Narramore Name Study - Y-DNA Tests

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Surnames/tags: Narramore Naramore Northmore
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This research area is part of the Narramore Name Study. It will focus on analysis of existing Narramore Y-DNA tests (all spelling variants, including Northmore) - and outline the need for additional tests.

As of October 2023, there are six known Y-DNA tests from Narramore-related men - all of which match. This small number doesn't prove that there are no unrelated Narramore lines in the world, but none have yet been identified. The current haplogroup for all Narramore men is believed to be R-FT412158 - although that will certainly change if we get additional Big Y-700 tests.

The working, yet unproven, theory is that all Narramores descend from common ancestors in Devon County, England - perhaps as far back as the early 1500s. One or more Narramore men emigrated to the New England colonies in the 1600s, while one or more Narramores probably emigrated to the southern colonies at a slightly later date. Based on existing Big Y tests, these two lines are related.


Three Related Narramore Lines

Until we learn otherwise from additional Y-DNA testing and paper trails, we'll place Narramore descendants into three categories. We currently believe they all share a common paternal line ancestor:

  • Devon Narramores: this category includes everyone whose Narramore ancestors stayed in the general Devon County England area until at least 1800. We don't have any known Y-DNA tests from a Narramore in this group yet, but we have a Northmore. We believe that they're paternally related to both groups of the American Narramores.
  • Northern US Narramores: this group includes descendants of early Narramore emigrants to the northern American colonies, who arrived prior to 1800. We have one Narramore Big Y-500 and one Naramore Y-111 test on this line.
  • Southern US Narramores: this this group includes descendants of early Narramore emigrants to the northern American colonies, who arrived prior to 1800. We have one Narramore Y-111 test and one Narmore Y-37 test on this line. We also have a Nichols NPE Big Y-700 test here that also matches on AncestryDNA.

Questions to be Addressed

Part of this research project is to tackle new questions, including:

  • Narramores are believed to be related to some Northmore and Bynorthmore descendants - but where do they fit in? We have one matching Northmore Y-111 test; where does that line connect?
  • Are there any Narramore lines not related to the Devon line? Only additional Y-DNA testing will answer this.
  • Have we excluded any key Narramore lines? For example, did some early Narramores move to other areas of the British Isles or other colonies prior to 1800?
  • Other Y-DNA questions?

How Y-DNA Testing Works

There are two types of Y-DNA tests available from the primary vendor, FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA): STR and SNP.

STR Tests

Traditionally, STR tests have been numbered as 1 to 111 and have been sold as panels (groups) of STRs. The panels are:

  1. Panel 1: STRs 1 to 12
  2. Panel 2: STRs 13 to 25
  3. Panel 3: STRs 26 to 37
  4. Panel 4: STRs 38 to 67
  5. Panel 5: STRs 68 to 111

As testing technology advanced and prices came down, FTDNA stopped selling Y-12, Y-25, and Y-67 tests. The only STR tests currently sold are Y-37 (includes panels 1, 2, and 3) and Y-111 (includes all five panels). Existing customers can purchase upgrades to Y-37, Y-111, or Big Y-700 (described below under SNP Tests). When a customer requests an upgrade from Y-25 to Y-111, for example, FTDNA simply tests panels 3, 4, and 5.

If all markers on a panel are identical, that's a Genetic Distance (GD) of 0. The total GD between two men is the sum of the differences between any markers compared. Men can match at any testing level, so someone might match at Y-67 but not at Y-37 (or vice versa). The match thresholds at each testing level are:

  • Y-12: GD of 0 or 1
  • Y-25: GD of 0 to 2 (across panels 1 and 2 cumulatively)
  • Y-37: GD of 0 to 4 (across panels 1 to 3)
  • Y-67: GD of 0 to 7 (across panels 1 to 4)
  • Y-111: GD of 0 to 10 (across all panels)

Anyone who matches at any level shares a common paternal ancestor. The more STRs tested and the lower the GD, the more recently the common ancestor probably lived. A Y-12 match could have a common ancestor who lived well over 1,000 years ago, while a Y-111 match with a GD of 0 shares a very recent common ancestor. A Y-111 match with a GD of 9 or 10 might share a common ancestor who was born 400+ years ago (or more).

Matching to someone who shares the same surname (even with a slight spelling variation) all but proves that the common ancestor shared the same surname. Matching to someone with a different surname could simply indicate that the common ancestor lived prior to surname standardization - or could indicate that a non-paternal event (NPE) like an adoption happened at some point in the past. It's important to remember that lifespans used to be much shorter - and that children who lost one or both parents were often taken in by another family.

SNP Tests

A significant portion of the Y chromosome is very stable and rarely changes. Each single position on the Y-DNA in numbered; 3701764 refers to the 3,701,764th position on the Y chromosome. Each location has a single nucleotide: either A, T, G, or C.

Normally, a son inherits an exact duplicate of his father's Y chromosome. If his father had a "G" at location 3701764, then the son will too. But once every few generations (on average), the value at a location on the Y chromosome will change - perhaps from a "G" to an "A". We call this change (mutation) a "variant." Once a variant occurs, all future generations will inherit the new value at that location.

SNP tests determine the nucleotide value of specific locations on the tester's Y chromosome and then compare them against a database of other tested men. FTDNA sells two types of SNP tests:

  • SNP Packs are branch-specific tests are available to STR tested customers that are designed to help refine their estimated ancient haplogroup to a more recent branch. They used to be quite popular, but are less frequently used as prices have come down on the Big Y-700 test.
  • The Big Y-700 test is available to new customers or as an upgrade to existing STR and Big Y-500 customers. It includes at least 700 STRs (including all of the core 111 STRs), and hundreds of thousands of SNP checks. See next section for more information.

Big Y-700 Test

coming soon

Known Narramore Y-DNA Tests

As of 10 Aug 2023, there are six known Narramore/Northmore DNA tests. They are:

  • Big Y-700 kit# 939199 - surname Nichols (Narramore NPE)
  • Big Y-500 kit# 72248 - surname Narramore (northern line)
  • Y-111 kit# 393037 - surname Northmore; presumed British
  • Y-111 kit# 395469 - surname Naramore; northern line?
  • Y-111 kit# B4186 - surname Narramore; southern line?
  • Y-37 kit# 484100 - surname Narmore; southern line

There are also a number of matching tests from the Wooldrage/Wooldrige/Woolritch, Kingston, and Heath families. Woolritch has established a separate Y haplogroup of their own that split from Narramore more than (perhaps substantially more than) 500 years ago. We don't have any Big Y tests from Kingston or Heath, so can't estimate when they diverged.

  • Big Y-700 kit# B632916 - surname Wooldrage/Woodridge/Woolritch
  • Big Y-700 kit# SI12488 - surname Wooldrage/Woodridge/Woolritch

The only Big Y-700 Narramore test is kit# 939199, actually taken by a Nichols. From his test, we learned that his Nichols line had a non-parental event (NPE) in the early 1800s - and actually descends from a Narramore born about 1800, probably in Tennessee or the Carolinas. This ongoing research is detailed in Nichols - Narramore NPE.

When Nichols kit# 939199 tested in Dec 2020, he matched to two men in existing Y haplogroup R-717830:

  • Big Y-500 kit# 72248 - surname Narramore (northern line)
  • Big Y-700 kit# B632916 - surname Wooldrage

The Nichols Y-700 test matched to four previously private variants from the Narramore Y-500 test, resulting in a new terminal subclade for the two men, R-FT412158.

The Nichols test introduced five new private variants. It's impossible for a non-admin to know if Narramore shares them or not - they may be at locations not surveyed by his Y-500 test.

Current Narramore Terminal SNP: R-FT412158

When a male takes a new Big Y test, FTDNA usually discovers a small number (perhaps one to five) of new mutations that haven't been seen before. These are called private variants. In some cases, the new test includes a variant or two that match someone else's previous private variants. The variants that match to someone else are no longer considered private, and are given names. One of those named variants often becomes the new terminal haplogroup for a family line.

Until the Nichols test, the terminal haplogroup for the Narramore had been R-BY83044. This had been created by a Big Y-500 test from a northern Narramore and a Big Y-700 test from a Wooldrage. The Nichols test matched several of the northern Narramore private variants, creating a new terminal haplogroup below R-BY83044, R-FT412158.

The Nichols test is part of the Southern Narramore line. Because it has five private variants, we have an (extremely rough) estimate that the line branched off from the northern Narramore line in about 1545 CE.

This area under revision.

Here (below) is the Narramore Big Y Block Tree as of Feb 2021. The first Narramore to take a Big Y test was a member of the northern Narramore line. He matched to a Wooldrage. Whichever one of them had tested first had been haplogroup R-BY3989 (the large blue block of 19 equivalent SNPs at the top of the chart). When the second one of them tested, it was discovered that they shared a set of 25 previously-private variants that were then named. This is the large block on the right; they were given a new haplogroup of R-BY83044.

In Jan 2021, a new Big Y-700 test from James Nichols (JN; name used with permission) matched these two men. In addition, JN shared four previously-private variants with the tested northern Narramore man - that were not shared by Wooldrage. These four private variants were named and the new Narramore terminal SNP became R-FT412158 (an equivalent SNP to the other three).

JN still has five private variants of his own (not shared by the northern Narramore). This supports our understanding that JN is a southern Narramore. [Learn more about our conclusion that this Nichols line resulted from a Narramore NPE at Nichols-Narramore NPE.

More Conclusions Soon

This tells us several things are probably true:

  • The Wooldrage common ancestor with the US Narramore lines was probably pre-surname standardization.
  • Getting a second Big Y-700 test from any of the Narramore lines will almost certainly produce a new, lower terminal haplogroup.

Under construction

This research area is under construction as of 9 Aug 2023; much more to come.

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