Y DNA Tests

The principal test of value to a one-name study is the Y DNA which tells you about your direct male line.  You must be male to take this test. If you are female, you can perhaps find a direct line male to participate, to represent your tree.

The Kelsall DNA Project has been established at Family Tree DNA, and it is ready for participants to join and order a test kit. Full details about testing methods and the scientific basis are at the Family Tree DNA web site. Full details about testing methods and the scientific basis are at the Family Tree DNA web site. To join the Project you should have the Kelsall surname (or one of the variants such as Kelsell) or a reason to think that you have a common ancestor with a male Kelsall.

The Kelsall Group Project website will include results as they become available. The objective of the study is to try to establish if various Kelsall family trees are related. We may determine that most Kelsall lines trace to a common origin in Cheshire or we may establish there are multiple distinct lines. Testing may establish a connection between trees that is now only suspected.

We encourage males to order a Y DNA test for 37 markers. The current price for the Y-DNA 37 is $149 plus postage (149 US dollars). This is discounted price for someone who joins a surname group. A test kit can be ordered from anywhere in the world. The test is a harmless genealogy test of locations on the Y chromosome, called markers, which are passed from father to son, typically unchanged.  The test result is a string of numbers, and contains no personal information.  You will be an exact or close match to those men to whom you are related.  By also testing a distant direct line male in your family tree, if possible, you will validate the family tree research to the common ancestor shared by both men who test.  In addition, the test result will tell you about your distant origins. You can read more at Family Tree DNA.

Y DNA Results

My results on Family Tree DNA show matches to other people who have tested based on genetic distance. To date, based on testing 37 markers, I have matches to 8 other people all with a genetic distance of 4. Basically, this means that for each person I match with we have results at 4 markers that are different and 33 that are common.  At this time, I do not know if the 4 markers are the same for each matched pair.

Family Tree DNA describes a genetic distance of 4 as “Probably related: a 33/37 match between two men who share a common surname (or variant) means they may share a common male ancestor. This relationship should be confirmed with additional testing’.

One of matches shares the Kelsall surname. Dr. David John Kelsall (1929 to 2016) was descended from Richard Kelsall born 1803. Family Tree DNA provides a Time Predictor (TiP) report specific to my matches with David John predicting that there is an 88% probability that we shared a common ancestor within 8 generations.  Prior to DNA testing, genealogical research by Andrew Kelsall Pearson showed that Richard was descended from another Richard Kelsall born 1736, one of the children of Richard Kelsall and Mary Birks. I know independently that Richard Kelsall and Mary Birks were my 5th great grandparents. The DNA results support that the genealogy is correct, and that David John was my 6th cousin, once removed. Our common ancestor, Richard Kelsall was born in 1713 – a span of 7 generations for me and 8 for David John.

The other 7 matches on Family Tree DNA do not share the Kelsall name. One name, Done, is interesting because a prominent Done family was established at Utkinton Cheshire in the 13th and 14th centuries at the same time as the Kelsall name was being established. Utkinton and Kelsall are villages a few miles apart. The TiP report for my match with Done provides a 77% probability of a common ancestor within 12 generations (corresponding approximately to the year 1590), 91% within 16 generations (approximately 1470) and 97% for 20 generations (approximately 1350). These DNA results, combined with the geographical association, suggest the probability that Kelsall and Done males have a common male ancestor. My most distant known ancestor, James Kelsall of Audley preceded me by 12 generations and he was first recorded as an adult in 1539. Based on my known Kelsall lineage the common ancestor was likely born before 1500 and he could have lived a century or two earlier. This connection will be subject of further research.

At this time, there is no indication that the other 6 matches on Family Tree DNA are indicative of connections within a genealogical timeframe. It is possible for separate lineages to converge over time leading to false matches. This can be reexamined if any of their genealogies point to origins in Cheshire, or with additional DNA testing.

Y-DNA Haplogroup

Haplogroup is a term used to describe individual branches, or closely related groups of branches, on the genetic family tree of all humans. All members of a haplogroup trace their ancestry back to a single individual. The Y-chromosome haplogroup refers to a common ancestor on the male line. Individuals can be linked to a broad

My Y-DNA results (and those I have matched to) belong to Haplogroup R-M269. My results have been analyzed in greater detail to show that I belong to a subset of R-M269 known as R-P312. These haplogroups are descendants of Haplogroup R1b (also known as R-M343) which is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe.  Bryan Sykes, in his book Blood of the Isles, gives the populations associated with R1b the name of Oisín for a clan patriarch. This clan accounts for 64% of all paternal lineages in England and 84% in Wales. It corresponds to the ancient Celtic population of Britain that preceded the influence of Saxon and Viking invasions from the east.

Autosomal Test

The autosomal test is designed to find relatives on any of your ancestral lines within the last five generations. The test uses autosomal DNA, which is the mixture of DNA you received from both parents (about 50% from your mother and about 50% from your father). Because autosomal DNA is a mixture of your mother’s and father’s DNA, it is unique to each person. Both men and women can complete this test.

I have tested at Family Tree DNA for autosomal DNA. To date I have a large number of matches but none relate specifically to other Kelsalls. Because my father has also tested I am able to distinguish paternal and maternal matches.

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