Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Perfect Y

There are three Pikholz descendants from Skalat who have done Y-DNA tests: Zachy, "Filip" and I. The Y is passed down from father to son. Zachy's Y, which was done for 37 markers, represents his third-great-grandfather Mordecai Pikholz who was born about 1805. "Filip's" is 67 markers and represents his great-great-grandfather Nachman Pikholz who was born about 1795. Mine is also 67 markers and represents my great-great-grandfather, Izak Fischel Pikholz who was probably born around 1815-20. We can only guess about how Nachman, Mordecai and Izak Fischel are related.

The three of us match perfectly at 37 markers and Filip and I match perfectly at 67. These are the first rows on my match charts.

At 67 markers, we have no one else at zero genetic distance or even at a distance of one. There is one match with a genetic distance of two and two more at four.

At 37 markers, we have no one at zero or one, other than our own. There are two at a genetic distance of two and a whole string at three.

Then a few weeks ago, we received a new match.
Alex is a perfect match with the three Pikholz Y-DNA tests. I wrote to him and he turns out to be part of someone's project and she's the one who responds in his name. That means we have a common ancestor and apparently not long ago. Y-DNA stays the same from father to son, but there are occasional mutations - perhaps every six or seven generations. That's the minimum here, since we know who our own people are. FTDNA says that there is a 96.74% chance that he has a common ancestor with Filip and me within six generations. For seven generations, that goes up to 98.16%.
Just to the left of center, we see that Alex did a 111 marker test and also a Family Finder test. (It says "FF.") So we could see how he matches us on Family Finder - and the answer: not at all! At least not at the FTDNA threshhold. We got Alex onto GEDmatch and there too, Alex had very little in common with the Pikholz descendants.

That surprised me until I remembered that Filip and I do not match on Family Finder either. (Zachy has not done Family Finder.) Sometimes that's just the way it is.

Perhaps some day we will have more on Alex' family and more on our own and we can get closer to that common male-line ancestor. Almost certainly before we had surnames.

Housekeeping notes
I had not been planning on attending the IAJGS Conference in Seattle this summer because of the proximity to Tisha beAv. Last week, I had a change of heart and submitted a proposal. There will be two more, both on DNA-related subjects. But I will leave Seattle Wednesday morning, so my participation will depend on having my proposals accepted and being assigned speaking time(s) on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

My talks in Jerusalem (Tuesday) and Carmiel (Wednesday) went nicely and family members participated both days. My sons Renanel and Devir were there Wednesday and Devir had two of his friends come with him. It's good when the nineteen year olds are interested.

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