Francis and the absence of Francises among the descendants of Walter’s other sons, including the ancestors of Ru-by and A.N., strongly suggests that Francis in the Mill of Meikle Wardis is the direct ancestor of our ancestor, Francis Innes Tranent.
Other Y-STR Testing Results Two other Innes relatives of ours were identified through Y-STR testing. They were Robert Paul Innes and Neil “Scotty” Innes, both of whom live in the US. Robert Paul Innes Robert Paul Innes is quite closely related to us. We could be 9th Counsins or closer. For details please see Appendix E.3. Unfortu-nately, neither of us have documented genealogies which extend this far back. We should note, however, that Paul’s earliest known ancestor, Wil-liam Innes, was born in Dysart in 1808, only 16 miles from Cupar suggesting a possible relationship with the “Cupar Inneses. ” The lat-ter are known to descend from the Inneses of Ardtannes. As the ev-idence of our descent from the Inneses of Ardtannes is now very persuasive, and Paul is closely related to us, it follows that he is also related to the Inneses of Ardtannes in some fashion. Neil “Scotty” Innes Our relationship to Neil “Scotty” Innes is very distant. We are 22nd Cousins with the very remote possibility of a more recent relation-ship. This distant relationship is in line with Scotty’s descent from an illegitimate son of John Innes, 4th of Edingight. For details please see Appendix E.4. Conclusion
In conclusion, the combined evidence of Autosomal and Y-DNA testing confirms beyond a reasonable doubt that we are Inneses in blood and name. We also know with virtual certainty that we are descended from the Inneses of Ardtannes, not the Inneses of Stow, as family lore once had us believe. Although we don’t know our precise line of descent after Walter Innes of Ardtannes, we have good reason to believe that his grandson, Francis Innes in the Mill of Meikle Wardis, is our progenitor.
Finally, when all is said and done, it appears that indeed we were hoodwinked by Fitz as were so many others!
DNA research remains a difficult, complex, rapidly evolving subject, one which forces a layman like myself to rely on the knowledge and expertise of others. Even so, as I hope this chapter has illustrated, it can be an extremely helpful tool when combined with documentary evidence. APPENDIX E DNA TESTING RESULTS
This Appendix provides a more detailed explanation of the testing results and their interpretation. It does not provide a description of the testing methodologies which are described in considerable detail on the Family Tree DNA website 1. Autosomal DNA Testing My brother, Bill, and Ruby Otto shared 36 Centimorgans (cMs) of Autosomal DNA. According to Familytree DNA, Ruby is Bill’s 5th cousin or more distant cousin.
If the truth be told, we were very lucky that Bill’s DNA matched Ru-by’s. There is only a 2% chance that 5th Cousins share 36 cMs of DNA and a 1% chance that more distant cousins do. Ruby and I did not share any DNA .
Using data from the Shared cM Project (Version 3.0, August 2017 (See chart below), we can compare the amount of Bill and Ruby’s shared DNA with the amounts shared by people with different Cousin relationships.
Using this data and extrapolating the High End of the Ranges for each Cousin relationship, 4th Cousin and higher, we see in the chart below that Ruby and Bill could be 9th or 10th cousins and if that were the case, our lines would connect at Generation 11 with Alexander, Burgess of Aberdeen 1629 or Generation 10 with Alexander in Mill of Johnston. Could is the operative word.
In drawing our conclusion above, we needed to satisfy ourselves that Ruby and Bill’s shared DNA is in fact Innes DNA and not DNA in-herited from another line, whether Bill’s paternal grandmother (Wil-liams) or his maternal grandparents (Kennedy and Hicks). This is be-cause Autosomal DNA is inherited from both men and women. From a review of Ruby’s documented geneaology, there is no evi-dence to suggest that they are related by some other means.
2. Y-STR Testing A.N. Innes Y-STR Testing tells us that A.N. and I are without question, re-lated. It also tells us, in broad terms, when our two lines con-nect. Take a look at the table below. There is a 99.5% probabil-ity that we share Walter Innes 10th of Innes or one of his de-scendants as a common ancestor. In other words, with virtual certainty, we can say that our two lines connect either via Sir Walter or one of his subsequent descendants in A.N.’s line of descent. Furthermore, with lesser certainty but from a statistical and genealogical perspective a valid one nonetheless, we can predict that our lines connect more recently either via William (alias Sebastian) of Ardtannes or one of his descendants. Gen Range Probability Ancestor 1 -18 99.5% Sir Walter 10th of Innes 1 - 17 99.2% Berowald of Halton “Red Tod” d.ca 1512 1- 16 98.75% John d. ca 1520, feuar or tacksman of Benwall, pre-sumed ancestor of Benwall and Ardtannes 1 - 15 98.03% Berowald in Ardtannes 1 - 14 96.94% Walter of Ardtannes pursued murderers to Europe d by 1608 1 - 13 95.27% William (alias Sebastian) of Ardtannes m Marjorie Lumsden 1 - 12 92.74% Walter of Ardtannes, miller of Inverurie m Marjory Elphinstone To perhaps state the obvious, these conclusions were made possible because A.N.’s line of descent, and Ruby’s, were doc-umented. They were documented in the 1950’s by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney in his book the Inneses of Benwall and Blair-ton and Collateral Branches. Robert Paul Innes A comparison of our DNA using Y-111 Testing shows that we are separated by a Genetic Distance of 3. In Family Tree DNA terms, this means that “most matches at this level are related as 9th cousins or closer, and over half will be 5th or more recent cousins”. Unfortunately, as you can see in Table 1., neither Paul nor I have documented genealogies which extend this far back. We should note that Paul’s earliest ancestor, William Innes, was born in Dysart in 1808, only 16 miles from Cupar suggesting a possible relationship with the “Cupar Inneses,” who are known to descend from the Inneses of Ardtannes. As the evidence of our descent from the Inneses of Ardtannes is now very persua-sive, and Paul is closely related to us, it follows that he is also re-lated to the Inneses of Ardtannes in some fashion.
Neil “Scotty” Innes Turning now to my other match, Scotty, Familytree DNA tells us that our relationship is very distant, that we are separated by a Genetic Distance of 10. They go on to say that at this distance, “over half of matches are related as 15th cousins or closer while most matches are related as 22nd cousins or more recently”. Scotty descends, it is thought, from an illegitimate son of John Innes, 4th of Edingight. The Edingight Inneses are descended from Walter 1st of Innermarkie 1445 – 1499, the grandson of Walter Innes, 10th of Innes. As we can see in Table 1., Walter Innes 10th of Innes is the MRCA for the Ardtannes and Edingight Inneses, and if Scotty and I are descendants of Ardtannes and Edingight respectively, then our Genetic Distance of 10 is entirely consistent with the statement above that “most matches are related as 22nd cousins or more recently.”